MOTF Book I: BOTE Chapter 14

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MOTF Book I: BOTE Chapter 14

Post by Emperordmb on Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:18 am


Shorya stared at the system of tunnels and caves embedded in the ground several feet in front of her. This mining complex was one of the spoils of their recent victory at the Lightor base. Though they considered it a spoil of war, it was still necessary to ensure that the mining complex was truly abandoned before the Shadikill could begin to make use of it.

This was the reason Shorya was here. She and Sullivan had brought their respective units on a scouting mission to ensure that there would be no surprises awaiting the squad when they arrived. Surprises like that damn general at the base, Shorya thought to herself. That little surprise had almost led to the deaths of Dylan, Walton, and of course herself, as well as almost leading to the failure of the mission. That is until Dylan miraculously managed to defeat the Lightor general in single combat, while injured.

Shorya knew the squad would be telling that tale for months, as well they should. Though it was definitely on the higher end of Dylan’s battlefield achievements, it was hardly the only seemingly impossible thing Dylan had managed to pull off in the heat of the moment. She wasn’t quite sure how he did some of the things he did, and neither did he based on their conversations with each other. Dylan always told her that he couldn’t quite explain how he did the things that he did, just that he did them because he had to, even if that included fighting through otherwise debilitating injuries to take down an opponent many considered to be invincible.

As far as debilitating injuries went, Shorya was still a little sore from being shot by the Lightor general a few hours ago, but a few health stims and some assistance from Dylan quickly got her back in the proper condition to go out into the field again. Though Dylan offered her a period of rest and recovery during this scouting mission, she turned him down.

“So how do you want to do this?” Sullivan spoke up from behind her.

“I think you should lead Stealth in first,” Shorya replied, turning to face him. “Then me and Tactical will follow closely behind.”

“Wait,” Sullivan began. “Why should my unit go in first? If there’s trouble down there, wouldn’t that put my unit in more danger?”

“Unlike me and my unit, you and your unit can turn invisible,” Shorya responded. “If there is trouble down there, you’ll see them before they see you. Besides, we’ll be right behind you the whole time.”

“Fair enough,” Sullivan conceded. “I just have one condition.”

“What would that be?” Shorya inquired.

“When I die, you have to let my ghost haunt you for the rest of your life,” Sullivan said with a grin.

After a moment’s consideration, Shorya shrugged responded, “Deal!” Then, after gathering their respective units together, Shorya and Sullivan stepped into the darkness of the mine.

As she went down into the mines however, she couldn’t quite shake the feeling that something didn’t feel right.

——————————————————————————

They had been down in the caves for a few hours, sitting and waiting in the darkness, but even a couple of hours after the attack on the Lightor base, they had not run into anyone else in the mines. If they succeeded however, then it would easily be worth every minute they had spent waiting. Even so, Arthur found himself increasingly bored to the point to which he slumped down on the ground, leaning against the wall of the mineshaft.

Just as he had begun to drift off to sleep, an electronic voice warbled in his ear, “Movement detected in the upper levels.”

They had finally arrived! “Positions everyone!” Arthur ordered through the comm channel. This was finally his chance to make an impact in this war. He would take the first step in ushering in an era of peace and prosperity for his people.

Arthur quickly stood up and pressed his armored body against the wall of the mineshaft. Jaira was leaning against the wall across from him, wearing her own set of armor. She nodded his way before seemingly spontaneously vanishing. All around the mines, Arthur knew his combat droids were doing the exact same. For this mission, each of the combat droids had been equipped with cloaking devices, as had he and Jaira. The Shadikill would not be able to see them until it would be too late. By the time these brutes realize the error of their ways, Arthur thought to himself, they will already be dead.

“Are you ready for this Jaira?” Arthur asked, trembling with excitement. “Are you ready to make our mark on history?”

“Hell yeah!” Jaira said, the excitement in her voice as obvious as it was in his own voice.

They leaned up against the walls, waiting and thinking for a couple of minutes before they saw movement in the distance. As they watched, a shadow grew on the floor of the mine. A soldier walked closer and closer, until they passed by. Then another soldier passed by and another one after that.

“Is there any confirmed visual on the Shadikill prince?” Arthur asked through the comm channel.

“No sir,” one of the droids responded. “There appears to only be Stealth and Tactical soldiers.”

“Are you sure?!” Arthur asked with a failing hope.

“Arthur,” Jaira chimed in. “The asset confirms that the prince has not left the base yet.”

“Do we proceed?” another droid inquired.

“No, this is merely a scouting party,” Arthur said as disappointment washed over him like a wave. “We must wait for the full squad to arrive before we strike. For now we must remain unseen and wait for the prince to come to us.”

——————————————————————————

A breeze swept through the courtyard of the Jedi Temple, one of the few parts of the temple not enclosed in the green transparisteel of the pyramid that now encased it. Jedi Master Amoye Ilu stood beneath a large tree in the center of the courtyard with his fellow Councilor Nalaniel, and the Grand Master Mongooku. It wasn’t just any tree however, it was the tree that bore the fruit of the Emerald Mango.

“Would either of you like a mango?” Nalaniel asked. The Female Zabrak hung suspended in midair amongst the branches of the tree. Amoye could make out the faint outline of her four telekinetic arms. Three of them were wrapped around the branches of the tree, holding her up among them, while the fourth was reaching for one of the emerald mangos.

“Of course, but Nala,” Amoye began to respond as she turned her head to look at him. “I’d like it sliced.”

After a moment of pondering the blademaster’s words, the Sage master gripped one of the mangos and tossed it at him. As the mango flew towards Ilu, his blade sprang to life in his hands. For less than a second, the emerald mango was consumed in a violet blur as Amoye almost casually whipped his blade in various directions. Then, Amoye Ilu swiftly outstretched his left hand, and halted the mango mid-flight with the force. The mango lay suspended in the air in front of Ilu, now in twenty slices, each slice of almost equal size to the one next to it.

“Not bad,” Master Mongooku said with a friendly chuckle. “I can see why they call you the skilled one. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if you were the single greatest duelist in the history of the Jedi Order.”

“You honor me with your praise,” Amoye Ilu replied. “But though I can best you in a sparring match, you know so much more about the force than I could ever hope to understand. You are the true master, and I will follow you to whatever end.”

There was a brief moment of silence as Nalaniel passed an emerald mango to the Grand Master. “Do you know the history behind the Emerald Mango?” Nalaniel inquired.

“I’m afraid I have not been as diligent in my studies of the archives as you have Nala,” the Echani responded.

“That’s quite alright,” the venerable Grand Master chimed in. “I’m sure our friend would be delighted to share this story with us.”

“Of course Master,” Nalaniel responded. “In the early days of the New Jedi Order, a Jedi  Knight named Jaden Korr was stranded on a deserted moon, and the only source of food he could find was a forrest of emerald mango trees.”

Amoye Ilu listened with great interest as he began to eat his mango.

“Eventually, after a few weeks of eating nothing but these mangos, the Jedi Order finally found him and rescued him,” the Sage Master continued. “Though he had eaten nothing but emerald mangos for the past few weeks, he was as strong and healthy as ever.”

Amoye Ilu savored the sweet taste of the emerald mango as it slid across his tongue. No wonder Nalaniel likes these so much! he thought to himself.

“But Jaden Korr kept the seed of every Emerald Mango he consumed, and when he was rescued from the planet, he planted each and every seed in impoverished areas of the Corellian system,” Nalaniel continued. “Afterwards, Luke Skywalker had this very mango tree planted in his honor.”

“I think the moral here is obvious,” Mongooku chimed in thoughtfully. “The force provides us with what we need, and when the time comes, we must share it with the rest of the Galaxy.”

“I couldn’t have said it better myself,” Nalaniel responded.

“Yes it is true,” Amoye Ilu replied. “The force does indeed show us the path. I myself have based my entire fighting style around this inexorable truth, but the masses of the Galaxy fail to see it. Those who cannot touch the force cannot recognize this great truth.”

“We must show them the way Master Ilu,” Mongooku replied. “They are full of unchecked emotion, so se must show them peace. They are ignorant, so we must show them knowledge. They are full of misdirected passion, so we must show them serenity. They fear death, so we must show them the force. They are blind Amoye, so we must show them the light. This is the purpose of the Jedi.”

“But despite our best efforts to guide the people, they resist our efforts,” Ilu said indignantly. “Shapris slanders us at every turn, and he’s not alone. There are those in the Senate who think us no better than the Sith. Some, like Senator Kulvax, even go so far as to spread false rumors and wild accusations about us!”

“That is the nature of people Amoye,” Mongooku responded. “They refuse to accept that we know better than them, so they live in denial. They believe us arrogant, when it is the force that has chosen us, not ourselves. Rather than accept the simple truth that we know what is best for them, they instead vilify us and compare us to the Sith. The propaganda Senator Kulvax levies against us is falsified information, and nothing more.”

“But the people of the Galaxy believe it nonetheless,” Nalaniel said somberly as she slowly descended to the ground. “We need to find a way to make them see the difference between us.”

As her feet touched the ground, she began to lean forward and tremble slightly. “We are not the same as the Sith!” she said, her voice a little shaky. “The Sith are… vile and cruel monsters!”

“Have patience Nalaniel,” Mongooku said as he placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. “We all had darkness in our past, but what matters is that we were able to move beyond that and see the truth. And one day very soon, the Galaxy will have no other choice but to accept that truth. We will find this child born of the light, and we will train him, and one day, he will show the Light to the entire Galaxy and destroy the Darkness. The Siths’ time is almost up, and when they are purged from the Galaxy, our light will spread far and wide in their absence. Without the Darkness, we will lead the Galaxy into a brighter future.”

——————————————————————————

Dylan sat in the command center of the base, holding the Lightor general’s helmet in his hands. It’s exterior was gleaming white, but the yellow blood of the Lightor was splattered all around the inside. He could see it through the shattered green transparisteel visor, also flecked with the general’s blood. This would make a good war trophy, Dylan thought to himself.

This general was definitely very high on the list of his most impressive kills, but not quite as impressive as his defeat of the Cyberbeast Scorpiox. He wasn’t quite sure how he managed to kill Scorpiox. Come to think of it, he wasn’t entirely sure how he had managed to kill this general either. He had fought harder and faster than the general, but according to Barre, that should’ve been impossible based on the specs of the Lightor power armor, and Dylan’s own physiology.

He should not have been strong enough to overwhelm the general but somehow he just was. Somehow he had been able to transcend his physical limitations. Somehow, he achieved the impossible. He didn’t know how or why he was able to do what he could do, but he took great amusement in how it boggled the minds of his Tech unit every single time.

Fernin and Tormax never seemed to fully believe the tales of his prowess however. Dylan found this rather ironic seeing as they both told similar tales of their battlefield feats. It was of little consequence to Dylan however, because he knew that his accomplishments were superior to the stories they told about themselves. He wasn’t entirely the type to brag and boast about his accomplishments, but he had no shame in taking great pride in them.

As Dylan looked up, he saw Barre walking towards him with a datapad. “Ah Barre! Have you and Tech finished the diagnostics?” Dylan inquired.

“Yes,” Barre responded. “The bases systems are up and operational, all the Lightor have been wiped out, and the mining equipment is good to go.”

Dylan began to ask, “What about-”

“No we did not find any alcohol anywhere in the base,” Barre answered, cutting Dylan off.

“Damn it!” Dylan angrily responded. “These Lightor never have alcohol on them!”

“Of course not,” Barre replied. “The Lightor believe that people who get drunk or high should be sterilized, so as not to ‘spread their stupidity throughout the generations’ or something along those lines.”

“Ugghh!” Dylan grunted. “No wonder we’re at war with them! They are literally so intolerant that they managed to turn every other Innamortan nation against them!”

Just then, Walton walked over to them and took of his helmet, revealing his short blond hair and bright blue eyes. “Shadikill command said they’d send reinforcements to hold the base as soon as possible, as well as Crystalyx miners to work the mines” Walton began. “Once Shorya makes contact with us, we can rendezvous with her and Sullivan at the mines and secure the area.”

“Excellent,” Dylan responded. “Barre here has just informed me that all the weapons and mining equipment is fully operational, so we can transport the mining equipment over there, and set up the artillery so that the Shadikill can defend the mines as we extract its resources.”

“Could I ask you something Dylan?” Walton inquired.

“Of course my droogie, ask away,” Dylan said, giving his usual reply to such a question.

“Remember that mission in the abandoned city where we took down that cyberbeast, and you said you’d make me your Supreme Commander some day?” Walton began.

“Yeah,” Dylan responded, not entirely sure of where Walton was going with this.

“Did you mean it?”

“Yes.”

“Do you still mean it?”

“Yes Walton, why do you ask?” Dylan asked, now very confused.

“I only asked because Shorya has consistently performed better than me on the battlefield, saved your life in a few months more than I have in a few years, and according to Sullivan the two of you talk a lot at night,” Walton began.

“Yeah, she’s also smarter,” Barre added on. “And more tactically minded, and faster, and nicer, and a better person overall, and she-“

“Okay Barre! We get the point!” Walton interrupted. “Bluntly put, she’s a better warrior than me, and I can’t help but wonder why you haven’t promised her that position instead, or a similar position.”

Dylan had no answer for that query.

“You see Dylan,” Barre chimed in, “Me, Walton and Sullivan have been talking and we can’t help but wonder if you haven’t offered her a position like that because you have another position for her in mind perhaps?”

“What are you saying Barre?” Dylan asked, starting to get a little irritated with his friends.

Walton responded for Barre. “There has been a lot of talk amongst the soldiers, and many of them believe that Shorya is on the fast track to becoming the Shadikill Queen.”

“What?!” Dylan cried out.

“Come on Dylan,” Barre continued. “We’ve all seen the way you look at her and talk to her.”

“We are just friends,” Dylan denied.

“No Dylan” Walton responded. “You and I are just friends. You and everyone else in the squad are just friends. Shorya though… You talk to her differently than you talk to anybody else Dylan. Everybody but Shorya sees it.”

“Shorya and I are just friends!” Dylan repeated. By this point, the young prince was blushing. Despite his outward denial, he was fully aware of his feelings for her.

“Suuuuure,” Walton replied sarcastically. “Whatever you say my droogie.”

There was an awkward silence in the room for a few seconds until it was broken by a beeping coming from Walton’s helmet. The Communications officer walked over to his helmet and put it on. After a few seconds, he turned to Dylan and said, “Speaking of Shorya, she just made contact with us and said we should join her at the mines.”

“Alright then,” Dylan began, eager to change the topic of conversation. “Let’s get all the equipment and go meet her there!”

——————————————————————————

Darth Angelo walked nervously through the halls of Darth Odious’s temple. The Iktochi Sith Master was so afraid that it took every ounce of self control he had to keep his fear from showing. Darth Odious had summoned him to his throne room, and Angelo didn’t need to be the head of the Sphere of Foresight to know what Odious wanted with him.

As Angelo came closer and closer to the Dark Lord’s throne room, he could feel Darth Odious’s presence growing like a shadow during a sunset. His presence felt cold and oppressive, almost repulsive. And as the magnitude of that presence grew and grew, a sense of dread and fear spread over him.

Darth Angelo was fully aware of the reasons Darth Odious had summoned him. It went all the way back to how Angelo had ascended to the Sith Council in the first place. His predecessor, Darth Maltrix, was a former Voss Mystic, had become increasingly obsessed with the Dark Holocron. She had kept saying that the Dark Holocron would “show her the way” and that “the secret to the future was in the Dark Holocron,” to the point bordering on dangerous obsession.

As Maltrix’s hand and apprentice, Angelo had a front road seat in viewing her grow more and more obsessive. Eventually, Maltrix managed to acquire the Dark Holocron, but kept it to herself rather than turning it over to the Dark Lord. Angelo remembered the day Darth Maltrix held the Dark Holcron in the palm of her hand. Angelo watched as her body began to glow with a red aura, her eyes blazing red with the power of the Dark Side. And then, it happened.

The voice that emanated from the holocron was the voice of a man. It sounded very sinister and seemed to echo throughout the room. It said, “Look upon the past.” And then in a fraction of a second, the highlights of the seemingly eternal war between the Jedi and the Sith flashed before both of their eyes. It was a vision far beyond any either of them had ever experienced before.

They saw the Force Wars on Tython and the creation of the Jedi and Sith Orders. They saw Emperor Vitiate consume a planet and build an empire. They saw Revan bounce back from Light and Dark as he struggled to achieve Balance. They saw the Thought Bomb detonate on Ruusan, before the all powerful Sith’ari Darth Bane forged a legacy of Darkness. They saw Bane’s Legacy fulfilled by Darth Sidious, as the Jedi Order under Yoda fell. They saw the Jedi and Sith Orders both torn down by the Chosen One. They saw Luke rebuild the Jedi Order, and the Sith’s desperate attempts to rebuild themselves, until finally the One Sith and the Lost Tribe of the Sith united and forged a new order. They watched the war they were now in play out from the beginning to their current place in history.

When the vision ended, the menacing voice spoke out once more. “One will come to end this war. One born from the Dark come to end the Light.” Even to this day, Angelo could remember the feeling of that voice reverberating through his mind and soul. The power that voice conveyed was beyond anything he had ever felt before. This included the power of the Dark Lord himself, though it did little to ease Angelo’s comfort now that Odious demanded his presence.

Darth Angelo remembered Maltrix growing more and more obsessed with the holocron and prophecy. Angelo remembered her devolving into madness. She spent every waking moment obsessing and fixating over the Dark Holocron and it’s prophecy. She was planning on sharing this prophecy with the entire Sith Order to rally them, convinced that everyone needed to hear this great truth. Darth Angelo could not agree less with this conviction.

As a member of one of the Sith Intelligence branches, one of the first fundamental lessons Darth Angelo learned was that knowledge and information are a form of power. To freely give information of this magnitude to the masses would be to sacrifice power, and this was definitely not the Sith way. It was at this point that Darth Angelo realized that Darth Maltrix had become too weak to head the Sphere of Foresight. He realized that this was his chance to rise to power.

Left with no alternative, Darth Angelo informed Darth Odious about the prophecy and the Dark Holocron in Maltrix’s possession. When he learned that one of his councilors had been withholding one of the greatest Sith artifacts of all time and information with monumental implications, Darth Odious was infuriated. He summoned Maltrix to the temple, ensnaring her in his trap.

When his men searched her temple however, the Dark Holocron was never found. Odious tortured Maltrix for information, but all she would say was that the Dark Holocron was far beyond his reach. That night, her screams filled the night sky of Korriban, her pain almost tangible to the other Sith on the planet, and by the time it was morning, no sound would ever be heard from Maltrix ever again.

When Darth Maltrix had died, the Dark Lord allowed Darth Angelo to take his place as Head of the Sphere of Foresight, under the agreement that Angelo could never speak of the prophecy to anyone. The rumors had reached Angelo’s ears however. He and many of the other Councilors had heard of this Jedi prophecy. A prophecy the Jedi Grand Master was spreading around that was almost identical to the one Angelo and Maltrix had heard that night, except with the roles of Light and Dark reversed at the end. In this Jedi prophecy, the war was to be ended by one born of the Light who would destroy the Dark Side, rather than the other way around.

Darth Angelo of course had absolutely nothing to do with this prophecy, but nonetheless, Darth Odious had drawn the distinct connection between the Jedi prophecy, and the one Angelo was forbidden from ever speaking of, and now Angelo was walking along the exact same path Maltrix had once walked. The path to the Dark Lord’s throne room.

As he approached the doors to the throne room, Angelo began to quiver with fear and doubt. The presence of the Dark Lord was practically suffocating him at this point. When he reached the doors, there were two guards and the guard Captain Carthage waiting for him.

“The Dark Lord will speak to you now,” the guard captain said with a malicious smirk on his face. “Remember not to derail the conversation.”

Darth Angelo had nothing to do with this Jedi prophecy, and he had never recited the forbidden prophecy to anybody else. He was resolved to make this fact very clear to Odious. He was completely innocent, and as long as he told Odious the truth, he had nothing to fear. Even so, as the doors of the Dark Lord’s throne room opened, Darth Angelo’s heart almost stopped. The grip of fear ensnared his very soul. He was in the Dark Lord’s domain now…

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Emperordmb
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