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The Kashyyyk Front

Jsc

Disney Princess
Writer
*ooc: open thread, sith cultists untouchable

___
Prologue

Kashyyyk 836
The Sith-Republic Front
The first torches of evening

All was quiet on the war front. The Allied Push against the Evil Empire was elsewhere and with it, the attention of the galaxy. Here on Kashyyyk a lesser threat was rising. A Sith Cult by the name of the Y'voak Rathy. Gathering members, these Sith break-aways sought greater powers in the depths of the Shadowlands. The dark underworld that crept beneath the canopy of the forests great Archtrees. Down down in the deep. Where only dark and shadow remained.

Commander Roberts wasn't here for trophies from the dark. She was here to stamp out this rogue cult for good and see the nearby cities restored of their good faith. Wookiees can be so superstitious at times.

"How goes the meeting Commander? Doesn't look like they are willing to budge eh?"

Lieutenant Bejour spoke with an Australian accent. At least he would have, had he been from earth. Grabbed in his grey trooper armor the Naval Security Officer looked ever the commando. As did the other four troopers that accompanied Roberts on her away mission.

Karen entered the stitched wooden room and lay her helmet on the table. Looking non to pleased.

"No. The Wookiees aren't budging. They couldn't care less about trekking into the Shadowlands or lending us a guide to the Gateway. While they might howl about the terrorism of the Cultists, they sure don't seem very eager to go chasing after them into the Dark Zone."

Another trooper stood up and shrugged,

"If they ain't worried about em'. Then neither should we. Five men ain't enough to go poking around in the underbrush of the Wookiee homeworld. I say let em' rot. The Sith bastards."

Karen just shook her head,

"Normally I would agree. But I can feel the aura of their leader on this planet. He's very much alive and well. And until his head adorns this mantle, I'm afraid we are staying planet-side."

Bejour folded his arms and leaned up against the bowing walls. You could almost hear him scoffing under his helm,

"Ain't no place to go Commander. Unless you just want us to wait here until they show themselves again. And that could take, who-knows how long? Best to just leave It to the locals to sort out. No reason to get involved with the Cultists in the underground."

"Aye. They'll probably get themselves killed down there anyway. Sith artifacts be damned."

Karen sat down in a wide chair and leaned back to think. Maybe her soldiers were right. Maybe the Republic didn't need to go chasing after these Cultists after all.

...

"...You have more friends than you think Republicans."

Karen snapped to the door. A mysterious form now lingered there. His voice was deep and troubling strong.

"Who goes there?"

A tall humanoid male appeared into the light. His skin was lusteriously dark and his eyes shimmered into black voids. His green armor was tribal and alien. His torso was wrapped in black cords of frayed rope while a fur hide adorned his left-most shoulder. A smile graced his large lips as he approached the startled soldiers.

"My name is Tabeck. I am one of the Wookiee's friends. And thus, a friend to you. My people wait outside to guide you to the Gateway into the Shadows. We are warriors and hunters. And tonight we see fit to hunt a new breed of animal. Deep into the Dark."

Karen stood with her soldiers and seemed not to find the words. This man was imposing and his aura seemed terrible to her senses. But why could she not sense him before?

"Who are you. What do you want?" She spoke despite his words.

"Ah. But you are now afraid little girl. Be still and listen well. You stand little chance of catching the quarry you seek here. But, per chance with my help? You might succeed. ...You seek the Sith Master known as Gazeem yes? Haha. But I can help you catch him."

The Republic soldiers gathered their wits and shuffled to stand beside Karen. Doubtful of this newcomers help.

"I don't like it Commander. More wizards appearing out of the dark? Seems fishy to me."

"Agreed." Karen nodded towards her new guests. "I'm afraid we don't know you Master Tabeck. And so we cannot accompany you into the Shadowlands. You or your people."

"Ah. But then you have no where to go, do you. I can guarantee you. That without my help? You will never find Gazeem and his brothers. This to be sure."

The dark-skinned warrior seemed to smile even deeper and gave a surprising bow,

"Perhaps I will see how you are feeling in the coming days then. Time, as they say. Has a way of changing a woman's mind. Haha. Until we meet again."

As he rose Karen could feel his strange aura abating. Swirling into the air and then disappearing without a sound. And just as he left the doorway, he was gone. Vanishing into the dark shadows of the cold black night.

"Bloody vagabonds. To think. I'd always wanted to come here. The pleasant pastures of Kashyyyk. Aye. ...Now I can't wait to leave."

"Aye Commander. Damned traitors running around the place. No wonder the Wookiees are so concerned. We come here looking for rogue wizards and what do we find? A whole lot of em'. That's what."

Karen frowned and understood their concern. Not even she had sensed the approach of this mysterious Tabeck and his strange greeting.

"What say you Commander? Still planning on sticking around this remorseful planet."

"No. Not for tonight. We'll head back to the ship and get our bearings again. I'll speak with Ambassador Chalokk tomorrow. Then we'll go from there."

She grabbed her helmet and looked back towards the door. It would be a sleepless night indeed.

___
 

Jsc

Disney Princess
Writer
Chapter One
Tolemie's Hammer
Freedom-Class Assault Frigate
Kashyyyk High Orbit
*Task Force K, Republic Spawn

The door swished open to Ready Room One and Karen's heavy boots graced the carpet with an uneasy trudge. Returning from the planet had given her plenty of time to think. No answers came however. Perhaps tomorrow would yield better results.

She laid her helm on the table and walked over to the windows. The idleness of space was an ease to her soul in these troubled times. Task Force K members would perhaps be joining her shortly.

___
 

Saki

Came in like a wrecking maul
Character
Saki tightened up the bracers on her wrists as she looked about, the idea of fighting sith on Kashyyyk wasn't so terrible while thinking about the last two semi hellholes she had been in and fighting. Now it was something to behold while she stood up and was wearing the two robes. The dashi from Metalorn and the keeper vest from Ossus. The armor weave and plastoid plates offering some protection but more then that the sigil on her neck that made her force connection and energy skyrocket. That was before counting in that even the emperors mental attack was able to be shrugged off at Ossus. It had brought a smile to her face while securing the sabe ron her hip. She was more then ready having all of her tattoo's covered by the thick robes as she went off to join @[member="Karen Roberts"] and her team.
 

Jsc

Disney Princess
Writer
@[member="Saki"]

A newcomer arrived in the Ready Room. Karen had never meet this Adept before. She turned away from the window and smiled,

"Welcome to the Hammer. I'm Commander Roberts. Let's waste no time, are you familiar with fighting Sith Adepts on terrestrial worlds? Task Force K will be facing some tough opposition this go around. I trust you're prepared for what we will be facing down there."

The newcomer looked more than strong enough, but it was best to start at square one anyway during introductions. Especially since Karen did not currently have access to the Jedi Order's roster these days.
 

Saki

Came in like a wrecking maul
Character
@[member="Karen Roberts"]

Saki gave a smirk to that. She had plenty of experience fighting sith anywhere needed. Her one hand clenched and pounded into her open palm while she spoke and gave a nod. "Hells yeah I do, nothing better then beating a few bad guys before breakfast." Hell this was sounding better and better and here she thought for a moment someone was going to say don't fight or don't make trees splinter to preserve the nature. Damn hippies.
 

Jsc

Disney Princess
Writer
Nice. This would work out fine.

@[member="Saki"]

"Good. Sounds like you'll fit it perfectly. Well now, if anybody else was supposed to show up. I suppose they'll just have to be late to the party."

Karen walked to the table and retrieved her helm,

"The away team is gathering to the shuttle bay. Meet the troopers there and grab any equipment you might need from the Armory. I was going to wait a few hours until the Wookiees got back to me. But with this new message I have received from GIA? We'll be moving up our time schedule. Time to get boots back on the ground."

She gave one last quick glance out the windows before returning her gaze to the unconventional Jedi before her,

"And before we go. You got a name warrior?"
 

Saki

Came in like a wrecking maul
Character
@[member="Karen Roberts"]

Saki gave a nod as she heard the news but she didn't need anything really. The bracers, the vest and her robes were more then enough to fight. A utility belt and her saber with a repair kit. A smile came on her face while she moved and popped popped all her joints and bones ready for a fight. "Oh I am all good, don't need anything more then my trusty bracers. Master Wraith taught me plenty about not getting hit." Her smirk faded while moving to go behind Karen and be prepared to join her. "Alright lets get to it and kick some sith butt."
 

Jsc

Disney Princess
Writer
Karen pulled her helm underneath her arm and smirked,

"Deal. ...Now, Commander Roberts to shuttle bay? We're on our way."

___

One hour later

The shuttle touched down effortlessly into the quiet of the night. They still had a few hours till morning and the last torches of midnight were still burning strong amidst the trees. A warm breeze blew through the leaves and the sweet smells of summer drew open before them into the dark. The dovewood landing pad was dark and flickered with a low fire's shadow. A wookiee watchmen prowled about slowly in the branches above them but made no sound. The Republic Away Team was on their own.

Four Navy Commandos stepped out from the shuttle, garbbed in shifting green armor. There visors glittered like gold in the low fires of night and they quickly drew their short, black cloaks over their ultrachrome ballistic shields. Karen dismounted last, right behind Saki. Her own catsuit was a striking change amongst her companions squared armors. More elvish than any warrior was akin to expect. She swung her rifle wide and touched her helm,

"Shuttle stays here. We're to move through the city towards the skiff hanger in the lower levels. From there we'll meet an agent who can take us to the Shadow Fort at the edge of the wilds. But stay alert. Intelligence reports have given rise to a large number of rooftop disturbances these past weeks. Let's not walk into any midnight ambushes on our way into town."

She looked up and found the Wookiee watchman still there. High up in the shadows of the trees, the massive warrior was watching them with bright blue eyes. In the dead of night, this was still his home. They were the outsider's here.

"Okay. Move out. ...Saki. Eyes open. I smell a trap. So let's find it before it finds us."

Karen sealed her visor and disappeared behind a helm of black glasteel. The troopers nodded and began trudging ahead with a heavy armored step. Every man's footfall was a fortress and every watching eye was a threat.

It would take fifteen minutes by foot to reach the lower levels of the hanging city. A dark walk by fire's dim light.

@[member="Saki"]
 

Saki

Came in like a wrecking maul
Character
[[I had been hoping someone else would jump in]]

Saki grinned at the mention of a trap and she popped her neck, rolled those shoulders and bounced a little on her feet. Getting a little more height from her toes while preparing to bounce back and forth. "Oh I'm ready." The bracers and her vest were more then enough while the tattoo's from all over she had gotten were more visible. her saber on her thigh so the belt didn't obstruct anything. She had even gotten some small knee guards to add extra face smashing power. Going into the trap would be the easier part of this it was whatever they were going o find that she had to wonder about. "Alright then lets set off the trap and bust some skulls and then I'm thinking a drink later blue. We need to celebrate."
 
The reports of Kashyyyk had made their way to the councilor with no haste, and as of such, Kiskla was behind on details. With a planet under the Republic's reign so close to Sith borders, it was of no shock that a Sith clan had infiltrated the defences and were brewing amongst the Wookies. Reports also revealed that Jedi Knight @[member="Saki"], who had challenged the Emperor himself at Ossus, had joined in the efforts with Commander Roberts. Kiskla took this as perhaps, seeing as both members currently on the team were unorthodox, the council should lend a member to assist.
Seeing as there were no volunteers, the blonde mistress of The Force had subjugated her own time to the front and could now be seen entering the atmosphere on an issued Republican transport vessel. From the time of her dispatch on Coruscant, to now in Kashyyyk's atmosphere, Jedi Master Grayson had been receiving updates on @[member="Karen Roberts"]' status with her strike team so no time would be wasted once she did touch down. It was reassuring to see how many security codes the young woman did have to issue to actually gain access to this information; apparently this mission was more covert than initially lead on.

The sleek commuter transport touched down just behind Roberts', and the blonde made an exodus as she pulled the heavy brown hood of her outerwear over her light tresses. If she didn't, even the flickering of the fire would give her away; blonde was a beacon in the darkness. Her movements were swift and even with the questioning and inquisitive air of the locals, she moved uninterrupted. The slight of conversation between the strike team filtered through her ears and she decided that rather than joining them directly, the mistress would keep watch overhead, a level between the Republic soldiers and the Wookies. With a transfer of her gravity, Kiskla's slight frame was up on the rooftops of the hanging city, just a story above the foot soldiers. She had overheard the comment about ambushes and it had confirmed the report she had read as to just why the Republic was bothering to increase it's armoury here.
 

Jsc

Disney Princess
Writer
Karen smiled at Saki's comments underneath her helm. She was slowing beginning to understand the woman's personality who walked next to her. Perhaps a little mayhem would not cause this Jedi Knight to gasp and flutter like a bird. Indeed, Saki might even have a taste for such conflicts. Facinating.

"Let's just stay focused. The Sith are hiding in one of the most dangerous native environments that the Republic has on record. I have no doubt we will be tested here."

The soldier's grunted and exchanged looks from their helms. Naval Commandos don't enjoy combat. They just finish it quickly. It was something Karen respected greatly about working with the Navy. They could lay religion and politics aside and focus on duty above all else. They understood sacrifice like Karen did.

Karen then sensed a disturbance in the Force. She held up her hand and the soldier's stopped and listened. She needed a moment to concentrate. Hmm. It was another Jedi, strong, and nearby too. Though if Grayson was using stealth, Karen would be unable to locate her by senses alone.

Ol' Blue turned to Saki,

"Did you invite friends Knightess? I sense we are not alone on this planet."

The soldiers stopped and began to shift uneasily. They didn't like it when Karen started talking about magic and wizards again. It always meant that trouble was just around the next corner.
___

The Rooftops

Sitting patiently among the wicker rooftops of the city was a devilish Devarion male. His red-skinned slithered with new expectations and his dull horns pierced outwards from his hood. He was watching the Republic Away Team with some interest now. Though he did not notice Grayson on the level above. His bloody yellow eyes flashed a merciless grin,

"Well well. Back so soon, are we? Figured the Wookiee's politics would have at least slowed you down by now. Heh. Stubborn little soldiers, aren't we."

~ "Vark. That you calling me? This had better be good." ~

The devilish male touched the sub-dermal com on his neck and grinned his sharp teeth,

"Oh it's good. Our little landing party decided to come back early."

~ "You're kidding. ...How many?" ~

"Six of them. Packing nice toys too."

~ "Alright. We can handle six of em'. ...Where they headed?" ~

"Down towards the plaza. Probably going lower too."

~ "Fine. Fine. Let me get the rest of the boys from the bar. We'll met up near the stairs. Take em' from above when they head into the lower branches." ~

"Want me to shadow them?"

~ "Yeah sure. But keep your distance. Troopers probably got multi-wave helms. Even a reptile like you still shows up on thermal." ~

"Oh bite me. ...Ugh. Fine. I'll keep you informed. Vark De'scar out."

The crimson alien squinted with a fine anger. He would watch these meddlers die tonight. That would suffice, just as good as gold. Well. Or until the real gold came through. Which ever. He didn't mind either way.

Wrapping himself in a dark cloak, the horned demon retreated from the rooftops and disappeared into the shadows.

...

@[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
@[member="Saki"]
 
Since the reports had mentioned the Sith influence, Kiskla had taken the precaution of drawing in her signature to herself. Pure neutrality extended from her, if anything.
Like the Guardian she was trained to be, the covered Jedi followed the group with swift steps. When they paused though, she took advantage of this to be their protector and continued forward, using what hung from above to protect her from being spotted.

At the noise of something other than the clatter of Republican armour and commands between the soldiers, she paused, pressing her lithe frame against an outstanding chimney that puffed smoke curls happily. For a minute, Kiskla considered the issues of having a fireplace on such a wooden planet, but then assured herself that the Wookies would know well enough not to burn their own planet to the ground.

Her light eyes trained on a figure three roofs away, and she slowly crept onward; keeping her gaze trained on him. The Force as her ally, her audio range was widened and she was able to pick up the last bit of what Vark was saying; although the commands issued through his com link were rather fuzzy. She gathered, however, that his shadowing the group had been confirmed. And it was unlikely he would simply remain shadowing them. But she? She would shadow the shadow, and reach out before he could. If she attacked now, the strike team would be jeopardized. No, they no longer had the element of surprise, but she did.

However, she could give them the element of chaos. If she did strike now, the Sith would probably connect to his counterparts, which would feel rushed and their issuance to the surface would be... frantic. Yes. The collision of the Sith and Jedi was inevitable, and time was on her side. The decision for influence was hers.

Kiskla followed behind the Sith for a few rooftops as he continued to merely shadow the strike team below. So far, she had gone undetected as planned. But Kiskla could only be a spectator for so long; which would one day be her undoing, she was certain. But as a master of mentality, she felt the lightside swarming about her; despite the squirming of the dark entity within. A sliver of Kiskla's signature extended toward the cloaked Sith, who had earlier identified himself as Vark. This sliver of her being extended a metaphysical hand, which reached out to the Sith and tapped his right shoulder, which was facing away from the drop to the Republic troops. With this distraction, a slight pop of air happened where she had been standing, and with the aid of the Force she was beside the Sith, his dark energy radiating.

"Hi." She whispered, beneath her hood, an amused grimace graced her lips and a wave of the Force rolled from her extended palm toward the unsuspecting Sith, wrapping him up in it's extension and lifting him to throw him backwards, farther from the perimeter of the roof and separating him as her target rather than being concerned of him advancing on those below.

@[member="Karen Roberts"]
@[member="Saki"]
 

Saki

Came in like a wrecking maul
Character
@[member="Karen Roberts"] @[member="Kiskla Grayson"]

Saki looked at ol' blue and shrugged. "I don't got many friends, or at least ones who want to admit we are friends." She kept the grin on her face though while almost bouncing from foot to foot in enjoyment. There was much they could do and much that could happen here and now if another jedi was around it made it all the better she figured. Meant they might get to beat down some people here or there. "Alright lets head in, find some sith and make them regret coming here, then we can arrest the ones still able to walk."
 

Jsc

Disney Princess
Writer
The Devorian mercenary crumpled under the might of Greyson's attack. He didn't even have time to blink before he was jettisoned across the rooftops like a ragdoll.

Below, Karen and the commandos smirked at Saki's mention of arresting Sith. Nobody goes into the Shadowlands to arrest anybody. But they'd get to that later. For now the troopers traversed the city until they came to Lower Stairs. A wide sloping stairwell that lead down the tree trunk of the village. There were no houses in the journey to come. Only a few torches that descended down into the darkness.

"Strange?" Karen took a step forward and looked at the archway that signaled their arrival to the Stairs. "...There were guards here yesterday?"

"Heat sigs! Rooftops! ...We've got company!"

"Get to cover! Saki take the left side! I've got right!"

Mercenary pirates held the rooftops and began firing disruptor weapons at the troopers down below. (Disruptor weapons do not reflect upon lightsabers and have a mild Ion Area Effect upon armor contact.) The commandos took cover near a permacrete fountain and fired back. Smoke grenades then went out so the Republic commandos could maneuver against their enemies flanks. These Republic soldiers were very fast about business.

Karen went right and leapt up to the housetops. She would engage these pirates toe-to-toe.

@[member="Saki"] @[member="Kiskla Grayson"]
 
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