Patriot-112: Hey everyone! I'm back, and I got a new chapter for Star Wars: The 26th. And with me is my co-author, 11Jorn!
117Jorn: Yo! About time we got back to this.
Patriot-112: I know. So now, everyone, enjoy the show
Disclaimer: Star Wars, Clone Troopers, and Mandalorians are property of Lucas Arts. Only Ne'tra Kad, the 26th AIB, and Marik Mereel Orar are mine.
"The 26th Battalion's first mission, was to be part of an operation in the Karthakk System, which was to take out the Remnants of a Merc Squadron, who were attempting to rebuild a fleet capable of using Hex Weapons, which was destroyed over Geonosis the previous year. It was also Commander Xiss' first experience as a pilot," - Clone Lieutenant of the 26th Battalion on the Second Battle of Nod Kartha.
4 weeks after leaving Coruscant
Marik sighed as he was sharpening one of his vibro-knives. Sleeping in the bed behind him was his best friend, aside from Revan, his silver furred Corellian sand panther, Mirdala.
It had been 4 weeks since they left Coruscant, and so far they had not seen any action as of yet. Needless to say, Marik was getting bored. And he was not the only one. The clone troopers were also itching for a fight, true they were happy they got a bit of a break after Jabiim, but they still wanted to kick the living tin out of the 'Tinnies'.
And it wasn't just from the Prosecutor, but everyone in the small fleet they were in from Clones to Ne'tra Kad Soldiers were all becoming very edgy about the lack of any actual orders.
'Really, we could take ANY Assignment at this rate,' Marik thought to himself. 'Hell, it could be a simple escort mission, but give us something to DO!'
It was at that moment a knock came at his door, waking up the sand panther who growled a bit at being woken up. Marik sighed and turned to the door.
"Yes?" he said and the door opened revealing Revan in his ARC Phase-I armor, with his helmet under his arm.
"Get your stuff together bro! We finally got a mission!" the Null ARC said as Marik's eyes widen as he dropped the knife.
"Please tell me you're not shitting me," he said, and the Clone could only grin.
"I shit you not," he said, "Come on, we gotta head to the bridge! Your girlfriend is already there, so hurry up!"
Marik nodded "Right, I'll be right- SHE'S NOT MY GIRLFRIEND!" He shouted the last part, as Revan just laughed as he ran away, dodging the knife Marik threw at him.
Later, on the Bridge
Marik and Revan stepped onto the bridge of the Prosecutor, where Zule and Orliss were already at standing around the holographic display, which was currently displaying the images of Calista, Kass, Mak, and John Cypher, who was a man who looked in his late 20's or early 30's with short blond hair and blue eyes, wearing Jedi Battle Armor (Similar to what Obi-wan wears in Clone Wars). There was also the image of Mace Windu as well.
"Good, now that we're all here we can begin." Mace said "Your mission is to reinforce Jedi Master Adi Gallia, in the Karthakk System. She has recently requested aid, and you are the closest unit available that we can send her way."
John was the first to speak, "What seems to be the problem, Master Windu?"
The Jedi Master then turned to John, as an image of a man with scars on the left side of his face appeared "Twelve hours ago, Master Gallia, along with a few of the local pirates that had helped us in the battle of Geonosis, have discovered remnants of the late Cavik Toth's Mercenary Army, the Saboath Squadron, along with Trade Federation Forces that survived attacks led by Captain Nym, the leader of the Lok Revenant pirates," he said as everyone looked at the image of the man as Mace continued, "Recently, the last remnants of Sabaoth and the Trade Federation have been forced back to the planet of Nod Kartha, however they requested for back up and additional Separatist forces have arrived in the system. Master Gallia and the Lok Revnants do not have the firepower to take them on alone, which is why they need your assistance. They also have reason to believe the Separatists may attempt to repair the old Trihexalon production facility, so to prevent a pandemic, we MUST act quickly."
Marik and the others nodded, knowing how close Trihexalon could have stopped the battle of Geonosis before it even began with the death of all Clone Troopers. "Understood, Master Windu," Zule said, "We will change course and head towards the Karthakk System."
"Good," Mace said with a nod, "Once you arrive, make contact with Master Gallia and the Lok Revenants for a coordinated attack. May the force be with you." and with that, he ended the transmission.
Marik sighed as the transmission ended, "Well, looks like the 26th's first mission is to stop the re-production of a weapon of mass destruction," he said as everyone nodded.
"I agree with you on that, Marik," said Calista, "I heard rumors of what Trihexalon could do to a sentient lifeform, and saw some recordings, and it's not a pretty sight," the female Mandalorian said with a shiver.
"Which is why we're going to put a stop to it, before they can build a Hex Deployer for them," John said with conviction.
Zule nodded "Right, then we'd better get going." She said turning to Orliss "Captain, set a course for the Karthakk System," She said, and the Captain nodded as he went to carry out those orders.
"Well, looks like our first mission is going to be rather interesting at least." Kass said, and Mak nodded "We'll set course as well, see you guys there." And soon the projector turned off and all of the images disappeared.
Not to long after that, the seven starships of the fleet changed their current course, and burst into Hyperspace towards the Karthakk system.
A few hours later
The seven ships of the fleet dropped out of hyperspace, and they were soon greeted by the sight of the Karthakk system, not to far from the planet Lok.
"Jump Complete, we've arrived in the Karthakk System." Captain Gillmunn said, and Zule nodded "Good," she said "Contact the Lok Revnants, let them know we've arrived."
"No need, their contacting us." The communications officer said, "I'm picking up a transmission from Lok Station, patching it through."
"This is Lok Station to approaching ships, please identify yourselves," a voice said and Gillmunn motioned for the officer to patch him through.
"This is Captain Orliss Gillmunn of the RAS Prosecutor," he said, "We're here at the request of Jedi Master Mace Windu, Jedi Master Adi Gallia is expecting us."
There was a short pause on the comm "That is confirmed, Miss Gallia has informed us to allow you to pass." The voice replied, "I will inform her and Nym of your arrival, your cleared for landing on Lok."
Gillmunn nodded "Thank you, we will send a shuttle down soon." He said as the transmission ended.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" Marik said as he clapped his hands "best not keep them waiting, let's grab a shuttle and get down there."
Zule looked at the Mandalorian with a quirked eyebrow, "You're eager," she said and the man just shrugged his shoulders.
"Got it from my mom," she said as the two, along with Revan, left the bridge, and Orliss sighed.
"Why do I get the feeling those two are going to give me more grey hairs than I already have?" he said, and glared as he heard a few of the bridge crew snicker.
A single Nu-class Attack Shuttle left the Prosecutor and headed towards Lok. Inside were Revan, Zule, Marik, and a Platoon's worth of Clone Troopers.
"So, what's your take on the Lok Revnants, Marik?" Zule asked, and Marik shrugged "Can't be sure to be honest," he said, "Their Pirates, that's true, but I've heard they only steal from people who can afford the loss, like the Trade Federation and Banking Clan. I'd say their one of the more honorable pirate groups out there, and I'd rather have them as friends than enemies."
The Padawan nodded at that, "True, I heard they had a run-in with Jango Fett, when he came for the bounty on one of their members. A Toydarian by the name of Reti, if I'm not mistaken," she said and saw the Mandalorian look down at that, and even she couldn't see his face because of his helmet, she could feel through the Force that he was upset about something.
"Hey, are you alright?" She asked, and Marik looked up "Hu? Oh, its nothing." He said, shaking his head "Just...some old memories is all."
Zule rose an eyebrow at that "About what? If you don't mind me asking." She asked, and Marik looked at her for a moment before he sighed "Well, I guess you'd find out eventually..." he said, "You see...I knew Jango Fett. In fact, he's the one who trained me on everything I know about fighting."
Zule was suprised by this, "Really? I didn't know that," she said.
"It's true," she turned and looked at Revan, "In fact, I trained alongside him back on Kamino. His mother was one of the Training Seargents that Jango summoned to train the Army, and the ARC Troopers. That's why me and the other Null-ARC's consider him a brother."
The Jedi Padawan nodded, and was about to respond before the pilot called out "We're entering Lok's atmosphere." He said, "We'll be at Nym's base in a few minutes. Master Gallia and Nym should be there to meet us."
Marik nodded at that, "Well, this is it," he said, as the shuttle headed toward the dome that was the Stronghold for Nym's Lok Revenants. Their shuttle as well as three others flew through the opened door and into the interior of the dome.
The shuttles soon landed at the central landing pad, which was surrounded by Starfighters, Bombers and shuttles that were being worked on by maintenance crews. Standing not to far from the landing pad waiting for them, were none other than Jedi Master Adi Gallia and a male Feeorin who Marik made the accurate guess was Nym.
Once their shuttle had landed, the doors opened and Marik, Revan and Zule were the first to step out.
When Nym saw people wearing Mandalorian Armor step out of the shuttle he immediatley looked at Adi with a stern look on his face.
"You didn't tell me that Mandalorians were coming here, Adi," He said gruffly as he continued to look at the people coming out of the shuttles, "Especially after what happened at Nod Kartha,"
The Jedi Master sighed at her friend's current discomfort, "I left that part out since I know you would disagree with them coming here," she said as Nym looked at her, "And you were right!" He said, "That one Bounty Hunter Jango nearly got Reti killed if Vana didn't arrive in time!"
"Jango Fett was just one Mandalorian Bounty Hunter, Nym." Adi countered, "Its no reason to hate every Mandalorian in the galaxy. If someone's friend were killed by a Feeorin, do you think they would hate all Feeorins in the galaxy?"
Though he hated to admit it, Nym knew Adi was right about that, so he just grumbled his agreement as Adi just rolled her eyes a bit as the three approached them.
"Master Gallia," Zule said as she and Marik bowed "Good to see you again."
Adi smiled as she bowed in return "Good to see you as well Zule," she said, "And I see your personality really has changed from what Mace told me."
Zule nodded at that, "Yes it has," she says and motioned to Marik, "You have to thank him for that. Though, he had to slap some sense into me," she said as a slight blush formed on her cheeks.
Adi turned to the Mandalorian and bowed to him, "It's an honor to meet you Commander Orar," she said, "I heard from Master Windu how you saved Zule back on Jabiim," she said as Marik nodded in greeting.
"Likewise, Master Gallia," he said and then turned to Nym and was a bit taken aback by the look the Feeorin was giving him.
"Uhh, Captain Nym, I presume?" he said a little intimidated by the glare he was sending his way.
"Ya, what about it?" The Pirate Captain responded, as Adi rolled her eyes again "Please excuse Nym's behavior, Marik." She said, "Not to long ago we had a run in with a Mandalorian Bounty Hunter, Jango Fett. He nearly killed an important member of our group shortly before the battle of Geonosis."
Marik winced at that, but he managed to compose himself "I understand," he said, and turned to Nym, "and I know saying sorry wouldn't cut it either, since he was my late teacher,"
That caught Nym and Adi off-guard, and said Feeorin growled a bit.
"You're right, it doesn't," he said, "But I know not to blame you and all your people for what Jango did,"
Marik sighed a bit, but Nym wasn't done.
"But let's get one thing straight here: This is MY System, I call the shots. You do what I say, when I say, got it?" he growled the last part, as he got into Marik's helmeted face.
"Crystal," the Mandalorian said, and the Pirate captain huffed before storming off to who knows where.
"Is he always like this?" Zule asked, and Adi sighed "For the most part, yes." she said, "But he's still a good leader. Just give him some time to trust you."
"Which is a long time," said a new voice and everyone turned and saw a woman wearing a modified Royal Naboo Pilot's uniform, with her flight helmet under her arm, "What's up? Name's Vana Sage, Mercenary Pilot and honorary member of the Lok Revenants,"
Marik smiled a bit "Glad to meet you," He said, "Marik Mereel-Orar, joint commander of the 26th Assault Infantry Battalion. This here, is Zule Xiss, who is also in joint command of our battalion. And that there is Revan, our second-in-command."
"Nice to meet you all," Vana said, "Look forward with working with you."
"Hey now! Don't forget about me!" everyone turned as Calista, along with a few of her men came up to them.
"Calista Shae of the Ne'tra Kad 12th Steel Hawks Regiment," the Mandalorian greeted, and Vana's eyebrow rose at that.
"Ne'tra Kad? Man, the Republic must be desperate if they're willing to hire a PMC like yours," she said, as Calista laughed.
"Well, apparently, after Hypori and now Jabiim, the Chancellor decided to hire us to replace their losses until new clones can be available," she explained.
"That's right, they also loaned a few of their ships for the Republic to use as well," Mak said, as he and Kass approached. "I'm Mak Lotor, and this here is Kass Tod, we're in command of the Mantis Company."
"And I, am John Cypher." Said the Jedi Ace "Commander of Demon Company onboard the Red Dawn." Vana looked at John with Shock and a bit of awe "No way, the legendary Jedi Starfighter Ace?" She asked, and John just grinned a bit "The one and only." He said, and couldn't help but smile, as he could see Vana go gaga.
"Wha...well...It's an honor to...uh...," she sputtered, which caused everyone in the room to laugh, and her to blush in embarassment.
"Easy there now, Miss Sage. No need to hurt yourself," he said, "Its a pleasure to meet you as well. If I recall correctly, weren't you involved in the battle of Naboo a few years back?"
"Y-Yea, me, Nym, Reti and Rhys teamed up back then." She answered, "After the Trade Federation was defeated, I helped rebuild the Royal Naboo Starfighter Corps after most of their pilots got killed attacking the Droid Control Ship,"
John nodded at that, "Yes, I read the report on that," he said, "In fact, I heard from many pilots of the Corps that they were inspired by you and Rhys to train harder so what had happened over ten years ago, will never happen again,"
Vana sighed at that "Yes, but it won't do much good either way." She said, "I can train them until the pilots are blue in the face, but it counts for nothing if their seriously out numbered like they were back then. If the queen would just agree to set up an actual Defense Force, we'd have a better chance at fighting off enemies like the Trade Federation and Separatist on our own."
"That's the exact same thing Blaze told me when he joined my crew," Calista said, perking Vana's interest "Wait, Blaze?" He asked, "As in Dax 'Blaze' Relan?"
"Why yes, do you know him?" Calista asked, and Vana nodded.
"Yeah, he was one of the new recruits I trained. Damn quick learner if I do say so myself," she said, "I haven't talked to him in ten years. Last time I heard about him he had a falling out with his parents,"
Calista nodded solemnly, "Yes, infact, he disowned them as his parents, because he was furious about the Naboo refusing to create an actual defense force after his brother was killed."
"So I've heard..." Vana said with a sigh "Oh well, anyways let's take you guys on a tour through the base before we have to report to the command center, sound ok?"
The others nodded and Vana lead the group throughout the Revenant Dome Base. Marik, in a sudden realization, made a quick call up to the Prosecutor, and asked Captain Gillmunn to bring a certain friend of his to the surface. Who that friend was anyone's guess, but they noticed Revan sigh a bit, since he knew the crew were going to have their hands full.
At the Rattatak System
Obi-wan Kenobi groaned in pain, still recovering from the last force lighting attack sent his way by his 'Interrogator' "I will ask again, Kenobi." Asajj Ventress hissed as she prepared for another attack. "You will tell me the Republic Troop Deployments I need to know, or we're going to do that again."
The Jedi Knight shook his head to get rid of the cob webs in his head. Clearly, Ventress was not holding back and was determined to get what she wanted. But Obi-Wan just looked at the Sith Acolyte with tired, but defiant eyes.
"Sorry, my dear. I'm afraid I can't tell you that, due to it being classified," he said, only to get shocked by Force Lightning again as he yelled in pain.
"Don't play games with me Jedi," she said venomously, "I'm only keeping you alive because my Master wants the information you have. And you are going to give it me,"
Obi-Wan panted as he tried to recover from the attack.
'Note to self. Don't ever say anything like that to her again,' he thought, and then looked over to his right and saw the suspended form of ARC Alpha-17, or more commony known as, Alpha. Obi-Wan had to admire the ARC Trooper. Ever since they capture on Jabiim and brought here, they both been subjected to ruthless interrogation, and so far, the Clone hadn't broken once.
"How about you?" Ventress said as she strode over to Alpha, "will you be more willing than your commander?"
Alpha just looked, and spit "Fuck you bitch." He muttered out, and Obi-wan couldn't tell if he was just being brave, or stupid.
Before Ventress could draw one of her lightsabers, the sounds of blaster fire and explosions were heard outside the the room.
"What is going on?" the Acolyte demanded, and an OOM droid answered.
"Uhh, apparently we're under attack, Mistress," the droid said.
"What?" Ventress shouted, "By Who?"
Before the droid could answer, the doors to the interrogation room blasted open, and out popped four figures in Clone Commando Armor, and were soon followed by several individuals wearing Blue and White Mandalorian Shock Trooper Armor. The Troopers quickly opened fire at the defenders inside the room.
All except Ventress who escaped, through a secret passage.
"Area secured, General," said the lead Commando, as a figure dressed in a form-fitting female version of the same colored armor the others were wearing, but was also wearing a dark brown kama with a blue edge, and a lightsaber hilt was on her belt "But Ventress got away,"
"We'll get her next time, Mort." The woman said as she faced the two restrained men "Get those two freed." She said, and the men in Commando armor nodded as they moved to release them. "Obi-wan Kenobi..." She said as she approached them, removing her helmet "I was beginning to think you really did die back at Jabiim." When the helmet was off, it revealed a beautiful young woman with long brown hair tied into a pair of pony tails, which framed a pair of emerald green eyes, on the temples of her head where the famous Qukuuf tattoos of the Kiffar, "I'd hate to have to tell Siri that."
When Obi-wan saw the face, he couldn't help but chuckle "Telma...by the force your a sight for sore eyes," he said, as the two Commandos eased him up gently.
The woman, Telma Klos, chuckled at that, "Well, somebody had to save your sorry-ass," she said, and turned to the other two commandos who were helping Alpha up to his feet.
"You alright ARC Trooper?" she asked concernedly, while the ARC gave a thumbs up and a slight smile.
"Just fine. Though I could use some armor since the Seppies trashed mine," he said, and a voice came from behind Telma.
"I got ya covered," said another clone in a black version of the other's armor, but also wearing a Kama and a pauldron, "Not your usual ARC Trooper Armor, but it will do once you get a replacement,"
With that he and another clone trooper, placed two cases on the ground and opened them, revealing ARC Trooper-style Mandalorian Shock-trooper Armor in one, and in the other was an WESTAR M-5 Blaster Rifle, and a pair of DC-17 Hand Blasters.
Upon seeing the armor and weapons, Alpha grinned "This'll do quite nicely." He said as he began to put the armor on as fast as he could. While at the same time, Telma reached into her pocket, and pulled out a lightsaber and handed it to Obi-wan "I think you might need this." She said, as Obi-Wan took the weapon, a look of gratitude on his face.
"Thank you Telma, this will greatly help," he said and placed it on his belt.
"General Klos, lookouts report Clanker reinforcements heading toward the base," said one of the clones, and the Kiffar cursed to herself.
"To them to displace and head to the extraction point," she said as she placed her helmet back on her head, "We'll head there as well using the WLO-5 speeder tanks we found in the courtyard,"
She then activated her helmet comm. link, "Demo Team, status report," She said, "How are those charges going?"
There was a short pause "Almost done here," came the reply. "Just give us two minutes tops, and we're out of here!"
"Alright," Telma said, "We'll meet up with you outside. You just make it out of there before it blows."
"Hey! Remember who your talking to!" Came the reply as Telma rolled her eyes and turned off the Comm before turning to Obi-wan and Alpha, who was now wearing the full armor. "You two ready?" She asked.
Obi-Wan nodded, "Ready as I'll ever be," he said, while Alpha placed the Helmet of his new armor on his head.
"Ready to Lock 'n' Load," he said, as he placed the DC-17 blaster pistols in the holsters and lifted the WESTAR M-5.
Telma smiled at that, "Good, then let's go," she said and the group left the interrogation room and headed toward the courtyard, taking out any Battle droids they ran into along the way. They finally reached the courtyard where 7 Speeder Tanks were waiting, and Telma, Obi-Wan, and the Clone Troopers jumped on and high-tailed it out of there. Minutes later the base where Obi-Wan and Alpha spent 4 weeks of hell blew sky high.
By the time the Droid Reinforcements got there, all what was left of the base was the wall and main gate, and chisled into the steel was a message in Mando'a that said:
"To Dooku with love, from the 495th Legion!,"
Back at the Lok Revenants Base
The Commanders of the Republic/Ne'tra Kad fleet along with the leaders of the Lok Revenants were now gathered around a large holographic display, which was showing the planet Nod Kartha with its Separatist defenders. "As we all know, this is Nod Kartha." Adi said as she lead the briefing "After we defeated the Trade Federation and Saboath Squadron the first time around, they fell back to here. We at first thought we could take them on ourselves and finish them off, but they soon called for Reinforcements from the Separatists after the battle of Geonosis."
The image then focused on the fleet above the planet "Their defense fleet currently consists of two Lucrehulk-class Battleships, six Munificent-class Star Frigates, two Saboath Destroyers, and multiple Trade Federation Missile Frigates." She explained.
Marik looked at the Fleet of ships, with a calculative eye.
"Hmm, they got themselves set up nice and pretty," he said, "And I'm willing to bet they got a few other ships stationed nearby,"
Zule nodded at that, "That's a high possibility. Probably another of those Saboath Destroyers, and from what I heard about the Squadron, a couple of their frigates as well," she said, and Adi nodded.
"You're both right, they could have more ships nearby, ready to arrive if their main force needs back-up. It happened before," the Jedi Master said, remembering how the Squadron was notorius for having reinforcements arrive at a critical moment.
"I can have Blaze's squadron recon the whole area and locate them," Calista said, "If they find them, they'll let us know,"
Adi nodded at that "Very well." She said, before Marik spoke up.
"So what kind of Forces do you and the Mere Resistance have?" He asked.
"We have five Mere Heavy Cruisers, and three CR90 Corvettes." Vana answered. "We also have a few Freefall-class Bombers, G-400 Starfighters, and Sigil Starfighters. We've also got the Havoc, my Guardian Mantis, and Reti's Zoomer."
Marik nodded at that, "Good assortment of ships," he said, "And combine that with the Prosecutor, the Harbinger, the Mantis, the Red Dawn, and the three Marauder-class, that gives us 15 ships total,"
"Still, don't underestimate them kid," Nym said, "The Saboath Squadron are no slouches,"
"I know that," Marik countered, "Who's leading them?,"
Adi then pressed a few buttons, and soon a hologram of a man wearing a uniform that reminded the Jedi of the old Sith Imperial Army, stood at attention.
"Kraven Trask," Adi said, "During the initial occupation of the system, he was under the command of Toth and Lieutenant Bella, he was in charge of the first battle of Point Modie. When his commanders died, he assumed command of the Sabaoth Squadron Forces, and now he is in charge of the Separatist Forces as well. He is just as bad as Bella and Cavik combined, and has tactical knowledge on par with them as well."
Marik whistled at that, "Dang, Toth sure knows how to pick his people," he said and Adi nodded in agreement.
"Indeed, in fact, according to reports from our spies, he has a starfighter that matches the same fighter Toth used against me at Geonosis, and there is possibly a second one on his flagship, the Saboath Destroyer Accursed," she said, and Marik quirked an eyebrow behind his helmet.
"Hmm, can you bring up a schematic of the Saboath Destroyer?" he asked and everyone blinked in confusion at that, but Adi nodded and then brought up the holographic blueprints of said destroyer. As the Mandalorian studied the schematics, Revan decided to ask him.
"What are you planning, vod?" the Null-ARC asked, and Marik turned to him, and even though Revan didn't see it, he could feel the plotting smirk on the Senior Commander's face.
"Well bro," he said in tone that Revan all but recognized, "I have a mission for you, your armor works in Zero Gravity still, right?"
Revan blinked, "Yes, but what does that-" He said, before he cut himself off. He then grinned from under his helmet "Are you thinking..."
"Yes I am." Marik said with a nod, confusing the others as to what he was planning. "What do you think?"
"Its Crazy," Revan admitted, "But unfortunately for us all...I like Crazy."
Nym couldn't take as he asked the question that everyone was thinking.
"Will you guys tell us what you're planning?" he said in frustration, and the two surrogate brothers turned to him and although he couldn't see it, the two were grinning.
"What we have in mind, Captain Nym," Marik said, "Is that good ol' Kraven is about to have his flagship repossesed, due to not paying his bills,"
The Next Day
In Orbit of Maramere
After giving the approval for Revan and Marik's insane plan, the rest of the day was spent forming their strategy on how to take down the fleet. They had also sent Blaze's squadron to confirm weather or not the Separatists had reenforcement, and he came back with conformation that they had three Munificent-class Star Frigates, and another Sabaoth Destroyer in reserve in the dark side of the planet.
Now, the day after, the Lok Revenant Fleet, and the Republic/Ne'tra Kad fleet was now joined with the Mere Resistance fleet, preparing for the final adjustments before jumping into light speed.
Marik was on the bridge of the Prosecutor, watching as the countdown began for the jump to Hyperspace. Zule was standing next to him, thinking about the mission that Marik had given to Revan.
"I hope this crazy plan of yours works," the Falleen Jedi said, with clear nervousness in her voice. Marik just gave a smile.
"Revan knows what to do. He'll get the job done," he said, and before Zule could say more, the helmsman sounded off.
"Entering Hyperspace in 5...4...3...2...1!" with that, the stars turned into lines of light and the Combined fleet jumped to lightspeed toward Nod Kartha, to put an end to the threat of the Saboath Squadron, and the Hex Weapons, once and for all.
Obi-Wan gave a sigh of relief as he stepped out of the refresher after his rescue by Telma and her Legion.
After they left the CIS base, with said stronghold being blown up after they left, they made it to the Extraction point where they were picked up by a Theta-class Shuttle along a few Lartys and left the planet Rattatak, rejoining with the 495th Legion's Fleet hidden behind one of the planet's moons, and jumped to Hyperspace.
After dressing in his new Jedi Robes, the Jedi Knight, left his quarters on the Flagship of the 495th's fleet, the Venator-class Star Destroyer, Basilisk, and headed to talk with Telma, who was on the bridge.
As he headed there, he noticed that most of the Clones on the Basilisk were wearing Mandalorian Shock Trooper armor, most of them with Blue and White colors, while others had custom color schemes. This did not surprise Obi-wan, since he had already known of Telma's 'interests' in the Mandalorian Culture, and that she had specifically asked for the Clones she commanded to all be equipped with Mandalorian Shock Trooper armor in order to 'bring out the warrior within' as she put it.
As he reached the bridge, he saw the place was abuzz with activity. He saw Telma, with her Clone Second-in-Command, Tor'kad, by her side, and was giving orders, along with her Republic Navy counterpart, an Admiral from Telos IV named Tanis Onasi, a decendant of Republic War Hero from the Mandalorian Wars and Jedi Civil War, Carth Onasi.
Telma looked and noticed Obi-wan approach, and smiled "Good to see your up," she said. "How you feeling Obi-wan?"
"Better than I have in the last few weeks," Obi-wan said with a light chuckle "Also, thank you for the rescue."
"Eh, it was nothing." She said with a shrug "To be honest, it was by luck we intercepted that Separatist Communication from the planet, which held details about you and Alpha being prisoner there, and I wasn't about to leave you for dead."
Obi-Wan nodded in gratitude at that. Telma always looked out for her friends.
"So, what's happening here? Everyone's in a rush" he asked the Kiffar Jedi, who frowned a bit at that.
"I just got a Holo call from Master Windu," she said, and Obi-Wan could tell by the serious tone in her voice, it was serious.
"What's happened?" he said, now alert.
"Just recently, the Republic and Ne'tra Kad sent a fleet to the Karthakk system, to take our a Separatist Force on the planet Nod Kartha, who are trying to rebuild the Trihexalon Gas production facilities. They will be working with forces from the Mere Resistance and Lok Revenants, however Master Windu believes they need some additional help, so their sending us to give them a hand." Telma explained.
Obi-Wan blanched at that. He heard of the dangerous chemical from reading holo-books and the report from Adi after the Battle of Geonosis. To say the reason the Republic banned the weapon of mass destruction in the first place was no mystery.
He sighed tiredly as he knew there were incredibly insane people in the galaxy who would still use that despicable weapon.
"And I thought we saw the last of that accursed chemical when the Hex Fleet was destroyed over Geonosis," he said, and Telma nodded in agreement with him.
"I know, Obi-wan," she said. "Which is why we need to make sure they don't succeed in bringing the facilities back online, or get any of the Trihexalon they do make off planet." She then sighed a bit "Also, I know you and Alpha just broke out, but if you two could help us out in this mission, it would mean a lot."
"Telma, you don't even need to ask." Obi-wan said, "If you need my help, I'll gladly offer it. And I'm sure Alpha will be more than willing to help out as well."
Telma grinned at that, "I'm glad to hear it," she then turned to Tanis, "Admiral, tell the fleet to set course for the Karthakk System," she said, and Tanis grinned.
"You don't need to ask, Master Jedi," the Telosian said and gave orders to the helmsman to head for the system in order to reinforce their comrades. All the while, Obi-Wan had one thought to all this.
'I hope we get there in time,'
Back at the Karthakk System
Over Nod Kartha
The fleet of Separatist and Sabaoth warships remained in a stable formation in orbit around the planet's surface. On the bridge of the Accursed, Kraven Trask was currently in the middle of a conversation with the T-Series tactical droid who was on the surface. "TV-342, how much longer until the Hex Deployers and Missiles will be done?" Kraven asked, calmly.
"The first two Hex Deployers are at 48% Completion, commander." The Droid said in its electronic monotone voice. "Reports also show that we have completed 75 Hex Missiles, with more on the way. The Trihexalon Chemicals themselves almost complete as well."
Trask, hand clenched at that. The missiles and the Trihexalon are almost finished but the two Hex Deployers are only half-way done.
"Tell those fools to hurry up at once!" he ordered, "I will not fall behind schedule because of their incompentence!,"
The droid nodded and left to relay the order. The former Saboath Seargent-now-Commander then turned to the green planet below them. He remembered fighting the resistance here a year ago, and how he was almost killed when the Frigate he was assigned to was destroyed by that Jedi. Of course it was not the first time he cheated death, as he met the same fighter before at Maramere, and his fighter got damaged and crashed, while the rest of the task force was wiped out. He was later picked up by a Trade Federation sub and managed to rejoin his group, but was demoted by Toth, and sent to the Saboath Frigate Terrorizer.
This would actually be his saving grace, since the Terrorizer was not in the battle of Geonosis where Toth and a large part of the Sabaoth Squadron were destroyed by that same accursed Jedi Starfighter. With Trask being the highest ranking member of the Squadron left, he gained command of the entire force, and was promoted to a full commander by Count Dooku, and given the assignment to continue the Dragon's Breath Project, and bring Trihexalon back into play. He was also given command of a fleet of Separatist ships, to make up for the lost Sabaoth Squadron forces at Geonosis.
Honesty though, he'd much rather prefer living beings than droids. True, they could be built in huge numbers, and are capable workers. But Force forbid those B-1s and OOM-series droids are so dimwitted! He can tolerate the SBDs, Destroyer Droids and the Tatical Droids, but those two models are what gave him many headaches since they caused many accidents.
He was thankful that at least a majority of his starfighter pilots are sentient beings.
"Sir, I am picking up multiple ships emerging out of hyperspace." Came the voice of one of the officers on the bridge. "Identifying...Sir! Republic ships! Their Republic and Mere Ships!"
Trask's eyes widened before he cursed "Damnit, the Republic knows!" He hissed. "All hands battlestations! Get all fighters ready for launch, and arm all turbolasers!"
The crew immediately did what he said, and manned general quarters. Trask looked at the fleet in front of him. He could clearly make out the Mere Heavy cruisers and CR-90s of the local pirates, while he also recognized the dagger shaped hulls of the Republic ships.
And for some reason he could feel that the pilot of that starfighter was there.
He then turned to oe of the bridge crew.
"Have the hanger bay prepare one of the Toth Fighters. I'm going out as well," he ordered, and the crewman nodded as the XO took command, and Trask left the bridge for the hanger bay.
'If I see that Starfighter again...' he thought, with a dark glare in his eyes 'I'll kill him...I'll kill them all.'
Onboard the Prosecutor
"We arrived at Nod Kartha sir," said one of the Bridge Crew Officers, "The CIS fleet is positioned over the planet," Orliss nodded at that, and turned to Marik.
"Well Marik, it's showtime," he said, and the Mandalorian grinned.
"That it is Orliss," he said.
"Sir! They've spotted us!" said one of the Clone Officers, "Fighters are launchinng from the Lucrehulk-class battleships and the Saboath Destroyers!"
Marik's eyes narrow at that, "Well that's our que," he said and then turned to Zule, "You know how to pilot a fighter?" he asked, and the Padawan blinked.
"Yes, I've trained in the simulators," the Falleen said, "But I'm more of a ground-type fighter...why?"
"Well," Marik said, "I have my own Morningstar-B Starfighter, and seeing how you are lacking your own fighter, I would like you to pilot it."
Zule looked at Marik, surprised "Why do you want me to fly your Starfighter?" She asked, and Marik just grinned.
"Because I have a feeling that any future battles we might have with the Seps will be in space," he reasoned, "And I was thinking of you commanding the Battalion's starfighters. So, consider this your first battle as a Starfighter pilot,"
"But I just told you I'm a Ground Fighter, not a Star Fighter pilot!" Zule exclaimed, "I only know the basics in Starfighter combat, I've focused most of my time on my personal combat skills, not piloting skills!"
"Well, consider this a trial by fire," he said, clearly enjoying the look on her face.
"Are you even listening?" she asked, clearly annoyed.
"Yup! and I'm telling you I see potential in you being a Starfighter pilot," Marik said, "You just need to see it yourself. Well, I gotta go, have a war to win and all of that. See ya!" And with that, Marik dashed off, leaving a VERY irate Padawan standing there, while trying to keepher temper in check.
'I'm gonna kill him,' she thought, 'If it's the last thing I'm gonna do, I'll kill him,' she then sighed and left the bridge to the hanger bay.
Orliss meanwhile, just smiled in amusement.
'I can just tell those two will go far,' he thought to himself, 'That is if they don't kill each other first,'
In the hanger bay
Revan looked at the group he would be in command for his little mission to infiltrate the Accursed, which consisted of Xi's squad of Clone Troopers, and the Basilisk Team from the Harbinger as they stood next to their LAAT/i Gunship. "Alright, here is out mission." He said, "We're going to board the Sabaoth Destroyer Accursed. Our Larty here has had its IFF taken off, so it should give us some cover. Once we get close enough, we're going to ditch the ride, and enter the destroyer through one of the air locks."
The mixed group of Clones and Mandalorians nodded at that, until Spitfire spoke up.
"Uh, not to be rude or anything, sir, but what is it we're looking for on the Accursed?" he asked, and even though he couldn't see it, he felt Revan's devious grin.
"Oh it's not what's on the ship we're looking for. It's the ship itself we're after," he said, and everyone had a bug eyed look behind their helet visors.
"We're capturing a ship? No disrespect sir, but there only...," Digamma said as he began counting himself, Revan, and the rest of the team, "20 of us, and about thousands of them! It would be a suicide mission!"
"All we need to take is the bridge and engine room." Revan said, "We can then vacuum the rest of the ship, killing the crew, and the ship is ours. Of course we'll spare the Med Bay, because we don't kill men who can't fight back,"
Everyone nodded in agreement at that.
"Alright, let's get going then," Revan said and the boarding party got on the Larty and the Gunship left the hanger and positioned behind the wreckage of a Saboath Frigate that was destroyed the year before.
'And now,' Revan thought, 'We wait,'
Serenno, House Dooku
Count Dooku was sitting in his office at his personal house, reading through a list of reports. Just recently, his master had just told him of the formation of a new Clone Battalion. At first, Dooku was about to say it was nothing of concern, but then his Master told him that it was commanded by not just a Jedi, but also a Mandalorian.
Perking his interests, the count looked into the subject, and eventually found the file on Marik Mereel-Orar. As he read through the file on the young man, he became impressed with how he was related to the late Jaster Mereel, the adoptive father and teacher of Jango Fett. He read how Jango trained him as a ARC Trooper along with the other clones, and how he sees the Clones of the GAR as his own brothers. He watchd the holo-vid of Marik's speech, and had to admit, the boy had an amazing ability in inspiring others.
When he came upon the file of his duel with the Jabiimi Nationalist Leader, Alto Stratus, he saw hw the Mandalorian was able to keep up with the man in hand-to-hand combat.
Dooku would have to admit, the man showed tremendous potential. But he also realized that he could pose a threat to his and his master's plans, or at the least be an annoying nuisance. He must be dealt with as quickly as possible.
'But who to send?' he thought as he leaned back into his chair. He knew it couldn't be General Grevious, for he was too busy with his own missions. Ventress was also too busy, so she could not be sent. That left him with only a handful of possible commanders left to face Marik and the Slice Hounds.
But then, a name crossed his mind and he grinned. 'Of course,' he thought, 'What better way to defeat a Mandalorian Warrior...than with another?'
He then pressed the button for the intercom, "Have Chop'aa Notimo to report to me at once," he ordered and then released the button and stood up and looked outside at the beautiful landscape of his homeworld. Despie being a Sith Lord now, he loved his home with all his heart.
He then begin to think of his late Padawan, when he was still a Jedi, Qui-Gon. Despite what the Jedi Code said, he always saw his old Apprentice as the son he never had. He also knew of his love affair with Tahl.
Sighing, he silently wondered what Qui-gon would think of him now, his master now a Sith lord, vent on the destruction of the Republic. But it must be done, the Republic has grown too corrupt, just as his master has foretold. I must be demolished, and rebuilt from the ashes.
"You wish to see me Count?" Dooku turned and saw the man he requested. Dressed in his custom crimson Mandalorian armor over a black body suit, and a crimson kama, his helmet removed, and tucked under his left arm was the signature helmet, that made the Mandalorians so infamous, his head exposed showing a man in his mid thirties, his head bald and a trimmed moustache on his face. In his right hand was his signature twin pronged vibro-spear. Dooku nodded as he looked at the man.
"Yes," he said. "I have an assignment for you. As you may or may not have heard, a week ago a new Clone Battalion was formed after the battle of Jabiim."
"So?" Chop'aa asked, "Its just another Battalion, they shouldn't be that much of a threat."
"Normally yes," Dooku said, "However, what interests me is who commands the battalion, and I believe you will too. First, if a Jedi Padawan named Zule Xiss, a survivor of Jabiim. However she operates the battalion under the joint command of a Mandalorian Mercenary from Ne'tra Kad."
This little fact perked Chop'aa's interest "A Mandalorian?" He asked, and Dooku nodded "Yes," he said. "Have you heard of a man named Marik Mereel-Orar?"
That name made Chop'aa's eyebrows rise, "I heard of him alright," he said, "I also know a few of his exploits. At just 15 years old, he slew a Krayt Dragon on Tatooine and took the pearl within it's gizzard, earning him the respect of a Tusken Tribe. Then there's that job he did for Jabba the Hutt where he took down a rogue Hutt and his private army, with some help of course. I also heard he has a pet silver-furred sand-panther,"
Dooku nodded "Yes, all true." he said, "And now he and this Jedi Padawan are in charge of a Battalion of Clones in the Grand army of the Republic. I believe they could prove to be a nuisance in the future, so I am assigning you to eliminate them. "
Chop'aa was smiling inside, he was going against the student of Jango Fett, and one of the last of the Mereel line. He wanted to fight Jango himself, but that blasted fool got his head cut off by that Jedi Master, Mace Windu. Now, he will have to settle with his studen. He then bowed to the Count.
"It will be done, Count," with that, he turned and left to prepare his men.
Nod Kartha System
As the battle in space began to intensify, the ground offensive was just beginning as LAAT/i Gunships with LAAT/c carriers soared down the atmosphere of the planet, heading towards the old Trihexalon Production Facility, and the enemy's H.Q.
Marik was in the troop bay of one of the LAAT/i's as it approached the battle zone. Once they were safely in the atmosphere, the side doors opened up revealing the landscape below, and he could also see the other transports, with LAAT/i's carrying troops, while LAAT/c's were carrying either AT-TE's, AT-XT's, or even TX-130 Saber-class Fighter Tanks.
The Gunships were either carrying Clone Troopers or Mandalorian Ne'tra Kad Mercenaries. Speaking of the former he looked at the Clones that were with him and couldn't help but frown at the 'kill me now!' white of their Phase-I armor.
'When this is over, I'm having them re-paint their armor,' he thought with finality as the fleet of gunships arrived at their designated Assembly Area. He was soon greeted by Kass and Mak, who had arrived via their own LAAT/i from the Mantis.
"Great to see ya Marik," Kass said, "Where's Zule?" Marik pointed up "Up there, leading the Prosecutor's Starfighters into battle." He said.
Mak and Kass blinked at that, "Zule? In a starfighter?" the former asked, and Marik nodded, "Did she tell you that she only knows the basics of Starfighters?" Kass asked next, and Marik smiled a bit behind his helmet visor.
"Yes, she did. But I sorta of ignored her. Telling her that despite her inexperience, she will get it down eventually," he said with a chuckle, he then turned his head and gave a sharp whistle which confused the two, until their eyes widened in seeing a silver-furred sand-panther jump out of the LAAT/i.
"What the hell is that doing here?" Mak practically shouted, and Marik shrugged "Mirdala doesn't like staying on ships for too long," he said. "Make's her edgy."
Kass didn't like the sound of that, "It's making ME edgy! What are you doing with a sand-panther?" she said as the big cat came up to Marik and began to rub against him like a house-cat does when it sees it's owner come home. Marik smiled as he patted his feline friend on the head.
"Aw come on! She's alright," he said, "In fact she only bites if someone attacks me or anyone close to me, she's already getting along with Zule!"
The two shivered a bit at the thought of Zule getting along with a sand panther "Oookkaayy..." Mak said, before getting back on the situation at hand "So what's the plan of attack?"
Marik stopped patting Mirdala, and his face became serious, "Nym is gonna lead a flight of his group's bombers and pound the Sep lines around the factory, the Steele Hawks are also sending in their own bombers to help out," he said, and the two nodded, "Our job is attack after they're softened up, slice through their lines, get to that factory, take out any droid that's in there, set the charges throughout the place, and get out before they blow," he said, while Mak and Kass nodded.
"Sounds simple enough, but what about any suprises they may have for us?" Mak asked.
"We deal with it when it comes up," Marik said, "We won't know what we're facing inside until we begin the attack and take out their forces outside"
The two Jedi nodded at that as a Clone Lieutenant came up to them.
"Sirs, the bombing run is about to start," the Clone said, and the three nodded.
"Well, I know you Jedi don't believe in luck, so...," he said, and the two chuckled.
"It's alright, take care of yourself Marik," Mak said and said Mandalorian nodded as he and Mirdala went to the rest of the 26th, while Mak and Kass went to their unit.
'Talk about a official first battle,'
Patriot-112: And done! That is the end of this chapter! The rest of the Second Battle of Nod Kartha will appear in the next one.
117Jorn: Right! So until then...
Both: See ya later!