Chapter XIII - Attrition
(part II)
 

"Don’t get too excited Val, we’re quite safe from your friends here. They’re walking into a
trap of my devising…soon you will understand the power I possess."
~Cire~









Versai Chronicles “Deception” - Chapter XIII – Attrition
 

INTERIOR: THE KILLIAN CITADEL - THRONE ROOM – (LEFT SIDE)

    While the fleet assembles within Tuulab’s airspace, Cire and Val have re-initiated their stunning battle as Val’s golden saber strikes against Cire’s Sith Sword with renewed vigor, as the two duelist trade blows, Corrie and Terra having been the victims and given little time to do much of anything still struggle to prevent themselves from constantly being knocked out, however for Corrie she would get her chance to defend her own life in due time as a figure far below the throne room lies in wait for his summons, a figure who knows more about Corrie then she could imagine.

Val’s blade locks with Cire’s steel edge as the two meet eye to eye. Cire’s restored face contorts to his sinister smile as his gray beard curls downward, his teal blue eyes shimmering within his deep, dark sockets while it is now obvious that Cire has grown much older then he first appeared when he unmasked himself as Quillion, even the locks of his black hair were now turned silver and white, aged lines materializing along his facial regions.

VAL – (locked blades) How can you possibly manage to attain such healing powers? Your force skill is laughable, even now and you’re looking like the backside of a Rancor.

CIRE – (growling, pressing his blade harder) It’s simply amazing what technology has allowed the human body to evolve to…into someone greater then their birth. Knock me down Val, fracture my body and I will keep on coming.

VAL – (growling) I don’t care how fast you can regenerate yourself Cire, I won’t stop until your head is separated from your shoulders! TRY HEALING THAT!

Val hurls his saber to the left, spinning on his heel, sending his lightsaber back behind Cire’s head to cleave it off at the base, but Cire quickly counters Val’s attack by ducking down, bringing his Sith Sword back once more to clash with Val’s blade, but this time he slides his foot between Val’s feet and sweeps him, as Val falls, he tucks into a roll then backflips away, using his momentum to gain distance, as Cire casually strides his way closer taking his time.

CIRE – Do you want to know how I did it Val? Funny thing genetics…you can use it to create life or enhance it. The same genetic enhancements I gave Agen to rapidly heal her body flows through my very cold veins. While you have to whimper and struggle to heal your own body I simply snap my fingers.

VAL – (perking a brow) Whether its genetics or concentration Cire, you still can heal only so fast.

CIRE – (smirks) As if you could exceed my limits, the more you attack the closer to the dark side you bring yourself Val and you know it. You know that the only way you can destroy me is to BECOME me. I will not stop haunting you until you either surrender to your destiny or you meet it.

VAL – (laughs) You’re funny Cire, a real riot. Underneath all the schemes and enhancements you’re still a child begging for attention. Have you nothing better to do then hound me? Oh that’s right…

CIRE – Eh?

VAL – I almost forgot…

CIRE – Forgot what?

Val switches off his lightsaber, and clips it to his belt as he assumes a more martial arts based stance, crouching low knowing how to give Cire the most damage in the swiftest amount of time, drawing upon skills he’s sure Cire has not written down in his little dossier on Val.

VAL – I killed your bitch…

Cire’s eyes dart over to Agen, then widen as his pupils sink downward, flaring out with the scream from his lips as rage consumes him, charging full on towards his target, taking his sword in both hands and hurling a ferocious horizontal swing to Val’s midsection.

VAL – THAT’S RIGHT GIVE ME YOUR BLINDSIDED ANGER!

Val is lighting fast as he lets the force enhance his attributes of strength and speed, waiting for Cire to overswing. Val sends his elbow down across Cire’s arm as he holds Cire’s weapon at bay horizontally, slamming his elbow downward causing Cire’s grip to instantly drop as the Sith Sword clanges to the floor. With Val controlling Cire’s arm locking it, he uses Cire’s own momentum to hurl him face first into a wall, then spins him away, unleashing a flurry of lefts and rights…his bare hands protected by fingerless gloves showing Cire why he is a legend in many forms.

Cire is unable to keep up with the sheer speed of Val’s hand to hand melee, able to sneak in a few kicks and punches of his own, glaring into Val’s eyes as his speed gradually begins to match Val’s as both fists and feet fly viciously towards sections of each fighter’s body. Something gives Cire an added advantage as Val begins to notice that Cire is adapting to his fighting style and blinding speed as if Cire could now start to predict his movements...then he remembered something Cire mentioned, about being able to read his mind.

As Cire lands more aggressive blows that would shatter a normal man’s ribs, Val adapts to the pain and uses the force to disband its physical properties, as if Cire was now hitting his body with nothing more then pillows, clearing his mind and gaining some distance as Cire forces Val back against the far left of the throne room, Val calls upon his perfected form of Form B, closing his eyes and picturing Cire’s position. Cire is dumb enough to give away his movements as his fists pound into Val’s body with little effect due to the force control and the padding of his own duelist suit.

VAL – (eyes closed) Is that the best you have?

Cire screams in frustration and goes back to what he has a chance at picking up his Sith Sword and swinging toward Val’s shoulder, but Val using the force senses the attack, stepping to the far left as the blade misses him, reaching for his lightsaber again he tries another strategy he knows Cire will have no chance in, as he grabs Obi Wan’s second lightsaber as well igniting a shaft of golden light with a mixture of humming sky blue into a “X” trapping Cire’s blade between both blades as Val whips his arms backward, sending a swift kick below his blades to Cire’s groin still using Form B tactics.

Cire even with his enhancements in not able to stabilize the pain of his jewels getting kicked in buckling to his knees, then slowly inching his way back as Val advances with both his lightsabers lit. Knowing he has little chance, Cire calls his Sith Sword back to his hand and runs behind, trying to get in a quick hit on Val’s backside.

Val is quick to note this tactic and pivots around, then advances, swinging Obi’s blue saber first as the attacking strike to Cire’s Sith Sword then following up with a counter swing with his golden saber as Cire barely is able to block in time, leaving him vulnerable as Val then distracts Cire with his blue saber knowing Cire can read his mind enough to block it but is unable to split his concentration between both sabers at once as Val’s golden blade shears into his thigh, causing Cire to howl in pain yet with his genetic control he is able to remain standing.

Cire scowls in horror as his eyes widen, Val continuing to advance with both his lightsabers ablaze. As Cire blocks a overhand strike from Val’s blue saber, Val’s yellow saber continually manages to land another slice along Cire’s thighs, both now lined with red burning stripes of failure. Cire realizes that he is no match for Val’s dual attack strategy, even reading his thoughts he has to decide between blocking the blue blade or defending the yellow, and having stopped one from ending his life, the other lands a fiery reminder that in saber dueling, Val is the Master and Cire remains the third rate student. He knows he’s hopelessly outmatched and out skilled.

CIRE – (running) I WOULD LOVE TO CONTINUE THIS BUT WE’VE REACHED HALFTIME!

Cire makes a mad dash for his throne, running up the steps and plopping into his chair as Val follows close behind, but as Val brings both his blades down, Cire smiles broadly activating a set of shield generators placed around his throne so when each is activated a hexagonal barrier is formed causing Val’s sabers to hiss into the energy barrier and bounce off.

VAL – THERE IS NO HALFTIME IN COMBAT! YOU CAN’T HIDE IN THERE FOREVER!

Cire smiles softly and roams his fingers along a control panel as he glares to Corrie also attempting to advance on the throne now, Val along the left, Corrie coming up the right. As Cire presses down a button the torches in the room begin to slide upward, the fires extinguishing as tubes of steel lock into view, all the way around the room in a circular formation. Val can smell the rush of tabanna gas filling the barrels as he shouts to Corrie.

CIRE – (grinning) There is in my game Val, enjoy the show.

VAL – CORRIE GET TO SHELTER NOW!

No sooner does Val shout his warning, do blaster bolts spew from hidden emplacements surrounding the room. The green beams of deadly energy cleave into the walls of the room, slicing through electrical equipment and boxes like they were butter as Val retreats down extinguishing his sabers quickly, rolling away from a hail of blaster bolts that fire sequentially in a line along his shadow, sparks and debris from the floor rising with each echo of their impacts.

Cire beams with utter joy as he simply bides his time behind the shield. His own blaster bolts fire upon him as well but bounce off his energy shield leaving Val, Corrie, and Terra who has crawled behind a thick steel pillar to fend with the blasters deadly recovery rate to run for cover. When one blaster has reached its limits, another easily takes its place leaving Val and Corrie little chance for recovery, dashing from the floor up along the catwalks and behind pillars while Cire awaits news of his next plan. The burns along his thighs heal quickly now with his body at rest, the genetic enhancements refreshing Cire for another round if Val survives the halftime show.
 

INTERIOR: VERSAI TECH – DELIBERATION CHAMBER

While Val and Corrie deal with Cire’s twisted views of intermission, back in Versai Tech in a secluded room where only the lights of a instrument panel and a smaller hologram projector lies in wait, Lance Jade has been speaking to representatives of the New Republic military while Senator Organa prepares to speak to someone she knows she must answer to on a professional and personal level.

Currently Lance sits comfortably in a leather chair, with both his hands placed together in a thinking position (Mr. Burns like) listening to the NR General explain what ships the NR can spare to the VT crisis. As he continues to talk he suddenly nods to Lance and informs him that the Senator is now ready to speak to him directly, saluting Lance in respect and pacing away from the console as the hologram of him from the waist up fades.

While Lance waits for the Senator to appear, he contemplates all the things that have happened up to this point on a piece of paper, traditional as it might seem it proves faster then technical sequences of button pressing and letter typing.

Here is what he has thus far…

1. Val goes after Quillion, has not been seen since
2. VT Council decides to send second fleet to retrieve him
3. Jenner and Tula terminated, revealed to be moles placed by Quillion
4. First fleet decimated by pulse cannons – NOTE check current destructive capabilities
5. Shadow Serpent Specs reveal “foreign objects” found in wreckage from VT tower attack.
6. Killian possess Luxor Armor and focus on genetics and weapons tactics
7. Isis Surul used as bate to locate Versai Mansion – Mansion invaded, Isis proposed dead.
8. A transcript of the video footage from Vahn shows Shadow Serpents attacking from behind then from the front – NOTE – This makes no sense if there are only 4 ships…unless there are more not seen. – Check technical readouts on cloaking devices.
9. Contact FRD industries and ask for support in fleet assembly…try to locate Foe Raker.
10. Think before acting…The Killian are never obvious…NOTE THIS IN COMBAT SITUATIONS.

As Lance scribes down his notes, suddenly rays of blue light begin to gather and take form, followed by a few surges of white electrical rhythmic beams running from top to bottom, sculpting the figure from the waist up of a woman dressed in Senatorial garbs. Her long hair is tied up, swirled similar to Amidala in AOTC (grassy hills scene) as she gazes to Lance with focused, brown eyes.

LEIA – (drawing a breath) President Lance Jade…it has been quite some time.

Lance’s blue orbs gaze to Leia as his thoughts threaten to overtake his duty. Taking a deep breath himself, he slowly gathers his thoughts to the task at hand despite the unpleasantness between them.

LANCE – Far too long Senator Solo. I assume you married Han then?

LEIA – (nods slowly) I had my reasons…he made me an offer on Dathomire I couldn’t refuse.

LANCE – I see…Well enough with the pleasantries. I assume you understand why I have been instructed to contact you.

Leia’s eyes waver a moment as she seems to be herself in mental conflict, raising her eyes back to stare deep into Lance’s vacant expression.

LEIA – No Lance, all ranks and duties aside if we don’t settle this issue between us right now, this conversation is only going to degrade. I did what I had to do at the time. I will not suffer this distancing treatment one moment longer.

LANCE – What you had to do? Since when did that include betraying a good friend! You had no right to treat Valaryc like that. After everything he sacrificed for you, you stabbed him in the back!

LEIA – (angered) I NEVER LET PERSONAL FEELINGS GET IN THE WAY OF BUSINESS LANCE JADE! I HAD NO CHOICE AT THE TIME! I COULDN’T STAND BY AND LET THE KRATH CONTINUE TO KILL INNOCENT LIVES!

Lance gets up from the consule and turns his back a moment, gathering his thoughts as Leia seethes on the other end of the communication. A eerie silence falls in the room as both take a breath to end the shouting match which would solve nothing.

With a calmer approach now, using the technique of closing his eyes and slowly opening them taught to him by Val who was taught by Gen, Lance once again takes his seat and continues the conversation.

LANCE – With all due respect Leia, your decision caused more harm then good. I am man enough to overlook the past and start over, I cannot say the same for Val the damage you caused him runs far more deep then you realize.

LEIA – (sighs) I offered our assistance from a business point of view, to end the threat of any more lives from anyone who would disturb our measures of peace. On a personal note I insisted on this conversation in hopes we might be able to forget about past mistakes and make sure Val has a future.

LANCE – I agree, this is not about you or I now it’s about rescuing Val as soon as possible. I don’t agree with what you have done in the past but I suppose in the long run I can admit that we must make mistakes the become a better individual.

LEIA – Agreed…so can we discuss this matter as civilized leaders, or do I have to take my ball and go home?

LANCE – Why Princess err Senator, after all these years I think Han’s sarcasm is starting to rub off on you after all.

LEIA – (sarcastic) Ha Ha…

For the first time in many years, Lance and Leia smile to one another as they used to before the Krath invasion in the RA. At one time Val, Lance, Marc, and Leia had brought peace to the galaxy, fending off the remnants of the Empire and kept Krath Lord Ulic at bay. Perhaps it was history’s way of mending the mistakes of the past, for if Lance could forgive Leia perhaps in due time Val could do the same and all three of them could stand in the same room in civility rather then pent up anger.

LANCE – Alright, let’s discuss this matter now, we’ve little time to lose. What the VT is asking is for as many ships as you can spare to lead a grand assault on Xyquine and not only liberate Val but destroy the threat of The Killian once and for all.

LEIA – (nods) Indeed we have found and disposed of our own “moles” in the New Republic as well. Quillion’s snakes slither within many corporations throughout the galaxy. We have been investigating the source of his funding..

LANCE – What have you discovered?

LEIA – We know the first source is from what remains of The Empire, although we do not know exactly where the money is coming from in terms of a central location. The funds are being transferred and ships are being built sporadically across the galaxy, as soon as we shut down one source another pops up in its place.

LANCE – (leaning back in his chair) Imperial eh? I thought The Empire was finished when Palpatine fell?

LEIA – Yes it was, but that doesn’t stop former high ranking officials with money to spar from trying to revive it. Although the NR is the supreme holder of the biggest fleets, if The Empire merges with someone like The Killian who have access to pirated technology and documentation its possible it could reconstruct its forces in secret and strike.

Lance runs his fingers along his chin, jotting down new notes under his previous ones as he listens to Leia talking to him, the tone between them is much more refined now. Personal feelings aside both discuss the matter as diplomats and not personal acquaintances.

LANCE – You said there were two sources, who is the other one?

LEIA – (sighs) All we know is his name is Kero Fear. He has been investing particularly in the bases of Luxor Armor and new technology. We also can provide valuble proof that The Killian now possess cloaking capabilities.

LANCE – OF COURSE! I KNEW IT! THAT’S WHY!

LEIA – Excuse me?

LANCE – (calms himself) In our battle simulations on the attack of the first VT fleet I wondered how the Shadow Serpents could appear from behind the fleet, and then suddenly appear in front of it. They’re using stealth…but the problem is, as far as I know no ship can fire while cloaked.

LEIA – According to our records that is correct. Kero Fear has been funding Quillion’s ship building for about three years by our calculations. He’s never seen in public and does all his transactions through a UNITRAC signal, stolen from VT tech resources no doubt by your moles.

LANCE – Go on.

LEIA – As per its design by Valaryc Versai the UNITRAC encoding is next to impossible to break so all we know is his name, none of what is actually said in the audio signals. Kero apparently does not want anyone to know what he is up to, other then Quillion and his minions.

LANCE – Hmm very interesting. Could Kero be Imperial as well? Maybe Black Sun?

LEIA – I'm afraid I have no other information on his specific allegiance but we assume if he is funding Quillion’s attacks he is just as much an enemy as The Killian are.

LANCE – (nodding slowly) I greatly appreciate this information. I have a little bit to add that might help you out as well. I have suspicion that The Killian are not relying on turbolasers or ion cannons this time, I think they are using pulse cannons.

LEIA – Pulse cannons? But those aren’t strong enough to destroy a capitol ship, maybe a fighter or two at the most. Why would they rely on such weakened weaponry?

LANCE – (knits his brows) I sent the fleet out expecting victory…but I was wrong. The Killian have invented a new threat Senator Organa. The balance of power MUST be decided here and now. Regardless of their reasons, Val has been gone far too long. I fear he is running out of time.

Leia’s eyes draw from the seriousness of Lance’s blue eyes shifting downward, his face devoid of a smile or much expression. Leia can sense the pain in Lance’s gaze, the windows of his soul revealing just how much Val’s friendship means to him. Regardless of her own mistakes, Leia knows deep down beyond her serious nature that she wishes to mend the damage she gave Val. Unaware in her impulsive youth she never considered that just in that one instance, duty should not have come before friendship. She had trusted Val with her judgment and her life yet when the final battle lay on the horizon she blinded herself to her emotions and this is what cost her not only her friend, but the lives of many.

LANCE – Leia, don’t worry about the past right now. I need to know your decision.

Leia thinks about her brother Luke Skywalker a moment and her children, pondering the turmoil the dark side has put the entire family through even on to Palpatine’s final demise as she closes her eyes a moment picturing a world free of war, then another where Quillion’s silver mask looms over a endless sea of warships against a nebulous starfield, showering a rain of deadly fire on helpless planets.

LEIA – Godspeed President Jade, and good luck. You know you have the full support of the New Republic. You have grown into a fine leader, and I am proud of the individual you have become.

LANCE – (smiles a bit) Hey this position is only temporary Leia, as soon as Val returns his title and his right goes right back where it belongs. But thanks for the encouragement nonetheless. Transmit your estimated fleet numbers and meet our own at the rendezvous point.

LEIA – Sending transmission now. Who will be leading this assault?

LANCE – That’s the tricky part. I’m going to oversee the battle personally…this time we will not fail. I gather that the Council will be highly against placing myself in danger but this is a matter I need to handle on the bridge and not trapped behind a desk.

LEIA – If diplomacy were kept in what “laws” dictate, we’d never be where we are today. There is no harm in bending the rules if it serves to victory in the end.

LANCE – (grins) Oh I intend to resort to “aggressive negotiations” with our fleet.

LEIA – Aggressive negotiations, where have I heard that before?

Lance smiles softly as a electronic printout of the New Republic fleet census is given to him from the communications center via a UNITRAC signal. Lance’s eyes widen at the number of ships joining the VT’s second fleet, no longer a fleet but a vast Armada.

This is the list transmitted…

-Imperial Star Destroyer, Mark II {x6}
     3 Squadrons TIE Advanced x1
     2 Squadrons TIE Interceptor

Imperial Star Destroyer, Mark I {x3}
     3 Squadrons TIE Advanced x1
     2 Squadrons TIE Interceptor
     1 Squadron Scimitar Assault Bomber

-MC90 Star Cruiser {x3}
     3 Squadrons E-Wing
     2 Squadrons A-Wing
     1 Squadron K-Wing

-MC80b Star Cruiser {x6}
     1 Squadron A-Wing
     2 Squadrons X-Wing
     1 Squadron B-Wing

-Nebulon-B Frigate {x3}
     2 Squadrons X-Wing

-Quasar Fire Bulk Cruiser (Names)  {x2}
     2 Squadrons E-Wing
     1 Squadron X-Wing
     1 Squadron B-Wing/E2
-Corellian Corvette {x7}
 

LANCE – Impressive list Leia, we greatly appreciate the assistance, here is our list of our forces currently prepped for battle.

In return, Lance beams back his own tally of the VT fleet including one ship of great interest not seen since The Battle of Endor in combat in quite some time, a SSD..

-Super Star Destroyer (Vindicator)
     6 Squadrons TIE Defender
     2 Squadrons TIE Interceptor
     2 Squadrons Missile Boat
     2 Squadrons Scimitar Assault Bomber

-Escort Carrier {x2}
     3 Squadrons TIE Interceptor
     2 Squadrons Missile Boat
     1 Squadron Scimitar Assault Bomber

-Carrack Cruiser {x5}
     5 TIE Interceptor fighters

-Victory Star Destroyer, Mark I  {x12}
     2 Squadrons TIE Interceptor

LANCE – We know its not a great deal but the Vindicator evens out the pot don’t you think?

LEIA – (nods) Also you might be pleased to know that I have already sent our forces to the rendezvous point two days ago which means Mr. President. All that we’re waiting on is you.

Lance’s brow perks a moment, smiling softly as he gives a brisk salute to Leia who smiles warmly within her holographic image as she gestures for him to hold off cutting off the transmission just yet.

LEIA – Also I have taken the liberty of having my Admiral join your forces, and speak to your VT Council as we have been speaking here. You should have no trouble leading the assault former RA Commander, Jade. Vahn will not defy an order from the NR that precedes him and his council’s power. Good luck and may the force be with you.

Before Lance can respond, Leia cuts off the transmission as the screen plunges to black. Lance smiles broadly towards Leia’s foresight as he instructs the computer to call up another channel, Foe Raker Designs or FRD.

As the screen is pulled up a representative of the FRD garbed in a maroon red suit nods to Lance in respect.

LANCE – (taking a sip of a drink) I am President Jade of th….(cut off)

FRD REP – We know who you are President Jade and we are well aware of the current situation with Valaryc Versai and the VT crisis. We are however unable to aid in the rescue efforts, we feel such matters are not worth our attention.

LANCE – (spews his drink) NOT WORTH YOUR EFFORT! HAVE YOU THE SLIGHTEST INCILING OF WHAT RELATION VAL IS TO YOUR FOUNDER!

The FRD rep narrows his eyes a moment as he listens to Lance’s startled remarks and only holds up his hand waiting for Lance to compose himself.

FRD REP – Are you finished? Now…as I was saying, I have spoken to President Raker and I have been instructed to lend no aid to the VT cause. He gave no reason for his order, but made it perfectly clear he is aware of Val’s current situation.

LANCE – With all due respect to Foe Raker’s divine intellect, if FRD adds their fleet to our own then we stand a better chance of ending the threat Quillion has brought to both our businesses.

FRD REP – Quillion? Who is that? We have no threat to our resources. I am aware of no such dangers.
LANCE – I don’t understand, you are aware of Val’s current situation but you don’t know about Quillion? That seems a little od…(cut off)

FRD REP – PRESIDENT JADE, I HAVE MY ORDERS; WE KNOW YOU HAVE THE NEW REPUBLIC AIDING YOUR ASSAULT! WE’VE MADE OUR DECISION.

LANCE – But if you will only…

Before Lance can finish a man who looks strikingly close to Foe Raker, with a shaved head and a medium built suit in very luxurious attire walks up to the monitor and speaks to Lance, with a cold, deep toned voice.

VOICE – Lance Jade, do not question our intentions…question your own. If and when our company decides to intervene we will do so at our choosing not yours. This conversation is over.

As Lance scowls under his breath the holo of the mysterious figure fades out to darkness. Slamming his fist into the desk Lance stands up and brushes off his suit, straightening it. Thoughts started to race through his mind now. Why was FRD being so hostile? Why did they not have problems will moles in their organization…could they have made a secret alliance with the enemy? But no, Foe Raker would never do such a thing and betray his brother…it didn’t make any sense. One thing was for sure though, if and when FRD did lend any assistance, it wouldn’t be anytime soon.

Lance ponders these new clues and jots them down on his notepad, here are the additions and revisions to his list…

1. Val goes after Quillion, has not been seen since.
2. VT Council decides to send second fleet to retrieve him.
3. Jenner and Tula terminated, revealed to be moles placed by Quillion
4. First fleet decimated by pulse cannons – Destructive abilities are weaker
5. Shadow Serpent Specs reveal “foreign objects” – possible cloaking devices
6. Killian possess Luxor Armor and focus on genetics and weapons tactics
7. Isis Surul used as bait to locate Versai Mansion – Mansion invaded, Isis proposed dead.
8. A transcript of the video footage from Vahn shows Shadow Serpents attacking from behind then from the front – NOTE – This makes no sense if there are only 4 ships…CONFIRMED CLOAKING TECHNOLOGY ACQUIRED BY KILLIAN FLEET.
9. FRD is hiding something – Investigate possible but unlikely secret alliance with Quillion.
10. Think before acting…The Killian are never obvious…NOTE THIS IN COMBAT SITUATIONS.
11. Discover who Kero Fear is and what organization he is working for.
12. Imperial source funding Killian forces, possible tactic to reform The Empire.
13. NR Fleet already gathered at rendezvous point. Plan out strategy with Marc and Kalin

Taking the list with him and tucking the curled paper into his sleeve pocket, Lance paces out of the chamber with renewed vigor and yet an exhaustive sigh to the new questions being asked as quickly as the old ones are settled. He knows that the answers he seeks now can only be found on the battlefield, with a massive armada at his command, he names a name for it, “The Liberation Armada” this new gathering of ships with one goal in mind…closure.
 

INTERIOR: THE KILLIAN CITADEL - THRONE ROOM – (LEFT SIDE)

Lance paces his way down several hallways as the scene wipes to the interior of the now decrepit Killian Throne Room now riddled with smoldering blaster impacts from the floor to the walls and even clear through portions of the catwalk, carbon scoring seen everywhere. The blasters that have been tracking Val and Corrie for the last half hour have begun firing less and less frequently as their cooling rods begin to overheat, reducing only half of the many, many placements in the room to cease functioning. Although down by half each deadly bolt still has the capabilities of killing its target and this in no means gives Val or Corrie much rest, while Cire sits comfortably on his throne, in the upper dais watching the spectacle below like Nero to the gladiators in the Coliseum. Val now is revealed as the view focuses in on a moving shadow, to have both his saber blades extended, deflecting bolt after bolt with lighting fast accuracy, although much slower then his potential speed as beads of sweat form on his brow and his chest heaves with unsettled gasps for breath. The thirty minute workout for survival is equal to three hours of rigorous training in Val’s Powerhouse simulator. Even his endurance begins to dwindle slightly as he bats incoming green bolts back to their source, managing to deflect the fire off his shimmering blue blade into the gun emplacements and destroy those that have not been overheated, one by one.

Cire cackles from behind his shielded chair as he watches Val deal with the halftime “laser” light show. Corrie can do little but scamper around in her slave outfit, with no weapons to fire back. She draws the fire as Val deflects the shots back, keeping close to him. While Cire enjoys his show, a beep emanates from the left arm of his chair, just above the section torn away when Corrie called Val’s pistols to his aid. Using the force, he calls his “Quillion” mask to his aid, dropping the shields for a split moment, ducking a blaster bolt that wizzes over his head, putting on his mask and assuming the “Quillion” persona.

QUILLION – (pressing a button) Yes, what is it?

A mysterious voice, masked by a voice altering mechanical device billows to him as Cire glances to a small video monitor along the right portion of his chair armrest. His eyes shimmering with delight gazing to a figure who is draped in the darkness in a robe but this time it is not blue or black, or any typical display it is crimson red, the same red fabrics as the Royal Guard’s robes. However his attire has its own hood attachment that shields the figure’s eyes from view, but leaves the lower half of his mouth open, much like Sidious or Palpatine, along his arms are bands of stylized black flames, wearing a red metallic set of gauntents.

QUILLION - Ah Master Kero Fear…I trust you have news for me?

KERO – (mechanical voice) My operatives have informed me Lord Quillion that Versai Tech and the New Republic have joined forces against us.

QUILLION – Ah excellent. They apparently did not learn from their first mistake…are they aware of our technology?

KERO – They know only of the cloaking devices, nothing more. They are not aware of our other weaponry but they do suspect it is pulse based.

QUILLION – Good, let them speculate. While they go through the libraries searching for Sith lore and Imperial secrets they’ll have no idea where the origins of our technology really lie. In a dash of irony they won’t know till it’s far too late.

KERO – (nods slowly) I am curious to know what you have planned for them when they arrive Lord Quillion. Why did you allow Draven to send them a tape of the battle?

QUILLION – I do not yet fully trust you with specifics Kero. I will tell you this much. What I have will be a blast from the past with a slight twist. You will have to wait and see for yourself when you arrive with the Armageddon fleet. Draven was given permission to send the tape, to motivate them to arrive with everything they have so I can take it away.

Kero adjusts his robe and hood as if in aggravation but resumes his composure and nods in acknowledgement. Quillion gazes towards Val and sees that the blasters are started to dwindle in number. With a flick of his finger, Quillion unleashes a new salvo of backup blasters that spew red beams. Much weaker then the last set, it dashes any hopes Val has of ending the workout Quillion has forced him in.

QUILLION – If all goes according to plan you will arrive at the appropriate moment. Once your forces unveil themselves there will be nothing of their so called “armada” left. Be ready to polish off the last of the dinner scraps after I am through with them.

KERO – (nods) My fleet will arrive at the appointed time as planned Lord Quillion. The VT armada will get what they desire…that is to say a quick resolution to their current crisis.

QUILLION – I must cut this conversation short Kero, the rats are trying to solve the maze. You have your orders, I expect your presence in case things go bad…make sure you are armed, you have the formula for Luxor Armor, I suggest you use it immediately.

KERO – Agreed, I will join your Commander, Draven on his flagship Calypso when the time approaches and we will toast to our victory in your honor. Long live The Killian Order!

QUILLION – Oh yes, they will gather. They will fight, they will lose and then…they will die! HAHAHAH

Kero nods respectfully to Quillion then the screen plunges to black. Quillion on the other hand glares down to Val and Corrie as he starts to notice a odd pattern in Val’s movements. Val starts to weave in a circle, as the newer red blaster bolts shear into the floor, following his every move. Val begins moving slower, as a section of the floor is literally blasted away into a carved line of molten steel. Its then that Val ducks behind a pillar that is soon riddled with blaster fire, that he peeks his head out and speaks.

VAL – Your days are numbered now Cire. Go ahead and hide behind that shield and that ridiculous helmet I’m coming for you just as soon as that blaster over there refuels its batteries.

CIRE – You actually WANT the blasters to refresh their firing rate so they can keep shooting at you? Fine take your rest hero, in a matter of hours the final facet of my plan will be complete and you and your organization will fall.

Cire glances down to yet another section of his multifunctional armchair and flips up a small clear box, with a red, yellow, and green button under it. Next to the buttons in a vertical strip of lights is a plate that reads “charge level”. As Cire watches Val out of the corner of his eye, he flicks the red button. A slight beep emanates from the chair but an even louder echo of moving machinery above the catwalks slowly creeks to life in a slowly building mixture of grinding gears and electrical hums, growing faintly louder. Clearly Cire was charging something of great importance to his scheme. Having initiated his “surprise” the strip of lights on his throne chair slowly begin to turn on, only two in the red area at the moment with a specific amount of time to each color range…meaning in a matter of hours, whatever it was would be at his command.
 

EXTERIOR: ALPHA XERIDIA - SPACE

While Cire plots his next move, awaiting the VT and NR fleets to gather and arrive at Xyquine into his planned trap, far beyond the war rooms, flashing VT ranks and edgy Council members the scene shifts to an entirely new but familiar location. The scene of a once great battle, the area’s defenses are now laid in ruins from the invasive efforts of a certain assassin droid and the leader of the charge, the now deceased Crymson Vachon.

A small X-Wing roars through the regions of deep space, as Alpha Xeridia’s blue-violet sphere slowly begins to loom closer and closer, the sphere giving way to atmosphere, the atmosphere giving way to thick, billowing clouds, the clouds giving way to tiny dots of green and brown which then give way as the craft breaches the cloud layer of the planet to its intended destination, only a small formation of white and green, getting closer and bigger. Finally as the craft looks for a place to land, the Versai Mansion is revealed, although it is not as glamorous as its creator’s arrival with Isis some time ago. Now the Mansion was riddled with carbon scoring along its elegant walls, the main fountain missing a section of its crystalline like struts, notably where Crymson’s pink lightsaber sheared through it in the epic battle with Valaryc Versai.
As the X-Wing’s engines begin to cool from their intense red-orange hue, to nothing but gaseous pits of smoke, the landing struts to the craft now settled upon a level surface of grass, the figure inside the vessel prepares to face what he thinks is a reunion between Master and Apprentice, unaware of the extent of the battle that has taken place. From his vantage point, the only thing that looks out of place is the main, gold plated door knocked ajar. Adjusting his eyes to the sun cascading its rays upon Alpha Xeridia’s surface, he doesn’t yet notice the damage done to the mansion and its grounds.

Exiting from his X-Wing, “Night Stalker” the figure glances about from the raised triangular canopy towards the grass and the mansion in front of him. Leading himself down a collapsible ladder he attaches to the side of his vehicle, the figure is revealed wearing a black body glove, gray armored vest and trousers. Akin to Val, he has two lightsabers, one dangling from each hip. Similar to his Master, each lightsaber also has its own history.

The lightsaber hanging from his left hip contains a blue blade, given to him by his late father Zo’nel Wol. Quite a tragic history had followed this lone figure, perhaps this string of similarities was why Val against his better wishes decided to train one official Padawan, giving him the secret to his own combat methods and as the lightsaber on the figure’s right hip shimmers in the sunlight, the secret to building his own lightsaber. The weapon built under Val’s strict guidance, emitting an emerald green shaft when called upon.

Who is this person who holds such things in common with the legend? His name is Lon Wol and most are aware of his name being attached to Val’s family from the Versai crests Lon wears on the palm portion of his gloves. The crest, a symbol has gotten him out of trouble on more then one occasion. Val’s reputation no matter how he viewed it was feared and respected and on many occasions also challenged. Being associated with Val also transferred some of that challenge to Lon on his travels. Many times Lon had to defend himself against sinister figures who would try to kidnap him to force Val into a duel to see who whom was the better man. On other occasions Lon also enjoyed the hospitalities granted to him by Val’s allies. Lon would be subjected to listening to endless stories of Val saving one man or woman’s family from execution and constantly was told to thank Val for everything he had done.

Such things gave Lon a strong sense of pride, which Val would then keep in check with a quick simulation in his Powerhouse against the strongest of the drone droid units, the Crymson Bot. Lon slowly makes his way down a grassy walkway as he nears closer and closer to the mansion entrance. It is then that he reaches for a blaster from his left holster, keeping his eyes transfixed on the more dismal surroundings. Before Lon’s feet, are several decimated XIM droids from the prior invasion. With the eerie silence running through the grounds, Lon makes his way closer to the door, well the one that was still standing. Passing into the Main Foyer, looking to his left and right he could see the chaos that had ensued. Closing his eyes, attuning his senses to the force, taking off one of his gloves and smoothing it along a tattered red curtain, he reached out with cognition to sense what had happened.

This is what he detects, as a montage of mixed voices, sounds, and imagery running slow at first, then building faster and faster until he’s forced to break contract.

ISIS – (slides her finger along her lightsaber) I sense something Val…I don’t know what it is but it’s coming from there…don’t you sense it?

VAL – (narrows his eyes) No, all I see is a damned shadow above the archway, and I really need to focus on this Isis, if I don’t find a way to get these defenses up we’re screwed!

CRYMSON – Misdirection Isis! All misdirection from the truth! You were let go to SERVE US!

ISIS – YOU LIE!

VAL – (growls) You are so dead…

CRYMSON – (laughs) I’m not the one on the floor right now…puppy.

VAL – ARGH! QUIT CALLING ME THAT!

Crymson uses the stairs and weaves down the hallways with lighting fast agility, kicking in doors until she finds the right one, spotting Val looking over the ledge trying to find where she has been, having seconds to spin around before Crymson’s fist connects with his jaw, making his fly back into the hard support of the balcony railing…curled against it, as Crymson stands above him.

Corrie sends Isis’s saber through both hands of the last XIM War Droid, causing the droid to stand defenseless batting away her assault, but Corrie is now in her zone, hacking and slashing into the droids metallic surface like a ticked off kitten, scratching and clawing its target until eight cleaved sections of the droid thud to the floor, toppling like a house of cards…Corrie’s eyes slowly craning up towards Isis, brushing part of her hair back along her ear.

SACUL – (throws Isis and Corrie forward to the stairs) YOU MUST GO!

ISIS – I WONT LEAVE YOU SACUL!

CORRIE – NO WE CAN’T LET YOU FACE THAT ALONE!

SACUL – I’LL BE OK, MY SURVIVAL IS NOT IMPORTANT I CAN BE REPLACED YOU CANNOT! NOW GO!

Val’s saber slices through Crymson’s midsection with chilling accuracy and a blood curling SPLUTCH of flesh severed into two halves, Crymson’s eyes never close as she sees Val’s saber discus pass through her, able to look down long enough to see her feet standing but her torso falling. With Crymson no longer able to control the pressure in her heel, Val flips away as her saber blade shears into the rooftop and extinguishes.

Before Val can react, one of the Killian Warriors draws a vibro blade and slashes into the canvas of Gen’s portrait, then stabs it two more times shearing the image.

VAL – YOU SON OF A BITCH!

Val lunges towards 8D8, but the droid warns him to stand back away, pushing the tip of its sword into Isis’s back, showing its insurance of survival in its limb.

As Val is distracted by the droids words, he doesn’t detect the droids coming down the stairs, taking aim on him, it’s not so much the threat as what event he witnesses before his eyes that shatters his soul. There in one swift movement reminiscent of Gen’s death, the Duelist Elite 8D8 hurls Isis’s body to the side and plunges its deadly sword straight through her, Isis is abruptly awoken only long enough to glance to the sword emerging from the front of her, before Duelist 8D8 grabs one of her shoulders and flings her off its blade like a piece of meat. Isis’s battered form tips forward, then falls in a slump. The motion of the sword manages to tear off part of her costume and it hangs on the blood drenched blade of Duelist 8D8.

VAL – NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! SAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRA!!!!

“Your sister is dead…come claim her body.”

-Q

Lon’s eyes suddenly flash open as the imagery becomes too rapid for him to control. Drawing in a deep breath he feels as if he’s in the heat of the battle, as the force shows him squads of XIM droids entering the mansion and firing at Isis and Corrie, all just a figment in his mind. Lon’s feet crunching debris and shards of glass as he walks through the mansion interior, towards the lower levels. Everywhere he looks he sees pictures ajar, doors riddled with blaster holes and shredded drapery. It was clear either Sacul had not yet fully recovered to restore the mansion’s damage or something else was preventing him from it.

Lon’s grip on his blaster holds steady as he walks down a flight of stairs, circling around to the lowest level of the building. He knows this path all too well. Along his right is the turboshaft that plunges further down south to the entrance of the Powerhouse, while to the left is a pathway leading to the Firehouse, where Val keeps all of his “toys” from grenades to custom weaponry. Moving forward to the north, Lon stops before another set of double doors, kicking them open with his foot as dust swirls around, causing him to cough and cover him mouth, catching his breath through the choking darkness.
 

INTERIOR – VERSAI MANSION – BIOTECH RECONSTRUCTION CHAMBER

Inside the room, support beams have tumbled from above, and a few machines hum performing unknown tasks as the lights, reduced to two of thirty flickers providing just enough light to put the objects in the room in a range of grays. Lon slowly wades his way through chunks of concrete and rubble, smoothing his gloved fingers over a large beam, channeling the force to enhance his strength, physically lifting it up along with other bits of sheet metal, hurling the elongated steel beam to the far left, as the massive column crashes to the floor with a thunderous THUD, echoing through the room. It is then that Lon notices a familiar device and the answer to why the Mansion has not been renovated.

Within a mixture of clear liquid, leaking very slowly through a crack in the transparasteel glasslike material, Sacul 456 gazes towards Lone, like a frightened child. He had been fully reconstructed as Val has predicted before he left to face Quillion, but somewhere in the chaos of the battle Sacul was pinned inside the biotech chamber and the only words lone could hear were words of utter desperation.

SACUL – Help…me…

Lon’s eyes water a moment, gazing to the room around him and its highly demolished state as cracks in the roof allowed sunlight to pass into the chamber, the sun having moved its rays so they now cascaded along the mansion, adding much needed additional light to the chamber as Lon nodded slowly to Sacul, looking for a release mechanism, staring in agony at the control panel to the unit useless…a long stiletto shaped sliver of metal plating having wedged itself through the faceplate.

LON – (glancing to Sacul) Sacul my friend…you’re going to have to trust me, I can’t get you out with the control box, I’m going to have to try something else. I need you to close your eyes and press yourself against the bottom of that tank as much as possible ok?

Sacul only nods, mentally perplexed and suffering from a severe cause of clausterphobia. His body had regenerated hours ago, but he opened his eyes to flickering darkness. He has been pinned inside the tank for several days…countless days. The nutrients of the liquid soup sustained his bioflesh’s composition but you have to imagine being buried alive in a clear coffin, this is what trauma left Sacul a shell of the happy android he used to be…that and the realization of death.

Lon doesn’t waste anymore time, but steadies himself, pulling a lightsaber from his right hip. Extending the emerald blade, he adjusts the beam of energy to a smaller degree, placing the shimmering miniature shaft the green luminescence works as a torch, as Lone carefully guides the hilt of his lightsaber around into a vast oval, big enough to free Sacul’s tall form from the lengthy chamber. Having etched through the glass material with his blade halfway, Lon carefully made sure that as the material grew white hot and began to bubble, none of the dripping contents seeped to Sacul’s body.

Completing the pass with his blade, he left one small section of the vast bubbling oval uncut. Extinguishing the weapon and placing it back on his hip, Lone retreated from the biotank, knowing Sacul would know what his intentions were.

LON – Come on Sacul…push!

Sacul slowly begins to re-initiate his full senses, stretching out his restored limbs into the glass, but still weakened like a newborn child, his strength far from its intended potential as servos hiss, and hydraulics whine. He gives the sheared lid another hard push with his splayed fingers.

LON – That’s it Sacul, push harder, you’re almost through!

With a crack of splintered, cooled glass the lid flies off its foundation, hurling across the room as one of Sacul’s clenched fists plows into its underside. His senses beginning to come back online, feeling the vigor of emotion washing over him…freedom from the tomb flooding sensations of excitement through his android body.

Lon watches Sacul getting out of the tank, then quickly realizes one minor detail about the situation, pacing from the room momentarily to grab something, then returning it in his hand. His green eyes shimmering a moment as a smile washes over his lips.

SACUL – (quirks a brow) You know Master Wol, with all that push talk one might think someone was giving birth. What? What is so humorous?

Lon tosses something to Sacul as he catches it, looking at it a moment in confusion, still not fully aware of his rebirth drawbacks.

LON – Well Sacul ol buddy, I have no doubts Val designed you to be as close to humans and how we say…fully functional in every way?

SACUL – Fully functional?  I don’t understand.

Lon snickers a moment and reminds Sacul of what is now in his hand, then makes a gesture with his finger down to Sacul’s lower regions trying to look away, thanking the force that that particular section can be seen only in shadow.

LON – You’re parts are showing…

SACUL – My part? (looking down) Oh…err umm well uh, I dunno what to say ummm err he was rather gracious wasn’t he? I mean wow!

Lon snickers, gesturing now to the robe, as he keeps his vision blinded to direct contact.

LON – Sacul come on quit showing off, if I were Xola I might be interested but get that robe on asap! I have things to ask you when you’re better dressed.

A little bit of time passes and Lon makes his way into one of the drawing rooms, clearing away enough debris from a chair, starting a fire in the fireplace. Much like Master Val, he also has a glass he salvaged from the kitchen and a bottle of Endor Ale.

As Sacul paces out of a fresher room in better clothing, consisting of a two piece black shirt and pants, he slowly paces around the room glancing to the damage done to it. Lon arches a brow, Sacul appearing like a curious child relearning and memorizing everything around him. Lon knew that most of the memory Sacul had previously was restored because Sacul remembered both his name and that he was Val’s apprentice.

LON – (sipping his ale) So tell me Sacul, what exactly happened here? Where is Valaryc?

Sacul seems to disregard the question, pacing around the mansion, as Lon’s eyes follow him exiting the room, then re-entering, moving to another doorway and disappearing, then again re-emerging until he comes to take a seat by Lon, clasping his hands in front of him, Sacul’s blue eyes focusing in thought.

LON – Sacul? Try to remember, its very important. I need to know what happened here, I’ve been away so long on my own journeys that I have no frigging clue what’s happened here. All I know is a few odd ball images I got from touching a curtain.

Sacul runs his fingers through his medium length brown hair, similar to Val’s but a bit longer, with slight facial hair grown. Taking in a deep breath with his artificial respitory system he finally, though lapsed in its timing answers Lon’s inquiries.

SACUL – The mansion was invaded…neither Val nor Corrie, nor Isis had much time to react. I remember the droids, hundreds of them and the last one…a SD-10 model…the last thing I saw before I was…deactivated. I told them to run, it was the right thing to do.

LON – Why didn’t anyone tell me what was going on? I would have been here sooner, I could have made a difference in the fight! I…

SACUL – No Lon…no one saw it coming. Perhaps you might have had some impact in the fight but the result would have been the same, there was just too many for any of us to handle. Val could have stopped them easy but Crymson…(cut off)

LON – Crymson! Crymson Vachon! That black haired, red eyed bantha fodder is still around? Don’t tell me Val and her locked it up again.

SACUL – (nods slowly) I’m not aware of the specific outcome but I do recall Master Val’s lightsaber and Crymson’s pink dual saber clashing on several occasions before my deactivation. Master Val mentioned two things…The Killian and Quillion.

LON – Quillion? Who is that? What the hell is a Killian? Some sort of dinner dish?

Sacul stands up and paces around the room, clasping his hands behind his back in a military fashion, craning his blue orbs back, gazing to Lon before continuing.

SACUL – All I am aware of, is what Master Val told me. He said that The Killian were a group of elite assassins who had been hounding him and his company for months. Apparently this Killian is led by a figure named Quillion. Val rescued a girl named Isis Surul from termination on Tabannoplis.

LON – Val was always a sucker for the girl in distress.

SACUL – Well as fate would have it, Isis turned out to be Sara Versai, Val’s sister separated shortly after their parents were terminated. However as quickly as he learned this fact, in my damaged programming I heard him utter she was killed, last I know is he took off to go face Quillion.

LON – Whoa! Val has a sister? No way! So he went to go face Quillion eh? Let me guess, the ol one man army approach?

SACUL – (nods) I can only assume so, but I can assure you Master Val was more upset then I have ever seen him before…he almost reminded me of you, when you consumed yourself with the dark side. It was frightening Lon, I fear Master Val might have traveled too far down the dark path.

LON – Nah Sacul, You got to have a lil faith man! Val dragged my stubborn butt back from the dark side remember? He showed me that the power and privileges the dark side gives you is just a smoke screen compared to the damage it can cause…loneliness, paranoia, impulsiveness.

SACUL – (nods slowly) I guess you’re right but Val was not the same person I knew…it was very hard to detect as my vocal circuits were offline all I could do was watch through narrowed slits. I remember words he told me though…

Sacul’s eyes suddenly go into total concentration as Lon leans in closer, to listen recognizing this manner of body language, it was Sacul’s playback procedure. He had to divide his own programming with the playback information, which played back the voice of the person he was repeating to whomever needed to hear it, in this case it was very uncanny and a little bit creepy to hear Val’s voice, echo through Sacul’s audio receptors.

VAL – (speaking to himself) Sacul, if only life was as easy as your programming abilities. To wave a magic wand and make anyone come back from death…if it were that simple, I would not suffer night after night with my loves death blazing through my eyes…or Isis’s body being stabbed over and over again like a never ending loop…and you, I did not see you fall my friend, but from the heavy duty weapons by your fallen form, and the damaged SD-10 droid in ruins…I know you fought well.

VAL – (growls) Quillion… "You've stepped over the line this time. You've inflicted your vengeance upon those I cherish...You've awoken the beast within me…You have brought me your hatred...now you will feel mine.

Lon shivers a moment, hearing the intensity in Val’s words, knowing them all too well as the “I will hurt you” tone. Sliding his fingers along his lap, Lon looks around the room again, taking a long sip of his ale then waits for Sacul to return to his normal programming.

LON – Sacul I only want to know one thing…where is this Quillion guy and his Killian lackeys?

SACUL – (still in playback body) Accessing… Foreign Substance…15%…sonic emissions detected…tracing…signal located upon Xyquine…location Outer Rim Territories...signal location immobile. – Downloaded from master computer…accessed by Valaryc Versai.

LON – Xyquine eh? Well I can’t exactly rush off to there at the moment and leave you like this. So let’s say we start fixing up this pad and making it like old times eh ol buddy?

SACUL – (normal mode) Aye Master Wol. I will initiate the backup refurbishment droids momentarily, estimated time to complete repairs…one standard month.

Lon smiles to Sacul then helps him get his bearings again. An hour passes as images from the past paint their way over the damage in the building while Lon roams the halls. Sacul has called in a flurry of automated droids which work diligently without question, removing damaged sections of rooms, walls, and floors replacing them with new plates, pounding out dents and filling in the holes in the walls from the blaster wear. As Lon rounds a corner he paces outside, taking in a deep breath of the fragrant trees swaying in a gentle breeze. His hair billows softly in the wind as his eyes gaze down to the courtyard. Many a lesson had been learned there, his memory playing back endless drills between Master and Padawan with training sabers. Lon was quite impulsive then and Val was quick to point it out. All the training had forged a bond between Val and Lon, a bond that would not be broken as long as both lived.

Lon was just beginning to learn about the events that lured Val out of his seclusion. He himself had decided to return to the mansion after catching Val’s face on a holomonitor from one of the media networks. It was the first confirmed image of Val in five years, waving to the camera that zooming away from Tatoonie’s gravity.

Lon slowly glanced down to his gloved fist, smoothing his fingers over a brand underneath. Placed there by a dark side driven faction known as Hissis, it was a solemn reminder of where the dark side leads the weak. In a classic battle between Master and student, akin to Obi Wan and Anakin, Val had defeated Lon and forced him day by day first as a prisoner, back to the righteous path. At the time Lon wanted to kill Val for forcing him to abandon his power, for chaining him like an animal, locking him in a cell for his own good but gradually like a drug dependent, Lon was weaned back into reality. Val had then proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to him, that someone cared for his survival…Lon mattered. Xola a beautiful, pink skinned Zeltron with luxurious curves and smooth inviting hips was Lon’s love interest. She had also been instrumental in Lon’s step back from the dark side with her soothing caresses and gentle compassion.
Currently Xola was miles away at Lon’s own mansion which he had built from Wol Enterprises mining of Seafah crystals. Seafah when deconstructed the proper way into gas proved to be twice as efficient as tabanna gas in weaponry like blasters, and with this information and equipment donated by VT, Lon had attained his own nest egg, though far smaller in comparison to Val’s massive financial empire.

Xola supported her lover’s wishes, having bid Lon a fond farewell when he reached the decision to seek out Val and catch up on old times. Neither Xola nor Lon could have imagined the scene Lon arrived in but little by little, the droids began to restore the mansion to its original glory. For the moment, while he replenished the Night Stalker was being refitted with new engines and higher tech equipment in a nearby hanger. The new engines invented by VT allowed a craft to travel almost twice as fast and long through hyperspace then standard NR issue drives.
 

EXTERIOR:  HYPERSPACE – “VINDICATOR” - BRIDGE

Beyond the emotional impacts The Killian have unleashed upon Val and now, entering Lon Wol’s path, time having passed, Lance Jade now commands his SSD “Vindicator” gazing out a port side window to formations of ships, both VT and NR gathered, currently in hyperspace as stars steam along their geometric hulls. Lance’s eyes shift over to a board set up on the bridge of his flagship, depicting all the vessels forming the “Liberation” armada.

Among those listed are the promoted leads of the military aspect of the battle. Marc Jade was now Admiral Jade, upon his MC- 90 which he dubbed “Destiny’s Light”. Kalin also was given a promotion by the VT Council, granted the role of Rear Admiral, at Marc’s side the other being a Rear Admiral from the New Republic, each working in unison to see the second fleet would not suffer the fate of the first as they neared Xyquine’s system. Less then ten minutes from their destination, Lance paced over to a communications operator, giving him orders to contact the rest of the fleet. With a deep breath, the scene shifts to all the vessels in cold space, coming to a perceived dead stop, as they drop out of hyperspace.

Lance and Marc’s ships stay shielded in the rear, while the other vessels flank the right and left in delta formations. Lance’s eyes peering out a massive window on the bridge, spotting the enemy right away. Four Shadow Serpents lay in wait; just before Xyquine’s cloud swirled, purple aura comes into view. From the current distance, Lance sees the Shadow Serpents come closer into view, giving the signal to the rest of the fleet to raise their shields. What puzzles Lance is that the four ships seem alone, no doubt more vessels were cloaked but confident the vessels could not fire and maintain their stealth, Lance ordered the rest of the fleet to keep a close eye on their surroundings.

Marc comes over the comlink.

LANCE – (answering Marc) Yes, I see them too…and I know this is entirely too easy. What are they waiting for? Do you suppose our numbers have startled them?

MARC – (com) No sir, not likely. I would wager they are waiting for something else. We know they attack from behind, so I have the other fleets on guard watching their back. This doesn’t make much sense though…why leave 4 ships completely out in the open?

LANCE – (com) It never makes much sense with these people. Nothing is ever as clear as black and white, we must expect the unexpected. If they fire on us, we take them.

MARC – (com) Somehow if they follow the standard “villain” rulebook, their superior officer will most likely contact us and gloat first.

LANCE – (com) Ah yes, the usual “Greetings I am ____ I represent the ___ surrender or die, blah, blah, blah, insert villainous laugh here with cliché battle line.

As the massive Liberation armada lies in wait, the forward ships facing the four Shadow Serpents still strangely hovering in place, with no signs of charged weapons, scanning being impossible with the Luxor Armor repelling detection as much as deflecting energy weapons, both sides take up their positions and wait from one or the other to break the silence.
 

INTERIOR:  THE KILLIAN CITADEL – THRONE ROOM (LEFT SIDE)

As the fleets assemble in Xyquine’s atmosphere, returning to the blaster riddled interior of the Killian Throne Room, Val has taken up refuge behind a pillar for the last hour, as Cire has discovered that having his blasters fire is useless. With a flick of his finger he allowed Val and Corrie a small degree of rest, while his surprise charged above him. The increasingly louder hum of electricity grew louder now, while Cire relaxed on his shielded throne. Glancing down to the power level meter, the sequence of red lights were now fully lit, leading up to two lights in the yellow zone before the green section was achieved. This delighted Cire as he taunted Val to swing effortlessly against his impenetrable force field.

Val had already pieced together his plan, he knew that the instant he moved from behind the pillar and posed any threat to Cire’s position, Cire would reactivate the blasters again and this time Val was counting on his response. In some ways Cire had surprised Val and gained the upper hand but in other ways beneath the genetically tampered frame, Cire’s mind was still as juvenile as it was back in the days of training in the Dark Jedi Academy. Val banked his next tactic on Cire’s predictability and smiled to Corrie to his far left.

VAL – Heya toots you look pretty hot in that outfit, what time do you get off?

CORRIE – Shut up Val! This is neither the time nor the place!

VAL – Well you got to admit you look pretty sexy in that outfit he’s got you in…I love how it defines the curves of your bre…..(cut off)

CORRIE – BE SERIOUS VAL!

Cire glares his eyes towards Corrie and Val’s exchange, running his fingers along buttons on his throne. Suddenly the large view screen is revealed as an image of the Liberation armada looms against the purple tones of a endless star field, the four Killian Shadow Serpents also visible from the shimmers of light off their highly polished hulls.

CIRE – Never fails eh Val? You get in the mood and company shows up!

Val glances to Corrie and smirks a moment, giving a nod as they exchange mental thoughts to one another under the nose of Cire’s telepathic detection. Having been distracted by the Val’s flirtatious words, what Val really told Corrie was to make a dash to the right side of the room and draw some fire, while Val put his plan into action, staring down at a blaster riddled, carving in the floor, clean through to the level below them. Val was crafty and sneaky now, as he banked on Cire’s overconfidence he managed to glance up to the monitor and see the fleets gathering.

A small tinge of relief trickled through his pores as he took a deep breath, getting his attributes of strength and speed up. He heard the machinery powering up above him. Having studied historical records of the Battle of Yavin IV and the Battle of Endor, he started to see the pattern, right down to Cire’s déjà vu choice of words.

CIRE – Don’t get too excited Val, we’re quite safe from your friends here. They’re walking into a trap of my devising…soon you will understand the power I possess.

VAL – (grinning) The only place you’re going Cire, in a few moments is straight down.

Cire quirks a brow a moment, then quickly starts to press a series of buttons as Val makes a mad dash towards his throne, on cue he activates the blaster units in the wall and Corrie dashes towards the right side of the room, while Val moves in blinding speed up the stairs to the dais, drawing the fire from the blasters hot on his heels, then begins to do something completely unexpected. He runs around Cire’s shielded throne in circles.

CIRE – Trying to get some exercise Val! Just what did you mean by….what the???

Cire’s cocky remark is cut short as he starts to feel his throne begin to unsettle, hearing metal churning and bending beneath his feet, outside of the parameter shield. Trying to put two and two together, the blasters and Val running in circles he can’t seem to make much sense of it, until he notices that beyond the rising shower of sparks following Val’s heels, more and more bits of metal begin to fly upward, and he starts to literarily feel like he’s sinking downward. Then it hits him, the damage to the floor and the accuracy of the blasters fixed on Val RUNNING IN A CIRCLE AROUND HIS THRONE…Quickly Cire attempted to drop the shields, downloading control of his surprise into another console across the room as metal squeals and churns below his feet. Cire was well aware now, and as he stops the blasters from firing on Val he’s too late…his throne begins to drop, and all Cire can do the split second his shields drop is hold on to a ledge of sheared metal.

You see Val had devised that if the blasters were so precisely linked to carve a hole in the floor at a given speed, then by running in circles several times around Cire’s throne, he would then cause them to in a comical, cartoonish fashion to carve a circular cut around the base of the throne outside the shields and with no support, WOOOSH Cire’s mighty throne drops like sack of dimes.

Cire scowled, as he glanced down to his precious seat hurl down from the ceiling of the lower level, to the lower floor, thudding with a loud BANG, metal impacting metal at tremendous speed. His hand now clutched a section of the gaping hole in his dais platform, glaring to Val as he smiled, who was looming his foot closer to Cire’s fingers, starting to lay the boot across the knuckles, adding pressure. Cire with all his strength had to support the weight of his body with his one arm, dangling from the hole in the floor, his only thought to channel the force into his body and regain the control he had lost.

CIRE – NO FAIR VAL! YOU MANIPULATED ME!

VAL – (mocking) It’s simply amazing how technology has allowed the human body, yours for instance…to evolve into someone dumber then their Mother. Knock me down Cire, and I will continue to outsmart you.

Cire roars in anger, his own words being twisted around as he ponders his options, letting the dark side fill his veins, for the moment at Val’s mercy. Val crouches down and snickers, moving his boot he starts sliding his fingers around Cire’s clutching hand, lifting up the first, loosening the grip, causing Cire to panic.

CIRE – WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING! STOP THAT!

VAL – This lil student went to a forest…

Val starts pulling up and dropping the second finger now.

VAL – This lil Master got Gen.

CIRE – No stop! I can’t hold on…knock it off now!

VAL – This lil student got angry…

Cire’s eyes narrow in desperation, as he barely holds on to the ledge with two fingers, quickly hooking his free hand around to another portion of the hole to establish a firmer grip, teetering over the abyss of darkness below him.
VAL – This third rate student killed Gen Zeridian…

CIRE – And what?

Val kicks Cire as hard as he can square in his head, hard enough that Cire instantly loses his new grip and begins to fall.

VAL – THIS OVERCONFIDENT PRICK FALLS DOWN THE HOLE!

CIRE – ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHH * * * * * (fades out)

As Val grins in delight, seeing Cire disappear from sight. He has little time to react as Cire uses his dark side power to hurl a force gale towards the floor below him moments later, keeping it going, it acts as a propulsion engine, launching him straight back up through the hole and back into the throne room. Val is pushed back as Cire hurls back through the opening, as Corrie searches for weapons. Cire flips around, and lands on the furthest left corner of the room nearest the dais, hitting a button as another energy surge powers in the room. This time a pink force field suddenly cuts Corrie off from Val on the right side of the room, leaving Val and Cire isolated on the left. As Corrie tries to get through the shield, she is knocked back five feet from the shocking impact of the room divider.

CIRE – YOU READ THE WRONG BOOK VAL! THIS IS WHERE WE REACH LAST CALL!

Cire glares over to Corrie, then presses a button on a wrist unit. Elsewhere, underneath the throne room having been waiting for the signal, a figure makes his way to the double doors, kicking them open with his black boot, dressed in a green Imperial outfit, his face is shielded in shadow.
 

INTERIOR:  THE KILLIAN CITADEL – THRONE ROOM (RIGHT SIDE)

CIRE – VAL AND I NEED A MOMENT ALONE GIRLS! You on the other hand have a guest Miss Dublon, I think you’ll find him worth your PERSONAL attention.

As the figure enters the room, brandishing a blaster, Corrie’s eyes narrow a moment, bracing to fight then suddenly flare outward in utter shock. The first source funding The Killian who wishes to rebuild the glory of the empire was being led by the last high ranking officer in its ranks, with gray hair and standing 5’10 with a medium muscular build, he is named High Admiral Kor

KOR – (glancing to Corrie) Awww what’s the matter Sunspot? Not happy to see dear old Dad?

CORRIE – (growls) I’ve made it a career of avoiding you…Father.

Admiral Kor begins to pace towards Corrie, gazing to her with his bulging eyes similar to Krevlin, but his face more flexible, with a toothy grin (William Dafoe), a blaster ominously held in his left hand with a RED strip along the power cell, while another lies in the holster to his right. His silver hair gleems as he closes distance with his estranged daughter. Cire on the other hand allows Val this one instant of time to see the occurance on the right side of the divider shield. While Val sees Corrie’s impending danger, through the force, Val can predict Kor’s next move running past Cire, momentarily neglecting the shield as he is thrown five feet back from its shocking impact, it is enough of a distraction though to save Corrie from her wicked father’s intentions, as a blaster bolt emits from his weapon, narrowly missing Corrie’s leap back, dashing quickly as her father fires hot on her heels, behind a pillar.

KOR – Corrie, Corrie Corrie, look at yourself…look at what you have allowed yourself to become, a worthless Sunspot in an crude bikini.

CORRIE – (behind the pillar) STOP CALLING ME SUNSPOT! DO YOU THINK I CHOSE TO DRESS LIKE THIS???

KOR – It’s only a matter of time Corrie dearest. You cannot believe how delighted I was when Lord Quillion gave me an offer I could not refuse. You captured, in exchange for private information and access to our shipping facilities. All he asked I gave him and now look at the power he has amassed!

CORRIE –  You’re behind his funding? Why would you even bother, I thought it was Imperial code not to trust renegade factions?

Kor starts to pace around the pillar luring Corrie into a false sense of security as he speaks to her, seeing her shadow along the floor, training his blaster upward, aiming to shoot his daughter the minute she comes into view.

KOR – (calm toned) He has the power to rebuild The Empire! While the New Republic dominates the universe with its dreams of peace and prosperity, he has been using our funding to revive our Imperial glory! Soon very soon, the BEST the NR and VT have to offer will be decimated! Join me daughter and we’ll rule together.

CORRIE – Join you? After all the abuse you’ve put me through and the agony you placed on Mother? No… your career is dying Father, I will not revitalize your pathetic dreams of conquest. Your “new” Empire is nothing but a pipe dream…face reality!

Just as Kor can make out the beginning of Corrie’s slave attire, she sprints away in a zig-zag formation, causing Kor’s blaster shots to miss her, careening into the already damaged walls. While Kor is distracted, Corrie uses the force to hurl herself up into the catwalks, sensing the darkness there would make it harder for her father to aim, since for the moment she did not have access to a weapon to fight him on even ground. Undistracted, Kor dashes up a set of stairs, not having the ability to use the force as he meets Corrie’s foot face first, sending him spiraling back down the stairway. At the age of 65 Kor was not as youthful and energetic as his younger years, so it takes him precious minutes to recompose himself, by then Corrie has disappeared from sight, up into the darkness of the rafters.

KOR – (gazing into the rafters)  Very well you ungrateful brat! I should have known a weak willed woman like you could never handle any real responsibility. I should have had a son…YOU WERE A MISTAKE! NOW I WILL ERASE THAT MISTAKE!
 
 



**END OF PART II**
 

[ Back to Main Story Page I To Part III ]


 

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