The Right Hand Of Darkness

Episode X: Darkness Revealed

The true face of the enemy is revealed

Previously: After infiltrating and then storming the first floor of the secrete Imperial base, the group had managed to secure a portion of the communications data and released the prisoners that were being used for experimentation. In the laboratory they discovered two test subjects suspended in Bacta tanks and swollen with obscene amounts of muscle. Despite the gunfight, neither of the experiments seemed to be responsive. However, the Force sensitive members of the group did notice that there seemed to be a connection of some sort between the two subjects and the collection of small vials filled with silvery liquid samples from the creature Mn’ggal. After a tense discussion it was decided that the samples would be tossed into the nearest pool of industrial acid the group came across. Reviewing the data from the captured communications proved shocking for Numinov as they found a holotransmission showing a Shistavanean Sith bowing to a Sith Lord with pale skin and black tattoos scrawled across his face. They discussed the success of the experiments and the transfer of several of the subjects to the secondary site for further testing. Sev Assani also seemed quite shaken but kept his thoughts to himself.

At this point the command center on the second level of the facility had been alerted but the group managed to perform a blitzkrieg attack, confusing the enemy by arriving in four separate turbolifts and putting the looted frag grenades to use. The group quickly cleared out all resistance, including a squad of stormtroopers, an imperial officer, and a pair of the test subjects that seemed to be fully functional and extremely tough. Also discovered was Mika the Hutt who attempted to flee the area but was captured by the group. Upon questioning Mika admitted that the kidnapping was simply a ruse to distract her father, Paroga the Hutt, while she maneuvered to take over his holdings with the help of the Imperials. Now, the group turns their attention to the hangar above where the Force sensitives of the group sense a dark presence waiting for their arrival…

Currently: As the smoke clears from the control room battle, the group turns their attention to Mika the Hutt as she cowers in a corner and trying not to look threatening. Mika tearfully explains that she was only working with the Imperials in an attempt to oust her father, Paroga the Hutt, from his control of the criminal underworld on 244Core. She felt that she would never get the chance to her own empire while Paroga was still in charge so she planned to use her new allies to strong arm him into giving up his holdings. She wasn’t told much about what the slaves she sold were used for but she was on her way to meet the person in charge before they took care of Paroga for her. A little bit of good cop/murderous cop with Alena and the Mandalorians convinces Mika to play along and pretend the group is her entourage as she goes to meet the mysterious commander in the Hangar Bay.

Rising up the undamaged cargo elevator, the group begins to hear the sound of a powerful storm outside. The metallic smell of 244Core’s polluted air gets stronger as they go until they arrive in a large open hangar area. Cargo containers of all sizes litter the hangar floor, a control room sits against the wall to the right and the gaping open maw of the Hangar doors lies open. The storm outside is particularly fierce and lighting cracks every few minutes but the group’s attention is drawn to the two large bacta tanks, identical to the ones found downstairs, and the menacing figure facing away from them.

A dark furred Shistavanen wearing a simple set of robes covered in Sith designs turns to face the group. She compliments them on their ruse to lure out half of her forces and says that the galaxy will need cunning like that in the dark times ahead. She informs them that her name is Darth Tempestus and that, although she does not with to kill them, she will not let anyone interfere with the important work she is doing.

At this point, much to the group’s confusion, Sev steroids forward. Darth Tempestus is obviously shocked and seems to recognize Sev immediately. She smiles at him, her face pained, and says that he obviously got her message but that the time for her salvation is not yet at hand. There was more work she must do in order to safeguard the galaxy from the coming storm. Sev attempts to calm her down by reminding her of the Jedi she once was but she rejects his pleas for peace with a snarl.

Tempestus ignites her lightsabers and taps into the fury within her to engulf the cargo lift platform in a furious Force Storm. Powerful winds and acidic rain pummel the group and they lose sight of the Sith as she turns to flee. Creed, the Mandalorian, is the first to react as he immediately activates his jetpack and leaps up out of the storm and onto one of the large cargo containers. He gives a wicked grin as he spots the Sith running for cover but his glee turns to alarm when he notices the two heavily-armed battledroids that turn their attention to him. As the battle begins in earnest the other members of the group scatter away from the acidic rain of the Force Storm, Sev and Korvash in pursuit of Darth Tempestus while Alena and Numinov both heading for the control room. On the way there Numinov spots a third droid lurking behind one of the supply crates just as a pair of auto-turrets pop out of their concealed wall-plates. One attempts to fire at Numinov but it undergoes a malfunction and sparks fly as it loses one of its targeting servos. The other fires at Creed but it has difficulty hitting him while he maneuvers in mid-air.

Continuing her movement towards cover, Darth Tempestus darts behind one of the large cargo containers but peeks back out to attack Korvash with a blast of Force-inspired fear. Creed fires his pilfered Imperial Auto-Cannon at one of the droids before flying around to bring Tempestus back into view. The hidden droid fires at Numinov and manages to wound him before he can duck back behind cover while the damaged battledroid fires back at Creed, missing him as he careens through the air. The last droid, seeing that Korvash has attacked the designated protectee, fires its missile at him. Even though its not a direct hit, Korvash feels the impact as it detonates one of the crates next to him. Although he is momentarily shaken by the explosion and the fear that Darth Tempestus forced into his mind, Korvash’s warrior training allows him to push onward and he fires his concussion rifle back at the Sith, knocking her to the ground while Numinov darts through the control room in an attempt to surround the Sith.

As she moves between two cargo containers, Darth Tempestus forces a dark vision into the mind of the persistent Creed, hoping to slow down his pursuit. Creed clutches his helmet, screaming out in agony as the SIth’s vision pierces his mind. He sees the galactic plane laid out before him as a glittering disk of stars teeming with the life force of countless beings. From the edges of the galaxy, however, a writhing darkness begins to spread. Every world that it touches is left a blackened, dead husk, devoid of life. This continues until the darkness reaches the core of the galaxy and engulfs it in shadows, extinguishing the last light in the vision and plunging Creed into darkness. Creed’s warrior spirit would not be extinguished, however, and he clawed his way back to reality with a fire in his eyes, unleashing yet another volley of Auto-Cannon fire at the bleeding Sith. Still attempting to protection Tempestus, two of the Droids attempt to grapple Creed in mid-air but he nimbly darts out of their grasp. Sev attempts one last time to appeal to his old friend and, realizing her weakened condition prevented any sort of victory, the Sith finally relents. She slumps her shoulders and criss out, “ENOUGH! I surrender. I’m no good to this galaxy dead.” Darth Tempestus commands the battledroids to stand down and allows the Mandalorians to place binder cuffs on her wrists.

The group quickly grabs Mika the Hutt and one of the disabled droids and loads everyone into a cargo speeder before making a hasty exit . Sev takes the controls and deftly maneuvers the speeder down into the canyons of trash around the base just in time to avoid being spotted by the returning Stormtrooper reinforcements. Doubling back, the Mandalorians retrieve the rented speeders they came in on and fall in behind the cargo speeder. After a brief conversation the two Mandalorians peel off without warning, taking the samples of Mn’ggal with them. Shortly after the group begins heading back towards the city, an earth shaking roar and a burst of light and heat erupts from behind them as the mountain of trash containing the lab is vaporized in a powerful explosion.

Scanning the area, the group spots the shuttle carrying the Imperial troops heading back towards the landing area. Sev puts the pedal to the metal and manages to beat the imperials to their landing pad. Once there they send Mika the Hutt off to alert the authorities to her “kidnapping” while they go fire up the Talon for a quick getaway. Once they reach orbit they get a message from Paroga the Hutt informing them that his daughter has been returned and that he has wired them their credits for a job well done. The crew thanks him before securing Darth Tempestus in one of the cabins and sending a message to the Stellar Horizon requesting Jedi support to be waiting upon their arrival. They all breathe a sigh of relief as they make the jump to hyperspace and settle in for the week long journey back to the Bakura.

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