|Verociousna X. Septin|
6 ft. 11 in.
Black Anakin's hair and Bail's beard
|Chronological and political information|
Start of time - ?
Legions of the West Winds
Ralarea High Council
Supreme Overlord of the Legions
Martack Septin (father)
Jett Septin (younger cousin)
Legions of the West Winds
"Please...I have seen it all on the field. If you think you can go up against me and win, you might want to think about your knowledge of the field and how strong physically and mentally you are."
- Verociousna Septin
Master Verociousna Xerxes Septin is a renouned and legendary Ralarean Force Aspect of Justice and Valor. He was one of the joint-rulers of his people and was later the OmniAspect when his father died in an assasination by demons during the Great War of the Ancients. The war continued for billions of years until the final surge was made and one evil was destroyed, but another rose in its place. Verociousna's sister would turn her back on all she held dear in order to gain more...far more than was allowed. Verociousna, after fleeing the field of battle after failing to even fight his sister found four old friends, and together they destroyed their homeworld, at least most of it, but in doing so would damage their memories in an accident that could have been avoided had they moved farther away from their sun sized planet called Paradise. Verociousna fell towards Umbara, but for some reason would arrive in normal time...right as the planet was besieged by Republic forces. Verociousna would prove instrumental in taking the shadowed world and granting the Republic victory. Later, he was given permanent Jedi status, but never served in the front, for he would be part of secret plan set forth by Master Yoda should something happen to the Republic. He would be in charge of Project Legions, which would be a challenge all to its own as he found out. Not far into the project, a CIS fleet found the planet that the Legions were based on, called Stragair, and set siege to it. However, they were unprepared for the numbers and surprising skill that the new clones would show, and their attempt would fail within the same day as they set siege to the planet. Later on, Verociousna, after successfully leading the Legions to victory, found an ancient set of ruins that contained many surprises...among them a shrine that remained the only place left pure in the now temple to the Dark Side, and where three heros would regain memories after they fell from grace...and their powers. Verociousna then, after receiving an alert from Kenobi went to neutralize a new CIS sect, called the Dark Nebula. While the mission was a success, it was phyric victory, as the leader, Xalandra Nova, escaped, and many of Verociousna's men died. A few weeks later, and after new cruisers and other pieces of technology were either gained or built and more troops ready for the field, another CIS attack force, this time under the command of Grievous and Nova, hit the planet hard. Again, they failed, and Nova was put in Legions custody and was awaiting transport to Coruscant when something happened. Before he left, Grievous sent in terrifying new droids to do heavy damage to the secret project and free Nova. Most of the droids were destroyed, but they, in the end, succeded in their mission in freeing Nova. Shortly after events of the Second Invasion of Stragair and the escape of Nova, the Legions were assigned the task of taking out the Revived Sith Empire on Korriban, now under Nova's control. The Legions succesfully broke through the blockade in orbit, but had a rough landing and almost became prisoners of war. However, clever planning by Verociousna brought the Legions to the doorstep of Nova's seat of power. Verociousna, during a battle within the capital city, managed to force Nova on the run and stayed on her trail until she was, after a short but fierce duel, captured. A few weeks afterwards, as the Legions continued to recover stolen technology salvaged by Nova, a CIS fleet managed to make a landing on Korriban and steal some technology. The fleet was found making its way towards Carlac, and was promptly stopped, but not before a damaged CIS ship managed to make a landing on Carlac. The Legions and Republic started a sweep-up of the planet surface, led by Verociousna, which resulted in the recovery of the stolen technology and almost unfortunate discovery of a Ralarea vault below the surface, the result of which was the awakening of a Force Guardian which almost crushed Verociousna. Troubles did not end there, however, as it turned out that a memory chip containing some of his father's memories was booby-trapped, and when it exploded, it critically injured Verociousna, placing him in a month and a half long coma, during which he somehow managed to experience some of his father's memories, taking away many lessons. When he awoke, he wasn't pleased to know that Jett and Emma, under orders from the Republic, had failed to retake a planet with resources crucial to the war effort on the Republic's part. Verociousna, along with two Legion fleets and Kenobi's fleet, broke through to the surface to initiate a rescue attempt, though it would prove to be nearly ill-fated. He later, along with help from the natives, managed to free Jett and return the planet to Republic dominion. However, Emma was spirited away by Grievous and surrendered to survivors of the Revived Sith Empire, who would torture her relentlessly for her part in felling their would-be-great empire. Roughly two weeks into Emma's capture, Verociousna and Ben had managed to locate a more than likely point of interest where she might be; the Cron Drift. Upon Verociousna's call, Jett, Avery, who was Jett's long lost brother, and the big kahuna left for the massive void in space in a recovered Sith shuttle. All three, much to their chagrin, were forced to wear Sith outfits, with Verociousna's barely lasting through the first day. Despite a scrape with capture and or death, all three managed to make it into a massive cloaked Sith Holy City and begin their search for Emma, during which they had made acquaitance with a family called the ShadowKnights. The impressive family offered to help the three Legion Overlords in return for helping them escape their fate; as Sith-turned rogue forever on the run from their hunters. Verociousna agreed, not long afterwards learning from the ShadowKnight alpha female, Shisa ShadowKnight, that Emma was being held beneath the Sith Temple directly in the center of the city. A quick extraction of Emma was ploted and executed, and the lost female Overlord was safely recovered. However, things suddenly turned south when Ben called in with news that GAR command had ordered an immediate attack on the Sith station before anymore harm could be caused by it, as it had already destroyed one Republic fleet. Verociousna led the ShadowKnights and his fellow Overlords in one of history's most hasty escapes ever executed, sadly loosing almost half of the ShadowKnights in doing so. After the escape, the Overlords returned to Legion space, leaving the ShadowKnights to pursue a fate free of hunters. //
Ask anyone inside the Legions and they will tell you that all he has done reveals only a fraction of the man. While his deeds and legendary combat record are the most visible part of the Ralarean OmniAspect, few outside the Legions get to know the man off of the combat field. As some say, Verociousna is, "A brutal force to the opposition, a beacon of hope and mercy to they who are on his side." Verociousna, due to his time among mortals and slowly changing during his early centuries into a more gentleman-like person, has gained a dual personality. While he is very civilized when off the battle field, even to those less fortunate than he, don't expect him to play nice when you thrust him into combat. Except to his fellow Overlords and or Aspects and those under his command, Verociousna is perhaps the most brutal and experienced field commander out there; no mercy, never surrender. Even his enemies who deeply hated him would hesitate before engaging in open combat with him. Again, despite all of that, he is a calm, other-centered, respectable man when off the field of battle, not to mention an effective teacher.
His family line, the Septins, are an ancient line of Ralareans, supposed to have been around before time started. They are extremely brilliant, off and on the battle field. Those who oppose them fall like twigs in the wind, and they who follow in the footprints of a Septin can expect a rather good life, no matter how destitue you might be. They never viewed themselves as above all others despite their family position and were experts at leading, both in peace and war. Knowledgeable, powerful, and merciful, was how they were towards those under their wing. Aggresive, fear-inducing, and relentless, was how the enemy viewed them, and it certainly carries to Verociousna, a rather prime example of what the Septins were and still are...no matter how thin they are now.
On the world of Paradise and witnessing its fall (13,000,000,000 BBY - 21 BBY)
Into the galaxy (13,000,000,000 - 12,990,000,000 BBY)
"Welcome my son, welcome into the world."
- Verociousna's mother giving him a welcome into the world
A male was given passage into the world during a great disaster, know as, "The Temptest Period," a time where great disasters ran amok, but so did miracles. Planets were destroyed, but so were some created. Stars went supernova, but some came to life. All part of the start of creation, but as to who started it to this day remains unknown (although later on, Verociousna would find logs indicating that there were beings far stronger than the Ralarea). Verociousna was born at the start of time, and some say it was his birth that stopped the great catastrophic event, for when he breathed his first breath, the storm stopped, and creation was then visible, but he denies it, claiming it was an odd twist of fate. At the start of time, only the Ralarea were an intellegent species, and the world they happened to be on was a world beyond imagination. From great peaks covered with snow, to forested valleys, to wide and long oceans. The world was called Paradise, and the first village erected was called, "Haven's Reach." At first the village contained just a few huts of wood, mud, and clay, but time would have its effect on everything. Verociousna's father, the vernerable Martack Orion Septin, which oddly, when all initials are put together, spelled MOS, was the chief of the village, and oversaw the growth of the Ralarea people from a few dozen to a few hundred thousand in the space of a hundred years, from huts to marble houses, from starters to experts. In this time, Verociousna also changed. From teenage years he was something of a glory hunter, and never stopped searching for a way to get noticed. It was his mother who said that being born to the ruling family was glory enough, and Verociousna reluctantly agreed, and then he started to focus on learning, developing technology, and dueling technique (Ralarea were not known to be warmongering, but they kept skills sharp for incase). While in general peaceful, Verociousna was prone to losing his cool sometimes, not being able to think ahead, and had a short temper, but that was at the start. As he maturated, or matured, his true personality emerged. He became a very level headed professor of a college, a widely renouned duelist, and inventor of many things, inadvertantly gaining his life's goal; fame. What he didn't expect to find as a result of fame, however, was a relationship. The details were sketchy at the time, but eventually he married a woman of the Tilera line, renouned for great wisdom and modest women (not only in looks, but in soul, as their soul was worth more and more beautiful than the brightest gem according to many Ralarea men.) This relationship between Verociousna and the woman, going by the name of Lydia Valera Tilera would last for a long time...right up until a turning point in the Ralarea history. After all of the events, excluding the marrige, his father was deeply impressed by the wisdom, change, and strength in will and physical power in his son, and offered Verociousna a position on his new council, called the High Council. Verociousna, feeling highly gratified, accepted, but took on things with a very serious manner. He had a strong sense of justice and valor, and it was he who came up with the idea of aspects, chiefs over a particular field of something. Martack became the Prime Aspect (over all, and had all aspects), while Verociousna became Justice and Valor. There were a few others on the council as well; a renouned Ralarea female, by the name of Calven Mynockrazor, the Aspect of Mercy and the Force (the Force was known to Ralarea sages, and Calven was a sage), Clarke Septin, Aspect of Fate and Wisdom (fate was the outcome of a battle or person's life, and the aspect of fate was given power to rewrite fate according to his will and for the good of others, but only when it came to minor or simple things; major destinies could not be rewritten, such as the way a person died or how a battle for a critical part of a world ended) and Verociousna's uncle, and Verociousna's sister, Katarina Lydia Septin, Aspect of Forgiveness and Understanding. For a time, the council ruled over the other Ralarea, with utter harmony and law following. Rule was not absolute, and no one held complete power. Centuries more would pass, and the city of Haven's Reach would cover roughly sixty-five percent of the northern hemisphere, while smaller villages would pop up where Ralarea pilgrims sought to find new ground or to farm and raise livestock. All was good, until that one fateful day when all would fall into chaos, and the Ralarea race would be tested.
Discovery of the Helllands - (12,990,000,000 BBY)
"Great lord! What in the heavens is this place?!"
"It is an opposite of what we live in...this must be our darker side of the planet."
- Verociousna and Clarke Septin, upon crossing the Great Sea and discovering what the other half of their planet was like
During the Imperial Age, an era well into time, Haven's Reach had covered a lot of the northern hemisphere. Pretty much every where you went below the fourty-fourth parallel, you would find city, and everywhere you went while in Haven's Reach, a building would be visible, or a construction site. Guards patrolled the city, armed with shock staves and stun blasters (crime had spiked in recent times), and still the same old council. The Ralarea had discovered recently that though they were immortal naturally speaking, anything that wasn't natural, such as a sharp sword or blaster bolt would kill them; it would just take a lot more effort than it would with a human. In an effort to make certain there was more ground yet to cover, Martack sent Verociousna and Clarke Xion out on a mission to explore the southern hemisphere, which oddly was not readable by satalites, scans, or flying through the dark clouds that hung over the area; only sailing there would get you close, but others have gone to the southern hemisphere and never came back. However, they were ill equiped travelers, seeking a way to distance themselves from society. Clarke and Verociousna were never keen on an ordinary sail, but they had no choice; flying wasn't a choice, for there was some type of electrical barrier that kept any electronic equipment from passing, so fighters would crash and plumet into the ocean below; however, once you got past, your electronic gear would work...but communicators were badly interrupted. The last transmission was from Verociousna's mother, who went in search of more land, and found it, but as she started to speak more of the place, something shot what looked like a ball of fire at her and killed her, and destroyed the holocommunicator (at this time Ralarea people had the technology of what Umbarans do, but possibly more advanced, and yet almost never travelled beyond their planet). Verociousna signed up to go to the unknown lands, for he felt as though justice needed to be done to something on the other side, and Clarke wanted to go along, being the aspect of wisdom (in other words, Clarke wanted to be a know-it-all, but for the good of others). They set sail on a small sailboat, which had no electronic motor active as of yet, just the wind and the arm power of two men to help propel the sailer along. After three days of rowing and having wind cut out on them, the duo finally made land fall along a black rock coast line. Strange, they thought, of how there was a beach, but here was black rock...and an odd orange glow beyond the jagged coastal cliffs that towered five stories above the coast. Both Verociousna and Clarke would have no trouble getting to the top, as they simply force jumped to the top, and what they found when they landed was beyond shocking and disturbing. What they found was a hellish place, with odd, hot, glowing, orange stuff flowing from mountains with a mouth to them. Burned forests were found all over the place, and ash constantly showered the duo. But worse was yet to come, and you could hear it over the roar of the open mountains and the flowing rivers of fire. Screams, blood curling screams, could be heard coming from across the chared land...and it was getting closer. On instinct, Verociousna ordered Clarke to go back to the boat and sail like hell. A rather funny saying though, considering they brought a motor along just in case they needed to leave in a huff and a puff. Verociousna turned on both of his sabers of light, called Justice and Valor (from right to left hands), which bore a similarity to a silver-bladed saber with the Savek Sith Crystal design and the Darksaber hilt, save the hilts were golden instead of black, but oddly made the same noise as a Darksaber. For minutes, Verociousna stood there, waiting, watching, and making sure his friend got away in time. Then...then they came. Hundreds of odd creatures, ranging from lizzard like people (not quite Trandoshans, but close, for they had five fingers and five toes, and the hands and feet were shaped like a human's) to rather odd female things, later known as the shunned Succubi (not quite the ones seen in later texts books.) There were many more creatures, such as imp-like creatures, winged terrors (a cross between a bird and a lizzard according to texts), and massive human-like giants who had horns on their heads, like ram horns, and had a red skin color, with orange eyes and mouths. The terror from the demons was enough to send Verociousna back a few steps, but he felt deep within them, and he sensed they had done many crimes...enough to give him reason to use his power over justice. With a massive force push, combined with a strange cyan-colored light, he simply obliterated the demonic horde, but he knew that more were still out there. Without thinking of whether or not to stay, he jumped off the cliff, plunged into the water, and swam like hades away from the Hades.
Start of the War of the Ancients (12,990,000,000 BBY - Start of the Clone Wars)
"Dear lord....you say that an invasion is coming?"
"Yes father...legions of them, and it is the only explination. But I know a strong weakness within them. They have commited terrible sins, and my power over justice allowed me to purposefully elminate them, and what I propose is to have Minor Aspects to help us, those who fall under a more powerful aspect's wing, and only take after one aspect."
- Martack and Verociousna, disscussing what to do, just prior to the invasion and dawn of the War of the Ancients, later known as The Eternal Conflict
After a lot of swimming, over five days worth of hard swimming at that, Verociousna, soaked and almost with no life left within him, crawled up onto the Ralarea shore line, unaware of the swarm of demons that would follow in his wake. After two guards on patrol found him, they quickly took him to Martack, who was overwhelmed at the report, as was Clarke. An entire force of enemies, ready to take them out, and there could be hundreds of legions out there, and who knows if what Verociousna saw all the different types demons? All that was known is, that just after the meeting, a cloud of blackness appeared off in the distance, and Verociousna knew all too well what that black cloud was; the entire demon army, flying towards them on the backs of dragons or in massive landing crafts carried by the beasts. Quickly, Verociousna sounded the alarm, and the defenses were readied, but not in time. As he went inland to find reinforcements and additional warriors, demons had already made landfall, and a massive war was to start. Demons, by the droves, far more so than the horde Verociousna saw on the coast of their land but was expected (the High Council knew that there were going to be far more), charged the third line without remorse, hammering the soldiers (among the people who the demons killed without mercy was Lydia, and Verociousna, after learning of her death, would come close to the Dark Side of the Force, but he recovered, saying that he would move on but learn from the past) and burning down buildings that were left unprotected beyond the reach of the third line. By the time the line was ready to break, an entire line of people suddenly burst from the clouds and the air in the cockpits of fighters or in the cargo hold of gunships. Reinforcements had arrived, and they were headed by Verociousna, who had appointed minor aspects of justice to help him bring justice to the wicked demons. The demons, unprepared for the sudden burst of resisting forces, had no choice but to fall back past the first line, allowing the Ralarea people to retake the coastline, and what they saw was not foretold in Clarke's scroll of fate. The entire demon land was being drawn across the ocean towards the Ralarea's side. Soon, it would be full out war, and both sides would inflict damage, though the Ralarea, prepared for the unexpected, would slowly seize the upper hand. After hours of waiting for the imminent attack, the demonic land finally met with the Ralarea's coast line, and the hundred feet of sand between the two worlds would be known as Death's Stretch, for those who journeyed across rarely came back alive. Days would turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, years into decades, decades into centuries, centuries into millenia, and from there on out. The entire stretch of new ground between the two land masses would be filled with the blood of both sides, and the ashes of those whose bodies were torched would be visible for some time...before they either got blow away by the wind or smashed into bits by the pounding footsteps of soldiers. Neither side could get the upper hand until that one fateful day when a new light would break, and a true hero would emerge from the field of blood, lightsabers, men, demons, and so forth. Verociousna, determined to find a way to break past and into the demonic line, would have his way, and in so doing, bring forth a great victory.
Breakthrough and end of the war (Start of the Clone Wars, 22 BBY - 21 BBY)
"What are you doing here?! This is...it's impossible! This can't be happening! MY PLAN NEEDED MORE TIME! WHY DID I NOT SEE THIS COMING?!"
"Well, you aren't an aspect, and aren't as battle-smart as you think, mother, nor can see everywhere at once, and thought that the only way to Ralarea ground was Death's Stretch. And sister...should I kill you before your plan sees the light of day?"
- Verociousna, upon finding his mother being the one behind the chaos and seeing past Katarina's mental barrier
Blood, tools of war, destroyed machines, killed demons, and despair could be found all across Death's Stretch. No demon or Ralarea had ever broken past the line before, until now. By digging his way under the sand and creating a tunnel behind both friendly and enemy lines, Verociousna finally had his way past the stretch of death, but this was a one way ticket; once past, the tunnel behind Verociousna and his group of skilled warriors (his sister included on her behalf) would be closed off, and after that, they would have to run like hell to get back to safe ground, but before doing that, the group had a mission to do. They could not take on the hordes of demons on their own, but they, from interrogating a prisoner, learned that there was one ruler, and she had a mind like a hive mind, and controlled all of the demonic forces by herself, and she was very powerful. Whoever this person was, the group would have to find and quickly, for it would only be a matter of time before this mega demon detected their pressence on her land. Without even needing to reach out, Verociousna could feel the presence of the leader from hundreds of miles away, safe in the far reaches of demonic territory, and her presence was very familiar, though Verociousna at the time couldn't place it. He just notioned for his group to stay close to him, and they started running like hell through the ash covered ground. Along the way they would every so often encounter a group of demons and be forced to hide until they passed, or saw a way in which was the only way to proceed and have to fight, but fortunately, they would make short work of the guard force and be through before anyone understood what happened. Months would go by until the group, tired and almost out of supplies, arrived at the castle of the enemy, and without even thinking of sneaking through, force pushed the great iron door down, and barged into the castle, surprising many demons who had no idea of the danger within their territory. They thought they were safe this far behind friendly lines, so what were Ralarea doing here? They could find out when they reached their paradise if there even was one, for the group of a dozen (at first it was a hundred, but many died on the way because of hunger or thirst, and this group was almost near death, but the sheer will to press on kept them going) had a mission to finish. Within the hour, the group had cleared the castle and proceeded to the top room...the throne room, where a shocking sight met them. Verociousna's mother, with elite guards and Succubi handmaidens waiting at her command, sat proudly on top of her throne, but when the great doors of her throne room came down with a crash, she had the scare of her life, as did her attendies. Here was a group of Ralarea, led by her son, in the deepest reach of enemy territory! She screamed with rage, and Verociousna, having eliminated the guards and handmaidens, suddenly understood the magnitude of the ordeal. His mother wanted to rule over all, as she had for some reason become power hungry, or simply wanted to best her husband (as is such the sin nature of most Ralarea women whose husbands did not treat them in a correct fashion, but oddly, Martack treated his wife in accordance to the Ralarea Tome of Righteousness). But further beyond that, he saw past a now lowered mental shield of Katarina's...and saw the betrayal in her eyes. Unknown to him, Katarina had become power obssessed back during the war, when she saw the height of glory Verociousna had ascended to when his father had died during the initial war along with Clarke, leaving both their sons in their seats of the High Council, and Katarina, feeling left out and certainly not as powerful as both men (Clarke's son, Jett Septin was one of the two), had built up ambitions for controlling the demons and Ralarea, then forcing them to submit to her rule, and as a result, seizing power. Verociousna, she knew, would not do such a thing and couldn't comprehend such a thing quickly, and while the shock settled into Verociousna and the other warriors, she blasted them with force lightning and then stabbed her mother in the heart. Verociousna, shocked, but still alive, quickly ran out of the room and opened a force teleport back to Haven's Reach, but when he arrived a month later (going through a portal still takes time, as does hyperspace, just much longer), demons and Ralarea were no where to be found, and had been enslaved by the cunning of Katarina, traitor to her people and now ruler of the most resource and force-rich planet in all of the known galaxy. He was now looking at the ruins of Haven's Reach, destroyed by demons. Not even the glorious Crystal Tower, where the High Council once ruled, was left, and as to what happened to the rest of the Ralarea? He found out that they had, as Katarina did, grown tired of the same old council, and were ready for a new change. A Dark Age had now fallen upon the world of Paradise, and no one was left unchanged. Many Ralarea who stayed loyal to the true cause and to the High Council were slaughtered, and those who survived joined the Dark Side. The only people left loyal to the true cause were Calven, Emma Mynockrazor (Calven's daughter and heir to the Aspect of Mercy and the Force seat), Clarke (he had secretly survived and was undercover), Jett, and of course, Verociousna. The five made an instant choice to leave their world and to destroy it, for the rule was to never leave the victor with the spoils. When they had made it a safe (or so they thought) distance from their world after finding a still intact troop transport, they unleashed their powers over the force to destroy the sun-sized planet. However, they were still within blast radius, and their ship was caught up in the blast, and they would have been destroyed, had the shields not been up. However, Katarina and many Dark Ralarea would survive the devastation, and the group would sustain memory damage and become like meteors, falling to who knew what planet...by chance, Verociousna would land on a dark, shadow-covered world. As for Clarke, Jett, Calven, and Emma, no one knew...however, Verociousna would have a vision of his friends having odd things happen to them, though he would recognize them only as strangers. Calven and Emma would be sent back through time by some unexplainable force and would somehow have Nightsister liniage. They would also live during the time of the Old Republic, though Calven would die due to unknown reasons (as she never returned from a trip in the jungles of Dathomir.) As for Clarke and Jett, they too would fall back through time, though not as far, but Clarke would still have most of his memories and would fall under the guise of an uncle for Jett, who, unlike his father or "uncle", lost all his memory, and both became people of a warmongering human subdivision, called Mandalorians. As for Verociousna, he would keep his true blood, and would not have anything other than Ralarea blood pounding through his veins.
"I think we aren't far enough away from the planet!"
"So what does it matter? Push harder!"
"Err...I think we are too close indeed...this will hurt alot."
- Calven, Verociousna, and Clarke, using their powers along with help from Jett and Emma to destroy Paradise
Falling from the sky...and living to tell the tale. (21 BBY, June)
Arriving on Umbara
"Uh...I don't remember any meteors being in the forecast for the weather!"
"Nor do I...what should we do?"
"RUN YOU IDIOTS!"
- The three Trandoshan thugs on the surface of Umbara in the Pirate camp, witnessing a blue meteor falling from the sky
Only days had passed, but the force of the explosion had sent Verociousna flying a long ways away and fast. His course would take him right into Umbara, which was at the time being fought over by Republic Forces in order to reclaim it and secure part of a strategic hyperspace route and part of space. Neither side was expecting a meteor to fall on the day an Umbaran air field was captured by Republic Forces. Captain Rex and his temporary Jedi General, who later turned out to be a Sith Lord wanna be, Pong Krell, were outside, surveying the enemy field and checking the Umbaran containers to make sure no Umbaran soldier who got out could ignite any combustiable element and destroy the base, saw the meteor fall far off in the distance, but the shock wave could be felt for miles, even though the meteor had fallen in a canyon and made a big, deep hole....and guess where it landed? Right in the middle of a Trandoshan Mercenary camp, which was prepared to raid the air base and help the Umbaran force take it back. Verociousna did more than amaze the people on the surface it seemed; he also prevented a large and experienced enemy force from marching on the air field and possibly helping the Umbarans retake it. The entire camp was destroyed, but only Verociousna, now dressed in rags, walked out of there alive and with a charred but useable lightsaber, but as to who he was was lost; his fall damaged more than his left arm it seemed. He lost his memory in the crash landing, but could remember a few things, such as being an accomplished warrior and not being a human, but as to how to regain the lost memories wasn't important to him right now as finding a safe place. Verociousna walked out of the area and made his way towards some massive buildings that emitted a blueish glow...little did he understand that city was the Umbaran Capital, which as he walked towards it was being besieged by General Kenobi and his forces. Hours would pass, and hundreds of Umbaran sappers (infiltrators who would compromise enemy lines in order to help elminate enemy forces) would die by this apparent Jedi's lightsaber and fail their mission to prevent Republic aid from arriving before they even had a chance, thanks to this odd human. About five hours of walking, cutting down, and making it through pain, Verociousna arrived at Republic lines. At first, all of Kenobi's clones on guard didn't know who this man was; from the looks of him, he was an injured Jedi, but a Jedi looking like Verociousna wasn't in the invasion plan. The clones, thinking that the man is here to harm them, aimed their blasters, but remembering from a scout's report of an injured man, not clearly a Jedi but with the skill if not more advanced of one, was preventing Umbaran sappers from completing their job and was making his way towards Republic lines. Immediatly, Waxer, who would later die during an incident involving friendly fire, ordered the men to lower their weapons and call for a medic. Verociousna, at the time calling himself Stranger, realizing he had found help, fell to the ground, exhausted, bleeding, and passed out.
Waking up to help.
"Are you all right there?"
"I am thanks to your men...Master Kenobi right? Just call me Stranger."
"Because I can't recall anything from my past, other than I was a fine warrior and not human."
- Verociousna talking to Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was checking in to make sure Verociousna was all right
During a short few hours, Verociousna, with help from the clone medic, got himself patched up and able, but he wanted to rest a while; falling from the sky and fighting your way to safety takes a lot out of you. It was during this time Kenobi came in to see how the guest was doing, and, after knowing this stranger knew him well enough, asked him for help in taking the capital. Verociousna was about to agree, when a transmission came through by clones under the command of the now KIA'ed Waxer, but was cut off as the clone, identifying himself as Captain Rex (clearly not a part of Waxer's battalion), said something about, "General Krell has turned on us." Verociousna, sensing that this Jedi General wasn't who he claimed to be, quickly asked Kenobi to raly his forces, for they needed to act now or all could be lost. Though Kenobi was about to ask, there was something that sparked reason within him. Krell might have indeed turned on them, and might stop all Republic advances here and strike a crippling blow. Without much warning, Kenobi ordered his men to get ready for the final surge, in which Verociousna would participate, however, a Jedi (or Jedi hopeful) in rags wasn't a sight to be seen. Verociousna asked to take some clone armor and use it for the time being, and Kenobi allowed Verociousna to use clone armor, although it wouldn't be an agile suit as its wearer would find out. Verociousna, unacustomed to the stiff armor (nor any armor, as in his ancient days he wore regal battle robes), had trouble at first, but he got used to it. Ten mintues had passed since Kenobi ordered the men to get ready to rush the Delta (the strong defense line of Umbarans protecting the capital), the order was given, and the clones, aided by two Jedi, rushed the Delta, and because the Umbarans weren't expecting a strike this early nor with so few forces to fight, they were quickly overwhelmed. In the space of a few minutes, the Delta had been broken and clones marched through the streets, rounding up the OP4 (resistance force), and freeing any lost commrades they could find. Verociousna, being credited with the successful idea of rushing the Delta, was given honorary Jedi status by Kenobi, but kept in secret from any other Jedi (excluding Mace and Yoda) and other clones (Ghost company knew of Verociousna, but was told that he went MIA in the rush on the Delta) later on. A transmission was sent to the Umbaran airfield Verociousna saw during his fall (for some reason, he was awake as he fell towards the surface), and the clones who responded said that Pong Krell had indeed turned on the Republic and was being held prisoner. Quickly realizing that if the Umbarans who fled the capital (Cody informed Torrent company of the enemy forces heading their way), Rex made the decision to kill Krell on charges of treason against the Republic, but it would be another clone who killed Krell out of anger for being used by a spin doctor (a person who uses lies to their benefit), and further more a Jedi who had turned on the Republic.
"Well...you proved to be quite the help out there. You also used that lightsaber of yours quite well, despite the fact you were in clone armor."
"Thank you, Master Kenobi."
"As a result, I am taking you to the Jedi Council. I'll make certain you are given Jedi status, and not just honorary."
- Kenobi to Verociousna
With the fight for Umbara at last over, and after helping to covertly clean up and remaining OP4 (an ancient Sith Academy included in the mix), Verociousna, boarding a Jedi Ambassador Shuttle ordered by Kenobi and with plunders of war on his back, finally sat down after two days on the job. Among his loot were: a rancor egg, ancient Sith holocron, a prototype Umbaran armor (Shadow Tech Armor (in CWA, the armor is Republic)), and an enhanced blaster rifle, which was all useless stuff according to Obi-Wan, but to Verociousna, he said he could use it in some way. True enough, while on the way to the Jedi Temple, Verociousna cannibalized the armor, salvaged the gun and power from the Sith holocron, then gathered parts from an ARC trooper's armor (which was the armor he wore, but plain color), to create an entirely new set of flexible ray shielded armor, called Heralder Armor. The only part not armored was the Verociousna's head, and instead had a hood over it, a hood able to be safely ray shielded. Even Kenobi took time to be impressed by the new armor, but still wasn't happy that the ray shields were empowered by Sith magic and technology, but Verociousna quickly retorted with the fact that Jedi use lightsabers and didn't go to any length to achieve victory, forcing Kenobi to say, "Touche Stranger...." It wouldn't be the last time that Verociousna would beat Kenobi at words; there would be other times later in the future. After a few hours traveling through hyperspace, the Jedi Ambassador Shuttle arrived over Coruscant; here was home sweet home for Kenobi, and Verociousna took time to be highly surprised. The entire planet was one massive city...almost like another planet, but as to that other planet Verociousna could not remember, and that is when Kenobi spoke up once more. A noteable and honorary Jedi Sage had just returned from one of her meditation journeys and was widely known for healing the mind, so perhaps she could help this stranger remember who he was, and Verociousna agreed, but first, he had to be introduced to the Jedi High Council. Verociousna, still wanting to find out more about himself didn't like the idea at first, but he realized he wouldn't get far without being granted permanent Jedi status or even being acknowledged by the Jedi Council.
"So this is Coruscant eh? I feel some sort of connection to the place, as though I once grew up in such a massive city."
"Well no other city is the size of a planet as far as I am aware."
- Verociousna and Kenobi as they approach Coruscant
Arrival at the Jedi Temple and a rest. (21 BBY, June)
Meeting the High Council
"Reports by Master Kenobi indicate you helped to secure victory during the Battle of Umbara...is that report accurate?"
"Yes it is master Jedi. I must wonder...why do you and Kenobi have to be the only ones to know about me?"
"Further plans we have for you. Exposure, ruin our plan it will."
"Plan? What plan?"
- Masters Windu and Yoda talking to Verociousna, or Stranger
Master Verociousna received no reception, for he was to be taken to the top two Jedi around the temple: Master Mace Windu and Grand Master Yoda, who, as Kenobi announced he was arriving and had a friend on board, told Kenobi of a plan that involved absolute secrecy...and Kenobi already had an idea of who to submit for eligibility. Verociousna and Kenobi, having made their way through the temple without being noticed by others, made their way up to the High Council's Spire, where Masters Windu and Yoda awaited Kenobi's return; what they didn't expect was for the friend of Kenobi's to be something close to a Jedi but not quite...and he best fit the bill for the plan set foward by Windu and Yoda. Since the Dark Side of the Force was getting stronger as each day passed for some unconceiveable reason, Yoda felt it wise to have a contingincy plan ready, should something terrible happen, such as the loss of the war. Verociousna, asking what the plan was, was quickly told that he would be in charge of a new cloning operation, codenamed "Legions." However, in his state, Verociousna was not yet ready to handle the situation. He would remain at the temple, and would walk around without disturbance as yet another Jedi, under the name of Xerxes (Verociousna himself chose the name, for reasons known to him, for it was as though he felt as though the name belonged to him...) He would learn much about the happenings about the galaxy and keep his skills sharp, and during this time, he would craft his own saber (however temporary), gain even more understanding of things (outside of the current happenings), become a noted duelist, and visit the wise Jedi sage, Emma Mynockrazor.
An impenetrable block
"What is blocked in your mind....I can't...I....I....I can't see through it. This is very unusual, now I find myself not being the only one who knows that a part of memory is blocked."
"Are you saying you have the same problem as I do? You can't remember your true past?"
"Yes....for what reason I don't remember...but you...your memory isn't as old as mine."
- Verociousna, upon finding that Emma can't restore his mind
About two weeks into his stay at the Jedi Temple, Verociousna had learned a great deal of things, from combat moves to knowledge of the past, and how the Jedi handle things, much to his disdain. But, he wasn't going to be a Jedi long, seeing as how he would move out of the grid and into the shadows. However, he needed to see this noted Jedi Sage called Emma Mynockrazor before leaving. It was said she could heal any wound, whether physical or mental, but today she would meet her match in the form of a man. Verociousna walked up to her during one of her meditations, but upon noting she was busy, started to walk away as to be polite. However, Emma wasn't in the mood for being treated with niceness; she actually viewed the unnanounced visit of this newcomer as a way to distance herself from her latest troubles. Verociousna quickly introduced himself and gave the describtion of his problem, which seemed to spark interest in Emma's eyes. However that interest was gone in a flash, and she agreed to do what she did best. However, this time, she would not be able to pierce the veiled part of this person's mind and heal it. For whatever reason, she was shocked back, as though there was a Force ability being used that prevented her from helping the man. Unknowingly, Verociousna still had his mental barrier up, and that could not be penetrated by normal means. She quickly, upon being asked if she was all right by Verociousna, told her own tale of not being able to find lost parts of her memory that she knew were back in her head somewhere, despite being a mere child as far as she could remember. She also told of how she recalled being a highly noted to-be...force aspect was it? She couldn't recall that as well for some odd reason, as though she was being halted by some external force. She quickly apologized for not being able to help, but was forgiven by Verociousna, who knew that sometimes you fail and sometimes you succeed. He bade her a good day, and she returned the favor...and returned to her arduous and fruitless meditations...
Leaving the grid
"Time for you to leave, it is. Understand what you needed to. Start the plan, you must."
"How though? I won't have the resources to start this operation."
"On a frozen planet...find you will what you need. Know this I do, for ordered I did the neccessary things for you."
"I will be off now...and thank you, Master Yoda, for the supplies and hospitality."
- Yoda, giving his farewells to Verociousna
At last came the time for Verociousna to head out and be off the grid for a very long time to come. After three weeks preparing for the task set ahead for him, he was summoned by Master Yoda, who, after Verociousna stated he wouldn't have any resources, sent him on his way after telling Verociousna that supplies and the neccessary technology had already been delivered. The planet on which Project Legions would be based on was a snow world; more of a combination of Carlac, Iceburg Three, and Orto Plutonia...oddly enough, this planet would be rich in the force as well, based on a later discovery, but that is the future. This is now. Verociousna, taking a Jedi Ambassador Shuttle, left Coruscant and jumped to hyperspace, and away to his new destiny...a destiny which would also prove to be evocative...and highly progressive technology wise.
"And just as I was starting to enjoy the temple life...ah well, I am certain this will be an interesting experience."
"It will, and may the Force be with you."
"May it be with you too, Master Kenobi."
- Verociousna talking to Kenobi as the former starts to leave
Stragair, home to the future.(21 BBY, late June to early July)
Arriving on Stragair
"I can't fathom why this planet would be suitable for development. Well...best I get started in any way I can."
"Are you Jedi General Xerxes?"
"GODS! Yes I am, and next time, don't come up behind me. I wasn't told to expect help here."
"Well Yoda kept that part out, wanted a little secret to come by your way. I am CC 1158, or Commmander Ben. Behind me are my boys, the 34th Snake Battalion."
- Verociousna meeting Clone Commander Ben and his company on the surface of Stragair
The trip was highly uneventful, and gave Verociousna plenty of time to think about what to do regarding how to form and finish Project Legions...and also to make his newest suit of armor, the Harbringer Armor, which was pretty much the same as the Heralder Armor, but with stronger ray shields and a helmet. By the time he arrived, it had been two hours, and besides finishing a new set of armor, he had already come up with specific improvements on the regular Galatic Army of the Republic (GAR for short). For starters, he already had in mind a new branch, called the Specters. They would be the get in there without anyone noticing type of people, blow their target up, and get out of there before anyone knew what hit them. Then there was the question of new clone templates. Jango's clones, while tough, weren't as advanced as Verociousna would like, so he would set out to find a suitable clone template. As for other details, he had yet to think them through, but right now, he was more concerned about surveying the land as he flew to his designated LZ. There were many tall spires and jagged rocks, not to mention forests of sorts down in valleys. Yes, he thought, that this would be a hard to assault planet. A droid army would have a tough time, and fighters would not be able to fly in and take out targets...unless they were tall or on spires. He finally arrived at the LZ, a large, open canyon which he called Arricun Canyon. Immediatly, he started on using the supplies he saw at the build site, but was interrupted by a brigade of clones who were ordered to wait for him. The clone in charge, quickly identifying himself as CC 1158, or Commander Ben and his company as the 34th Snake Battalion, ordered his men to start working on the base immediatly, but Verociousna said he would take care of the mess himself. Though the Force wasn't meant for construction purposes, within a few days, Verociousna had finished the main base and base air vehicle, not to mention fighters (augmented Umbaran starfighters that were faster, stronger, and more maneuverable than their ancestor, though Verociousna provided only the plans; the clones were the ones responsible for building them.) By the time the clones had finished a fairly sizeable defense force of fighters and two Deathcom gunships, the base and landing zone had been finished, from the base on up. The clones, filled with surprise beyond description, would hang their jaws open for a fair amount of hours. In the mean time, Verociousna, needing more men should something happen, quickly searched up not one, but two templates, hoping to create a new, more dangerous clone. He found two that quickly interested him. One was the Hardeen line, known for their fast and incredibly accurate shooting abilities, then another, but unidentified line. This other line was known for its offspring to be very agile, fast, and strong, and not to mention highly intelligent, but every now and then requiring the good meal and not cantina grub. Deciding a combination of the two lines, under the correct circumstances, would do well, Verociousna asked two people, one from each line, to come so he could draw DNA. That task was accomplished quite quickly; however, getting the two lines to mix properly proved extremely problematic. While Verociousna tried to get at least one clone to be created, men from the 34th found an ancient set of ruins far to the north, and from there they recovered plans for making a stronger metal, and many other things...among them a way to combine two DNA lines in the space of a few hours, and after those few hours, a clone would come forth, however, according to his internal clock, he would spend twenty years in an odd realm learning and practicing combat technique...all good according to Verociousna. The cool part was that the growth accelerant would wear off after the clone had emerged from the growth tank, aged at twenty, and very fit, so clones could live as long as any normal human. Now for the metal part, which would be used for ship, fighter, gunship, and ground vehicle armor, as well as building material....As for the metal, it was all over the valley; Ben and his boys got to work reinforcing the building material and vehicle armor, but as for clone armor, that could wait. Last, they also got an outpost set up to the south...where the only way into the caynon by ground rested. Odd thing was, a fresh and warm river flowed through the middle of this passage way, as did a forest. How strange was this world, Ben thought, now he was starting to wonder if he should have stayed on the front lines, but who cared? Building up a secret army was fun enough, not to mention being one of the only people Verociousna needed to keep things going. In fact, he would prove very instrumental in stopping a great evil later on, but that is later; this is now. Within a few weeks, the entire Fort Arricun instalation had been completed, from anti-orbital guns, to the landing zone, to the main fort itself, and then the outpost to the south, and not to mention thousands of clones now resided here, and built a city of sorts not far from the main base. Within a few weeks, the number of clones went from two dozen to ten legions. Now, Verociousna saw fit to call his clone army the would-be-feared Legions of the West Winds, but clones would not suffice...no, he needed additional Jedi Generals to help him out. As fate would have it, he would find two almost immediatly; Master Yoda said that two Jedi, Emma Mynockrazor and Jett Xion, were not cut out for the war and needed additional training...something Verociousna would be able to handle, or so he thought.
Jedi Reinforcements / Unnanounced CIS visit
"So, I now see fit to call you Masters Emma and Jett...consider yourself the first Jedi Master of the Legions of the West Winds...other than...."
"Supreme Jedi Marshall Xerxes, orbital scans have picked up a large CIS fleet in orbit, they brought landing craft."
"How did they find out?!"
"Easy to explain when one notices the spy right outside their window, litterally!"
- Verociousna (lines one and four), Ben (second line), and Jett Xion (third line), after CIS forces are detected in orbit and upon seeing a CIS spy dangling out of a window
A couple of days would pass by before Jett Xion and Emma Mynockrazor would arrive. Upon seeing Verociousna, Emma was surprised and gave a brief but friendly hello; but Jett said something in Mandalorian, a language Verociousna wasn't exactly aware of. What Jett said was, "Vode an, Master Xerxes," which was a custom greeting by Mandalorians to people of certain respect, but Verociousna could tell Jett Xion didn't mean any respectable greeting. Verociousna quickly understood he had a much longer road ahead of him than first expected...Quickly, he got to training Jett and Emma, as well as searching for a way to clone Jedi, but make the clones be...different somehow. He asked the now LCM (Legions Clone Marshall) Ben to research the ruins for anymore information and to deliver anything regarding cloning force-sensitives while making them be different, so as to prevent a mix up in the future and not have to use identity chips, and to also search for schematics for defense turrets to use for both the buildings and gunships. Ben quickly complied and took a squad of men with him, while Verociousna returned to the arduous task of training the two Jedi further. Over the course of a few days though, as Ben got successful results, so did Verociousna; Emma became far more experienced, and Jett learned a great many things, such as controlling his emotions better and gaining a sense of reverance for Master Xerxes. All was going just smoothly until Ben burst through the doors of the temporary Jedi Hall (on top of a massive tower armed with multiple anti air cannons (the main base was heavily defended, and combine that with the terrain, a droid army would not be able to have a good chance of taking the Arricun Canyon)), delivering a dreaded and unatticipated report; a CIS fleet of five Frigates, two Dreadnoughts, and one Battleship had been detected in mid entry. Anti orbital cannons were ordered to charge up immediatly, but they would only be able to take one frigate down, mainly because they lacked the proper power. Now, a massive invasion was here...and a turning point in Verociousna's life, as well as Emma's and Jett's. The group started to head down the stairs that lead to the base of the tower, however, Verociousna, upon feeling an odd sensation, looked back and saw a commando droid hanging off of a wall and peering inside the window. Ben, who also saw the droid, waisted no time so as not to give the droid a chance to report to his leaders, shot out a window and blasted the droid's head clean off. Verociousna took the time to comment on the shot before heading to the sub tram rail system to take him to the valley outpost.
"Clankers! Men, if you wanted action and a lot more training, you are about to get it!"
"Sir yes sir! Permission to start hitting them?"
"When I give the signal, yes."
- Ben, a horde of clones, and Verociousna preparing to ambush a droid wave coming straight towards the canyon
The droid army, being led by an unknown CIS general, had landed, despite all efforts to knock all enemy landing craft down before they could deploy their droids, and was now heading towards the mouth of the canyon...a mouth that was ready to devour them whole. Most of the Legion ground defense units had already made their way to the "gateway" by use of a series of subtram stations; one led from the base right to the outpost for speed, incase the gunships couldn't get enough men to where they needed to go, and further more, the subtrams were far safer right now due to a mess of droid fighters and bombers in the air. Now, back at the outpost, the hundreds of clone units, ranging from the greenhorns to Ben's men and then to the Jedi Generals in charge of them, were lying in wait for the enemy to fall into a cleverly planned trap; they would draw the droids in by "deserting the outpost", and when the dumb clankers got too close, the Legions would pounce. The droids, dimwitted as they were, took advantage of the "surprise" that the outpost was deserted, and started charging towards the outpost, seeking to pick up their pace and not stop before the "retreating Republic dogs" could get dug in. Only problem was, if they had looked to the tall spires of ice and rock to their left and right, they would have seen hundreds of clones and three Jedi wherever they looked while viewing the spires. However, the droids, being single minded, charged into the trap, and right into a mess of chaos. Suddenly, a blaster shot ringed out, and two droids were killed with one shot. Then there were many blaster shots; still the droids didn't know what was going on, but then one of the B2 droids got a eureka moment and looked up to the ice and rock spires. Seeing the outlines of clones, he order the droids to shoot at the spires anywhere, so long as they didn't miss. Only problem was by that time, most of the droids were dead, taken out by the marksmanship of the new clones. By the time three minutes had gone by, the entire droid invasion force had been taken out, and not one shot fired by the Legions missed. As for the air though, that was another matter entirely. Without much warning, the enemy frigates and bombers came down and started to hit the surface of the planet, seeking to destroy as much as they could before going down or retreating. Verociousna knew it was only a matter of time before the droids found the base and bombarded it, so he got the two Deathcom gunships to pick up twenty clones per gunship, and Emma and Jett would take one while Verociousna took the other. A mere minute had passed before the gunships, fighters on their tail as escort, picked up the clones and headed for the frigates, which were nearing the location of the main base, and the city in which the clones lived. The pilot, called LP (Legions Pilot) Genesis (females were cloned as well, but they never served as troopers, only pilots, medics, and cooks (the males weren't known for their cooking)) of Verociousna's ship stated that base intercepted a transmission in which the CIS leader, a Sith Hopeful from Korriban, wanted every last place of interest destroyed, from the ancient ruins to the west and north, to the Republic base on this planet. What sparked Verociousna's interest the most was the mention of ruins to the west (during the time on Stragair, no ruins to the west had been discovered), but that could wait until after he had boarded the main battle ship in orbit after helping to take care of the frigates attempting to destroy the surface. Without asking for permission, he took control of the gun ship, and flew it right into the fray. When he broke through the clouds, he could see the frigates firing blindly at the surface as they descended, all the while fighting off odd fighters and Y-Wing bombers (the Legions were using Y-Wings supplied by Yoda for the time being because they had yet to make a bomber of their own.) Verociousna, asking how many rockets were in the launchers and finding out there were five per launcher, decided to have a little pyromaniac moment; he went in to the fray with the gunship, firing two rockets at one bridge of a frigate, then two at another. The droids, not expecting the surprise attack by a lone gunship, let alone a new, more powerful one, could not raise their shields in time, and all five frigates went down to the surface, where Legion Salvagers (mostly men, but a few women here in there incase there was a tight space) were waiting to pick up the debris and take it back to base. Now that that problem was taken care of, Verociousna ordered all bombers and fighters as well as the other gunship on him; they were going to the upper atmosphere (the gunships had pressure and atmosphere shields and gravity whenever they went to space or the upper part of an atmosphere) to take care of the remaining CIS ships; however, this was what the Sith Hopeful wanted. He wanted to draw the head haunchos up to his ship so he could self destroy it and go down in a blaze of glory.
Aboard the Stalker
"So you are the ones in charge of this Project Legions business eh? Welcome aboard my ship, and welcome to your doom!"
"Doom? Hardly, more like yours."
"Or so you think..."
- The Sith, talking to Verociousna just before the trap is sprung
The lead battleship, called the Stalker, known for its quick attacks that leave few or no survivors, was also the flagship of the attacking OP4 leader. Verociousna, seeking an end to this conflict before reinforcements could be summoned by the CIS Sith General, boarded the ship by "landing" in the hangar. Gensis, who took back the cockpit after Verociousna and his men got off, asked Verociousna to not do such a thing to her gunship, to which he retorted with the fact that he was the leader in the Legions, and the gunships were, in a way, created by him. Another touche, but this time from another person not from the Jedi Order. After that, Genesis took off, but would stand by in case evac was needed, should something go wrong in the plan, and Verociousna, with back up from the others who got off of Razor's gunship (Razor was an original clone, not a Legions clone), started to proceed through to the bridge. Resistance was strong, as was expected, especially with many droids and few men, but nonetheless, the strike force made it through to the bridge, where the Sith Hopeful, a hybrid of a Sith Pureblood and a Human, awaited the coming of the small band of clones and Jedi...with destroyer droids and commando droids. He quickly veered around to greet the newcomers, who were seeming as though they wanted to get this over with, so why not oblige them? He quickly pulled out a button, and before Verociousna or anyone else could react, he pushed it, causing the engines to fail and the ship to fall to the surface in flames. Verociousna, recognizing he fell for it, ordered his men to fire at anything that wasn't organic while he went after the Sith, who clearly wasn't ready for an opponent with such skill. Despite using two dual edge lightsabers, the battle was over for the Sith in but a few seconds....ten to be exact. That was one problem out of the way, but the ship was now falling towards the planet surface, and to doom. Verociousna quickly signaled Gensis to blow out the windows and get them out of the ship, to which she said where and when, and to which he said to just go to the bridge and blow the windows out right now. It was a failed attempt at breaking the tension, but an attempt nonetheless....and a rescue mission completed. Despite the thirty clones and three Jedi getting into a gunship meant to carry sixteen clones, they made it work, and just in time; if a clone or one of the Jedi been a moment too late in getting on the gunship, they would have been gone in flames. Verociousna, crediting Genesis for the rescue, ordered all fighters and bombers to take care of the remaining CIS forces and to either destroy them or send them packing. Both remaining Dreadnoughts were destroyed within ten minutes, and all remaining OP4 were either too low on power or destroyed. A successful victory, first at that, for the Legions, and a fitting last trial for Jett and Emma...but now the one thing Verociousna was wondering about returned to him. He ordered Genesis to first drop the clones off at base, then to take them due west to 40 N Latitude, 80 W Longitude, which were the set of coordinates for the set of ruins that he got from the CIS battleship off of a dataport.
"One problem finished, on to the next. Genesis, set course for the northern ruins...it is time to see what lies hidden within the walls, if there are any."
"Roger that sir, buckle up, because it will be a while before we get there, and standing in a flying object isn't too comfortable."
- Verociousna telling Genesis to head for the northern ruins
Trials of the Ralarea Sanctum (21 BBY, July)
Arriving at the temple
"Good grief! Genesis, are you seeing what I am seeing up ahead?"
"Heck yea sir...what is that place? Another set of ruins?"
"Yea...and the closer we get, the more evocative this place is."
- Verociousna talking to Genesis about the ruins dead ahead
Verociousna, Jett, and Emma, and Genesis, after dropping off the clone troops off at base, headed for the coordinates to the next set of ruins, and what met their eyes was nothing short of unremarkable; an entire temple, with hardly any damage to it, and with a massive forest of Carlac-like trees (the trees are closer to the purple Jedi meditation trees you see in CWA) surrounding the place, combined with more ice and rock spires. What this place was was a place the three felt as though they had been to before; odd enough, this temple was actually a holy site for the Ralarea before the wars, but now, long after it had been abandoned, who was to say what resided in it now? Verociousna, feeling the same type of evocative feeling Emma and Jett had, ordered Genesis to set them down far but not too far from the temple, not knowing if there was some type of invisible shield or not. Genesis complied, but not before noting the odd towers that surrounded what looked like the main building, and the fact that there was movement, not to mention life readings. That was enough to trouble Verociousna, for he knew not what this place was. Was it a ruin or a forward base for the CIS? It couldn't be a forward CIS base, for he would have known, but a ruin? Hardly! The place was inhabited, and was nowhere near a damaged state. Beyond that though, Verociousna wondered again why the place was so evocative...he dissmissed the sensation and ordered Genesis to head basebound, and that they would call her when they needed pick up. She noted that and flew off, leaving the three alone...and the moment they were alone, something let out an unearthly shriek...but was it a thing or person? So many questions flooding Verociousna's mind, but he could find out if he got inside the temple complex...if he could make his way through the three story tall and one story wide force-attuned steel gate that barred his way.
Little did he know, his movements were being watch from not far away by wary eyes...eyes that glowed red and seethed with hate. One of the shadowy figures motioned for another to inform the others...company had arrived...and that the Prime Aspect wouldn't like the news.
Within the gates of death
"How many of them are there?! And how strong are they?!"
"Too strong, I can feel their power within the Force just standing here!"
"Should we run?"
"Why bother...we're toast."
- Jett Xion (lines one and four), Verociousna (line two), and Emma (line three), upon entering the valley
Verociousna had now been force pushing at the door for minutes, and didn't even make it move. Clearly, he thought, that the Force user who attuned this gate knew what the purpose of the attunement was. No matter how hard he tried, even with help from Jett and Emma, Verociousna could not break the gates. Then the idea came to him of using Force Light, seeing as how he started to sense a darkness in the air. The three focused their powers to project a massive flash of Force Light that, when it faded, had destroyed the Force Seal protecting the temple. Now, when the three tried again, the doors flew wide open with ease, but behind them was a horde of black and red robed humans, with their black hair and eyes glowing red and seething with hatred for the trio of unwelcome visitors. Jett, upon seeing the horde of enemies, wondered how they could hold up against them, and after debating over what course of action to take, decided to just give up seeing as how they were doomed to far more powerful and numerous opponents. However, Verociousna would not give into deceit; he saw past the illusions of power surrounding the enemy, and knew that they were as weak as he was...if not weaker. Verociousna, his mind clear on what to do, unleashed a massive Force Burst that directed the combination of a Force Push, Force Light, and Force Fire towards the group of hostiles...and all but destroyed them. Jett and Emma, never seeing any Jedi use that kind of power, even in the texts (next to the Shan line, known for absorbing lightsaber energy with their bare hands), now wondered if Xerxes (or Verociousna, as they would later call him) was a Jedi or Sith, to which he, after reading their unblocked minds, said that he was neither of them...something far more than a Jedi or Sith. Unopposed, Verociousna, Jett, and Emma walked into the valley and past the gates which would have been their doom, and saw the true nature of the place. Apparently the place was covered by an illusion..the illusion that it was a safe looking place, but in reality it proved to be quite different. Stygian (hellish), volcanic (on a mostly icebound planet...), and seething with the Dark Side, the temple was revealed to be a temple dedicated to the darkness...and to someone else, as the group would find out. They marched towards the front building, which seemed to be once a place of training and peace...now it was full of chaos and ruined, and was almost ready to cave in upon itself, but they had no choice but to go through to the top, as the only way across to the other side rested upon the roof. As to why they could simply walk to where they wanted to go, was because lava was everywhere and surrounding the other side of the complex, and with two volcanoes steadily pouring out the lava in addition to blocking the mountain pass ways, walking around to the other side was out of the question. By the time a few minutes of braving intense heat had passed, Verociousna, Jett, and Emma were inside the front building, which instead of clearly serving as a youngling (but not Jedi youngling) complex, now served as a library and practice temple that belonged to darkness, and not to mention holding up part of the only way across to the other side. Oddly enough, there were no more Sith, or at least they seemed to be Sith (the people the trio met before entering the front building), were nowhere to be found...only signs of a hasty departure and preparation for battle were to be found. The group, blowing that aside, moved on up through the leves until when, at the top, they ran into three more Sith, this time with their illusion down, but still strong enough to give a good fight to the Jedi scum, who were ready to slice their bodies open or in half. Unfortunately, the Jedi were not in the mood for making a point of a fight; they simply, with a combined effort, Force pushed their opponents away and off the building, down to their death. With that small hurtle out of the way, the group looked behind them and saw that there was no bridge; but your eyes can so often deceive you. This time it was Emma who saw past the illusion and, after stepping into "thin air", found that the steps down to the blocked off path (there was a lower path to and from the two buildings, but the front one had its entrance/exit blocked off due to a malfunctioning door) were hidden by the Force. The group, following her lead and now seeing the once invisible steps, meticuously made their way down to the path and, upon stepping on firm metal, made their way towards the main complex...and to the reawakening that awaited them.
The final trials and return to Paradise
"Whatever is happening to us...it feels like...being ripped...apart!"
- Verociousna, observing what is going on after touching an odd book
The group, after making their way down the ancient bridge over the lava (it was assumed that there might have been a river, after all, why have a bridge between two complexes when you could have simply walked over on a path), stepped upon the grounds of the Main Temple...and ground considered sacred to the Sith taking up arms within the temple. Without much warning, another horde of enemies jumped from the top of the main building...and where the base of an odd tower lay. The group, having just enough time to prepare, rolled backwards and almost into the lava...but that was their plan. The Sith, too blood crazed and angry that infidels were on their holy ground, charged audaciously towards the three downed figures....but in their anger, they failed to slow down before slidding into the lava, which burned a few up right away. The others, behind their brothers and a little smarter, slowed down before they could fall into the river of lava and to their death and face the three enemies who were now off to the left and charged again at them, but this time being sure to be careful. A fight would ensue, in which Verociousna, Emma, and Jett again emerged victorious, but not before sustaining a few cuts, but not any that went through and cut off an arm or leg. As for the enemies? They were all killed, most of them dead by Verociousna's lightsaber, but a few by Emma and Jett (both got three per person, but Verociousna killed the remaining ninety-four.) With the enemies dead, the group advanced unchallenged into the building...but made the mistake of not taking the stairs. Because of that mistake, the group actually entered the dueling chamber (still the same building, but lower than the observation level...where you are safe) and found themselves face to face with a massive Nekghoul Sith...and he looked hungry for flesh. Without much time to prepare themselves, the group rolled off to the side as the nine foot tall Nekghoul charged right at them, lightsabers swinging. The Nekghoul, angry that he missed, charged again at his enemies, but again missed. Verociousna, deciding that time was being wasted, threw his lightsaber at the Nekghoul's head...but missed. The Nekghoul was not an ordinary one; it had learned with time, and had practiced so much (despite being kept inside a small room) on others and learned how to be fast, strong, and agile during its forty year stay at the temple that it was granted position as a Sith Lord (albeit used to test the limits of the other Sith). Now he had a challenge at last in the form of three Jedi intruders...and how glad he was to finally have one. Verociousna, however, wasn't in the mood for having a challenge. All he and the others wanted to do was to get to the second floor...in which lied something that seemed to call them towards it. The Nekghoul, sensing their intentions taunted them with a fact that they will never get past him. Verociousna, however, couldn't disagree more. He motioned to Jett to do something, and then he charged towards the Nekghoul, who was surprised at the reckless move; but then, a moment too late, he remembered the other two. By the time he had pieced together the puzzle, Jett Xion had already climbed up on his back and stabbed him over and over again, while Verociousna jumped up and plunged his lightsaber deep within the Nekghoul's head, killing him. The Nekghoul, overwhelmed by the efforts of two, fell to the ground...breathing his last breath and cursing his last curse..."Blast you Jedi scum..." Verociousna, Jett, and Emma, glad that the beast was dead, jumped up to the pathway that encircled the dueling arena, and walked through to the other side of the temple, discovering nothing but broken items now considered not neccessary by the Sith who inhabited the place...among those items was a healing well, giving the three the idea this wasn't always a Sith temple. Pushing that thought aside, they made their way up a stairwell, and arrived in the second floor...and close to the object that called them towards it. Verociousna, finding a sealed vault within this floor, simply, without understanding what he was doing, uttered the words that opened the vault. What was inside, however, was nothing short of dissapointing. All that was in there were the other side of some archive shelves and a book...shielded by a light side barrier. Curious, Verociousna thought, as to why would a light side barrier would be within a temple devoted to darkness. With his curiousity engaged, Verociousna walked through the lightside barrier, and ordered the others to follow his lead. Oddly enough, the book was already opened, but for some reason, the book was opened to two conjoined pages showing a broken world. Suddenly, a hand appeared on the left side and another on the right side of the book. Verociousna, thinking correctly to put his hands on both sides, suddenly was enveloped by a blinding light...and felt as though he was being ripped apart.
Return of three heros
"By the Force! What is this place? Why do those statues look exactly like us?"
"I am not sure Emma...but I have a feeling that we once used to walk this place."
"You think that this is a holy place...and that we aren't who we seem to be?"
- Emma and Verociousna, discussing the possibility that they weren't human
Within the space of a few seconds, Verociousna landed on charred ground, with burned trees all around. Emma and Jett, although not as gracefully, landed a few seconds behind him, and all three were astounded by the sight that met their eyes. For reasons unknown, they were on an entirely new world, and were facing an odd spire surrounded by floating rocks...and four statues lined up around the spire, forming an X when a line coming from their base met the spire...odd thing was, three of the statues looked exactly like each of the heros. One looked a lot like Emma, save far more beautiful, but emminating with power and compassion, another like Jett, radiating with a sense of knowing and great wisdom. Then came Verociousna's, this time though, clad in powerful armor and holding two sabers, with one looking just like the one he holds right now, and his statue radiated with a sense of seeking justice and the good of others, all the while eagerly awaiting a good battle in which to slay the wicked. Then there was another one, which all three took a look at, but didn't recognize who it was...they would soon enough. Without much warning, another person from behind them spoke up, saying what a surprise it was to see them again. This time, Verociousna could remember precisely who this person was; Katarina. His voice seethed with righteous anger, hers with a determination to make sure that he stayed dead. With barely the flick of the hand, all three went flying backwards, Jett and Emma crashing into a floating rock, Verociousna landing next to his statue. Shaking his head, he looked up to his statue which now seemed to urge him to stick his hand into a finely cut socket within the base. When he did, he pulled out another saber that looked identical to his other one. Katarina, seeing her brother holding both lightsabers, quickly charged at him with the aim to kill, however, she was already too late. Her mistake of not using Force Lightning would cost her much in the future, as Verociousna suddenly started to glow with a blue-white color. His armor started to change around his body, his lightsabers now glowed a cyan-white color, and his eyes turned to a piercing blue color, as did his beard. Even more abrubt than the sudden glow, Verociousna unleased a powerful burst of energy that Katarina barely shielded herself against...and when the after glow dissapeared, a figure stood at the source of the energy. Verociousna, forever changed and with his memories fully restored, now charged at Katarina, and the two engaged in a furious duel. Over the time Verociousna had been gone, somehow Katarina had gained far more power than comprehendable...unfortunately, so did Verociousna, but this time in wisdom and a knowing of what to do. His new found compassion for life kept him from using his powers of justice upon his sister, but he still had the aim to at least inabilitate her. Verociousna, while dueling Katarina, gave Jett and Emma the chance they needed to find their statues and pull out their unique sabers. Emma pulled out a dual-edge lightsaber and, following a glow of pure white energy, had returned to her Ralarea state, as the new Aspect of Mercy and the Force, and now had a stunning beauty about her, despite the fact that she had concealing armor. Her hair and eyes now glowed a sharp and pure white, and she charged in to help Verociousna, with Jett, now clad in armor somewhat similar to Verociousna's and with two purple, electrically charged lightsabers, not far behind. Katarina, unprepared for the three-pronged attack, was shortly thereafter forced to retreat to the hells from which she came, but not before blasting her former allies away. Verociousna, Emma, and Jett, after recovering from the brief ordeal, agreed that they should leave their homeland so as not to see the ruin that they caused again, headed back to the temple, which when they returned, was swarming with Legion troopers, seeking any remains of Sith Warriors (Verociousna, Emma, and Jett had, before leaving, ordered Genesis to come back with troops to secure the temple when and if they came back, for if something had happened to them.) The Legions, shortly after noticing a white glow within the top most tower, ran up and found a barred door...but the instant they got there, the door opened, and from there walked their three generals. Verociousna, Emma, and Jett, exhausted and trying to keep up with the sudden return of their memories, were offered a ride back to base by Genesis, but they first had to cleanse the temple, as was their duty to their people. With a combined effort, the three, after getting to a volcanic rock wall, destroyed the dark and vile corruption that spread over the land, and when they were done, a restored temple, once home to the Ralarea Sages, was visible. Emma, nearly overjoyed that her home of sorts had been purified, asked Verociousna to allow her to stay behind and to start training any younglings the Jedi Order might be willing to send their way, and he agreed, but also added that she will be responsible for further training of Jedi clones. She agreed, but not before adding that the more natural the person, the better they might be, but Verociousna quickly retorted with the fact that they needed more Jedi...fast. They couldn't wait years for the younglings to age. A touche was the response from Emma.
"Katarina will have to crawl under a rock in order to at least prolong her miserable life...she won't escape me in the end."
"Are you so set on finding her and making chaos?"
"Yes, but it is more like delivering justice. Chaos and justice are two very different things. Both of which I make."
- Verociousna and Emma talking about Katarina
Dealings with the Dark Nebula (21 BBY, July)
A summon for help.
"Xerxes? What happened to you? Are you even Xerxes?"
"Yes I am, Master Kenobi. As Jett here would now say, time flies...even in short periods of time."
"I couldn't agree more...but I call not to check on your progress, which I'm sure is going fine. I call on you because we need your help with a covert operation that involves a CIS firm...and army."
- Kenobi, talking to Verociousna about a new threat
Not long after the temple had been purged, Verociousna and Jett (they did leave Emma behind so she could be the Legions' Jedi trainer) went back to base to meditate on the resurge of memories. They were overwhelmed, so they left the now Specter Marshal Ben (fourth in command; Emma is third, Jett is second, and you know who is first) to deal with a few things, such as keeping the men in line and to establish a training base for the Specter Branch (one could call them Black Ops or the Legion's equivilant of Republic Commandos) that was just now being founded. Ben was the first one who passed the established training and skill requirements, and he, for a normal clone, did exceptionally well, and was granted S7 level access (S1 is the lowest, which meaned that you at least qualified for training but didn't make it all the way through) at the start, making him the top shot of all Specters. Ben did his job well for two days, during which Verociousna and Jett attempted to make sense of their returned memories (unknown to them, Emma, being a Jedi Sage, had already caught up with her memories and was now doing her job as instructed; Verociousna and Jett would be a day behind, taking three days to understand their memories.) He also, after recovering more blueprints from the northern ruins (which turned out to be a Ralarea science campus), made a Force Gate, which was being worked on at the time of the end of the Great War of the Ancients, and failed due to interruption by the change of leadership (Katarina didn't want this technology found, so she destroyed the temple...or so she thought.) However, where one failed, another sees a chance to do what wasn't done. Ben ordered the immediate construction of one and, when Verociousna and Jett returned from their meditations, were surprised to see both the Specter Corps and a new piece of technology ready. Jett Xion, like father like son, wanted to be the first to test it out, in order to make sure it worked. However, just in case something bad would happen, he looked at his scroll of fate and read it, quickly noting that the new Force Gate would be a success...but it would have to be tapped into one of the odd subterranean rivers that was rich in the Force. Good thing that a build site was not far; the temple where Emma was happened to sit right on top of a river...and had a lake surrounding it (the Force was used to heat the water, to ensure it wouldn't freeze over.) With two new bits of success under his belt, Ben asked Verociousna if he could enjoy a few rounds on the house, but, just after being granted permission, received a communication from Obi-Wan (Kenobi was in contact with Ben during the early days of Project Legions, and would still contact him about either progress or notice of a shipment of supplies, but this time, the call would be far different.) Kenobi, after making sure he was actually talking to "Xerxes" (he would later come to know Verociousna by his true name), told Verociousna that a Venator Attack Cruiser was on its way to pick up Verociousna, Jett, Emma, and some of the Legions and their flight technology. A CIS private firm and army, called the Dark Nebula, had been discovered on Mustafar, and had a small but sizable town built already and was increasing its army size. Yoda, after seeing that if the new threat wasn't put down quickly it would be a problem to the Republic Forces that were already spread thin, wanted Verociousna to end the Dark Nebula. Verociousna, all too ready to leave Stragair and see some action, agreed and ordered both gunships and at least ten fighters and five bombers ready and waiting for the Venator Attack Cruiser that was coming to pick them up and send them to Mustafar. Ben was among the mix, and so were a few other Specters, mostly holding S1 position for the moment, the rest being rank and file clones, with the occasional Legions Heavy Trooper or Praetorian (clones skilled in the use of an energy shield and Saberspear (a spear with a lightsaber end to it)) here and there, coming up with a sum of twenty nine clones and three Jedi (the three being Verociousna, Jett, and Emma) (there were four Specters, five Heavies, and three Praetorians in the clone part of the strike force.)
The heat on Mustafar
"The flak is too heavy! We'll never make it to the town!"
" That wasn't the plan from the start! Genesis, set us down in that field! We can draw the enemy out and beat them up!"
"What if stronger numbers and better tactics are involved? You do realize that things can go south fast! We are still fresh off the training routine!"
"Then we'll adapt should something happen!"
- Genesis and Verociousna during the initial landing on Mustafar
Not long after final preparations were made, the Venator Attack Cruiser, under the command of Kenobi and Ghost Company, arrived over Stragair, and descended to the surface to pick up the troops; however, that would be unrequired. Verociousna, having ordered all strike force troops to either the gunships or fighters, were ready and waiting to fly to the cruiser, and when it arrived, they took off. Cody, upon seeing the ships, almost ordered all canons to open fire, and if it weren't for Kenobi, the Legion strike force would be scrap by now, for they weren't registered as friendly. Verociousna, after getting off of the gunship of Genesis, headed for the bridge to be informed more on the situation. Kenobi, after seeing Verociousna enter the bridge, activated the holoprojector and showed the terrain and climate features of Mustafar. Verociousna knew this would be a new experience for the Legions, as the only planet they were on was Stragair, and no doubt their "twenty year" long training had not prepared them for a volcanic world, so they would have to adapt. Easy for the Specters, but not the rest of the Legion troopers. After the briefing, Verociousna thought it best to perhaps walk around and inspect the cruiser, called the Judgement, as after the strike the ship would be his to command. He saw many things that could be improved on: engine power, shields, armor, blaster power, and hyperdrive speed to be a few problems to be solved after the mission. Six hours had now gone past, and the cruiser arrived in the Mustafar system, ready to head for the volcanic planet. However, a CIS fleet was now guarding the planet, and a new approach would have to be taken. Verociousna quickly pointed out to Kenobi that his fighters would be too fast for the five frigates to target and too strong for the shields to hold up. Kenobi saw the wisdom in that and gave Verociousna leave to lead his men into battle, though a Jedi starfighter was needed. Verociousna said that he'd be fine in any fighter...or on his own. The five Legion pilots (excluding Genesis, as she is a gunship pilot) got on their fighters and let Verociousna, flying ahead with a mere jetpack, lead the way into battle. The droid blockade, not expecting such a small force or a man on a jetpack, didn't know what to make of the fighters or the man...until one of their ships was blown up. However, by then, it was too late for the rest of the droids to attack the fighers; no cannon could target the fighters which were coming down from above or hit the man on the jetpack, and the blockade was finished off in but a few minutes (thanks to the fact that shields weren't up on the frigates.) Verociousna signaled it was all clear, and headed back to the Judgment while his fighters went down and scouted the area out, looking for any landing zones or places to avoid, however, what they didn't expect was for the Dark Nebula to be ready, as though they knew something like this was going to happen. Emma, who was reading the emmotions of the Dark Nebula on the surface, soon found out the blockade was a lure all on its own; it was designed to let the Dark Nebula know whether or not enemy forces were coming. However, by the time she found out, the Legion gunships and Y-Wings had already left for the surface; and she was on one. She quickly asked Verociousna to abort the mission because of what she found, but it was too late. Heavy flak and hordes of Vulture droids suddenly came at the descending strike force, blowing up one bomber and damaging a gunship...Genesis' gunship. However, the damage wasn't enough to cause worry, and the Legions continued towards the outskirts of the town, until Verociousna ordered Genesis and the other gunship to deploy the forces in an open field with no cover, so as to draw the enemy out. One would certainly think that this would be suicide, but the Specters had portable shields with them that could be deployed in but a few short seconds...and were completely blaster proof, though after a while the shields would need to recharge, and they would shut off, exposing any forces taking cover. Verociousna said it would be a calculated risk, and the forces deployed on the field. Specters set up five shield generators (not like ray shields) that provided a perimeter of one hundred feet (thirty feet in length for one side of length, twenty in width for one side of width.) Soon enough, and as Verociousna expected, Dark Nebula forces came charging out, however, unaccording to plan, Vulture Droids descended from the sky as well, and the shields didn't cover the air...but the one Legions fighter that was available did. Without much warning or broadcast, a Legions fighter came out from behind a volcano and attacked the incoming droid fighters, leaving the ground forces room to worry about the incoming ground forces. The Heavies were the first to throw punches, launching grenades and explosive turbolasers at the incoming forces from Grenade Launchers or Turbolaser Cannons (one can see the two weapons on CWA, though in this story, they are Legion Weapons), and then letting the troops fire with their normal blasters. As expected, not long after the fight had started, the shields went down, and the Legions charged at the enemy behind their lightsaber wielding Jedi Generals or shield-bearing Praetorians. The Dark Nebula, not prepared for the charging forces, were quickly overwhelmed by the well played tactics of the Legions, and retreated to the main target of interest, the town known as Nova Town.
Close quarters combat in Nova Town
"They're in the town! Defend the Tower! For the CIS! For the..."
"Do us all a favor and shut up."
- A Dark Nebula soldier and Ben, who came up from behind and twisted the neck and head of the soldier
With the Dark Nebula in retreat, Verociousna decided to pursue and not give them a chance to dig in. He ordered Genesis to come back around with Razor and to help blow the town to kingdom come, while he sent Ben and his Specters in ahead to eliminate any guards and scout out the town within a time limit of at tops ten minutes before the main force moved into the town and started their attack along with the gunships. Ben moved on ahead and scouted the town out, which turned out to be well fortified while still maintaining a good air...for those who submit to evil. He also managed to compromise most of the defenses and found out who the leader was: not quite human nor hutt, her name was Xalandra Nova, leader of the Dark Nebula and a pawn of Count Dooku. As Ben started to leave, he saw the main force coming in...and a lone Dark Nebula guard, who started to yell the alert, but was cut off when Ben twisted his head and neck. Unfortunately, the small bit was enough to alert the rest of the Dark Nebula that something was wrong. Quickly, many soldiers and Sith came out of the buildings and up to the wall to see a small ground force charging the walls...and two gunships with five fighters coming at the town, missles launched. Within ten hits from ten missles, the main gate came crashing down, bringing some of the wall with it, as well as some Dark Nebula. With the gate down and most of the defenses crippled, Verociousna and his men had little worry about getting into the town; it was the living defenses that would prove to be a problem. The Dark Nebula soldiers opened fire on the Legions as soon the gate came down, and the Sith came from above, on parts of the front wall still intact, or from the shadows. Verociousna, with his mind now intact once more, and not wishing to overkill the enemy and provide them with a fair fight (valor for the Ralarea also translates into honor) limited his powers and asked Jett and Emma to do the same (in accordance with the Jedi Code, in which it stated that those who have power should restrain themselves from using it, and that was the only law of the Jedi Code Verociousna was happy to go along side with), but still enough to have a strong possibility of winning and so as to give the Dark Nebula a fair fight...still, it would be a fight they would lose. Verociousna and Jett went after the Sith while the Legions and Emma focused on the Dark Nebula soldiers and droid commandos that had been reactivated, as well as the turrets. The fighters and gunships, now being fired upon by anti air turrets, had to retreat to a safe distance until the turrets were turned off, or risk being blown up. Verociousna, his hands on his sabers and his sabers up to his enemies necks, saw the turrets come back online and decided to go to the power reactor, leaving Jett, Emma, and his Legions behind, but still capable. As for Ben, he and his Specters were in the shadows, shooting at the enemies' backs and moving from place to place. When the power came back to the defenses, Ben went to the power reactor and litterally ran into Verociousna, who had the same goal in mind; shut the power off. Ben asked if he could go ahead while Verociousna hanged back with the men and held their ground. Verociousna, realizing he could do more good if he stayed behind to help his men, gave Ben the all clear, but to have the power off in five, or the mission would be aborted. Verociousna made his way back to his men, cutting down a few enemy reinforcements while doing so. Five mintues would pass of deflecting blaster bolts or blocking lightsaber attacks, and as Verociousna was about to call it off and Genesis came back for an attempt to blow the turrets up or go down, the power went off, and turrets, no longer powered, shut off, the droids as well, as they were connected by a "hive mind", or central computer that too lost any power provided to it by the reactor. Verociousna, seeing an advantage return, ordered Genesis to fire into the enemy lines carefully, as the buildings were close together, and two speeders a foot apart could barely fit into the space that was a road. Genesis, being something of a markswomen, managed to hit her target and clear the way for Verociousna and the rest of the Legions. Ben made his way back to the gates to find the Legions tending to their wounded, among them Verociousna, who sustained a blaster shot to the lung, yet was still alive. After a quick Force Heal courtesy of Emma, Verociousna was back up on his feet and commended Ben for his actions and gave thanks to Emma for keeping him among the living...it wouldn't be the last time Verociousna would be in debt to Emma. With the road clear, Verociousna ordered the Legions to advance and head for the tall tower that was the seat of Xalandra's power (Ben managed to figure that out by over hearing a talk between two soldiers during his sneak, kill, and unpower spree)...it was time to finish this and get the hades out of Nova Town.
Confronting the Mistress
"What are you doing here? You Republic scum have no place in my town!"
"This isn't your town anymore. Surrender and perhaps the Republic might lessen your punishment."
"You Jedi fools expect the mighty Xalandra Nova to back down? You are horribly mistaken!"
"Verociousna sir...this isn't going to be easy..."
Nova (lines 1 and 3), Verociousna (line 2), and Ben (last line)
It wouldn't be long before Verociousna and his men arrived at Nova Tower, despite heavy resistance and much blaster fire, but, without the help of their turrets or droids, the Dark Nebula were very easy to pick off one at a time. The strike force made their way down the main street by moving in a pentagon formation; Verociousna, Emma, and Jett would cover three sides while two Legion Praetorians covered the remaining openings in the formation. It didn't take long to move to the center of town, where Nova Tower stood, but actually getting into the tower would be the tricky part; the rest of the Dark Nebula had gathered around to make a desperate last stand against the small group that had somehow managed to best Nebula numbers, tactics, and technology. Some of the Dark Nebula were wise and gave up, while others were upper case members, and would not flee before the enemy; big mistake. Those who gave up were allowed to live on the condition that they must never take up arms against the Republic again, and those who weren't as wise were killed during the final rush on the tower. However, Verociousna overlooked one important card; the leader herself. Without warning, a window broke on the top floor, and from it came this human woman with two red lightsabers, and she rapidly cut down three of the Specters, all of the Heavies, ten troopers, and one Praetorian, all within the time of six seconds. Verociousna quickly ordered the rest of the Legions to stand back, including Jett and Emma. Xalandra quickly spoke up, asking why Republic dogs were on her territory, and Verociousna retorted with the fact that the territory was no longer hers. That was no doubt the wrong thing to say, as she suddenly shook with rage and glared at Verociousna. Ben, quickly stating that the fight wasn't going to be easy, managed to somehow sneak away from the fray and sneak into the tower, downloading all CIS data and getting into position on top of the tower should something go wrong for Verociousna; it wouldn't come to pass. Suddenly, a bomb within the tower went off, and it sent the tower flying sideways, into the rest of the Legions who were surrounding Verociousna and Xalandra, who were in a furious duel, in which neither was getting the upper hand...right up until the tower fell. Verociousna and the Legions were burried in the rubble, and Xalandra, managing to clear the zone, ran away, thus escaping Republic justice.
In the mean time, Verociousna and Emma managed to clear away the rubble by force repulsing at low enough of a power to not harm organic matter, but still enough to clear away the rubble. Most of the Legion troopers were now dead, save for the remaining Specters and the one Praetorian; included in the Specters was Ben, who was now at death's door step. Jett survived as well, thanks to a timely force shield that barely held, though it hurt Ben, who, when the tower fell, had the misfortune of landing on the force shield. His legs were now gone, and his left arm was badly mangled. Further more, his left part of the brain was rendered completly useless. Emma would be able to restore the brain part and somehow destroy the growth accelerant, but Ben would have to ask Verociousna to get him new legs and an arm (Emma couldn't heal the arm thanks to the fact that nerve damage would be staying, so the best option was to amputate the arm.) All in all though, the mission was a success, albeit not everyone was walking home. Verociousna still had some problems with his left lung where he was shot, and add onto that a cut to the neck, Ben had major body part loss, and many of the Legion clones were dead. Genesis was shot down and killed by Vulture droids from a nearby CIS base, as were three pilots and their starfighters. The only Legions left in the sky were Razor and two other pilots and their starfighters. As for the Legion ground forces...one can add the sum up to only four Legion troopers and the three Jedi. It was a costly victory...one that Verociousna would be reminded about everytime he looked at the veterans.
"I knew I should have brought more men along...I knew from the start we were understrength..."
"But the need blinded you. Take wisdom from this Verociousna, because if you don't, you are doomed to repeat the same mistake you made."
"True enough...now I have to wonder about how to honor the fallen, in a special way..."
- Verociousna and Jett, discussing the horrible battle plans used on Mustafar
The hunters become the hunted (21 BBY, early August)
"You....I know you well enough from the reports....after all, who wouldn't recognize the man who tried to end our operations on Mustafar...succeeded at that, I will grant you, but failed to capture the person in charge?"
"Maybe I should have gone all out and just blasted the woman into oblivion when I had the chance..."
"You should have indeed. Now you will pay for your mistake, Jedi scum."
- General Grievous and Verociousna talking over the communicator before engaging in battle
Verocious would later cope with the events on Mustafar and continue on with life as normal, but not before ordering the construction of a special graveyard in the underworld of Stragair (which was somewhat like Umbara) in which those who have proven themselves worthy in battle may be cremated or buried. That graveyard was known as Legion's Rest, and to be even buried there was to be considered a great honor among the Legions, albeit posthumous. In this graveyard was also a Hall of Heros; built to contain the statues and burial graves of those who have proven themselves far more worthy than others (it wasn't encouraged to seek honor within the Legions, but if one inadvertantly became a well known soldier and died in battle, he or she (females who were pilots were, in a way, like Genesis, considered soldiers) was given the honor of being burried beneath and having their statue at the same time (however, no one, save for Genesis, had proven themselves worthy...as of yet) in the Hall of Heros.) The place soon became a rather popular place for off-duty Legion soldiers to go in order for them to honor the fallen. Verociousna also recovered completly from his blasted lung (Emma didn't heal it all the way as she was tasked with being the lone medic or healer), allowing him more oxygen, and thus, more energy. He now was back out and about, viewing what could be done or not. He also, as a gift from Kenobi for the Legion's service, was granted control of the Judgement, and he could do to it as he pleased. The Arricun valley also saw increased activity, as the city near the base grew in size and inhabitants. For the time, as the place would be full of clones if not stopped, the clonning building was shut off for the time, but was remaining on stand-by in case the need arised. All was good for the Legions, after all, who wouldn't like time to be off-duty, go out with some buddies, grab a few non-alchoholic drinks (alchohol was strictly forbidden, as the Legions needed to be sober and ready in case something should happen, as in the case of Stragair's first invasion), maybe have a shot at love (marrige was allowed, but not children), and get to stay home and help the community? That was the case until one day, when a massive CIS fleet set siege to the planet again. The Judgement, along with new cruisers Knowing (owned by Jett) and Salvation (controlled by Emma) set off to the skies to prevent the enemy from once more bombarding the surface. This time, it wasn't some Sith-wanna be who lead the strike on the planet; it was the notorious General Grievous, and he had plans to completly destroy the entire planet, and not just the base. He knew what he was up against this time thanks to Xalandra Nova, who reported of a new threat to the CIS, and figured from the last minute transmission received from some droids during the first attack that the base of this new threat was on Stragair, so this fight would be tougher for the Legions now that the CIS was here in force. Verociousna soon understood who he was up against and the intelligence Grievous had on the Legions, so he decided to put on a fireworks show. It had been two weeks since receiving the Judgement, and one since the Knowing and Salvation were given over to the Legions, and during that time, new armor, shields, blasters, and fighters had been placed on board. The ships were just finishing the upgrades when the CIS fleet arrived in the system, and were just about to be set for take off when the enemy entered the atmosphere, so time was pressed. Fortunately, new engines solved the problem of speed, and the ships, filled with gunships, fighters, men, and commanded by their respective Jedi Overlords (the title for a Legions Jedi Master) were in the middle layer of the atmosphere within a half a minute, shields up and blasters powered up, as too were Grievous' ships. Before a battle could begin, both sides hailed each other, wanting to know who they were up against. Grievous wasn't too surprised when he saw Verociousna over the holotransmitter, and Verociousna felt the same when he saw Grievous. A few words were exchanged, but that was all before the fight started. Immediatly after the transmission ended, fire was exchanged, and within a few seconds, after sustaining concentrated fire from all three cruisers, one CIS frigate went down in flames towards the surface. One frigate down...fourteen to go, and add that to eight Destroyers, five Dreadnoughts, and two Battleships. It would be a long fight ahead of the Legions, even if the orbital cannons were functional (they were down for updates (as for the fighters, they were taking care of the Vulture Droids as well as the Hyena Bombers, and new bombers were still in the design folder of Verociousna.)) That is when a new frigate, one far beyond the scale of any known CIS ship, even the Malevolence, jumped into the system.
The Old Sith Empire had come back, and it had entered into an alliance with the CIS, and they have sent a Sith Juggernaut to help destroy the Legions. And guess who was commanding it? Xalandra Nova (she isn't from the Sith Empire, but she is a commander within the CIS, and thus has the ability to command which ship she chooses.) The Legion's defense just went south.
Burning Skies of Stragair
"What in the name of the All-Being?! A Sith Juggernaut?!"
"Overlord Emma, you know that thing?"
"When I was mortal and back in the days of the Old Republic, I served as a General...and I came across one of these things...barely escaped. If we don't take it out, then we are as good as finished."
"Right...those big scary things I read about in the Jedi Archives....yea....this is going to be fun..."
- Emma and Verociousna disscussing the unannounced arrival of the Sith Juggernaut
Moments later, the Juggernaut came through the exosphere and caught everyone off guard. Emma, having fought, or, more accurately put, run away from one of these things in the days of the Old Republic, quickly shouted in surprise and fear for all the Legion troopers. This thing was as powerful and large as an entire fleet, and there would be no stopping it if all Legion cruisers went down, not to mention the anti orbital cannons would do no good, and Republic forces were spread too thin to help; but why ask? The Legions were top secret, so hence forth, no one in the Republic could know about them. Verociousna, based on the information and resources available to him, quickly made a swift and brash move; he rammed his cruiser, with maximum forward shields on, directly into the Juggernaut, and somehow managed to penetrate deep enough to be able to board the ship. Verociousna ordered Jett and Emma to focus their attention on the remaining CIS ships while he created chaos within the Sith Juggernaut.
Without warning, the Republic ship suddenly rammed the ship. Nova had no idea what the heck had happened until she saw the Republic cruiser lodged deep within the portside of the Juggernaut. Not only that, but the ship dislodged shortly thereafter, leaving a massive hole in the ship; one deep enough to expose the power conduits. Realizing that the damage had to be fixed before aiding the CIS ships in battle, Nova ordered the ship to leave the exosphere and start repairs. Once in orbit of Stragair, Nova set the ship up so that portside faced away from space, for she had a plan; if the enemy had sent reinforcements before knowing a Sith Juggernaut was involved, then any Republic dogs wouldn't know better, and thus would fall right into a trap.
After crashing into the Juggernaut, all the Legion troopers and crew members got off and, after engaging the auto pilot, which had a hyperspace route set for Kamino's orbit, where it would receive repairs and could be picked up after the battle, and after setting up a forward base within the Juggernaut, sat down to discuss tactics. Ben and his dozen Specters were on board as well as the common rank-and-file and a few Praetorians and Heavies here and there, so Verociousna had a unique objective for the Specters. While the rest of the Legions went to the bridge, they would hopefully create enough of a distraction to give the Specters time to find their way to the reactor and blow it; however, the question would remain of how to get off the ship before it hit ground, hard. Verociousna simply stated that if one had the mind, he would simply plant remote activated bombs, head for an escape pod, and then launch away from the ship before it went boom. Ben simply replied with the most aggravating, "I already knew that," statement, one that made Verociousna realize that the Specter was just fooling around with him and that Ben would get the job done correctly. The two groups, one much smaller than the other, split up, took their base apart, leaving nothing behind so as not to give away evidence they were on board, and walked down the endless hallways of the Sith Juggernaut.
Meanwhile, a figure darted in and out of the darkness of the halls; he had what his leader had to know, and the foolish Republic dogs would pay for their arrogance in not expecting a spy within such a large ship. The Legions were now in a ship with no escape pods, no help, and no way to win...or so it seemed to the Dark Nebula and CIS.
Onboard enemy territory
"Wait a minute...by now, Republic dogs were supposed to be here...right Jasper?"
"If you look to your left, you would see him dead on the floor, his spinal cord broken. Oh, and you're dead as well."
"It wouldn't matter anyways if I were dead...right up above you are hordes of my fellow soldiers."
"Oh scrap...Ben you idiot.."
- A Dark Nebula guard and Ben in the reactor of the Sith Juggernaut
While Verociousna and his group headed to the bridge, Ben and his team of Specters, called Alpha Team, made their way to the reactor, silently relieving any enemy troops of duty (by that I mean the Specters killed any Dark Nebula, droids, or Old Sith Empire Sith.) They, however smart and aware of their surroundings as they were, did not notice the figure in the shadow slipping in and out of cover, tagging them with a tracking tool that would relay their position to anyone on the ship. His job completed, the Dark Nebula agent slipped back into the shadows and went to report to Nova; his job was completed. The Republic dogs wouldn't make it far.
Back over to Verociousna, and things weren't going well. Hordes, or to be more accurate, zounds were swarming his group from all directions and cutting them off from either retreating or advancing. Unfortunately for the Dark Nebula, the Legions were trained for this type of worst case scenario...if not in the basics. Portable shields had been set up around the group of troops, protecting them from lasers or grenades. However, as Verociousna realized, they couldn't stay here for long. He then, taking a calculated risk, jumped out of the shielded area and into the left group of enemies, doing what he did best.
Meanwhile, Ben wasn't having a good time. He and his team of Specters managed to make it to the reactor, but failed to realize they were being tracked, despite the fact they had encountered abnormally heavy resistance en route to their target until they had actually reached the reactor and saw zounds of Commando Droids and Sith waiting for them in hidden areas. The team of Specters, numbering only ten (two were gunned down in a hall way and were KIA'ed), wouldn't be able to get out without taking a shot or two...from the droids that is. The sith were a whole matter to their own, as Specters hadn't been trained to deal with opponents with lightsabers.
Meanwhile, Verociousna had carved his way through all the enemies (without overpowering them (he used his advanced dueling technique)), opening a path to the left. Unknown to him, he had lost his sense of direction, and left actually went down the ship and towards the reactor...where hordes of enemies were heading. Verociousna could only guess what was going on; Ben must not have accomplished his mission. After noting all of that, Verociousna, though realizing he was off track, knew that he couldn't leave his Specters and forth in command to die; he himself went to aid the group while he left the others, shields up and waiting, to prevent anyone from getting pass.
Things weren't going as well for Ben as he would have liked. First, he failed to realize he was being tracked. Second, he fell for a trap. Third and last, he and his group were surrounded by the enemy, being both surrounded by blades and being gunned down. It was fortunate that the enemy hadn't cleared some debris from the area, so Ben and his Specters used the debris as cover (the Judgement hit the Juggernaut harder than was expected so as to let you know why debris in in the reactor.) Still, even with cover, things weren't good. Metal is no match for a lightsaber, and the Specter's personal shields can only hold for so long. That is when Ben saw a welcome sight; Verociousna had already cut down a hundred droids and two sith, and now he was on his way to get Ben and his Specter group out of the area, but not before Ben left a little parting gift. As a final gesture of war, Ben tossed his suit's power cell into the reactor, causing the reactor to start to overload and go critical.
Nova was infuriated. Her ship had been successfully infiltrated by Republic dogs, her repair crew couldn't fix the Juggernaut fast enough, and now, the reactor was going critical, and further more, she had no escape pods left. Only the ships remained, but they could carry so few at a time. Thinking only of herself, she shoved a droid commander in the seat of command and left for the hangar, unaware of the surprise waiting for her there.
The Legions, now regrouped and having sustained only a few losses (contrary to the skirmish on Mustafar), made their way to the hangar for the evacuation that was waiting. Before disloging the Judgement and sending it to Kamino, Verociousna sent out a call for the gunships (there were more than two at this time) to arrive and pick them up at 1530 (military for 3:30) and, if they weren't there, blow the ship to kingdom come. The gunships, far too small and too fast for the out-dated ship, managed to safely land in the hangar and pick up the infiltration team...but not before giving Nova a surprise.
Nova had a look of sheer confusion and surprise on her face; all the ships had been destroyed, and hordes of odd-looking clone troopers along with one Jedi had her surrounded. She realized she wouldn't be able to run this time; she was caught. Verociousna took her down with the help of Ben, and shortly thereafter, secured her in cuffs not only on her wrists, but on her ankles, so as to make sure she can't run or do anything else.
With moments to spare, the gunships, full of troopers, Specters, Heavies, and Praetorians, left the hangar, now erupting in flames and explosions, and made their way down to Stragair, watching the Sith Juggernaut explode and sending debris down to the surface.
The explosion sent a wave of fear through the remaining droids; two modified Republic ships had managed to destroy half of their fleet without sustaining heavy damage, and now their greatest weapon was no more. In fear of their lives, the droids, ordered by Grievous to do so, retreated, but not before making sure to leave a surprise for the Republic.
Something small, or seemingly small, landed on the surface. It was a droid landing pod, and in it were new droids never seen before; from that pod came seven of these things, heavily shielded and with lightsabers.
The Jedi Hunter Droids were about to embark on their first mission.
"Blazes! What the heck are these things? No matter how hard we hit them or how fast we shoot them, they don't go down!"
"I never thought I'd see the day...Sith in the form of Droids...astounding!"
"Less noting this in the scroll of Wisdom, Jett, and more fighting!"
- Verociousna and Jett, fighting just two of the Sith Hunter DroidsIt hadn't been long after the second failed attempt at taking Stragair (roughly two days), and things were continuing as normal. Instead of fighters and gunships flying around, land speeders and commercial carriers were flying around (the Legions function somewhat like the Swiss; ready for war, but normally civilian in general.) Alarms weren't sounding, but the sounds of laughter and talking replaced that sound. Everything was back to normal in the space of two days, but it wouldn't stay that way for long.
A vernerable female clone admiral, by the name of Lyrith, walked outside to enjoy the remarkably mild weather (fifty seven degrees out (Stragair isn't a full-on ice planet)) and sat down on a bench to use her data pad to do some gaming. Suddenly, she heard a rustle in the back, but she dismissed it as an animal. Last thing she saw when she looked back at what caused a second rustle was a man-like droid, lightsabers ignited. She had barely let out a scream when the droid stabbed her through the heart and head.
Verociousna couldn't believe his eyes. Yesterday, everything was at calm, no enemies in sight. Today, the news was all abuzz with the revelation of a hidden threat, and its first victim was a female Legion Admiral who was off duty. She had two lightsaber stabs, one to the heart and one head, and yet Verociousna knew as well as anyone else that no one on the planet would do such a thing...that is when he wondered about something...
A group of clone trainees were working on the Judgement's bridge (Ben managed to reclaim it from the when Verociousna rammed it into the Sith Juggernaut) and were just finishing the glass. That's when something was reflected. The lead repair man looked behind him to see a droid that looked like a man raise its orange-bladed lightsabers. The clone, quick on his feet, rolled to the left and cried out. That's when he noticed something; he was the only one left. The droid had already stabbed his friends and the Praetorians on duty. He saw the droid raise its sabers once more and, understanding that this was the end, closed his eyes, unaware of the hand of grace about to save him.
Verociousna broke through the glass, kicking the droid back into the war room. He quickly charged at the droid while it was still down and stabbed it through the head...or tried. He soon found out it was ray shielded somehow, and that was when the droid kicked Verociousna off. The droid, knowing that he or his shields wouldn't be able to hold out against the Jedi, ran away and jumped out the bridge and made his way towards the vast mountains of Arricun Valley.
The news was once more abuzz with the hidden threat, now identified as a new type of droid. Nova could scarcely believe her ears or eyes. Droids, Jedi Hunter Droids at that, here to rescue her. She knew the CIS wouldn't just abandon her and leave her to rot in a cell. She, knowing she had help so that she could leave Stragair, slipped the hidden lightsaber-like dagger out of her sleeve and cut off her chains and forced a shock spear to her side. She quite handily dispatched ten guards sent to subdue her and even a Jedi, taking his lightsaber as her own.
Verociousna wouldn't accept this. First, he had discovered that more than one of the type of new droid was on Stragair, and second, Nova had escaped all on her own. He was determined to find the droids and stop them somehow. That is when the Specters came through the door, Ion Blasters ready. Verociousna smilled at the new weapons designed to handle ray shields and droids alike. There was no way the Jedi Hunter Droids could survive now. He ordered Ben and his Specters to spread out in ten pairs (by now there were twenty operational Specters, most of them S1, but there were three S2 Specters, one S3 Specter, and then Ben, who was S8, or Specter Chief) and hunt the droids down while he and Jett went out to look for Nova, who was no doubt hidding somewhere in the wastelands (otherwise known as The Plains of Ice (Nova couldn't get a ship because hangers were tightly secured.))
The Jedi Hunter Droid talked among the others. Two have found their marks, but the last caused their cover to be blown. However, their overall goal had been completed; they managed to help get Nova out of Republic custody once she broke her chains and escaped the confines of her small, special prison. The plan was to now get back to their pod and leave, but how could they? No doubt it would be destroyed by now or in Republic custody. Then the plan all came together. Along with Nova, they would storm a hanger and take one of the gunships and leave, making sure to destroy any tracking beacons or anything of the sort. Then, after escaping and returning to CIS territory, they would have the gunship studied to see what new weapons of war could be constructed. It was a brilliant plan, one that caused Nova to be impressed.
Three days after the first droid had been discovered when it attempted to destroy the repair crew of the Judgement, and now Verociousna looked what remained of them. The Hunter Droids and Nova had been detected heading into a hanger in the Arricun Installation, which by this time was larger than it was two months prior. Three of them had been destroyed by the Specter's Ion Blasters and the two others by Verociousna and Jett (ray shields couldn't stand up to lightsabers forever, particularly advanced lightsabers.) Now only the leader, one other, and Nova remained, but before they could do anything, a gunship powered up. The existance of a lone commando droid was now known, a moment too late. Verociousna cursed under his helmet when the three droids and Nova got away, not to mention the tracking device had been removed as well as the self-destruct function. To make matters worse, Verociousna knew that the CIS would make good use on the stolen Legion tech, and possibly come back to Stragair one day, unless he made the first move.
"Blast it! We had her in our grasp, and a few mere droids got her to safety?! Not possible I think!"
"Look on the bright side...we won't be hearing from her for a long time."
"True enough Jett...but I still wish that we don't have to ever again deal with her...the slippery eel keeps harrassing us."
- Verociousna and Jett, discussing Nova's escape
Return of the Old Sith Empire and "excursion" to Korriban (21 BBY, August)
A new assignment.
"Master Verociousna, how are the Legions doing?"
"Everything is going smoothly so far. We are a military, but we are also civilians trying to stay out of the war."
"Interesting enough, but not only do I call to check on you, but the Council has something they need help with."
"And that would be what?"
"How do you, Jett, Emma, a few other Jedi, and your Specters feel about a mission to Korriban?"
- Obi-Wan Kenobi and Verociousna, discussing the Legions' strength and a mission to Korriban
Months went by since the second battle of Stragair and the escape of Nova, and during that time, the Legions grew in many aspects. First, their fleet increased substantially, adding new ships, gunships, and inventing a new hybrid between a fighter and a bomber (called the Reaper.) Second, a new method of cloning had been implemented, and now Jedi clones, who bore no visible similarity to each other, could be found training at Emma's temple. Third, the Specter corps had now grown a hundred strong, each member, except Ben, an S5. And fourth but not least, new armor had been designed for the clones; now the armor looked somewhat similar to a hybrid of the clone armor and Umbaran armor. Verociousna also managed to create a new type of armor for himself; Heralder Mark II, tougher in shields and bare armor, but still giving the user freedom of movement in addition to allowing him to fly the blue skies. Verociousna also took up new robes that clearly marked him as a leader and powerful Ralarea. Emma and Jett, much to Verociousna's surprise, took up a vow of marrige, stunning many of the Jedi and clones. Verociousna, much to his tepid distain, was the one who got to unite the two in holy matrimony.
However, it was all calm before the storm. It wasn't long until a call came in from Kenobi, who, in addition to checking on the Legion's strength and progress, had a message for Verociousna. The Old Sith Empire, who had helped invade Stragair last time with Grievous, was preparing its forces to attack the crippled Republic forces in the Dantooine system. Kenobi, knowing that this system was vital to the Republic and too vital to lose, wanted the Legions to strike the enemy before harm could be done to the Republic. Verociousna, all too ready for action and some war, agreed to the mission, ordering Ben's Specter team, called Alpha Team, to be ready in five minutes, while he ordered Emma and Jett to bring along some other Jedi. At long last, the Legions would see action elsewhere, and this time, Verociousna had no plans on lossing anymore men, unlike his last trip off world.
The Judgement roared back to life, lifting off of the ground like a mist and flying off into space. Its destination, Korriban. Its occupants who would land on the ground were as follows: twenty Specters, five Jedi, and three Overlords, all ready for some action. Verociousna ordered the Admiral, Admiral Hawthorne (a female clone in the Naval Academy of the Legions), to head for Korriban at lightspeed. Unlike last time, the Judgement also had support along for the ride; two other cruisers, called the Spearhead and Citadel, followed along, though their purpose was to help break the CIS and Sith Empire blockade that would no doubt be protecting the planet. Verociousna, knowing the risks and stakes, knew that this fight would be one he couldn't afford to lose, for both his men and the Republic that was now counting on his success.
Three Republic ships exited hyperspace, catching many of the Sith and droids off guard. Three ships near their planet, without any warning or notice.= However, this wasn't as much as a surprise as it should have been. Nova had counted on the Republic coming after her, so she had two Juggernauts ready behind a nearby moon. With a quick message, the commander of the blockade, a Sith Admiral, ordered the Juggernauts to pounce on their prey and to leave no trace. However, they didn't count on the Republic ships being prepared for battle.
The first Juggernaut was nothing but a field of debris before ten minutes had even passed; ten more minutes brought forth the destruction of the second one. This was far too easy for the Legions so far, but Verociousna knew that the Juggernauts had only their guns and engines set; now that the blockade knew what they were up against, their shields would be up, blasters ready, and fighters flying. Verociousna quickly gave the order for all Reapers to fly out of the hanger and attack the mess of fighters and bombers that quickly approached the Legions task force.
This wasn't going as well as the admiral would have liked. First, his Juggernauts were destroyed, and now, he had three highly advanced cruisers bearing down on the blockade, and already, at a far distance, a CIS battleship had been torn apart in the matter of a minute and a half, not to mention his fighters weren't fairing so well against the new type of fighter in action against them. Suddenly, bringing himself out of his despair, he saw a Republic fighter flying right at his ship's bridge. Last thing the admiral saw was a ball of energy flying at the bridge and making contact.
A nice, big hole had been made in the blockade surrounding Korriban, and that was all Verociousna needed. Two CIS battleships and the lead Dreadnought had been taken care of. He now proceeded on with his plan, and ordered all Specters and Jedi to get in the gunships; it was time to go down to the surface and take care of the true threat; Nova herself, who was now the leader of the Revived Sith Empire. This time, he wouldn't show mercy. This time, unlike in the Old Republic, nothing of the Sith Empire would be left. This time, victory, absolute victory, would be his, and Nova would not escape.
Rough landings on Korriban
"For all your expertise, this isn't a very smooth landing!"
"It could be a lot worse! We could have a mountain or gorge in our path...speaking of which..."
"JUMP OUT OF THE GUNSHIP!"
- Jett and Verociousna in a gunship about to fall into a gorge on Korriban
Nova was more than upset. Again, the Republic comes to thrwart her plans, but now she knew something else; these were no Republic dogs. Her spy said something about them being a secret contingency plan should something happen, but sometimes they are called out by the Jedi Council to hit targets beyond the reach of the Republic. Now it made sense to Nova why she was being dogged; she was a target beyond the Republic's normal reach, and she would eventually, if left unchecked, cause serious harm. It would have happened as well, had she not been caught on the Republic's radar. Sometimes, she thought, a large force is just a sitting target.
The Judgement roared past the blockade orbiting Korriban, all the while shooting off to its portside and broadside at targets like a bounty hunter; deadly aim, hard hits, and going too fast for the enemy to keep up with. Verociousna was impressed by the Judgement's preformance since it had the new upgrades, but he would have time to relish the thoughts later. A few minutes had passed since entering the exosphere and now the gunships were within ideal launch range. Verociousna made up his mind that one gunship would serve as support for the ground troops while the other two were used for tranportation to the ground, after which they would return to the Judgement, load up on ammunition, and come back to help support the ground forces.
How hard would it be to not notice a massive Republic cruiser a few miles above the ground? Not hard at all. A Dark Nebula soldier simply had to hear the roaring of the engines and the lasers firing down on the ground in order to understand that things were about to go to hades in a hand basket. It was fortunate, however, that things wouldn't be so easy for the Republic dogs as on Mustafar. A wave of the hand and click of a button on the control glove caused massive anti-air cannons to rise up out of the ground and for the ground forces to be alert and on station. The Republic was in for a big surprise.
Verociousna wasn't liking this. His technology had somehow been copied just by studying the stolen gunship. Worse yet, new droid machines, known later as Droid Gunships (the ones used later on Onderon in 20 BBY), were just coming out of the starport and flying towards the Judgement, not to mention the hull was getting hit hard by surface fire. How now, he wondered, would the Legions be able to get down to the surface without getting blown to pieces? The lightbulb came on in his head. Why not let the enemy hit the gunships?
The Dark Nebula couldn't believe their eyes. Two gunships were flying right at their lines without any regard to the Droid Gunships or the anti-air cannons. What idiots were behind the helm of command, they wondered. It didn't matter to them, for all they saw was a perfectly simple opportunity. The leader commander ordered the cannons to target the gunships and shoot them down. In the space of a few seconds, the cannons, now sighted on the charging gunships, fired at maximum power, and watched as the gunships went down in a fume of flame.
At least the gunship was still intact, Verociousna thought. While the plan wasn't to be shot at with maximum power, the ships were still intact, as well as their occupants. Now for the hard part; landing in enemy lines and getting past all of the hellish fortifications. It would be a rather trying time for the Legion Jedi and Specters, for they hadn't been so pressed in action or trained for this sort of combat; fast paced, dangerous, and with no cover save their ray shields or lightsabers. At least, he thought, they had made it this far.
The gunships crashed within meters of the enemy lines. The enemy attack cruiser had retreated to orbit, leaving the two crashed gunships alone. However, one had not stopped and was sliding right towards a gorge. What no one saw coming were the sixteen heavily armored clones jumping out and letting loose with cannon and laser fire. In the mean time, two Jedi had jumped out as well and were now charging towards the second line while the clones and other jedi from the other crashed gunship finished off the first line. The lead commander was now starting to wish he had aimed for the cockpit or engines as he looked down the barrel of an unusual blaster that belonged to a clone.
Within moments of intense combat and with no casualties, the Legions had broken past all three lines and were now overlooking the Valley of the Sith Lords...home to Nova's seat of power. Already, they could see the hordes of Sith warriors and droid troopers charging out to meet the unwelcome guests. So let them come, Verociousna thought. After all, what could possibly be so threatening about them? He would soon find out.
A massive droid walker stormed out of the hidden factory in the area, far too big for anyone to miss. Nothing, Nova thought, could stop it now, for in addition to massive cannons, rapid-fire blasters, and ray shields, ion blasters and lightsabers would be no match. The only thing that could work against it would be some kind of heat gun, and that item, she knew, the Republic dogs did not have. This time, she wouldn't run. She would just sit and watch as the enemy forces were completely pulverized.
Into the Jaws of Hell
"Um...you got anything that would help us against that?"
"Verociousna, if I did, I would already be handing it to you. My scans read that nothing can stop it. Lightsaber resistant metal, massive cannons, rapid-fire blasters, ray shields...that thing is a Juggernaut gone ground form."
"And just as I thought things couldn't get any worse than a charging horde of Sith and droids...."
- Verociousna and Jett, overviewing the situation unfolding in the Valley of the Sith Lords
This wasn't good for Verociousna and his small team of Specters and Jedi. Not even his power combined with Emma's and Jett's would stop the massive droid. It seemed as though this was the end, but he knew one thing. Verociousna knew that, somehow, Nova would know he was the leader of this secret contingency plan or something else, and thus posed a grave threat to her plans. He, self electing himself (he is the leader, he makes whatever decisions he pleases) chose to go out there, draw the walker's attention, and give the rest of the company a chance to break through into the palace where Nova was no doubt cackling her head off.
Nova couldn't get enough evil laughter out of herself. Here, in her seat of power, she would crush these foolish Republic dogs and start the take over of the galaxy she had in mind since day one of being in power of some sort of opperation. Verociousna and his small band of Jedi and special clones would not leave this planet alive, and nor would the alert of a grave new threat be allowed to reach the Republic's ears before it was too late. Suddenly, drawing herself out of thinking ahead for the future, she saw the group charge right into the valley, Verociousna not among them. She then, after looking around (she was using her eyes, albeit enhanced by force magic) found Verociousna scaling the cliff wall and jump right at the Behemoth's head.
Verociousna landed a clean strike, one that definately got the droid walker's attention; the machine turned its massive cannons on and fired at the lone, small, insignificant human thirty feet below its head (it was about thirty six feet tall) and almost hit Verociousna square on. However, as was expected by the droid and Verociousna, it missed. The droid started to recharge its cannons, and during that time, Verociousna took some time to look over where his friends and commrades were faring, and what he saw was something else. Under the combined leadership of Ben, Emma, and Jett, the Legions were doing more than fine, and they still weren't letting the enemy know their true power. Verociousna then heard a laser power up, and jumped out of the way before the massive twin-barreled gattling laser of the droid walker opened fire.
Jett and Emma were having a great time, and so were the rest of the Legions. Leadership between the two Jedi and Ben was creating quite a havoc on the battle field, not only boosting the morale and combat effectiveness of their men, but also causing chaos and nervousness within the enemy ranks. Fear, they knew, was a powerful weapon, and the way to start fear in the enemy was to start killing their number by drawing them into a defensive trap. The enemy, now seeing how many of their men had fallen to the circle of Jedi and clones. That's when Jett and Emma looked up over towards the massive droid walker after hearing Ben yell out something...now they knew why. Verociousna was nowhere in sight, and the droid was now aiming its massive heavy cannon at the circle.
The droid had finally blasted the puny little human into oblivion according to scans. This pleased Nova, and now she focused all of her attention on the circle of remaining Republic dogs. Had she been trained to know if someone died or not, she would actually know that Verociousna had only force cloaked himself and was now slowly and carefully climbing the left leg of the massive droid walker. Ray shields would certainly hurt, if he hadn't created a force shield around his hands and feet that prevented shock from going through the person stupid enough to touch a ray shield. He, taking a moment to look over at the circle where his men had set up a defensive perimeter, now saw the droid walker aiming its massive cannon arm at the circle. The Legions quickly dispursed before the cannon could fire and pulverize them all. However, they only bought themselves more time, and had now opened themselves up to the enemy, who was now charging them with lightsaber and blasters.
Jett and Emma had remained together, and were now cutting down droids and sith warriors. They fought with the strength and speed of lions, seeking vengeance for their now dead friend. The sith were relentless, and it seemed as though they kept coming back to life (which they actually did, limbs restored and all thanks to a powerful sith magic in the valley.) They knew that it was now only a matter of time before the worse happened. Already, three of the ten Jedi had died and one of the twenty Specters had fallen. It was apropos to wish Verociousna hadn't died and had at least found a way to destroy the walker.
In fact, Verociousna found better. The walker was piloted by a person, and, after finding the hatch into the cockpit, opened it, stepped inside, and threw the sith soldier out. He now sat down and looked at all of the controls. He, despite being well versed in technology, couldn't understand why there had to be so many buttons and monitors. Shaking that thought off, he took control of what he thought to be the main mechanism, pulled a red lever, and saw that now he was being digitalized in some sense. Now he felt as though he was the walker, and could see through the eyes of the walker. He felt the metalic feet touching the dry ground and the two arms, with their cannons primed and ready.
Nova couldn't quite understand what was going on. The walker, in the middle of a battle, had stopped dead. She dismissed it as a bug in the system, as the walker wasn't yet finished. However, as a few seconds went by, she began to suspect something else was going on. Still no sign of movement from the walker. Finally, after thinking the worse, the walker began to move and seemed to aim at the enemy forces. That's when she realized that the walker had been taken over and was now aiming at her forces.
A Sith warrior looked over his shouldier and saw the walker come back to life. It was about time for the pilot to get it working again, he thought. He now, wanting the Republic dead and gone, pointed at an area in which two Jedi and five clones were holding out. The walker started to aim in that direction, but the moment the warrior had looked away, the walker aimed at him. The sound of a gattling laser powering up was enough to send chills through the warrior, who suddenly felt as though a laser was about to rip through him; he couldn't be more correct.
Jett and Emma couldn't believe their eyes. The walker was now tearing through the enemy like a clone through breakfast, and further more, they could hear the walker speak...not in a droid like tone, but more of in a human tone. They realized now who was behind the wheel of the walker; Verociousna wasn't dead after all, and that was enough to send courage pounding through the Legions once more. Suddenly, all of the survivors got back together and charged down the line of enemies and towards the palace.
Nova couldn't understand what was going on. What possessed the pilot of the Behemoth walker to turn on his own men, and how were the survivors now regrouped and charging at her palace? She then put it all together. Verociousna hadn't died, and was behind the wheel of the walker, and his destruction of a large portion of the enemy force had given the rest of his men a chance to regroup and charge at her palace. She then saw the signal of the walker go offline, followed by a Jedi in white robes and with two oddly colored lightsabers land right infront of her on the balcony.
Verociousna delivered a swift and punishing kick to Nova's chest, sending her backwards and into the arms of some loyal Sith guards. He then jumped off the balcony, just as the massive walker exploded, taking a massive portion of the remaining enemy forces out and sending a massive piece of debris at the balcony. As for the Legions, they were all right as they were now in the first floor of the palace. He quickly then started to assault the guards, quickly taking out three of them and then dispatching the final three during a fight. Suddenly, he realized something was off; Nova was nowhere to be seen, and a massive hole in the floor stood where Nova did. He realized she was attempting to escape. The rest of the Legions burst through the door a few seconds later, and Verociousna told them to finish off any remaining enemies or take them prisoner and to contact the fleet while he went after Nova. He had made up his mind before the mission that she would not escape, and he was about to make certain that the thought would become reality.
Hot pursuit and end of a hunt.
"You are a persistant one, aren't you?"
"You expected something else of me?"
"I expected you to have already given up."
"Well, unfortunately for you, I don't give up, and this time, you aren't escaping."
- Nova and Verociousna, moments before they engage in battle
Nova ran through the abandoned tunnels that were part of an Old Sith Empire base, seeking the way to her hidden hangar. She knew now that the CIS would disavow her, but who cared about that little detail? She knew that there were plenty of people out somewhere in the galaxy ready to fall under her banner, to serve her, to fight against the Republic and even the CIS. With the new technology she had uncovered from the stolen gunship, she could create all sorts of new war machines. Sith, Jedi, Droid, or Clone would not be able to stand before her, no, not even these Republic dogs who hunt her down.
Verociousna jumped down the shaft and landed in a tunnel, clearly part of an older building than the one he just left. It didn't take much to understand that Nova was indeed down here, seeing as how water had been splashed up against the walls where she walked. Not to mention the Magnaguards and more of the Jedi Hunter Droids were charging at him from one particular tunnel. This would slow him down, but so long as he pressed forward with hard strength and a will to stop Nova from escaping and causing more chaos, he would make it before she could escape to who knows where.
Nova hurried down the tunnel, all the while talking over her communicator. She was starting to wish that, in these tunnels, she had drained all of the water and debris, or had at least gotten out of her regal robes that were slowing her down. She knew that the Magnaguards and Jedi Hunter Droids were only buying her time, and that, if she didn't make it to the hanger, wouldn't be able to smell freedom or fresh air for a long time....maybe even for the last time if Verociousna caught up with her.
The first wave was dealt with handily, and now Verociousna continued down the tunnels, still following the water splashed up against the walls of the tunnels. He knew that he was closing in, thanks to the fact that these splashes of water hadn't gone down the slooping walls of the tunnel far. He then looked ahead of him and saw the leader of the Jedi Hunter Droids that freed Nova back on Stragair. This, he knew, wouldn't be an easy fight, seeing as how the leader was somewhat more advanced thanks to stolen Legions technology.
The two opponents locked lightsabers, orange against silver. Verociousna acted quickly by darting off to the left while keeping his right saber still on the droid's and came down at the droid's arms with his left. The droid, however, now moved with the speed of a human, and quickly darted back, kicking Verociousna in the kneecap, dislocating his knee. The pain was excruciating, but Verociousna quickly popped it back in place and raised his arms in time to block the droid's Nimaan Onslaught attack, followed up by a Saber Storm. Again, the two locked sabers, but this time, Verociousna would be on the defense. The droid suddenly started to push his sabers against Verociousna and started to close in on his head, but the droid failed to realize, past the glow of the locked lightsaber, that Verociousna's head was out of the way, and that one lightsaber was now about to drive up into the droid's head.
Ray shield or not, nothing could stop the powerful stab Verociousna delivered to the droid's head. A clean hole was now in the droid's central processer, and the droid soon after shut down, dead forever. This was a form of justice for Verociousna, as some of his men had died to this machine, and he walked forward still, continuing the hunt, but not before saying that droids and lightsabers don't mix.
Nova watched her gaunlet's indicator as the Jedi Hunter Droid's signal went off. She knew now that she had to run for all of her worth. Fortunately, she could slow down a little, as she had now passed a tunnel with a door that still worked. She closed the ray shield-enforced door and slowed down, taking the time to change into something a little more moveable.
Verociousna didn't like this. A ray shielded door. Of all the things to slow him down, combine that with Jedi Hunter Droids coming up from behind. He would have to do this with one saber he thought. Taking something out of his supply pack, he hooked his lightsaber up to it, increased its diameter, and watched as the machine first neutralized the ray shields, then activated the lightsaber and started to cut. He now turned back to see Jedi Hunter Droids come around the corner and charge at him. He pulled out Justice and charged forward into the enemy.
Nova was now in her battle gear. Simple sith robes that allowed for more movement than her regal robes, which she tossed into a nearby fire a few tunnels back. She then looked back at her gauntlet to see that the ray shields on the door had failed. Again, for the fifth time this day, she picked up the pace and ran down the tunnels and towards her personal hanger, which by now wasn't too far away.
The machine beeped, indicating that the door was cut through. Verociousna quickly finished off the last droid, folded up the machine, put it in his pack, and picked up Valor. The hunt was back on. He quickly moved past a flame, seeing regal robes being reduced to nothing but ash. He knew now that he was much closer...and that Nova was prepared to do battle if it came to it. He also, not far ahead, heard more Jedi Hunter Droids charging down the tunnel.
Nova finally opened the door leading to her personal hanger and saw her personal ship loaded and waiting. She quickly signaled the pilot and a few others to board the ship. The Dark Nebula quickly got in, and started up the ship, however, the engines suddenly shut down. Nova took a look up from the cockpit to see Verociousna standing in the doorway, lightsabers ignited. This time, she knew, there was no running. She quickly notioned for the Dark Nebula sith to get their lightsabers and to get out of the ship with her.
Five people got out of the ship, among them Nova. Verociousna was pleased. He knew now that she hadn't escaped already. What he didn't expect was for Nova to send the four others out to fight him, and he got quite a surprise. They fought like demons and almost overwhelmed him at once. However, he knew far more than they did and quickly started to, one by one, dispatch the enemy. In two minutes, the sith warriors had been dismissed, and now the only thing that remained was Nova herself. Verociousna turned his eyes on her and the two charged at one another.
Lightsabers locked, red electrified lightsabers on silver smoky lightsabers. Verociousna quickly followed up by slashing right and then twice cutting upwards with his sabers. Nova easily dodged the attacks and countered with a Saber Storm, that is, a left slash folowed by a right then another left. Verociousna dodged the first two attacks and blocked the last, again locking lightsabers. Nova, with inhumane strength, started to push her sabers against Verociousna's, almost cutting his head off, but he managed to dodge with an inch to spare. Nova quickly slashed towards where Verociousna was, and the two locked lightsabers again. Verociousna, just after locking lightsabers, lifted his foot up to do a lift kick, forgeting the fact that he wasn't fighting against males, but still did damage. Nova uttered a moderate grunt and unlocked her lightsabers, pulling back. She then unleashed a barrage of force lightning at Verociousna, who casually blocked it with his lightsaber, but was slowly being push back. Nova showed no sign of backing down. Verociousna couldn't comprehend why a human had so much power behind her, and that's when he saw that she had been genetically and cybernetically altered to prepare herself for this fight. He then understood what was going on; he had fallen for a trap. Nova smiled, and again blasted Verociousna with force lightning. However, it wasn't to be that he would lose. Verociousna quickly dodged out of the way and rolled behind a pillar, causing the force lightning to hit a wall and bounce back at Nova, who simply took the lightning back in.
This was beyond aggravating at this point. Neither side had the upper hand, and despite the fact Nova had herself modified to deal with Verociousna's recorded power, she should have known from her mysterious contact that he was only fighting with a portion of his power. She then came to a start; what if this mysterious contact was somehow related to Verociousna? She could deal with that later, as her opponent charged out from behind the pillars for round two.
Again, lightsabers locked, but only for an instant. Nova pushed Verociousna back, but he turned the power into momentum, turning around and coming in with a slash at Nova's neck. Nova hit the deck, causing Verociousna to miss by a good distance. She quickly kicked him, causing tremendous pain to go through Verociousna. She then raised her lightsabers to finish him off, but he still blocked. Lightsabers locked instead of Nova's going through Verociousna's head, and a stand off again ensued. This time, Verociousna was the one to go on the offensive, unlocking his lightsabers and coming in with a sweep kick followed up by stab down with his lightsabers. Nova again rolled out of the way before a kill shot could be delivered. She then jumped up and came across with her lightsabers, cutting off Verociousna's left hand and his communicator on his right hand.
Verociousna yelled in pain and pulled back, force pulling his other lightsaber to his belt using his last good hand. He quickly used the force to heal himself, somehow causing his hand to grow back. He would have to thank Emma for the training in how to use the force to heal himself if he got out of this fight. He again charged in for round three, and this time, one would fall.
Lightsabers locked again, and both sides were starting to become fatigued. Both sides immediately unlocked and attacked each other, Verociousna using a focused offense by slashing up, right, down, then left, and Nova blocking his moves. She then attacked with an assasin's sokan, cutting up, left, right, and up again, Verociousna returning the favor by blocking her every move. Again they clashed lightsabers, but this time Verociousna saw something; Nova's left leg had been apparently knocked out of place and she hadn't yet noticed. He delivered a punishing kick to that knee, causing Nova to drop down. Again, she rolled out of the way, all the while screaming in anguish. Once at a safe distance, she got up on her one good leg and unleashed a torrent of force lightning. Verociousna blocked, and instead of moving back, slowly advanced. One step after another, he advanced upon the now tiring Nova. Finally, she gave up, and he quickly seized the upper hand.
Nova was looking through a haze as she fell to the ground, almost exhausted. She saw Verociousna coming at her, so she raised her lightsabers again...however, that was what Verociousna wanted. He quickly ducked to her eye level and slid into her, using his lightsabers to cut off her hands. Nova screamed in extreme agony as her hands fell to the ground with the lightsabers still in them.
Verociousna stood over Nova, slinging her over his shoulder and walking into her ship. He left the hanger victorious, and flew outside to see the product of his successful attack. Below him, he saw droids and sith running away and chased by Legion troopers. Above, he saw CIS ship wreckage fall to the ground, and not far ahead of him, he saw the Valley of the Sith Lords now being shadowed by the Judgement. He landed Nova's personal craft in the valley after contacting the Judgement so that the Legions wouldn't fire on what they assumed to be an enemy craft. Verociousna soon exited, Nova in front of him.
Jett, Emma, and Ben stood amazed at what they saw. One man had hounded Nova, chased her through tunnels of enemies and worse, and still came out on top. To Jett, Emma, and Verociousna, it was a good sign; the Eternal Conflict was hard, but this was its own type of trial, and yet he still succeded.. Verociousna's robes were stained with water, and Nova's arms clearly showed signs of being cut through by a lightsaber. Emma soon tended to the wounds sustained by Nova and Verociousna alike. Kenobi arrived soon afterwards, his fleet and troopers with him. They were all impressed by the work of the Legions and gave them a warm salute and one note; if they ever needed to go off world, Coruscant would welcome them with open arms. True, the Legions were supposed to be secret, but no explination would hide the Legions now. Kenobi and his forces then took Nova to where she belonged; a jail in Coruscant, though after being tried, she would walk free...on the condition never to attack the Republic again.
It was all roses under the rainbow now. Another mission accomplished by the Legions. Verociousna ordered everyone to pack up and get back in the waiting gunships; it was time to go home to some well deserved drinks, refreshment, and rest.
"If there is one thing we all deserve, it's drinks and meals on the house!"
"True enough Jett, but I am just glad that we beat her. Still, if I ever have to deal with that contentious woman ever again, I'll show no mercy."
"Please get back on topic Vero! We are going home to celebrate, not ponder what to do in a what if scenario!"
- Jett and Verociousna, en route home on board the Judgement
Fiasco on Carlac (21 BBY, September)
Chasing down a frigate
"Don't lose sight of that frigate! I want that ship docked with ours!"
"Sir, the only way to do that will be to shoot the ship down...and guess what? We're right over a planet."
"Then shoot it down, but don't blow it up like the last time."
- Verociousna and Supreme Fleet Admiral Cassida chassing a CIS frigate carrying Legion tech salvaged from Korriban
It had been a week since the successful attack on Korriban, and the Legions were settling into a new life of sorts; many systems in the Unknown Regions ralied to the Legion's banner, and opened their resources to their use. All of the systems eventually joined the Legions all the way....something, Verociousna knew, would require a new form of government. With the help of Jett and leaders from the other solar systems, they formed a new senate, one that united systems of the Unknown Regions in a stable government: the Democracy of Legions. Unlike the Republic, however, the system was based upon Greco-Roman law from a text Verociousna read when he was young, similar to that of something called an American Constitution from a book Verociousna found floating in space one day before the Eternal Conflict.
However, there were other issues than the new government. Verociousna still had salvage operations going on Korriban, and just before the last part could be picked up, a CIS fleet dropped out of nowhere, somehow overwhelming the lone Legion fleet on duty and leaving no trace of the fleet. They then proceeded to the surface and picked up the remaining fragments of stolen Legions technology; something that wouldn't sit well with Verociousna. He ordered all men assigned to the Judgement ready in five, for they were not going to allow the CIS to have the technology that could very well end the Republic.
Six minutes after the alarm went off, the engines of the Judgement roared once more to life. Reports had indicated that the fleet that attacked the Legions salvage operations had been last sighted nearing the Carlac system; far out of the way, and not to mention infested and crawling with Death Watch, a violent group of Mandalorians. The only thing the CIS would do in the Carlac system would be to destroy all of the Death Watch, and though Verociousna would be willing to let the CIS fleet do the damage, he knew that the Legions had to reclaim the stolen technology before it was too late, and since Carlac was a long ways away from Stragair, the Legions decided to make use of one of their greatest acquisitions yet; a large Force Gate, capable of transporting entire Attack Cruisers anywhere in the known galaxy within a heart beat. However, it would be a bumpy ride, as the Force Gate wasn't quite finished, but given the situation, it was either do or don't. Verociousna, true to the risk taker that he is, ordered the Judgement through the portal and right to Carlac; assuming, that was, they even got to Carlac.
The CIS fleet entered orbit over Carlac and prepared to unleash a powerful imprecation of blaster bolts on the unsuspecting Death Watch below. They had decided to stop here before heading back for CIS territory, so as to make sure that the Death Watch never got a chance to exact revenge on Count Dooku. What the CIS fleet, headed up by Grievous, didn't know, was that they had company getting ready to come right out of nowhere....literally. Without warning, a Republic contact came out of something right behind the CIS fleet that was just now letting loose their salvo of laser bolts. Even Grievous went into something of a panic, because he realized what this ship was; not Republic, but Legions, and it was the Judgement, one of the ships that tore his task force apart over Stragair. Grievous knew this wouldn't end well for the droids, but why did he care? That's when the surprise came.
The Judgement opened its front end for the first time since its new upgrade. Not only were the hangers redesigned to handle Legions technology, but a massive new cannon had been added to the front. Now it was time to see what it did, and it didn't dissapoint. The cannon charged up while the turrets opened fire on the nearest CIS ships, two Recusant light destroyers; fast and deadly, though not as powerful as their Dreadnought brother. However, the shields had been remade to be able to deal with the Legion's immpresive cannon power, not a shot from the biggest cannon on a ship yet. Suddenly, the cannon made a massive, high-pitched roaring sound, indicating that it was fully charged.
Grievous stood in shock and anger amist a massive light. The cannon that the Judgement suddenly fired was powerful, so much to the point that, when it hit one ship, it pierced right through, creating a massive crater on the surface below and taking out one of the CIS frigates that was carrying the stolen technology, but in the process overheating and rendering the massive cannon useless. Grievous wouldn't let this stand. He ordered the fleet to set coordinates for the Sereno system, and orderd the remaining frigate that carried technology to stay behind the fleet (not in the back of the fleet, but rather behind another ship, so that normal cannons couldn't get to the frigate before it jumped to hyperspace.) It was without a doubt that the Legions, knowing that they destroyed some of their own technology, would be a little more careful; what Grievous forgot to factor was their tenacity.
Verociousna knew that he had already destroyed one ship carrying Legion technology, so he could rest at ease knowing that some technology wouldn't fall into the hands of the enemy, but he still had one other thing to worry about; now that his scanners were set for detecting Legions technology, they found out that one of the remaining frigates carried some of the vital pieces of technology for the Legions. How to get to that frigate, however, would be hard, as it was right behind another ship, and using the massive cannon on the Judgement wasn't an option, as this part of technology had to be reclaimed. That's when he got the idea to use the two of the Reapers currently fighting the CIS fleet to instead target the engines of the CIS frigate while the Judgement and the remaining Reaper fighters carried on in destroying the CIS fleet, now understood to be lead by Grievous.
The Reapers closed in on their target. While one attacked the ship openly, the other would go for the engines in the hopes of bringing the frigate down. It wouldn't be easy, as the Reaper pilot, under the name of Havoc, had Vulture droids and CIS cannons firing at him, not to mention that he had no help to call upon, save evasive actions and advanced shields. It seemed like an eternity in hades before Havoc finally came around the corner and had the engines in his sight; unfortunately, so did a Vulture Droid. The CIS droid opened fire, hitting Havoc's lasers and making them useless, however, that wasn't the end for Havoc's quest. Instead of letting someone else take time in getting to the engines, Havoc suddenly turned his fighter towards the ship's engines, after all, how could he make it back to the Judgement with his engines all but burned out and shields wasted?
Verociousna watched in surprise as Havoc did what he did best; complete the mission. Though it wasn't how the plan was supposed to go, Verociousna would make certain to give Havoc a spot in the Legions' Rest back on Stragair. He now watched as the CIS frigate started to head for the ground and as a Republic fleet, under the command of Plo Koon, exited hyperspace, chasing off the remaining CIS frigates. Verociousna knew that somehow the commotion would get the Republic's attention somehow, and frankly, all the help could be used; it was discovered that the piece of technology wasn't Legion tech and that it was a down scaled Star Forge salvaged during the battle of Korriban, and with it, the droids on the surface could be numerous. Not good odds, but that was how it usually was for the Legions.
The Skirmish of Carlac
"So, what's the situation down here Commander?"
"Well sir, we have a mess of droids surrounding the crashed frigate that led us here, not to mention hordes of Death Watch. Any help from you guys is welcome, as we are already streched thinly out here.
"We'll take care of the droids Commander, you and your men focus on the Death Watch. It is paramount we get to the Star Forge before too many droids are made."
- Verociousna and Wolffe on the surface of Carlac while establishing a forward base
The lone Sith Lord activated the Star Forge and watched as the droids, being made from practically nothing, marched out and onto the snow-bound surface of Carlac. While he knew that it would take a long time before enough could be made to stop the Legions and the Republic, the best he could do was build up his forces and hold them off. He also seethed with anger, thanks to the fact the CIS left him here to rot, but he would engulf that anger in the destruction of all Death Watch and Republic on the surface...payback for his people and for Count Dooku was about to go from envisage to reality.
Verociousna watched the bright flash of light dissapear as the Star Forge stablized itself, going into a steady pace of creating droids. He knew now that the clock was against him and the Legions (all two thousand troops of his Smite Battalion with him) and that it was paramount (necessary) to get to the Star Forge and shut it down, before anything worse than droidekas and tanks could be created. While the Republic dealt with the majority of Death Watch on the surface, the Legions would take care of the clankers. With a wave of the hand, the Legion troopers turned on their ray shields, got their rifles ready (the rifles were a cross over of a DC-15A rifle and an Umbaran rifle (coming in close to the Shadow Tech Blaster)) and charged out, engaging different modes (the suits were now equipped with two power cells, one for the ray shields and one for other modes, like speed, strength, even cloaking) to best deal with the droids (a horde of droids had already approached the Republic base.)
The Sith Lord watched in surprise as the Legions charged out to meet their death. Why would Verociousna do such a stupid move? Then again, he remembered how advanced the Legions were, and then it was no surprise as to why the Legions were charging out to meet the legions of droids (about three at this point of time, and the Star Forge was still cranking out more.) He knew that the Legions combined the droids tactic of overwhelming with the Republic bias of being clever to devastating effect. It was time to see how well the Legions would do against droids who had the same programming.
Verociousna rolled through the shield of a droideka, leaving an EMP grenade in the right blaster of the droid. It went off shortly, shutting the droideka down. He looked around to see how the Legions were faring, and so far everything was on track; technology and Legion tactics were too much for the droids, at least, for the time being. Still, he knew the droids would shortly outnumber and exhaust the Legion troopers, and Legion Suits couldn't last forever, as they were still the prototype, and nor could Verociousna, for even warriors become exhausted. He suddenly wrenched himself away as he felt danger approaching; he looked to his left to see three Jedi Hunter Droids fast approaching from the crashed frigate, followed by another hulking Behemoth and a new legion of droids. Now it was time to start getting the chills of worry.
The Behemoth activated its massive heavy cannon and let loose upon the outnumbered troops beneath it. Unlike the type on Korriban, this was an automatic construct, capable of blasting and thinking on its own, and now it was using that to devastating effect; it slowly started to corral the Legion troops together, but suddenly they all broke loose and it felt something in the back of its head...right before shutting off and being controlled by a Legions Specter.
Ben didn't like the fact that Verociousna would just leave him behind, so he decided to hitch-hike a ride on the Judgement, and now he was certain Verociousna would be glad this was the one time Ben was here, and he was right. Verociousna would have to talk later about the consequences of coming when not ordered to, but at least Ben now had control of a massive droid, and Verociousna ordered his Specter Marshall to open fire on the droids and the not too distant CIS frigate, so as to stop the Star Forge from working for the time being (only the Force was capable of truly destroying this type, at least, according to blueprints downloaded from the CIS fleet.) Now it was time to let hell loose once more.
The Sith Lord felt anger swell within his chest once more as the Legions confounded him once more. Now they could hack into droids and turn them against their own number, and now the Star Forge was shut off by the massive cannon shot from the Behemoth. He decided to turn tail and run, right into a tunnel uncovered by the crashing of the CIS frigate. As to where this went, he knew not, but at least he could find safety in it, or so he thought.
Something woke up. It was the first time it had felt battle raging up above the massive vault in years. It could also feel the presence of one of the Aspects...yes, the Aspect of Justice and Valor. The massive Force Juggenaut, designed in the shape of a human, but with four arms and spikes on its back, shook off the restraints put on it by the new leader. It now knew one thing; Verociousna had betrayed his people, and that he deserved nothing but death. The construct, knowing to obey, started to pry open the doors of the vault.
Verociousna felt the tremors in the ground, and so did the droid army. Using the momentary confusion of what was causing this presumably natural phenomena, Verociousna unleashed a barrage of Force Lightning, short-circuting all of the droids. Ben also left a little gift on the borrowed Behemoth and jumped off, clearing a bomb's blast range. It shortly thereafter went off, accidentally destroying a village. Now it was time to pursue the man figure behind all of this; the Sith Lord, whoever he was. Still, Verociousna gave pause to wonder what caused the tremor in the ground, for it wasn't natural for shifting tetonic plates to cause tremors of the magnitude...
The Sith Lord ran through the oddly carved caverns, not knowing which way to go. He suddenly felt a massive tremor and saw the passage behind him blocked. Good thing, as now he could reduce his pace so as to be a little more observant. But even walking slowly wasn't needed to see what was walking up through the right passage and past steel doors. The Sith Lord froze in fear as a massive human-like construct walked up to him, armored in an odd steel, far stronger than Mandalorian iron and capable of withstanding multiple lightsaber attacks, as proved by the Sith Lord as he tried to destroy the thing that now looked on him with burning hate. No one needed to know what was going on behind the oddly shaped head of the Force Juggernaut; hate for mortals and traitors to the Ralarea race. The construct, with but a blast of energy from the hand, reduced the Sith Lord to nothing but ash and dust. It now shifted its focus to clearing the passage so it could get to the surface and destroy the traitorous Verociousna.
Verociousna knew it would happen; a complete victory by the Legions. Five legions of droids destroyed, the original ones standing guard around the crashed frigate. Though it was normal for Verociousna to destroy anything evil, this time he bargained with the droid leader, a Magnaguard. Verociousna stated that the Republic and Legions would leave them alone for a while if the droids would surrender the Star Forge. Valuing their own lives and not the chance of victory by the CIS, the droids quickly agreed and let Verociousna have the the weapon / factory. The Legions, with Verociousna, soon left the area and, upon returning to base, watched as the Star Forge was destroyed. It was another victory, and now it was time to return to Stragair, though a few would stay behind, Verociousna included, to help the Republic deal with any remaining Death Watch and to search for the Sith Lord in charge of overseeing the now destroyed Star Forge.
If only everyone knew about the danger recharging its power beneath the surface, they might all stay. The destruction of the Star Force somehow had a dentrimental effect on the Force Guardian, as it was now back in the vault recharging its power. It still had the original goal in mind; destroy Verociousna before he left the planet to continue his evil conquest of the galaxy. The construct had already tasted the blood of one being stupid enough to try to stop it, but in order to make the Omniaspect proud, it must kill Verociousna, traitor and heretic. It wanted freedom...it wanted to be free...it wanted to kill.
"Are we all done here?"
"The Death Watch have withdrawn back to their camps and the captured village. No doubt they will come out soon, so we shall stay here for a while.
"Noted Commander Wolffe. Well then boys, it looks like it is time to leave."
"No one shall leave this planet until I finish the work I was awaken for; destroying the former leader of the Ralarea."
- Verociousna, Wolffe, and the Force Juggernaut
The construct awoke, the first time in days. It sensed many things had changed on the surface; far more of the annoying war-seeking humans had fled the area, the other insignificant metal men had been largely restrained to their crashed ship, and a much larger base had been established by the allies of that vile traitor, Verociousna. It shook off its restraints again, and suddenly felt odd; it appears as though it only needed time to absorb the extra energy given off by the destruction of the downscaled Star Forge, not because it zapped the Force Juggernaut of its power, and further more, the new Omniaspect had given it a new motive; the promise of freedom and being a personal guardian. It knew that now it must not fail in it's objective; find Verociousna and terminate him.
It had been a week since the victory on Carlac, and Verociousna still had no clue as to where the Sith Lord had gone, or what was sometimes causing tremors in the ground, somewhat related to the one when the Legions were fighting the droids. In any case, he thought, at least there would be plenty of Republic forces to keep the Sith occupied in case he yet lived (in the sense of running and hiding.) He ordered all remaining Legion troopers (Ben included) to prepare to leave, for their shuttle home was just now arriving. Verociousna knew that, in time, the Death Watch and the droids might lash out again, so he left the Republic with the task of keeping their eyes and ears open for any trouble, and if anything was needed, to simply contact the Legions to come over and help.
Little did everyone know, their troubles were just starting. The construct, more powerful than when it awoke, blasted through the closed cavern entrance, showing rock and embers everywhere. For the first time, it felt fresh air on its metallic skin, fresh images of fertile growth. It was a shame it would be burned by the cleansing needed in order to rid the galaxy of Verociousna. It was time, and the order settled into a smooth rythm in the construct's head; Find, track, attack, destroy, receive a new position.
The tremor, much larger than any of the others before hand, shook the already unstable village. Ming Po and clones alike scattered as Death Watch used this tremor and the confusion to take the village (the clones were unarmed, and those who were had already been killed by rogues.) They then burned the village to ashes, and the Death Watch sergeant looked around, impressed by the work. It was now time to hold the position as a forward base, and also to block Republic forces in the area. Yet he still wondered what caused the oddly timed tremor; was it natural or was something causing the tremors?
The construct's path was highly noticeable; everywhere it went, large footsteps would be left behind, burn marks would be left where the construct burned puny little organics to nothing, and the sound could be heard for miles it seemed. It didn't matter to the Force Juggernaut; for all it knew, it was striking fear and surprise into the heart of the filthy traitor, and to anyone else alligned with Verociousna. It suddenly stopped; not far off, he could hear the footsteps of cautious and audacious flesh approaching. Let the mortals come, it thought, after all, it was a long time since it had a challenging target practice session.
Verociousna was shocked at reports of a massive construct of metal going on a rampage of destruction and terror. He knew all too well what this thing was; a Force Juggernaut, the strongest construct one can make and control. The question was, why was it here on a remote world? He only knew that it meant one thing; there must be a vault nearby, somewhere out there, but that was a problem for another time, for right now there were others. First, the Death Watch had attacked and retaken a key chokehold point, second, the droids had lashed out at a nearby Republic position, and third, the Force Juggernaut was no doubt searching for him. Verociousna got the thought, after a little thinking, of why not let the Juggernaut find him?
The Juggernaut continued on its tracking of Verociousna, a mundane task that even an idiotic Sith could do, after all, the force signiature coming from Verociousna could be felt for miles on end. Finally, after an hour of tracking, it came up over a mountain top and found what it was looking for; the base at which Verociousna was stationed. Further more, the former Omniaspect was outside, talking to his men and the allies. It, not thinking clearly in just firing at the traitor, spoke up, instilling panic and surprise in the enemy.
Verociousna looked up in shock as the Force Juggernaut spoke; the plan was to get far away before the construct had found him, but it was too late; he quickly rolled off to the side as the being of metal fired a stream of fire at the group of clones and himself. Unfortunately, Ben and another Specter didn't get out of the way in time, and were burned severly, the other Specter dying right away, but Ben holding on tightly. Verociousna knew that he had to get the fight away from anyone else, so as to limit casualties, and he knew the construct would follow the target assigned to it; that's when he looked back up at the Force Juggernaut and saw something horrifying; the construct bore a symbol all too familiar, for it was the mark used by Verociousna on all of his creations.
There was no sign of remorse of pity in the hollow eyes of the Force Juggernaut as it blasted another wave of fire at Verociousna, the creator and former Omniaspect. It only knew one thing; do what the current Omniaspect told you to do, like an overly faithful dog to his master. It didn't matter to the construct that it was attacking its own master, for the creator had turned his back on what the construct was built for; find any evil doers and terminate them in terms of Justice.
Verociousna couldn't believe that the creation had turned his back on the creator, though he knew that someone else was involved in this, most likely Katarina, as she had no means to track Verociousna day and night, and also because she wanted him dead, because if it was found out Katarina had turned on Verociousna and not the other way around (before Paradise's destruction, Katarina's lie was that Verociousna turned his back, but she had managed to beat him and forced him, along with a few of his friends, to retreat. It was paramount to her status that Verociousna died, for he held the most powerful and dangerous weapon in this war; the truth.) He would find out later, thanks to the fact that he had to first destroy his own creation, but how could he? The thing was designed to be virtually indestructable; that's when he remembered that the eyes were, besides being the chief weapon of the construct, its greatest weakness. The same thing that kills everything can also be used to destroy the construct, question was how to do something like that.
Ben got up, his armor crispy as a chip, but fortunately, not the thermal clothing. While it was odd to see a Specter, no less the Specter Marshall, in just the padding, it offered a number of advantages. Now Ben was somewhat more silent, faster, and agile. If he could sneak up behind the construct that now hunts Verociousna, he could throw a grenade into the hollow eyes of the metallic being and blow it from the inside out. The big question was how to do that without getting burned even more.
Verociousna dodged the beam of fire, this time getting a small tan on his chin. The construct's aim had been getting more and more impressive...and accurate. He knew now that time was against him, and that something had to be done, fast. The construct fired another beam of heat, this time, due to the accurate aim, forcing Verociousna to pull the last trick up his sleeve; use his lightsabers to keep the beam at bay. It was now certain that the end was in sight, and he closed his eyes, letting his lightsabers creep closer to his face, centimeter by centimeter. However, if he didn't, he would see the one thing about to save his sorry hide.
The construct suddenly rested, charging up its beam one more time to finish off the traitor. It suddenly knew that things weren't right, chiefly thanks to the grenade that suddenly rolled up its right eye. It scrambled to get the grenade out, but it turned out to be a sticky bomb. Knowing the end was in sight, it charged at Verociousna, seeking to at least bring him down. However, a figure suddenly darted out from the brush and tackled Verociousna out of the way and somehow tripping up the construct.
Ben screamed in agony as his cybernetic leg was bent backwards by tripping up the construct, but that didn't matter. He was now being dragged by a shaken but alive Verociousna, and the two managed to take cover behind some debris from the space battle, just as the construct was blasted to kingdom come, but even the cover didn't help from the massive explosion that sent Verociousna, Ben, and the debris flying away. The debris landed in the trail left by the crashing frigate, and Verociousna and Ben were blasted into the other side, somehow landing legs first. They were suddenly surrounded by Death Watch who, immediately upon recognizing Verociousna, turned on their jetpacks and flew away. Both Legion Overlords (the term of the title had changed, now meaning, "Head Figure") laughed as though there was no tomorrow, and shortly after stopping, looked off to their west towards the planet's north and found what was obviously where the Force Juggernaut had come from; a massive cave, now occupied by an unusual sub-species of Gundark that was somewhat more peaceful than the ones on Vanquor.
The Legions walked through the cave cautiously, not knowing if another Force Juggernaut awaited in the depths. A Carlac Gundark, true to its nature, left them alone, and let them further into the cave. There Verociousna and his men finaly came upon who they were looking for, or at least the remains of him. All that remained of the Sith Lord was a burned cape and two lightsabers. Ahead of them was what they were also looking for; the massive vault that once contained the Force Juggernaut and still had certain items of value; unique lightsabers, blueprints for stronger lasers, a more stable (as not all Legion clones were perfect) but slower method of the advanced clonning used for the Legions, and a whole lot of credits, suming up to amounts of well over ten million. In addition to that, Verociousna found something unusual; a chip that contained entries from Martack's journal....well before the Great Temptest. It was something that sparked interest in everyone, for now a time before time had been discovered, but what went on in that time was anyone's guess.
The shuttle took off from the surface and headed for the Judgement, awaiting in orbit. Verociousna was still wondering how a simple battle managed to awake the Force Juggernaut from an endless slumber; it must have been a glitched mechanism, and the only other assumption was that Katarina somehow knew that he would be fighting on the surface. But the construct had been off since the twilight of the Eternal Conflict, since Katarina took power. She somehow must have lied to it as well and convinced a perfectly judgemental construct that his master was evil. How such a thing could be done was beyond him, and he would bother to find out later when he next talked to her.
The shuttle docked in the hanger bay of the Judgement, and Verociousna exited, carrying with him an unusual and powerful blade used by Ralarea Sages, called the Black Blade, a saber used by the leading line of sages...the Mynockrazors, and the chip of data. However, what he didn't expect was that the chip was not what it seemed to be; suddenly it exploded with an unexpected and unrecorded strength of an explosive of its size and sent Verociousna flying, badly charred, having cuts into his side, a small piece of the chip in his head...and a massive hole in his abdomen. The last thing he saw for sometime was the blacking out of his mind, and seeing Emma rush over him.
The button went red on Katarina's gauntlet, signifying that the chip had exploded. She couldn't believe her brother had so foolishly not considered what the Force Juggenaut that belonged to him was doing on a remote, unimportant world along with important acquisitions, and now he had no doubt paid with his life. She laughed as she knew (or thought) that he plan was now secured in place. No more wild cards remained, and now she returned to her throne, more confident than ever.
Verociousna woke up in an odd place....it wasn't dark, but it wasn't light either. He figured that he must be dead and somewhere between the mortal realm and the heavens, but he wasn't. He suddenly realized what was going on the moment he saw his father clash lightsabers with an odd looking creature. He knew that the chip had actually been modified to explode at the push of a button, and that the actual data had somehow gone up into his head.
"Will he be all right?"
"I don't know...even force healing might not be enough at this stage..."
"Try hard Emma...we need him."
- Jett and Emma over the wounded Verociousna
The Truth Revealed (21 BBY, late Sepember to November)
Memory: Battle on Archus Prime
"You don't give up easily, don't you, Ralarea slime?"
"We never do, Harzani filth!"
"Then I'll make you!"
- Martack fighting with an unusual being on a planet called Archus Prime during the Burning Crusades of the Ralarea
Emma couldn't get how Verociousna was still alive, ignoring the extensive combat and endurance excercises he took during the Eternal Conflict. Multiple burn marks, massive gashes, extensive blood loss, and a hole through the abdomen. How he could surive the devastating effects of the explosive was beyond her, and so were her abilities. While she could still heal him, it would take a long time, over a span of months if she dedicated herself to seeing Verociousna through.
Being injured was not clear to Verociousna, thanks to the fact that he, while in the memory realm somehow created by unknown means within the small part of the chip, was in his normal form; uninjured, awake, and observing. Hunger and thrist were of no importance to him so far, thanks to the fact he was so focused in on his father fighting an unusual enemy that he never before saw, not even in the texts regarding the supposed (but now real) time before time. The enemy he saw bore an odd look; bull-like legs, a rigid face, and fully colored eyes. He then heard the two fighters, his father and the enemy, trash-talk each other, and that's when he found out the enemies were called Harzani. He then watched as more Harzani came from the twisted dark woods on Archus Prime (the planet was known throughout current society as a twilight planet; not quite dead but not quite alive either) and as his father pulled out two dual edged lightsabers to fight the combatants.
Emma sat down to start healing Verociousna. The first thing to do was to stop the bleeding and to restore any lost blood, and after a few minutes, she completed that task, at least stablizing Verociousna's condition, but he was very near to death, even with restored blood and no more loss thereof. The next part was closing the massive wound in the abdomen, which would prove to be a massive challenge; on top of flesh and skin, she had to restore critical organs, veins, and nerves.
Verociousna suddenly felt weaker for a moment, recognizing that his body had lost blood to a significant degree, and he felt the pain through out his body...the abdomen, nerves, everything, and even that small sting in his head caused by the chip which apparently wasn't just containing journal entries, but had somehow visualized them, as evidenced by Martack overpowering the Harzani creatures despite overwhelming odds. Verociousna watched in surprise as any survivors ran away and into the woods, Martack hot on their trail. Verociousna followed swiftly, knowing that he was but an invisible atom in a matter of speaking. Still, what he saw next was nothing short of shocking; the woods cleared and now a massive camp of Harzani was in sight. Martack knew that he had fallen for a trap, and though he was great in power and wisdom, it would be hard to win this fight. He considered putting down his weapons, but didn't, for he knew that to be defeated without a fight would bring no honor or glory. Brazenly, he charged into the camp and towards what seemed like certain death.
Ben came in to check on Emma's progress, and was somewhat appalled by the repugnant stench and sight of Verociousna's condition, and Emma had no protect against it, save that small breathing mask over her face. He wondered how she was even able to focus through it all, but then walked out, not wanting to disturb Emma in her greatest trial.
Martack cut down another Harzani without even looking. Verociousna was surprised at this, for he never saw his father fight before, and now he realized how puny a half-mortal he was. He dropped to his knees in admiration and surprise as he watched his father fight like a force ghost-possessed man; hard, fast, accurate, and with purpose. He then looked over to his left and saw more dangerous Harzani brutes closing; they were harder to kill than their smaller kin, and were much more fear-causing, but not even that stopped Martack from fighting on. No, he fought even harder, much to Verociousna surprise, for now he knew how much his father held back. Even power level at ten percent was Verociousna's fifty power percent, and that was something that caused Verociousna to realize how much he had yet to learn, and he wondered now how so great a man could be killed by a few mere demons; then he realized that maybe Katarina wasn't power obsessed starting the day her brother took the throne as the Omniaspect. Maybe it was that she was power-hungry from day one of the Eternal Conflict, and that she helped the demons responsible for Martack's death. Maybe all of Martack's power and experience hadn't prepared him for a betrayal by his own line. Verociousna shrugged that aside, watching on as his father cut down even more of the enemy.
The bleeding started again, this time from the small cut the chip left in Verociousna's head, but the chip was nowhere to be seen, and that was when Emma realized that it had gone all the way into his mind, and she quickly diverted her attention from patching the massive wound in the abdomen to stopping the bleeding of the mind.
Martack finally finished the enemy camp in a matter of minutes...ten to be exact, and ten Harzani killed every minute. The brutes were all killed, and those few left ran, not wanting to share the same fate that their brethren shared. Martack turned off his lightsabers and signalled for a portal to open; a much bigger fray awaited on the other side apparently, and everything went white for Verociousna before he awoke in another area, far more battle-scarred than the woods he was just in.
Martack ran into the command tent, suddenly putting the men already inside on alert. He quickly put them at ease and told them the plan; during that, Verociousna looked outside to the massive citadel of sorts, one that he never saw before. It was built on a hill and was surrounded by miles of moat and trench, with ten towers surrounding the main complex...and thousands of Harzani occupying it. He listened once more into his father's plan as he entered the tent, not noticed by anyone as he was still an observer. It appeared as though the world was once completely controlled by the Harzani, but the Ralarea had come here to free it from their clutches, and were thus far succeding, but the real test was about to start; the Citadel Torth (Harzani name their citadels after the commander incharge of it) was virtually impenetrable, but two weaknesses remained; Harzani weren't known for their anti-air abilities or their prowess in the air, and a tunnel reached to Ralarea lines from the citadel; the one flaw that the Harzani still had yet to fix, or were ready to when the Ralarea attempted to use the open vein. It was a calculated risk, but the stakes were too great. The plan was made in a few minutes; Martack would go through the tunnel alone and use a prototype cloaking device while the rest of the men under command of Clarke Septin attacked with all of their fury on both air and land.
Clarke marshalled the troops, he gave a spurring speech, and yelled the order to attack in common Ralarea tounge; all the while Verociousna looking on as they charged out to what the Harzani thought to be their end. That's when the air units came down; Ralarea on the backs of a native dragon-like species (Verociousna had learned that, though the Force was existing in their time, technology was not, and that magics of the force were used to go from one battle to the next) dived down on the somewhat unsuspecting Harzani, raining force-enchanted arrows and blazing rocks down on the enemy. The ground forces used their lightsabers (the one thing of technology the Ralarea had mastered, as well as the Harzani) to attack the ground forces while their ranged brethren attacked from a distance. For a would be Aspect of Wisdom and Fate, Clarke fought like a future Aspect of Valor and Justice, not letting one Harzani escape his lightsabers, bearing a striking resemblance to Jett's own, but with a different hilt and slightly different crystal color. Verociousna then put that battle behind him and descended down into the tunnel to follow his father...apparently, he had a lot of catching up to do, literally, as evidenced by strewn bodies of Harzani.
Verociousna finally exited and saw Martack fighting hard upon the ramparts and almost ready to enter the command building, to end this battle for the planet that was, as Verociousna learned from listening to two Ralarea troops talk before the big battle, a training and breeding planet of sorts. Again, more Brutes advanced upon Martack, but they were quickly finished off by something Verociousna never saw before; Force Disks, with the power of a lightsaber gone more throwable, were used by Martack to finish the enemy off at a distance. When the enemy stopped coming, Martack took the time to look down on the battle below, and saw how well the Ralarea forces, under the command of a battle-wise tactical general, were doing. Clarke deserved a medal when this was all over, Martack thought, and that was when a group of Ralarea finally broke through into the citadel. Martack wasted no time after the quick look in advancing into the command tower, where the commander awaited.
The door was kicked down, and the Harzani commander looked up in shock and fear as the leader of all the Ralarea forces stood mere inches away from his face. The commander, knowing it was all over, pulled out his lightsaber, but not to fight Martack, rather to take his own life. Martack tried to stop the commander in time, but it was too late. Still, it was a victory, he was certain of that the moment Clarke came up the stairs, confirming the battle for the planet was over. Verociousna was surprised at how fiercely the battle was fought, and wondered why the Eternal Conflict wasn't fought as hard, and that's when everything went white as he went to the next memory.
Emma suddenly picked up on the vastly increased mental processing put forth by Verociousna in his comma. Days after the chip exploded, she had healed his abdomen wound and burn marks, but he was still in a deep comma, with no end in sight. She left his bed side, walking away, knowing she had done what she could have done.
Verociousna opened his eyes for a brief moment, knowing he was back among the living, but it was only for a moment, as he shortly blacked out again, this time awaking in another memory...one on the barren ice world of Stragair...the same place where the Legions were based, but in this time, there was no life...only Harzani and Ralarea once more fighting for control over the planet. Verociousna soon realized that Stragair was the homeworld of the Harzani...as evidenced when one of them cried out to defend the capital.
Memory: Battle of Stragair
"So this is the homeworld of the Harzani eh? It's a little nippy, not to mention barren. How come the air here is breathable?"
"The Force is probably what keeps the planet together, it is strong here....far stronger than any planet we have been to."
- Clarke and Martack, upon traveling through a force portal and arriving on Stragair
Verociousna was in wild wonder; a planet sustained by the Force, no less the one that he was on! Now he could understand why the ruins where here, and why both sets weren't as linked (it was discovered that the Western Ruins were not of Ralarea origin, that something else must have built them), because the Ralarea and Harzani were fighting here, and the Sages were just now arriving to help. As it turned out, Sages back in the day weren't holders of wisdom and many other secrets, but martial warriors, able to kill a man with a mere punch to the right area at the right time. Verociousna was all sorts of confused as he watched arrows fly and lightsabers whirl as the Harzani fought like demons to protect their land.
Calven, Martack, and Clarke were on the front, helping to stop the wave of Harzani that fought like demons to stop a Ralarea forward base from behind establish, for once that was done, it would be hard to get them off of their world. This time, they had clearly mastered air prowess, and had control of many other beasts; a massive worm of sorts that burrowed beneath the ground then attacked by breaking the ground, then rising a towering twenty feet above the enemy, and then going back down into the ground. Then there was the mount of sorts; a saber-toothed tiger, controlled with great effort, and could tear a man in half by just thrashing him around in its mouth. And finally the air bound creatures, massive dragons, the counter parts of the fire ones found on what was Paradise, aptly called Ice Dragons, for their breath was as cold as ice, and anything caught in it was frozen in a heartbeat. Combine that with the legions of Harzani warriors and brutes, it was getting difficult to hold the line again such fearsome enemies, at least, to Verociousna, who once thought he was omnipotent, but not anymore. Now he was seeing true power, as the three leaders of the Ralarea worked together to fight off the enemy and as powers combined.
The Harzani king wasn't liking this. He watched the battle from miles away using the Force to enhance his vision and watched as the Ralarea were cutting through his forces like a knife through hot butter. It was time to cool that butter down a little, he thought, as he went back inside the temple and watched the ritual come to a close; Harzani Witch Doctors finished their foul ritual and send out a blessing upon their brothers out on the field. Now the spirits were on their side, as the Harzani became harder to kill and far more powerful. Still, there was but one thing to do. The king sent out his courier to find the one thing that was left in order to expel the Ralarea from Stragair forever; a young female child around the age of three. He had to succeed in his goal to at least prevent his race from dying, if not perhaps have a chance of one day taking the galaxy as he saw fit.
For Verociousna, it had only been a day of going through memories, but it had been a month in real life, and the Legions were greatly concerned for their leader. Currently, they were not threatened with anything or had to go out on a task for the Republic, but it might come to that soon, as a Republic planet was on the verge of being overrun by a droid army under the command of General Grievous. The Jedi General assigned had already been killed, and reinforcements were having a hard time blowing past the blockade of CIS ships. The Legions were on hand and waiting, but they didn't want to make a move until their leader was back up and among the living.
Verociousna, if he was awake, would order them, maybe even push them, to move on under the careful command of Ben, Emma, and Jett, but he wasn't, so he couldn't know what sort of impending crisis was looming. All he was concerned about was watching the battle unfold for the planet of Stragair. So far, he watched the battle go from great to poor, as the Harzani were now bolstered with an unusual force magic, and he could only guess that some other Harzani were to blame. Martack, Calven, and Clarke were just barely holding the line, and the other forces weren't faring any better, but an unusual help was about to arrive in an unlikely form.
Stragair wasn't known for its stable terrain or non-existent tremors, nor was it for the biggest, meanest, and last untamed Ice Dragon in the galaxy. This dragon, aptly called Sky Terror, was out looking for its mid-afternoon snack, and suddenly it picked up on the scent of newcomers and its favorite snack, Harzani. It diverted its current course over the icy plains of the east and flew west, towards the place where many unsuspecting snacks were waiting. It was the luckiest day of Sky Terror's life, as he was about to have the feast of a lifetime.
Everyone froze in place when they heard a massive roar come over the plains, more the Harzani than the Ralarea, for they knew what the roar belonged to. Not a moment later, a massive Ice Dragon, a mile wide with its wings spread open and three thousand three hundred feet long, swept down upon the massive canyon and started to blow ice upon those unlucky enough to get caught in the open. It then flew off, but then came back and started to devour anything frozen. By the time it was finished and the Ralarea done gawking, any Harzani on the field had either been devoured or had run away. It flew off, its belly full, and let the Ralarea have more time to establish their base and to summon reinforcements from Paradise.
Verociousna was trying to take it in, as well as Martack, Calven, and Clarke. Why would a dragon help them, and what was the plan now that doom wasn't impending now? Reinforcements were awaiting orders, but an effective plan had to be devised and fast. Clarke debated a long time in his mind before finally coming up with a strategy that would make everyone smile. The Sages would take the high ground and move silently, while the main force would march down the canyon and to the Harzani's front door, where ever it was. Calven was pleased with the idea of moving in undetected and dealing massive damage while the rest of the Ralarea attacked from the ground, save the ones in the air (Fire Dragons were having a hard time in the new enviroment, but they were managing), for they were to keep the skies clear.
The Harzani king was very angry, as one could imagine. First, Ralarea, then the biggest Ice Dragon came and killed almost three fourths of his men, and now the Ralarea were coming in droves of legions, more than he had ever seen before. He wondered where the child was, if there was one, when suddenly the door burst down; it was the courier, and he had discovered the location of a child fit for the ritual; mid town, the slums. The king immediately sent his royal guards out to retrieve the child, and swiftly. While it didn't sit well in the king's mind, he knew it was the only remaining option. A life had to be sent to the ether in order to save many.
An hour later, the royal guard arrived at the designated house, and they kicked the door down, stating it was king's business to take the young girl in the house. The mother came out of the kitchen and begged the guard to not do this, but they said that, for the greater good, the child must be taken. The girl, screaming and fighting the guards, was taken out the door by the captain, and her mother sank to her knees, wondering what was her child's fate.
Calven heard the sound for miles; the screaming noise created by the winds was starting to drive her mad, but she maintained discipline, as did the other Sages. Finally, they finished climbing a peak and looked far and wide; the capital city of the Harzani, surrounded by three rings of defense. Towers, smaller citadels, trenches, and catapults all awaited the legions of Ralarea marching down the canyon towards the city, and unknowingly to what could be their doom. She sent a telepathic message to Martack, letting him know and see the situation, and unknowingly, Verociousna.
Verociousna was just looking around when he suddenly got something; part of the memory he supposed, and that the vision of the capital's fortifications were being sent to Martack, but were picked up by his son. It faded in a few moments, letting Verociousna continue observing Stragair as it was before the Great Temptest. Now he knew what the enemy had in store, but how the obstacle would be overcome was the real trick. Calven opened a small portal that allowed her and the Sages to regroup with the main force, for stealth wasn't an option anymore. A plan was needed to get past the defenses without sustaining casualties. Suddenly, Calven and Clarke got on the same page and decided to try to do something never done before; use a force portal to by pass the walls completely and just infiltrate the city; not a very original approach, but it would make things easier for a while before the Harzani army came barreling down like bricks. How to do it, however, was the trick, and where, in the city, would a spot for the portal be? At the time, Verociousna soon understood, force portals weren't stable, and if they collapsed in upon themselves, could create a big boom that would take a large area, about a block, with it.
The two Ralarea leaders focused on finding a good spot to open the portal; last time was easy because they knew where to open it, and that area was a dead end canyon. This time, they had to find a good spot in the city to open their portal. They suddenly found it; a massive square infront of the palace, the ideal place to catch and enemy unaware; right at the doorsteps. They then channeled their powers into creating the rupture in space and time needed to create a force portal large and stable enough to let the army through. By the time they were finished, the portal was as wide as the canyon and as tall; somehow forming the first square-shaped force portal in history. And where it led was as planned; the doorsteps to the palace.
The king suddenly looked down, seeing the massive portal open, and with the royal guards just making it inside the palace as it opened. He quickly used the force to press a series of buttons scattered throughout the city, warning that the enemy had made it inside. Waves and lines of defense scrambled to get their offensive gear on, people scrambled for safety, and the sky abounded with dragons. He had high hopes that the guards managed to seal the doors physically, which was confirmed when they stepped through the force portal that led to the high level; the throne room, and Sanctuary of the Harzani Witch Doctors. With them, was a child, fit for the ritual; conflicting emotions, predominately fear, and a care for her people. That would do nicely, the king thought, and ordered the Witch Doctors to begin immediately while he used his powers to use the force to further seal the doors to the palace, hopefully granting the time needed for the ritual.
Calven tried again to blast the doors down, but they were so tightly sealed by both physical and force-wise means that is was an impossible task, at best insanely hard. Meanwhile, the Harzani forces were charing through the streets, and the Ralarea dragon riders were just coming through, signalling the last of the forces had come through. Calven and Martack came up with the plan to shield their forces while forcing the portal to become unstable and take a large area with it when it, and if, exploded. Calven, with unexpected help from Clarke, put up a force shield around the Ralarea forces who were at the gates to the courtyard of the palace, while Martack destablized the force portal, causing it to explode and take a large portion of the first wave of attacking Harzani with it, not to mention crack the force ward on the gate, as well as the force shield meant to protect the Ralarea.
A half day more of memories had gone past, but so had half a month in real life. The Legion's worst fears were now realized; they would have to retake the Republic planet without their leader, as it had now fallen. Kenobi and Ghost Companyoffered to assist the Legions so as to help make up for Verociousna's absence (the Jedi Order and GAR (Galactic Army of the Republic) knew of Verociousna's state of health, so they felt best to send some help with the Legions as they attempted to retake the planet.) However, the Legions refused, stating that they needed not more Republic brothers risking their lives. They would attack, and should Verociousna awake, they would send for him. Emma, Jett, and Ben marshalled the forces, and prepared the fleet, which would consist of Attack Cruisers Judgement (under the command of Supreme Admiral Holly), Knowing, Salvation, and light cruisers (the Republic granted the Legions some during Verociousna's comma, so as to give the advantage of speed to the fleet, and now two were coming along for the attack with stronger shields, weapons, better speed, and agility) Dart and Smoke.
Verociousna felt the tremor in the force in real life; something was about to go down, and he was going to miss it. He continued watching the memory as the Ralarea defended themselves against the attacking Harzani hordes and Calven focused on breaching the force ward maintained by the king. So far, the Ralarea were holding their own, and the air boys were actually having a better time than before, for now the target was the dragon, not the rider. The Harzani were failing to pick up on the new tactic and were falling out of the sky like rain drops on a very rainy day. Suddenly he heard something of a moaning and cracking noise as he turned around to see how Calven was faring. She had just pierced the force ward protecting the gates, and it was now up to Clarke to finish the job, along with Martack; together, the two brothers blasted the gate ajar and secured entry into the courtyard. Martack went in alone while he ordered Calven and Clarke to hold the rear.
The king was shocked back by unknown means, but quickly got to the thinking that the force ward was broken. The Witch Doctors quickly came to him to see if he needed help, but he harshly ordered them to continue preparing the ritual. They had shackled and bound the helpless girl to the altar on top, and were getting the neccessary oils and other things, a special knife included. They somehow picked up on the king's pain and where slowed down, and everyone wasn't happy. That's when one of the royal guard burst through the door, stating a lone Ralarea had made it into the courtyard...the leader, Martack Orion Septin.
Martack looked around, observed by Verociousna, who too looked around cautiously, not knowing what was waiting behind every corner, every shadow. Suddenly, they both heard a massive groaning sound and an evil laugh; the king knew that the univited guest was here, and that now he was in for a trip through hell in a palace.
Memory: The Palace of Terror
"You have come here without my consent, you kill my seed, and you now have the guts to challenge me in my house?! You shall not leave, Septin."
"We shall see about that, because last time you sent me a 'you shall fail' message, it turned out that you were the turkey, or failure. Careful how you play your dice this time, for if you don't, you shall lose again, this time the war."
- The Harzani king and Martack, trash talking each other
The Judgement and the rest of the task fleet in space entered the Force Gate portal and to the designated planet; a jungle-covered planet called Torrus-Mor, one of the most force-rich planets in the known galaxy. Benath its massive canopy, however, lay vast deposits of Baradium and other ores about to be used for the GAR. In the hands of the CIS, the tide could easily turn in the fight for the galaxy. GAR command hadn't even gotten even one percent of the ore out when the CIS swoop down and started attacking. They were quickly overwhelmed, and apparently, Grievous is to blame. As to how he learned about this system is not yet know or how he knew the Republic was even there, but that wasn't for the Legions to find out; they had to get the planet out of the CIS' hands before it was too late. Jett, Emma, and Ben were both uneasy as to do this on their own without Verociousna, but purpose had to come before feelings.
Verociousna woke up, and had the need to get to the ships, thought he felt as though he was already too late, but that wasn't going to let that stop him. Despite the fact his muscles had atrophied and that he was in a comma for just over a month and a half, he was moving quite well, well enough to surprise several Legion doctors as they went to grab their lunch. However, they knew he still needed to recover. They quickly moved to stop him, and that's when he again blacked out. They rushed him to the ECU, for they thought something was horribly wrong with him.
They couldn't be more wrong; Verociousna was okay again, but not happy that he was back inside the memories, but this time, a sense of ending was fast approaching. He now took a look around and saw that he was back inside the Harzani palace, and that Martack had quite clearly made his way through the area; the bodies of dead guards and soldiers were strewn across the courtyard, and screams and shouts were coming from up ahead. Verociousna moved forward, still trying to rid the white from his eyes.
Martack was fighting like a man possessed; the king had taunted him with the threat of being banned from the world, and that the war would not be won by the Ralarea. He was determined not to let that happen, no matter what. He pushed forward with brute strength through the electrical wall (generated using the force) and to the other end, winding up in the stairs to the second floor, but something stood quite literally in his way; a Force Guardian, not quite like Verociousna's construct and bearing a look similar to a Harzani in full metal armor, picked Martack up like he was a toy, but it fell apart like a wall of bricks with nothing to support each other, thanks to Martack's massive kick to the head. True, it hurt, but that didn't matter, as Martack quickly healed himself and moved onwards up. One floor down, nine more to go.
Medically, Verociousna was fine, but for some reason, the chip had caused him yet again to black out. The doctors made a decision; they would remove the chip in a day if Verociousna hadn't come out of his deep slumber. The clock started at midnight, and if nothing happened, time was up...and quite possibly, Verociousna's life.
What the doctors didn't realize was that the chip, if removed before all of the memories were finished "downloading" into the human brain, the person would die. The Jedi hopeful found that out and quickly ran to the elevator from the temple to the subtram, knowing his leader's life was on the line. With nothing to go on but trust in that the knowledge from the book about Ralarea technology was writen in truth, the Jedi hopeful could only hope that the doctors hadn't yet started to remove the chip from Verociousna's head.
Verociousna watched as Martack went through the lower part of the above ground level part of the palace, and what was seen was something else; tomes of knowledge and forces powers, all wanting to be read. The power that seethed from the tomes was enough to somehow reach out to Verociousna, though he felt it only as a presence, not a lust in his mind; the same couldn't be said for Martack, however, as he became more and more aware of the dark power of forbidden knowledge seeping through the tomes. On top of that, two Force Guardians were now coming around the corner, and unleashed their icy blast upon the mentally weakened Martack. However, he, now knowing more battle was ahead, somehow shrugged off the evil magic from the tomes and attacked the two constructs, all the while dodging their icy blasts. He was now up to the constructs when Harzani soldiers came around the corner, lightsabers charged and mouths uttering curses and hate. Martack, however, ignored the slander and simply dodged and weaved as he cut up the enemy, not knowing that it wasn't the Witch Doctor's ritual that put the pressure of time upon him. Suddenly, Verociousna was sent to another area of the memories...something that certainly didn't seem connected at all or that Martack was at.
The very fabric of the Force Nexus at the center of the galaxy was changing; too much of its power had been used by both good and evil, and any power that went back was greater than it was before, and now, the galaxy was about to pay for their misuse of the greatest gift. Something came through a blue force portal, followed by many other figures, somewhat smaller than it. The being now took off the hood and revealed himself as a man, and the others took theirs off. He spoke to them, saying it was time to test the Ralarea and Harzani in a new way. They had waged war for so long, with no end in sight until recently, though even if war were to stop, the Ralarea might seek to extend their rule too much and thus would have the galaxy were to pay, and the power of the force was being so brutally misused, that it was time to change the fabric of the galaxy. The All Being and his lesser aspects started to work on purifying the chief nexus as stars started to age faster than usual, planets broke apart, and many other things happened; the Great Temptest had began.
When Verociousna came back from the unusual vision, Martack had pushed through yet another barrier, this time of evocative memories; horrifying ones, hate-causing ones, and many other things that would cause a normal man to break, but Martack was no ordinary man, and he proved it all too well by what he just did. Again, he could hear the king scream in fury and hate as yet another trial of his failed. This Ralarea was too good to be alive, and Martack would actually agree; he should have died by now, but what was the reason that he didn't? Just as he and the Harzani king were on the same page, a massive chunk of the temple fell away and into some unnatural ether. Martack and Verociousna barely had time to leap back before part of the pathway fell away into nothingness. Time was now pressed for both sides as Martack raced up the pathway to the third level, where he would again be tested.
However, the trial was not so trying; Martack blew it off as though it were a sudden blast of air. The trial was one of evil and the power it offered, but Martack had the thought in his mind that shielded him against all evil; those who sought power were often turned into its own play toys, and they were to suffer the same fate as others. Martack bore this in mind and remembered that power was to be used wisely...a lesson he would teach to his children if he survived this and had some waiting for him when he returned. The illusion of power far greater than Martack were to have was quickly blown away and he walked up to the forth level, where not a trial awaited, but an army of the dead.
The Witch Doctors had done many things, good not being among them. In their wickedness, they sought to find power over death itself, and had done so in a way thought not possible; bringing the souls of the dead back and "threading" them to the Harzani's own gain. Until recently, however, a need had not arisen to use their necromantic power, but now that a Ralarea was on the edge of defeating the Harzani, the need now surfaced. As Martack and Verociousna walked in, dead Ralarea and Harzani suddenly rose up in their cages and tore the doors off as though they were nothing; and practically were nothing, just rusted steel. Now the hordes of undead charged at Martack with inhumane speed. Their souls cried anger; the Harzani for falling to the man, and the Ralarea for Martack not protecting them.
Martack turned on his lightsabers as he engaged in combat with the enemy, though was having a hard time as the dead fought with strength incomprehendable for their stature. However, they lacked judgement and perception, as they fell for even the lamest of feints, They made up for it, however, in that they kept coming back up and coming. Martack knew that he was about to be overwhelmed when the thought came to him to use a power not used before; the room was lit by fire, and he used the force to somehow channel the fire around him and started to slowly expand the fire, all the while setting bodies on fire and reducing them to ash. Within minutes, the undead army had been destroyed, never to come back.
The Witch Doctors fell back, reeling from the mental pain inflicted upon the souls rushing back to either heaven or hell and using their captors as return routes. The king screamed in anger at them and ordered them to try harder. Meanwhile, he diverted his attention back to the ones who were actually succeding in something; the ritual was almost set, and the last thing that had to be collected was the Soul Knife, which was, unfortunately, on the fifth level...where Verociousna and Martack were. This time, the Elder Witch Doctor came out, and stated that he would take on the task himself.
Though an hour had gone by in Verociousna's mind, it had been a day to the world in which he belonged, and the doctors prepared for surgery. Suddenly, a Jedi burst through their doors and stated he had urgent news; the chip must not be removed before Verociousna was down receiving the memories, or he would die. Most doctors would argue with anyone else, but a Jedi wasn't anyone else. They quickly stood down, taking the time to read the section on memory chips. They gasped in shock as they realized what they would have done had this Jedi not come through the door. However, when they looked up to thank him, he was gone, and for some reason, so was the book that was just a nano second ago in their hands. They wondered if it was a trick or not, but they had the thought in their mind not to remove the chip, just as the now gone Jedi told them.
Verociousna and Martack were on the fifth floor and were now looking at an unusual Harzani; a deep ocean blue skin, a head with no hair and instead one that was elongated, from jaw to back of the head forming what looked like a crystal skull, save covered with skin, a brain, ears, and eyes, with no clear mouth, and a hunched back instead of the normal straight build of a Harzani. It stood to reason that this must be the Elder Witch Doctor, and it seemed as though a knife was the goal; one rested on an unsual rest right between the two species. The two figures of power quickly charged for the relic, one knowing what it was for and the other knowing it must not be used. Lightsabers clashed as the two engaged in a furious duel which lasted for ten whole minutes, each side swinging and dodging. At the end, however, when the two locked lightsabers, Martack seized the upper hand when he dislocked one of his lightsabers and thrust the other one up into the abdomen of the Harzani Witch Doctor. The enemy fell in confusion and pain as his soul left the mortal realm forever. Martack then cut the knife into four pieces. He then walked up to the sixth level, where nothing awaited him, or so it seemed.
Shadows crawled in the now darkened room as Martack walked in, unaware of the danger awaiting him. Using a Force Ember to light the way, he suddenly became aware of an unusual thing; the shadows themselves were alive. Shadow Harzani (the souls of Harzani forever bound to a Witch Doctor) lept out at Martack and attacked with their powerful illusions and cries of anguish and hate. Martack swung back, hitting nothing but air. Again he tried when one came near him, but instead hand came over Martack's mouth and nose, starting to choke him. More hands grabbed his ankles, wrists, and other places that would cause a man to lose his motion. However, as he started to reason, if these things were made of shadow, what would light do to them? He then unleashed from his own body a surge of energy in the form of light, scattering the shadows and destroying some. Verociousna was impressed at knowing that Force Light not only disabled Dark Side powers for a little bit, but was, at the highest level, capable of destroying the Dark Side in a specific space. Martack, after catching his breath and meditating, got up and walked up to the seventh floor.
The king was growing desparate. No longer was the ritual set, no longer was reality holding steady, and his life was now timed. He couldn't just go anywhere, as now ground was nowhere in sight. He wondered where the other Ralarea had gone, as he was too occupied with a worm in the body (that is, Martack inside of the palace.) Suddenly, he felt like he was falling...it was true when he saw that the temple was now falling through nothing.
Martack suddenly flew up and hit his head on the ceiling, somehow breaking a hole straight to the eighth floor and thus going bypassing the seventh floor, and whatever foolish trial that awaited. Little did Martack know that the eighth floor combined the first with the second; powerful, horrying illusions, stronger than Shadow Harzani, and took the seventh, which would have been wise, clever, and pussyfoot (stealthy) enemies. A last ditch attempt to stop Martack, which, like many of the other trails, would fail epically, but in a way neither side expected.
For some reason, it seemed that the unnatural phenomena was shorting out any connection to the Force, as trials once powered by the force shut off, and Martack both watched as his enemies suddenly dissapeared and as he suddenly felt powerless...more so than at any other time in his life. Still, the will to end the war was stronger than any foul trick. He continued on, knowing that something else was pulling the threads in this event, and that it wasn't the Witch Doctors at fault, if there were others.
Quite frankly, neither side knew what was going on. Suddenly, the temple started to fracture from the base on up, as it slowly stopped falling. Verociousna knew what this meant and so did everyone else; the temple had reached the core of the planet, and the heat was destroying the temple. Now it was a race against time as Martack raced up the path to the ninth level, racing through that level, and finally coming across where the pathway to the tenth level should be. Or was. When the left side of the temple had fallen off, it had apparently taken the whole pathway with it, and without any connection to the force, it seemed as though the day was over for Martack, but he wasn't about to give up. With a mighty leap, he grabed a hold of a loose support beam and swung across, Verociousna merely blinking to where he wanted to go. Both arrived safely at the other side and walked into the throne room, surprising everyone inside.
Even a deaf person would know when something had gone horribly wrong, such as an unwanted guest breaking down your throne door. The Harzani king looked up from his despair in shock as the Ralarea stood at the door, lightsabers ignited. Witch Doctors and Royal Guards alike got up from their meditation to combat this Ralarea, but shortly fell to his blade, for they had lost their ability to sense danger and death. Now Martack walked up to the king, but instead set his eyes upon a horrified and chained Harzani girl. Instead of taking the king's life, Martack took the girl in his arms, and watched as the last bit of Force magic from before this curious phenomena he had within him took effect; her past was no more, her Harzani DNA and sin nature gone (or assumed to be), the memory of her friends, family, and parents gone, and her original body changed to one of a Ralarea girl. The Harzani king watched in surprise as the one thing he had once almost used to end the threat of the Ralarea on the planet now opened her eyes with a false memory.
Verociousna stood in shock at what he realized was the transformation of the young girl into a young female Ralarea "belonging" to the Septin line; with a false memory, changed body, transformed soul, the girl was now limp in Martack's arms. Verociousna now looked at what he suddenly realized was his older sister, who was now a tyrrant over what would have been his people. He was looking upon Katarina as she opened her eyes for the first time as a Septin and Ralarea. Suddenly, a force portal opened, with Calven and Clarke coming out of it. They stood in shock at what deed Martack had done, and wondered if it was for best or worse, but knew that he had, in his mind, the best of thoughts. They all looked at the king as he jumped out of the temple and down to the planet's core, burning himself alive, but only for a moment. All three stood in shock at what just happened, but quickly remembered the place was falling apart at the seams, and jumped through the portal and back to Paradise.
Verociousna would have followed, but he was pulled back by something, and everything went white again, and when he opened his eyes, he stood in the Crystal Spire, after the Great Temptest. He looked around when he saw his father sitting upon the throne, and that's when Verociousna got the biggest surprise of a lifetime from his father; this chip was meant to give Verociousna explaining into the past, to give him lessons, and to know what hidden power Katarina had discovered within herself. As it turned out, Katarina, being a hybrid of two races, had inherrited great power, power that was now lost to Martack, as the Great Temptest depleted the galaxy of the Force to where it was almost non-existant as well as his. It seemed as though Katarina's connection to the force wasn't affected. However, there was hope for the galaxy yet as Katarina was now preparing to begin her greatest sin, so apparently he was doing this as Katarina hounded her surrogate father. It turned out Verociousna had somehow, at birth, absorbed great Force power, and somehow was responsible, albeit not all the way, for stopping the Great Temptest, and was now the sole hope for the galaxy in stopping Katarina. Martack suddenly looked up as Verociousna heard a massive crashing noise; Katarina and a few other demon infiltrators burst through the doors and now charged at Martack. The last thing Verociousna saw before everything went black was Martack rising to defend himself against daughter and demon. Verociousna knew his purpose; he was to fix his father's greatest mistake, Katarina. It seemed as though the galaxy now depended upon one Ralarea for survival. Yet, as he started to wake up, Verociousna heard his father say something about Katarina not being the only threat...that someone stronger was out there somewhere.
"Know this my son....all you have done, and all you have yet to do, has and would make me proud. I can only say I am sorry to not be there with you, but Katarina and her cohorts are about to break down the doors...I must end this message now, and know this; the galaxy hangs on your shoulders, on you unlocking more of the power within you. For Katarina isn't the only threat to this galaxy..."
- Martack, at the end of his speech
Back in the Saddle (21 BBY, November)
A Late Train to Catch
"Sir, with respect, you should first regain your strength before rushing off back into battle, no less traveling through space!"
"All due respect, doctor, I appreciate your wisdom...but I don't neccessarily follow it. Now, get my battle gear, pronto!"
- A Legions doctor and Verociousna, the former trying to prevent the latter from aggravating his wounds
Verociousna woke up in a haze; it was the first time his eyes had been opened in roughly a month and a half, and he couldn't quite get how time could have flied when the memories were only, time wise, a day and a half long. A Legions doctor came in, surprised to see Verociousna stirring from his deep sleep, and tried to prevent his leader from moving, for he had to first recover. Verociousna, however, argued the contrary, stating that he was just fine and that he needed to help his friends on Torrus-Mor, for he had the gut feeling that they weren't fine.
In fact, he was horribly correct; Grievious had set up a trap for the Legions, and now the fleet assigned to retaking Torrus-Mor was nothing but scrap, however, not before taking a few ships with them. Jett, Emma, Ben, and a few other survivors were kicking themselves over the head for not considering the factor of Grievous no doubt expecting the Republic to send their best. They were now really starting to wish that they had waited for Verociousna and that they took more forces with them.
In fact, Verociousna was getting just that for them; against all of the good advice, he decided to take the whole 5th Fleet with him, composed of five Modified Venator Star Destroyers (or Attack Cruisers) and three Modified Republic light cruisers. He would spend a few more hours in a bacta tank until any remaining injuries were completely healed (Emma hadn't finished exactly, but had healed the important stuff) and was ready to hit the field running. During his time in sleep, the armor, now the Doomsbringer Mark II, was stronger, more flexible, had more durable ray shields, a jetpack, portable first aid station, had a slot for carrying a heavy weapon or additional rifle, and was now designed to fold up into a disk like object when not in use on the user's back. Verociousna was satisfied with the new updates to the armor and weapons, and further more of his robes, which were now designed to be more battle ready while still keeping him looking like a leader.
Verociousna would have left an order for the fleet to go through the Force Gate, but he learned that, in his sleep, a meteor shower had damaged the device and that it was under repairs; hyperspace was now the only method, and coming out of hyperspace would give Grievous far too much time to prepare, but it was the only choice as of right now for the Legions; three of their commanding officers had been taken captive along with other Legion troopers, at least, they assumed so, until a message came in from a badly damaged but intact Smoke; the ship was the only surviving vessel and had managed to escape the fray before it was too late; however, it took three days for the ship to get to the Stragair system because the hyperdrive was destroyed along with long range communications, the reason the commanding officer of Smoke didn't contact command instead.
The fleet jumped into hyperspace, Verociousna feeling the jostle of going into such speeds even in his healing state, aided by the bacta tank. Instead of the six hours needed to get fully recovered, it only took three and, after two hours (the first was when the fleet was preparing) Verociousna was on the bridge of Trident, the leading vessel of the 5th Fleet, the Legion command crew rising to salute their leader, seemingly back from the dead. He put them at ease and assumed command, relieving the commanding officer, Vice Admiral Vastel, of duty. Now Verociousna watched as the fleet started to approach the Torrus-Mor system, and hopefully, and unaware and unsuspecting General Grievous.
Grievous back handed Jett, sending the puny person skidding across the floor and into a wall. Jett grasped his head in pain as Grievous picked him up and threw him across the room again, trying to pry the information loose. However, this human was a little more...loose than the others. He couldn't get what he wanted, and instead got nothing but what he already knew. Grievous left the room in a state of madness, having put Jett back in chains and torture. Then the droid general got one of the brightest of ideas in his life, or at least according to him. If marrige was involved between the two Jedi, why not bring the other one in, and perhaps the suffering of the other would convince either to spill. Suddenly, the red alert came on; an entire fleet had been detected coming out of hyperspace; it was a Legions fleet, under the command of Verociousna, who wasn't exactly happy right now.
The ships were already at full speed, shields, and fire when they came out of hyperspace, and now the CIS fleet was getting hammered, unprepared for the reinforcements. Verociousna was chuckling during all of this; one of the greatest minds in the whole CIS, and Grievous couldn't have forseen Smoke getting back to friendly space and alerting the rest of the Legions. Now the droid general was about to pay for his grave mistake. A few minutes after the Legions fleet had started combat, a Republic fleet, bolstered by Legions technology and under the command of Kenobi, came out of hyperspace to aid the Legions fight the enemy, now ready for battle. Already, the CIS tore through the bridge of one of the light cruisers, something Verociousna wasn't pleased to see. However, he quickly set his eyes and mind upon something else; the command vessel, where he could sense Jett and Emma in a dire situation, along with Ben and a few remaining Legion troopers. Verociousna got to the hanger along with fourty-eight troopers, a dozen assigned to one of four gunships ready to board the enemy command bucket.
Grievous was literally scratching his head; of all the things, why did he let that one ship escape? But that was outside the matter right now, for he had other, more imposing problems to face right now, as the Trident, flagship of the Legion's Fifth fleet, beared down on the Invisible Hand, with gunships launching from the hanger, no doubt ready to board Grievous' ship, which wasn't big on his plan. He forced Ben, Jett, and Emma into an escape pod and sent them right for Torrus-Mor's Darklands, or the land beneath the trees. He soon went after them with three droid landing ships so as to build a base that could last until the reinforcements arrived that he had signalled for.
The gunships landed in the hanger of the Invisible Hand, but Verociousna could sense something was very wrong right away; the presence of Jett, Emma, and Ben was no longer detected, but instead was seeming to head right for Torrus-Mor, with three droid dropships following (he had managed to spot the escape pod leaving, but until now had assumed that it contained only droids.) Suddenly, he felt the ship start to lurch; with a few seconds to spare, he jumped out of the ship's hanger and into space, right before the Invisible Hand jumped to hyperspace. Now he was stranded in space, but at least his armor would keep him alive for a few minutes...long enough to get inside a nearby CIS frigate.
Kenobi watched in surprise as Verociousna floated around in space, heading right for a CIS frigate, not so surprised that Grievous had gone to the surface and let his ship head for CIS space. The Legion troopers left on the Invisible Hand would have to find their own way off, for the Republic couldn't just stage a rescue mission into the heart of enemy territory any time soon. Kenobi, after noting the fact, then returned his focus to Verociousna, who had just landed on the hull of the CIS frigate and was now cutting a hole through the ship so as to get inside to fresh air, and gravity.
Verociousna landed inside, with his armor almost out of air and de-pressurized. The hole he cut was now sealed by a shield, and it was now safe to let the armor shut off and repair itself while he went for the hanger for something to fly. But, almost immediately, his plan hit a snag when Sith warriors charged down the hall, with Magnaguards coming from the other end. Verociousna turned his lightsabers on and charged into the Sith warriors, cutting them down by sliding under them, taking out their legs and then letting a grenade finish the rest. He then let their bodies impede the progress of the pursuing Magnaguards while he ran towards the hanger; he really wasn't in the mood for fighting, in stark contrast to other days, all thanks to the fact that he had to find his friends before Grievous got them all over again and had established a base down on Torrus-Mor.
Kenobi, together with Vastel, drove a knife down the CIS fleet, cutting them open and leaving few ships intact. Suddenly, reinforcements, along with the Invisible Hand, came out of hyperspace, and almost immediately, the four gunships that were supposed to rescue Jett, Emma, and Ben and the other Legion POWs, came out and were on a course for the Trident, POWs rescued, but reported that Grievous had gone after Ben, Jett, and Emma, who were locked inside an escape pod and sent for the surface of Torrus-Mor. No sooner than that had been reported, the CIS frigate that Verociousna entered suddenly started to fly at full speed towards one of the CIS Battleships that was part of the reinforcements. Kenobi knew only one thing; Verociousna had set the ship on a collision course.
And now Verociousna was running towards the hanger, knowing only half a minute was on the clock. Ten seconds until impact, and he had managed to get into a Sith fighter. Five seconds left, and he had left the hanger and cleared the blast zone. He looked back as the CIS frigate he was on a few seconds ago crashed into the bridge of the CIS Battleship, creating an impressive explosion. He sent a communication to Kenobi and Vastel, informing the two commanders to send some reinforcements down to the surface so as to secure Jett, Emma, and Ben while the united fleet held the reinforcements, consisting of fifteen CIS Frigates, ten Recusant Light Destroyers, ten Providence Destroyers, and five Battleships, vastly overpowering and outnumbering the Republic and Legion fleet, consisting of only ten Venator Attack Cruiser (the ones from the Fifth Fleet were still intact) and five Light Cruisers (there were originally six, but one from the Fifth Fleet was shot down during the battle) for as long as they could. If need be, the fleet could fall back, get reinforcements, and come back. Kenobi and Vastel said they would cover Verociousna and his reinforcements while they got to the surface, then they would leave to get reinforcements.
Five gunships, each carrying ten Legion Troopers and two Specters, left the hanger of the Trident and accompanied Verociousna, who was in the Sith fighter, down to the planet surface. The moment they entered the exosphere, the united fleet left for reinforcements; the Legions had crossed the Rubicon of battle, and now they would have to be on the move constantly. Shortly thereafter, they entered the hospitable part of the atmosphere, and ran into the next problem; while the escape pod was just small enough to fit between the massive, tough branches of the tall jungle-like tress of Torrus-Mor, the gunships could not, and the only place that was a good entrance zone to the Darklands was no doubt guarded by a massive CIS force; the troopers would have to free fall to the surface, all the while avoiding the canopy until they could safely activate their jetpacks.
Off the canopy, through the waters, nothing but snakes
"I can barely see a hundred yards ahead of me! How on Stragair are we supposed to find the Overlords in this soupy place?!"
"Hey, don't yell at me. If you want to take this problem up with Verociousna, it's your funeral. I do have to admit that I don't like coming here in the rainy season, but how does rain even get down here?"
"Those are good questions, but remember, you are the Legions, and for Pete's sake, ADAPT TO THE SITUATION!"
- A Legions trooper, S6 Specter "Gage", and Verociousna going through the marshes and bogs of the Darklands
Verociousna was right; far off in the distance, and while using his helmet's built in binoculars, he could see that the only clear go-through-to-the-Darklands was hot with CIS activity. Swarms of gunships guarded the place while three droid landing ship went through, one at a time. Despite the fact that the Legions, with the gunships and the troops flying around, could have victory, it would be too high of a cost for Verociousna's comfort. Gage, second in command of the Specter Branch, came back from an air-bound search by use of his jetpack (the gunships would have attracted too much attention) and told Verociousna that he had managed to find a large enough clearing for the Legions to free fall through; just that they might hit a few branches and leaves along the way. Verociousna knew as well as Gage knew that it would have to do and that the gunships would have to stay low and out of sight, at least until reinforcements arrived. He ordered the pilots of each gunship to head due north for about two miles and for the men to prep their jetpacks.
Meanwhile, Ben finally managed to break the lock on the escape pod door by use of his hack tool on his left gauntlet. He, Jett, and Emma, staggered out and into the swamps, still a little off-set by the crash of the escape pod into a tree then spinning around and around until it landed in the swamps of the Darklands. However, it was a little too late to plan for an escape, as, the moment Ben got up from the swamp waters, he heard the blaster click of a B2 Droid. He then looked around and saw hundred, if not thousands, of droids were surrounding the area, making combat or escape impossible. He slowly and grudgingly got up and put his hands over his head, letting two Commando Droids take him away and off to the command center, where no doubt Grievous would be. He suddenly heard a commotion about where the other two were, and realized that now would be his chance. He turned on his suit's stealth mode, making him virtually invisible, grabbed one of the Commando Droid's blasters, and darted off into the vast root-filled swamps of the Darklands, using the element of confusion to his advantage.
The reason for the commotion was that Emma and Jett where nowhere to be found, and for good reason; they were using a Force Skill to cloak themselves in shadow, but if they made even the slightest move for freedom, their illusion would vanish in a flash and they would be exposed. Now they had to wait until the droids left, if they in fact did. Out in the distance, they could see Ben use his suit's cloaking device and had grabbed a droid blaster, then vanished into the jungle-like swamps. However, they wouldn't be so lucky, as Grievous forced the escape pod over, forcing the two to make a move, and when they did, their cover was blown. Grievous picked Jett up and threw him outside, while putting Emma in a vice-like grip, with a lightsaber to her neck. The cyborg laughed and mocked as Jett looked on in distress, saying that unless he complied, the Jedi he held so dearly would have her head separated from her shoulders in the same hold that she was now in, and ordered him taken back to base with his special person while he and a few other droids stayed behind and went after Ben, wherever he might now be.
By this time, Verociousna and the Legions had arrived over the clearing that Gage had found and were prepared to free fall for roughly two miles. Unfortunately, Verociousna then just so happened to remember that this was the third day of the rainy season, and that it would be far more uncomfortable down in the Darklands once it started to pour rain. Clouds loomed on the horizon, vindicating Verociousna's fears that the task would get much harder; if it rained long enough, the swamps could overflow and certain beasts down in the swamps could awake, among them the dreaded Naagi. Naagi were tall, half-human and half-snake sentients who lived on Torrus-Mor and were active only during the rainy season. They had two front fangs in their mouth, filled with a deadly neuro-toxin that can kill a man in an hour, were covered from head to end of tail in either teal, green, or blue scales, had a type of water-proof hair that was either black or brown, had two long fins that went from shoulder to the bottom of the back, and were experts at swimming through the swamps and surprising those unlucky enough to get caught in the way of their travels. There were some tribes that were advanced enough for space travel, able to speak Basic, and far more peaceful, but they were few and wide, and it was without a doubt that those tribes would not be here unless something drastic had happened. Verociousna, after thinking about all of this, told the men to follow him and to turn on their distance-to-ground moniters, and when the meter read 100 yards to go, turn on the jetpacks and land. He then started to free fall for the two miles between him and the marshes of the Darklands.
Meanwhile, something was stirring in the den beneath the marshy ground. The Naagi chieftan in charge of the area and his clan started to awake from their slumber, and knew immediately that something wasn't right; odd, new prey, powerful prey at that, was turning the waters siena with their footsteps above their den. Whoever he was, he was clearly stupid, as he was in the perfect spot for an ambush. The Naagi started to slowly rise and dig their way through to the outside, where new prey awaited.
Ben didn't get what was going on; he was thinking in his mind that Torrus-Mor has no naturally occurring earthquakes, but then, as rain started to fall, he realized that only one thing could cause this, and it was only awake in the rainy season. He vaulted to the right and underneath a tree as Naagi, at least ten of them, all of them males, roughly seven feet tall (without standing on the tip of their tails, which they can do if practiced often enough) and armed with crossbows and metal katanas on their backs came out of a hole in a small hill which, just a few seconds ago, was where Ben was sitting while he waited for his suit's energy to recharge. Now the S8 Specter took out the droid blaster that he had and prepared to fire if a Naagi came too close or aimed at where he laid prone. However, it seemed as though they could no longer smell or sense him, and that's when he saw the one who looked like the lead warrior speak in some unknown language, apparently to those still in whatever was below the hole. Not long after, a nine-foot Naagi, green-scaled unlike the blue scaled warriors around him, came up, followed by many others, including some of the women and more warriors, their general wear consisting of tight-fitting eel skins that covered the front of the upper torso, keeping the back clear so the fins could be used to help with swimming and tattoos in either white or black that formed certain patterns or shapes. They then split up into hunting parties, one of them heading right for where Ben was hidding.
Verociousna adeptly dodged many of the branches and massive leaves of the tall tree of Torrus-Mor, while the rest of his men weren't so skilled. Gage managed to dodge most of the obstacles, but he finally got too cocky, and that's when he hit his face square on a branch, knocking himself out for a moment. The other troopers either didn't try or weren't trying hard enough to dodge the obstacles. Finally, the branches and leaves cleared, and Verociousna saw his depth reader read a thousand feet. He ordered everyone to turn their jetpacks on and slowly descend to the swampy grounds. Everyone heard the order, but turned on their jet packs a few feet to far from the optimal distance, thus taking longer to land than most others. Verociousna, observing his surroundings, noted something sliding in and out of the roots and waters...their stellar arrival hadn't gone unnoticed.
The Naagi crept closer and closer to Ben's position, when suddenly, a blaster shot rang out and hit the Naagi warrior clean in the head. All the others turned to face their hunters; odd metal-like men who had apparently been tracking something. The Naagi males, the leader included, charged at the hunters, not afraid to die, while the women slid back into the den. Ben watched and questioned his choices; he could run for all his worth and escape, or he could stay and gain some allies who could help him...if his help was at all welcomed. He made his choice in a few heartbeats, and hoped he wouldn't regret it.
The five Commando Droids blasted mercilessly into the snake-like lifeform ranks, leaving no survivors and double blasting just to make sure that they were dead. Suddenly, one of the droids had his head blasted off by what seemed to be friendly fire. However, there were no other Commando Droids in the area, and they wouldn't be so stupid as to make that mistake willingly. That's when they got the bright idea; it was the Legion Specter they have been after, and it seems as though he is trying to make some friends. They opened fire on their true prey, hitting Ben more than once in one area. However, if they thought he would be dead after that, they were wrong...about to be dead wrong.
Ben's shields held, and now it was his turn to play. He let loose on the Commando droids, making short work of them, making sure not one escaped. However, he had the gut feeling that maybe CIS control had lost their signal and were now sending out more droids to take a look...a force he knew neither the Naagi or himself could withstand. He now turned back, looking at the Naagi, who were clearly impressed by this stranger's willingness to aid them, despite the fact that he could have easily killed them all when and if he had the chance. The leader now slithered forward to Ben, colling his tail some more so that he stood eye-to-eye with this bizzare half-metal man. He then, much to Ben's surprise, spoke in Basic, giving the metal demon his thanks and offering his tribe's loyalty and swords. Ben thanked the Naagi leader, but said that the swords and crossbows they had would do little again the metal men, who, now to the Naagi's understanding, droids. Not understanding, the Naagi leader raised his hands in a gesture that was clearly a questioning one. Ben merely pointed to the blasters of the fallen Commando Droids before the Naagi understood.
Not far off, Verociousna and his troops were proceeding slowly, not wanting to fall right into an ambush by Naagi, who he knew could kill his troops with a good aim and a poisoned crossbow bolt. They were moving towards the last known trajectory of the escape pod Ben, Jett, and Emma were in. It wasn't far off away, approximately two kilometers according to his armor's objective tracker. However, he knew that those two kilometers were probably filled with man-eating creatures and Legion-hating droids. Gage and a few others were able to slowly but surely adapt to their new surroundings, but all the others had a tougher time, despite the fact that they had some training in a stimulated area such as the swamps of Torrus-Mor. Suddenly, and without warning, a crossbow bolt hit one of the troopers square in the neck, causing immediate death. Verociousna saw the Naagi slither off into the vast swamps, no doubt going to get help for dragging the fresh meat back to the den. However, Verociousna got an idea; if Ben, Jett, and Emma had been able to escape on their own, they might have stumbled into a stirring Naagi den. He assigned the duty of following the Naagi warrior to its den to Gage and five other troops while the rest of the company continued towards the main objective.
Meanwhile, Ben had given as much knowledge to the Naagi tribe as he could in the field of the blaster technology, which they had seen before; the last time an intruder came to their den and failed to leave before the Naagi stirred from their slumber. Now he asked if there was a secondary den, as he knew most Naagi had the intelligence to have a secondary den just in case something happened. The Naagi leader replied in his native tounge, which Ben's suit translated to a yes answer. He then asked the Naagi to pack up and head there, as no doubt, many more droids were on their way, and no one would be able to stand against them. Most of the Naagi weren't happy at first, but they slowly realized that the stranger was probably right. The leader said that he would get his people ready and would move out as soon as they could. At that time though, a Naagi warrior came back, claiming he had fresh meat to bring back to the den. No sooner than he had said that did many Legion troopers appear from the roots, surrounding the Naagi, but upon seeing Ben, they lowered their weapons, while Ben asked the Naagi to stay calm, as these were his men, and to continue evacuating the den.
Gage contacted Verociousna, confirming the location of Ben and some friendly Naagi, though the native species were preparing to evacuate to their secondary den roughly two kilometers north; the same place where the escape pod was last seen heading. It was decided that the two forces would meet up there, hope that droids weren't in the area, and establish it as a forward base. All the while though, Verociousna couldn't stop thinking about how Jett and Emma were doing.
If he knew how they were doing, he wouldn't be happy; Jett was beat up and thrown around and Emma was cut and lashed by Grievous' lightsabers. All the while, the droid general was laughing; he never had such fun before, torturing two Jedi, giving each other not only physical pain, but also mental conflictions. Despite his best efforts though, neither Jedi spilled, and he stormed out after a few minutes. As he walked to the command post, one of the droids informed him that a scouting party had gone off the radar; either it was the Legions special trooper or some of the Naagi natives. However, as the B1 droid was going over the details, a Commando Droid came in. He had spotted a mess of Legion troops heading for the escape pod.
Nothing More Than a Nice Day in the Swamp
"How far do you think the command post is, Dak'rahn?"
"Not far I think, Verociousna'san...a few miles away...these droids didn't come far...and I can smell the rust caused by their marching through the swamps coming from the northwest."
"Well, we'll worry about the command post later...first we need to get your people into their den and for us to set up a command post of our own."
- Verociousna and Dak'rahn, the leader of the Naagi tribe
Grievous did not like the news; now the enemy, with help from the natives, was no doubt going after the base he had set up. The droid general stormed out of the command center, and turned around to face his army, ordering two hundred droids, one hundred B1s, fifty B2s, and fifty Commando Droids, to follow him. Grievous wasn't in a mood to allow the Legions time to set up a forward attack center and to launch an effective offensive. He also ordered ten of his personal Magnaguards to follow him, for in case the lone Jedi leading the assault got bold enough to attack, which, Grievous knowing Verociousna, was likely.
Meanwhile, Verociousna had been on the communicator with the rest of the forces, under the command of Ben. It turned out that, after some further delving, that the Naagi Tribe, known as the Viper's Hand, had come across advanced culture before, excluding the time when an offworlder thought he could best the entire tribe by himself, and that was how they knew some Basic, no less limited knowledge of the blaster. While this was handy, knowing the tribe's weakness and flaws, it would have to be corrected if the Naagi were to be of any help. The leader, Dak'rahn, couldn't agree more, knowing that Verociousna, to whom he referred as Verociousna'san, was wise and powerful. The reason Dak'rahn referred to Verociousna as Verociousna'san was because the 'san at the end of an offworlder's name was a term of respect, despite the fact Dak'rahn hadn't met this offworlder before.
Grievous and his droids moved out, marching back towards the escape pod where it was determined that both Naagi forces and Legions forces would meet. It was also discovered that the scouting party that was now non-operational had come across a Naagi den that happened to be near the Legions Specter that they were tracking. Grievous ordered twenty Commando Droids to split off and head there, to ensure that the den was never used again, and that if anyone remained there, to kill them off as retribution for the fallen scouting party, even if they fell at the hands of the Legions Specter they were tracking, while the rest continued on to the pod and set up an ambush.
A few minutes later, Legions and Naagi met for the first time at the arrival point, where the Naagi's secondary den lay, now covered by the escape pod that was used to transport Ben, Emma, and Jett down to the surface. The Legions Specter who would have been Grievous' prisoner spat on the escape pod that would have been the gate to his possible death, though keeping in mind that Emma and Jett weren't so fortunate. Ben then turned on his suit's power mode so as to double his strength, and he rolled the escape pod right off the entrance to the den, without even seeming to try hard. Meanwhile, the rest of the forces, combined with Naagi sharpshooters, surrounded the perimeter, keeping an eye out for enemies and scanning the brush just in case a trap was set. While they did so, a few of the Legion troopers went into the den with the Naagi so as to make more room (they had army-grade digging equipment with them.) Verociousna stayed outside with the rest of the men, knowing that the enemy could be hidden or be on their way.
If he had super-sight, he would see the droids using active camouflage (not as effective as the Legions' cloaking device, but it still worked), ready and waiting for the order to attack. They couldn't believe that the Legion troops and Naagi couldn't notice them, despite the occasional slid of a B1 droid on some patch of loose soil. Grievous was trying hard to contain his laughter at the sheer luck he had. The Legions were unprepared for the attack that would occur in a few seconds, and soon would be all but eliminated, and the prisoners would break under the news no doubt. However, if Grievous was paying attention, he would realize that a Legions Specter had planted trip wires around the area long before the arrival of either of the companies. As Grievous stepped forward, a loud, piercing wail went off. He cursed silently as an EMP went off and as the Legions came at attention, ready to fight their foe to the end when they came out from behind the trees.
Verociousna wasn't surprised when the siren went off, alerting the Legions to the enemy's presence. He had counted on the droids to do something of the sort, and that was why he had sent a Legion Specter ahead, to set up an alert system. With their shields on and portable covers set up, the Legions were in prime position to fight their enemy when the EMP wore off. They didn't have to wait long, as soon afterwards, dozens of droids marched out from behind their cover, and blaster fire was exchanged between the two sides. Verociousna, this time, stayed behind cover instead of out in the front, observing the situation and constantly barking orders at his men to change position, to advance, or pull back. It was working thus far, though the Legions' Supreme Overlord would have wished he could be out on the front with his men and not at the door step to the Legions' temporary camp.
As Verociousna considered this, Grievous, knowing his element was lost, ordered the droids to pull back, but pulled the second trick of his hat out. He sent a communication to two droid gunships to come below the canopy and to his current location. The Legions, without any anti air capabilities, were certainly doomed once the gunships arrives to all but destroy them. The gunships complied and were en route as Grievous started to fall back with his forces.
Verociousna was glad that the droids were now pulling back, but he knew that it was out of the frying pan and into the cooker. Whatever was coming next was something the Legions couldn't handle, or would be difficult to handle. That's when he heard the small sound of a droid gunship coming in hot. He ordered his men to scram as the massive beast of war broke through the tree line and unleashed its payload on the ill-covered Legion troopers. Verociousna wasted no time boosting himself through the air and up to the droid gunship, but was shocked back by the ray shield, made worse by the damp atmosphere. He was out for a minute, but during that time, his Legions were in cover or dead. Now the droid gunship set sights on him, prepared to finish the job. However, it would take a lot more than a ray shield shock or a payload offload to keep the Ralarea warrior down.
Verociousna, summoning his strength, jumped towards the droid gunship, but this time came close to the surface, not actually landing on it. He used that distance to accurately throw two mines onto the top of the gunship, arming them as they locked onto the flying droid menace. As he landed in a roll, Verociousna pushed the button on his gauntlet that detonated the mines, blowing a hole in the droid gunship and sending it crashing into a tree. If, however, Verociousna thought that was the last of the enemy for the time, he was wrong. As the Legions and Naagi started to regroup, the last gunship, with some sense in its programming, opened fire, taking out the Naagi above the den and injuring many Legion troopers and Specters (Dak'rahn was included in the group, but was tackled out of the way by a Legion Specter, though he broke an arm when catching himself). Verociousna, not happy at what just happened, used the Force to grab hold of the gunship and send it flying into a tree some fifty meters away. The result was a massive explosion that set the tree ablaze, and Verociousna quickly used the Force again, but this time to send water crashing onto the flames many yards high and putting them out. At this, he passed out, letting himself crash in the murky waters.
Grievous and what was left of his party arrived back at base, not happy that their mission had been foiled. They knew that, even if the droid gunships had succeded in their mission, albeit to some extent, that they would soon be dealing with a mess of Legion Troopers and some very angry Naagi. They wouldn't be able to hold against a force that large forever, even if they had help from the gunships. As Grievous marched into the command post, a call came in from the fleet in orbit; a larger Republic and Legion task force had just come out of a Force Gate opening and was heading right for the CIS fleet. At that moment, the communication was cut off as transmissions were jammed. Grievous, knowing that trouble was brewing, ordered his gunships down to the complex to help cover them from any air-bound attacks, and to monitor the ground for the impending Legion attack force. The droid general then stalked into the prison room and turned on his lightsaber.
Verociousna woke up in a haze after being out an hour, but knew that he was being treated for injuries in the now remade Naagi den. He got up, still groggy, but able to stand and work on a battle plan. He walked out of what was, for the time, the medical center, and made his way towards the war room, or the Naagi Chieftan's throne room. As he entered, he knew that a pall of sorrow was upon everyone, and knew all too well what had happened. There were now only two dozen Legion troopers and three Legion Specters, among them Gage and Ben. However, the Naagi, after being trained how to handle the blasters recovered from the dead Legion troopers, were all to ready to help, to avenge the dead, as was tribal custom. Verociousna and Dak'rahn, along with tactical information gathered during a robolobotomy on some of the droids, quickly set up a plan. It was also gathered from a transmission by the gunships still in the air that the Legion fleet had returned and was fighting the enemy in space. That action would, no doubt according to Verociousna, cause Grievous to pull all his forces together. That made it easier for a bombing run, but harder for this kind of attack force. A few seconds later, the gunships called in again, this time saying that fighters were en route to the surface to take care of any enemies in the air near the compound, but they would need ground support to take out any anti-air gun emplacements. Verociousna's hand was forced, and the plan was put together in a few minutes.
Legion troopers and Naagi warriors moved out and surrounded the front of the complex, making sure to keep to the shadows of the night (as it was dark by this time) and behind the trees. They could hear the gunships and see many formidible gun emplacements. Ben, Gage, and the other Specter got into position behind the compound, while the Legion trooper company took the front, and the Naagi would take the two sides, dividing into two groups of ten. Verociousna would lead the front (Dak'rahn wanted to come along, but was held back by the injury he sustained during the aerial assault) and charge right on through to where the prison bay was no doubt kept. The compound was like any other CIS foward base; a square-shaped complex enclosed by a wall, save larger and with some buildings, no less three CIS dropships. When everyone was in position, Verociousna turned his armor on and walked out of cover and sent a signal across all communicators; they had crossed the rubicon.
Grievous was surprised at the bold move, even though he had expected that the Legions and Naagi might try to do something...just not an assault. Quickly getting himself back to control, he ordered the gunships to open fire, but was cut off when Legion fighters swooped down from the clearing above and started to fire at any gunships, while the ground forces scaled the wall and took out any anti-air emplacements. Grievous shook furiously at this and stormed into the prison room again, where Jett and Emma were, on the ground, with multiple cuts and Emma's hands sliced off so as to prevent her from using her healing abilities. He picked Jett up and threw him across the room, then picked up Emma and stormedaway. Even if he couldn't get information out of either of them, he could do something that certainly would. He went outside, exposing himself and the female Overlord of the Legions to fire, and made it to his personal shuttle. With four of his best Magnaguards with him, he fled the scene, managing to avoid any fire from the Legion fighters. When he was clear, he jumped to hyperspace and to a system where he knew he would get answers from Emma, and if her husband apparent came looking for her, then those who would have Emma could force him to spill the information and then give her over back to the Legions...dead.
Verociousna watched as a shuttle left the landing pad and headed for the clearing. He ordered the fighters to intercept it, but it was worthless, as the shuttle, once clear, jumped to hyperspace. He shook his head in dissapointment for not getting to the landing pad as fast as he should have, but continued on towards the command building, Ben and a couple of Naagi warriors not far behind him. They stormed in, catching a few of the guards in the initial intrusion and blasting them to bits and bolts. The rest proved to be a challenge in the tight hallways, but they had, in a few minutes, made it to the main command center. Verociousna then left the checking and overall capture of the base to the Legions and the Naagi (remarkably, though a few had been hit, no one, Naagi or Legions, had died) while he searched for Jett and Emma. It didn't take him long, as he found Jett, beaten and cut up, but alive. He quickly healed his cousin and helped him to his feet. Jett was a little more than surprised to see Verociousna back so soon from his coma, but after a few words, they both realized; Emma was not in the room. Jett pounded part of the wall as he realized that Grievous had escaped with Emma while Verociousna marched out, more angry at himself for letting that shuttle escape than before.
The CIS shuttle came out of hyperspace, though it was in the middle of what seemed like nowhere; that was, until a massive station, with half a world on its top, turned off its cloaking device and ordered the shuttle to identify itself. A few words from Grievous were enough to give the communicators cause to open the hangar doors. Inside, greeting dignitaries waited for the CIS droid general to disembark, but were surprised when he had a female Jedi, no less a Legion Overlord, in custody. He turned her over to them and asked them to ask her some questions regarding a specific topic, in particular the code to the Legion databank, so as to get access to all of the technology and battle tactics. The dignitaires agreed, and wished a good war to the departing droid general. When he left their company, all eyes turned to the Legion Overlord...a person leading a group that they, the Revived Sith Empire, hated more than the Republic, for stopping their glorious return and alliance with the CIS.
A Legion gunship landed in the center of what was to be the Republic's new base on Torrus-Mor, clearing marked for special transportation of Overlords. Verociousna and Jett got in, determined to hunt down Emma, then Grievous, wherever both of them may now be. They had stayed for a few hours to help assess damage and to even help sign a pact between the Viper's Hand and the Republic, allowing the Naagi to become unofficial warriors of the Republic and to give them a citizenship. The Naagi were honored, and would stay awake through the normal times to help mine the precious resources on Torrus-Mor, what with reason to not hibernate anymore. Dak'rahn and Verociousna bowed to each other, both of them expressing a wish to see each other soon, whether it be at the dinner table or on the battlefield. Now, as the two Septin cousins left, any thoughts that prevented the thought of the now captured Emma were removed, and a determination was replaced to find her, before something horrible happened.
"Now what? She could be across the galaxy now...and who knows what that son of a karkardon Grievous plans to do with her?"
"We will track her to the best of our abilities...but keep in mind Jett, searching for Emma will be the easy part...getting her back is the real demon of this ordeal. You have my word that the Legions will search for her to the best of their abilities. First, let us get back home...It's been some time since I've had a nice warm bowl of soup, and you could use the peace of being at home."
"Peace? I won't embrace it until Emma is by my side again, leading the Legions' Jedi. Wherever she is...I'm going to find her...and anyone in my way better step aside."
- Jett and Verociousna, discussing Emma
The Search for Emma and Finding of a new Ally (21 BBY, November to December)
While It's Still Warm...
"What do you mean, 'We found the next part of the trail?'"
"We received a delayed transmission from a destroyed Republic search party...three weeks in delay. They said that they spotted Grievous' ship in the Cron Dift, then it docked with a massive space station that was cloaked until his arrival. Upon sighting the massive behemoth, they attempted to pull away...but they weren't fast enough. Apparently the void of the Cron Drift isn't so empy after all."
"So you think that Emma could be in the station destroyed the scouting party?"
"Yes, I do. Prepare a small ship...this time it will just be you and I...and of course our new friends."
- Jett and Verociousna, finding the trail of Grievous and where Emma might be
Days passed as Jett and Verociousna searched relentlessly for Emma, wherever she could be. Even the Republic had its informants listen in for any mention in the CIS of the missing Overlord. Despite their best efforts, no one could find out where she was. Hope was all but surrendered, and Jett withdrew to his underworld mansion while Verociousna continued to scry every corner of the galaxy for his Head of Legion Jedi Training. The search yielded its own seperate fruits however, as a Legions fleet discovered a Ralarean ship roaming the galaxy to no end. The only two people on board were surprisingly two other Septins, Avery and Shadow Septin. Verociousna and Jett welcomed them to the Legions, and the new arrivals quickly settled in. Jett and Avery, however, stuck together for a few days, as it turned out that Avery was Jett's half-brother. Avery, after hanging out with Jett, immediately relaxed into the role of a Jedi teacher in Emma's absence, and the result was impressive to Verociousna. Most Combat Jedi (most of them cloned Jedi) had managed to leave within two weeks, the outstanding ones within just one. The natural Jedi, most of them being Younglings or other Jedi sent from Coruscant to Stragair for advanced training, could graduate to the next level within the same time parameter. Shadow, however, didn't care much for the confines of his new surroundings. He quickly set off again, searching for adventure on his own, much to Verociousna's expectations.
By the end of four weeks, there was still no sign of Emma, and Jett became increasingly withdrawn. He didn't care much about the Legions, and he didn't feel whole, knowing that his wife was still missing. He didn't even welcome the company of his brother. His sleep was restless, and he had dreams about her being whipped, skinned, and many other things unbearable to a husband. His torment ended suddenly, however, when he was summoned to the Overlord's Executive Room, a rather large room within the Arricun Valley Military Installation. The base itself, after months of constant building, covered approximately five square miles, and this room was the largest of all rooms, at eighty feet by fifty, length by width, not to mention with a twenty-foot high ceiling. As Jett came in, he learned the reason behind the sudden summon. Verociousna and Ben had picked up a delayed transmission from a Republic scouting party the night before and had learned that this scouting party discovered Grievous. However, the fleet was destroyed when a massive space station uncloaked to allow Grievous in and open fire on the Republic. It didn't take long for Verociousna and Jett to make up their minds; this wasn't a matter of sending in all one thousand two hundred eighty-one ships (the Legion fleet was rather large by this time due to advanced mass production) to destroy the place while millions of troopers boarded the place to find Emma. This time, speed and agility would matter. Ben would stay behind to take charge over the Legions while Verociousna, Jett, and Avery (he volunteered to go as he wanted to help Jett) took a captured Sith transport. The tracking was over; the hunt was on.
Verociousna, Jett, and Avery, all dressed in Sith gear acquired from the Legions' attack on Korriban a few months back, walked into one of five hangers throughout the Bastion Arricun and beheld, in the center of the more empty than normal hanger, a blast from the past. A Sith ship, closely resembling a royal transport, rested in the hanger, well maintained for its age, and ready to deliver the trio of Overlords to their destination. Jett, being the more-space faring of the three, walked in first, clad in Sith Inquisitor gear and his lightsabers inserted with red lightsaber crystals, and sat down at the controls. At first, he didn't know what to think of the ship, so while he figured everything out, Verociousna and Avery made themselves comfortable at a gaming table and began to play a popular game in the Legions called Card Assault. Verociousna was clad in Sith Marauder gear that had a missing cape while Avery had Sith Infiltrator gear on, the mask hiding his face, but not his Obi-Wan styled hair and peach-tan skin. After half a game, Jett announced the engines were powering up; they were going airborn. Within a few seconds, the deceptively ancient ship lifted off and sailed out of the hanger, off towards the Legion armada in orbit, and once outside of Stragair's atmosphere, made the jump to hyperspace.
The few hours spent traveling from Stragair to the Cron Drift, a massive gap in the galaxy due to a dark side scheme with hardly anything in it, felt like days to the Overlords, who were not accustomed to such slow travel. Even Jett joined Verociousna and Avery in doing Card Assault; each time, Verociousna won, despite him being an absolute "new guy" at the game. By the time they finally got out of hyperspace, Jett and Avery had wished there was some other game in which Verociousna would have lost at. Quickly, Jett started to send out hails throughout the area to see if they could reach the station. Little did he know, he was rapidly flying towards the Sith city which was still cloaked, but a few miles ahead of him. Suddenly, as the commandeered vessel was a hundred or so yards away from the planet-covered part of the Sith city, the massive space-bound city uncloaked to send out communications. Jett, his reaction being immediate, performed an evasive maneuver that send Verociousna and Avery flying. Both sustained some bruises, but Verociousna landed on his head once, causing his helmet to break and hood to rip. He prayed to the All-Being that he could find some face wear almost immediately once inside the Sith city, but knew that the Sith in the docking ports would put up a fight once seeing a hated Overlord of the Legions. A hail from Docking Port Five revealed a damning surprised to the three relatives; the ship they were using was marked under a Sith political and spiritual figure.
All three shook their heads at the news, but knew there was nothing to be done about it anyways. Docking Port Five had its doors open, but first the ship had to confirm that it was indeed carrying the revered Sith Lord that they were wanting. Jett ordered Avery and Verociousna to brace themselves, as a rough landing was in store. Without thinking, Jett gunned the ship right towards the designated docking port, two miles away from where he nearly avoided a fatal crash, and in a few seconds, had managed to land the ship on its portside, but nonetheless in the docking port. Jett, Avery, and Verociousna quickly exited the vessel by means of shattering the bridge window and got far enough away from it before it was blasted to bits by two turbolasers. All three were sent flying because of the blast impact, but were otherwise alive and intact. They quickly got up to receive lightsaber attacks from Sith Enforcers sent to deal with the intruders. After dodging a few attacks, the Overlords powered up their lightsabers to fight off their attackers. Within a few minutes, and after a duel which seemed to be one like a duel back in the Old Republic days, Verociousna, Jett, and Avery darted away towards the hallway that led out of the docking port and into the rest of the city. Much to Verociousna's relief, a Sith Infiltrator mask dropped off of one of his attackers, so he picked it up and put on his face before running out with his two relatives. Along the way, and after a few minutes of running, they started to get glimpses of what life was like here, away from the center of the city; filthy roads, squalid living conditions that made the slave quarters of MosEisley seem welcoming, alleys that even a rogue would stay away from, open manholes to sewers, drunk beggars in the streets, Sith Enforcers on constant patrol, and a stench that made a womp rat den smell nice. They all knew immediately that they would have a few rough days ahead of them, made worse because their escape method was now blown to bits. Plus, they only had seven days before the Legion Armada came knocking to blow the place to kingdom come.
Emma suddenly stirred from her drug-enduced sleep, and was made aware of the guards talking outside her prison room. As she regained her senses, she recalled many things; whippings, cuts, and many other things that, in Jett's sight, would have made him rage. How she managed to survive this long without being able to heal herself even she knew not. As she finally regained her concentration, she listened into the guards, who were always talking about something. She heard the one thing she had been waiting for all this time in the Sith Holy City; three Legion Overlords, two of them being Jett and Verociousna, had managed to infiltrate the city by means of docking in Docking Port Five. While their ship was blown up, the three escaped to the alleys and sewers of the Slum District. While Emma's heart leaped with joy at this news, she realized that her rescue would have to hurry up and be extra vigilant because of increased security at this and because she was to die by Force Lightning at the square in front of the Sith Holy Temple...in six days.
Jett could have sworn he heard something behind him. Despite the fact he no longer had his Force-enhanced sight, smell, or hearing, the sound of muffled footsteps hitting debris in the sewers and the smell of perfume reached his ears and nose, thus alerting him to the fact that he, Verociousna, and Avery were being followed by a female who forgot to not wear her perfume. He shruged it off as his mind playing tricks on him after listening and watching for a few more seconds and then ran to catch up with Verociousna and Avery, whose minds were occupied with trying to find a way through the sewer system. For an hour or so, roughly thirty minutes after landing in the docking port, they had been running through alleys and eventually sewers to evade a party of Sith Enforcers who happened to spot the trio attempting to squeeze through the foot traffic of the roads of the Outer Slums. While at least they lost the Sith Enforcers, they have now, known only to Jett, picked up other company. For four more minutes, they wandered aimlessly, always listening, always watching, until they suddenly turned a corner and came face to face with a mouth-clamping view of the Sith Holy City; at the very center was a single Sith Temple. Out away from it, and other buildings reached for the height of the temple, and gradually got lower and lower as they approached the Slum Districts, which even from the vantage point wafted the smell of penury and shouts of desparation up to the Overlords. It made all three wonder how a city could be holy yet have such penury in even the most basic part of it. By this time, Verociousna became aware of how close the ground was; six hundred feet or so, a distance which could be safely jumped from and then completed without a fatal outcome. Jett and Avery, after being told of the plan, swore that if it didn't work, Verociousna would have some big debts to settle in the Ether of the Force.
Tookas, cat like creatures, and a couple of homeless drunks scattered when, out of nowhere, three figures landed on their feet and smelled as though they came from the sewers...which they did. Verociousna, Avery, and Jett all became aware of how badly they stood out...just by their smell. All three concerted to find the nearest source of cleaning that would be open to them...if the source was any fresher than what they were just in. Without an absolute idea of what he was doing, Verociousna used the dark side, the strongest power of the Force around the area, to "clean" himself and his two relatives. No longer did they stink so horribly, and their clothing was dry again...a welcome relief. After talking a bit about the next course of action, they decided they would walk around until they came to the nearest inn. After all, in a part of a city like this, an inn was a minefield of information.
However, eyes that had been following them since half an hour after their arrival were studying their mark from the shadows. Two figures, a male and female, both watched the Legion Overlords apparent walk into the Slum District to no doubt find information regarding who they were after in the Sith Holy City. The female motioned for the male figure to head away, off towards a more inviting part of the Slum District while she stepped away from the comforting cloak of the shadows. As she did, her character became visible to the Overlords after she intentionally kicked an empty can of food nearby.
Verociousna, the first to wheel around, his reflexes in combat being the sharpest of all, saw one female figure having emerged from the shadows. She was clad in rogue Koffun Jedi Armor with Sith Maruader greaves and gauntlets. Her face revealed a disarming midnight purple pair of eyes, white skin that had been tanned, and black hair that rolled from her head to her shoulders. All three Overlords were surprised that they had been followed by this lone female, no doubt ever since they arrived, and that somehow she didn't smell of sewer waters, yet had a rather powerful perfume on. Jett realized it was the same perfume he smelled in the sewers, and that it somehow must keep the smell off her. The female quickly explained that there was no time to talk in the open air, so she motioned for the Legion Overlords to follow her down a system of alley ways that at least had no stench worse than that of the sewers. Verociousna hesitated a little due to his natural distrust of Sith, but Jett and Avery, having agreed that they had no other choice, convinced Verociousna to follow along.
A few minutes later and after some well-sustained running through alleys and roads, all four came to a part of the Slum District that finally had a more comfortable air around it. Here, houses were not run down, children ran to and fro under the supervision of adults, and the vendors seemed more friendly to customers. The woman quickly told them that things were better off in Ring 9, the third outer most district of the Sith Holy City, than they were in the Slum District they were just in. She quickly motioned for the three to follow her as she walked to a nearby two-leveled house that seemed unusually well-built, despite the fact that Ring 9 was in better straits than those of Ring 10. She quickly told them that this was her family's house and that they had been here for four years, long enough to see power and politics change more times than could be counted. As the four entered, Verociousna, Jett, and Avery became aware that here, Sith wasn't an exact term, the family was strong, and those who weren't of the actual Sith were welcomed here. The woman, after embracing her husband apparent, introduced herself, her husband, and her family. She was Shisa ShadowKnight, the husband was Alpha ShadowKnight, and the family name was evident enough. The family had about nine members at home presently, all of the children apparent or siblings being in their mid-teen to early-adult years. Shisa explained why she and her husband were allowing the hated demons of the Sith into their home; without their help, the three would not stay out of a prison cell for long, and the ShadowKnight family had some problems of their own that could be solved when the Overlords prepared to leave. Shisa quickly explained that, at a young age, she and her family were taken in by a Sith lord as part of a bargain. Of course, he didn't keep his word and killed Shisa's mother and father...in front of her eyes. She said that the years following, only a few of her siblings were ever free of the grasp of the Sith that seemed to follow her family, and those less fortunate were trained and raised as Sith. To her, it was a miracle when the Sith lord died in his sleep due to some trickery on Shisa's part, and now they were hiding in plain sight until they had a reason to be free as a lark; if the Legions Overlords could extricate the family when it came time for the three guests to leave, and if the Legion Armada (news travels quickly of any Legion activity) could blow up the Holy City, it would lead those hunting for the ShadowKnight family to believe they died in the destruction of the station. Verociousna and Jett agreed after stating why they were here...and that's when Shisa got around to being an ally instead of a help.
As the Clock Ticks...
"Emma? The Legion Overlord of Jedi? She came in weeks ago with Grievous...and she, as revenge for your attack on the Revived Sith Empire, is to be executed this Saturday at Priest's Square."
"Great...any advice? We won't be able to help you until we get Emma out of prison...or rescue her."
"I would normally advise waiting until the day of execution...but as this is no normal matter, you will have to get into the prisons below the Sith Temple and get her out...no small task as I can tell you."
"Verociousna, I've got to wonder...are things always this tough for the Legions? Are odds always against us?"
"They certainly are...no matter how good the men are."
- Shisa, Verociousna, and Avery, discussing how to rescue Emma
It wasn't good news to Verociousna, Jett, and Avery. Emma was sentenced to be executed by Force Lightning in Priest's Square on Saturday morning, which was only three days away. All three, knowing they had to act quickly, discussed the best course of action amongst themselves. Jett and Avery wanted to go now and get Emma out of the prison, while Verociousna, much to the other two's surprised, advised patience. In his mind, it was better to wait until Emma was out in the open and easier to extract, knowing that at the same time, that might be when the Sith expected a bold rescue attempt. It pained Verociousna to do so, but with no other choice, he agreed that the best course of action was a swift and shadow-hidden rescue of Emma, before it was too late. Shisa and one of her brothers, Acer, agreed to come along and help guide the Overlords through the streets of the Holy City, advising the three Ralareans (though she knew not Verociousna's species) to keep a pace of ten miles an hour, unless they figured out how to fly.
Emma stirred from her rest again, only to feel the painful lash of a whip on her neck. Blue blood, custom to the Ralarea, trickled down her neck as she felt a fist hit her in the left temple of her forehead. For weeks she had endured this, for weeks she maintained discipline, but now she felt all fading away, fast, as her execution day approached. Before blacking out again, and after the beating for the second time that day of Wednesday, she started to see the vast taiga of Stragair, the caves of lightsaber crystals, rivers of the Force incarnate, and that old, familiar feeling of training Jedi at the temple on Stragair. How she longed for it again and to be free of this hell...even if it was a way she wished to not go.
Shisa and Acer, their three guests not far behind, made it to the Innermost Ring, where all the Holiest Sith dwelled. All five had been running for about three hours now, and the only one not almost out of breath was Verociousna...yet even he had to sit down and let his sweat cool him off. Here, everything was utopia instead of dystopia; smells of well prepared food wafted down from open windows in tall, heaven-reaching skyscrapers, Sith monks, the deadliest yet most unknown of all Sith, according to Shisa, meditated in gardens which rivaled the ones in the Jedi Temple, and birds flew freely in cool air. Underneath the tallest structure, in the middle of the Innermost Ring, lay the hidden hell which was sought after by Verociousna, Jett, and Avery. Shisa and Acer said they could not go any further, and would instead stay where they were until all four had arrived back at the point at which they were now. Verociousna mapped it on his Omni-Glove (not like the ones Zenolinians used at all) so that neither he or the other two Overlords could get lost. All three Ralareans, without giving much of a warning, quickly darted off towards the Sith Temple, unaware of the new set of eyes watching them.
No one had realized that they had been followed from their starting point some hours back. Even this figure rivaled Verociousna's stamina, despite the fact that she was certainly not Ralarean, and was certainly skilled at hidding from any and all eyes. The female Sith Inquisitor watched as the three Legion Overlords left the shadows, leaving behind the other two, the ones she was originally sent to hunt. She grimaced with pleasure at knowing her prey was now vunerable, so she sulked through tight corners and alleys to reach her targets...only to see them not there anymore. The last thing she felt before blacking out was a pipe hitting her head, killing her instantly. Shisa stood over her would-be killer, and took the one thing she needed badly; a lightsaber, that of a Sith Inquisitor.
And even if Verociousna had been there, he still felt the sudden turn of events for the one who had been stalking them. He had a slight idea that, since they left Shisa's mansion, the group of Overlords and rogue Sith had been followed by someone who was well trained in stealth. He warned Shisa and Acer just in case he was correct to have something ready to defend with, no matter what it was. He was pleased to see his warning worked, and Shisa now had a real method of defense. Shruging off the thought, he continued worming his way through the slightly-oversized air ducts, in which he, Jett, and Avery were barely able to fit into. As they found out, the Temple doors had been locked to outsiders, and that meant going through air ducts which were morronically left ill-protected, as Sith would not have expected anyone to dare use the system of fans and blowing air, both of which could kill mortals easily. Mortals, however, were not the problem now for the Sith, Verociousna thought. He continued moving through the ducts when he finally came to a vent which, when opened, would let all three Overlords down into the prison level, which from the angle Verociousna was at, looked alot like a Republic prison; imperialistic. He was about to open the duct when a guard, on shift change, took up post right underneath the air duct. Verociousna shook his head at the sudden turn of events, knowing that if everything didn't go exactly to plan, Emma wouldn't be the only Overlord in a cell.
The guard looked around at hearing a clinking noise, similar to that of someone trying to sneak around...poorly at that. After seeing nothing, he shruged his shoulders and resumed his post, constantly looking around like a security camera, not leaving a single detail left unchecked. He suddenly got the bright idea to look up, and that was when he saw the air duct vent wide open. There were no signs of someone trying to enter, however, so he quickly levitated up to slide the vent back into place. However, when he got up there, a fist came out of nowhere, hitting him clean on his left temple and knocking him out.
Verociousna slightly winced at the solid thunk of the guard's unconcious husk hitting the steel floor. With the gate wide open now, however, he exited the air shaft and, after making sure all was clear, motioned for Jett and Avery to come on down. Once both were down, Verociousna tended to the guard, thrusting him into a nearby garbage disposal shaft. At least they all had a small amount of time before the red alerts went off, but only a small amount. All three split up to cover more ground at a swift pace, checking every cell by means of the Force. A few minutes went by before all three regrouped at the last cell on this sub-level. Jett, without even checking before opening, thrust open the cell door...and ran right into two Sith Elite Guards who happened to be leaving the prison room. Verociousna quickly went into action by cutting off the guards' communicators, then engaged in short combat, dispatching the guards with but a few fancy moves. Looking into the room, he saw what all had been looking for; Emma was at last found.
All she heard was talking...and relief of powerful yet gentile Force Healing. As her sight was restored, she became aware of Jett and another figure watching the cell door while a figure in Sith Marauder armor tended to her. She realized Verociousna was healing her, and after a few seconds, was relieved of the chains that bound her to a singular positon. After weeks of not being able to move, and relieved of the chains, she immediately slumped the ground, unable to gather the strength need to walk. No problem to her though, as she quickly tapped into the Force to help her at least get out of this festering hell hole. She thanked Verociousna for the quick aid, was surprised to see Avery, Jett's brother from the wars, and was quick to embrace Jett. The other two quickly exchanged words which would forever stick. "Lovebirds, both of them." Jett and Emma quickly went red at the small verbal jab which aptly described the love between the two right now; neither one wanted to let go at this point. However, they were all shaken into reality when the red alert started going off. Verociousna realized the guard they had first encounted had now alerted the rest of the prison security. There was no time to double back and return to the point of entry, but a nearby air vent was good enough for all. Verociousna quickly opened the vent, sending Emma in first, Jett in second, and Avery in third. The big kahuna was about to go through when the cell doors suddenly flew open, Sith Elite Guards charging. Verociousna, not wanting to fight at the moment, quickly jumped up to the air vent while simultaniously zapping all Sith in the room with Emerald Lightning, a far more powerful variation of Force Lightning.
Shisa finally saw what she had been waiting for; the three Overlords and the one they called Emma were running towards where she and Acer were waiting. Once in safetly, Emma, exhausted from a sudden burst of physical activity, just slumped to the ground, coughing up a storm. Jett took her up in his arms, willing to carry his out-of-shape wife all the way back...for five hours. Once back at Shisa's mansion, everyone slumped down onto the nearest chair or sofa, even Verociousna. All were happy that now things could go ahead...but Verociousna realized something else; they still needed to get out of the city before it was time for the Legions to come in, as per the Republic's request for vengeance. He thought, however, to rejoice in Emma's return from a hell for as long as he could; for in a couple of days, the start of leaving the city itself began.
The guard was choked and violently thrown against the nearest wall. Failure for protecting the female Legion Overlord was as harsh as could be. In a matter of seconds, the guard died, his husk being dragged out by Sith Elite Guards. The one who did such an act looked on as his victim was dragged off to be shot off into space, for now his honor had been sullied. The High Priest, leader of both spiritual and political needs of the Sith Holy City, crossed his arms and considered what the enemy's next move was. No doubt, it would be to find a ship, but not for some time, due to the fact that the prisoner would have to be rehabilitated to at least a portion of her strength. Nonetheless, guards needed to be in position ASAP. The High Priest sent the order out for all ships to be checked and guarded, and to not let anyone in until after an ID check. He was not about to let four demons, and no doubt those who dared help them, escape the Sith Holy City alive.
Caution: Legion Armada Inbound
"Ben, what the hell do you mean, 'Inbound sooner than expected?!'"
"Sir...I tried to reach you on this chanel the day after you left...GAR command has ordered a faster handling of this matter. If I were you, I'd start running towards the nearest shipyard, because we will be inbound in half a day, at the least. We'll try stalling for as long as we can, but the latest we can go is at 0845 hours tomorrow."
"Understood...dismissed. All of you...if you were hearing that, we've got trouble. The Legion fleet has been ordered to head here sooner than originally planned. We have to leave now, unless you'd rather be cooked to ashes by Legion MAL cannons."
- Ben and Verociousna, discussing a change of plans
The next two days, after Emma's successful liberation, saw nothing but everyone hanging out in Shisa's mansion while the female Overlord regained her strength. Verociousna, with nothing better to do, would often talk at length with Shisa about certain issues the galaxy considered important. Both found a common spirit in one another, and became, despite Verociousna's normal distrust of anyone who bore the name Sith, rather good friends. Jett and Avery would often jab Verociousna about how he was enjoying the talking and other activities that normally occupied the day, and in return, the Supreme Overlord's face would go red. Besides talking and gaming, dueling activities were a welcome relief for Verociousna after learning that Shisa's courtyard contained enough room for dueling sessions. While, in general, the dueling was for practice for the ShadowKnight family, everyone kept loosing to Verociousna, in turn impressing (and vexing) the family.
After the two days, Verociousna, while eating another well-cooked breakfast, received a highly secure transmission from Stragair. He, excusing himself from the table, answered the call to find out Ben had been ordered, ahead of schedule, to visit the Cron Drift with over thrity Viking class attack cruisers (Vikings were the new attack cruiser of the Legions, designed to combine the CIS and Republic ship styles into a ship far more superior than both.) Verociousna went somewhat pale upon hearing the news; everyone had half a day to get to the nearest ship yard if Ben couldn't stall the invasion for long. Everyone else, who all too well heard the communication between Ben and Verociousna, heeded the Supreme Overlord's warning to pack up what they could and get ready to run to the nearest ship yard. While the ShadowKnights packed up what they could and prepared their speeders (walking wasn't always preferred in the Sith Holy City) while the four Overlords decided that, for extra security, almost everyone would have at least one saber, even if it meant one of the ShadowKnights borrowing an Overlord's saber.
Within a few minutes, everyone was ready to leave, but as they were exiting the mansion, Sith flooded the streets, having apparently found where the Legions were based out of. Verociousna and Avery, who were the only ones on foot to be ready to fight off those who might appear to apprehend them and the ShadowKnights, quickly barraged the Sith with Emerald Lightning while everyone else got out on speeders. When Acer ShadowKnight, the last one out, left, Verociousna and Avery started to Force Sprint to catch up with the convoy. It didn't take them long, and they got on the first speeder that they could, which happened to be the one Alpha was piloting, with Shisa in the back along with Jett and Emma. Verociousna, after seeing how slowly the convoy was moving, hoped dearly that Ben was stalling for time, and that he wasn't being pressed to harshly.
Which was both happening and not happening. The now Admiral Tarkin was drilling Ben to get the ships moving and to the Cron Drift to find and destroy this menace before it could pose actual harm to the Republic. While the Specter Major (instead of Marshall, which was now a lower rank) was now of the Legions, he was at the same time a Republic-bred clone. After intensive arguements, Tarkin, much to his chagrin, had to back down from Ben and allow him a few more hours before heading out. Ben, after noting the relief of time, was dismissed and, with nothing else to do, ordered the designated Viking class attack cruisers to be prepared for departure. The only mortal Legion Overlord could only hope that, before the ships left, Verociousna and the rest of those in his company were already in a shipyard with the evac, whatever it wound up being.
The slow convoy added to Verociousna's uneasy feeling. There were security guards all over the place, and additional checkpoints had been set up in light of the security breach. Once or twice, guards had almost recognized Verociousna (security cameras had managed to catch at least Verociousna's mug when he was under the Sith Temple) or one of the more well known ShadowKnights when the convoy started moving again. By the time they had arrived at the gate to the shipyards, it had been two hours since leaving Shisa's mansion, and five hours until the Legion Armada came knocking on the hull of the Sith Holy City. Just as the convoy, once being cleared, began to move again, a civilian called out Verociousna, stating she recognized him from Korriban. Verociousna rolled his eyes up as he jumped from the convoy when turbolaser cannons started to aim at the speeders. Before everyone had cleared from one speeder, a turbolaser opened fire, killing all four ShadowKnights and sending Verociousna's loaned saber, Justice, flying. He grabed it as he jumped into the air to deliver a powerful Force blast that sent the tops of the turbolaser cannons flying away and into the Slum District. After landing, Verociousna ran back through the checkpoint before caving in the tunnel to prevent all from being followed for some time.
After abandoning the speeders due to road blocks that had been activated once news of the Legion Overlord's attempt to escape, the ShadowKnights and their guests had to start sulking through more sewers. Verociousna was beginning to think that, by now, he had been in the sewers far longer than when he was in the sewers through which he pursued Xalandra Nova back on Korriban. By now, he counted that all present had been on the run from Shisa's mansion for three hours. That meant four hours until the Legions arrived. Verociousna was really beginning to hate the new schedule. He turned back to see that a few ShadowKnights were sobbing, no due part to the loss of four relatives. The whole family reminded Verociousna of what it was like to loose his family, group by group. He shook his head in resolve not to fail them, and ordered them to pick up the pace while they still had good reason to. As Verociousna continued on, he suddenly sensed a weakpoint in the wall...and it was pretty close to roaring of large-scale ships.
A couple of guards were startled from their game of cards by a section of the wall blowing out. As they walked to investigate, Verociousna emerged and quickly dispatched the two would-be assailants. After looking both ways, he saw that the way was clear, and ordered everyone else out of the sewers. Quickly, for the sake of not being under suspicion, all four Overlords rid themselves and the ShadowKnights of the stench of the sewers. A few yards into their walk towards the right, however, they ran into a new obstacle; an entire squadron of Sith and Sith Troopers were blocking the gate to the ship yard...and one trooper had the fortune of looking off to his right to see the ShadowKnights and Legion Overlords fast approaching. Verociousna cursed under his breath as blaster bolts started to fly and lightsabers started charging. Verociousna, Jett, and Avery all charged forward to do combat with the enemy while Shisa, Alpha, and Acer stayed behind to protect their family.
Ben looked at his clock; three hours until launch. He was really starting to get ancy because he still had no transmission from Verociousna about the status of evacuation. That's when he got a call from a Republic Fleet; they were in the Cron Drift and awaiting Legion back-up. Ben cursed aloud before shutting off the communicator and ordering the fleet to power up the engines. If anyone could see under Ben's visor, they would see ears and cheeks red with anger. Thanks to some stupid Republic fleet being in the Cron Drift prematurely, the Legions had no choice but to leave and seek out the Sith station. He was now only hoping that Verociousna had procured transported and was preparing to leave.
Verociousna dispatched the last Sith and looked back to see the casualties. Mercifully, the only ones killed were those who dared attack either the ShadowKnights or the Legion Overlords. As all started to walk towards the gate, Jett started to hack into the controls to open the gate because, as Verociousna reasoned, a forceful entry would no doubt be noticed...and all the Sith in the sector would be rushing over to see what had happened. After a minute's worth of hacking, Jett got the gate opened and ordered everyone through in a hurry, Verociousna at the lead. After walking through a couple of hallways, they rounded a corner and were glad to see what they wanted; a small Sith frigate, with enough room to hold everyone present. Unfortunately, it was guarded by turbolasers and a mess of Sith and Sith Troopers, more numerous than those at the gates. Verociousna shook his head as he realized this was not going to be a hack and slash; it was going to be defend and retaliate.
A guard looked up after hearing the sound of multiple lightsabers igniting, and saw a rather large group, most of them he recognized as ShadowKnights, and the other four he remembered were the Legion Overlords. He shouted the alarm before being taken out with a thrown lightsaber from Avery, and everyone started to jump down, one at a time, to get to the frigate before either the turbolasers or something else hit it. Verociousna, Avery, Jett, and Shisa guarded the entrance to the frigate while Emma and Alpha ran escort for those who wanted to get across to the escape vessel. Suddenly, everything went silent as all looked back after hearing ships coming out of hyperspace. A large fleet of Legion Vikings and Republic Venators were now surrounding the entire Sith Holy City, Verociousna realized. The Sith and Sith Troopers were the first to recover, blasting five more ShadowKnights to death and almost hitting Avery in the head. With no one left to escort, Emma and Avery dashed back to the frigate as its turrets, now opperated by vengeful ShadowKnights, opened fire on anything that was red and shooting at the vessel. Once everyone was inside, Verociousna and Jett ran to the bridge, where Shisa and Alpha were working on powering up the engines. They stepped aside to let Jett work his magic while Verociousna powered up the shields to give the vessel more time to take off. As he looked outside, he saw Vikings powering up their MAL (Magnetically Accelerated Laser) cannons, and one was aiming just above the shipyard. The whole place shook with the impact of the MAL cannons a few seconds later, and the shipyard, its pressure shield worthless, started to become a vaccum, almost dislodging part of the frigate's hull. Finally, as the shipyard started to fall apart, Jett got the engines online and warned everyone to brace for a quick and hard exit.
The frigate roared to life, the docking clamps disengaged and Legion cannon fire surrounding it. Verociousna got on the communicator to warn the fleet not to shoot at a slightly singed Sith frigate, unless they'd rather kill their own Overlords. As the frigate exited the shipyard, all on board got to see what was now becoming on the Sith Holy City; a ruin and section of space debris. Not even the massive Sith fleet charged to protect the massive station remained anymore, and just as the escape vessel cleared Legion lines, the Sith Holy City exploded in the colors of blue and white. Verociousna slumped back into his seat as he realized all who were on board had just escaped a rather toasty grave. He turned to his side to see Shisa and Alpha embracing each other closely and sharing a victory kiss. The Supreme Overlord swung around in his chair and walked out of the bridge, hearing Jett getting authorization to dock with Legion Viking Crafton as the door closed.
Everyone walked aboard Crafton and was greeted by cheers and handshakes by impressed Legion troopers, who had, until now, never seen an enemy who wasn't an enemy at the same time. Ben, who was present, quickly saluted Verociousna and asked if he was relieved of control of the Legions, to which Verociousna said that he wasn't sure who would really be relieved. As Ben stepped out of the way to let the Overlords and ShadowKnights on board, Shisa ran up ahead to Verociousna to thank him, and that she, after getting some supplies, would like to be leaving on the Sith frigate. Verociousna, understanding as he was that Shisa and her family wanted to be free, couldn't understand why she wouldn't want to join the Legions. She said that freedom was what everyone wanted in the ShadowKnights, but would be ready to help if the Legions ever needed anything. An hour later, on the bridge of Crafton, Verociousna watched the ShadowKnights fly off into hyperspace, their life now free of watchful eyes. He then, after being asked where to set course, ordered all ships to head home; it was time everyone got a break for a while.
"I can never thank you enough Verociousna...for everything you did. You went way out of your way to help us, and I will never forget that."
"It was my pleasure. You were almost like a secondary primary objective. So...is your path to come with us to Stragair, or to be off on your own?"
"Much as I would like to be on Stragair, where I heard peace is king, my family and I crave the open space lanes, now more than ever."
"I...understand. Then may the Force be with you, Shisa ShadowKnight. If you ever need anything, call us."
"And if you need anything, call us, for we'll be there."
- Shisa and Verociousna sharing a small parting talk on board the bridge of the Crafton
The Secrets of the Northern Ruins of Stragair (20 BBY, January)
A Ominous Door
"Explain 'We've found more underneath the Northern Ruins.'"
"It's difficult to explain. While we could not tell at first due to the severe damage to the ruins, we now know, after the discovery of this underground vault of sorts, that these ruins are not Ralarean or Harzani in origin. More like before the time of either race."
"Before? So Stragair wasn't just inhabited by us and the Harzani?"
"It would appear so sir. I'd also venture to guess that, in this vault, lie things that aren't artifacts. Two scouting parties that went in never reported back or came out."
"Noted, I'll be there as soon as I finish off some more paperwork. Keep the entrance sealed."
- Verociousna and Ben, discussing the discovery of an ancient vault below the Northern Ruins
Since the daring rescue of Emma, Verociousna had been busy handling the Legions and their six-month old government; Democracy of Legions. Both were proving to be a bit shaky in December when Verociousna, Avery, and Jett extracted Emma and the ShadowKnight family from the eyes of the Sith, but now that the heads of power were back, things seemed to be getting back on track. Still, things wound up heading a bit south for the start of the new year; three systems left the Democracy of Legions due to a dislike of rulers who, however sagacious they were, wouldn't be leaving office anytime soon, and the CIS seemed to be getting better at combating their new opponents, taking control of at least two systems and destroying three fleets in the first week of January alone. Verociousna needed solutions, something new and different before the CIS could gain further ground or more systems left the Democracy of Legions. Something that improved upon the Legion Armada or the endless tide of Legion Troopers, Clones, Jedi, and natural-born alike.
In the mean time, considerable advances were made in the military and civilian tech fields. MAL cannons had been designed to recharge after a shot, but in consequence would do less damage than normal. A Viking MAL cannon could now only punch a hole through a CIS Lucrehulk-class core ship instead of blowing completely through it and destroying both ship and MAL cannon alike. In addition, most hints of Republic tech in the Legions were removed; Legion ships were now a hybrid of both CIS and Republic design, and almost all fighters, along with a new grey, black, and green color scheme, were greater in length than they were in width, with the exception of a good old favorite; the Kingsaber, basically the Umbaran fighters with augmented Legion tech and still retaining its classic gold, grey, and green colo scheme. However, the Legions still made good use on the BARC speeders and AT-RTs, albeit modified with Legion Tech. The same could be said of the Delta-7 fighter, which, when augmented, was a favorite for Legion pilots who loved to defend anything as long as it was in space thanks to its newly given dexterity, toughness, and nasty payload of either rapid fire turbolasers or hard hitting energy lancers. Soldiers also saw some improvements; their combat armor metal was tougher, more flexible, and had its own HUD, shielding system, and life support. And now, even the simplest of houses in any Legion city on Stragair could enjoy power from a power generator so small it could fit in a closet.
Numbers had increased as well; now the Legion Army was over thirty million strong, full of both clones and citizens who had enlisted. The Legion Armada now had not only fifty-five thousand ships thanks to the invention of "Forge Systems" that made use of safer, less Dark-side attuned Star Forges, but also new ships that, though still in prototype, showed promise, and a fighter force as numerous as the grains of sand in a single yard of the beach. Not quite as many as fifty million men, but still large. However, the CIS became better at fighting their new adversaries; droids could focus the plasma in their weapons to do more damage to Legion shields and armor, while having a combat shield on that only reacted in the presence of Legion Tech, as per the request of a shadowy figure in the CIS. Also, the CIS Navy ships were outfitted to be more of a match, simply put, when Legion ships were involved in a conflict, as such, even the Legions were starting to loose a little bit of ground at least every week. Another reason Verociousna had to find some kind of solution, and fast.
Somewhere on Stragair, a new batch of clones who had yet to be combat certified were running an exercise drill near alien ruins too charred to even recognize that rested a kilomile due north of Arricun Citadel and under guidance of Ben, the 5 star Spectre General. They were fighting holographic enemies who were equiped with anti-Legion tech, which was really just a new shield and increased red plasma focus which narrowed the blaster beam, and were tasked with holding their base somewhere in the ruins. So far, the rookies were impressing Ben; they were communicating, tag teaming on enemies, and watching their six. As Ben watched, the rookies got closer to the enemy base and were about to find a way around its many guns and high walls when one of the clones started to circle around to get a better look. Without warning, he stepped on a loose piece of rubble that went into the ground and opened a trap door that led beneath one of the wrecked buildings. Ben immediately shut off the training exercise and went to investigate the door with the rookies. He called the exercise a pass and ordered the clones to head back to base while he stayed behind and called for more experienced clones to take a look at the apparent vault.
Verociousna was just looking over the reports of a phyric victory for the Legions near the Syloni system when Ben came on the holographic channel with a code Aurek alert, one of the highest. He started to explain what had been discovered beneath the alien ruins during the training exercise at 0750 hours exactly yesterday, and since then two scouting parties had gone into the ruins...and vanished without as much as a trace. Verociousna seemed surprised; while he knew about the ruins, and had discovered nothing of interest during a search five months prior, he had no idea that there were any underlying structures. He thanked Ben for the report and said he would arrive to investigate after taking care of a few more matters....all but one being political. He was beginning to remember how much of a pain politics were, for almost all of them were about a dispute between two factions about land or even trade routes.
Three hours later, and after Verociousna felt as though his head was ready to explode, he arrived at the destination; the Northern Ruins. Already, the door to the vault had been tightly sealed off, so as to prevent whatever lurked in the depths from escaping. Whatever it was, it was powerful to be able to deal with two Legion Spectre squads as though they were nothing. That, or the thing had taken the squads captive. Or maybe there was some kind of interference. Nonetheless, Verociousna thought it sagacious to not take any risks. Despite warnings, however, Verociousna argued to go into the vault, to discover what might be hidden beneath its shadowy depths. Ben, not wanting his leader to face the danger alone, asked to come along for the ride, to which Verociousna agreed almost immediately. Upon lowering the energy gates, both Overlords turned on their armor, Doomsbringer Mark III armor, which was outfitted with impressive add-ons: overcharge shields, life support, directional compass, ammo count, motion tracker, and power modes, one of them being cloak. The two walked in with modified Shadow Tech Rifles at the ready, and activated their night vision as the energy gates closed before a more durable metal door sealed off the vault.
Both Overlords were equally surprised at the architecture; vaulted, pillar-supported ceilings with walls inlaid with synthetic gems. Whoever built the place had durability in mind for the vault to survive two destructions of Stragair, with one being supposed and the other being actual. More surprising still was the sight of turrets, clearly meant to subdue, not kill, but also on the turrets were flamethrowers that were clearly used more than once while the stun guns were used either once or twice. However, the sheer impressive force of the clearly masterminded vault was interrupted by a gruesome sight at a bend some two minutes into the vault, where it seemed to start going down into the earth. Two Spectres laid dead, side by side, with massive gashes in their chests. What seemed strange, however, was that they were still breathing and that the wounds seemed to be closing. Out of curiousity, Ben took off the helmet of one Spectre and was met with a bizzare sight. The very face of the human clone had changed; the skin was green, the jaw seemed split naturally, there was no hair, and the eyes were pure black. That's when both Spectres stirred and attacked Ben, only to be quickly dispatched by the shock of the ray shields. Even Verociousna seemed a bit scarred at this new development; undead troopers, mutated by whatever attacked them. Worse part was, the Spectres continued to mutate, with their left arms both errupting in a shower of green spores and brown blood, only to show a claw like arm with bizzare tendrills growing out of the forearms. Verociousna quickly activated his flamethrower mode on his wrist gun to make sure the Spectres would stay down and in peace. After that, he and Ben continued moving on and down into the crust of Stragair, with the latter showing no signs of changed biology or mutations underway. It was decided that, along with the vault being declared a quarantine zone, only flame throwers or explosive devices would do a thing, so both Overlords turned their wrist guns on to Flamethrower mode and cranked up the power of the Shadow Tech Rifles, now with the explosive power of a Thermal Detonator.
Meanwhile, deep inside the quarantine zone and in what looked like a reactor room, something stirred from its rest. In its spore and slime coated lair, and guarded by infected human and humanoids, a huge creature, the only clear part of its body being its snake-like head, neck and multiple tendrils that were as thick as a pine tree, reached out with its mind to see who dared come into its grave. What it saw were two powerful and influential beings, perhaps its key to freedom...and the power to again cause havoc throughout the known galaxy. Its minions felt the same, and they all uttered an unholy wail that went in and out of the walls and halls. Their chance at freedom was near at hand...and nothing two beings or their friends could do would stop them.
The Parasite Returns
"We...are Legion...we are many...and you are but two..."
"If you are trying to say we are outnumbered, then yes, we are. But certainly not outmatched. Prepare to die, grosome parasite!"
- A Parasite-infested Spectre and Verociousna
Verociousna and Ben both stoped in their tracks at the sound; thousands of voices, screaming in a hellish rage that made even the wail of a banshee sound like a bed song. Whatever the thing was that had just forced two undead Spectres to attack the two Overlords, there were more of them, and not too happy about their new guests either. Both proceeded cautiously into the hall that lead downward, and wondered why the beings who built this place hadn't invented any elevators. It dawned on them as they passed more and more turrets on the walls and kept going downward that this place had been designed to contain this parasite. They both grunted when they realized there would be nothing of value to them here, but to the parasite, the outside world was full of promise. Verociousna and Ben agreed to find the turret controls first, then destroy the parasite. //
Battle of Lorrus Prime (20 BBY, January)
Responding to a call for help
"GAR command came in with a call this morning at 0850 hours. The Battle of Lorrus Prime isn't going as planned, droids are starting to overwhelm Republic lines...and there are no other reinforcements around to help them. That's why they are asking us to go help the 501st out."
"Great...what do you get when you put me, Anakin, and the 501st together? A bunch of hell on both sides. Prepare Battle Groups Alpha and Cetal. We leave at exactly 2100 hours, no later. Clear?"
"Copy that sir."
- Specter 5 star General Ben and Verociousna, discussing the Battle of Lorrus Prime
Tracking he who is a Traitor; the Legion Defector (20 BBY, Feburary)
Being a Traitor is bad Business...it Makes the Overlords mad
"There can be no way the enemy is getting good at anticipating our moves...we're loosing too many battles now, and if we don't get on top of this, we may well be looking at a significantly weaker army just by the end of June. There is only one other answer...one of our own has defected."
"A traitor? Who on Malachor Five could do such a thing?!"
"One of my own or one of the other clones...another Slick. Bah! I'll teach him a lesson with my fists if I find him!"
"Calm down! We can't discuss what to do with him now. Avery, take the slums, see if you can find out something. Ben, you search though the rank, file, and higher-ups. See what you can find. I, in the mean time, will go around town. Good luck to us all."
- Verociousna, Jett, and Ben discussing the possibility of a Legion traitor
The Shadow of Katarina (20 BBY, mid-Feburary)
Another Falls into the net of Lies
"Shadow has been dark far too long...I can only assume he got into trouble or went back to Paradise and got trapped in a net of lies."
"Whatever the case, I hope he hasn't gone dark or is dead...he's my brother after all...no sister wants something bad to happen to any of her siblings."
"I understand Emma...but, as the mortals say, 'Hope for the best, expect the worse.' We can only find out the truth right now...all things considered, I'd rather not have another traitorous Ralarean to deal with..."
- Verociousna and Emma, discussing what might have become of Shadow
The Burning Frost of Illum (20 BBY, late Feburary)
Getting Onto Solid Ground is the Easy Part, Getting Deeper Into it is the Hard Part.
"Something is wrong on Illum...very wrong. Master Yoda, you felt it and saw it, did you not?"
"Feel and see it as well, I do. The Dark side, fallen over our sacred world, it has."
"Then I've got to stop it. Leave me to my own devices, and I'll clean up whatever is going on in the Illum system."
"Careful you must be Verociousna...sense I do, darker powers than Dooku."
" You're not wrong master. Blast! And if I am correct, Ahsoka might be heading there to get new crystals for lightsabers she might be making! I've got to get there before the Sith get her."
- Verociousna and Yoda, discussing a sudden ripple in the Force and Ahsoka possibly heading to Illum
Verociousna shook his head; he had been sleep-standing at a Republic meeting, to which he invited himself. All he was doing was occupying himself to get rid of the thoughts of the now dead Legion defector out of his head, and nothing interested Verociousna more than a war strategy meeting...normally. To the Supreme Overlord, everything seemed like political debates and conflict of codes. He heard Tarkin and Obi-Wan arguing, saw Mace and Yoda just looking at the war table, and clones working up a solution to battles going on currently. As Verociousna was about to take the stand to get everyone to be calm, he felt a sudden ripple in the Light side of the Force, as did Yoda...and both had a flash of insight.
Illum...sacred Jedi world, known for its abudance of crystals used in the construction of lightsabers. Normally, blizzards would be causing white-outs, massive crystals would jut out of the ground, and snow would cover the ground. Instead, the snow had melted away, ash from volcanoes was falling, crystals now looked black and red instead of silver, and Sith laughed at the sight of destruction caused by the slow corruption of the Force Nexus on Illum. A volcano nearby errupted, showering the now vunerable Jedi Crystal Temple with lava and rock. Deeper in, crystals of all colors were put in crates, ready to be tossed into the lava so as to be despoiled, and Sith walked about, making a Sith Temple out of the mess. As the vision went further in, the Force nexus of the temple, instead of being light, was a hidious black and red, corrupted with the Dark side. Not far away, a woman stood, forcing her dark powers into the nexus. Verociousna needed not her head to turn...as he knew Katarina was up to no good.
Verociousna shook his head, awake from his vision. He realized he had passed out when he saw his Legion Honor Guards standing over him, trying to get him awake. As soon as he cleared the guards from his sight, he shot up like a bullet errant. He quickly conversed with Yoda before making a fast decision; he would go to Illum to stop the Dark side corruption...and if he was right, save Ahsoka from certain death. Verociousna ran to the hanger of the Jedi Temple, the place were the war meeting was taking place, and got on his personal shuttle, waiting for his guards to get on board before he took off. Among those guards was an exceptional Jedi Grey Crusader called Tyrral Wraithwalk, who had been promoted thanks to his saving of Verociousna when he dealt with the Legion defector. Tyrral shook his head and marshalled the other guards while Verociousna used the shuttle's built-in Force Gate to open a path right to Illum.
When, after a brief two seconds, the shuttle emerged, Verociousna and his Honor Guards beheld an angering sight; Illum, once a frozen paradise and sacred Jedi world, was now despoiled and far more volcanic than even Mustafar. It became clear to Verociousna that Katarina wanted to destroy Illum, not plunder it. He piloted his ship to where the Jedi Crystal Temple was, to his surprise, still standing, apparently on one of the few continent-like rocks left on Illum. To his chagrin though, he saw a simple merchant ship resting on a narrow outcropping. He realized that was the ship Ahsoka, no doubt, was using to travel throughout the galaxy on her sojurn. Sighting his eyes on a far more safe landing zone, at least for the time being, Verociousna landed the ship and ordered the Honor Guards, yellow and blue lightsabers ignited, to follow him.
Ahsoka watched the Sith below, being careful to keep eyes on all six. For half an hour she had been here, waiting for a Sith to happen to turn his head in the right direction. She wouldn't care if her ship was now in the lava, for she could just take one from the Sith if need be. For a few seconds, she was actually wishing she was back on Coruscant, enjoying being a Jedi again. But she knew well that she had to find a path on her own, and why trust those who didn't trust you? Even if they got down on their knees, Ahsoka thought, they wouldn't be able to make her stay. Lost in her thoughts, she was unaware of a Sith happening to look in her direction. The only thing that snapped the former Jedi padawan back to reality was his shouting, alerting the rest of the Sith to a Jedi intruder. Instinctively, she reached for lightsabers, but realized that, again, she didn't have them. As the Sith charged, she began to curse her wandering, uncontrolled thoughts. Just as the Sith were upon her, and more were spilling out of the fallen Jedi temple, someone caught everyone's eye...and he was falling rapidly from the sky.
Verociousna landed square on top of the Sith at the head of the pack, killing him by just landing on top of his head. At the same time, the four Honor Guards came out of nowhere and started to engage in combat with the Sith while Verociousna tossed Ahsoka a lightsaber from a fallen female Sith. Much to Ahsoka's surprise, it was purple instead of red, meaning that the Sith was an Inquisitor. It was then, she realized, that these must be survivors from the Old or Revived Sith Empires, and they were here for revenge, either against the Jedi or the Legions, the padawan knew not. All that mattered was helping Verociousna and his Honor Guards...even if it only meant killing two or three Sith. She got up and joined the fight to push into the once pristine Crystal Temple
By the time the battle was over, lasting roughly five minutes, Ahsoka had taken out four Sith while Verociousna got eight. The Honor Guards all got two kills each. Nonetheless, all were equally impressed by the other's skill, and Verociousna had to hand it Ahsoka then and there; her skills were not exaggerated, and a few days out of practice had no detrimental effects on her dueling prowress whatsoever. After the short trade of compliments, it was back to being serious, as Verociousna announced why he and his Honor Guards where on Illum, in turn forcing Ahsoka to reveal that, indeed to Verociousna's guess, she was on the planet to find two crystals for two lightsabers she intended to build. With no where else to go now except with the Legions (a Sith lightning attack managed to hit Ahsoka's ship), Ahsoka agreed to act as third wheel (or third backup) as the group of six went in to purge the temple of the abominable darkness that had taken a hold of Illum.
A Death Knight (a Ralarean skilled in the more necromantic powers of the Dark side) ran into the Force nexus chamber were Katarina awaited with a status report on what was going on outside. He quickly filled her in on the fact that Verociousna and five Legion Honor Guards had eliminated the guards outside...with help from a former Jedi padawan, Ahsoka Tano. The padawan was an unexpected piece to the game, thought Katarina. Her plan was to get only Verociousna and his Honor Guards. With this new person in play, her whole plan could be thrown off. She quickly dismissed the Death Knight and resumed her corruption of the Force nexus. Even if her plan failed, she would at least leave a small parting gift. She smilled as the Force nexus started to gain an orange glow...meaning the corruption was roughly two-thirds finished.
Verociousna, Tyrral, Ahsoka, and the other three Honor Guards walked into the main hall of the Crystal Temple. The place was now distinctively Sith, with the entire room being changed to where the walls were in the traditional colors of the Sith, any ice was melted away, and the statues of Jedi were disfigured or completely torn down. One of the Honor Guards excused himself to puke in a secluded corner because of the absolute ruin caused by the vengeful Sith, and Ahsoka stood in shock. A few weeks ago, she was at this very spot with Master Yoda and a group of younglings on their sojurn to get their first lightsaber crystal. Now, the sacred crystals were in crates, ready to be shipped off world or dumped into the lava. The fact that the temple was no longer Jedi in origin was enough to force a couple of tears to roll from the conflicted Jedi, but seeing the crystals caused a flood to roll from the silent padawan-errant. Even Verociousna had to fight back punching a hole through a nearby stone pillar that was Sith in origin. Verociousna, always first to recover, let everyone know that they had to keep moving towards the Force nexus if the temple and the world were to have any chance of being restored. He, eyeing a stray lightsaber crystal that glowed with a purple hue, picked it up and tossed it to Ahsoka, who caught it and was surprised that, to her, the crystal glowed with a light similar to that when a crystal chooses a Jedi. After putting it in her small travel pack, she put her hand on her borrowed lightsaber and walked up to Verociousna, who was already at the door to the rest of the temple, which instead of being ice, was now a fountain of lava. His Honor Guards looked at him and noted that, unless one was resistant to lava, they'd have to have a suicide wish. Verociousna, looking back and grinning, outstreched his right hand and, to everyone's surprise, halted the flow of lava. He ordered everyone through before the pressure built up in the system used to cause the lava to flow exploded. Everyone, not wanting to waste a second more, got through and into the truly corrupted part of the temple, Verociousna behind them. He let the lava start flowing again and took the lead. If no one in this part of the temple was afraid before...they would be in a few moments.
You Torked off the Wrong Overlord
"Isn't this a surprise? My brother, cast off and exile of his people, here to stop me."
"Surprise eh? I'm surprised to see your ugly hide in here, half-blood. If you are going to set a trap for me, make sure that you have plenty of back up plans and lots of help...because all traps do to me? They tork me off...and no one likes it when I'm angry."
"I'm so scared...you've got my shaking in my boots. Let's see here, how will you do against me when you are alone because your five pals are off fighting the dedicated Ralareans under my reign?"
- Katarina and Verociousna in the Force nexus chamber
The caves of the Illum Jedi Temple; normally, ice, frost-covered rocks, and crystals would be found here. Now, lava and volcanic rock dominated the underground terrain. Normally, anyone would want to turn back, even if it meant burning themselves alive getting through the lava fall at the door to the caves. However, Verociousna, Ahsoka, and his four Honor Guards weren't just anyone. The Supreme Overlord confindentaly led from the front, using the force to create bridges of rock or divert a lava river when neccessary. Everyone followed with uttmost faith and confidence in Verociousna, allowing Ahsoka to see what it was like to be under his command. Perhaps, she thought, if she wasn't on a personal sojurn to seek her true path she might want to join the Legions...if she lived to ask the question. The group continued on through the once pristine caves, always careful, and always ready to fight they who dared defile a Jedi holy place.
Katarina was starting to get a bit unnerved, and her looks showed it. She bit her fingernails anxiously, made irrational commands, and sometimes would just stare out into nothingness. The Death Knight, known as Corthin, assumed command while Katarina retreated to her temporary quarters she had set up in the Force nexus chamber to calm herself. In doing so, she called upon the spirits of dead Har'zani to offer guidance. Her true father, the only one to speak during this meditation, told Katarina to completely corrupt the Force nexus, and in doing so forever ruin the planet, bringing shame upon Verociousna and his reputation. She grimmaced at the insight and went out of her tent to begin the painful task of fully corrupting the Force nexus.
Verociousna felt it; the Dark side began to grow stronger here. It even acted as a poison, slowing two of the Honor Guards and making Ahsoka remember her time under the influence of the Son. Once already she had broken down in a fit of fears and anger, forcing Verociousna to knock her out. Now, she looked as though, on her way across the fourth rock bridge Verociousna created this day, she was on the verge of her second breakdown. As she was the only one crossing, Verociousna used the Force to levitate her over to the far side of the bridge, where Tyrral and the Honor Guards awaited. After lowering the bridge, the Supreme Overlord used a powerful Force jump to get him across thirty feet of lava. True enough to his guess, Ahsoka was breaking down again, but this time, she snapped out of it, saying that she saw only a dark mirror of herself. This made Verociousna smile inwardly, because now she was mastering her dark and horrifying thoughts, thus putting the Dark side in a small prison in her mind. Ahead in the next cave, there was a small chamber that Ahsoka recalled as being the antechamber to the Force nexus. Verociousna walked in, not expecting a rather stony reception awaiting.
Two Force Guardians, made out of rock and steel, walked out of the shadows they were in and revealed their human-like bodies. Verociousna stepped back as a precaution, for he knew that these ones, much like the one he fought on Carlac, were deadly even for him. Katarina must have been busy, he thought. But, like all titans, the constructs had their weakness; their hollow eyes. All Verociousna had to do was get close enough and use Emerald Lightning to combust the Force Guardians' power supply. He ordered Tyrral and the others to take the right construct while Verociousna went directly for the one on the left. To no surprise, the Force Guardians used range attacks to try to subdue their opponents before they got too close. When that failed, they turned to using their built-in lightsabers, two on their right hand and facing forward, like an Energy Sword from a book Verociousna used to read called The Covenant. Of course, that didn't help when it came to fighting many opponents or one skilled adversary. In a matter of minutes, both constructs, their power source being set ablaze by Emerald Lightning, fell. While Verociousna single handedly took on the left construct, he found out Ahsoka did enough of a distraction for Tyrral to get in and land the fatal blow. For that, the Arch Honor Guard gave his rather stubborn thanks to Ahsoka. Verociousna chuckled a little at the sight of his Honor Guard captain giving thanks to someone below his position, and even the other three Honor Guards chimmed in, forcing a redness to prevail over Tyrral's face.
Katarina looked up from her task to see what caused a massive crashing noise. What she saw was the door to the Force nexus chamber flying right at her. She rolled to the side to avoid being squashed, and when she got up, at the top of the entrance stood Verociousna, his four Honor Guards, and the wild card called Ahsoka Tano. All six walked casually inside and assumed positions around the chamber while Verociousna and Katarina engaged in a small brother to sister talk. By the time it was over, not exactly to Verociousna's expectations, two side doors that led to different parts of the caves flew open, loyal Ralareans charging at the enemy of the "true" OmniAspect. Verociousna realized that everyone else was on their own while he fought Katarina. He ignited Justice and Valor as Katarina lept into the air, lightsabers ablaze, and came down upon her brother.
Ahsoka and Tyrral, back to back, would periodically see glimpses of Verociousna fighting Katarina in a battle with no real description. All it looked like was a combination of many different duels fought between Sith and Jedi, past and present. Over where the others were, things were more like an Old Republic themed duel; many Sith against few Jedi. Ahsoka was dealing damage left and right, while Tyrral did more so, The other three Honor Guards had banded together and were forcing their way towards the more notable figures in this fight. Once united, all five formed an impenetrable bastion, striking out at every open guard, and protecting one another whenever the lightsabers came down on them. By the time all had fallen, the only one to sustain an injury was Tyrral, who left his guard open too long and paid with his right forearm. As the three Honor Guards tended to their leader, Ahsoka started running over to Verociousna's side, but was interrupted when an unusual looking combatant dropped from the ceiling and, without hesitation, engaged Ahsoka in a sorely-one sided duel. The Death Knight's two sabers against her borrowed one was going poorly, and he fought with skill beyond her measurement. It was when she was on the ground, and with an additional saber from a fallen enemy, that things started to turn in her favor.
Meanwhile, things were getting very heated where Verociousna and Katarina dueled. It amazed the former to no end how his opponent could fight yet keep corrupting the Force nexus. He had to finish this battle before it was too late, and it was getting pretty late, as the Force nexus continued to swirl at a faster rate with black, red, and orange colors. As he looked away for a split second, Katarina seized the opportunity and stabbed him in the stomach and kicked him away. As Verociousna held his wound, he looked over to see her dispatch his Honor Guards, albeit with a fight, and then stab Ahsoka...lowering her to the ground, nearly dead. For two mintues, Ahsoka was starting to get the upper hand, until Katarina pulled one of the nastiest tricks in the book. Verociousna, angered to no end, got up, his wound still visible, and teleported to where the Death Knight stood over Ahsoka's slightly thrashing body. The necromantic Ralarean, busy in trying to convert Ahsoka to the undead, never knew what hit him from behind when two lightsabers protruded from his chest, one from his one weak spot; the heart. The Death Knight fell apart in a shower of ashes and dust as he died, calling Katarina's attention. She now saw that her brother's wound was healing at an alarming rate, and his eyes were glowing a white-blue-purple hue. She realized she just torked off the wrong man by killing the Honor Guards and Ahsoka.
Within a heart beat, Verociousna, after giving Katarina the stares, was upon his fallen sister, dueling her in a furious Maul versus Sidious themed duel, with Verociousna being Maul...and with Maul winning this time. After twenty seconds into the duel, both locked their sabers, with Verociousna leaning back. As he stood to full height over his sister, he disarmed her by forcing her lightsabers apart and away from her hands. Katarina, after skidding back a little, rose to start a martial arts fight, but before she could, Verociousna picked her up with the Force and threw her around the room, slamming into the ground, nearby crates, anything so long as it made her hurt. When he threw her around one last time, he blasted her across the room with a well placed Force Push, sending her right to where a couple of Elite Ralarean Shades, elite guards trained with both sides of the Force but trained more in the Dark side, were just opening a portal to give their leader some support after sensing she was in dire straits. Without looking, they knew Verociousna was in the air and heading right for them, so they pulled Katarina through and closed the portal just as Verociousna landed where Katarina was a moment ago. He bellowed with vindicated rage at his sister's escape, but shook his head as the need for justice faded and the glow faded from his eyes. He then walked over to where Ahsoka lay still, but alive, and the bodies of the Honor Guards where, and using a power only Emma would normally use, managed to heal Ahsoka and resurrect the Honor Guards without cost of his life. He then walked over the almost-completely corrupted Force nexus and placed his hands on it. Immediately, the Dark side corruption covered his body, but his light was far stronger than its darkness, and with one single push, Verociousna forced the now purifed Force back into the nexus...
And reshaping the planet in full eyes of a Republic Fleet. Skywalker, Yoda, and Kenobi watched in awe as they knew Verociousna was reshaping the planet to what it was. Moments before, it was nothing more than a volcanic hell, and now it was being reshaped into a frozen holy planet. Clones went slack jaw, weapons dropped, fighters flew within inches of each other, and eyes memorized the sight of a bright light surrounding the planet, then fading to reveal a normal Illum. Yoda, knowing he was too slow for the action, ordered the fleet to land to begin work on whatever Verociousna left unfinished.
Ahsoka could barely believe her eyes; everything was back to normal, as she remembered it. And plus, she had escaped death's call. She wound up supporting Verociousna, who was very weak from the ordeal and ready to fall apart at the seams. Once outside, the Supreme Overlord had enough strength to rest himself on a nearby rock, gathering his energy from the now sun-bathed sky. While he knew he had redeemed the planet, the temple and the caves would need a touch of work to be fully restored. He applauded Ahsoka for her remarkable skill, and thanked his Honor Guards for their valiant service, even for standing up to a far more superior opponent. He then, as Ahsoka was walking off to seek a few moments of solitude, got up to talk to her. After the brief talk, Ahsoka decided it would be best if she head to one of the ancient homeworlds of the Jedi, a place like Tython. and with no other ride available to her, Verociousna graciously offered Ahsoka a ride on board his personal shuttle, even offering her a spare suit of Legion Jedi armor, which to her surprise fit comfortably. Now she had armored bracers, arm plates, shoulder guards, a breastplate, and leg armor. Not exactly a full suit of armor, but enough to offer protection and agility combined. She also constructed her personal lightsabers after dissasembling the one she borrowed. The final products were two purple-bladed lightsabers, both as long as the other.
When she was dropped off on Tython, Verociousna tossed her a communicator; if she ever needed help, she could contact anyone, even Verociousna. She thanked the Supreme Overlord for the ride and gifts and went on her way through the forests of Tython, and off towards the nearest Jedi ruin on the planet, and where no doubt, the next segment of her path awaited. Verociousna looked on as the Jedi-errant waved a good bye, and snapped out of it when Tyrral reminded his commanding officer that there was a political matter to deal with on Stragair. The Supreme Overlord merely grunted in response and, once his personal shuttle was out of the atmosphere, opened a Force Gate opening to Stragair, never forgetting to keep an eye on the fledgling Jedi-errant's progress.
"So now what? Are you going to implore me in a gentleman-like manner to come back to the Jedi Temple?"
"No I'm not. What I instead implore you to do is stay on this personal sojurn, wherever it winds up leading you. I understand what you are going through; you feel as though Barris wasn't completely wrong, and that you feel the Jedi Order as a whole is becoming corrupt. I can't describe my similar situation at length, as my memory of it has erroded, but you are, in my eyes, vindicated in leaving the Jedi Order."
"I...don't know what to say Master Verociousna."
"Doesn't matter anyways. Seeing as how you lack transport, I am offering you a ride to the system of your choice. I also have a spare suit of Legion Jedi armor that hasn't seen much in a long time, and it was designed for a female."
"So long as it doesn't hinder my movement, I'll take it. Thank you, and I would like to go to the Tython system...there's bound to be something in the Jedi ruins that will be of help to me."
"Then off to Tython it is."
- Ahsoka and Verociousna talking just outside the door to the now restored Jedi Crystal Temple
From the Offensive to the Defensive (20 BBY, March)
"I never imagined such a large CIS attack force coming for us...nor that they would have the support of my sister. We will have to pull all of our forces back...I sure as hell hope the Republic can understand. They're on their own now."
"I do hate this...what if they lose while we are fighting off our enemies?"
"Then we will do what we do best; have our divine justice, no matter the cost."
- Verociousna and Avery, discussing a sudden turn of events