Episode 9-The Extinguished Light
'Adventure 19- Battles Above the Sky and Below the Surface
Part One-The Long Wait
Having reached the computer console deep within the lair of Grievous, Capt. Grey and his troopers begia setting up to retrieve the information as the party headed back to orbit above the planet. Jara and Stert said their goodbyes and headed towards the Hapes Cluster. The party headed back to the jump point and docked with The Champion.
For the next two weeks the damage that their fighters received, from the battle with the ground forces, was repaired and Arrianya began to prepare for her return to home and to her work helping orphans. Sensing a disturbance in the Force, O'dian and his padawan informed the party and headed out to investigate. A transport from Tanabb arrived with Bel and not wanting to cause conflict, Nix, on advice from Blu, decided to leave with the Horizon's Edge. She reported to the party that Xextuss awoke from his coma, muttered the word "Kolloth" and then without any other word took a ship from the hangar and left the planet. She also had no news on the whereabouts of Grem.
At the same time, more events unfolded...
In the space above Clackdor VII a trio of Star Destroyers appeared from hyperspace. A troop shuttle descended to the surface and landed outside of a Sith tomb. Stormtroops filed out and secured the area. Six red robed Inquisitors descended the ramp and began to meditate. Without a word five of them turned to their leader.
"The tomb has been entered. Find our fallen brother and return his remains to our Emperor. Those responsible will pay with their lives."
They headed into the tomb followed by load lifters and a mass of Stormtroopers. The leader pulled out a holo-comlink and the image of CC Dust and Imperial Moff Clest Tempse appeared. "I am finished Commander. Those responsible here are from Tanabb."
With a hiss of green air escaping Dust replied "Are you sure?"
"Yes. It it is almost time for you and I to prove to the Emperor that his trust in us is well founded. My fellow inquisitors will follow any leads from here and report back. It is time for us to return to our important work. Soon, all those on Tanabb will pay for their folly and disrespect of the Emperor's rule."
Part Two-Paying the Price
Meanwhile back aboard The Champion, Ar'Ryn received the signal from Capt. Grey that the uploading of the information was finally ready. Taking The Champion to a orbit above Vassek, they began the process of sending the coded information past the security net placed around the planet by the Empire. Knowing that their presence would set off alarms due to the massive size of their capital ship, the party prepared to defend The Champion while the transfer took place.
Minutes later a Star Destroyer appeared and began heading towards them as TIE fighters and Imperial Attack Shuttles poured out of it. Cluade took the Trask-1 and attempted to head off the first wave with Dink and his crew close by in The Sweetness. Rogan and the Zabrack Tallic, in their fighters, covered the side flanks while Mar Antilles covered the rear.
Wave after wave of TIEs and shuttles attacked the party and only by working together were they able to keep alive. Cluade had to recover The Sweetness as it was hit with several missiles and was quickly disabled. Tallic kept the left flank open and drew several fighters into their death. Rogan, having gotten hit several times, kept his boogies from surrounding The Champion.
Counting down the seconds until the upload was complete, Ar'Ryn moved the capital ship in the most beneficial position as he directed a squad of fighters to engage yet another wave of fighters. The sheer numbers coming at them made the chances of survival slim and The Champion's fighters were soon space debris.
Mar shifted his position from the rear to take up their spot and although he was able to take several out, he was killed by fire from the Star Destroyer. Arriyan, seeing her cousin fall, maintained her composure and finished receiving the data from planet side and gave Capt. Dust the signal to pull his forces off the planet and to meet at the rendezvous point. Rogan and Tallic, realizing that they could not survive much longer worked to get free so that they could make their jumps to safety.
Cluade, having acted like a shield the entire time for The Champion, found itself damaged beyond it's limits. Seeing the downed ship, Ar'Ryn made a desperate move to reach his ally. Firing all the guns, he was able to blast a path to the Trask-1 and recover it. As soon as the ship was within the hangar bay he gave the order to make the first in a series of jumps to escape and throw their enemies off their trail.
The party had lost several fighters and friends but they had lasted long enough to get Dr. Sladder's information. Arrianya, still in shock, said her goodbyes to the party. It was bittersweet and they could tell that the fight was taken out of her as she headed home.
The next couple of weeks the crew worked on repairing the ships yet again as the party worked through the information to find the next planet where the Empire was mining large crystals. The planet was found to be Durbillion. Using the Bothan spy net they discovered that the Empire had acquired permission from a Hutt lord to take possession of a segment of land located within the Hutt's nature preserve on the second largest continent on the planet.
As the prepared to make the trek around the entire galaxy to the other side Nix showed up. He was on his way to see the party when him and Blu were taken into custody for dereliction of duty and were thrown into the brig. Ar'Ryn and Cluade decided that he was too mercurial at this time to be counted on and that Cluade should take control of captaining the Horizon's Edge.
Darth Vader entered his chamber and a hologram image of the Emperor appeared.
"What is thy bidding my master?"
"News has come to me of bounty hunters on Varonat chasing rumored Jedis and their protectors. I sense your know something about this my apprentice....."
"My master, I too heard of this and have already found those responsible." Vader lifts his hand and an Imp. Officer being forced choked is dragged into view. "This arrogant fool is the one responsible. He thought capturing a Jedi would win favor with you".
There is a crack as his neck was snapped. The officer's lifeless body dropped to the floor.
The Emperor smiled and said, "The Inquisitor I had on this matter has failed me. I felt his death in the Force at the hands of this rogue Jedi. I have changed my mind, it is now time for you to handle this matter Lord Vader. Find this Jedi and those who travel with him and kill them all."
With a note of pleasure the dark warrior replied, "Yes my master. It will be done...."
Part Three-Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire
After a month of making small jumps and avoiding any attention The Champion made it to the Durbillion system. After long debate they decided that they needed more first hand intel on the mine and a recon team consisting of Ar'Ryn, Cluade, Rogan, Talic, Tozvos and RZ was put together.
Leaving the capital ship a safe jump away, the party headed to the surface in the Horizon's Edge. Using the modified troop transport, the crew made their way over the overgrown and murky land towards the heart of the nature preserve. After several hours of travel they picked up movement on their sensors and decided to approach with caution.
Behind them a large ray shield kicked on. After making sure that they didn't activate it and realizing that they needed to find it's source to turn it off they headed closer towards the movement that they had picked up earlier.
Rogan and Tallic, left the transport and began scouting ahead on foot. They quickly spotted a pair of AT-RTs and creeping closer they over heard the two pilots discuss looking for something. The tall trees, hanging growth and large murky swamp water benefited their stealth abilities and they snuck past easily.
Traveling further in they spotted a ISP Speeder at the same time that the AT-RTs headed in it's direction. Having gotten a lock on what they were searching for the three units surrounded an overgrown, swampy section. Rogan signaled the troop transport and it made it's way around the thick woods on the other side of the Imperials using the thick foliage as cover. The party could see the outpost of the Imperials and figured out that it had to have the controls for the ray shields.
At that moment the doors to the outpost opened and Stormtroopers began filing out when two Rancors emerged from their hidden spot in the bog and began to tear apart the AT-RTs and their drivers. As the ISP speeder laid on the fire, the Stormtroopers began firing into the woods. Rogan and Tallic both made it to cover along side the building and returned fire. Cluade gunned the transport and drove directly at the line of Stormtroopers. Bodies went flying through the air as the medic cut around the corner of the building.
The Rancors made short work of the ISP Speeder and turned their attention to the heroes in the transport. Tallic made a mad dash into the complex as Rogan was spotted by a Scout Trooper on a Speeder Bike. A BARC Speeder cut around the other corner and started firing on the transport which had sustained massive damage plowing through the crowd of troopers and it exploded.
Diving out the wreckage in time, Cluade and RZ made it to an alcove as Tozvos headed back into the woods to delay the Rancors. As the closest Rancor closed in Ar'Ryn made a spectacular dive under it and headed towards the doors of the outpost. The Rancor reached out with it's oversized arm and smashed the Bothan into the ground knocking him out.
Tallic made his way to a set of doors and when it opened he was faced with a group of Scout Troopers who had their weapons drawn on him. Pulling out a thermal detonator and tossing into the room cleared it of any trouble. Rogan and Cluade both faced off with the bikers and took several hits but gave better than they got. The second Rancor made it's way into the outpost entry having heard the explosion of the thermal detonator.
Rogan quickly thought of an idea, while distracting the Rancor in the doorway, he contacted RZ by comlink and had it fly into the outpost with directions to shut off the Ray shield. Tozvos stood his ground but was no match for the Rancor. He was picked up by a Rancor and had his arm bitten off at the shoulder. Tallic reached the security controls and cleared the way for Ar'Ryan's droid. The little astromech quickly plugged in and shut down the shields.
The Rancors seeing that their way out was now clear, headed away as Cluade raced to reach both of his fallen comrades and saved their lives. Making the best out of an awful situation, he got both stabilized and ready for transport. Finding a small troop transport in the out post they gathered the wounded and made a mad dash back to the Horizon's Edge. Once aboard The Champion Cluade quickly went into surgery and not only healed Tozvos but grafted on a robot replacement for his arm.
Ar'Ryn recovered quickly and examining RZ discovered that after the droid had opened the ray shield it had hacked into the Imperial network on the planet. It was able to get the outside lay out of the actual mine and it's defenses but no details about the interior. Realizing that the Empire was more prepared than the outpost on Anoth, where they first encountered Dr. Sladder, they concluded that they needed all of the members of their team in order to make a plan for a serious assault on the complex.....
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