A voice came over Kanan's commlink, most likely a Jedi who had tapped into one of the Free World's Alliance's secured channels. “Need support to breach the base," the Jedi said. "Too risky to just storm it.”
Chatter followed the Jedi's statement, but Kanan merely listened. He had already received his orders and knew what role he was to play in this battle for Felucia. For once he was relieved to not be at the forefront of the fighting, simply because he knew his efforts would be wasted there.
The Jedi and Sith were eager to cross blades. Even if most of the Sith were held up in their base, they would have to come out eventually. If you could count on one thing in this galaxy, it was that the Jedi and Sith would always be at odds with one another, dragging the rest of the galaxy into their never ending wars.
Kanan's opinion of the Jedi had changed over the years, particularly since they had begun working more closely with the Free Worlds Alliance. The Jedi were doing the best they could in this rotten galaxy, and more often than not, the Jedi stood in the gap between the Sith and the rest of the free worlds when no one else would. For that, they had his respect. He would gladly fight alongside them. This fight was about more than just the Jedi versus the Sith. This battle was about freeing Felucia and driving the Sith from the planet, hopefully forever.
The YV-54 that had dropped the majority of Sector Rangers and Jedi into the jungle had already taken off, a Blackfin-class Blastboat in pursuit of the ship flown by a Glymphid (@Fantasy Liver ) whose name Kanan had not caught. There had been no time for introductions on the way here, and no one had wanted to make them. Everyone's mind was focused on the battle that laid ahead of them, not on making friends. Still, he appreciated the courtesy the Glymphid, whose name he now knew to be Dusty, offered the ground troops over the coms. Hopefully the pilot would pull through. Hopefully they all would.
The Jedi had made their way for the jungle, sneaking through the thick overgrowth of Felucia as they beelined for the Sith base. Kanan, following orders, rendezvoused with one of the AT-TE Walkers the Free Worlds Alliance had dropped for just this occasion. A relic of the Clone Wars, it had been replaced by the Galactic Empire with the AT-AT. It might have been old, but with its eight man crew it could still blow holes in the Sith's defenses. Or so he hoped.
Should do the trick, Kanan thought to himself, climbing inside and closing the hatch. Now to attack a Sith base.
Zara was poised on one knee. The undergrowth of the jungle surrounding her like a blanket. The cloak of what she called the shadow, what others like her called the force, seemed to conceal her from even the Masterful Jedi who walked by her with his two underlings. A sister, by the look of it, and a very young Togruta. The boy looked as green as the flora around him. Seeing this she understood then.
From the Sith base, the huntress could hear the banter of the "Son of Dathomir". And he was doing a glorious job of pulling the attention of the three Jedi. So much so, none of them, not even the Master had bothered to search for predators in wait like her. Not with their own eyes and surprisingly not even with the force.
While Vahn was concentrating on Xeno, and reaching out with the force. Jaesa at his side, and neither seeming to be looking toward the boy. Ruzsaan fumbled with his weapon behind them. His defense was slack if any at all. He was not even aware they had walked into an ambush set my the Nighsister. Zara simply stood and slipped in behind the padawan as he walked by. Activating her blade at the small of his back. At this close she could not see how the Jedi might defend himself but she readied the shadow within herself just in case.
The Jedi were remaining in hiding. This was expected from the cowardly fighters. None would challenge him one on one, no instead they would hide and hope to attack like a coward. The Zabrak was ready to fight and ready for any cowardly attempt at an ambush. The troops around Xeno were ready to deal with force wielding warriors as well. Under the lead of Xeno, the troops will defend him with their lives. It's their job.
Suddenly the force began to coil around him. It was quick, leaving little time to react. Instead of fighting the pull like most would, he allowed himself to be pulled in the direction he was being moved. Studying what lied before him in that direction, he would land and roll before a Dathomirian woman. She was familiar, as if he had seen her before. He made it to his feet with eye contact on her.
He wanted to ask who she was, but he knew she was a Jedi. He could feel the disgusting nature of light within her. She had the feeling of hope and the need to save. It was pathetic and futile.
"You will lose... Jedi!"
Xeno ignited his blades in each hand. As far as he could see it was just he and her in the area. Xeno didn't move too far from where he was originally. The troops that served as his guards would be in the area shortly. For now the Zabrak would start the defense of the Felucian base.
Taking his stance he would be ready to attack. Noticing she fought with only one blade he would be ready to attack properly. With this taken into account, Xeno would prepare to fight. With the force he would grab onto a small tree to her right and rip it out of the soil towards her. Once he had it pulled from the soil and it began it's flight to her he would run towards her and throw and ignited blade to her legs striking with the other in his right hand with a right to left strike at her body.
So it had begun, the first move had been taken by the Jedi, now it was time to react. Artorigas watched as the fighter came flying across sending fire into the fire side of the base. Though a few men where hit, nothing serious went up in flames and the gaps upon the wall were quickly filled by men from behind. Artorigas watched as Xeno disappeared ahead of them, moving with some unseeing hand, that was their second move.
The Jedi were also looking to assault there right flank as well, the tell tale rumble of walker feet crashing into the ground. Artorigas gave a quick look to the right where Bir was stationed, the other two Sith behind him. "Bir, you and the other two. Hold the base, we will be right back." With that Artorigas ignited his drawn blade, the purple blade of the saber appeared dull and infected by a red impurity, pulling The Force within his body Artorigas leapt forward off of the wall, the mythical strength of The Force allowing his body inhuman speed as he charged towards the Jedi line within the trees.
He quickly spotted Xeno engaging another Dathmorian to his left to his right he spotted a young alien and the quickly approaching Witch Zara from behind him. Seemed like he was outnumbered on the race front here. Though he could not see him he could sense a third Jedi in the area. Artorigas held his blade in a relaxed stance, The Force coiled up inside him ready to react as he called out. "Good morning Master Jedi, would you like to dance a little?"
Klaxons wailed at the assault to the base from the aircraft. Deva gritted her teeth at the cheap shots above; they always spoiled her fun. From the feed, she could see the Red Sith taunting them before vanishing into the jungle; no doubt perfectly fine with Artorigas going to his aid. The Darkness was hungry tonight, and the Jedi seemed more than capable to leap themselves into the fire.
She didn't intend to go anywhere. Why bother, when there were so many more potential things to entertain her? Humming once, she patched in to command as the ship began to serpentine above. Fools. Did they think that weaving in and out like that would guarantee their safety?
She cracked a grin as she watched the feed, her voice a silken hiss over the comms to two of the medium laser defense turrets. "Aim for the dorsal side and fusial burners; drag him down and make him bleed. Mind the blastboat."
Part of her itched to leap from the base and take down the Jedi herself, but she could bide her time for now, wait and see what little rats would try and scale the walls. She watched passively as the turrets began to fire at the serpentining light freighter as it would weave back and forth, attempting to aim at its' vulnerable spots below before it would be out of range, and then switching her focus once again to the other screens, tapping a finger on the dashboard.
As the freighter swung by the Sith facility, lasers blowing away a portion of the men stationed on the wall adjacent to the one in which Bir stood guard upon, the Kel Dor laughed in delight at the panic that his allies felt in unison of the onslaught. Of course, while they weren’t true Sith they were still soldiers and had been trained to push through such chaos. As their fallen brethren hit the ground below, they were quickly replaced by stand-by units from within the base but before Bir could assess the damage to the wall, the movement of foliage in the distance caught his eye and forced his attention away from the freighter’s targeted zone.
More of the plant life of Felucia began to writhe, each jerking motion partnered by the sound of a heavy impact. On the jungle world, it could have been a number of things. A Bull Rancor, a flying manta struck down by the conflict and writhing in pain, the possibilities were near countless. Given the current circumstances, it wasn’t something to be merely dismissed however.
”Soldier,” Bir cooly addressed one of the men at his side, his gaze never moving away from the area that caught his attention. ”Prepare the guns along the wall, standing at the ready. Be it beast or machine…” As Bir scowled towards the moving flora, both hands began to clap slowly at his abdomen as he started to bounce up and down on the balls of his feet. ”... it doesn’t walk away,”
Two of the base's single medium cannons that lined the base’s perimeter wall turned towards the jungle line, the echo of heavy footsteps closing in before them. Soldiers began to find cover along the same partition as Bir watched eagerly from his own shielded position.
Chaos erupted all around them as the light freighter rained hell down upon the Sith base, battering their defenses and sending shockwaves through the structure. Those troopers who had remained stationed within the base scrambled to follow the commands of their superiors over the blaring of alarms, the assault from above driving many into state of panic.
By comparison, Jaikus appeared positively composed.
From his post within the fortress itself, Jaikus had the distinct advantage of being able to witness everything occurring around them from a stationary holographic table – not entirely unlike another female Sith who had opted to remain inside, giving orders from her own feed. From from his station, he couldn’t help but watch with bemusement as Xeno was suddenly seized by the Force, invisible hands yanking the Dathomirian like a ragdoll past the treeline and out of sight. As if the sudden disappearance of a single Sith was not bad enough, the Dathomirian was only moments later joined by Artorigas, the man of Serenno ever-so-valiantly leaping to Xeno’s aid.
Fools. Brave, to be sure, but a fools none the less.
His voice range out over the comms, blaring in the ears of the two Sith. “While I am sure you’re both enjoying yourselves, might I suggest falling back? Engage them out there, and you’ll find yourselves outnumbered and without support.”
Unlike his more impulsive allies, Jaikus felt no urge to engage the Jedi preemptively at all. Why would he? As far as he was concerned, they were strongest behind their fortifications. The fight up the hill would be treacherous, and the Jedi would bleed men and resources for every inch of ground gained, while anti-air turrets would be able to presumably make short work of any starfighter daring to come within range. Although, from the sounds coming from the walls, they clearly hadn’t selected the galaxy’s finest cannoneers to operate the damned things.
“Try to draw them past the treeline into line of sight, where we are able to cover you.”
With the faster Blackfin blastboat on its tail the light freighter was forced to do something about it rather than escape back into orbit, at least for the moment. Shor thought this particular pilot must have been unusually brave- or perhaps foolhardy- as they transferred all shield power to their rear and flew directly toward a turret-protected base. Two defensive turrets were now firing at the freighter's unshielded front half from below while it tried to fire with its top turret at the base below.
The Maw meanwhile chased from behind and let loose with the full array of six wing-mounted laser cannons and the ventral ion cannon, the seven barrels thundering powerfully in bursts as the blastboat roared overhead the forest and base. It rose up to make targeting it with the ventral cannon more difficult and fired directly toward the freighter from the rear. Shor tracked the serpentining and multitasking YV-545, lancing bolts into its path by taking advantage of the Blackfin's wide angle of fire. His positioning meant missed shots instead flew off into the distance rather than down into the base both ships were circling around.
Some of the freighter's shots would strike or skim the blastboat's bottom front shields as the Blackfin chased, but the mysterious pilot had thrown himself into the meat grinder. Between the hungry Maw behind and its unshielded front side targeted by the base Dusty was taking magnitudes more fire. The other man's message only received something between a bass roar and a laugh in reply before the line was cut out.
"Relax, kid. Just stay close to me. And stay low." Ruzaan could feel the knot in his stomach untie a little bit at the Jedi Master’s words. His heart still hammered in his chest- this was a real battlefield with life-and-death consequences, unlike his previous training exercises- but at least he wasn’t alone or getting jumped by a Sith.
Suddenly a challenge rang out through the jungle as the Jedi approached the edge of the treeline near the Sith base. Through the fauna, Ruzaan could see a dangerous-looking Zabrak with about half a dozen troopers behind him who had left the relative safety of the base. From the look in the Zabrak’s eyes, he was out for blood.
Fortunately, Master Vahn had a plan. “Jaesa, catch! Ruzaan, defense!” Vahn shouted as he Pulled on the Marauder towards Jaesa.
Right!Ruzaan fumbled for his lightsaber, cursing to himself as it fell out of his hands and down to the ground. Embarrassed with himself, he crouched down and grabbed it, hoping nobody had seen.
Snap-hiss!Ruzaan’s eyes widened in shock as a crimson blade pierced the air just above his head, where his spine had been merely a second before. Then, his instincts took over as he registered an attacker behind him. His right knee wasn’t quite touching the ground and his weight was evenly distributed on his feet, meaning that although he was crouching down he was very much balanced and poised to act.
Channeling all of his strength into his legs Ruzaan launched himself to his left- careful not to launch himself up and into the Sith’s blade- rolling once when he hit the ground before coming up into a defensive stance about 5 feet away from his attacker. His left arm and shoulder ached where they had taken the brunt of the impact with the jungle floor, but he ignited his double-bladed lightsaber in defiance of his pain; he'd have a few bruises to show off if he survived this. He held his lightsaber at a 45 degree angle, left hand over right with both blades ignited, and stared at the Sith that had seemingly materialized from nowhere. She was shorter than him, but clad in a face-covering helmet that anonymized her. If the intimidating helmet and armor wasn't enough, the very shadows seemed to cling to her like a cloak. If this were a Holonet movie, this would be the part where the music would change to announce the arrival of a villain.
"Almost!" Ruzaan said, cheekily ignoring the fact that he'd nearly died. "Got any other tricks?" The Togruta channeled his focus into his preferred fighting style, the defensive Form III, Soresu. If this Sith wanted to kill him, he would make her work for it.
Unfortunately for the base turrets, firing upon Dusty's freighter from below meant that if they missed, they'd be sending bolts diagonally towards their own ally in the form of Shorkattatha who was flying above and behind Dusty. As Deva had ordered them to mind the blastboat, the Sith turret-manners below would be forced to hold off on firing or, at the very least, make sure that Shorkattatha was well out of the line of fire when they shot. And since Shorkattatha was following Dusty, those moments were few and far between.
As such, it wasn't the usual barrage of laser fire that one might expect from flying straight into a base, especially since two of their four turrets were focused on the woods themselves. Dusty's serpentine motions protected him from what shots did come his way though his rear deflector shields did take a bit of a pounding from Shorkattatha but, since his shielding was at a reasonable level (OOC: medium shields) and the fact that he'd diverted power from the front to the back meant that he was still flying and shielded. For the moment anyways.
"Four turrets..." Dusty mused, talking himself through the problem they presented on the battlefield.
"You lot down there better be paying me a bonus for this little stunt!" Dusty hollered as he executed his next maneuver. Since he was already in a route to fly a lap around the base, he'd start blasting at each of the four turrets in the base in turn with both of his ship's cannons.
"Jaesa, catch!" Those words caused Jaesa to snap to attention, her yellow eyes jumping from the surrounding area to lock onto the red zabrak flying toward her. Their eyes met for just a moment, and as Xeno wondered if they'd met before, she wondered the same. Memories of panicked shouting, loud machines, and the heat of fire flashed before her eyes only to dissipate after half a moment. She didn't have time to figure out how she knew him. This was battle.
The Dathomirian Jedi's right hand slipped down to unclip her lightsaber and the other thrust forward to counter the tree flying toward her from below. Using her height advantage from the trees, Jaesa concentrated on the moving object, grabbed it within the Force, then sent it flying away from her and toward Xeno (@Scoobert ) below. Before he could attack her, he would have to dodge his uprooted tree coming right back at this.
Jaesa used this opportunity to focus for a moment. Her time with Isen and Sace not long ago had taught her how to connect with the plantlife around her. Seeing as the flora here was not trying to actively end her life, this would be a lot easier. While Xeno was busy dodging the tree sent flying back at him, Jaesa tapped into the Force within the living flora around her. The plantlife--mushroom trees, fungi bushes, and other flora alike--began to crowd behind Xeno and between him and his soldiers, leaving a wall of thickly tangled plantlife as Jaesa willed them to move together. There were no gaps to squeeze through; anyone wanting to pass would have to cut through.
Her lightsaber was ignited as Jaesa then jumped backwards, landing about thirty feet farther back. She landed and held her saber with both hands in a defensive position.
Inside the AT-TE, the sounds of the jungle and the dogfight above faded into muffled background noise. Kanan moved toward the forward compartment of the combat walker to speak to the pilot, giving him the order to advance. One by one, the six gription feet of the all terrain vehicle took a step forward, crushing the overgrowth of the jungle beneath it with every step it took.
Loud and sluggish, taking the enemy by surprise was out of the question, so the eight man crew of the walker and Kanan would need to plan their attack accordingly, knowing that the Sith occupying the base would both see and hear them coming.
Four medium ball-turret laser cannons were mounted at the forepart of the walker, two at the rear. The AT-TE's most powerful weapon, however, was mounted on the dorsal surface of the walker: a cycler cannon. Unfortunately, due to the cannon's location, its operator was an open target to anyone who wanted to open fire on him.
"Don't get too close to the base," Kanan warned the driver, the Sith base beginning to come into view over the tops of the jungle fauna. "The jungle cover is to our advantage, so let's utilize it." The closer they got, the easier it would be for the Sith soldiers to pick off the dorsal gun's operator.
Through the hanging vines and overgrown mushrooms of Felucia, Kanan's eyes scanned the Sith base as the walker drew closer. A battlement encompassed their enclave, a wall-walk behind it to allow for soldiers to gather and more easily dispense with any intruders.
Strategically placed along the protective barrier were four medium turrets, two pointed toward the sky and firing at the YV-545 above flown by Dusty, the other two pointed toward the jungle. Toward the AT-TE. Soldiers were placed along the battlement, manning the turrets, undoubtedly following orders from their superior commander (@Tulos ). Although he was sheltered, he had to be nearby.
Kanan would leave the two turrets pointed skyward for the Glymphid pilot to destroy if he could. Instead, the Sector Ranger would focus solely on the two turrets pointed toward the jungle and the man commanding them.
"Aim for that section of the wall," Kanan ordered, pointing and giving the four gunners at the forefront of the walker their orders. Their line of vision would be obscured by the jungle fauna, but hopefully they would be able to see well enough to do some damage. If nothing else, he knew they could see patches of the battlement through the jungle. "We need to bring that section of the wall down. Make it collapse."
Once that had hopefully been accomplished, the man commanding the turrets would be exposed. Ideally, there would be no soldiers left to man the turrets either. Kanan would handle that part of the plan himself, and fingers crossed his aim was steady and true. Only time would tell.
The Sector Ranger threw open the hatch at the dorsal of the walker and stuck his head out, giving the cycler cannon's operator the same orders he had given to the other four gunners. Leaning against the roof of the walker to steady his aim, Kanan pulled his semi-automatic rifle, a BM-548, from his back.
The AT-TE opened fire on the wall, the cycler cannon getting the first shot off but followed immediately by the four smaller turrets below. With the attempt to collapse the wall under way, Kanan began firing at the soldiers manning the two turrets in an effort to pick them off one by one.
Moving a person with the Force, when there is no resistance is a trivial matter for a veteran Jedi. While Vahn had doubts about his suitability for his newly attained rank, he couldn’t object to the fact that his skills had greatly improved since his return to the order. He had never felt so in tune with the Force, he could never have drawn it in as deeply or as naturally as he had before. It was increasingly like breathing. He was able to recover quickly from this mild exertion of the Force.
Vahn’s attention was suddenly drawn away, and his gaze snapped up hawk-like towards the wall where he sensed a sudden, powerful draw of the Force. There was another Sith (@Braden Drake ) on the walls drawing heavily on the Force. Vahn stood suddenly, the blue blade of his saber igniting in his right hand and he thrust his arms forward. He reached out, guiding the Force once more. Pushing him back would have been difficult, and he had less than the length of a full breath to act. Momentum has to be cancelled before you can repel a body in motion. No, instead Vahn would work with that forward momentum in another way. His telekinetic grasp would seize one of the nearby fungal stalks arching low, bending it directly into the path of the Armored Sith as his form sped across the ground towards him and holding it in place briefly. It was a younger example, not towering so very high or so very difficult to manipulate. He had heard of these fungal “trees” taking direct hits from speeders and still remain standing, and he wondered exactly what effect it would have on Artorigas. To his estimation, the sheer speed and weight of the newly devised projectile would be enough to stun, concuss or even break bones on impact under normal circumstances.
Then his knees bent slightly, muscles coiled in tension before he sprang forward, the azure of his saber gleaming in front of him as he quickly sprang towards Artorigas. Vahn’s left hand quickly went to his belt, where he pulled his second saber and sent it flinging with an underhand toss as it’s yellow blade snapped into existence. A mild touch of the Force kept the blade whirling and steady on target, a solar halo careening through the air towards the Marauder’s midsection. He would then Pull the saber back to his hand, clipping it to his belt as he came within saber range.
There could be no doubt that the Sith were the primary trouble here. There were also cannons, turrets, and starfighters causing some concern. But for a Force user that had spent his entire Knighthood on his way to becoming somewhat an expert of the wilds, there was another kind of trouble. A very natural trouble, but a very real trouble all the same.
The towering fungi-like plants dominated the natural conversations about Felucia, but the predators on this planet, like most jungle or forested planets, were not to be dismissed and should be held in high respect. Isen could sense that neither side as of yet were giving the dangerous fauna on this planet their just due.
He had full intentions to change that.
He gave Sevrin (@Sreeya ) a nod. "So far so good. There's trouble behind us someone needs to check on. I'm on it."
Isen began to circle back, and the predatory aggression of the animals began to rise. Reaching out with the Force, Isen could sense that prey animals were on high alert, and it wasn't the sudden activity from the Jedi and the firing of cannons and turrets that got them that way. Predators they knew all too well were in the vicinity. Knowing what kind of predators walked these jungles, Isen knew that it could prove quite dangerous for the Jedi who were using the jungle as cover.
He also knew that by connecting with them through the Force, these predators could become powerful allies if the cards were played right.
As Isen tracked the beasts by seeking out their Force signatures, he allowed his own Force signature to seep into every part of the jungle around him. The trees, the small animals, the very rocks and soils around him. Likewise, he allowed their signatures to fill his body so that he became a walking embodiment of the Force. The Cathar Jedi Novaron Rah had started his path toward communing and becoming one with the wilderness, and the young Kiffar had taken those lessons and turned it into a mission. He had tamed and bonded with giant anglers, bull rancors, and condor dragons to name just a few.
By the time he walked up on the acklays, his essence was completely intertwined and even replaced with all the different signatures of the forest. Three alpha males, each nearly 3.5 meters in height, who had come to feast on the Jedi in the forest stood against each other. They surprised each other with their presence, but their mutual existence required them to determine superiority. One would win. The others? Perhaps they would survive and sulk back beaten and battered to their previous territory.
Isen, however, had a different plan. He stepped out in front of them and clucked his tongue, fairly mimicking their own sounds. Each of them stopped and stared at the Kiffar Jedi. They could see him, but their animal instincts were confused. He did not give off the aura of man or beast or plant. To these acklays, they could see themselves in him. They could sense the trees and the stones around them as well. While they were confused, they were still alphas and they circled the Jedi together. Isen picked out the largest one, a large, towering brown male. He challenged him and the acklay speared the ground where Isen stood. Isen anticipated this and leapt. He landed on the joint of the acklay and and quickly bounded upward to mount him. Immediately, he placed both hands on the beasts head under his large, bony protective plate and began connecting with him through the Force.
The acklay was confused and intrigued, so he struggled little. Soon, he saw Isen for what he was- the new alpha of the group. The other two Acklays didn't see it that way at first, and one charged the large brown beast that Isen had mounted, but he was easily swatted aside. The other acklay made a half-hearted effort, but caught a chomp into the large bony plate extending above his skull. Soon, all three acklays were in line and taking directin from Isen and the large brown acklay he was riding.
Isen was now the head of the pack. He walked them toward the center of the action, roughly halfway between Sevrin and the AT-TE he was guarding and the ongoing drama with Vahn (@The Steel Stag ) and his crew on the other side. Isen would be well-positioned to protect either party, or should the opportunity present itself, try to infiltrate the base itself.
Sevrin nodded back at Isen, “Take care of yourself,” He stated simply as he focused back on his comlink that tied back to the FWA soldiers and the AT walker he had been approaching. As the fighting began, Sevrin ordered the AT to focus on the two turrets that were firing at the ship (@Killa Ree ). Sevrin was positioned laterally left and across from where Kanan and his AT was. While Kanan was across the turrets in the right corner of the base from his perspective, Sevrin was at the opposite corner on the left. While Kanan targeted the turrets against the treeline, Sevrin targeted the remaining two.
On his command, the AT fired its central cycler cannon. From this range, this single shot would cause devastating damage to the turrets and that section of the wall. The single blast was fired, and the forward facing guns also peppered towards the same area with blasts in an attempt to destroy all the turrets, that wall and the soldiers manning them. As the turrets had been focused on firing at the ship, there would likely be a delay in reacting and switching targets.
Meanwhile, Sevrin rushed ahead of the AT and towards the others. He was still not quite within range to engage anyone on foot, but he was certainly in the way of anyone that would attempt to sabotage the AT from ground.
As he began to move towards the base, he could hear rumbling that all but shook the ground beneath him. He glanced over to spot Isen leading a pack of acklays. The sight caused his eyebrows to raise, but he couldn’t deny he was impressed.
The Sephi jogged alongside one of the great beasts before planting his hand along one of the back legs to casually hoist himself up. He was graceful with his leap, grasping onto the insectoid leg with one hand and half hanging off the side. He decided to simply hitch a ride on his way to the base. Vahn wasn't the only one that had a penchant for theatrics.
Zara was amused at the sheer dumb luck of the fumbling young Togruta. Managing to crouch just as her blade activated. However unfortunately for the Jedi, he was not nearly as good as he thought he was. As Ruzaan couched down, Zara simply swung the blade downward to meet him. The Jedi's effort to dodge was cute, but futile. With his head, shoulders, and back still to the Nightsister, she would get her pound of flesh, it was only a matter of how much.
The fight still in him, the young Jedi attempted to jump away. But Zara was ready for this as well. The shadow was already coiled within her when she had activated her blade. With a simple thought, she summoned she shadow to her hand. Forming a green ball of ichore. Zara led her target like the experienced hunter she was. Lobbing the ball at the easy meeting point of five feet. Again the boy was not as good as he thought he was. With his back still to her as he jumped, and the force in his sad leap, he would fail to see the ball of energy coming.
She would respect him, if indeed he still managed to get up from both of her counter attacks. But she didn't expect it. Still she had no hate for the boy, he was not a mortal enemy to her. Simply a trespasser on a world overseen by her Queen and her Lord. Knowing this, she gave the boy a single opportunity.
"Yes boy, almost but not close enough." her augmented voice mocking his pain. "Your Master had failed you. Leading you into a battle you are not ready for and then abandoning you for his own glory." She continued, the shadow adding suggestion to perhaps twist his mind. "Yield, I will not abandon you as the Jedi have. Surrender to me and I will not only undo the damage done, but show you the real power of the force."
As she tried to temp the Togruta she still kept her guard, the shadow still ready to lash out should she need it. Unlike the young Jedi she could feel the flow of the battle around her. Sense that two more Jedi were moving closer to their position through the shadow, with a pack of predatory beasts in tow. She could not see them yet however. So she had a little time.
Bir watched as the foliage before him fell beneath the feet of what he had come to assume could only be an enemy walker pushing through the jungle. The telltale sounds of metallic legs crushing anything and everything below them drowned out the sounds of many of the fleeing creatures that called the wilds their home. The time had come. The enemy had arrived and they had brought some heavy firepower to aid them in their breach efforts. Fire soon began to rain from a section of jungle to the south east, revealing the exact location of one walker.
The first blast slammed into the palisade with such force that it sent molten chunks of durasteel flying in every direction possible short of into the base itself, shaking not only the troops that lined the wall but the turret gunners as well. Men and women began screaming orders back and forth amongst themselves as they scrambled to return fire though the enemy did not let up. Finally an upper section of the wall that supported the outer most turret began to give way from the enemy fire. The mounting brackets of the cannon shook loose and caused the entire device to lurch forward, severing it's power supply lines and rendering it useless. Before long, the assault would send the turret tumbling to the jungle floor outside the base.
Bir surveyed the space where the walker was firing from, it’s location given away but still buried within the fungal forest that prevented both itself as well as the turrets from getting a clear shot on one another.
”Focus cannon fire on the jungle itself!” Bir bellowed as he paced back and forth behind the metallic shroud, his shoulders hunched forward. ”Bring down the foliage to prevent our new friends from advancing any further! Force them in on foot and then pick them off!” he continued. The turrets soon complied with his command and began to target the bases of the many fungal trees that lay between the base and the AT-TE, collapsing the jungle in its path and further obscuring it’s aim.
Of course, seated on the top of the walker, the Ranger had selected his target; the woman who sat at the controls of the remaining turret under his own command. Bir would emerge from his cover with his saber in hand , arriving in time to deflect before it would kill the woman in it’s seat and send the bolt back to its source, keeping his blade at the ready to further protect both himself and his soldiers.
As he was running towards the Jedi she had sent the tree towards him instead. Clever girl, though the swing of his blade would send the tree into two parts, passing by each side of him. It was a smart move as Xeno did have to stop running and swing the blade perfectly to get the tree to miss his body. Then behind him the flora had bunched together blocking his exit from behind. Xeno was becoming a little annoyed after the comment she made as well. Things don't look too good for the Jedi as she did just enclose a powerful Sith with herself.
"You fool.. you dare insult the Dathomirian race by siding with the Jedi? A daughter of Dathomir should fight by her own kind. Why waste your time with the pathetic excuse for force wielders?"
Xeno paced back and forth as he would study her. Her face, her voice. It was all too familiar. He knew he knew her. Somehow some way, he knew who she was, though not exactly WHO she was. It was annoying to have it in the back of his mind but not be able to put a name to it. So he would ask,
"Who am I dueling? What is your name traitor?"
Hopefully persuading this traitor to surrender would be possible. Xeno was not keen on killing his own kind. That part of him was still connected to Dathomir, and he would rather speak this problem out. Though, Jedi were never good at peace.
Violet eyes blazed gold at the display. The ship had taken some damage from the turrets, but there came another problem. With the heavy cycler cannon hitting hard, as well as some peppering from the ship above, the defense was being struck. She grit her teeth in thinly veiled rage, the scars knotting over her back in intensifying pain. Fingers dug into the seat, and she stood, crouching over the monitors with an icy rage seething out. A lesser woman would have vented her fury at the display, but there was still time yet. The tide was in their favor.
One of the turrets was so heavily damaged, that aiming would prove difficult. Instead, there was the other. She would have to take care of this most recent threat.
"Aim at that walker," she snarled out to the furthermost turret, almost feeling the protest of the metal grinding against itself. It would take time, precious seconds, but while they scrambled to prepare for this latest batch of invaders, she began to unclip her lightsaber.
"Jaikus. We might have some new toys to play with soon," she called out over one shoulder. When she received the comm that there was some visibility, she smiled, eyes slowly turning back to their sharp violet.
Only one turret she kept her eyes on would be online for the time being, but it would aim in the general direction of where the walker struck through the mushroom forest, aiming to take out the heavy gun and limit its' firepower even more, taking out their main gunner in the process. If they got any closer, she would relish tearing them to shreds herself under the turret's fire.
The freighter pilot's maneuvering kept him safe from the base's turrets on the initial approach and his boosted rear shields tanked the bursts of Black blastboat bolts without bleeding through, crimson terminating against the sturdy overcharged energy field. Much to the madclaw's frustration the other pilot not only refused to directly engage him but even turned attention entirely away from the pursuing Maw as if he simply wasn't there. He was being ignored right after a brazen challenge to a dogfight.
That was something the hunter couldn't accept lightly. Dusty maneuvered to lap around the base, ship angled to present both guns toward the building's turrets, and the Blackfin moved to intercept. As Dusty began his attack on the first turret Shor turned left and let loose with all seven main guns to deliver a hailstorm of punishing laser and ion cannon fire into the freighter's path, no longer directly following but instead cutting across the base to intercept and turning with the lap around the perimeter. Shots came in from slightly above and on the flank behind to take advantage of the freighter's orientation, raining down onto the wide disc's rear side with stray shots flying into the surrounding forest.
Dusty had also diverted all shield power to the rear, an emergency overcharging maneuver that damaged the emitters for that side. After the initial boost in shield strength they tended to fail. Shor would take full advantage of that shield emitter damage, the freighter pilot not targeting him in lieu of a ground target, and a lack of evasive movement to aim his guns in order to closely hound Dusty. He would fire his guns from the Maw's advantageous position for the entire lap around the base.