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[SW The Jedi Mercenary] Chapter 23 - Fear of the Skies

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posted by Director KW alias Director KW on Monday 7th of September 2020 10:03:28 PM

(Hyperspace, Year 20 BBY, Venator-Class Star Destroyer Mystic , One Day after departure from Coruscant) ________________________________________________ Admiral Wolrein stares beyond into the blue, white swirls and lines, commonly known as hyperspace, as it all passes by per second as his battleship, the Mystic, makes its way to their destination. Though only their starship is the only one visible to them, beyond the blue void, the rest of the Republic fleet followed closely behind, travelling through hyperspace as well. Although he has been in many space battles, up to the battles of Geonosis to Umbara, Wolrein felt like his shoulders were heavier than usual, due to because of the battle that was about to come. As far as intelligence had reported, there was a large Separatist fleet blockading the planet of Corellia, guarding something that they didn't want the Republic to find out about. From experience, he knew this would be an extreme dogfight with heavy casualties. Ever since then, his mind has been racing to different strategies, outcomes, oppositions, and much, much more. The more he contemplated on the subject, the more stressed out he was starting to get. With the battle on his mind, he had almost missed the footsteps that was heard marching up from behind as to whomever it was stopping a few feet away from the Admiral. Breaking out from his pondering, the person from behind spoke up. Clone Captain: Admiral? We'll be reaching Corellia in fifteen minutes. Admiral Wolrein: Very good, Captain. Alert all staffs and pilots to their battle positions. I want to make sure our defenses are up and running. The captain stands straight in formality before saluting to the older man. Clone Captain: *Salutes* Right away, sir! Taking a heavy sigh, Wolrein walked towards the back of the bridge and into the control room where everyone else was patiently waiting for him. As he enters the room, he is quickly greeted by the rest of the commanding officers who were all ready for battle. Well…most of them. From left to right were Jedi Generals Hecilt and Coneros, followed by their clone commanders. From the right were Kydan, Calena, Egile and their clone officers, Breona, Patterns and R.S. The Admiral could see that all their attention were on the battle plans that were displayed through a hologram. It had taken a week to put together back on Coruscant, and even still, the Admiral was still a bit concerned about it all, but he knew that there was little-to-no options they could use in this kind of predicament. With another sigh, though silently, he stood in front of the large round table before them all. He looked to Master Coneros and nodded to him, in which the older Jedi motioned back as he looked towards the group before him. Coneros: Let's go over this one last time. Master Hecilt? Hecilt approaches the table as a hologram of Corellia is shown, revealing both the planet and the Separatist station that is orbiting the planet’s atmosphere. Hecilt: Once we reach Corellia, no doubt the Separatist will have a large portion of starships blockading our path, with an addition of several fighters and bombers. Egile, myself and the 117th will draw the enemy ships away from the fleet while Admiral Wolrein positions the fleet to defense. Once we're ready, Kydan and Calena will take Tanga Squad, the 117th & 303rd Battalions to the enemy station. Once you’re inside, you will have to disable the shields and automatic gun systems in order for the rest of us to board. We only have one shot at this, so we have to get this right. Any questions? With the obvious silence from them all, especially Kydan who seemed spaced out, Coneros took it as a no. With a nod, he deactivates the hologram. Coneros: Then ready yourselves, and may the force be with us all. ________________________________________________ (Corellia, Space, Less than one hour later) ________________________________________________ The sound of large booms could be faintly heard throughout the entire Corellia system as the large fleet of Republic warships dropped out from hyperspace. The fleet, which consisted of three Venator-class star destroyers, four Acclamator-class assault cruisers and four Arquitens-class light cruisers, slowly make their way towards the planet and the Separatist fleet. The enemy fleet was much larger than they had anticipated, however, twice the size of their own. Although their fleet seemed intimidating with bigger forces, they couldn’t turn back now. Admiral Wolrein stood in attention in front of the bridge's viewpoint, staring down the battlefield before him. His body felt tense and stiff, feeling the sense of a fierce battle slowly creeping in on them all. He knew that none of them would possibly go unscathed from this battle, but he also knew that their chances of success could go either way for both sides. He let out a deep breath of air, his body feeling just the slightest bit of relaxation when Coneros made his way towards the viewing deck. He stood next to Wolrein as he too gazed upon the battlefield before them. Both the older men could feel the tension rising, ever so slowly. Admiral Wolrein: It’s been too long since I've felt this much stress from a battle. Coneros: With a war that has been wagering for two years, it tends to catch up to us sooner or later. Admiral Wolrein: That we can both agree on, General. The Admiral turns and looks down to his captain below, nodding in motion for him to give the order. The captain returns the gesture as he quickly issues the commands to the rest of the crew. Wolrein then returns his attention back to the battlefield, ushering out the first of his orders. Admiral Wolrein: Launch all fighters! Draw out the enemy fighters away from the fleet 'til we can get through their blockade! Immediately after, many Republic fighters zoomed out from their perspective ships. All of them, consisting BTL Y-wing Starfighters, ARC-170 starfighters and the new Z-95 Headhunters, formed behind their leading fighters that took positions in front of the Republic fleet. In the very front of the squadrons, Hecilt, who was piloting his orange colored Eta-2 Actis-class interceptor, opened his communication channel to his allied forces as they made their way towards the enemy fleets. Hecilt: All fighters, report in! Weaves: Red Leader, ready! Stockpile: Blue Leader, reporting in! Hex: Green Leader, lock and loaded! Divers: Yellow Leader, ready for action! Prey: Purple Leader, all set here! Hecilt: All crafts! Lock in S-foils and get into attack position, we're going in! As soon as the Republic starfighters prepared their ships for attack, the large swarms of droid fighters in multiple various forms soon got into viewing point. Dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of droids made fast haste towards the incoming ships, all ready to protect the Separatist fleet at any cost necessary. Even to the point of their own destruction. The moment the first shot was seen passing through space and hitting the enemy fighter, the attack went into complete chaos. Shot after shot, explosion after explosion, and even one starfighter to the next, the dogfight between the two factions was absolutely devastating. Each side was losing fighters and ships left to right, neither one letting up their attack. From the Mystic’s bridge, Admiral Wolrein and Coneros watched the ongoing dogfight from the viewpoint, scanning their eyes to each of their respective fighters attacking the enemy. With much certainty, their plan was actually working. Coneros: I guess that’s the signal. Admiral? Admiral Wolrein: *Nods* All gunships! You are all clear! Commence the invasion! Clone Pilots- *Comms* Yes sir! Briefly, after only less than a minute, dozens of LAAT/I and Space Gunships flew out of the Acclamator cruisers, making swift haste towards the planet in front of them as some of the escort fighters took the lead in front of them. Sadly, a few gunships were unexpectedly caught in the crossfire of the dogfights, leaving less troops to board the enemy station. Nevertheless, the ground forces made their way towards Corellia’s atmosphere. From within the leading gunship, Kydan, Calena and their team stood in place, their hands clutched to the handles above them all. Although some of the men were murmuring to one another, Kydan crouched in the corner quietly without a word to say, a worried expression visibly showing. His mind raced with dozens of thoughts and emotions, many of them being the same thing over and over again. He couldn't help but feel that this battle was going to be different somehow, and every time he would take a quick glance at Calena, his worries grew even more. He didn't know why, but whatever was to come… it would indeed change his life forever. Feeling a sudden warm, soft hand placed on his right shoulder, he looks up to Calena who gave him a concerned look of her own. She must have seen him having the same expression. Calena: *Murmurs* Hey, you alright? Kydan:*Nods* Yeah, just...a lot on my mind, is all. Her look of concern to him grew even more, her hand grasping his shoulder a little bit more as her lips frowned a bit. Calena: *Softly* Is it about what you wanted to say earlier? I know we weren't able to talk about it earlier... Kydan: Yeah…but don’t worry about it. It’s nothing to worry about. Calena: *Frowns* You sure? Assuring her with a forced, small smile and nod, she reluctantly returned the emotion and looked to the men in front of them, each one of them preparing their current weapons. Both Tanga Squad and her current team, Rattler Squad, each checked over each other to ensure both their gear and armor were ready and set for combat. It gave her a knowing thought that these clones, even though they look alike, they cared for one another as humanly as possible. They weren’t just expendable cloned soldiers, they were regular human beings like them, and they all have their own free will to be who they were. Yet, even knowing that, it doesn’t give her comfort that they were ready to give their live to a Republic that they still don’t even know. Sometimes, those thoughts both worried and scared her very much. As she looked away from Kydan and pondered over their men before them, he turned his gaze away from her and stared at the shaking metal floor beneath him, his concerned expression returning and much more concerning. He was beginning to be afraid, more than he originally was before. In a matter of minutes, the Republic forces entered the atmosphere of Corellia, zooming past the large dense clouds into an open space in the sky. As the forces were out of the clouds, directly in front of them lied the Separatist space station, floating largely in view. Surrounding the station looked like some sort of large turret platforms, with hangers that must have carried dozens of fighters in each platform. The fighter escort immediately broke off from their perspective formation and flew off towards the platforms, hoping to distract the turrets and possible enemy fighters before they can take out the boarding parties. While the fighters pursued the guns, the group of gunships pressed on towards the station. As they got closer and closer, they could tell that it wasn't any ordinary battle station, but more like some sort of supply and research station. For what, none of them really knew, but it couldn't be good nonetheless. Nearing the station ever closer, the guns from the station began to spat out, laser fire soon started to blaze past through them. Most of them dodged the incoming attack, but a few of them were sadly caught in the onslaught, losing even more of their strike teams. Finally able to breach through their defenses, the gunships split into four groups; three gunships each landing in different hangars to split the station’s defenses into smaller groups. Once the gunships landed inside the hangar bay, the clones and their perspective officers quickly hopped out of the gunships and began their barrage against the droids, who had not expected the attack. In the upper part hangar bay, both Kydan, Calena and their own squads were quickly able to pin down the droid forces in their current area, dwindling down their numbers by the seconds. Kydan and Calena lead in the very front, slicing and shooting down droid after droid, while Breona, Patterns and their teams took an offensive position behind the cargo crates that laid about around the hangar, quickly picking off the droids one by one. It didn't take them long before the droids in the hangar to be destroyed. Surprisingly, they didn’t take very much casualties, let alone very little injuries in the aftermath. The troops walked through the debris of broken battle droids, determining each one to see if any of them were still active. Breona and Patterns both walked up to their leading officers, who were discussing about their next move. Calena: So what now? Kydan: Well...since the droids are dealt with in here, we can advance towards the command bridge and take out the guns and shields. Once we clear that part, we can contact the fleet. Patterns: Shall I get the men ready then, general? Calena: *Nods* Give them the signal, commander. Breona: *Looks around the large hangar* Weird... Kydan: *Raises eyebrow* What’s wrong, Breona? Breona: Something doesn't add up here. The droids were far too easy to deal with. There wasn't that many security forces in here. And on top of that, there weren't any commanding officers in the vicinity either. Kydan: Why would that be weird? Breona: Think about it; in the past two years of the Clone Wars, we've dealt with millions of droids and partaken in countless battles. And out of all that time, we came to realize that the Separatist always had greater numbers than we ever did. Wouldn't that mean that there is more here than we are currently seeing? Calena: Considering that our forces had broken into four groups, the droids may have split up their own forces. Breona: Maybe true, but...something here just doesn't add up... Patterns- If I may, sirs...I'm with Breona on this one. This was way too easy. We're definitely missing something here. ???- *Loud echo* Quite the hypothesis...clones! Re-activating their sabers and cocking their guns, both they and their clones looked towards the second story platforms above them. There, standing above them was a man wearing dark and shady clothing. His cape was ripped and torn horribly, possibly from the many battles he had fought in. His eyes were as yellow as a dandelion was, his hair combed straight to the very back of his neck. A black handkerchief was covering his mouth, but underneath was his devious grin that plagued it. His eyes were slightly narrowed to an extent, but not fully to where he would look angered. However, the group's eyes were narrowed, very cautious on who this strange man was. From their own perspectives, he was deemed as their enemy. Calena: Who are you? A small, sinister chuckled escaped his lips as leaped into the air with a flip, landing directly in front of them and the large door behind him. His eyes stared at them all, almost as if it was trying to dig into their very flesh. ???: I am Quiese, the acolyte of my master, Nedoura. We have been expecting you all for quite some time now. Kydan's mind raced with shock, but much anger. Not another apprentice, he thought to himself. The last apprentice he had dealt with before was the Acolyte General on Taris, Gualo Rotinth. And even he was strong! So to think that Nedoura had another one would be even worse. Quiese- My master has told me much about you two, but not as much as you, Witress. It appears that he has quite an interest in you and your abilities you possess. You may know by now...or perhaps you don't, but we have been watching you for quite some time. I believe since Geonosis, possibly? Kydan: What does Nedoura want?! Quiese: Oh...you will find that out soon enough. Nonetheless, let’s get to the point; surrender yourselves and Kydan over to us, and we, the Separatist Alliance, will let you live and leave the system unharmed. Now that sounds like a fair trade, does it not? Kydan was about to retaliate to Quiese's “fair” offer, but Calena had already beat him to it. Calena: *Narrowed eyes* I don't know who Nedoura is, or why he wants Kydan! But you are not going to get him! Not while we're still here! Just as Calena had finished her words, both Breona, Patterns and the clones aimed and cocked their blasters at the Acolyte himself, all in response to Calena's words. Each one of them didn’t need to say a single word; no one was going to take their friend away. Quiese just sighed in disappointment, clicking his tongue a few times as he waved his index finger at them all in some sort of mocking way. Quiese- That is a poor choice of words, Siruhnian. I do advice that you re-consider my offer-- BANG! Before Quiese could finish his own sentence, he saw the smoke coming out of one of Breona's pistol barrels, threatening him to shut his mouth. Quiese did not look amused by it. Quiese: *Narrows eyes* I guess this means we can’t be friends then...*SNAP* With the snap of Quiese's fingers, the large doors behind him began to open up, revealing the other part of the station. The group looked in surprise, gazing upon the large amount of droids being revealed behind the Acolyte. Battle Droids and Super Battle Droids lined up in standard formations, their blasters and wrist guns at the ready. Quiese, who was staring at the faces of both Kydan and Calena, grinned underneath his handkerchief in satisfaction, chuckling menacingly. Quiese: Say hello to my droid army, Republic scum. Droids, kill them...all of them! Immediately after, both sides began to fire upon each other, already creating lots of casualties. As the droids marched forward into the hangar, the clones quickly took cover behind the crates once again, taking shots while dodging the enemy’s blaster fire. Breona and Patterns took the middle position, both of them watching each other’s blind spots. Tanga Squad, who had taken the sides, did their best to cover their commanding officers. Rattler Squad did their utmost to hold the front line, but they were sadly being ripped into shreds by the barrage of blaster fire, wiping out half of their units already. As the intense firefight continued throughout the first floor of the hangar, Kydan and Calena focused their attention on Quiese, who had lured them away from the clones to the second floor. Both sides clashed lightsaber-to-lightsaber, swinging their sabers across the air, colliding and deflecting with the other. Quiese was most pleased with this new development. Here, right before him, was the Siruhnian Jedi Knight and the famous Dark Mercenary, fighting him on his turf. His plan was working without a hitch, everything that his master had described to him was coming together ever so beautifully. Once he was finished with them, he would finally be able to prove himself as being his master's apprentice. As for Felgrus...well, he didn't really care what would happen to the half-breed cyborg. Kydan and Calena were both surprised at how Quiese was able to defend against them both alone with a single lightsaber. A few before them were tough, but they were pretty easy to deal with once they knew their weaknesses. But this Acolyte…he was different, far different than anyone else they have faced. His form, movements, defense, offence, everything they tried against him was almost impossible to surpass. He was able to deflect their combination attacks simultaneously at once, easily blocking them without much effort. And when they would go on the defensive, Quiese would almost get a one up on them with every attack. He was a strong opponent, and possibly a dangerous one at that. But something about it all felt wrong to Kydan. His fears were beginning to emerge once again, flooding his mind with flashbacks from day one of the Clone Wars. Their current fight felt like a mirror of the first battle, back in the Geonosian research tower on Geonosis a couple years ago, where he and his old team fought against one of Alurak's traitorous men. Because his mind wandered to those moments, Kydan was quickly caught off guard by Quiese when he kicked him back a few steps and using Force Push to send him flying across the railing, his mind racing in utter surprise. Calena, who was just reaching them after being knocked back as well, was also caught by surprise as Kydan knocked right into her, sending them down to the ground. Quiese chuckled wickedly, watching as Kydan and Calena slowly get up from their collision. Quiese: *Grinning* And I thought this would be more of a challenge. Not able to hold it in any longer, growling to herself, Calena lunges towards Quiese in mid-air. At first, Quiese presumed that she would be going for a physical attack head on, so he prepared himself as he stood in a defensive stance. However, catching him by total surprise, she instead used her own Force Push, sending him flying across the rails and right into the closed, metal doors behind him, sending a certain amount of pain to surge through him. Groaning as he stood back up, a look of annoyance appeared on his face, his lips frowning ever so. He didn't expect the Jedi Knight to do that, but nonetheless, it just advanced his plan ever so more. A small grin returned as he used the Force to open the doors behind him, revealing a handful of Super Battle Droids from the other side. He took a few steps back behind his droids and snapped his fingers once again, the bulk droids raising their arms towards Kydan and Calena as rounds of red, inferno, blaster fire flew right out of their wrists, the shots flying towards them. Not wanting to allow Quiese to escape so easily, Calena dodged the incoming blaster and blocked them with her ignited double bladed lightsaber as she charged towards them, watching Quiese jogging down the hallway behind them. Just dodging another shot, she leaps over the droids and hurries to catch up to him. Kydan just got back on his feet when he saw her chasing after Quiese, his eyes widened as he realized what Quiese was doing. This all indeed felt very similar. Kydan: Calena, wait! This caught the Super Battle Droids' attention as they turned to shoot back at the mercenary. Kydan quickly ignited his purple saber, deflecting the shots back towards the droids as he whipped out his gun and started shooting back at them. He should have known what Quiese was trying to do in the beginning, but because he was so busy with everything that was going through his mind, he became so blind to that fact. Quiese’s goal was to separate them both in order to gain the upper hand on them. And it was an easy way to lure him to where ever Quiese had in store, whatever plan he had lying and waiting for the young mercenary. The trap that was clearly laid before them, and now it was sprung. To make matters worse, his fears were starting to resurface again. This is exactly like before…where he had lost them all… __________________________ This was a very intriguing, yet exciting, chapter to write. These chapters have been a long time coming, and we are so happy to get these out for you all to read. We really hope you will all enjoy what is still yet to come. Cause from here, this is all but the beginning of their long-awaited adventures. Hope you all enjoyed this chapter of the series, and if you liked what you read and saw, leave a comment and/or like on it to show your support and appreciation for it. Hope you all will stay safe in these stressful times, and really hope you have fan-tucking-tastic day/night! See you all in the next one. -Director KW & CGN Crew



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