Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!
The World of Raptorious III had been the sight of many battles and conflicts over the eras, first during the Pre-Republic when the armies of the Ancient Hutt Empire and Xim's Empire clashed over the world's resources. The surface of the world had been ravaged by the conflict, many of its more valuable resources were destroyed or taken off world...leaving the survivors with nothing but the corpses of the fallen armies all around them. The Holy Order of the Jedi Knights would establish a large temple complex on the world as a training academy during the Old Republic, things were peaceful upon the world for the first time in millenia. However the peaceful situation wouldn't last and the world's natural destructive properties would give way to an immense invasion by the Sith Empire under the leadership of the Sith Emperor Vitiate. Taking the settlements one by one and burning those that didn't submit to the advancing horde, underneath the tyrannical leadership of the Lord Menegroth, with his vast imperial army approaching the temple and the the lives of the populace in peroil. The Jedi Knights and the Republic Forces would stage a dangerous retaliatory strike that would take them deep into the enemy's defensive line. Neither having the strength of arms nor the manpower to strive the sith offworld, their only tactic being to wait them out until the sith empire required them on another battlefield. Lord Menegroth understood the mareit of the tactic after having witness a majority of his men being ambushed and destroyed along the way to the next settlement that they were about to conquer.
He staged a ruthless attack on the very heart of the temple itself, the jedi knights and the republic forces stationed there would defend to the last man, every jedi slain would be 10 sith troopers in return. The Jedi Order was outnumbered and the forces of menegroth, although badly bent by the end of the finding would find themselves marching straight through the temple into the vast hall, slaughtering and pillaging without mercy before the vary eyes of the remaining jedi within. The Last Jedi Master within the temple would engage menegroth in single combat as the battle for the temple raged around them, bodies of dead jedi and sith would litter the very ground that they fought on. Until the master gained the upper hand when in a single moment, the dark lord was distracted and slain near the council room. Outnumbered by more than a hundred, the jedi master would prepare to give their all to defend the people within the temple that remained, although the imperial army had won the day to a tee, their slain commander would lower their morale and cause them to turn away from the temple and back to the sith empire who needed them to counter a new republic offensive. The Jedi Master and the others within would eventually perish because of their injuries with no attempt by the jedi order to recolonize the temple and recover the artifacts within....
The Temple itself would be a large complex of a single main temple and various wings within. A large statue of a jedi would also be present above the temple, signalling its ownership to the Holy Order of the Jedi Knights, Although much of it was ruin there were extensive fortifications that could be seen from the atmosphere because they were added to it once the Treasure Hoarders took over the temple and turned it into a enclave of some kind. They had set up various AA Batteries along the hilly landscape and installed many more defensive features to prevent a force of invaders from trying to enter and stop them from taking the artifacts within. Monkrove had heard of the legendary artifacts inside and decided to bring a small invasion force to the world to stop the treasure horaders from doing any more damage and trying to sell the artifacts on the black market. The permierer would be patrolled by droid and organic forces to slow down any invasion force, although they weren't that difficult that it would require an entire army to do so. It would take a team of specialized people to siege this makeshift fortress....
"I am spotting several lifesigns within the temple grounds, and much more on the perimeter guarding the temple ruins. It will not be easy to make it anywhere near them without cover" The Captain would speak behind the binoculars, lowering them once he had gained enough information on where they were in the landscape itself. The Lord Kreigsmeiser's Forces would have established small but easily defendable camp in a mountain range near the temple itself. Setting up technology and equipment to monitor the situation downblow, beyond reach of the jammer technology of the enemy that covered much of the grounds of the temple. When they had arrived to the world of raptorious III, they didn't expect such heavy resistance from the treasure hoarders who had set up various AA batteries to cover the grounds. The Guild of Treasure Hoarders in general would be a known gang among the galaxy, camping and fortifying old ruins in the hope that they might spring a profit by the discovery of ancient artifacts that would be a small fortune on the black market. Monkrove would be sitting up near the edge of his camp, surveying the area with his power armor and power hammer. "There isn't much we can do until we take out those AA Batteries near the temple, then we would be able to move in more supplies and more troops to the area. But I will have to wait until my reinforcements arrive" Monkrove said to himself, hopping down from a tree that he was on back into the camp. Taking a seat inside the command tent and grabbing a cup of tea to go along with his current rations. He had decided that this job would require more expert knowledge and more specialized skills than he had and had decided to send out request to various people within the galaxy to help during the mission into the temple.
Having given them the coordinates to his camp, he would notify the guardsman at the entrance into the camp to watch out for them. Monkrove gave them instructions to guide the people into his command tent, where he was currently overlooking a crude but effective layout of the various AA Batteries and Troop Placements for the Treasure Horaders. Going over the operation plan with his small but effective force and the two generals that he had decided to bring with him for the eventual siege, that he had decided to take with him away from his world that he ruled. Stroking his long white beard in an utmost thinking manner, he would wait for the people to arrive at his camp so that he may go over the plan and get there input and suggestion before proceeding to engage with the Treasure Horaders with his forces while the specialized team would sneak into the temple and save the artifacts within and give them over to the proper authorities.
The Azure Alcyone was a ship (re)built for speed. Rigged with two ample cargo bays at each side of the stern, that advertised its substantial cargo capacity for such bulk. Its crew, dealt more with freighting goods, rather than retrieving them.
This particular job though, promised too good of a paycheck, so as to be ignored. Furthermore, to the captain, Spek Zhio, keeping ancient and powerful artifacts out of the wrong hands, just felt like the right thing to do.
After landing close enough to Monkrove's provisional camp, but not so close that the repulsorlift engines would interfere with it, and anyone on or near it, the starship opened its cargo bay doors and spew out its crew.
The Zeltron male, rode his speeder bike out. Traveling the short distance up to the camp, and parking it near its entrance.
He carried his lightsaber and rifle, veiled beneath his long red jacket. However, his blaster and vibrosword - dubbed The Kingfisher, by him - were worn on opposite flanks, and prominently displayed. For a job of this nature, it was expected of him to demonstrate to his employer, and to anyone else that might be around, that he did not landed here unprepared.
Aside from his usual attire, Spek wore a piece of cloth covering his mouth and nose. Over his eyes, were googles with thick, dark, and reflective lenses. All of those, in order to protect him from the dust and heat of the place. He lowered the former and raised the latter, while addressing the guards in front of him.
"Spek Zhio and crew, here to see..."he paused, while reaching for his datapad and looking at the screen for a couple of seconds before continuing,"Monkrove Irs'Valachie Moldova."
Dantum "Dan" Kryszar wondered what this mission would be like. He had experience, being a bounty hunter, but had never looked for ancient artifacts before. Fortunately, his skills were required to get the archaeological "artifact recovery team" past the Guild of Treasure Hunters, and the job paid well. Jedi artifacts weren't cheap, after all.
The Dragonfly was still being repaired on Corellia, so Dan had hired a pilot to bring him to the remote planet Raptorious III. He had to offer a large sum, because some believed that the battles that occurred on this planet were so terrible, it was cursed. Dan looked at his datapad to check the coordinates given to him by his client. He showed them to the pilot.
"You're going here, right?" he asked.
"That's right. We're just about here. You want me to land?" the pilot inquired.
"I planned on parachuting down. Could you open the door?"
The pilot flashed a thumbs up, and the door to the light freighter slid open. Overall, Dan enjoyed the experience of riding in another's ship. He would have to give the Spacer's Guild positive reviews. Dan waved to the pilot as he dropped from the light freighter towards the planet's surface. The wind roared all around him as he free-fell away from the ship. He yanked on the string that activated the parachute, and the fabric of the parachute billowed outwards, and snapped as it became taut. Dan touched down in a grassy plain, full of flowers. This planet was still beautiful, despite the battles; he thought.
Curious lizards rushed up to greet him, and scurried away just as quickly back into the tall grass. Dan trekked for a few minutes until he reached the coordinates. There appeared to be a camp located in a small dip in the land, with a guard posted. Dan approached the guard.
"I'm here for the mission."
"Right this way. My leader has been expecting you. Follow me to his command tent." The sentry gestured towards a tent in the middle of the camp. Dan walked up to the tent and pushed open the flap, wondering what kind of person his client would be.
Monkrove would be inside of the command station, sitting on a wooden chair with his golden and white spectacles adorned his wrinkled face. Instead of technology that could fail at any minute due to sabotage or technical issue. Monkrove had opted for the more traditional approach and pulled up a detailed map of the layout the temple and the surrounding area. Holding it within his hands, as he looked it over and started to write some short information notes for later down the line for the mission itself.
Monkrove was taken out of the paper map, by the sudden flap of the tent being opened and a person walking inside. He would be wearing his ancient set of power armor with a large red cape attached underneath, and hooked to his belt would be his ammunition for his armor's inbuilt blasters and a place for his ancient power hammer to reside, Monkrove himself would have aged considerably due to the effects of the Eagle of Protection which adored his armor and provided him with some level of protection against the force itself. His face adorned with wrinkles and his spectacles currently adorned his face as well, his long white beard and hair would be noticeable as well. The air around him would be of a solid warrior and statesman, being obese to an extend at 350 but packed with muscles even at his old age. He looked forward towards the person, almost in a grandfather sort of way. "Welcome, My Friend. You are the first to arrive at my temporary camp. Please grab a seat anywhere, while we wait for more to arrive in order to complete this mission." Monkrove stated to him, also pointing over to the snack table that was nearby filled with steaks, hamburgers and other luxury beverages to go along with that. "If you are hungry from your long trip, I have prepared a little snack table for you to dine on while you wait, if that doesn't interest you at this current time. We have a shooting range nearby to test your marksmanship." He added after turning the paper on the map. His attention was turned towards the entrance as a guardsman walked inside to report to him about the recent survey that they had done. "My Lord, We have noticed that the temple is getting increasingly more active as time goes on. The Guild of Treasure Hunters have begun moving supplies towards the main road. No doubt to establish an outpost away from the temple itself." The Guardsman said, waiting for a response.
Monkrove pondered over the guardsman word's, before proceeding to respond. "Have the 4th Company establish a scouting party, if we can intercept their supplies to this new fortress, we might be able to distract them enough to prepare a siege." Monkrove stated, as the guardsman would bow his head and leave the tent to the two of them, as he waited for more to arrive at the camp itself. It was clear that monkrove had experience in leading an army, to any who observer who picked this up.
"The Lord Kreigmesiter is awaiting your arrival, Spek Zhio and his honorable crew. Follow me, and I will show you towards the tent." The Guardsman stated to them, beginning to walk through the fortified entrance into the main camp. Various tents and monkrove's forces would be around, enough to siege the temple itself once the main team entered inside. Past the armory tent, the food tent, logistics tent to the main tent that housed the command center. Opening up the flap with his unoccupied hand, he would announce them. "Pardon me, Your Lordship. The Honorable Spek Zhio and his crew have arrived per your request." The Guardsman said to Monkrove, before bowing his head and returning to his post. Letting them inside. Monkrove would peer over to them after the announcement, "Greetings, Honorable Spek Zhio and his brave crew. I am pleased to see that you have answered my request for this mission. I am just seeing, if anyone else will arrive at the camp before I go over our attack strategy. Please enjoy the refreshments that I have prepared, or if that is not your taste. You can engage in spars with the men or go to the shooting range to test your skill." He said to them, waiting for them to respond or for something else to happen. His description matched that of previous text, while waiting for them to respond to himself. He would get up from the chair and head over to the holographic table and switch it on. The blue glow contrasting with his long white beard. As the template layout would appear and the fortified perimeter that was within the hands of the Guild of Treasure Hunters.
It took a few moments for Asaaj to readjust after her long trip, these teleports were incredibly useful but could be awfully disorientating, it was to be expected, her body had travelled thirty thousand light years in the space of a few moments and was now landing on a planet with different atmosphere, travelling at a different speed around a sun she didn't recognise, but this was the coordinates and she was here. Monkrove's request was very interesting, a defiled Jedi temple was bound to have things for her to add to her knowledge, she wasn't all that interested in treasure, but to find something like a holocron with an ancient ritual on it would be a holy grail.
Asaaj checked her equipment, always anxious whether it would materialise with her, it always did, but she would not be caught off guard the first time it happened. Ahead of her was what looked like a military out post surrounding a large tent, this must be it. Asaaj hoped that Ophelia might be here, she had not seen her since the banquet on Spindle, little had happened, but she would be lying if she wasn't a little curious about that strong woman. She would focus today, today was about finding out old Jedi secrets and bending them to her will, or perhaps just recording them, after all, this life cycle she was playing the part of the straight laced Imperial captain, she needed to downplay the darker parts of her lineage.
She saw a little group of people outside one of the tents and could hear voices. approached the entrance and spotted Monkrove, he was an impressive looking man, she wasn't sure if she remembered is beard being that white but it suited his frame. She waited by the side of the table, listening to the briefing until there was a moment she could introduce herself. Monkrove may remember her, but the other faces were new to her. She could feel that at least one of the people in front of her was force sensitive, this was always a fun game, did they recognise her for her tattoos and immediately turn hostile, she hoped not, mostly. "Good afternoon, I am Asaaj, I have come to join your little expedition, I hope I haven't missed much."
Dan was taken aback by the generous offer of a brilliant selection of food. "Looks like this one will be pleasant to work with" he said to himself. In addition to the food, the large man offered Dan opportunities to test his shooting skills, or even train by sparring with his men. Dan liked this mission already.
"I am hungry, thank you. I'll have some of this delicious-looking steak" Dan said as he removed his helmet, something he rarely does around company. Dan took some silverware from a tray near the food platter and slid some of the steak onto a plate, along with some vegetables. He felt that his client would like it if he returned the politeness, so he applied the proper etiquette as he indulged in the steak. The steak tasted salty and rich, creating a good experience. Dan dabbed at his mouth and chin with a napkin as the juices dribbled down. Next Dan tried some vegetables. They were crispy and cold, meriting a good taste as well. After Dan had eaten his fill, he washed the meal down with a cold glass of blue bantha milk with coconut shavings. His client really knew what to put out for hungry bounty hunters.
Suddenly, the sentry who had greeted Dan lifted the tent flap:
"Pardon me, Your Lordship. The Honorable Spek Zhio and his crew have arrived per your request"
The large man who seemed to be in charge of the camp stood up and greeted Spek Zhio
and his crew, and then led them over to a holographic table. The table projected a 3D map of the temple, and the surrounding land that was in the hands of the enemy. Dan took this a opportunity to ask about the mission. He put his plate down and walked over to the table.
"Do you mind giving us a quick summary of their defenses?" he asked the large man in an intimidating set of armor who was his client.
Monkrove while overlooking the layout of the temple and its surrounding defenses. Observing the behavior of Dantum Kryszar
and that he was enjoying the food that was present, watching as he got done his meal and was just looking around as well, before the sentry came to his tent with the crew of Spek Zhio and guided them inside for him to speak with, gesturing them over to the holographic table. Turning his attention fully back to Zhio, he would speak to Spek Zhio
and the crew that he brought for the mission, he overlooked them and found them suitable for the task at hand. The Guild of Treasure Hunters, while not exactly dangerous always came in large numbers with plenty of heavy weaponry to defend themselves with. He turned over for a brief minute, when he heard the voice of Captain Asaaj Kelsani from the Eternal Empire. He didn't expect her to come out all this way for his request, but he was glad that she came because they could always use more hands on this mission. "Ah, Captain Kelsani. You haven't missed much at all, I am just going over the details of the assignment. Such as the defenses of the temple and going over other logistics. Come forward and see for yourself." Monkrove said to her, gesturing her to come to the holographic table. Once she fully came over to the table, he would press a button on the table itself. As the picture would zoomout to take in the entire temple itself.
He turned his head towards Dantum Kryszar
, once he asked about a quick summary of the defenses that they would face. "Certainly, I will inform you of the defenses that we will have to face on this mission. According to my information from my scouts, the Guild of Treasure Hunters have installed 3 Heavy AA Batteries around the perimeter that is preventing any starships or shuttles that are heading in that direction general of the temple. Taking out those AA Batteries are important for us to be able to move in supplies for the siege. As is common in major sites infested by these hunters, we have counted up to 500 people within the building, but we can't also be certain because they have technology jammers around the main areas of the temple. As for the outside, they apparently have 300 troops of both organic and droid forces outside the temple itself, although lightly armed they have large numbers which makes them dangerous to us if they surround us." Monkrove said, pressing a button on the holographic table that showed up an image of a large gamorrean covered in heavy black armor. "We have identified this gamorrean as the leader of the Treasure Hunters at this temple. Although normally, gamorreans aren't considered that smart by galactic standards, this one has more intelligence and can lead this operation with peak effectiveness that we have seen. His name is Sparunk Gungark, besides being wanted for 35 counts of murder he is also an escapee from the Coruscant Prison System. Turning him in is bonus mission, as he has a high enough reward to split between the parties present. His location right now has yet to be confirmed, but he is no doubt within the temple council room with his Lieutenants." Monkrove said, pressing the button again as the gamorrean information would be sent to all the people within the room that had technology. Before turning the information back to the layout of the temple, "The AA Batteries are located here, here and here," He said, pointing towards the map. The First AA Battery would be within a small mountain range next to the temple, easy to defend and hard to break into to assault. The Second AA Battery would be within a small forest clearing next to the temple itself, and the last one would be located near the entrance to the temple, surrounded by ditches and such things. "Taking them out is our first objective, I shall be outside preparing the supplies that we need for the mission. You shall decide among yourselves which battery you will take out, and once you have accomplished that. You will report back to my encrypted channel, which I will share with you all." He said, sending that information to them as well. Before excusing himself and walking out of the tent to prepare the supplies and rally his men for the siege upon the temple, once the AA Batteries were down.
Zhio could not help but flinch upon hearing his honorific. This crew was not one accustomed to such pomp and circumstance. On the other hand, the food and drink - and especially the drink, if pertaining to the spirituous variety - was a welcoming sight. The first quirk of being a Zeltron, was that he had two livers specifically built for this kind of situations.
And he was about to put them to good use.
"Greetings back to you, eh... revered Moldova, and uh... retinue?" That was passable, he figured, with a self-satisfied nod to himself."I am honored to be here!"
Scanning the table, his hazel eyes stopped over what seemed to be blossom wine. That would do nicely, he thought, and walked towards the table to pour himself a glass.
Spek was captain in title only, the Azure Alcyone being his ship. But he was not a leader to anyone. He assumed that the people he had brought along, would prefer to introduce themselves of their own accord.
Another person was already there. And, although he wore an imperialist helmet, the remainder of his attire, revealed him for what he really was. A bounty hunter.
Then a second one came in, a woman, while Zhio was still in the process of filling his glass. That one was Force sensitive. As he could tell with his synesthetic Force sense, by the ethereal cloud surrounding her, as if smoke trailing from her being. It carried the sent of the Dark Side. But, there was so much more to it than that.
Even her lineage, seemed more than just straightforward. Though the Dathomiri in her, was as plainly evident as the sweet fruity notes on his vintage wine.
Zhio smiled, warmly, behind his glass as he drank. Him, standing in the middle, meant that every Force user from any polar-opposite, usually regarded him as untrustworthy. To say the very least.
But with a figure such as hers, this was a welcomed challenge. Also, he had never been with a witch. Although, there probably was a good reason for that.
Alas, the second quirk of being a Zeltron, was that he had been unconsciously releasing potent pheromones, since the moment he had stepped inside the tent. Anyone not shielded from them, such as by means of a breathing filter or Force power, sometimes even great self-control, was most likely receptive to his charms by now.
Without even thinking, while refilling his already empty glass, Zhio poured a second. Holding one glass of wine in each hand, he casually approached Asaaj and made the gesture of offering her the second drink with a smile, before moving on to the holotable.
After paying close attention to Monkrove's intel. Spek looked around the room, waiting for someone else to state their preferred course of action.
Flying thrilled him. Fighting, not so much. He was willing to do it, nevertheless. A job, was a job.
Asaaj listened to Monkrove Irs'Valachie Moldova
go over the briefing information, the whole area seemed excessively well defended for a ruined temple, what was here? "hmm, this is very interesting, what sort of training are we expecting the defenders to have?" She walked her fingers along the holographic wall, whispering a few sums to herself. "Judging from the size of the walls and your predicted numbers, there troop levels shouldn't be too dense. I suggest we take out these two aircraft batteries first, I think I can probably take one of them with limited support, judging on their size?." She was being bold but she had taken out targets like this before, with her training and speed, the typically poorly training gunners would be easy prey.
She had another concern thought "Are we weapons hot all the way? There are different ways to do this and the easiest doesn't leave many survivors." she laughed, it was a fair question she felt, if she went full on, she could clear dozens of troops quickly, but she was a brutal killer, it might not be what this noble was looking for on a archaeological mission.
She was momentarily distracted by a smell, not unpleasant but one that touched her highly sensitive nose, it gave her a little shiver of pleaser as she turned and looked at the man approaching her. Spek Zhio
was a very attractive man with lovely tanned skin. His smile was something else, she smiled sweetly back at him as he handed her the glass. Interesting, she was grinning at the man like a schoolgirl, she snapped herself back out of it, maybe something to explore later, but not now? There was something about him though something that appealed to her. "Hi, I'm Asaaj, it is lovely to meet you. she smiled and sipped from her glass, it was nice, unusual to be drinking alcohol prior to a mission but whatever, it was Monkrove's party let him enjoy it.
"Where there is money, there is fighting"
Dezik Agorr watched as more mercenaries flooded the camp, making their way to Monkrove Irs'Valachie Moldova
tent. Dezik himself had arrived earlier and although he hadn't yet met his employer he had taken the time to check over his equipment once more. He sat on the floor cross-legged and out on front on him on a cloth mat lay his DLT-29, completely disassembled and stripped. The weapon itself was in good condition, oil applied liberally to the actuating blaster module and static pulse adapter with the rest of the parts having protective paint coat applied only a week ago. This blaster was the mercenary's life and it was kept in pristine condition at all times.
Like clockwork Dezik proceeded to assemble the heavy blaster rifle back together before attaching a sling and carrying out a functions test to make sure he hadn't made any mistakes. He knew there were no mistakes yet he still did it. It was procedure.
He stood up and approached the congregation of mercenaries with his rifle slung over his back, listening to the brief silently as it came to a close, his face masked by his helmet. As the briefing concluded Dezik ran through the objectives and details in his head. Three heavy AA batteries, roughly 800 men and a bonus for snagging the boss. "Seems simple enough" he said under his breath. He listened as the others asked questions on the technicalities of the mission although he didn't care much. Dezik wanted to just get into the action.
Monkrove stopped a minute, before he exited the tent. Feeling that something was pulling him towards the Young Captain, but with his immense strong will and lack of emotions. He wasn't affected by it, and simply turned around to see that Spek Zhio was walking over to his friend, Captain Kelsani of the Eternal Empire. Before turning her head towards the captain, once she asked about the level of training of the defenders. He promptly responded to her once she got done speaking. "We aren't expecting them to have a great deal of training, mostly conscript to poorly trained at best. However the Boss of the Operation will have elite mercenary bodyguards which are more than able to handle anything that comes there way with their heavier armor and advanced weaponry." Monkrove stated to her, watching her explain that they take out the first two batteries first, and that she planned to go alone through it all. Monkrove in good faith, couldn't let the captain risk her life even if she could handle herself on the battlefield. "Captain Kelsani, You will accompany me towards the more heavily defended battery within the small mountain range, as for the question of going all the way in or holding back. We can go all in on this position, as the mountain range will obscure the noises and prevent the temple from being alerted of our assault." He said to her, answering her next question in his statement. "The rest of the two remaining batteries we will need to take out by stealth, which you guys should be able to accomplish, he spoke toDantum KryszarSpek Zhio
and Dezik Agorr
. Once we have taken down our battery by yourself or with a teammate, we will all meet up with near the less defendable wall of the temple." Monkrove stated, before adding on. "Don't underestimate the guild of treasure hunters, although they are poorly trained. They do know tactics that will surprise you, look for spike pits or pits filled with other dangerous things." He added as a caution to them.
Monkrove turned to Captain Kelsani for a minute, "When you are ready meet me outside and we will head over there to destroy the battery. I am just going to check the supplies and make sure that boris and horus are hooked up to our mode of transportation. Why walk, when you can ride on a mobile siege engine." He laughed for a minute, before fully walking out of the tent now and towards the supply officer. Monkrove would begin hooking up boris and horis, petting them as he hooked up the reins to the chariot. Pulling them up towards the command tent, and waiting for the captain kelsani to accompany him into battle. But until now, he made sure to look around the camp and check for anything out of the ordinary.
"The pleasure is all mine!" Spek nonchalantly returned Asaaj's courtesy. "The name's Spek Zhio. And I do apologize for not introducing myself beforehand. My intention was not be rude, but rather not to disturb anyone, since the briefing is about to take place."He gestured with his glass towards her. "I hope you do enjoy it!"
After directing his focus to the pressing matter at hand, listening to what Monkrove had to say and giving - what felt like to him - ample time for everyone else to pitch in, in case they wanted to, Zhio addressed everyone inside the command tent.
"There is a saying in Anoat. A barking akk dog never bites.
"As lady Asaaj so brilliantly put it, we have to decide if we'll do this the easy way, or the less-than-easy way."He finished his wine, and leaned over the holotable, pointing at the schematics as he went on.
"For now. I apologize, but I'll just be stating the obvious. To find my bearings, so to speak.
"Now, unless I'm reading these schematic wrong, the anti-air batteries have no ground capabilities. So, and as Lord Monkrove said, the only point in destroying them, is in preparation for a successful siege. But, what if - and I know it's a big if - we could take the whole place in one fell swoop? "
Zhio hoped that Monkrove, who was preparing to leave the tent mere moments ago, would stick around for a while longer and listen to his proposal.
"It's not my intention to step on anyone's toes, but if that were to be possible, I think Lord Moldova and his liege would benefit. We all would. And the temple would be ours by nightfall." Zhio spoke with a stark and deliberate tone. Narrowing his eyes as he studied the plans laid out in front of everyone.
"Let's assume that the people inside, in command, aren't complete idiots. Isn't it possible that they possess some sort of communication device? That would allow the troops manning the batteries to signal the rest of the temple if they were attacked? I'm not doubting anyone's capabilities of putting these things down without raising any alarms. But, if that possibility exists, and if it does happen, won't it jeopardize the entire plan? Even considering the small mountain range in question?" he looked at Monkrove, trying to make sure that the act of proposing a different tactic, was not perceived as an insult by the lord.
"So I propose a different strategy, and I take no offense if you reject it. But, why not make their communications, work against them?
"I could create a diversion.
"I could have the rest of the crew aboard the Alcyone, and have it approach this more isolated battery, on the south face of the temple. Their scanners would pick up my ship, and they would prepare the battery for firing. And, before the ship would get in range, I could attack the battery and its defenses by foot. This would certainly put everyone inside the temple at high alert. Which, might seem undesirable to us..."
He raised an eyebrow.
"But - and this is gambit here - upon being attacked, they will likely attempt to fortify the walls and the AA defenses - we can't really expect them to be as dumb as to move their entire force to that single spot that I'll be charging against. Still, they'll surely attempt to increase the manpower defending all three batteries, and leave the inside of the temple less well-guarded." He threw a look in Asaaj's direction. She would probably not understand why he did it at that time, but Zhio was about to make everything clear in a few moments.
"Here's what they won't be expecting, though. At the same time, two other groups will stealthy begin attacking the remaining batteries. As you were explaining moments ago. Amidst the confusion that my open attack will surely cause, and given the skill of everyone present, these other two groups will have no trouble in dealing with whatever opposition they are met with. And, they can secure those two locations, and continuously dispatch enemy reinforcements as they arrive in order to retake control of the batteries.
"Hopefully, by that time, I would also have dealt with the south battery, and the Alcyone will be able to fly above the temple. The ship is ill-suited for combat, but I'm certain that there are plenty of air-to-ground ballistics here that could be supplied. The ship could begin an aerial strike. Focusing on that less defendable wall here, that you mentioned." Spek, momentarily studied Monkrove for a hint of approval. "Your troops could be waiting for the wall to fall down, and then storm the temple.
"Now, this is the most important part of my plan, and for it to work, I would be counting on lady Asaaj's teleportation ability." He suspected she could do it. The Force sensitive Zeltron had not picked up any ships that could be hers, on his descent towards Raptorious III, and he knew of some Dathomiri who could do it. He also had felt a disturbance in the force prior to her arrival, as if a rift was being torn open and mended back again, seconds later. "Could you safely teleport yourself to the Temple's Council room, just by studying the schematics on the holotable?
"If that could be done, then you could cut the head of the snake, while its body, unaware, was still flailing against the temple walls. Hoarders rushing to their deaths, as their fortifications surrounding the anti-air batteries, would act as choke-points controlled by us.
"As soon as we could, we would move towards your position and assist you."
Zhio wanted to say to her, that she should not take any unnecessary risks, but that would probably offend Asaaj.
"After the batteries have been dealt with, the reinforcements pushed back inside, and the lieutenants cornered, the rest would just be a simple matter of cleaning house!"
Soren had come here several days ago. His ship was hidden in a forested valley several kilometers from the Jedi Temple, his target. It did not take the Jedi long to figure out that it was occupied by a bunch of raiders, some scum was sitting with their desecrated buttocks on the ruins of a sacred place of the ancient Jedi. One would assume that it was not surprising, but still it was disappointing. The young man stood on a hill, his hand on a branch as he observed the other arrivals.
His white cloak was moving in the wind, the edges of his hood whirling with it and partially into view as he looked at the military force assembling to assault the temple. So treasure hunters were opposed by treasure raiders. Or something. Great. Violence would once more reign at this place and all because someone wanted to make a bit of money. The Jedi Knight kept observing as the two parties continued their work.
Soren would move to several scouting walks around the temple, looking and searching for possible entry ways without causing a major battle. Despite his white cloak, he seemed to melt with the darkness and shadows, the Force flickering around him to disrupt visual senses and optics. He had considered to just march in and force his way, but that would only cause harm and more bloodshed. It was the last resort, not the first idea.
During the second night he had found a ill-guarded part of the temple flank where there were large sections of rubble and no visible entry into the temple. His sapphire-like eyes darting from below the hood and reflecting the moonlight as he decided to make his entry here once the battle of the two parties would emerge.
Back in the camp, Soren would share his idea with his companion.
"Rubble? Rub-ble? Oh. That is interesting. Oh. You should ask for their surrender."
"I should, yes, I will sleep over it." Soren smiled as he sat down and opened a bottle of water.
"Oh. Good. Maybe I should go there and request it? Oh. No. No. You can get hurt. You go. Oh."
"They will fight over it. I have seen a broken corridor far up, I need to see if there is anything valuable to extract before they destroy everything."
"Circuit warming. Oh. Yes. Your care for what is not yours is really making my processors heat up. Oh. Go, go in and find something useful. I will. Oh. Stay here and wait with dinner. Oh."
"Dinner?" Soren raised his eyebrow. "What will you cook?"
"I am an excellent cook. Oh! Soren Dar! Unthankful bantha herder. Oh! I take care of you."
Dan listened to Spek's plan. Being a tactician himself, it didn't sound too bad, good, even. Spek would provide a distraction and disable a battery, two stealth parties would disable the other two batteries, Asaaj would kill the leader, and the rest of the enemies would be forced inside and dealt with. Again, it was a pretty good plan. However, Spek forgot three key points: The Jedi Temple would be easy to defend, and the opposing troops would be forced inside. They could put up a good fight while they were still inside. Also, as Monkrove said before, the batteries were anti-aircraft, which would make it hard for Spek to use his ship. In addition, the Guild of Treasure Hoarders could have many surprises that Monkrove and the others did not know about. They would also fight well- a cornered animal is the most dangerous.
Dan spoke up: "I have another idea. Spek can continue with his distraction, and take out the first battery- but he will have to be very careful with his ship, since the gun batteries are anti-aircraft. The Lord Kreigsmeister can take his forces and destroy the other two batteries. Meanwhile, Dezik, Asaaj, and I can sneak into the temple through the back. We can kill the leaders, and when the enemy is forced inside, we will be ready for them. This will prevent them from staging a good defense inside the temple. We can also not ignore the fact that a cornered animal is the most dangerous. If they know that we will kill them, they will fight ferociously. What we need to do is neutralize them before they start to put up a good fight. Strike quickly. And send out scouts beforehand to check for traps."
Dan looked around at the other faces, wondering if his companions would accept his plan.
Spek and Dantum had interesting plans, Asaaj mulled them over in her head and muttered a few things, he fingers traced runes in the air over the schematics and wisps of black mist played from her fingers. She sharply withdrew them. "hmm, no, it's not that I couldn't teleport there, the distance is trifling, but their leaders are holed up in the Jedi throne room. Jedi traditionally keep wards and traps to prevent people like me from appearing unannounced, it could just break my spell, it could shunt me into the nether realm, or anything in between. The traps can stay active long after the Jedi pass, and I can feel something remains, from here it is impossible to tell what."
The stealthy approach seemed like a good idea, provided they could break the walls stealthily and manage to attack, no help being invisible if you are stuck at the bottom of an unscalable wall. "If I am honest, riding the boars into battle seems just too much fun to pass up on, even if it isn't the perfect use of tactics."
Asaaj pulled her blade off of her belt and looked down its razor sharp edge. "I am a capable warrior, I am happy however our employer calls it here." she looked at Monkrove and grinned at him. "I am very eager to see what you can do with that hammer my Lord, if you fight like Lady Moldova dances, your enemies should cower in fear."
She looked at the others, the troopers looked itching and ready to get to battle, she wondered what their experience was? It would be rude to ask, she had little time for storm troopers usually but knew some great soldiers that had spent time serving, and would hate to offend. Asaaj also heard the boars outside grunting and snorting, they too were eager for battle, they were intelligent and powerful creatures. She would hate to be the one to tell them they weren't charging the walls today.
Dantum's analogy of a cornered beast, did not go over Zhio's head. He nodded in agreement, as the mercenary was talking. Mulling over the details in his head.
"I apologize if the plan I laid out was not detailed enough. Let me clear up some confusion. "First off, and this might seem like an unnecessary distinction, but trust me, it is not," he addressed Dantum. "I never mentioned a distraction. Rather, a diversion. The idea is not to keep them occupied, but to turn their attention to where we want it."
Spek pointed at the wall, and returned his attention to the projection of the Temple. "And, that is not deep inside, but near the outer walls and chambers of the temple. By looking at its schematics, it's clear that if they were to barricade themselves within the inner chambers, our job will be that much harder." He had the holotable zoom in on the halls and corridors of the place. "That is why I suggested using only one ship. That way, they're more likely to mobilize towards the AAs, imagining my ship to be an easy target, and my ground assault a minor nuisance. Remember, I'll be attacking the battery on foot, hopefully destroying it before my ship ever comes into range of the AAs." the former Jedi threw another glance at Dantum, as well as an honest and warm smile. "However, your concern towards Alcyone's well-being has been well noted, and I do appreciate the reminder. Still, under the hood, the Azure is more capable than what its husk might suggest. I don't believe that a couple of hits from that thing," he pointed at one of the anti-air batteries, "judging from its specs, will even go through her deflector shield."
Unless, they also retrofitted the things, in order to deceive possible attackers as to their true fire-power and capabilities. Same as the Zeltron did with his own ship.
"Also, looking at the same specs, these batteries can't rotate more than one hundred and eighty degrees. So they aren't able to cover their rears. Which means that, we only just need to take a single battery out, in order to be able to approach that vulnerable wall of the temple, by air." A gamble on his part, and one he was hoping would pay out. "I only suggested that we took out all three anyway, in case Lord Moldova wanted to have some of his own vessels come in from multiple directions - something that myself and Alcyone would actually appreciate!
"Furthermore, by controlling the AAs, forcing more troops to come out and attempt to retake them, we would actually be contributing to baiting the Treasure Hoarders towards the outside, away from a defensible position inside the Temple."
Directing his eyes towards Asaaj, he sighed in resignation.
"So, the idea was to draw them out, not in, to make the job of infiltrating and jumping on the lieutenants, that much easier. In that regard, my infiltration plan was hinging on Asaaj's teleportation. Any other means of infiltration always incurs the risk of triggering some sort of surveillance device, and have the bandits rush towards the Council Room. Something we clearly don't want happening."
Zhio studied the holotable for another couple of seconds. Having been a Padawan during the Great Galactic War, he was no stranger to war rooms and the formulation of battle plans. Although, admittedly, this was the first time he was actively contributing to the discussion.
"So... I propose yet another alternative.
"Lord Moldova keenly detected a less-defensible wall," he pointed at it. "We don't need air support or even troops to take care of that one.
"Then, why not disable the three batteries, as we were discussing, and move the Alcyone towards the temple. But, have her attack and destroy this wall on the opposite side? Thus, providing a second diversion."
Spek, once more looked at Monkrove for approval. "If I may be so bold, Lord Moldova's forces could rush through that other wall, allowing for a small group - possibly Moldova and Asaaj themselves, maybe a few others - to easily breach though the weak spot and advance through the temple.
"Dezik and Dantum could take care of the other two AAs, stealthily. And I, will make a big show of taking out the first one. For the initial diversion that we talked about.
"I want to be the one charging the first one, since the safety of Alcyone depends on it being down, and I want that burden to rest on my shoulders alone. Of course, I would be glad to count on whatever support I could get from Lord Moldova's army."
What that, the presence of another Force user he was sensing?
Monkrove had left the command tent for a few minutes, but returned with due haste as to not miss anything important from the people inside. Making his way back inside when, Spek Zhio was speaking about taking the temple in one fell swoop. He pondered over the suggestion and listened to his attack strategy that he proposed in exchange of his own plan of operation. Taking note of the man's logical reasoning and plan as a whole, more specifically using his ship as a diversion of the Mountain Range AA Battery with his starship, while he himself would attack on the ground to make the guild of treasure hunters on high alert and move forces to fortify the AA Batteries from further attacks, leaving the temple more vulnerable to the specialized team. He took notice of the second phase of the plan which involved the other teams sneak attacking the other batteries and in the massive confusion of this straightforward attack, they could better secure the batteries without difficulty and be better secured to deal with opponents. The third phaze involved having his forces move in to attack the less defendable wall while the Alcyclone would strike down from above to leave an opening for his troops to flood into the temple itself. The fourth phase involved kelsani's ability to teleport herself into the temple and take down the gamorrean overlord leading the operation, amd basically take out the morale support of the guild's forces and funneling the enemy towards the AA Batteries to better thin out their numbers. Monkrove noted this down within his head for a minute and was going to announce his decision once he got everyone's input about Spek's Plan of attack. It was always good to get suggestions from the other people within his expeditiation.
Monkrove looked over towards Dantum Kryszar once he began speaking in response to Spek's Plan of Attack. His version of the attack plan would basically keep the diversion created by Spek with his ship to eliminate the first AA Battery. His forces would ambush the other batteries and eliminate them, while the specialized team of Derzik, Asaaj and Dantum himself would sneak into the temple, eliminate the leadership and force them inside to better be able to eliminate the forces inside the temple itself. Monkrove thought it was a overall good plan of attack, but he took note of the fact that cornering the enemy will only lead them to fighting more fiercely to defend the temple and could prove a dangerous enemy to face, but that dantum suggested that they could eliminate them before it happens while also sending scouts to check for traps. Monkrove noted this down within his brain as well, and looked for input from the other members of the team before he proceeded to respond.
Captain Kelsani was the next to speak, and that the jedi temple would have traps to prevent anyone from just teleporting inside the temple which contradicted the plan from Spek a little. Monkrove smiled a bit, when the captain preferred to ride within his boar chariot, even if it wasn't the greatest tactic in the world. To which he understood but it would provide them with faster transportation than simply walking on foot which would present their enemy with a higher advantage. He looked over as she pulled a blade from her belt and announced herself as a able warrior, to which the baron didn't protest in the slightest. Monkrove smiled his own self, when she complimented him and looked forward to seeing himself fight on the battlefield, and complimented his daughter on her dancing skills. Monkrove responded in due time, "Thank you, Captain Kelsnai. I am sure that you will be surprised by what this elder warrior can do on the battlefield. And I will make sure that Ophelia hears your praise herself once she returns from Hapan." Monkrove stated to her, noting down her own suggestion as well to formulate his overall plan.
Monkrove was forced to turn his attention away from Kelsani once, Spek Zhio decided to speak once again. Taking note that the plan was to create a diversion to force them to where they could best contain them on the battlefield. He took note that the plan involved them thinking that his ground assault would be only an annoyance and not a threat to the overall plan. Monkrove took note of his confidence towards his ship and the strength of his deflector shields. But monkrove had to say something in response to this misjudgement of the plan. "The AA Batteries in question use the same ammunition's as a flak cannon might, deflector shields can only stop energy based projectiles such as laser cannon or blaster fire. Unless your ship also is large enough to equip itself with particle shields as well. Then you might stand a chance against a high powered explosive but not for very long." Monkrove said in response to his ship's shields, before letting him carry on. He took note of the batteries turning rate but deduced that the guild had other methods of protecting their rear from attack. He took note of the plan, which still involved the alcyone, and that taking control of the AAs would force troops to come outside and attempt to retake them which would lower the number of people inside. Knowing to himself that the guild had surveillance, just like spek said. It would be a risky move to attempt to overtake the temple with only one person. He listened with great intent, as he went over another plan. Noting down within his head that this plan involved moving the Alcyone towards the temple and destroy the less vulnerable section of the wall. Allowing his forces and asaaji to breach the wall and advance through the temple itself. Dazik and Dantum wold take care of the other two AAs, in stealth and himself take the first one. Monkrove added what he said last to his mental plan. Proceeding to speak about combining all of these plans into one that could benefit the operation as a whole.
"I have formulated the plan as required, putting in all of your suggestions into one complete operation plan. Spek Zhio and the Ayclone will indeed take the first battery using their air diversion of the ship itself and the ground assault by Mister Zhio and a commando unit. Dazik and Dantum will take care of the Third Battery using stealth in front of the temple itself with my rear guard backing them up to force some of the treasure hunters to advance outside once the battery has been disabled. At the same time, the diversion will alert the communication relays inside the temple and draw some of the forces outside the temple to head over to the first battery. Myself and Captain Kelsnai will accompany me towards the less defended part of the temple itself, hitting the 2nd battery in the forest clearing as we make our way through. Once that is accomplished my forces will take control of the 2nd battery, and move up to join me and kelsani to bash down the wall with either explosives or other devices. My forces will advance through the temple and bog down the defenders inside, while myself and kelsani will head towards the council room and take out the leadership gathered there. Once leadership has been killed, the morale of the defenders will crumble enough. I will give the signal to the rest of you to advance towards the temple itself and crush what remands of the opposition that remains." Monkrove said, to them all. Before proceeding to speak to them again once they fully understood his plan, using most of the plan formulated by spek zhio and adding to them to enhance the plan with his own logical reasoning that he hoped to convey to the people inside. "This plan is the final version, although you can adapt the plan based on your situation as you advance and encountering the enemy on the battlefield. We don't have time to formulate and debate anymore as the defenders could have moved more artifacts outside the temple and into transports. Everyone move out once your gear has been accounted for and you understand your objectives, and captain kelsani. I will be waiting for you outside." Monkrove said, his aura of command clearly showing. Walking outside the tent now fully, to climb aboard his boar chariot and waiting for kelsani to join him to advance.
Sorry for the near-consecutive post. I felt it was needed.
My next one should only be up once the attack is already underway.
In the meantime, feel free to dictate my character's actions if/as needed, and have him agree with everything else anyone says.
Zhio scrutinized the anti-air's specifications. How could he have missed that they would be using ballistic projectiles instead of plasma weapons?
That made the whole affair more dangerous. Some portions of his ship's outer hull were indeed reinforced with a titanium-chromium alloy, repurposed from the ship's original hyperdrive. But they would not be able to resist the heat of a flak canon for long.
The ante had been raised.
It was too late to back down at that point.
He kept nodding as he listened to and internalized Monkrove's plan.
Wait, did he just say that I'll be in charge of an entire commando unit? he choked at the thought.
The pot was sky-high. And he, was apparently all-in.
Dan listened to Lord Moldova's plan. It appeared that he was right after all about the cannons- they certainly could do some damage to Spek's ship. But he was wrong in his tactic, because Lord Moldova believed that it wasn't a good idea to attack the enemy from the inside. The Lord Kreigsmeister's strategy consisted of three parties taking out the three respective batteries, and the Lord himself, Asaaj, and some of the Lord's forces breaking through the weak point in the temple. Dan and Dezik would be using stealth to disable the large guns, using Spek's distraction as an advantage. All in all, it was a good plan. As a soldier and as a tactician, Dan approved.
Monkrove left the tent, saying that he would be waiting for them outside once they had understood their part of the plan and gathered their gear. Dan understood his part of the plan. Spek's diversion would cause his battery to have less guards, which would make it easier for him to take it out by himself. Next he gave his equipment a once-over. He checked his DLT-19x targeting sniper rifle, and deemed it in good shape. He took his laser-edged knife out of its sheath, tested its sharpness, and slid it back in. He looked at the grenades in his belt- operational. Finally he made sure that the heat visor in his helmet was working. Everything was adequately functional.
Dan looked over at his "teammates", who seemed to be checking their gear as well. Once they were finished, Dan decided to ask a friendly question: "You all ready for this? Seems simple enough."
Spek answered with a nod, but no one else said anything. Probably just getting in the mood for war, Dan thought.
"Well, I'm headed outside for the mission if anyone wants to follow."
They seemed to be preparing. From his hideout at the edge of the forest, Soren was observing the second party preparing their assault on the temple ruins. His arms crossed he leaned against a tree and observed from below his white hood what was going on. It was several kilometers, but he had served alongside soldiers to be able to recognise mobilisation and dedication in movement to understand that they were preparing for battle.
"The question is if I should go in before the attack begins, or during." "The question is. Oh. Why are you asking me? Meatbag. Oh. Oh."
"Yes, good question . . . why am I asking you at all."
"I detect a strange feeling of pride. Oh. You are learning."
Soren just sighed and kept looking ahead, there was no reason to argue with the droid. If he would enter now, he would have to go now, otherwise wait for the second robbers to get moving. He would be looking for another few seconds before his decision formed in his stomach and he knew what to do.
"Have the ship prepared."
Before the droid could mount another sarcastic response, the Jedi Knight was already jogging down the hillside and keeping himself in the cover of some rocks and bushes, a white shadow darting from cover to cover, slightly utilizing the Force to cloak his approach. It were several kilometers of way around and would take him a bit to get to the section of crumbled temple wall.