LegendsLog:Sith: Rocky Beginnings
The holo image of Revan flickers to life in the dark personnel hold of the troop shuttle. Revan, the Dark Lord of the Sith, wears the vestments of dark robes with a cape and cowl that hides any specific detail about her, aside from the Mandalorian mask that is oriented toward everyone now.
<"Our attack is two pronged. The majority of my landing force takes to the western beach and pushes against the protective walls of this outpost. The effort is to draw the bulk of their forces to the west and blind them to my true intent; blind them to you."> Her hand rises, gesturing to those scant few in the personnel hold as the shuttle rocks.
<"Your mission is to take the secondary entrance my scouts have found, infiltrate the outpost, and bring its defenses down. I know not how many have entrenched here, but they are led by a capable man, a Jedi named Tesar Hal. Do not underestimate their resolve, and do nothing foolish to jeopardize this mission."> Revan's image faded then, and the dim red lighting in the hold brightened.
"We're two minutes out. Prep yourselves for a quick drop!" Yelled the pilot. What few special forces Sith Troopers were selected for this assignment look to the Sith themselves.
Compared to the armored figures, Lady Layla Sai was fairly unarmored. Visible skin here, black leather and robes there intermingled with red...it was likely typical for many of the Sith. Still, the Nightsister woman nods her head before the image flickers out. "It will be done Lord Revan," is all the response she gives before moving towards the drop point of the ship. For all her training, she was not exactly a military commander. Her instructions to the troopers were fairly straight-forward; "Cut down those that get in our way, we must be swift."
With that, the platinum blonde woman grasps her lightsaber in hand and prepares for the moment of the 'drop' to arrive.
Astennu doesn't sit as much as he seethes while he's locked in the seat of the shuttle. His head remains bowed until the voice of the Dark Lord comes through, and he raises his head to listen to the orders. Then, the holo finishes. His upper lip curls slightly, and he tips his head back to rest it against the inside of his hood, gloved fingers flexing as the shuttle begins to rumble in towards its target.
When the pilot yells, he allows Layla to talk to the troops as he rises and moves to the exit ramp, raising one hand up and gripping on to one of the hand holds. His other hand grips his lightsaber's hilt - still deactivated. He looks back for a moment, and gives a nod of satisfaction. A moment of inspiration. He adds his own comment to the Troopers.
"Do not show the Republic any mercy. They will show you none. No prisoners."
Tai checked her gear again, before releasing her harness and rising to her feet when the masters do. Gripping the overhead grab rail tightly, not wanting to be one of those tossed around during maneuvers, she heads for the ramp. She's going to follow Layla's lead in things, and just maybe prove herself. The mention of the Republic and their no prisoners stance draws a snarl that reveals sharp teeth. Oh, she was never planning on showing any mercy. This was personal.
Crassus Vir is among the troopers in ominous black and silver armor, his face invisible behind the reflective faceplate. Lady Layla's brief instructions are met with a single, sharp bow of the helmeted head. The visor turns to Astennu, whose pitiless words receive a second sharp bow. Word that they are two minutes out prompts the veteran troopers to all begin a triple-check of their weapons and gear, to prepaare for deployment.
The shuttle lands suddenly, and the hatch pops, dropping the ramp without the delay of hydraulics. The world they exited to was experiencing its night cycle, which cast the immediate surroundings and those of distant rocky mountains in an eerie glow from the pair of orbiting moons. They were met by a scouting party almost immediately, who greeted the contingent in the same disciplined and uppity tone of all Imperials. "My Lords," They began.
The speech was short and sweet, and the scouts led the group along a deep ravine and through a canyon. From below, they could see the orange of fire, and hear the concussive blasts of ordinance as it went off over the sounds of constant blaster fire. The battle was underway.
The scouts brought the Sith and their troopers to a large drain that had been torched open, its grate missing. "The path to victory lays through here, my Lords. Travel light and move quickly. This spills you out in their mines. Find the lift to take you up to the surface."
A nod to the greeting Imperial Scouts, Layla had followed along at a hastened pace. As soon as they'd reached the tunnels? She'd adjusted her outer cloak and then dropped down into the darkness, weapon in hand. Eerie dark and shadows wasn't exactly new to a Sith, especially one native to Dathormir or whom had spent much of her training investigating ruins and tombs, but still the woman reaches out with the force to try and sense through the darkness around her. The fellow Sith, the Acolyte and the Special Forces trooper? She's clearly expecting them to follow without verbal instruction.
Astennu marches after Layla and the Troopers, seemingly content to allow someone else to take the lead - then he enters into the sewers. Rather than crack a glowstick or order a Trooper for light, he instead simply shuts his eyes and begins stomping forwards. There is no subtlety to the man - operating more like a blunt object than the refinement of a lightsaber. He pauses, head tilting for a moment before he turns his blind gaze towards Tai Cirra.
"Acolyte. Move up. Now is the time for you to show your strength." He gestures, before offering a smile in Tai's direction. "Unless you are afraid?" The ramp drops, and Tai heads out after Lady Sai, grabbing her sabers from her belt. She listens intently to the report, before following along to the grate. She doesn't hesitate at all, dropping down after Layla as soon as she wouldn't land on her leader. She reaches out, trying to find the telltale signatures of the Republic soldiers. ...And there is something out there. For the benefit of the troopers, she passes this detail on with a few hand signals. She looks over in response to Astennu's question, giving him a confident grin. "Never, Master." She twirls her sabers by their offset grips, moving forward ahead of him to right behind Layla, only passing her if she approves.
Crassus Vir and the other troopers totally follow without verbal instruction. Blaster rifle at the ready, into the dark underground they go. Find the lift, breach the defenses, bring down the fortress. A curt nod is given to Tai's signal.
The way through is not difficult to navigate, not for a Sith Lord. Even in pitch darkness, the specialized team arrive several minutes after setting out. Ahead is a grate, much like the one that had been removed from the other end. Light shines through the gaps in the bars and flickers when the ground shakes from a charge going off above. Several people cry out in fear.
Beyond the barred grate, some twenty or so miners sit huddled, holding each other and cowering from what happened high above. "Be steady, my friends. These commandos will hold the line, and this siege will break. Have hope." Says Tesar's Padawan, Jessi Fel. She was comforting a couple. A handful of Republic troopers stand guard, wearing plasteel white and orange armor.
"They are here," Layla speaks, her voice calm and even in the darkness even as the urging from Astennu pushes the Acolyte forwards. Her steps are even, bringing her closer to the grate and the troopers she can hear, the Padawan comforting the miners and the troopers at the ready. The 'Dark Lady' steps forwards, offering one single word command to the Sith and troopers alike from her painted lips.
The sound of the grate crunching is the first and only real warning given, sparks flying as the invisible force crushes its fixtures and the metal is reduced to scrap, revealing the blackness of the tunnel behind...only for the SNAP-HISS of the activating lightsaber in Layla Sai's hand to cast a forboding crimson glow and reveal the silhouettes within as she began to advance. The Sith were here.
"The Republic will not keep you safe! Your only choice is to surrender to the Sith."
Astennu's voice is booming in the sewers. His suddenly activated lightsaber adds to the growing bloody red glow that begins to fill the darkened chambers of the sewers, and with the grate aside, he simply wades straight in to the room, lightsaber held out to the side.
An open target, if anything.
The grate goes down, and Tai's own blades light, the glowing blades resting back along her arms in a defensive stance. "She's right, you /really/ should surrender. You want these miners to get out of this alive, don't you?" The zabrak waves her right hand, shoving one of the troopers back and smacking their helmet into the rock wall.
The grate is forced aside, the command is given to 'Begin', and Crassus is the first of the Sith troopers to rush through, promptly opening fire on the Republic commandos, placing a deadly bolt through the chest plate of his first foe. Still no words from the warrior, he lets the call to surrender from the Sith knights sway the enemy unopposed.
Everyone in the mines crawls away from the Republic troops and the Jedi who rises and turns around at the sound of the grate lifting up. "What the rekk?" She says, unhooking her lightsaber and activating the hilt. It produces a blue blade of sapphire brilliance, and she slides into a stance. "It's the Sith!" She cried, turning slightly to motion with her free hand. "Open fire!"
Before the troopers can even navigate their fear, one of theirs is injured already, stumbling aside to fix their helmet. Another falls when a red lance cuts across the opening at the deafening discharge of a blaster rifle. He's struck in the chest and clatters backward, the plasteel shattering into a thousand carbon scored pieces.
Jessi takes a swing at the semi-open Astennu only to be thrown back when her weapon struck something so solid it jarred her off balance. "What?! What is this?!" Her troopers open fire, their shots seemingly worthless when they collided with this wall of energy only to fade out of existence. Fear set in, then and the padawan rose back to her feet. "We cannot hit them! Do something!"
Warnings were made, fire rains out and Astennu's power flows through the air, turning aside blaster bolts and the Padawan's lightsaber alike. The trooper's fire at the Acolyte's hurling of the troopers aside are all noted, but finally Layla steps forwards, her lightsaber in her hand while the panicing soldiers and the Padawan moves forwards.
Her saber surges forwards, a flash of red deflecting Jessi's weapon aside effortlessly before the Nightsister twirls and plunges her weapon through the Padawan's chest. Drawing the weapon back, she steps forwards and takes a wide slash to cut through the trooper behind the fallen jedi like it were an afterthought. "The Jedi cannot save you," she speaks calmly, advancing on the troopers.
Astennu smiles at Jessi as the Padawan's lightsaber strikes the power of the Force, and is repelled. He stops to do it - just so that he can look at the Padawan's death as Layla moves in to strike down the Padawan. His gaze absently follows the fallen Padawan before he turns his attention to the still healthy, attacking Commandos.
His left arm swings, and he releases his lightsaber - where it swings through the air and promptly impales the commando through the torso. He jerks his hand back, pulling the lightsaber back to him and into his grip. He continues pacing forwards, letting the Commando drop.
"No survivors, Acolyte. One of you Troopers - guard the miners. They belong to the Sith, now."
He keeps advancing, apparently happy to ignore the violence being sent his way - if only temporarily.
Well, looks like all the soldiers are distracted. That's convenient. "You /really/ should have surrendered. I'm going to enjoy this~" Tai twirls her sabers, stopping them again with one forward and one reversed, before launching herself into the frey. Her blade cleaves through one Commando's thigh, dropping him like a sack of rocks, while the other is bisected from shoulder to hip. The trooper's bolt goes sizzling past, and she ends with her extended blade up against the commando's throat. "Would you like to reconsider?" From the emotions radiating off her obvious to Astennu though, it's obvious. She's just toying with him.
Crassus and the small unit of Sith troopers follow their orders and the example of the knights: the miners are of no concern, fire is focused on the commandos, and swiftly they search for the lift. Find the lift, breach the defense, bring down the fortress. Astennu's order is met with a sharp nod, and Crassus finally speaks, if only to name one of his troopers to carry out the command to guard the miners. Crassus himself prompts one of the miners, with the words emenating eerily from the faceless helm, "Show us to the lift."
Before the trooper can respond to the Acolyte, a Sith trooper walked up beside him and shot him in the head at point blank. <"No survivors, my Lord."> He repeated back to Astennu for Tai's benefit.
He turned to follow his Lieutenant, Crassus, and yanked up the miner he had prompted for an answer. Jerking them up by their arm, a blaster and pressed to their back. "O--Okayokayokay.. wait.. please.. the lift. It is this way.. THIS WAY.. don't hurt me, please."
The way they indicated led past all the smoking corpses and up a stone caved corridor. The ground shook from another concussive blast, and dust fell from the ceiling. "Here.. it's..it's here!" The miner moved forward and pulled the hatch open to reveal a cargo lift. The panel was inside!
And like that, the fight was over. With a little gesture of her hand, the Padawan's lightsaber leaps to her waiting fingers and she tucks it away into her robes. She'd present it as proof of the mission's success later, along with that of the Jedi who waited above if all went as planned. Deactivating her own weapon with a nod to Astennu, the woman gives a light smile and looks the the miners. "Cooperation is your only chance of survival. Behave yourselves."
With that, she too is headed for the elevator, beckoning with her fingers for the other to follow over her shoulder. "Lets continue, we are not done."
Astennu does not repremand anyone. It was obvious the kill was going to happen, and he can appreciate the Trooper's dedication to orders. The Dark Side is sometimes not cruel. Ignoring the now executed Republic Commando and the waves of fear eminating from the miners.
He strides past the Miner on to the lift, deactivating his lightsaber - they're in a crowded lift, after all - and takes a slow breath. There is no centering, however. He simply stands and seethes - feeding upon the fact that they are still to meet the Padawan's master. Anything to keep the hate flowing.
Anyone close enough to Astennu sadly has to put up with his growing breathing, as he refuses to let the adrenaline of combat pass. He shuts his eyes, reflecting on the death of the Padawan in the force. He follows that thread, to the connection - the Jedi Master. "He is close. Prepare yourselves, faithful Troopers." No warning is given to the Sith. They know what to expect. "The Padawan's Master will be close when we step off this lift."
Tai rolls her eyes. "It's called false hope, Trooper. It's /fun/." The zabrak sighs, turning away form the now very dead commando. Oh hey, it's elevator time. Extinguishing her sabers, she heads for the elevator along with the others.
Less the one trooper dispatched to guard the miners, Crassus and company board the revealed lift after the Sith, with a silent nod to acknowledge Layla's gesture and words, a second nod to Astennu's.
The lift closes, and begins to move up. It does not take long to reach the top, and they're brought to the shelter of a large hangar. Tall roof over head has taken partial damage while blasts of laser light angle off from outside. It is total chaos. Revan's war machines batter against the protective walls of the outpost while fighters stream by overhead, their lasers going crazy. Republic commandos rush by, and the Jedi Master that was close? Stood upon the battlements outside the hangar and across the courtyard directing the attack. Between the Sith, and the Jedi, some twenty troopers are preparing mortars in the courtyard.
Nearby, generators that power the outpost run at efficiency, keeping the turrets on the walls firing.
The lift rises to the battlefield of the hanger and the chaos of ringing blaster fire. Lady Sai could sense the Jedi, could see the troopers, but her ambe irises move towards the generators by the wall and she extends a hand their way. A moment of focus and a clenching of her fists, one of the generators crunches inwards with a shriek of metal and burst of energy. "Remember our task. Disable the generators and our forces will overwhelm the Republic soldiers here."
Once more her saber bursts to life, expecting some of the blasters to turn their way.
Vandred's left hand reaches out as the doors open, and his hand slowly clenches in to a fist. There's some creaking from the generator as it's held firmly in place against his pull, and he gives an audiable snarl of rage at being denied, what in his mind, is an obvious tool for slaughter.
He reverts to more base tactics. He ignites his lightsaber and points towards the Sith troopers with his free hand. He then points the lightsaber towards the Commandos.
Tai nods, taking a few steps outside before igniting her sabers. Wouldn't do to accidentally stab anyone in the close quarters. She launches herself forwards into a power assisted sprint across the courtyard, and buries both sabers in an important looking bit of the generator before bounding away again. The generator makes some very angry noises, before detonating.
Find the lift, breach the defense, bring down the fortress. The doors open on chaos and darkness streaked with destructive bolts of light, but orders remain. As the Sith promptly destroy two of the three generators and Astennu orders them onto the attack, Crassus nods once. "Yes, Lord," entering the mad fray and firing, his first shot taking a Republic trooper in the torso.
The last of the generators go up in a sudden flash of white hot fusion when the troopers manage to set off localized explosives. Power dies in the outpost and the turrets on the walls go silent. There's sudden pandamonium as incoming fire begins to increase.
"The battle is lost. Our power is out. Retreat! Retreat!" Voices are heard saying from the battlements, but there is no retreating when the Sith troopers make their presence known in the courtyard. "The Sith have breeched the walls! Open fire! Open fire!" It's clear that the Jedi Knight has lost control of the forces. Everyone is acting in fear now.
Fearful troops on the Republic side, it was practically palpable in the air to the Sith. Finally, with the generators down and their objective completed, Lady Sai's painted lips pull into a smile and she raises her single glowing red blade. There's a pause, a glance towards the Acolyte and a gesture with her head towards the array of over two dozen men. "Show me what you can do Acolyte." With that, the woman surges into the lines of the commandos, cleaving through three of their number without slowing. "There is no retreat, Jedi."
Astennu focuses entirely on the Jedi Knight. His voice, although spoken, is shoved into the Knight's mind with a forceful telepathy that brooks no avoidance. His gaze turns to the side only to glance at Layla before she goes leaping into the Commandos. His head then turns back to the Knight, and he raises his lightsaber, pointing it towards the Knight.
"You failed your Padawan." Oh. The images that Astennu assaults the Knight with. The look of fear when the Padawan's lightsaber bounced from his force shield. The horror in the Padawan's gaze as Layla struck her down. The slaughter of the Commando's defending the Miners.
"You've failed your Republic." Images of the Sith Troopers marching over the dead Commandos bodies.
He hauls up his lightsaber and swings it downwards, cleaving one Commando through the torso with a brutal blow, leaving the Commando to spiral to the ground, dead.
"And soon you will die, Jedi. Just like your Padawan. Just like your soldiers."
"With pleasure, Master!" Tai's snarling grin gets a little more manic, and she launches herself into the battle lines as well, smoothly de-limbing two of them on her way through. This... This is when she's at her best. Immersed in the fight, flowing from person to person and cutting them down. She can lose herself in the surge and rush of emotion, the elation of revenge.
With the final power generator's detonation, the defenses are breached. Bring down the fortress. Crassus advances and fires in the wake of the acolytes, recalling their warning: *do not underestimate their resolve*. The trooper finds that difficult in the moment, as his aim passes over a wounded Republic commando trying to scramble away. He fires. *No survivors*
It is chaos in the courtyard, and troopers open fire on Commandos who return fire. The Sith are caught in the center of it, and a dust storm strikes. Everyone is surrounded by a sudden gale of dust as it sweeps out toward the sea. Flashes of red and blue crisscross, blaster fire by the looks, and silhouettes move back and forth battling. It leaves the gates to the outpost unseen as some massive invisible power forces them apart in a sudden display of raw rage. Sith troopers pour into the courtyard reinforcing the special team, turning this skirmish into a proper battle. Entering the battle shortly after the rush of reinforcements, Lord Revan makes herself known by producing not one, but two distinctive lightsaber blades that extend to their full. 1.4m length. She walks calmly into the chaos, cutting down Commandos who cross her.
Revan was quite the presence to feel on the battlefield, but there was hardly time for Layla to be bowing to the Mistress. Instead she surges across the field in a blur of black, red and glowing lightsaber blade while she swatted blaster bolts away. The Jedi had been gifted by Astennu a vision of the 'Witch' cutting down his Padawan, now she was headed for him!
Twisting from her strike, the deadly dance of plasma lashes out, cutting down a pair of commando that stray close.
As immersed in the flow of battle as she is, Tai barely even notices when a blaster bolt grazes her shoulder. The dust storm though. That's new. Fortunately, she doesn't really need her eyes to to find more commandos to deal with. She raises one blade in salute to Revan, before diving back into the frey. Three more Commandos go down as she scythes through their lines.
Oh good. Combat is in full flow. Astennu's boots thump on the ground as he begins running - finally moving faster than a march. The force flows into his muscles, enhancing his physical strength - and with a bending of his knees, he promptly LEAPS!
.. Only for a nearby explosion to give him a reason behind his absolutely /awful/ leap. His robed form does travel indeed. Sadly it does not go to the Jedi Knight's location, where he could land and begin glorious combat. Instead, he pretty much comes flapping through the air, robes billowing and lightsaber humming with red rage - only for his body to come crashing into a group of Commandos, bouncing off one of them and staggering.
There's a moment where him and the Commandos' actually get a look at each other. A brief pause as Astennu fights the brief moment of stunned impact to regain his senses. Needless to say, his rage is great at his own failure.
He takes that out on the commandos, swinging the lightsaber in a two handed heavy swing that cleaves into armour and flesh. "JEDI!" He shouts over the din of battle. Right. That's it. Deflect the fact that you failed your leap, Astennu.
Crassus is struck by a blaster bolt in the reflective silver of his chestplate, knocking the soldier from his feet in a pinwheel of pain. Grinding his teeth against the pain, the Sith trooper lifts his head, gasps for a jagged breath and rises to a knee, taking aim at the enemy Jedi. *Do not underestinate their resolve*. He chooses his moment as best he may among the dust and chaos, firing a bolt of searing energy at Tesar Hal. It's an excellent shot, and it came so very close...
Relentless in her slashing, Layla continues to trade strikes with Tesar. Green and red flash as she and Atennu continue their barrage of slices. Swift and agressive, the twirling 'Dark Lady' dances past his swing, slicing a trio of brutal cuts over the limbs of the Jedi as she passes him by. Even within the rapid movement and flashing energy, there was a look of glee on her features.
Astennu, now that he's recovered from his attempted leap, goes in for a different sort of attack. He releases his lightsaber. Folly, in the middle of combat. Instead, the force grasps it and keeps the blade ignited, and he hurls his hand out in a fit of rage towards the Jedi.
It goes hurling through the air with an ominous hum, before he then swipes his hand down - pulling it out of it's current arc in a slashing gesture that catches the Jedi obviously unawares.
He does not permit time for recovery. Instead he jerks his arm backwards, causing the blade to hurl itself back towards him - but not before two full rotations of the lightsaber's blade pass through the Jedi's defenses and he snatches his lightsaber from the air.
Tai made the mistake of getting a bit too close to the Jedi in her pursuit of more dead commandos, and the stench of scorched meat is even stronger when it's from her own leg. She staggers a bit, but manages to shove the pain back down. ...That's going to be a nasty limp. But the fight's not over yet, and she can't show weakness. Letting out a predatory growl she uses a push in the force to make up for her injured leg, headbutting one hard enough for her horns to scratch his helmet and burying her saber in his chest. The other loses his head to a backhand strike.
Crassus' shot burned a hole through the Jedi's loose hood, so near had it come, before the superhuman awareness of the Force User preserves him. Crassus Vir struggles back up to his feet, ducking and staggering between a handful of blaster bolts aimed at him as the Sith Trooper sees the twirling green lightsaber moving toward him. He raises his rifle with a pained snarl to try and get off one more shot- But Tesar Hal's stroke cleaves his rifle in two, carrying off the left arm that steadied it in the same stroke. Crassus feels himself losing balance and tumbling to the ground, his mind dwelling with a fierce pride on the knowledge that his shot had been good enough to draw the Jedi away from the Sith knights.
The battle is swift, decisive, and appropriately over when Tesar falls. There is no recovering, there is no quarter. Republic forces are shot down, cut down, and hunted down until the outpost is completely, and utterly the Sith Empires.
By the time the dust has literally settled, sand covered bodies lay everywhere, steaming and shot, cut and obliterated. Black smoke rises from the ramparts and battlements, and the sun rises to the chorus of Imperial fighters streaming overhead complete with the Stardestroyer lingering higher above that. Revan does not linger to celebrate this victory. War is about tempo, and they would need to pursue the next outpost quickly before they became as entrenched as this one had been.