View Full Version : [SW d20 revised] One-shot Game Fiction

2009-08-02, 03:35 PM
So, I drove over to visit some acting friends Friday night. When I got there, they mentioned that it had been a while since they had done any RP, and so, in my absence, they volunteered me to run them through a one-shot Star Wars game. They had characters mostly created, and wanted to play an Old Republic game with all of them being senior Padawan Jedi.

As it happened, the session turned out pretty interesting, especially for an adventure I got to run on 15 minutes notice. Just for the heck of it, I've been writing it out as a fiction piece, and thought you people might get a kick out of the story. The fiction is about half-done, so it'll be serialized as I get it finished (hopefully done by tomorrow night). Dialogue is as close to verbatim as I recall.

The date is roughly 4,000 years before the events in EpI, and very shortly before the events in KOTOR1. The characters are:
Cordon - Human Male Jedi Guardian 5
Aiden - Human Male Jedi Consular 4, Jedi Warrior 1
Akiva - Human Female Jedi Consular 5


The commlink sounded a strident tone, breaking the Padawans out of their blissful meditation. They looked around their circle for a moment, none willing at first to leave the comfortable padded couches upon which they sat cross-legged. The commlink beeped a third time, and Aiden sighed, looked askance at his friends, and hopped off his couch to grab the persistent device. He hit the "receive" switch, and the sonorous tones of Master Ultan Bahs filled the meditation chamber.

"Padawans, please report to my chambers at your earliest convenience." The commlink shut off, and silence once again filled the domed room.

Akiva unfolded her lithe frame from her meditation posture. "What do you think he wants now? Another lecture on how we shouldn't play pranks on the Younglings here?"

"Perhaps you should reflect on the idea of the three of us playing pranks on the Younglings and compare it to why we're the oldest students in this Temple who haven't yet found a Master." Cordon's voice held a disapproving note, and he continued with his eyes shut. "We have perhaps a year to convince a Master to take us as Padawan learners before we're sent away to join the AgriCorps as official Jedi rejects. Why you insist on involving us in your pranks when we're already on such thin ice with the Masters is completely beyond me."

"Hey now, you thought replacing their food with - " Akiva began, but Aiden's cool tenor cut her off mid-rant.

"We should probably discuss this later. 'Earliest convenience' for a Jedi Master means 'right now" for we lowly Padawans, remember? We won't help ourselves to find a Master by keeping the senior Master on Vitiria waiting."

Akiva grimaced and jumped down from the two-meter high couch, followed quickly by Cordon. Aiden led the procession into the hall. The door, recognizing their passage, began to hiss shut, interrupted briefly by Akiva's arm reaching back through the frame and summoning the metal cylinder of her lightsabre from her couch where it had lain momentarily forgotten. With her arm gone, the door closed at last, and darkness and silence returned to the Vitirian Jedi Temple Meditation chamber.

* * *

The three Padawans halted just inside Master Bahs's office while their eyes adjusted to the dim light. Taking a moment, they strode forward to stand in front of the large Teryak-wood desk that dominated Bahs's office. The chair on the other side of the desk faced away from them, though they could certainly feel the cool, placid presence of the Jedi Master who occupied the padded seat. They waited in silence. Patience was a virtue to any Jedi, be he Jedi Master or mere Padawan, and while they certainly wouldn't dream of keeping a real Jedi waiting on them, sadly, the reverse seemed to never be true. After ten, maybe fifteen minutes in which the only sound in the room was their steady breathing and the moist sound of Master Bahs's gills, the chair finally rotated around to let them see Master Bahs's face-to-squid-face. The Quarren stared back at them unblinkingly.

"Padawans, it has come to my attention that there is an issue between one of the grain farmer clans northeast of here and one of the light bulk cruiser crews that haul the grain off-world. From what I understand, the threat of violence between them is very real, and the local magistrate is barely keeping things in check. Since the more I keep the three of you occupied the less...interesting....events seem to happen around here, I believe I will send you out to mediate between the aggrieved parties. Both sides have agreed to Jedi mediation, and they await the arrival of a Jedi to settle this. I trust this is within your capabilities?" The young Padawans nodded silently. "Good. Take your regular day-gear, a landspeeder from the hangar, and, of course, your lightsabres. There have been reports of crazed Brax in the area, so be on your guard. This dataslate has the coordinates of the landing site in question. Be about it."

The chair rotated back around to face the shuttered windows - a clear dismissal from the Master. Aiden nodded to the other two, and led the group out of the office into the bright light of the Temple's center courtyard.

* * *

"Stars, I'm glad to be out of the Temple for a while!" Akiva stretched back in her seat and let the wind rip through her hair. Cordon glanced over at her from the driver's seat, an eyebrow raised, and she laughed. "Don't look at me in that tone of voice, Cord. I know, I know - peaceful meditation, reflection on the Force, and so on and so forth. You can't tell me that you aren't excited to actually be outside the compound actually doing something. We've been on the same schedule for four months. What is it Master Ikara keeps saying? 'Feel, don't think'? Well, I'm trying to lean back and feel good here."

Cordon chuckled softly, the sound nearly lost in the wind roaring around the rocketing landspeeder. "I'll admit we could be on a more exciting planet, true. But we're trying to be Jedi - aren't we supposed to shun adventure and excitement? Deal with it when it comes to you, sure. Not seek it out."

Aiden sat back in the landspeeder's back seat and let his two friends bicker in their friendly way. An hour and eighty kilometers out of the Temple and the conversation had looped back around twice now. It was always the same, Akiva, raised on adventure tales in her youth, and found that her Force talents led her down the path of the Consular, the Jedi Diplomat. Her predictive abilities, especially, had caught the testers by surprise. But she longed to go out into the galaxy and make a difference, and had never quite outgrown those adventure tales. Privately, Aiden surmised that was why she'd not yet been picked by a Master for further study, she was, according to the tenets of the Jedi Order, too eager.

Cordon, naturally, was the opposite. Laid-back, soft-spoken (f not outright taciturn), and easy-going, the massive man was one of the most naturally gifted pure warrior the Masters had ever seen. His problem was the opposite - in the tests given by Knights and Masters, he was too willing to sit back and let the issue sort itself out, failing to develop the instinct for when direct intervention was needed.

As for Aiden himself, well, he just got bored easily. Talked down to too many ranking Jedi when they proved themselves to be...less than intelligent. Of course, on a planet as boring as Vitiria, it's not like there was a whole lot of mental stimulation out there.

Vitiria lay on the inner edge of the Outer Rim Territories, a part of the Galactic Republic only because of a salient gifted the Republic by a particularly far-ranging Hutt who controlled near-on twenty systems, and willingly gave nineteen of them over to the Republic in exchange for no questions being asked about said Hutt's involvement in supplying arms to the enemies of the Republic during the Great Hyperspace War some thousand years ago. Considered a "breadbasket world" Vitiria boasted a pleasant and temperate climate, with rich, fertile soils over nearly three-quarters of its overall land surface, though not developed or colonized in any way until the Republic had taken over the planet. Massive farms covered swaths of the surface, usually twenty kilometers square and each farm run by a family or clan of settlers. The mutual intersection of every four square farms boasted a small landing pad for the light bulk freighters that moved the grains offworld. It had been figured years ago that a decentralized system was more cost-effective that having to build the infrastructure to store and transport the grains to the planetary capital and its large spaceport. Aside from the capital, the only other installation of note on Vitiria was the Jedi Temple.

The Jedi Temple was a relatively new facility, only a hundred and fifty-odd years old, built as a subsidiary unit to the primary temple in the sector. The theory mandated by the Jedi Council was that it was more effective to build many, smaller temples throughout Republic-controlled space, as opposed to transporting the many force-sensitive Jedi hopefuls all the way to the temple on Coruscant for testing, and then transporting them all the way back out of the Core to the MediCorps or AgriCorps bases if they failed their testing. Which would be fine, except it meant that Aiden and the others were stuck on this backwater world with nothing to do. Day in and day out, they meditated, or trained, or meditated, or trained. The tedium was...tedious. Aiden snapped out of his funk and sat up on the landspeeder's back seat. The bickering the in the front seat had stopped, and Akiva had her head in her hands, shoulders shaking.

"Akvia, are you alright?"

"I feel something. It's...dark. Slimy. It makes my mind feel vile." She raised her head from her hands and looked wide-eyed back at Aiden. "I feel something terrible is about to happen. I-" She stopped and cocked her head. "Do you hear that?"

Aiden and Cordon both strained their ears, but the roar of the wind proved too much to overcome. Cordon slammed the reverse thrusters, and for a moment all three were deafened by the engine's shrill whine as the landspeeder shuddered to a stop. Cordon frowned for a moment and turned to Akiva. "Yeah, I hear it too. Thunder, you think?"

Aiden concentrated and in the silence the sound came to him as well. Crump. Crump. Crump. A sound like distant thunder came rolling back across the verdant fields. "Couldn't be thunder, Cord. Not a cloud in the sky" Crump. Crump. Aiden stood up and let the Force flow through him, letting it heighten his senses. He could smell the soil, the scents on the breeze. He could hear perfectly now the sound Akiva had caught. It wasn't thunder anymore. He lifted his eyes, and far above the ground, back in the direction they had come, he could see tiny, box-like shapes orbiting the ground in the upper atmosphere. Below them, he saw what looked like tiny droplets of green rain falling to the earth. He stood uncomprehending for a moment then noticed, just at the edge of the horizon, a tiny plume of black smoke from where the raindrops met the ground. Then it hit him, and he collapsed hard back into his seat. Cordon and Akiva stared at him.

Cordon leaned forward. "What is it? What did you see?"

Aiden closed his eyes. "Turbolaser fire. Attacking the Temple. We have to get back."

The landspeeder was already swinging around as Aiden ground out his words, and he felt the g-forces push him back into the couch as Cordon took the speeder to full power. He reopened his eyes to see Akvia staring at him, wide-eyed and frightened. "Aiden, what's happening? What's going to happen to us?"

He could only shake his head unknowingly as the speeder thundered on towards the horizon. And home.

* * *

2009-08-02, 04:01 PM
With Cordon's foot holding the accelerator firmly against the floorboards, the trip back was swift. There was no question about direction or getting lost; the oily smoke rising from the Temple into the azure sky formed a beacon impossible to miss or ignore. The increasingly rocky ground near the Temple streaked by in blurs of red and gray, until Cordon spun the speeder to a halt on the crest of the hill overlooking the basin in which the three Padawan's home lay smoking in ruin.

Once the speeder came to rest, the three leapt from their seats and rushed to the hilltop, scrabbling for the monoculars on their belts. They looked down into the basin, and their hearts sank. The concentric circles of the Temple lay smashed in many places into rubble. The peaceful groves between the circular halls lay aflame. The long, rectangular halls that linked the circles to one another were wrecked, structural members reaching to the sky like bony, blackened fingers. The bombardment was drifting to a halt, only occasionally did an eye-searing green blast rocket down and bounce the rubble around with its earth-shaking concussion. Cordon grabbed his commlink and tuned it to the emergency channel.

"This is Padawan Cordon to any survivors of the Temple. Is there anyone there?" A squeal of static answered his plea, and then, scratchy and barely-hearable, they made out the deep voice of Master Bahs in response.

"...don't know...attack. I've ordered...evacuate. ...Force be with..." His last exhortation was cut off as another blast shook the ground, targeted near the center of the Temple. A fiery cloud roared up and outwards. The young Padawans waited breathlessly for the transmission to resume, but only hiss of static replied.

"Stars, what do we do now?" Akiva's legs gave out, and she slumped to the ground with a thud. "Who are these people? What's going on?"

Aiden knelt next to her. "We've got to get to a communication center. Let the rest of the Jedi know what's happening."

"Do you really think a comm center's going to help us? If they're bombarding a Jedi Temple, they sure wouldn't stop at bombarding the capital. Or at least cutting off communications." The two looked at Cordon's resolute face. "This is a full-on act of war here. Whomever's doing this has to know the Jedi won't stand for a wholesale massacre of, what? Fifty Younglings and a good dozen Knights and Masters? They've got to be going full-out on this. I'd bet that there's more ships we haven't seen blockading the world, or off blowing hell out of other parts of Vitiria. And that's not assuming this is an isolated act. No, we've got to get off-world as quickly as possible. Get to Coruscant, or at least a sector temple, and let the rest of the Order know what's happening. We may not be Jedi yet, but it's gotta be up to us. I don't see anybody else to do it."

Akiva nodded, and Aiden grimaced. "You're right. But Master Bahs said 'evacuate'. That's means there might be survivors. Give us a few minutes to scan for them. You go warm up the speeder - we'll be there shortly." Cordon threw a quick salute and dashed down the hill, while Akiva and Aiden turned back to the heart-rending sight of the smashed Temple, and adjusted the resolution on their monoculars to make out human-sized shapes at such a distance. Barely a glance was necessary.

Their tan outfits stood out against the black stone of the Temple ruins. The survivors of the bombardment scurried this way and that, the Younglings gathered in a bawling cluster at the nearest portion of the ruins to Aiden and Akiva, clearly frightened out of their minds. A few of the elder Younglings and what looked to be a trio of surviving full Jedi threw the rubble this way and that looking for any more survivors. Master Ikara, his hammerheaded Ithorian frame clearly recognizable even through the cheap monoculars directed efforts, his lightsabre held ignited at his side. Every few moments, he looked around, obviously watching for the followup assault that was sure to come. Aiden lowered his monocular.

"We've got to get down there. We can load up the speeder with as many as possible and try to get the heck off Vitiria." Akvia nodded, and the pair sprinted down the hill after Cordon.

* * *

By the time the trio in their speeder wound their way through the rocky outcroppings that formed the perimeter of the basin, the bombardment had ceased. In its place, an eerie silence fell over the shattered Temple. The quiet after a battle can be the loudest noise of all. Akiva braced herself as Cordon slammed the speeder around a hairpin turn and pointed upwards.

"What are those?"

A trio of rectangular ships fell slowly through the sky towards the far side of the Temple ruins. They looked nothing so much like bricks studded with gun turrets and with massive wide clamshell doors on their bow and flanks. Cordon spared a glance upwards, following Akiva's trembling finger.

"Never seen those kind of ships before. I'd guess they're troop ships of some kind. Doors don't look big enough to handle much in the way of vehicles. Infantry carriers most likely. It's about get real busy around here."

The Padawans lifted out of their seats slightly as the speeder caught air over the crest of the last hillock before the straighaway back to the Temple. Aiden's eyes caught the activity. It looked like they weren't the only ones to have noticed the incoming ships - the surviving Jedi and the elder Padawans seemed to be throwing together a semicircular barricade of rubble in a clear area. The only one who looked like he was still searching for survivors was Master Ikara, who was standing stock-still near a dome-shaped pile of rubble twice the height of a man. Cordon brought the speeder to a stomach-clenching spinning halt just outside the rubble pile, and the three sat for a moment amazed as the blocky Ithorian reached out and telekinetically lifted the dome of rubble.

Beneath it crouched a man - a Jedi Knight the three didn't recognize - with a pair of Younglings holding on to his legs and sobbing desperately. The Knight looked up as Ikara dropped the rubble pile off to the side, gave a wan smile, and collapsed in a heap. Ikara turned to the three Padawans who sat with their mouths gaping at such a casual command of the Force - that rubble pile probably weighed near-on three tons - and coughed lightly.

Akiva was the first to react, leaping forward and out of the speeder and grabbing for her medkit, she rushed to the side of the fallen Knight. Cordon shut down the speeder and he and Aiden clambered out of the machine and began clearing further rubble. The two worked quickly, and then redoubled their efforts as they heard the snap-hiss of igniting lightsabres from the direction of the barricade, followed shortly by the sound of blasterfire. Cordon paused for a moment.

"I feel something. I think there's more survivors over there." He pointed to a nearby rubble pile. Aiden nodded.

"I think there's a stairwell under there. If somebody took shelter there, they'd be trapped in."

Cordon and Aiden both started quickly throwing rubble to the sides, working frantically to clear the stairwell before whomever Cordon had sensed ran out of air. They had nearly finished when they heard Master Ikara gasp behind them, and the low-pitched whine of a ship's repulsorlift system suddenly sounded loud.

They turned to see a craft unlike any they had ever seen finishing its landing protocol behind them. Generally dagger-shaped, the back end of the craft was dominated by a bulbous command deck and each side of the craft was lined with bent, three-paneled wings. It looked dangerous, predatory. Ikrara turned to them.

"Finish what you are doing here and get as many as you can offworld. The Jedi Council must be informed of this atrocity." He turned back and started slowly walking toward the new craft, his long-fingered hands white-knuckled around the grip of his lightsabre. Aiden and Cordon were just about to start back in on the rubble pile when Akiva screamed "look out!", and a blaster bolt splattered shards of light on the rubble near Aiden's head.

From the side, a half-dozen of the intruders moved through the rubble. They stood tall, with silvery reflective armor plates over a black bodyglove, and a featureless, black reflective faceplate concealed whatever humanity these assailants may have had. They carried large, ugly-looking blaster rifles, rifles that clearly had a right end and a wrong end, and it was obvious that one did not want to be on the wrong end. Their element of surprise shattered, the troopers dove for cover and opened fire on the little group.

"I'll finish here, you and Akiva deal with those guys," yelled Cordon. Aiden nodded and ignited his sabre just in time to deflect a blaster bolt aimed for hit gut. Akiva was already standing, her sabre arcing in perfectly controlled defensive loops that kept incoming fire away from her and the fallen Jedi at her feet. Aiden charged forward, taking to offensive, as Akiva reached out with her free hand and propelled a block of stone into the face of one of the intruders, slamming him to the ground and cracking his faceplate. He heard the grinding and crashing of rubble being thrown haphazardly aside behind him, and then suddenly the cries of children cut through the air.

Aiden and Akiva reached the first line of troopers almost in the same moment, each cutting down their adversary effortlessly. The armor was intimidating, certainly, but no match for the coruscating beam of a lightsabre. They stood there over their victories for a heartbeat, deflecting blaster fire that came faster and more accurately every moment. Akiva half-turned as he heard a cry of triumph from behind. Cordon came striding into view from the below-ground staircase, carrying a pair of furry Bothan cubs that clung to him desperately in fear. The trooper's fire patterns shifted, and Corden dropped the children and snapped backward at the waist as the web of blaster fire targeted him while his hands were full of child and not his sabre. The cubs hit the ground and scurried away towards the other half-dozen children sheltering in the trio's landspeeder. Then, Cordon stood upright, two long tracks burnt across the front of his tunic where the deadly blaster fire had kissed him. He gave a deadly smile and ignited his sabre.

"That was TOO close." Cordon gave a great, Force-assisted leap and landed in the center of the surviving troopers, who frantically backpeddled away to try and draw a bead on him or get distance to safely draw the vibroswords at their hips. Aiden and Akiva charged in as well, and with a few strokes of their lightsabres the deed was done. Not all was silent; from behind them, they heard the sound of clashing lightsabres. They turned as one and gasped.

Master Ikara was beset by what seemed a circular blur made of black cloth and the red glow of hostile sabres. He was purely on the defensive, spinning this way and that, his pale blue sword a too-thin line of defense against his foe. As they watched, astounded at the unforgettable sight of a Jedi Master truly fighting for his life, he stumbled, a half-heartbeat slow to raise his weapon, and a red slash drew a crimson scar across his blocky torso. As one, Akiva, Cordon, and Aiden cried out in horror as the bisected Ithorian tumbled brokenly to the ground. The stench of cauterized meat filled the air, and the sobbing children at the landspeeder screamed and cried the louder. The three raised their weapons and dashed forward in a vain attempt to help, and just as quickly skidded to a halt as the black blur resolved itself into their deadly new foe.

Two figures stood before them, pale and skeletally gaunt. Black paint or tattoos crossed geometric lines and patters across their face and down their necks. Ice-chip blue eyes, with just a hint of crimson madness, stared hate-filled back at the Padawans. Curled white hair spilled down the shoulders of the female, while the male's shoulder-length white hair lay tied behind him at the nape of his neck. Both clutched long black and silver recurved lightsabres of an unfamiliar make in their hands, and the bloody glow cast a deathly glamour across their faces.

2009-08-02, 05:09 PM
"What do we have here, Arcas? Have the Jedi children come out to play?" The low voice of the female was like silk dragged across spikes. The male did not respond, instead only moving silently out to the flank with his lightsabre held at the low-ready. A chilling smile spread across his pallid face, the perfect teeth making it seem all the more unnerving.

Cordon pitched his voice low. "I'll get to the landspeeder and get it warmed up. Can you two hold these two that long?" Without taking their eyes of the supremely dangerous foes in front of them, Aiden and Akiva nodded slowly, and brought their weapons up to a middle guard, ready for a fight.

"Oh, they DO want to play!" The female laughed throatily. "Good! Good! That old Ithorian wasn't much fun, you know. I do hope you'll be more...energetic."

Akiva's face hardened, Ikara had been her favorite teacher for years. "All right, Aiden, I've got her. Can you handle the other one?"

"I've got him. Watch yourself."

"Oh, don't worry about me. Worry about her!" Gathering the Force below her, Akiva leaped forward over the still-chortling woman. Landing lightly, she swung her sabre as hard as she could at her adversary's spine, hoping to bisect her in the same manner as her mentor. From seemingly nowhere, the woman's crimson sabre flashed before her face, held vertically parallel with the woman's spine and stopping her attack cold. Without turning around, spoke.

"Ah, ah, ah. Attacking out of anger isn't what the Jedi are about, now is it?" Now the woman moved with snakelike speed, spinning under her own sabre and launching quick but powerful one-handed cuts at Akiva's thighs and shoulders. Akiva threw herself backward up onto a pile of rubble to open the distance, but the woman followed effortlessly. "Now, if you want to turn and be with us, what I've found works best isn't hatred." Akiva jumped the slash that would have removed her feet and threw a circular attack at the woman's swordarm which forced her to stop her attacks. She stepped back out of distance and continued her perverse lecture. "No, what truly works is despair. To be caught against a foe which you have no hope of defeating. Only then do you let your anger at the unfairness of it all flow through you." The woman closed the distance again and threw a quick quartet of attacks at Akiva's legs, drawing her defenses down. Once Akiva's sabre was drawn out of position, the woman flicked her weapon in a tight circle and brought it down at Akiva's exposed head. Akiva dropped to her knee and pushed her sword straight up, catching the killing attack mere inches from her head. She could feel her hair stir from the static discharge of the lightsabre's raw energy. "And that's what you're feeling now, isn't it? Anger at the unfairness of it all? I just killed a Jedi Master, and you're but a child, how can you hope to match me? You don't have a hope of beating me - not when I can draw upon the full power of the Dark Side of the Force!"

Akiva's eyes widened as the woman shoved her free hand into her chest. She started to bring her sabre down in an arc that would remove the woman's hand from her arm when the hand lit up with a sickening blue-white glow. Before she could complete the cut, incredible pain surged through her as raw lightning shot from the woman's hand, locking ever muscle in her body and throwing her bodily backwards to land against an upright wall fragment. She lay there, panting and unable to move as the woman stalked towards her.

Aiden and Arcas circled each other warily, a stark and silent contrast to the furious battle raging nearby. Both held their sabres low, each waiting for the other to make a move. For a long, indrawn breath, there was stillness, then a flurry of motion in an eyeblink. Back and forth their battle moved across the ground, the only sound the sparking and whining of deflected lightsabres. Locking Aiden's sword up briefly, the dark warrior gathered the Force and slammed it forward in a coherent ball of energy to knock the Padawan to the ground. Sidestepping deftly, Aiden avoided the strike and heard the rubble behind him explode into dust from the force of impact. Flipping himself completely over, he freed his sabre from Arcas's grip and drove the killer backwards in a determined assault. From the corner of his eye, he could see Cordon pulling the fallen and wounded Jedi into the speeder, and piling the Younglings into the crash couch in the back. His distraction nearly cost him his life.

Arcas lunged forward, thrusting the sabre towards Aiden's throat. A half-heartbeat after the last moment, Aiden's sabre circled upwards to knock the attack away, but the damage was done. He could feel a burning line crossing the side of his neck, where the attack had, ever-so-gently, touched his vulnerable flesh. He fell backwards, grabbing at his throat and feeling for the injury has was sure was mortal. His opponent shook his head and spoke in a grating, gravelly voice completely unsuited for his wiry frame. "Never been injured in a lightsabre duel before, have you boy? Get up and finish it, you're barely scratched." Aiden raised is weapon, and was set upon with a vengeance. It was everything he could do to keep up with the seemingly impossible speed at which his foe rained blows down upon him. He could see where the attacks were going, to get his defenses further and further out of position to that even with his Force-assisted limited precognition, knowing where the next attack would come from wouldn't help him stop it. And he could do nothing to prevent it; he had to stop each of these assaults, and each one left him more and more vulnerable to the next. In a moment, Arcas would reach around his defenses, and he'd be dead. In just...one...more.

Aiden felt a disturbance in the Force, as a wave of blue coalesced Force energy slammed into Arcas. He looked around frantically, to see the wave emanating from Cordon's outstretched palms, standing on the driver's seat of the hovering speeder. Arcas screamed in pain, and it seemed as though a black smoke was pushed from his chest and dissipated in the onrushing wave of power. The blast wrapped around and through Aiden as well, though he felt no pain, only peace, and smelled through the various scents of battle what seemed a cool summer breeze. After a long moment, the blast died away, and Arcas slumped to the ground.

Akiva looked up as the thunder of Cordon's call upon the Force echoed across the field. The woman stood right above her, her head turned in shock and alarm as she watched her compatriot buffeted by the wave of energy. She cried out in a wordless denial, and Akiva could feel her gather the Force within her to leap across the field as the energy died away. Just as the woman's feet left the ground, Akiva swung her sabre desperately at the backs of her legs, and saw with satisfaction cloth and skin part beneath her blade. The woman screamed in agony, and hurtled across the battlefield to land in a heap next to Arcas. Akiva clambered to her feet and dashed forward after her, skidding to a halt beside Aiden as the two dark Force-users untangled themselves.

"Aiden, what are you waiting for? Let's finish this." Aiden shook himself, the expression of contentment and peacefulness falling away as he truly saw the field again. He raised his sabre to a ready guard as Arcas stood shakingly.

"You think you've won, Jedi? Here's what it truly means to be a servant of the Dark Side. It means POWER!" Both Padawans felt it then, a surge of oily blackness in the pits of their minds, as Akiva as said, a truly vile feeling. Aiden tried to shout a warning, but too late. Blue-white eye-searing lightning burst from Arcas's hands, trapping both of them in a world of pain. Akiva's previous exposure meant nothing, this lightning was orders of magnitude more intense and agonizing. Both Padawans tried to call upon the Force to mount some kind, any kind, of defense, but the pain was so great as to completely dominate their minds, preventing them from finding the balance and inner peace necessary to call upon the Light Side. They dropped to their knees, then onto all fours as Arcas leaned into the blue bolts and intensified, if possible, his assault. They could see nothing, feel nothing but pain, taste only the acrid ozone, smell their own flesh beginning to cook, and hear...

...they could hear a landspeeder.

The lightning died away abruptly and they looked up in shock as Arcas dove to the side. The woman tried to follow, but her wounds left her slow, and she was thrown to the side as Cordon's landspeeder, not moving all that fast but massing tons, slammed into her. Over the cry of the children and the whine of the speeder's engines, the Padawans could clearly make out the dull snap of breaking bone.

"What are you two lying there for? Get in!" Cordon spun the speeder to a skidding crash stop. Aiden and Akiva grabbed their lightsabres and dove for the speeder, clambering over the gunwales and falling bonelessly into the seats. Children clutched them in fear and Cordon threw the speeder into reverse, slammed it into a bootlegger turn, and opened up the throttle. The speeder howled away from the ruins. The sound of blaster fire faded, died. The battle for the Temple ruins was over. Now the only thing left to do was get offworld.

* * *

(That's all I've got written right now. More soon.)

2009-08-02, 10:28 PM
Very enjoyable. If you keep writing it, I'll keep reading it. :smallcool:

2009-08-03, 09:51 AM
They drove in silence, reflecting on what had happened. Cordon had to slow down somewhat once the speeder's engines had started to overheat from being pushed to the limit for so long. Aiden sat facing backwards, wary of any pursuit, though it had been nearly an hour now and he'd seen nothing. Akiva tried to comfort the children in between bouts of trying to rouse the Knight back to consciousness. She also was going out of her way to not think about what the woman had said to her. She had been despairing in that fight, it was brutally obvious that she was no match for the woman. She thought about the strike against the woman when she tried to jump away to help her compatriot. It wasn't a killing blow she had made, it was a crippling blow across the hamstrings. Had that been out of anger or a desire to hurt instead of quickly and humanely kill? No, she was not going to think about that right now. Too many other things to deal with.

Cordon turned the landspeeder down one of the large clear pathways that denoted a border between Vitirian farms. If he continued down this path, he'd eventually run into an intersection of farm borders. Eventually, they'd find a farm border intersection with a starship loading grain, and that'd be their ticket off-world. He concentrated. Statistically, any given direction was equally likely to have then run into a ship, but... "Feel, don't think", he said under his breath "Just feel". He felt it. There. He turned the speeder south.

At the next intersection, they saw it. The large, boxy shape of a ship loomed on the horizon. Cordon gunned the engine as a wave of hope surged through them all. They'd found a ship. They were going to escape after all.

Cargo loaders and farmers stared as they pulled the speeder into the shadow of the craft. A hundred meters long and looking nothing so much like three boxes connected by thin spindles, the ship stood on hefty landing skids on the landing pad, a hive of surreally normal activity on a day that demanded nothing be normal at all. While Cordon and Akiva wrangled the Younglings and carried the fallen Knight, Aiden strode up the cargo ramp to the first person he saw who looked like a spacer.

"Can you bring us the master of the ship, please? I'm Aiden, and we're on emergency Jedi business. We're going to need to borrow your ship."

The slight, tow-headed young woman's eyes opened wide on the mention of Jedi. She swallowed and stole a glance at the sabre hanging from his belt. "Ah, I'm Leah. Leah Walker. This is the Ranger and, uh, I guess I'll get Captain Farmlingham for you. Just a moment, please." Tearing her eyes from Aiden, she dashed over an intercom panel on a nearby wall and thumbed the button mercilessly. A rich, deep voice came over the comm.

"What's the problem, Leah?"

"Captain, I've got Jedi down here. They say it's important...and they need our ship." The sound of what could only have been a dropped glass came clearly through the comm, and Aiden was positive he heard a savage curse.

"I'll be right there, Leah. Don't promise anything." The comm cut off. Leah turned back, red-faced, to Aiden, who smiled disarmingly and held up his empty hands.

"Perfectly understandable. I'll wait."

Barely a minute went by before Aiden heard the hatch to the cargo bay hiss open. A large man, large even for someone who wasn't a spacer, strode hastily into the cargo bay, his features set in an angry cast. His eyes were sunken deep in his face, brown eyes blending well with his mahogany skin. He stalked swiftly up to Aiden and looked down his beak-like nose.

"What do you want?"

Aiden tried the disarming smile again, to no avail. "Sir, the Jedi Temple's been attacked by an unknown force. Everyone there has been slaughtered. We're the only survivors." He indicated the speeder and his companions with a sweep of his arm. "We have to get the word to Coruscant. I know we legally have the right to simply take your vessel for the duration of the emergency, but I'm not invoking that. I'm asking, sir, that you get us to Coruscant as quickly as possible. The Order will recompense you for your loss, and if you refuse, we'll move on through the farms to the next ship we can find."

The giant's eyes softened. "Let me apologize, Jedi. I judged the situation without knowing the facts. My mistake. We'll get you and yours out of here right now." He turned to Leah. "Sound the recall order and stop the loading. Get everyone back on board. We take off in ten. I want you on the bridge, Leah. You're studying to fly; you can watch how Ulgar handles the procedures under duress. Go." Leah scurried off, and he turned back to Aiden, extending his hand. Aiden took it.

"Call me Captain Fram, please. Bring your speeder up the ramp and use the magnetic grapples to lock it in place. That door leads back to the engines, that door goes forward to the crew quarters. Get the kids and your casualty into the mess hall forward and the three of you please join me on the bridge as well. I have to oversee launch protocols. Please, excuse me."

Fram dropped Aiden's hand and turned on his heel, walking quickly across the bay and to the forward door. Aiden turned and waved his companions forward, Cordon moving the speeder up the loading ramp at a snail's pace. Once the speeder was secured, they herded the children into the forward mess hall, Akiva telekinetically carrying the fallen Knight's body in the most gentle manner she knew. She lay his body down on a crash couch and strapped him in. A rumble moved through her feet. The ship was powering up, about to take off. Aiden stood at the door. "The bridge, folks. Captain Fram wants us three up there before we take off. Let's go."

Cordon lingered behind a moment to comfort the children one last time, and then follow Aiden and Akiva out the door.
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