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The Voyages of Targon Karashi

TargonKarashi's Avatar

10.26.2012 , 03:55 PM | #211
I must apologize profusely for the long long loooong wait you've all had to endure for this finale. For some reason, the site doesn't want to stop it's "Maintenance" when I try to access it on my computer. So, I wrote this chapter quite a while it is. The rest is soon to come, I promise.

Chapter Eight

Rick frowned as the Lone Eagle approached the space station. It wasn’t anything to shout about – it wasn’t even very big.

It hardly seemed something that a powerful and proud Sith would use as his base of operations. But then, he supposed that it wasn’t meant to draw attention.

Still, it was rather disappointing.

“Not much to look at, is it?” he muttered.

“Nope,” Greyhawk nodded. “But then, I wasn’t expecting much.”


The soldier snorted. “Anything that has to do with the Empire…I don’t put a lot of stock into it.”

Rick sighed and shook his head. Old Greyhawk was in his “zone” and it wouldn’t be a good idea to try to break him out of it.

Gabrielle walked in to the cockpit.

“Is that it?” she asked.

Rick turned to face her.

“Have any snide remarks to make about its unimpressive stature?”


“Oh,” Rick shrugged. “Well, let’s hope we can get aboard. Codes and information that Sith gave us might not get us through.”

“We’ll see,” Greyhawk replied. “Imperials are mostly fools. We can get past the dupes.”

“What if they’re droids?” Gabrielle asked.

“All the easier,” the soldier answered.

There was a crackling on the ship’s intercom.

“Lone Eagle,” Master Cyrus’ voice said. “We’re nearing the station. The control center will be hailing us on our approach. Let Lord Catac do the talking, but if they require a response from your ship, only Sorgal should respond.”

“Got it,” Rick replied. “We’ll follow your lead.”

The Lone Eagle slowed down and allowed for the captured Imperial shuttle to pass by and lead the way towards the station’s main hangar. Rick still found it amazing that such a small shuttle could fit a whole Jedi strike team.

He guessed that Jedi didn’t need much space, nor did they seem to worry about comfort. That was something he could never have gotten used to himself. His own ship felt rather crowded with the crew he had with him.

There was a pinging on the console and Rick reminded everyone to keep quiet. The station was calling.

“Identify yourself, Imperial shuttle,” a stern voice demanded.

Right on cue, Lord Catac’s voice answered. “This is Shuttle Oberon, and I am Lord Catac. I have been assigned as the new Emperor’s Wrath to replace Lord Fuhron.”

It was quiet for a long moment.

The voice spoke again.

“Shuttle Oberon, your arrival is unscheduled, and you have brought another unidentified vessel with you. Explain yourself.”

“You presume to doubt me?” Catac hissed. “The Emperor himself has given me my honorable position. I do not have to tolerate such deviance from the likes of you. Perhaps you should identify yourself now.”

“Now see here…” the voice was then cut off. It was a long time before it came back on again.

“I don’t like this,” Rick grumbled. “If this doesn’t work, we’ll need to bail.”

“No, we’ll just blast our way through,” Greyhawk countered.

“That won’t work,” Rick shook his head.

“Quiet, both of you,” Sorgal hissed as he entered the cockpit. Gabrielle took her leave to allow him room.

“That…” the voice returned. “That is unnecessary. Shuttle Oberon, you are cleared for approach after you identify your companion vessel.”

Catac growled. “Good to see you have some sense. That freighter is carrying my own personal mercenaries and supplies to refurbish the station. Lord Fuhron’s tastes were hardly my own.”

“Then you won’t mind if I contact your freighter’s captain?” the voice supposed.

“A waste of time, but I will allow it.”

The voice then came in loud on the Lone Eagle’s speakers. “Unidentified freighter, name your captain and cargo.”
Sorgal was quick to step up and answer.

“I am Lord Sorgal, apprentice to the newly appointed Darth Catac. I am here to oversee the mercenaries stay in line and stay out of trouble on their freighter.”

There was a pause.

“Your name is not on any of our records,” the voice said.

“More blasted insolence?” Catac roared. “I should see you dead for all this trouble, sir.”

Another silence. This one was dreadfully long.

Rick started to reach for the controls to get their ship out of there. Despite the relatively small size of the station, he could see the menacing turbolasers around the hangar as they were drawing closer.

“Very well, Lord Catac,” the voice returned. “Both vessels are cleared for landing.”

“I am glad that you approve,” Catac spat harshly before cutting the transmission.

Ahead, the shields around the hangar deactivated and the guns stood down. The shuttle flew in first, finding a fine landing spot in the center of the hangar.

Rick had to carefully navigate around and land in an awkward spot between two Imperial fighters.

When they had set down, he sat back and gave a sigh of relief.

“It worked,” he smiled. “I told you all it would work.”

Sorgal stalked out and Greyhawk stood.

“Time to take the station,” the old soldier stated.

“Shouldn’t be too hard,” Rick shrugged. “We totally got in undetected, after all.”

Rick followed the soldier out of the cockpit and into the main hold. The whole crew had gathered, and they were fitted for combat.

Gabrielle was dressed in her black coat, the one Rick had first seen her in. Her blasters hung nicely against her shapely hips.

Tygus was clad in his green armor. He checked his blaster and then holstered it, and then he pulled out this whip. He snapped it several times like a belt until he was satisfied with the electric crackling.

Sorgal had his ruddy armor, but for once, he had smoothed out his hair. The whole time he had been a part of the crew, he had kept his mop of black hair an utter mess. Now it was clean and combed back. Above all, he had a different saber. His own hung at his belt, but in his hand was a long handled one – with a purple blade.

Rick recalled, barely, that it was the saber Targon had taken from Kronos… If his memory served – which it rarely did concerning Jedi and Sith – it was the lightsaber of Sorgal’s master.

Xana was in her silver bodysuit. Her face was solemn and stern, but despite that, she was as amazingly attractive as she had been from the very beginning. Rick had his own girl, but he could see why Targon paid so much attention to her.

Old Greyhawk finished suiting himself up in his massive suit of armor. Last thing he grabbed was his blaster rifle, fitted with a grenade-launcher. The old man looked like a supreme commando now – a formidable sight…even more so since Rick knew what the soldier was capable of, even with his age.

Rick was the last to get ready. There wasn’t much he really needed to do. He pulled out his blasters and checked them for prime condition. After holstering them, he straightened out his red jacket, putting a few explosive charges in his pockets.

With the whole crew ready, they stepped down the boarding ramp and set foot in the station.

The Jedi strike force was waiting for them.

Master Cyrus looked the same, clad in simple Jedi robes that made his speckled skin stand out all the more. Asha and Talandar stood beside him. The Togruta wore similar robes, but the strange alien wore armor on his shoulders, arms and legs, leaving his upper body exposed.

The Kaalian noticed the confused looks coming his way.

“A traditional outfit of my people,” he explained, “used for personal battles. Fighting for the apprentice of my old friend, Master Tieru, is very personal to me.”

Nobody disputed or asked into the matter further.

Master Lok and Lord Catac stood together, each in the same outfit they had seen them in before. Brown robes for the bald Jedi, spiked armor for the horned Sith. Both had faces so serious that it made Xana’s expression seem placid.

Two other Jedi joined them – strangers to the Lone Eagle’s crew that had been assigned with Master Lok.

Last of all was the Supreme Commander of the Kordak League. Arcon Talhawk towered over everyone, both in height and in mass. His thick armor cast a grim shadow over the strike team, and his skull mask was rather frightening in the dim light.

Dim it was. The hangar was barely lit by flickering lights overhead. Only lights from the ships made any real difference.

Dark as it was, that would be to their advantage. Both in taking the station, and then ultimately ambushing the Dark Lord when he arrived.

“We don’t have much time,” Cyrus announced. “Viruul could arrive within hours, perhaps less. We must secure as much of the station as possible.”

Everyone nodded, and then the group headed for the hangar’s exit into the halls. It was time to take this Imperial station for themselves.

As soon as the door opened, they stopped short. A sharp gasp emanated from them all.

Dozens of Imperial soldiers stood outside, waiting with their guns raised. At the head of them stood a tall, thin man.

He had been seen by many of them before.

The man was Sith, obviously. He was clad in red and black robes, with a golden mask covering the top half of his face.

His arms folded, he shook his head and stared at the strike team disapprovingly.

“I expected as much,” he sighed.

Catac stepped forward. “Is this supposed to be my welcoming committee? Rather pathetic if you ask me…”

“Small, I know,” the man nodded. “But efficient…and effective. I welcome you to this station, Jedi, traitors, and fools all. There seems to be some confusion here, so I will clear the matter.”

“What are you…?” Catac was cut off as the Sith drew his dual lightsabers, filling the hall with a blood red light.

“I am Darth Vinitar,” the Sith stated. “And I am the newly appointed Emperor’s Wrath.”
I'd love you all to read my stories and tell me what you think!
The Imperial Inquisition and The Voyages of Targon Karashi

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10.28.2012 , 08:53 PM | #212
Chapter Nine

The shooting began immediately, and the lightsabers were quick to ignite. Both hallway and hangar burst into a blaze of light and fire.

Imperial soldiers poured in through the door, forcing the Jedi and the Lone Eagle’s crew to fall back and find cover. Lord Vinitar held the front, twin sabers twirling in a crimson blur.

Master Talandar was first to charge at the Sith Lord. His green blade clashed against both of Vinitar’s swords again and again. The Kaalian matched Vinitar for speed and precision.

Most of the crew gathered around Rick behind a cover of storage crates to open fire against the Imperial troops. For every one that they gunned down, however, three more would take its place.

Alarms blared throughout the station – more soldiers were on their way.

These weren’t just any Imperial grunts, they soon discovered. These were more highly trained marines, the kind that were used to boarding enemy ships in space combat, and fighting alongside Sith in the heat of the most dangerous battles.

They held their ground, fighting as a well-greased machine. Though not invincible, Rick and his crew found it more difficult to shoot these guys. And these guys had some better aim.

A few shots singed Gabrielle’s coat and Greyhawk’s eyebrows. One struck Sorgal’s calf and nearly sent him to the ground. Even he couldn’t hold off it all.

Rick came to the Sith’s side quickly to pull him safely behind cover. The old soldier gave them supporting fire.

“You good?” Rick asked.

Sorgal hissed, baring his teeth. “I’ve had worse injuries while I was training in boyhood.”

“Good to know,” Rick shrugged and then left him to go back to firing.

Sorgal rose up again to his feet, pushing the pain away until it no longer registered in his body. He activated his saber – his master’s saber – and charged forward.

In a flash, he joined Talandar in assaulting the Sith Lord. Vinitar adapted to fighting two foes quickly enough. He had a saber for each of them, after all.

Masters Cyrus and Asha kept together, deflecting enemy fire with harmonious unison. Xana wasn’t far from them, taking her own heat. She didn’t seem to be sweating it much. Her face revealed her stoic concentration.

The right side of the Imperial force began to break as Lord Catac and Master Lok cut their way through the soldiers.

Catac’s double-bladed red saber sliced through armor and flesh with ease…and a hint of enjoyment. The Zabrak’s face hinted to that as well. On the other hand, Lok was calm and serene, waving his blue saber with grace and near-silence.

But neither of them was content to be stuck with petty soldiers – even if they were more skilled than most. They were poised for Vinitar.

The Sith Lord noted their approach. Now he was facing four enemies…and he wasn’t about to let the odds become so stacked against him.

With a mighty leap, he bounded into the air and landed a ways further down the hangar. Now he was ready to flank the enemy.

He reached out with the Force and hoisted a massive coil of an unused fuel line into the air. With a simple grunt, he sent it hurtling into the stacks of crates – and the crew of the Lone Eagle that was using them for cover.

Everyone dove out of the way to avoid being crushed. Before anyone could recover well enough, Vinitar ripped an Imperial fighter from its hooks near the ceiling.

He smiled to himself as he crashed it down into the floor. Explosions of fuel, sparks, and shrapnel flew in all directions. Soldiers were impaled and peppered, Jedi desperately tried to shield themselves, and in a moment, everyone was surrounded by smoke.

Vinitar nodded. That should have been enough to deal with most of the enemy.

His thought vanished as he heard the sounds of several activated lightsabers.

Catac flew through the air, leaping at him. Vinitar was quick to pull together his defense and hold off the sudden storm of swipes from the traitorous Sith. Master Lok appeared too, and then Master Talandar.

All three made an effort to surround him and then overwhelm him.

Spinning around profusely to match each foe in turn, Vinitar felt himself get dizzy. He wasn’t going to last long fighting like this.

He kicked out his left leg at Master Lok and took the chance to get through the breach. Now he had all three of them on one side so he could face them all at once.

But then he felt a rush from behind him. Sorgal was attacking with a wide sweep of his long-handled saber. Following closely behind, Xana was coming to join the fight against him.

Five against one now, he noted. Where were those blasted reinforcements?

Oh, there they were.

Flying in through the ray shields of the hangar’s entrance, seven massive Imperial shocktroopers, clad in sealed, heavy black armor, arrived at last. In one arm they held flamethrowers. In the other, powerful assault rifles.

Immediately, the new soldiers began to attack, and many of the Jedi were forced to turn and face the threat.

Only two people weren’t going to take their attention off Vinitar. Sorgal and Lord Catac.

Vinitar twirled his blades in his hands, pointing one at each of them. There was a short pause, and then all three struck.


Rick coughed and hacked in the smoke. He could hardly see a thing, except for the many colors of lightsabers a distance away.

“Everyone alright?” he called.

There was a groan and Rick groped his way towards the source.

“Greyhawk, that you?”

A blaster shot past his ear was all the answer he needed. The wounded Imperial soldier limped into view, holding a pistol in his left hand while his right arm dangled bloody and useless to his side.

The soldier prepared another shot, but Rick was ready for him. He dove down and brought his own pistols to bear. A bolt right to the soldier’s head and that was that.

Something hard grabbed him and pulled him up.

“No, that wasn’t me, captain,” a gruff voice stated. “I was behind you – and I never groan in pain at simple injuries like that.”

Rick chuckled and turned around to face the old soldier.

“Liar,” Rick stated as he punched him playfully. Sudden pain in his hand made him realize that it wasn’t such a good idea.

He bit his lip. “What is that made of? Durasteel?”

“Um, yeah,” Greyhawk nodded. “Didn’t I tell you?”

“No time for chatting, boys,” Gabrielle’s voice called. “More soldiers are on their way. We need to get into the hall where there’s less exposure and more crowd control.”

“She’s right,” Greyhawk nodded. “I’ll take point.”

Leading the way, the old soldier stepped out into the hall, shooting any Imps he happened to see along the way. Rick and Gabrielle followed closely behind, and they soon realized they had been joined by Masters Asha and Cyrus.

“What about the others?” Rick asked.

“Sorgal and Xana are with Lok, Catac, and Talandar,” Asha stated. “They are taking on the Sith Lord.”

“We sent the rest of our Jedi to join them,” Cyrus added. “That should be enough to handle a single Sith while we escort you to the control room and shut down this red alert.”

“What about Tygus?” Xana asked. “And Talhawk?”


Tygus had done his best to keep out of the enemy’s central attention. He had joined the others behind the crates and had shot down his share of Imperial soldiers. Not worrying about the fight with the Sith, he had thought things were going pretty well.

But he had been one of the first to see the attack by the tubes. Even with such little time to react, he had been able to avoid being knocked senseless by them. The rest of the crew hadn’t been so lucky, but they had survived.

It was the second wave that was the worst. Having a starship thrown at you is not something you can just shrug off.

The Jedi had been able to use their reflexes to avoid the explosion. Since the crew was already down, they hadn’t been too much in the way of the blast. He, on the other hand, was as exposed as the Imperial soldiers had been.

And now, he could feel that fact too, rather than see it.

The pain in his leg was excruciating. It felt like something had stabbed right through his thigh and staked him to the ground.

He strained to see, and when the smoke cleared enough, he could see it.

A piece of metal had stabbed through his thigh and staked him to the ground.

He hissed and snarled at the pain. Blood seeped in large quantities from the wound. Any sort of move he made only made the pain shoot up into a massive flare that he was sure he would go unconscious at any moment.

Tygus tried to reach down and pull the shrapnel out. The moment his fingers barely grazed the steel shard, he screamed and cursed and punched the metal floor.

Once the pain subsided again to its “normal” level, he tried once more. The result was exactly the same, though he had managed to grab it. He had to let go as the pain made his muscles twitch and shake with agony.

He swore several times and then took deep, harsh breaths. He needed to get it out…this time was going to be it.

Tygus counted to three and then he started to reach once more. His fingers were barely inches away when a shadow fell over him. A huge hand reached down and ripped the steel from his leg.

The bounty hunter howled and swore in five different languages, even using words he didn’t even know the meaning of.

“Suck it up,” a gruff voice ordered.

Tygus felt himself lifted into the air and placed on his feet. The pain in his femur threatened to send him back to the ground again, but something held him steady.

He looked up and thought for sure he was dead. Then he realized it was just the blue skull helmet of Talhawk.

“Doesn’t look like it went through any major artery,” the Necillian stated. “You’ll live.”

“Speak for yourself,” Tygus hissed.

Talhawk slapped on a brace to act as a bandage around the thigh, and then jabbed a syringe into Tygus’ neck.

The bounty hunter roared, but then he felt the sudden surge of healing bacta and adrenaline. His strength was starting to return.

Now he could see clearly and register his surroundings. It was just him and the giant now. Imperial soldiers lay dead all over the hangar. Jedi fought Sith and armored troops on the other side of the room. The rest of the Lone Eagle crew was gone.

“What now?” Tygus asked.

“We let your stims kick in,” Talhawk answered. “And then we keep fighting.”

Tygus sighed. “Sounds good.”

A movement caught his eye. Auto-turrets were starting to emerge from the floor and ceiling of the hangar. Their guns were poised at the Jedi…but he saw one aimed for him.

Instinctively, Tygus shoved the giant aside and drew his whip and blaster. He shot one turret, and then looked to the next. With a quick lash, his electrowhip sliced through the gun and tore it apart.

Sparks flew from the ruins of turrets.

Tygus felt a sudden burst of pride at his quick move, and it showed on his face.

The Supreme Commander chuckled and gave him a little nudge to move him out of his way now. That “nudge” nearly sent Tygus head over heels, but the stimulants were working fully now, and he kept his balance.

“My turn,” Talhawk rumbled.

He stretched out his massive chain and activated the stream of electricity through it. Holding it over head, he whirled it around and around until he felt it was ready.

The turrets had begun to open fire on the Jedi, forcing them to divide attention between their enemies and the guns. It didn’t look like they would hold for long – and that Darth Vinitar was looking to take advantage of the situation and kill them all.

Talhawk hurled his chain up and wrapped it around another of the Imperial fighters hanging above. The electricity created huge blossoms of sparks that rained down on everyone.

“Down!” he roared at Tygus, and the bounty hunter didn’t hesitate to comply.

Talhawk roared in exertion as he yanked the ship from its supports. Instead of letting it drop, however, he started to swing it around. He danced around in a massive circle as he guided the ship by its leash.

The hangar rang and shook with the squealing and howling of metal and fire. The starfighter smashed along the walls and ceiling of the room, taking out each and every turret in its path.

Finally, it smashed into a corner and exploded. Everyone went down – Jedi, Sith, soldier, Tygus, and Talhawk.

It was a while before Tygus could hear again, much less see or stand. The hangar was utterly destroyed – wreckage littered everywhere, and sparks shot out like a fireworks show.

His mouth dropped.

“Holy… Oh my… What the…?!” He found himself completely at a loss for words.

Talhawk was gasping for breath and struggling to stand. It looked like all his energy was utterly spent…and Tygus was still having a hard time believing what he had just done.

“You took some stims too, didn’t you?” he asked, not caring how stupid he sounded at the moment.

The Supreme Commander of the Kordak League laughed weakly.

“Nope. Now, let’s see to the other Jedi and finish of these Imperial scum.”

TargonKarashi's Avatar

10.30.2012 , 05:55 PM | #213
Chapter Ten

The hangar had become an utter disaster. Rubble and debris littered the floor, sparks burst from nearly every panel. Massive gouges had been carved in the walls.

Vinitar coughed and hacked in the smoky, filthy air. He struggled to stand, working to shrug off the dust and trash that covered him. All around, he could hardly see a thing…except for the remains of many of those Imperial shocktroopers, crushed beneath large pieces of metal.

He could sense the stirrings, however. The Jedi were recovering. He wasted no time in calling his sabers to his hands to prepare for another bout.

Then his communicator beeped.

Sighing, he pressed the button. “What is it, commander?”

“My lord!” the voice cried. “The invaders are trying to force their way to the control room!”

“Calm down,” Vinitar growled. “You’ve got a few troops with you – more than they have. Hold them off. I’m on my way.”

“Hurry, my lord!”

Vinitar rolled his eyes as he shut of the comm. He then started to trudge his way across the utterly destroyed hangar. He noted the giant and another person on the opposite side of the room, but they looked in no condition to threaten him, so he paid them no mind.

He opened the door to the hallway. Standing amid the bodies that littered the ground were two of his servant Sith.

The bowed as he approached.

“My lord,” the first greeted. “We were on our way to assist you…”

“Enough,” Vinitar held up a hand. “Make yourselves useful now and kill the Jedi inside the hangar. I am going to save the commander’s hide at the control room.”

“As you wish, my lord,” the second Sith bowed.

The obeyed his orders and walked into the hangar. He paused a moment to watch them go in, feeling sure he wasn’t going to be seeing them again. Then he broke into a run down the hall, dodging corpses and wreckage. He knew the quickest way to the control room.

He would kill every one of that wretched crew of the Lone Eagle. Then this whole mess could be over with.


Xana groaned and struggled to lift the metal sheet that pinned her legs. It wasn’t too heavy, but her head was swimming after the latest…development…in the hangar.

In a moment, the sheet was gone, but not by her strength.

Master Talandar silently lifted the wreckage that covered her, as well as the Jedi around. Sorgal stood above her, offering a hand to help her up. She was eager to take him up on his offer.

None of the Jedi had been killed, fortunately enough. The same could not be said for the Imperials. Xana could already see three of them buried under the debris. It made her shudder – such a terrible way to die.

Talandar helped up Master Lok and then moved to aid Lord Catac.

The Zabrak was quick to deny his aid, opting to get himself up with a growl.

“Looks like we made it,” Sorgal shrugged.

“Where is the Sith?” Lok asked. “He’s not here…I can’t sense him.”

“Maybe he was crushed?” one of his fellow Jedi asked.

Catac shook his head. “He fled, like a coward. One little thing and he scampers off…just like most of my kind.”

“What was that?” the second Jedi that accompanied Master Lok inquired.

“We’ll have to ask the Kordak later,” Talandar replied. “It seems we have other company.”

Everyone turned to face the new pair of Sith that stalked their way towards them. There wasn’t anything too special about their appearances. They looked like typical Sith, with red sabers and black armor covering head to toe.

“Lackeys,” Catac spat. “A stalling effort by Vinitar.”

“We don’t have time to be stalled with tripe like this,” Sorgal growled.

“We are of the same mind,” Catac nodded. He turned to Master Lok. “You Jedi should be more than enough to handle these two.”

“Of course,” Lok nodded, “but perhaps we should stick together?”

“No need for that,” Catac stated. “No time, either.” He gestured to Sorgal and Xana. “I’ll take these two and pursue Vinitar.”

“This sounds more like pride than strategy,” Talandar observed.

“Die Jedi!” the Sith screamed as they charged.

“Well, no time to argue now,” Lok sighed, drawing his saber and engaging the Sith. The other Jedi joined in soon after.

“Let’s go,” Catac ordered.

Sorgal nodded and followed him to the exit. Xana hesitated, watching as Master Talandar resigned to joining battle against the pair of Sith.

“We should help them,” she suggested.

“Go ahead then,” Catac spat. “But it will only be a waste of time. Lord Viruul will be arriving at any moment. We need to deal with this Sith and take control of the station before he does.”

“He’s right,” Sorgal told her. “Come on.”

Xana frowned, but when she looked back at the other Jedi, her concern subsided. Master Talandar’s skill far surpassed the two Sith, and it seemed the fight would be over within moments.

Sighing, she hurried after Sorgal and Catac to the exit of the hangar. There wasn’t as much rubble in the halls, but there were plenty of bodies.

“If we save Targon,” she muttered to herself, “this will have been worth it.”

She only hoped that she wouldn’t regret that thought.


Rick cursed himself for thinking that things were going well. Not a minute after he had thought that, then he found that he and his group were pinned down at the end of the hall that led straight to the control room.

The Imps had marshaled for a final defense, led by what looked to be the commander of the station itself. Rick figured as much from the clean, pressed uniform of the man hiding behind the wall of soldiers.

Worse still, they had auto-turrets set in the hall, keeping a continuous stream of suppressive fire on them. Rick and Gabrielle his behind the corner of one wall, while Greyhawk was behind the other.

Masters Cyrus and Asha covered them with a fluid defense, blocking all shots coming their way, and trying to reflect them back at the soldiers. All the time they had saved by their great progress through the station was being lost in the mess here.

“We don’t have time for this!” Greyhawk roared over the noise of the battle. “We need to get in there now!”

“Any ideas?” Gabrielle asked. “It’s not like either of us packed explosives…and you already used your grenades, Greyhawk.”

Rick frowned…and then it struck him like a hammer to his head.

He swore at himself for not remembering earlier as he reached into his jacket pocket. A smile started to creep on his face as he pulled out one of the compact explosives he had brought.

Gabrielle looked down and nearly slapped him when she saw them.

“Couldn’t come up with those earlier?” she hissed.

“It slipped my mind,” Rick shrugged.

He crouched down and started arming the bomb. Setting it for a ten second timer, he activated and waited.

“What are you doing?” Gabrielle shrieked. “Throw it!”

Rick ignored her, and kept waiting. Nine…eight…seven…six…


He rolled out from cover, stopping to rise right between the Jedi Masters. Then he threw hard, sending the explosive hurtling through the air.

It was timed just right. The moment it struck the ground at the feet of one of the soldiers, the hall burst into a blinding flash of light. The sound was just as intense, and the wave knocked him back.

Smoke replaced the flame as the explosion subsided. The shooting had died, as most of the soldiers were incinerated, and the turrets lost their sensors from the flash.

Greyhawk emerged from his cover and moved forward, shooting each turret in turn as he marched his way down the hall. Rick and the others followed closely behind.

There was the sound of a whimper as the door to the control room opened and the closed. Before the locks could seal, Cyrus waved his hand and slammed the door open. The rest of the team rushed inside.

The station’s commander was tripping over himself, sprinting for the main console and the protection of two security droids. Once there, he started punching in something.

“Get them!” he roared at the droids, and the machines silently obeyed.

Asha and Cyrus drew their fire, blocking the shots with ease. Gabrielle lined up a shot on one of the droids, and Greyhawk took the other.

Almost at the same time, they fired and took the droids down. The armor was thick and the bots started to get back up. Thus, the two of them filled the droids chassis’s with several more bolts.

Rick had his blaster trained on the commander.

“Step away from the console,” he ordered. He then added, “Please.”

The commander drew a pistol and pointed it right back at him. “I’ve locked down the controls with a security encryption. You’ll never get through.”

“Step aside,” Rick ordered again. “It’s not worth dying over.”

“Tell that to the men you killed,” the man spat back.

“I’ll say again…”

A blaster bolt whined and struck the man square in the chest. He gasped and then dropped without a word.

Rick turned and frowned at Gabrielle. The Twi’lek frowned back at him.

“You should have shot him after the first warning,” she stated. “Or not warned him at all.”

“I would’ve shot him while he was typing,” Greyhawk grumbled. “Now we’ve got no access…might as well shoot the console too…”

“No, wait,” Rick countered. “I’ll decrypt it.”

“You?” Cyrus asked. “Forgive me for being surprised, but you didn’t strike me as a hacker, captain.”

“I don’t strike people as a lot of things,” Rick replied. Gabrielle laughed at that, and Greyhawk simply shrugged.

“Get it done, then,” the old soldier ordered. “We’ve got company.”

Darth Vinitar stood in the entry to the control room, his sabers activating.

“You’ve caused enough trouble for me,” the Sith Lord growled. “I don’t know what idiocy made you decide to come here, but you fools have made your last mistake crossing me.”

“Rick, get that encryption off,” Cyrus stated. “We’ll take him.”

“You will try,” Vinitar nodded.

He wasted no more time. Charging with blades twirling, he came at them. Asha and Cyrus were quick to respond, raising their sabers and parrying his blows. Rick decided not to waste any time as well and got to work, with Gabrielle standing over him.

The Sith was just as fast as he had always been, but Asha matched his speed, and Cyrus matched his strength. Together, they kept him from pushing past them. To Vinitar’s chagrin, he had no choice but to deal with the Jedi first.

He tried to drive them apart, focusing his attacks on one or the other. He started with the woman first. Women tended to be weaker and less able to handle straight on conflict.

That was the stereotype, anyway. But this Jedi did not fall into such a trivial category. As a Togruta, she kept a great awareness of the space and obstacles around her. Her speed was just as impressive, spinning and diving out of the way of Vinitar’s strongest attacks.

She soon became a blur, her headdress an irritating image of black and white, mixed with her orange face.

So then he decided to focus on Cyrus. He wasn’t nearly as fast as Asha, not even a match of speed for Vinitar. But he was strong and disciplined. He held his ground firm, and his footwork was impeccable.

Vinitar was impressed – better than what the other Jedi had shown back at the hangar. But then, he was up close with these Jedi, and in a much more enclosed field of battle to notice it.

Yet he wasn’t interested in a worthy fight or opponent. He was sick of these invaders and he wanted this matter over.

So he pressed his attacks, intensifying his ferocity and style so that even these Jedi Masters were starting to waver under his assault. He locked sabers with them both, then he leaned in with his shoulder and knocked Cyrus to the ground.

That left him alone to deal with the woman, and he was quick to pounce on her.

But before he could truly get going, he heard the sound of more lightsabers igniting from behind.

He turned just in time to block Catac’s double-bladed saber. The traitor Sith snarled and assaulted him, forcing Vinitar to turn and fight him directly.

Asha did not move to attack the Sith from the rear. Instead, she moved to aid Cyrus up and the two of them held their position, blocking the path to Rick and the main console.

Sorgal and Xana followed in behind Catac, drawing their swords and joining the fight against Vinitar. The Sith snarled as he was once again facing three on one – and this time he had two at the rear that could possibly attack at any moment.

The Dark Side seethed from within the Sith, and he roared in fury. His attacks became wild and ferocious, going from one foe to the next, wearing their defenses down quickly.

They compensated by pulling back, and then advancing on him in unison so as to restrict his wide swipes. Vinitar saw it, and he wasn’t about to be caged in.

With a shout of rage, he sent out a massive wave on all sides of him. Catac, Sorgal, and Xana were all sent flying by the repulse. Even Cyrus and Asha were thrown to the ground.

His enemies staggered, Vinitar moved to make the killing blows. His first target was Catac. He had seen enough of this traitor.

As Catac tried to get up, Vinitar leapt at him, kicking him back down to the ground. Then he raised his sabers and brought them down.

Before he finished the strike, however, he howled as a blaster bolt struck his back. He whirled around, and his face met the butt of the old soldier’s blaster rifle.

Vinitar wobbled and stumbled backwards, wiping the blood from his broken nose.

“I’ve been thrown through buildings and swarmed by dozens of soldiers,” he snarled. “I won’t be fazed by a cheap shot.”

Greyhawk’s fist slammed into his gut.

“How about two, then?”

Vinitar dropped to the ground. The old soldier did not wait for him to get up. As soon as he was on the floor, he pumped the Sith with five bolts.

“Done,” Greyhawk spat.

The room was quiet then, and it remained so for a long time.

Finally, Rick broke the silence.

“Ha! Yes! I’ve got it! See? I told you I would… Oh crap.”

“What is it?” Cyrus asked.

Rick looked up, his face slightly paler. “The station’s sensors report that Viruul is here.”

Catac stood and pushed past Greyhawk to see the console for himself. He frowned and nodded.

“Seal off the lower levels to keep the rest of the station’s garrison contained,” he commanded. “Then program the blast doors and everything to seal this room as we leave. We won’t let anyone gain control of the systems after us.”

“It’s time to set the trap,” Cyrus stated. He reached for his comlink. “Talandar? Lok? Do you read?”

“We’re here,” Lok replied. “We took out the Sith easily enough.”

“Viruul is here,” Cyrus announced. “Meet us in the station’s core – it’s large enough and restricted enough to make a suitable ambush for the Dark Lord.”

“What of his entourage he is sure to have?” Asha asked.

“That’s where my crew comes in,” Rick grinned. “I’ve got a plan.”
I'd love you all to read my stories and tell me what you think!
The Imperial Inquisition and The Voyages of Targon Karashi

TargonKarashi's Avatar

10.31.2012 , 07:39 PM | #214
Chapter Eleven

The station’s secondary hangar was barely big enough to house the large Imperial shuttle as it landed on the pad. Of course, it didn’t matter if it was in comfortably or not, since the main hangar had turned out to be utterly destroyed.

It managed to land and lower its ramp. Promptly, a dozen armored soldiers descended and fanned out to make sure everything was secure.

The black figure that followed them didn’t care to wait for a report of an all clear. Viruul wasn’t in the mood for waiting.

He scowled as his feet set down on the cold floor of the station.

“So,” he muttered, “this was the den of that insufferable Fuhron? All that money diverted to this ugly base, and he dared to accuse me of squandering funds?”

Viruul shook his head in disgust and then moved on, scanning the area with disapproving eyes. Succuba was right behind him, leading the young Jedi along with electrocuffs.

Then the Dark Lord’s favorite bounty hunter followed, and then came Draco and his mysterious female companion. Pulling up the rear was the young Sith, Draakis. Once all were out, Viruul led the way to the entrance into the halls of the station.

A soldier came to Viruul’s side, bowing respectfully. All the troopers were clad in polished silver armor…all except this one. This man’s suit was glossy black.

Viruul paused and glanced at the man. “You have something to ask, Captain Gritt?”

The man bowed again, lower this time.

“I do, my lord.” His voice was calm and even, but Viruul could sense the man’s terror of him. It made him smile.

“Ask away,” Viruul shrugged.

“My lord,” the captain hesitated. “Why did you bring along that…those two?”

Viruul did not need to ask which two he meant.

“I invited Draco along because I thought it only fitting that he share in some of the plunder we might find in this station. He was, after all, a crucial ally in my conflict with Fuhron. He was quite eager to accept my invitation.”

“Do you not suppose too eager?” Gritt asked.

The captain shuddered and cringed at the look Viruul gave him.

“Are you suggesting something, captain?”

“N-no sir…my lord.”

“I thought not,” Viruul nodded. “Anything else to ask?”

Gritt thought for a moment. “I feel I should report that the men are…uncomfortable…around Draco and his companion. They’ve been inseparable…and always seem on the edge of…”

Viruul chuckled. “Are your men uncomfortable with the way they express their relationship?”

“My boys are ready for anything,” Gritt defended. “It’s just…It just seems inappropriate.”

“Perhaps,” Viruul shrugged. “But what they do is their business, not yours.”

“Yes, my lord.”

Viruul stopped short suddenly. He glanced back and counted the men following him. He frowned as he saw he was missing one.

Gritt noticed it as well.

“My lord, the bounty hunter is gone.”

Viruul scratched his chin for a moment, and then he sighed. “It seems Shazzar has wandered off.”

“Where did he go?”

“He went to do his job,” Viruul replied. “He’s gone hunting. Now, captain, I have a job for you.”

“What would you ask of me, my lord?”

“Take three men and secure the station’s control room. I don’t want any traps and turrets to spring in our faces as we take what we want and destroy the rest.”

“I will leave at once, my lord.”

“When you are done, contact me to coordinate a clean sweep of the station. I will take the rest of these men to the main storage rooms to see what equipment Fuhron left behind.”

“Yes, my lord.”


Captain Gritt tapped his foot impatiently as the men worked on the door panel. “What’s taking so long?” he demanded.

“Sir,” one of the men sighed. “The controls are fried, the door is locked from the inside, and the blast doors have been sealed.”

“We’re not getting in,” another man stated.

Gritt folded his arms in disapproval. “I beg your pardon? Not getting through? Since when has my squad never gotten through a door?”


“No excuses! Obviously some of the station’s crew have barricaded themselves in the control room. We’ll just have to go about this a little less delicately. Plant some explosives on the door. That will get us through.”

“Yes, sir,” the men replied.

One went to grab the bombs, the others located the optimal place to set the charge. Gritt waited, but his patience was long exhausted.

Finally, the soldier with the explosives stepped up to the door and got to work getting it all ready. The other men stepped back with Gritt to a safe distance.

Just as they passed a pair of doors along the hall, they called back to the man to hurry and join them. That was when the doors suddenly opened.

Rick dove out and blasted the man before he finished with the charges. Gabrielle followed right after him and trained her pistols on the other two soldiers. Before they could react, she had taken the both down.

“Surprise!” Rick grinned, standing up and pointing his guns to the captain.

Gritt said nothing, he just grabbed his own blaster and fired several shots at them. Then he took the time he had bought with the distraction to make a run for it.

“Oh no you don’t!” Rick roared after him. “Get back here!”

He set off in a dash after the captain, ignoring Gabrielle’s calls from behind.

“Rick! No! What are you doing? We have to stick to the plan!”

Before he turned the corner in his pursuit of the Imperial, Rick called back, “Don’t worry, it’s only one guy.”

Gabrielle groaned and rolled her eyes. With a reluctant sigh, she made her way down the hall to follow. All the while she muttered curses and insults at Rick’s rashness.

Rick shouted obscene insults at the Imperial as he chased him through the corridors. Every now and then he would try to get a shot off – though every time it was way off the mark.

But he was catching up. Gritt made it around a blind turn, and Rick knew that he was going to get him here. Just make the curve and then it’s a straight shot…

Rick sprinted around the corner and stopped short.

“Oh frak,” he gasped.

Just down the hall, the captain had found a few friends. Viruul and Succuba blinked at Rick wordlessly. The twenty-something troops accompanying them were just starting to register it all.

Rick tipped an imaginary hat at the group and wheeled around, sprinting back the way he had come.

“Get him!” Viruul roared. “Captain, take seven men and get him!”

A blaster shot whined, but it came from the opposite direction of the hall.

Viruul whirled to spot an elderly man in Republic armor, taking shots at the men from the rear. Several of the soldiers turned to face him, but then the man was no longer alone.

Three more of the Lone Eagle’s crew appeared next to Greyhawk: the bounty hunter, Tygus; the rogue Sith, Sorgal; and the Jedi, Xana.

They held their ground for only a few seconds, shooting and deflecting the shots coming at them. Then they too turned around and ran. They split up at a cross-section – the soldier and Sith going one way, the Jedi and the cat going the other.

“After them!” Viruul commanded. “Draakis, after the soldier! Draco, if you could spare the time away from your companion, get after the Jedi. Wait, never mind, take her with you.”

The soldiers divided between the two leaders, charging down the hall and breaking off to pursue both pairs of the renegades. Soon, it was just Viruul, Succuba, and Targon.

“Was that wise, master?” Succuba asked. She gestured towards the Jedi. “It may well have been a trap to split our forces apart to get at Targon.”

Viruul nodded. “I know it’s a trap, and I want them to think that it’s succeeding. This was only the first play, the second part will be more interesting.”

“What’s our move?”

“You will take Targon back to the hangar,” Viruul answered simply. “Get ready to take him out of here should things…not go as we hope. In any case, it will make the perfect area for his crew to converge. They’ll want to rescue him, and that is where you will kill them…if they aren’t killed by Gritt’s men before.”

Succuba snickered and Viruul could only nod. “Unlikely…that’s why you’re here. And when Targon sees his friends fall, his spirit will utterly break.”

He made sure to look directly in the eyes of the young Jedi as he said that.

Targon only stared back at him blankly. If he was filled with rage, he was suppressing it well. Viruul figured, however, that it was simply the boy’s loss of focus as he still fought so hard at the losing battle within him.

That battle would end with his friends’ deaths, though. Viruul was certain.

“What of you, master?” Succuba inquired.

“I will go to the core of the station,” the Dark Lord replied. “I sense that is where the real ambush is waiting. I plan to spring the trap and turn it on the attackers instead.”

“As you wish, my lord,” Succuba nodded. She then promptly grabbed Targon and dragged him back the way they had come.


Gabrielle growled when she saw Rick coming back down the hall. She stopped, caught her breath, and placed her hands on her hips.

“Would you for once just listen to me?” she hissed.

Rick didn’t slow down. He nearly ran her over, but instead he grabbed her by the arm and pulled her along with him.

“What the…?” Gabrielle nearly slapped him and prepared to wrench herself free, but then she saw the soldiers in pursuit. She choked down a truly obscene remark and joined Rick in the mad dash down the halls.

All the while she glared at him.

“This is the kind of thing that happens when you opt for screwball actions,” she stated.

“Less lecture, more running!” Rick snapped back at her.

He pointed to a doorway.

“There, that’s where we’ll hold out.”

Gabrielle didn’t bother to say anything. She just followed him in. It was a storage chamber, full of a variety of items. There were trophies of the many accomplishments of the Emperor’s Wrath, a few shelves of books and datapads, and a meditation pad beneath a large vent pouring cool air into the room.

Obviously one of the places for the Sith Lord that ran this station to be alone and focus himself.

There was no other way out besides the way that they came in. That meant there was only one way for the enemy to reach them.

Rick wasted no time in jamming the doors. Then he knocked over a shelf to block the entrance for good measure.

“You know that won’t hold them long,” Gabrielle frowned. “And now we’re backed into a corner for them to finish us.”

“Not at all,” Rick shook his head confidently. The last thing he did was place something on the door itself. Something he withdrew from his jacket pocket.

He rushed back to her and pointed to another shelf.

She understood. Together, they brought it down and prepped it as a barrier for them to take cover behind. When they were done, they waited.

Soon, the banging on the door began.

“The door’s jammed,” a soldier announced.

“There won’t be any tricks this time,” Gritt spat. “Blast this door open!”

“That seems a bit extreme, sir,” another man suggested. “We can pry it open, after all.”

“No!” Gritt ordered. “I want this door blown apart, then we’ll swarm and destroy these hooligans.”

“Yes sir,” the men complied.

There were more noises and steps outside. Gabrielle frowned and glanced at Rick. She was surprised at the very smug look on his face.

“Charges set, sir!” a soldier announced.

“Everyone get back,” Gritt ordered.

“Too late,” Rick smiled.

Time was up, and the explosive he set on the door detonated. The room lit up in another blinding flash, and the sound was even more deafening. Shards of the shelf peppered their barricade, and the metal of the door blew the other way.

The faint sounds of screams and shouts followed, insignificant next to the explosion itself. Yet Rick and Gabrielle could count three maybe four kills with the blast. A serious blow to the enemy group.

A few moments after the blast, the remaining soldiers charged in. Indeed, their number was cut in half. There were only four of them – including Captain Gritt. They fired blindly, still discombobulated from the explosion.

But Rick and Gabrielle were well enough, and they started shooting back.

A minute or two and it was over.

“Well,” Rick rose and dusted himself off. “That was easier than I expected.”

Gabrielle simply scowled at him and then punched his shoulder.

Another sound started – something entirely different.


Rick turned around slowly. Something made his blood run cold. He begged to every deity and power he had heard of in the galaxy to not be what he thought it was.

His prayers apparently went unanswered.

Shazzar stood on the meditation mat. The vent was hanging from a single bolt on the ceiling. It didn’t take a genius to realize how he had come – completely unnoticed due to the explosion and firefight.

“Impressive as usual, Rick,” the bounty hunter chuckled.

He was significantly different than the other occasions that they had seen him. He wore his turban and cloth with his green and brown armor. But red ritualistic marks had been painted on the shoulders and chest of his suit.

Beneath his turban, what little of his face was drawn on with red paint as well. Rick understood the meaning of it all. Shazzar had worn paint all the time – sometimes for disguise, other times for culture.

He even had been painted like a Togruta’s skin during the chase for Targon. Rick knew that was due to his wife. But this paint was different.

This paint was a clear message he was out for blood.

“Run,” Rick rasped, his voice suddenly failing him.

Gabrielle heard him, though, and she agreed with his notion completely.

They ran, but Rick knew that it wasn’t likely they were going to lose this hunter no matter how hard they tried. It was all they could do.

So they ran.
I'd love you all to read my stories and tell me what you think!
The Imperial Inquisition and The Voyages of Targon Karashi

TargonKarashi's Avatar

11.01.2012 , 06:38 PM | #215
Big chapter, wooh! Or maybe not so good. So, for everybody's information, this episode will have fourteen chapters and an epilogue (essentially one more short chapter.) It's turned out to be pretty tough to get everything wrapped up effectively. Nearing the end....hope you can't wait!

Chapter Twelve

Xana sighed with relief after she made the final swing and cut down the last of the Imperial soldiers. She and Tygus had made their stand in a narrow hall, where only a few men could get through at a time.

It made things easier, especially since Tygus was wounded in the leg.

Tygus groaned and leaned against the wall.

“That was easier than I expected,” he sighed. “This whole thing has, now that I think about it.”

“It’s not over yet,” Xana stated.

“No,” a voice said. “It is not.”

Xana whirled about to face the new foe. But when she saw him, she nearly collapsed with surprise.

“Master?” she gasped.

“How many times must we clear this up?” Draco shook his head.

Tygus drew his whip and snapped it at Draco’s feet.

“Wait,” Xana told him. “He’s no enemy.”

Draco shrugged. “Depends on the point of view, I suppose. But you’ve lucked out, lad. We’re not here to hurt you.”

Tygus recoiled in surprise, but his eyes narrowed in suspicion. He kept a close eye on them, and had his blaster ready to act at any moment.

“What are you doing here?” Xana asked.

“Same reason you’re here,” her old teacher replied.

“We’re here for Targon’s sake,” Selendis finished.

“What are you talking about?” Tygus scowled.

Draco sighed. “I came with Viruul to keep an eye on the boy. He’s not doing well, Xana. The corruption in his body has nearly consumed him.”

“Then I have to save him!” Xana stated.

“There’s nothing you can do,” Selendis shook her head. “We’ve tried everything we could whenever we had the chance. There seems to be no reversal of the condition.”

“You want to help him?” Tygus scoffed.

“I do,” Draco nodded firmly. “The Force is out of balance with Viruul’s rise – it was worse than I could have ever foreseen. But I’ve helped him, because I know that it is Targon’s duty to make things right.”

“What?” Tygus held back a laugh. “You saying he’s going to put the whole galaxy in order?”

“There is no way to know his destiny for certain,” Selendis answered. “But Viruul plans to use Targon to further his dark agenda. And that will spell doom for the galaxy for certain if he is not stopped.”

“My hope was to cure Targon if I could,” Draco continued. “But it seems that may not be possible. I am here to do what is necessary…if I must, I will deny Viruul his unwilling weapon.”

Xana’s eyes widened. “You would kill him?! You can’t!”

“If it could spare the galaxy of death and suffering…”

“You can’t!”

Xana’s voice was fierce and stern, but it wavered with the hints of shock and concern. Her eyes, however, were burning with conviction.

“I won’t let you.”

Draco was taken aback at that remark. The whole hall was silent for a long while.

“Xana,” Draco said softly. “You have a duty as a Jedi…”

“To the galaxy, to the Republic,” Xana nodded. “But I also have a duty to Targon. Because I…”

She hesitated.

“I love him.”

Draco and Selendis glanced at each other, their eyes betrayed nothing of what they were thinking. Were they surprised? Disappointed? Confused? It was impossible to tell.

The Sorceress nodded and Draco sighed.

“I had hoped as much,” he smiled sadly. “And yet I had also feared it. I can’t – I won’t – keep you from fighting for Targon, my dear. But you must hurry. Viruul’s apprentice has taken him to the hangar. They will escape with him should there be any sign of their defeat. If Succuba takes him…there will be no other chance to save him.”

“You’re telling us this?” Tygus frowned. “Just like that?”

“Just like that,” Selendis nodded. “Hurry now, while there’s still time.”

Xana bowed to them both and then helped Tygus down the hall.


Targon lay limp, propped up against a storage crate. His eyes stared out into nothing as he sat. Every now and then, with growing frequency, his whole body would cringe and shudder with pain.

Yet his eyes never revealed any thought or feeling.

Succuba paced restlessly in front of him. Her tail twitched and flicked with impatience. Her claws clicked on the metal floor panels, echoing in the silent hangar.

She paused and glanced at Targon.

“Well,” she smiled. “Here we are, alone again.”

To her surprise, Targon looked at her.

“So we are,” he nodded.

“What’s this? A response? Finally?”

“One can only remain silent for so long,” Targon stated.

“I’m surprised how long you managed,” Succuba said. “Been thinking the whole time? Or just dazing into space?”

“A little of both.”

Targon returned to staring at the invisible thing he had been transfixed with.

“Haven’t you had enough?” he asked the Sith. “Hasn’t this gone on long enough? Why can’t you just leave my friends alone? I don’t care what you do with me…but why do you always have to bring them into this?”

Succuba laughed.

“They got themselves in this hole,” she replied. “We’d nearly forgotten all about those fools…and then they had to show up here. Now, they’re going to die.”

“You shouldn’t be too sure,” Targon stated. “Viruul’s overconfidence is his weakness.”

“Your faith in your friends is yours,” Succuba countered sarcastically. She laughed at her own retort and how stupid it sounded. She might as well have said, “Your mom is your weakness.”

There was a sound at the door of the hangar. Succuba’s head turned sharp to see what it was.

At first, there was nothing. Then there was another sound…and then another. Each one was louder than the one before it.

It sounded like thunder.

The door opened. Greyhawk walked in backwards, firing his blaster at something back in the hall. He turned around and noted the Imperial shuttle.

He was reaching for something – probably something to blow the ship up – when he spotted the two occupants in the hangar. He gasped and shouted in surprise.

“Wait!” he called at someone in the hall. “Wait, there’s been a change…”

Too late. A loud explosion and crackling of lightning filled the hall and something was hurled through the doorway. That something crashed into a crate and dropped to the floor.

It was Sorgal.

For the first time, some sort of life came back to Targon’s eyes. He tried to sit up, but found his strength still failed him.

Someone else came through the door, walking calmly with red lightsaber held aloft. His black cloak was wet with sweat and clung to his blue skin.

“Well now,” Draakis laughed. “A merry chase to here? Didn’t you two know where you were going?”

Succuba crossed her arms in front of her chest. “What are you doing?” she hissed.

“Dealing with these troublemakers,” Draakis replied. “I’ll be quick and dispose of the mess afterwards. No need to concern yourself.”

“I wouldn’t,” Succuba shrugged, “if I wasn’t already itching for a fight.”

“Then fight me!” someone shouted as they pushed past Draakis. A green lightsaber ignited and swung towards Succuba’s neck.

The Sith brought her own saber to bear just in time. Her reptilian eyes glared back into the golden eyes of the Falleen Jedi.

“My, my,” Draakis laughed. “This seems to be the place to be right now.”

Succuba had to pull back to get her balance and properly ready herself to face the Jedi.

“You’ve all made a terrible mistake in starting all of this,” she snarled. “For what? For him?” She pointed to Targon. “He’s barely alive as it is…and he’s not yours anymore, girl.”

Xana growled at her. “You’ve caused enough trouble for him and for all of us. It’s time for you to pay for it.”

“No, you will pay,” Succuba stated. “With your lives.”

Tygus came to Xana’s side. “You done yapping, Sith?” he asked. “Because I was expecting a fight.”

“Take them,” Draakis called. “I’ll finish these two.”

Succuba didn’t need his permission to start the battle. In a flash, she charged at Xana, making a quick swipe at the bounty hunter in the process.

Tygus had no choice but to dive out of the way. But as he did so, he took a few shots at Succuba. The Sith had to halt her advance to defend against them.

That was when Xana struck. Her blade crashed and sparked against Succuba’s. The green flash lit up her skin, just as the red lit up the Sith.

Xana kept up an offensive, but then Succuba stole it from her with a kick to her face and a subsequent assault. She drove the Jedi backwards, but she didn’t forget about the bounty hunter.

Tygus came at her with his whip, but Succuba saw him. As he drew closer, twirling the whip above his head, she broke away from Xana to focus on him.

She caught his whip with her blade as it came down. Then she yanked it away, pulling the weapon from the cat’s hands.

Then it was her turn to use a whip – her powerful tail.

Tygus couldn’t avoid it in time, she was so quick. He was lifted off the ground and sent sprawling into the air.

Crashing against the wall, it was impossible to tell whether he was still conscious or not. Either way, Succuba decided he was out of the fight for now.

She turned her attention back to Xana.

Again they danced with their lightsabers, filling the hangar with bright blasts of red and green. Each one took their turn at attacking, and the other defended themselves until they could find the right moment to take the offensive again.

Their blades locked against each other, hissing and crackling with intense heat.

Succuba got in close to her opponent.

“He’s mine now,” she hissed. “He always has been. You’ve had your chance to make it with him, and you’ve failed. All this time, he’s been with me. He wants to be with me…though he poorly tries to deny it.”

“Liar!” Xana spat at her.

“Don’t believe me?” Succuba giggled. “I brought him back from the dead. I’ve been there for him during his pain and torment. Where were you?”

Xana shrieked and planted her foot in Succuba’s gut, sending her to the floor.

“He came back for me!” she snapped. “He has been my teacher and friend – the only one I have!”

“That’s your misfortune,” the Sith rose to her feet again. “You’ve been a poor friend in return – and a worse lover.”

Xana’s anger took control then, and she assaulted Succuba with a torrent of swings and hacks and slashes. Further and further back she drove her foe, until she was up against the shuttle.

She came in harder with a hammering blow. Succuba reached up and caught her arm. Her claws dug into Xana’s wrist, and her strength started to squeeze like a vice.

“Losing your temper,” she grinned wickedly. “Hardly the Jedi way. What would your friend and teacher have to say about you acting like this?”

Xana gritted her teeth and tried to break free of her grip. But Succuba held tight, and the more she struggled, the more the Sith flooded her with her dark power.

She was losing her strength. Succuba was overpowering her, not just with her physical strength. The Sith’s onslaught broke through her emotions and spirit. Any moment and she would be utterly crushed.


Greyhawk kept a suppressive fire against Draakis as Sorgal fought blade to blade with the enemy. It wasn’t doing much, but the old soldier kept at it in order to provide a possible breach in the Sith’s concentration.

Sorgal was holding his own with the sword. His strength was greater than Draakis’, but the Sith compensated for that with bursts of lightning and with hurling crates and other hard objects intermittently.

That was hard on Sorgal’s focus. Not only was he having to deal with a blade, but he also had to deal with flying objects and the risk of being electrocuted.

He finally made a mistake in his footing and tripped.

Sorgal caught himself, but Draakis was on him. Not even Greyhawk’s firing could hold him back.

Draakis raised a static electrical field around him to divert the blaster bolts. With that problem out of the way, he could maintain his focus.

Raising his hands, he started to fry Sorgal with storms of lightning. Sorgal writhed and howled, trying to resist and stay strong. Yet the stream wasn’t letting up.

Finally, Sorgal got his saber to intercept the electricity, holding it off and absorbing it. He could feel the heat and the strain, but it was better than absorbing the energy through his skin.

Draakis intensified his attack, hurling more bolts as he stepped closer and closer. The power was pushing Sorgal’s strength to the worst limits. In a few moments, he would lose it all.

But he wasn’t going to go out like this. He strained to find any unused source of strength and focus and attacked back. A wave emanated from Sorgal that sent the lightning back at its source.

Draakis flew back, bouncing on the floor several times before finally getting back to his feet. A few wafts of smoke rose from his cloak – but not nearly as much as was sizzling off of Sorgal.

Greyhawk wasted no time in attacking, unloading his rifle on the Sith with a vengeance. He knew it was going to overheat or run out of charges soon, but he didn’t care. He just kept shooting.

The Sith strained to deflect the bolts coming his way. Many missed him straight out as the rifle began to lose its edge, but others were poised right for his head and chest.

Draakis had his blade whirling desperately to keep the lasers from finding their mark. Finally, he was ready to make his move.

As Greyhawk’s rifle died on him, it sent one last bolt at the Sith. That was what Draakis was waiting for.

Perfect timing, perfect reflexes, and perfect execution. His lightsaber deflected the blast away from him…

…and sent it right into Sorgal’s chest.

Unable to protect himself in time and too weak to try to get cover, Sorgal was his straight on. The laser missed his heart, but it was close enough.

He gasped and toppled over.

Greyhawk’s eyes filled with both shock and rage at the outcome. His rifle was dead, though. Completely empty and fried.

He roared and hurled it at Draakis as the Sith started to approach him. He might as well have thrown a pillow or a crumpled sheet of paper.

Draakis laughed and prepared to unleash yet another storm of lightning.

But then he heard the sound of Sorgal’s lightsaber ignite again.

Sorgal was barely able to lift himself up, but he managed just enough. With a last exertion, he flung the violet blade away.

It was fast and arced wide. But its speed was too much for Draakis to prepare for. The blade slashed into Draakis’ abdomen and then clattered to the floor, deactivating.

Draakis yelped and grabbed at his gut. The wound was deep, and it didn’t cauterize completely. Blood trickled onto his arm.

The Sith dropped to the ground moaning and writhing.

Greyhawk’s first urge was to finish him with whatever weapon he could grab, but then he noted Xana’s plight.

Without a second thought, he rushed to the pair of battling girls.

Xana’s knees were slowly starting to give out under her. The Sith was towering over her, laughing and mocking her with taunts and thrashes at her emotions. Xana’s eyes were shut tight under her strain, her jaw clenched, and her whole body trembling.

Shoulder first, the old soldier barreled into the Sith. He might as well have flung himself at her, for he became a massive boulder in his suit of armor. Together, the crashed into the shuttle and clambered to the ground.

Succuba gasped for air, snarling with a furious rage. Greyhawk rose faster, though, and planted his fist into her cheek. He followed that up with a bash with his elbow, and even his head after that.

He made for another blow with his fist, but this time, Succuba caught it in her claws. The Force aided in holding back his mechanically enhanced punch – she only needed one hand to hold him.

The other was down below.

With a hum, her lightsaber ignited in his chest.

Greyhawk gasped and dropped to the ground, the whole hangar seemed to shake as his suit crashed.

“No!” Xana shrieked.

Targon turned his head to face his fallen friend. His eyes, however, had returned to their lifelessness.

Succuba laughed as she stood over the soldier, still clinging to his life.

“Any last words, old man?”

Greyhawk stared right back at her. “Not for you.”

He then turned to look at Targon.

“Thank you...for everything,” he winked.

His hand activated the grenade he had been planning to use on the shuttle. With his last bit of strength, he threw up into Succuba’s face.

The Sith shrieked and jumped away. Xana dove to protect Targon.

The whole hangar trembled and was filled with a blinding flash. The thunderous explosion lasted less than a second, and then the smoke made everything dark.

For what seemed an eternity, it was silent and still.

Something stirred in the smoke, amid the wreckage of crates and equipment.

Succuba rose weakly. She groaned in pain, for her entire left side was burned and scorched. Her scaly skin was cracked and flaky, what remained of her garments clung to her by fibers.

“I will kill you all,” she hissed. Her voice was raspy and weak, just like her stature.

She was forced to her knees.

“That’s enough out of you,” Draco stated, looming over her. “You’ve caused enough pain and death. Any other person would have you killed, but I’ll let you run.”


“The shuttle is still operational,” Draco told her sharply. “Take it and go. Trouble this Jedi and his crew no more.”

Succuba was ready to fight him, but she realized that there was no way she could hope to win. Instead, against her better judgment, she did as he said. She boarded the shuttle and took off.

The smoke finally cleared from the hangar, leaving a grim scene. Although it hadn’t been massive, the explosion was fierce and intense. Much of the ground was scorched black. Debris littered everywhere, and covered everyone.

In the place where Greyhawk had been, there was nothing but ash.

Draco kneeled next to Xana, still desperately trying to cover Targon’s body with her own. He placed her hand on her shoulder and pulled her away.

Xana’s face was streaming with tears of pain and sorrow. Her back was burned and her emotions had become an utter mess.

Yet Draco saw that she was better off than Targon.

Slowly, the life returned again to the Jedi’s eyes – they were his own again, amid the corruption that had almost completely taken him. And then, the realization of what happened struck.

And it struck like the weight of a planet.

Targon screamed in inconsolable rage.

“No! NO! Why him?!”

Xana pushed her way back to Targon’s side. She could tell, apart from the sorrow, something worse was going on inside the young Jedi.

“What’s wrong with him?” she pleaded. “Can’t you help him?”

Draco shook his head. “The darkness is taking hold because of the soldier’s death. It’s feeding on his anger and grief. It’s going to consume him.”

“You have to help him!”

For a moment, Draco said nothing. Then he sighed, like something heavy weighed on him.

“I can’t kill him,” he said. “I don’t want to, and I can’t because you love him. There…there is another way…but, the risks are great…”

“What?” Xana asked. “I’ll do anything!”

“It’s not you that will risk everything,” Selendis stated, standing over them. “It’s Draco.”

“What do you mean?”

Draco sighed again. “Selendis and I can create a bond with Targon. This corruption is a defiled form of her own power. She can draw it out of him…and put it into me.”

Xana gasped.

“But there is a great chance both could die,” the Sorceress said solemnly. “The Dark Side does not like to be forcibly removed from where it has spread its roots.”

“Is it the only option?” Xana asked.

“The only option that I will consider,” Draco stated firmly. “We have to do it, Selendis. And I will risk my life and sanity for Xana’s happiness.”

The Sorceress nodded, her face grim, yet sad.

“Then we must begin at once.”
I'd love you all to read my stories and tell me what you think!
The Imperial Inquisition and The Voyages of Targon Karashi

RulithBarakis's Avatar

11.01.2012 , 07:14 PM | #216
........ GREYHAWK! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! He's always been one of my favorite characters!

I guess this truly means Voyages will be over soon. GAH. I'm not sure whether I'm excited to get to the end or depressed that it will finally be over. Targon, I've been reading this story for more than a year now. I was one of the original readers way back at the start. You know that, of course, but I consider this important.

I await the ending to your epic eagerly.

TargonKarashi's Avatar

11.02.2012 , 02:07 PM | #217
Oh boy, this is a HUGE chapter...but then, you'd kind of expect it to be, wouldn't you?

Chapter Thirteen

The core might very well have made up for most of the station – probably at least half. Massive pillars, filled with wiring and energy, lined the walls and connected at the central nexus.

Loud whirring and humming resonated off the walls and floor, even making the several platforms that orbited around the center tremble as they floated.

Viruul was not impressed at all as he walked in. It was loud and large, surely…but it was all so pointless. A big dramatic center – for an overly dramatic owner. He supposed it was fitting that Fuhron would have stayed in such a place.

And it was just as fitting that he had come to destroy this place after having killed Fuhron back on Corellia.

But something felt odd. There was a disturbance in the Force – and he could feel it, even behind all the noise and commotion of the core.

He was not alone.

Viruul walked out on the narrow walkway that led to the nearest platform. There was a console there that could halt the revolving stages so that engineers could travel from one to the other to access the core systems and workings.

He made no move to access the panel. Instead, he simply waited and then leapt to the platform as it came his way.

As soon as his feet planted on the floor, someone else landed on it as well.

Viruul didn’t need to think for a second to know that it was a Jedi. The robes were a dead giveaway. The disgustingly serene air about the man was also a sure clue.

“Welcome, Darth Viruul,” the Jedi bowed his head respectfully. “I am Master Arbir Cyrus of the Jedi High Council.”

Viruul nodded in return. “I have heard the reports of your service in the war, Master Cyrus. I also recall the names of the Jedi Council. I suppose I should be honored.”

He heard more feet land on the platform, and some on nearby ones.

Next to Cyrus, another Jedi had appeared. Another member of the Jedi Council – Master Asha, Viruul remembered names well.

“Two Council members?” Viruul smiled. “A shame so many others are already dead, this would have been quite the occasion. Let’s see…Shado Nalos, Cei Rahn, Karus Salar, Iotar Wixas… You’ve almost lost as many members as quickly as my council has.”

“If there even is a Dark Council anymore,” a familiar voice spat.

Viruul turned and sighed.

“Ah, Lord Catac…so your return wasn’t what I had hoped. You’ve thrown your lot in with the Jedi?”

“Catac has seen the truth of you Sith,” a bald Jedi Master standing beside Catac stated. Viruul didn’t know him – he must be someone unimportant.

“Thank you for falling into this little trap so easily, my lord,” another voice called from a nearby platform.

Viruul noted the Jedi, another nobody. Beside him was another. But then there was someone else with those two. A towering giant in thick armor.

“Oh!” Viruul raised his eyebrows in surprise. “The Supreme Commander of the Kordak League, too?”

The Necillian nodded. “I wouldn’t miss a battle like this for anything.”

“So, the seven of you have decided to face me alone?” Viruul nodded.

“Eight,” yet another voice corrected, this time from straight behind Viruul.

Viruul turned to regard the strange alien Jedi. One of those mysterious Kaalians.

“Any more?” Viruul asked.

“Your vicious reign of terror is at an end,” Catac boomed. “It’s gone on far too long.”

“Really?” Viruul laughed. “I think I’ve only begun.”

“No more words!” Talhawk roared.

“Indeed,” the Dark Lord nodded.

Catac drew his double bladed saber, lighting the area up with two red lights. Master Lok followed suit, mixing his blue into the hue. The other Jedi activated their blades – one blue and one yellow. Talandar’s green saber came to life, as did Talhawk’s unique violet one. Master Asha raised her purple blade and held it forward.

Master Cyrus was the last, slowly unhooking his lightsaber from his belt and activating it. The green light added to the rainbow-like glow.

It was Viruul’s turn. His lightsaber handle floated to his hand. He reached out and grabbed it, activating it at the same time. The vibrant hum of his crimson blade was musical.

Without another word, the Jedi ambushers attacked.

Talandar came first, swinging hard and fast. Viruul blocked his strikes quickly, and countered with his own.

Catac and Lok leapt down to his platform to join the battle. The three moved to quickly corner Viruul near the edge.

Effortlessly, the Dark Lord jumped into the air, flipping his way to the next level where Talhawk and the other two Jedi awaited him. Their blades crashed against his, one right after the other without any set pattern.

It kept Viruul focused to match their attacks. It wasn’t anything like a rhythm – it was chaotic and harsh. That meant he couldn’t settle into any one style. He had to work and concentrate.


Even so, the two Jedi he faced were in no way his equals. They weren’t even on par with the Necillian’s skill. Their styles were individually predictable, and far too aggressive to mesh with their allies.

That gave Viruul the advantage, and he was quick to seize upon it. With a wave of his hand, he shoved Talhawk away, giving him room to focus his attacks.

He came at one with a savage swipe, and then turned to block the other’s counterattack.

The Jedi broke away quickly and then both of them came at him with an attack. Viruul caught both their blades against his, holding them back firmly. They pushed down hard with their combined strength – too much for Viruul to withstand and still keep the strength to fight the other six enemies.

So he let it go. The sudden loss of his resistance unbalanced both Jedi and they stumbled forward.

Viruul jumped back and twirled in a swift full circle. It took less than half a second, and when it was done, both Jedi fell off the platform – heads first, bodies second.

No time to relish the kills, though. Talhawk was back on him, and now Catac, Lok, and Talandar had room enough for all three to join against him on the stage.

He knew it was the cue for another setting.

His foes came at him, their blades eager to strike at him. He held them off each in turn, and then he made his own move. Kicking Lok in the face, he opened up a breach to leap to the next station.

The Dark Lord landed behind Asha and Cyrus, but they turned and were prepared for him. Unlike the others, the two of them fought in harmony. One defended while the other attacked.

Viruul matched the one and assaulted the other. Asha made a lunge for his side, so he stepped left and slashed at Cyrus. The Jedi then switched positions. After blocking him, Cyrus took an offensive stance while Asha withdrew to protect herself from Viruul’s focus.

Four pairs of feet landed on the platform, all at once. The entire floor wobbled and shook under the sudden weight. Viruul struggled to keep his balance. The moment he had it under control, however, he was set upon by Catac and Talhawk. Talandar and Lok moved to cut him off and completely surround him.

Viruul unleashed a wave with the Force, but the Jedi each countered him, utterly canceling the repulse out. These opponents knew what they were doing – and who they were dealing with.

But the Dark Lord knew who the most powerful person on the station was. He decided to let these others know as well.

He rose into the air and struck them all with lightning from his fingertips. The attack caught most of them with ease.

Talandar was sent flying, only barely able to catch on to the edge of another platform. Asha and Cyrus were pushed back near the ledge, and Talhawk was slammed into the wall of the chamber.

Yet the Necillian wasn’t done. Before he fell into the pit, Talhawk grabbed one of the pillars and swung himself to a catwalk.

Lok and Catac had withstood the electricity, though. They still stood firm against him, each coming straight at him with their sabers.

Viruul jumped out of the way of their swings and then attacked again. His saber twirled in his hand and then smashed against Master Lok’s blade. The crackling grew hot and intense as he pushed against the Jedi.

But the Jedi was strong – and soon, he started pushing back. Worse still, Viruul heard Catac’s blade hum as he was swinging at the Dark Lord’s flank.

He had no choice but to break away. Diving to the side, he gave himself plenty of distance on the floor from either of them.

The traitor wasn’t letting up. Catac swung again, growling and cursing Viruul as he charged. Having gotten back to his feet, Viruul moved to intercept his blows.

Catac had a great deal of strength, he could not deny. Each strike wanted to sap Viruul’s energy and send his lightsaber hurtling from his grasp.

But, as with all brutes, Viruul knew he could turn the power against his foe.

Viruul made a feint to defend against Catac’s next assault, but at the last moment, he leaped over his enemy’s head and landed between him and Lok. At first, Viruul thought he made a poor move, as Cyrus and Asha returned to the fight.

Then Catac did exactly as Viruul had hoped.

Having missed him, the traitor whirled around violently to still get his attack in. Viruul ducked and then rolled out from between his foes at precisely the right moment.

Instead of him, Catac’s saber slashed into Master Lok’s side.

The Jedi gasped and toppled over, clinging to his wounds. Better still, Cyrus and Asha broke off their attacks. The Togruta rushed to Lok’s side while Cyrus stood over them both to protect them.

“What have you done?” Cyrus gasped.

Catac twirled his saber and readied himself for another attack at the Dark Lord. “I did what I had to. It was an unfortunate casualty, but we cannot let up the attack!”

Cyrus had no intention of abandoning his wounded comrade, so instead, he held his ground. Viruul smiled. Now he could deal with only the one…

He presumed too soon.

Talandar leapt onto the platform and joined the attack against Viruul. Both Catac and the Kaalian hacked at him, striking with ferocity and precision.

Viruul had to divide his focus between the two of them. They were strong, but Viruul was sure he could use the same tactics again. After all, in the heat of battle, it was hard for many to adapt.

Failing to adapt led to defeat.

But then something wrapped around Viruul’s feet and yanked him violently to the ground. He felt sharp pain as electrical shocks crackled in his legs.

Talhawk had him with his chain whip. The platform had come in close enough for the Necillian to reach. And he wasn’t going to let it get away from him.

Viruul yelped as Talhawk pulled the chain towards him, dragging the Dark Lord with it. In a moment, he was flying in empty air.

He crashed against the catwalk, but he grabbed onto it before he fell. With a blast of the Force, he loosed the chain from around his feet and stood.

Turning, he pointed his saber at Talhawk in challenge. The Supreme Commander was happy to accept.

Their blades clashed, but only for a short time. Lord Catac landed behind Viruul and made for an attack.

Viruul was sick of this traitor. He needed to be done with him.

The walkway was narrow – there was no way for Viruul to go…except up.

With a mighty jump, he cleared the towering Necillian’s head and landed a safe distance away.

Talhawk’s swift lunge found a different target – straight through Catac’s chest.

The traitor Sith roared in pain and outrage.

“You fool!” he hissed.

“An unfortunate casualty,” Talhawk spat back at him, withdrawing his blade.

Catac fell dead to the floor, and the Necillian turned to face his opponent. A cry of anger filled the chamber.

Master Lok had gotten back to his feet, drawn his saber again, and was now leaping to attack Viruul. It was bold and swift…but also foolish.

Viruul reached out and called Catac’s saber to him. He hurled it at the flying Jedi, and one of the red blades found its place.

“No!” Asha cried as Master Lok’s body fell into the central nexus and vaporized.

Viruul smiled with pride. Half down, half to go.

Talhawk was relentless, charging like a herd of banthas down upon him. Viruul withdrew, backing up quickly as his enemy advanced. Master Talandar had arrived behind the Sith, though. There was only so much room to retreat.

Time for a new tactic.

A platform was getting close. Viruul reached out and blasted it with lightning. The repulsors that held it up died and it began to fall. The Dark Lord called it to him, readying to smash it into Talhawk’s side.

The Necillian halted to face the incoming missile. When it struck him, he struck it back. The platform smashed into the catwalk, ripping it off its supports on the wall.

Viruul ran and jumped, landing with ease on another stage. Talandar dove to catch Talhawk. The Kaalian grabbed hold of the giant, used the tumbling debris as a stepping point, and barely got to the edge of Cyrus and Asha’s level.

Masters Asha and Cyrus attacked once their allies were secure. They flew at Viruul, blades whirring. The Dark Lord held them off, but they were still as impenetrable as before.

He needed to break their unison.

So, he picked his target. Cyrus came at him with an overhead slash. Viruul caught it, and then slipped away to the right. He threw out his foot and kicked the Jedi away.

Now Asha was alone. Viruul’s blade smashed into hers again and again, each time with more ferocity. Her defense was strong, but he finally broke through.

Asha’s saber flew from her hands and clattered to the floor. Before she could call it back to her, Viruul assaulted her with a storm of lightning.

She tried to shield herself, but the Dark Lord was too strong for her. He swept aside her defense and blasted her relentlessly.

The Jedi screamed in pain, and Viruul laughed. Yet another was going to fall to him.

He stopped short when Cyrus leapt at him with his saber. Blade back in hand, Viruul had to turn and defend against the Jedi.

Asha wasn’t dead, but she was fried. Her strength was gone and she lay limp on the floor.

Viruul roared with frustration as he noticed Talandar help the Necillian to his feet. He had hoped he wouldn’t have to deal with either of them anymore.

They would have attacked, but Cyrus forbade it.

“Talandar!” he called. “Get Talhawk and Master Asha to safety.”

“I’m not so weak,” the Necillian growled. “I can still fight, and Talandar still has plenty of strength.”

“Then take her,” the Kaalian suggested. “I will stay to fight.”

“I never run from a battle,” Talhawk growled.

“We’re not asking you to run, we’re asking you to protect.”

Talhawk sighed and nodded. “Very well then. Hono dagor!”

So Talandar leapt to Cyrus’ side as Talhawk rushed to get to the wounded Asha. He hoisted her up with one arm and made his way to one of the exits of the core.

Viruul laughed as he faced down the final two of his enemies.

“Six Jedi, a traitor, and the Supreme Commander of the Kordak League,” he grinned. “I’ve beaten them all. A fitting opening to my reign.”

“You haven’t beaten us yet,” Talandar rebuked.

Cyrus nodded. “You are strong with the Dark Side, Viruul, but the Force is with us.”

“We shall see,” the Dark Lord laughed.


Draco laid down beside Targon. Selendis knelt at the head of them both, placing a hand on both of their brows.
Xana sat by the young Jedi’s side, watching.

The Sorceress took several deep breaths. At first, it didn’t seem like anything was going to happen. But then her fingers started to glow.

Both Draco and Targon shuddered as the light went from her hands and passed into them. Everything seemed to grow dark, like some fog had risen and shrouded them all.

Targon’s voice howled in the gloom. It sounded like two voices – one his youthful tone, the other a savage beast.

“Get out of my head!” he screamed.

“Be still, be calm,” the Sorceress soothed.

“No! You are evil! Your power corrupts everything around you!”

“This is not you,” Draco stated. “This is the darkness. You must fight it, Targon. You must let it go. Come back into the light.”

“I can’t!” Targon growled. “I won’t! It hurts too much! All there is in this world is pain! So many deaths…I should die and let it be over!”

“You could,” Draco agreed. “You could give up and die, but that won’t solve anything. The Sith will still exist, the darkness will still threaten the galaxy…and you will have lost your friends.”

“My friends are dead!” Targon wailed. “Greyhawk is dead! I couldn’t save him…I couldn’t save any of them!”

“What about Xana?” Draco asked. “You saved her. You love her, just as she loves you. Your spirit returned for love of her. Are you willing to give up on her?”

“I…” Targon’s voice grew weak. “Jedi aren’t allowed to love. We must not create attachments. Emotions cloud our duty…”

“Deny your feelings and you deny who you are,” Selendis stated. “The Force is in all things, all people…and since your life is part of the Force, the Force is part of your life.”

“That doesn’t make sense…” Targon growled. “Quit filling my head with riddles!”

“The only riddle is deciding who you are,” Draco said. “Targon Karashi, Jedi Knight…first mate of the Lone Eagle, starter and finisher of wars, hunted by many, loved by others. Do you know who you are?”

“I know who I am,” Targon hissed.

“So do I,” Selendis concurred. “And I know that this darkness that is trying to consume you is not of you. It did not come from you. Many things that have happened are not your fault. Greyhawk’s death was not your fault, and neither is this corruption.”

“You have to accept that,” Draco added.

“But it is my fault!” Targon rebutted. “I wasn’t strong enough…I couldn’t save Greyhawk…I couldn’t fight this curse! I couldn’t stand on my own…”

“No one is asking you to,” a different voice said.

“Wha…?” Targon gasped. “Greyhawk?”

“Would you quit feeling sorry for yourself?” the old soldier grumbled. “For all the bad that has happened to all of us, the good you’ve done far outweighs that. I don’t regret anything, Targon. Not since the day you bumped into me on Ord Mantell.”

“But you’re dead because of me…”

“I’m dead because it was my choice to fight,” Greyhawk countered. “All these years, Marc Avis was a joke among the Republic army. I tried to bridge the gap between the people on Ord Mantell, and I failed. The only reason I’ve succeeded in anything was because I chose to believe in people. I don’t care about myself, but I do care about you Targon.”


“I believe in you,” Greyhawk announced firmly. “Rick believes in you. Xana believes in you. We all care about you, we love you, we came here to fight for you. And you fought for us. It’s time you started believing in yourself.”

It was quiet then.

Finally, Targon said, “I can’t do this alone…”

“You aren’t alone,” Greyhawk stated.

“You’ve never been alone.” This was the voice of yet another person.

Master Tieru.

The gloom in the air began to disappear. In its place, a blinding light grew larger and larger, emanating from Targon’s chest.

“Trust in the Force,” Tieru said. “Trust in your friends. Trust in yourself.”

“I…I will.”

The light intensified until it filled the whole hangar, for all its brightness, it may have filled the whole station…or the whole galaxy.

Targon and Draco both shouted in pain and exertion. It grew louder as the light grew even brighter.

And then, in an instant, it was done.

Targon groaned and slowly began to sit up. Xana rushed to help him. She gasped in shock when she realized…

…he was completely himself again. The corruption was gone.

Targon turned to her, and he looked as if he hadn’t seen her for a lifetime. He gasped, then smiled. His eyes burned as they filled with tears.

Xana buried his head as she embraced him. Tears streamed from her eyes as well, trickling down and wetting his hair.

Lord Draco stood. He wobbled at first, but Selendis supported him. Even she was startled at how he had changed.

His skin was now green scales, and jagged spikes jutted from his shoulders, temple, and arms. His stature was slouched and exhausted, weak and frail. His eyes were down and heavy from the weight of emotion.

“It worked,” he sighed weakly.

Targon and Xana stood, both staring at him with amazement. Then Targon bowed to him.

“Thank you,” he sobbed.

“It wasn’t me,” Draco shook his head. “It was you.”

“But you…”

“I provided the doorway,” Draco held up a hand. “It was you who decided to open it and step through. The curse is not so terrible to me. Perhaps I will die from it, or perhaps I shall be able to be at peace with it…but it matters little. What matters is that you are cured.”

Selendis rushed from them and knelt at Draakis’ side.

“My son!” she gasped.

Draakis groaned and writhed even still. But his strength was failing him.


“Be still,” Selendis soothed him. “Hush, I’m here. I won’t let you die.”

“What about Sorgal?” Xana asked. “You going to let him die?”

Draco sighed and walked over to the wounded Sith. To everyone’s astonishment, Sorgal was still alive and conscious.

“Well, this isn’t the first time you’ve found yourself at death’s threshold,” Draco stated.

“Save your patronizing,” Sorgal groaned.

“The wound is fatal, I’m afraid.”

“Really? I would never have guessed.”

“It is no tragedy to become one with the Force,” Draco sighed. “But…I would be wrong not to at least offer you an alternative…”

“What are you suggesting?” Targon’s eyes widened. “You can’t mean…!”

Draco turned to him. “Selendis’ power is not evil, despite what you might believe. For all the pain it has caused, it has also taken pain away.”

“There’s no way to know that,” Targon frowned. “I’ve seen what happens…”

“It’s not your decision,” Draco sighed.

He turned back to Sorgal.

“It’s yours. What will it be? Die now and be reunited with your master? I’m sure Sinitar will be glad to see you.”

Sorgal tried to laugh, but his wound made it impossible. “I know what he’d say… ‘What are you doing here? You’re too young to be dead. I taught you better than that!’ Ha… He always said a good Sith lives to an old age…only a poor one dies young.”

“The question is,” Draco pointed out, “are you still a Sith?”

“What else would I be?”

“You’re our friend,” Targon stated.

Sorgal looked to the young Jedi and coughed, hacking up blood as he did so. “You’re looking good…shame that I’m not.”

“I’ve seen you worse.”

“Again with the patronizing,” Sorgal growled. He looked at Draco and then at the Sorceress. “What happens? When you change people? Do they lose who they are?”

“The only one that can change who you are is you,” Selendis stated. “The soul is what’s important, not the body.”

Sorgal then glanced at Draakis. “It would seem kind of awkward…seeing as he and I essentially killed one another.”

“Well, if there’s any grudge between you,” Selendis smiled, “you’ll have a lifetime to trade insults and snarky comments.”

Sorgal tried to laugh again, but only winced in pain.

“Fine, I’ll do it.”

“What?!” Targon gasped. “But you can’t!”

“Targon,” Sorgal rasped. “I’m dying. And while I’m not your ordinary Sith…I’ve been trained as one, like you’ve been trained as a Jedi. A Sith clings to life as long as he can. But I remember our first discussion. We’re not so different when it comes down to who we are as people.”

“I remember…”

“And here’s the truth: Sorgal, the person, has debts to pay still. I haven’t honored my master enough. I haven’t learned to forgive or to find peace. I’m not ready to die…and if I’m still me when it’s all said and done…then you won’t lose another friend. One lost friend is too much. I know that all too well.”

Targon made to say something, but then he stopped himself. He sighed and nodded. “It’s your decision to make.”

“It is.”

“Then the time has come,” Draco rose. “Time for us to depart, and time for you, Targon, to continue your journey.”

Carrying Sorgal, Draco came over to Selendis and Draakis. The Sorceress cast off her human form and once again became her true image. Her coils wrapped around her son, Draco, and Sorgal in a gentle embrace.

“Meet your destiny,” Draco told Targon. “And may we all yet see each other again…in happier days.”

“You give that Dark Lord something from me and Greyhawk, you hear!” Sorgal added. “Make him regret messing with our crew.”

Targon could only bow to them all in farewell. Xana did the same.

There was brilliant flash of blue that blinded them.

Then, when it faded, Draco and Selendis, as well as their wounded companions, had completely vanished.

Targon was silent for a long time. He breathed deep and hard, his mind was racing.

Xana placed her hand on his shoulder.

“Are you alright?” she asked.

Nodding, Targon turned to face her.

“It’s time I faced Viruul and put an end to this.”

“I’m coming with you.”

“No,” Targon grabbed her arms. “The others will need you.”

“But I want to fight beside you…”

“As do I,” Targon sighed. “But I want you safe. And it will all have been for nothing if we lose the others. Rick and Gabrielle and Tygus and the other Jedi that came with you. We have to help them too.”

“I’ll do it,” Xana nodded. “But you’re going to leave with us. We all came for you, and we’re not leaving without you.”

Targon smiled and then leaned forward. He kissed her gently.

“It’s time,” he said.

TargonKarashi's Avatar

11.03.2012 , 03:01 PM | #218
Chapter Fourteen

Rick felt like he was running in a haunted house. The halls were a maze, and every so often he and Gabrielle would hit a dead end that made their stomachs lurch. Then there was the noise – any little sound nearly paralyzed them with fear.

He had a thought at the back of his head. Why was he so worried about one man? It wasn’t like he was a Sith or anything.

That thought didn’t last long, though. Rick knew who this was. This was Shazzar – and he was twice as bad as any Sith Lord.

He didn’t bother to tell Gabrielle what he was feeling, or even try to assuage her own fear. It wouldn’t do any good. She was smart, smarter than him. She could figure out what was going on.

They both nearly shouted for joy when they found a door that hadn’t quite been sealed. Whatever the reason, they didn’t care. They got in and tried to lock the door from their side.

It was the life support center of the space station, they realized. Of course it wouldn’t have been locked down. There always needed to be access here in case of emergencies, and the shields protecting the generators would protect against nearly any sabotage.

So there was no locking the door.

“Get back,” Rick shouted at Gabrielle.

She did so, backing up to the far wall. Her hands had her pistols, but they were shaking terribly.

Rick wasn’t quite sure why she should be so nervous. He may have told her his past with the bounty hunter…but she hadn’t seen any of the things that Rick had.

He backed up too, getting in position just in front of Gabrielle. If they were going to fight, it was he who would die first. Though he really, really hoped neither of them would die.

A foolish hope.

Much sooner than he would have liked, the door opened and Shazzar walked casually in. His rifle was in his hands, but it wasn’t firing. It might as well have been a toy gun for all the menace he was showing with it.

Rick knew Shazzar could easily kill someone with a toy.

“Running,” the bounty hunter sighed in disapproval. “You should know better than anyone that running only annoys me.”

“Can’t blame a man for trying,” Rick countered.

“I suppose I can’t,” Shazzar nodded. “Though it hurts to see an old friend run so.”

“What are you doing here, Shazzar?” Rick asked. “You got your money from Targon, you swore you’d let us go. Why are you still here? Why not leave?”

“You’re right,” the bounty hunter nodded. “The job with the Jedi is done. But there’s still unfinished business, and with everything else out of the way, it’s time to get it done.”

“What business?” Gabrielle hissed. “You two have been apart for eight years or so. Anything that happened has been settled.”

“No, my dear,” Shazzar shook his head coolly. “It hasn’t.”

“What then?” Rick asked, his voice weak with fear. “What have I not repaid you for? Damn it, you’re worse than Algayne.”

Shazzar chuckled, but his face and tone soon turned deadly serious. “All those years we worked together, and then, out of the blue, you ditch me on a backwater planet as I collected our money.”

Rick gasped. “I… I was upset…”

“So was I,” Shazzar growled. “You think I meant to destroy a whole settlement with everyone in it? But instead of working it out, you just fired your engines and decided to disappear.”

“I’m sorry for that…”

“There’s more,” the bounty hunter cut him off harshly. “You made a deal, Rick. And you broke it. I know you’ve broken lots of promises, but never with me.”

Rick’s face turned pale. “I…I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t turn over my best friend to you.”

Gabrielle gaped at Rick. Shazzar laughed without humor.

“Couldn’t? Even a Jedi? You were quick enough to break your friendship for me…and for a lot less.”

“Enough of this,” Rick straightened and stood with sudden courage. “Enough of this guilt trip. What do you want?”

“I want to settle this,” Shazzar replied. “You and me.”

“You let Gabrielle go then,” Rick ordered.

Shazzar nodded. “It was my intention. I would never hurt someone you care so deeply about.”

He gestured to the door in a gentleman fashion.

“Rick,” Gabrielle growled. “You can’t expect me to…”

“Go!” Rick snapped. There was an intensity in his voice that Gabrielle had never heard before…or even thought possible in him. He was desperate, she realized. So she complied and left.

Rick turned to Shazzar then.

“What about your wife?” he asked. “You’re putting your life on the line to take mine? We both have people we care about, and while we might not hurt them physically, either of us killing the other will tear them apart.”

“I understand the risk,” Shazzar answered. “And I know what this means. But this goes beyond anything in this world. There needs to be justice for everything that’s happened. It will be had with either my death, or yours.”

The time for words was done. Shazzar put his rifle on the floor and kicked it away. Rick understood the meaning. He reached for his pistols.

“You can keep those,” Shazzar stated simply.

Rick’s hands recoiled. They formed into fists and moved up to point at Shazzar. The bounty hunter did the same.

They took steps to each of their right, starting to circle each other slowly. Both stared sharply into the other’s eyes. They both knew what this was about.

Shazzar attacked first, closing the distance between them in a single bound. His left fist flew to Rick’s face. Rick caught it and pushed it away, but then the bounty hunter’s right hand planted in his stomach.

Rick gasped and pulled back, but Shazzar simply pushed forward. Before he could get another blow in, Rick took his turn to attack. He sent a blow at Shazzar’s ribs. It landed, but the bounty hunter’s armor was harder than Rick had thought.

As he cried out, Shazzar kneed him in the gut, and then slammed his fist in Rick’s temple. The captain toppled over, moaning, while the bounty hunter stood over him.

Rick pushed the pain away. He bowled into Shazzar’s legs, taking the hunter down. Once on the floor, Rick crawled atop him and started slamming his fists into his enemy’s face.

Three blows, and then Shazzar countered. He slid out from under Rick, grabbed his arm, and yanked it backwards.

Rick heard the shoulder start to crack and screamed. Desperately, he jabbed his elbow into Shazzar’s chin to unbalance him. Once his arm was free, Rick stood and got as much distance between Shazzar as he could.

Shazzar rubbed his chin as he stood up. He never took his eyes off of Rick. The turban had fallen out of place on his head, so now Rick could see Shazzar’s face in full.

It was much like he remembered – though there were two new scars that hadn’t been there eight years ago. Shazzar’s eyes were green and cold, his hair was still as black as space, and the paint – though smudge from the fight – was still as fine and skillfully applied.

Rick’s mind was flooded with images of the past. Painful images.

But he couldn’t let them linger. He had to fight.

Since Shazzar let him keep the guns, he decided he might as well use them. In a flash he drew his pistols. They twirled in his hands and pointed right at the bounty hunter. He opened fire with a flurry of bolts.

But Shazzar’s reflexes were incredible. He dove to the ground to avoid the shots, and then he too drew his blasters.

Rick didn’t wait for him to fire. He jumped and grabbed onto the vast network of tubing that hung from the ceiling. As Shazzar’s guns blazed, he tried to work his way past the bounty hunter.

Shazzar saw what he was doing. He aimed right, and fired a single shot right ahead of Rick’s path.

The thick metal would protected the tube from damage, but that wasn’t Shazzar’s target. Rick screamed as the blaster bolt hit his hand, and then he dropped to the ground, desperately trying to cradle the wound.

Before he could do that, Shazzar was on him. He had put away his blasters and had opted for a more intimate weapon.

His curved dagger.

Rick tried to hold him off, but Shazzar had always been bigger and faster. The knife slashed at his cheek before Rick could bring his strength to bear to push his opponent back a bit.

Shazzar pushed down harder, aiming the knife for Rick’s throat. Sweat beaded on both of their brows as their conflicting forces strained both of their muscles.

But Shazzar was stronger, and so the blade inched its way towards Rick’s neck.

Rick gritted his teeth, clenched his jaw, did everything he could to push harder. He didn’t want to die, not like this…not in any way.

There was only one thing for him to do.

Taking the risk, he let go of Shazzar’s wrists and reached down for the bounty hunter’s belt. He had to be fast.

He grabbed a blaster pistol and ripped it from its holster. But it wasn’t in time to keep the knife from starting to slice through his skin.

Shazzar, however, noticed Rick’s move, as late as it was. It forced him to let up, so his blade did not get to the jugular. He tried to move away, but Rick reached his objective.

Rick pulled the trigger and the blaster whined. Shazzar howled and broke away from his enemy. He reached down and grabbed his lower abdomen where the laser had zipped right through.

Now both of them were injured, so both took the time to nurse their wounds. It was a desperately needed reprieve, but not a long one.

Rick stood, gritting his teeth to mask the pain in his hand. Shazzar wasn’t close to being done. He lashed with a kick and took out Rick’s legs from under him.

Then the bounty hunter stood and raised his knife again.

Rick crawled away quickly, and then took the time the distance had bought him to stand. Shazzar was coming at him, but Rick had observed his surroundings.

Right behind Shazzar was a console to manage the systems. Ray shields covered it, and without being deactivated by an engineer, they were deadly if disturbed.

Rick made a shot with a pistol, forcing the bounty hunter to duck. He had gotten close enough for Rick to make his next move.

He kicked up, nailing Shazzar in the head. The blow was hard and sound, sending the bounty hunter stumbling back.

It was time to push on and finish this. Rick charged after him, slamming his fists into Shazzar’s ribs, his face, and his gut.

Shazzar defended as best he could, despite being pushed back and discombobulated. He didn’t realize where he was being driven until it was much too late.

As his body slammed into the console, the room echoed with the fizzling and hissing of electricity. Shazzar howled in pain, his body convulsing and flailing.

Rick made a move to step back, lest some energy strike him…but then he began to think. He saw, almost as if for the first time, with whom he had been fighting.

Shazzar….Shazzar was his friend. From a long time, and a different life, but still…it might as well have been Targon he was killing.

That was something he could not stand for.

He reached out and grabbed Shazzar on the shoulders. He screamed at the pain as the electricity began to flow into him too. Despite it, he yanked back with all the will he could muster. There was strength in him he had never used…not even during his darker days all those years ago.

They both clattered to the floor, trembling as their muscles continued to twitch and convulse. Rick groaned and fought for breath. It was hard…only now had he realized he probably had a few broken ribs.

Both of them lay there for a long while. The room had become quiet, save for their breathing, which was slowly returning to them.

“I need a vacation,” Rick moaned. “A big lone one…”

Shazzar laughed weakly and turned to look at him.

“Why did you do that?” he asked.

“Do what?”

“You know full well,” the bounty hunter frowned. “You knew I would kill you – just as I expected you to kill me. It’s not like either of our body counts would have changed from it. Why save me?”

Rick tried to sit up, though he found it almost as difficult as picking up a star cruiser.

“It’s over, Shazzar,” he rasped. “The blood between us has run its course. It’s time for this to end. We were friends once…maybe we still are, I don’t know. What I do know is I love Gabrielle and I can’t imagine her pain at losing me.”

Shazzar looked at him perplexed.

“I also know,” Rick continued, “that you have a wife…and you have been gone from her long enough. It’s time this stopped and we both went home.”

Shazzar was silent, and then he sighed. “I was wrong about you, Rick. I thought you hadn’t changed at all…that you couldn’t change who you were. It would appear it was I who was the fool.”

“No,” Rick shook his head. “I haven’t changed. I’ve just returned to the person I really am.”

Shazzar nodded. “What happens now?”

“Now?” Rick shrugged. “I have no idea. None of this will matter if that Viruul guy decides to win.”

“Then I guess I’ll find a way off this station,” Shazzar sighed. “After I’m a bit stronger…”

“I don’t think either of us is going anywhere right now.”


The doors to the core opened slowly. Systems were going haywire throughout the station…and Targon knew it had to be coming from in here.

It was worse than he could have thought. The walkway into the massive chamber was broken, many of the floating platforms were wobbling and ready to fall at any moment. The central nexus itself was starting to lose its rhythm.

Up above, he could see what was causing it.

Lord Viruul was locked in combat with Masters Cyrus and Talandar. But it was more than simple blades they were using, it was also a battle of the Force.

Lightning erupted from Viruul’s fingers, and Cyrus countered with waves and other shields created through the Force. Talandar was hurling balls of ionized air at the Sith. All three were ripping metal from the walls to hurl at each other.

Their fight had been raging for some time, it appeared, and the core was suffering for it.

Targon leapt up to the nearest platform, and then he jumped to the next. As his stage drew closer to the battle, he drew his lightsaber.

“Your fight is with me, Viruul!” Targon shouted in challenge.

His sudden call caught everyone by surprise. Viruul whirled about, and Cyrus cheered upon seeing the young Jedi.

“Cured yourself, have you?” Viruul snorted. “I suppose the human look is more fitting…”

Once the shock was over, Talandar attacked again. Viruul resumed fighting against the Kaalian.

Targon was getting closer, but it was still too far to jump, even aided by the Force. All he could do was wait for the right moment. Still, it seemed much too long.

Talandar kept up his offensive, supported Cyrus. Viruul kept parrying, but it didn’t look like he was worried at all. His strength was maintained.

But then Talandar began to push through his defenses. One swing opened Viruul’s side, and the Kaalian was prepared to make a strike there.

Viruul struck back first. With one hand, he hurled lightning at Cyrus, and with the other, bashed Talandar’s arms with the butt of his saber. Then he turned it around and stabbed the Jedi in the chest.

Targon screamed and was about to make an attempt to leap the distance. It was unlikely he would make it, but he didn’t really care.

He stopped himself when he saw Cyrus’ resistance to the lightning fail. He was picked up by the dark energy and sent hurtling into the pit.

Targon reached out quickly to catch him. Master Cyrus was too far to reach with his arms, but that didn’t matter with the Force.

Straining, he stopped the Jedi Master from falling, and slowly brought him towards his platform. Once there, he laid the unconscious Cyrus down and rose to confront the Dark Lord.

Viruul laughed at his victory, but he was cut short as Master Talandar’s body vanished into thin air. He recoiled and snarled.

“What is this?” he hissed.

Now close enough, Targon leapt and landed on the platform, straight across from Viruul.

“He is one with the Force,” Targon stated firmly. “Jedi know that there is no death, only the Force.”

Viruul laughed. “I see your mind, boy. You cannot hide your anger and grief from me. You may spout your Code’s folly all you like, but it doesn’t change the truth.”

Targon held out his saber in challenge to Viruul. “I cannot hope to imagine the pain of thousands, even millions, of people that have died at your hand. By I know that one way or another, it is going to end today.”

“Eight of your powerful friends could not stand against me,” Viruul snarled. “What hope do you have, young Jedi?”

“I have my strength, the strength of my friends, and the Force,” Targon replied. “That is all that I need.”

“You’ll change your mind soon enough,” the Dark Lord sneered.

No more words after that. Viruul raised his saber and charged at Targon. Their blades crashed against each other, filling the air between them with sparks.

Both their sabers moved with incredible speed and intensity. Each time they crackled and hissed against each other, it seemed like a fiery explosion would burst from the impact.

Viruul kept up the offensive, viciously striking at Targon from every direction. There was limited space to retreat, so Targon found he had to run in circles around the platform to avoid being pushed off the edge.

The Dark Lord didn’t like having his opponent constantly running. “Stand and fight, boy!” he snarled.

With that, he unleashed his lightning upon him. Targon had no choice but to stop and hold back the electricity with his saber.

The power behind Viruul’s attacks was astounding. Targon thought such power was impossible for someone alive.

Only Kronos had been so terrible.

But Targon knew that he had defeated Kronos before. Three times, in fact. If he could do that, he had the hope to defeat Viruul as well.

Targon pushed back against the lightning, sending a wall of energy through the Force that sent the bolts back at the source. Once hit by the wave, Viruul grunted and slid near the edge.

It was Targon’s turn to attack.

He leapt through the air and swung his saber fiercely. The blade smashed against the Dark Lord’s again and again. Targon wanted to keep pushing forward, but Viruul wasn’t giving any ground.

Targon came from the lower left, and Viruul countered him. He came from the upper left, and Viruul countered still. He threw a kick at Viruul’s face, and the Dark Lord only ducked low to avoid it.

Then, like a shadow, Viruul slipped around Targon. Now the Jedi was on the edge.

Wasting no time, the Sith attacked with his saber. Targon struggled to hold against the onslaught and also keep his footing firm.

Their blades locked against each other. At first, Viruul came on with such incredible force that Targon was sure he would be crushed in moments. The Sith must have thought so as well, for he wasn’t seizing too much on his advantage.

Such overconfidence was indeed a weakness. Targon made sure to seize upon it, if the Sith wasn’t going to do the same.

Slowly, Targon held against Viruul’s power, and then he started to push back. One step and then another. He began to advance away from the edge and on to the center of the platform.

Viruul was surprised and impressed. But his lack of motivation was gone now. The Dark Lord decided it was time to truly unleash the power.

He broke the lock, jumping back a ways. Then he raised his hand and lifted Targon into the air.

Viruul laughed as he sent streams of electricity into the helpless, floating boy. “You were a fool to challenge me alone,” he snarled. “Now I will break you…or kill you…it doesn't really matter.”

“You’re wrong,” Targon gasped between shocks. “I am not alone.”

Viruul scowled and threw the boy down onto the metal floor. “Where are they, then? Your friends? Not here, I see. They had no chance to fight against me – even less hope than you.”

The Dark Lord wasn’t going to let up. He lifted Targon into the air again, and then slammed him down again. The young Jedi had no chance to break the hold against him, for Viruul was too quick to continue the bashing.

Three times he lifted him, and three times he slammed him down again. Targon’s body was starting to look like a helpless doll.

Finally, he stopped. Viruul laughed at the battered form of Targon lying still on the ground.

“Let me give you a short respite,” he grinned, his eyes flashing. “No glory or challenge in such a beating, after all.”

Targon moaned and tried to stand. His strength gave out on him and he fell back to the floor. The Dark Lord only laughed harder.

Again he tried, and again he failed. It felt like his bones had turned to meal and his muscles to mush.

A tear formed in his eye. A tear of pain and disappointment. How could he be broken like this? After all he had gone through, after all that people had done to bring him here. Was this how he was to conclude his fight? Broken and helpless?

Once more, he began to lift himself up with his arms and legs. The strain was terrible, it felt like his blood was burning through his skin.

Targon looked up. A hand was outstretched towards him.

At first, he thought it was Cyrus. But then he noted that Master Cyrus still lay unconscious on the other level. So he looked again at the hand, and then followed it back up to his face.

Master Tieru stood there, smiling kindly.

“Master?” Targon groaned.

“Hello again,” Tieru nodded. “Take my hand.”

“No,” Targon shook his head. “I have to learn to stand, the flower has to grow without the stone’s protection.”

“True enough,” the spirit of his master agreed. “And you have done so. You have stood against the storms – more than most people endure in their whole lifetimes. But you see, Targon, a flower doesn’t grow all by itself. It needs the nourishment of the water, the warmth of the sun, and the strength of the soil. You are a Jedi. You have your strength, but you also need the Force, and more importantly, you need your friends.”

“Wise words,” Viruul sneered. “From a dead man.”

“Now, Targon,” Tieru ignored the Sith. “Take my hand.”

Targon nodded and reached up. At once, the spirit of his master filled him with strength and he stood. Once he was up, however, Tieru stepped back and vanished.

“Ready for the next round?” Viruul laughed. “This time, your master won’t interfere, though.”

Targon turned and faced him. “I don’t need him here to benefit from his strength,” he stated. “Even here in battle against you, I am not alone.”

“More Jedi garbage,” Viruul snorted. “Why, if you Jedi fought as much as you preach…AUGH!!”

He was interrupted as a ball of fire struck his cheek. The Dark Lord growled and hissed in pain. The flames were gone, but his cheek burned and part of his mask had melted onto his skin.

Viruul’s eyes burned as bright stars as he turned his focus straight on Targon. To his astonishment, the boy’s hands were on fire. Yet Targon showed no sign of pain or worry.

The Jedi’s eyes were calm and focused.

“What is this?” Viruul snarled.

“The power of the Force,” Targon answered. “The light of justice come to burn out the darkness.”

Viruul hissed. “I will destroy you!”

With that, he unleashed a massive torrent of lightning at the Jedi. So much dark energy ran through him that he lifted into the air like a wraith.

Targon raised his hands and created a wall of fire in front of him. It shielded him from the electricity and diverted it off into the nexus of the core.

Viruul attacked again, this time with smaller bursts of electricity. Targon countered by shooting fireballs at each shock to defeat it.

Not all of their attacks were stopped however. Targon nearly lost his balance off the edge of the platform when one bolt of lightning struck his shoulder. Lord Viruul shrieked as the fringes of his black cloak caught fire and surrounded him with smoke.

Viruul came at Targon again, swinging his saber viciously in one hand, and hurtling lightning from his other.

The Jedi rose to meet him, blocking the slashes and resisting the electricity. Their battle only intensified with each second that passed. Dark power swirled through Darth Viruul, so that his entire form was a black storm.

Fire encircled Targon, creating a glowing aura that held back the shadows of the Dark Lord. Again and again their sabers clashed, shooting sparks into both of their faces and illuminating their faces with a battle of red and green.

Both of them moved to send a push through the Force to break their locked powers. Neither would give ground, so it seemed they decided to push the other away…at the same time.

At first, nothing happened. Their wills canceled each other out. But then they moved to amplify their force against the opponent.

Viruul shot out more lightning than ever before. It was as if an entire planetary power plant had exploded into pure energy. Targon was like some mythical creature, spouting flames of brilliant colors – red and yellow, blue and white.

The two powers crashed into each other, swirling around their creators. The heat grew to a terrible temperature. The edges of the platform began to melt, and the repulsors keeping it up started to waver.

Then, it all turned into a massive explosion. Both Targon and Viruul were sent flying. When the flash was over, the core chamber seemed incredibly dark.

Targon gasped for air and worked on climbing up the edge of the platform he had managed to grab hold of. Slowly, he got himself up, and he took a moment to relax.

Finding it was the one he left Cyrus on, Targon crawled over to check on the Jedi Master. Cyrus was regaining consciousness, but he was still weak and struggled to maintain a decent pattern of breath.

Targon tried to reach through the Force into Cyrus’ body and restore his inner workings. Hopefully, he could help speed the healing along and bring the master back.

He didn’t get far in his work, as he heard the sound of a lightsaber ignite once more.

Targon rose and whirled around. Viruul seemed to appear right from the shadows, as if he was no corporeal entity at all.

Quickly, he brought his saber to bear once more to defend against the Dark Lord’s attack. Once again, their blades crashed against each other. The sounds of humming and crackling had almost become commonplace.

“You’re more powerful than I thought,” Viruul stated. “Such skill, such strength is…impressive. Most impressive.”

“It is not my strength alone,” Targon stated.

“You’d best hope it is,” Viruul leaned in closer. “For we are alone here, Targon. And alone, you may very well die.”

“We’ll see,” Targon countered.

“And after you die,” Viruul’s voice was terrible. Full of cruelty and malice. “What will become of your friends? I’ll tell you – they will suffer unimaginable pain. I will give you a glimpse…”

Targon’s mind became flooded with images and visions of suffering, torture, despair, and horror. The faces of his friends flashed before him, screaming and dying in ways he never thought possible.

“No!” he shouted. “NO!” His voice full of power and strength.

The images were burned away in his mind. In their place came the faces of his friends. But this time, they were smiling. They were laughing and enjoying life. They were at peace.

“They will all live on,” he said. “Even if I must die to see it done.”

He rose into the air and sent another wave through the Force, sending Viruul hurtling back. Once back on his feet, Targon charged and assaulted the Dark Lord with his saber.

Further and further they went, closing in on the edge of the platform. Viruul nearly lost his balance, barely catching it in time to block another of Targon’s attacks.

Targon kept pushing, and this time he left no avenue for Viruul to escape from any side.

The Dark Lord’s eyes burned with fury as he grabbed Targon’s robe. It wasn’t a Jedi robe, but Draco’s work had been close to recreating the outfit Targon had received from Cyrus.

It was slick, but Viruul got a grip on it anyway.

“If I go, you will die with me, boy.”

Targon nodded. “Perhaps.”

Viruul gasped in shock and horror. Glancing down, he saw Targon’s blade plunged into his chest.

“And if by some chance you survive,” Viruul hissed with a last gasp of malice. “I will return. I will return and destroy you.”

Targon shook his head. “You might return, but I will stop you again.”

Viruul fell backwards, but he held tight to Targon’s robe. Losing balance, Targon began to fall too.

Below there was nothing but darkness and the oblivion of the core. Targon closed his eyes and prepared himself for it.

But then he felt a pair of arms wrap around him and pull him back from the abyss. The Dark Lord’s grip failed as Targon returned to stability.

Darth Viruul vanished into the darkness.

Once back on the platform, Targon and Cyrus toppled over. Targon sighed in great relief. It was over.

“Where did you think you were going?” Cyrus asked.

Targon sighed again. “It seemed the only way to defeat him…”

“Still thinking you always have to stand alone?”

Targon shook his head and laughed. “The way of the Jedi is sacrifice.”

“Yes, but it’s also to protect. You can’t protect anyone if you fall into the core with the likes of Viruul.”

Targon stood and helped Master Cyrus to his feet.

“We’d best get out of here with everyone,” he said.

“I agree,” Cyrus nodded. “This station isn’t going to last much longer.”

“It’s over,” Targon sighed. “Despite everything left to do…it’s over.”
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The Imperial Inquisition and The Voyages of Targon Karashi

RulithBarakis's Avatar

11.03.2012 , 03:24 PM | #219
And so the mighty Viruul falls. I just have to say... that was an incredible duel right there!

And Shazzar and Rick! Shazzar's always been one of my favorite characters of your's, and I'm glad the resolution of that particular battle didn't end in the death of Rick or Shazzar.

Now that the only thing left is the Epilogue... I guess I'll just have to wait for that now won't I?

TargonKarashi's Avatar

11.03.2012 , 04:19 PM | #220

“You really didn’t have to do this,” Shazzar protested.

“Shut up and let me help you,” Rick growled.

The bounty hunter sighed and leaned on Rick as they both limped down the ramp of the Lone Eagle and walked into the forest of Shili. There was a small, winding, dirt path between the trees. It was incredibly difficult for two wounded men to navigate.

“You really moved out of the way, didn’t you?” Rick sighed.

“I guess I was trying to get away from…all of this. Looks like I failed.”

“You can always try again,” Rick said. “After all, I’d been trying to go straight for years.”

They both chuckled at that.

Finally, after half an hour of stumbling through the woods, they came upon Shazzar’s house in a small clearing. It really wasn’t much, but the bounty hunter beamed with joy upon seeing it – and the lovely Togruta coming out the door to meet them.

She rushed to Shazzar’s side and helped take the load off of Rick.

“Vaala,” Shazzar sighed. “I’m so sorry for not coming back sooner…”

The woman shook her head. “You’re back now, and you’re alive.”

Shazzar took his arm off Rick’s shoulder and tried to stand on his own. His wife was glued to him, keeping him stable.

“So, what now?” the bounty hunter asked.

“Now?” Rick shrugged. “Now we go on with our lives. You’ve got, what, a hundred million credits?”

“Something like that.”

“You can do whatever you damn well want with your wife,” Rick stated. “You’ve got the easy life now.”

Shazzar sighed. “I don’t know if the easy life will suit me.”

“Try it,” Rick stated. “You might find you like it.”

Shazzar nodded. “Well, I hope whatever you do will suit you well also.”

“So do I,” Rick nodded.

Vaala whispered, “Thank you,” and then helped Shazzar back into their house. Rick tarried to watch them, and the affection they had towards each other. Then, when they were settled inside, he turned around and made his way back to his ship.

It wasn’t a long walk back, but limping and beaten paths didn’t exactly mesh together. Yet he didn’t trip and fall, so he counted himself lucky as he climbed the ramp.

Gabrielle was standing in the entrance to the ship. Her arms were folded and she was frowning.

“I still can’t figure you out,” she growled.

“Neither can I,” Rick shrugged.

She stepped closer to him and leaned in close.

Then she slapped him. Hard.

Rick nearly toppled over, and he would have, if his head didn’t hit the side of the ship first.

“What the…?”

“That’s for making me leave and all the times you’ve nearly gotten yourself killed,” Gabrielle stated.

Then she helped him back into the ship and closed the ramp. She leaned in close again.

Rick cringed.

“This is for everything else,” she whispered. At that she kissed him, and Rick felt his strength leave him.

This time he did lose his balance and fall.

“Still losing your footing?” Tygus asked.

Rick frowned as he stood. “You still here? I would have thought you’d be long gone by now. Why stick around?”

Tygus shrugged. “I’ve got nothing else to do. Besides, this is a fine ship. You’ll need more of a crew than just the two of you.”

“We could use him,” Gabrielle pointed out. “With Targon and Xana on Tython…”

“But I wanted the ship for just the two of us,” Rick pouted.

“You have the captain’s quarters,” Tygus rolled his eyes. “Isn’t that enough?”

“Well then,” Rick sighed. “Get the cockpit and set course for Coruscant.”

“Aye, captain,” Tygus nodded and turned.

As he walked off, Rick took in the time to give Gabrielle another kiss.

“You think we’ll see them again?” Gabrielle asked. “Targon, Xana…and even Sorgal?”

“Of course we will,” Rick answered with confidence. “Any time there’s a threat to the galaxy, we just plot a course for the center of it and we’ll find them.”

Gabrielle sighed and shook her head. “You’d want to fly into trouble?”

“I’d fly into the Emperor’s throne room, the heart of a battle, and even into a supernova for my first mate. Targon Karashi is someone I’m never going to forget or abandon, you know why?”


“Because he’s the reason I really went straight…and he’s the reason I have you.”

Gabrielle smiled and laughed.

“But, until such a time as we are all needed again,” Rick straightened. “The crew of the Lone Eagle has our own misadventures to run.”


The bars on Dromund Kaas were dull and pathetic, full of miscreants, drunkards, and the scum of the Empire. But it was a fine place for Succuba to relax. After all, no one would dare approach her.

She had killed enough lowlifes to make that abundantly clear to the populace.

Succuba sat alone, everyone giving her a wide berth. The only one that approached her was the bartender, bringing her whatever she desired with silent obedience.

She watched the news as she drank. Things weren’t being so controlled, it seemed. The totalitarian system of the Empire had broken down a bit after all the chaos.

News had spread about the battle between the Empire and Republic so close to the capital. The Republic, led by the abominable Admiral Raynor Cordillian, had defeated the Empire’s noble fleet…and then added insult to injury by simply leaving.

A station had exploded at the edge of the Kaas system. Apparently it had been the site of negotiation between Sith and Jedi. The great and powerful Darth Viruul had died there, killed by the treachery of the Jedi Knights.

Lies and half-truths. The Empire was trying to keep things under control…but it was failing. Succuba could see right through it, and she was pretty sure most of the Empire could too.

She could only guess what would happen now.

Someone sat down next to her and ordered a drink. Angrily, she turned to confront this fool that had approached her.

It was Admiral Gerald, dressed up in his fine Imperial uniform.

“What are you doing here?” she hissed.

“Getting a drink,” the admiral replied. “I’ve been reassigned after my defeat against that Cordillian. It seems that with the power vacuum, I don’t have as many friends among the Sith as I thought.”

“Sith don’t have friends,” Succuba stated, taking a sip of her drink.

“I’ve noticed,” the man nodded. “Still, I suppose it’s better to be seen around you. No one has bothered to touch you after all.”

“Some have tried,” Succuba smiled to herself.

“That agent ever come after you again?” Gerald asked.

“Joan Wernan?” Succuba scoffed. “No, she’s run off and returned to undercover work for the Ministry of Intelligence. Where she belongs.”

“What about rivals of Viruul?”

“What rivals?” Succuba shrugged. “My lord killed them all… Every one of the new Dark Council is a bunch of fools and cowards that just happened to be the next candidates in line.”

Gerald said nothing for a while. He got his drink and sipped it in silence.

“So,” he said at last. “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to do what I do best,” Succuba stated. “Kill people.”

“Do you have a new master?”

“Nope,” the Sith smiled. “It’s my turn to find some apprentices.”

“Good luck to you, then,” Gerald sighed.

He stood, and Succuba nodded to him. All of a sudden, they found themselves surrounded by men clad in red. The Emperor’s guards.

“What do you want?” Succuba hissed.

“The Emperor demands your presence,” the leader stated. “Both of you.”

Gerald and Succuba glanced at each other with surprise. They had no choice, however, but to follow them. Nobody disobeyed a call from the Emperor.

The whole trip had been in silence. None of the guards spoke, so neither did Gerald or Succuba.

Finally, they approached the Emperor’s palace. The aura of the Dark Side was incredible – even Gerald could feel its power.

Upon arriving at the great doors, the guards left them. They stood there in silence for a long time. Then, with nothing to do but go on, they opened the doors.

The heavy doors creaked open slowly. Inside, it was completely dark. On the far side of the massive chamber was the throne – it was turned away from them.

Gerald removed his cap as they approached it. Succuba felt shivers, but she wasn’t really afraid. It was just so…uncomfortable. And yet, she felt something odd.

A body lay limp next to the throne. It was a haggard and weak person – corpse, actually. The black robes however, and the feel of the Dark Side that lingered around it, was very odd.

“Ah, finished another body have you, Emperor?” Succuba asked as she bowed.

Gerald gave her a sharp look, but she ignored him.

“Got a new one, have you?”

The throne swiveled to face them. The dark figure seated upon it leaned forward. Its face was concealed by the hood. The Dark Side was incredible around it.

Then, he flashed his bright eyes – like burning stars.


Targon breathed in the cool, sweet air of Tython’s forests. The mist of the morning swirled around him as he meditated beside the ruins.

It seemed so long ago, when he and Tieru had come here. His master had taught him a great lesson here, using a rock and a flower to convey it.

He would never forget it…and how it led the way to so many crazy and dangerous voyages that he would never have imagined were possible. He most certainly never supposed any of these events would happen to him.

His eyes opened as he heard footsteps approaching from the forest.

Targon stood and smiled as Xana appeared from the trees.

“Master Cyrus said I’d find you here,” she stated.

“He knows me too well,” Targon sighed.

Xana nodded. “The Council is concerned about you. You haven’t spoken to them about…about everything.”

“There’s not much to talk about,” Targon shrugged. He sat back down on the soft grass. Xana approached and sat down next to him.

Together, they gazed at the rainbows that formed above the trees in the morning mist. Everything was so peaceful and calm. They breathed in and enjoyed it together.

“I never thanked you,” Targon sighed. “I never got the chance to thank anyone. We all had to rush out so fast…and everyone was hurt…”

“We made it, though,” Xana pointed out.

“Not all of us,” Targon closed his eyes to try and stop a tear from forming. It didn’t work and the water swelled up anyway.

“Greyhawk would be proud of you,” Xana stated.

“This was all my fault,” Targon said. “Everything – the Sith, the fighting, the deaths…”

“You can’t blame yourself,” Xana told him. “We have to continue on. We all have the memories of our lost friends…and we know that they’re never truly gone.”

“It’s not that,” Targon shook his head. “I know they aren’t gone…but so many of my friends were hurt. Rick, Gabrielle, Sorgal, Cyrus, Talhawk, Zar’kun…so many. And then you…I never wanted to hurt you.”

Xana scooted closer to him. “You didn’t hurt me any more than I hurt you.”

Targon smiled at the warmth he felt with her so close. But then he frowned.

“Isn’t this wrong?” he asked. “These feelings we have…Jedi shouldn’t love…”

He suddenly felt a push and was laid out on his back. Xana was on top of him.

“You’re not bringing that up, are you?” she asked. “We may be Jedi, but we are people, after all. How can we care for others if we don’t show our care for those that we love?”

“You put my teachings to shame,” Targon smiled. “But…what about everything that’s happened? We don’t know if I’ve become immortal or anything like that. I mean…it’s possible…and I couldn’t live without you.”

“Don’t worry so much about what might be,” Xana brought her face in close to him. “Enjoy the time we have now.”
Targon felt the warmth of her smooth body on top of him. She truly was beautiful, but more so was the way they both cared about each other.

He ran his fingers through her black hair, and then along her cheek. Xana closed her eyes and held Targon’s hand against her, then bringing it back down to her breast.

Targon sighed. “You’re right. Darth Viruul and all those other enemies are gone. Maybe he’ll be back…maybe he won’t. Nothing is certain.”

With his free arm, he wrapped around Xana’s waist and joined them both together. They both smiled and gazed at each other.

“But right now, being here with you is all the certainty I need.”

Xana kissed him passionately, and he returned it.

“Immortal or not,” Targon said, “I’ll spend all my days showing you my undying love.”

Together, they enjoyed the lovely day within each other’s embrace.

Conclusion of Episode Twenty-Five

The End

Well, there it is! Let the trumpets sound, you've completed the journey! I hope you all enjoyed it, I certainly enjoyed writing it. Now, I don't want anymore excuses, I want to hear your thoughts now that it's all done. Give me your reviews...I hope their mostly good. But I know that as a writer I can continually improve!

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Thank you all for reading, and for making this journey worthwhile. May the Force be with you, always!
I'd love you all to read my stories and tell me what you think!
The Imperial Inquisition and The Voyages of Targon Karashi