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Rise of the Black Sun


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YoshiRaphElan
05.19.2013 , 01:50 PM | #21
Chapter 19

Darth Nox sneered at the Black Sun attackers. He exited the Sith Sanctum, Khem at one side and Xalek at the other. They had their weapons drawn, but Nox did not. The attackers shouldered their rifles, barrels pointed at Nox but a few swaying nervously toward Khem. Nox raised his arms.

Lightning shot down from the skies, amplified by Nox's power, and sheared through the Black Sun assassins. They dropped like rocks, instantly dead. Two more attackers drew vibroswords and charged. Khem stepped forward calmly, clamped a hand around one's weapon, ripped it away, and disemboweled the man with his massive blade. The assassin dropped. Xalex leapt forward and decapitated the other assassin before he could react.

"Impressive," Darth Marr said. "Most impressive."

Nox inclined his head. "I would not be on the Dark Council, otherwise."

"We should go, My Master," Xalek hissed. "We must destroy the attackers."

Nox nodded. "Agreed. At a later date then, Lord Marr."

Marr nodded, turned, and walked away to see to the defense of Dromund Kaas. Nox stepped toward another squad of Black Sun attackers, but he did not draw his lightsaber–the one he'd kept under lock and key until Methic had destroyed his other one. The attackers saw him, and whirled. Nox pulled two coin-sized pieces of coral from a belt pouch and hurled them. One landed on the neck of the first attacker, the other struck the second assassin in the side of his head.

Instantly, a transformation began. Coral grew from their shoulders, knees, and necks. Their eyes went to an unfathomable black, with wisps of red smoke floating throughout. Their fingers grew coral talons, and they dropped to their knees.

"You serve me now," Nox hissed. He knew the Seeds of Rage would come in handy. "Now, go. Destroy your former comrades."

* * *

Merok stood on the bridge of a Black Sun vessel and felt his blood run cold as he watched the attacks on Dromund Kaas and Coruscant over a holo-terminal. He hated Black Sun; he should blow his cover right now and shoot them all. He could call his crew; he could hold out here long enough for them to arrive. Together they could tear through this ship, capture it, use it to stop the attacks.

But he couldn't. He still hadn't learned who was behind this, or who led Black Sun–if the two were not, in fact, one and the same.

"Magnificent, isn't it?" muttered a Black Sun vigo.

"Unbelievable," Merok muttered.

"Utter destruction," agreed another vigo. "Black Sun has never been so powerful."

Merok stayed silent, letting the conversation continue.

"And it's all due to our grand Underlord," said the first vigo.

Merok waited in anticipation, but the conversation ended there. Disappointed, Merok watched the footage. He recognized defenders on both worlds. Jasin, Methic, Dha, Gareb...friends. And they were fighting the same people he was, only they got to use guns and lightsabers, while he was forced to use soft words and vibroknives.

"We are in position for the attack," a servant said.

"Excellent," said the first vigo. "Glory be to Black Sun. Launch the attack!"

* * *

Jasin swung his lightsaber in an arc, and its silver-blue blade slashed cleanly through a Black Sun attack droid. They had either run out of organic soldiers, or were tired of letting them die, because there had been nothing but droids for the last two hours. He was getting tired, and his arms felt like lead–but the droids were falling in droves.

Gareb ran up beside Jasin and hurled a wrecked speeder at a squad of droids. The droids, flattened, fired their blasters frantically, hitting their own allies. Jasin grinned and reflected a few bolts that managed to come their way. Backblast tossed an EMP grenade, frying all nearby droids.

"Okay," Jasin breathed. "We need to stop."

"We can't afford to," Backblast replied. "We have to keep pushing."

"Can't," panted Dankin. "We need...breather."

Corso, Kira, and Risha nodded. Backblast shrugged.

"All right," he said. "Everyone, hold here. Gamma Squad, form a perimeter."

"Yes, sir!"

"I'm surprised Prudii isn't here yet," said Gareb.

"Actually, I heard some comm chatter," Backblast replied. "He's here on Coruscant, but he diverted when he got a distress signal from Captain Jorgan."

"Was Zenith with them?" Gareb asked.

"Or Guss?" added Dankin.

Backblast shrugged. "I don't know."

Jasin put his head back against a speeder. It was rough, hard, but he didn't care. Right now, he felt like he had to rest or he'd collapse–abruptly, he was somewhere else.

Standing on the beach, Jasin looked around. He didn't understand. How had he gotten here? There was a calm in the air...but also menace. Jasin reached down instinctively for his lightsaber, and found not his own, but Orgus Din's. He drew the weapon, and the deep blue blade extended.

He turned and saw a rust-colored freighter sitting on the beach nearby. He frowned. He'd never seen a vessel so old, yet it seemed infinitely familiar. As if he'd been on it his whole life, or at least he knew someone who had. He walked toward the freighter.

"Find me," a voice said. "You must find me."

It was a familiar voice, but the last time he'd heard it, it had been weak, wavering. Now, it was strong–more than strong, it was heroic, charismatic.

"You must find me," it said again. "Or the galaxy is doomed."

"Doomed?" Jasin asked. "Why?"

"The fear will overtake it," the voice said. "The fear will destroy all."

"Fear?"

"Find me," the voice said reassuringly. "Together we can save the galaxy."


Jasin jerked awake, looked around. Backblast was pacing, helmet under his arm. Gareb and Nadia were talking in soft tones, and Dankin was over with his crew, talking to them. Prudii and Havoc Squad were sorely missed–but they were doing what they had to, to save a friend. Kira came over and sat down beside Jasin.

"You drifted off," she said.

"I know," he said. "I was on a beach, someone was telling me that he needed to help me and..." he froze. "And I know who it was."

"Who?"

He stood, drew his lightsaber. "We need to finish here, fast. I have to find him."

"Find who?"

"Revan."

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YoshiRaphElan
05.20.2013 , 11:43 AM | #22
Chapter 20

Dha had enemies on three sides, all coming at him with hand weapons. He rammed his gauntlet vibroblade through the throat of one, hurled him backwards, turned, and blasted a second. The third grabbed him beneath his arms in a lock that would keep Dha's weapons pointed at the sky. Two more thugs approached, drawing knives. Dha winced. Torian was nowhere nearby, nor was Jogo. Methic was close, but cramped by dozens of Black Sun thugs going at him. There was no help in sight for Dha.

Suddenly, a blaster bolt sheared through the head of the man holding Dha. Dha flipped the corpse over himself, slamming it into the two thugs in front of him. Then, quickly, he executed them both with blaster shots to the temple. He turned and looked into the sky–and grinned.

"Your worries are over, Imps, the Mandalorians have arrived!" said Chernan.

"Chernan!" he called.

"Dha!" greeted his old friend. "Su cuy'gar, ner vod!"

"Su cuy'gar! Let's kill these chakaare and go home."

Chernan nodded and swept down, his blasters firing rapidly. A squad of Mandalorians followed behind him, dropping blaster bolts and rockets on the heads of the Black Sun thugs. In moments, the square was cleared. Imperials and Sith slowly began to lower their weapons.

"We don't have long," Dha said. He turned to a non-Mandalorian mercenary. "You, start rounding up civilians. Get them to the spaceport."

The tired mercenary nodded. "Right."

Methic was snapping off orders, too. "Get barricades built at every entrance to this square, and set up anti-air weapons. Pierce, get some heavy artillery for the troops."

"Roger that!" Pierce replied.

He ran off to follow orders. Dha jerked a finger at Torian, motioning him over. Jogo followed.

"Let's rally with Chernan and the others," he said. "We can provide air support for the Imps."

"Can do," Torian replied.

Jogo nodded briskly, sheathed his vibrosword, and moved quickly to join Chernan's force. Dha and Torian followed quickly.

* * *

In the docking bay of the Black Sun command ship, the Phantom sat, powered down. Raina paced back and forth impatiently, wishing Merok would return so they could get off this ship. Vector was sitting in the cargo bay, speaking softly to the fingerlings. Kaliyo was sleeping, Lokin was working in the medbay, as usual. Scorpio...Raina shuddered. Where was that killer droid?

She moved around the ship, looking for Scorpio. She found her in the cockpit, sniper rifle balanced on the dash, pointed out into the docking bay. Raina's eyes widened.

"Scorpio!" she exclaimed. "What are you doing?"

"Preparing to kill those Black Sun guards out there," Scorpio replied, deadpan.

"You do know if you shoot through the viewport and we have to take off in a hurry...the cockpit's air will vent out into space via the giant gaping hole from your rifle."

"I know," Scorpio replied coolly. "Too-Vee or I can fly the ship and seal the cockpit."

Raina shook her head. "Why not just go down to the exit ramp?"

"Because then they'd see me," Scorpio replied.

"Scorpio, Merok can take the guards."

"You're so confident, are you?"

"Well...yes."

"Very well. I will remain by the hatch so I can go down and kill them as soon as we get a signal."

"Fine."

Scorpio brushed back Raina, and Raina shivered. Something about that droid was...creepy.

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YoshiRaphElan
05.22.2013 , 11:38 AM | #23
Chapter 21

There was something about wearing black, Prudii mused, that made one feel invisible. Of course, he couldn't have stood out more if he'd tried. A lean and athletic Zabrak, dark-skinned, he did not have the look of a typical broken-nosed ugly thug. He quickly moved the unconscious body of the Black Sun guard out of the way and picked up the man's helmet.

"Elara, I want you to lead the squad down to the engine room," he said. "Have Vik set a timer. Yuun, you divert to the tractor beam and shut it down."

"And you, sir?" asked Elara.

"I'm going to find Captain Jorgan."

He slipped on the helmet and moved down the hall, rifle cradled in his hands. A pair of Black Sun enforcers saw him and nodded. He nodded back. His helmet comlink squawked.

"All enforcers, report to the aft hangar!" a voice said. "We have fighters."

Prudii charged that way, as did the two enforcers. He let them pass him...and then blasted them both in the back. Leaving the bodies where they lay, he sprinted for the hangar. There, a man in a ripped Imperial uniform stood at the bottom of a shuttle's ramp, firing down at the enforcers. Behind them were a Mon Calamari, a Twi'lek, a human, and...

"Jorgan!"

Jorgan looked up, confused, saw him, and his eyes widened. He leaned down to the Imperial, tapped him on the shoulder, and whispered in his ear. The Imperial nodded. Prudii moved behind the enforcers and bashed one on the back of the head. A trio of blaster bolts shot past him and hit another enforcer.

"Let's move!" Prudii said. "We have a ship in the other hangar."

"Right," the Imperial said with a nod.

Jorgan moved up beside Prudii as they marched briskly through the ship.

"Thanks for coming, sir," he said.

"And miss this party?" Prudii grinned. "Not a chance."

* * *

Elara knelt by the engine core and nodded to Vik. He strapped on a charge and set the timer. Elara nodded to him, stood, and pulled her blaster from its holster.

"Hey!" a voice said.

Forex and HK-51 caught him in a crossfire, and he went down–but the damage was done. Alarms began sounding. Elara uttered a Mandalorian word Prudii had taught her and motioned for the squad to get moving. She sprinted down the corridor in the lead. Ahead, a squad of enforcers saw them coming and raised their rifles. Dorne dropped, sliding, and fired. Her bolt caught the first enforcer in the throat. Vik leapt in with his vibrosword to engage a Trandoshan enforcer, who also wielded a vibrosword.

Elara rolled aside and crouched behind a stack of barrels. She took aim and blasted an enforcer, a clean head shot. Forex and HK-51 laid down covering fire, and the enforcer squad went down quickly.

"Let's move," Elara said. "What's the time on those charges?"

"Three minutes," Vik replied.

"Hurry."

* * *

Yuun pulled down the lever, nodded to himself, and pulled back into the shadows, becoming a ghost. He crept through the ship and was halfway back to the BT-7 when the alarms sounded. He frowned. Surely they hadn't detected him, had they?

He heard blaster bolts down the hall and decided they hadn't.

Yuun moved toward the turbolift and activated it. He stepped inside and pressed the hangar button. Unfortunately someone else had called the lift, and it stopped on the dorm floor. Yuun stepped back into the turbolift's shadows, readying a vibroknife. Two enforcers stepped in. When the lift doors closed, Yuun leapt forward silently and slit one's throat before they even saw him. The other let out a cry and pulled out a pistol, but Yuun rammed his knife into the man's gut. He dropped.

The lift doors opened, and Yuun moved out silently, leaving the corpses where they were. He moved down the hall and came to an intersection. His eyes widened as he saw the Major, Captain Jorgan, and others ducking behind the wall and firing around the corner at enforcers.

"Yuun!" Prudii said. "Get down!"

Yuun rolled aside and planted himself behind Zenith. He nodded to the Twi'lek. The two had spoken before, when Prudii had been in meetings with the Jedi and their allies, and Yuun had learned to respect Zenith as a warrior.

"Sir!" Elara called.

She and the rest of the squad came running up from behind. Yuun sighed in relief. They were all here.

"Go," Prudii said. "The hangar's right through there; we'll cover you."

Elara nodded. "Come on."

She went first, and then Vik, Zenith, the Imperial, Guss, and the human. Yuun pulled out his blaster, fired around the corner once, and then charged after them. Forex came behind him, and then HK-51. Jorgan followed lastly, and Prudii stayed behind, firing.

"Sir!" Elara called. "Come on!"

Prudii nodded and sprinted toward the hangar–and a force field came up. Yuun leapt forward and slammed his hand into the controls, but it was in vain. They'd locked it down. Elara rushed to the field and rammed her fists against it.

"Sir!" she cried. "Major!"

"Come on, Major, blast the controls!" Jorgan growled.

Prudii shook his head. "This buys you time," he said sadly. "Take care of the squad, Jorgan. Go!"

"Sir, the bombs!" Elara called, tears streaming down her cheeks. "You can't stay, Prudii. Please."

"Go," Prudii said, choking.

Yuun put a comforting hand on Elara's shoulder. She didn't shrug it off, but she hung her head.

"You don't have much time," Prudii said. "Go!"

Then he opened fire on enforcers coming around the corner.

"All right," Jorgan said. "Let's mount up. His sacrifice can't be in vain."

* * *

Prudii fired his blaster on full auto. The enemies fell in droves. He held his blaster in his right hand, steadying it, and whipped out his pistol in his left hand, firing with both. But he couldn't hold out forever. A blaster bolt grazed his side, and he grunted in pain. Dropping to his knees, he kept firing. His rifle clicked empty, and he hurled it away, continuing to fire with his pistol.

Another shot caught him in the gut, and he slammed back into the force field. He spared a glance behind him, and sighed in relief when he saw that the Thunderclap had already taken off and was away. He threw off his helmet and charged. His pistol fired at point-blank range, killing an enforcer. Then he turned and rammed his gauntlet blade into the throat of another. He whirled and shot again, taking down a Weequay just turning the corner.

About ten seconds until Vik's bomb detonates, he thought. That's all I have to last.

He punched an enforcer in the chin, picked up his rifle, and fired a stream of bolts down the hall. A shot caught him in the shoulder and he spun around. As he did, three more shots caught his back. He exhaled in pain, fell to the ground, and gasped.

Five seconds, he thought.

The enforcers came up behind him, pointing their blasters down at his head. He knew they'd execute him, but he also knew they'd never have the pleasure. Because by the time they'd closed to firing range, there was one second left. By the time they had their fingers on the trigger, there was no time.

A wave of heat washed across Prudii, and he let it take him into a restfulness during which he felt no pain.

End of Part 1

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Bird_of_Thunder
05.22.2013 , 08:57 PM | #24
NOOO!!! PRUDII!!!! that was an intense ending. keep it up!
Lord Ravvok
Annihilation Marauder
<Ebon Hawk, U.S>

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YoshiRaphElan
05.22.2013 , 09:45 PM | #25
Quote: Originally Posted by Bird_of_Thunder View Post
NOOO!!! PRUDII!!!! that was an intense ending. keep it up!
Fear not; there will be more...and Havoc will not fill his shoes easily.

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YoshiRaphElan
05.24.2013 , 10:16 AM | #26
Part 2

Chapter 22


The gathering was huge, and Supreme Commander Jace Malcom's office seemed entirely too small for it. Across the back wall stood Malcom himself, with Generals Var Suthra and Garza on one side, and SIS Director Trant, Grand Master Satele Shan and Supreme Chancellor Saresh to the other. At the other side of the office were Jasin, Gareb, Backblast, Dankin, and the remainder of Havoc Squad. Ten or twelve other officers had squeezed in, as well, and the Jedi Council was attending via holocall.

"Would anyone like to explain to me what the blazes just happened?" demanded Saresh.

"Coruscant just got its butt whooped by Black Sun," Dankin muttered.

Gareb gave him a violent elbow to the ribs. Dankin winced and held up his hands in surrender. Aric Jorgan stepped forward uncomfortably.

"Ma'am," he said, "over the past several days I have been held prisoner by Black Sun, along with Zenith, Languss Tuno, and two Imperials. When we escaped, we discovered that we were being held in one of Coruscant's underground reservoirs. It is my belief that this has been in the planning for some time."

"Agreed," Jasin piped up. "And Black Sun isn't smart enough to pull this off themselves."

"Is this the hand of the Empire?" Var Suthra asked.

Gareb shook his head. "No. You heard Captain Jorgan; there were two Imperials held hostage along with him."

"That could have been to throw us off," Suthra said.

"I don't think so," Director Trant said. "I just got a burst transmission from Agent Legate. Black Sun attacked Dromund Kaas, too."

"Which begs the question," General Garza interrupted, "where did Black Sun get so many troops and vessels?"

Supreme Commander Malcom rubbed his chin. "That is the question, isn't it?" he said.

Jasin considered. When he'd fought Black Sun early after his knighting, they'd been an elite fighting force, to be sure, but nothing like this. They'd been a criminal empire, not an army. To the best of his knowledge, they hadn't had any capital ships, certainly not anything with a tractor beam.

"Captain Jorgan was captured at Bilbringi," he said. "Maybe Black Sun swiped some ships while they were there."

"That could be," Jorgan agreed. "With everyone scrambling around because of the unexpected attack, they could have made off with a few ships."

"But not as many as we've seen here, and certainly not enough to attack Dromund Kaas, too," argued General Aves.

Dankin piped up, "But we also saw them on Fondor, and there are shipyards there, too."

"What about Kuat?" Gareb asked. "Or Mon Calamari?"

Chancellor Saresh frowned. "This is a disturbing thought. That Black Sun could raid the biggest shipyards in the galaxy, and get away with a fleet...this needs consideration."

"I'll have assignments for every military officer in this room within the hour," Malcom said. "Dismissed."

"Havoc Squad," Garza added, "stay a moment."

Jorgan nodded stiffly, and Elara dabbed at her eyes. Jasin felt a pang of sympathy for the woman, but he had been dismissed, so he stepped out, watching the holograms of the Jedi Council wink out as he did. Gareb caught up with him.

"You thinking what I'm thinking?" Gareb asked.

"We need to contact Methic?"

Gareb nodded. "Right. We need to get the details on the Dromund Kaas attack."

"I'll get right on it."

"Wait a moment," said a voice. "Both of you."

Gareb and Jasin turned and saw Master Satele standing there, arms crossed. Jasin smiled and bowed to her, and Gareb followed suit. Satele gave a formal bow in return.

"Masters," she said, "I have an assignment for you."

Jasin frowned. "What?"

"I want you to investigate Jasin's vision."

"The one about Revan?" Gareb asked.

Jasin had elaborated briefly on his dream to Gareb and Master Satele after the battle, shortly before the debriefing. Satele had been very interested.

"Yes," she said. "Revan and many of our Jedi were presumed dead on the Foundry. But if he is alive, he could be a great ally in fighting the Empire."

Jasin nodded. "We'll get right on it. Do you know of any planets that fit my description?"

"I've compiled a list," Satele said. "It's already being sent to both your ships' computers. Get right on it."

Jasin bowed at the waist. "Yes, Master."

"May the Force be with you both," she said.

They turned and walked out of the room. Gareb leaned in close to Jasin.

"All right," Gareb said. "You get started looking at that list, I'll talk to Methic."

Jasin nodded. "All right."

They split off, quickly heading for their respective vessels.

* * *

Aric Jorgan stood before Garza, a lump still in his throat. He couldn't believe Prudii was gone. He shouldn't be...it should be Jorgan dead, it should be Zenith or Guss or Quinn, but not Prudii. He was the one, the one who was supposed to win the war with the Empire, recapture General Rakton, put a stop to all the evils the Empire was putting out.

But he was gone.

"First of all," Garza said, "my condolences to you, Lieutenant Dorne. Your husband was a good man."

"Thank you, ma'am," Elara replied.

"Secondly, as much as I hate to do it, Havoc Squad is still needed. So, Captain Jorgan, I am giving you a temporary promotion to Major, and we will find a new private to put in your squad. You must be at full strength."

Jorgan nodded. "I...thank you, ma'am. I'll do my best to fulfill my responsibilities."

"I know you will. Return to your vessel, and we'll send a new soldier that way as soon as we can find one."

"Yes, ma'am."

Jorgan saluted, turned, and left the office. Dorne followed, with Yuun, Vik, Forex, and HK-51 trailing behind. Jorgan slowed his pace so Elara could catch up to him.

"I'm so sorry, Elara," Jorgan said.

She nodded. "Thank you, sir. I...I wish he weren't dead."

"So do I. I'm going to write a post-action report and send news of his death to his brother. Would you like to help me?"

Elara nodded. "Yes, sir."

"Let's get going, then. Black Sun and the Empire won't defeat themselves."

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YoshiRaphElan
05.25.2013 , 02:55 PM | #27
Chapter 23

Dha put his head in his hands, disbelieving, and replayed the message.

"Hello, my name is Aric Jorgan, acting CO of Republic Special Forces unit Havoc Squad," the hologram said. "This message is directed specifically for the Grand Champion of the Great Hunt, Dha. I am sorry to tell you, sir, but your brother, Prudii, has fallen in battle. I am given to understand that Mandalorians seek glory in battle. Well, rest assured, he fell protecting his friends and family. As far as I'm concerned, he couldn't have died more honorably or gloriously...if death can ever be glorious. I hope you accept my sincere condolences. Jorgan out."

Dha shut off the hologram and looked around the living room of the vheh'yaim, or traditional Mandalorian home, and sighed. Tears flecked at the corners of his eyes. Torian and Jogo were in the far corner of the room, playing a game of cu'bikad, which involved throwing knives into a checkered board on the wall. Blizz was sitting in another corner, building something out of scrap. Mako, holding Crysta, walked over and embraced Dha.

"I'm so sorry, cyar'ika," she said. "There was nothing you could have done."

Dha nodded, rubbed her on the back. "Thank you."

Torian and Jogo disengaged from their game and stepped over. Dha glanced at them. Torian had a hardness in his eyes that Dha hadn't seen often, but he knew it well–when Torian had that look, someone died.

"Black Sun'll pay for this, ner vod," Torian said.

Dha nodded. "You better believe they will."

He kissed Mako on the forehead, turned, and left the home. Dha walked swiftly across the yard and reached the shooting range he'd constructed here on the farm. Whipping out his pistol, he fired quickly, putting several holes in the body of the shooting dummy. Tears welled in his eyes again, and he dashed them away.

"There was nothing you could've done, you know."

Dha lowered his blaster and holstered it, and then turned to see Gault standing behind him, leaning on a crutch. His right horn was now a prosthetic, but Dha had chosen to have the medics leave his left horn off, because it was the way Gault had always kept it.

"What are you doing after bed?" Dha asked.

"Mako told me about your brother." Gault put a hand on Dha's shoulder. "My condolences."

"Thanks, but you really should be resting. Makeb took a lot out of you."

"I've been bed-ridden too long." Gault sighed. "Need to get up and about."

Dha nodded. "I've been looking for Hylo for you," he said. "Had a lead when this Black Sun osik started."

"Don't worry about Hylo," Gault said. "We...we can find her when there's time. I love her, but I think she'd be mighty happy if we got rid of Black Sun, so they'd be off her tail."

Dha nodded. "All right, then."

He turned and walked back inside the house with Gault. Torian, Mako, and Jogo were sitting on one couch, Mako cradling Crysta. Blizz slowly stood and walked over to sit on the other couch. Skadge stood in the far corner, in his usual arms-crossed pose.

"It's time to get rid of Black Sun," Dha said.

"I'm in," Torian said.

"You know I am," Mako added.

[Me too,] Blizz jabbered.

"Fine," Skadge growled.

"Give you a deal," said Jogo. "Let me go with you, and I'll lead you to Hylo, and I don't even have to see those other two Black List bounties."

Dha nodded. "All right. Torian, get in contact with Corridan Ordo. We'll need his clan. I'll get Chernan. Mako, call up Vorten Fett.

"The Mandalorians are going after Black Sun."

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YoshiRaphElan
05.28.2013 , 02:45 PM | #28
Chapter 24

There was a tale told amongst the Chiss people, of a man who went out to collect gemstones from an asteroid field in a system near his homeworld. He went alone, with a mining ship and a charric rifle, and spent months of his life working in the asteroid fields. He did not return home for many months, and the family assumed he was dead. So they moved on with their lives, spent the appropriate time mourning, and though they always remembered him, they did not look for him. A year after his funeral, the man finally returned, wealthier than anyone could have ever imagined, but his family had moved offworld in the time and because of it, they never had a chance to share in his wealth.

Merok wondered if it would be like that with the Republic–would he be with Black Sun so long that, when he finally got back, the Republic had progressed so far that anything he could possibly offer would not only be rejected, but that the Republic would never even realize what he had brought them.

Sitting in his room, Merok sifted through the clothes he'd brought. Most of them were gray or black uniforms that fit in with the general underworld appearance of those in Black Sun who did not wear enforcer armor. In addition he had the "uniform" of an SIS agent–a white shirt with whatever vest he could scrounge up, and brown or blue trousers, and a dress uniform–similar to Imperial cut, but blue and tan rather than gray and black. Sighing, he pulled out a black trenchcoat with blast armor hidden underneath the shirt, and slipped it on.

His second suitcase held his vast armament of weaponry. He flipped it open. Sitting strapped to the bottom of the case were two rifles–the traditional assault rifle he'd used since well before he even went to Hutta and started his long adventure with Imperial Intelligence. He also had a Chiss charric, a weapon he'd carried with him since he left the Ascendancy to work first with the Empire and then, at the Ascendancy's bidding, the Republic. Then there was a flap in the middle of the suitcase. To one side of the flap was strapped a series of different vibroknives and blades, varying in length from a handspan to almost half a meter. The other side of the flap had five different pistols, from sleeve-sized holdout blasters to the sidearm he carried at his hip at all times. On the top of the flap were two weapons he'd bought on the black market as birthday presents for Kaliyo–which, after using them for a week, she had subsequently re-gifted to him. They were a Gamorrean vibroaxe, a fairly common weapon and not one which Merok would probably ever use. The other one, and rarest of all, was a unique weapon that Merok had spent years and half a million credits to buy–an Adumarian blastsword. It looked somewhat like a traditional vibroblade, being the length of Merok's arm from shoulder to fingertip, and it had a guard over the hilt to protect the user's hand. The blade was sharp but did not vibrate like a vibroblade, and the tip was not pointed–it had a round indention that fired off a low-power blaster bolt that only fired when it was stabbed into an object.

Merok pulled out his rifle and strapped it across his back, and also took a sleeve gun, a vibroknife which he slid into his boot, his pistol, and the blastsword, which he put in a traditional sheath and tied to his belt. Then he stepped out into the hallway and moved toward the office of the vigo in charge of the ship. He'd summoned Merok, saying that he was ready to take Merok to the "next level" of employment in Black Sun.

He turned the corner–and jumped to the ground as a blaster bolt shot overhead. Two Zabraks and a Weequay stood in the hallway, each holding a blaster pistol and wearing anonymous black clothing. They stepped forward, grinning, and aimed their weapons at him.

Merok whipped up his pistol and fired, killing one of the Zabraks instantly. Unfortunately they had reinforcements, and a Rodian grabbed Merok by the shoulders while the Weequay knocked the pistol out of his hand. Merok jerked his arms down. The surprised Rodian tumbled away, and Merok turned, knifing his fingers into the alien's throat. He pulled out his rifle and fired, killing the injured Rodian and the Weequay. The other Zabrak leapt forward, slashing a vibroblade at Merok. Merok ducked, and as he did he pulled out the vibroknife from his boot, turned it backhand, and held it in his left hand, dropping his rifle at the same time to yank out the blastsword with his right hand.

"What are you going to do with that antiquated thing?" laughed the Zabrak.

Merok grinned, and the Zabrak leapt. Merok raised his knife, blocked the blow, and swung his blastsword at the Zabrak's side. The alien dodged the blow, but the blade slashed across his left bicep. The Zabrak groaned and stabbed. Merok slashed, and the tip of the blastsword "fired," burning an instant hole in the Zabrak's abdomen. With a groan, the Zabrak dropped in a crumpled heap. Merok sheathed his weapons, and then retrieved his rifle and pistol, holstering them. He stormed into the vigo's office.

"Vigo Ad'ran," he grated, "what is the meaning of this?"

Ad'ran, a Zabrak, smiled amicably. "What is the meaning of what?"

"The assassins you had come for me."

"I–"

"Don't pretend you don't know."

Ad'ran lost his smile. "Very well, then. I was testing your combat skills."

"And what if I'd died?"

"Then you would have been useless to me, and it would have cost me nothing. As it is, I gain an amazing fighter, and lose four slightly above-average assassins."

Merok nodded. "Fine, then I passed your little test?"

Ad'ran nodded. "Yes. Now, are you ready for your first target?"

Merok smiled. "I thought you'd never ask..."

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YoshiRaphElan
05.30.2013 , 04:06 PM | #29
Chapter 25

Methic hadn't visited Nar Shaddaa in many years, and being here brought back mixed memories. Here he'd seen his brother, Jasin, for the first time since they'd been separated, and had learned his brother was a Jedi. But here also he had taken his first major act of rebellion against Darth Baras, by sparing a Sith Lord that Baras wished dead.

Now, Methic was here to find Black Sun.

Blue lightsaber ignited, he stepped into the cul-de-sac and glared at the dirty, bedraggled criminals sitting on the sidewalks. Though they could not see his expression through his mask, they obviously saw his displeasure and shot off, hiding from him. He reached the house at the end of the corridor and nodded behind him. Quinn and Pierce stepped up, stacking the door.

Pierce kicked down the door and Methic charged in, lightsaber raised at guard. No blaster bolts shot forth, so he stepped fully into the house. He reached out with the Force and sensed no one in the house.

"Clear," he said.

Pierce and Quinn entered, weapons raised at shoulder height. Pierce moved off through the room to the left, while Quinn went to the right. Methic sheathed his lightsaber, clipped it to his belt, and stepped over to a computer terminal in the back corner. He powered it up.

ENTER ACCESS CODE.

Methic frowned and typed in BLACK SUN. The screen flashed, lit up green, and activated. Methic smiled. Quickly he copied all information on the terminal to his datapad. Then he powered off the terminal and backed up.

"Sir!" called Quinn. "In here."

Methic walked back into the room and felt his gut go cold. Several corpses–all Evocii–sat in crumpled heaps in the corners of the room. More disturbingly, they all had coral-like growths coming from their heads and shoulders. Methic stepped over to one and lifted his eyelids. He shuddered.

"Black eyes," he said. "They've been infected by the Seeds."

"I thought we destroyed them all," whispered Quinn.

Pierce entered behind them and coughed in surprise. Then he moved in beside Methic and knelt, searching the corpses. He came up with a few blasters and knives, but no forms of personal identification.

"I know Darth Nox got one seed," Methic said. "But from what I know he hasn't been to Nar Shaddaa recently."

"So," Quinn said grimly, "somehow Black Sun got a hold of one."

"But how would they know how to use it?" Pierce asked.

"That's what worries me," Methic said softly. "Okay, come on. Back to the ship."

* * *

Methic had returned to the ship when the holoterminal beeped. Methic frowned curiously, pulled his helmet off, and threw it onto the couch. Then he activated the terminal. To his surprise, Gareb's image appeared. Since Gareb had discovered Methic was a Sith, he'd been very cold toward him.

"Gareb..." he said. "This is a surprise!"

Gareb nodded. "I...Methic. Look, I haven't been very Jedi-like since Ilum. I'm sorry."

Methic waved his hands. "No need to apologize. It was a surprise for me to see you as a Jedi, too."

Gareb nodded. "We need to find out about the Black Sun attack on Dromund Kaas. Can you give us information?"

Methic hesitated. "Why?"

"Please. Your man Quinn told you about the attack on Coruscant; don't pretend like you don't know."

"I suppose that would do a disservice to both of us."

"Good. Then please, give us what you have."

Methic nodded. "All right, I'll transfer the information to your holoterminal. Just promise me one thing: you'll transfer me information on the attack on Coruscant, and anything you find out."

"Will do, Methic. Gareb out."

"Methic out."

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YoshiRaphElan
06.06.2013 , 11:46 AM | #30
Chapter 26

After just a week of fighting as the commander of Havoc Squad, Jorgan was ready to give up and throw himself in a pit. Elara and Yuun made it easy enough on him, but Vik was an unending pain, and it was all Jorgan could do to curb HK-51's bloodlust. Prudii had been able to handle them so easily; Vik and Prudii had always had an agreement that as long as Vik did what he was told, Prudii would overlook his more questionable off-duty actions, to a certain degree. Prudii had been able to deal with HK-51 because...well, Prudii had been the droid's master. Jorgan wasn't.

Standing outside the safehouse on Quesh, Jorgan lamented coming to this planet again. But Black Sun had been spotted, so Garza had sent them out. Jorgan stood to the left side of the door, Yuun to the right. Elara, HK-51, and Forex stood back a few meters, weapons trained on the door. Vik quickly planted a breach charge on the door.

"Clear!" Vik said.

Jorgan tossed a grenade through the door and heard a muffled pop as the grenade detonated. There were also a few screams. He turned and charged in, rifle raised. Two guards lay dead on the ground, and there was a T-junction ahead.

"Elara, Yuun, Forex, take the left. HK-51, Vik, you're with me." Better to keep the troublemakers where he could see them. "Find the command center and download the contents of the main computer. Maybe we can find their primary base."

"Yes, sir," Elara replied.

They split off. Jorgan steadied his rifle, aiming it down the left-most corridor. Two guards came around the corner and Jorgan opened fire. He killed the first one, and then Jorgan ducked. HK-51's sniper rifle cracked, and the other guard dropped.

"Let's move," Jorgan said.

* * *

Jasin had been searching for over a week now, and had come up with hundreds–hundreds!–of worlds that fit the description of the one he'd seen in his vision. He groaned, stormed out of the conference room, and into the training room.

"T7!" he said. "Activate Training Module Aurek-Seven."

T7 beeped in confirmation and activated a hologram of five Imperial troopers appeared. Jasin spun, slashing his lightsaber blades. In seconds, all five lay on the ground in heaps. Jasin sighed, some of his stress burnt off.

"Okay," he said. "Now, I need to think logically."

Jedi = looking in wrong places. // Jedi = change search parameters.

"What do you mean?"

Revan = wouldn't choose planet at random. // Revan would choose planets = significance to his past.

Jasin slapped his forehead with an open palm. "Of course!"

He rushed back to the conference room and entered a new search parameter using all the planets he'd already found; he deleted all planets that didn't mention Revan in their historical databases. That left only ten possible planets.

"This is good," Jasin said. "I think we're on the right trail."