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Legacy of Destruction


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YoshiRaphElan
12.25.2012 , 03:51 PM | #1
As a Christmas gift to the community, here's the first chapter of my new fanfic, spanning all classes.

Chapter 1

Defender-class light corvette
Tython space
10 days after the Battle of Dromund Kaas


Lord Scourge rubbed his forehead as he awoke. He could not feel tired, of course, being immortal, but he would be awfully hard-pressed to describe what he felt now if he wasn’t tired.

He walked into the mess hall and walked over to the refrigeration unit. He couldn’t taste, either, so it did not really matter what he ate. Frowning, he took a fist-sized fruit out and took a bite out of it. He was sure the juice running down his chin should’ve been delicious.

“Mornin’, sunshine!” Archiban Kimble said.

Scourge mumbled and went on chewing. He did not like any of the beings aboard this ship, least of all Doc, but he did not hate them, either–because he did not have emotions.

“Hello,” Scourge said.

“What rumpled your shorts?” Doc asked.

“I do not wear ‘shorts’,” Scourge replied. “And if I did, I would certainly not allow anyone to rumple them.”

Doc burst into laughter, apparently believing that to be funny. But Scourge did not understand humor, any more than he could taste, or hate, or be tired. So he grunted and bit into the fruit again.

Kira entered next, her long robe slung around her, covering her bedclothes. She rubbed her eyes and Scourge, despite his emptiness, found the condition of her hair somewhat amusing.

“Whoa, baby,” exclaimed Doc. “Bad night?”

“Yeah,” Kira replied. “Jasin…he couldn’t sleep, so he got up and went down to Tython. After that, I couldn’t sleep either, but I just stayed in bed. Because I was tired.” She yawned. “Still am. Doc, give me a packet of your energy pudding to wake me up.”

“No way!” Doc said. “I only have a week’s worth left, and we’re not going to get more supplies in for another two, at least.”

“I need to wake up!” Kira snapped. “Either you give me energy pudding, or I get myself some caf. And you know how dark I drink my caf.”

“Fine!” Doc exclaimed. “I’ll make the caf, you get your energy pudding. One packet.”

Scourge shook his head and finished off his fruit, just as Sergeant Rusk entered and grabbed a packet of dry rations. Scourge could not understand how the man could eat those–and he didn’t taste.

“What a crew,” Scourge said.

Rusk looked at him and spooned some more dry rations, then glared at Scourge in such a manner that suggested he didn’t find that statement appropriate.

“We’re more than a crew,” Kira said. “We’re a family. Well, most of us.”

“Yeah,” Doc agreed. “You’re the wife, I’m the handsome brother, Rusk’s the grumpy uncle, T7 is the pet, and Scourge…he’s the cousin nobody talks about.”

“How flattering,” Scourge replied wryly.

“And Jasin’s the patriarch,” Kira said. “He’s the most important out of any of us.”

“Indeed,” Scourge replied. “He was the only one who has ever managed to defeat the Emperor. He must be kept alive until we are sure–sure–that the Emperor is truly dead.”

He scratched one of his facial tendrils and thought about it. Jasin said the Emperor had brought down the Dark Temple and vanished, dead. Jasin also said he’d felt the Emperor’s death. But Scourge was tied to the Emperor, and he hadn’t felt it. It worried him.

He tilted his head. He felt it in his empty heart–the only feeling he had left, other than urgency. The Emperor…Scourge believed he was alive.

Jedi Temple, Tython
10 days ABDK


Jasin entered the meditation chamber and made sure it was empty before he sat down. Blast, but he was tired. He drew on the Force to relax his body and replenish his energy.

He hadn’t slept well in weeks, not since he had learned that Lord Methic, the new Emperor’s Wrath, was his brother, Malakai.

He hadn’t told Gareb, not yet. Gareb, his cousin, was on the Jedi Council–no, if he knew it would be a disaster, because the entire surviving Council–Satele Shan, Jaric Kaedan, Shol Bestros, Gnost-Dural, and Bela Kiwiiks–would soon find out, too.

Jasin grunted and tried to empty his mind, but the thought of Methic–Malakai–being a Sith Lord, could not be forgotten. Finally, he stood and walked to the Temple’s training ground.

To his surprise, one of the men on the grounds was Jaric Kaedan of the Council. Kaedan looked up, saw Jasin, and gave a respectful nod. In unspoken agreement, they walked toward each other.

“Master Kaedan,” Jasin said.

“Master Carrick,” Kaedan replied.

The Council member drew his blue-bladed saber and raised it in the starting position of Ataru; both hands held to his right side, the blade held at an angle away from his body. Jasin took the Shien stance; his saber held above his head, two-handed, and the blade pointed backwards.

Then, as one, they exploded into action. Their blue blades collided in midair, bounced back, and clashed again, from the opposite direction. Kaedan swung low at Jasin’s leg, and he leapt over the blade and brought his blade down toward Kaedan’s head.

Kaedan swung away and held his saber in front of him at arms’ length, a determined look on his face. Jasin leapt in, lightsaber sweeping. As his blade came to his side, he flipped it into an unorthodox backhand grip and slashed at Kaedan. The Master blocked the blade, spun to the side, and swept his blade at Jasin’s back.

Jasin, in a flash, flipped his lightsaber back to its right-side position, and brought it back to block the Jedi Master’s sweep. They froze their, blue blades connected. Then they laughed in unison.

“Skillful as always, Master Jasin,” Kaedan said.

“And your skills are unparalleled,” Jasin agreed.

“I meant to speak to you,” Kaedan said. “I am being sent by the Council to Ilum with Commander Rans. I was wondering if you’d like to assist in that battle. We could use all the help we could get.”

Jasin nodded. “Will do,” he agreed. “I’ll assemble the crew.”

One week later
Jedi Temple, Tython
15 days ABDK


Gareb, Master of the Jedi Council and cousin of Jedi Master Jasin Carrick, slipped his shirt on and ran a hand through his unruly mop of hair. He needed to get it cut, said Master Kiwiiks, but it had been this way since he’d been a noble of Phaeda, and he wasn’t going to change it now.

The Council was about to meet about the battle of Ilum, which Gareb had just returned from. To their sorrow, they had learned that Jaric Kaedan had been killed in the battle–leaving yet another seat on the Jedi Council open.

Not wasting a moment, Gareb clipped his saber to his belt and exited his quarters. He preferred to live aboard his ship–however, when the Council was in meeting, he had often had to bed here, on Tython.

As he entered the Council chambers, those already there–Kiwiiks, Shol Bestros, and Satele Shan–nodded to him. He nodded back and took his seat. A moment later Gnost-Dural entered and sat in his place.

“No doubt you’ve all heard of Kaedan’s death,” Satele said sorrowfully. “He was a champion of our Order, and he will be missed.”

Kiwiiks nodded in agreement.

Bestros raised the big question. “Who will take his place on the Council?”

Gnost-Dural rubbed his chin. “It should be one who has displayed the utmost loyalty, and the best of intentions.”

Satele nodded. Gareb sat back and closed his eyes. He flipped through a list of Jedi Masters in his mind before he decided on a name.

“Degan,” he said.

Satele looked over at him. Degan, a member of a long heritage of Jedi, had been one of the Order’s top Shadows since the beginning of the Cold War. She had won victories across dozens of worlds.

“Agreed,” Satele said.

“Agreed,” Gnost-Dural said.

“Agreed,” Kiwiiks and Bestros chorused.

“We also need to find a replacement for Orgus Din,” Satele added.

Gareb felt a twinge of pain–Orgus had been his cousin Jasin’s Master, and though they had seldom interacted, Orgus had struck Gareb as a paragon of the Jedi Order and a true hero.

“Of course when they have recovered from their ordeals, Syo Bakarn and Tol Braga will retake their seats on the Council. But we will need another, one to take Orgus’ place.”

The Jedi Masters sat back to contemplate the enormity of the decision. How could one replace a hero like Orgus?

“How about Jerbhen Hulis?” Bestros asked.

Like Bestros, Jerbhen Hulis was a Miraluka, the species of blind Force-sensitives. Hulis had proved invaluable during the Great War in dealing with the Sith Emperor’s apprentice, Exal Kressh, when she had betrayed the Empire.

“Hulis has denied every position we’ve offered,” Kiwiiks argued. “He would not accept this.”

“Agreed,” Satele said.

“Somminick Timmns,” Gnost-Dural said.

Master Timmns, former apprentice of Jedi Master Nomen Karr, had proven himself on Belsavis when he had worked alongside a Sith Lord to recapture the Sith Lord Darth Ekkage.

“I agree,” Gareb said.

“As do I,” Kiwiiks said.

“Agreed,” Bestros added.

“Then it’s decided,” Satele said. “May the Force be with us. Anything else?”

Gareb decided against mentioning that the Sith Lord Timmns had worked with–the same one he had fought on Ilum–had been his cousin.

“Meeting adjourned.”

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YoshiRaphElan
12.26.2012 , 11:53 AM | #2
Chapter 2

Korriban
15 days ABDK


Darth Nox–formerly Lord Tran’thar, apprentice to Darth Zash–entered the Dark Council chambers and took his seat. Around the room, he saw Darths Marr, Mortis, Ravage, and Rictus move to their own seats.

Nox tended to wear loose-fitting black robes with hoods, unlike the other Council members, who wore armor in variations of reds and grays. This was partly because his fighting style, which was made up of a combination of Force-based abilities and acrobatics, did not allow for restricting armor.

However, another reason was that he, unlike the others, was not a human or Sith Pureblood. He was a Twi’lek, and while he was not ashamed of it, that fact tended to bring him scorn among the Empire–most often from the loud, boisterous Darth Ravage.

Nox glanced up as another figure entered the room–Darth Vowrawn. He was second oldest on the Council, falling behind only the ancient Rictus. Nox glanced in contempt at Rictus–who might actually be too old for the Sith Order.

Nox decided he might have to act on that.

“We are all here,” Marr rumbled. “I believe it is time to release Darth Jadus from his imprisonment.”

“Outrageous,” Darth Mortis hissed. “He betrayed the Empire–why should he ever be released?”

“Cipher Nine should have killed him!” Ravage snarled.

“No,” Mortis replied. “Doing so would have killed thousands–millions–of Imperial citizens. Our agent did the right thing arresting him.”

“Why should he be released, Darth Marr?” asked Vowrawn calmly.

He had always been a voice for reason in the Dark Council, Nox knew. He would listen to all sides of an argument–and whichever side he chose would likely be the victor. Nox decided to wait this out.

“Jadus brought up many issues with our Empire which made sense,” Marr said darkly. “Our bigotry against other species has been taken too far.”

“Hear, hear,” Nox said sarcastically.

“Our speciesism has made us what we are,” said Mortis. “If one species rises up, what stops the rest? If the slaves rebel, we will be warring within our own borders and unable to fight the Republic.”

“True,” Marr conceded. “But slaves are slaves, whether human or alien. Our own Darth Nox is not a human or pureblood.”

Nox inclined his head at the mention of his name but decided to remain silent for the time being. Any decisions here must be made impartially, and being a supposed impure species definitely prejudiced Nox.

“Fools,” Rictus snarled. “Aliens are impure! Ugly! Inferior!”

Nox changed Rictus from possible assassination target to definite target. He now only needed to find a way to do it that would not be traced back to him–but even Darth Karrid had killed her rival, Darth Gravus. Any number of Council members could send an assassin.

“I agree with Marr’s assessment,” Vowrawn said. “Jadus’ seat is empty with the death of his daughter, Zhorrid. None other has the intelligence skills that would be required.”

“Imperial Intelligence has been dissolved,” argued Ravage. “We need no one.”

“We are still looking for a leader for the new Sith Intelligence, though,” Marr replied.

“What about the agent that dismantled the Star Cabal?” Vowrawn asked, examining the situation from all sides. “He would be most qualified.”

“We have lost contact with him and his entire crew,” Marr said. “It can be assumed they have either been killed or deserted.”

“I see no other option,” Vowrawn said. “I agree with Marr’s assessment–Jadus should be freed.”

“I second that,” Mortis said.

Nox grinned behind his hood at Rictus and Ravage. Soon, the former would no longer be among the living members of the Dark Council.

“Dismissed,” Marr said.

Standing, Nox exited the Council chambers and took a shuttle to his Fury-class interceptor. Xalek, his apprentice, met him at the entrance. He had a double-bladed lightsaber clipped to his belt.

“Master,” Xalek rumbled.

“Apprentice,” Nox said. “I have a mission for you. It will involve your…special talents.”

Nox saw Xalek’s grin behind his ceremonial Kaleesh mask, and he knew his apprentice had taken his meaning.

Nexus Room, Dromund Kaas
15 days ABDK


Dha crossed his arms and glanced across the table at the man in the dark cloak. Normally, that would have been a sign of a Sith Lord, on Dromund Kaas. But Mako had triple-checked this guy’s ID, and he was nearly nonexistent–not a Sith, then.

“So,” the man said. “Darth Tormen is dead.”

Dha glanced around sharply. “Shut up,” he hissed. “You want me to lose my head?”

“Relax,” the man replied. “I’m not the kind to be overly suspicious. I know what happened, and I am actually glad the old guy’s dead. He was just one more obstacle in my–our–way.”

“Who are you?” Dha asked.

“A friend,” the man said. “I represent a faction of Imperials who believe our Empire would be better off without the leadership of the self-destructive Sith and their Dark Council.”

“That’s pretty treasonous talk sitting in the center of the Empire,” Dha noted.

“Obviously,” the man replied. “I’m not stupid. There are many of my people in this cantina alone. If we were discovered…well, those who overheard would be better off having never done so.”

Dha considered. He was a big talker, certainly. Dha took a quick look around the cantina, trying to catch a glimpse of anyone suspicious. He could see no one, but of course that would be the point.

“Continue,” he said.

“We know it will take years,” the man said, “and maybe even decades, to get the Sith out of power. We are a patient people. With your help, the whole thing might just proceed faster.”

“I’m already sticking my neck out showing up here,” Dha shot back. “Darth Tormen was known to have survived the Battle of Corellia, and I was the last one in his presence. Why shouldn’t the Council be suspicious of me?”

“They have no proof,” the man replied. “All they know is that he was killed attacking the Founder, and his entire ship was destroyed in that battle. No way his death could be traced to you.”

“No,” Dha replied. “I suppose not.”

Still, he thought, he didn’t like it. He disliked being here in this cantina without Mako or Torian to have his back even more, but he did it anyway.

“I’m listening,” he said finally.

“It’s nothing big,” the man reassured. “Nothing too large. Certainly not worthy of a Mandalorian, but you’re most qualified for the job–figured I’d ask you first.”

“I am a Mandalorian,” Dha said.

“I know, I know. But you know something about revenge–I’ve done my research. The real reason you were so willing to kill Tormen was because he led the attack on your home.”

Dha pulled his blaster on the man before he even realized what he was doing, but the comment had not been in good taste. The man sat back calmly.

“No offense meant, of course. Listen, I don’t want you to make a snap decision. Here’s my comm code–call me once you’ve chosen.”

“You haven’t even told me the job yet,” Dha said.

“Nor will I. Contact me when you’re ready.”

Anchorhead spaceport, Tatooine
18 days ABDK


Dankin grunted as the fist landed in his gut. He was about to make a move, but he decided against it. His father had been a Mandalorian–but Dankin had never been a fighter. If he tried to fight back he’d probably end up with a knife in his back in a gutter.

Grunting, he took the next blow and the next, and grinned as he heard the reassuring voice in his ear comlink. Help was coming.

He knew why these guys were beating him–ever since Corellia he’d been, unofficially, a privateer in service of the Republic, and word must have gotten around. Now he couldn’t even do a little smuggling without getting the stuffing beat out of him.

“We know what you are, Mirialan,” one of the beaters said. He was stupid–he had an Exchange logo on his sleeve. Now Dankin knew whom he was going after, next. “How dare you show your face here, you stupid traitor?”

He threw another punch, and Dankin grunted. The bullies holding his arm dropped him, and he rolled with the blow, landing on his hands and knees. In his peripheral vision, he saw two figures entering the alley behind the Exchange thugs.

With blinding speed, he stood and brought his foot between the first beater’s legs. The man squealed in pain, and the other two withdrew vibroknives from their belts.

“Freeze!” a voice said.

The men whirled and Dankin grinned as their expressions slackened. Akaavi Spar was a terrifying sight in her full Mandalorian armor sans helmet, and her red and black tattoos and cranial horns. Beside her, Corso Riggs presented an equally fearsome sight in his bootlegged Republic soldier’s armor and his rifle, nicknamed Sergeant Boom-Boom, cocked.

“You heard ‘em, boys,” Dankin said. “Beat it.”

The thugs wasted no time rushing from the alley, leaving their companion groaning and gasping on the ground. Dankin threw an affectionate arm around Akaavi’s shoulder.

“Darlin’, you have perfect timing,” he said.

“Why, thank you!” Corso joked. “But what about Akaavi?”

“Shut up, Corso,” Dankin said good-naturedly.

“Who are they?” Akaavi asked.

“Exchange,” he replied. “I think we may need to pay ‘em a little Voidhound visit.”

“Why?” Corso asked. “I mean, I love working for the Republic and all, but I thought the privateer thing was just a hoax so the Republic overlooked our, ah, more questionable activities.”

Dankin rolled his eyes and kicked the thug on the back of the head, knocking him out and hopefully giving him short-term memory loss.

“Corso, not in front of the marks,” he exclaimed. “Vrblther’s vibroblade! It is just for show, but we do have to actually do something for the Republic now and again or they’ll dump us like last week’s flatcake and forget about us. And besides, taking care of the competition can only improve business for us.”

Corso nodded. “All right, I’m on board. Let’s do it!”

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YoshiRaphElan
12.28.2012 , 12:41 PM | #3
Chapter 3

Exchange fleet, Outer Rim
25 days ABDK


Dankin flipped a switch on the comm board and gave the signal to the other ships in the newly christened Voidhound Fleet. They returned the comm clicks, signaling they were ready to make the short jump into the system.

“Attention all Exchange ships,” Dankin said over all hailing channels. “This is the Voidhound. You have exactly two minutes to empty your holds and signal surrender, or we attack. Repeat, attention all Exchange ships…”

As he repeated the message he watched as the Exchange ships instantly powered up their shields and weapons systems. He grinned and pulled down his goggles.

“That’s the way it’s gonna be,” he said quietly. “All right, then. Corso, Akaavi, get to the guns. Guss, go monitor the shields and engines. Bowdaar, Risha, get up here and help me fly.”

The crew snapped to do as they were ordered, and Dankin glanced back at the Exchange fleet. His own ships had about a minute until they got in-system, so he tried to buy time.

“Exchange fleet,” he said, “I read your shields and weapons powering up. I take it you won’t surrender? I urge you to reconsider.”

“Privateers,” a voice responded darkly. “Worse than the kriffing military, the lot of you.”

“I offered nicely, pal,” Dankin noted. “I’ll give you…thirty seconds.”

“Keep your offer, privateer. I’ll blast you now!”

“Shields up, Guss!” Dankin ordered.

But the Exchange ships had already fired. Dankin yanked the yoke, spinning his ship in a barrel roll to avoid the turbolaser fire. Dankin pushed the engines, doing a flyby of the main ship so Akaavi and Corso could rain shots from the cannons on the hull.

“Enemy shields at seventy percent!” Risha said.

Dankin nodded grimly and looked down at the chrono. Still twenty seconds until his fleet arrived. Not long, but it could make all the difference in a space battle.

He jerked the ship to the left as a pair of torpedoes shot past. Then he pulled it in a complete one-eighty and headed back for the ship. Corso and Akaavi opened up again, and this time Dankin fired a torpedo at the ship.

“Forty percent!” Risha said.

“We’ve taken a few hits,” Guss called. “Shields at ninety.”

Dankin glanced down. Ten seconds. He flipped the ship over to avoid a barrage from a pair of smaller ships behind the bigger one. Unfortunately, the rest of the small fleet had now maneuvered into various firing positions.

Dankin went “up”–though of course direction in void was relative. All the ships’ fire passed by and left them unscathed save for a single torpedo that hit the rear shields.

“Rear shields at eighty,” Guss said.

Four seconds. Three. Two.

Ten ships leapt from hyperspace and opened fire on the Exchange ships. Startled, their targets were unable to return fire for several perilous seconds. In five minutes, the battle had ended. The biggest ship had its engines blown away, and the others, seeing it, surrendered without further argument.

“Free and clear,” Dankin said. “All right, boys. Tractor ‘em and haul ‘em back to Coruscant.”

Gnarls training grounds, Tython
25 days ABDK


Jasin stood patiently on the small enclave, tapping his foot but otherwise outwardly serene. He was clad in black robes with red-bronze armoring on the chest and wrists, its hood covering his shoulder-length hair. He also wore a matching ankle-length robe, his saber clipped to his belt.

This was his preferred clothing choice–it was the same style as worn by the Jedi Master Revan, whom Jasin had rescued near the end of the Cold War from Maelstrom Prison.

Of course, he’d known about Revan long before the mission to Taral V and Maelstrom Prison–all Jedi Padawans were taught his tale early in their training, as a warning against the dark side. But Jasin had seen it as something else.

Revan had been a hero–no one had known how much of one, though, until he’d been rescued from Maelstrom. He’d been imprisoned there for around three hundred years because of a failed strike against the Emperor, and since then he’d been tortured every day by the Emperor himself, though he’d used their telepathic link to feed doubt to the leader of the Sith.

Jasin found it only fitting that he now took the ancient warrior’s clothing, since now he was the one forced to take up the torch and stop the Emperor.

He’d never wanted that. Never. He’d been more than satisfied as just another Jedi, as just a man doing his part in the galaxy. But even Master Orgus had seen that he had a special destiny.

Jasin saw a speeder approaching, interrupting that train of thought. Gareb, his cousin, landed his bike and walked up to Jasin. Unlike Jasin, his robes were white and brown, and not hooded, though they were otherwise similar–a simple shirt and robe with a sash tying it at the waist.

“Master Gareb,” Jasin greeted.

“Master Jasin,” Gareb countered.

They bowed to each other and then moved away from the enclave. Jasin had asked Gareb to come on a hunch, and because he’d had a feeling in the Force.

“What is it, Jasin?” Gareb asked.

“Not here,” Jasin said.

He led his cousin to the Gnarls cavern, the first place he’d slain another Force sensitive. In fact, it had been the place he’d met Master Orgus, and begun his long journey to battling the Emperor.

Gareb glanced around at the cavern. Jasin knew he could sense what happened here, but he still told him. Gareb frowned.

“That must have been right after I arrived on this world,” Gareb said. “I myself was hardly involved with the fight with the Flesh Raiders–I must have been searching out Nalen Raloch when you arrived here.”

Jasin didn’t know how to say what he had to, so he just blurted it.

“Scourge thinks the Emperor’s alive,” he said.

Gareb tilted his head, taking it in slowly. “Okay. So why bring me here to tell me?”

“I don’t know…the Force,” he admitted. “It was a feeling through the Force.”

Suddenly, a Force blast rippled through the air, and Jasin cried out in pain as he was slammed against a wall of rubble that Orgus had brought down so long ago. Instantly, he was on his feet, lightsaber drawn. The cave was filled with blue light, which mingled with green a moment later as Gareb drew his own.

“Who are you?” Gareb demanded.

A shadowy figure darted away from the light of their blades, not giving them a good view of its face. Jasin angled his blade toward the figure, keeping the tip of his weapon between him and the attacker.

“I want to talk,” the figure said. “Sheathe your lightsabers.”

“Why should we?” Gareb asked. He’d always been a better talker than Jasin. “The moment we do, you could ignite yours and skewer us both.”

“Now, now.” The figure laughed. “Master Gareb, with your mastery of the Force, you could tear me up with rubble before I could even get my blade half ignited.”

Jasin tilted his head. “You know a lot about him.”

“And you, Jasin. You defeated the Emperor–if he was the Emperor. And you were one of the few to escape his power. You also slew Darth Angral.”

As one, Jasin and Gareb stepped forward and pointed their sabers at the figure. And Jasin froze, as the figure was dressed identically to him–with one small exception. He–or she–was wearing a mask that so resembled Revan’s at first Jasin believed it was him.

But Revan felt different in the Force than this being, and despite that Jasin felt inclined to trust him or her.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“A representative of the Master,” the figure said. “A Revanite, a member of the Order of Revan on Dromund Kaas.”

“Sith,” Gareb accused.

Despite this, he lowered his blade, too, for he had been with Jasin during the mission to Maelstrom Prison and he knew and respected Revan.

“The Master?” he asked. “Revan?”

“No,” the figure said, almost mournfully. “We have been searching for him since his disappearance on the Foundry. But until we find him, our leader is still hidden.”

“But what are you doing here?” Jasin demanded.

“No doubt you sensed me in the Force,” the being said. “Or you wouldn’t have come to this cave. I had hoped you would.”

“Why?”

“It is a long story.”

“Tell it,” Gareb ordered.

The Revanite nodded, then pulled his or her hood down and removed the imitation mask. Underneath was a surprisingly young girl with black hair pulled back in a tail. She had a slave’s brand on her right cheek.

“I am Kotone,” she said. “I was once an acolyte at the Sith Academy on Korriban. When I arrived on Dromund Kaas I discovered the legends of Revan and was approached a short time later by the Master.”

She told the story of the Order of Revan, how it had been founded and how it had grown. She said they had once believed Revan had slain the Emperor three hundred years ago and taken his place. That had been crushed, of course, when they heard that Revan had been rescued from the Emperor’s prison.

Not long earlier, the Order had “liberated” the real mask of Revan from a crazy Sith Lord called Grathan who collected technology. When they heard Revan had escaped, they delivered him the mask through a freelancer.

Now, though Revan had supposedly been defeated on the Foundry, the Revanites continued their search for their true leader.

“So why did you come here?” Gareb asked.

“Because,” she said, “in our searches, we found the evidence you’ve been looking for. The Emperor is alive.”

Jasin considered. “Blast, I hoped I was wrong.”

Kotone nodded solemnly. “We found someone to tell us the truth about the Emperor. We know that he plans to annihilate all life in the galaxy. You alone can stop him. You–and Revan.”

“You want me to find Revan?” Jasin blurted.

She smiled. “Of course not. We have our own people searching for him. For you, we have a different plan in mind.”

“And what’s that?”

She told him.

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YoshiRaphElan
01.01.2013 , 04:26 PM | #4
Chapter 4

Senate tower, Coruscant
28 days ABDK


Prudii held his helmet and gazed incredulously at the screen in front of him. To its left, General Garza made notes on her datapad as they waited in silence for their superior.

“If this mission goes over Garza’s head,” Jorgan said, “it must be big.”

Prudii nodded. “Yeah…big.”

A moment later, Director Marcus Trant, SIS agent Merok, and Supreme Commander Jace Malcom came into the office. Prudii whirled and saluted Malcom, and he glanced to his left and saw Jorgan mimic the gesture. So did Garza.

“At ease,” Malcom said. “Good to see you again, Major–always a pleasure to work with the old colors. General Garza, how are Special Forces treating you?”

“Sufficiently,” Garza said politely. “I still think you could do better, sir, but I’m honored to do my part.”

“You and me, Garza, we’d rather be in the field,” Malcom agreed.

There was a moment of silence, in which Trant moved over to the computer terminal and typed in a command. An image appeared, depicting the galaxy. Trant highlighted the Imperial space in red.

“Taris was at one time our only foothold in the Empire,” Malcom said. “When they took it back, they took our only chance at striking some of their worlds. It would be a waste of manpower to retake it, though. We need options. Merok?”

Merok was a Chiss–he’d once been Cipher Nine of Imperial intelligence, but dissatisfied with the rule of the Sith Lords and their bootlicking moffs, he’d defected.

“The outlying Imperial worlds are used for slave-trading and grunt work. They’re not well defended. If we captured just a few of those, and freed the slaves to begin uprisings, the Empire would focus as much of its gaze in as out.”

Malcom nodded. “Which worlds do you suggest, agent?”

Merok tapped the terminal, and the map zoomed in on several different worlds. Merok highlighted one of them.

“Begeren, for starters. It was once home to a Sith Lord who elected herself queen, but she was killed late in the Cold War. Begeren is ripe for taking, and its slaves are ready to rise up.”

“Garza, get to work on that,” Malcom said. “And Merok, I want you to infiltrate the slave ranks and stir up insurrection. Dismissed.”

Voidhound fleet, Coruscant space
29 days ABDK


Dankin signaled Republic fleet command, briefly telling them of their capture of the Exchange ships and then requesting permission to land.

“Roger, Voidhound,” then controller replied. “You are clear to land your ships on Centax I. RFC, out.”

“You heard the man,” Dankin said to his ships. “Set down on the moon.” He flipped off the ship-to-ship comlink and activated the intercom. “Bowdaar, Akaavi, prepare to board the Exchange command ship.”

He stood and strapped on his twin blasters before pulling on his pilot’s mask and lowering the goggles. It didn’t offer as much protection as a trooper’s kit, but the light-dimming visor kept him from being blinded by a flash grenade.

As the ship attached its boarding tube to the other, Dankin met Akaavi and Bowdaar in the main hold. Bowdaar slung his vibrosword over his shoulder and then hefted a bowcaster. Akaavi twirled her techstaff in a quick motion before nodding to Dankin.

“Ready,” she said.

Bowdaar growled in agreement.

As they entered the boarding tube, Exchange troops opened fire from the opposite end. Dankin ducked back behind the wall and tossed in a flash-bang. There were several cries of pain and the blaster bolts ceased.

Akaavi charged in first, her staff cutting down the Exchange thugs before they could recover. Dankin motioned to the tube with his head, and Bowdaar ran in, firing his bowcaster.

Dankin counted to five and then joined them, both of his weapons cutting down thugs. In moments, they had cleared the airlock.

“Let’s move on,” he said. “Gotta get to the bridge, and make sure the troops down on the moon don’t encounter resistance.”

Akaavi nodded. “For Mandalore!”

They ran through the ship, several times stopping to take out patrols of combat droids. Once, they were trapped in a corridor with ray shields on either side, but Dankin managed to slice through an astromech’s access tunnel, and they crawled through–though it was unpleasant for Bowdaar.

When they finally reached the bridge, the captain glanced up indignantly. He was a dark-skinned man with short hair and an unpleasant face, with a badly kempt beard.

“Hands up, everyone,” Dankin ordered.

“The Voidhound,” the captain growled. “I should have fought to the death. I still can.”

He drew his blaster and fired. Dankin ducked and returned fire. The captain rolled behind a computer console, and half the bridge crew leapt to the center of the bridge and raised their hands over their heads.

The other half pulled out blasters and fired on Dankin. Bowdaar roared and sprayed fire from his bowcaster. Two crewmembers went down with large quarrel holes in their chests.

Akaavi leapt into action, beating down two of the crew with her techstaff. Another charged at her from behind and she jerked her elbow back into his mouth. He cried out and grabbed his nose.

Dankin armed a grenade and set it to cook. When it had two seconds left, he hurled it. The captain came up to fire, and the grenade exploded meters from his face.

Dankin stood and fired quickly, taking him out. He twirled his blasters and holstered them with an exaggerated motion and then turned to one of the crewmen that had surrendered.

“Now,” he said. “We can do this peacefully, eh?”

He walked over to a comm terminal and punched in the flight controller’s number.

“RFC, this is Dankin,” he said. “We’ve got them.”

“Roger. Captain, where was this crew bound?”

Dankin glanced at one of the crewmen and gave him a look.

“Well?”

“Begeren,” the crewman said.

“You copy that, control?” Dankin asked.

“Confirmed. Stay there, Captain. There’s someone here who wants to speak to you.”

Dankin frowned and glanced back at Akaavi. She raised a questioning eyebrow and he shrugged.

“Captain, this is Supreme Commander Malcom,” a voice said. “I’d like to speak to you in person.”

Oh, boy.

Kaas City, Dromund Kaas
29 days ABDK


Dha put an affectionate arm around Mako’s shoulder. The hooded man had finally sent them instructions–go to the bank and wait for an astromech droid with green markings to approach.

Dha glanced around, feeling conspicuous in his Mandalorian armor and not minding whatsoever. He was Mandalorian, through and through, and anyone who tried to approach it as an issue would get a quick punch.

“We’ve been waiting ten minutes,” Mako said.

“But we arrived five minutes early,” Dha replied.

“Still means he’s ten minutes late,” she observed.

A moment later, the green astromech finally showed up, beeping a friendly greeting and extending a manipulator arm holding a datapad.

“What’s this?” Dha asked.

The droid beeped a response then rolled away, not waiting to see if Dha understood. He glanced over at Mako.

“He said it’s got your job on it,” she supplied.

He nodded. “Great.”

Without waiting for permission, she opened the ‘pad and read through. She whistled quietly.

“Wow,” she said. “Nice job. Nicer reward.”

Dha took the datapad from her and read through it. He frowned.

“Well,” he said, “let’s go.”

Sith Academy, Korriban
31 days ABDK


Darth Nox entered the Sith Academy and without any word to the guards or overseers, took the lift to the Dark Council chambers. It was the first meeting that Darth Jadus would be returning for.

Time to meet him.

Nox stepped into the Council room and sat in his place without a word to the other Council members. Darth Rictus glared at him, and Nox grinned under his cowl as he awaited the Sith Lord’s demise. It was a long time coming.

Soon, everyone save Darths Marr and Jadus had arrived. Nox sat back patiently, enjoying the fact that this was the final time he would ever be in the same room as the revolting Darth Rictus.

“Darth Marr,” greeted Darth Mortis.

Nox looked up and saw the two men enter, each of them imposing, both physically and in the Force. He wondered, if it came down to it, which one would win a fight, and then ridiculed the thought. Marr was leader of the Dark Council. Jadus would have that position were he worthy of it.

“Welcome back, Darth Jadus,” Darth Vowrawn said.

“Thank you, Darth Vowrawn,” Jadus replied.

His voice was powerful but…quiet. Yet it was still full of menace, and immediately Nox knew that Jadus could scare the fight out of even the likes of Ravage, if he had a mind to.

“I don’t believe I’ve had the honor,” Nox said.

Jadus turned and looked at him, his faceless metal mask somehow more frightening an image than Darth Ravage’s scarred and lined visage.

“Nor have I,” Jadus said softly. “A pleasure to meet you at last, Darth Nox.”

Nox inclined his head. “And you, Darth Jadus.”

“Council members, your seats,” Marr said.

Those that had been standing now sat, and once again Nox turned his attention to Rictus. Tonight, the ancient Lord of the Sith would meet with an accident while traveling home.

“It has been a long time since I’ve been in this room,” Jadus said. “But I have not been idle in my cell. I still can name the activities of everyone in this room.”

As he said this, he glanced at Nox, and a chill ran down the Twi’lek’s spine. He knew. Blast it, he knew somehow, and it hadn’t even happened yet!

“Quick as ever,” Vowrawn chirped. “Darth Jadus, your presence among us was missed.”

Political double-talk. Nox loved it. He tried to smile but he was still disturbed by Jadus’ apparent knowledge of his schemes. And he was always so careful.

Jadus had just made his watch list.

Korriban space station
31 days ABDK


After the Council meeting, Nox took a shuttle to the space station where his interceptor was docked. He quickly stepped into the central chamber and looked at the holo of Korriban expectantly.

Even as he watched, his Force senses were probing the area for anyone who approached. But he still did not sense Darth Jadus until his hand was on Nox’s shoulder.

Nox whirled and reached for his lightsaber, but Jadus stood, his attitude apparently as unrevealing as his mask. He only raised a casual hand to indicate he meant no harm.

“You know,” Nox said.

Jadus tilted his head. “I suspect. I merely wish to see if your actions line up with what I sensed at that meeting.”

“And that was?”

“Hatred, and loathing, for one of your fellow Dark Council members.”

Nox tilted his head. “There are several. Which one could I despise enough to do something about?”

Jadus chuckled, and it was more fearsome than when he was silent and disapproving. Nox took a step back instinctively.

“Let us just see,” Jadus said.

Nox sighed and resigned himself. He turned his gaze back to the hologram of Korriban. A sleek ship exited its atmosphere–Darth Rictus’, though he never piloted it himself.

Nox braced for the inevitable.

Darth Rictus’ shuttle
31 days ABDK


Xalek grinned under his bone mask and reached for his double-bladed lightsaber. The pilots were sealed in the cockpit, and Rictus only had a pair of acolytes for bodyguards.

He released his Force cloak, and the two acolytes looked up in surprise. They reached for their training blades, and Xalek laughed, lifted one with the Force, and blasted him with lightning.

The other charged, and Xalek ignited one end of his double-bladed lightsaber. The acolyte swung his blade in the barest imitation of the Shien form. Xalek decided to give him a fight.

Switching to Soresu, the defensive form, Xalek casually blocked the acolyte’s brutish and awkward blows. Finally, deciding to waste no more time, he ran his lightsaber through the acolyte.

Then he ran his lightsaber through the room to Rictus’ meditation chamber. As the door burned, he reached out with the Force. Rictus was getting ready. But he was old, and Xalek was in his physical prime.

As the door clattered down, Rictus stood and drew his lightsaber. Xalek let out a feral growl and leapt to attack. Rictus raised his blade to block the blow.

Xalek backed up. Rictus was using Niman, the most basic form–and certainly not one for a Sith Lord to use, since it focused on balance. But Rictus was old, and he did not have the strength for Shien, the endurance for Soresu, or the agility for Ataru.

Xalek raised his lightsaber and entered Juyo, the most aggressive form. He leapt in. Rictus blocked his blows well, but Xalek was fast and powerful. Rictus, seeing his advantage lost, opened up with a powerful hurricane of Force lightning.

Xalek shrieked in agony and rolled to the ground, raising his lightsaber to block the lightning as he did. He could not fight against Rictus’ power, only deflect and absorb it. The Dark Lord’s storm subsided, and Xalek bared his teeth.

He ignited his second blade. Then he charged in again, his saberstaff spinning in rapid flurries. Rictus roared in frustration and rage. Xalek brought his saber down, and Rictus’ blade fell from his grip.

Grabbing him by the throat, Xalek savored the moment of victory as he thrust his lightsaber through Rictus’ chest. As the Dark Lord fell to the ground, Xalek twirled and slashed through the dying man’s neck. The head rolled to the ground.

Korriban space station
31 days ABDK


“Well, well.” Jadus clapped slowly. “A very well-executed attack, from start to finish. Your young apprentice is quite an assassin.”

Nox whirled on him. “How?”

“I had a holocam installed in the halls outside all of the Dark Council members’ meditation rooms. As I predicted, your target was Rictus. He is now dead, by the way.”

Nox inclined his head. Finally, he decided Jadus was too much of a risk. Igniting his lightsaber, he sent a blast of Force lightning. Quick as a flash, Jadus lit his own blade and blocked the energy as though parrying a blow from a child.

Nox snarled and sent a whirlwind through the Force. It lifted Jadus off his feet, but the Dark Lord instantly broke the wind with the Force and sent his own blast of lightning at Nox.

“Stop,” he commanded.

“You will reveal me to the Council,” he said.

“I will not,” Jadus said simply. “Luckily for you, Darth Rictus’ fall may yet serve my purposes. He is one of the last anti-alien members on the Council. With him gone, only Ravage stands in our way.”

“What do you mean, ‘our’?” Nox demanded.

“You would be wise to align with me, Lord Nox.”

“Why should I?”

“I am pro-alien, for one thing. If you think you would be better off with the likes of Ravage, you are a fool. For another thing, even after nearly two years in a cell, my power base is greater than any other on the Council.”

Nox considered. “We have a deal, Lord Jadus.”

He reached out, and shook Jadus’ hand.

YoshiRaphElan's Avatar


YoshiRaphElan
01.01.2013 , 11:32 PM | #5
Feel free to comment!

Chapter 5

Carrick Station
40 days ABDK


Jasin stood in the entrance to his docking bay and waited to hear from Kotone. He had changed from his black-and-bronze robes into the light Jedi armor that had become somewhat of a trend since the first days of the Great War, and had been worn by great Jedi such as Kao Cen Darach and Ven Zallow.

Gareb, arms crossed, stood beside him, wearing a loose brown and yellow robe. They glanced at each other, and Jasin probed him with the Force. Yes, he was worried, too.

Finally, a cloaked figure entered the hangar and lowered her hood. She was not wearing the mask this time–it was not Jedi tradition to wear such things and it would’ve drawn attention.

But it wasn’t Kotone.

She had wheat-blonde hair in a style that reminded Jasin of Kira’s and her eyes were a bright blue. She had a slave brand on her left cheek, but she did not appear to wear it with shame.

“I am Imindra,” she said. “Kotone apologizes for not being able to meet you herself, but unfortunately she was required to remain on Dromund Kaas. Lately there have been security breaches among the Order of Revan. As chief security officer, she must ensure the safety of the Master.”

“Of course,” Jasin said politely.

He touched his hand to his chest and bowed, and Gareb did the same. The two Jedi stepped back, and Jasin motioned toward his ship. Imindra inclined her head and followed them in.

“Oh!” Doc said as they entered. “We have a guest. If I’d known, I would have…cleaned up.”

Jasin choked in surprise at Doc’s appearance, as the man was usually impeccably dressed, even when that clothing was only a combat uniform.

Now he was in a scraggly gray set of bedclothes, his sleeves rolled up and one pant leg higher than the other. His hair was disheveled and his eyes were shot through with blood and sleep-bleared.

“Doc, this is Imindra,” Jasin explained. “And of course you know Master Gareb.”

Doc bowed to Imindra in a way that came off as polite yet roguish, and then pressed his fingers to his eyebrow in a casual salute to Gareb.

“Always delighted,” he said. “Just keep that stuffy scientist away from me, Master Gareb, and we’ll get along grandly.”

Doctor Tharan Cedrax was, in Jasin’s–and many other beings’–opinion, highly annoying, to the point that he tried to studiously ignore the man whenever he visited Gareb’s vessel. Gareb, however, seemed to have reached an agreement with the man, and in fact they got along well, both as friends and battlefield comrades.

“If it helps, he feels you’re a helpless rogue,” said Gareb.

Kira came around the corner, a toothbrush in her mouth. Her eyes widened a little bit and she grunted.

“Hi,” she said. “Mm Krr-uh. Ncce t’ mtt y-uh.”

That probably should have come out as ‘I’m Kira, nice to meet you,’ but the point came across. Swiftly, she ran out of sight. There was a loud spitting sound and she returned.

“Master Gareb!” she said kindly. “How’s Nadia?”

Nadia Grell, Gareb’s Padawan–and, as only Jasin, Kira, and a few others outside Gareb’s crew knew–wife. She was also a government representative of the Sarkhai species.

“She’s doing well,” Gareb replied.

“Good.” Kira glanced at Imindra. “And who are you?”

“Imindra,” the girl replied.

Jasin cleared his throat. “Imindra represents our, ah, allies among the Empire.”

Kira paused a moment and then gave a small nod of understanding. She walked back to the main hold and prepared a sitting area.

“I’ll tell Sergeant Rusk and Tee-seven we have company,” she said.

Jasin noted that she did not mention Scourge, and he sent her praise through the Force. It probably was not wise to let anyone, even allies, in the Empire to know that the former Emperor’s Wrath was allies with a Jedi and not, in fact, dead.

“Now,” he said. “What can we do for you?”

Imperial citadel, Dromund Kaas
40 days ABDK


Lord Methic, second Emperor’s Wrath, entered the halls of the citadel and instinctively blocked his mind with the Force. Though it was probably not necessary he did it whenever entering a place with fellow Sith Lords. They must not sense his true feelings.

Of course he was utterly loyal to the Empire, but its leader and his representatives–the Dark Council–left something to be desired. Indeed he only served as the Emperor’s Wrath because the Servants had saved his life.

Scowling, he thought of the frail purebloods with contempt. Saving his life was well and good, but he could not muster anything but disgust at the behavior, mannerisms, and indeed, appearances of the Servants. They were frail, and yet they were spiteful and even degrading of other beings in a disgustingly unique way.

So he planned to make the Empire better from the inside, whether by taking down the Emperor himself, or by providing weaknesses within the power base of the paranoid maniac.

His brother, Jasin, was best placed to bring down the Emperor–as he had once already. Methic had not been in contact with Jasin much, as he could not risk the Dark Council or the Servants finding out about him contacting someone in the Jedi. Still, when he had been informed by Servant One of the death of the Emperor’s Voice, he had somehow known Jasin had been the killer.

“Lord Methic,” Quinn said quietly. “Are you all right, my Lord?”

Methic shook himself free of his reverie, knowing it was a dangerous state of mind in a place such as this.

“Apologies, Quinn. Is Lord Marr ready to meet with us?”

Quinn nodded. “Indeed, my Lord.”

“Good.”

Methic led the way to Darth Marr’s private office, and they waited outside. Quinn reached for his badge subconsciously and adjusted it to perfection.

“Enter,” Marr said.

Methic walked into the room. He had only met Darth Marr on one occasion–when he had dueled Darth Baras in front of the Dark Council–and he had been impressed by the power radiating from the man. He bowed.

“Lord Marr.”

“Lord Methic,” Marr replied. “You do not bow to me, for I would not presume to have the Emperor’s right hand at my feet.”

Methic stood and clasped his hands in front of his stomach.

“You wished to speak to me,” Marr said.

Methic nodded. “It is about Captain Quinn, here.”

Malavai Quinn had, just months ago, betrayed Methic’s trust by programming a pair of battle droids to kill him, declaring his loyalty to Darth Baras. Methic was not a man given to anger, but after that, Quinn had been forced to wear temporary cybernetic implants on both eyes, and a respirator over his nose and mouth. His jet-black hair had also been seared to whiteness.

Now, however, Captain Quinn had fully recovered and he had removed the cybernetics and respirator. In addition, he had dyed his hair black again.

Quinn seemed happier than he had in months, and that probably had a great deal to do with the fact that he was now in a relationship with Methic’s so-called apprentice, the Jedi Jaesa Willsaam.

“What about Captain Quinn?” Marr probed.

“I have been satisfied completely with his service, and I request that he hereby be promoted to colonel.”

Quinn seemed taken aback for a moment, and then he smiled in joy. He had not expected this, if his countenance was indication.

“Very well,” Marr said. “I will send it through the proper channels. With my name on it, the petition will likely be accepted.”

Methic turned to Quinn. “Captain, please wait outside for a moment.”

Quinn saluted crisply. “Yes, my Lord.”

When the door was closed, Methic took another step toward Marr’s desk.

“Another thing,” he said. “Lieutenant Pierce is, in my opinion, more than worthy of promotion. I want him elevated to captain. You can send that petition along with Quinn’s.”

Marr nodded. “Anything else, Lord Methic?”

“One. Overseer Tremel, the man who brought me to the Sith Academy on Korriban, has not been seen since my battle with Darth Baras. I want him found.”

“I’ll send the request to Darth Jadus, head of Sith Intelligence,” Marr said.

“Thank you. A pleasure, Darth Marr.”

“Always, Lord Methic.”

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Bird_of_Thunder
01.02.2013 , 12:12 AM | #6
good read so far. i really liked your work in your Pierce story, and seeing Methic back is awesome! keep it up!
Lord Ravvok
Annihilation Marauder
<Ebon Hawk, U.S>

YoshiRaphElan's Avatar


YoshiRaphElan
01.02.2013 , 01:11 PM | #7
Thanks! I love writing Methic.

Chapter 6

Defender-class light corvette
Coruscant space
42 days ABDK


“Where is Lord Scourge?” Jasin asked.

Imindra had left the day before after telling them what Kotone had planned and politely accepting their invitation to stay the night. Doc had, of course, made passes at her, but she had seemed oblivious in a naïve and surprisingly childish manner.

“He told me he was investigating something,” said Kira.

“And you let him go without questioning it?”

She laughed. “Don’t worry, I’m not stupid. I put a tracking device on his cape.”

“He probably found it.”

“Which is why I put one on his lightsaber, too.”

“Which he’ll also find–”

“And one in the lining of his glove.”

Jasin grinned. “Good job, Kira.”

“So where is he?”

“Yeah…this is the part you won’t like.”

Jasin frowned. He was pretty sure, from the way she said it, he really wasn’t.

Imperial outpost, Ziost
42 days ABDK


Lord Scourge entered the outpost, thankful, not for the first time, to be a member of the Sith species. No one questioned him.

As he walked up to the main garrison, a pair of Imperial guards saluted, while a man in a corporal’s uniform walked up to him.

“My Lord,” he said. “I was sent by the overseer of the outpost to meet you. He apologizes, my Lord, but he was not expecting you.”

Scourge raised an eyebrow. “He should not have. Does a Sith Lord need explain his traveling?”

“N-no, my Lord! I will tell him of your arrival! May I p-please ask your name, my Lord?”

Scourge paused a beat. “Darth Vyle,” he said.

The corporal nodded. “Of course, my Lord. I will tell the overseer–”

“You won’t,” Scourge commanded. “If he wants me, he may come to the archives, where I will be.”

The corporal saluted and dashed away. Scourge smiled a little. Even though he could not feel, it was good to be back. He just couldn’t act this way around the Jedi.

As he entered the archives, he reached out with the Force to make sure there were no others in the room. When he was satisfied, he quickly accessed a terminal and brought up Imperial records.

As he scanned them, he knew coming here had been a mistake. Of course, the Emperor was alive. How foolish could he have been? He had met the real Emperor in person–and he was a half-Sith with black eyes, not a human! Of course, when that body had died the Emperor must’ve returned to his true body!

Where should he look, he wondered? Why had he come here? It was the Force guiding him, surely, but for what purpose? There would be no records here that would allow him to find the Emperor, unless…

Suddenly, the door to the archives slid open and a human male entered. He had a cybernetic left eye and short, dark hair. He stopped and glared at Scourge.

“Darth Vyle, is it?”

Scourge turned. “Yes. And you are?”

“I am Overseer Tarus,” he replied. “And you are a traitor, Lord Scourge.”

Quickly, Scourge ignited his lightsaber–the one he’d removed the tracking device from. Tarus drew his own blade and held it at guard. Scourge could tell from his stance and the way he held his blade that he was an exceptional fighter. But Scourge perfected his form for three hundred years.

Scourge charged and lashed out at Tarus. The overseer raised his blade and blocked Scourge’s blow and struck back quickly, ducking under his blade and cutting at Scourge’s waist. Scourge rolled back and sent a Force blast at Tarus, which he deflected into a wall. Scourge leapt in and unleashed a powerful blow that left Tarus’ arm dangling, dislocated.

“How did you know?” he demanded.

“There was sent out an image with your name on it, declaring your betrayal of our Lord Emperor. You must be killed.”

Scourge fumed. Of course! Those blasted Servants had gotten the last laugh, after all. Scourge raised his saber for the killing blow, and was stopped when a thin female in an inquisitor’s robe leapt in and blasted him with Force lightning.

Scourge felt the surprising power of the energy and was unable to block it. He was thrown through the walls of the archives out to the snowy ground below.

Defender-class light corvette
Republic space
42 days ABDK


Jasin piloted the ship down toward the rendezvous point with Gareb. He had sent the man a message about Scourge’s abrupt departure for Ziost, and told him he’d gotten a bad feeling in the Force.

Soon, Gareb’s own Defender was in view. Jasin hailed him, and Lieutenant Iresso answered.

“I need to speak to Gareb,” Jasin said.

“I’ll get him,” Iresso replied. “He’s meditating.”

A moment later, Gareb appeared on the screen. He nodded to Jasin.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“Scourge left for Ziost rather abruptly,” Jasin said. “We don’t know why, but Kira’s got a tracer planted on him, so hopefully we can find him.”

“What if he’s undercover?” volunteered Iresso. “You could blow it.”

“Good point,” Kira muttered.

“We can’t risk it,” Jasin said. “He could be in trouble.”

Gareb nodded. “Very well. To Ziost, then.”

Fury-class interceptor
Imperial space
42 days ABDK


Methic ran to the cockpit and practically leapt into the pilot ship. Quinn jumped up, startled, and planted his butt in the copilot’s chair.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“The first Emperor’s Wrath is on Ziost,” Methic said.

“There was a first one?”

Methic nodded. “Servant One only recently told me, and he said the first Wrath betrayed the Empire and is now working with the Jedi. He’s on Ziost.”

“The Emperor wants him dead, yes?”

Methic paused. Yes, he did. “We’re not killing him,” he said. “I need to interrogate him.”

Quinn noted the pause, and seemed to understand. “Of course, my Lord.”

Methic plotted a course for Ziost and the ship jumped to hyperspace. The Fury was extremely fast, so they’d be there in less than an hour.

Methic stood and left the cockpit, fingering his twin lightsabers–one red, one blue. He wondered why the Servants hadn’t told him about the first Wrath from the start.

Vette was loading her blasters, while Pierce and Broonmark stuffed their belts and bandoliers with grenades and bombs. Jaesa was meditating, probably finding her focus for the mission.

Methic felt a pang of regret. While Pierce and Quinn had been promoted, and Methic could no doubt find a way to advance Broonmark, Vette was not in the Imperial military, and so could not be promoted. Jaesa still held to the Jedi, so she couldn’t be promoted to a full Sith.

No matter, he thought. He had no doubt Jaesa would have made a serene comment about promotion not being important, and Vette would laugh it off and say she was already a Sith Lord’s wife, making her the highest rank in the Empire.

“Prepare,” Methic said. “Something tells me this fight will not be an easy one.”

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kalistea
01.03.2013 , 04:55 AM | #8
Yay Lord Methic and his crew are back I missed them from your other story and I really like the way you write the whole sith warrior crew, it's nice to read more about them.
Your stories are really enjoyable, keep up the good work

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YoshiRaphElan
01.03.2013 , 12:21 PM | #9
Thanks! More than any other crew, the Warrior crew just meshes well.

Chapter 8

Imperial outpost, Ziost
42 days ABDK


Methic stepped out of the Fury and stood with his arms crossed. Behind him, Pierce and Broonmark readied their weapons–what they called “ex-Wrath hunting gear”–and Quinn scanned the area with his datapad’s built-in radar.

[Bllorp.] Broonmark said.

Methic was pretty sure he was the only one who could understand the Talz, and he wasn’t about to translate that. He shuddered imperceptibly.

“My Lord Methic,” a man said.

He was wearing an overseer’s robes and he had a cybernetic eye. Beside him was a female Rattataki in an assistant overseer’s tunic.

“I am Overseer Tarus,” the man said. “And this is my assistant, Souldrain.”

“Souldrain?” Methic questioned.

“Her name is based off her…ah, special powers,” Tarus explained. “And she never talks. Ever.”

Methic nodded. “I see. So, moving on. Where is the Wrath?”

“We have a full battalion searching for him as we speak,” Tarus said. “The last time they checked in they were in the wilds south of the nearest town.”

“Then that’s where we’re headed,” Methic replied. “We’ll need a full-sized assault speeder.”

“Immediately, my Lord.” Tarus turned to a major. “Prepare a combat speeder for Methic’s team.”

The major saluted and marched off.

The hunt began.

Defender-class light corvette
Ziost orbit
42 days ABDK


As Nadia flew the Defender down toward Ziost, Gareb knelt in the meditation room and used the Force to cloak his and Jasin’s ships from detection. As they entered sensor range, he reached out and clouded the minds of the Imperials manning sensors.

“We’re clear,” he said, breathing haggardly. “Go, quickly.”

With intense concentration, he kept the ships effectively invisible as they neared the planet. He felt a conflict below–no doubt the Sith hunting down Lord Scourge. He used the Force to send encouraging feelings to Scourge, though Jasin had told him that Scourge could not feel emotion.

“We’re setting down!” Nadia called.

Gareb leapt to his feet and ran down the ramp, with Qyzen and Iresso. Outside, he saw a squad of Imperials firing on Scourge, who dashed through the trees, avoiding fire. Gareb used the Force to bring down two trees on top of the squad.

Qyzen leapt down off the ramp to fight while Iresso took a firing position. His bolts flew over Gareb’s shoulder and ripped into the Imperials.

Nearby, Jasin’s ship set down and Jasin leapt out with Doc. Gareb glanced up as he heard a thrumming sound, and a combat speeder rounded the corner.

And driving it was Methic–Gareb’s cousin.

The Wilds, Ziost
42 days ABDK


Scourge panted as he stumbled through the trees. He whirled as he heard a crashing noise and saw trees smash into the squad of Imperial riot troopers chasing him. He turned and saw a pair of Defender-class ships landing, and he grinned.

Igniting his lightsaber, Scourge leapt into combat. He saw a speeder approaching, and the driver leapt out, giving the controls to an Imperial officer.

The driver ignited a pair of lightsabers, red and blue. Scourge raised his own blade and blocked the blows. The man snarled and slashed low with his red blade and stabbed with his blue one.

Scourge redirected both blows, and marveled at the power he sensed from this Sith. Few were so powerful as him.

“Who are you?” Scourge asked.

“Your successor!” the Sith replied.

Another Emperor’s Wrath? Scourge snarled and slammed his lightsaber down on the man’s head, but both blades came up to block it. The man blasted Scourge with a Force push. Scourge blocked it with the Force but went stumbling back, just the same.

As the new Wrath came on, Scourge glanced up and saw Overseer Tarus and his Rattataki assistant coming over the hill. Jasin and Gareb leapt in to intercept them.

The new Wrath unleashed a flurry of blows upon Scourge, and he returned the blows with a low sweep. Scourge sent a jolt of Force lightning at the Wrath and had it redirected into the snow.

Scourge grinned fiercely. This would be good.

* * *

Lieutenant Iresso saw the combat speeder land and trained his rifle on the Talz coming out of the back. He grinned and squeezed the trigger. The bolt shot out and slammed into the Talz’s shoulder.

The alien roared and charged at Iresso. Eyes wide, Iresso fired another round, but it, too, deflected off the Talz’s armor. The Talz was within two meters of Iresso when Qyzen slammed into the alien from the side. The Talz whirled and slashed at Qyzen with his vibrosword, and Qyzen blocked it with his own weapon.

Iresso sighed in relief. An Imperial trooper and a Twi’lek in a thin combat uniform leapt out of the speeder, and Iresso lined up for another shot. A girl in, surprisingly, Jedi robes looked up at him and pointed.

The Imperial trooper whirled and fired at Iresso. He jumped back in surprise but the bolt caught him on the knee. He cried out in pain.

Doc ran over and holstered his blaster, removing a medpac from his belt. He crouched next to Iresso.

“Got my…knee, Doc,” Iresso said.

“Hold still,” Doc said. “Might be fractured.”

Iresso nodded. “R-right.”

Doc popped open Iresso’s leg plate and injected a stimulant through his bodysuit. Iresso gasped and bit his lip, and then spared a glance up.

Qyzen and the Talz were still smashing each other apart with their swords, and now the girl in the Jedi robes had ignited an orange double-bladed lightsaber and was actually charging at Lord Scourge.

“Ouch!” Iresso shrieked.

Doc had twisted his leg back into place while he hadn’t been paying attention.

“Ow,” he repeated, more softly.

* * *

Jasin slammed into the Sith with the cybernetic eye before he could reach Scourge. Beside him, Gareb smashed the Rattataki to the ground with a blast of Force energy.

The Sith in front of Jasin raised his lightsaber. Jasin lunged at him and slashed high and to the right, and the Sith parried it and lashed out with a Force push. Jasin blocked it and swung his back around to the Sith, stabbing his lightsaber backwards.

The Sith parried it and kicked Jasin in the small of his back. Jasin cried out and tumbled away, gripping his kidney. He lost balance and rolled onto the ground. The Sith’s single eye flashed yellow, and he raised his lightsaber for the killing blow.

“Tarus!” the Rattataki called. “Help!”

“Souldrain!”

Jasin looked up as Tarus, distracted, backed away. Taking his chance, Jasin leapt in and stabbed into Tarus’ chest, burying his lightsaber under Tarus’ ribs. The cyborg let out a bloodcurdling scream and fell to his knees.

Before he had finished dying, Jasin leapt in to help Gareb with the Rattataki–Souldrain, whatever that moniker meant. The Rattataki looked up and blasted Gareb with a purplish Force beam. Gareb cried out and dropped to his knees. Jasin hurled his lightsaber at her. She grasped it with the Force and sent it harmlessly into the snow.

Before Jasin could attempt to recover it, she sent a wave of lightning hurtling through the air to crash into him. He grunted in pain as the lighting actually picked him up off his feet and hurtling into a tree over twenty meters away.

And as he felt himself losing consciousness and also…something more, he realized how she’d earned her name.

* * *

Methic was actually rather enjoying the duel going on between him and the former Wrath, Scourge. He grinned like a schoolboy, swinging his lightsabers at blinding speeds, only to have them blocked by his counterpart.

In another duel, it might have become tiresome, but Methic was rather enjoying this. He leapt lithely over Scourge’s blade and landed behind the bigger man, he felt agonizing pain in the Force. He looked up and saw his brother, Jasin, burying his lightsaber blade up to its hilt in Overseer Tarus’ chest.

He blocked out Tarus’ pain in the Force and went back to fighting Scourge. The large pureblood had the strength of a krayt dragon, but he was slow and lumbering like a bantha.

Methic, however, had the speed of a nexu, and he slashed half a dozen times in the fraction of the time it took for Scourge to land one of his heavy blows.

But the two warriors were well balanced, and for every time Methic landed ten minor blows on his foe, Scourge landed three major strikes. They were soon panting for breath, standing face-to-face with their blades drawn but neither of them moving.

“Well…fought, Wrath,” Scourge said.

“And you…betrayer,” Methic replied.

Both were poised to lunge again when Broonmark slammed into Scourge–unintentionally, apparently, because in the next moment a massive Trandoshan leapt through the air, a vibrosword raised. Scourge snarled and shoved Broonmark away.

While the Trandoshan resumed his fight–more like beating contest–with Broonmark, Methic and Scourge faced each other once more.

* * *

Gareb slashed diagonally at the Rattataki called Souldrain, knowing his strength was in the Force rather than lightsaber art, but his foe’s was, as well.

He slashed with more finesse than Methic’s wild art, and with more speed than Jasin’s efficient yet powerful strikes. His opponent, on the other hand, hardly ever used her lightsaber. Instead, she blocked his blade while attacking entirely with Force abilities. Though Gareb himself usually relied on the Force, he saw her strict use of it as a weakness rather than strength. It meant she could not adapt for…

Abruptly, he knew how to defeat her. Reaching out, he dampened the Force in the area. She gasped in surprise as her once-powerful bolts of lightning were reduced to mere sparks.

Enraged, she lunged with her lightsaber–a grave mistake, for as she did Gareb moved aside and cut at her arm, taking it off at the elbow. She shrieked as it fell to the ground, and it was joined a fraction of a second later by her head.

All was quiet for several moments, save for the clashing of Kira’s lightsaber with her opponents, and the snarls and roars of Qyzen and the Talz.

Jasin rose to his feet, rubbing his head. Whatever the Rattataki had done to him, her death seemed to have ended it. He winced as if he had a migraine but walked it off.

“She almost killed me,” he said. “Thanks.”

“No worries,” Gareb replied. “What are cousins for?”

* * *

Scourge panted and faced the new Wrath. Neither of them could win, but both were bruised, cut, and bleeding profusely. Jasin limped over with the help of Gareb, and the new Wrath looked up in surprise.

“Jasin,” he said. “Gareb.”

“You know them?” Scourge asked in surprise.

“Jasin is my brother,” Methic replied. “And Gareb my cousin.”

Scourge turned harshly to Jasin, feeling betrayal and anger for the first time in centuries. And to his surprise, below that, was pride.

“You never told me,” he accused.

“To be fair,” Jasin replied. “I never told anyone except Kira. Even Gareb didn’t know until the Battle of Ilum.”

Methic nodded. “And as of now, only Vette and Colonel Quinn know of my relation to the both of you. Though I assume Jaesa senses something with her unique ability.”

Scourge looked up. The battle between the Talz and Gareb’s Trandoshan, Qyzen, had ended, with both of them lying face up on the ground, apparently unconscious.

“We should drag them to safety,” Gareb observed.

Methic nodded. “I’ll have Colonel Quinn call off the others, if you agree to call your men off as well.”

Jasin inclined his head. “Will do…brother.”

Methic backed away slowly. “I’m afraid this isn’t over. I’m sorry, but I am duty-bound to hunt down this traitor. One day, we’ll meet again.”

Scourge smiled. “Looking forward to it.”

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YoshiRaphElan
01.11.2013 , 10:38 PM | #10
Chapter 9

Kaas City, Dromund Kaas
47 days ABDK


Dha stood on top of a rather tall building and grinned as Mako tried not to look down. Though she knew, of course, that he was wearing a jetpack, it was probably still a frightening image to see one’s spouse standing just centimeters from the brink.

“Lord Grathan,” she said. “Remember him?”

Dha nodded. “Crazy scientist. Had an apprentice that was daughter to an Imperial admiral. He broke away from the Empire to prove his worth.”

Mako grinned, impressed. “Yeah. You’ve got a good recall for events that happened over two years ago.”

“I never forget a bounty,” Dha replied.

“No, I guess not. Mandalorian, and all that.”

Dha’s people–the Mandalorians, for he did not consider the Zabrak his people–had a saying: munit tome’tayl, skotah iisa–long memory, short fuse. It usually meant they didn’t forget a grudge, but he guessed it worked in this context, as well.

“Yeah,” he muttered. “So, Grathan’s our bounty. Do we break into his manse again? I mean, it will be as easy as last time but I’d prefer not to, you know. I mean, he is in good with the Dark Council now.”

Apparently Grathan’s betrayal had been a bid for power: and the Sith respected that, to all appearances. So, now he was next in line for the recently vacated seat on the Dark Council, the seat left empty first by Darth Hadra and then her successor, Darth Karrid.

“No worries,” Mako chirped. “He moved to Kaas City to be closer to the Dark Council. He lives right over…there.”

She pointed at a building across the skyline. It was nondescript, but that wasn’t saying a lot in Kaas City, where every building came in one recipe: tall, gray, and pointed.

“So, we just have to get past security and find a way to apprehend a very powerful Sith Lord without killing him–that’s what our bounty stipulates, after all–and take him all the way to a Port Nowhere.”

Mako nodded. “That’s the long and short of it.”

That’s what Dha liked about her. She was always so cheery.

Slave colony, Begeren
47 days ABDK

Merok stood in the back of the crowd, arms crossed over his chest and his tunic’s hood pulled down over his face, and listened to Lokin and Kaliyo protest.

They were good, he thought. He’d told them what to say down to the last pause, and they were doing a terrific job. He’d have been happy to do it himself but Chiss were allies of the Empire, not slaves, so seeing one in the camp, let alone rebelling, would look quite suspicious.

“They make us do their work!” Lokin bellowed. “But why? What do we stand to gain from building their statues, their warships, and their weapons? Why do we stand for it?”

“We number in the millions!” Kaliyo agreed. “We could rise up in droves and they could never fight back because we’d outnumber them ten to one! Even the great Sith Lords couldn’t fight us all!”

Merok grinned. He glanced over his shoulder, and saw all the guards beginning to take notice. They stood a little straighter and picked up the rifles that were leaning against the fence. They began to move toward the crowd.

Merok tapped his comlink. “Dankin? Now.”

Voidhound fleet
Begeren space
47 days ABDK


Dankin looked down at his communications’ officer and smiled as the transmission came in. He jumped off his captain’s seat and walked over to the man’s shoulder. There was just a quick statement, but it was enough.

“All right, boys,” he said. “Blow the haul in ten seconds.”

Dark Scar turned to his console and rapidly typed in his commands. Dankin glanced down at his chrono and counted.

“Five…four…” he grinned widely. “Three.”

Two.

One.

Kaas City, Dromund Kaas
47 days ABDK


Dha dropped onto the roof and shut down his jetpack. He glanced across to the roof he and Mako had stood on just hours before. She flashed him a signal with a small glowrod, he flashed one back with his helmet.

He wished she were with him, but as much as he loved her, her talents lay in slicing and, to a lesser extent, healing–not fighting. Instead, Torian backed him up. His fellow Mandalorian landed on the roof behind him and pulled his electrostaff from its custom-made zakkeg-hide sheath.

“Ready?” Dha asked.

“Ready,” Torian confirmed.

Dha activated his comlink. “Okay, Gault. You’ve got a line on Grathan’s bedroom?”

“Yeah, I got him. He’s sleeping now.”

“Okay. We’ve got to take him alive. It looks like he’s starting to beat us, and you throw in a couple of gas grenades. Torian and I can seal our helmets, but my guess is Grathan won’t sleep with his on.”

“I got it, Dha,” Gault insisted.

“Good.”

Dha walked up to the door and stood to one side. Torian took the other and raised his staff readily. Dha placed a breach charge on the door and held up three fingers.

Two. One.

Dha blew the door and threw in a stun grenade.

Slave colony, Begeren
47 days ABDK


Just before the guards got to the crowd, there was a rumble, and a cloud of smoke was suddenly visible at the Imperial garrison just over a kilometer away. The guards, alarmed, pressed their fingers to the comlinks in their helmets. Though the conversation could not be heard, Merok figured they were yelling.

“Now’s our chance!” Kaliyo said. “Rise up!”

The slaves roared in agreement and grabbed shovels and picks, or whatever was around. Merok whirled and withdrew a blaster from his sleeve. The guards, distracted, did not react until he had put a bolt in the first one.

The second, surprised, whipped up his rifle, but was caught off guard by a shot from Kaliyo, who also had a hidden blaster.

Merok grinned and pulled off his hood. There was a moment of pause, until the slaves registered that he had been the one to shoot the first guard. Then they cheered. The two they elected the best marksmen ran and picked up the dead guards’ rifles.

“To the garrison!” Merok said.

He activated his comlink again, and then stepped back from the crowd.

“Supreme Commander Malcom, this is Agent Merok,” he said. “It’s go time.”

BT-7 Thunderclap
Begeren space
47 days ABDK

Prudii sat down in the pilot’s seat and prepared for the jump to Begeren. It would be a short hyperspace jump–perhaps ten minutes at the most. They would hit Begeren’s atmosphere and go in for a bombing run at the Imperial command center before landing and beginning a ground strike.

Meanwhile, the Republic fleet would jump in, and ground troops five hundred strong would strike at the Imperial fortresses around the planet.

“We’re jumping,” Prudii said. “Now. Yuun, take the pilots’ seat. The rest of us will begin the ground assault.”

“Yes, sir,” Yuun replied.

Prudii stood and exited the cockpit. As he passed his bedroom he grabbed his rifle, checked its charge, and slung it over his shoulder. In the crash seats by the exit ramp, Jorgan, Dorne, and Vik readied their own weapons–rifle, pistol, and vibrosword. Forex stood nearby, his legs locked to keep himself stable.

“Havoc Squad, we ready?”

“Yes, sir!” they responded.

“For the Republic!” Prudii said.

Kaas City, Dromund Kaas
47 days ABDK


Dha raised his pistol and blasted a hole in the first guard. It felt good to shoot an Imperial uniform. He dodged a shot from a second guard, while Torian leapt in, swinging his staff.

The guard stunned by the flash grenade started to stumble, so Dha put his gauntlet vibroblade through his chin. The guard struggled, dying, and Dha took hold of his shoulder and flipped him to the ground. The guard stopped struggling.

He looked up and saw Torian finish off the last guard. Nodding, Dha led Torian down the hall toward Grathan’s bedroom. Two Imperial guards–the red-robed ones, not the typical troopers–looked up in surprise and whipped out their force pikes.

Torian lowered his head and charged in toward one guard. The guard slashed at Torian, who blocked and stabbed back. As they dueled, the second guard leapt at Dha. Not flinching, Dha put a bolt through the guard’s head.

Torian blocked the blow and slammed the guard’s pike to the ground, and then backhanded him across the face. The guard spun, and Torian rammed his gauntlet blade into the guard’s kidney. The guard shrieked, and Torian kicked the man in the back, sending him crashing out the window.

Dha stood to one side of Grathan’s door, his blaster held at head level. Torian nodded and, without pause, kicked down the door.

Grathan lay on his massive bed, his helmet on the table beside him. From the bulge in his pillow, it was obvious that his lightsaber was under it. Grinning, Dha crept up and grabbed the helmet. He threw it to Torian.

Then, quietly, he placed the barrel of his blaster at Grathan’s head and placed a hand over his mouth.

Imperial outpost Alpha, Begeren
47 days ABDK


Merok knelt and fired, hitting one guard in the back. The rest of his squad looked up and shouldered their rifles. Their aim was thrown off as a BT-7 shot over their heads. They glanced up.

Taking advantage of the pause, Merok and those others with weapons opened fire. The guards fell. A few other prisoners who didn’t have weapons yet ran over and picked up the rifles, and then threw the guards’ holstered pistols to others.

“They’ve got grenades,” Merok said. “Flash, frag, and concussion. Take those.”

The slaves nodded and removed the guards’ belts, strapping them around their ragged clothing.

“One of them should have a controller for the slave collars, too,” he added. “Try for that.”

One slave, a male Duros, rummaged through the belt pouches and found the controller. He pressed the button and there was a collective beep as the collars were shut off. Nearly a hundred slaves happily pulled their collars off.

“Let’s go,” Merok said. “To the command center! It’s time to be freed!”

D5-Mantis starship
Dromund Kaas space
47 days ABDK


“We did it!” Mako cheered.

Lord Grathan was sitting in the cargo bay, a hunk of carbonite. Dha had been disappointed when he’d blubbered out his surrender and thrown his hands up. In fact, he’d been dumbfounded.

Until he realized that this guy was maybe twenty years old, tops.

So he’d interrogated him there in the bedroom, and he’d confessed that Lord Grathan had been dead for years, killed by a Sith Apprentice of Darth Baras, and that he–Grathan’s son–had taken his place under his mother’s supervision. No one knew except him, his mother, and Grathan’s killer.

“I just hope our employer accepts the bounty,” grumbled Gault.

“Of course he will!” Mako insisted. “If Grathan has been dead for years, then his son is the one who was actually in line for the Dark Council seat. So whether or not this Grathan is the same Grathan we knew two years ago or not, he’s the one that our boss wants captured. Which we did.”

“Good point, Mako,” Dha said.

Gault nodded in agreement. Dha walked out of the main hold and into the cockpit and set course for Port Nowhere. As the Mantis received permission to leave Dromund Kaas space, Dha flew it himself, because he loved to fly, and he hated the autopilot.

“Hey Dha,” Mako said.

Dha turned. “Yes?”

“We need to talk. Alone.”

He nodded, entered the hyperspace coordinates, and activated the hyperdrive. Once the ship had gone into the swirling blue, he stood and followed Mako to his bedroom.

“Cyar’ika,” she said.

Dha was surprised. It was the Mandalorian word for darling–he didn’t even know she knew that word. She had probably asked Torian.

“Yes, Mako?” he asked.

Briefly, he remembered the small party they’d had after their wedding in the cockpit–the exchange of vows only took a few seconds in Mandalorian culture –and Mako’s promise to be a true Mandalorian wife. He loved her all the more for that.

“I’m yaihadla,” she said.

It was the Mandalorian word for pregnant. Dha, Mandalorian warrior and maybe the toughest bounty hunter in the galaxy, fainted.

Port Nowhere
50 days ABDK


Dankin leaned back in his seat, his legs propped up on the table. His fleet had split up again, waiting for the next Republic crisis, and now only he and his five shipmates remained here on Port Nowhere.

When last he’d commed, the battle was still raging on Begeren–outposts Alpha through Gamma had been captured, but the others were still offering a good deal of resistance. But his part was done, so he would not worry about it.

Other than the fact that his brother, a Republic soldier nicknamed Backblast, was fighting there.

Dankin tried to ignore that fact. For most of his life–ever since his adopted father, a Mandalorian named Chernan, had dropped him off on Coruscant and left him so he could go fight for the Empire–Dankin had shirked his relationships.

Of course, Dankin knew his father had only meant the best. His mother had been a Republic soldier, and they could not fight against each other, so when she’d reached the end of her service, she’d quit and joined the Mandalorians. And even though Mandalorians traditionally trained their sons on the battlefield at a young age, Dankin and his brother had been nearly killed in an attack on one of Mandalore’s moons. Then their mother had insisted Backblast be dropped off at the Republic Special Forces barracks–he had been twelve at the time–and though he’d been young the drill sergeant had owed their mother a favor.

Dankin, on the other hand, had been dropped off at a friend of his father’s. He was a scoundrel of a man with no scruples, and though Dankin had learned all his smuggling skills from the man, he’d despised the total disregard for anyone who’d gotten in his way.

Dankin was a scoundrel, but he was a kind one.

He was snapped out of his reverie when a group walked into the cantina, led by a man in Mandalorian armor, his helmet held under his arm. It reminded Dankin a lot of his father. Behind him were a human female, another man in Mandalorian armor, a Jawa, a Devaronian, and a Houk.

“That doesn’t spell suspicious,” Corso said over the comlink.

“I know that man,” Akaavi said. She was over by the bar. “The Grand Champion of the Great Hunt. He is a member of Mandalore’s own clan.”

“Wonderful,” Dankin said. “I want to know what he’s doing here. Guss, can those Force powers of yours amplify hearing?”

“I don’t work so well all the time,” Guss replied. He sat two tables from Dankin. “I once tried to use it and thought I heard a guy say ‘selling neks’ but he said ‘break your neck.’ Yeah…I walked in on a murder scene.”

“Okay, make sure you hear the right thing. Really. I don’t want to walk in on a murder scene.”

Dankin glanced at the chrono and resisted the urge to comm Republic command to see how the battle was going.

Defender-class light corvette
Tython orbital station
50 days ABDK


Imindra sat next to Jasin at the hologame table and patted his shoulder.

“You can cancel the mission I sent you on,” she said. “All the Master wanted was to reveal that Lord Scourge had defected–and he did that without even knowing of our mission.”

Jasin frowned. “Yeah, but he’s in a medbay with cuts, bruises, and an almost shattered kidney. He’ll need excessive surgery–Doc’s down on the planet getting supplies.”

“Luckily, he will not be needed for our next job,” Imindra replied. “In fact, neither will you. This job is rather your cousin’s specialty. I just stopped by to say ‘good job.’ And good luck in your war against the Emperor.”

“Thank you.”

She stood to leave, pulled her hood up, and was gone. Jasin sat back and closed his eyes. Having to watch Methic battle Scourge had disturbed him. He had not seen his brother in a long time, and it seemed like every time they did meet it was on a battlefield.

That would change. He was determined.