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Jao Thaun
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re: Genesis

Chapter I: Memories of Bothawui
Year: 3671 BBY / 18 BTC

Sounds of gunfire and explosions echoed across the valley all but silencing the battle cries of brave and dying soldiers. Large trees did little to protect the Republic from the massive amounts of gunfire they were taking from the attacking Sith army.

“Fire!” Screamed Captain Tano as a barrage of automatic blaster canons decimated the landscape. The Sith approaching their flank fell by the droves for Tano was no novice in battle, he’d seen Sith soldiers in action before, and this battle was no different. Their poor formations made them easy targets to the Republic Trooper’s blaster canons. The Sith had erred in their tactics, errors which cost them many lives. It seemed almost as though victory was not just a word used by the Captain to quickly boost the morale of his men, but something that was now obtainable - especially if the Sith did not change their tactics. Regardless, the Troopers needed to believe that there was still hope; the Captain needed to believe that there was still hope.

“That’s what I like to see men, if you keep fighting like this they’re going to give you your own Jedi General,” said the Captain before coming back with a more serious tone. “Don’t think for one moment those Sith you just killed are fresh out of the academy, they’re sending us the best they’ve got and they’re finding out their best isn’t good enough! Why? Because… we are?!”
“Havok Squad!” shouted his men.
“Who are we?!”
“Havok Squad!” shouted the Troopers once again as Captain Tano egged them on.

Tano knew the battle wasn’t over. Darkness had set in over an hour ago and the men were hungry, tired, and holding on to their Captain’s conjured belief of hope he had hidden within a façade that they were all going to go home to see their families again. “Havok Squad,… heh,... Havok Squad…” muttered Tano under his breath while reminiscing over his military career, his training at the academy and the many battles he had fought in since then during the past ten years of this Great Galactic War.

“Captain, we have an incoming transmission from a Jedi,” said Sergeant Vreer.
“Is it secure?”
“Yes sir, but I’m having trouble getting a clear signal,”
“Play the transmission.”

“This .. Jedi …… Jao Thaun with a ……. for …… Allusis. …… … that ………….. are on … way. … ETA is …. hours.”
“Can you clear up that transmission Sergeant and replay it?” asked Tano with anticipation.
“I’ll try sir.”
“This is …. Knight Thaun with a message for Master Allusis. Inform him …. Reinforcements are on the ..................”
“I’m sorry sir, I’ve lost the signal.”
“Hmm. Inform Master Allusis that Commander Jao Thaun is on his way with Reinforcements.”
“Yes Sir.”

Jao Thaun was no stranger to Captain Tano. They had fought together at the Battle of Agamar, though suffering defeat and barely escaping with their lives. That was one battle neither one of them wanted to relive. “Would they make it out together again this time? Or would this be their last stand?” Tano wondered to himself.
“I hope you get here soon old friend,” he said as he looked up at the stars for the first time in days before rejoining the line. “Dig in boys; it’s going to be another long night.”

“Gold Leader, this is Red Leader, do you copy?” said Commander Zekk.
“Red Leader, this is Gold Leader, I read you loud and clear,” said Commander Thaun.
“You must have your command link disabled. We’ve just received a transmission from Admiral Orr, he said Coruscant has ordered an abort on the mission, I repeat, abort.”
“Abort? We can’t abort; Master Allusis doesn’t stand a chance down there without our help.”
“Jao… Coruscant reported Allusis position was overrun almost an hour ago. There’s no one left to reinforce...”
“What? No! I… I don’t believe it Zekk, I won’t believe it until I see it with my own eyes. Listen, we’re less than a half hour away, and you know I don’t abort rescue missions.”
“Alright Jao, I’m with you on this one. Let’s hope they left a few Sith for us.”

“Admiral Orr, this is Commander Thaun, do you copy?”
“Commander Thaun, this is Admiral Orr, we are aborting the rescue mission. Set a new course for… what’s that Lieutenant?” The Admiral paused for a moment to listen to the interruption from his communications officer.
“Red Leader, Gold Leader, All leaders, disregard the abort. I repeat, disregard the abort. Continue on course for Bothawui, we have received an emergency transmission from Coruscant. The planetary shield generator on Bothawui is still active. I repeat, continue on course for Bothawui, the shield is still active,” said the Admiral.

Jao Thaun felt through the force that something was wrong on Bothawui; he knew that if Allusis’ position was overrun, the situation was very bad. But he couldn’t give up hope believing that his old master made it through the night.

“Any luck on that transmission Jao?” asked Zekk.
“Negative, they’re still jamming all incoming transmissions. I just hope they got my last signal.”
“I do too buddy. Red Squadron, prepare to exit hyperspace.”
“Gold Squadron, prepare to come out of hyperspace.”

The two Jedi Commanders ordered their ships to prepare to exit out of hyperspace along with Green, Blue, and White squadrons. The fighter squadrons exited closer to Bothawui than the battle cruisers did as a precautionary line of defense to their command ships.

“I’m picking up at least ten Sith battle cruisers and numerous fighters in attack formation on the far side of Bothawui,” said Green Leader.
“Command, Sith fighters are enroute to intercept,” said White Leader.
“They’ve seen us,” said Rek, “Red Two, Red Three, all wings report in.”
“Gold squadron, get in "Echo" formation. Reroute all power to the forward shields.”
“Only the fighters are advancing, the cruisers haven’t moved,” Said Blue Twelve.
“That’s because the planetary shield is still up,” said Blue Leader.
“Affirmative,” said Admiral Orr, “If the shield is still up the Sith ground assault did not succeed. We must keep the fighters away from the transports. There will be no rescue if the transports do not make it to the surface. All squadrons prepare to engage fighters.”
“Aye, aye Sir, but keep an eye on those battle cruisers,” said Green Leader.

The fighters engaged in combat. Dogfights ensued and even though the Republic fighters were outnumbered, they were not outmatched. The Sith fighters began to take many casualties. The poor formations of their ground soldiers were reiterated in space. For every Republic fighter destroyed, six to eight Sith fighters were destroyed. The Republic fighters were precise in their attack formations, covering each other’s flanks and leaving no defense vulnerabilities for the Sith fighters to capitalize on. When one Republic fighter was destroyed, their formation would change to accommodate. Their strategy was flawless in battle. The Sith battle cruisers could not engage the fighters or the Republic command ships for they knew their ground forces were within minutes of destroying Bothawui’s planetary shield generator and awaited patiently to commence their bombardment of Bothawui’s capital cities. Engaging the Republic now would ruin the Emperor’s plans and that was not an option the Sith Admirals could live with.

Back on Bothawui, the Republic troopers were being overrun. The Sith had lost tens of thousands of soldiers to the Republic in the past few days of battle, but even with their poor strategies, there were just too many of them for the waning Republic troops to fight.

“Captain Tano! I’m picking up fighter chatter on our com link!”
“Vreer! Get your head down! Vreeeeer!” cried Tano, but it was too late.
Vreer’s excitement overcame his caution. Days and nights of fighting without food, little to no sleep, wet weather and loss of friends had taken its toll on the men, that is, what few men were left. The line was compromised. Their positions were overrun. What few men were left had gathered around Master Allusis in a last ditch effort to protect the old Jedi, and he was worth protecting. When Allusis arrived, he was just another Jedi General to the troopers; they’d seen their share of them throughout the war, they’d come in, they’d give orders, swing their sabers, and take all the credit for the victory. But this one was different. The troops had seen him risk his life countless times in the last few days of fighting; they’d seen him go without sleep and food. They saw he cared about the soldiers, the other Jedi, and even the Bothans. Grand Moff Zellos had given him the opportunity to surrender, but while he may have gone unharmed to be used as a diplomatic bargaining tool to give the Sith a greater advantage in the war, Allusis knew what awaited his men in the torture chambers of Korriban, and the men knew it too. To the men, Allusis wasn’t just a Jedi General anymore; he was a brother in arms, and brothers all go home together, one way or the other.

Captain Tano grabbed the last grenade off Vreer’s belt, attached it to his own and then picked up his blaster cannon.
“Troopers,… who are we?” cried Tano one last time.
“Havok Squad!” was the reply from those Troopers who could respond.
“Then let’s cause some havoc!” With that Tano fired his cannon until the ammo pack was depleted. He then rushed to grab another blaster when he was hit in the side and again in the leg and chest by incoming fire. He went down and looked over and saw at least three squads of soldiers approaching his position. He took out a thermal detonator he had been saving for just such an occasion along with Vreer’s grenade. Motionless, and with a globe of destruction in each hand he patiently waited for just the right moment. Then, mustering all his strength, he cried, “Havok Squaaad!” before detonating the grenades whose twin explosions annihilated the surrounding Sith soldiers.

Back in space, the battle had been going well for the Republic. The Sith battle cruisers would not engage, and because of it, their fighters were falling by the droves, but not without inflicting their own casualties upon the Republic fighter squadrons.

“I’m hit,” said White Leader.
“Pull up!” said White Two.
“I can’t, my controls are jammed.”
“You’re on a collision course for Transport One!”
“Don’t let me hit the transport… Take me out!”
“But...”
“Take me out! That’s an order!” cried White Leader before being destroyed by his wingman. He knew that he was going to die either way, but would rather die alone than to take his friends and allies with him.

“Admiral Orr, this is Transport One, we’re picking up several Sith shuttles leaving the planet and joining the battle cruisers.”
“What is your ETA Transport One?”
“ETA is four minutes to land Admiral.”
“Gold Group, protect Transport One at all cost.”
“Aye, aye Sir,” said Gold Leader. “All Gold wings proceed to escort Transport One. Protect at all cost, I repeat, protect at all cost.”

Jao Thaun and his squadron of fighters had taken several casualties, but they were willing to take more if it meant the safe landing of Transport One and the rescue of Master Allusis. However, by the time the Transports had reached Allusis’ position, it was too late. The Jedi Master and all of his men were dead. A few fleeing Bothans and some dying Sith were all that remained on the battlefield. Every Republic Trooper was equally determined to protect the old Jedi or die trying, and they all died trying.

“Command, this is General Llusa, the shield generator is secured, the Sith have retreated. I repeat, the shield is secure.”
“What of Allusis and his men?”
“They’re all dead Admiral… every last one of them.”

Command, I’m picking up Republic battle ships in sector twenty-three. It appears the Sith are retreating Sir.”
“All squadrons move to engage fleeing shuttles and assist those Republic battle cruisers.”
“That’s an affirmative Admiral,” said Red Leader.

With the Sith retreat, Bothawui had been saved, but at a great cost. When Jedi Knight Jao Thaun heard news of Allusis’ death, it deeply grieved him. The old Jedi General was his old master and a long time friend of his family. But instead of feeling anger and rage, Thaun felt a new determination to recommit himself to defending the Republic and purging the galaxy from the Sith and the evil that is the darkside of the force.


Last edited by Jao Thaun on Sep. 2nd, 2010 2:15 pm; edited 7 times in total


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Jao Thaun
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re: Genesis

Chapter II: Ulterior Motives
Year: 3653 BBY / 0 ATC

The Great Galactic War had been very long and costly and seemed almost unwinnable. But the Republic had to keep fighting or face slavery and annihilation. With the recent success of Hylo Visz and her smuggling contingent, many of the Republic home worlds were resupplied with food and medicine. But shortly thereafter, the inevitable happened. Coruscant was suddenly and deliberately attacked and the Jedi temple destroyed. Desperate politicians conceded to the Sith demands and signed the Treaty of Coruscant, though the terms of the treaty were obviously in the favor of the Sith, but the condition of the Republic was now dire. Many Republic homeworlds were cut off by Sith and Mandalorian blockades. All but the richest people were starving, crime was rampant and the Jedi were being blamed and put under heavy scrutiny by the Senate.

“Master Zym, there is an incoming holo transmission from Master Jao Thaun.”
“Play the transmission Sergeant.”
“Yes sir.”
“Master Zym, we have located the smuggling contingency on Ord Mantel as ordered. It is not far from Worlport, but it seems the Sith have also taken an interest in the contingency.”
“Under no circumstances will you engage the Sith, we have signed a treaty and any act of aggression can lead to another planet’s destruction. Is that understood Master Thaun?”
“Yes, understood Master Zym.”
“Find the leader of the contingency and tell him that we will pay double for any food and supplies his smugglers are able to bring into Republic homeworlds. Confidentiality & secrecy are of the utmost importance.”
“I will do what I can Master Zym.”
“May the force be with you.”

“I do believe Master Zym has been acting strange lately, what do you think Jao?”
“Yes, I’ve noticed that too, though I’m not sure why Zekk, it seems as though he’s lost his serenity and has allowed paranoia to control his thinking. Have you had any luck finding out who our notorious smuggler is?”
“Yes, his name is Jedaiah Oldor, a human male and not very old. Rumor has it that he was once a Republic Trooper, but why or how he left the Army is unknown, though it is said he despises the Empire.”
“Good, it shouldn’t be too hard getting him to help us then, now we just need to find him.”

The two Jedi purchased a speeder from a local shop and left Worlport in search of the hidden Smuggling Contingency. Jedi Master Zekk Xaent, a Kel Dorian, had been a close ally, fellow warrior, and friend to Jao since before Bothawui. They joined the Order around the same time, though each having a different master. They had been through a lot together over the course of the war and worked well together with great precision both in and out of combat. It was no wonder the Jedi Council sent both of them on this important mission, for the smuggler’s ability to bring in supplies from other worlds was vital now to the survival of the Republic.

“You never did tell me what happened to your last Padawan?”
Jao Thaun thought for a second, and then replied with a single word, “Alderaan.”
Master Zekk paused for a second, then replied, “I’m sorry Jao; I wish I could have been there with you.”
“Yeah, I do too. Where exactly is this ‘hidden’ contingent supposed to be?”
“I believe my contact said the contingency is on the West side of that rock formation ahead, but I’m not picking up anything on my scanners.”
“That doesn’t mean it’s not there, let’s drive over there and have a look around.”

As the Jedi passed the rock formation, they saw the contingency below, very well hidden in the terrain and sporting various jamming emitters, both for communications and scanners. Above the contingent were some ingeniously designed reflective cloaking devices to hide the facility from aerial surveillance.

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this Jao.”
“Yes… I do too. I sense a dark presence in this place. Let us be cautious.”
“What about Master Zym’s orders? If there’s Sith in there we cannot go in.”
“We will not attack them Zekk, but we will defend ourselves if need be. The treaty does work both ways you know.”
“Yes, but since when has the Sith followed their own treaties? You know as well as I do that if we fight, they will accuse us of being the aggressors.”
“Only a survivor can make accusations,” said the aging Jedi Master. If Master Thaun had learned anything in this war, it was that the Sith could never be trusted, and their motives for peace were always just a means of giving them more time to plan more attacks. There can never be peace so long as the Sith and their lust for power and dominance plagued the galaxy. If there was to be a fight here, there could be no Sith survivors or they’d risk igniting the galaxy back into open war.

The two Jedi made their way inside the smuggling facility and noticed a older Mirialan stacking crates.

“Greetings sir, I am Jedi Master Jao Thaun and I wish to speak to Jedaiah Oldor, I’m told he’s the one in charge here.”
“I ain’t never heard of ‘em, and if you two know what’s good for ya, you’ll turn around and go back where ya came from,” said the rough looking Mirialan.
“If you show us where he is, I will make it worth your while.”
“You see that Wookie over there? Take a good look at him. If you don’t leave this place I’ll have him tear your arms off and chase ya out the door with ‘em. Do ya understand me? Now leave!” said the Mirialan as he turned his back to the the two Jedi who took the hint and walked away talking.

“There’s something not quite right here Zekk.”
“Yes, his eyes did not portray the same emotions of his lips. I think he was trying to tell us something.”
“Hmm… do you see this? Sith supply crates. But why would a contingency that despises the Empire be smuggling for the Sith? It doesn’t make sense unless they were being forced into a deal against their will.”
“I agree, I think we should contact Master Zym, don’t you agree Jao?”
“We’d have to leave here to do it because of the jamming emitters. You go ahead Zekk, take the speeder outside the range of the jammers and make contact with Master Zym. I’m going to try and talk to a few more people.”
“Why do I feel that there will be more than talking going on Master Jao?”

Zekk left the contingency and boarded his speeder. Master Thaun knew something was wrong here, he had a strong sense of the darkside of the Force in this place. There was someone very powerful here and could probably sense the Jedi’s presence as well.

Thinking that Zekk may have been right, it was possible that the Mirialan was trying to tell them something. Master Thaun looked over at the Wookie who was loading cargo onto his ship and proceeded to talk to him. Wookies were usually trustworthy and almost without exception had no love for the Sith.

“Greetings Master Wookie, the Mirialan over there said that I should speak with you.”
The Wookie turned and looked at the Jedi with question and scrutiny.
“I am Jedi Master Jao Thaun and I’ve come here to seek the assistance of this contingent.”
“Rrrrrraw rrrawww grrrr. Ahrrrr ewwr. Grrr arra eehr.”
“Yes, I understand you perfectly. My friend Zekk and I have come here under orders of the Jedi Council to request aid for the survival of the Republic.”
“Rrrrrrrhhh? Rrrrrrrrhhh aaaaahhr ehhhhhrrrr.”
“Your caution is warranted and I share your conviction; indeed trust is earned and not given. Perhaps then, there is something I can do for you to earn your trust?
“Mmrrrrrrr, rrrrrrrrhh ehhrrrrrr?
“We are aware of their presence, but we have not seen them and we cannot engage them because of the treaty, but we both know that Sith have no love for the Wookie.”
“Rhhhhhrr, mmrrrrr erhhhhh rrrrrh ahra grrrrrr urrrr.”
“Are you sure about this?
“Rhrrr. Rrhhhrr mmrrrrrrh rhhmm, rhrhhhhm grrrrhhhh urrrhh.”
“Disappearances? Have they anything to do with this bounty hunter?
“Rrrmm rhhr.”
“If you tell me what I need to know then I will confront the bounty hunter that is hunting you, and that I promise.”
“Mmrrhhh.”
“I need to know where to find Jedaiah Oldor. Finding him is vital to the survival of the Republic.”
“Grrrrawwr, ahrrrrrr ahhre. Rrrrrrahhr, eerrrahhhr ahra ahhr. Grerrrrrr grahwerr.”
“Red Star you say?”
“Ahra, rrrhhha, errrrr. Rrrrrrahh ahree ewwerrrr.”
“And this Olo Suune?”
“Ahre ahrrr grrrhh rrrrr ahra errrrrrrrhrrrr.”
“Very well, I will leave for Worlport as soon as my friend returns. Thank you.”

With that the Jedi put up his hood and walked away. The Wookie was distrustful of the Jedi at first; however, each of them could offer something that the other one wanted so a deal was made, a favor for information. Though Jao knew he had won Tonocca’s trust and had gotten what he desired, the Wookie knew a Jedi’s promise was rarely broken. The Wookies had a lot of respect for the Jedi; after all it was the Jedi who helped free them from the slave-traders almost three-hundred years ago. Even though slave trading was illegal in all Republic colonies, there was still a thriving black market for Wookie slaves in some of the Outer and Mid Rim territories. “Perhaps that is why this bounty hunter is interested in Tonacca?” Jao wondered to himself as he proceeded to wait on Zekk’s return and the orders of Master Zym while trying not to draw too much attention to himself.

Zekk had finally travelled far enough out of range of the contingency to where his signal emitters were working once again. After reconfiguring and tuning his transmitters he attempted to make contact with Master Zym on Coruscant.

“Master Zym, we’re receiving a transmission from Ord Mantel. It’s on a secure channel.”
“Play the transmission.”
“Greetings Master Zym, Master Thaun and I have located the smuggling contingency as ordered. We are still looking for the leader who we’re told has a great distaste for the Empire, although it appears that he does not want to be found. We’ve also sensed the presence of the darkside of the force and believe it to be a Sith.”
“If the Sith are there then I advise you to pull out, we do not want to risk a breach in the treaty.”
“But Master Zym, we need those supplies and I believe that we have a good chance that this contingent will work with us.”
“There are many more smuggling operations on Ord Mantel Master Zekk, we will find a new one, one which poses no threat to our treaty. Now I must go to Dantooine, I have received a message from Commander Lesl asking me to rendezvous with her. I’m hoping that she has some news concerning the attack on the Envoy. In the meantime, find a new contingency, is that understood?”
“As you wish Master Zym.”

Afterwards, Master Zekk headed back to the contingency to pick up Master Thaun and inform him of their new orders although knowing that Master Thaun would not want to hear them.

“Jao, I have made contact with Master Zym and he wants us to abort the mission and find a new contingency.”
“What? That doesn’t make sense. Why is Zym making such an unwise decision?”
“I don’t know, but it ‘is’ a safe decision.”
“Safe for the treaty, yes, but safe for the smugglers and the republic colonies, no. I have talked to the Wookie and he has told me some disturbing information.”
“The one that was to ‘tear your arms off’?”
“Yes, ‘that’ Wookie. His name is Tonocca and he informed me that there are several Sith soldiers around the contingency under the command of a Sith lord, though he doesn’t know his name.”
“A Sith lord?”
“Yes, but that’s not all. Many of the smugglers here have been disappearing, never to be seen or heard of again, disappearances that began after the Sith arrived.”
“But why would?”
“I don’t know, but Tonocca said that the smuggler we’re looking for usually hangs out in the Red Star Cantina in Worlport.”
“We can’t Jao, we have our orders.”
“Yes, but I also have a promise to keep to Tonocca.”
“A promise? What promise?”
“It seems there is a Bounty Hunter after him who goes by the name of Olo Suune, Tonocca said his informant mentioned that he’s an ex-agent-turned bounty hunter who apparently enjoys preying on Wookies and has been wandering around Worlport asking about Tonocca’s location. And you know as well as I do that live Wookies are still worth a lot of money on the black market.”
“You had to make a promise didn’t you?”
“A promise I intend to keep Zekk; let’s head to Worlport.”

The two Jedi made their way to Worlport hoping to find this Olo Suune and ‘persuade’ him to leave the Wookie alone, though Master Thaun was really more interested in finding Jedaiah and learning more of the Sith’s presence at the smuggling contingency as well as the name of this elusive Sith and he was not about to break a promise.

Upon finding the Red Star Cantina, the Jedi walked in and looked around. There were all sorts of riffraff and criminals standing around, talking, drinking, making deals. This was not exactly the safest place for a Jedi. Jao hoped that searching for this bounty hunter would buy him enough time to find the contingency leader, though he figured Zekk was aware of his ulterior motives.

“Bartender, I’m looking for a bounty hunter by the name of Olo Suune, I have some information for him regarding a Wookie he’s been looking for and I’d like to do business.”
“Why would a Jedi turn over a Wookie to a bounty hunter?”
“Not all things are as they seem,” replied Master Thaun.
“Have a seat; I’ll get back with you.”

Before long a Twi’lek woman approached the table where the two Jedi were waiting and said, “Are you the Jedi looking for Olo Suune?”
“Yes, are you her?” said Master Thaun with a bit of humor.
“No, but he won’t talk to you directly.”
“Then we cannot do business,” replied Thaun.
“And why is that?”
“Because I do not know for sure that you are really working with Olo Suune, nor do I know that the information I have will reach him with confidentiality. Rumor has it that he is paying for names and locations of Wookies and I prefer to do my business in person.”
“Don’t try to negotiate Jedi, I handle ‘all’ his transactions. There will be no business with Suune unless you deal with me.”
“Young lady, I do not believe you’re striking the proper tone, but you do have the right idea,” said Master Thaun before waving his hand and replying, “There will be no business unless you deal with me.”
“There will be no business unless we deal with you.”
“You will tell Olo that it is very important that he speaks with me directly.”
“I will tell Olo that it is very important he speaks to you directly.”
“Thank you.” And with that the woman walked away in search of Olo Suune.

“Do you really think that was necessary?” asked Zekk.
“It’s a sure way of getting our bounty hunter friend to expose himself.”
“Do you honestly think he’ll talk to you?”
“No, but I do think we’d better watch our backs from now on,”
“I’ve been watching my back since we got here, and ‘yours’ I might add.”
“You always have Zekk,” said Jao before being interrupted.

“Excuse me. Are you the two Jedi who were looking for the leader of the contingent?”
“Yes, we were, but not anymore,” replied Master Zekk.
“Why’s that?” asked the young man.
“Who do we have the pleasure of speaking with?” asked Master Zekk.
“Someone who can tell you where to find Jedaiah Oldor.”
“How did you know who we were looking for?” asked Jao.
“Let’s just say I have my sources.”
“And why would you want to help us? What’s in it for you?” asked Master Zekk.
“Help,” said the young man in a low voice and then continued to talk quietly. “We need your help. The Sith have taken over our contingent. A lot of our smugglers are disappearing, never to be heard from again. We don’t know who else to turn to. We need protection!”
“What do you know of the Sith lord overseeing the soldiers at your facility?” asked Master Thaun.
“I just know he’s not someone you want to mess with. He’s taken over and has been overseeing the smuggling operations at the contingency which is why I’m here. I’m just pretending to be in charge.”
“So you’re Jedaiah Oldor?” asked Zekk.
“Yes.”
“How is it that one so young could be in charge of an operation like this?”
“This isn’t the only smuggling operation on Ord Mantel you know, besides, I’m not really the one ‘in charge,’ I’m just the poster child. If either side wants something, they come to me… or they come after me. If I get killed or disappear, the operation goes on because I wasn’t really the one running it to begin with. I mean if I die it’s no big deal, another poster child will pop up and the process repeats itself. Ever since Hylo Visz got killed, all the smugglers are doing what they got to do to stay alive, some are even working for the Sith as double agents. Then again, some of the smugglers here are real Imperial agents, and when we find it out, we have ways of making ‘them’ disappear. But they’re pretty slick. Well at least we used to… everything’s changed since the Sith showed up.”
“Which was when?” asked Master Thaun.
“Not long after that treaty was signed. Now they’ve taken over and have threatened to kill me if I don’t cooperate.”
“So the Sith believe you’re the leader of the contingent, but you’re not. So who’s the real leader then?” asked Zekk.
“That’s not something I can tell you or anyone else, if I did, ‘I’ would disappear. Listen, our leader is someone who is friendly to the Republic and is not someone who’d deal with the Sith willingly. He’d do whatever it took to get them out of our operations.”
“I’m sorry Jedaiah, but we have our orders. We cannot help you or get involved,” said Zekk as Master Thaun remained silent.
“But if you guys don’t help us, who will? We can smuggle supplies into the Republic home worlds. That’s why you want our help, right? We ‘can’ help you. The Sith are using us to smuggle technology and military plans out of the Republic, right under your noses, and there’s nothing we can do about it or we end up ‘disappearing.’ You got to help us or you’ll end up losing the war when the Sith decide to break the treaty. I should know, I used to be a trooper. They ‘will’ break the treaty.”
“He’s right Zekk, we’ve got to help them.”
“We cannot go against the Council’s orders Master Jao; we’ll be expelled from the Order. You know that as well as I do.”

Jao looked away and thought for a moment on what Zekk had just said, he was right, they would be expelled from the Order and that wasn’t something either of them wanted… exile. “But aren’t the Jedi supposed to defend and protect the Republic,” Jao thought to himself before remembering something Master Allusis once told him. He turned and faced his old friend and replied, “If Allusis ever taught me anything Zekk, it was that right is always the right thing to do, even if you’re the only one doing it.”

Zekk sighed and shook his head before replying, “Jao… let’s seek direct Council from the Order, surely their combined wisdom will show us the wisest thing to do and the proper way to do it. We ‘need’ to trust the Council.”
“Alright Zekk, we’ll do it your way and appear before the Council, for old time’s sake.”

Just then several armed thugs came in through the back door looking around before setting their eyes on the Jedi.

“It looks like you’ve got company,” said Jedaiah.

Just then one of the thugs said something before they all opened fire on the Jedi who ignited their lightsabers and easily deflected the barrage of gunfire before force jumping towards them and dispatching the assailants almost effortlessly.

“Do you recognize these thugs?” asked Jao as he looked at Jedaiah.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure they work with Olo Suune who’s just some bounty hunter that showed up around here not too long ago,… I really wouldn’t even call him that, more like a rat for hire. I honestly don’t know much about him but I know what kind of people he deals with and he sure doesn’t like Wookies. I heard he has several of them mounted on his ship. He hunts them like animals. He’s a real sicko. I’d of killed him when he started messing with a friend of mine but it would have ruined our relations with some of our customers.”
“By friend, are you referring to Tonocca? asked Jao.”
“Yeah, how did you know?”
“I’m a friend of his and have promised him I’d talk to Suune on his behalf and persuade him to seek other options. That is why we came here. Do you know where we can find him?”
“Well, you can find him underneath the Cantina in the VIP area. Good luck getting inside though.”
“It will be no bother. Thank you for your help Jedaiah, you’d best be on your way,” said Master Zekk.”
“We will return, that I promise,” said Master Thaun.
“Well, you both know where to find me.”
“Yes, may the force be with you,” said Jao as he and Zekk turned and parted ways with Jedaiah. Zekk was not fond of this new situation at all, albeit, he knew when Jao was determined to do something, he either had to go along with it or go his separate way, but he wasn’t about to let his old friend face danger alone.

The two Jedi proceeded to the lower sections of the cantina and were stopped by several Gamorrean bouncers who were quickly persuaded to let them in. The force had a powerful sway on the weak-minded. As the Jedi walked inside, they looked around for Suune who obviously did not want to be found.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” said Zekk as he felt the incessant stares of several of the VIP patrons. This was definitely not a safe place for a Jedi.

“I believe our friend is over there, in that room.”
“But there is nothing over there Jao.”
“Exactly.”

The Jedi walked towards the vacant room in a deserted corner of the cantina when suddenly an explosion threw the duo backwards. Luckily neither one was seriously injured, as they regained their senses they found themselves surrounded by several thugs sporting disrupter rifles and other illegal weapons pointed directly at them. Laughter was heard amidst the thugs from a young woman, the same Twi’lek who they spoke to earlier.

“It doesn’t look like you’ll be doing business with anyone now Jedi.”
“Young lady, you’re attitude is really getting on my nerves,” said Master Thaun.
“You’re not in any position to be talking to me like that old man, with one word I could have these men kill you, is that what you want?”

Master Thaun had seen enough death in his time, as a younger Jedi he may have entertained the urge of proving his powers to these street thugs, possibly even killing them, but that was not the way of the Jedi, especially if life could be spared and amends be made. Master Thaun saw the hard life this young woman had gone through, images of her past appeared in his mind, her struggles and emotions. She was only trying to make it in her world and a little mercy never hurt anyone, that was something Zekk had taught him.

“What I want is peace. My dealings are not with you milady. If you let us go, I will help you find your sister.”
“How did you know about my sister?”
“Your feelings have revealed much about you young lady.”
“How do I know this isn’t another one of your mind tricks? You’re lying!” she said as she pointed her pistol at Jao’s head with a look of determination.
“No…” said Master Thaun as he quickly force pulled the disrupter rifles out of the hands of the thugs, while Zekk force pushed them back into the wall, knocking them unconscious.

“…I’m not lying,” said Master Thaun to a frightened Twi’lek who slowly lowered her weapon. “I will help you find your sister if you help me find Olo Suune.”
Tears began to well up in her eyes as she thought for a moment.
“He’s not here, he left when I told him there were two Jedi here looking for him.”
“Do you know where he’s gone?” asked Master Thaun.
“No… but I know when he’ll return.” Her tone changed from one of shock and reservation to one of excitement coupled with doubt before continuing, “Will you ‘really’ help me find my sister?”
“Yes,… I promise.”

Master Zekk looked on at the unconscious thugs, the now happy, weeping girl, and his old friend. “Another promise,” he thought, “And somehow he always keeps them.”


Last edited by Jao Thaun on Aug. 24th, 2010 6:26 pm; edited 4 times in total


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re: Genesis

Chapter III: The Price of Peace
Year: 3653 BBY / 0 ATC - 3652 BBY / 1 ATC

Jedi Masters Jao Thaun and Zekk Xaent left the cantina and boarded their ship en route to Coruscant with a new companion and a new quest. But time was running short and things were becoming more complicated; what was supposed to have been a simple mission had turned into a campaign against evil, at least, that is how Master Thaun looked at it. Thaun knew, however, that the Jedi Council, or more specifically Master Zym, would not see it his way and would more than likely end their mission on Ord Mantell, that is, unless something changed.

“You said you knew when Olo would return? I need to know when,” said Jao to the young Twi’lek while they were travelling in hyperspace to Coruscant.

“Four days from now.”

“Are you certain?”

“Yes, he has a meeting with someone important, I’m not sure who, but I know he wouldn’t miss this meeting.”

“That doesn’t give us much time then. We need to head back to Coruscant and report to the Council immediately.”

“I agree Jao,’ said Zekk, ‘a transmission would be too risky, especially if the Sith are aware of our presence.”

“Agreed.”

“What about me? You promised you’d help me find my sister.”

“A promise I intend to keep, but I’m afraid I have more pressing matters to attend to at the moment, when this is over I will return for you and help you find her.”

“Return for me? What do you mean?”

“I have arranged for you a place to stay on Coruscant where you will be safe. As soon as this is all over, I will return and contact you.”

“But I don’t want to stay on Coruscant… I can help you find Olo. You got to take me with you!”

“I’m sorry Eeba, but that would only complicate things.”

Eeba was not too happy with the thought of being left behind, for all she knew she would be stuck on Coruscant and Jao would never return for her. Was his promise to her just a bribe for information? In her mind, it was. Trust wasn’t something she gave to anyone, and very few ever earned it from her, and even that was a long time ago. But one thing was obvious; arguing with this old Jedi wasn’t getting her anywhere, but then again, she had her own reasons for not wanting to be left behind.

Upon arriving to Coruscant, the Jedi appeared before the Council and were surprised to learn of the sudden death of Master Zym who apparently had been murdered by some renowned bounty hunter whose name was, at this time, unknown to them. The Council informed the duo that Master Orgus Din was conducting an investigation of the murder, and although reluctant, when the Council heard that the Sith were smuggling Republic military intelligence out of Ord Mantell, the Council agreed to allow the two Jedi to investigate the possible breach of treaty, and to those who really knew the Sith well, a breach was, at some point, inevitable.

“Be sure to report any unusual findings to the Council immediately Master Thaun, there are a lot of pieces to this puzzle that are yet to be unveiled.”

“I will do so the moment I learn anything,” said Master Thaun to the Jedi Councilor as he nodded, put on his hood, turned, and walked away with his companion Master Xaent.

“May the force be with you both,” said the old Councilor.

The two Jedi Masters left the Council and headed towards their ship, the news of Zym’s death fresh in their minds.

“I cannot believe Master Zym is dead,’ said Master Xaent, ‘how could a bounty hunter kill the Grand Master of the Order?”

“Every one of us can be killed Zekk, we are all mortal vessels, even the most powerful of Jedi and Sith can be slain.”

“Yes, but a nameless bounty hunter? It just doesn’t seem possible Jao.”

“Perhaps Master Zym also thought as you do, that no bounty hunter could kill the Grand Master of the Order? We must never underestimate the enemy Zekk, nor overestimate ourselves. Fear, anger, aggression... these are dark paths indeed, but pride, arrogance, & overconfidence claim many more Jedi lives than does the dark side.”

The Jedi boarded their ship and entered hyperspace and set course for Worlport. The information that Eeba had given them concerning Olo Suune was strangely coincidental in light of the occurrences happening back at the contingent.

Meanwhile, back on Ord Mantell, things were happening behind the closed doors of the Smuggling Contingent. The Sith were indeed aware of the Jedi’s presence on Ord Mantell as well as their intent to ally with the Smugglers, an alliance that the Sith were not willing to permit as they had their own plans for the Contingent, plans that were already being enacted. The Jedi could not be aloud to learn anything. The Sith were aware of the Treaty and its terms, of which they were already in violation, but violations were rarely discovered since all evidence, no matter what or who it may be, could and would be erased.

A Sith officer made his way down a dark hallway within the Smuggling Contingent. As he came to one of the closed doors, he stopped for a moment, prepped himself and mustered some courage, then opened the door and sheepishly walked in. A dark figure in a black cloak meditated at the opposite side of the room, facing away from the door.

“My lord, our agent reports that the Jedi have left Coruscant and are on their way back here, shall we intercept?” asked Captain Arga.

Silence filled the room. The Sith lord never made eye contact with the Captain, nor even bothered to face him, but kept his back to him for several moments in a deafening silence of meditation.

“My lord?”

“Destroy them,” said the dark cloaked figure in a breathy sinister voice.

“But, my lord, the Treaty doesn…”

The Sith lord quickly turned and faced the Captain immediately putting him in a force choke and lifting him from the ground.

“I said DESTROY them Captain, or I will destroy you,” said the figure in cold agitation before releasing the Captain and going back to his meditation.

“Yes, my lord,” said a very frightened Captain Arga.

A holo transmission appeared in a private room at a Worlport cantina. A dark eerie figure spoke to the Bounty Hunter receiving the transmission.

“The Jedi are on their way here, I want you to follow them after they escape.”

“What about the girl?” said the Bounty Hunter.

“She is of no more use to us. Kill her.”

“It will be done.”

The Jedi exited hyperspace in the Ord Mantell system intent on heading back to Worlport to investigate the Sith presence at the Contingent and to find this mysterious bounty hunter. But almost immediately upon exiting hyperspace, their Defender-class starship was intercepted by several Imperial fighters.

“Jao, long range sensors are picking up ten Imperial fighters on course to intercept.”

“See if you can trace their origin, Zekk.”

“It appears they launched out of the Smuggling Contingent.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?”

“Jao, the Treaty doesn’t permit them to attack us; we have nothing to worry about.”

“Why don’t you try telling them that,” said Master Thaun as a barrage of green blaster fire was seen coming towards them.

Master Thaun began evasive maneuvers in an effort to avoid as much damage to their shields as possible. Their Defender-class starship was capable of sustaining multiple hits to its hull once the shields were down, but neither of them wanted to see just how many hits she could take.

Images of Bothawui began flooding both of their minds. These two older Jedi Masters had seen enough war to fill a holocron.

“Jao, I’m picking up ten more fighters closing in from port-side. They’re trying to flank us!” said Zekk as Jao barrel rolled the Defender in an effort to avoid their fire.

“Shields are failing Jao, we can’t take many more hits.”

“We didn’t come this far to die in a dogfight Zekk” said Jao as he fired taking out another fighter.

While their Defender was able to take out several of the fighters in the first wave, they had taken a lot of hits in the process. Shields were failing, they were simply outnumbered, not to mention, fighters were very fast and maneuverable, especially compared to the larger Corellian made diplomatic vessel.

“Zekk, re-route all power to the rear deflectors and open the port-side containment door.”

“But if we lose our rear deflectors and take a hit to the port side we’ll be destroyed,” said Zekk as Jao opened the door to the bridge before looking back at his old friend.

“Jao! What are you doing?”

“Take over Zekk, keep them behind you as best as you can, I’m going to see if I can’t even the odds.”

“Jao!” said Zekk before the bridge door closed separating him and his friend.

Master Thaun made his way back to the port-side of the ship and stood in the docking bay. Under normal circumstances all rooms and external doors in the ship were sealed off during intense combat to protect the inside of the ship from a hull breach, but Jao needed to see the fighters. As the containment door opened, Jao stood facing the outer reaches of space, nothing between him and the fighters but failing shields and an emergency airlock containment shield. Jao closed his eyes and took a deep breath calming himself, clearing his mind of emotion, reminiscent memories of Bothawui, his mission, the Smugglers, the Sith, his concern for his friend Zekk, in a moment, his mind was clear, he was calm and at peace. He lifted his arms and held out his hands as if trying to connect with something. He could feel the Force around his ship, around the fighters; he could sense their movement, their pilot’s intentions, even their emotions; hatred, fear, aggression, all were revealed to the old Jedi.

The fighters swarmed the Defender, firing their cannons, rolling and maneuvering to keep her in their sights.

The Jedi Master sensed two of the fighters crossing paths and grabbed them with the Force and threw them into one another causing them to collide and explode. He then latched onto another fighter passing overhead and used the Force to send it into a violent spin throwing it off course while the pilot fought to regain control. Feeling the Force so strongly around the fighters and their pilots, the Jedi Master sensed one pilot’s thoughts in particular… “Now you die Jedi scum!” Through the Force the Jedi Master could see this ship, he put out his hands as if grabbing onto the sides of a ladder and began to pull the ladder apart. The wings of the fighter began to crack and then separate in a violent force.

Immediately the Jedi Master was flung against the wall of the small corridor, they had been hit again; his friend Zekk began shouting over the com link.

“Jao, we lost our shields! Engines are damaged… I can’t shake them!”

Just then one of the Imperial fighters exploded overhead, and then another. A Corellian XS Light Freighter had entered the battle which had been heavily modified for speed and ordnance. Puffs of orange, smoke-filled debris filled the void where fighters once flew; the Corellian Freighter used the element of surprise to make short work of the Imperial fighters who were so focused on the Jedi’s ship that they never saw the XS coming.

“Master Thaun, Master Xaent, do you copy, this is Jedaiah Oldor.”

“I don’t think you could have timed that any better Jedaiah, you have our gratitude,” said Master Xaent.

“My sentiments exactly,” said Master Thaun.

“We got word that you were going to be in some trouble, we thought we’d pay you a visit.”

“Who’s we?” asked Master Thaun.

“Rrrrrrrrawwr ahhhrrrrr rrrghr.”

Master Thaun smiled and then replied, “Our deepest thanks to you also Tonacca.”

“If I was you, I wouldn’t dock at Worlport, the Empire has a welcoming committee prepared for you, and of course you know the Contingent is out of the question.”

“What are our options then?” asked Jao.

“I’m glad you asked,” said Jedaiah.

The two ships proceeded to an old compound several hundred kilometers from the Contingent. The Defender-class vessel was heavily damaged and in need of repairs, its hyperdrive engines being one of the many damaged components. For now, Jedaiah’s compound seemed to be the best option.

After docking at the compound, the two Jedi followed the two Smugglers inside. The compound was heavily fortified and seemed to be some type of old military base, long out of operation but definitely maintained.

“Thank you again for your help out there,” said Master Thaun.

“Ah, don’t mention it. You would have done the same for me,” said Jedaiah.

“How did you know we’d be in trouble?” asked Zekk.

“I’ll let her answer that,” said Jedaiah as a familiar figure walked in the room to the surprise of both Jedi.

“But how? I thought we…” asked Xaent in astonishment.

“I stowed away on your ship and used a subspace transmitter to contact Jedaiah,” said Eeba.

“Very impressive young lady,” said Master Jao.

“Then the Sith must have intercepted your transmission which explains why they knew we were coming.” replied Jao.

“Well, not exactly… I uhhm…” stammered Eeba.

“She told them you were coming,’ said Jedaiah as both Jedi looked on in disbelief and betrayal. ‘It’s not what you’re thinking, she’s a double agent.”

“A double agent? Then how do we know who’s side she’s on?” asked Zekk.
“Calm down, she’s on our side.”

“Then why did she betray us?” asked Zekk.

“It’s not like that, she has to give the Empire real substantial information else she’ll blow her cover. It’s a tough job but then, she’s a pretty tough girl. Just be glad that she sent two transmissions, else you’d both be space debris right now.”

“What is the current status of the Contingency?” asked Zekk.

“The Empire has taken over, Tonacca and I were told to head to Nar Shaddaa to meet up with an Agent who had some sort of intel package for us, but we don’t work for the Sith.”

“Rerrrrrrrrrr arrhhhr rrhhhhrr.”

“Tonacca’s right, if the Empire ever got the real information we’ve smuggled, it’d tilt the war in their favor.”

“Real information?” asked Master Zekk.

“Yes, we modify as much as we can.”

“The Republic is grateful for all you do, both of you, but I sense that much more is at stake than just information, but perhaps the fate of the war,” said Master Thaun.

“If you get rid of the Sith for us, my Smugglers will smuggle all the supplies you need into the Republic.”

“How many Sith are there?” asked Master Xaent.

“Not counting the pilots we killed earlier, I’d say about thirty or so soldiers and one really ugly Sith Lord who won’t be too happy we killed his men. But there will be more of them. It used to be there was just the Sith Lord, he tried making a deal with us, he was very convincing, but the Contingent leader refused.”

“I thought you said the leader was hidden?”

“He is, but he’s still in charge, the figurehead of the Contingent was who the Sith believed to be the leader, when he refused, the Sith killed him. I took his role and made the deal, but I’m not really the leader, he remains anonymous. He’s actually the one who owns this bunker, but it’s well hidden and only a few trusted Contingent Smugglers even know about it.”

“The Mirialan is the leader,” answered Jao to an astonished Jedaiah.

“How did you know?”

“Your attachment and loyalty to him are easy to sense. Is there any way I can contact Coruscant?” asked Master Thaun.

“Yeah, this old base has its own secure long range transmitters. Eeba will show you around. In the meantime, Tonacca and I are going to see what we can do for your ship.”

The two Jedi were led by Eeba to a large subspace transmitter in a hidden communications room. The transmitter was not made of any Republic or Imperial technology either Jedi had ever seen.

“It uses alien encryption technology which cannot be decrypted by any method or technology the Republic or Empire possess. As a matter of fact, unless your ship is equipped with special decrypter codes, only the transmitter itself can decrypt the signal. Simply send a transmission and when it is picked up, lock onto the receiver’s frequency ID to decrypt the signal. Anyone who tries to intercept the signal will have a different receiver frequency ID and will only receive the encrypted code.”

“Smart transmission technology, fascinating,” said Zekk.

“It’s pretty amazing technology, it wasn’t working when we acquired this place, but Tonocca knew how to fix it, I think he is the only one who knows how to fix it for that matter, I think it’s older than he is,” Eeba said, “but I know neither of you trust me, so I will be in the hangar. “

Eeba then left the communications room while Jao proceeded to make contact with Coruscant and the Jedi Council. Master Thaun informed the Council of the attack on their ship and the violation of the Treaty. He went on to confirm the smuggling of Republic intelligence out of the core worlds and the presence of an unknown Sith Lord on Ord Mantell. After hearing and discussing all of this information, the Council agreed that Republic sentiments towards the Jedi were waning and a call to open war would not be in the Council’s best interest. Many of the Republic world leaders and their representative Senators blamed the Jedi for the attacks on their homeworlds, not to mention for the war, and for the terms of the Treaty. Nevertheless, the Jedi were sworn defenders of the Republic. So after much deliberation the Council made the decision that would change the fate of both Jao Thaun and Zekk Xaent forever.

“Master Thaun, Master Xaent, the Council has decided to permit you both to amass whatever resources or manpower that are needed to rid this Contingent of this Sith presence and to protect it and its smugglers from further interference. Furthermore, the Council agrees that your presence, mission, and actions must be done in anonymity. We do not want to risk open war nor give more cause for persecution of the Order. There are already talks being made of the Jedi leaving Coruscant; with Master Zym’s death the Council is in a bit of disarray. That said, you are hereby given the military rank of Commander General and commissioned to recruit whomever will fight for your cause, Jedi, Troopers, and Smugglers alike. Protect that Contingent Master Jao and others like it, the Republic homeworlds need those supplies and it appears those Smugglers need your protection. We will help you in what ways we can, but for the most part, you are on your own. May the Force be with you.”

The elder Jedi Councilor’s final words echoed in the ears of the two Jedi Masters before the hologram disappeared.

“Well, what now Master Jao?” asked Zekk.

“We protect the Contingent Master Zekk, at whatever cost.” Master Jao thought for a moment and then made his way to the hangar while Zekk followed.

“So did it work?” asked Jedaiah.

“Yes it did, you have my gratitude” replied Jao, “How’s my ship?”

“Well, it will fly, but fixing the shields are going to take a few days.”

“We don’t have a few days.”

So what’s the plan?” Jedaiah asked.

“Do you have any explosives?” asked Jao.

When Captain Arga heard reports that the Jedi had escaped, his stomach sank into his bowels, but it was his duty to report to the Sith Lord. He was about to make his way to the Sith’s quarters as before, but hesitated and thought for a moment. Much to his demise, the Sith Lord had left his quarters to meet the Captain who turned to face the Sith Lord. The left side of his face was entirely black, covered in some type of synthetic skin-like material which contrasted the pale grey color of his skin. This mask covered his chin and nose and enshrouded the left eye and stretched to cover the lesser side of his head before wrapping around his ear and ending at what may have been at one time his hair line. Scars from beneath the mask seemed to stretch in two directions, some wrapping around to the back of his head while others riddled portions of the right side of his face, ending below his right eye and mouth which sported only black artificial teeth. His eyes were yellowish orange, full of hatred. His left arm was mechanized; he had obviously seen battle before. His black Sith clothing seemed to scream death and incite fear.

“My lord, the Jedi have escaped, they… ‘uhhht, kkht’…” were the sounds that uttered from his throat as Captain Arga began choking. Many of the Imperial Soldiers and Smugglers looked on in fear.

The Sith, intent on killing the Captain, paused for a moment before speaking in a sinister voice. “I have sensed there is more you wish to tell me, Captain.”

“Yehhs, yes my lord. One of the Smuggler’s vessels aided the Jedi and then they disappeared, however, our agent has reported that the Jedi are on their way here.”

“Fools! Oldor will pay for his treachery!” The Sith Lord looked away for a brief moment before setting his gaze back on the Captain who was gasping for his breathe. Then, with pure hatred in his voice he uttered, “And the Jedi… they will DIE!” Immediately after speaking those words he ignited his lightsaber and severed the Captain’s body in two. “I want you both to greet the Jedi when they arrive, Captain” said the Sith before snickering in dark amusement of the evil he had just committed. He knew the Jedi would escape, he had foreseen it, but there were many of his men watching and he was not one to miss an opportunity to incite more fear into his subjects. “Guards!” said the Sith, “Arrest the remaining Smugglers and put them on my ship and prepare it for launch.”

Back at the old abandoned base, the Bounty Hunter Olo Suune received a holo transmission from Darth Necronis whilst atop a ledge overlooking the compound which held his targets.

“Have you found them?” said the angered Sith

“They are in an old abandoned compound not far from the Contingent. Oldor and the Wookie are with them.”

“Then they will all die together. I have dispatched my soldiers to your location, they will destroy the compound. No one is to leave the compound.”

“The Wookie is worth more to me alive.”

“The Empire will compensate you for the Wookie. Do not fail me Olo Suune.”

Back inside the old abandoned compound, Jedaiah and Tonocca just finished wiring the last of the explosives to Jao’s ship as he instructed.

“Well, that’s the last of them,” said Jedaiah. “I sure hope you know what you’re doing; one direct hit and anyone flying this thing will go boom.”

“So long as the ship goes boom after I’ve gotten off it.” Said Jao.

Just then an alarm of some sort started sounding in the compound. “What’s that?” Master Zekk asked.

“Eeba ran to the security terminal and looked at it a moment then said, “Twelve Imperial Walkers headed this way!”

“Shields up!” Jedaiah commanded. “Jam their com links. Tonocca, man the turrets.”

“They’re firing.” Eeba said.

The compound was under fire, blaster bolts riveted the compound’s shields, but the shields were holding. The two quad-cannon forward defense turrets were doing a remarkable job defending the base. Five of the Imperial Walkers had been destroyed, and two others were severely damaged or disabled, their soldiers abandoning the walkers and proceeding on foot while the other five Walkers continued to advance closer. Then suddenly, an explosion erupted outside the compound which disabled both forward defense turrets. The Bounty Hunter had intervened by setting charges to the turret control relay and then detonating them. There was now nothing but shields and blast doors between the Imperial Walkers and the five companions.

“Shield status?” asked Master Jao.

“Shields are at sixty-percent and dropping. We can’t take much more of this.” Said Eeba.

“What do you suggest we do Master Jao?” asked Jedaiah.

Without hesitation the old Jedi replied, “We fight! Tonocca, are you able to reroute my ships thrusters to the forward deflectors. I need it to be able to take a couple hits.”

“Rrrrrrrrrr.”

“Jedaiah,…”

“Master Jao, there’s an Imperial ship on a crash course directly overtop us, Fury class.”

“He’s going to crash that thing right into us…” said Jedaiah.

“I sense many innocent lives on board, including our Mirialan friend,” said Zekk.

“Jedaiah, does your ship have a tractor beam?” asked Jao.

“Yeah, I think I can fly over it and tractor it up. If nothing else, pull it away from the base.”

“You four hop on Oldor’s ship, I’ll do what I can to stop the Walkers.”

“I’m coming with you Jao,” said Zekk.

“If those shields fail too soon, we’ll both die.”

“It’s a chance I’m willing to take old friend.”

“Alright Zekk, Jedaiah, get to your ship, we don’t have much time.”

With that the two Jedi boarded Jao’s ship with all power rerouted to the damaged and failing forward shields. Jedaiah, Tonocca, and Eeba boarded the Corellian transport and exited the hangar on a vertical intercept course for the Imperial Fury class ship directly overhead. The Imperial Walkers began firing, dividing their fire between the two ships then focusing all fire on Jao’s ship which was limping towards them using minimal thrusters barely holding a hover.

“Tonocca, lock on tractor beam,” said Jedaiah.

“Rrrewwr arhrhrrrr grrrrrrhrr.”

“What do you mean it’s been disabled? Go take a look at it. Jao, there’s something wrong with our tractor beam; I don’t think we’re going to be much good here.”

With that said, a rocket exploded in the cockpit knocking both Jedaiah and Eeba back and rendering him unconscious. Olo Suune turned to Eeba who was dazed on the ground and trying to regain her composure while holding her head in pain.

“Hello Eeba, I’ve been looking forward to this.” The Bounty Hunter said before setting fire to Eeba.

Jao’s ship was losing what shields were left, but still advancing. “Just a little further,” Jao said as Zekk anxiously waited wanting to leave the ship.

“Now?” asked Zekk.

“Now!” shouted Jao as both Jedi force jumped off the docking platform as the shields failed and the Imperial cannons ignited the charges on Jao’s ship which was close enough now to the Imperial Walkers to destroy what remained of them.

The Jedi landed on the ground and immediately began taking blaster fire from the ground troops. Force jumping across long distances they were able to dispatch one soldier after another until none remained. Then looking up they saw that the Fury was almost on top of them, acting together in unison they used the Force to attempt to slow the ship to a halt. Master Thaun and Master Xaent used all their power to slow the ship which was less than thirteen seconds from impact. Through the Force they could feel the fear of the innocent lives aboard, their desire to live, their tears, their cries, and a dark evil presence.

On the Corellian Transport, Eeba had been set on fire, her body was being burned and she was too weak to escape. The Bounty Hunter, Olo Suune was taking his time, enjoying the slow burn and torture of his former acquaintance. Eeba had been burned, some second degree, some third, she was near death.

“Olo… why? Please… don’t,” said a dying Eeba.

“Such is the fate of all who betray the Empire.”

With that, Olo pointed his pistol at her head and took aim, and then suddenly he was battered against the wall while a vicious roar was heard in the room. Olo was picked up by the neck with one hand while the Wookie he had hunted for so long grabbed his arm and ripped it from his torso. The Bounty Hunter screamed in pain before the Wookie took his blade and impaled the Bounty Hunter through the heart. Tonocca picked up Eeba and rushed her to the med bay onboard the ship then proceeded to revive Jedaiah.

The two Jedi, using all of their strength were able to slow the decline of the ship, but not stop it. In less than three seconds, it would all be over for those on board as well as the Jedi, but the Jedi would not give up. In a last ditch effort of strength and resolve, the ship stopped in mid air, it’s bow less than two-hundred meters away from the roof of the compound. The Jedi opened their eyes and looked up as a dark robed figure fell, no leaped from the ship. As his distance closed, his red lightsaber ignited.

Master Zekk confronted the foe, his golden lightsaber exchanging blows with the blade of Darth Necronis. Master Jao was torn in his mind between helping Zekk and the many innocent Smugglers aboard the ship. He saw out of the corner of his eye the clash of light sabers. He used all of his focus and power to slowly tilt the Fury level then let it down. He needed to hurry, but couldn’t, lest he lose his hold on the ship altogether.

“You won’t be the first Kel Dor I’ve slaughtered,” said Necronis to Zekk.

“And you won’t be the first Sith I’ve defeated in battle.”

Lightsabers clashing, Necronis was clearly dominating the battle, Zekk enjoyed using the Shii-Cho form of which he was a master at, however, this form was not very well suited for lightsaber combat especially against foes such as Necronis who preferred Juyo.

Master Zekk attempted to draw Necronis away from Jao long enough for Jao to put the ship down and join the fight. Zekk knew that Master Jao was the better duelist, but when Necronis sensed Zekk’s thoughts he saw an opportunity to capitalize on Jao’s vulnerability.

Necronis attacked Zekk furiously, one strike after another, it was all Zekk could do to defend himself. Then, in an astonishing display of quickness and coordination, Necronis struck Zekk across the face then force pushed him back some thirty or forty feet. Necronis set his gaze on Master Thaun and took his lightsaber and saber threw it towards Master Jao who was concentrating on setting the ship down. Master Zekk stood to his feet then used the Force to force jump towards Jao and then Force pulled Necronis’ saber towards himself. While the Saber was in mid-air on its way to the hand of Zekk, Necronis used Force Lightning on Zekk stunning him and allowing the Sith’s lightsaber to remove his right arm. Zekk then used his saber to block the lightning, while Necronis leapt towards him, force pulling his red saber back into his hand then finally impaling Master Zekk.

Master Zekk and the ship fell to the ground simultaneously, though neither fell more than a few feet. Master Jao looked over to his old friend, his long time companion and brother in arms, now lifeless on the ground, “Noooooooooo,” Jao cried as a tear streamed down his cheek; memories of his friend & feelings flooded his mind while justice filled his face as he locked eyes with Darth Necronis who was now sporting a red and gold lightsaber along with a smirk. In unison the two Force users Force jumped toward one another. Jao’s cyan colored light saber clashed with the red and gold in mid air as they each fell back. The Sith Lord force leapt towards the Master Jedi who repelled him back with Force push and then countered with a Force jump of his own. The Sith dodged the impaling attack, rolling to the side then back flipping into the air before furiously attacking with twin sabers. The Jedi defended each attack blow for blow before clipping Zekk’s saber and disabling it leaving a sharp, jagged edge. With only one saber now, the Sith kept attacking with all his anger, with all his rage, with all the fury and power of the dark side. Blow for blow, sabers clashing, the two master swordsmen fought in an astonishing display of skill and acrobatics. Neither seemed to be gaining the upper hand, but both were determined to win. As the fight tarried, the Jedi and Sith simultaneously attempted to Force push one another back and both succeeded, knocking each other back several meters.

Standing, with saber in hand, Darth Necronis said to Master Jao, “Now it is time to join your friend, Jedi!” An expression of pure hatred and evil filled his face as he attempted to Force lightning Master Thaun who was able to block the continued stream of dark electricity with his saber. Master Thaun, defending against the lightning with saber in hand, noticed Zekk’s saber hilt behind Necronis. With his free hand stretched forth, he grabbed Zekk’s saber hilt with the Force and then pulled it in through the back of Necronis, impaling him which broke the Sith’s lightning long enough for the Jedi Master to Force Jump towards Necronis and decapitate him.

Tonocca and the others had landed back at the hangar and told Master Jao of Eeba’s condition. He was able to heal her somewhat through the Force, enough to keep her alive, but his healing skills were limited. It was evident she needed to be returned to Coruscant.

In the aftermath following what is now known as the First Conflict of Ord Mantell, Master Jao was finally able to speak to the Mirialan who led the Smuggling Contingent. Being very thankful for the rescue of he and his smugglers and the heroism of the two Jedi, he agreed to a Republic trade agreement to help smuggle supplies to the Republic homeworlds so long as they’re protected from Imperial interference. And to Jao’s surprise, the old compound, with all of its alien technology was given to Master Thaun and his soon-to-be-formed defense cell, as a gift.

Jedaiah Oldor recovered and was asked to join Jao’s defense cell, but declined at that time. Years later he would join Jao’s group only to leave again, no doubt for his own reasons.

Tonocca helped Jao repair the no-longer abandoned base then set of to continue smuggling cargo, but this time he worked for the Wookies, rescuing captured Wookie slaves from Bounty Hunters and bad smugglers and returning them to their homeworld. He was seen as a champion among the Wookie and would one day be called upon again to help Master Thaun in another endeavor.

Eeba retired from her work as a Double Agent due to her severe burns which never completely healed. We won’t ever know whose side she was really on, but she knows whose side it was that tried to kill her.

As for Master Jedi Zekk Xaent, he was taken back to his homeworld and buried. Many Jedi and Kel-Dorians showed up for his burial and to pay their respects, but none stayed longer than Master Thaun. Master Xaent’s loss was hard on Master Thaun, he had lost his closest ally and long-time friend, unfortunately, Zekk’s brave sacrifice was the price of peace. When asked what he’d call his Republic defense cell, Jao replied, “The Saints, Saints of the Republic,” to honor his old friend, the first fallen Saint.

“For months I stood watch over the Contingent and its Smugglers, waiting for aid, hoping; knowing that someday the Sith would return. Until one day, I met my first recruit, a Trooper by the name of Armethis Slay, though he wasn’t a General then as you know him now, he was a brave soldier. He helped me a great deal in those early days and as it would turn out, there would be many more like him through the years that would join the Saints, but those stories are for them to tell and it is way past your bedtimes.”

“Awwww,” said many of the younglings gathered around the old Jedi.

“Master Thaun, did the Sith ever return?” asked a youngling.

“Yes, they did and they destroyed our base.” The little ones looked on in amazement.

“Is that why we’re on a big ship now Master Thaun?” asked a little Jedi.

Master Jao chuckled, “Yes, it is.”

Did you ever find the Twi’lek’s sister like you promised?” asked the same youngling.

“Yes I did, and I even helped her find a home on Corellia where she lives today with her sister, as a matter of fact, she is probably sleeping like you should be. Now, run along younglings, time for bed.”

“Can you tell us another story tomorrow Master Thaun?” asked a different youngling after looking back before leaving the holocron room.

Master Jao thought for a moment, hundreds of stories filled his mind not unlike the one just told, the Saints had a rich history, a blessed history, a history of bravery and sacrifice, sacrifices that would live on as tales of heroism and inspiration to them in the future. With a smile on his face, he looked at the youngling and responded, “Yes, my little Jedi, I promise.”


Last edited by Jao Thaun on Jul. 12th, 2011 8:59 pm; edited 1 time in total


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