Powerlust III: Death Shall Have No Domain
Chapter 6 - The Star Forge
The New Republic's fleet emerged from hyperspace close to Rakatya, the only planet in the small system. Prometheus was not far behind. Several Star Destroyers and Goa'uld Ha'tak ships hovered protectively around the Star Forge, which was, as Revan had told them, linked directly to the system's sun, leeching energy from it like some sort of stellar parasite.
Revan gazed out the viewport at the Star Forge with a neutral expression on her face. Malak was frowning, eyes narrowed at the space station as he stared at it. Leia was directly behind both of them, somewhat in awe.
On Prometheus, Daniel stood beside General Hammond, ready to set off for Rakatya to disable the disruptor shield. Hammond was also awed by the Star Forge. He turned to Daniel.
"Are you sure we can't just capture it?"
Daniel shook his head. "I don't want to risk it, sir, it's an artefact of the Dark Side. It'll corrupt us."
Hammond nodded and turned back to watching the Star Forge.
"Home 1 to Prometheus," Revan's voice said.
"This is Prometheus, go ahead, Home 1," Hammond responded.
"Is Daniel ready to go, General?"
"Yes he is."
"Send him off, then, and don't get too close to the planet or the Star Forge. We want to remain undetected and unaffected by the disruptor field."
"Understood. Prometheus out." Hammond turned to Daniel. "Alright, Dr. Jackson, you can go." Daniel nodded and set off for the hangar. He climbed into one of the X-302's, trying to keep his mind on what Anakin had taught him about flying as he lifted off. Kar'auc had agreed to help him fly the ship and get him down to the planet, so he was in the back seat. His face, once pale and contorted by the Dark Side, had returned to a more normal tone in recent days. His eyes were no longer yellow but instead a deep brown, almost black.
"Are you alright, Daniel Jackson?"
"Just a bit nervous, but I'll be fine. Thanks for asking."
Rakatya looked to be a tropical paradise, dotted with many islands and vast oceans. But the planet's strong Dark Side aura said other things about it, that it had once been a place of evil. Daniel and Kar'auc brought the ship down on one of the beaches on the main island.
"The temple is to the south of here," Kar'auc said. "I will send a message to lower the energy shield protecting the entrance. I do not believe I have been found out yet…"
Daniel nodded and stealthed himself with the Force, slipping quietly past several roaming bands of Rakata warriors. The Rakata, he noticed, looked just like the hologram that guarded the Star Map on Kashyyyk. The warriors seemed to have bluish skin, but perhaps other members of the species had a different skin tone.
When he got to the temple, the energy shield guarding the entrance had been lowered. He slipped quietly into the temple, removing C4 from his pack and planting some at the entrance to the temple and setting the timer for twenty minutes. He made his way around the temple, planting C4 as he went, until he found his way to the catacombs and opened the doors that led to the summit. From there he found his way to the summit, finished planting the C4, lowered the energy shield and disabled the disruptor field, then fled the temple. He made it out just in time to see the temple explode spectacularly.
"Jackson to Prometheus."
"Prometheus here, go head Dr. Jackson."
"Temple's gone. I planted the C4 and destroyed it. The disruptor field should be lowered now."
"Well done, Dr. Jackson. Prepare to rendezvous with the Jedi strike team."
"Will do, sir. Jackson out." He headed back to the X-302 he had borrowed and met Kar'auc there. Kar'auc had finished repairing the damage the ship had taken when they had flown into the disruptor field. Daniel climbed into the front seat, Kar'auc into the back, and they took off, flying away from the planet and towards the group of fighters that lurked near the ship designated "Home 1". Luke's X-wing was at the head of the group.
"Ready Daniel?" Luke's voice said over the comm. unit.
"Let's go then."
The group flew towards the Star Forge, while the New Republic vessels and Prometheus advanced to meet the Star Destroyers and Ha'tak ships as well. The group of snub fighters wove their way through the legions of TIE Fighters and Death-gliders surrounding the Star Forge, finally landing in the docking bay. Luke, Daniel, Toryn, Anakin, Malak, and Kyle sprang from their cockpits, lightsabers ignited, cutting down the Dark Jedi who ran to meet them. Working their way through the Star Forge's winding corridors, defeating everything that came to stop them—Jaffa, Stormtroopers, Dark Jedi, it didn't matter much any more. Daniel was at the head of the group, moving the fastest of the lot of them. His attack style was, and always had been, defensive, quick, and agile. He did not use raw strength, rather, he counted on finesse and dexterity to aid him in a fight. His lightsaber kata—a chain of attacks composed to a certain rhythm—was a series of fast, spinning attacks, that could cut down several opponents in minimal time. Daniel had gone through this Kata several times with Malak, and on his own, to practice it, memorize it before the confrontation with Anubis. Malak, strong though he was, had found himself overwhelmed by the speed of the kata, and had informed Daniel that that alone might win the fight.
They fought their way to the lift on the second deck, and emerged from the lift on the fourth deck, where the command centre and the lift to the factory were both located. At the command centre, however, they did not find Anubis waiting for them.
It was Oriah Dantra instead.
Daniel and Toryn both halted, the rest of the group skidding to a stop behind them as well.
"Hello Master Jackson. Toryn," Oriah said, neutrally.
"Oriah! What're you doing here!" Toryn said.
Daniel backed up a few steps. "You've fallen to the Dark Side," he stated.
"Observant," Oriah responded, smirking. "Well, 'Master', are you strong enough—brave enough, even—to face me?"
Daniel stepped forward, an expression of resolution on his face.
"No, Master Jackson, let me," Toryn said, throwing his arm out to stop Daniel. "Oriah was my friend once. I need to do this."
Oriah ignited her lightsabers—red and violet—and stepped forward to meet Toryn. Daniel and the others hurried off to the right, towards the factory.
"You are brave, Toryn, but you will not win this fight," Oriah hissed, lunging at him. Toryn backed up a few steps and raised his double-bladed lightsaber to block her attack, just barely making it in time. Oriah raised her violet lightsaber and moved to attack his open side. Toryn pushed her away with the Force and attacked her, his lightsaber spinning downwards in a wide arc…
Daniel only glanced back as he heard Toryn and Oriah's clashing lightsabers. He had to focus on what was ahead. Abruptly he and the rest of the strike team was tossed backwards. Anubis stood in front of the elevator, his face contorted in anger.
"So," He hissed. "Kar'auc has failed." He raised his red longsaber. Malak leapt to his feet and lunged at Anubis, but was easily parried and tossed aside again. Anubis moved towards Daniel, who felt himself lifted into the air, his throat constricting. "It was you, was it not? Who turned my apprentice against me?"
"He—would've… done that eventually…" Daniel choked. "It is the way of… the Sith… a constant… cycle of death…"
"Fool." Anubis hissed. He threw Daniel aside. Daniel stood up, gasping for air, then blocked Anubis's next lightsaber attack. "I am not Sith."
"Yeah, you just keep kidding yourself," Daniel muttered. He glanced around. The others were unconscious. Hoping they would wake up in time, he gritted his teeth, focused on Anubis, and began his kata…
On the bridge of "Home 1", Revan watched the space battle with growing concern for the strike team. The battle was going relatively well. There was no Battle Meditation being used against them this time.
"Is something wrong?" Leia asked softly.
"No. I'll be fine. Just… worried."
"About the strike team?"
Revan nodded. "Red group, concentrate your fire on the star destroyers. SG-3 and -4, try to disable those two Ha'tak ships."
"Copy, Home 1."
In the command centre, Toryn gritted his teeth and bit back a scream as Oriah's Force Lightning struck him, causing pain to erupt all over his body and his muscles to spasm. The strike stopped and Oriah lunged at him again. He fought back, determined not to let her win again. He kept reminding herself that she wasn't Oriah anymore, and had ceased to be when she had fallen to the Dark Side. But even that was not enough, when he wanted to save her, to believe that there was still hope…
Oriah seemed to know what he was thinking. "If you think to turn me back to the Light, Toryn, know that I will not show such weakness."
Toryn fought back tears and continued to fight, pushing Oriah further and further towards the back of the room…
Anubis and Daniel had fought their way into the factory, their lightsabers clashing and meeting again and again. Each was at their best, Anubis striking at Daniel with all his might and Daniel parrying each and every blow Anubis made.
"It is hopeless, Jackson," Anubis said. "You cannot defeat me. No Jedi can."
"Watch me," Daniel said, and he spun and attacked, striking at Anubis's wide open side.
Yes, that's it… you're winning now… let your hatred of him fuel you…
Daniel ignored the recurring voice and continued to fight, slowly, ever so slowly winning the advantage…
"They've left their middle wide open!" Revan said, grinning with glee as she realized the strategic mistake Anubis's Forces had made. "Attack them now!"
Several squadrons of fighters moved in for the catch, destroying several Star Destroyers and a few Ha'tak ships. Those on the Bridge of "Home 1" cheered as they watched the fight, and Revan allowed herself a slight smirk.
"We're almost there, everyone…"
Toryn had fought Oriah into the corner of the command centre. The holographic display showed that the Taur'i and the New Republic were winning the space battle. Toryn cornered Oriah, forcing her against a wall with his lightsaber at her throat.
"See that, Oriah?" He said, pointing to the display. "We're winning the fight."
"The battle could turn any minute," Oriah said, with a laugh. Her eyes flashed yellow, and then Toryn realized.
"You're not even Oriah," He said, shaking his head. "You're Goa'uld."
"Observant." The Goa'uld controlling Oriah raised her lightsabers and struck Toryn's shoulders, winning the advantage once more. Toryn fell backwards, then got to his feet and struck at her again, his lightsaber connecting with her waist. She fell, lying crumpled on the floor. "You have won. Kill me now. Save your friend her 'suffering' at my hands," the Goa'uld said, sarcastically.
"The Jedi do not kill." Toryn left, following the path the rest of the strike team had taken towards the factory, leaving Oriah for dead.
Daniel and Anubis continued to fight, attacking each and every opening they saw. Daniel was quickly growing weary, and more angry that he could not win. He HAD to win, this was their last hope…
"You will not win here on the Star Forge," Anubis crowed. "The Star Forge feeds the Dark Side, not the Light. You are too weak."
"The Light is not weak," Daniel hissed. He lunged again, beating back Anubis with all his might, until finally he cornered him. He managed to cut Anubis's lightsaber in half. It clattered to the floor. Anubis scrambled against the wall, fear sparking in his eyes.
"You will kill me, Daniel Jackson?" He said, trying to grin maliciously but failing. "That… that is not the Jedi way, is it?"
"It may not be, but you are too dangerous to be left alive," Daniel said, advancing on Anubis, his lightsaber raised. "This is the end for you." He struck, cutting down Anubis once and for all.
"Anubis is dead!" Revan yelled triumphantly as she felt Daniel strike down Anubis. "O'Neill, Carter, go for the orbital stabilizers! Now!"
"Roger that, Revan, going in now!" Jack's voice said. He sounded gleeful. Revan breathed a sigh of relief. Now all that was left was for them to get off the Star Forge…
Daniel found Toryn helping the rest of the strike team up as he left the factory. "Toryn! Is… Is Oriah dead?"
"…Yes," Toryn said, mutely. "She had been… taken host by a Goa'uld."
Daniel bit his lip and sighed. "Come on, let's get out of here before they blow this place to Hell."
As the strike team left, Jack and Sam flew in and launched their torpedoes at the orbital stabilizers. The stabilizers exploded, and Jack and Sam wheeled around their X-302 and flew back with the strike team. The Star Forge careened into Rakatya's sun, and exploded spectacularly. Cheers erupted all over the comm. units. Daniel grinned as he docked with Prometheus.
On "Home 1", Luke, Anakin, Kyle, Toryn, and Malak all climbed out of their snub fighters. Anakin and Luke ran to greet Leia, who hugged them out of relief again, kissing them both on the cheek. Revan ran and tackled Malak, hugging him fiercely in jubilation. Kyle was tackled by Jan as he emerged from the Raven's Claw. On Prometheus, SG-1 enveloped each other in a group hug. Jack ruffled Daniel's hair, screaming, "Way to go, Spacemonkey!" in jubilation.
No-one had noticed the lone Deathglider that had escaped the explosion of the Star Forge.
To be continued in… "Powerlust IV: Patterns Out of Chaos"