Log:AoA Classic: Balance of the Force
"Balance of the Force"
Characters in Scene:
Alan Jansen ----- Emperor of Arisnar
Antigone Jansen - Empress of Arisnar
Natalya Jansen -- Princess of Arisnar
Vaelore Vosa ---- Son of a fallen Jedi from the Clone Wars
Demar Khan ------ Sith Lord
Shiro Tetsumi --- Arisnar Guard
Alexander Jansen - Prince of Arisnar
A new force-trained Sith Lord makes his first attack against his enemies, the royal family of a distant rim-world star system who themselves, hold secrets of the old Republic.
The Sith Lord lands his vessel aboard a giant space station in the heart of the Arisnar star system and begins to cause mass-chaos, to draw his enemies to him within the space station's expansive hangar complex...
__Far away, in a system ages old and ages forgotten, final preperation is made as a large mammoth of a ship is slowly lifted to the skies. Creeping along at a near dead pace, the ship slows a good distance away from the planet, and a dark clad hand reaches out, pushing a small throttle-like lever forward. Light began to bend, and with a flash of blue light, the ship made the jump into hyperspace...
__...In the Arisnar system, almost ages away, the ship flashes to life as the drop to sublight speed is made successfully. The ship remains at a dead stop, as a small set of Fighters immediately begin their intercept course for it. Comms are invaded, and the seemingly derelict ship only responds obediently, the shuttle landing at the nearby space facilities known to the Arisnarians as the Twin Suns Station. It's flightpath was slugging, the large ship barely moving at all as it cleared the bay and managed to slip into a landing spot. Silence again fell, only to be broken by a pair of immediate hydraulic hisses.
__The wraith that appeared on the edge of the boarding ramp was quiet, whose only notable feature was the ornate helmet placed over his face and head. He seemed to pause, before graceful steps took him down the ramp in a quickened pace. "Yes," He echoed under his breath, "This will do nicely." With a wave of his hand, the exterior portions of the robe were discarded, dropping to the boarding ramp as Demar, or what seemed to be him, prepared. With the extra layers gone, his graceful and deceptive movements were exposed, and already he was scanning the area. A snap, before he rose a fist dramatically, a cackle of electricity lighting it's frame before dissapearing. "Where is he!" The form bellowed in an angered tone, before the hand extended and again came to life as the wide palid blue lightning streaked along the bay, before it was brought around in a wide arc. Bystanders were ignored, perhaps some for their own misfortune, as the new wraith incited the fear and terror that would draw him out. To his final resting place.
__An Arisnar fighter, like all the others, was gaining distance from the brilliant blue-green planet of Athkaria, its quad engines flaring their bright blue trail as it rocketed toward the distant orb of which the System is named. The shining suns of the system were shining across the starfighter, reflecting off of the clear canopy that contained the pilot within. The pilot, Alan Jansen reached forward and keyed the comm unit over to a secure channel. "Antigone." He said into the confines of the Rogue's cockpit. "You're getting a little too casual when it comes to commandeering these ships. First mine, now our son's... One might be lead to think that you're actually enjoying these... what do you call them? Deathtraps was it?" He asked her over the transmission frequency. The two heads of the Jansen family had been going through some... turbulant times as of late, their very relationship teetering on its foundation.. but the past week had been one of healing and had left the Emperor feeling -good- about the future of their family. He had a faint smile upon his lips even, and his words across the stars to his wife, made it a little stronger in its intensity.
__Until, through the very fabric of the galaxy came a chill that struck him like a shockwave, his eyelids reflexively closed over his brown orbs and he took in a breath as he reached out with his mind, something had happened... something was happening..
__Antigone Jansen piloted the Arisnar fighter with little thought for what she was doing. The controls were simple enough, especially since it would be nothing but sublight to cross the distance from Athkaria to Arisnar. It was quiet in space, and peaceful. Once upon a time she had shown little interest in such craft, a pride of the Arisnar engineers though it was, but for now she found the hum of the engines and the isolation soothing. Her thoughts were free to drift back on the week she had just spent with her husband, and the reconciliation they had made. Her soul felt lighter for it, her mind freer. They had made real progress in returning their lives back to normalcy.
__Her craft, or her sons, to be truthful, was slightly behind Alan's, and as her coms came alive with the sound of his voice, she nudged the vessel up beside his. She smiled at his words, "Perhaps in the pursuit of liesure I have judged them too harshly. It is the way you and Alexandar behave with them that makes them deadly. Wreckless, I believe is the word for it..."
__Deepening into the feel of the intensity, the passion, the hatred only built within Demar's form as the Lightning burst from his fingertips in wide arcs. It wasn't strong enough to kill them, oh no. The guards would be there soon -- And with a knowing flick of his hand he pulled free the Lightsaber, a calm determination creating an aura about him that burned like a flame. The wounded were approached, cowering on the floor away from the man in vain attempts at surviving the onslaught. "I know he's here."
__The voice was other worldly, fed with the passion and hatred that burned through him. He attributed the high to a kind of adreniline rush. Though his body was long since lacking enough to have such a high, he was fed by other means, as power coursed through his veins. With an electric hiss, the wraith's form was glazed in a kind of red light as he approached one of the fallen. "Come out." With a wave of his hand, the Lightsaber ended the man's suffering quickly. Over stepping the body, he moved to the next. 'For Zalthein,' he thought to himself, 'For Leahmura...', 'For the Sith.'. He wanted the man to show himself, to die, so that he could return his head to Leahmura and ensure Zalthein would be shown only the proper way of life that befitted one as gifted as her. He almost smiled, if he were capable. "Yes," Another slash, life being extinguished by the power of hatred and bitter darkness, "I can feel you. Meet your Destiny, so that mine may begin."
__The normal time span of a reply had passed after Antigone had finished her sentence and it was a sentence that one would normally expect a reply. Alan's starfighter was heading in a straight line at a slightly faster pace than casual, but it was unmoving as the man inside the cockpit was concentrating on something else, allowing the craft to fly itself. Antigone's eyesight was good enough and her piloting adjustments fine enough to give her vision of her longtime husband inside his fighter, his eyes downcast and shut, almost like he was sleeping and several seconds of this passed before his head suddenly rose and he looked out to the starboard side of his craft to his wife's, he looked at her through canopies and his lips moved, his voice heard over the comm's.
__"The Bando Gora are on Twin Sun's." His familiar, but distorted, voice announced and with that, his starfighter banked to the port suddenly, the underside of his starboard wing replacing what was Antigone's view of her husband, its engines flared to life and the Rogue fighter now was redirecting itself on a new course at the highest speed at the Superiority Fighter could travel.
__"They're killing people." He said over the comm frequency. His voice now as grim as it ever could get from him.
__Antigone glanced casually towards her husband's ship when no reply was immediately forthcoming. She frowned and looked more carefully when she saw his posture, his expression, "Alan?" she began, but he had cut her off before the word had left her mouth. His voice over the channel sounded eerily calm for the news that it brought. A cold knot of fear formed in the pit of her stomach. She didn't need to ask if he was sure, or how he knew...As his ship banked to port she pulled herself away from the fear and horror she felt and focused on the controls in front of her. After a few false commands she had regained control of all the ships systems and took ahold of the yoke herself, turning it to follow after him. Her heart was pounding in her chest.
__"Alan," she tried again, uncertain of whether or not she should break his concentration, "Alan...is it..Natalya? Is she on the station?" It seemed unlikely that her daughters return and this attack were unrelated.
__The defenseless were cut down in brutal, ghastly precision before the patrolmen could react to the harsh screams that began to flood the hangar. The red blade of the Lightsaber was huddled close to his frame once the deathtoll had taken six civilians. The guard paused only a moment before they began to arm themselves. The light blasters were brought up in quick defiance as Demar stood proud over the dead that literred the hangar. He had been trained well in the ways of the Force, and already the actions and images began to bleed into his mind - Even before the first bolts were fired.
__A pair of them missed entirely, arcing wide of Demar's form. Two more followed, Demar's left hand rising to seemingly take the brunt of the bolts into his hand - When really they dissipated into the force shield just inches away. With just enough time, he brought the Lightsaber in front of him in a wide arc, barely catching the final bolt and sending it to the ground at his feet. There was only a moment's pause before Demar's offhand rose again, hurtling another wide arc of Lightning towards the two guards furthest to the left of the group. He seemed to grab them with it, before toppling them into another of the guards nearest them. "Yes," He seethed, the hoarse voice nothing but a whisper. He fed off of their terror, only becoming stronger as he began to close the distance between them.
__"No." Was Alan's immediately reply to his wife's question as his silver and gold starfighter roared through space with all four of its underwing engines rumbling as hard as they could. The craft was nearing closer and closer to the understaffed, underdefended Twin Suns Station that still has not fully recovered from the full crew loss in the war over a year ago. Arisnar was not the most populated planet, thus it didn't have the largest military in the galaxy... new recruits were slow to train and few to come by.
__"Natalya is on the planet." Alan spoke in his eerily calm voice, his mind was more-so on the waves of the Force, feeling the lives crying out as each was ripped from existance, the souls ripped from their bodies by the Darkside culmination. Alan didn't know Demar, he had never met Demar, thus Demar's presence in the Force was a hazey one to the Arisnar Empire who was not the strongest Jedi to ever grace the Force to begin with, his strength came from what was now an unusual amount of years of experience to back it up.
__The Arisnar starfighter closed distance ever yet on Twin Suns, its nose angling down slightly as it neared the hangar mouth that grew larger outside the canopy, the ship's computer terminals lining up the landing proceedure.
__"Anna." He spoke again. "I think it best that you not accompany me onto the station. I'm not sure I can defend you as well as I'd like..." A shot in the dark to protect his most valued treasure, but he knew it would be in vain, he knew she'd not turn around and flee when it was just as much her station under attack as it was his.
__Despite their situation, despite of the impending danger, Antigone felt her anger flare up inside of her. "Dammit Alan!" she cursed, unable to withhold her venom. "Would you stop trying to protect me? I'm not a coward, nor am I a weakling!" This is what had divided them in the first place, the way he alienated her from anything but the safe, sound, and utterly -boring- aspects of daily politics. "If I have to I'll shoot out your engines and take the damn station back myself." As if to emphasize her point she boosted her speed to the max, no longer dawdling behind him. The station was looming in her viewport. She fumbled in a travel bag for her blaster pistol, one hand on the flight yoke. She'd expected a simple flight home, not some sort of an ambush. They were both unprepared.
__The first one was cut down with a wide arc of the red bladed lightsaber, another life crying out and dying just as quick. It came from above and to the right, arcing down along the man's body to the left. In the same fluid motion, Demar spun and brought the Lightsaber in front of him, pointed to the ground, cleaving the remaining guard's weapon in two. The guard stumbled, tripping over the groaning force lightning victims -- But was caught well before the fall.
__His lightsaber at rest to his right, Demar's left hand again rose as he reached out with the force. Unlike most of the others, there was no quick death. With a suckening sound, the man's trachea slowly collapsed within itself, creating a seal of flesh that cut off the passage of airway into the man's lungs. Held there in mid trip, the man's body slowly began to spasm and his legs kicked wildly at the ground. Fingers dug into his neckline, in a vain attempt to wretch himself free of the chords that bound his throat. His lungs felt as though they'd caught fire - And with a sickening slump of the man's body, death took him with a macabre grace. Releasing, the body collapsed to the ground, and Demar turned to the others. Taking the saber into both hands, Demar brought it wide over his head before ... He paused. Something he hadn't accounted for was about to happen.
__"Very well." Alan replied to his wife over the comms. "But I truly don't know what to expect from this." And with that final comment the man mad some final adjustments, leveling out the starfighter's approach to the hangar mouth, his eyes scanning the hangar's largive viewports to get a visual grasp of what was going on inside as he drew nearer. He pulled back on the throttle of his fighter and the ship began to greatly reduce its speed and began to push forth through the Magcon field that kept the hangar's atmosphere safely within it. The silver and gold Arisnarian fighter was now moving at a snails crawl as it glided several meters off of the glossy deckplates that had been now marred with scorches and, bodies.
__The nose of the fighter turned to the starboard as Alan guided the craft based on his sensory perception through the Force, but he didn't need the Force's guiding hand much longer as his eyes saw, through the canopy, the form of the glowing red lightsaber. He'd not ever seen the saber of a Sith with his own two eyes, never the red hue had been before him in its bastardized manufactured form, a Jedi art the lightsaber was, and he saw the mutated art held in the mutated form of its mater and it was THEN that Alan suddenly had the memory... The memory of him tossing his own golden lightsaber, out to sea.
__A soft exhale escaped his lips as he hovered there in his starfighter, fifty meters from the Dark Jedi. His eyes blinked once, and his thumb flicked a switch on the top of his flight yoke... He depressed a button and the hangar was suddenly lit up with the sound and brilliant bright gold light of Arisnarian energy weapon fire, blast blast blast, one after another sent screaming toward Demar Khan's body.
__His reply was enough for now, and Antigone bit her tongue against any further reproach. There would be time enough for that later...She cut back on the throttle and her fighter lagged behind Alan's, falling in smoothly behind him as they approached the gaping entryway of the hangar. Subsequently, her view of the carnage that had already taken place was blocked, else she might have considered Alan's words more carefully. She held back, and watched as his fighter breached the containment field, following only after he'd made in completely inside. She had only a glimpse of what the hangar now contained before golden energy and the sparks of impact bathed the room in too-bright light. She saw bodies in that glimpse, and a dark figure which she knew to be their enemy at a glance. It wasn't the Force that sent an icy chill down her spine, but pure human instinct. It froze her in place for a moment, her ship behind and slightly to the side of her husbands.
__Demar had expected a reaction from the locals, of course, but he didn't expect to be shot at by an Arisnarian Interceptor. To make matter's worse, he wasn't prepared to return such attacks at a distance. As he felt them raining down, he cut his losses and called upon the Force as he kicked against the ground. Diving to a roll towards the Arisnarian ship, Demar seethed and glanced up to see a wing hovering above him. He didn't react, or jump up, or even rise. With a hiss of breath, he paused long enough to bring free the other lightsaber.
__With a snap of electrical energy, the second Lightsaber erupted within his hand, now each holding a seperate saber each. With a deep focus, Demar rolled backwards and came to his feet with the pair of Lightsaber's cutting into the nearest source of weapons fire. Engines behind the wings. Guns to the front of the vessel. Demar was in a tight spot, which only angered him. As he stood there, he let loose a loud growl that barely echoed the intense shrill of the engines burning before he threw his hands forward, a burst of telekinesis hoping to throttle the ship backwards into the other encroaching vessel. The cowards were using starships against him! He put what energy and hatred he could muster into the energy, letting it drain him of rage and power as he tried to overcome the ship's controls with his mind.
__Alan had taken a nearly literal shot in the dark when he opened fire with the ship's weapons against Demar, part of him had wanted to use a torpedo which would've been a much higher chance of success, but the resulting damage within the station... wasn't something he could bring himself to do... The dark jedi moved with surprising speed, even for a man who was capable of the same such speed, rare was it that he faced off against another of the same strengths. The starfighter he piloted turned out to be just too sluggish to respond and though Alan yanked back and to the port his fighter's underside was still struck by the onslaught of lightsaber attack and there was nothing it could do to stop it, the ship suffered immediate damage as it was then suddenly pushed back in the opposite direction it was going.
__An eerie groawn now filled the immense hangar, the Rogue's engines were groaning with powerful strain as the Force fought against manmade technology. Alan's starfighter slowly lost the battle, and it careened backward toward Antigone's, but it did not collide, instead it slipped beneath Antigone's Rogue fighter and slammed into the hangar deck, skidding back several meters until its Engines were shut off by the pilot who now knew he'd lost that battle with this dark Jedi. With an exhale, Alan reached out and pushed forward the small level that sent the Rogue's clear canopy sliding forward with a hiss and Alan stood up out of his teetering starfighter that was resting now on its belly without landing gear or repulsorlifts to hold it up.
__Alan rose up out of the cockpit, he was wearing his grey Jedi outfit, minus the heavy exterior robe.. and minus his jedi lightsaber. His eyes glanced up toward Antigone's fighter that was above and to the right of him, and then he looked down and made direct eye to eye contact with, the dark jedi.
__As Alan unleashed an onslaught of laser fire at their enemy, Antigone looked down at the controls with just a bit of trepidation. True to Alan's word, she'd never been much interested in these things, and had never bothered to learn more than the basic piloting of them. She wasn't certain if she wanted to experiment with the fighter's weapons systems with the innards of their station at risk, and any innocent lives that might remain out there...Yet she had thrown herself into this situation, butted herself stubbornly into it, really, and she would not be a hinderance. She looked up and was prepared to fire when she saw Alan's ship slipping back towards hers, the dark figure's hands raised, and she knew enough of the powers such as they wielded to know the power there without seeing it. She hastened to move her fighter, jerking the yoke back, and as Alan's impacted with hers, his craft slid beneath it, raising hers unsteadily as the repulsors strained to balance her wavering craft. She pulled her fighter upwards and banked it away as Alan's settled dead to hangar floor. A glance to see that he was alright, and then her eyes slowly tracked back toward Demar's visage. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the cockpit to Alan's fighter glide open, and she waited.
__Each of the Lightsaber's spun in unison before Demar, before he brought his hands together and twisted the form of the Lightsaber's interlocking pieces together. Were a face visable, it'd easily be seen that a wicked grin lit his features, the dark one again growling as the opffense waned. Now free, his hand snaked out and sent a focused bolt of the electric energy toward the form of the Emperor. He'd been told tales of the Arisnarian's, but he had not expected to meet up with one so capable. It was almost a welcome challange that filled him with defiance. He focused for a long moment, letting the electrical charge arc towards the Arisnarian in Grey, before he let it fade, his hand lowering lightly as the now double-bladed Lightsaber hummed in his left hand.
__Alan was still standing on the flight chair of his starfighter when the lancing tendrils of dark electricity were flung forth toward him and his eyes went shut, his mind fell silent as his hands rose up, bare palms faced toward the dark Jedi with fingers pointed upward and each pressed together. The dark electricity met the hands of the Emperor and a burst of sudden, and glaring, light filled the area around the Emperor, the electricity was met with resistance from Alan's hands, at first glance by a counter-use of the Force!
__And then Alan leapt, he flung himself from the starfighter's control pit and through the air, not performing any flashy acrobatics but simply moving out of the path of the lightning after having managed to avoid its damaging perils. His body moved through the air like a silent spirit, the baggy fabric of his grey robes fluttering and causing the only noise to come from him as he sailed through the chilled docking bay air and came down to a eased and precised landing now twenty meters from his starfighter, and several closer to Demar. Alan again brought his eyes to the dark jedi, his intense eyes, his face now full of concentration and an expression of not anger.. but annoyance.
__"You'll not find what you're looking for here, you foul spawn." He said quietly, knowing that the dark jedi could hear his words even with the distance between them somewhat greater than the typical conversation may require..
__Displays of the Force were neither common, nor spectacular when used in the Jansen household, and Antigone was loathe to look away as the the darksider conjured the violence of nature from seemingly nothing at all, lightning crackling from his very fingertips. Her eyes searched his figures for evidence of some weapon that might produce such a blast, but the only thing in his hands were the crimson bladed lightsabers. Inside the cockpit of the fighter, sounds were muted, and unreal but she watched as the lancing energy danced around him, not touching him, held at bay by his will. She gained a measure of respect for his ability, the Force having been something she often had scoffed at. Her confidance grew, and she felt certain Alan would be able to take this intruder. Because of this, she didn't intervene. With a dwindling whine, she killed the repulsors and set the fighter to the hangar floor, hastening to secure a holster around her thigh and to prepare herself for an exit from teh cockpit, her eyes never leaving the scene just beyond the heavy transparasteel dome.
__"What I seek is already on it's way." The hoarse voice called back with a icy demeanor. His voice was plagued with a kind of dull scratch that dragged it on, made it hoarse. The lightsaber transferred hands rhythmically as he awaited some kind of further attack or strike from the Emperor. "You're just the enetity to hold me until his arrival." He offered a cold glance to his side as he noted the second fighter once again, who seemed to make the right decision. "I seek the mysterious one. Vaelore, The Deceiver." He focused a moment as his posture changed - Demar sensing an almost familiarity among the man before him. He focused on invading the man's mind, trying to piece together who he was, and why he had power enough to stand against him. "He holds charm over the Princess." He was explaining his reason for being here in an almost kind of respect, before he glanced between them again. "But, that matters no longer." With a kick of his feet, Demar began to dart towards the Emperor, Lightsaber spining over head. As he grew closer to the Emperor's form, he brought the blade down in a dedicated vertical motion - An arrogant Demar going easy on the man, expecting no challange from the unarmed fool.
__Alan stood where he was on the deck of the hangar as he listened to dark jedi's vague explanation as to why he was here, leaving out any explanation as to why he'd left at least eight innocents dead, there would be no mercy for such heartless attrocity.. He heard the dark jedi speak the name of his daughter and though it tossled his mind internally, he did not show it externally. He wasn't familiar with the name, Vaelore, it meant nothing to him so there was nothing he could add there. And thats when the dark jedi charged him, defenseless from the attack, or so it would seem. Though it true that Alan Jansen's golden lightsaber, the Imperator Blade, lay now on the bottom of the Western Sea on the planet that he'd just departed from, the Emperor was never without a contingency when he hails from such a dangerous world...
__Alan stoodfast where he was and let the strike come... His left hand rose and his fingers spread apart as he reached out and met the growling crimson lightsaber beam, catching it in his hand? A burst of energy spread out around Alan's recieving mit, he'd indeed caught the lightsaber but only with the aide of the personal shield deflector designed specifically for him, the same thing that saved his life in the War one year ago.
__Alan caught the dark jedi's lightsaber and though it was with agreat strain on his muscles he held the blade back and cast a glare of pure defiance into the menacing dark jedi's mechanical face.
__"Leave now..." Alan said, his head shaking ever so lightly as he gripped the lightsaber in his forcefield protected hand. "I give you the option, but once."
__Antigone watched from the cockpit as the faceless enemy charged Alan, crimson blades held with menace as he came at Arisnar Emperor. She waited breathlessly for her husband to respond in kind, waited for the golden blade of his lightsaber to spring to life in defense; it never came. She couldn't see the energies at his command, had no way to feel them, but she watched in horror as Alan's hand came up to meet the deadly blade, and remembered at once that he had cast the Imperator Blade into the Athkarian ocean in a misguided attempt to prove his loyalty to her. She had known it for a fool's gesture at the time, but so much had happened between them since that point that it had receeded from her mind. Now, here they were, caught off guard and virtually unprepared against an enemy who had already slaughtered over a half dozen of their citizens.
__She regretted instantly that her over-confidance in the matter at hand had kept her from firing the fighter's weapons a moment before. Perhaps a barage from both she and Alan could have penetrated their attackers defenses. In many respects she knew Alan was right to have asked her to stay out of this fight: all of the time spent pummeling dummies in the gym, or firing at targets on the range couldn't help the fact that she was largely untried. She triggered open the canopy and ducked out from under it before it had come to a stop, dropping down on the other side of her fighter so that she could see her husband and the dark jedi from beneath the nose of the ship. Her westar-34 she kept at the ready, watching the two combatants and waiting for an opportunity she could help in this fight, and not hinder.
__The crimson blade let off a deepened hiss as it struck the force energy budding from the Emperor's hand. The man's hands remain, pressing the Lightsaber down into the Emperor's palm in a challange of strength. All the while a deepened stare eminates from behind the mask Kjan wears, his eyes burning into the man, filled with only hatred and rage. "So you are powerful. Foolish, but you shall make a worthy challange." The humm of the lightsaber continued before Demar pulled back quickly. As he took two steps back he managed to spin, bringing the lightsaber low to the ground as if to trip the Emperor.
__The movements were fluid, but not so much meant to attack the Emperor as get Demar a few feet away without Alan moving in to striking range. He knew the Emperor was powerful, obviously, but there was a wealth of untapped energy and Khan knew little of what the man was -truely- capable of. With a pair of locked eyes, Demar watched the man for a few moments as he considered his next move. Demar flipped the lightsaber into his left hand before his right rose, focusing. He began to channel energies from within, focusing on the Emperor as Demar. As he focused, a budding kind of aura built in the room, ominous and deadly - As Demar reached out to create a massive ammount of Darkside energy to feedback into the Emperor's mind. It was a test of will, and there was no telling who would win out.
__Alan couldn't truly grip the saber's blade, as such a thing was impossible, so when it was pulled from his grasp the energy around his hand allowed it free and thus the dark jedi was released to tumble at his own will again. The sweep for the Emperor's legs was well anticipated and the eldest Jansen was quick to avoid, a precised movement taking him a few paces back from Demar and a few to the side. As he leapt away the energy shield around Alan's hand, that had essentially done all the blocking, shimmered a bright blue and traced all the way up his right arm and then back down towards his hand again... It was a use of the Force at all, it was a shield generator of some design.
__As Alan's arm was traced over by the energies of the shield he side stepped toward his left, keeping his attentions on Demar. "Return to your ship." He warned again. "Leave this place, and you won't be tracked. Never return... and you won't be remembered. You are not welcomed here and you'll soon come to realize this if you do not leave now..."
__Antigone watched the exchange and kept the blaster leveled. Despite having little more than a personal shield to bring to this fight, she noted that Alan seemed relatively calm. Did he recognize this dark creature? Was this Marduk Rune, the Bando Gora's twisted leader? How much pain had that one caused to her family, both directly and indirectly? She listened to Alan's words and she felt a surge of hatred and frustration. After Natalya's kidnapping, after Alexander's failed attempt, many times Antigone had urged the destruction of that accursed cult and it's members and now Alan stood weaponless before the monster, giving him a chance to flee once again. She felt certain she wasn't going to let that happen. She adjusted her grip on the pistol and trained it on Demar, but her finger rested along side the smooth silver body of the pistol, and not on the trigger. She was waiting for the right moment, waiting to catch him in a moment of distraction. She'd seen what he'd done to Alan's fighter, she knew her aim would have to be true and she wasn't likely to be granted a second chance. No, she waited, not willing to squander the only venom she brought to this fight.
__Antigone went mostly unnoticed altogether, As the Dark being focused on sparring in the middle of the place with the Emperor. "I'm not going anywhere until I have his head." He scowled lightly as the Emperor seemed to not understand the situation at hand, or just didn't care for Demar's point of view. Demar's Lightsaber hadn't seemed to work so well the first time, and his mind didn't seem to overpower the Emperor's ... so he relied on another failsafe means of inflicting harm onto the Emperor. The Lightsaber rested in a defensive position, capable of being used at a moments notice while his strong arm again went out before him. With a crackle and spark of blue-white energy, Demar once again caused a wide fork of lightning to expel from his fingertips. "You only delay the inevitable. I will overpower you. If you stand between me and him, you will fall!" He demanded, an anger on his voice that seemed to feed into the lightning.
__Alan had no knowledge of who this 'him' was that this dark traveler was seeking in his home, it was clear that it wasn't he who was sought, perhaps Alexander then... But there wasn't much time to think upon it when he felt the Force coagulating around the attacker's presence in the growingly familiar form of that dark lightning. Alan's hands both rose once again to meet the stream of lightning and meet it they did, it poured into the protective ray shielding that was eminating around his arms.. He recoiled as even with the shield protecting the Force behind that lightning still stung, it was something he wasn't trained at defeating and it would toast him, if it weren't for his shield. His hands started to migrate backward towards his chest as the purple-white lightning was absorbed. Alan gritted his teeth and drew upon his own connection with the Force to summon a catch upon anything he could grasp with his mind. He found debris in the hangar, small tools, the weapons of the fallen guards, anything he could connect with...
__The odds and ends that he gathered up with the invisible hands of the Force began to fly one after another toward Demar, twirling, whirling and spinning through the air from all directions at high speeds..
__He? Inside the cockpit Antigone had not heard Khan mention the name of "Vaelore", else she would have recognized whom he sought immediately, and might have shared her knowledge with her husband. As it was, she listened to this stranger speak with a degree of confusion and uncertainty. He? What 'he' did he seek, if not Alan? If this Force user did not seek the Emperor or her daughter, then who? Her thoughts also turned towards her son, or perhaps Tai Jinn. Her thoughts were thus when she felt the fine hairs on her arms raise of their own will, and the air crackled with energy. She watched as this energy once again manifested in the form white hot lightning, striking once again towards Alan and flickering over his personal shield. Her heart lept in her throat and she saw that Alan had no ready way to counter this attack, and she wondered how well the Arisnar technology would hold out against such an onslaught. She knew it was time to take a chance, and she tensed her muscles, ready to move quickly if she had to. Her finger touched to the smooth curvature of the Westar's trigger and she sent three bolts in quick succession towards the darksider.
__The Lightsaber spun quickly in Demar's hand as he was forced to break off the Force attack on Alan. With a growl, each of the items flung at him were sliced at, the Lightsaber whirling in a cyclone of crimson strikes designed to keep the man's onslaught at bay. Then the woman managed to open fire at the same time ... And he was almost strong enough to prepare them. As anger forged his mind into a deadly weapon of it's own, the Lightsaber snagged one of the bolts and sent it towards the ground, before Demar spun and used the other end of the saber to send a bolt towards Alan. The third, thanks to the dual attacks on the dark one, managed to snag Demar in the shoulder. The immediate area around the blast burned away in an instant, revealing scortched metal and giving off only a slight burnt smell Demar could smell. "Agh. Fiendish Witch!" Demar scowled as he glanced towards Antigone -- And he realized what had been shown to him. Alan was strong, and the Arisnarians were clever craftsman of tech. With a growl, Demar reached up with his hand and grasped at Antigone with tendrils of the Force. "You could've walked away, fool. My quarrel is with Vaelore ... But now you've just -really- pissed me off." The harsh voice scratched as he tried to wretch Antigone towards them both, as if holding her by her throat. "Now you both die! Starting with -her!-", The wraith demanded, eyeing Alan again quickly, as if allowing him the choice. "Stand down ... I might let her live to bury you ..."
__Alan was relieved that his efforts, combined with that of his wife's fine aim, had managed to cease the onslaught of lightning before the Force energy depleted what was left of his shield's power source and as the blinding bright light faded from the dark lightning he was repelling he saw the incoming blaster bolt deflected toward him and he leaned his body backward, his left leg extending far outward as his torso fell back toward it and he narrowly avoided the blaster bolt that zinged past him.
__He was quick to right himself again and caught sight of the dark intruder's sudden interest in Antigone, he heard the words spoken by Demar and Alan recentered his being and exhaled softly out of his nose. He then snarled just slightly with annoyance and he called upon the Force yet again today, and he used it to give grace to his body's ability to run. The Arisnar Emperor burst from where he was like a bullet out of a projectile rifle, his legs moving one after another pushing him across the distance between he and Demar before an eye could blink.. and his right fist was already drawn back and subsequently delivered right into Demar's helmeted head, quickly followed in a blaze by his left, the shields surrounding his hands sparkling in a bright haze of brilliant blues and whites.. He would pummel this invader to death with his own two 'bare' hands if he had to, especially with his wife's safety on the line.
__Antigone had expected her shots to bring her unwanted attention, but her limited experience with the violent side of the Force prevented her from understanding just how significant that attention might be. The moment she felt the final blast jolt the pistol her in hand she began moving, launching herself to the side and tucking her shoulder in so that she made a controlled role to the right and came up on one knee. She pushed herself to her feet and felt cold muscles protest the sudden movement as she darted for the cover of Alan's downed fighter. She heard the blasts hit, at least one of them, and then she heard masked creature call out in anger and pain. A fierce swell of satisfaction welled up inside of her, an emotion which was capped off just as quickly as her body came to an abrupt and definate stop. It felt as though a wide band had been constricted around her throat, and her immediate thought was that somehow the Force user had managed to run the distance to her and was strangling her. Her hands went to her throat with a grimace to pry him away, and felt nothing but her own skin. The noose tightened and then began dragging her towards the masked being; a man, a monster, she didn't know. She heard him speak to Alan and she struggled to break free, but there was nothing to struggle against. Her boot heels squealed in protest as she set them firmly into the smooth metal landing surface, and then just as abruptly as it had begun...she was released, and her own struggles sent her stumbling to the floor, gasping and holding her throat. On her hands and knees she looked upwards to see Alan, his shield flashing with each impact as he assaulted their attacker. Her weapon was no longer in her hand, though she didn't remember dropping it. She looked behind her, saw it gleam cooly a few meters away. She dove towards it.
__Focused on the Force, the first blow was avoided with ease, the second was pushing it ... but the ones that came after landed where the Emperor wanted them to. Demar would almost be proud of the man's anger, his fierce passion. The blows began landing on Demar's various parts, and it caused a quickened loss of control on the woman. He gtroaned inwardly as things began to look bad. Metal or no, parts weren't meant to take punishment. Another failure on behalf of the Would-be Dark Lord ... Alan's pummels caused him to lose grip on the crin lightsaber, which dropped to the floor with delicate hisses, as the blades dissapeared. With a sharp realization and unwelcome pull back to reality, Demar came back into the fight with a growl. "Gah," Demar hissed before he waited for the right moment and started sending fists back Alan's way. They were in close quarters now, and Demar was only biding his time. Each hit send a chill of pain along what human parts remained. Each landed blow fueled his rage. The storm was building. Alan's own actions were fueling the Darkside in the room - And he was the Master, and it was all at his command. He awaited the right moment ... As he sensed them both. Demar was doing what he could to not get hit, while moving in such a way the trap would snap. He could already see it building in his mind ... She would go for the gun, she would fire ... and it'd be over ...
__There was a level of anger in Alan that was being released, he'd been through his own kinds of hell over the past year and when the light had suddenly begun to return to the dark tunnel he'd been treading it was suddenly blocked off by the menacing form that is this towering dark creature before him. He -was- angry, he was angry at existance and he was taking it out on the one who was more than an easy outlet. His teeth were gritted and he was releasing an relentlress barage of attacks against Demar, his fists were swinging one after another, the blue energy trailing behind them like shooting stars as he kept punching away at Demar, pushing the dark lord in what he thought was his own direction.
In the distance, outside the many massive viewports that were bathing the flight deck row in the twin sunlight of the Arisnar stars, a ship was approaching the station, another ship, but this one considerably larger than the ones that Alan and Antigone had arrived on, and this one carried the clear presence of the one whom Demar was seek, the clear presence of Demar's former master.
__Antigone slid across the metallic hangar floor and then dashed the few remaining feet on hands and knees. She slapped her hand down onto the pistol grip and whirrled...her weapon took aim, but Alan was to near the darksider to get a proper shot; she trusted her weapons skill, but only so far. Had he said Vaelore? The thought came disjointed, and she wasn't sure she'd heard it at all. Certainly it had been something similar, and not that. -That- made less sense than anything! Her body was twisted at an awkward angle, and since there was no quick shot to be had, she righted herself, rising to one knee, her left foot planted. Her heart was pounding almost painfully, but she scarce noticed it as her eyes locked on the two, hoping for another chance. "Come on, Alan..." she pleaded with him under her breath, "Just give me a little room..." ALan fought with a ferocity Antigone had never seen, his expression foreign and chilling. Many times had the concept of 'dark side energy' been explained to her, but never had the contrast seemed so clear, or the danger of it so understandable. And yet, Alan appeared to be winning, and it was the anger the fueled him. Her fingers flexed on the grip, and the metal felt slick in her grasp, her palms sweaty. "Come on...end this..."
__Demar hissed coldly, sensing what was near. "You've taken too much of my time, foolish one." The anger had built to a boiling point, empowering Demar for the fight to come. He threw his weight into Alan quickly, before he brought up both hands to send a Force wall towards Alan that would throw him back. Alan was deep within, but he suspected the rage had made him foolish. Demar suspected he would quickly charge back into his form. With a raise of his left hand, the Lightsaber twitched, before it leapt into Demar's grasp and one side of the hilt erupted into a blade of crimson light, as before. It was brought overhead, before Demar brought it down in a cold slash towards the Emperor. He wanted this over. he wanted to meet Vaelore on unhindered ground, without being weakened by some fool.
__The ship outside the massive station drew in on its final approach, its crimson hull was gleaming in the suns light that streaked unhindered through the darkness of space, the massive freighter made its way in through the magnetic field, it moving much slower now as it had to steady itself into the hangar bay, meter after meter of its crimson hull sliding into the flight deck.
__Alan was shoved back by the sudden blocking wall and it sent his arms momentarily whirling as his booted feet quickly stepped for balance that he was swift to find, he didn't notice any newly arriving ship as his mind was fully focused on the form of the dark intruder. He did lunge back at the darkside Menace immediately, but he saw the overhead swipe coming and he quickly countered with a powerful shove of both of glimmering shielded his hands in an upward thrust to send the growling lightsaber beam away from his body and back up the way it had come, and in this same move the Arisnar Emperor spun himself around and threw up his right leg, it cocked and released, the bottom of his boot aimed for the face of Demar's helmet in what he believed would be a powerful and precise attack..
__Demar's 'wall' was all that she needed, and as Alan stumbled backwards Antigone acted, sending a barage of pistol fire at Demar, her Westar-34 defiantly before her. This time, though, she was more intent on willing the bolts to land than moving herself out of harms way. She held her breath, every muscle tensed with anticipation, hoping that one would land, hoping that she could give Alan the edge he needed to finish this fight. Her back was to the hangar's mouth, but she heard the ship approach. 'A troop transport', she thought, 'thank the Suns!' A skilled fighter this creature might be, but she doubted very much he'd be able to dodge a platoon or two of Arisnar's finest.
__The kick was seen even before Alan was sent backwards, and Demar acted appropriately. The blaster fire suddenly opening up on Demar caused a problem, the dull throb of the Lightsaber swinging wildly as he attempted to keep in time with both of the opposing forces, his attention diverted. Thanks to the budding power of darkness that filled the room, however, Demar was much better off then normal. It was as though new life bled into him as each of the bolts hit the lightsaber in turn. The first shot went wild, arcing through the air to slam into a pipe jutting from the edge of the wall. The second bounced back towards the form of Antigone's hip. The next bolt was also deflected, slamming into Antigone's arm as Demar ran out of time...
__The kick came as he had seen, Alan's form near perfect for the assault. Demar ducked only a few inches to the side, however, which resulted in the man's foot going just wide. Demar's own hand came up to assist in making sure it didn't harm him, before Demar deflected it back to the ground, as if standing Alan back up. Pushing off of the weight of Alan's leg, the second side of the Lightsaber came to life with a hiss. As Demar spun, aided by the momentum of the push, the Lightsaber rose to catch the Emperor off guard, and with a sickening hiss of the lightsaber rendering flesh, the Crimson blade appeared through the Emperor's back in a macabre display of victory; It was over. In their proximity, Demar could hear Alan's breathing, and he leaned close and said, "By your blood, The Sith will return." He paused for only a second, before eyeing Antigone. "Time to die, Emperor Jansen." As if he hadn't already treaded enough up the victory over the Emperor, his right hand again was thrust forward, sending the Emperor's body towards the form of Antigone, by way of the Force. Now placated, he seemed to let his body tense in a kind of victorious meditation. The end of Alan's life was not what completed Demar's objectives. In fact, it was only the beginning ...
__Alan had only caught a blaze of motion in front of him as Demar had done his acrobatics to deflect the lightsaber blasts and in the time it took for that haze to form and deform, it felt like his own body was moving in its attack at a decreased level of speed. He flung past Demar, his foot missed Demar, his foot was shoved back from Demar and he landed solidly on the ground and turned toward the dark figure, his back to the crimson Starship as it was lowering down to the deck many meters behind him. And then it struck him, most literally, it wasn't painful, it was, shocking, he knew what had happened, he could feel it in the Force, he could feel the perfect hole cut through him and the presence of a beam of energy that was forged by the darkness within the one before him, the one wielding the twisted weapon that was run through his chest.
__Though Alan heard the words, his mind was dazed and they only meant small things to him, like whispers in yoru ear when you're mind is clouded with those moments just before sleep. His mouth was hanging open, his eyes were a trembling distant shade and then his body was propelled backward, his arms and legs lifelessly before him as he soared through the air, his spine had been severed, his body was no longer his to control, its numb form hit the cold deck plates and slid near silently until he collided with Antigone's form, his eyes open, his body entirely motionless, crumpled upon the floor.
__The crimson starship had set down, spouts of white exhaust shooting from the small ports upon its underbelly as a sudden gust errupted from beneath it and its gangplank began to lower..
__Antigone saw the first of her blaster bolts intercepted by the red-bladed saber, saw the results as it hit stray of its target in a hail of sparks, rather than tracing its path their: the second two bolts hit her nearly simultaneously. She hadn't seen them coming, but her body jerked with pain as the first landed on her her right hip, the second on her left shoulder as she dropped her arm, lowering her guard. The pain was so sudden and indescribably that she couldn't have said whether she was hit once, or a dozen times over; it was all-consuming as her nervous system attempted to cope with teh overwhelming stimuli. The hangar faded from view, dimming behind a haze of red pain. She must have cried out, but she later had no recollection. She was rolling on the deck in an instant, her left arm clenched to her side, her right hand pressed to the shoulder wound. There was nothing but pain for a heartbeat, for a minute, for an hour? There was no counting the time. She didn't see what had happened to Alan, and there was no connection through the Force to warn her. THe fog began to clear, muted sounds, distant, incomprehensible. Someone screaming, a girl. SHe was screaming for Alan. With a sudden rush her consciousness came back to Antigone with an almost heightened awareness. She was on her back and the pain was unbearable. Her stomach roiled with the agony. She smelled burnt flesh, her own, and she tasted bile. She heard the girl shout again; Natalya, it was Natalya. Her voice was high, hysterical...what was she screaming? Antigone struggled to move, and pain lanced down her left side, her right. She flailed her right arm out, unable to move her left without blacking out again. It hit something, warm, and solid, rough fabric....
__"NoooOOO....!" Natalya's voice rose beyond comprehension, that single word of protest twisting and distorting into a high pitched scream of agony. She had seen it from the bridge of the ship, had seen the lightsaber pierce her father's body. "DaaAAAaad!" She was lept from the lowering ramp before it had touched down, stumbling, falling to one knee.
__Alan's head was pressed up against the form of his writhing wife who hadn't even realized he was there yet, his eyes were glazed over and though he was conscious he was barely aware of his surroundings, he couldn't hear Natalya, he didn't know that he was pressed up against Antigone, he just knew he was entirely numb, he couldn't feel -anything- as though he was just a detached head, his cheeks were warm, he could feel that... they were burning up, but the rest was, gone. He had no knowledge of what was occuring now.
__Only steps behind Natalya were a pair of lightly scutffed black boots and around those boots waved the form of a midnight longcoat that came to a sudden halt when the wearer reached the bottom of the gangplank and watched through crystalline eyes as Natalya rushed to the forms of her parents, he saw Antigone, writhing but alive, he saw Alan... all but dead. HIs eyes narrowed, his pale lips snarled and his crystal shaded eyes slid across the room to the form of the distant, but familiar form. Vaelore Vosa stepped out from beneath the ship, one foot, then the next. His punishing gaze that rested beneath this pure white spiked hair was stare death straight toward Demar.
__"Khan!" He shouted, his grating voice both unfamiliar, and familiar to Demar. "What have you done!" He demanded, his voice bellowing through the hangar aided by the dark power of the Force, it filled the air and reverberated off the bulkheads.
__There was little flash, little care for those who were cut down. They mattered nothing to him. The Lightsaber remained active in his hands as he turned towards the ship that had arrived. he waited, staring it down before scowling as the girl came out. He had grown weary of the girl for many reasons, assured that she was mostly to blame for Vaelore's indiscretions. "There are no secrets between us, Rune." He shouted, demanding against the bulky form of the freighter and the man that appeared.
__"You brought me here. Now you'll meet your fate, and die with the Blood of Emperor Jansen on your hands." Alan was needless to Demar's plans. Had Alan allowed him his business, Demar would dissapear and elave Arisnar be forever. he hadn't wished to seek out any of the Arisnar children, or their families, or their people. One small system mattered little when the rest of the galaxy laid at your feet. "Vaelore Vosa, Marduk Rune ... It is time for our destiny to be decided." He was prepared. He was imbued with strength from the horror that transpired. The death of Alan, the pain and fear that swelled. "You've lost. No longer will I stand by and play your puppet." He held up the Lightsaber, challanging Rune. "Demar Khan is dead, Rune. Your would-be line has failed, your Empire gone. All that is left is the cheap affection of a woman you've deceived. Let it be known henceforth, the entity that destroyed you was not the frail form of Demar Khan, your Servant, but ..." He paused, sneering internally as his muscles and parts tensed with a kind of rigid pride. "Darth Nihilus."
__Everything seemed too bright, too loud...Antigone managed to get her uninjured arm beneath her and lifted herself a few inches off the ground. Why was Natalya screaming? What was she doing here? Nothing made sense, her mind moving so slowly to take in details, to comprehend anything beyond the pain. "Alan?" she gasped as she tried to sit up. Something about Alan; Natalya was screaming for her father. "Alan?" She felt the rough cloth beneath her fingers, and didn't understand. She clenched it in her fist and slowly turned her head in that direction. The pain was too much, too overwhelming...she needed to help...Alan...the darksider. She stared at teh body next to her, uncomprehending. Suns above...the pain...
__Her eyes traced up the body and finally lited on the face of her husband, the Emperor, Alan Jansen, rigid, unmoving. She gasped again, a strangled cry, and she thrashed towards, somehow managing to turn herself so that she was on her side, propped on one arm. "Alan!" she cried, her voice rising in panic. He looked dead...he was dead..his eyes were open...she seized his limp hand, still warm. No...not dead. She could see life in his eyes.
__Natalya stumbled to a knee, but she was just as quickly up. She was ready to dash to her father's side, but found herself mere meters from the dark jedi, her father's attacker. She came up short, despair and fear warring for control of her body. Things were happening too fast. Not an hour before she had been asleep, then Vael had woken her, urgently, practically tossing her from the bed and throwing clothes in her direction. He had spoke of an attack on the holo-news, he'd not explained much, just insisted they go at once. Now she was here, and it still didn't make sense. She stared at Demar like prey at the predator, and she felt her father's life Force ebb. She started to make a move, to dart past him, there was no time to waste on fear, and then....he spoke.
__She was held in a kind of Thrall as a situation unfolded before her that was absolutely incomprehensible in it's magnitude and scope. She stared, dumbly, though something was growing in her mind that couldn't be ignored; a realization. "Vael?" came her voice, trembling, uncertain. She turned towards him, confusion writ in her every feature. The dark jedi had called him out...and Vaelore had responded. Vaelore Vosa. Marduk Rune. She stared, unwillingly absorbing the words the two spoke in exchange.
__Alan saw a shaddow pass over his blurred vision and it took a few moments for that shadow to take form and for that form to take realization in his edging mind. It was Antigone, her face, so beautiful he thought. He wanted to reach up and touch her face, but his hand never appeared, his hand never showed up before his vision, his mind tried to move his hand, but he never saw it come to touch her... She was hurt, pained, he could see it in her face.. He knew now what was happening, the time hadn't been but seconds, he was dying. "Anne.. Anna.." He said, all he could say, using infrequent forms of Antigone's shortened name to speak to her, all he could muster.
__Vaelore's intense gaze needn't wander from Demar as he heard the dark murderer's egotistical ranting reply. He also knew that Natalya had even paused in her rush to her parent's aide and had heard every word of what was said, his cover was now gone, in one swift-swoop, Khan had taken everything away, he'd changed the lives of millions forever, but all Vaelore could think of was his work, his hard work, destroyed.
__His pale blues eyes shifted toward Natalya who was looking at him and it pained him to see the confused expression upon her face, pained... and enraged...
__Vaelore's hands came out and with them, leaping across the chilled hangar air were the two glittering forms of his silver, ornately crafted, knives from his belt. They slapped into each of his hands and he spread his arms, spread his arms wide to his sides... The glinting silver blades of the knives silently launched off of their handles and the air was once more broken by the snap-hiss and hungry growl of two, twin, lightsaber beams.
__Vaelore let out a massive bellow and suddenly, spawning at his feet, orange-yellow flames errupted out of thin air and began to dance across the hangar floor. The flames ran rampant across the shining black deck toward Demar, four seperate trails of fire, eating oxygen as they seered away from Vaelore.. And Vaelore Vosa, hellspawn of the Bando Gora, charged Darth Nihilus, his twin crimson sabers roaring behind his fluttering leather longcoat.
__The girl was noted with only minimal care, as she proved inconsequential to him. Barely trained, he would be able to overcome her if she made the foolish choice. The wraith's eyes remained on Vael calmly, though a budding power remained with him. It wouldn't be over until Vael's entire hand of cards were revealed to the world. He would suffer the feeling of having everything ripped from him, as others had. The day of reckoning had come, and Vael's game of chess ended just as it had started - A Glorious coup. "Retribution..." He whispered silently before Vael reacted.
__A true test of his will, Nihilus was now pitted against the Master that had fostered his former self for years. He attributed most of his worldly knowledge to the tutoring within the Bando Gora, and now he would be forced to make it real. To stand down his once-father, and become the Master.
__It started with a simple gesture of his hand, causing enough of a resistance against Vael's firey whim that his place was firm and safe. As he noticed the charge, he planted himself fully into the stance he took, before he twisted his hands and prepared for the daunting task of besting the man. He counted down the seconds in his mind, knowing when Rune would strike. Where Rune would strike. In his meditation on Korriban Nihilus had not only learned secrets of the Sith cult, but in his mind he ran over the many forms and postures of the once mentor. With the Lightsaber held horizontally in front of him, he formulated a plan of attack to challange Vael's swordsmanship. He held the advantage of study, dedication, and surprise. He was calm, but powerful, relying on the anger within him to feed his abilities - Not control them. He wouldn't lose.
__Antigone gasped for air, heard a sob escape her throat instead, and realized she was crying. "Alan..." she answered him, her voice soft. Her right arm held her upright, and she attempted to move her left, attempted to bring her hand to his face, but the pain stopped her. She grimaced, her entire body wincing in pain and she doubled over slightly, her eyes squeezing shut for just a moment as her world threatened to be replaced by the dark fog once again. "Suns...Alan...what's happened?" she panted, and struggled to sit up. She managed, and when she was safely upright she gingerly reached out to him with her unwounded arm. Her palm she settled against his cheek, cupping the side of his face lovingly. If he'd been in any state to notice, her palm would have felt terribly cold against his skin, clammy. Her face was ghostly pale, her expression dazed, distant. She was having great difficulty focusing. Her tears flowed freely, sliding from her face, falling in her hair, on the deck, on Alan's clothing. Her body shuddered with a suppressed sob. "Oh gods, ALan, hold on. Don't leave me. A doctor...there'll be a doctor here soon."
__Across the hangar floor, not distant, but worlds apart, Natalya's hell got a little worse. She met Vael's gaze, and for that moment, time stopped completely. There was no denial there, no explanation from him, no refusal; wordless acceptance of what the dark jedi had just said. Vaelore Vosa, not Raithwen. That name meant nothing to her. Marduk Rune. That meant everything. She might have stood there forever if Vael had not broken his stare away from her own. She watched numbling as he drew his crimson blades, not capable of horror, or fear, or anger. Her knees hit the solid metal of the deckplating, and it jolted her enough to bring back some sense of what had happened a moment before. She struggled to tear her mind away from the betrayal even as Vaelore Vosa conjured flame from the Force; she knew it all to be irrefutable truth. She knew that her father lay dying. She pushed to her feet, stumbling, weaving, nearly falling again. She forced the fight behind her from her mind. It didn't matter now. She moved towards where her father lay, where her mother huddled next to him.
__Vaelore wouldn't meet Natalya's last gaze before she broke off toward her fallen father, his anger was too great for him to focus on anything but the hellspawn that had come to their doorstep today. The meters between the two dark wielders were cut in mere seconds, as both Vaelore, and his summoned streaks of flame roared across the hangar floor, the orange-yellow blaze of flame casting new shadows across the Flight Row along with that of the crimson hue of his own twin sabers. His path was simple, straight at the one whom he trained. His warhead pace ended with a suddenly flurry of lightsaber attacks. Right, then left, then right, then left, one swipe of red beaming power followed by a relentless blow from the next. The fire that he was conjuring spread around he and Demar in a wide circular shape, it branched out in seemingly unorganized patters, tendrils of fire spreading across the floor and now going up the bulkheads, the were surrounded by it, in the fighting pit of darkside flame, Vaelore Vosa bellowed another echoing bout of anger.
__The words that were spoken to him from the mouth of his wife went with mediocre understanding. Alan could easily sense her sadness, see her sadness and feel it, he knew what she was saying, though it took longer than normal for it to sink into his brain. "You.. you haf, to, to, go. Its n, not, sa, safe." He said, his voice slurred, his left eyelid was fluttering beyond his control, he let out a soft cough as Natalya's visage suddenly came to him, he saw her, his eyes flickering from Antigone now to his daughter. "You, haf. to, find.. safety. Na, Na... Natal..a." He coughed again and a trickle of dark blood appeared on the left corner of his lips.
__The crimson bladed lightsabers were prepared quickly as Vael made a charge on Nihilus. He could feel the heat of the flames licking at his skin, but with a focus of his own will ... they parted before reaching him. The Lightsaber twirled quickly over his head as he waited for Vael to close the distance. Vael was a slave to his own anger, now, and he had not since realized that it was that very darkness that set Nihilus free.
__The barrage of attacks came quickly, Nihilus' cybernetic form straining to keep up as anger fed into both of the Darkside warriors. A cackle of energy met each cross of their swords, the strength of each blow pushing onto the other to force submission. The fire cascaded their form in a light mist, as heat billowed to the sky and Natalya, Antigone ... the dying Alan, were all forgotten. There were only the two foes, battling it out. Nihilus soon went on his own defensive, the acrobatic twists and spins of his Lightsaber encroaching upon Vael's position ... Before Nihilus spoke again. "You may kill me, Rune. But I'm taking you to Hell with me."
__The clash of lightsabers behind Natalya threatened to tear away what shred of sanity she still clung to and it took every ounce of willpower within her to turn her mind away from one terrifying truth: -He- was Marduk Rune. She could -feel- it now so plainly that she wondered that she hadn't figured it out on her own. The dark energy in the room radiated, resonated within her. A voice screamed hysterically inside her head and if the sense of her father's injuries hadn't resonated through the Force, she might have succumbed to the darkness herself.
__ He was not far away; her mother's back was too her, and she could not see his face. She was aware only of turning her back on the Dark Siders' fight, and then she was kneeling at her father's side, opposite of Antigone, the time intervening lost to her. She looked at his face and her eyes slid slowly down his body; there was a lingering stink to the air, ozone and burnt flesh. She reached out a hand and moved asside the rough cloth of her father's tunic, revealing singed hole in the cloth, and the wound below. THe lightsaber blade had cauterized the wound, making it look deceptively clean, simple. She wasn't fooled. A pervading calm took ahold of her, irrational but self-preserving. With careful deliberatness she concealed the wound once again. She didn't look at Antigone once as her eyes traveled back to her father's pale face. Her hand went to his. "There's no where to go." she replied to him, dazed. "This is my fault..." It sounded like a revelation to her, her voice horrified, wondering. She repeated, her voice trembling, "This is my fault...."
__Antigone leaned close to Alan as he spoke, her tears falling on his face, her nose pressed to his cheek. She didn't notice Natalya approach. "Alan...no, Alan...shhh..." she choked out between her sobs, "We can't move you. I'm not leaving you Alan. Hold on!" She looked up at her daughter then, suddenly, hearing he speak. "Natalya, get a medic!" Her own body was increasingly sluggish to her command, the pain overwhelming all but her fear.
__Alan felt his wife's face press against his as his eyes were looking up toward his dazed daughter's face, he was comforted by their presence but fearful for their safety. He wanted to grab them and take them away, get them far away from here, he wanted to rush them onto a ship and fly off of the station, to let someone else deal with the threat who'd done this to him, he wanted to... move. But he couldn't, nothing was functioning below his neck to his knowledge, the detachment from his own body was entirely surreal, like being frozen through in a block of ice spared but your eyes. He heard his wife's words, pleading their daughter to find a medic, but he had enough recognition to know the blow that he'd taken was a fatal one.
__"Natala." He said, slurred, his eyes focused on her. "I, I'f faith, in you. I know you will, will, do what is right. T-tell your broth-ther and sister..." He trailed off, his eyes fluttered closed as coldness set in, but he fought it, as hard as his numbing mind could. It was draining out of him, he could feel it going, like a glass of water dropped to its side. "I, love." His eyes opened again and he looked over to his wife, the trickle of blood on the corner of his mouth gathered and suddenly dropped down his cheek toward the ground.
__"Anne.. Anna.." He said her name again, in his mind he didn't see her as she was now, sad and weeping, he saw her face from some twenty years ago, he saw it like it was the very sun-shining day that they first met. A memory that had never left his consciousness. "I, I'm..." His voice faded to a whisper. "S-s-sorry.." His said to her, as his vision of her faded, her face growing smaller and darker. His eyes did not close, but all movement left him, all energy left, all life left him, cold and gone.
__And many meters across the hangar the battle continued to literally rage onward. The fire was growing in height and continuing to burn with a Force-fueled ferocity, the flames were peaking at nearly six feet in height, enclosing the two combatants within. Their silhouettes where barely visible through the fire but the rapid bursting of white light as saber struck against saber dwarfed even the brightness of the fire that was crawling its way up to the high ceilings of the flight deck row.
__"Look around you, -Darth Nihilus-." Vaelore spoke, jumping backward toward the perimeter of flame, his black longcoat swirling at his ankles. "We've already REACHED Hell!" His pale lips snarled again upon his fire-illuminated skin and his twin sabers spun with a growling madness at his sides as he leapt the distance between them and began to assault the Dark Lord once again. His former pupil's skills had grown since they'd parted ways, the proclaimed Sith was countering him where he otherwise knew he could've beat the former student, but it was no matter, a challenge he'd long sought even if it was with a foe he'd not expected it against. He spun in a 360-degree spin, right lightsaber striking high while the left came in low, each roaring through the air with a hungered anger all their own.
__The blade spun away as Vael receeded towards the glames. He stood parallel to the man, the Lightsaber held at rest horizontally, aiming length-wise towards Vael as he spoke. he could feel the man's rage, and it would've brought a smile to his face under any other circumstances. "Feel it, Rune. Your world, crumbling around you. The Bando Gora are lost to you. your precious Natalya, lost to you. Where will you go now?" He mocked, driving the bitter stake of hatred through Rune's already blackened heart.
__As Vael returned to continue the blows, Nihilus was again prepared. The blade spun into his hand again, as he brought the saber up to block Vael's initial assault. The saber was then brought around, blocking both a second left and right shot before Demar brought the Saber overhead to come down onto Vael. "I can release you. Bring you peace. Rest." He chimed coldly, before Nihilus spun, bringing out his foot to kick Vael in his left kneecap, the full force of the partially cybernetic body thrown into it, but kept low so that a miss wouldn't throw him too far off balance.
__Natalya was crying, though she didn't know it. His hand already was like ice and she could feel him slipping away. She tried to hold him there with all her will, hoping that conviction would make up for lack of training, that she could somehow deny Nature itself...but the will of the Force was it's own, and Alan Jansen's wound was fatal. As a child she had stood on the beach of Athkaria and filled her hands with sand, watching as it slipped through her fingers and was carried away by the wind. Her father's life slipped through her hands now, and no matter how feverently she held it, it flowed from her grasp. "Don't go!" she pleaded, her voice barely above a whisper, her tone so childlike, so helpless it was as if she were that 8 year old on the beach once again. "I don't know what to do...I can't do this without you..." And yet, even as she spoke the words, she knew he could not hear her. She knew that she had lost her chance...that he would never hear her say how sorry she was, or how much she loved him, that she hadn't left because of him, that none of this was his fault, and that she was so, so sorry for everything that she had done...She shuddered violently as his death sent a ripple through the Force, tearing a whole in the very fabric of her reality and leaving a gaping emptiness where her Father had been only moments before. She hunched over him, her face buried against his shoulder, and she sobbed.
__Antigone could not feel the moment of his passing and she clutched at his hand in desparation. "Alan?" she spoke weakly, squeezling the lifeless fingers in her own. She dropped his hand and reached for his shoulder, shaking him once. "Alan, no..no. No....Alan..." Only then did she notice the rivulet of dark blood that trickled from between his lips. Frantically she wiped it up with her fingers, staring at it with horror and revulsion. She moved suddenly, both hands seizing his face, "Alan!" she screamed through clenched teeth, her voice harsh. She screamed again, a wordless howl of anguish as the pain of her wounds and the pain of her loss overwhelmed all else.
__Vaelore's counter sent yet another gleaming burst of bright white rebutal from saber to saber clashing. He shoved Demar's aside and spun out and away from the cybernetic construct. "You know as well as I, that there's never any peace, even in -death-." Both of his sabers growled, almost starving to taste living flesh, at his sides, pointed away from him as the fires created and held in existances by his mind raged behind him and around them.
__Across the hangar, beyond the greaving Jansen's a set of large blastdoors shun with spewing sparks, and though Vaelore's eyes were but upon Demar, he knew what it meant. "They're coming for us." He told his former learner. "The entire Arisnar legion. Their contingent of royal guards have arrived, the eldest Jansen boy has arrived. They're breaking in, to KILL both you... AND I.." He started to walk towards his right, moving in a stand-off around Demar, curving along the edge of the firewall. "You've defeated me, Khan. I will not run from what fate has given me today, here, with these people. Board your ship! Take your victory here... Or perish in these flames with me!" He shouted with a renewed anger.
__Nihilus could feel it. The final death of the Emperor of Arisnar. Not in a massive battle. Not at the hands of an epic enemy. He died at the hands of a man who had little care for him. With nothing more then a whimper, his fate was sealed, and the darkness in the room only grew as their tears and solemn anger, or fear, filled the depths of the hangar. "Feel that, Rune? This is the Hell you've crafted for us. You made me what I am. You made us all. Now you'll die for us."
__He was prepared to strike again, when he also felt what Rune was speaking of. He knew it to be true. One side of the Lightsaber disactivated with a hiss, as the other was pointed towards Rune. "So be it." He knew Vael would likely escape. It was only fitting for a man that taught Khan nearly everything he knew -- But there was enough victory on Nihilus' plate already. Even if Vael were to escape, he'd be only a fraction of what he once was. That would be enough to please Leah for now. The red light faded as the second blade dissapeared and Nihilus made a leap over the edge of the flames. He was already at a dead run as he landed, heading towards the ship. As he neared it, he felt time nearly pause as he focused on Natalya's now frail form. He eyed her closely in what seemed like the few moments that passed, before he hit the boarding ramp and dissapeared. It'd be over soon. He'd be gone. He'd have won.
__Natalya wanted to lose herself in grief, to give herself over to the terrible emotions she was feeling until every rational thought had vanished from her mind. She could have done so easily but for the sudden cry of pain, physcial and emtional, that she felt from her mother. Her mother had been injured in the fight as well, and as Natalya raised her head to gaze on her mother's crumpled form, she felt an inward steadiness. Her face was a mess of tears, her eyes red and swollen as she gently laid aside her father's hand and rose to her feet. She looked around them with calm eyes as she shuddered to breath in and out, to regain a normal rhythm. She was mildly surprised to see the hangar in flames, bright fire springing from nothingness along the station's metal floor and bulkheads. Again her mind screamed with madness that she could barely keep at bay; she would have to deal with this reality eventually, but for now, there was her mother. Either of the Dark Siders could fall at any minute, and Natalya knew that if Demar Khan were the victor, her life, and her mother's would surely be forfeit. What to expect from Rune...she shuddered and turned her gaze away, moving about the cold body to her mother's side. She knelt next to her. "Mom?" she spoke softly, but her face was near mothers. Antigone's body was trembling, and as she placed her arm across her shoulders, around her body, she could feel the discordance in her Mother's living energy, in the Force that surrounded her. "Mother...we have to get you out of here. You need to lie down..." She reached out and took her mother's hand, and was shocked to find that it was quite nearly as cold as her father's. She felt her heart race with panic as she thought that she could lose her mother now as well, if she didn't act quickly. Antigone did not respond, her body wracked with shuddering sobs, headless of her own physcial pain. Somewhere behind her Natalya heard the sound of their salvation, the blastdoors shuddering to open. She was afraid that once the Guard arrived, they would have blaster fire to contend with. She needed to get her mother to shelter. Gathering her strength, she closed her eyes and reached out to the Force. Rarely had she used the Force on another living being, but she reached out now to her mother and tried to still her anguish enough that she might aknowledge her daughter.
__Antigone's pain was as much emotional as physcial, and it blended together until there was nothing -but- pain, her wounds seemingly only a manifestation of her grief. She clung to the body of her husband and knew nothing more until a sudden feeling of calm washed over her, so foreign and unwelcome that she lifted her head in confusion. It was enough. She became aware all at once of how cold Alan's hand was in her own, but also of Natalya pressed against her, her arm tight around her shoulders...and then of the pain of her injuries. She gasped and sagged against Natalya and felt bile rise in her throat. She tried to speak and couldn't, her muscles wouldn't respond.
__Vaelore watched the self proclaimed Dark Lord exit through the flamewalls and flee toward his ship, the white haired dark jedi spun around and followed with his eyes to see the 'Sith' pause at the foot of his ship and look toward the huddled Jansen's. He took a single step forward in responsive action before Demar moved again, darting up into his ship as was the smart choice to take. Vaelore's chest, rose and fell as he drew in a deep breath of air being heated by the flames around him, his eyes fell toward the deck then and he stared down at a mirror image of himself upon the obsidian deck plating, reflecing his shadowy clothed form, crowned with a mess of pure white spikes, and clutching two weapons of gleaming crimson darkness. He closed his eyes and stood then, encircled in his own broiling inferno.
__The sparks continued to shoot out from the seperation in the blastdoors, but then stopped, and for a second there was nothing. But that nothing was soon replaced by the thrusting form of a brilliant blue beam. The brilliant blue of Alexander's lightsaber. The durasteal around the beam came to life, lighting up from solid metal into molten liquid. The beam was thrust downward and the blastdoors split apart, the lock had been broken and the doors slid back into their bulkheads.. and the guards rushed in, their royal blue cloaks umistakable with the brown cloaked form of Alexander between the onrush, his sabeter held in both his hands, his eyes scanning the carnage within.. Scanning until they came upon their target, the man inside the flames, holding the twin lightsabers. "There!" Alexander's voice boomed, his face a collection of tightened muscles. "Destroy him!" He ordered the guards.
__The entourage of guards fell in line, one by one, some going down to a single knee, the others taking up position behind that front line, each of the guards wielding the ranged weapon of the Royal Guardians, the Darkplasma Bow. They each readied their weapons, the drawstrings coming back into taught firing position, one by one by one, and then they fired, at Vaelore.
__Nihilus made it into the depths of the ship quickly - He almost wanted to stop and take care of the loose ends. Or take a hostage. He was troubled by the thought that he'd never make it out of the system with only conventional ship systems. "Get us off the ground. I want out of this system. Be it on your head ..." He demanded, growling as he closed the blastdoors. He was pleased to know they'd be too busy killing Vael to immediately come after him, so he'd been bought a bit of time. With a groan, the ship's engines came online and the ship lurched with a creak. The wraith was wasting no time in tryint to get out without a scratch. He moved for the ships main area. This would take all the magic the sorceror could muster to survive this. He kneeled, silently, and began to meditate on the Darkside.
__Natalya braced herself against the weight of her mother's body as it sagged against her. She could feel her mother's weakness, knew there was no way she was going to walk on her own, and no way Natalya could carry her. She became aware of two other things at once: first, that the clash of sabers, the angry squeal of enemy blades coming together, had subsided, and second, that a sapphire blade had just pierced the blast door. A wave of relief came over her, so profound that she was dizzied by it. She couldn't do this herself, none of it. But Alexander was here now, and she wasn't alone. She looked around and saw Vaelore, or rather Marduk Rune, alone, crimson blades ignited, eyes downcast. THe emotions within her were so varied she couldn't begin to sort through them: anger, relief, betrayal, despair, need...She bit it all back and tore her gaze away. She had just enough time to see the ramp of Khan's ship retracting as he prepared to leave, victorious, alive, and escaping. She wasn't sure what had passed between he and Vael...why he had attacked, or why he had left, alive. It was too much for her, and she pushed it all away.
__"Mother, lie back." Antigone heard Natalya's voice, though it sounded distant, as if spoken in a dream. She had no choice but to comply as her daughter guided her gently to cold surface of deck. Tissue stretched, muscles seized in pain as her injuries throbbed with greater pain. The fog was returning, adrenaline or will having kept it at bay for this long. She no longer wanted to fight it. She caught a glimpse of Natalya's tear stained face, as if miles away, and then she passed out.
__Natalya laid her back and shrugged off her heavy leather jacket, grateful that she had bothered to grab it in her rush from the lake house, where it had been warm and sunny. She drapped it over her mother , and at the same moment, the blast doors gave way and the Arisnar guardsman rushed in. Her heart stopped. They would kill him, mow him down...and it was only what he deserved. She was on her feet before she realized it, her legs carrying her to the scene. She spoke without thought, but her voice carried command, conviction. As a hail of weapons fire targeted Marduk Rune, Vaelore Vosa, Natalya Jansen yelled, "Halt! Cease fire! -CEASE FIRE!-"
__The Heir the Empire was the superior word above the Guardian Prince's own and though the bowstrings were all pulled taught and every guard nearing release of their darkplasma shaft, they heard the yell of the young princess and they halted, all but one... The guards were primed, pumped and -eager- to destroy something for an attack against their Empire, they've been on -edge- for this since the war ended over a year ago. The guard, third from the end had already released his arrow when the princess spoke her commands and the bow's string shot the thin grey shaft through his bow's focusing ring and with a snapping squeal of ignition the arrow was caught to life, launching through the air in a blinding haze of shining emerald energy. It shot at tremendous speed toward Vaelore's body.
__Vaelore's head shot up and his eyes shot wide. He had barely a moment to react and he did. Both his hands came up and with them came the crimson beams of his lightsabers as well as the wall of fire before him. The flames shot skyward, roaring up toward the top of the enormous hangar, completely seperating him from the rest of those within. The shining emerald darkplasma arrow did not stop at the firewall, it passed through the flames and disappeared within them...
__Natalya held her breath as a tower of flames rose around Vaelore, seemingly engulfing him, the heat palpable even from the distance at which she stood. Her hand raised protectively, her arm across her face and she stared at the conflagration. She waited for something, the single arrow gone from all sight. "Cease fire!" she yelled again, trying not to sound as desparate as she felt. She didn't know why she protected him now, why she feared that the arrow had found its mark...this man had kidnapped her, tortured her, attempted to destroy her family, and her brother had nearly died at the hands of his minions...now her father was dead because of his deceit...She could see the hands of the guards straining on their weapons, begging for the command. She spoke again, her voice pitched loud, and there was strength there she didn't feel, though she was convincing enough, "The enemy has already fled. His ship is there!" She cast her arm towards Khan's ships, the engines firing, the vessel already moving. "This man drove him off. I need a medic! The Empress is dying...I cannot help her myself." Her gaze caught Alexander's, her emerald eyes dark with despair. She knew she didn't have to say it...he had to know: their father was already dead.
__The ship didn't have time to sit back and watch the scene unfolding. The Engines kicked and the ship came to life, easing forward out of the hangar as Nihilus' piloting crew went to work bringing him online and out of the place. Under his breath, he growled angrily as he began meditating quietly. A low voice began to throb in the chamber as Nihilus began his quiet meditation. He would not be defeated by a simple Desert people with ships! Not while his hour was at hand! The ship slowly encroached into the area of space outside of the station, picking up speed as it swung wide and finally cleared the bay. It wouldn't be long now ...
__Silver and matt black contrast one another in a blur that sweeps by the young Sith Lords starship. Angular, even by the standards of Arisnar construction techniques, hard edges and sweeping curves form the RS-1 Soul Interceptor. Rending space like a broadsword rends flesh, the Star fighters engines flare brilliantly as it attains maximum throttle.
__There is little show in the maneuvering of this vessel, capable of untold maneuverability, its all wasted at the moment as it circles around like a bird of prey. Dropping in behind Nihilus' ship, the engines flare once more before bleeding forward velocity. Their brilliance is only matched by what comes next..
__Scarlet energy billows forth from the Interceptor. Alternating fire between its two light laser cannons, the Soul Interceptor maintains fire through the entire strafing manuever, sweeping over the starship that is an enemy to the people of Arisnar. Finally, the Interceptor breaks into an exaggerated barrel roll, oriented opposite its target, the maneuverable craft loses relative altitude for several seconds before finishing the roll and angling back towards the target, this time to approach from below and behind, the engines flare again.
__Alexander was moving toward Natalya and his parents even though she'd made the order to cease fire. The guards stayed where they were, but the commander of the unit was giving orders through a gauntlet communicator, his wrist was held up near his faceless cowl. Alexander's lightsaber deactivated as he neared Natalya and his face was pale and horrified. His eyes were on his parents, were on his father. He came to a slowing halt, his mouth hanging partially open, he was suddenly unable to move and thats when the flames all fell, the Hellforged infern inside the hangar fell and disappeared, leaving a superheaded impression of where it had been, glowing, upon the deck. Alexander's eyes rose swiftly and darted from left to right, their targetted foe was gone. Vaelore Vosa was not to be seen. The prince continued to visually sweep the area, but he saw and 'felt' nothing, whomever had been standing there, whomever his twin-sister had ordered the guards to not fire upon, had vanished.
__He wouldn't be content with such magic, but with the phantom menace had left any immediate danger and his concern was for his parents.. his parent. He looked down to Antigone and Natalya. "The medics are behind me." He said in a detached, ghostly voice, his mind was rushing, he was light headed, dizzy with too much to process at once, he simply stood there in his loose jedi robes, clutching the silver cylinder of his jedi weapon in his prosthetic, gloved, left hand. Five individuals, dressed in Arisnar naval attire, rushed around the prince, toward the royals on the floor, the medics had arrived to attend to their royal leaders, to get them out of this warzone and to the safety of the infirmary...
__Natalya held Alexander's gaze until the inferno surrounding Vaelore collapsed, subsiding as quickly as it had risen. She felt as though her heart had stopped, as if the enitre galaxy had hiccuped, and in that one second of disorientation, she had missed something...he was not there. She stared at the glowing circle in the floor, confusion and uncertainty writ across her face. She looked up sharply then, moved, turned in a circle glancing all about. Her brow knit in a frown and then slowly her lips compressed. She swallowed down the knot that had formed there, reminded herself to breath. She was aware of the medics as they rushed past her. Her brother was nearby. She couldn't take her eyes off the scorched metal. She didn't try. There was nothing more she could do for her mother; there was nothing more anyone could do for her father. There was nothing for Natalya, now, but to face what had just happened, all of it.
__The bolts from the starfighter ripped across the ship's shields with merciless intent. They were being drained too fast. The reactor's power wasn't strong enough to maintain the shield regeneration ... yet. 'Your Lordship. Shields are down to Fifteen percent. Hull integrity maintains at ninety-eight percent.', the Robotic voice bled through a new terminal on the wall, but it went unheard to the Dark lord's ears. Deeply entranced, idle hands reached out to lay themselves upon the ship's reactor componants that could be seen within the engineering area. He was channeling, his Dark voice carrying as he spoke in an ancient language. Like he had done on Korriban only days prior. Shields were already dropping rapidly. As the merciless Arisnarian RS-1 raped on the large freighter, breaches began to appear on many of the ship's cargo decks. But then, suddenly, there was a growth in the shield's power. Some unknown Force poured into the ship's systems, forcing itself onto the shields. As the RS-1 fired on the vessel, the usual appearence of of small explosions where the bolts met the shields were replaced, as the bolts themselves slammed into what seemed like another energy source that seemed to glow red as it deflected the bolts. There was some Force ... charging the shields!
__Alexander stood there unmoving as his eyes watched in wide dumbfounded shock as the medics moved his parents onto emergency gurney's that were silently hovered onto the Flight Deck and to their location. He looked over to see his mother, being tended to by four of the medics as they rushed her off first toward the room's exit behind him, he then turned, his body feeling like it was eight hundred pounds heavy, to watch the last medic slide taking a reading on his father with a handheld device, his brown eyes looked up to the Medic's face to see the naval officer, professionally working upon the Emperor's body, he could -feel- that officer's horror, but the man was keeping it bay, he was the lead emergency technician and his ability to work under such a huge situation with such calmness made the prince simply envious.
__He watched the medic lower the scanning device, then glance up toward him, he did not hold eyecontact long with Alexander's still stunned face, and he started to push the silently hovering gurnery off, trailing after the Empress'. Alexander turned to watch the medic leave, but he did not follow, he couldn't.
__Once, many years ago. A scene played out with striking similarity to the one unfolding today. Young, brash, but undeniably skilled, the would be assassin of Emperor Alan Jansen had made his move. Exhausting all of his skills, Shiro was impotent and could not pierce the seemingly unbreakable defense of the Emperor. Every trick he'd ever learned was used and he might as well have been attempting to strike down a rock for all the good it did him.
__That scene is mirrored here today as Tetsuimi offers the alien freighter grudging respect. 'Cute Trick,' he'd growled, 'a backup shield array.' Routing power from engines to the cannons, he continued his assault on the escaping vessel. Bolt after bolt of crimson fire being greedily taken in by the force imbued shields of the Ghtroc freighter. Yet like those years before, he persists, sweeping from side to side as the light fighter peppers the shielded freighters aft quarter with enough energy to drop a ship twice its size. Yet.. nothing.
__Natalya retreated, mentally, withdrawing from the hangar, from the ruin, from the bodies. Her father was dead; the Emperor of Arisnar was dead. That alone would have sufficed to leave her in ruins, but with it came the revelation that for the past year she had been under the influence of Marduk Rune. She had no way of knowing how much of what she'd felt, if any or all, was an illusion, was as fake as the man she had come to love. Vaelore Raithwen didn't exist, had never existed. She had fallen in love with the very monster whom she had fled, and she had brought him to her home. Her father was dead. It was her fault. She had brought his killer here, uknowing, indirectly, but she'd done it all the same. Vaelore Raithwen was dead, or as good as, for he wasn't real. He was Marduk Rune. She remembered Tatooine, remembered her dreams, the Dark One that had tormented her...For the past year, she had lived with Marduk Rune, and now her father was dead. It was an infinity loop that played in her mind over and over, until she fell to her hands and knees and threw up on the cold, dark metal.
__He had come so far through the night, accomplishing much in his tenure as Dark Lord. His only fuel the hate and darkness that followed him where he went throughout the night. He was powerful, and certainly no will could contend with his own, but he was flatering. He was weakening himself to keep the shields up, long enough to escape. Another bombardment of bolts hit the energies of the shield, draining more of what remained of the Dark lord's strength. It wouldn't be long ... Darkness swelled as his voice caught in his throat, no longer able to carry the words of the chanting meditation. 'Hyper-Calculations Complete.', the droid insisted. The wide ship came to a slow as it shifted it's heading, coming around for a new course as the final volley of the shields were blown through. There was nothing more. Wrenching himself from the meditative trance - The Dark Lord's body spasmed greatly and he hit the cold decks of the Engineering room. The motivator was pressed ... and just as the shields of the ship failed and a large orange explosion rang true, ripping durasteel and metal away ... the ship made the jump to lightspeed. He was now weakened, burned out and collapsed upon the decks. His freighter was destroyed, and damages were even still unknown as they moved through hyperspace. There was no telling if the ship we even make the drop to sublight ... But it was done. A new fire again burned in the galaxy, and with the ship's lucky escape ... It meant only one truth; It was inevitable. The Sith had returned.
__Alexander saw the guards breaking form and beginning to fan out across the hangar, moving in pairs as they started to secure the area since one foe had not positively been dealt with. His mindless tracking of the guard movements brought his vision upon his twin, hunkered down on the deck, spilling whatever she had within her and his eyes softly clsoed. He did not know if his mother would survive her injuries, he could only feel great pain from her, too much for him to know any sort of outcome to her condition. He knew his father's presence was gone, like a life giving flame suddenly put out and replaced with the killing winds of a winter storm. There was a literal empty spot in the young Force user's existance, and he knew that Natalya would feel it as well, even with her weaker atunement into the ways of the Force.
__His eyes slowly opened to see her still down, and he saw her differently now, as she was meant to be. He saw their future, she the leader of their people, she needing support from he. Alexander let out a shakey breath, tears on the edge of his eyelids, insanity on the edge of his existance. He took a step forward, the another, and another, and he knelt down to his twin, and placed his hand upon her right shoulder, slid it down to her bicep and then helped her stand. "Come on." He said to her, softly. "Lets go help our mother."
__The breath that the pilot had been holding released itself all at once through clenched teeth. Unclear as to whether he destroyed the craft or not, the grim man makes a private and solemn vow to himself. Committing the information on his tactical display to memory before wheeling the ship about and heading for the station at best speed. Shields and weapons cycled off, the craft reaches what most would consider unsafe speeds. But the pilot has to know. Almost as an after thought, he toggles the comms and speaks hastily into the voice pickup, "Twin Suns Station, This is Spirit Leader, requesting docking clearance."