Dread Masters’ gathering point
115 days ABDK
Jasin sidestepped Styrak’s next blow, and suddenly Methic was slamming into the Sith Lord’s back. Styrak toppled over, and he and Methic dropped their lightsabers. Jasin lost track of the two of them, except for swung fists and violent kicks. He reached out with the Force and ripped Styrak off Methic, slamming the big man into the wall.
Methic stood and picked up his lightsabers. Jasin stood beside him, ready to advance. Suddenly, Styrak waved a hand, and there were four of him. Jasin stumbled back in surprise. Methic did not fall for it, he just leapt in and dismembered all four. But as the Force affection began to clear, Jasin realized that none of them had been the actual Styrak. The real Sith Lord had moved away to assist Raptus against Darth Nox.
“Come on,” Jasin said to Methic.
Methic nodded in agreement, and they moved in to help Darth Nox.
* * *
Gareb lunged at Bestia and was thankful he’d spent so much time practicing his lightsaber form lately. Bestia was clearly a master of the Force, and she could redirect every Force power Gareb sent at her.
Jaesa lunged in behind her, attempting to spear her on the end of her double-bladed lightsaber. With a laugh, Bestia blocked the blow and stepped out of the way, causing Gareb and Jaesa to topple into each other. Bestia raised her hand for a killing blow.
Suddenly, a blaster bolt whizzed by and slammed into Bestia’s forearm. She cried out in agony. Colonel Quinn stepped forward and fired again, and this time the shot hit her gut. Bestia retreated, and Quinn ran over to help Jaesa up.
* * *
Mako and Torian led the others into the room. Mako’s eyes widened as she saw the fight going on inside. More lighting and hurled air was flying around the room than blaster bolts. Mako had never seen anything like it.
“Stay here,” Torian commanded roughly. “You and the baby are the most important things right now. Gault! Stay with her.”
Gault nodded. Mako started to protest, but Torian did not give her a chance; he charged in with Blizz and Gault.
She sighed. “Gault…are we going to win this?”
Gault sighed grimly. “I don’t know.”
“That’s what I thought.”
* * *
Tran’thar had caught Raptus by surprise, but now the Sith Lord was coming back with a vengeance. Tran’thar knew he would not last long without help.
Thankfully, Khem Val was a very sturdy beast, and he was back in the fight before Tran’thar would have expected.
Raptus seemed confused by Khem, who seemed to grow stronger as he absorbed the Force energy Raptus sent at him. Indeed, Khem was even now beating Raptus back against the wall.
Tran’thar grinned in relief and sent a few stray bolts of Force lightning at Raptus to distract him. But then there was a flash of red smoke, and Raptus was gone. Khem snarled in confusion.
“Force cloak,” Tran’thar said. “I don’t know how I know that…”
“Dread Masters,” rumbled Raptus’ voice. “To me!”
Suddenly Raptus was visible again, in the center of the room. He sent out a Force wave that knocked everyone off their feet. The five Dread Masters joined Raptus in the center of the room.
“We have grown weak,” Styrak said.
“We cannot continue this fight,” Bestia agreed.
“Another time, then,” Raptus said through grated teeth. “Another time.”
Tran’thar was inclined to let them go, but apparently the brown-haired Jedi didn’t agree. He hurled his lightsaber toward Raptus.
Busy cloaking his comrades, Raptus did not have the chance to avoid the blow. The blue blade took off his arm at the shoulder. Raptus cried out in rage, but there was a flash of red smoke and the Dread Masters were gone, leaving only the smoking husk of Raptus’ arm on the ground.
“We did it,” Tran’thar said. “We won!”
“Not yet,” Methic replied.
* * *
Mako’s eyes widened in horror as the chamber began to collapse. Dha, Torian, and the others inside began to pull out. Gault grabbed her by the arm and tugged her away.
“Wait!” she said. “We have to wait for Dha!”
“No!” Gault growled. “Listen! You have to have that baby, hear? Dha would kill me if I put him over you.”
Tears formed in Mako’s eyes, but she nodded. “Okay, let’s go.”
The tunnel around them was already starting to collapse, but Mako was relieved as several of the others began to catch up, and even pass, them.
She could already see the light at the end of the tunnel as a rock came crashing down on Gault’s leg.