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The Desecration of Jedha..
The pilgrims and devout citizens of New Jedha City thought they had seen the last of the Sith.
They were wrong.
Following up from the destruction of the Jakku Hidden Enclave and the Devastation of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. The BROTHERHOOD OF THE MAW and the NEW SITH ORDER embark on a campaign to wipe clean the image of the Jedi Order from the face of the galaxy.
Imagery, holy sites, any and all iconography is to be cast aside in the cleansing flame and destroyed. Statues must be erased, the people broken and enslaved to fuel the MAW WAR MACHINE, the KYBER taken for the projects of the FINAL DAWN.
The GALACTIC ALLIANCE answers the call to defend their people, the NEW JEDI ORDER rise to face their most deadly enemy over the fate of the Holy World of Jedha.
The devout pilgrims and at home natives of New Jedha City find their city under siege. The Brotherhood of the Maw make landfall and target the great city to pillage the holy sites around the city and claim more slaves to help fuel their rapidly developing war machine.
As chaos unfolds within the city, the Brotherhood and the defense forces of the Galactic Alliance engage in a battle for the soul of Jedha. Inside the scarred Temple of the Kyber, the Dark Masters of the Brotherhood gather as the New Jedi Order and their allies rise to face them for their crimes on Coruscant and Jakku.
Protect the Temple! Protect the people!
Tear it all down and let it burn in righteousness flame. Kill and enslave indiscriminately, take away their hope and strike a devastating blow to the Jedi!
The Brotherhood of the Maw are on the war path, their aim is to scrub out all iconography of the Jedi Order and wipe their name from the galaxy proper.
To accomplish this task, the Brotherhood unleash their dreaded mechanized weapons of war, the mobile factories of ravenous hunger, the World Devastators! Take flight as the MAW, grind the Jedi Statues, abandoned monasteries, and would-be archeological sites into dust. Recover the Kyber from the caves and bring them to the MAW armada
Take flight as a member of Starfighter Command or one of the many fine members of the GADF and bring down the Brotherhood's behemoth war machines. Save the image of the Jedi! Save Jedha!
The Final Dawn makes their move. Led by information gleaned from the insidious Letifer during his deep cover in the SIA, the Brotherhood send in elite teams of PURGE TROOPERS and Final Dawn Operatives to ransack the SIA Black Site and retrieve any information on the chemical or physical vial itself that had spread throughout Jedha years ago.
Fight the Brotherhood and stop them from gaining access to SIA secrets, fight in the bowels of the secret Black Site as a member of the elite SIA.
Pillage the area and take what is owed. The Dawn is coming, make sure they don't survive to see it. Make claim to their 'intelligence' and 'secret project'. It is yours for the taking.
JEDHAMOUR TEARS || ELIMINATE TRACES OF THE SIA BLACKSITE
JEDHA| UNMARKED LOCATION | SIA BLACKSITE
As memory served, this Blacksite had been the source of an unfortunate accident just over a year ago, It had been something that the agency had quickly concealed. Any agents that had participated in neutralizing the after-effects, or targets, had been reassigned.
That was the official understanding. Reassignment. Xesh, of course, didn’t need to interrogate what that euphemism meant. They understood the necessity of covering up mistakes and deniable circumstances better than anyone. They were, after all, physical embodiments of deniable liability. The little nano bomb ticking away at the base of their skull hummed the hymn of their damnation.
Maijan, for her part, was there to further the discretion of the black site. Stealth technologies were ample throughout the base, concealing its detection for well over a year now, but the Fallanassi’s ability to cloak and hide was the last attempt for further deception. With the Maw fast approaching, turning the warm skies of Jedha black, last chances were a commonly exchanged term.
would not hear it, however, and she’d never phrased it that way. She did, however, allude to Maijan that this might be one of the last runs she’d have to participate in with Xesh. While that could have gone both ways, the Fallanassi-school-dropout chose to interpret that as her release from the SIA’s oversight.
Freedom danced just beyond the completion of this mission. The permanent albatross embedded deep in her flesh, amidst the sinews and nerves, would be disabled. Recompense would be met, and, at the crest of a new dawn, she’d be able to be a free woman. High tail and put serious distance between herself and the conflict between The Brotherhood and The Alliance. Just ahead of the slaughter and carnage. There was a lucrative opportunity beyond that conflict, profit to be made from the disagreement.
She just had to get out from the middle of it.
Whatever the cost.
A chill swept through the fast-emptying compound. The heating had been one of the first things to go during the evacuation, as an encouragement to eliminate people from the most metal-built space. For Maijan, matching the interior with the exterior temperatures made her job easier. As an illusionist, all she could affect was the visuals of the site, nothing more and certainly nothing less.
However, those that were descending upon the location, no matter how they’d managed to acquire the coordinates, would be met with rolling sands. The entire structure collapsed to a state beyond detectability through the intricate weaving and windings of the White Current
“The Jedi Masterrrrs that arrrre here,” Keeping concentrated and deeply wrapped up in her meditative state, Maijan’s voice was low and slow. Each word came out one at a time, unrushed in their delivery “They will be able to see through this illusion. It’s strrrong, as strrrong as I can make it, but they’rre a rirrsk.”
Without opening her eyes, the Fallanassi shifted in her position. Shifting her weight from one cheek to the other and hovered her hand above one of her knees, gently stroking the invisible air with her fingers as if playing the strings of a harp. She was, in reality, adjusting the threads of the current to conceal one of the other Xesh members who was running about the station and planting detonation devices. They had to continue to remain unseen.
“Let us hope anyone from The Maw that seeks us out is not so strrrrrong in The Forrrce. Or that the Jedi do not choose to exploit this weakness.
But you'll take carrre of that if it happens?”
WHITE CURRENT CLOAK ACTIVE AROUND SIA’S JEDHA BLACK SITE WING C: THE LAB
Oh, Jakku again! I had very good memories of this place before, as we had an overwhelming victory here. It was my first mission in the Maw, and it was here that I managed to win the trust of the Warlord. So I was hoping it would work again. I was assigned to the city to try to find as many potential slaves here as possible. The selection here is not as good as it was for Coruscant, but the space is also smaller. There was a different beauty here now.
It was Coruscant in my eyes when we dipped the blade in their hearts and took a deep wound on them. The current? Coup de gráce and total destruction. Two different feelings, but both are uplifting and wonderful. I already enjoyed it. As before, I arrived days ago to survey the place. The Warlord seemed pleased with my work and he allowed this again. Correct! I am glad if my superiors are satisfied with my work.
After all, I have to be better, stronger, smarter than the others. And I was not happy with staying at the bottom of the ladder. I wanted to get higher, it was Ziare who was having a good time as a Junior Agent. If I worked at the NIO, I would have been a Special Agent for a long time. Maybe, maybe I'll get it for her. Of course, to entertain myself and to prove that I am capable of all this.
I would love this opportunity. I laughed out loud at the thought; fortunately no one heard. Because I was sitting inside a building, in a flat, on the ground, the owner and his wife were lying dead after I cut their throats. Life is beautiful, and according to MANIAC data, there were minutes left until the attack. I couldn’t wait to hear the sound of the first bombs along with the screams.
Since there wasn't much left, I picked up my helmet, weapons in my hands. I left the building for the noise of the first screams and explosions. This is where the fun begins!
Synthmesh fingers run over a sharp edge, the rough material dragging against the waters of tempered metal. Metal that has tasted more blood than he can process. It is an old blade resting on his lap like a dog or a cat. A respectable weapon that has ended love and lives; treated like a pet. A pet to Death and those it kills. It is the pet, and he is Death itself. Raised by God. Sent to battle. A holy warrior of darkness. He is that and that is all he wants to be. With the motions repeated like a mathematical formula on a chalkboard comes a calm - defiant to the war. Spitting on the soaking dry ichor in the blade. It imprisons his mind and surrounds him like a miasma. Iron bars of an invisible cage that he cannot break until the jailer in between worlds grants him the key.
When will the key come?
He wonders this over and over again without knowing why or caring why. He wonders many things in the mind that once held intelligence beyond reckoning. Things he no longer comprehends by choice or by nature. He is an animal in a zoo, wondering why and why he paces his enclosure until the keepers feed him. Acts on instinct now, waiting for orders, for war, for the ichor in the blade to stain his hands. His fingers twitch at the thought. It is an old thought and a new one. He's done this before. He will continue doing it.
The key chain jingles and the iron bars unlatch. A door of a room he barely perceives opens, and a man in black armor beckons him to stand. He does, gripping the hilt of the blade in his right hand and using his left to push himself up. There is a scratching sound that resounds in his ears as the weapon drags against the floor. Unbeknownst to him, a dozen gouges decorate the floor. Others have done this too before him. He is nothing new. Only the current replacement. He cares not for understanding this, for he is Death and that is all he wants to be.
He turns his back to the armored man and stares at a wall only he can see. It is decorated with lit wax candles and the skulls of everyone he has ever killed. Some of them are made of sugar and candy. Others are made of onyx and ruby. Thousands, all together, glaring and grinning at him. Jeering. Cheering. Cursing. Blessing. Hating. Praising. Tongueless but speaking a hundred tongues. He visits this place often but never knows why. It makes him feel nothing, but he feels as though he should be feeling something.
A longing, perhaps.
"Lord Laoth, we must go," a voice says. The man in armor speaks, and Laoth finally becomes aware of reality again. Their reality, not his. Never his.
He turns to the man in armor and nods, hoisting the blade up onto his shoulder and lumbering out of his enclosure. Slow movements, as purposeful as a mountain with legs. He is a lug, an oaf, a simple giant. This is what people think of him beyond the veil of Sithdom. He himself thinks many things in that horned head, particularly about himself, but understands very little of them. So very little remains concrete in his mind outside of carnage, since the festering took root in his brain. By his own choice, of course - the idiot.
The walk to the hangar where his shuttle awaits is a long and tiresome one. The hallways of a destroyer are so winding. So labyrinthian. Labyrinthian. Is he the beast or the hero? The monster or the conqueror? He remembers this story from childhood, read to him by Father. He took a liking to the beast but knew why the hero did what he had to do. How he understood the goodness of that hero. Before the rotting took his heart. A rotted desire builds and he can do nothing about it. Nothing but walk and wait for the release.
Cannon fire from the destroyer's weapon emplacements makes that hard, brings back memories of an old battlefield. A distant world without a name, just numbers. Jedi were his foes, Sith his allies. So very long ago, he slew or injured a dozen champions of the Light with a dagger, and then he watched their corpses bloat up and burst in slow motion. They had been hit collectively by a high-impact mortar round. He was a canvas, caked in crimson veneer. He giggles like a fool at the memory, but something inside his core says he shouldn't. That he should be...saving the emotion. He doesn't listen to it, and the cold burning of denial only makes the giggling worse. Lasting until he is locked into his seat. Three guards are with him to ensure his survival on the landing. Nameless and faceless. Armored to the teeth.
Departure is smooth and quick. The thrum of engines and the kickback of motion is music to his ears. A building to the crescendo of violence that the opera of war has written in blood. The opera of war. Where the Maw is the choir storming the beaches. The Alliance is the audience in the trenches, facing the horde. He is the conductor commanding from the front.
He. Who is he? Me or someone else? Certainly someone else.
Atmospheric entry against the barrage of anti-air, through the defense fleet, goes quite well.
Boredom quickly overtakes the man, the desire to have chaos in his life far too great for those guards with him. In a moment, with a wave of his hand and a subconscious exertion of power, the shuttle is suddenly halved, as are the guards. Six parts of meat and bone with two halves of metal fall to the deserts below. Harsh impact meets shards of sand and whiplash that will haunt him for days. The pilot does not survive, flattened to a pancake of organs. Laoth does survive and picks himself up from the wreckage, sword strapped safely to his back. A crackle of lightning travels from his left eye and into the left pauldron of his armor. Remnant of power. Stored for later.
A green bolt cracks against his right pauldron, taking his attention from the corpses around him to the distant north. A man, injured in the sands, crawling on his belly, blasting at one he surely knows is Sith. Entrails barely held inside his stomach. He is unimportant and unthreatening. Laoth instead reaches into his sash without another thought on the matter.
Thick gloved fingers grip a small pouch and retrieve it from the red weave. It is brown with an ornate buckle. He flicks it open as a stream of blaster fire peppers the sands behind him and brushes his back with the glass. He cares little even as specks of thick tar-like blood trickle down from the scratches. The first wounds of his awakening. He only stops his finagling of the pouch - his affliction waiting inside - to listen to the distant screams of those fighting nearby. Already, dozens fill the sands. Dead and living. Undead. Maw and Alliance. Boys and girls fighting a war created by fools older than time. All of them fools, but none as senseless as Laoth. He takes the cake.
A yellow powder is shifted inside the pouch and a small amount is poured into his open left hand. A moment of consideration passes through his addled mind. A curse, a waning of the days that await him to replace his sunlight with a twilight of the moon. Damn you. He snuffs it immediately after and closes the pouch before placing it back into his sash. An explosion of sounds as reality is spliced in his eyes.
Pupils dilate. Blue irises darken. Sclera reddens. Patches of the sand become patches of green grass. Jedha becomes Devaron. Low fields. Jungles of flesh and shrapnel blanketing the ground.
But the objective is clear again. A monastery to the Jedi resides to the northeast. Half-standing in a dig site, half-processed before the invasion. The location of his own personal attack. Slaughter all present and destroy everything.
An easy goal for a man such as he. For he is Death itself. Raised by God. A holy warrior of darkness. He is that and that is all he wants to be.
The Mongrel and his Scar Hounds arrive, and begin ravaging the city outskirts
New Jedha City, rebuilt from the ashes of eight centuries earlier, thrummed with a quiet, intense kind of life. It was one of the only secure ports in the Western Reaches, the last stop within Galactic Alliance territory before the vast, strange expanse of the Unknown Regions. Prospectors, scouts, and traders drank in its subdued cantinas and bought goods from its outfitters, preparing to brave the emptiness that lay between Alliance space and the Eternal Empire of the far West. The other major visitors were pilgrims, seeking enlightenment on the holy world.
As the gateway to the western frontier, the city had some strategic significance, but not much. There were safer routes to Eternal Empire territory, the ones along the patrolled hyperlanes of CIS space, and the strange, largely-unsettled worlds of the northwestern Unknown Regions were not a source of any key trade goods or military resources. Beyond its spiritual significance, the city was merely another frontier starport, hardly worthy of the lives and materiel needed for a full-scale invasion. But there was another reason to strike there.
In the war against the Brotherhood, the Galactic Alliance had three major advantages: the powerful industrial capacity of the Core Worlds, the elite veterans and advanced technology of the Alliance Navy, and the New Jedi Order. The Maw intended to break down each of these, one by one, in order to secure victory. Already they had annihilated the Jedi Enclave on Jakku and burned the temple on Coruscant, killing many of the Force-warriors each time. Now they would strike at another Jedi holy place, the temples of Jedha, and reap a further tally.
World by world, star by star, the Jedi would fall.
So it was that the placid calm of New Jedha City was shattered as Brotherhood assault shuttles streaked in, strafing the streets with laserfire to scatter the crowds and spread terror in their wake. Aboard the lead shuttle, The Mongrel watched... and waited. He hardly fit in the craft anymore; his hulking cybernetic body, in which precious little of his original flesh remained, had to hunch over, bending almost double. No other warriors rode in his shuttle anymore, only his vast form and the two pilots up front. But he knew that his tribe was close.
Wherever he led, the Scar Hounds would follow.
There would be heavy resistance, he knew. The Brotherhood had deliberately telegraphed this attack, like a shockboxer winding up for so long that his opponent couldn't possibly fail to see the incoming punch, so as to lure in as many Jedi defenders as possible. Once the defenders of the Alliance were assembled, the Mawites would fall upon them in a swift and brutal hammerblow, shattering their massed strength. That was the plan, anyway. The Mongrel was a veteran Jedi-fighter, and he knew better than most that they were dangerous, adaptable foes.
If the Brotherhood was not careful, the trap would turn on them.
The shuttle streaked over a dusty street and banked hard, setting down in a narrow alley near the outskirts of the city. The Mawites could have made a full-force landing directly at the spaceport, trying to secure the city's most important location in a single stroke... but again, the obvious military strategy was not their goal here. Better to secure the edges of the ring-shaped city and then press inward, herding the terrified inhabitants toward the center. The Brotherhood needed fresh slaves after the losses of forced labor on Rhand and Lao-mon.
More than that, The Mongrel knew that the Jedi had appointed themselves the protectors of the weak. If he and his band of slavers and marauders kicked up enough of a fuss among the civilians by some mix of capturing, terrifying, and killing them, the do-gooders would swiftly arrive to stop them. They could then kill two mynocks with one blaster bolt: continue to secure the city while also rapidly accomplishing the true goal of this invasion, killing and maiming Jedi. For when the New Jedi Order, a true pillar of the Alliance, finally crumbled...
Well, a three-legged table could not stand on two legs.
There would be little outside help coming. After Coruscant, when the Maw had made the Alliance look weak and vulnerable, the Bastion Accords had fragmented. The NIO had looked to its own defenses rather than continuing to aid its former allies, shattering the galaxy's once-united front. This was an age of wolves, a time of chaos in which each great power must stand or fall alone. Jedha would be the Alliance's next test, and if they were found wanting, it would only hasten their fall. War and Death would consume them, making way for Rebirth.
The shuttle ramp slid open, and The Mongrel stalked out, his mechanical footfalls echoing loudly in the narrow alley. All around him, other shuttles full of Scar Hounds were touching down, disgorging an endless flow of savage marauders. Their Warlord commanded their attention, raising a huge mechanical fist over his head. No longer did he hold up his once-trademark scattergun, which would have looked tiny in his giant cybernetic fist. Instead he clutched a cortosis-weave warblade, a colossal sword with a blade broader than an ordinary man's thigh.
"The Maw lays claim to this world!" he thundered, his booming voice echoing up and down the streets of New Jedha City. "Let there be a great river of blood to cleanse the weakness of 'civilization' from this place. Slaughter the unworthy! Enslave the weak! Drag them all from their homes and show them just how little the protection of their precious Alliance is worth." His gaze swept over his tribe. "The gods are watching! Let no warrior return with a clean sword, for the road to paradise is paved with the bones of the unbelievers."
The Mongrel lowered his arm to shoulder height, pointing his massive sword down the streets of New Jedha City like some hulking, macabre version of a peace officer directing traffic. "War! Death! Rebirth!" The familiar chant, the one that had struck terror into dozens of worlds, echoed up the alley... only to be amplified a thousandfold by the cries of the Scar Hounds, clashing weapons against their breastplates and cybernetic limbs in a vile cacophony of blood thirst. "War! Death! Rebirth!" They charged into the streets... and the homes along them.
That was when the screaming started, and did not stop.
The squad of Alliance warfighters spread out through the crumbling ruins turned as one and brought their weapons up to their shoulders. Enemy blasters bolts peppered their positions a moment later, forcing them back behind cover. Having seen where the approaching enemy was, the Alliance operators darted between cover to find a better angle before returning fire.
Tren Chaar, better known as Revenant Leader, leaned out from behind cover and unleashed a volley of blaster bolts toward the encouraging Brotherhood of the Maw marauders. Tasked to Strike Team Vos, Chaar and a detachment of Starfighter Command combat controllers had been assigned had been inserted the previous day to help fortify the position and call in airstrikes as needed. The experienced pilots knew the weapons and capabilities of the starfighters screaming overhead, and what information the pilots needed to drop a deadly payload.
The ‘what’ of the mission itself didn’t bother him - if proton torpedos were going to be dropped on his position, the untrusting Umbaran would rather be the one making the call. It was the ‘why’ that bothered him. Thousands of Alliance soldiers, marines and pilots had been dropped on a barren desert wasteland which High Command knew it couldn’t hold in the face of an overwhelming Brotherhood push, all so some Jedi could save a few dusty artefacts. For being so-called ‘Protectors of the Light’, the Jedi sure didn’t mind leading others into Darkness.
“LOADING!” Chaar ducked back behind cover, ejecting his spend power pack and slamming a new one into place in a practised motion. He slapped the locking handle violently to secure the new pack in place. Rising from cover, he fired another volley into the approaching Brotherhood forces before being forced back behind cover. With the enemy dialled into his position, he mantled over a fallen column and moved to another position.
From behind his new cover, the commander checked the holo readout strapped to the inside of his forearm. X-wings assigned to Phantom Group and his own Revenant Squadron were loitering overhead, awaiting calls for fire missions or the arrival of Brotherhood fighters. He’d kept the heavy hitters in reserve for the time being. “Phantom-Revenant, Vos. I need a tally on these foot mobiles.” Darting between the Jedi ruins made it a challenge the get a sense of how many Brotherhood raiders had made landfall.
Further forward, he spied Ishida, dancing between Brotherhood warbands as she cut them down. While her prowess in battle could not be denied, it was religious nuts like her that had brought Strike Team Vos could hear to be slaughtered, all to protect some crumbling statues. Weren’t they all accused war criminals? Chaar cast his eyes back to the backshift aid station where wounded soldiers were being patched up. They couldn’t hold out here for much longer.
“Jedi,” he called over the comlink dismissively, without using rank or title. “We need to pull back, NOW!” So what if the Brotherhood got their hands on some dusty books? His men were bleeding and dying on an alien dust bowl for an Order that was rumoured to be abandoning Coruscant altogether.
He had no intention of needlessly finding an early grave on Jedha in their name.
Tu'teggacha and his World Devastator begin to attack Jedi monuments
War, Death, Rebirth: The Maw taught that all things followed this cycle. There was struggle, and then the old gave way to the new. The bodies of the slain fed the victors, making them strong. The rubble of fallen superpowers paved the roads of fresh empires. There was perhaps no greater physical symbol of this belief than the WS-1 World Devastator. It was both destroyer and creator, world-ravaging harvester and army-building foundry. As the World Devastators consumed all in their path - buildings, starships, even the very mountains - they broke down their dark feast into its component parts... parts that would build new engines of conquest.
The World Devastators had been deployed before. They had stripped bare the forests and devoured the hills on the Sith resource depot world of Enenpa. They had ripped apart entire city districts on Coruscant, gobbling up hundred-story apartment buildings (and their screaming occupants) whole, to be broken down as fuel for the engines of war. Those had been missions of terror and greed, spreading fear among the populace and stealing the very building blocks of their lives to serve the Brotherhood's dark purposes. But the World Devastators were capable of more than just these brief strikes. They could do more than just leave behind scars.
They could be engines of erasure. They could grind history itself down to dust.
On the bridge of the lead World Devastator, Taskmaster Tu'teggacha surveyed the endless wastes of Jedha. Why the ancient Jedi had chosen to make this dry, desolate place one of their holy worlds, he could hardly imagine; perhaps something to do with asceticism and self-denial, or some self-righteous lesson about overcoming hardship. Whatever the case, he intended to ensure that the time of the Jedi in this place came to a conclusive end. When the Galactic Empire had struck the so-called Holy City centuries ago, they had evidently not been thorough enough, for the tenacious warrior-monks had returned and rebuilt their temples and statues.
The Brotherhood aimed to leave behind nothing to build from. Not even rubble.
Yes, when the Maw was finished with Jedha, let there be nothing on the planet save an endless, flat plain of dust. Let the mountains crumble and the canyons be filled in. Let every monument be stricken even from memory. The Brotherhood intended to finally end the age of the Jedi, a stagnant tradition that had limped along for nearly thirty thousand years. But if there was one thing that all who had faced the Jedi Knights had learned across the long millennia and the many different attempted purges, it was that those who battled the Order must leave behind not so much as a scrap of a legend or a single ember of hope. All trace of them must be crushed.
From anything less than total annihilation, the irritating "heroes" would rise.
The Brotherhood had taken these lessons into account before launching their own purge. They had turned the Alliance Senate against the Jedi, sowing suspicion and doubt. They had annihilated the enclave on Jakku and smashed the great temple on Coruscant itself. But these were only the opening steps of what they knew would be a long and complex dance. Every relic world must be broken, every artifact destroyed, ever rumor and legend stamped out... and every last one of them slain. Fortunately, the first three served the fourth. Each time an attack such as this one was launched, Jedi would come to fight against it. More Jedi to be killed.
"Engage the molecular furnace!" the Taskmaster commanded, feeling the huge machine shudder beneath him as its voracious maw roared to life. Tractor beam projectors snapped into position, seeking buildings, monuments, and even starships to rip up and pull into that fiery opening. A great statue of a Jedi of old stood nearby, carved elegantly into the wall of a canyon, as though she stood guard over all who passed beneath her raised lightsaber. The tractor beams swung toward her, locking onto the masterfully-carved rock at multiple different points, and began to pull. The statue was vast, and strong, and ancient.
The World Devastator was far, far stronger. Nothing would stand in its way.
All around the Taskmaster's colossal war machine, Mawite fighters flew in escort positions. Although the World Devastators were heavily armed and armored, they were also slow and bulky, necessitating nimbler protection. Dozens upon dozens of Thornwaves and Doomsayers, screened by a true swam of Darkshears remotely piloted by Heathen Priests on the Devastator's upper decks, blotted out the skies around the engine of destruction, daring the Alliance to try and oppose them. The Divine Eagles and the elite Knyght pilots, meanwhile, lay in wait. They knew the Alliance aces would come. In fact, they were counting on it.
They intended to make the canyon a graveyard of the Alliance Navy's finest.
Not much time had passed since the Maw's attack on Coruscant. Countless lives had been lost, and a senator spearheading the anti-Jedi investigation had been revealed to be a Sith Lord. The battle had not left much of an impression on Elpsis per se. Coruscant had once been the galactic capital, but now it was the capital of one great power among many. The Jedi Temple had been badly damaged by the brutal attack, but it had already been a far cry from its old glory. The Jedi had sustained high casualties, but not critical ones.
The Alliance's government apparatus was still working, though she wasn't sure this was a good thing. The loss of life had been staggering, but this should be the moment to rally around the flag and strike back, since the enemy infiltrators had revealed themselves, thereby breaking their cover. But, as so often, certain grievances died hard.
"Why are we even here?" a young GADF soldier grumbled. "The flames of Coruscant have just gone out, and we're guarding a Jedi 'holy site'. What do I care about Jedi icons?"
"There are GA citizens here, you know," a Jedi countered.
"As if Jedi care about those. Once again we're fighting your battles."
"Our battles? We've fought every battle for you. And to show its gratitude, the Senate locked us up like lambs on a slaughterhouse."
"Oh, shut up," Elpsis interjected, getting annoyed. "Both of you."
"This doesn't concern you, mercenary," the Jedi spoke the word as if it were an insult.
"You know, I don't need credits. I got enough money to buy myself another big-arse island with a stupid villa and lots of servant girls and retire for the rest of my life. And yet here I am, fighting a war I've spent most of my life fighting. Force, do you lot ever learn? Galactic Republic, first Galactic Alliance...now you. Who blew up a planet not so long ago? Sith. Who gave that stupid order that let the Mawists burn across Coruscant? Your Senate. If you lot had any sense, you'd get rid of all the cowards and traitors and focus on the war instead of sulking."
"The Senate was...deceived," the soldier protested. "Manipulated by a Sith..."
"It's inept at best, treasonous at worst."
"We must trust in the Force. There is no emotion, there is peace," the Jedi said piously, as if it were a mantra. "I am sure you have skills with the Force, but the Jedi Order has prevailed over all enemies and will continue to do so by our commitment to the Light."
Elpsis shot him a cold look. "I'm sure the people of Csilla would applaud your 'great triumphs'...if they were alive." Explosions rumbled in the distance, as loud as a thunderclap. "Anyway, there's a battle going on. Get your act together. Or just shoot yourselves before your idiocy infests your comrades. I don't care." With that said she headed off.
Multiple Brotherhood soldiers began to attack the people of New Jedha, from what Jax had heard it was one of many strikes this New Sith Order was doing in their conquest to take over the Core Worlds. They sent a statement during their attack on Coruscant, killing millions of people and thousands of Jedi. Flying over the city, Jax remembered feeling helpless while he observed the spilled blood by the Jedi including the younglings who didn't make it out of the massacre. Anger swelled within the Jedi Master as well grief but he did his best not to let it consume him, Instead Jax focused on making sure that the Brotherhood wasn't going to do the same to these people residing the city.
"This Jedi Master: Jax Thio!" He called into his radio =. Master..... that was a rank that he never thought that he would achieve during his path as a Jedi. Jax was promoted due to his heroics at Coruscant though the Jedi wasn't even in the Temple having been transported to the Netherworld by Pom Stych Tivé
. The two of them had an intense Force battle over the soul of Spasa
whom Jax managed to rescue, he wondered if Spasa was doing well inside of his apartment back at Coruscant probably not considering she still heard voices in her head.
"I'm heading down to the surface to defend civilians! My Droid will be heading to the space to assist the GA in any space operations!"
<I got the coordinates!> BB-12 whirred. <Now hurry up and play hero so you can buy me a Pizza.>
"Get it yourself," Jax smirked pressing the eject button, as he flew in the sky and began to drop, Jax could hear BB-12 beeping. <I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!>
Jax continued to freefall using the Force to dodge an explosions or AA flak until he landed on the surface with a large force strike killing any soldiers surrounding him. "Time to earn my pay," he muttered activating his Lightsaber.
The Shuttle had entered the atmosphere, descending down towards 'New Jedha City' amidst the crackle of turbolaser and missile fire below. Battle Barges had preceded the Shuttle, clearing a path for it and its occupants as they flew towards the outskirts of the city where the Brotherhood of the Maws forces had begun to create a beach head against the defenders, the Galactic Alliance and their allies. The trajectory of the Shuttle was largely smooth however it veered into defensive patterns to avoid enemy fire on route to its landing point several times.
Once it was planet side the ramp leading into the belly of the Shuttle would lower, Marauders and Acolytes of the Dark Side would come spilling out. Blasterfire from the Marauders helped to draw the attention of the Galactic Alliance soldiers and the Acolytes following behind them would use low level but effective force powers to assist and assert control over the area. Even as area of control was beginning to be impressed and the perimeter secured the Dark Apostle began moving down the ramp until his feet touched the ground.
On Coruscant Kol had faced a powerful Jedi Master, one who seemed to have a unique connection with the force. Caltin Vanagor
had proven an interesting opponent, one the Dark Jedi would seek out again in the future. Since that encounter the temporary blindness that Kol had suffered had healed, he saw with his eyes again but his senses extended throughout the force and the ambient energies around him.
A Marauder approach, a data pad held in his hand which displayed sites within the city that had been designated priotity targets a likely locations where civilians could be evacuated....
[Here my Lord. Sources tell us that Alliance Soldiers are likely to evacuate civilians at these locations.]
...Kol, tilting his head to regard the information and the holographic depiction of 'New Jedha City' on the datapad would have replied...
"Then we shouldn't wait. Hunt down as many civilians as possible. Death will welcome them and those taken alive will make excellent sacrifices to the Dark Side, their souls devoured."
...a Zealot for his dark religion Kol's desire was only to feed as many innocents to the abyss as possible. The Marauders and Acolytes who followed the Dark Jedi were only to happy to oblige.
The Troupe would begin moving down the streets of the city, blasterfire from the Marauders clearing a path while the Acolytes dispatched enemies who came to close for comfort. Kol moved with a small entourage behind the main body, two Acolytes appeared to serve as bodyguards for the Dark Apostle with lightsabers drawn, ignited. As for the Dark Jedi himself his hands were positioned behind his back, clasped together; he strolled with a predatory confidence while his eyes scanned ahead of him.
Enemy soldiers were engaged. Civillians were either cut down or taken by some of the Acolytes and drug back in the direction of the shuttle, kicking and screaming likely...
The Wrath of the Maw had come to Jedha for one thing in mind, to destroy any Jedi that he could come across. While his Knights of Ren were focused on other matters or missions across the galaxy important to his future plans of conquest from within the Maw. Today he would treat this battle as a more of a personal vendetta of sorts. It had been too long since Kyrel had willingly planted a large target on his back to draw out a group of Jedi, and what better way to stir up the nest than by desecrating the Kyber temple they cherished so much. He himself knew that there was power to be held behind the sacred places of power within the Force. He himself had often coveted these places many times, and now with Jedha set on his mind he only desired to feed on the fresh blood of his sacred enemies.
As soon as the warships started to depart over the holy world, Kyrel in earnest took his personal TIE SIlencer down to the mostly desert world. While many of the Barbaric Maw were focused on the city, he on the other hand was seeking for Jedi to draw out one way or another. The Silencer roared like a beast itself while it descended through the atmosphere only to be met with the Maw already in full swing, some dropping down to the world. Some already engaging in combat with the enemy. A smirk came across his lips wondering how broken they must have been, after everything they knew had been shattered with the corruption revealed from within. Kyrel would make sure as the Wrath that wound was only made that much wider.
The Fighter only continued to scream, as he slowly started to touch down on the outskirts of the Temple. Unaware of who or what might have already been there regardless of his arrival. He was curious by how many was willing to protect such a sight, while he was determined to destroy it all by himself if he truly had to. Emerging from the hatch, the dark shadow of a man dropped to the dry ground below with a loud stomp. His hunger only intensified as he stood outside of the Temple. Looking upon the Jedi statues that had wielded lightsabers and gave another unsettling smirk. It was ironic this place still stood, remarking from the Imperial within him that it should have all been reduced to atoms centuries ago, and yet here he was.
His hand wrapped around the hilt of his saber. He only stood for a moment, as he started to move his feet forward to enter into the depths of the Temple. The monster himself consumed by the darkness, a single black hole of an aura started to radiate about, alerting others of his imminent arrival. The vile Master of Ren blending in with his surroundings mixing in with the darkness as he was only surrounded by the glow of Kyber Crystals, the way the reached out and spoke to him through the Force sent shivers down his spine. The spine made of bled Kyber Crystals only began to glow as if answering the hymn illuminating Kyrel in a crimson haze. His grip tightened around his saber as he ventured deeper his breathing quickened as he waited to see where his path would take him to burn it all down on this day.
”If you’re not all in, you’re all out.” - Chris Lee
He didn’t like Jedha. The planet’s history was rich in a terrible history of horror and dread. The people though just tried to take it day by day and live their lives. The people were not the problem, it was the history, the “spiritual home of the Jedi Order” was a curse on the people who lived here. In truth, the big guy wished that this planet’s history could be forgotten by anyone who doesn’t need to know, but that was not the case.
It would not be so bad if the frozen dust bowl was not so rich in kyber crystals. From powering weapons of mass destruction to ships to fething jewelry, they were your one-stop-shop, in a manner of speaking. That is what brought so much trouble to NarJedha’s moon. Sure, there would have been more than enough to do with the Sith and so on, but the people would not have had to live looking over their shoulder like they do today.
That does not mean he would not give his life so that they didn’t have to give theirs. Right now, he was here because the Force pulled him here because there was something out there that drove him to land in the Holy City and looking around every corner for some semblance of Master Tiland’s “Church of the Force”, or the “Disciples”, or even the infamous “Guardians of the Whills”, something that would explain why it looked like this place was about to blow.
The edges of the mesa were where he needed to look, there was something in his senses that was just screaming to take him there. The view was incredible, the ruins of the fallen statue of the Jedi, but he was not looking at them, he was looking for something else. It took a few moments, but the big guy had found what he was looking for, and he wished that he hadn’t. The incoming shuttles, transports, fighters, were all coming in with reckless abandon. The starfighters were blazing a path so that the transports and shuttles could land, there was a problem though.
They were not immune to the Force.
With a fire in his eye, the massive Jedi Master reached out with the Force and grabbed one of the Sith Starfighters, stopping it in motion. Closing his hand into a fist, he crushed the starship and “threw” it at a shuttle. A transport came in, he “pushed” it back into another. There were just too many though, Caltin could not stop all of them. Thankfully he could sense other Jedi in the City and reach out to them.
~This is Vanagor! They’re coming in from the Western Ridge!~
The populace watched in horror as the Sith began to land and ravage their homes. Many of them seemed to think that just standing by the Jedi would keep them safe from harm, Caltin knew that he was a target, but he knew that the people trying to simply run away were much worse. They looked like they wanted something to spur them on, something that would rally them.
Listen to me, all of you, listen! There are some things in life that are of your control, that you can't change, and you've got to live with. The choice that we have though is either to give up or keep on going.
I want to ask you what are you going to believe? Are you going to believe in yourself? Are you going to believe everybody else's judgment on you? Are you going to believe people when they say that you're a failure and that you can do nothing about it? Or will you stand and tell them what you are? Will you let these attackers run you out of house and home? Or will you stand and say "no"? The Jedi will defend you with our lives, but will you live them? We can only open the door to your peace, you have to go through it.
FINAL DAWN JEDHA , MID RIM Jedha. An Insignificant Desert Moon located in the Mid Rim , with little strategic value to the Final Dawn other then it's rich deposits of Kyber Crystals which they sought to harvest to power-up new Weapons of Mass Destruction envisioned by the Politorate's Department of Special Weapons Research & Development. After the Great Battle of Coruscant , the Maw had moved forth to launch a major offensive against the isolated Desert Moon seeking to further destroy the image of the Jedi by targeting yet another Planet with ties to the famed New Jedi Order. Already Intelligence from the Politorate had indicated that tensions remained between the New Jedi Order and the Galactic Alliance Defense Forcewhich could easily be further exploited by the Final Dawn for their own benefit especially with Final Dawn influenced Deep Core Worlds such as Epoch at risk due to the recent revelation that Solipsis was the Senator of Epoch Kaigann Fossk.
The Alliance was broken , divided internally , weakened externally and the Brotherhood of the Maw pressed forwards continuing to place pressure on the vulnerable Alliance as it's New Imperial Allies abandoned them closing their borders and refusing to commit any further to the defense of the Alliance in the wake of Mawite Incursions within their Territories. Now was the time , the time for the Final Dawn to rise up and fully reveal itself , for the full might of the Final Dawn would bear down on the Forces of the Galactic Alliance here at Jedha. Not only would their Fleets be present but also their Armies , their Special Forces. Today , Sularen would demonstrate the true might of the Final Dawn and show to the Alliance that he was no thorn on the side , that he was a force beyond reckoning , that their decision to betray him and label him as a Traitor was a mistake , providing the Final Dawn with a powerful force resentful of the Alliance and fueled by sheer hatred and the desire for Revenge. Today Sularen would show them all , the consequences of their actions , today he would show them what it meant to suffer and he would do this again and again and again until there was nothing left of the Galactic Alliance.
Inside the Predator's Hangars , Grand Overseer Marlon Sularen
was inspecting his troops readying himself for the coming Attack. The 1st Combined Fleet and the Predator's Escort Fleet were already advancing at full speed towards Jedha , opening fire on any Alliance Warship that stood in their way ready to break through their lines and begin OPERATION : STORMFRONT. Soon enough the Grand Overseer soon met up with General Bellock , Sularen's Second-in-Command within the Reformed 439th Legion. "General! Are the Troops ready for Deployment?" the Grand Overseer asked without hesitation. The General soon turned around to face his superior , quickly saluting him and responding. "Yes sir , all Units are fully accounted for and ready for deployment" Sularen nodded and patted Bellock on the shoulder before saying. "It's time we showed the Galactic Alliance the wrath of the 439th Legion"
Then Sularen's Comlink buzzed , it was Admiral Hamilton who was onboard the Purifier. "Sir , we've broken through the Alliance Vessels stationed in orbit of Jedha and are now moving in to establish a Blockade. The Predator and all Assault Ships are clear to move into the Atmosphere of Jedha." the Admiral said. "Copy that , Hamilton." Sularen said in response , then Sularen looked at Bellock and soon spoke once more. "Well then General , let's get down to business."
The Predator and a Small Group consisting of 4 Subjugator Assault Ships began their slow descent into the Atmosphere with the Grand Overseer and General Bellock entering one HAAVs each. Soon enough , large amounts of HAAVs and AV-86s carrying the bulk of the 439th Legion within them had left the hangars of the 5 Vessels soon heading towards their targets with a smaller group of Transports soon splitting off from the main group headed towards the Kyber Mines of Jedha while the rest continued heading towards New Jedha City. Soon enough , these HAAVs and AV86s emerged from the clouds of Jedha's Atmosphere and began descending towards New Jedha City soon coming under heavy fire from Anti-Air Batteries with some HAAVs and AV86s getting hit , although both Transports were designed to take heavy beatings from such weaponry with lengthy concentrations of fire being required to take down a single Transport.
Soon enough , the 439th had made landfall in New Jedha City with HAAVs and AV86s landing in different parts of City unleashing the fearsome Crimson-Armored Stormtroopers of the 439th along with numerous Main Battle Tanks and Infantry Support Vehicleswithin the streets of New Jedha City. Their orders were plain and simple , lay waste to the City , take whoever they could , kill those who resisted. The 439th Legion would leave it's mark on Jedha and show the Alliance their determination of reclaiming Byss regardless of any costs. As his troops began laying waste to the City attacking both Alliance Soldiers and Civilians Alike , Sularen watched from above in his HAAV with satisfaction , content with finally being able to unleash his fury upon the Alliance. For too long the wrongdoings the Alliance had done to his men had gone unpunished and now he was going to deliver proper judgement upon them. Once and for all.
The screaming started, but the Jedi were there to stop it.
Civilians had already started fleeing their homes when the sky had been darkened by the Maw's ships. Warning claxons rang in the distance, and a local broadcast looped a general warning of the imminent battle. Panic swept the streets, and, as the Maw's ships set down around the edges of Jedha's Holy City, a knowing anxiety crept through the Defence Forces assembled at the Northern Section where Bernard stood awaiting the enemy's arrival.
The enemy was attempting to surround the city, and then herd everyone into the centre where they'd be exposed from all sides.
"Captain," Bernard said to the taller Chiss. "You have seen the enemy's approach? We won't survive long if they rout our position."
"I came to the same conclusion, Master Jedi. I'll have my men hold the main road and maintain an avenue of escape for the other troops," the captain's voice rolled with the smooth calm their military culture instilled in them. Some of their number had, after the treaty with the Alliance, decided to join the fight against the Maw on other fronts.
Bernard nodded his agreement.
Despite the New Jedi Orders blanket decision to withdraw from the Alliance's Defence Forces, there was still a certain deference to the Force warriors in certain matters among those more devout to the Church of the Force, and such members were more common here in Jedha's Holy City. As Bernard advanced past the organizing squads, he felt their fears lessen. A Jedi walked among them, the Force would be with them.
The troopers began to move out under the captain's orders, dispersing down the main street leading to Tythoni Square, as Bernard continue to watch the skies. Ship by ship the Maw's forces evaded the anti-air fire, slipping through the defence network and down into the city, disappearing behind distant buildings. Blaster fire and explosions began to ring in the distance and echoed through the city above the panicked screams of men, women, and children fleeing a life in the Maw's chains.
Bernard stood at the edge of the plaza, surveying the defences. Barricades were being set up at each gate leading into the plaza, soldiers took up positions in buildings and on rooftops, while others ran out through the streets to face the enemy head-on and protect the Holy City.
"Tell your men to guide any civilians they encounter to the Holy Quarter. We have a better chance at saving them when they're gathered here, with us," Bernard said.
"But, Master Jedi, won't that make the Maw's objective easier to accomplish?" The Chiss said.
As the last shuttles began to arrive only a few dozen metres beyond Tythoni Square, Bernard turned to the man and set a hand on his shoulder.
Kai stood outside a doorway, lightsaber ignited, watching out for anyone dressed like a post-apocalyptic raider in spikes and leather. Sure enough, a group arrived on the scene, firing blasters at him.
He deflected a few bolts back at them, thinning the herd, then reached out with the Force. One Mawite was drawn telekinetically toward him, limbs stiffening as they tried in vain to halt their progress forward, only to be impaled on Kai's blade and tossed aside like a ragdoll. The others took the hint and vanished behind cover... but Kai just came to them, bouncing off the wall of the corridor as he pounced down on them, relieving arms of hands and necks of heads before returning, seconds later, to his post before the door.
Much like on Coruscant, Kai was once again on guard duty, helping to defend the Temple of the Kyber from the invaders while Aeris worked on preserving the works held within the archives. Apparently Aeris' librarian duties stretched far past the confines of the Temple Library on Coruscant, all the way to Jedha, a planet which Kai figured had some special significance to the Jedi, just based on the name alone. This probably wouldn't net him another Golden Starbird - they didn't give those out to the same people more than once, did they? - but the possibility of reward was always an incentive when you're young at heart.
Besides, Kai was having fun, and given the chaotic, evil nature of his foes, it was guilt-free fun.
Location: New Jedha City
Allies: Brotherhood of the Maw
Enemies: Galactic Alliance | Romi Jade
Equipment: Faithless, Red Lightsaber
On Jakku she had restrained herself, gave her allies a modicum of consideration for their safety, and though her restraints had slackened on Coruscant there had still been the presence of her apprentice, Aradia Pavanos
, and the girl's paramour to take into consideration before letting loose - here, as her shuttle broke through the clouds that hung over Jedha, she had no such shackles. The time was fast approaching for all of them to be tossed to the side, she'd been told, but, for now, she would satisfy her hunger with the wanton murder the Maw desired to inflict upon the purported "holy city" of New Jedha. Already, as the sight of the city sprawled out below came into view, she could feel the first death of many to come through the ebb and flow of the force.
Its darkness spoke to her.
A starfighter that flew before her ship as the Maw's invasion force began their rapid descent was suddenly halted and the Sith slowly started to rise from her seat to peer out through the narrow viewport in the door at the end of the hallway that separated the rear of the transport and the cockpit. Her brow knit together as her eyes narrowed warily, her hand finding the cool, metallic, surface of the door, and as the fighter began to crumple the door in her way did so as well - pushed aside as she quickly strode through to the cockpit despite the protestations of the members of the crew before they realized what it was that was happening outside. A small, pale, hand was raised as the fighter was launched, suddenly, towards them before it was pushed down by the slamming gesture of that same hand, the Sith lord standing haughtily at the center of the cockpit as they resumed their descent.
"Veer left." She said.
There was no further protesting, not a question asked as they did so - and they were greeted by the fireworks of two shuttles to their right colliding with the other, a wreckage that could have contained their own shuttle if not for her timely instructions.
The temple loomed overhead now, their shuttle low enough that the buildings below were well within view and seemed much nearer to their actual size from their perspective in the air, and, seemingly satisfied, the Sith returned to the rear of the craft, the crumpled door falling down into the narrow walkway behind her just as she left the hallway in silence. Nearly about to sit down again, to wait for their arrival at the top of the temple where she'd be unloaded quite like cargo, she paused, hesitating, and looked back towards the front of the ship again. Lips parting, the inkling of a smile appearing at the corners of her mouth, she spoke again as she reached for the sword that she had left leaning against the side of her seat.
"Open the ramp."
Concerned, one of the crew at the front, either the pilot or their co-pilot, flipped a switch that withdrew the steel door that had been rolled down and began the slow extension of the cargo ramp at the rearmost part of the craft. Slowly, methodically, she strode towards the ramp as it lowered, sword in hand and saber at her hip, and, as it reached the final bit of length that it could provide with the ground only a dozen or so meters below now, the Sith made a sudden sprint that turned into a leap for the ground below towards what had piqued her curiosity before --
The Maw hit hard and fast. For Yula, this came at an opportune moment.
The Zeltron and her sister had ventured to the Holy Planet together, and the latter part of their excursion landed them in a pair of hard, uncomfortable seats at a cantina on the city outskirts. Given the clientele of wanderers and traders, the name Dogma seemed to be tongue-in-cheek irony as much as it was a homage to the Jedi world. They'd engaged in a friendly game of sabaac with a trio of alien travelers, trading stories and the occasional bit of gossip over mugs of cheap beer and a table of cards.
A shudder rippled in the force, putting an instant end to the good mood. Yula's single eye met Romi's in mutual grave understanding, and the unspoken message from her sister was clear. It was time to leave.
It was just as well—Yula's lucky hands were beginning to arouse suspicion.
"Hey now, it's been good but I'm afraid we've got to get going. Minchee, you be careful out there—"
Rising briskly, Yula swept her modest winnings forward with both hands. The motion from bending her wrists caused a few extra cards to fall from where they'd been hidden up her sleeve, onto the table. There was a pregnant pause before the Chagrain, Viz, leaped from his chair and pointed accusingly at Yula.
Emily, the mini spider droid and companion of Yula, sprang onto the table and raise a small, threatening leg at the tentacled man.
"Wellllllll…." Yula smiled weirdly, awkwardly, then grabbed Romi's wrist and made a mad dash for the door. Emily followed in suit, jumping onto Yula's shoulder then securing her grip on the Zeltron's back.
The credits on the table were forgotten, which was actually intentional on Yula's part. Though foresight was not her strongest quality, she figured it would be a hassle to carry them into what was definitely going to be some kind of harrowing battle. That, and it lessened the chance of three irritated travelers gunning her down to get their cred back.
The fires burned brightly as the Brotherhood raged across the city with reckless disregard. All manner of tribal warriors, overzealous cultists, cutthroat pirates, and neo-imperial troopers converged on one single location, setting ablaze all sites holy within the confines of New Jedha City.
The fire rises.
The peace and tranquil New Jedha City would be shattered, it’s people broken, displaced, and enslaved. Those who would resist would be exterminated. More of the Brotherhood assault shuttles streaked in, scorching streets with red hot plasma fire among the crowds. This attack, this assault on the holy world of Jedha, it had been orchestrated for the very goal of scrubbing out the Jedi Order. Both in iconography and in the flesh. A broadcasted strike made for the heroes of Light to gather and fall.
They would kill two birds with one stone.
A Mawite starfighter screamed over the steps up to the Temple of the Kyber, several figures emerged from the darkness ascending up to the hollowed halls of the rebuilt holy site. A long black cloak flapped in the scorching wind, glowing eyes stained with sulfuric heat glistened in the background, at the head of the ascent came the Dark Voice. The foretold Sith'ari proclaimed by the prophet Darth Vinaze
and the assembled victors of the Great Schism over Exegol, it was there that his black armor he now wore was forged with the dark arts alchemical. Armor fit fWaitor King Adas himself.
He continued his ascent looking upon the gathered forces at the gates.
LIGHT HAS NO NEED JEDHA | JEDI MONASTERY A DARK SHADOW NEEDS LIGHT TO EXIST
BUT LIGHT DOESN'T NEED DARKNESS TO BE LUMINOUS
One after the other, the onslaught fell to her sword. The creatures did not scream, cry, or beg as they fought. Their autonomy was exchanged for servitude to The Darkside, to the Avatars of The Maw. She could feel their darkness rolling from them, their sinister intentions. Thus, the Padawan exhibited no mercy. Recompense for the family The Maw had taken from her. The family of the future, the next generation.
Each gesture, she imagined cutting through the chain of command that had altered her brother’s lives. When she cut through the hands of an enemy, she was punishing a thief for stealing harmony. When it went through their stomach, it was the gutting of one who was feeding themselves on the souls of the meek.
A slice through the throat — the voicebox that had promised Qiy’on he could make a name for himself through the Brotherhood’s destructive blood and fire.
With a duck and a spin, the point of her elbow slammed back between an attacker’s eyes, stopping their primateish approach before she shoved her blade backward to meet their abdomen. For the pain Inosuke had felt before his death.
The carnage was a solace of sorts, rhythmic relief and giving herself up to the predictive nature of The Force. Danger flared, and she danced in to meet it, baiting out strikes here and there and riposting with unseen fatalities.
There was no hesitation in her movements, no punches pulled. Here, in this role, she was infinite. Like a breath. Larger than all her flaws. Hesitation had no place here. She’d allowed herself to hesitate on Coruscant, and the cost had been dire.
Her trance was shattered by technology transmitting a foreign voice through her ear. It ripped her from her daze enough for her to stumble back half a step. She looked over her shoulder, backward at the space where she’d last felt the presence of allies.
How long had she been out here alone? With the onslaught converging on her space while the so-called Defense Force pulled from their supportive position?
Indignation shifted in her gut, and she exhaled an angry breath through her nose. With clenched teeth, Ishida tightened her free fist. The Force understood the gesture and culminated around the curl of her hand.
Of course they wanted to run. To leave this behind. To leave her behind and exposed.
That’s what they’d done on Coruscant.
That's how they'd helped The Brotherhood kill her elder brother.
Resentment shifted behind her ribs, swelling up to the base of her throat and started to shape words to respond back to the soldier. They felt angry, furious and tight. Each vowel and consonant brittle and sharp.
They weren't going to get away with it. Running away and leaving the Jedi out to die. Jedha might have been a holy world, an ancient moon decorated with Jedi artefacts and history, but it was an Alliance world too. She'd drag the soldiers out of their hiding place and face this all alongside her if she had to. Their debt had to be collected. They'd pay. Everyone would deliver the penance owed.
<There’s nowhere to fall back to, Commander.>
Her palm opened, and from it, a torrent of telekinetic energy rolled through the leaping lines of attackers. Hitting them square in the abdomen, it was enough blunt Force to knock several from their feet. Enough to give those soldiers who’d scrambled to conceal themselves the opportunity to rejoin the fight alongside her. Show their worth and their apology for the damages done.
The Mongrel orders Mercy to scout the Jedi positions at Tythoni Square
Mawite forces close in slowly around the Holy Quarter
The Jedi still have some time to prepare their defenses there
The Mongrel approaches the cantina that Yula just left
Mawite marauders were a chaotic force, to be sure... but that did not mean they weren't systematic or thorough. As they dragged screaming families from their homes, slapping them in electro-shackles and hauling them off to their transports, they marked each cleared house with a blood red Xabove the door. Then they tossed radiation grenades into each interior, so that no one could slip behind them and take refuge in a dwelling they'd already cleared. Street by street, block by block, they progressed. Soon the outskirts were a wasteland of red Xs.
Of course, being thorough meant taking their time. Marauders ransacked shops and cantinas for valuables, handed over long lines of prisoners to waiting slavemasters, and cut grisly trophies from their victims, leaving nothing they touched undefiled. The radiation grenades they had employed would leave each block that fell to them uninhabitable for perhaps years. But the Jedi defenders were not idle. While the Maw engaged in slow, systematic, utter ravaging of the outer districts, they were evacuating civilians to the central Holy Quarter.
It wasn't long before the number of civilians the Scar Hounds were encountering lessened significantly, and it wasn't hard for The Mongrel to guess why. Aerial surveillance confirmed his suspicions: the Jedi, ever the protectors of the weak and worthless, were moving everyone they could to a single, more defensible location. That bothered the Warlord not at all, of course. He would much rather gather up all his enemies in a single spot and shatter them with a mighty blow than chase them through the various back streets and alleys of the city.
An open battle was more conclusive than a series of skirmishes.
Still, if the Jedi were developing a powerful strongpoint to hold back the Mawite onslaught, he needed more intel before he assaulted such a position. That meant using his secret weapon, the advance agent he had... procured back on Carlac. The Mongrel opened an encrypted comm channel and sent a message to Ziare Dyarron
. She was his most trusted infiltrator, and had arrived in New Jedha City well ahead of the main Mawite attack to scout. "Mercy," he said, his deep and thunderous voice easily audible even amid the explosions, "I have a task for you."
A squad of Alliance defenders rounded the corner, pouring disciplined fire into the Warlord's hulking frame. It was the kind of barrage that would have killed him even a year ago, when much of his body had still been organic... but now it just plinked off of his huge, armored chassis, leaving little trails of steam and black streaks of carbon scoring. Without pausing his conversation, The Mongrel heaved his colossal warblade toward them, bisecting three men at once. With his other fist he lunged forward and grabbed a trooper by the head, crushing her skull.
"The Jedi are evacuating the population to Tythoni Square in the Holy Quarter," he calmly continued, as if nothing much were happening around him. A frantic trooper heaved a grenade at him; he backhanded it, sending it flying straight back into the thrower's chest. "I need intel on their defenses. Scout the location and report your findings." With a stomp of his monstrous metal foot, he shattered the duracrete pavement, throwing another trooper from his feet... and then stomping his face into jelly. "Kill anyone who gets in your way."
It was strange to feel so powerful, so unrestricted; not so long ago, at the beginning of the Maw's dark crusade, he had been just one of the teeming marauders who now fought beside him. He had been fragile, easily wounded, only able to make a minor impact on the battlefield. Now, though, he was far stronger, faster, and tougher than any ordinary warrior. He could rip through whole squads of foes on his own, almost like a mighty Jedi. His enemies now knew the same terror he had known every time he faced one of the Force-Knights in the past.
But those Jedi might still be a match for him.
That was the challenge of breaking the Jedi Order. By gathering so many of their most dangerous foes in one place, the Maw had created an opportunity to slay many of them at once... but they had also concentrated their strength. This battle would determine whether it had been a tactical masterstroke or a dire miscalculation. On a smaller scale, it would determine whether The Mongrel himself - slowly built up in skill and cybernetic power over these long years of war - could truly stand toe to toe with one of the mage-knights... or if they were still beyond him.
He had never yet killed a Jedi, only survived them.
But that determination was a ways off yet. The Mongrel and his forces were still just slowly closing in, looting and burning and killing as they went. With each block they traveled, their great circle around New Jedha City got a little smaller, a tightening noose closing around the Holy Quarter... but the Jedi and Alliance forces had time to grow more entrenched, a few minutes more to prepare their defenses. And before he ever reached the Holy Quarter, The Mongrel would run across a cantina still full of angry, ripped-off patrons...