OOC: Please allow time for opposition to join before joining in to keep things as reasonable as possible.
It had been some time since the loss at Byblos. Morgan had lacked the authority to gather enough forces to properly engage the defending fleet, and his tactics were countered by the coordination of Rangers and Jedi who had been ready for him. But now Darth Stolas much greater reach and, to the shock of the Tarisian leadership, struck from an entirely different direction.
Sith Lords had been captured, now freed by Raze's returning assault, and Stolas' priorities shifted from retrieval to conquest. He'd taken and consolidated power, the man he loved had returned whole, and the Sith Councilor was in high spirits. Now his forces, including the recovered Storm Squadron as well as any Sith, agents, or mercenaries working for pay, gathered to expand Sith territory.
Taking Taris would allow other forces to secure the space around it as well, expanding Sith space in the north and giving them access to industry and commerce. It would also give them greater control of and access to the hyperlanes Denon's capture by Raze had opened up. Should they succeed, all the more pressure for the Republic and Free Worlds to worry and debate over.
"Make your choice."
The standing offer to negotiate a surrender had been sent to the government and military forces of Taris. When they refused, the battle begun in earnest.
Above the cityscape of Taris a chaotic array of starships did battle in high orbit, engaging each other for supremacy of the planet's airspace. Landing craft streaked from the sky on bright thruster trails guarded by fighter craft and Storm Squadron itself, the infamous Magpie landing among the drop shuttles. It disembarked Stolas himself and whoever chose to join him, wearing his distinctive armour with his knives and sabers on his belt.
Their battle would be primarily on the top levels of the city. While ground forces battle the TSF, Stolas' goal was to surround and capture a central military command and control center. Seizing it would send their defenses into disarray and force a surrender from the Tarisian military and its government, the oligarchic council also holed up within.
There was one more detail the invading forces had been briefed on. The delivery of captured Rangers or Jedi to Darth Stolas, whether they surrendered or not, would be well rewarded. After the treatment of the captured Lords and the flame of his hate after Raze's injuries, the Drast's fury demanded retribution. The Dark gathered around him and within him like black, thunderous storm clouds, flashing with streaks of white-hot lightning.
His primary weapon ignited with a snap-hiss in his left hand, deflecting TSF bolts back to their source, and Stolas began his march toward the target building accompanied by his black-armoured soldiers. Darth Stolas' voice issued a command reinforced by a low, baritone growl.
The Jedi had responded to Taris when the call for surrender had been issued. Soren Rel had shown up a day before the fighting started in earnest but the battle crescendoed in the air. Taris' fate would be decided today.
The battle raged in the skies above and the levels below, but here in the upper levels of the city would be where the Jedi would have to hold ground. If the Sith were allowed to gain a foothold here, their warriors would be able to turn the battle.
The Jedi Knight stood guard in front of the building as the Sith approached. As fire between Sith soldiers and the planetary defense force began, Soren stood with his own lightsaber ignited, blue blade humming just under the sound of blaster fire.
Anger and Hate swirled in the air, buffeting their position as Soren steeled himself in the calmness of the force.
"There is nothing for you here, Sith!" he shouted over the din of battle.
Orcus drifted in orbit above Taris. The black razor edged T6 Shuttle was specially designed for ripping into other ships when their shields were down. For now, it simply floated over the battleground Raksis would soon join.
The Sith was waiting.
If his Vision was to become reality, he would need patience. He could sense the warmongering bloodlust coming from Stolas. It fueled Raksis with a strange and morbid sense of...
Slaughter and war made Raksis calm. It was almost therapeutical. He inhaled before Herald took the ship down to join Stolas.
When he exhaled, he unsheathed his dual vibrio swords and leaped out of Orcus with an aura of menace and dread.
“Show me your strength!” he screamed at not just the enemy, but to Stolas and the rest of the Sith fighting on Taris. He hacked away at the enemy and was quick enough to avoid having to block any blaster fire at the moment. The Zabrak watched and fought as if calculating something. Who will be worthy of my Vision?
Bir watched through the hangar shield with delight as the blue tunnel of hyperspace streaked back into stars, the fleet arriving above Taris with malicious intent. The galaxy needed to be reminded of the strength of the Sith armada, the courage of the masses strengthened by the Ranger victory at Byblos. But now with Darth Stolas in a new position of power, one Bir had watched him claim, it was time to send a signal to the galaxy at large; One defeat was not enough to silence the beast. It only prodded the rage.
Turning and boarding his shuttle Bir had decided it was time to join the fight as fighter squadrons tore through space to escort numerous landing craft on their descent into the world’s atmosphere. With him, the same squadron who had served alongside him on Vandyne with the newly appointed Captain Halie replacing their lost Officer.
“Ready for another shitshow, Bir?” the Captain asked as she slung her rifle over her shoulder once the shuttle lifted off from the hangar bay. Bir turned to face the woman and offered her a massive grin from beneath his dark hood. Stolas had earned a degree of loyalty from the crazed Kel Dor and he was delighted to be here under his command.
”Mayhem is my element, my dear!” he responded with a high pitched chuckle to follow. Once more, Bir had decided to shed his armour and was wearing nothing but his cloak draped over a tunicless chest and his trousers rolled half way up his calves. Today, however, he opted to wear a pair of standard leather boots. Halie smirked at the Kel Dor as she slipped her helmet on, the rest of the squad following suit.
The shuttle broke through the atmosphere and touched down half a click from Stolas’ LS. The invasion forces began to spill forward, blasters lighting up any retreating Security Forces looking to regroup for the first offensive push. Bir, the six members of his squad at his back, walked down the ramp and took all the despair in.
Raksis turned his gaze to the Jedi who stood alone amongst the chaos.
"There is nothing for you here, Sith!" he shouted over the din of battle.
He said nothing in return. His black horned helmet glistened in the fray of battle as he stared the Jedi down through his visor. He purposefully made his helmet to look as if a Knight of Ren had once worn it and wondered if it’s design instilled the same fear they once did.
Raksis awaited for the Jedi to make the first move. He readied his dual vibro swords whilst his stared down his foe.
Still, something was holding him back. That stupid flicker of light still remained.
Most of him wanted to rip the Jedi apart.
Some of him wanted to negotiate.
No! I will not subdue to the Light...I am stronger...The Shadow is stronger...
Xeno had been itching for a fight and now it was hear. The planet Taris. The Zabrak wasn't knowledgeable on this planet very much, but he knew how to handle a fight. On a shuttle bring down Sith troops, Xeno was heading down to the planets surface. The troops in the shuttle were few but good. They spoke among themselves of how they would kill the enemy and it was only music to the acolyte's ears. Death to the enemy was what he lived for. When he landed he caught up to a fellow Sith in Bir Vuul. The Kel Dor was wild but surely a reliable ally.
"Bir, need a hand?"
Xeno would walk alongside the Kel Dor as they ripped through troops of Taris. The 5 troops escorting Xeno were joining as well. This would be a fun time. The Zabrak trusted Bir enough to keep him alive as well as kill the enemy. In the sky it was easy to see Jedi and Rangers were arriving in their ships. Shouldn't be a problem seeing how there are plenty of Sith this time.
"Looks like we have incoming, wanna check it out?"
The Zabrak was giving a diabolical smile to the Kel Dor as he awaited the answer.
Taris. The next zone of battle for the Galaxy. Vraes snarled in disgust beneath his helm as he gazed upon the Sith fleet that was already engaging with the planetary forces. "Swing us around to friendly lines. I want a way out if the Aruetii crumble." He had been gifted thirty warriors by Srucayr, the War Priest that had tasked him with keeping the Sith in check. He had aided the Jedi on Dromund Kaas and now, now he would stand with them against the Sith on Taris.
What made this battle different than any other kind? Taris was much closer to Mandalorian Space. They needed to hold them here, in order to make the attacks Srucayr was helping lead worthwhile. So, he had sent a call out to all Mandalorians, requesting help in defending the most outer borders of their system from the encroaching Sith.
Fortunately, their numbers looked more like a motley crew of mercenaries hired to fight the Sith than an actual united force of Mandalorians, something that would hopefully protect their kin back home from an attack. As the pair of Kom'rk Class fighters landed behind the walls of the citadel, Vraes would disembark with his men. "Protect the inner sanctum! Venku, Tek! You're with me on the exterior! Let's show these Dar'jetii scum that they came here to die!"
With his mighty axe, Tiaor'shukur, in hand and clad in his Wolf's vestments, the Dread Wolf of Roon was ready for battle. Approaching the Jedi from the rear, flanked with his two kinsmen, they would face down the oncoming horde of Darkness. The Jedi had fought with only the Force at their back, but now the Mandalorians had brought with them the strength of Kad Ha'rangir, the Destroyer. Axe overhead, he would shout out his battlecry. "Kyr'am bal Kote!"
Taris, it was unfortunate that the Sith had come to this world. Billions of innocent souls about to be swept up into the power games of those who cling to the Dark Side of the Force. He had seen it before, where countless souls died fighting hordes of droids all across the Outer Rim. It was a horrible thing to witness once, it was worse seeing it a second time.
Like much of the Outer Rim Yvain had visited Taris once before, a young Togruta, Ashla if he remembered correctly. He found her here long ago before any war tore through the Outer Rim, she had joined the Jedi but had fallen like so many of his kind during the End of the Republic. He sighed at the thought of it all, as Yvain walked through the streets of Taris once more. Chaos rained overhead as the battle commenced between the Sith and Jedi/TSF Forces, around him blaster bolts began to fly, people were screaming all around.
Ahead of him two Sith appeared, a Kel Dor and a Zabrak, it was nice to see diversity amongst the Sith he thought as he walked out before the pair. "Greetings, I believe you are lost." The little green Jedi smiled as his lightsaber levitated from his belt up to his hand.
The Darkness crept across the galaxy. Byblos had been but a temporary respite. The Rangers had failed to keep their promise, they had failed to cage the Sith away from the galaxy. Their failure served as Darth Raze’s explosive. Darkness began to creep forward again. It had only been a matter of time before Stolas appeared above some unsuspecting world. They had known this. They had tried to prepare. They were still not ready.
They never seemed to be ready.
Jedi Master Alexandria Voran fought a war for the Order’s soul. The Darkness rose all around them and the Order sunk to meet it. Jedi were meant to be a Light for the galaxy to follow. She would not watch as they plunged into the depths to fight the Sith. Alex knew the Shadows were needed, but it was so easy to get lost in the Darkness. Images of her shredding through Asminy’s mind flashed. The Sith Lord had broken…at what cost? She had crossed a line she swore never to cross. It had been effortless to step one foot too far. Alex had all the information she needed, and the price was simply her heart. The Shadow’s made that same choice every time they left the Temple.
When war came and the Jedi rose…they all faced that same choice.
Alex would be the beacon. She would be the shining Light for those Jedi to come home. She would not allow them to lose themselves. So, she was on Taris when the call came. The Jedi Master had spent the time evacuating the downtrodden in the lower levels. Those folks needed as much aid as the ones above. Eventually she made her way to the central command tower. Her presence on the planet was known, a handful of Jedi having come to aid Taris. As the assault had begun, she remained in the command tower until Stolas landed. It was clear the Sith Lord intended to take the tower and end whatever resistance Taris managed. She had to trust the others could handle themselves. Her path was a likely collision course with the Sith Lord. The same path the man she loved once walked.
Alex road the elevator down, quickly exiting the building. The fighting around the command tower was intense. Fighters wove overhead, blaster fire roared, and screams rang out. Erected barriers and a significant number of Taris’ forces protected the tower. It was the beating heart of the armed resistance and was treated as such.
Stolas had not yet reached the tower, but she had no doubt he would soon. The Morellian Master wore her armor, with one additional golden saber clipped to her belt. Reinforcements poured out of the front entrance behind her. The Sith would not have Taris without a fight. This was no backwater world…they had a strong military and the mind to use it.
Her eyes flicked to Soren, momentarily catching on familiar hulking figure near him. The Jedi Knight and Mandalorian finding themselves facing a vibroblade wielding Sith. The Sith was oddly standing still in the middle of all the fighting. Alex kept her eyes scanning for Stolas, the Force humming in her body, but Soren needed the aid. An abandoned speeder was on fire just behind the Sith. With a flick of her wrist the flames went leaping from the speeder to coil around Soren’s adversary. A torrent of fire coming from just behind the helmeted man. At the very least, it would give Soren a distraction to neutralize the Sith.
“They’re being fools, you’re all just sitting targets here. If you move to the lower levels we can find ways to hide you. We can protect you better when there isn’t a neon sign signalling exactly where you’re bent over and ready for the taking,” Vahn said, gesturing pointedly out a transparisteel window that showed the battle raging in the city beyond.
The Guard Captain of the Oligarchs stared impassively down at Vahn from the stairway leading to the armored citadel within the towering fortress jutting from Taris’ surface. This very well could be where a final stand could be made. Dark eyes bore into him Taris always had a way to make you feel small. Even now, armored as he was, he couldn’t shake that feeling from so long ago on the streets below.
“Tarisians aren’t afraid of fighting and dying, we do it every day because of you, no, despite you bastards, just don't tie our arms down with this stupidity,” Vahn spat.
The Captain merely adjusted the position of his blaster rifle across his chest, and then his matte grey armor was still.
“The Oligarchy will not be disturbed in this time. Not by one born so far down in the… shade,” a sick smirk curled the corner of the captain’s pale, thin lips. Vahn’s eyes widened briefly, before he squared his shoulders, brow tense. So that’s what it all came down to in the end, then? He had been naive to think that they would listen to a Jedi that was one of their own. Even after all this time, after becoming a Jedi, after fighting this damned war across many worlds, back here on Taris he was still just trash from the lower city to them. He breathed, keeping his fury from building. He needed to be clear minded.
“Your order have been given comms to contact the rest of the Defense Force, so you are welcome to work with the defense of the planet. But the Oligarchs will not be disturbed,” the Captain said.
Vahn swore. He turned away without a further word and slowly at first, and then quickly broke away from the armored citadel within the command tower. In addition to his armored robe, reinforced with extra armor plates and bracers, he had a sling across his back packed with a small array of handy explosives mingled with disorienting concussives and smoke dispensing grenades, as well as an extra lightsaber slung dangling from the Jedi utility kit fixed about his hips. He was a Jedi ready for battle, if nothing else.
The battle forming around the tower was an increasingly familiar sight to him. The percussive detonation of war ships, the panicked shouting of fighting and dying men, and the persistent ambient stickiness of violence and pain on the air teasing his Force-attuned senses. He hated it, but he knew why fighting back was necessary. He made for the front lines as men surged forth and orders were given.
He found his fellow Jedi, recognizing Soren and Master Voran at once as he came close. Good, good. The lines were holding at least for now. He could make a difference here, and he focused on that thought. Nothing mattered but that, nothing mattered but protecting the people below.
“I wish I could say this is the worst situation I’ve found myself in on my homeworld, but it really, really isn’t,” Vahn said when he came to Master Voran’s side.
The approach of the Zabrak Acolyte did not go unnoticed by Bir. He was familiar with the man named Xeno from a delightfully twisted trip in the ruins of Korriban. He had not expected to encounter him in this tale of terror for the future generations to read about in their history lessons; however he was proud to share the honor of battle with the man all the same.
”Xeno! Is that you?!” Bir exclaimed as he turned to see his fellow Acolyte approach, a similar sized squad of troops in tow. ”Yes! Together we shall burn this world to ashes! For the glory of both our Eternal and in the name of the mighty Stolas! Let us push on!” With that, the merged teams advanced through the cityscape all while slaughtering any who stepped in their path. Be it civilian or warrior, it did not matter. They were here to snuff the life from their enemies and it was what they would do without falter.
That is, until a small sentient stepped out before them in what was easily identifiable as Jedi robes. These alone were enough to light a fire in Bir’s heart. It had been so long since the Jedi had abandoned him at the Battle of Ryloth. Since he and his Master were dispatched on a suicide mission. Since he lost both his arm and Windstar, watching as she was decapitated before his eyes.
“What the hell is this thing?” Halie asked, her voice altered by the vocal scrambler built within her helmet. “Ugliest dog I’ve ever seen,”
Bir’s saber was already in his hand, the red blade humming with life as the tip dropped down to the durasteel walkway that supported them all, sparks flying in every direction. His surroundings began to fade away into darkness, tunnel vision forming around the now lightsaber-wielding Knight.
”Jedi,” Bir hissed coldly, ignoring the man's introducing statement. There would be no negotiation. No chance for either to turn back and retreat. Not yet at least. Bir needed the taste of Jedi blood. He needed revenge for them abandoning him to die. For the death of Kari Windstar.
Motioning for the squadron of troopers to stay back momentarily, Bir stepped forward towards his foe. Bringing his saber ahead of himself at a forty five degree angle with his right prosthetic hand, the Kel Dor raised his organic left hand behind the safety of his blade and pooled the Force within himself before casting out a kinetic wave directly in Yvain’s direction. It would be enough to knock him from his feet if he did not respond to the assault. Of course, there wasn’t only one Acolyte here that the Jedi had to contend with.
The fire that caught Raksis broke his concentration, which increased the anger that flooded through him. He threw his cloak off of him to let it burn and glared at Alexandria through the visor of his helm- his fiery eyes scorching through black eye holes.
“You are not my prey.” He grumbled darkly. He unsheathed his vibro blades and paused for a few moments. Something tugged at him.
That same ridiculous something that had held him back in the past. “Damn this...” He said quietly to himself.
Then, he roared with rage, pushing back the heretical pull of the Light that had gripped him for too long. Raksis flung his right sword diagonally at Alexandria- not to kill but as a warning. The violent spin of the sword cut inches away from her face before returning to his empty hand. His anger helped push down the sliver in his heart. That annoying, weak, sliver of light.
“Leave. Now. Before that pretty face of yours ends up not so pretty.” He barked in a cruel tone.
Raksis boiled the anger festering inside of him and focused it on Soren, ignoring Alex. So many potential trophies. So many potential bragging rights.
The helmed Zabrak closed his eyes and inhaled, placing his focal point on Soren, and when he opened his eyes and exhaled a wicked maelstrom of the Force flew from his person and rapidly approached the Jedi like a hurricane spinning on it’s side as a wheel.
Xeno was advancing through the last of the Tarisian troops in front of them as the Zabrak would reply happily to the comment of the Kel Dor Bir Vuul,
"Yes, let us push on!"
Through blaster fire and screams of the souls taken by the the Sith on scene, a thing appeared, something. It was small and green, honestly just looked like an overgrown booger walking amongst the living. Then Xeno would notice the clothing on said booger. They were undoubtedly Jedi robes. Who a booger frog could be a Jedi? They seemed confident as they approached. Seemed like time here fighting this swamp shitling wouldn't be wasted in any means. That's when Xeno could sense danger in the direction of Lord Stolas. He may be a councilor, but with how much energy he could feel in opposition, he knew that the Sith Lord would be happy to have a hand in his defense.
"Bir, I sense danger near Lord Stolas. Think you can take on baby booger while I'm away?"
Xeno knew Bir could handle as well as Bir knew he could. Fights were what the two excelled in. It was time for Xeno to give Bir an advantage. He could force push the greeny, though it would be too predictable. The thing should be smart enough to counter it. No.. that's it, countering an attack. It would be the perfect way to get it to lose focus on Bir long enough for him to attack. Xeno was sure to nudge his elbow into Bir's and let out some words where the walking mucus couldn't hear,
"I'll give you a distraction to attack. Just wait for my cue, got it?"
The Zabrak acolyte would put his eyes on the gremlin and then smile as he was prepared to give Bir the advantage. He noticed a woman and a child next to a bench. They was cowering close by to the the little munchkin. A building was cracked that was right next to her. Any good Jedi would save them if something were to go awry.. oh wait, that's exactly what's about to happen. Xeno used the force to rip the build apart and began to drop it all to where it would land on this woman and her child. This was of course the cue for Bir to begin his attack.
After dropping the majority of this building he began to run in the direction of his Lord. Surely Lord Stolas was capable of combating these low level Jedi long enough to allow for the Zabrak to make it to him. The path was long, and he had a lot of ground to cover. There were Tarisian police, and TSF, and even Mandalorians here. All they would wind up being is victims of the dual wielding Sith acolyte Xeno Brogroo. On his way he would mumble under his breath,
At the beginning of his march a jazz-y chime rang and he pulled his datapad from his belt, lightsaber knocking a bolt back into a distant soldier as he looked at the message. He smiled brightly behind his helmet, and with how he was focused for war it immediately lit a fire in him. Morgan took a couple moments to rapidly type back to @Darth Raze, reminding himself to tone it down since the half-Sephi was in a meeting. He'd meant it when he said he'd always have time for him and would remember this gesture.
Darth Stolas locked and replaced the 'pad and marched quickly forward with the military forces and other Sith, black boots stepping around rubble and over those who had already fallen. A small observation droid bobbed intentionally behind him at a safe distance to record the invasion as it happened near Councilor, planning to piece it together for later viewing by the man he loved.
Which was exactly why it flew upwards as the Sith Lord flew forward to handle a group of defiant TFS soldiers. His blade was an agile pen as he danced and stepped, a swift and vicious tango. Each cut and slice wrote out a serious of letters the observation droid stitched together into words, punctuated by the screams of the dying and the thick, heavy fall of burned-through corpses. Only the man who was meant to see it from the droid's angle would understand, and that clip was sent to his ship direct before it returned to its normal position.
By the time more notable enemies were in sight, Raksis had also arrived and Xeno was rapidly on his way. Darth Stolas came into view, taking in the appearance and demeanor of the defenders. Three Jedi he didn't know in differing varieties of robes, some of them armoured. They were joined by some sort of Mandalorian historical reenactor wearing what at least resembled antiquated full plate and wielding a large axe. The other Mandalorians with @Vraes Trenessar would quickly find themselves engaged by Morgan's soldiers somewhere off to side.
@Alexandria Voran focused the Force toward @Raksis and Stolas replied at the same time. Stolas' right hand moved, the Force suddenly coiling around the heavily armoured Mandalorian (@Vraes Trenessar) to fling him mightily into @Soren Rel. He intended to bludgeon him severely and bury the unarmoured Jedi with the axe-wielder's immense weight, leaving them both in a tangled heap in the street. His senses were alert, eyes on the lined up group before him as his voice called out just after his attack through his helmet's modulator.
"I would like a word with the captured Sith's torturers. Name them for me."
Malice and anger, that was all he could feel from the two Sith who stood before him. Feeling The Force well up within the Kel Dor stood before him, Yvain widened his stance and held out his hands ready to accept the power which was coming his way. To attack was to defend and to defend was to attack, that was his mantra that day, he was to stall these Sith long enough for the people to remove themselves from the battlefield.
The Kel Dor's jolt of Force Energy flew from his hands towards the old Jedi Knight, Yvain held his own palms open in front of him The Force flowing into his body life a river the concussion of Force hit his own reserve and power like a springboard. Yvain slipped back a few inches, the nails on his toes digging into the durasteel as he collected the force from the Kel Dor, before pushing back adding his own power to the blast. As he directed the move dark thoughts slipped through The Force and Yvain noticed the Zabrak's intentions at toppling the building, but he was young and unskilled it would not be as quick as he hoped. The combined wave of force form Yvain was directed at the young Zabrak as he tried to pull down the building.
He now had a choice, continue to pull down the building and be hit by the blast or break his concentration and let it stand. Yvain hoped for the later and shouted to the civilians to move.
War. The Sith loved it, but the Mando'ade perfected it. Theirs was the only true God of War and his will had led to the rise and fall of Republics and Empires alike, even their own people. Vraes would weave amongst Sith troopers, axe spinning deftly in hand before he brought it at a horizontal slash, severing the head of one of the troopers. He would look over his shoulders to the two Mandalorians he had brought with him into the main fight, the rest having been left in reserve. "Taylir briik! Gotal'ur etid tal'galar par anay wutr! < Hold the line! Make them bleed for every inch!>"
He paused long enough to step into the bayonet thrust of another trooper, one hand grabbing the trooper by the throat before slamming him down against the steel plating of the ground. His men were just as effective, having spent the last ten plus years at war, they were far from novices. Leaving the stunned trooper to be finished by one of his men, he would step towards the Sith before he felt the pressure of the Force wrapping around him.
Anger would burn in his eyes beneath his helm, the coward had thought his sorcery would work. Priming his grapple line, he'd fire it into the ground, rooting himself in place as the Force tugged against him. To beat the grapple, the Sith Lord would need to open himself to attack by focusing even longer, something the Mandalorian knew he wouldn't do, as concentration was an opening. With the grapple line, Soren would at least have time to move out of the way if the grapple didn't hold. "Move Jetii!" Vraes would quickly wrap the steel line around his bracer for additional support, yelling out to Stolas. "Gar kadir malyasa'yr va borarir bat ni, hut'uun! Dir motir de ni! <Your magic will not work on me, coward! The gods stand by me!>" followed by a hearty laugh.
There he was. The man who had taken Max from the galaxy. But despite the armor and proclamations, he was just that…a man. Alex was old. She had seen his type before. Her mental walls scaled high. The pain she felt at seeing Stolas locked far away. Max is gone…you can’t change that now. That small ember of anger from Byblos still burned deep in her heart. She knew to keep it there.
Fighting continued to rage around them as Stolas reached the tower. Her saber hilt snapping into her right hand. As she sent the flames at (@Kell Rook), Stolas swept Vraes towards Soren. She was oddly happy to see the half-crazed mountain man. Thankfully, the Mandalorian could care for himself. Generations of fighting Force wielders would prepare one well for that task.
The Sith facing down Soren did not react to the flames in time arcing towards him. Instead, he unleashed a Force blast towards the Jedi Knight. While the Sith focused on Soren, the flames reached him, arching up his robes and across his body. The Sith managed to throw off his cloak but the distraction was enough. Alex could spare no further thought for the suddenly flame filled Sith. She was not naïve enough to disregard the man, the others could handle him. He was still several yards away. His swinging vibroblade would meet only air as soldiers, barriers, Soren, and Vraes stood in his way.
Her attention was on the Sith Lord. Vahn was by her side. She trusted him as Sevrin trusted him.
The moment after she moved the flames and Stolas (@Mr. Teatime) worked the Force, she struck again. The Jedi would move in unison. One with the Light. Her left hand snapped out. The Force compressing all across Stolas’ body. He was powerful…she knew that, but her strength in the Light shone brightly. She worked every ounce of her strength in slowing Stolas’ physical form. It was a simple use of the Force, but sometimes the simplest solution was the right one. She did not speak, it was not who she was.
The Tarisians had chosen violence. Kayden Skyler had chosen silence.
Silence drifted into the black of space between the bright stars like a shadow in the night. The stars above were on fire, ships trading bolts like quasars between black holes, and one black hole navigated between them all.
It came with certainty, it came with silence. It came with a crew of mutes and their captain who possessed the only tongue on board. Kayden had not been one to join the fray of even his fellow Sith, such as they were, but now he had a voice.
His sister had been much the same. Kamelle had died alone on a lonely world. Where were the Sith to save her? Nowhere, anywhere—they did not care. That was the way. Kamelle had catered to it. Her brother was no different.
Yet he was here today, right here and now, to give his blade and his blood to a cause because the reward was greater: the blood of his enemies, Jedi or otherwise, and the blades he would melt down into ingots were worth their weight.
“Ours is the fury. Show it to them..”
“Ours is the storm!” Kayden cried to his crew as Silence floated into the city. “We do not sow!” He bellowed in the cargo hold. His mutes tried to call back. They could only yell. Speech was a privilege. They ought to be honored to hear their captain’s. “We REAP!”
The ramp lowered before the ship even engaged its landing struts. As Silence drifted down to the city ground Kayden stood on the edge of the ramp, holding tight to tethered chains as he roared with the fury of a hurricane for all the world to hear.
The boarding ramp yawned forward like a lolling tongue to expose the maw within. Bolts came Skyler’s way, the opposition taking pot shots at the incoming craft winding downward, but it was Force or fate or fury or fashion that kept the captain from getting struck.
Fashionable enough, yes. Kayden Skyler was attired in his steel armor, pauldrons sporting golden blades with serrated edges, and his crew much the same. Except, where their mute faces were helmeted in the hold behind him, their master’s was not. He wanted his victims to see him roar as much as hear him.
Silence landed. The boarding ramp slammed down atop a Taris soldier in the wrong place at the wrong time. Blood spurted as bones snapped and Kayden ate and drank. He descended the ramp with his reavers in tow, ignited a lightsaber whose black blade thrummed within a red shell, and laughed as he took the skull off the nearest fool.
The reavers began to carve a bloody path toward their quarry, swinging blade and firing bolt, captained by their Sith. He was cutting toward Stolas and his allies facing off against their enemies, and the latter included Jedi as much as Mandalorian. Fine! Kayden yearned. We shall dance beneath the stars!
The chaos of battle erupted as fires engulfed the Sith Acolyte who was so lost in his rage he failed to defend himself in any way from the torent of fire, instead opting to try and lash out at Master Voran.
Soren moved to intercept the Zabrak, moving with enough speed to clear him from the Mandalorian's path but stopped short some 10 yards away from the Sith Acolyte.
Even as the Zabrak tried to hurriedly discard his cloak the flames would work on his flesh, even then the Sith turned his hateful gaze towards Soren. With an outstretched hand, the Jedi Knight reached out with the Force, pulling the Zabrak's arms against his side and squeezing him. The combined actions of the flames and Soren's effort of will constricting him would likely snuff out any concentration the Sith had left to mount any sizeable attack against Soren.
At the first moment the vibroblade would spin in the air towards Master Voran Vahn would break into movement. His saber snapped to life in his hands as he turned to face the attacker on her, the attack that never came. Vahn then quickly advanced on Raksis, cutting an angle to allow him to move in on the Sith Lord’s flank. He drew deep of the Force, his entire body alive, surging with the very essence of Life itself. Vahn guided the Force into his body, enhancing the speed at which the Knight bore down on the Marauder. He didn’t turn himself into a missile however, instead “Pulsing” the power to accelerate him across the distance between the two, and pulling back to slow to more mundane speeds that allowed him more control over his momentum before he could be threatened by the Marauder’s weapons. He kept his pull on the Force, enhancing his reflexes and speed once more as he engaged in saber combat.
Vahn would be within saber range of Raksis in moments as the Sith summoned his attack on Soren. He came in across the Sith’s left flank, with his saber held low to his right hip in both hands. He twisted his whole body into the cut, his azure blade flashed forward in a powerful, swift upwards cut that would carve the Sith open from his left hip up to his opposite shoulder, quite possibly bisecting him diagonally.
If the blade were somehow parried, Vahn wouldn’t waste time trying to push through Raksis’ guard. He would pull his blade away, breaking contact with the minimum distance needed while keeping his saber between himself and Raksis’ own vibroblades.Vahn would then take a wide step around Raksis to put the Sith between himself and Stolas. He’d then turn his wrists, his blade held horizontal before him until the last moment when he turned his wrists to simply drop the blade down onto the Sith’s right shoulder. If Raksis tried to back away to gain distance, he knew the binding effect of Soren’s power would hinder him, and Vahn would chase, taking quick authoritative steps forward with his saber commanding the center line between them to drive into the Sith’s chest. Even as he engaged in saber-work, TSF reports of the battle came through to him and any other Jedi or fighter working with them, warning of a new Sith that was making way for the fight around Stolas.