Alashan, an often neglected and commonly overlooked world. The terrestrial sphere is still ripe with resources and viable land, but its secluded location has long made it undesirable to many settlers and past empires alike. The New Imperial Order sees Alashan as a world of strategic importance, allowing us to fortify our border with the Sith Empire, and bolster our position in this conflict going forward. The spread-out population of just under three thousand is made up primarily of refugees fleeing the iron fist of the Sith-Imperial machine. By offering the inhabitants of Alashan aid and security, we will welcome it as the next planet in the New Order.
Preliminary reports from the New Imperial Expeditionary Service and the Imperial Security Bureau have identified several significant threats on Alashan. These threats not only jeopardize our hold on the world but the security and safety of those living there. The Grand Vizier has restricted a forceful takeover of Alashan to a last resort option only. If we are to bring Alashan peacefully into our territory, these threats must be dealt with so that we may sway the inhabitants to our side.
Intelligence reports from the Imperial Security Bureau have identified a large gang of marauders who have taken up residence on Alashan as the ‘Ravagers’. They are a large gang of spacers and pirates that were driven out of the Core several years ago. They fled to Alashan to use its secluded location as a cover for their base of operations. A constant menace to the people of Alashan, they have refused to cooperate with any of our initial attempts to contact and diplomatize with them. The threat of the ‘Ravagers’ must be crippled into submission or neutralized if we wish to gain the support of the people of Alashan.
Their base of operations is nestled within a Canyon approx. 220 kilometers from the nearest refugee settlement. Both ground and sub-atmospheric air assaults will be necessary to assault the base as they possess many small craft and large numbers of capable ground fighters. It is believed that civilian prisoners, contractors, or slaves may be present. Precautions to minimise civilian casualties are not required for this operation, but they are heavily advised.
Be advised: The Ravagers ranks are made up of Republic deserters and former mercenaries and as such are highly trained. Do not underestimate them. Their numbers are believed to be in the hundreds, and they may possess up to two wings of starfighters.
Geographical Surveys from the New Imperial Expeditionary Service have revealed the presence of a large, ancient city several kilometers beneath Alashan's surface. We believe there is a link between this city and the reports of strange, rogue droids attacking refugee settlements. A preliminary investigative expedition has uncovered clues that may link this city to an ancient species known as the Zeffo. Three expeditionary teams have gone MIA since the first expedition, and New Imperial Expeditionary officers are wary of sending more men. Enter the city, neutralize the rogue droid threat, and find the MIA expedition teams if possible.
Benefactors from AvCorp™and the Technoid Manufactorum will pay top dollar for recovered Zeffo tech and artifacts. Soldiers and contractors seeking bonuses should ensure that recovered Zeffo paraphernalia is handled with care. Please be advised that your right or lack thereof to recover artifacts is subject to the will and commands of your CO. Mission incompetence due to prioritization of earning a bonus will not be tolerated.
Objective 3: BYOO
Provide direct aid and supplies to the refugees, lead your own non-combative expedition, or even go hunt for some rare Alashanian Fauna. This objective is limited only by your imagination and creativity. Remember to check the New Imperial database for the many holobooks on Alashan if you need some additional inspiration.
OBJECTIVE: ALIES: Waiting for him. GEAR: Soon. TROOPS: Soon.
Never in her life, Lunafreya Solidor would care about that. She had spent her entire life in Kaikielius, traveling between Protectorate planets, meeting nobles and hunting exotic animals in strange places, all her life she always craved for more, always wanting to leave that life and aspire for more, to do more. But, the recent events were rough on her, she was prepared for them, mentally and physically, but never in her life so much time was spent among the stars, trapped inside that metal whale called the spaceship and before she barely even noticed, she was aspiring to feel the smell of the wind on her face once again. It was not the same as the air conditioning of the ships in space, it was the pure, clean and willing wind that made the silver hair on her head bounce and with closed eyes, the elf took advantage of that sensation, letting her nostrils fill with its flavor and aroma.
“You will miss your home, not now and not tomorrow, but you shall.”, Her father said to her the last time they spoke and she was foolish enough to laugh at him. Now, all she could think about was how right he was about that, and possibly about many other things. The galaxy was a much bigger place than she could even think of, an infinite space that in itself was finite, with millions of thousands of planets and a myriad of unique species, and what was beyond that? The void that Church of the Word was always talking about? Perhaps other galaxies existed, far beyond these and far more mystical and rare, and when she thought about it, her heart was filled with a disgusting, hopeful feeling of anxiety. 'I feel like that idiot Ashelia ... wild and sentimental.', She always told her heart in secret, amid the turmoil that were her thoughts. She always took a deep breath, remembered her mother's warm face smiling at her, the almost fanciful scene she had of everyone gathered for a dinner in Villareal, where all seventeen children of House Solidor laughed and drank happily and innocently. That scene brought her the balance she needed to find herself in the gray, a way neither dark nor bright. They could brand her from Dark Jedi as much as they wanted, but she was beyond that for she was in balance with the Force, she used the darkness and the light at her will, she said that to herself a thousand times so it should be true. She did not feel insecure about it, but her overconfidence should be her biggest mistake and the reason for her biggest failures and unable to admit, or even see it, she kept walking this earthly plane of existence and would still do it for many hundreds of years.
“My princess…”, one of her droids called, in that horrible metallic voice she so despised. “We are approaching the dropzone. Message was received saying that another group of soldiers will meet us as we move to the Ravagers Canyon.”
She slowly opened her eyes, reclining in the open part of the gunship, watching troops marching and tanks crossing the open areas of the landscape. The violet eyes then left all this as she turned her head to look at the machine beside her, her father lord had given her many organic soldiers, but they were too precious to be killed and she had always preferred the solemn obedience of machines like that one, even though he hated his company.
“Send word to the High Command to order tanks to stay away from the savages hold, they can't do any harm against the Ravagers. The canyon is a strong position, far too strong for those useless banthas to access… Also, tell them… ”, she thought for a moment, a moment that would have been uncomfortable in the company of another living being, but the machine beside her did not said nothing and just waited in silence. "Just pass on the information."
She turned her head again to look at the emptiness of that planet, ignoring the fact that her mind told her that it would be another one of those planets filled with blood and horror. There, seeing the sun high in the sky, Lunafreya could only think of anything, she only existed in the middle of a universe much larger than herself.
Location | Alashan
Objective | Operation Whiplash : Secure some Artifacts
Focus | N/A A few weeks had past since the Battle of the Bloody Aurora over Mygeeto where New Imperial Naval Forces clashed with a Sith-Imperial Relief Force in orbit of Mygeeto. Marlon Sularen's Flagship , the Predator had taken minor hull damage but was nevertheless still fully operational in the aftermath of the battle ready for the next fight. After the Battle , Marlon had been contacted by Agent 66 one of his enforcers of the current situation back in the Core Worlds and Colonies informing him of recent events and the current situation of the ZU. After talking with Agent 66 , Marlon set course for the Planet Alashan as the New Imperial Order once more continued it's expansion this time here on Alashan.
Recently the New Imperial Expeditionary Service had discovered a large ancient city several kilometres under the surface of the planet that might have links to rogue droids and the ancient Zeffo Species. However already three expeditionary teams have gone dark and a Fourth Task Force has been sent find and located the missing expedition. But in addition to that AvCorp and Technoid Manifactorum were also paying alot of credits for recovered Zeffo Tech and Artifacts probably as a means to push their own secret agenda.
Marlon was weary of this , as the head of a Minor Corporation , Marlon Sularen really had no say in the Economic or Corporate Affairs of the NIO. With his fall from grace it would take a long amount of time before SularenCo could consider itself a Megacorporation given at how Credius Nargath had robbed Marlon Sularen of potential assets to rise to such a position and hence force his Corporation was probably seen by Gat Tambor and Darth Avernus as irrelevant.
Regarding the newly found underground city , Marlon Sularen was interested in uncovering the secrets it held especially if it would help his advance his own secret agenda in the future. Soon enough the Predator would arrive in orbit of Alashan and Marlon accompanied by 30 New Imperial Marine Commandos and 5 of his Imperial Praetorian Guard headed towards the Surface of Alashan on board of Phantom-Class Shuttle Escorted by Two Tie Outlanders. Soon they would enter the underground city and would uncover secrets previously unknown. But they would have to face competition from AvCorp and Technoid as they could pose a threat to Marlon's Corporate Interests on the planet.
The Gunship flew through the air. Weaving in and out and around others as it avoided Anti-Air weaponry. Standing on the platform with the door still closed at the moment, a bright red light barely illuminating the Nova Troopers within the Vessel. In the hands of the Commander, was an Electrohammer. A weapon that he has found very enjoyable to use. The head was upon the plate of the ship. Resting there with the grip up with the Commander almost leaning upon it. The weapon was well known for its ability to slam foes with incredible force. Even more so, it could shut down hud systems, and even stun enemies if they were close enough to a blast from this hammer. Even having a "Wave" in which could be released along the ground or a surface so that the user would be able to hit a glowstick wielder from range.
Seeing the man stand there, one could see that he was prepared just for this. Seeing these Ravagers being as they were highly trained, there was no reason not to send in the Nova Troopers that sought to aim at taking down the head of the snake.
Suddenly the Gunship was fired upon by a missile. The alarm system flared to life. Attempts were made to avoid the missiles. Zooming around corners and even rolling away from the tracking weapon. Forcing all inside to brace themselves against the walls, or hold onto the grips that hung over head. Some failed to do so in time and such caused one or two to slide to either side. Finally being able to brace.
The Commander simply held the handle over head and looked almost without emotion at all. Just staring at the light as it stayed red. While they had been attempting to get close enough to drop down with jet packs directly into the Base of Operations that the Ravagers currently had a hold over, it failed. Now it would be used after the fact.
Careening down into the urban canyon, Crashing and screeching to a halt.
First out popped the pilot where he grabbed his blackened helmet from a concussion. Troopers with Carric rifles jumped out with the Commander himself coming out among them. Lifting the weapon up, He moved it towards his back. Letting the mag clamps hold it for him as he removed one of the sidearms he carried. An ease as he brought it into a low and ready with both hands.
Almost complete silence as the Commander and the troopers were looking around, making sure no one was around them for the moment. That was, until they started firing at them with long ranged weapons. Namely snipers and blaster rifles. All troopers took cover as fast as they could. Two men getting hit pretty good in the side and neck. Weak spots and were likely the opening shots from a group of scouts or snipers.
<</ Get me their positions! />> <</ Provide Cover Fire! />>
Upturning over the downed gunship, The Commander took in hand one of the Chainblasters off its mount. Throwing it up near where the blaster fire was coming from, and released hell upon them.
// Lord Executor //
// Objective // Ground and Pound //
// Location // En Route to Ravager Base //
// Focus // Open //
<"We are taking heavy fire! I repeat! We are taking heavy fire!">
Vaulkhar snarled as an explosion rocked the side of the dropship, sending one trooper to the ground. The Executor lifted him with his cybernetic limb, efficiently managing the weight of the fully armored soldier via the enhanced strength fitted into the arm. Crimson eyes shifted from the thankful stormtrooper, locking on the cockpit and the pilot shouting from within. His gauntleted grip tightened on the hanging loops offered to him and his men, the only saving grace in the case of turbulence.
<"Hold on tight, we've got inc-">
The pilot's warning fell short as something ripped into the cockpit, shattering it entirely before obliterating the unfortunate soul operating the vessel. Vaulkhar practically hissed as a fire tore through the pannel, already taking hold of the limp body. He braced himself, holding tight on the handhold while squaring his stance in response to the horizontal flight path quickly transitioning into something more on the vertical side of things. The Executor looked to the struggling soldiers, baleful gaze narrowing at the growing terror gripping the dropship. He thrust his hand forward, the heat permeating the ship from the ever-increasing flame melting away, replaced instead by an empty cold. The color drained away from the world, replaced by a sullen gray. Vaulkhar's vice-like grip on the force tore the cosmic power from around him, molding it into a protective barrier to encase the spiraling dropship.
"Brace yourselves," Vaulkhar's hollow tone pressed through the mask as the force warned him of the danger. The immediate impact saw the dropship collide with the rocky earth below it, bounce back up as the force barrier shattered, and slam back down once more. It carved a deep groove through the ground as it skidded hundreds of feet to a crashing halt against the canyon wall. Vaulkhar pushed himself up to his feet, shoving an unmoving body off of him and to the side. His gaze swept over the survivors, just under half of his initial squad. "Prepare yourselves," he warned, the gold-plated mask shifting to face the hull door. Reaching out, Vaulkhar gripped the durasteel and tore it free of its hinge before sending it flying deeper into the canyon. Blaster fire immediately assailed the smoking ship. "The ship is providing us cover for now. We cannot stay here much longer, as I'm sure they'll send something or someone down here to kill the survivors. Ready your weapons and still your thundering hearts; this push will not be enjoyable."
With a deep breath, Vaulkhar summoned the force around him and launched himself skyward. The vermilion saber surged to life, gathering the attention of their attackers without difficulty. His form spun about in the air, deflecting incoming blaster fire as he landed on the canyon floor. He scanned the surroundings, eventually spotting a lone cave entrance.
"Follow me," Vaulkhar ordered, beginning the drawn-out push towards the opening, his saber a glowing blur as he held off the oncoming fire for the men at his rear.
// Moff Predor //
// Objective // 2 // Ensure Success and Efficiency //
// Focus // Open //
Boots to the ground was never a style the Moff was particularly comfortable with, risking his neck by being out in public was typically a move that Boram tried to avoid whenever possible. But the promise of a rediscovered city, surrounded by mystery and producing rogue droids?
Well what self-respecting opportunist would pass such a thing up.
"Alright men, your mission today is a simple one." His words were not covered with sentiment, nor even concern for the lives of the men he was addressing. "You will recover the Zeffo technology and other artifacts of interest with zero damage, do you understand?" A few of the less seasoned troopers looked to one another, legitimately wondering how they'd do that without destroying the droids.
It didn't matter to Boram.
"If you destroy any lucrative assets, you will be subject to disciplinary action." That caused a few whispers among the troopers, one that was silenced with a glare. "I'd advise you to proceed with caution, troopers."
The cloak on Moff Predor's back flew with a flair as the man spun around to leave the forefront, leaving the rest of the briefing to the Captain in command.
"Alright men, our point of entry will be..."
The voice trailed off as Boram made his way back to his assistant, ready with some tea. Hopefully this would be a nice and simple mission, perhaps even coming out of this with something of particular value.
They presented two alternatives for Ursula, one involved invading a canyon filled with armed mercenaries to the teeth and the other involved invading an abandoned city of an extinct people. Nothing would please her more than invading a cursed region with people well armed and ready to do real damage, the problem was that when she saw the footage, Ursula noticed that she knew the Ravagers and was kindly reminded that she owed an absurd amount of credits to they owed to old businesses, amount she refused to pay not because she couldn't, she was rich, but she refused to pay because it was so much more fun to run away at night with only her clothes on.
The mandalorian would never say that to current contractors, she just smiled and said she would be delighted to explore the dusty city beneath the damn planet. She put on her armor and tried to get the new weapon, carrying light weight on her arsenal with her, after all, what was dangerous about an abandoned city big enough to fit all the inhabitants of Concord Dawn rooted in the depths of a planet? Alone she crossed her enormous bridge, her head held high admiring the monumental work still left by that strange race.
“I’ve seen better.”, She said to herself, nodding with her head adorned with her helmet, walking further into the city. "There was those weird temples the Hutts used for orgies on Nal Hutta... horrible to go alone, great drinks though." Somewhere in the forgotten and abandoned city, she cannot help but hear a creak, almost of gears or metal colliding with metal, something very distant and lost, Ursula stopped and continued looking in that direction. Seeing a group of poor people disappearing among the buildings in search of treasure and fortune. "Damn shame, damn idiots..."
“I’m speaking to myself again, aren’t I?”, The mandalorian then leaned forward holding the gun with only one hand, laughing out loud as she did that. Hitting her free hand in the shape of a fist very lightly against the top of her helmet as she continued to laugh, she sighed at the end and spoke in a good mood. “Oh, by the Mandalore, I’m a mess.”, Raising her gun very high to her own face, Ursula started to swing her in the air and pretend that the voice she was making now was the voice of the gun.
“Of course not, Ursula! Not after what happened there on Muun Moneyland. It was a very difficult battle for you to…”
“Now calm down, Pew Pew, I'm all right. All I did was kill some Sith bullies, nothing more. ”, She laughed again, lowering the gun to her side and still laughing as she started walking towards the city again. "Oh heck, this is actually fun.", She raised the gun again in the air and went back to playing with it imitating voices. "Hey Pew Pew, think we can wreak havoc forever?”
"No, you should buy a home and save for retirement.", The gun replied to her and lowering it Ursula replied almost disappointed.
“You know I can replace you, right?", the gun did not answered and neither did she, Vizla just kept walking towards the unknown certainty of death that was before her eyes.
Just another day in the Special Forces as it had always been. Thought Joker as he brought the Gunship in through there destination. With only one thing that was intent on his mind was to get the boys down to the destination they were required to, and then carry out the mission of stopping the pitiful skirmish. With a silent groan, he thought that such missions like these were a waste of their talents. They were Nova Troopers. The elite of the elite now here they were sent in to rescue people and stop what a bunch of pirates. Not that he minded of course. He always liked having someone or something to shoot at, and yet all the while he was annoyed that he hadn't seen any action against the Sith yet. In due time he supposed. For now he kept his eyes on the view that he could see, his hands gently on the control yoke.
His weapons were strapped to the wall next to the seats, while in the next compartment over carried the cargo of his fellow troopers. Reports seemed rather sketchy at best. Even with the intel, they were given. It felt like they were all going in blind. The rabble they were up against known only by the name of Ravagers. It seemed like this would be a simple op. Go in guns blazing, rescue the civies and then get the hell out of there. Mission Accomplished if only things were ever that easy.
Suddenly as he was guiding the gunship through the canyon, he snapped out of his ceaseless pondering by a missile. The impact slamming his head against the controls. "Karking hell!" The deflector shields absorbing the brunt of the hit. He knew that another shot like that could be the end for them all. He had to move quickly, not even warning his fellow boys in the back. Gripping the control yokes, banking left and right to lose the missiles. Dodging through tight spaces of the canyon. The constant blair of the alarm only annoyed him as he kept doing his best to shake off the projectiles after them. Seeing the base in his sights. There was no choice as the Gunship crashed onto a spot of where to deploy the crash sending his helmet flying off, and this time his bare head hitting the controls again. "KARK ME!!! Ugh... Best piloting you could do eh Joker... Lucky that crash didn't kill ya or worse the boys... Lucky if the Commander doesn't turn my exhaust port into Bantha Hide after a landing like that." He remarked as he grabbed his helm. Placing it on in place with a snap-hiss as he grumbled. So much for the element of surprise.
His vision was already blurry. Suffering from what he thought was a concussion. Grabbing both his Electro Batons placing them to his sides. Along with an ammo belt full of Thermal Detonators. Along with his Charric Rifle. He shook the dizziness off. Slowly stepping out. Following Scar and giving his surroundings a brief glimpse. It had seemed quiet until they were soon fired upon. With his rifle, he started to lay down Suppressing fire. Looking at his Commander, as they had all moved to take fire upon the downed gunship. Taking chances to continue his suppressing fire. When Scar Yelled for them all to move. He nodded as he frantically started to move along with his unit. Striking as if they were one. Pulling one of the Thermal Detonators priming it to detonate. As the beeping increased, he released it launching it towards the enemy. With an explosion that sent a few of the armed foes flying with a scream. As they slowly started to press the attack. Joker looked at Scar yelling over the combat. "Sir, what's the plan of attack, they are all over the place!?"
Zeffo. One of the more enigmatic of ancient Galaxy spanning civilizations. Even so, it was a properly fitting explanation for the automated great city which sprawled over the surface of Alashan. Managing to pluck the location of a hidden Zeffo Vault, the Knight Commander Rurik took particular interest in pilfering it. The Zeffo had venerated the 'Life Wind' as they deemed it. The Force. With it, they had discovered many mysteries now buried in ruins and time.
While Wymar had trust in his Knights, they were still largely untested save for the Campaign on Mygeeto, an exchange to which the Knight Commander had only seen the opening weeks of alongside Mavia
until they were recalled from the front. Reports, holovids and eyewitness were all generous in depicting the battlefield exploits of Jekadius Lawson
and Dorian Sicarrio
however. Both of them proved capable just as their comrades did in the face of overwhelming odds. Knights as they were, still mortals in the face of the despicable Sith.
The bout between the Dark Councilor Taeli Raaf and the Knight Marshal left her needing reprieve following the battle, leaving the burden of command of the Force Corps falling squarely on Rurik's shoulders. Capable enough, he didn't carry himself as a man overwhelmed.
<"Be wary. Though this may serve as a sepulcher now, the Zeffo have left as many relics as they have machinations of doom. Their sentries still roam these corridors, far long after their masters have breathed their last breathes."> Rurik states, his voice distorted through his helmet as the Knights ride the lift down into the further depths of the vault.
With the brief trip reaching its finality in a thud of heavy metal and slick stone, Rurik stepped off, his eyes narrowing as he felt out in the force through the complex. Empty...save for one. They were not alone though...even if he'd sensed nothing at all, the automaton sentries left in the wake of the Zeffo's devastation would make sure that they be assailed regardless.
The six of them combined could easily overwhelm and slay any foe cloistered here. He knew that well enough. That would be no proper test.
<"Our strength is in our unity, our order and discipline as a unit cohesive. Thus- we must sever it if we are to be tested. Alone, you are vulnerable to the temptations of darkness with the coming of strife and anguish. In pairs, each of you. Together you will be able to reinforce the discipline you will need to excel in your toil as well as build a bond to best the enemies that rest here. Move out."> Rurik instructed, in flat contradiction to his genuine doctrine. Even so - his knights might be tested. Though this venue was not wholly controlled it allowed a suspension of danger in offering a reasonably appraised ceiling of the threats which could be encountered here. He knew the confines of potential in what lingered her.
In exception, the single living soul within the depths of this dank crypt. That would be Rurik's own trial, his own object of investigation.
Objective: Operation Whiplash/ Investigate ties to the Zeffo
Location: Descent into the Underground City
Another conquest for the Neo-Imperials. Another world to join the expanding Order, another day that drew closer to the end of the Sith Empire. While he had been slowly recovering from the siege he went through on Mygeeto. Something had drawn the Inquisitor to Alashan. A tremor in the Force. Something that he had felt ever since exiting from Hyperspace. What had intrigued First Brother most of all was the discovery of the Zeffo's connection to the world. The Zeffo was not a name he had heard in a long time, in fact seldom heard it. Even as his former life as a Jedi Knight. He had only heard the stories of the Zeffo. His ancestor the Jedi fugitive known as Cal Kestis earned the title of Jedi Knight while hunting for them. Perhaps it was fated that he himself was drawn to this place.
While the Droids were the objective, and to even confirm the deaths or recovery of the expedition. The Inquisitor felt a personal mission on the world. Investigating what the Zeffo was seeking. Why they had chosen a backwater planet. Why the ancient city was made. An Inquisitor with an increasing amount of questions. With answers that he sought on the search of discovery that he was embarked upon. Taking a simple TIE Fighter down to the world when disembarking from the Imperial fleet over orbit.
Directing the craft over the city he was careful to avoid the detection of the droids, sensing others approaching the city such as the like of his Imperial Knight cousins. He wanted to keep them unaware of his intentions for wanting to investigate the Zeffo. The Force was compelling him to seek out answers, and if he had to cut through a swathe of droids to do so and even guardians of the Zeffo. He would do so. He needed to find what had compelled him to this place, and to be rid of it. His past even one that involved his ancestor was one that he sought to be rid of.
"I see the Force draws me here, my past draws me here... What were you doing here? Why this place what was so special of it." He remarked as soon as he got out of his TIE. Looking upon the massive city. What was once a thriving metropolis was now left to the ravages of time. In a state of ruin and decay. Like that of the past, his past. Giving a slight smirk on his face. He began his first steps towards his own investigation and to bring an end to the droids that inhabit such a place. For any obstacle in his search would be met with the brutality that he carried. For this test was a test of himself and his skills as an Inquisitor.
// Imperial Knight-Errant // Deus //
// Location // Unnamed Ancient City //
// Objective // Operation: Whiplash //
// Focus // Imperial Knights // Open // Spencer Varanin//
This forgotten city wasn't the first ancient Zeffo ruin the young Knight-Errant explored in his lifetime. While most of his life saw him safely hidden away on Eshan, out of sight of the enemies of both his mother and father, on more than one occasion, he'd traveled off their troubled homeworld to explore sites of significance to the Force. The Imperial Knight's mother held dear to the belief of neutrality over the clutches of light and shadow, ensuring her child came to understand the significance of her views. Those ideas stuck with Errant, burrowing deep within his heart to make up the zealous view he held towards the galaxy and philosophies at play. If it weren't for those beliefs, the Knight likely wouldn't have sought out his father, wherever he was, to aid him in his crusade to destroy the Dark Side and its chief practitioners. While Errant's mother, Spencer, did not approve of such an undertaking, he didn't allow it to slow him down. He wanted to find his father and fight beside him. It was his destiny.
Hearing the Commander's words, Errant slowed to a stop and listened to the elder Knight speak. Errant's hazel eyes locked onto Rurik. Beyond the regular training provided by the Force Corps, the Knight-Errant hadn't seen his master in the field, which left him somewhat interested in what to expect from the experienced soldier. When Rurik's orders fell upon him, the Echani sighed softly. Rather than complain or question the Knight-Commander, he straightened and nodded along in agreement.
"Very well, sir," Errant turned away, a hand falling to the lightsaber hilt at his side as he chose a direction and marched off. He lacked any experience with the others in the Force Corps, meaning this chance provided to him by the Commander could see the Knight-Errant finally building rapport with his brothers. Yet, a part of him felt anxious at the idea. His mother warned him of the dangers of the unknown. Those fears drove her to prepare him for the many risks the galaxy had to offer the Son of Celestials, even if she'd hoped he wouldn't depart for such tasks as this one. Choosing not to directly engage any of the others, Errant crossed his arms over his chest and awaited one of the other Imperial Knights to join him. Nothing struck him as unusual or out of place at his selected segway, it just happened to be the closest entrance leading elsewhere into the city.
'I don't suppose you're listening in, mother?' Errant posed the question within his mind, expecting something in response to the inquiry. 'The Knight Commander cleared me for active duty. We are exploring Zeffo ruins of some kind. I believe this field-work is expected of me to prove my worth to this group, likely for further work. I can't say I blame them, given I've only recently joined their order, but I am more interested in seeking out father. Why must you hide his location from me? You allowed him to train me before he went off to fight on Kintan,' his inner voice maintained the same serene calm typical of him. Yet, frustration licked at the edges of each thought.
Objective I : Ground and Pound // En-route to Ravagers Focus : VK-117VK-118
<”Drop ship going down ahead of us ma’am, more joining! Arrivals still a a minute out.”>
The ship banked steep and Lyra had planted one foot outside the cockpit, bracing herself upon the threshold of the blast doors. The sound of aerial shots ringing around them, painting the outside of the viewport in a haze of smoke. She caught the sight of the leading ship spiraling down into the canyons below before her visor tilted toward the rear ramp, waiting-watching it keenly. Theses shavits were dug in well and the mission was going to be a hard fought.
The fire team clung to the brace ropes, armor ratling with each explosion. Not a single soul present, eager to relieve a dodgy flight. The whistling noises of flares popped off shook the ship, the pilot all but back the controls as a weightless feeling seized them. The drop ship diving, dancing through the air toeing with the missiles trained upon them. Lyra squeezed her eyes shut if only for a moment, trying to reign her breathing.
<”Activate the transmi-”>
<”Already did, we can’t fly in this ma’am!”>
They were getting eaten alive by the swarm of fire power, leave it to a bunch of marauders.. Flexing her servo, her hand bit in to the metal as she craned her head back toward the ship’s head, tensing the shields rippled under fire. Last time they had pressed through heavy fire..Lyra shook her head sharply; ventilators hissing.
<”Begin decent now,”> Lyra snapped, knowing better then to push the charge <”pull back around toward that first crash. There’s bound to be survivors and we’ll consolidate on the ground!”>
The pilot’s answer was lossed to her, gauntlet smashing the ramp’s button as the hull lights began to flash, the ship leveling out for the briefest second. A thin light of day cracked as the hydraulics hissed, lowering and revealing the great expanse. Ship rumbling as another aerial shot narrowly passed. The canyon blurred as they began to circle back, the metallic thrum of the wing guns swiveling; returning to fire. Another gunship going down in a fiery crash, as Lyra reached out seizing one of the lines, unslinging her rifle.
<”Evil Eyes, let’s jump!”> the woman ordered, steeling her nerves as the shipped jarred as a stray shot caught the tail of the ship. Shrapnel flying from it's hinges as fire ate across the ramp, leaving them to look upon an inferno wall-blinding and the heat intense as the HUD cried warnings. Far to close for comfort. The woman had flinched, her hand steadying herself. A growl of a sort bubbled in her throat and she advanced, catching the back of the nearest trooper. Alarms wailing as the familiar sound of engines in decline urged her forward. <”Jump! Jump!”>
Their footfall was thunderous, those who hadn’t been charred by the blast or atleast could be dragged out made the fall. They was no time for caution, listening to the pilot unhook-a presnse in the back of her mind. The crew abandoning the bird for better or worse. Lyra egging the men on, was the last to jump tracking her fire team. Their team just dark specs amidst the violence on the air, the active camouflage slow to adjust and the reflec having a hay day trying to mirror the air. The wind roaring as they fell into the canyon below, mindful of the fall out and plummeting steel death traps. The crimson blaster fire and wreckage marking their landing zone. Whoever was left from that was in for a nice surprise at least and the woman brought her blaster to sight as the jump pack sputtered to life. She hit the ground running as blaster fire descended upon them, an unfortunate few falling before they could retaliate. Throwing a hand, the rangers who had braved the storm scattered for cover along the dusty walls and crevices the teams throwing out chatter, trying to get sights on the hostiles.
Warlock abruptly regained consciousness with a sudden, loud inhale. Her body shot up from a supine position, bringing the top half of her body to a vertical position. It took a few moments for her vision to straighten and the ringing in her ears to subside. Panting heavily, she scanned her surroundings, finding the gunship grounded several meters from her position. Warlock had no recollection of what had happened, nor of much of anything in the last several hours. The most probable of her assumptions; She had fallen right out of the gunship at some point.
Warlock ducked back down into the tall patch of grass they had landed in when a blaster bolt whizzed by. The sudden sound of blaster fire filled the air around her, echoing off the sides of the canyon. The reverberation made it sound like hundreds, even thousands of blasters firing. Had Warlock not known any better, she might have well believed the trick the sounds attempted to play on her.
The sound of distorted voices sounded over her comms, flooding the interior of her helmet with resonant static. Peeking her head just over the top of the grass, she scanned around for the rest of her squad. As if on queue, Scar came into her field of vision, taking ahold of the chainblaster and laying down fire. Staying as low as possible, Warlock bolted out of the grass patch and made a beeline for the downed gunship. She bent down into a slide, evading a few stray bolts before lightly thudding against the wall of the downed gunship. Having lost her primary weapon in the fall, she reached down for her sidearm. Leaning against the ship, she popped out from behind and began to fire single shots.
<< My karking blaster is MIA, must've fallen off the gunship with me. >>
<< This is Hellhound Actual, who's nearby? >>
Warlock dropped back beneath cover as she heard another voice come over the comms.
<< Hellhound Actual, this is Nova Two. We're pinned down at- >>
There was a small pause as Warlock checked the coordinates from the visor HUD and began to read them off.
<< -Four Alpha Victor Hotel, Niner Six Two Niner, Three Seven Four Eight. >>
// FOCUS // Rurik Wymar
| Jekadius Lawson
| Lambert Vasari
| Errant Varanin
| Dorian Sicarrio
| and Other Imperial KnightsQuiet as the ancient vault itself, Imperial Knight Mavia stepped through the brute forced entry’s rubble threshold. Light steps over the raised line of ruin, she made soft landings onto the vault floor. A purposely stunted advance followed and the Mirialan stood silently, admiring the ancient architecture of the Zeffo, registering their iconography, and eyeing their eldritch script. Her yellowish emerald organic eye and red cybernetic lens of the other, traced searching paths around the vault’s walls. The Knight’s cybernetic eye had its own ambient crimson gleam, making part of her appearance look like some corrupted droid from a distance. Her mane of red hair hung from her head and framed her green skinned face. Quiet. Pensive. And feigned deceptively fragile by her calm, Mavia Anjuu Wymar was one of the Imperial Knights of the Imperial Force Corps that was little well known or engaged with.
Mainly because she hardly left the side of her adoptive father Rurik Wymar, the Knights Commander in command of the expedition into the Zeffo ruins. Another was that the other Knights found her oppressively sanguine nature off putting. While other Knights, indeed their own High Knight Marshal, had a raw military persona and a warrior’s appetite, Mavia’s own demeanour was more like a monk or some holo-codex scholar. Yet, her powers were not to be underestimated. Well known for her feats of Force Healing and combative Force Mediation, she had shown her prowess when tending to the wounded along with the Force Corps Sisters Hospitaller. It’s why some simply referred to her, whether mockingly or in morbid reverence, as Sainte Mavia.
Mavia had wandered into the vault shadowing the probing methodical progress of Rurik when he had given the order to pair up. Mavia paused and looked to Rurik, nodding she looked around for the nearest Knight. Usually she would remain with Rurik, but, he had instructed her to be more open to companionship with her fellow sisters and brothers of the corps. A task Mavia found grating and unnerving. The closest to her was the Knight Dorian Sicarrio
and not far off the Errant Varanin
. Weaving between debris which had fallen to carpet the vault floor from the cracked ceiling. Mavia approached Dorian.
“You are Knight Dorian yes?” Mavia greeted, her voice soft and honeyed but, devoid of a welcoming melody.
“Would you follow?” she said, flicking her eyes from Dorian to stare at Errant Varanin.
Callsign: Swatter 4-3 ”Dookie”
Location: Enroute to Ravager Canyons
Faction Objective: Operation Ground and Pound
Gear: Listed in Character Bio
Fighter: TIE/HFequipped with x4 Disruptor Torpedoes
Immediate Objective: Partake in initial SEAD operation and provide CAS for friendly ground units
Focus: VK-117VK-118VK-462Lyra Voi'kryt
Hans looked down at the face of the black flight helmet in his hands. Fresh off the line with a shiny coat of black paint adorning it and the contrasting roundels of the New Imperial Order emblazoned proudly upon it. He couldn’t help but get lost in it as his mind pondered at the implication here. He was no longer a mercenary aimless and without a cause to fight for. He had bid and tied his fate to burgeoning new power that was bursting with fervor. Even if he tied the knot thanks to a long night of heavy drinking with some former buddies that had defected from the Sith to join the NIO. It was probably just another bit of evidence that he made nothing but terrible decisions but dammit he was gonna see this one through. He had a rank, a fighter he looked after and now was time to see if he still had it.
He turned the helmet over and plopped it over his head, sealing his new identity and beginning to climb into the cockpit of his TIE. Sitting down and strapping in he could feel an old comfort begin to take hold as his mind processed the familiar surroundings of the cramped interior though for most TIE pilots they would say that it was snug like a glove. Even if this particular variant was relatively new for him, it still took only instinct for his hands to begin the start up process as they effortlessly glided over various controls, switches and knobs similar in rhythm and flow to an experienced musician producing notes with his instrument of choice. Soon the lights of various screens and panels would start to glow in tune to the harmonious sounds of various subsystems whirring and popping to life.
A low growl reverberated across the tiny sphere as the ion engines began to spool up and ready for the sortie ahead. Hans’ eyes focused forward as his hands settled upon the controls and he saw TIE after TIE launch from the racks of the assault ship designated to support the ground attack on the Ravager base. Engines now starting to hiss before turning into a growling roar as he felt Gs careen his body firmly into his seat. Quickly he was in the black as the planet of Alashan hovered below. Forming up on the tail of a full squadron.
Quickly in unison they rolled over and began a steep tightly packed dive into the blue of the planet. Flying at max speed the swarm of fighters would begin to descend upon the canyon. Very quickly the skies would streak with laser fire and missile fire ascending and converging to try and swat the group of ‘eyes’ out of the skies in a kaleidoscope of color. The sound of passing laser fire filling Hans’ ears along with the sounds of wind shaking and reverberating across the hull as it shuddered in flight. The fighters were using both their ECM suites and missile deactivation transmitters to confuse and mitigate the incoming fire as AA laser batteries were forced to rely only on the mark one eyeball and the missiles would lose lock exploding harmlessly in mid air. Still even if the chances of getting hit were slim there was always that lingering paranoia about someone lucky a-hole getting that one in a million hit. Still it was all part of the plan. He and the rest of the banthachit crazy nutjobs that he was flying with was the bait. Attracting as much fire as they could so a follow up squadron could quickly ID and target their AA sites.
Hans’ cockpit was ablaze in lights and warning tones as he neared the canyon, the squadron’s tight formation still remaining until they were only a few clicks above the canyon. The squadron would quickly and seamlessly split off into 4 flights of 3 barrel rolling and veering off in a series of contrails that looked like a blooming flower. The world briefly darkened in front of Hans as the G load threatened to have him slip into unconsciousness but technique, training and a healthy dose of adrenaline had kept him awake. The flight he was leading were descending into the canyon ridgeline which also carried with it a barrage of firepower. Command definitely wasn’t lying when they said these guys knew what they were doing. His comms were alive with the frantic sounds of troops trying to ascertain the situation. Hearing the calls of a few including a set of coordinates that would prove to be within his zone of operation. Quickly the pilot would begin to transmit.
<< Hellhound Actual, Nova Two this is Swatter 4-3 callsign Dookie, I’m 5 clicks away from that position. We’ll rendezvous and provide CAS hold tight. >>
Hans calmly stated before having to pull a quick evasive kink to the right to avoid some incoming laser fire. His grip around the control stick tightened before throttling up the TIE as it respond with a hearty growl that increased in both pitch and volume. His body flinching as the fighter picked up in velocity and the air cracked and compressed around it.
<< Swatter 4-4 and 4-5, form up. Keep low, and try to maintain speed. This gonna be a rough ride. >> He called out to his two wingman as they begun their trek through the cloud of plasma that was the interior of the canyon.
"Oh shit, you talk." Dorian was genuinely surprised. Rurik had introduced Knight Mavia, and the whole trip here she'd been completely silent. To be fair, Dorian hadn't talked much either. With all the fighting the Sith and expansion, Dorian hadn't yet been given time to socialize or get to know any of the other Knights. Not like the Force Corps folks were super friendly. Wymar seemed pretty chill, but he was also the commanding officer. Lambert he didn't know at all; Jekadius was the same situation. Errant -- weird name, by the way -- had a vibe that said he wasn't all there. Mavia, of course, was the one approaching him. She didn't sound all that nice. Real looker though.
It'd probably be good to know who could talk and who couldn't. "Sure hon. Let's roll," he replied. This whole Zeffo deal was pretty funky. Other Imperial groups had disappeared inside, so Dorian wasn't exactly careless, but he was far from worried. He got to go for a nice walk inside some weird ruins. When they found the droids, they'd beat 'em up. If the expeditionary teams were still alive, they'd rescue them. Easy peasy. Not that he had any experience with this sort of search and rescue stuff. Still, confidence might as well be his middle name.
Dorian picked one of paths to the right and began to walk. His spear as always rested on his shoulder as he moved; though he was relaxed he was ready to use it at a moment's notice. For some reason, the Force allowed him to kill droids easily, much unlike sentients and other organics. Made sense. The walking and fighting didn't much matter to him -- his danger sense would alert him if anything was amiss -- so instead he focused on his current companion.
"How long have you been in the Force Corps?" He asked. It took a considerable amount of restraint to not start talking about himself.
Soon enough they reached a sort of dead end, but something told Dorian that there was something just beyond. With a characteristic grace the Knight brought his spear down on the wall, breaking through it in a single strike. An ethereal light spilled through. Dorian raised his hand to shield his eyes, then looked through. They were high above a large room. At the bottom sat...
"Uh... we should probably do something about that," he muttered.
An ancient Zeffo city, how exciting! Even more exciting was the opportunity to pilfer a genuine Zeffo Vault, never before touched by anyone else. Just thinking about the secrets that could lie within was enough to make Lambert smile. He was usually never one to appear very excited about anything, always keeping a calm and reserved exterior. Perhaps it was a carry-over from his days as a Jedi? Regardless, to those observing from the outside, seeing Lambert this expressive was definitely an odd sight, to say the least.
Ancient Civilizations had always fascinated him. He was born in far too advanced of an era for undocumented ruins and civilizations to be common. So when word of such a thing being newly discovered, and of Zeffo origin no less, Lambert was ecstatic. He may even have had something to do with Knight Commander Rurik's decision to bring them all here. That is if you believe that the Knight Commander could be so easily swayed by the constant academic prattlings of an obsessed amateur scholar like Lambert.
When the Knight Commander gave them the order to split in pairs, Lambert quickly looked around to the rest of the Knights for the right partner. As much as he wouldn't have minded being able to spend time with Mavia, or even talk Jekadius' ear off about Zeffo, he decided against both. Errant Varanin was a newer member beneath the Imperial Codex. As such, Lambert thought this would be a good opportunity for the two of them to become better acquainted.
"I'm with you, Varanin," he said with a smile, performing a slight jog to catch up to him. "I don't believe we've met formally. I'm Knight Vasari, but you can call me Lambert." It was an odd time to finally introduce himself, but better late than never. "So you uh, know much about Zeffo?"
Him, the other troopers, the Moff leading the group, and all the other Imperial operatives on the planet were supposed to find a group of ancient, murderous Zeffo droids and bring them in unharmed. He understood the other objective of the mission, uncovering ancient Zeffo artifacts with extreme care, well enough. While FN-999 was generally more of a destructive person who enjoyed the thrill of the battlefield, he knew the importance of precise operation and had enough experience to ensure that nothing would slip past him. However, even for a veteran such as FN-999, extracting ancient and murderous droids twice his height armed with chest and foot lasers without damaging them seemed nearly impossible. He'd sooner be promoted to Chief Marshal than to perform such a task successfully. Still, he was in no position to disobey.
In fact, maybe it had been beneficial to FN-999 that he had been assigned here. He had taken a severe wound in the invasion of Munnilinst, and a cast still covered his left armpit underneath his armor. The operative who had inflicted the wound upon him, Caide, had shown durability and adaptability unlike any being he had ever fought in his long career. Clearly, FN-999 would have to re-evaluate his form before fighting the man again. The wound the man's knife had inflicted throbbed briefly every now and then, disorienting the trooper and causing great pain whenever he put excessive weight, such as the butt of a rifle, on it. This operation would not be combat-heavy, and aside from the riot baton that almost never left his side, he only wielded a pistol for self-defense. Consequently, FN-999 would have time to heal his wounds while still benefiting the Order through the recovery of artifacts.
"Alright men, our point of entry will be right up ahead." stated the captain who was the 2IC of the operation. He pointed to an ancient doorway less than ten meters away, a stone arch that marked the entrance of a deep tunnel into a cliff adjacent to the grassy hill they had been ascending. As the troopers continued up the gentle slope of the hill, FN-999 noticed something.
Behind a pile of head-sized rocks was a glowing blue light. He slowly peeled away from the unit and walked over to the side of the rock formation. Lying next to a pile of similarly shaped rocks was a bright blue orb contained within a partially opened bronze case. Neither the orb nor its case resembled anything FN-999 had ever seen before. Its uninterrupted blue glow enticed the trooper to kneel down and investigate further. The case seemed to be made up of two parts, an outer ring around an inner shell. It seemed safe to touch, but FN-999 decided to let his departing comrades know first.
"Over here!" called out FN-999. "I found something unusual!"
// Imperial Knight-Errant // Deus //
// Location // Unnamed Ancient City //
// Objective // Operation: Whiplash //
// Focus // Lambert Vasari
'I see, so you're going to ignore me then? Very well,' Errant narrowed his eyes behind his helmet, his gaze following the other Imperial Knights as they broke up into smaller units. When offered an opportunity to work beside Mavia
and Dorian Sicarrio
, Errant shook his head. He motioned to the slower moving Lambert clearing the distance between each of them, the Arkanian also lacking a companion. Not that the Echani had a preference for either of them, it just broke down to the mission at hand. Form groups of two and work together to comb through the ruins. Seeing as Mavia and Dorian established their paring quickly enough, Errant turned to face Lambert and offered a respectful nod. The Knight-Errant wasn't familiar with the offshoot, but the Echani couldn't imagine a better opportunity to introduce himself, given their line of work.
"It is a pleasure, Lambert," Errant lifted his head and loosened up a bit at the friendly demeanor. "Varanin works for me," he propped his wrist against the belt holding his saber, the gauntleted hand laying comfortably along the weapon's hilt. He shifted on a heel and began a relaxed march down the breakaway corridor. "I have some experience with the Zeffo, yes," he lifted a hand, running it along the dusty and forgotten surface of an adjacent structure. "From what I understand, they're an ancient civilization, dominant in the force and ahead of their time technologically. Their people revered what they called sages," his free hand motioned to the duo as they walked. "Sages were force users, or in their own words, masters of the Life Wind. It wasn't uncommon for them to erect great statues and other relics in their honor. Unfortunately, their dogmatic beliefs brought about their doom. Rather than seek to maintain a balance, they lost themselves within their teachings, and their society crumbled," Errant turned down another corridor, which soon joined a crumbling street, revealing a massive cavern the city's residents once occupied.
"The Zeffo and Rakata are often likened to the other, considering their rise and fall," Errant stepped over a pile of rubble littering the street. "Each lost themselves to the dark side, abandoning the balance for selfish and thoughtless reasons," the Echani continued, squeezing past a collapsed building blocking the majority of one intersection. He turned back, offering a hand to the Imperial Knight if needed. "What about you, Lambert? The Zeffo interest you, or is this just a typical day in the field for you?" his hazel gaze settled on the Arkanian offshoot, probing the man's emotions for answers almost immediately.
Ravagers were firing on the position that the Commander had. Getting slapped twice by Blaster bolts, which the Tenabrae armor held up against. It hurt, but wouldn't be lethal to the Commander. Just another scar on his body in which gave him his call-sign and namesake. Ripping the Chainblaster from its mount, and leveling it up at the Ravagers that had a higher ground advantage. One that was very much real. While he could hear the sounds of the Com system blowing up with calls back and forth, All he needed to hear was that air support was on the way, as well as reinforcements. More Nova Troopers that had been tasked with meeting up with them after their Gunship had been brought to the ground.
<</ Hellhound Actual, Negative. Drop zone is hot. Provide Cover fire to the surrounding buildings to relieve pressure. />>
The Commander didn't care what Hellhound Actual thought about dropping in, but it would be best to support those on the ground first, using an actual firepower from their own gunship to turn the advantage around. Getting fired upon by two positions. It could be dangerous for them to just hover there to drop troops in, or land, then never be able to get back up into the air. Plus, if Dookie was coming to provide more support, Then it would be okay for Hellhound to land and provide reinforcements that they had lost in the crash. Which seemed to be in the single digits in the moment.
<</ Joker! Pull the wounded out of the field. Warlock, Keep the lines open! />>
The jittering of the Commanders voice came through a second time as the chainblaster continued to burp up bolts flying through the air. Firing until he was completely empty. Still spinning with the barrels hot as hell. Dropping it with a loud thunk upon the ground, Scar reached down to his side and almost quick drew his pistols with both hands and began to fire up at them. Moving behind the fallen gunship. Shoving his back up to the hull.
<</ Troopers Hold! />>
The order was sent out for them to stop firing on them just for a moment. Just to provide the right amount to make the Ravagers think the Troopers were on the back foot. Instead, as soon as they started to fire, The commander popped up again finding his first two targets. Pulling the trigger on both pistols to shoot both of them within a mere second from one another.