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Author
Topic:  Pawn to Rook Four
Raziel
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Raziel
 
[VE-ARMY] Colonel
[VE-DJO] Dark Jedi Champion
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Post Number:  2319
Total Posts:  2873
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  Pawn to Rook Four
November 25, 2012 4:26:09 PM    View the profile of Raziel 
OOC:
A recent runon involving the Reborn Jedi Order (extracts) This was a relatively short story involving a battle between Reborn Jedi forces (somewhat similar to the artificially created Sith of the games, who work for Thrawn's forces) and the VE's Imperial Jedi Order. The battle was large enough that there will be rumours about this throughout the VE.

Our own Jedi were overwhelmed by the Reborn numbers in the end, but the VE military moved in and took back the city.



    “Hold the damn line!” the ageing sergeant screeched at his soldiers. These defences hadn't been breached by pirates, New Republic scouting parties or even that one Trandoshan slave raid and they weren't about to fall to whatever Imperial warlord had decided to pick a fight with the Vast Empire today.
    Sergeant Calson opened fire with a burst from his E-11, before tossing a grenade out into the mass of advancing Stormtroopers. His own grey clad regular infantry had been mildly shocked by the sudden appearance of Imperial Stormtroopers who seemed to be after a fight, but they were holding the line.
    Even now more troops were being raised from the barracks directly behind them and mortars and fixed weapons places to both thin the enemy numbers and harass their landing troop carriers. The outpost was not a particularly large one, the town that had grown behind them contained maybe ten thousand souls now of which at least two thousand were soldiers at the barracks. The military outpost had come first, the civilian town had come afterwards to take advantage of the port.
    Another transport became visible as its engines glowed, slowing the descent. A smattering of ineffectual fire lanced out to greet it. Hope they get those cannons warmed up. he thought. The NCO knew enough of procedures that the typical time-scale for a relief effort was one hour from the base on the other side of the system (assuming it wasn't under attack as well) and six hours for the nearest mobile naval force.
    “No, that can't be,” he heard another of his older allies further up the line muttering. Looking out across the flare-lit fields he saw the cause of his concern. Calson was old enough to have seen such weapons in use across the galaxy, though at sixteen he was just starting his training.
    He tried to count their numbers as they advanced up the field, red blades spreading out and moving amongst the Stormtroopers who had been slowly advancing. He stopped at sixty, but there were many more.
    There was a whoop up the line as one of the Jedi fell under a hail of barrage. That death blew an even larger hole in the oncoming forces as a white blast of energy expanded around the dying body and engulfed the nearest soldiers. The joy of the VE troops was short lived as a blast of lightening arced out from the advancing force and ripped across their lines. A whole squad of troopers were launched from their cover and writhed on the ground in spasm. Sergeant Calson watched in shock as the medic moved to their position, but most of the group resumed their posts after a moment. Only one of the group stayed down.
    He took a deep breath, narrowed his eyes and steeled his resolve. Bracing against the fortified cover, he squeezed the trigger and kept firing.



    The Headmaster strode through the Citadel's main passageways His boots clacked on the hard stone floor and trainees shifted quickly out of his path upon hearing or sensing his approach.
    It was part of the role of course, if he wished it he could roam across these halls without disturbing a mote of dust - even in this heavy footwear. Much like the Kanalgor at his side which could fully retract its claws if it needed to stalk in silence. Like her there was a predatory aspect to himself that could never be entirely tamed.
    The ebb and flow of the force which ran through filaments and strands that spanned both time and space had become more open to him with every days exertion and research to solidify his position as Headmaster. His sensitive mind had only to tug at the various strands to feel out the path he needed to follow.
    Reaching his destination he chose to ignored the sounds of activity and shoved open the heavy iron door of one particular sparring chamber.
    “It has begun.” Raziel stated. The words hung in the air for a few moments. The hum of the training saber seemed to grow louder as the silence lengthened. Eventually the apprentice switched off his blade and looked nervously between his own master and headmaster. Raziel raised one eyebrow a fraction of an inch and looked at him.
    Sensing the mood Marka bowed to Kami. Not even bothering to adorn his white robs, he simply snatched them and shuffled through the small space Raziel left in the doorway. He sidestepped further into the wall of the corridor as he realised the Headmaster's Kanalgor was snarling in passage as well.
    "Well that was rude," Kami remarked, without turning to face Raziel. She almost sang the words, but there was no delight in her voice. He knew her well enough to know the sweetly malicious tones were a way of expressing displeasure.
    "As I said, it has started," he reiterated. Kami turned to face him now and the Kanalgor slunk past Raziel and padded across the training room floor. She turned and made a soothing noise at the great lizard and it lowered it's head.
    It would have bothered him that his pet failed to intimidate the Krath Scholar at all if he didn't feel he had a handle on her motivations. He feared being undermined or usurped by any number of Jedi on the citadel, but it was only the unknown that truly perturbed him. Despite his inexperience his quiet political manoeuvrings and wit had kept him one step ahead of any potential rivals. The trained Kanalgor, a supposedly Force hating beast that attacked users on sight was a symbol of his capabilities that he kept with him at all times. At least it bothered Kami that she still couldn't figure out how he did it. 
    "It may have started, but who started it?"
    "The outpost on Nascene IV was utterly destroyed earlier in the week. Report suggest nearly a hundred Sith in scarlet robes apparently turning our lines and cutting a path through our forces," Raziel explained.
    “Any survivors?”
    “Oh plenty, and this I am sure is deliberate. They destroyed the outpost before pursuing our forces into the civilian areas. They caused havock, wiped out most of our men and then left. This was a show of force, a statement of intent.”
    “Did we gain any tactical information?” she replied, without a pause.
    “Plenty, we have military holo recordings of some of the combat. Most importantly it confirmed one of my suspicions. Whatever they're doing to boost an individuals control of the Force it isn't a permanent effect.”
    “I thought you'd ruled that out on Nar Shaddaa?”
    “I was only fighting them for twenty minutes, though I always sensed that I could wear them out I couldn't seem to deplete Periaden's reserves any faster than I tired. We have some evidence that they became more vulnerable over the twelve hour period. Certainly there was apparently a significant reduction in “magic” as the day went on and our scattered forces managed to ambush and kill a few of them before they pulled out.” Raziel explained. He sensed Kami's thoughts turn inwards and she considered this. “Their flotilla was also sighted several times after the attack, I'm sure you can guess where they could have been headed.”
    “Cylea?”
    “Back for a top up."
  "Any of us would tire after twelve hours of battle,"
  "Yes, but whilst we can rest or meditate and be back to our best, they have to return to one location in the galaxy. Its a tactical advantage we'll need. There is also this,” he added and he pulled a metal cylinder from his robes and tossed it to her.
    Kami held it in both hands and looked at it for a moment, before turning it over a few times. “The crystal is broken.” she stated.
    “Yes, though that is if my own doing. I conducted a few tests and it turns out anything larger than an anti tank rifle can overload them. What do you think?”
    “It's of a reasonable outer construction,” she said. A subtle shift in her foot placement wasn't lost on Raziel as she imagined using it in combat. “The weight and balance are good, but there is something amiss. The internal construction is poor and it feels . . . impersonal.” She replied, before closing her eyes for a moment. “The focussing crystal is obviously flawed. Poor quality. Synthetic?”
    “We think some of their more adept members are mass producing them for the new recruits,” Raziel replied, taking the weapon back. Kami titled her head an imperceptible amount and thought for a moment.
    “You're in a rush, why?”
    “That small fleet was sighted again, not far from the outer reaches of our space.”
    “You know we're not ready to fight them.” Kami replied immediately. “We're training as fast as we can, but . . . a hundred? When we're all in the same place we're maybe thirty Knights all told and maybe the same I trainees. If we assume they did send out a force of a hundred to make a statement, we can assume they've got more in reserve back on Cylea.”
    “We have to make a stand now, make them back off so we have time to prepare,”
    “Let the military handle them, a few thousand stromtroopers should sort them out,”
    “That's actually plan A,” Raziel replied. “With any luck the Navy will vaporise them first, our defensive fleets are on orders to prioritise troop transports and boarding craft in any minor skirmishers around the outer colonies.”
    “You want us out there don't you?”
    “We're heading out as soon as possible,”
    “We can't afford to lose anyone,” Kami stated. “We're spread thin right now, that many Reborn Jedi is too big an ask,”
    “They are not Jedi. Their forces are a hammer, little more. They will reign down upon any chosen foe and reek havock and destructions, regardless of the costs. These masses of Reborn  have none of the subtlety or training that defines us. Soldiers with brute force, lightsabers and invigorated with a few parlour tricks; the ability to throw a man with your mind or toss a lightening bolt doesn't make a Jedi.”
    “Periaden very nearly took your head back to Paan,” Kami added.
    “Granted, they have a small number properly trained, but I'm not planning a head on battle here. They will keep harassing our territories until they get up the nerve to come here. Lopen is always their goal, everything else they're up to is purely to appease Thrawn or whatever Warlord is bankrolling them,”
    “What if that end game is about to happen now? Draw us away and take Lopen in one move!”
    “What do you think that Star Destroyer is doing in orbit?”
    “I had wondered . . .”
    “Their nav systems show most of the crew that they're guarding a potential mining site. The Officers will be re-educated at a later point in time.” Raziel smirked. “Though we have to accept that, going forwards, we may be better off with a military presence near Lopen. Times are about to get rough.”
    “What is it you want?” Kami asked.
    “I need ten Lions ready to move, Jegora is already assembling a team. We have a hundred Shock Troopers armed with fletchette launchers, flamethrowers and stun rifles coming along for the hunt too.”
    “The plan?”
    “We're heading to the outer colonies. As soon as they attack we're going to involve ourselves. As I said we're not going for a head on conflict, we're going to slip in once the army has taken the blunt of their attack and they've spread out. During the counter attack ourselves and our Shock Troops will try and isolate groups of Reborn and wipe them out.”
    “You're determined to send a message?”
    “As is Lord Kadann, I feel he's quite perturbed about his previous colleagues turning on us. He's coming along,”
    “Really?” Kami asked with genuine surprise.
    “Only to direct, observe and mask our presence. He should sense the attack in enough time for us to make a move and be able to get us in their without us being sensed. If he can disturb the Force enough they shouldn't be able to coordinate enough,”
    “I'll fetch them, I still think this is too bold,” Kami said. “Now if you don't mind,” she added, gesturing for Raziel to move out of the way.



    “You wanted the soldiers all on the ground?” Jegora asked rhetorically. Raziel looked out across the assembled force on the floor of one of the Citadel's largest hangar.
    “Where do they think they are?” Raziel said.
    “They never asked,” Jegora replied. “Though I sense some real confusion out there now,”
    “Good.” Raziel replied. “Can we arm those?” Raziel asked, waving at the ETA prototypes on the other side of the hangar.
    “They can only be loaded with some basic weaponry, no ordnance. The mark I's have gone into production at IVE now. The plan is for a modular design so they can be outfitted with whatever the latest tech is and to any pilots specs. Timescale for the first delivery is a month away.” Jegora replied. Unlike Kami his thoughts had turned to immediate tactical decisions as soon as large scale conflict had come up. Raziel knew that the Krath Scholar was still deep in her own thoughts about overall, long term strategy and what part she actually felt she wanted to play in proceedings. That was fine, but Raziel knew the Imperial Jedi Order needed a hound leading the Warrior Sect. Someone consider the now, someone who would go and fetch or even kill when told to.
    “It'll have to do, load them on the transport in case we need them. I'll deal with the troops.” Raziel said turning to the Shock Troopers. It was the first time in years a serious contingent of people outside of The Order had set foot on Lopen. No that was a mistake, Raziel corrected his thought process. The New Repiblic hit squad had been the first for years, events had been coming together for years, pieces on the board had been moving and Raziel had been lost on the far side of the galaxy in his own self pity.
    “What are you going to do?” Jegora asked.
    “Show them what they're being ordered to go up against,”

[This message has been edited by Raziel (edited November 25, 2012 4:47:14 PM)]
Raziel
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Raziel
 
[VE-ARMY] Colonel
[VE-DJO] Dark Jedi Champion
[VE-ICS] Privateer
 
Post Number:  2320
Total Posts:  2873
Joined:  Feb 2001
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  RE: Pawn to Rook Four
November 25, 2012 4:31:30 PM    View the profile of Raziel 
OOC:
A post by Jegora

Jegora stood deceptively at ease in his brown and silver armor. He wore the ultra-light plate like a second skin, the precisely engineered suit allowing for maximum freedom of movement while providing superb protection against blasters and even lightsabers. They were marvels of engineering, these suits of armor that all the Eagles wore. They were also extremely expensive. While Jegora had never been quoted the exact price of each suit, he estimated that they had to be worth tens of thousands of credits apiece. A small sum, really, in comparison to the vast fortunes that the Order controlled, but still…in aggregate, the cost was astronomical.

Glancing around at the gathered Dark Jedi, Jegora could barely repress a shiver of excitement. More and more, he lived solely for the thrill of battle, for the thrill of meeting an enemy in combat and destroying him utterly. Such a large scale engagement was something Jegora had anticipated for a long time. So far he had only tested his skills against weaker individuals, lowly men and women who could not command the power of the Force, and as such were beneath his notice. These new enemies, however, showed promise. They were certainly strong, if the Council’s reports were accurate, albeit untrained, and Jegora looked forward to showing them what a true warrior was capable of. Caution tempered his bloodlust, however. He had not made it this far without knowing when and where to unleash his power. He would meet these so-called Reborn in combat, and he would crush them utterly, but he would do it on his terms.

A tingle down Jegora’s spine roused him from his reverie. His finely honed, Force-amplified instincts were buzzing, and he could almost feel the weight of someone’s—or something’s—gaze. Turning, Jegora scanned the crowd before spotting perhaps the only other person currently present, besides Raziel himself, who could have inspired such feelings of unease. Like the Headmaster, the dark-robed woman was  a council member, and as Jegora met her gaze he could feel the weight of her attention like a hammer blow. Jegora had once imagined that he was fairly well acquainted with Kami Sharpe, but that illusion had been shattered upon arriving at the Citadel. As Jegora watched, the Krath Scholar inclined her head slightly, a sign of respect. Jegora returned the gesture immediately, although his slight bow might have been a little deeper. The Krath were always touchy, slightly neurotic even, and Sharpe was one of the Order’s most potent individuals. If things went according to plan, she could very well become a significant ally. Jegora saw no reason to offend such a powerful individual, especially one who could very easily become quite useful.

Turning his attention back to the task at hand, Jegora surveyed the progress that his warriors and their students had made readying themselves and their supplies. There were only two dozen members of the Eagle Sect, and only a quarter of those had earned the title of Marauder. The rest were upper-level students, Adepts who were capable warriors but had not yet completed their final trials, and apprentices of the Marauders themselves.  None the less, there were still half a dozen Eagles who had earned the right to wear the signature armor, and they struck an impressive sight. Each Eagle was an expert combatant with a variety of weapons, most notably the lightsaber. What’s more, each individual had certain Force talents and expertise that made them even deadlier in battle. They were effectively the epitome of fighting capability, deadly in any number of situations and against almost any type of opponent.

They were not, however, soldiers.

Jegora had been struggling with this fact ever since he had learned that the full might of the Order was marching to war. His Eagles were extremely capable warriors, and they were utterly lethal combatants, but for the most part they weren’t military men. Only two or three had any military experience at all, and only Jegora had ever been an officer, had actually commanded men on the battlefield. Soon the Eagles would be on the frontlines of a war, very likely commanding professional soldiers. It would be a new experience for most of them, and Jegora wasn’t really sure how the Knights under his command would deal with their new responsibilities. 

Ultimately, however, Jegora knew that they would soon find out. The upcoming war would serve as a definitive test for the Order. The weak would be culled from the ranks, and the strong would be further tempered in the fires of battle and strife. Those who could not hold their own would be destroyed, either by the Reborn or by those they had once considered allies and friends. The inept and the incompetent could not be allowed to survive, lest they become a drain on the resources of the Order, weak links that caused even more harm. Liabilities were unacceptable, and Jegora was ready to do what was necessary to ensure that the whole of the Order was honed to a razor’s edge—even if that meant ending the lives of some of his own Eagles. 

He watched his subordinates work for several more minutes. By the time they were nearing the completion of their assigned tasks, he felt a massive power source slowly approaching the shuttle. He turned, wondering who could cast such an incredibly large shadow in the Force. Perhaps not surprisingly, he was greeted by the sight of three black-robed individuals making their way slowly towards the shuttle. These were the Masters of the Order, the undisputed lords of Force, and even Jegora’s limited senses could ascertain that the amount of power they wielded was staggering. As they paced their way towards the shuttle, Jegora felt a slight shift in his immediate surroundings. He turned, curious, only to come face to face with the Headmaster of the Order. Raziel stood calmly, seemingly unperturbed by the approach of the Masters. A small shiver went down Jegora’s spine as he realized that the Headmaster had approached so silently that even his own finely tuned senses hadn’t perceived the approach. Jegora knew that Raziel could have easily killed him if he had so desired, and he himself would have never known. It was not a pleasant feeling, this knowledge of his own lacking, and it was one that Jegora loathed with a passion.

Smothering his rage and being so easily startled, Jegora waited silently for instructions. It was difficult to maintain his stoicism, but he didn’t have to wait long.

“Load the rest of the men. We leave soon,” Raziel said curtly, before moving off to intercept the Masters. Jegora nodded an affirmative, then watched the Headmaster march off. Truth be told, Jegora hated taking orders, although he was quite good at it. He had been a soldier in his previous life, a pathetic being bound to do the will of others. He was something more now, having transcended those old limits, but he still found himself subordinate to those even more powerful. His ultimate goal was to break all the bonds restricting him, to have no master but himself. It was a lofty goal, and one that would take much patience and perseverance, but Jegora could be patient when it suited him. He would bide his time, take his orders, and when the appropriate moment presented itself, he would strike. If there was one similarity between the politics of the Order and more visceral combat, it was this: the timing had to be flawless.

Forty five minutes later, the transport was airborne. Aboard were a hundred shock troopers and approximately two dozen of the Order’s finest Jedi, including the Dark Lord Kadann himself. While the Force users on board did not represent the full might of the Order, it was a goodly portion of its most capable members. All of Jegora’s full Marauders were aboard, and Sharpe had brought several of her most prominent Lions along as well. The massive transport was also carrying half a dozen of the Orders new ETA prototype starfighters. The prototypes were extremely quick and maneuverable, but their armaments left something to be desired, and no one really knew how they would fair in actual combat. Still, they provided the Order with a capability that the Reborn would not expect, a capability that could prove vital to the success of the upcoming war.

Seated deep in the bowels of the transport, Jegora let out a slow breath, relaxing his muscles and letting his mind wander. As he slipped deeper and deeper into a meditative trance, he didn’t notice the feral grin slowly stretching across his visage. Soon, he would do battle with worthy opponents. Soon, he would test his power against those who might finally prove a challenge. And with each opponent Jegora conquered, he knew that his own power grew. With each enemy he crushed, his own strength increased tenfold. If this war went anything like Jegora anticipated it would, he would soon have the supremacy to make his move, and he relished the thought of finally striking out against those who thought him tame.
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Raziel
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Raziel
 
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  RE: Pawn to Rook Four
November 25, 2012 4:35:36 PM    View the profile of Raziel 
OOC:
Garryll Gates


The two Reborn’s corpses laid where the Masters had cut them down; despite the thoroughness and speed with which the two Jedi had taken them out, Gates still approached them cautiously. The time in the Citadel he’d spent honing his Force senses was already paying off on this warfront; he could practically taste the death and wraith like it was heralding a thunderstorm. With a bit of concentration, the Apprentice made his view smaller, but more detailed; no longer could he see the storm, but he could sense the things and beings around him.

The two Reborn felt of nothing; they were simply quickly-cooling bodies, dead soldiers on a battlefield. There was no danger from them, unlike the dozens of Jedi around him. Wily Krath and brutal Sith stood shoulder to shoulder under the Imperial banner - for now - but none seemed to like it. There was very little mixture of the two factions, it seemed to Gates’ untrained eye.

The tall ex-Stormtrooper crouched before the first of the bodies - the Reborn downed by the Headmaster. Gates spent a few seconds finding the fatal injury - a thin, short cut across the man’s face - before he turned to his task. The man was large and well-muscled, but had a crude slant to his features; this was certainly just one of the Reborn’s lowliest soldiers, one of the rank-and-file bludgeons.

Gates pried open the corpse’s death grip without too much effort, and set the lightsaber held within in the dirt beside him. He turned his attention to the man’s pockets and belt, the most likely places to carry anything of use.

The Dark Jedi in the assembly area seemed to be simply milling, but none of them were bothering to bottle their emotions; the shocktroopers were practically sweating nervousness, bothered by the foreign power of enemy and ally alike. The Eagles - Jegora, his master, foremost amongst them - gave the impression of a pack of wolves. They were impatient to begin the chaos, to rip through the Reborn and take no prisoners.

The Krath, on the other hand, felt enigmatic to Gates. His clumsy, wide-handed Force sense couldn’t get anything from them; they were a total mystery to the Apprentice. But it wasn’t his concern with the ‘magicians’ of the Order. He would do as he was told, and do what he did best - war.

From the dead man’s belt, he dug out a few ration bars, a folded-up map and a datapad. There was nothing else on the corpse but lint and his robes. Gates stood up, the light armor he was wearing flexing lightly as he did.

“Master,” Gates said, holding up the ‘pad. “This one only had a datapad and a map.”

The Eagle accepted the two objects, taking only a brief look at the map before tucking it into his own belt. The datapad held his interest for a longer period of time, and a hand wave dismissed the subordinate.

Gates walked over to the shocktrooper squad that was loitering a dozen meters from Jegora, but were still paying attention to the Sith.

“You guys going to be working with us?” Gates said in greeting to the shocktrooper’s leader, who shifted lightly in his boots. Though his face betrayed nothing, the man was keeping an iron grip on his emotions.

“Ah, yes sir,” replied the man. “Something you need?”

Gates shook his head. “I just wanted to be sure of the men that’d be with us. I used to be in the military - no point going into battle with strangers who you can’t trust.”

The man nodded stiffly, though the sense Gates got from him changed slightly - the man relaxed. “Ah, of course sir. It’s just...we’ve never fought people like this before.”

“They fall as easily as the first ones did,” the apprentice said, pointing with his thumb over his shoulder, before crossing his legs and sitting down on the ground. “We’ll be victorious in the end.”

Unbidden, he passed his gaze over the assembled members of the Vast Empire’s Dark Jedi Order, and suppressed a shiver. “I don’t quite think these fake Force-users are going to know what hit them.
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Raziel
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Raziel
 
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Post Number:  2322
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  RE: Pawn to Rook Four
November 25, 2012 4:36:44 PM    View the profile of Raziel 
OOC:
Kami Sharpe


Kami stood calmly amongst the shifting mass of heavily armed men. The sounds of a military campaign had long since become unfamiliar to her. The snap of ammo cartridges locking into place. The creak of armor scraping against interlinked plating. The hissing of air between clenched teeth as soldiers stretched muscles in readiness. Once…many years ago, these noises had been commonplace in her guise as a Lieutenant of the Vast Empire Army. Now they only served to recall a faint sense of nostalgia, for days far more simple than those that she presently sought to survive.

“Sharpe.”

The clipped military tones of the commander of her kill team drew her from her reflections. A veteran soldier in his early 30’s, Sergeant Winters had only ceased to mockingly call her ‘Jedi Sharpe’ after she had threatened to commission another to lead in his place. It was obvious to everyone involved in this operation that the VE soldiers were uneasy about their alliance with the shadowy members of the Order.  After all, they were the elite members of an experienced fighting force, and had until now fared just fine without the aid of arrogant, glow-stick wielding upstarts. Their contempt, and their ignorance, was completely understandable. Nonetheless, they were not prepared for what they would face out on the field of battle. Their disdain of Kami and her comrades would not hold once the Reborn joined the fight.

“All men accounted for.” Winters forced himself to straighten his shoulders in a dutiful display of respect as he reported, “Awaiting your orders.”

Kami flicked her green gaze to the lined face of the Sergeant, “You are surely a capable enough officer Winters. I would suggest that when we are finally given the order to move that you retain command.  If I have an issue with any of your orders at any given time I will interject, yet I have no wish to interfere with the effectiveness of this unit.”

Winters posture eased slightly at the rare acknowledgment of his skills, “Er…thank you m’am. In that case, with your permission, I’ll go and discuss tactics with my XO?”

His comment went ignored as Kami’s attention drifted elsewhere.

A group of black-robed figures stood to her right in quiet discussion, a great expanse of space between them and the rest of the waiting forces. It was a subconscious urge, the instinct to move oneself away from the concentrated power of the Dark Council, and one that most non-Force sensitive’s succumbed too without realizing. Kami had not bothered to attempt to include herself in their discussions. As the newest member of the Council she had a great deal to prove before she was completely accepted within their ranks.  Raziel had cautioned her on numerous occasions that her obsession with the discovery of knowledge had singled her out as self-seeking in the higher ranks.  Her quest for power had inadvertently made her a threat. She displayed far too much impulsiveness in a Council that generally erred towards caution.

As she watched the cowled head of Kadann rose to seek out the commander of his own kill team, a decorated Major who stood forward at the subtle summoning. The two conversed for a moment before the Major span about and hefted the rifle from his hip into his arms. A voice well used to carrying over the roar of battle cut through the strained silence,

“Move out!”

Without a single word, the mass of men shifted formation and started forwards at a slow jog towards their individual targets.

Kami swept along with her own group, gesturing for most of her Krath to fall into place behind her. Unlike the Sith, most of her Sect were not overly proficient at combat. With the exception of a few veteran members of the Sect gifted with their own kill teams, the rest of her small group would be staying within easy reach of her for the duration of the assault. She had spent far too long, and expended far too much effort to callously risk her budding ranks to enemy blaster fire. They deserved a better fate than death on the battlefield and she would do everything in her power to ensure that they survived for as long as possible.

The first sounds of blaster fire rent the air as the armed ranks of the Vast Empire slammed into unprepared enemy lines. Kami’s team veered to the left of the first encounter, continuing on their wide path about the bulk of the enemy forces. Winters had express instructions to deliver his Jedi group into the midst of the Reborn where they could do the most damage. On the other side of the battlefield the members of Eagle Sect would be doing the same. It made little to no sense to waste their potentially lethal influence on the pawns of their adversary.

“Incoming!”

Winter’s shout was all the warning they had before the whistling of artillery rounds became audible from above. The well-trained military members of the kill team broke ranks and scattered, continuing resolutely forwards as the first of the shells exploded amongst their midst. Kami bared her teeth as the screams began to sound, soldiers vanishing in flame and smoke as huge chunks of earth cascaded into the air. Almost without a thought, she extended a protective bubble about her, the sheer strength of her will maintaining the barrier in place as the world tipped violently at the force of another explosion. Blood spattered across her view as the marine next to her was torn in two by flying shrapnel, his upper body soaring clear of his twitching legs. Kami’s lightsaber flashed briefly as she cut the torso from the air to clear a path for her to advance.

Abruptly they emerged on the other side of the bombardment  to reveal the stolid lines of enemy soldiers.

“The mortars!” Winters voice sounded briefly again before it was drowned out by the whine of incoming blaster fire.

Almost as one, the ranks of Lion Sect leapt above the heads of the VE kill team, sabers igniting with a hiss mid-air before they landed neatly amongst the ranks of the enemy. Kami’s first blow took the head clear off the stunned soldier that spun to meet her.

Be mindful, you will sense the Reborn enter the fray.

Kami’s mental warning to her Sect was unacknowledged as they joined her in the slaughter.
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  RE: Pawn to Rook Four
November 25, 2012 4:37:47 PM    View the profile of Raziel 
OOC:
Trykon


The skirmish didn't last long, but it was more brutal than anything Wyl had ever imagined.

As the fight began, the members of the Eagle Cult with whom Wyl was traveling strode forward and into the enemy, quickly and seemingly without fear, swatting away blaster bolts with their lightsabers until they were close enough to cut down the stormtroopers themselves.  Wyl lingered on the ridge line for a time, too focused on maintaining his active deflection of the incoming fire to match the pace set by the more powerful and experienced Dark Jedi.  In space, he'd felt almost calm, secure in his skill as a pilot, but despite long hours sparring and training on Lopen, Wyl was unprepared for the sights and sounds and smells that came from fighting to the death planetside.  As he began to make his way forward, he saw the familiar shapes of stormtrooper armor distort before his eyes, as the others crushed men with their minds and cut them into pieces with their weapons.  He heard screams, and the crackling hiss of discharged energy, and the furious thrumming of multiple sabers swung in anger at the same time, and he coughed as he reached the enemy line, nearly choking on air suddenly thick with the odors of ozone, flash-evaporated plastoid, and excrement.

The experience was nothing like the stately dance of dueling warships, nor did it even share much in common with the frenetic, potentially-disorienting dogfights of starfighter combat.  Wyl had never suffered from motion sickness, even in the most extreme flight scenarios, but there, on the ground at Copperline, desperately spinning his Mistress's old lightsaber continuously to shield his person from a never-ending hail of death, he was surprised to find himself quickly overcome by dizziness and nausea.  His senses - hyper-attuned through the Force - were taking in more data than his brain could process, and he struggled to make sense of the barrage of unfamiliar stimuli.

And then, suddenly, Wyl felt something so intense and immediate that it cut through the sensory "noise" and presented itself as more important than the rest: pain, as something blunt and heavy struck him in the right shoulder blade.  Instinctively, he crumpled away from the impact, and spun to face the threat.  Without any conscious thought, he brought the bright green blade of Simsin's saber around too, and he watched as it burned through his stormtrooper assailant (and through the butt of the man's E-11, which he'd used as a club) without pause.  He heard the man's last exhale, and, physically drained to the point of mental vulnerability, through the Force he felt the anguish of the man's final sensations.

As the two sections of the corpse fell, so did Wyl.  He disengaged his saber and knelt in the mud beside the pieces of his victim, his shoulder in pain and his mind agonizing over the implications of that pain: Pain is nothing... pain is evidence that you're still alive, which is more than you can say for him, the ruthless voice told him.  But the sad voice spoke too: You killed him... You cut him in half!  Did he hurt you so badly as to deserve that?  Wyl looked at the bisected body, still steaming along the cauterized cut, and he felt bile rise to the back of his throat.  The ruthless voice mocked his discomfort: A vomiting weakling with a hurt shoulder or a lifeless halved torso: which would you rather be?

Another voice spoke, this time aloud, outside of Wyl's tortured psyche: "Are you unwell?"  Wyl barely heard the question, but he registered that the tone was not entirely a friendly one.  Looking up, he saw the other Krath-trained apprentice standing some paces away, staring at him.  The battlefield around them had grown quiet; there was no longer anything else to distract the other hunters from the weakest member of their pack.

Wyl did the only thing he could: he swallowed his emesis, blinked back his tears, and stood up.  His emotional controls and mental walls slid back into place reflexively, but he could feel them quivering, precariously close to breaking under a strain he'd never known.  But he dared not give any outward sign of his distress: Wyl looked the other man straight in the eye and said, "I'm fine," before clipping his saber hilt to his belt and walking away with purposeful, measured steps.
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  RE: Pawn to Rook Four
November 25, 2012 4:40:16 PM    View the profile of Raziel 
OOC:
Bloodhound


Moelik Hond had barely had time to run through the regular series of thoughts and emotions that invariably followed any dealing with Two-Fists when the fight started. He was going through the pockets of one particularly dead corporal, particularly dead in that checking the mans right and left pockets required walking about three meters between the two, when bolts began to rain around him.

Given any other circumstance he would have ran for his life firing wildly behind him until he lost his enemy, but that was not an option here, a place where one’s allies where just as much enemies. Hond, instead, pulled a blaster rifle from the ground and activated his training saber. The red blade was almost completely useless, and as the Eagle’s met the enemy Hond dove to cover. The red column of energy emanating from his hilt was more an annoyance than anything, a reminder that he was the lowest one here.

From his hiding spot behind a few bodies and piles of dirt he could watch the battle commence, although for the most part it moved far too quickly for his eyes and just attempting to touch The Force, without Loren to guide him, was death. Hond laughed at himself and deactivated the training saber, securing it once again to his belt loop.

Hond might have been out of his depth with matters in the force, and lightsaber combat and basically everything to do with the The Order, but a battle, well a battle he could do. He quickly sighted down the barrel of the E-11 and fired off a shot, it missed of course but he corrected for it and fired again, taking a stormtrooper in the neck.

Hond kept separate from both the Dark Jedi and the shocktroopers, getting lost in the fray as he moved from cover to cover, taking pot shots at the enemy stormtroopers. His white robe was soon soiled brown and red from rolling in the dirt and hiding among the dead. Lightsabers danced among the living, sometimes here, sometimes there. Hond was careful to avoid them.

It was like he was still on Lopen, skulking about the deserted corridors, desperate to avoid the other residents. It was like the streets of Corellia, avoiding police. He skulked because he was powerless. It angered him, it made his head burn. It made that little ball of fire and corruption just outside his vision reach out to him, and it took all his self control not to touch it. The Force would kill him, he had yet to hold it for more than a handful of minutes before it began to consume him, and there was no one here to bring him back if he could not sever the connection himself. Hond had not asked for this, he had not asked for this burdensome power nor the people he was surrounded by. He hated every last one of them.

Watching from under the corpse of a mutilated stormtrooper Hond caught sight of his enemy. Hond ran a hand along the rifle, it was the first real weapon he’d touched since being dropped into that pit on Lopen, the first weapon that had any chance of killing. The smile that split his face revealed the yellowed teeth beneath. He aimed down the barrel of the blaster, lining up the sights, controlling his breathing, then he waited.

The mix of bodies would obscure and clear Hond’s sight picture, and so he waited until the next time Jegora Fal was revealed. Hond waited patiently, focused. Beyond the calm surface of his body and mind that were required for this kind of long distance marksmanship boiled his anger and his frustration. Moelik Hond was a man possessed of one purpose and one purpose only. Freedom, and Jegora Fal once again was all that stood in the way.

Hond pulled the trigger.

He watched, anticipation wracking his body with shivers, his mouth salivating. For a few moments that infernal ball of power just outside his vision was forgotten. He watch the bolt fly and, in a moment of confusion and conflagration, Jegora Fal was gone. Simply gone, his silver-blue lightsaber the mark of his passing has he blurred across the battlefield. Bloodhound’s bolt fizzled harmlessly on the dirt behind where Jegora had been standing.

Hond only paused for a moment, dumbfounded, before rolling on his back, still under the body, and laughed. There was no mirth in that laugh, just desperation and exhaustion. Moelik Hond wasn’t broken yet, but it felt like he was. He felt powerless, and there was no feeling as horrible as being powerless, not to a boy that had made his way on guns and crime his entire life. This was truly the slowest and saddest death he could imagine.
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  RE: Pawn to Rook Four
November 25, 2012 4:41:25 PM    View the profile of Raziel 
OOC:
Valthir


Water dripped from a broken sink, a steady trickle amidst a silence broken only by distant cries, from the mouths of the living, the dying, and the blasters held by many. The water slid to the floor, adding to an ever-increasing pool that radiated out across the floor. In the water, a body lay, still except for the rise and fall of his chest. Bright green eyes bored holes into the ceiling, unwavering in their gaze. Around the man, blood mixed with the water, creating a murky mixture.

The ruined walls around him were crumbling, revealing a war-torn city district. The wall nearest to the man had collapsed outwards. Another body lay draped over the rubble, a mangled mess. A pile of ashes coated the bloody remnants of what used to be a head, blackened eye sockets staring up in much the same way as the man inside the ruined building.

In a nearby alleyway, boots click-clacked on the hard permacrete, heralding the appearance of stormtroopers. Six white-armored beings marched down the alleyway with their rifles held in a ready position. Leading them, a two Dark Jedi stalked across the permacrete, their blades held aloft.

Valthir, his dark red blade casting a glow upon the wall at his side, kept even with his companion, who hadn’t bothered to give his name. They had been separated from their group by the intense fighting, drawn away from the main clashes, and had decided to form up. The stormtroopers awaited commands, which Val reluctantly gave. The other Dark Jedi, also drawn away, did not protest.

Earlier, before he had been separated, Val had glimpsed the other Krath-trained Jedi fleeing. He was only allowed a moment’s glance before he was forced to return his attention to the fight. The next glance showed him one of the Reborn darting down the alley that the other Jedi had went down, apparently hunting. Val remembered that, after the fighting was over.

After the short battle, he knew neither where he was in the city, nor what to do next, so he had simply ordered the troopers to follow him deeper into the city to find his comrade. Though the other Jedi said nothing, Val saw the momentary gleam of disgust in the man’s eyes and felt a wash of loathing through the Force. Compassion was a weakness to many of the Citadel’s Dark Jedi. To Val, however, it was unavoidable. Still, he did not trust the man to watch his back, though the stormtroopers were another story. They recognized a fellow soldier, which was a relief for Val. Though it had been some time since he had served in the Vast Empire’s military, he still had habits left over from his stormtrooper days.

As they drew up next to the building, Val held up a hand.

“Hold tight.”

He flicked his gaze of the corpse outside for a mere moment before heading inside the building, hopping over the remnants of a wall. Striding through the water, he knelt beside his fellow Jedi. He shuddered slightly at the half-smile stretched out on the man’s face. Quickly, Val checked the wounds, making note at the cauterization that was present in most of them. Finished, he reached out and laid a hand on the man’s head. Stretching out through the Force, he made contact and sighed. The man was unconscious, almost in a coma. Standing up, Val exited the building and addressed the troopers.

“He’s down, but alive. Are there any medics? One? Good. You come with me back into the building.” he began pointing out troopers, “You come with me as well. You four look around and see if you can’t scrounge up a few materials to make a litter.”

Val shifted his glance to the other Jedi, “You . . . you do what you want.”

Turning, he walked back to the building, flanked by his two chosen troopers, aiming to stabilize the downed Jedi.

Twenty minutes later, the man was strapped onto a makeshift stretcher, borne by the medic and one of the other troopers. Slowly, the group moved away, but not before Val made sure to grab both the Jedi’s lightsaber and the Reborn’s.
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  RE: Pawn to Rook Four
November 25, 2012 4:43:23 PM    View the profile of Raziel 
OOC:
Jegora


His survival instincts urging him on, Jegora Fal ran at an enormous pace, his long legs eating up ground almost effortlessly. He could feel the wrongness of the Reborn horde somewhere behind him, but he and his fellow Jedi were slowly pulling away from the largest concentration of the enemy Force users. Few things in the galaxy could run like a properly motivated Jedi, and the men and women of the Imperial Order were more than motivated. Survival depended getting away from the numerically superior Reborn as fast as possible, and the prospect of a gruesome death was more than enough inspiration for most. This determination to survive, along with Raziel’s insane maneuver, some close air support, and the sacrifices of a few idiotic individuals, meant that the majority of the Order was escaping the Reborn trap.

This knowledge didn’t brighten Jegora’s mood, however.

Inside, the Sith was a seething mass of impotent rage and helpless frustration. He had not fled from a battle since his initial botched attempt to end his sister’s life, just prior to first assuming his Knighthood. That he was forced to do so now was galling beyond what he would have believed possible. This so-called Bear had humiliated his men, and so by proxy had humiliated Jegora himself. It was an insult that he could not let stand—and yet ultimately he didn’t have a choice. He had taken the measure of the Bear’s strength, and the strength of his Reborn followers. Rationally, Jegora knew that the appropriate course of action was to retreat, bide time, and then strike at the opportune moment.  Emotionally, however, he wanted to rip the Bear apart with the Force, wanted to feel the life leave the man’s shattered and broken body. At that moment, sprinting away from a battlefield full of lesser foes, Jegora swore an oath of retribution. And as he did so, the fiery rage and frustration burning with him transformed into the cold, hard fury of patient vengeance.

It was then that Jegora had something of an epiphany. Obviously, to have his revenge he would need to grow stronger. But what he hadn’t realized until that moment was that his personal strength had somehow become inexplicably tied to his position within the Order, to the point where the two were no longer mutually exclusive. Much of Jegora’s influence within the Order, such as it was, derived from his new position as the Lord of the Eagle Sect. But the way this battle was going, there wouldn’t be much of an Eagle Sect left by the time the Reborn decided to quit the field. And so, almost unintentionally, Jegora’s new mission became to keep as many of his subordinates alive as possible. Before he hadn’t really cared if the weaker members of his Sect had lived or died, but now he realized that every Force user was valuable in some small way. The Reborn had proved that superior numbers did oftentimes carry the day, and in a flash of understanding Jegora realized that the more individuals he had loyal to him, the better.

The problem was, some of his more promising followers were trying their hardest to get themselves killed. Hond, in particular, seemed reluctant to flee. And while Jegora could certainly understand that sentiment, his empathy was overridden by his anger at being disobeyed. After the third or fourth time Hond slowed to look over his shoulder, trying to get a glimpse of the pursuing Reborn, Jegora’s already thin patience promptly reached its breaking point. With a sweep of a hand and a surge of Force energy, he picked his apprentice up and propelled him forward several meters.

“Move, halfbreed, or I’ll kill you myself,” Jegora snarled as he kept running, passing the now-slightly stunned Hond. “You’ll get your chance, but for now you must RUN!”

Heeding his own advice, Jegora drew deeply on the Force, using it to fuel his own incredible pace. Around him his Sect members, having witnessed the exchange with Hond, did the same, and the rest of the Order followed suit. As the surviving members of the Order streaked south towards the landing zones and relative safety, Jegora realized that for the first time in a long, long time he felt…calm. It was not the cold, detached serenity that the Jedi of old adhered to, nor was it a necessary tranquil sensation. It was more a sense of resolution, a reaffirmation of purpose and resolve. The mass of his fury and his rage was still there, ready and waiting to be accessed and used, but now that pool of fire was covered by a sheet of ice. For the first time in a long time, Jegora felt like he was in control of himself and his surroundings. And instinctually, he knew that made him more dangerous than ever.

At that moment, he was shamed and humbled, forced to flee the field of battle. He was not, however, broken. He had not been defeated. Jegora Fal still had his power, his in-born natural ability. Most of his Sect was intact, and those surviving members were now battle hardened and tested. And most importantly, now he had a plan, a course of action, and he knew what to expect.

He would not make the same mistake twice. He would not underestimate the Reborn again.
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