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Chapter Three: The Brush Fire Wars
09-01-2017, 01:06 PM,
Morning after the Chaos
Morning after the Chaos
Galactic Senate Building
Senate District
Date: 2920 AOK (Less than a week before New Year Fate)
The Grand Convocation Chamber, also referred to as the Senate Rotunda was filled with senators and representatives from across the Galaxy. News from across the Senate and Federal Districts were both alarming which was the reason why an emergency meeting of the entire Senate was called by the Security Council. So important was this meeting that members of the media were summoned. The chatter in the chamber seemed like a soft roar. Absent in the center of the convocation chamber was the thirty-meter-tall podium of the Supreme Chancellor, the elected leader of the Galactic Republic.
Members of the media spoke about the rouge, misleading reports made by CNN the night before. Currently, CNN’s sound stage remains offline. Some media outlets have accused much of the chaos last night due to that single report. Each holding to the promise that much of the misunderstandings and fake news from last night would be explained. Like the members of the Senate, all eyes were on that missing podium and who would be addressing the Senate, and the Galactic Republic.
Without warning, the center light of the Convocation Chamber was cast on the place where the podium is supposed to be. The floor opened and the podium slowly rose to its proper height. To the left of the Chancellor standing in the position of Vice Chair, Tal Merrick. To the right of the Chancellor, standing in the position of Senior Staff Aide was a sharply military dressed Wilhuff Tarkin. As the podium slowly rose, the chamber was filled with a mixture of applause and boos. For in the center of the podium, the position of Supreme Chancellor, stood Finis Valorum.
He raised his hand and commanded silence,
“Last night, the Security Council gathered for one of its most important meetings in nearly a thousand years. These brave members of the Council hold the mission of protecting the Galactic Republic from all threats. Both foreign and domestic! Last night, they heard evidence that the former Chancellor of the Republic had violated her duty to protect the Republic. Not one occasion, but on many occasions. Her mismanaging of the OPA Crisis as allowed Republic Worlds to become occupied by a terrorist organization.”
He smiled as he searched the stunned faces of those witnessing the speech, “yes I said it. Terrorists, the OPA are nothing more than terrorists.” He raised a hand as he collected his thoughts. “The Security Council issued General Order Sixty-Five. Yes, there were exchanges of weapons fire between loyalists to the Republic and those who were fooled by the Chancellor. However, those clashes were short lived and the injuries were limited. The most serve of these clashes were between a small group of warships over the Grand Coruscant Military Base. There were many deaths.”
He lowered his head, “These deaths were very tragic, on both sides. These men and women gave their lives for what they believed in.” He raised his head, “which is why I am issuing this order. For all those that feel their loyalties to the Madam Syrdash, ask yourself. When you choose to serve the Republic. Did you choose to follow this criminal or follow the Republic. We welcome you back home, lay down your arms and help us make the Republic great again!”
“As for our former Chancellor, my Senior Staff Aide and leader of Coruscant’s defense force cornered the Chancellor’s flagship. Despite the attempting intervention of the Vengeance, Admiral Tarkin had destroyed both the Victory and the Vengeance. While removing this corrupt, this crooked Syrdash, many lives were lost. Admiral Tarkin gave Crooked Syrdash the opportunity to surrender. Sadly, so very sadly, she chose to sacrifice those who followed her.”
“With the Crooked Syrdash removed from power, I have ordered the Senate Bureau of Intelligence to work along with Bounty Hunters to weed out those supporters of Crooked Syrdash. They will do anything to destroy our Republic. These people are dangerous! Dangerous to the Republic! Dangerous to you and your families. You can’t trust them. If you are aware of any of these sleeper agents of Crooked Syrdash, notify the authorities at once.”
“As we move to continue to weed out these dangerous, blind supporters of the Chancellor, we will continue to work to undo the damage that Crooked Syrdash has done to our Republic. But we cannot forget the threat that Crooked Syrdash and her supporters have helped create. Public Enemy number ONE is Unna Chaanu,” an image of Unna having dinner with Graff and Jenna is presented before the entire Senate. Nothing of the image indicated an official meeting. The image suggested a more informal, friendly lunch. “She was the eyes and ears of Crooked Syrdash as they helped create the OPA!”
“Is it any wonder that wherever Ms. Chaanu was, there is an OPA victory. Did she betray the Republic? I don’t know. But we all know what we see,” he said pointing to the image. “Take the loss of Olivan, how many innocent lives were lost and there was Ms. Chaanu, in the center of it all. Would you like to know how corrupt this Unna Chaanu was? She was stealing from the Republic to the sum of hundreds of millions of credits. And this wasn’t the worse of it. These two crooked politicians were planning a wedding for Ms. Chaanu to the sum of over two million credits! Taken right from the mouths of your children. Right from the mouths of your family.”
“I have ordered the reason of all documents supporting these charges to the Media. And this is the reason why this embezzler, this THIEF will be brought to justice! I will put the entire resources of the Republic to find Ms. Chaanu, and apprehend her. Standing here, before you as your New Chancellor, I promise you. I promise your families that this monster. This spy, this architect of the Outer Rim Crisis will be dragged before a panel of military judges and found guilty for her crimes against our Republic. Her crimes have made the Republic unsafe. Unsafe for you, and your families.”
“It is time for leadership to return to the Senate. It is time for order to return to the Senate. I am going to work towards ensuring that no more could some elite corrupt politician like Crooked Syrdash could seize power in the Republic and hold good and innocent people like you and your families hostage. The Senate will begin a new working towards getting everyone back up out of this slump we have all been in since Crooked Syrdash stolen power.”
“But we cannot forget the threat that Crooked Syrdash and Chaanu has created in the Outer Rim. The OPA and their rouge Jedi have been given an ultimatum. Return to proper order of the Republic or face Fire and Fury of the like no one has ever seen.” He paused as he picked up a data pad and waved it as he spoke, “I have issued Grand Master Dooku an order to deal with the Rouge Jedi with extreme prejudice.”
“No longer will you and your families be placed in harm’s way because leaders refuse to act. I will act, I will act for you.” His tone lowered a bit. “I know that there are sacrifices to be made on this long road. We all will have to make sacrifices if we are to make our Republic Great Again. I, and I alone will bear the worse of these sacrifices. The weight of this office rests heavily on my shoulders.”
“But that pales compared to the awesome responsibility of protecting your families, and protecting your lively hood. A sacrifice that I humbly accept, for you and your families. Together, we will rid our Republic of traitors like Chaanu and other followers of Crooked Syrdash. Together, we will deal with the OPA and their Rouge Jedi allies. TOGETHER! We will make this Republic Great AGAIN!”
Thunderous applause drowned out the boos and shouts of ‘Usurper’ as the New Chancellor of the Republic is lowered back down to his office. The entire time he waved to supporters and enjoyed his moment in the spotlight. One Supporter of Chancellor Syrdash went on record claiming that a minority of Senators within the Senate carried out a military Coup and murdered Chancellor Syrdash.
Within the hour, cases of arrests were being reported on by the media. The official story was that these pro-Syrdash supporters were caught attempting to plot a coup. In one such case, three senior aides were observed being dragged from their homes beaten by authorities. Weapons and explosives were also recorded being taken from the three different residents.
One quote that sent a chill down the spine of the Republic was given by Officer Dell Hemn, “We got a tip from a neighbor. Good thing, too. They were just hours away from exploding bombs in the public space. You can never trust these people. They are terrorist and without their Chancellor in power, they are showing their true colors.”
09-28-2017, 10:03 PM,
Siege of Origin
Siege of Origin
Lejár Az Idő Kerület
Date: 2921 AOK
The Shadow Repulse, a Venator Class Star Destroyer, slipped silently and slowly in to orbit high above Origin. As if walking on glass, Duncan stood beside Lysire as they watched this massive warship slipped in to orbit. Its bright lights as well as its red and white markings told all that beheld it, that this mighty ship of war was proud member of the Grand Republic Navy.
“Behold,” Lysire said motioning at the ship. “The true corruption of Chancellor Syrdash,” The great seal of the Republic lit up proudly across the nose of the ship. Abeloth’s forces were hiding in plain sight. The ship held the same markings that belonging to the Chancellor’s personal guard.
The ship slowly maneuvered, turning on its wide wings toward the planet. Tiny flames from its maneuvering thrusters burst to life as the ship slowed and finally stopped in a low orbit over the northern hemisphere of the planet. Normally when a ship enters orbit, it aligns it nose in the direction of travel for its orbit. The Shadow Repulse instead maintained its orientation with its nose pointed downward as it drifted over the planet. As the ship slipped behind the planet and in to the shadows of the world, its lights became the only visible parts of the ship for the moment.
“This is when it all changed,” she said with a frown. “It is one thing to place yourself and those around you in harm’s way. Can you place an entire culture in to harm’s way?”
Then without warning, the ship lit up in reddish colors as its energy based weapons opened fire on the world below. Repeatedly the turbolasers and other heavy weapons from the Shadow Repulse ripped downward causing untold damage and suffering with each new blast. Far below, small blooms of energy indicated the points of impact. For nearly thirty minutes, the ship moved across the world targeting different settlements. As the night sky glowed red, the Shadow Repulse fired its engines once more. It slowly descended to the world below.
Slowly the Shadow Repulse slipped through the clouds and smoke from the fires as it made its way towards a burning village. Through the clouds, tall spires of a great temple slowly came in to view. As the mighty warship continued to descend, the ship fired more at the village causing massive explosions. The ship overflew the village before turning and making its final landing ten kilometers from the outskirts of the village.
“This is our end game,” Lysire said calmly, “this world has no name. However, we have come to call it Origin. It is the origin of all energy. Energy that you have been taught to see as the Force. This world, is where our strength is its strongest.” She frowned as the ship slowly landed. She continued, “Never before has this world seen conflict. It was hidden from Abeloth and her twisted children.” A ramp extended from under the ship. “We brought war to this world so that Abeloth will finally be defeated.”
Duncan watched Abeloth slowly walked down the ramp. The form that she had possessed had a name, and that name was Rose Sheridan. He fell her power surging as it started to corrupt this pure world. Behind her, he saw hundreds of force users. Some he knew were Jedi, others he knew were Sith. All had fallen to Abeloth’s temptations. Two of them, stood out to Duncan. He saw Orchid and her Kel’Dor friend. He knew that the two were deeply in love. He could read the Kel’Dor’s thoughts as if they were his own. Her was called Lotus and she was completely devoted to Orchid.
Abeloth stopped at the foot of the ramp and motioned them to stop. She smiled as she turned to her minions. “Today we shall have the Sword of Ravin,” Abeloth said. “Tomorrow we shall rule the entire galaxy.” With that, Abeloth step from the Shadow Repulse and on to the sands of Origin.
As her foot hit the sand, a loud crack of thunder was heard and lighting flashed high in the sky announcing the arrival of the storm. Duncan felt the powers of Origin surge against Abeloth as the monster’s foot sank deeper in to the sands. Abeloth let out a scream of victory as her own energies continued to corrupt Origin. She took a full step off the ship as she motioned for her minions to hold back.
She stumbled a bit as the world continued fight back against her. She slipped down to a knee as her hand landed on the sands. Her flesh started to burn and smoke started to raise from her body. Finally, she let out a laughter. She rose up to her feet and lunged her arms outward as she screamed, “this world belongs to me!”
He couldn’t help but notice the ripple of energy surging out from that single point. The ripple reached out far from Origin and across the entire galaxy. In that moment, Duncan felt darkness on the raise as light dimmed across the entire galaxy! The balance had been broken with very real consequences. Battles and conflicts slowly shifted as darkness gained the advantage.
Abeloth turned to four of her commanders, “Spread your forces out and engage what enemies you find. I need that village secured by dawn.” With that, more ramps dropped from the ship as tens of thousands of droids started to file out of the ship. Abeloth turned to Orchid and Lotus, “assemble your commands and move on the village.”
She then turned to another force user. A man that Duncan knew was a member of Ariel’s Sith Kingdom. His name was Nerus. “Keep your troops close to the artillery. Protect them with your life!” Duncan knew that the man would fail his mission.
Abeloth and the rest of her followers started to walk towards village. After a few steps, she stopped and turned to one of her droid commanders. “Protect the landing site at all costs,” she ordered. On that she turned and continued to walk away.
As Lysire and Duncan followed the battle, she explained who these people were. “The First Ones, the Architects, the Ancients. Regardless of what you call them. These people are their direct descendants.”
Despite the orbital bombardments, the battle for the village was still intense. While these simple people were hunters, and farmers, they fought back with a fierceness that impressed Duncan. He watched a group of farmers wave their hands and a large rock rose from the ground. They continued to move their hands and the rock twisted and crushed inward on its self. Within a moment, the rock became a large crystal-like stone. Three villagers almost danced and then pointed at the stone.
At the end of the dance, and from the fingers of these three villagers, Duncan watched blue lightening rip towards the stone. Once the lightening hit the stone, it amplified the energy. A powerful electronic wave of energy washed over the advancing droids and their supporting armor. Duncan realized that these people were drawing on the energy of the world and using it on levels he never dreamed possible. Despite their use of these energy, the orbital bombardment had taken its toll on these people.
What didn’t help was Abeloth’s corruption of the world. This limited the power the defenders had access to. This didn’t faze them as rocks flew, fires balls blasted, razor sharp hail fell from the skies and hurricane strength winds blew. What impressed Duncan the most was when a group riding large two-legged lizard rushed forward. They charged the droids, as they created long rods of energy from their bare hands. The rods greatly resembled lightsabers without the hilts. Duncan knew in his heart, he was looking at the origins of the Lightsaber.
These rods, cut through the droids and deflected blaster bolts just like any lightsaber. A wave of force users, welding their own lightsabers halted the counter attack in its tracks. Led by Orchid, the villagers were cut down in waves. These invaders were unstoppable! No matter where Duncan and Lysire walked, the scene was the same. The defenders did their best but there was no stopping death which walked among them.
Abeloth and her minions calmly walked in to the heart of the village. She smiled as she saw the large pyramid and its spires standing against the storm filled sky. Black lighting flashed behind it causing it to illuminate with a sense of eerie dread. This was the world that she had spent her whole existence searching for. This was it, this was the moment that she would bring the entire universe under her control. There would be no one left to oppose her. She started to move for the large pyramid, knowing that this was where the sword was hidden.
However, within seconds, a storm of razor sharp hail slammed down onto her and her minions. Many fell to the attack. Abeloth on the other hand moved her hands to block the incoming shards. Her hands danced across the air shattering them before they could hurt her. Before she could recover from that attack, a powerful gust of wind slammed in to her. The force of the wind was so powerful that it moved Abeloth back as she struggled to resist the force.
Half way up the pyramid Abeloth saw a small group of local warriors led by some woman in a green dress, painted face and a golden head piece. Duncan knew that this woman was their queen, and a powerful Force Bender. Her name was Lara. She had a daughter who was hidden within the Temple named Kitti.
“By all means! Let’s fight!” Abeloth yelled out as she slammed her foot in to the ground unleashing a powerful wave of Force energy in to the ground. This dislodged a boulder and thrust it in to the air. On that she leaped up in to the air next to the rock that hovered just off the ground. With a powerful round house kick to it, she sent it flying at the warriors. A few dodged the attack but the woman in green stood against the attack and used a force skill that Duncan was not familiar with to shatter the boulder in to dust before it could hit the others. Abeloth waited for their attacks, she was not phased or impressed by them.
A man with a pair of hammers rushed forward while bending forward. He spun his arms in a backward motion causing them to slam in to the ground sending massive rocks racing towards Abeloth. He let out a battle cry as he continued to rush forward.
Abeloth waved her hand and the rocks flung harmless away from her. He continued his charge much faster than the others who were behind him. He let out a scream as he swung his hammers at Abeloth. She bent backwards as she watched a them pass harmlessly over her body. As she continued to bend backwards she reached over her head with both arms and planted them. Once her arms were planted, she leaped her legs upward driving her feet in to his chest and face. He went flopping backwards on to his back while she flipped head over heels back to her feet.
Once back on her feet she rushed him while he leaped back up to his feet. He brought both hammers down at her from over his head as she rushed in for the attack. Abeloth reached up and grabbed both his arms at his wrists as she smiled, he was dead and he knew it. Holding fast to his wrists she lurched him forward as hard as she could while leaping upward towards his chest. She drove both feet in to his rib cage while using the Force to increase the power of her attack. His rib cage crushed under the impact causing bones to rip through his tunic and sides. She landed back on her feet as he toppled backwards, dead.
Wasting no time, she slipped to the side as a flaming sword just barely missed her head and upper body. Abeloth saw a woman dressed in deep brown almost red outfit with some type of long fingerless gloves on. She welded a curved broadsword that seemed to be burning as she used it. The next attack from the woman came in fast. Abeloth was faster as she twisted her body to dodge the attack and land a powerful side kick that send the woman stumbling back. Seeing the other three closing fast, Abeloth wasted no time. She spun forward with another kick, this time to the woman’s lower body causing. This caused the woman to double over.
Abeloth continued with her momentum as she half spun to the side of her landing another kick to the woman's lower body. As the woman was leaning heavily forward, Abeloth leaped up and kicked her as hard as she could in the woman's throat. The blow sent the woman flying up and backwards causing her to nearly fly horizontal to the ground. Needing to finish the woman off, Abeloth leaped up as the woman landed and on her downward travel, she slammed her open palm in to the woman's face. Blood shot out from under Abeloth's hand as she felt the woman's skull caved in under the blow.
Even before Abeloth could move from her current stance, a second woman with a pair of swords swung on her. Like the other sword, these two were also on fire. Abeloth was just barely able to dodge the incoming attack by rolling forward over the dead woman's body. Abeloth had made a fetal mistake and she knew it. She lost track of the woman as she dodged the attack. Finishing her tumble Abeloth leaped up back to her feet searching for the woman. The sound of slicing and the smell of burning flesh signaled the successful attack on her. Lightening danced across the sky as the sound of thunder echoed.
Abeloth let out a grunt as she felt the two swords ripping through her body. The moon was fully visible as the light of the sun had become hidden behind the thick storm clouds. Abeloth stumbled backwards and Duncan knew it was a faint to get the defenders off guard. The woman was soon joined by her companions. Behind them, the queen of Origin watched with caution in her eyes. Everyone knew that this attack should have been lethal, if it wasn’t Abeloth.
Abeloth let out a laugh that echoed in the thunder. She moved her hands to reveal the twin red lines where the blades cut her deep. The lines slowly healed before their shocked gazes. Abeloth continued to laugh as the defenders started to move backwards. Instead of taking advantage of the confusion, Abeloth only laughed. She slowly righted herself as she reached for the sky. The storm reached out for her with a pair of lightning strikes. Each hitting her one of her hands, filling her with immense power. “I have reached my destiny,” she yelled.
Duncan knew that Abeloth had reached a power level that no one could hope to beat. Almost on cue, Lysire, turned to him. When we crossed over, we realized that this battle would have to take place. We choose then that the best path would be to split who we are. This allowed each of us to gain in power separately as we plotted out this battle.
Abeloth stepped forward as she reached her hand out towards them. “The sword will be mine!” she said as a powerful thunder clapped right before them as a black lighting flashed overhead sending a shock wave of thunder crashing about them.
The woman with the twin swords leaped in to the air as she screamed out her battle cry. She flew forward as she went on the attack once more. Abeloth spun to the side as she pulled up a large stalagmite. The point of the stalagmite ripped through the woman, killing her instantly. Her lifeless body hung from the stalagmite as blood dripped from arms. Her swords slipped from her grip and on to the ground.
A man with a pike attack as well as the Queen of Origin. The Queen was using energy created fans.
The attack was highly coordinated as the man swung the blade end of the pike at Abeloth while the Queen moved in close with her energy fans. It was a bold and fearless attack, but Duncan knew it would fail. Abeloth was more powerful than these people. They couldn’t stop her.
Abeloth spun as she knocked the end of the pike away with her forearm. Continuing her spin, she watched the razor-sharp fan narrowly missing her face. The second fan cut through her arm. Abeloth felt her arm being removed just below her shoulder. The tail end of the pike caught Abeloth’s leg and knocked her to the ground. The next attack from the man was to drive the tip of the Pike through Abeloth’s leg and in to the ground.
Abeloth leaned forward and snapped the pike with her elbow. With her other hand, she unleashed force lighting on the man with so much power that the man flew backward over twenty meters away. His body pulsated with darkside energy. The Queen moved in for her attack, as Abeloth’s arm had already reattach itself. A fact that the Queen was unaware of.
Abeloth used her renewed arm, Abeloth grabbed the Queen through the force and tossed her like a rag doll through a nearby building. Abeloth reached forward and pulled the pike from her leg. She slowly rose back to her feet as she heard the man cry out, “Királyném!” The man rushed Abeloth with all his anger. Abeloth barely gave him any recognition for his bravery, or stupidity. She took the Pike end, and throw it at him. She guided it with the force and planted it in to this chest. He stumbled forward and landed on his knees. His eyes fixed on the strange invader as he flopped over to the side.
The Queen screamed as she attacked with all that she could. Using her force created fans and her control over the elements the Queen unleashed the power of Origin on Abeloth. The power of the attacks was something that any Sith would envy. The Queen’s control during her attacks would make any Jedi Master proud. She was in prefect balance with everything around her. Duncan realized that these people had to be the ones that first taught the Jedi about the Force.
Duncan watched the two women exchange blow after blow as the storm raged overhead. Black lighting crossed the sky as thunder crackled. It was if the world its self was waging war deep within its own core. In that moment, he realized that that was the truth. The very core of this world was being battled over. Abeloth meant to corrupt this world, and the Queen meant to protect her world.
The Queen leaped up and Abeloth caught her in midair. It was over! Abeloth unleashed a powerful force lighting in to the Queen’s throat and head. Her head glowed blue like a orb as lighting danced over her skull. Abeloth pumped all that she could in to the lighting to make sure that this woman would be dead. Within a few seconds, the deed was done. The Queen’s body went limp in Abeloth’s hands. With disgust in her eyes, she let the body go. It flopped and coiled to the ground at Abeloth’s feet.
Duncan knew, for the first time in Origin's history, the world was without a Spiritual Leader. He also knew that this loss was felt across the galaxy as light siders all felt their connection with the force slip and fade. The flow of Force from Origin had been disrupted as Abeloth’s corruption of Origin was near complete. She turned to the pyramid as a black lighting flashed across the night sky and struck it. Large stones were ripped from the pyramid as dark energies continued to assault the temple. Abeloth yelled out with all her might and darkness, “WHERES MY SWORD!"
10-02-2017, 07:50 PM,
Siege of Origin (Part Two)
Siege of Origin (Part Two)
Clash of heroes and Villain
Lejár Az Idő Kerület
Date: 2921 AOK
“The battle of Origin is far from over,” Lysire said calmly as she stood next to Duncan. She motioned high in the sky, “behold, my Champion!”
“You came all this way, Rose!” Abeloth turned in the direction of the statement and saw floating in midair Urias.
Duncan knew that Urias was standing on the ramp of a cloaked ship. It was an infamous ship called the Star Adder. Duncan scanned the threads that linked these two together. Urias and Rose had been close friends at one time. They had saved each other’s lives many times. Trained against and fought the darkness together. In that moment, Duncan could see their lives play out. The threads that link them were as strong as the ones that linked him and his own brother.
“It is something that Abeloth and her twisted children often pray upon,” Lysire said, speaking of the close bonds between the two. Duncan only nodded as he continued to observe the battle.
Urias continued speaking in his normal matter of fact tone. “That shall be the last life you ever take,” he said drawing his lightsaber and the Sword of Raven. He added, “I swear it!”
It promised to be a very impressive battle as both knew each other’s secrets, strengths and weaknesses. Urias was the only person in the entire galaxy that had the skill to face off with Abeloth and defeat her. This was a battle that had been orchestrated over three thousand years ago. Duncan turned to Lysire as she watched the past play its self out.
He gazed through the threads of time and space to see how much she had guided these events to reach this moment. It was a gamble that she was making in Urias. If Urias failed, then Abeloth would have the Sword of Raven and the corruption of Origin. Nothing would be able to stop her from ruling over the entire galaxy. Duncan watched Urias leap down from the cloaked ship and in to legends.
Even before he landed, Abeloth reached out through the force and hurled several rocks at Urias. His blue lightsaber spun with a quickness. Each of the rocks turned in to bits of dust and harmless pebbles after being deflected by his lightsaber. Urias landed next to her at the same time he unleashed a series of attacks that forced her to yield ground. There was a reason why Urias was one of the best Weapon Masters in the Order. His attacks were relentless and powerful. Each was focused on a precise moment and place where she was forced to defend.
Despite his skill and power, Abeloth was more than a match for him. The two exchanged attacks for almost five intensive minutes before withdrawing. Duncan was both impressed and terrified at the power on display. It was the power of Raven on display. The power of one of the strongest Force Users to ever live. Duncan knew that this power flowed through him and his sister as well.
In Urias’ eyes, only rage glared back, “I swear your evil ends today,” he pledged as he renewed his attacks forcing her to yield more ground. “Even if I must drag you to hell, myself. I swear it, Rose.” He seized the opportunity to deliver a powerful side kick in to her chest. The blow sent her backwards nearly two meters as she landed on her back.
Knowing how dangerous she was, he shifted in to a defensive posture. A new force made its presence known across Origin. High above the battle a bright blue flash of lighting filled the sky as the thunder clapped. At the same time, lighting flashed in Urias' eyes. The sound filled the area with such a booming sound that it caused others to draw their attention to the battle that raged in the village center.
Abeloth recovered far quicker than Duncan would have guessed. She kicked her feet in to the air and flipped herself back on to her feet even before Urias had shifted his stance. Duncan realized that had Urias followed through with the attack, he would be in a disadvantaged position.  At the base of the large Pyramid Temple, two combatants sized each other up as the battle for Origin’s soul continued.
Abeloth charged him, then fainted. Urias could see through the faint and blocked her attack with the Sword of Raven. His counter attack was blocked as he spun to the left and used the sword to remove her right arm. He knew better then to be distracted by the wound. He didn't watch it turn to a black mist and reform on her body. Instead, he spun to the opposite direction and used his blade to block her kick. Abeloth attempted a leap kick which was blocked. This forced her back to plot out the battle.
They glared in to each other's eyes for a moment. It was then that a smile crawled across Urias’ face, “looks like you’re off your game, Rose.” he taunted her. “What’s the matter? Spreading yourself thin as you attempt to corrupt this world.” He glanced from left to right, “Rose, this world isn’t like the others you have corrupted.”
“Don't worry about my prime, old man,” she said coldly. She followed his eyes, “and don’t worry about this world either,” she laughed. Her voice labored, “this world will be corrupted, like all the others.” Abeloth shifted her stance as she once more sized up Urias. “Remember Orchid,” Abeloth said buying time, “She’s here as well, as is her dark apprentice.” She smiled as she pulled out a communicator, “Shall I call them for a reunion?”
Urias met her smile with his own. His voice filled with confidence and the hint of laughter exposed his plan, “Oh, I am sure they have their own hands full.” On that, Abeloth became the prey as he added, “I brought the whole gang!” Urias started to pace around her like a predator. “Face it, Rose, you can’t hold your grip over this world and spare enough energy to battle me,” Urias explained with a smile.
Without warning a bright red lightning bolt crashed across the sky with a loud thunder. The amber light from the lighting cast a reddish glow over the two combatants as they paced around waiting for that moment to launch their next attack on the other. On a metaphysical plane, as powerful energies clad in blue, red and black clashed for dominance of Origin.
From a roof top, Duncan and Lysire watched Orchid and Lotus were sweeping the village far to the north of the village center. They had just linked up with a group of droids and minions as they felt the tide of battle shift from their favor. From the perspectives of Orchid and her followers, Abeloth had just engaged the Queen of Origin. This world had been a place that Abeloth had long searched for. The source of all cosmic energies, would give Abeloth all the power she needs to conquer the universe.
Orchid couldn't help but smile as she and her forces just dispatched a larger group of defenders. She had taken such pride in the way she personally killed a group of their warriors. Duncan had watched with great sadness as Orchid stood before one while he begged for his life. Without mercy, Orchid killed the wounded warrior. Now nothing stood between them and the northern part of the village.
As they moved on their objective, the storm overhead changed. Orchid stopped and gazed up at the storm as blue lighting flashed overhead. She watched the storm overhead with both a sense of awe and concern. There was more to this storm than met the eye. “I don't like the change in these winds” she said with concern in her voice to Lotus.
“You should trust in our Mistress more,” one of their minions said coldly. He frowned at Orchid as he spoke. Duncan knew that many of the minions both fear, envied and hated Orchid. For whatever reason, she had the complete love of their Mistress. Because of this, she was their Mistress' favorite. Orchid enjoyed privileges and received all the most important missions. Despite being bested by Auro and his group time and time again, their Mistress still held Orchid as the favorite. It was this bitterness that was something that Orchid had to face each day. It was a rare glimpse in to Orchid that Duncan had not considered before.
Orchid didn't reply to the comment as she looked at Lotus who only shrugged her shoulders. Lotus knew that the other minions hated Orchid for her talents and place with their Mistress. Lotus knew that if any of them had a chance, they would betray Orchid and murder them both just to take that place. Lotus was here for Orchid and she would rather die than see anyone harm her. Neither of them cared for the drama that ran among the minions. Instead, Lotus pointed to a building that she sensed held villagers, “take the group and check out that building,” she ordered the minion who had interrupted her conversation with Orchid. She added, “kill all within!”
The man’s face twisted with anger as he waved his lightsaber to signal the group forward. The group of minions followed the man with their weapons out. They crossed the large street as they headed for the building. Everyone could feel the fear that consumed the villagers within the building. It promised to be an easy victory, and the minions knew it. For as much as Duncan wanted to intervene, he knew he couldn’t. He stood on that roof top and watched as the minions entered the building.
Within moment, the sounds of women and children screaming filled the street. It was nothing short of a slaughter. Within moments, the deed was done. After the last scream faded from memory, the minions started to gather outside the building. Just as they started to make their way back across the street, the center of the street erupted and filled with cloud of dust and dirt. Duncan felt the power of the darkside in motion. He felt that this power was of an ancient bloodline. He watched the new combatant land in the center of the cloud.
The angry man leading the minions motioned them towards the new threat. The cloud persisted despite the winds. Lotus and Orchid both sensed the danger as they took a step back. The minions circled the dust cloud as they readied their weapons once more. It was clear that they intended on attacking this new threat. It was just what this new arrival wanted, and Orchid and Lotus knew it. Lotus screamed out, “NO,” but it was too late.
The group of minions charged in to the dust cloud and combat was joined. High above, Duncan and Lysire watched the battle unfolded without hindrance. Duncan watched the battle unfolding with ruthless and cruel precision. The battle was fierce and largely one sided. Despite the minions being powerful, they couldn’t stand up to the power of this new arrival.  
As the minions were being cut down with such speed and anger, Lotus and Orchid looked at each other with fear in their eyes. Orchid started to step away from the cloud of death that had consumed her forces. As the sounds of death finally faded, the two darksiders turned their focus back to the cloud of death and dust. Within moments a figure stepped forward through the dust. It was large and menacing, and Orchid let out a sigh of relief when she identified the being as being Crayl. Crayl, a Feeorin, and former follower of the Sith Queen Arial, was now a loyal minion of Abeloth’s. He stepped from the cloud then stumbled and fell to the ground.
Duncan watched with great expectation as a long figure slowly rose up to a standing position. The cloud slowly started to be blown away by the hot arid winds of Origin. The figure had reddish hair that hung fall below her shoulders. A large floppy bright red hat, with a long yellow feather adorned her head. She wore a matching red long coat, who’s tails were blown by the wind. Her bright red saber hummed and casted a demonic glow over her face. Duncan knew that this woman was Arial, a powerful and well known darksider. He also knew that it was only because of Abeloth’s corruption of Origin, that allowed her to have access to all her powers here.
Once more, red lighting flashed overhead as more thunder clapped. “What’s the matter Orchid? You look like you have seen a ghost.” Aral said coldly and methodically.
Orchid shifted back in her stance as she glanced at Lotus. Alone, Orchid knew she was no match for Aral. They had crossed blades many times before. But everything was different now. Now she had access to Mother’s power and the corrupted energies of Origin. “Ghost,” Orchid questioned, “no…..not yet” she laughed. “But I am not finished yet.”
Arial smiled, “we will see about that,” and in a daring almost insulting move, she lowered her lightsabers and deactivated it. “I still remember how you sold my sisters in to slavery,” Arial said speaking of Anastasia. Duncan could feel the rage and anger flowing through Arial as she gathered her strength. It was clear that these two powerful beings had a history filled with deep emotional feeling. Yet there was more than just hate and anger. Duncan sensed her control over these powerful emotions. She had truly become a powerful Sith Lord. “I told you, I would have my vengeance.”
Duncan found it surprising that Orchid failed to sense the control that Arial was employing. They both were relaying on the fact that Arial was well known for her lack of control. Something had changed, and these two minions of Abeloth failed to detect it. Duncan turned to Lysire, “was this you’re doing,” he asked speaking of the control Arial had. Lysire shook her head, “No, this is a product of her own doing. She had fulfilled her strongest desire, to become the True Queen of the Sith.”
Duncan had little else to do but nod his understanding. He turned back to the two minions and watched them during this face off. Their inability to sense the change in Arial would be their own undoing. Orchid didn’t look at Lotus as she sent a telepathic message, ‘lighting.’ Instead, her gaze was fixed on Arial. “Really Arial,” Orchid said joking, “Annie made such a good slave.” It was clear that Orchid was trying to provoke Arial’s anger. “I heard that she was so good that she was passed around the Bounty Hunters.”
For her part, Arial bluffed her emotions to fool Orchid. A trap that both Lotus and Orchid were walking in to. Arial gripped her hands as if she had allowed her anger to consume her. Her eyes narrowed as she focused in on Orchid, “I am going to kill you and your little slut,” she promised.
Orchid mistakenly sensed the time was right, as she smiled. “Didn't she get knocked up. What ever happened to her bastard child. Sold as a slave I bet?” Orchid watched as Arial’s face continue to twist in anger. It was a masterful bluff, and Duncan sensed the danger that Orchid and Lotus were walking in to. Orchid didn’t look at Lotus as she raised her hands towards Arial and yelled, “Lotus, NOW!” The pair unleashed their full power of darkside energies in the form of a pair of bluish lighting. The powerful bolts reached out towards Arial. Duncan noted that the two minions drew their powers from Abeloth as they poured as much energy as they could in to the twin bolts. The sounds crackling energy filled the area as the twin lightings converged on Aral.
Arial stepped back and drew in a deep long breath as she focused her anger and rage in to her action. She raised her hands as she prepared for the coming attack. As the twin bolts converged on her, Arial summoned up the darkside of the Force. Arial drew in the bolts of energy in to her hands as she allowed the darkside to wash over her. She drew upon the energy to heal her wounds that she suffered from battling the other minions, the rest she allowed to pass in to her over her without harm.
Like a great battery, Arial channeled the energies through her body. By sheer force of will she commanded the power within her to her bidding. She felt the energies pulsating through her like a great nova waiting for the moment to explode. Arial drew upon all of her will as she continued to exert her control over the energies being pumped in to her. After a long moment, finally the twin bolts of energy stopped. Orchid and Lotus were both drained from their attack.
Arial smiled as she felt their lighting attack come to an end. Her eyes glowed reddish yellow as she glared at Orchid. “Now, let me show you the true power of a Sith Lord!” she said as she raised her hands in the direction of the two minions. With no further warning, she unleashed her own dark energies. The two attempted to deflect the incoming attack, but failed. Not only did Arial catch both Orchid and Lotus in the attack, she also caught the droid behind them. She allowed the energies that she had captured from the first attack to flow through her now.
Arial smiled as she lifted them all in to the air with her lighting. She never felt in so much control before. Her hatred for Orchid powered the lighting even more than normal as she continued to draw on the powers of the dark side. Aral could feel the power of the dark side surging through her. This place gave her such a connection that she never experienced before. She watched as droids popped and explode from the massive amounts of energy she was pumping in to the lighting effect. Duncan watched the show, knowing that the flow of power was as much Arial as it was the effect of this place. It was a troubling revelation that benefited the cause in this moment.
Both Orchid and Lotus screamed out in pain as they were hovering in midair from the lighting. Arial didn't know Orchid’s new little slut but she knew Orchid all too well and this was pay back for everything she had done to her and her sister. Her senses were keen as she felt the presence of minions nearby. Arial took a step forward as she shrugged her shoulders forward sending the group flying.
It wasn’t out of pity, Aral needed her focus on dealing with the attacker rushing up behind her. Without further hesitation, she dropped forward and rolled. The blue lightsaber passed by, right where she was standing. The fallen Jedi had swung wide and overestimated his attack. As Arial, completed her roll, she flipped her lightsaber from her belt and activated it pointed behind her. The red blade of the saber pierced through her coat and burned in to her would be attacker. She heard a male voice grunt as she knew she got him. And like that, former Jedi Master Kelave Mernerd was no more.
Without any pause, she ripped the saber for the dying Jedi Master as she rolled to the side. The maneuver allowed her to dodge a second saber attack from a Twi’lek dressed like a Sith. The Twi’lek brought his saber down with all his might. Arial completed her roll and flipped to her feet. She smiled, “Virlic!” Arial laughed. The Twi’lek didn’t respond as he tried to kill her. Arial sidestepped the attack and brought up her own saber. The attack split him up the middle.
Searching the scene of burned and smoking droids, Arial scanned for Orchid. “Oh, don’t make me come looking for you, Orchid” Arial screamed
Stepping over a chared droid she heard the lightsaber before she saw it. Aral spun using her own lightsaber to block the attack from Lotus. She was surprised that the little slut didn't run away. Aral moved rapidly swinging her blade blocking the second attack from Lotus. “Too bad you must die, you would have made a great apprentice,” Arial said blocking another attack.
Lotus laughed, “You don’t say” as she parried Arial’s attack as she pressed her attacks.
“Oh yeah, I find I am in the market for a new one.” Aral said as she continued to block the rapid attacks from Lotus.
Lotus continued to attack with her lightsaber but to her surprise Aral wasn’t giving any ground. From over Lotus' shoulder, Aral saw a large volume of fire coming from the other side of the city. She knew that was where Annie and her droids were dropped. She couldn’t help but to smile as she knew that their plan was working.
Duncan and Lysire turned and walked towards the battle across the river. They watched as a group of droids were working their way across a nearby river. Just as the droids were reaching the far side of the bridge three objects fell from the sky. The lighting fleshed over head in a range of colors. Before them, the droids saw a cowboy dressed droid that looked allot like a Bothan. It wore a cowboy hat, leather duster and chaps. In its hands it carried multi-barreled weapon. On its back was a light repeater and a pair of heavy blasters on its hip.
Beside him stood two heavily modified destroyer droids. As the three droids readied for battle, all three of them activated their shields. Behind them a lengthy red headed female landed with the use of a jetpack. She carried a blaster rifle, but the goggles on her head indicated her tech background. As she landed, she activated her own personal shield. She smiled, “you know Steven, I really believe we can win this war!”
The Bothan style droid looked up at them, “This kind of war, you've gotta believe in what you're fighting for.” It was one of Steven's favorite sayings and Annie loved it. She made sure that her prized droid had all of Steven's logs entered in to his memory banks. It helped him be more like Steven.
Just after his statement, the four unleash a heavy volume of fire that cut the droids down by the dozens. The four started to move forward pushing the invading droids back across the bridge. The sustained fire from the three droids was intense and more powerful than those of the invaders. Annie let out a joyful yell, “we got them Steven!” Thanks to the massive cover fire, Annie could pick off prime targets. Together the three droids pushed the invading droids back across the river.
With the bridge was finally secured, Annie moved from her cover on the near side of the bridge. She leaped in to the air, using her jetpack to reach the other side of the bridge. Her light armor looked used and run down, but that was far from the case. Her highly modified armor and helm worked to bring out her strong advantages while giving her a good level of defense. A Bothan minion leaped from the shadows with his green lightsaber. He swung it at Annie with hopes of ending the tech’s life. His weapon impacted her armor and the blade crackled, popped and deactivated.
Annie smiled as she turned to the fallen Jedi. His stunned expression was enough to tell Annie that she had his complete attention. On her visor, her eyes glanced over a command to her hounds. Within seconds, a pair of heavily modified attack dog droids attacked the Bothan from behind. Using their combined power, the two droids dragged the Bothan to the ground as they continued their attack on him. This freed Annie up to continue the battle for the bridge and the village beyond. Annie motioned to her droids, “We got them on the run! Let’s keep up the pressure!”
Just as Annie was marshalling her droids forward, she heard an urgent call for help. “Annie, I need some help,” Falynn's frantic voice filled Annie’s ear piece. Annie turned to her hounds as the sounds of screaming faded. She smiled to them and nodded. “Annie!” Falynn’s voice came back over the commlink. Annie turned as she scanned her battle area. The droids advance was broken, but they would regroup. More pressing was the group of minions that were advancing on her location.
Annie activated her commlink, “Fa, I am really tied up right now. I will try to get to you in a few moments,” Annie said as she considered her opinions.
Duncan and Lysire shifted over to where Falynn had landed. Her location was just outside of the village on a nearby ridge line. Falynn had landed with many Annie’s modified destroyer droids. From this ridge, they could lay down massive amounts of heavy fire at the invader’s rear units. Those heavy artillery pieces were prime targets to Falynn and her forces. The droids would do all the work, all Falynn had to do was help protect the droids from a counter attack.
With her droid were making short work of Abeloth’s support units, that was when Falynn got in to trouble. A group of invaders supported by their own droids plotted a counter attack. Falynn’s lines held long enough for her unit to do their job, but they did break. It wasn’t long before the droids destroyed each other leaving only Falynn and two darksiders. Duncan and Lysire watched as Falynn fought off her attackers. She was forced to face off with a pair of darksiders. Former Sith to Arial, these two had made it their mission to kill Falynn for her attack on their position.
She called upon the force to aide her in the battle. However, her blade skill simply wasn’t on par with theirs. She fought desperately, and got lucky to kill one of them. But the last remaining Sith was going to drive her to exhaustion. His attacks were relentless and powerful. Each time they he attacked, the blow was so powerful that it nearly knocked her off her feet. She fought hard to bring her weapon back up so to regain her defense. It wouldn’t happen, as he spun a kicked her in the chest. The kick knocked her off her feet. He pressed his advantage as he kicked her weapon from her hand.
Duncan felt the sadness in Falynn’s heart as she looked up at the man who was about to claim her life. Duncan knew that that sadness was for her own death. But for the child that she was leaving behind. It was a moment of weakness that allowed her to reach deep in to the darkside. But she refused to accept its temptation. She knew that her child would be safe with her sisters.

Duncan saw in that moment, a flash of Falynn’s history. She had asked Arial and Annie to raise her son, should she fall in battle. She trusted her sisters with his life, and in that she could let go and accept her fate. Duncan felt her sadness fade as she closed her eyes and accepted the death, as he read her mind. ‘My son….my joy……’ The sound of the lightsaber hummed as it was brought down towards her.
11-03-2017, 10:58 PM,
CNN Nightly Report: State of the Republic
CNN Nightly Report: State of the Republic
Coruscant News Network
Broadcast from Coruscant
Date: 2921 AOK
Bail: “Good evening to all the citizens of the Galactic Republic. I am Bail Organa.”

Shalla, a redheaded human female: “And I am Shalla Dissek. We would like to start our nightly report with heartfelt well wishes to our colleague Sinya Lefe, whom is still being treated.”
Bail: “It was two years ago that poor Sinya suffered from complete mental break down. Two years ago, Sinya, led a small group of former employees as they seized our studio and control booth. They broadcasted a clever and imaginative yet completely untrue description of the events which led to the downfall of former Chancellor Syrdash. She falsely reported open conflicts across Coruscant.”
Shalla: “Conflicts that simply didn’t take place. In fact, the truth was, the transition of power on Coruscant was peaceful and orderly.”
Bail: “Despite it being widely reported by other media that there was a resistance across Coruscant, the truth was and still is, there was no resistance. The only casualties where suffered when the Vengeance exited hyperspace and collided with the Victory. The accident resulted in the destruction of both ships and the loss of their crews. Sadly, former Chancellor Syrdash was among those lost. Despite the official record being corrected, these false reports and the broadcast by Ms. Lefe still plague the Republic.”
Shalla: “These reports and the broadcast has caused a great deal of confusion across the Galactic Republic. The effects of those lies had cast ripples across the Core Worlds for days to come. It was only after the official diagnosis of Ms. Lefe that we realized the scope of her mental illness. There was a great struggle to correct the official record, but we cannot forget the suffering of our dear Ms. Lefe. Despite the horrible lies that she attempted to spread about Chancellor Valorum, it was Chancellor Valorum who showed overwhelming compassion as he commuted her life sentence. Instead of serving the rest of her life in a maximum security facility, she serve her life sentence at University of Coruscant.”
Bail: “It is at the University of Coruscant that Ms. Lefe is being treated for her mental breakdown which triggered a series of psychosis.” He paused for a moment. “While she will never be released from her medical ward, it is a great relief that she is being treated by some of the best medical personal the Republic has to offer. Her years of public service will not be forgotten.”
Shalla: “As we turn our attention to greater problems across the Galaxy, we will always look back to Ms. Lefe for her years of loyal service. We wish her the very best of health and speedy recover from her mental demons.”
Bail: “Jedi Civil War continues to rage in to its third year despite efforts by Chancellor Valorum to negotiate a peace between warring factions. While Chancellor Valorum had originally opted to throw the weight of the Republic in to the war, he has since changed his mind on such an action. Instead of allowing the Republic to be drawn in to a war that is largely unpopular, he has given aide to the Jedi Order against their opponents, the Olivan Jedi.”
Shalla: “This strategy has ensured that Republic worlds don’t suffer the horrors that have been suffered by so many Outer Rim Worlds. Though many across the Republic are starting to question if it is time for the Republic to step in to the war.”
Bail: “An answer that the Chancellor has started to reconsider. And I am sure that when he speak that answer, that the Chancellor has show his brilliance and mastery of military strategy once more. More than what we have seen from former appointees from former Chancellor Syrdash.”
Shalla: “Agreed. It was almost two years ago when Admiral Nogget, a Mon Calamari Naval Commander, in command of the Grand Navy of the Republic, who had been appointed by former Chancellor Syrdash, set in motion one of the most decisive military blunders the Republic has suffered since its founding.”
Bail: “The Battle of Kessel was a battle that should have never been fought. Admiral Nogget had planned a grand training mission near the Kessel Sector. The training mission consisted of one third of all Republic warships. Despite receiving countless warnings of OPA warships in the area, Admiral Nogget continued with the training mission. After the third day of training, near the Maw Nebula, the OPA attack the Republic forces.”
Shalla: “Despite the heroic and timely actions of Lord Starchaser, it was a slaughter. The OPA unleashed its super weapon, which rendered many of the Republic ships powerless. It was also the first official action against the Republic that OPA General Trysta Shiloh took. Leading her OPA fleet, she massacred hundreds of thousands of Republic servicemembers. Reports indicated that she ordered her ships to fire on helpless escape pods.”
Bail: “The Slaughter of Kessel showed everyone what the OPA is really made of. Gone are the illusions that the OPA are fair and just. The OPA showed themselves to be murderous monsters. It has later discovered that Admiral Nogget had actually communicated with his bother on Mon Calamari weeks before the battle. It is possible that Admiral Nogget had set up the Slaughter of Kessel.”
Shalla: “Yes, there are reports that suggest that Admiral Nogget started to work with the OPA shortly after Chancellor Syrdash was removed lawfully from office.”

Bail: “It only goes to show you that we can’t trust anyone that once supported former Chancellor Syrdash.”
Shalla: “It sure does. As our great Chancellor, Chancellor Valorum, said, ‘there are two kinds of people within the Republic. Those who stand behind him, to restore the Republic back to its vast and glorious state. Those who believe in the Republic, those who support and uphold the ideals of what the Republic stands for. AND those who stand to oppose the rest of us. Those who oppose everything that the Republic stands for.”
Bail: “Out of this tragedy there is a bright gold lining. After months of therapy and medical treatment Lord Starchaser…”
Shalla: “A true Republic hero….”
Bail: “Yes he is. And he will be resuming his role as commander of the 1st Army Group. In the shadow of the Slaughter of Kessel, the 1st Army Group stands on the largest Republic unit, with thousands of ships and hundreds of thousands of soldiers. His mission, from the Chancellor himself, is to protect Republic Worlds as the Jedi Civil War continues.”
Shalla: “In regards to the Jedi Civil War, the Jedi’s current losing streak continues. The OPA and their Olivan Jedi allies have claimed another system. The Ukio system fell to these murderous monsters last week when the Jedi Academy on the world of Ukio was over ran by Olivan Jedi.”
Bail: “The fall of the Ukio Academy was especially painful to the Jedi, as it was one of their more prominent Academies in the Outer Rim. It also housed some seventy younglings and unassigned Padawans. While the fall of Ukio was painful, it also foreshadowed a series of other attacks that had been just as painful to the Jedi.”
Shalla: “The fall of Ukio was the latest in a series of attacks targeted at Jedi Academies. An unknown group has been targeting Jedi Academies across the Mid Rim and Expansion Region. Eye witnesses have claimed that these attacks are being carried out by unknown black fighters. The method of the attacks was in the form of thermonuclear attacks on the structures themselves. The attacks happened so fast that the Academies never had a chance to defend themselves before the attackers were already speeding away.”
Bail: “As reported by a witness on Naboo, two months ago, ‘a pair of these all black fighters streaked down through the clouds. That was how we noticed them in the dark. You could see their form against the clouds, but we couldn’t hear anything. They moved towards the Academy like silent, um birds. The first one over flew the Academy firing some kind of energy weapon that caused the entire structure to glow with dancing lights. The second one dropped two things, um I guess bombs. I tried to follow where the two craft went. But the entire night sky lit up as two large balls of fire rose over where the Academy used to be.”
Shalla: “It is truly horrific. Some reports link these cowardly attacks directly back to the Olivan Jedi.” She paused, “in response to growing unrest in the Outer Rim and the most recent bombing of the Republic Senate by Outer Rim Terrorists, Chancellor Valorum has been granted Emergency Powers. We have a short excerpt of his speech after the near unanimous vote.
Quote:“The Prime Minister of the Outer Rim Planets Alliance has expressed his personal assurance that they were not responsible for the most recent bombing on Coruscant. His words were very skillful and tactical to rob us of those who are responsible for this horrible crime. Instead his words were designed to impose responsibility upon the Republic, and the very people who govern, for such cowardly and inhuman acts. Claiming that we breed warlike measures and suffering upon ourselves.”

“In view of these facts, I decided to summon the Republic Senate so that you, my fair Gentlemen and Gentleladies, might have an opportunity of hearing my answer first and of either confirming that answer or rejecting it. But in addition, I considered it desirable to keep to the method of procedure initiated by Prime Minister Smad Korr and, for my part, to inform the rest of the galaxy of my answer in our way. But I should like also to take this opportunity of giving expression to the feelings with which the tremendous historical happenings of the past years inspire me. I can give vent to my inmost feelings only in the form of humble thanks to providence which called upon me and vouchsafed to me, once an unknown soldier, to rise to be the leader of my people, to who is so dear to me.”

“Providence showed me the way to free our people from the depths of its misery without bloodshed and to lead it upward once again. Providence granted that I might fulfill my life's task-to raise my people out of the depths of defeat and to liberate it from the bonds of the most outrageous corruption of all times. This alone has been my aim. Since the day on which I entered politics I have been moved by no other idea than that of winning back the freedom of the Republic, restoring the power and strength of the Republic, which had been sapped by a usurper from the Outer Rim. An inhuman thief who robbed the Republic of millions of credits. Overcoming the internal corruption and allowing the Republic to focus on the real threat. Remedying Coruscant’s isolation from the rest of the Galaxy, and safeguarding the maintenance of its independent economic and political existence. Restoring the very heart of the Republic to a state of functioning rather than a disfunctioning state.”

“I have worked only to restore that which others once broke by force and through corruption. I have desired only to make good that which inhuman malice has destroyed or demolished. I have, therefore, taken no step which violated the rights of others, but have only restored that justice which was violated years ago. The present Greater Republic contains no territory which was not from the earliest times a part of this Great Republic, bound up with it or subject to its sovereignty. Long before there was an OPA, this Republic existed, not merely with its present boundaries, but with the addition of many regions and provinces which have since been lost. It is my personal mission to restore those lost provinces. A mission that I cannot complete without the support out our Great Republic and its great citizens.”
“With these powers that the Senate has entrusted with me, I shall not fail. The Republic will be protected from this ongoing Jedi Civil War. Those wayward worlds who have rejected our leadership will be brought back under Republic control. Those murderous Olivan Jedi will be brought to justice! Order shall be restored! And to achieve this, I am asking every Republic citizen to make certain sacrifices. Curfews will be imposed on all Outer and Mid Rim worlds, these terrorist that hate our way of life, our freedoms, our culture, will be found and dealt with!”
Bail: “Strong words from a man that only wishes to protect the Republic from Outer Rim threats.”
Shalla: “Oh I agree. Chancellor Valorum will make the Republic GREAT again!"
12-11-2017, 02:18 PM,
Conflicts of the Heart
Conflicts of the Heart
City of New Hope
The Free World of Iktotch
The Expansion Region
Date: 2922 AOK Late Night Hours (Date Corrected since the last Intermission)
[man’s voice over the speakers, “Good evening brothers and sisters.”]
Zay walked with determination through the corridors of level 19. The City of New Hope had truly grown at a healthy rate. From the day it was imagined as a two room structure the complex has grown to a complex of over thirty-six levels. The city’s growth was thanks to an army of mining droids created by Bay. Within the eighty-square miles of facility, over seven hundred thousand refugee families have settled and called this city home. It was from them that this city got its official name, the City of New Hope.
[man’s voice over the speakers, “This is a grand night for worship of Our Lord and the Prophet.”]
It wasn’t easy building this city. With refugees flooding in from hundreds of worlds, the mixture of cultural customs had created their own strains. Issues of resources and strains created by mixed cultures created a series of problems that linger today. The peace had been maintained through the efforts of the Council of New Hope. During the early months of New Hope, before it was even called New Hope, a group of refugees set down with some of our heroes and created the Articles of Order.
These Articles established the governance of New Hope. Each of the habitation levels would have their own local Wheel Council to regulate local laws, administer disputes and maintain order on each level. Every six levels would convene an Axle Council to hear disputes between these levels. This council would also distribute resources according to needs. Each of the six levels would be represented on the Council of New Hope. From the local council to the Council of New Hope, each of these seats would be elected by the people from one of their own.
[man’s voice over the speakers, “As promised, we have a new song from our very own super stars, Servant. Once more Sandie rocks Our Lord’s praise with her gift of vocals”]
She had wanted to return home and cool off after her explosive exchange with Bay.
[man’s voice over the speakers, “Their new song honors of those who face persecution every day for worshiping Our Lord and the Prophet. Let’s all have the Courage to Burn!”]
However, she found her return blocked by a pair of large battledroids. “That arrogant……” she mumbled….. “Who does he think he is kicking me out of my home like that…….”
[music fills the halls, female sings over the speakers, “Out of the darkness, drawn to the fire, He kindles my spirit, drawing me higher, Saved by your love, marked by the flame, I hear your voice in the blaze, I'll never be the same.”]
She clinched her fist so hard that she felt pain, “how dare he forbid me from returning home.” She was angry, she was hurt, she felt betrayed. “For two years, I have worked, slept and bled there…”
[music continues, female sings over the speakers, “Give me courage to burn, The spirit of God is a fire, I want my cold heart to learn, My fear has been lost in the fire.”]
“It’s not like he ever cared to notice!” Zay came to a stop unsure where she would go. It was late and she nowhere to go. Defeated, she turned and leaned against the wall. “Did he ever notice anything other than his own damn…..” Her anger was easily over shadowed by the pain in her heart. A tear slipped from her eyes. “Where do I go…..” It was after all her home that he had banned her from. A place he had cared little over for the past two years. Now it was so important that he just took it because he could.
[music continues, female sings over the speakers, “No escape from this ocean, I will never return, The light have been given to watch as we learn.”]
“He thinks he is the smartest one in this city. I wonder how long it would take him to figure out a sabotage to his precious ship……” she slowly fell silent as she rested her head against the wall. Slowly her eyes closed as she gave up her anger.
[music continues, female sings over the speakers, “Give me courage to burn, The spirit of God is a fire, I want my cold heart to learn, My fear has been lost in the fire”]
Zay suddenly felt her heart lift and her anger slowly slipped away. She couldn’t do anything to his ship, or to Bay, for that matter. After all, he is the closest thing she has to family. She loves him, despite how crappy he treats her.
[music continues, female sings over the speakers, “Now my past lies in ashes, I must follow through, Burn on in my heart 'til I burn out for you.”]
Still that didn’t mean he was right. Zay allowed the music to fill her ears and mind as she remembered that look in his eyes the first day she noticed him. She slowly smiled as she opened her heart.
[music continues, female sings over the speakers, “Give me courage to burn, The spirit of God is a fire, I want my cold heart to learn, My fear has been lost in the fire,”]
Zay’s eyes opened as she lifted herself from the wall. Her mind more focused as she looked down the corridor. She knew where she would go. Zay turned and continued to walk down the corridor.
[music continues, female sings over the speakers, “Give me courage to burn, The spirit of God is a fire, I want my cold heart to learn, My fear has been lost in the fire.”]
Zay made her final turn and walked through a large doorway. She paused just passed the doorway. She wasn’t sure if she would have ever returned, but she had no where else to turn. She seemed almost unsure of her decision as she shifted nervously on her feet. She half turned to leave when a voice called out to her, “Councilwoman Hope!”
Zay had always felt somehow empty since her liberation. As her life slowly started to become involved with the city, she decided to take on the city’s name as her Surname. It gave her a sense of belonging and helped her fell whole again.
‘Caught!’ Zay thought to herself as she turned to face the man walking towards her. The man was a Twi’Lek, dressed in a black suit with a white collar. Much like the place she was in, he was dressed with a sense of humility and simple. She smiled, “Father Dira” she said softly.
He laughed as he slowed his approach till he stopped before her, “I told you, call me Peter. It is my rebirthed name.”
She smiled and nodded, “I have always preferred a more professional tone, Father.”
He smiled and nodded, “I understand Councilwoman,” He motioned her to a near by bench. It was crud and unfinished. Much like the entire structure. Father Dira and his followers had been using their own supplies and resources to create a church for their worship. “I hope you are here to inform us that our request for additional resources will be granted.” The pair took a seat on the bench.
Zay shook her head, “I am sorry Father, I took your request to the Axle Council. After a lengthy discussion, it was deemed that there were not enough resources to grant your request.” Zay felt almost guilty as she spoke. As an Senior Advocate, it was her duty to represent her people. But being the Senior Scientific Advisor to the Council of New Hope, she knew that there were plenty of resources if the military machine would slow down.
He smiled at the news, “Its okay.” If he was upset or disappointed, he failed to show it. “We will manage with what we have.”
She reached out and rested a hand on his lower arm. “I mean to take this to the Council of New Hope. No other group has been made to ration the way your group has. Each step your group has taken, you were pushed back two. It’s not fair. I will keep fighting, I promise.”
“Councilwoman Hope, you have always been so kind to us,” he nodded and smiled with humbled eyes. “Yet, you still won’t attend service with us.”
Zay leaned back as she sighed deeply. Her tone deepened, and her face softened by shame, “well Father, that is the real reason why I am here.”
A look of concern crossed his face, “Councilwoman, what is wrong?”
She felt almost foolish as she thought of her words. “Well, it would appear that I have nowhere to sleep tonight.”
Father Dira checked his watch, “tonight?”
“Well, I have been homeless now for about two and half hours,” she said with sadness in her voice. “Or at least that was when I found out I was homeless.”
Father Dira smiled softly, “please Councilwoman, do not threat. Our home is your home. Please, accept our hospitality.”
She looked up and smiled, “are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure. For all the help you have given us.” He said reassuringly, “It’s the least we can do for you. But I must ask, one would expect someone of your stature to have quarters on level Six.” He said speaking of Level Six as if it was a wonderous place. Rumors have spread that level six was filled with the best luxuries and wide-open spaces. Level Six is where the heroes, and selected few of the City’s Leadership were housed.
The rumors were far from the truth. In fact, level six and seven were some of the most cramp living spaces. Plagued by poor designs and bad infrastructure, these two levels offered some of the more challenging living conditions in the entire city. The only draw is its proximity to the hanger levels and the industrial levels.
She nodded her head, “I was issued quarters there, but I had long since given them up to those who were in more need than myself. For the past two years I had another place I had called home, but I have recently been unable to return home. Well,” she said than stumbled over her words. She didn’t wish to speak about the ship. “um…well its complicated.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Father Dira said with a smile. He slowly rose back to his feet. “come, lets get you fed and rested.”
She smiled and allowed him to help her to her feet. “Thank you Father,” she said softly.
12-26-2017, 03:42 AM,
Facing the Truth
Facing the Truth
City of New Hope
The Free World of Iktotch
The Expansion Region
Date: 2922 the following morning (Date Corrected)
Zay let out a deep sigh, “so that was when I realized the truth.” The level of depression showed across her face. She gazed down at the white cloth soaked with her own tears. It was hard for her to hold them back.
Father Dira nodded slowly as he spoke evenly, “things like this can be hard.” He reached forward and rested his hand on hers, “affairs of the heart often can be.”
“So, what should I do,” Zay asked softly.
Father Dira leaned back and sighed softly, “what does your heart tell you, you should do.”
“I know I should tell him,” she said as she slowly blinked her eyes. “He deserves to know the truth.” She leaned back and looked around in confusion. “Even if I tell him the truth, it won’t change a thing.” Zay drew in a deep breath, “the truth only presents more questions. Questions, that he would expect answers for. He’d have a right to these answers. Answers that have eluded me to this very day.”
“So,” Dira said then paused a moment before adding, “Why haven’t you told him, what you do know.”
Once more Zay drew in a deep breath, “I don’t know.” She played with the white cloth, moving it around in her hand. “It first started innocent enough. I just wanted to prove to him…….” She fell silent as she slowly pulled the cloth with both of her hands. She wanted to say more, but the words simply wouldn’t leave her throat. She closed her eyes and lowered her head in to her hands. She felt so defeated.
Father Dira leaned forward resting his hand on her head, “child, sometimes we want to prove things to ourselves more than to others.” He paused a moment before he continued. “So, what are you trying to prove to yourself?”
Zay blinked as she raised her head. On that, Dira slowly removed his hand as she raised her head, “he is,” she stuttered, “he is just so smart. It makes no sense to me. How can he be so much smarter than me? No matter how much I try, he is better than me.”
Father Dira nodded as he took in all that she was saying. He read her body language and what she wasn’t saying, “so you felt threatened.” His voice was soft, and his touch was reassuring.
Zay nervously shook her head, “no, not threatened. Well maybe…” she paused then added, “more like, no longer special.” She paused a moment before continuing. “As you might suspect, I am a clone,” she said softly then paused. She knew he knew she was a clone. There was a time when no one knew that she was a clone. That was how special she was. Now, here, everyone knew. And more than that, she was seen just like everyone else. It still felt weird for her to consider herself like everyone else.
She drew in another deep breath. “But not just any clone. I was created to be singular and remarkable. The best of my line. My intellect, my reasoning, my skill sets, were all perfected beyond any other model within any other maintenance line.” It was the first time she had uttered those words since her liberation. For the first time, she actually took pride in those words. Before she was forced to say them as a token of value. She continued, “I have been upgraded with the latest knowledge bases available on the market.” She shifted her eyes around the room, “and some that are outlawed knowledge bases.”
She slowly stood and walked towards a small window, “My eyes can see the spectrums of this hologram,” she said speaking of the holographic image that gave the window a realistic image. “I can decipher each frequency on the light spectrum. My ears can detect the sound that emitters are making.” She ran her hand along the edge of the window/hologram, “I can feel things, vibrations, that others can’t detect. My senses, to say the least, are heightened beyond any other life form’s abilities.”
She turned from the window and faced him, “For as long as I have been aware of what I am, I have been the very best of cloning technology. Since my creation, I have been without equal. But now that has all changed. Since my liberation, I have been forced to deal with many ‘truths’ that were uncomfortable.” She was holding back the truth of these ‘truths’. They were terrifying and rocked her confidence to her core.
Dira nodded once more as he followed her statements, “then you met Bay.”
She half nodded, “well,” she said then fell silent. After a moment, she found her voice, “I met him before my liberation. But I really got to know him afterwards.” She shifted nervously then added, “then I fell in love with him.”
He nodded, “it’s understandable. Family is family.”
She shook her head, “I know. But it’s just so confusing. He is just…..just……”
“Better than you,” Father Dira said softly.
The statement of fact caused her to turn to face him. Father Dira watched her lean back against the wall from the sofa. She slowly brought her arms up to her chest and folded them across her body. It was a clear sign to Father Dira that he exposed something. Her mannerism changed drastically as she attempted to shake off the strange sensation of being exposed. Father Dira smiled softly as he spoke with kindness. “Oh, my dear,” He said softly, “we are all special in the eyes of the Prophet.”
“Father,” she said softly holding back the powerful emotions that this conversation had brought forward. “Imagine, if you will,” she said started. “For all your existence you were one thing. Then in a blink of an eye…..” she paused and moved her arms to the side as if going back. “No, in the beat of a heart” she said walking back to the sofa. She continued speaking as she set down. “In the steady beating of my heart, I discovered that I wasn’t the very best of my line. I was no longer the best technology out there. I was,” she said then paused as a tear formed in her eye, “I was no longer top of the line.”
“I….” she said softly, “I was designed to be the very best of my line. This shouldn’t have been able to be possible.”
“But it was, as you discovered in Bay. It was possible and in fact done,” Father Dira said softly then added, “and that is why you started all of this?”
She nodded as shame washed over her. “I had to know. I had to know, how I could have been replaced when it was supposed to have been impossible to supersede me.”
“Child, you speak as if you are but a machine. A machine that can only exist for one purpose.” He leaned back as he shifted sideways so that his body would be facing her more. “All my life, I trained to be a soldier. Trained to kill in the name of the Republic. I fought during the battle of Olivan. It wasn’t my first battle, but it was my last. Like you, I was liberated from that life.”
Father Dira fell silent for a moment as he collected my thoughts. He then continued, “I saw the Prophet. It was the final day of the battle. I won’t bore you with the long story. But I will tell you this. I watched the Prophet reach out with his hand and my whole unit felt his love, his kindness. We felt the light and heat of the Eternal Flame. Some of my unit choose to keep fighting. Some of us choose a, different path. A path issued by the Divine.” He smiled as his voice filled with pride and happiness. “Sometimes the path that the Prophet lays before us, isn’t always clear.” He smiled as he reached down and touched an old wound on his side.
“No, it isn’t always clear, nor easy. But once you find it. I promise you, you will know it. And it will be filled with the light of the Eternal Flame.” He reached out and touched her hand. “Don’t see this, as becoming second best. View this as the Divine showing you that your intended path has yet to be revealed to you.”
She turned away for a moment, “How will I know what that path is, Father?”
“You will feel it in your heart, my child.” Father Dira said softly. He leaned back, “Can I ask you. Now that you have made these discoveries, what does it tell you about yourself?”
She looked down for a moment as she whipped her eyes. As she pulled the white cloth away, she smiled softly. “I discovered that I am still the top of my line.”
“And that doesn’t bring you peace of heart,” Father Dira said. Before she could answer the door chimed. “Were you expecting someone,” he asked with a hint of surprise in his voice.
Zay nodded, “yes” she said softly. “I have to prepare for this morning’s meeting.”
He nodded, “the reason why you sought my Church and were so upset last night?”
“Yeah,” Zay said as she frowned deeply. “I’m sorry father, but I can’t divulge any information about that. The situation and those at stake are just too sensitive.” She had spent the whole morning trying not to think about the Rocinante or that given situation. Now her break from that crisis was over. Her mannerisms and disposition revealed her fears for the situation.
Concern washed over Father Dira’s face, “you don’t expect it to go well?”
“No, Father Dira, I don’t” she slowly rose to her feet. “You don’t know Bay like I do,” she said looking away. As she looked away, Father Dira slowly rose to his feet as well. Zay continued, “he can be so stubborn and unreasonable. I know, from my dealings with him over the past year, that he will do whatever he has to, to get his way.” She turned to face him once more, “and,” she said with determination in her eyes, “I cannot allow him to have his way.” Zay turned to leave, “not this time.”
As she took her first step away, Father Dira reached out and took hold of her arm. “Please,” he said causing her to half turn. “The actions that we take in the heat of any given moment define us.” She glared in to his eyes, “I believe in my heart that like so many, you have been touched by the Eternal Flame. I see the Light of the Divine burning within you,” he said with passion. “Don’t let the heat of the moment turn you from the Light of the Prophet.”
Zay moved her arm, freeing it from his grip, “Father,” she said with anger in her voice then fell silent. Her mind cleared and her stance softened. “Father, I am grateful for all that you have done, but an innocent life is in the balance. I cannot trust Bay to keep his mind open.” She was going to say more but was interrupted.
“You don’t know that…..” Father Dira said softly.
She nodded, “you didn’t see that look of horror in his eyes when I showed him what I discovered. I saw his fear of the unknown. He made his fears clear to me. I cannot trust him. Not now. Not after how carelessly he removed me from my work. How he was so quick to forcible kicked me out of my own home. How quickly he resorted to threats of violence.” She fully turned towards him and placed a hand on his chest, “so yes, I do know. He has shown that I cannot trust him.”
Father Dira slowly let out a deep sigh of defeat, “I understand child,” He reached up and took her hand and carefully held it. For that moment he pondered if her passion was driven by the Light of the Divine. He slowly released his concerns and allowed himself the opportunity to embrace the Will of the Prophet. Father Dira smiled as he looked up to her, “Please child,” he said softly and with compassion in his voice. “Go with the Light of the Prophet.”
12-27-2017, 05:05 AM,
The Council of New Hope
The Council of New Hope
City of New Hope
The Free World of Iktotch
The Expansion Region
Date: 2922 AOK (Date Corrected since the last Intermission)
Councilman Jarid Fas’Ner II (Human)
Former businessman and Board member of “Fas’Ner Arms” (Fas’Ner Arm’s specializes in shipboard weapons and shielding), who’s three factories were ‘liberated’ by the OPA during the war. During the OPA Offensive of 2021, Fas’Ner’s family estate on Phaeda was assaulted by OPA forces. The suing battle claimed hundreds of lives and forced Jarid Fas’Ner and his family to flee their homeworld (Phaeda, Outer Rim). Most of the family fled to the Republic while Jarid ended up being rescued by New Hope forces late last year. Councilman Fas’Ner is a well-spoken, handsome man and grandson of the famous weapon designer, Jarid Fas’Ner Sr. He represents the Primary Maintenance (Hangers) Bay and Industrial Levels. Currently works as a senior manager of the Industrial Park.
Councilman Geo’rgie (Turfine, Avian)
Former factory worker and labor organizer who was injured on the world of Turfee (Outer Rim). When the world of Turfee declared its independence from the Republic and announced its intention to join the OPA, Geo’rgie led a large group of workers of a takeover of a local government facility. The battle for the facility was largely one sided as many of the government employees surrendered without a struggle. A few holdouts led by a pair of Jedi Padawans fought to the bitter end. Geo’rgie’s family was killed during Republic bombardment of ‘Rebel’ Positions during the Republic’s counter attack. Councilman Geo’rgie is an outspoken, passionate man who often criticizes the Republic and regional authorities that support it. Leads the Corfair Party, a Labor Organization Movement.
Councilman Eduard Dautant (Clone, Freed Clone)
Teacher/Scholar from the world of Ansion (Mid Rim). Created to be a teacher, worked at a local High School as a history teacher. Ansion had struggled to remain out of the war. Despite their best efforts, war came to Ansion. OPA and Republic forces battled over the system for five months. After an OPA victory, Ansion was left a waste land. Suffering was wide spread, and the entire population was at risk of starvation. Ansion was New Hope’s finest hours and marked the first major rescue operation. Councilman Dautant is both the oldest member and the most senior member on the council. Neither of these tempered his bite during heated exchanges.
Councilman Vis’Ulin (Elom)
Lawyer/judge from the world of Hei’Hwa (Mid Rim). Relocated to New Hope with his entire family (five in total) when war came to his homeworld. Vis’Ulin has been a quiet voice on the council, but when he speaks most tend to listen. He handcrafted the Articles of Order which formed the governing body of New Hope. He currently working on creating a Judicial association to handle disputes, crime and punishment. He always envisions this new branch of government to act as a check for the Council.
Councilwoman Tamara Keith (Human)
Former reporter for CNN from the Inner Rim World of Nash Ping R’ton. Relocated to New Hope with her family fleeing Republic Authorities. Before the purge of CNN, Tamara Keith was one of the most outspoken critics of the war effort. Her final report, though few saw it, was an eye witness account of the Battle of Ringali Nebula. This was the battle between the Victory/Vengeance and six attacking Venator class Star Destroyers. Councilwoman Keith makes no attempt to hide the fact that she is a wanted woman, with a bounty of ten thousand credits on her head for treason. Councilwoman Keith is the newest member to the council, elected last month to her seat.
12-28-2017, 05:22 AM,
Discovering the Spies
Discovering the Spies
OPA Liberator
Providence-class carrier/destroyer
Outer Rim World of Muunilinst
Date: 2922 AOK (Date Corrected since the last Intermission) 
Muunilinst is the headquarters of the InterGalactic Banking Clan also known as the IGBC. The IGBC is one of the Republic's most powerful and influential commerce guilds. The world of Muunilinst has always been a major goal of the OPA. The influence that Muunilinst holds within the IGBC was just the icing on the cake. Muunilinst’s vast mineral wealth was the true goal of the OPA. It was securing the loyalty of Muunilinst that was the major problem.
Since the raise of the OPA, leaders of the OPA have been using everything they could to enlist the loyalty of Muunilinst. Even parking a Providence class warship and its support fleet in orbit wasn’t enough to sway the loyalty Muunilinst. However, once that Providence was the Liberator this move by the OPA got the attention of the Muun. After a month of heated negotiations, the people of Muunilinst finally joined the OPA. With the news of the alliance yet to reach the OPA leadership, all is not well on the Liberator.
The lift doors open with an ominous hiss. Every eye on the bridge turned to face the now opened lift. Graff stood there for a moment glaring across the bridge. His black boots were highly polished. His black pants with a red strip down the outside of the legs were tucked in to his boots. He wore a black utility belt where his two double bladed lightsabers hung. His black shirt was adorned with his battle ribbons and the star cluster on his shoulder boards marked him as the Unified Commander of All OPA Forces. He wore a sharp military style cap that matched his uniform. A black cap with red interior hung from his shoulders and flowed behind him as he stepped off the lift.
As he left the lift, a pair of IG-100 MagnaGuards Droids followed him. The droids each carried a lightsaber resistant electrostaff and a E-5 blaster rifle hung from a holster on their back. Each wore a cloak that partial concealed the blaster rifle. To top their appearance, the droids wore head wrappings. The combination of cloak and head wrappings gave the droids an almost sentient appearance. Everyone onboard knew how deadly these droids were and that their sole mission was to protect Graff.
Graff walked with a stern face that easily revealed his anger. The look on his face was more than enough to cause the officers on the bridge to have conceal. Everyone on the bridge had served with Graff long enough to know what that look meant. When Graff had that look, it was clear that someone was about to die. Someone who had failed him in some way.
As Graff approached the aft section of the bridge the tension was already building. A nearby battle droid leaned over to one of his counter parts, “I am glad we are just droids!” The two droids were positioned on the bridge to act as defense should anyone foolishly attempt to attack the Flagship of the OPA. Graff simply walked past the two battledroids as he headed for the center of the bridge.
As Graff stepped on to the central walkway, Admiral Tr’Vash was waiting for the Unified Commander of All OPA Forces. Admiral Tr’Vash was the commanding officer of the Liberator and second most ranking officer serving aboard. That is, when Graff’s personal senior staff are not aboard. “Congradulations in securing the loyalty of Muunilinst, My Lord,” Admiral Tr’Vash said with pride.
Graff growled as he spoke, “another supply depot was hit.” Graff motioned for his command staff to gather around a nearby holotable.
“These attacks simply don’t make any sense,” Admiral Tr’Vash.
Captain Fenn Vri’man followed Graff as he approached a large holotable in the center of the Central Walkway. “I agree.” The large Bothan grumbled, “While these attacks strike deep in to our lines and have caused havoc throughout our supply lines, the Republic simple doesn’t capitalize on their advantage.”
A blue Twi’lek scanned the map as it loaded up on the holotable. “Are we sure that we were actually hit by the Republic and not pirates in the area?” The woman was Captain Shakka, a former merc who joined Graff’s forces just after the battle of Olivan. She was one of very few that Graff trusts with his life.
“The attack was confirmed by Jenna and her strike division,” Graff explained. “The attack happened at Depot 5249.” He glanced over his shoulder, “show me the last nine attacks on our supply depots, to include Depot 5249.” On that order, the map lit up with nine little red dots. Each red dot had descriptions of the location and when they were attacked. “If you look at these attacks from a purely military perspective, these attacks have no strategic propose.”
Commander McManus, a lovely human clone with long blond hair scans the table, “it could be that the attacks are only aimed at our rear areas so to sow confusion and demoralize our forces.”
Admiral Tr’Vash scanned the map, “My Lord, that is not the location of Depot 5249.” He lifted his head and caught Graff’s eyes. “Unless the information you gave me was mistaken.”
Graff smiled as confusion across his command staff started to set in. In that moment, all ten officers realized that the information that they were given was mistaken. That is, all but two had that sudden realization!
“There were much more vital targets in that area,” Graff said as his eyes fell upon the two female officers. “Jenna was in the area with her unit. Two other units were licking their wounds as well. The Depot was attacked because someone knew that that Depot held vital fuel for our ships. Sure a sizable prize, but not when they could have easily taken a much larger prize in killing Jenna.”
Commander McManus frowned, “yet, you somehow suspect me.” She motioned to the map, “My Lord, like the others, you told me a different location than the one that was attacked. What reason do you have to suspect me?”
Graff’s smile faded, “you are under the false impression that I need a reason to suspect you.”
She took a step back, “since these attacks began, you have suspected and even outright accused me of being a traitor to the cause.”
Graff leaned over the table, “I don’t suspect you of being a traitor to the cause.” These words seem to calm the fears of the other officers bit. Without warning Graff reached out with the Force and grabbed Commander McManus’ head. With all his power he slammed her face in to the holotable. Her head hit with a smashing sound followed by gurgling as the last of her life slipped from her body. “It’s your cause, I question,” he said coldly. The impact was so hard that the table flickered and cracked. The lifeless body slid from the table leaving behind a trail of blood.
Graff turned to a black-haired human clone, “Lieutenant Athena, prior to the last few attacks, we detected gravitational anomalies that the Navigation Computers nor our droids could explain.”
Lieutenant Athena had been Commander McManus’ aide. The pair of clones joined Graff’s ranks about the same time. While they claimed no familiarity, over the past few months they appeared to develop a working friendship. This friendship grew to a point that Commander McManus had the young lieutenant promoted up to her aide. Lieutenant Athena’s face remained steady and her voice was free of any emotion, “I wouldn’t know of such things.”
The rest of the staff moved back as they knew that this was far from over. Graff nodded, “I guess you wouldn’t.” He walked around the table towards her. “I can feel their fears,” Graff said coldly. “They know that someone is going to die and they each secretly pray it won’t be one of them.” The group of officers slowly surrendered ground to allow Graff to have a straight path towards her. “Did you know that?”
She nodded, “I have noticed such abilities from you. What does that have to do with anything?”
“These latest attacks have caused me a great deal of stress,” he said as his eyes narrowed, “Each of them fear me, because of these attacks.”
“As they should, My Lord,” she said with a nod. “They have failed you. Look around you, My Lord. They cower in the light of their failures. Those who are not weak should serve with greatness.”
He smiled, “yet with you, I sense no fear.”
“Because I am not weak,” she said smiling back. “I have not failed you, My Lord.”
“I sense nothing from you,” He reached out with the force once more causing her to choke. “No emotions at all.”
She tried to speak as she was lifted off the ground. Graff closed on her as he watched her carefully. Her actions were as everyone would have expected. She was struggling and flailing about as he choked her to death. But for Graff, he sensed something very different. He sensed no fear of death in her. There were no emotions at all within her. Not even Jedi could make themselves devoid of all emotions. He had never experienced anything like her before. He moved around her slowly like a predator stalking its next victim.
“All of these men and women served me since Olivan,” Graff said coldly as she continued to choke. “Did you think that you and your friends wouldn’t be at the top of my list of suspects once these attacks started?” he continued to pace around her till he came to a stop right before her. “Did you think I would start to distrust my most trusted because of a few unforeseen attacks?” he said as her neck snapped, her head spun around causing her skin to rip. Her limp body flopped down to the deck.
Graff turned to his officers, “we couldn’t figure out what the Republic was doing with these attacks. As we all agreed upon, they made no strategic sense. Unless you take in to consideration the goal to drive a wedge between us.” He walked up to the flickering table, “on the surface, these attacks are bitter and devastating. But they weren’t. The Republic never once followed up on these attacks.”
He turned to Admiral Tr’Vash, “issue the following order, I want all clones that match those two removed from their posts. Purge our ranks of them.”
Admiral Tr’Vash nodded, “Your will shall be done, My Lord.”
Graff scanned the flickering map as one of his officers spoke up, “My Lord, with the damage that the Republic has done. Shouldn’t we fall back and regroup?” He motioned to a set of star systems further back behind their lines. “If we give up ground now, we could regain our offensive next year.”
“No,” Graff laughed. “The Republic thinks that they have the momentum. Our next move is to take that from them.”
“My Lord,” Captain Shakka said, “How can we move to the offensive when we have been withdrawing for weeks. We don’t have any units that are in a position or even capable to carry out such an attack.”
Graff smiled and pointed to place on the map called the Chommel Sector, “I had ordered the Fifth Army disengage several weeks ago. They linked up with and absorbed the remains of the Nineteenth Army two weeks ago. After a couple weeks of travel, they are in position to strike at the heart of the Republic’s Mid Rim Command.”
“Naboo, My Lord,” questioned Captain Fenn Vri’man.
Graff smiled and nodded, “Naboo. This will sap the momentum from the Republic and allow other units valuable time to shift back to the offensive.” He turned to his commanders with a serious look on his face, “The Fifth Army will start their attack at the end of the week. But the rest of our forces will have to be ready.”
“Ready for what My Lord,” another officer questioned.
Graff looked up from the back. Its green flickering danced across his face as he spoke, “For a Rim wide offensive designed to through the Republic off balance and crush their forces across the Outer Rim. This will be a make or break moment for the OPA. Either we crush the Republic units in the Outer Rim, or will surrender the offensive for the rest of the war.”
Concern washed over ever face at the table. It was Admiral Tr’Vash who spoke, “My Lord. To launch such an operation, we will need ten times the ships than we currently have. If not a hundred times, or more. There simply aren’t enough ships within the OPA.”
Graff nodded, “Aye, your right. That is why I have had my senior officers crossing the Outer Rim and enlisting the support of hundreds of systems. For months, my wife and her order has been ensuring we had the resources that I would need for this moment.”
“My Lord, I have never doubted you,” Admiral Tr’Vash said softly. “I have seen the reports on these forces. Nearly all of them lack the battlefield experience we would need in such a wide scale battle. They would serve as nothing more than fodder,” he paused a moment before adding, “it’s highly unlikely that they would help us. More so, they would become a hinderance to our plans.”
He looked cross the table and right in to the eyes of Admiral Tr’Vash, “That is why I am calling up the support of the Sith.” There was an audible gasp of disbelief at that statement. “Early last year, I broke the Queen of the Sith and claimed her forces as my own. I have kept them in hiding not completely sure how and when to use them. While their numbers are not that impressive, as leaders of battle groups from regional allies. We can use their skills and powers as a force multiplier.”
“My Lord, they are Sith!” cried Admiral Tr’Vash. “Can we trust them?”
Graff slammed his fist down on the table. “They have bent the knee and will serve Haven’s Light.” He calmed down a bit, “Besides, we have common enemies. The Sith only seek to destroy the Jedi. That goal is at hand. They need us to ensure that that goal happens. We need them to drive the Republic out of the Outer Rim.” He raised up from the table as he pulled a set of data disks from his pocket. He tossed the disks on the table. One for each officer. “Each of you are to review my orders then pass on those orders to your regional commanders.” He turned from the table. “We will launch our attack at the end of the week. This will give all commands time to remove those deemed spies within our ranks.” On that he walked back to the lift.

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