Chapter 6: Rescue
HELLO! This is Lunatic 121 bringing you the sixth chapter in the Darkened Force. Hope you enjoy it, R&R and make sure to keep it clean. I will take constructive criticism
Haduun stared through the viewport of the Solar Phoenix's bridge, using the Force to try and find where to go next. IJ was sitting in a chair near the ship's main computer, doing a quick search on Jedi and of Sith alike. The Omni-droid had to get a general knowledge of Jedi who could help, Sith of the Jedi Trials, and any knowledge on the Force.
Haduun's eyes snapped open and he knew where to go next, although he was at a loss at why that was. However, that was the thing about the Force: you never get told why to go there, only that you should go there.
Haduun pressed a button on the dashboard. "Voice Command, set a course for Dagobah."
"Head towards the swamp planet?" the voice command asked, "No thanks. But I prefer to have all my circuits working."
Haduun rolled his eyes. "Looks like I have a few sarcasm circuit to remove…"
The Voice Command apparently heard him, because it warned, "I just thought I would warn you here and now. Anyone who touches my circuitry will be incinerated immediately."
"Just go there." Haduun ordered, "Or I'll be forced to revert to manual control and leave you in the hands of IR-JK."
"Fine." Voice command muttered, "It won't be dangerous for you. You'll be hiking around on land, while I will probably be stuck underwater. Need I remind you of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker on his first trip to Dagobah?"
"GO INTO A HYPERSPACE JUMP, OR HADUUN WILL PERSONALLY REPLACE YOU!!" IR-JK roared in frustration, then returned to whatever he was doing.
"Getting to it." Voice command sighed, "This is going to turn out to be a bad day, I just know it…"
After a VERY unneeded argument, the Solar Phoenix went into Hyperspace jump, coming to a stop over the jungle planet of Dagobah.
The ship landed on top of a patch of land with a bridge moving into the mainland. And the port opened as Haduun walked towards the great unknown. IJ took a few steps out, inspected his surroundings.
"Um…on second thought, I think I'll stay on the ship." The neurotic droid said, shuffling back onto the Solar Phoenix.
"Glad we can finally agree on something." The voice command admitted.
The instant he stepped onto the swampy ground, a flash filled the Jedi's eyes and a piercing pain shot through his head. Haduun fell to his knees, clutching his head as though it was going to split open. "Ugh…What's going on with me?!" he strained.
A small boy was holding a lightsaber in front of the same tall man in the previous vision, the man was holding a purple lightsaber and laughing at the boy.
"My student, you need to focus on more than just me." The big, dark-skinned man had a deep and powerful voice. "If you focus on just me, you'll get yourself killed."
"I'm trying, Master Zerda." The boy argued, trying again to stand back up. He was not hurt: just exhausted.
Haduun lay on the ground and slowly let his eyes flutter open. He didn't know how he had ended up on the ground, or when it had happened; only that he was there. He slowly stood up, and felt something touch his neck mere moments after he had taken in what had happened.
"Don't move." A voice commanded.
Haduun shrugged and did as he was told. He didn't move at all, even as the voice's source, obviously a man's, pulled the gun away from his neck.
"Who are you?" the voice asked, still remaining quite stern.
"My name is Haduun Jaal." Haduun answered, keeping his cool, "I'm from Naboo."
Haduun could sense the man slowly nodding. "Did Necros send you?" the man asked.
A curious expression crossed Haduun's face. He had heard that name before: at the Jedi temple. "Necros?" he asked to himself, "I keep hearing that name, and yet I haven't even found out who he is."
"Put down your weapons and I might tell you."
Haduun sighed. THIS wasn't going to be easy. He unclipped his lightsaber from his belt, and dropped it on the ground. Didn't matter. He could get it back easily, in case things got ugly. But it was completely unnecessary, as Haduun found out.
"A lightsaber?" the man asked, "You can turn around now."
Haduun turned around to see not one, but six people, all of whom were pointing blaster rifles at him. The person leading them had short-cut black hair, a black leather suit, and brown eyes. He looked a few years older than Haduun and the Jedi noticed a badge that looked like an encircled cross. Haduun also noticed that there were the remains of a destroyed escape pod only a few meters away.
"You sure you don't know who Necros is?" the lead man asked.
"Absolutely." Haduun answered, "I interrogated someone who was working for him, and he answered with the same name."
The brown-haired man smiled, then put his blaster back in the holster. He held out his hand. "Sorry for the threats." He apologized, "My name is Natthan Calhoun."
Haduun shook his hand, returning with a casual smile. "As I said before, my name is Haduun Jaal. Now, can I pick up my lightsaber?"
Natthan chuckled. "Sure thing."
Haduun reached out with the Force, and his lightsaber flew into his hand. Natthan saw what happened, then raised a brow as he stroked his chin. "A Jedi Knight?" Natthan asked, "We don't get any of those guys anymore."
"I know. Not since they were all killed." Haduun said, clipping the lightsaber back to his belt. "You want to leave this planet? By the looks of things you can't get anywhere."
Natthan shrugged. "Depends. You have a ship?" Haduun nodded and a smile spread across Natthan's face. "Well, let's get going then. I'm sick of this planet already and I've only been here for a few hours."
Haduun led the way back to the Solar Phoenix, and they entered through the port. "It's a tight fit, but we should all fit. Voice command?" Haduun called out, "Get us out of here."
"Oh, thank goodness, you came back." The voice command said, "A swamp monster came inside after you left. It ripped apart IR-JK and nearly destroyed me."
Haduun didn't really buy it, and his thoughts were confirmed when the unmistakable voice came into a storage bay. "That didn't happen!" IJ objected, "He just got irritated because I asked for a list of Jedi Masters, then stuffed me in here!"
"I'll go get him out." Natthan said, going over to the storage room.
"Voice command, get us OUT OF HERE!" Haduun repeated, a little angry at this thing's defiance.
The voice command, on the other hand, would have rolled its eyes. "Oh, sure. It's always 'Voice Command do this', or 'Voice command do that'." It complained, "Nobody ever appreciates what I do."
After one last scolding from Haduun, the Solar Phoenix took off into space. Haduun got IJ out of the closet, and they all sat down in the main bridge's bunk beds. There and then, Haduun spotted the symbol on Natthan's shoulder: the circle with a cross inside of it.
"So, what does that symbol mean?" the Jedi asked, trying to strike conversation.
Natthan gestured to the symbol, and Haduun nodded. "You don't KNOW?!"
"Excuse me for being on a peaceful planet most of my life." Haduun said, trying not to be rude. The voice command, however, chose to.
"Voice Command, shut down." Haduun ordered.
"I really hate you, and you know that?" voice command asked, moments before Haduun reached into the force and shut it down. It's hold it for a moment or so.
"Back to the conversation." Haduun said, "What does that symbol mean?"
"It's the symbol of the Rogue Crusaders." Natthan answered.
IR-JK tilted to the side slightly. "Rogue Crusaders?" he asked, "Can't say I've heard of them."
Natthan sighed to himself. "Maybe I should start right from the beginning…" As soon as IJ and Haduun had settled down, Natthan began his little tale.
"At least ten years ago, a Trandoshan crime lord named Necros came to power. He started as no more than a petty thief in the Coruscant underground, but slowly, he spread his underground empire up to the high-levels. In just three years, he started taking over entire systems. He uses fear to control his enemies, keeping people too scared to try anything against him.
"The Rogue Crusaders are a group of people determined to stop Necros once and for all. The Republic used to be a proud foundation, but with Necros keeping it under his thumb, it's in a sorry state. We plan to bring peace back to the galaxy and rebuild the Republic.
Natthan shook his head. "However, this is more difficult than we thought, and he recently captured most of our organization. He captured five of our starships along with our leader Kamall Zathur."
Haduun thought this over. If these guys were going to help the galaxy become peaceful again, he had to do what was right. "Where has Necros taken them?"
Natthan looked up, then answered, "He took all the captives to Utapau. What you see before you is all who managed to escape."
Haduun took in the number of soldiers; there weren't that many at all. Soon, he knew what he had to do. "I promise you Rogue Crusaders…I'll help in any way I can."
Natthan's eyes widened in shock. "Seriously?" he asked in disbelief.
Haduun nodded, but suddenly noticed something pulling him. The Force was calling him towards a planet called Cholganna. He had never heard the planet in his life, yet he knew about its location and its habitats in an instant.
"Seriously." Haduun assured him, "But…we have to go to Cholganna first."
Natthan gave Haduun a weird look. "Cholganna? You mean that Nexu infested planet?"
Haduun nodded. "I don't know why, but the Force is pulling me there." He said, closing his eyes slightly, then opened up. "Wait a minute, I have to meditate on this thing…"
Haduun stood up, then moved to another part of the ship: one that wasn't packed with soldiers and obnoxious machines.
Haduun took a seat away from the main hangar bay, sat with his legs folded, and slowly closed his eyes. He let all distractions out of his mind, clearing his mind of all thought. When all thought, senses, and distractions were out of his mind, he saw someone in front of him: a man with white Jedi robes, long brown hair, and a lightsaber clipped to his belt.
"Who are you?" Haduun asked.
The man answered, "In life I was Qui-Gon Jinn."
Haduun stared with slight awe. Master Jinn was the teacher of the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, but had been dead for centuries. "Qui-Gon?" Haduun asked in awe. THIS was the Jedi Master who discovered a way to become one with the Force, yet still retain consciousness.
"Wait a minute." Haduun said, a thought coming to his head, "Was it you who took over my body and helped me escape Eradicus?"
"Not entirely. I merely tapped into the Living Force inside of you" Qui-Gon answered, "You wouldn't have survived if I hadn't."
Haduun nodded in understanding. "Why does the Force want me to go to Cholganna?"
"In your memories, you always see a man with an arm in a sling." Qui-Gon answered in a sagely tone, "The Force has something special in store for you. But to achieve your destiny, you must trust it."
Haduun slowly nodded. It kind of made sense, but there were still a few things he had to sort out. "How did I lose my memories?"
"It is not my place to tell you." Qui-Gon answered, "But I am sure it will come to you in time. I trust that you understand?"
"Yeah." Haduun answered, "But who is the man who was training me? Is he even alive?"
There was a brief pause as Qui-Gon asked the Force the same question. An answer came soon enough. "He is the Jedi Master, Nasua Zerda."
"Nasua Zerda…" Haduun said to himself, committing the name to memory, "But how is he important to this?"
"I am afraid that will be up to the Force." Qui-Gon answered, "Be patient, young Jedi. The Force will not let you down."
Haduun was quiet for a long time. But when he spoke again, he asked, "My last question is…will I live when this is over?"
"I don't know." Qui-Gon answered truthfully, "The Force doesn't tell the future to all, only what is the right thing to do."
A shudder ran through Haduun's body, but when it cleared, he knew what had to be done. "I understand. Thank you."
Qui-Gon gave an affectionate smile, then ordered, "Go, and make haste. We don't have much time."
Haduun's eyes opened at the exact same time, no blinking or wincing. Slowly, he made his way towards the ship's cockpit.
"Voice command." Haduun ordered, taking a seat in the pilot chair.
"That's me." It said in a cool, male voice.
"Set a course for Cholganna." He ordered.
"Oh sure. It's alright for you." The voice command said, sarcastically, "You've got a lightsaber and what do I have? A shiny surface, that's what."
Just before going into hyperspace jump, the voice command gave a credible reproduction of a sigh, then muttered, "I'm going to MALFUNCTION…"
Haduun walked out of the Solar Phoenix and set foot on the grassy landscape of one of Cholganna's grasslands. Cholganna was a lush world, full of plants and animals of every shape and size. Finding something here would be ANYTHING but easy. Before he could even change his mind, Haduun dashed out into the jungle, ready for whatever awaited him.
A few minutes of running, and Haduun slowed to a stop and tried to regain his breath. Something rustled in the bushes and Haduun's lightsaber found his hand in an instant. Haduun squinted at the place where he heard the noise, his whole body tense with caution. Just as he was about to move on, his caution was confirmed when something jumped at him from the undergrowth with a snarl. With lightning-fast reflexes, Haduun stepped to the side and slashed at his attacker. Haduun heard a yelp from the figure, and a second later, heard it hit the ground. Haduun turned around and saw that it was a Nexu: a catlike predator with quills, a wide mouth, claws, and six eyes that could see infrared. The nexu had a slash wound on its belly and lay sprawled out on the ground.
Remembering that nexus lived in packs, and in rather large numbers for that fact, Haduun moved quickly away from the kill. He had only moved a few feet away from the dead beast when he heard more yelps similar to the one he killed. He searched the area, trying to find where the noise was coming from. He moved aside a few bushes to see a man, the same man from his visions, killing nexus with deadly precision. He still had the arm in a sling, and was wielding a purple lightsaber with his free hand. His robe, however, was tattered, and he had a knot of hair tied up at the back of his head. Three nexus still remained and had encircled him, snarling hungrily. Haduun felt that the Jedi Master had it under control, so he didn't interfere.
In just one second, faster than Haduun could blink, all three Nexus pounced. The next second, all three Nexus were on the ground at the man's feet, never to rise again…and in pieces. However, Haduun had seen what had happened: the man had killed them all by simply spinning in a circle, and a fan of purple plasma had sheared right through them.
Haduun moved closer and a twig snapped under his foot. Quick as a flash, the dark-skinned man jumped at the place where Haduun was standing and slid his lightsaber in between the bushes. The lightsaber hung a few inches from Haduun's face.
"Show yourself…" The man's deep, powerful voice had a demanding note ringing in it.
Haduun slowly stood, the man's lightsaber following his movement. When he stood at full height, he said, "Alright. Here I am. Now, are you going to kill me?"
"Tell me who you are right now, or I just might…" The master said, his lightsaber still in hand. The man took in Haduun's face and hair, then stared at him in shock. When he spoke again, his voice was almost trembling. "It can't be…" The man lowered his lightsaber. "HADUUN?!"
Haduun nodded, then asked, "Wait, how do you know my name?"
The man ignored his question with one of his own. "How did you survive?"
Haduun, deciding to go with the flow, answered, "I don't know."
"YOU DON'T KNOW?!" the man asked in surprise.
Haduun nodded, then hung his head slightly. "I'm afraid I've…lost some of my memories."
"Even of me?"
Haduun nodded again. "I only remember a few fragments…but I know I've seen you before."
The man nodded with slight approval, then clipped his lightsaber back to his belt. "Well, then, allow me to reintroduce myself. I am Jedi Master…"
"Nasua Zerda." Haduun finished.
Master Zerda paused, then nodded slowly as he put his free finger to his chin. "Yes. But, why, pray tell, are you here?"
"I've been looking for you." Haduun answered, "I want you to come with me."
Nasua shook his head, somewhat-sorrowfully, "It's too late for that now."
Haduun took a step back in surprise. "WHAT?" he asked, "But someone said you could help. We need your help to bring peace back to the galaxy. I need your help to KILL him!"
Nasua raised a brow, causing a tan scar over his eyebrow to move slightly. "To kill who or what?" he asked, "There's a lot of scum that the galaxy wants dead."
"There are two in particular." Haduun answered, "One's named Necros, and the other is Darth Eradicus."
Nasua shook his head again. "Again, it's too late for action now." He looked Haduun in the eye, then growled, "I have raided Necros' supply line, killed off battalions of his troops, and even helped wipe out his star fleets. But still he spread across the galaxy like a plague, coming back stronger than ever." He raised his face to look down on Haduun and added, "As for Eradicus, I'm afraid I can't help you."
"Why not?" Haduun asked, sternly.
"I FOUGHT Eradicus and I lost." Nasua answered, "And it's because of me that the Jedi Order lost their war with the Sith!"
"How did this happen?" Haduun asked. On receiving no answer, he ordered in a sharp bark, "TELL ME!"
Nasua didn't flinch, then answered, "I was the only one who could stand up to Eradicus. And after he wounded me, I ran." Master Zerda's teeth were clenched, and he put more emphasis in "ran". After letting the words sink in, Zerda continued, "Ran, like a coward. That's all I am now, a coward who hides in the jungle, waiting for the day of his death."
Haduun remained stern, then pointed out, "The Force directed me here to find you. It wanted me to find you and bring this galaxy to justice."
Nasua kept his own stone-cold look, then pointed with his right hand. "Go."
"I'm not leaving without you." Haduun growled back, "The Sith are spreading throughout the galaxy, and I can't fight him alone. I need, the whole GALAXY needs YOUR HELP!"
"I already told you it's too late." Nasua filled in, "No one needs me. I failed them before, what makes you think I won't fail again?"
Haduun gave Master Zerda one last piercing glare, then huffed. "Fine. Stay in this forest till you die. Act like a coward for the rest of your life while the galaxy suffers at the hands of Eradicus AND Necros." He turned his back on Master Zerda, then said, "I thought you could help us…but now it's apparent that this is my duty."
Haduun stalked off into the jungle depths, his lightsaber in hand…just in case a nexu got cocky. However, right behind him, Nasua Zerda seemed to give this a thought and chuckled to himself. "Boy's got spirit. I'll give him that…"
Haduun arrived at the Solar Phoenix, right where he left it when he landed on this lush world. The ship lowered its bridge and Haduun walked in.
"Voice Command, set a course Utapau." The Jedi said, in almost a growl.
Voice Command seemed to recognize this tone, because it matched him with sarcasm. "Well, 'hello' to you, too. Is this how you treat ALL your computers?"
"I said 'UTAPAU'!"
Voice Command would have flinched if it was human. "Ouch. Why do you shout so much?"
IJ walked up to Haduun, the droid cocking its head in curiosity. "Haduun? What's the voice command done THIS time?"
"Have I really become THAT predictable?" Voice Command asked.
Haduun sighed. "Oh, it's nothing." He admitted, disdainfully, "Just that the person I just came for didn't want to come."
IR-JK walked into the room at that time, then asked, "You came because of another Jedi?" IJ actually sounded amazed.
"Master Nasua Zerda," Haduun said with a nod, "But it doesn't matter now. He won't come."
"Nasua Zerda?" IJ asked, "You mean the Jedi Grandmaster?"
"Excuse me, Haduun?" the voice command asked, "I'm afraid I'm unable to take off."
Haduun sighed. "Whatever it is, just take off."
"I'm not joking this time." Voice command deadpanned, "My thrusters are on full capacity and yet I can't move an inch above the ground. Watch."
The thrusters of the ship hit full power, but all the ship did was buck violently. Anyone not secured in their seats, like IR-JK, was knocked off their feet.
Haduun had a sudden thought as the engines slowed and all things returned to normal. "Maybe…"
Haduun walked over to the viewport and saw that Nasua Zerda was using the Force to hold them down. "Open the drawbridge."
Voice Command heaved a sigh. "I need a vacation one of these days."
The drawbridge opened up and Nasua stepped inside to meet Haduun. "That offer of yours still up?"
"Thought you didn't want to come." Haduun suggested.
"What you said to me, boy…it changed me." Nasua answered, "For the last ten years, I've hidden in the jungle. But your spirit has given me reason to fight again." He gave Haduun a clap on the shoulder, then asked, "So what do you say? Should we send this Sith packing?"
Haduun smirked at the Jedi Master. "Thought you'd never ask."
Suddenly, Natthan walked in. "Hey, Haduun, what was that force that knocked me out of my…" Natthan paused at the sight of Master Zerda. "ANOTHER JEDI?!" he asked, wide-eyed, "Will the universe ever run out of tricks?"
"Don't think so." Haduun answered, "Especially considering that my sister has Force powers too."
Natthan stammered something about the Force, then promptly fainted on the spot. Nasua, however, asked, "Your sister?"
"Yeah, her name is Alleina." Haduun filled in, "So, ready to go yet?"
"You know I am." Zerda filled in.
"I was talking to the Voice Command." Haduun pointed out.
"Specify next time." The voice command ordered, "Achieving lift-off…no thanks to that Jedi."
The ship jumped into a Hyperspace jump and came to a halt in the atmosphere of the semi-desert planet of Utapau.
Haduun was about to step out when Nasua stopped him with one hand. "No, Haduun. We're all coming."
Natthan stood up, nodding in agreement. "Yeah. The more of us go through, the better chance we have of this working."
"I agree, too, master." IJ said, before promptly saying, "Well, be sure to get back safely. I'll just wait here."
Haduun thought it over quick, then said, "I'm including you, too, IJ."
IR-JK froze in place, then put a hand on his "mouth" and shouted, "WHAT?! But you saw how Eradicus virtually turned me into scrap metal!"
"I know that, but you are also equipped with medical skills." Haduun countered, "So you will help the injured in any way you can."
IJ came as close to a sigh as a droid can get, then asked, "But, what about Necros? Won't he try to kill us all?"
"You see, that's where we lucked out." Natthan said, holding up a finger, "I just got news that he left for Tatooine: some business with the Hutts."
"Excellent." Zerda said, proudly, "With him out of the way, we can sneak in without him detecting us."
"But we still have to worry about Lethalis…" Natthan pointed out, "Necros' right-hand man, and top assassin."
"Bring your troops, too, Natthan." Haduun advised.
"Don't worry." Natthan assured him, "We were planning on it."
When the Solar Phoenix landed on one of the lower areas of the massive sinkhole cities of Utapau, the troops stealthily exited, being very sure to keep a low profile.
"Alright, Haduun, you go in the main entryway and get the attention of as many soldiers as you can." Natthan said, putting his military skills to the test, "The rest of us will be free the prisoners, along with the rest of the pilots and ship crew. We'll need Nasua, just in case any of the guards attempt to kill us."
"You've got yourself a deal." Nasua said, his right hand hidden behind his back.
"Hmm. Large chance of death, and a small chance of success." Haduun said, weighing the odds, "But it's better than nothing…Let's go."
Nasua shook Haduun's hand with a strong, firm grip. "Good luck, Haduun."
"Same to you, and more of it, Nasua." Haduun said, nodding back at him.
The two parties went their separate ways: Haduun went into the main tunnel while the rest of the group went down a side tunnel. The first attempt at saving the galaxy was now in hand.
Haduun stealthily made his way through the tunnels until he came into a giant room with mechanics working on ships and guards searching the area for anything out-of-the-ordinary. Haduun paused, then ducked into the doorway. He then prepared for something he had never done before. During all of the battles Haduun had ever fought in, he had never struck first. He considered it a way of honor, but the current situation was different: he needed to strike first if he was to be successful.
Haduun gathered all his force energy in his hands, then turned it into a Force Push. With a flex of his arms, he sent it at the mechanics and the guards. He was surprised on how much damage it made and how powerful it was. It wasn't just a pulse that only got everything in its way as Haduun meant it to be. The pulse was a shockwave that sent everything flying through the air from living beings to pieces of the walls.
Haduun almost collapsed from the experience: the Force allowed him to sense living things and to sense them all evaporate was devastating. He shook it out of his head, getting to his feet in seconds.
"Great."Haduun thought to himself, "I gotta get out of here before I get…" he froze as he reached a doorway…someone was there to meet him. "Caught."
"A Jedi?" the being in the door asked.
Haduun looked up to see the same Barabel that was with Necros. He had just arrived at the door, his needle-like teeth clenched.
"Lethalis?" Haduun said, keeping a wary eye on this lizard.
The Barabel halted and paused, he had to admit he was curious. Eventually, he went along with it. "Yes." He answered, "Let me guess…You got that information from these people?"
Lethalis stepped to the side and showed Haduun that Natthan, Nasua, and Kamall (Although Haduun has no idea who she is) were captured and were bound together.
"What happened?" Haduun asked in surprise.
"I don't know." Natthan answered, trying to shake the cobwebs from his head, "One minute, we were freeing our leader Kamall Zathur…" Natthan nodded towards the woman to emphasize his point. "Next minute, it turned pitch-black and we were brought here."
Lethalis is a Barabel, so night vision is his specialty…not surprised. Haduun pulled out his lightsaber and a bar of blue plasma erupted from his fist.
If Lethalis was supposed to be impressed, he wasn't. "Well, let's see how good you are, Jedi." Lethalis hissed, reaching for the handle of a blaster, "It's always fun to watch a Jedi die."
Lethalis quickly pulled out the blaster and fired a burst of red energy at Haduun. Haduun blocked the oncoming bolt with ease, however the Barabel simply kept moving. Unlike some of the duller beings that Haduun faced, Lethalis knew better than to stay in one place. He would leap aside as bolts were reflected back at him, often springing off walls dashed at him and shot a few more times. Haduun blocked all of them and charged at Lethalis and was prepared to slice his arm off. However the Barabel jumped over him and did a forward flip in the air, blaster still in hand. While he was still airborne, right above Haduun, and upside down, he shot at him again.
This situation would have killed any normal person, but Haduun was far from a normal person. Haduun quickly stopped and spun his lightsaber through the air above him. The result was that he sliced the blasters in half with his lightsaber. Lethalis landed on the other side of Haduun and looked at his now useless blasters, which had barrels that ended in red-hot molten metal.
Lethalis tossed the remnants of his blasters away and Haduun advanced. The Jedi was about to slice the Barabel's head off with his lightsaber, when Lethalis put his hand forward and Haduun went flying back several feet.
When Haduun skidded on his back, he realized what this beast had just done. He got back to his feet, then turned towards Natthan and the others. "YOU DIDN'T TELL ME HE WAS A SITH LORD WHY?!"
Natthan shrugged. "I thought that if you knew, you wouldn't come."
Haduun suddenly felt betrayed by Natthan, but right now, he didn't have time to stop and shout at him some more. Lethalis had spread his hands out like claws. "Oh well…" the reptile hissed, "Secret's out."
Two lightsaber hilts unclipped themselves from his belt and into his hands and hissed to life in bursts of crimson energy. The lightsabers were abnormally small: about half the length of his lightsaber. Haduun recognized these weapons as lightdaggers: weapons built specially for close-range combat. Haduun suddenly realized what kind of danger he was in: the length of Lethalis' blades would involve very close combat, and the chances of being stabbed had increased dramatically.
Lethalis sprang like a predator, surprising Haduun with such amazing speed and agility, and landed less than two meters away from the Jedi. Lethalis struck at Haduun with the lightdaggers, ready to plunge them into the Jedi's body and end the fight there and then. Haduun blocked one lightdagger with his lightsaber and stopped Lethalis' other hand with the Force. Suddenly, Haduun's Force grip failed and he flipped backward to avoid losing a limb. When he did land, Lethalis was there to meet him again and Haduun raised his lightsaber to block one lightdagger, spinning in a kind of pirouette to block the other. At such close range, combat was difficult with Haduun's longer weapon, whereas the shorter weapons of Lethalis provided better mobility.
Lethalis advanced, each step an attack and each attack a step, and his lightdaggers were no more than scarlet fans of energy. Both locked blades, pushing against each other as hard as they could, their lightsabers crackling. Haduun spun, forcing Lethalis away, then used the Force to push the lizard-like being backward. Lethalis flipped in midair and landed on his feet. Haduun, however, whipped around and used the Force to free the prisoners.
"Natthan! Get everyone out of here!" Haduun ordered.
Natthan nodded, then beckoned for everyone to follow. They did without question.
Haduun was about to turn around to face Lethalis again when Nasua stuck his hand in front of him. "I'll handle this." The Jedi Master assured him, "It's been a long time since I fought a Sith Lord, I'll have to remember what it feels like."
Master Zerda pulled out his lightsaber as Lethalis stalked towards them and a blade of Amethyst energy met the lizard, narrowly burning a hole in his forehead. "TWO JEDI?!" Lethalis said in surprise.
Nasua smiled. "You got off easy with Haduun." He pointed out, "You won't get the same pleasure from me." Lethalis snarled and dashed at Haduun, however Nasua grabbed him with the force and threw the Barabel back to the ground. "If you're so powerful, then why leave?" he asked
Lethalis staggered back to his feet and emitted a hiss-like growl at the Jedi. "You ran from us before, Jedi. What makes you so sure you won't do it again?"
Lethalis jumped up and slashed at Nasua with a lightdagger, Nasua blocked it with inhuman speed. Lightning crackled between them until both went into a momentary retreat. "Go, free the prisoners, Haduun!" Nasua barked, "He's all mine!"
Lethalis remained a good distance from Nasua, then pulled out a small metal bar on his belt. "There are over three thousand guards in this facility," Lethalis hissed, "All of which are supposed to go and protect the prisoners from intruders if I press this button." Lethalis' smile widened as he pressed the button at the top of the bar. Since no sound came, it had to be the silent alarm.
Nasua turned on Haduun. "Quickly!"
Haduun didn't need to be told twice: he made for the tunnel, running into the escaped prisoners along the way. There were still a few prisoners left to release, after all.
The platinum-blonde woman, Kamall, turned to look at Haduun as they ran. "Who are you?"
"A friend." Haduun answered, "That's all I can tell you for now."
Haduun saw a long line of prison cells down the tunnel, all of which were locked and Haduun also saw that a large crowd of creatures were hurrying down the tunnel, blaster rifles at the ready.
"YOU!" Kamall said, catching Haduun's eye in an instant, "YOU'RE the Jedi! DO SOMETHING!"
Haduun paused, then took a deep breath and closed his eyes as he focused all his Force powers on one thing. Haduun achieved something that day that no other Jedi or Sith had ever done before. He moved so fast that everything around him appeared to have stopped…even the blaster bolts. Haduun opened his eyes and to his amazement he saw what he had achieved. Haduun took his lightsaber and gently tapped one of the blaster bolts with it. The blaster bolt crackled and disappeared in an instant. Haduun set to business there and then. He had no time to examine what he had done, for he knew that time was slipping.
Haduun took out all the blaster bolts just as the Force Speed wore off and the guards stared in awe that he had moved so fast. Haduun used the Force again to push the stunned guards farther down the tunnel. With another flick of the Force, the locks of the prison cells released.
"There's no time to explain." Haduun said, urgently, "JUST GET TO YOUR SHIPS!"
The prisoners didn't seem to want to disagree on the matter, for they ran towards the port without question. Haduun turned his head towards Kamall, he noticed that she was around Natthan's age and was avoiding Natthan's gaze.
"Let's get to my ship." Haduun advised, "There should be room for a few troops."
Haduun turned around to see Nasua. "Lethalis ran away from me." The Jedi Grandmaster explained, "I couldn't catch him, the slippery little reptile that he is. Now, let's leave before Necros returns."
Haduun nodded, then led the way to the Solar Phoenix and they ran inside. "Voice Command." Haduun ordered.
"Yes? I'm your ever-lasting servant, I have no will of my own…no will of my own." Voice command said in a mock-robotic voice.
"Cut the sarcasm and get us out of here before you get turned to scrap metal." Haduun ordered.
"Care to make a specification?" Voice command asked, "I would like to know where you're going."
Haduun was getting impatient with the Voice Command as he always did. "I don't care where, just get us out of here."
"Okay. But don't complain." Voice command said in a warning voice.
As the ship rose from the ground, Haduun turned his attention towards the viewport. He saw exactly what he wanted to see: a huge number of airships rising from the ground as well. Haduun was impressed with the number of ships, along with the rather large ship in the front. If they were meeting somewhere, he wanted to be a part of it and fight for the Republic's freedom.
Haduun suddenly felt a strange presence somewhere far away. It didn't feel like any other darkness he had ever felt before. It felt like something confused…lost, even.
IJ appeared next to Haduun. "Ah, Master. Thank the maker you're alive!" he said, his hand over his non-existent heart.
Haduun gave his droid a strange look, then asked, "Where were you during all this?"
IR-JK cocked his head to one side. "You know, it's the strangest thing." IJ said, plainly, "I was helping a girl who had sprained her ankle."
Haduun raised a brow. "Girl?" he asked, "What did she look like?"
"She looked amazingly like Alleina…only in Jedi Robes." IJ answered, pretty much clueless on the whole thing.
Haduun's face tightened slightly. "Wait here just a minute, please." Haduun used the Force to search the ship and found someone huddled in the cargo hold. Stowaways…he thought.
Haduun walked over to the cargo hold and with a wave of his hand, opened it with the Force. Just as he suspected, there was Alleina in brown robes and with a guilty smile on her face. "Umm…Hi?" she said, waving nervously.
Haduun gave her a look of sternness mixed with confusion. "Alleina? How'd you get on board? More importantly, how long have you been on the ship?"
"To answer your questions, I used a spare ship on Polis Massa to track you." She answered, "And I've been on here since your trip to the Jedi Temple."
Haduun beckoned for her to come forward. "Get out of the storage." He said. He wasn't angry, just prompting her out.
Alleina walked out, and Haduun noticed that she had a small limp in her leg. "Where'd you get those robes, and what happened to your leg?" Haduun asked.
Alleina looked down at what she was wearing, then shrugged. "I just…found these in your room back on Naboo. They were my size and you didn't use them anymore, so I figured 'why not'? And for my leg…I took a bad step, but that droid you made is a miracle worker."
Haduun folded his arms across his chest. "Now, you realize that if I was father, I'd shout at you."
Alleina held up her index finger and said, "Ah. But, you're not dad."
"True. But while I'm happy you are here, you must realize that you're in danger here." Haduun said, seriously.
"I know…" Alleina said, solemnly, "But I want to restore the Republic. I was only little, but I remember what it was like before."
"Voice Command, I thought I told you to get us OUT OF HERE!" Haduun said, taking his attention off his sister for the moment.
"If you are still not sure of destination, may I suggest following the Rogue Crusaders?" Voice Command asked.
Haduun cursed himself for not asking that sooner, then said, "Yes. Just follow them."
"Okay." Voice Command said, nodding if it had a head, "Just don't shout at me if we go somewhere horrible."
Haduun walked towards a window and suddenly felt that strange presence: a confused shadow was out there. Alleina walked over and noticed her brother. "What?"
Haduun shook his head slightly, trying to make sense of what was going on in his head. "I sense a dark presence out there…"
"Eradicus?" Alleina asked, remembering the Sith Lord all-too-well.
Haduun shook his head, this time to answer Alleina's question. "No. It's someone else." Turning to his inner mind, he thought to himself, But it's not quite the shadow I expected. It's…lost…confused…scared, possibly.
Meanwhile, back on the planet Utapau, Necros was standing in front of Lethalis and a wolf-like Shistavanen alien. Necros had his back turned to them, staring out at the massive sinkhole.
"Let me put this to you as delicately as I can…" Necros paused a second, fingering something on his belt. "You're all…A BUNCH OF USELESS WORMS!"
Necros turned around and suddenly pulled out a blaster. Before anyone could say anything, the black Trandoshan shot the Shistavanen in the face…it was dead in an instant.
Necros turned his attention towards Lethalis, rage in the Trandoshan's eyes. "WHY DIDN'T YOU STOP THEM?!"
"There were two Jedi there, my master." Lethalis hissed in response, "I was outnumbered…"
"TWO Jedi?" Necros snorted. "Is that all? I've taken on Jedi and killed them all on the same occasion. So, DON'T say you're outclassed by two Jedi and then call it quits."
"I knew it." Another voice exclaimed, "I've finally found you…Darth Necros."
Necros turned towards the figure who had spoken and found that it was none other than Eradicus. The other Dark Lord had his helmet on, whereas Necros examined him looking a little skeptical.
In the end, Necros growled, "Sorry, bub, but this is a private meeting and you're not invited."
"I know." Eradicus said, casually walking closer to Necros.
Necros fingered something on his belt, then snarled, "You're dead meat, punk: thinkin' you can just walk in here."
Eradicus cocked his head to the side slightly, then asked, "Am I? And why, pray tell, is that?"
"Because according to the law of Darth Bane, the founder of the new Sith Order, there are only supposed to be two Sith Lords at a time." Necros growled, pointing his enlarged middle finger at Eradicus, "You broke the law of Bane, so beat it!"
Eradicus shook his head. "Quite the opposite. I'm afraid that it is you who broke that law, not me." Eradicus reached out with the Force and proceeded to lift Necros up off the ground. "I was here first, weakling, not you."
Necros showed no fear when caught in Eradicus' hold, but merely broke his Force grip, and shot Sith Lightning on Eradicus. Eradicus caught it using the Force with one hand and lifted Lethalis up off the ground with the other. Necros raised a brow, then his lightning died down, and just as he suspected, Eradicus did not lower the Barabel.
Lethalis tried escaping Eradicus' Force Grip by using his own Force powers, but it was apparent that Eradicus was MUCH stronger than Lethalis. Lethalis didn't even lower in the slightest.
"What do you want?" Necros asked, his eyes narrowing.
Eradicus raised a brow under his helmet, then released Lethalis, who in turn fell to the floor. As Lethalis took a good lung full of air, Eradicus answered, "All I want are a few lightsaber crystals."
Lethalis stood to his full height once more, then asked, "Now what do you want with a few jewels?"
Eradicus whirled on Lethalis and barked, "SILENCE!" Once Lethalis backed down with a hiss, Eradicus turned back to Necros. "To get back to business, I want lightsaber crystals for my own reasons. And I believe I can help you with your Jedi problem. I know the first one is Haduun Jaal. The second one is a guess, but it could be Jedi Grandmaster Nasua Zerda."
Necros fingered his scaly chin, then spat on the floor and asked, "How 'bout we make a deal?" He nicked something from his teeth, then asked, "You kill one of these two Jedi and I will give you one of my crystals." Necros could feel Eradicus' sense of amusement, then held out his three-fingered hand. "So…do we have a deal?"
Eradicus looked at the Trandoshan's clawed hand, then said, "We have a deal. Pardon me if I don't shake your hand, but I'm not foolish."
Necros nodded slightly. "You are good. Now, when can I expect one of those Jedi to die?"
"My apprentice has gone to go kill the Jedi Haduun Jaal right now." Eradicus answered.
Lethalis hissed through clenched teeth as he spoke. "How do we know you're not lying?"
Eradicus turned to the Barabel, then answered, "Because I'm a man of my word."
Necros scoffed, then pointed his enlarged finger at Eradicus. "You're a liar on both accounts, y'know that?" he asked, "One: I know that if you're a Sith, so 'a man of your word' means nothing to me. And secondly, you aren't a man…not human anyway."
"Well, you can either trust ME to kill these Jedi, or you can trust your apprentice." Eradicus said, gesturing to Lethalis, who growled in fury. A look from Necros was enough to make him back down, though. "Now, I must leave for…personal matters. I will return when my apprentice contacts me."
Eradicus then left Necros and Lethalis in the dark cavern, awaiting the day his apprentice would contact him.
So what did you think? Now please read and review.
P.S. Stay INSANE!
P.S.S. The seventh chapter will be called Light vs. Dark? (Only use questioning tone on dark)