Well here it is guys. I really appreciate your patience for this. This has so far been the longest chapter to date. I really tried to cut down but I loved every part of it, it was hard to do.
Thanks again please enjoy I really hope you like!
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"Guards! Reinforcements! Somebody help!" The anomid turned around and found himself at the mercy of five very angry lightsaber wielders. Lieutenant Pierce leaned against the grey wall clutching his side as Vette kneeled and applied a medpac to the wound. The imperial veteran breathed a sigh of relief as the kolto dissipated the pain; everyone in fact was wounded or injured from their latest embattlement. Khem snarled at Quinn as he attempted to apply a medpac to the dashade's wounds.
The chamber around them was scarred almost beyond recognition, many slashes and scars still glowed red on the floor and walls of where the sith had been battling. Entire chunks of wall lazily sat on the floor disconnected from their appropriate wall sockets. Small to medium sized craters were dotted throughout the oval room, the results of many grenade happy soldiers.
Vette and Darth Nox were the only individuals that had not been injured beyond a few sensitive bruises. Xalek and Jaesa both earned some painful knife wounds from when the droid, they were battling activated his stealth field. Luckily the droid was aiming to injure rather than kill in this manoeuvre, if he had have tried to kill Xalek and Jaesa may not even still be here. Khem, Andronikos and Pierce had all received shrapnel wounds when a flux cannon shell had impacted near them. Ashara suffered a minor concussion from the sonic grenades thrown by the reinforcements that had arrived, along with a few blaster bolt burns. Quinn himself had also received some burns from the reinforcement's blasters, nothing tremendously life threatening or serious however, which he was grateful for. Wrath had by far earned herself the largest array of wounds and injuries, from blaster burns to lacerations to a couple of broken fingers.
Despite the tremendous amount of injuries the company had sustained none of them complained. Khem, Wrath and Jaesa had all angrily refused any form of medpac or kolto injections, in Khem's case he had threatened to eat Ashara if she came near him with any intent to heal him.
Now the injured company held the anomid in their grasp, so to speak. "Please, what I said before, and the droid it's all just a misunderstanding." Wrath sneered at this worms pathetic apology
"Grovel some more, I'm enjoying this." Wrath chuckled wickedly. Sweat was beginning to break out on the engineer's forehead now. Wrath nodded to Quinn and Vette who both moved to the control console and their fingers began moving swiftly across the keys. The screens in front of them scrolled with increasing speed as all research notes were gathered and transferred into a data pad.
"What are you doing?! That's months of work and research!" Arkis screeched. He began moving towards Vette, despair tainting his face. Vakarian raised his hands and a steady stream of lightning shot out of them. The former chief researcher doubled over in agony, the lightning intensified, the savant's screams reached new heights, Ashara looked away grimacing. Jaesa looked on, seemingly genuinely intrigued by his power and technique.
"More traitors." Khem spat, Darth Nox halted his lightning as the body slumped to the ground lifeless. The dark lord looked in the direction his dashade had mentioned; sure enough more new imperial troopers were clambering their way over the bodies of their fallen comrades towards them. Vakarian nodded once at Lieutenant Pierce and Andronikos as they moved over to suppress the reinforcements and buy enough time for their escape.
"Jaesa, Khem, clear the elevator." Vakarian gave the order clear and crisp, the pair moved to the elevator and prepared to breach and destroy all those inside.
It had not been easy sharing leadership with Wrath, even though she supported the idea fully it was very difficult for Wrath's and Vakarian's own comrades to overcome so much time and experience obeying a single leader without question and undying loyalty. Both Darth Nox's companions and Wrath's followers were hesitant to obey any order given by the opposing side. More than once Vakarian or Wrath had nodded their assent at their hesitant companion giving them their blessing to proceed. While the assemblage still wasn't forming to the efficiency of any single lone group, Nox knew once they drew into a more stable core and whole they would be indestructible.
Ideally at the moment Vakarian would have liked to have sent Ashara and Jaesa to inspect the elevator. The pair's two different lightsaber styles complimenting the others lack of, but their mutual loathing for each other was cause for a lot of improvisation on Vakarian and Wrath's part.
Ashara looked at Vakarian; she was nervous which was completely logical. If he was alone with her he would have probably given her a kiss or a hug to console her, but here it just wouldn't work with so many around. Not to mention any cameras Malgus was spying on them with.
Wrath leaned against the console tapping her fingers impatiently on her arm as she waited earnestly for her accomplices to download and erase any research notes the schism collective had collated. Vette was already bored with her role. She had seen stronger encryptions on parked speeders than on these computers, despite Quinn and Vakarian's insistence that they would be quite difficult. She looked up and gave her sith a cheerful smile, Wrath glared at her, Vette's smile widened. Wrath shook her head and gave a small sigh while a smile twitched at the corners of her mouth. Vette looked back down at the console again very pleased that she had managed to break her friends shell again. Sometimes she was just so serious.
"We're in." Vette announced
Vakarian took a step closer gazing through the lines of data scrolling the screen. "Program the stations cannons to attack the new empires ships. Then disable this terminal I don't think we need others reversing what we've done."
"Of course my lord." Quinn said dutifully as he began the encryption.
For the first time since their assault on the station had began Vakarian found himself breathing heavily. The solider Vakarian had just dispatched slid to the cold floor devoid of life. The conglomerate of various allies were still pushing forward despite their extraordinary injuries, but right now their greatest foe was their exhaustion. They were closer to the throne room now, the final battle was coming, and Malgus was running out of places to go. It was now a question of whether they would have enough strength to face the betrayer himself.
Vakarian had already known before their attack had began - and he was willing to bet Quinn and Wrath might have also- that by the end their own stamina and endurance were going to be their own worst enemies. He could see it in the eyes and movements of everyone around him they were all now making stupid mistakes that none of them would have performed if they were at their peak level.
Shots that they were firing weren't as accurate as before, missing heads and bodies by metres. Lightsaber styles were much more defensive than the usual offensive, blocking blows long enough for another member to intervene or for the attacker to make their own mistake. No one could blame any other for their condition; every person in the galaxy from solider to sith lord all succumbed to their own fatigue eventually.
They were treading in extremely dangerous waters now, Vakarian could sense the final confrontation with Malgus looming closer and closer and they were becoming more and more debilitated. They had all known that Malgus wouldn't just personally attack them the moment they landed in the hanger but the distance they were now travelling and the scores of enemies they had faced and defeated was wearing them down.
Vakarian removed his lightsaber from the last new imperial guard, their most recent set of foes they found they were facing. They were a mockery of the emperor's true guardsmen. The true guardsmen were deadly, ruthless, and possessed a mindless zeal to their emperor. These traits is what had earned the guards their due respect and fear from their allies and enemies. These copies, while still not without skill but against the combined power of Wrath and Vakarian's companions were woefully insignificant.
Vakarian was dismayed when he had first laid eyes on the guards but after battling them he felt personally obliged to absolutely obliterate them for General Hesker and the true imperial guardsmen. The lack of any connection to their emperor only made Vakarian's disgust for them worsen, without their usual habit of drawing on their dark lords power it made it a lot easier defeat these fools.
Wrath literally spat on the corpse of one of the fallen guardsmen as she lowered her lightsaber, the Emperors Wraths contempt for these imbeciles was far beyond Vakarian's own. Blood trickled down Wrath's arm, no one moved with a medpac towards her however, still in her furious rage no one believed she was even aware of her own life force dripping from her arm.
It was still strange for Vakarian to see his daughter's lightsaber form in combat. Vakarian's own lightsaber form tended towards making every strike having a purpose behind it whether it be a simple feint to a more complex manoeuvre of luring his opponent into making a certain move which he could counteract. Whereas Wrath just crushed any one opposing her. After five or six blows from Wrath an opponent was either dead or on their knees, trying in vain to whether her onslaught.
Andronikos grunted as he gave himself another adrenal shot to keep himself standing, the pirate breathed a sigh of relief as he felt his reflexes sharpen once again and the dullness in his mind fade. Pierce gestured at the adrenal as his face asked the unspoken question, the space pirate nodded and threw the Lieutenant his last adrenal from his belt. The imperial groaned softly as he jabbed the syringe into his leg. In return he tossed a few ammo clips to Andronikos whose eyes widened at the unexpected return but accepted them all the same giving a small grin and nod to Pierce.
"You are sustaining very characteristic wounds and scars little seer." Khem rumbled at Jaesa as he inspected his blade for any nicks or chips from their latest encounter "they display your true self to the world. You should never hide your true self."
Jaesa gave a tired smile to Vakarian's guardian as she examined the fresh blood stains on her robes "If only their pain could never end," her eyes shifted to Ashara "then I would be truly satisfied." Ashara glared back at Jaesa being just too tired to form any suitable retort.
Xalek stood beside Ashara watching the exchange, his eyes still holding the same steel. The kaleesh looked as ready as ever for the battle, if Ashara hadn't sparred or fought with Xalek before she would assume he was at the peak of his power. But she could see his shoulders, normally rigid and straight, now they were very slightly slumped. He was clearly just as tired as Ashara and the others, but unwilling for any sign of it to surface on his face or in his body movements.
Wrath held her hand on Vette's shoulder, the twi-lek grimacing as Quinn applied a medpac to her wounded leg. Vakarian looked away and began formulating the next plan and movement.
The stations intercom emitted a low buzz, the low buzz that often preceded an announcement. Sure enough an arrogant voice sounded over the speakers. The voice inspired hate and anger in Vakarian, Wrath looked around wild eyed fury mounting at the merest whisper of the traitor's voice. The entire motley crew tensed as the traitors voice spoke, the smugness and arrogance in his voice was completely undeniable.
"One of you has vowed to join me. But which one? I'm certainly not telling..."
All thoughts of exhaustion and depleted energy were instantly forgotten, Vakarian would later thank the emperor that he had not sheathed his lightsaber.
Wraths sabre instantly locked down with Darth Nox's own, having crossed the distance between them in a blink. There were shouts of surprise and shock from the numerous companions surrounding them. Wrath pushed on the lock and began to slowly loom closer over her father. "I warned you Nox!"
Anger flooded Vakarian, "And I told you the truth Wrath!" Vakarian rolled backwards disengaging from their lock, the tactic caused Wrath to swipe after his moving form but missed. Vakarian sprang to a kneeled position and pushed out at Wrath, his daughter held up her hand dissipating the blast around her but the force still caused her to stumble back a couple of steps.
Now they stood clearly pitted against one another, Vakarian's allies arrayed around him and Wraths around her. All of them were casting hesitant gazes at the opposing side, Pierce was now facing Andronikos. While both men held their respective blasters in hand and were aiming them at the other, neither actually placed their fingers on the trigger but cast uneasy looks at each other. Ashara was now facing Vette the twi-lek and togrutan clearly did not want to fight one another, having seen each others skill in battle beforehand. Xalek was prepared to leap at Captain Quinn the second his finger itched on the trigger, and of course Khem and Jaesa stood poised against each other. Out of all those arrayed at each other these two were the most at ease with each other.
"It's a trick Wrath!" Vakarian roared, the words fell on deaf ears however. She twirled her lightsaber readying to strike "If you try to attack my compatriots or myself I WILL DESTROY YOU!" Wrath snarled at the threat. Vakarian decided to change tactics, his voice lowered and his eyes glowed dangerously as they always did when he was on the verge of unleashing power untold "If you try anything," his gaze shifted to Vette "I'll kill the twi-lek first, making sure you watch closely, next I'll obliterate Captain Quinn, a warning now captain it won't be quick, then I'll kill you."
The threat took everyone off guard Wrath just stared but seemed to snap out of her enraged stupor. Vette was positively shaking, Ashara looked utterly terrified, Xalek had merely inclined his head slightly, Quinn's skin had turned nearly bone white yet his gaze did not falter. Khem turned his and stared at his master -his approximation of a open mouthed gape- and even Jaesa seemed to hold a small amount of hesitation in her stance. For perhaps the first time since joining Vakarian all of his companions were utterly terrified of what had been awoken.
"That is not like you Nox." Wrath growled trying to maintain a threatening demeanour in the wake of Darth Nox's terror endowing threat. There was little doubt in Wraths mind that if she did strike Nox would obliterate her only friends before she could do anything.
Vakarian's eyes stopped glowing and his aura eased a little. "You are right Wrath, I merely needed to break your fury, and there was no possible way of breaking by just regurgitating 'I'm innocent' over and over." Wraths knuckles turned white at the way she was manipulated. "Now listen to logic, if I was working with Malgus and was preparing to catch you off guard why would my 'master,' shout it out over the intercom putting you on your guard expecting an attack. Or why would I wait until you were at this station? I could have attacked you onboard the ship and be long gone before anyone even realized what had happened."
Vakarian could see he had convinced her allies immediately, but could not discern if Wrath herself was convinced. "I don't trust you Nox." She lowered her sabre but still held onto it tightly. Vakarian relaxed his stance and completely sheathed his sabre, beside him his companions mirrored his action all of them clearly aware they had all just avoided what could be described as the most deadly and even battle to have existed.
Vakarian's unknowing daughter continued to stare down her father. He needed something more, more to get her to trust him again. Any chance of true unity and unison Malgus had crushed in a single sentence, just another reason to annilate the traitor. "Wrath we must continue now, every moment we delay merely gives Malgus more satisfaction as we squabble amongst ourselves." Wrath snorted as she turned heel and began moving further towards the throne room.
After this was over he would tell her, he thought, this was tearing them apart when it could be unifying them. He glanced back at his companions none of which could meet his eyes save Xalek, but as always his face was inscrutable.
Darth Nox said nothing but merely followed after Wrath's retreating form.
The power from behind the doors rippled through the force. Pierce glanced at the door for the fourth time, he was no sith but even he got the feeling something bad was behind it and there was only one thing it could be. He tucked his rifle closer to his shoulder, ensuring a new clip was in it and the sights were clear. Situated to his sides everyone was performing their pre-battle rituals.
Wrath was spinning her sabre around her self stretching her muscles for the final push.
Ashara kneeled on the floor meditating, the light around her almost slightly bending around her.
Jaesa stretched her fingers causing sparks of lightning to arc between them her smile ever persistent albeit slightly strained.
Khem was running his fingers along the edge of his blade.
Everyone had their own unique way of readying themselves both physically and mentally. There were no illusions as to what was behind this final door. Even despite their tremendous fatigue they still readied themselves. Quinn and Andronikos picked up a number of what looked like pulse grenades next to the door and clipped them to their belts. Darth Nox stood apart from the two groups directly in front of the door, dead silent. Wrath moved up beside him ready to end Malgus and his new empire, Vakarian's head turned to look at Wrath, she didn't even glance at her father, but was still ready to defend herself if he even thought about striking her.
Vakarian finally turned around at his friends and Wraths allies. His gaze shifted from each and everyone one of them, no words were uttered but understanding was made with each individual.
His own companions returned the gaze a hardened steel present in their eyes. His eyes lingered on Ashara momentarily his face softened, her stare was just as hard as the rest of them but also contained the love she held for her master, friend and love.
His gaze shifted to Wraths companions, Jaesa rolled her eyes and Pierce couldn't match the dark lord's gaze. When Vakarian's eyes rested on Vette and Quinn his eyes conveyed a silent apology and gratitude. Both were stunned by this but eventually both sets of eyes bore there forgiveness to the Sith Lord. He turned back towards the door, Wrath still did not look at him but stared at the door, with a motion to Andronikos he hit the controls and the doors slid open.
Whatever scene Vakarian had been expecting it was not the one that was displayed in front of them. Twin columns of the new imperial guard stood at attention on either sides of the walkway to the throne. None bore their weapons ready but just stood still at a snap attention. Wrath motioned for her people to stay as Vakarian did the same.
Everyone, save Darth Nox and Wrath remained at the throne rooms entrance while the pair of sith lords made their way through the assemblage of guardsmen. The helmets of the guards turned and watched them every step of the way but did not move, the silence from the chamber was deafening. Besides Wrath and Vakarian's steps echoing, the sole sound in the chamber. They stopped metres from the base of the stairs; they could both easily sense Malgus' overconfidence.
"You're as stubborn as the dying empire." The voice came from the top of the throne where in the chair sat the cloaked and hooded form of Darth Malgus the betrayer. The treasonous sith sighed as he raised his head and pulled back his hood. Vakarian involuntarily inhaled sharply, Wraths eyes flickered to her father before shifting back to Malgus.
The false emperor glanced at one of his guardsmen and gestured. The guard nodded and motioned at his men, the entire room emptied of the guards as they exited the room. Wrath and Vakarian's companions tensed by the door as the soldiers approached them, the soldiers did not display any hostility however and brushed past them almost completely oblivious to their presence.
Malgus continued to speak as his bodyguards obediently filed out of the room, "Welcome to my throne room Wrath and Darth Nox. So much history. So many glory days that slipped away from us." The false emperor almost seemed completely ignorant to the numerous sith, soldiers and pirates that still remained in his throne room even though his guards had left. Malgus stood from his throne as he shouted "The emperor is dead! Long live the new emperor!"
Wrath growled grasping her lightsaber, igniting the crimson blade. "You are no emperor of mine Malgus!"
Malgus didn't even blink at the threat "Kneel." Lightning shot from his hand, both Wrath and Vakarian collapsed to their knees trying to remain upright. The tactic was so sudden neither sith could defend themselves from it. Ashara cried out as Vakarian fell to the floor; she began to move to her lover's side.
"No stay there." Vakarian spat through clenched teeth as the lightning arced through his limbs.
Malgus halted the flow of lightning as he resumed his seat, Wrath and Vakarian shakily got to their feet far more cautious now, their company of allies behind them ready to intervene at a single word from their leaders.
"The empire is withering away. Soon it will be obliterated by decadence and antiquated ideals. Yet you two struggle to keep it from healing." Vakarian could feel his adrenaline from the lightning wearing off his exhaustion creeping into his vision again. "Don't you see? Our survival demands a new empire. Tempered by alien alliances and strengthened by tolerance." Malgus paused as he leaned forward in his throne, clasping his hands
"You know this Darth Nox. I have seen the subtle changes you have tried to enact within the empire. And yet for all your vision you have achieved nothing. Join me as my right hand and you will have that chance to finally exercise the true power and tolerance of aliens." Wrath looked at Vakarian carefully, her hand held her lightsaber poised ready to do what was necessary if need be. "Or continue to serve a decaying empire ruled by sith power games and an indifferent emperor."
Vakarian could see it before his eyes, a future for the empire, an empire at long last bought under a single banner, to at long last exercise his power on the republic and jedi and not on the manoeuvres of the dark council and other sith, a chance for all aliens to be accepted, to be answerable only to Malgus, free to do as he willed. All of that and more, but...
"I have seen this weakness you speak of Malgus," everyone watched Darth Nox, waiting for the answer that would change their lives "you are right in saying the empire must change to survive, but you are going about this the complete wrong way."
Vakarian looked at Wrath, for the first time since he had ever fully met her, her orange eyes finally held understanding, and at long last trust. Trust in Darth Nox. That single look was worth more than the complete power over the entire galaxy, to have his own daughter at last trust him.
"You could have changed the empire Nox but you still have much to see of the old empires weakness, before you realize its limitations. A chance you now won't be getting." Malgus stood from his throne. Wrath instinctively took a couple of steps back; Vakarian copied her action grasping his lightsaber from his belt. Malgus turned and pointed at a control panel. The force pushed a button and caused an alarm to sound all over the station.
"Emergency warning. Power core overrides engaged. Self destruct initiated."
Vakarian reached out with the force and grasped a container on the side of Malgus' throne. With a sweep from his arm and a small grunt the crate went soaring towards the false emperor. Malgus was fast, his lightsaber cut through the crate with ease seconds before it struck him.
"Malgus the betrayer. In the name of the emperor, the empire andthe dark council. I will destroy you!" Vakarian ignited his lightsaber. Malgus did not say anything, the betrayer dropped from his throne to the top of the stairs with a heavy thud.
"Die or defeat me. Either way the empire is reborn." Malgus leapt from his position and landed in between Wrath and Vakarian, his hands splayed sending Vakarian and Wrath were launching back towards the entrance to the room. "For the new empire!" He roared as he ignited his lightsaber.
Vakarian and his daughter were slowly standing back up heads spinning, Malgus was not going to give them a chance though, with a terrifying roar he leapt at the still earthbound form of Darth Nox. The traitors lightsaber was prepared to carve the sith in two. Vakarian searched for his lightsaber, he saw it and called it too his hand as he lay on the steel floor. Before the blade reached his hand the sound of another lightsaber igniting was heard followed swiftly by the sound of the blade catching another.
Vakarian raised his head to see Ashara's red blade blocking Malgus' strike at him, his heart almost stopped beating as Malgus turned his hate filled gaze to Vakarian's lover. Malgus pushed off from Ashara's block as she ignited her second sabre, this one a brilliant blue, the traitor spun building up momentum preparing to unleash when a second red blade thrust at Malgus, the sith was forced to jump backwards to avoid becoming skewered on Xalek's double-bladed sabre.
Vakarian had finally got to his feet, Wrath had done the same but she was by far alot slower than what she should be. Her wounds had finally come back to bite her. Behind Vakarian he heard a loud ding of the elevator, he had seconds to react. Many people stood unsure whether to aid Wrath, fight Malgus, find a way to stop the self-destruct or investigate the elevator.
Vakarian glimpsed at Ashara and Xalek they were severely outmatched against such a skilled opponent as Malgus. The false emperor had stopped back pedalling now and stood blocking the thrusts, chops and strikes of the two apprentices. Even the pair's best strokes did not even cause Malgus to falter; it wouldn't be long before he started assailing Xalek and Ashara's defences.
Vakarian looked again at Wrath Captain Quinn was helping her to her feet with the aid of a kolto Syrette. The emperors Wrath's eyes locked with Vakarian's she stared and he stared. At last she nodded as she brushed her captain away and stabbed another syringe into her leg her eyes widened at the rush of adrenaline and kolto.
"Khem, Jaesa!" The two started in surprise at the curt tone from Darth Nox. "Get on that door whatever's coming out of that elevator make sure they are dead." The unlikely pair sprinted towards the door, the elevator doors opened with a ding revealing numerous red imperial guard uniforms, the guards charged out swinging electro staffs and many wielding rifles. The rifle men set up by the elevator door as with a very well practised and routine air, the melee equipped guardsmen were caught slightly off guard by the force of a very angry dashade and an enraged double-bladed lightsaber wielder. The guards were sent scattering around the chamber.
"Andronikos, Pierce! Give them some cover." The abrupt siths tone left little in the way for argument. Soon the air was full of blaster bolts as well as the agonized cries of Khem and Jaesa's victims. The imperial rifle men turned their attention to the pirate and solider, forcing them to roll behind the pillars for cover.
"Quinn, Vette! Get on that terminal and stop that self-destruct." The twi-lek was already sprinting to the command console before Vakarian finished his sentence, Quinn jogged after her keeping as low possible trying to avoid the bolts from the entrenched guardsmen.
A cry of pain from behind him forced him to spin as he viewed Malgus finally break Ashara's defence and slash her stomach and stab her shoulder. Xalek moved forward to force Malgus back from her but received a slash across his unprotected chest along with a follow-up kick from the sith sending him sliding along the floor for several metres. Ashara crumpled to the floor, Malgus was not about to leave her half-done however. He gripped his lightsaber with both hands and brought it down on the togruta's form.
Time slowed for Vakarian, he stood frozen his eyes not believing what was unfolding in front of them. Ashara looked at him, a weak but simple smile on her face her lips moved although he could not hear what she said he knew what it was.
"There is no death, only the force."
"I love you."
The blade came down hard, biting into another red lightsaber. Malgus looked enraged as he beheld Wrath with an equalling angry snarl on her face, blocking his killing blow to Ashara. "Brave but foolish Wrath." Malgus jeered.
"Not as foolish as you'll look on the end of my lightsaber Malgus." She added force to her sabre and pushed, forcing the traitor to take a step back from Ashara. Another push another step. Then another. And another.
Once Ashara was clear of Malgus and Wraths swings, Vakarian pushed her and Xalek towards Quinn, who stood behind a pillar covering Vette as she cracked the self-destruct encryption. "QUINN!" Vakarian's roar got the captains attention easily as the imperial beheld Ashara and the wounded Kaleesh he nodded and pulled a medpac from his belt. Vakarian breathed a sigh of relief.
This was not over though; anger flooded the dark lord, his hate becoming a pure black cloud in his mind. There was only one person responsible for all of this.
Vakarian felt the familiar grip of his lightsaber in his hand, the metal casing cool, the red blade glowing and humming, begging for a victim. Wrath was holding against Malgus, while not easily, she was not losing ground. It was time to end this.
Vakarian blasted a bolt of lightning at Malgus he was clearly not expecting the tactic and flipped backwards in order to dodge Wraths strikes and Vakarian's lightning. Vakarian jumped to stand beside Wrath the two shared a brief look before turning back to Malgus.
Behind them grenades flew, screams of pain and terror echoed, and blaster bolts scorched the walls. None of it mattered, only Malgus mattered in Vakarian's mind.
The false emperor charged at the two sith masters.
Both sith side stepped, avoiding the charge. Malgus impacted in between both of them, the floor cracking slightly. Vakarian and Wrath wasted no time attacking him. Even though Malgus was now defending against two seasoned and very experienced Sith Lords he still held his own. "I hear the Grand Moff is calling me, Malgus the betrayer. Tell me, did my deception sting?" The tone Malgus was using mocked Vakarian and Wrath.
"More than you know Malgus!" Darth Nox called back
Vakarian went high, hoping to draw Malgus guard away from his legs and that Wrath could get a shot it. Wrath saw the breach in Malgus' defence Vakarian was creating. She swiped at his legs as Vakarian sliced at his head, Malgus' blade was a blur, both strikes reflected off his blade and they both received strikes against themselves causing them to block. Wrath was forced back from the blow, eyes widening slightly. A good blow could do that to someone, disrupt a fighter, and break their offensive.
Malgus then commenced an assailment of colossal proportions. Vakarian was blocking the blows but that was all he was able to accomplish against the onset. If his concentration faltered for even a moment, it would be over.
Vakarian caught another bash from the traitor on his blade that he had aimed for his head. Behind Malgus Wrath jumped high in the air gripping her sabre in two hands and brought it down. Malgus disengaged from his lock with Vakarian and threw him back a few steps, turning with just enough time to block Wraths crushing blow. Both siths blades were sent to the steel floor. Wraths on top of Malgus' own. The two looked at each other their mutual hate almost causing heat waves in the air. Malgus leaned his head back and brought his forehead into Wraths face.
Lights danced in front of her eyes as she stumbled back. Vakarian continued to attack, attempting to keep Malgus' occupied as Wrath composed her self. Vakarian had the offensive now and was pushing Malgus back towards the stairs. Wrath joined him shortly after aiding his advancement on Malgus.
The false emperor's eyes almost seemed to be smiling with wicked glee, as he continued to counter the siths blows. "I haven't enjoyed myself this much since the sacking of Coruscant!" With the end of his sentence Vakarian unleashed a short stream of lightning at him; Malgus caught it swiftly and reflected it off his sabre at Wrath who dove to the side to avoid it.
Around the room everyone else seemed to be having just as much trouble. Vette was sweating as she kneeled behind a crate, trying to reach and crack the security terminal. The task was made a great deal harder by the numerous imperial guards shooting at her whenever she got too close to the terminal, since Quinn was now tending to Xalek and Ashara who despite their protests were extremely weak. The constant regurgitation of blood from both patients was not helping their case either.
Jaesa and Khem now stood back to back continuing to duel countless electro staffs wielded by the guardsman being thrust at them. Deep gashes were forming in the floor around them as mis-strikes from Jaesa's energy blade were sent through the floor. Khem grabbed a guard by the throat who had ventured to close to the dashade and threw him at another encroaching attacker.
Pierce was sitting on the floor now propped up against a pillar as he fired blindly at the blaster guardsmen behind him. Andronikos' left arm was broken on account of an imperial wielding a vibrosword that had broken through Jaesa and Khem's line defence and had gone after the pirate.
Malgus stood two steps above Wrath and Vakarian on the staircase leading to the throne. Wrath had suffered a strike from the usurper that had raked across her shoulder but she refused to even acknowledge the wound. It seemed now that the novelty of the battle had worn off for Malgus as he snarled at each strike they pair delivered to him. "Feel an emperors Wrath!" He bellowed, Lunging at Vakarian and sweeping to Wrath.
"There is only one emperor Malgus! And your Wrath is not even a footnote of his!" Wrath shouted right back at him, as she caught his lightsaber sweep.
"We will see. Enough games then." Malgus motioned with his hand at Vakarian as the dark councillor was taken off his feet and stood in the air, clutching his throat.
Vakarian's eyesight was dimming as Malgus' choke pressed harder on his throat. The traitor gestured with one hand again at Vakarian and The Lord was sent flying across the room crashing into a wall. The strangle hold on him vanished but an explosion echoed above him. Vakarian looked in time to see a chunk of the ceiling fall towards him. At his full strength he could have pushed the chunk away easily; he was nearly beyond the point of exhaustion now. The roofs rubble collapsed on the siths body.
For brief moment Vakarian considered just laying their. No more fighting, no more politics, no force. Just rest, blissful rest. From his mid section down he was completely submerged in debris. He could feel his legs but the debris was intensely heavy. Vakarian raised his head slowly; he could see Wrath battling Malgus still.
Wraths sabre form was growing sloppy, Malgus could see it. He pressed his advantage. Wrath was back pedalling down the steps now, her footing uneasy with back stepping down the stairs. She needed the high ground, jumping back from Malgus she raised her sabre and with a battle roar she launched herself over Malgus aiming for the steps above him, Wraths sabre was held at her mid section to deflect any blows but her legs were wide open. Vakarian could almost see the joy in Malgus' eyes as he swept his sabre over head. Malgus brought his sweep across her legs.
There was no cry of pain as Wrath landed on the stairs above Malgus, only a dull thud as Wrath no longer had her legs supporting her. One lay at the base of the stairs the other a few feet behind where she had landed.
Jaesa was dumbfounded, until one of the guards men took advantage of her lapse at struck again at her. Vette gaped in horror as her friend lay legless at the mercy of Malgus. Quinn screeched something over the din and threw a pulse grenade at Malgus hoping to drive him away from her. Malgus almost laughed at the futile attempt, catching the grenade with the force and throwing it to land a metre away from Wrath. The grenade exploded.
Malgus' upheld hand was the only reason he had not received any shrapnel or force from the grenade. Wrath was not so lucky the shrapnel from the grenade had exploded and burned the whole side of her neck and part of her face along with scraps of shrapnel that lodged themselves in her neck. The final force from the grenade knocked her into the welcome embrace of unconsciousness.
Malgus seized Wraths lightsaber from her hand and held it above his head in victory.
The air seemed to freeze around Vakarian as Malgus slowly left the form of Wrath lying on the stairs making his way to the console where Vette and Quinn kneeled angrily shooting at the false emperor. The bolts bounced off Malgus' sabre as he walked casually towards them. Ashara and Xalek weakly attempted to get up and defend themselves against the figure approaching them.
Something deep within Vakarian just snapped. Anger beyond anything felt before surged through him his every fibre of his being felt the rage, the hate.
The very oxygen around him darkened, the entire chambers lights dimmed. The force swirled around him, picking up dust and the debris that ensnared him. Malgus felt the force changing and glanced at Vakarian's trapped form.
The dust and debris completely obscured him now but the force darkened.
Sith On the ships orbiting the space station shivered in fear as they felt the wave of darkness through the force. Many apprentices and acolytes present on the ships fell to the floor shaking from the power they were feeling.
Malgus approached the site of the swirling debris very cautious.
The dust and debris began to settle and in the middle stood the source of the disturbance.
The figure standing there may have looked like Vakarian, but one single glance would say that this was not. The form in front of Malgus was not Vakarian or Darth Nox or the conqueror of Corellia or the master force walker.
This was the dark side.
A true conduit and window to the dark side of the force.
And it no longer stood alone arrayed behind it were four force ghosts that cowered in the presence the being that stood present. The beings eyes glowed a swirling red, the shadows began forming and slipping off of the vessels form. A shadow lightning fire flickered around its body, arcs of lightning sparked around the body.
Many of the imperial guardsmen with blasters began firing at the being threatening their emperor. The dark sides eyes shifted to the figures, its hands raised, lightning shot from them. The guards crouched back behind their respective covers as the lightning approached.
The lightning reduced their covers to ash and then the guards themselves.
The presence of this dark side was overpowering, the air around it left faint ripples in the air. Malgus attacked anyway.
Lightning shot from the false emperor's hands. The entity raised its own hand catching the arc, not even hesitating it threw back the lightning. The lightning came back at Malgus in a swirling ball of power.
Malgus dove to the side dodging the lightning ball. The false emperor recovered quickly using the distraction to close the distance between him and the being in a single bound, beginning the killing stroke.
The presence raised its hand. Malgus' blade halted its dissent onto it, with its other hand it pulled his daughters lightsaber from his belt. Malgus was unable to move, the crushing pressure held him in place as the being moved his daughters light sabre to the traitors stomach.
Malgus did not struggle harder but merely looked with contempt at the form the being was inhabiting "Kill me Nox, the empire will burn either way."
The blade ignited sizzling straight through his stomach and exiting the other side. Malgus grunted in pain. The lightsaber was removed slowly, and at long last the entity spoke. Its voice was chilling, echoing in on itself "Your attack is insult. I will show you true power."
The hand moved again, Malgus flew across the room crashing through a pillar and into the wall. Malgus' form bounced off the wall and into the darkness of the bottomless bit below.
The elevator through which countless new imperial guards were moving exploded. The metal screeched as the frame crumbled and caved in on itself. Khem and Jaesa were tossed by the blast as if they were mere rag dolls, bouncing off the walls before finally resting on the cold floor.
Vakarian awoke with a start his mind unsure where he was, his limbs were like mandalorian iron, his mind felt like it had moved an entire planet. He was vaguely aware of Andronikos standing over him shouting something as explosions echoed behind him. "Sith? Sith, can you hear me?" The pirate grabbed him by the arm and hauled him up. Vakarian managed to find his balance after a few moments.
A buzzing filled Vakarian's ears as General Hesker voice filled his head "Congratulations my lord, the false emperor dethroned at last. I will not allow you to suffer his same fate. Although I cannot reach you, there is a willing transport nearby.
Suddenly everything came back, Malgus, the fight, the station. Wrath. By the emperor, Wrath. Vakarian's head spun around looking through the smoke to spot his daughter, Quinn kneeled by her side as Vette hauled her up. She was still unconscious and without legs but she seemed alive. "Don't die on me." Vette said her voice cracking as tears threatened to abscond down her face, as she hauled Wrath up. "We can't have the one good sith die now. Not after everything."
Andronikos was hauling up Ashara who weakly tried to stand but was relying heavily on the pirate. Khem was carrying Jaesa in both arms "Seer you're not joining death yet." He snarled "just because your master falls does not mean you will as well." The dashade limped heavily towards a doorway on the far side of the room.
Vakarian pulled Xalek up and slipped him around his shoulder. "My master, I have failed you. Leave me." The kaleesh's excuse was intoned weakly.
"Xalek, my apprentice. You tried that is all I ever ask. How many sith now could say they crossed blades with the betrayer and lived?"
Pierce leaned heavily against the wall spitting out blood on the floor. He was walking albeit very unsteadily while clutching his side.
Vette and Quinn held the unconscious form of Wrath between them and led the way out of the throne room.
The door to the hanger opened easily, which Vakarian was very thankful for considering everything else around them was exploding. The hanger was completely empty save for the very old and rusted D5-mantis. At the ramp to the ship stood a very cocky looking devaronian and a mandalorian their respective blaster rifles were being aimed at a door opposite to where Vakarian and company had exited from.
A very small woman ran from the ship and relieved Andronikos of Ashara taking her within the ship, Vette and Quinn followed up with Wrath entering the ship with no small amount of relief. The woman ran back out again, this time Vakarian got a good look at her, she looked remarkably young even with a few implants marking her face. She put her arm around Pierce -who looked as if he was about to just collapse where he stood- and carried him inside.
Vakarian heard the elevator ding and heard the stomp of soldiers from the opposite elevator. "Bad guys coming! Blizz test new equipment!" Vakarian was startled to find a jawa standing at his feet wielding a rocket launcher twice the size of him. By all laws of logic the kickback from the launcher alone should have sent the jawa to the other side of the hanger. Instead it sent a missile into the incoming, compacted group of soldiers. The missile sent them scattering and the devaronian went to work with the mandalorian.
"Try to keep up, kid." The devaronian smiled
The younger man merely grunted in response.
Vakarian looked again to see the woman dashing out again. Mako her name was, he remembered. "Mako. Emperor, are we glad to see you guys." She lifted Xalek from his arm and carried him inside as Vakarian limped after her.
"What can we say we were in the neighbourhood." The cyborg said smiling slightly.
"Where's the hunter?" Vakarian asked his vision blurring again. He was inside the ship now, Wraths and his own allies strewn across the floor all save Vette and Quinn who hovered over Wrath as she was now connected to some sort of machine.
"Flying us out of here, of course. Here." She laid Xalek down on the floor and gave him a shot of kolto, she moved to Vakarian next easing him down on the floor.
Emperor that felt good. Just rest, his mind soothed.
"Where do you want this one?" Vakarian's eyes were dimming again he could vaguely make out the form of a very large houk, hefting what looked to be a large crate of something.
Mako gestured to the side and the houk grunted. Mako gave Vakarian a quick scan before applying a kolto pack to his wounds. Two human sized figures appeared through the airlock door along with one jawa sized one.
"Punch it boss!" Mako yelled the ship gave a slight lurch as it shot from the hanger. If Vakarian was in the cockpit where his hunter friend was, he would have loved the look of the station as it exploded behind them.
Vakarian rested his hand on Ashara's hand beside him, they'd made it at last. He knew he could trust the hunter to get them safely out of there, the devaronian's voice could be heard again talking to the jawa.
He could rest now, it was over.
Mako leaned over Darth Nox's form trying to get his attention. "Hey we need to know where to go? The boss wants to know which ones your ship."
Vakarian felt at the end of a long tunnel hearing her voice "Moff Pyron." He whispered "The Doombringer." Mako smiled again.
"Ominous much. It's ok rest now you'll be alright."
"You know how much a sith like that could be worth?" the devaronian inquired peering at Vakarian as he felt his last vestiges of conscious fade.
"Shut up Gault." Mako said offhandedly
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Well there you have it another chapter, by far my favorite writing. Please let me know what you guys think.
Please guys I would love to know what characters you would like to see more of, maybe ones I've showed already, or maybe ones that are yet to come. Maybe some other npcs maybe some specific characters. Please let me know.