Xiang had rapidly grown impatient with the runaround in the Jedi Temple. It was like hunting for people in a super star destroyer, only in competition with several thousand bounty hunters – none of whom had any more idea of where find their targets than she did.
When the news started getting passed around that Chan Naldor had shown up… OK, she knew she wasn’t really Xiang – but she also knew that she was now as good or better than Xiang had been on the show. That had been one of the perpetual arguments on the boards… Xiang versus Chan.
It was just too good a chance to see how strong she’d really become to pass up – so she headed for the roof.
Chan was not impressed. Weapons, armor, and force-fetishes. Definite signs of weakness!
He let her strike first. If he didn’t strike at her force-fetishes, this might be fun! Sparring partners of any kind were hard to find and there didn’t actually seem to be a Yeveetha invasion force to defeat in single combat here! He needed SOMETHING for the media to see!
He let “Xiang” strike first, and sneered as she completely failed to injure him.
Xiang lost her temper totally. She’d had ENOUGH of being sneered at!
[The player, in fact, announced that Xiang would be spending a force point on the next attack, and the dark side be damned. Xiang actually managed to injure Chan – and tossed him back a good ways – but fell to the dark side with a bad die roll].
As Xiang blew her top, the Dark Side poured through her – and, in her fury, she accepted and embraced it. She (helped unknowingly by Chan) accepted all the power it had to give.
Chan was delighted! NOW this was going to be a fight! He hammered his fist into the roof – smashing a massive area and allowing the shockwave to clear the area.
Xiang flipped up a massive chunk of the roof, slashed it into razor-sharp slices with her pike, and sent them hurtling at Chan with the impacts that cut them free.
He parried them with his bare hands, throwing up a storm of chunks that forced the news media to keep a safer distance.
Fleet Admiral Ramith groaned. Now he had TWO superpowered nut jobs smashing at each other! Admittedly, the Jedi annoyed him enough that he had no objections to seeing their temple getting smashed a bit, but this was not the sort of thing he wanted to encourage! Not with all the rest of the trouble that was going on!
The fact that the damned Jedi Council – now disentangled from the Republic Senate and a series of strikes that had tried to take them out enroute – would be arriving (and almost certainly wanting to go in – it WAS their temple after all) within the next ten or twenty minutes or so was no help at all!
Xiang had trouble with the rebounding fragments of her own attack – but she’d followed it in with a flying kick. That rebounded from Chan’s cross-block, nearly throwing her off the roof of the temple – but it drove Chan through the floor, and made him waste a moment generating a shockwave to blast out a proper arena.
Their battle continued to drill down through the temple level by level as they found the structural elements of the armored building no match for their blows.
Meanwhile, Alys and Ben were in something of a panic. One Force-Predator variant of Jacob had nearly killed them all! Now they had… a hundred thousand. Hundreds ready to wake up – and a whole planet full of compatible sapient life-forces for them to drain.
Ben was panicking a bit too! He’d found a biological superweapon he couldn’t control and had accidently brought it to Coruscant! If the Jacob’s got loose… It was going to be catastrophic!
It took some persuading to get the Bounty Hunters to head up to the “Jacob Levels” – but the fact that the reward on Jacob was now so large that even a CLONE might be enough to make them rich was persuasive.
Hundreds of them. In each room! And some already stirring… Fortunately, the first one to break free – only semi-conscious, and seconds past “birth” – was an adequate demonstration to the bounty hunters that something had to be done. It had taken thirty of them, with fairly heavy weapons, to stop it.
Fortunately, while Ben and the Bounty Hunters focused on burning down Jacobs before they could activate their powers, Alys had a stroke of brilliance… She’d already been directing the security droids, the clean-up droids, and half a dozen other sets of droids – so she had some of them start taking the space-moss paneling that blocked the force up to line the rooms with the Jacobs in them. That would, at least, prevent them from sensing or drawing on Coruscant. Now, if only they didn’t start cannibalizing each other.
Meanwhile, back with Kira…
(Sith) Ah, what is this? It looks like a weak Jedi apprentice has had the misfortune of crossing my path.
Speaking of which….
I turned to see a older stereotypical Sith flanked by a pair of soldiers. It was hard to determine which faction he belonged to, although my bets were on HoloSith given the fact that he hadn’t shut up yet.
(Sith) Why I would almost feel sorry for you given your abysmal power, but then I would be lying. I do so enjoy slaughtering the weak and helpless.
(Kira) Uh, yeah, about that, are you done talking? Because I am rather busy and would like to get this over with.
(Sith) How dare you speak to your betters in such a tone! It is about time I taught you some manners!
I proceeded to pull out the blaster I had taken from one of the soldiers I had beaten senseless. Following the lessons Ilia had taught me, I accelerated my timerate while slowing down the timerate of the blaster’s crystal as much as I could. I was nowhere near the skill of the sniper in this respect, but on the other hand, I just needed to a good high powered shot.
(Sith) Whhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttt ttttthhhhhhhhheeeeeeee hhhhhhhheeeeelllllllllllll?
I then proceeded to pull the trigger. At this close range, my interactions with the Sith and his pals was preventing me from just dumping the entire power output of the blaster into a single massive blast. Smoke bombs might have helped things, but I was holding those in reserve at the moment. I could still fire off a number of powerful shots at high speed though. The first three he managed to parry, but the next three hit him squarely in the chest as the final two shots went wild. Obviously injured, he then leapt at me with lightsaber ignited. Unfortunately I didn’t have my own lightsabers drawn at the moment and had to rely on the bracers for protection as I blocked his attacks. First two swings I managed to parry, but the third slipped past my guard to strike my shoulder. Thankfully the armor held as he was now open to counterattack.
Adjusting the inertial effects of the hypertime interface while also enhancing my strength, I then proceeded to plant my foot just below his sternum. Making sure to push as hard as I could while following through with the kick, I flung him into the ceiling. There he impacted with a splat as the ceiling bent and cracked from the impact. Finally he fell to the floor with a wet thwump. The two soldiers looked at me, then the corpse of the Sith, then back to me and ran.
Ignoring them, I proceeded to go hunting for more Sith. Unfortunately it looked like those I hadn’t stopped or killed had now gotten through the foundation and were working their way to the warehouse storage area. That meant there were going to be a whole bunch of them together in a large room where they could support each other and keep an eye on me.
The odds of me being able to take on that many Sith simultaneously were not good by any means. Being a Hybrid may give me a leg up on things, but it’s not that overwhelming an advantage. I really hated to rehash the grenade trick this frequently, but it was getting to be the only choice on some levels. Oh well, looks like the path to the warehouse is down the hall to the right until I hit the elevators, up sixteen levels, and half a kilometer south.
I was about to head that direction when I heard an utterly primal scream of rage. I could feel the holocrons down here begin applauding as I felt an explosion of Dark Side power above me. Someone had apparently fallen during this whole mess. Then the building started to rumble as this new power and the other one I had felt earlier started exchanging blows. It felt like a super star destroyer was working on leveling the Temple floor by floor or something.
<Valerie> Oh now that is impressive, if completely idiotic.
<Kira> Mind filling me in on the secret? Or are you too busy trying to coax a second round out of the idiot?
<Valerie> Looks like Korda Varnal just went to the Dark Side in her duel against Chan Naldor. She is even holding her own now.
<Kira> Korda Varnal?
<Valerie> That’s Xiang’s real name.
<Kira> Oh, never really bothered to learn it since your therapy didn’t seem to change anything. Wait a minute…. that is the two of them battling it out above me?
<Valerie> Yep, they’re tearing the place apart according to the news cameras. And the therapy did work, she was able to acknowledge she wasn’t Xiang. Now if you would catch me some Baramour for the next rounds of tests….
<Kira> Catch you some Baramour? It isn’t exactly like catching squirrels. And what’s…. excuse me….
CRASH CRASH BANG THWOOM
<Kira> Was this how it was like for you back at the Academy? You show up, someone immediately challenges you, and then usually meets a painful end?
<Valerie> More low class Sith and far fewer bounty hunters. Got especially bad once I became the top at the Academy. Eventually I made enough examples to deter the rest until the next batch arrived. You’re just working on the entire Galaxy at once it seems.
<Kira> Now as I was saying before I was interrupted there, what’s wrong with the Sith we’ve already caught?
<Valerie> Medical specialists are so rare and yet so very useful to have.
<Kira> Was it not too long ago you were chastising me for relying on crazy doctors?
<Valerie> Well yes, of course. I am working on making them not crazy.
<Kira> Sigh, I will see what I can do. But the odds of me running into one stupid enough to assault the Jedi Temple of Coruscant aren’t good.
By that point I had reached the warehouse. I could see a pair of Sith war droids standing guard inside the entrance. Stupidly they were looking inwards towards the center of the warehouse as opposed to at the door like they should have been. Deciding discretion was the better part of valor, I slipped past the droids without disabling them for the moment and started hiding amongst the crates of stuff. Peering over one of them to get a better look at the Sith raiders, I saw six of them hurriedly shoving items into bags and boxes and giving them to droids for hauling out. It didn’t look like they had sensed my presence yet, or they were too busy shovelling loot to worry about a minor hole in the Force in their midst.
They were carrying a lot of explosives. Interestingly enough, looked to be plastic as opposed to the thermal detonator type stuff. Enough to put a good sized hole in a building. It didn’t look to me to be enough to bring down the temple though despite their hopes. I wonder if it’s easier to slip through customs or if it’s readily manufactured if you know what you are doing? Sadly, it did look like these guys were smart enough to have separated the explosives from the detonators. So no variations on the grenade pin tricks here.
Well, that stuff needs an electric discharge to detonate. Force lightning would work, but that would expose me to counter attack and the Dark Side feedback of using it to attack living beings. I really didn’t want to have to rely on thermal detonators and getting into a massive six on one battle to win this. Hmm, I suppose I could try to shunt in an arc of electricity. It wouldn’t be nearly as controlled, but it would probably do the job quite nicely. Alright, now that I have line of sight, it should simply be a matter of….
I was prepared for the blast, unlike the Sith. On the other hand, I wasn’t quite prepared for the sheer intensity of the blast wave that hit me. It took quite a bit of straining in order to withstand that blast and even then, my skin and hair were smoking afterwards. By the time my eyesight finally recovered, I could see that a large section of the warehouse was now rubble. I saw one Sith running out the door and at least two more lying on the ground dead or unconscious. Most disturbing though was the fact that the blast had noticeably distorted the floor and ceiling.
That was probably a little too much electricity.
Still, I think the looters – or at least this batch – were more or less done here. Those not dead or unconscious were making a run for it. The droids were still mechanically going about the process of looting, but that was a minor issue in comparison. I was surveying the damage for any signs of a major structural collapse when I felt a Holocron reach out to me.
<Holocron> That was ruthless, treacherous, and utterly pragmatic. You have real potential there young man. Would you care for some lessons on other destructive and malicious techniques? I assure you that many of them could easily dispose of your enemies in a similar or even more dramatic fashion.
<Kira> Hey, I’ve always wanted to collect some Sith Holocrons. I figured with enough of them, I could start my own line of Sith Glitter Glue. Are you volunteering?
<Holocron> Unbelievable, so much potential and yet such a lack of vision. You could quickly be free of the threat of bounty hunters given a few proper examples. You would waste all the knowledge I possess just to make sparkly powder to sell to little girls?
<Kira> Actually, I consider it recycling.
Lazlo, meanwhile, had completed his dark side technique lessons with the Holocrons – after all, it wasn’t the techniques that were corruptive, it was using them for attacking – so all he had to do was to limit himself to the peaceful applications and it should be all right!
Wait, Alys said there were a pack of Sith coming in with the intention of causing mass death and destruction? That was just stupid! It had to be stopped!
He headed off to stop them.
Unfortunately, after a few moments of discussion, the Sith had concluded that the conversation wasn’t going anywhere, sprayed greenish gas all over, and departed. If only he’d had tea! Still, the gas didn’t seem to be instantly poisonous… It did seem to be making his old wounds hurt though. What, they had “recall old injuries” gas? How could that work?
Worse, they were splitting up – although still in groups that were big enough to be fairly tough to handle. They were closing blast doors in his face too.
He headed back to consult with Alys. He’d need her assistance to track multiple groups through this maze – and he needed to consult with her and the military about what this good might be. At least it didn’t appear to be fast.
Alys was busy swearing again. The bounty hunters wanted Kira and Ben and possibly Lazlo – although the rewards on him were small – and HERSELF? Wait, that one bounty contract wanted her alive, unharmed, and in EVENING DRESS? What kind of perverts were after her?
The Holocrons started offering her lessons in causing people horrible pain. At the moment, that was almost tempting – particularly when she got Lazlo’s report and started looking into bioweapons.
It was then that I became aware of a cloud of green gas beginning to leak into the room where a wall had failed. I wasn’t liking the impressions I was getting from that thing. Then Alys came over my commlink.
(Alys) Kira, we’ve got a problem.
(Kira) More bad news?
(Alys) Afraid so, I’ve been talking to Fleet Admiral Ramith….
Now why does that name sound familiar?
(Alys) And Lazlo. It looks like we have Sith running around releasing toxic bioweapon gas. A green gas being released by those guys in the stealth cloaking.
Now that over there is an ominous green gas too….
(Kira) You don’t say.
(Alys) According to the Admiral, the stuff activates the Bacta that’s replaced the tissues in old wounds and turns it back into it’s native form. It will eat the host until they dissolve into goo.
Lovely, now it looks like we have Baramour running around. Oh damn it all. This is probably what Valerie was subtly referring to when she talked about capturing a Baramour. I could feel that damned smug grin on her face from here.
<Valerie> And what were those odds again Kira?
Ignoring her, I turned my attention to the green gas slowly creeping it’s way towards me. Running various scenarios against Precognition and Assess Odds gave me the sobering figure of possibly a hundred million dying if this stuff got into the open air. Kept in the Jedi Temple, it would likely kill most everyone inside it. Disinfectant was not going to be available in the quantities we needed soon enough. And there was no way the Jedi and I could keep this many people from dying while also fighting Sith.
Damn it, time to do something drastic again.
(Kira) Alys, I need you to describe to me in as much detail as you can what this stuff is. I am going to try to shunt it out.
She put me through to some Republic military doctor who then began to describe the virus in as much detail as I was able to understand. As he did this, I reached out with the Force and started looking for what he was describing to me. Eventually I was able to sense a tiny pinprick of life far smaller than I had ever really noticed before. After doing what I could to verify this was what he was talking about, I expanded my senses as far I could muster. There was no way I had gotten all of it, but I definitely found most of it. Especially those very high concentrations in packages over there. That must be where the Baramour are at then. Having detected as much of the stuff as I could reach, I then tapped into the Codex and shoved.
The green gas in front of me quickly dissipated as did all the concentrations of the stuff that I could detect. Heh, Ilia had said that removing viruses required the skill of a Grandmaster Codifier to pull off. I was fairly certain that I was no Grandmaster of the Codex either. I doubt rubbing it in her face would really work, but it will still give me some satisfaction.
It wouldn’t. She’d been talking about viruses already in living bodies, not clouds of stuff in the air.
Meanwhile, Lazlo was fighting off his own infestation. Fortunately, he was touch enough that he hadn’t ever used all that much bacta – at least since his fight with himself and being blown into a replacement body.
(Kira) Alright, Alys, I think I got the bulk of it. There may still be traces of it around, but this will buy us time. In the meantime, I think I am going to be paying our bioweapon pals a visit.
(Alys) Understood, I am going to try and do what I can to assist.
Doubtless these guys had more than one trick up their sleeve. Probably a few more plagues and some really nasty creatures too. I was also operating with a distressing lack of support here. The bounty hunters were more likely to start shooting at me as opposed to the Baramour. Plus it seemed like Ben, Lazlo, Alys, and Xiang were busy with other problems. Jacob was MIA and I was likely to kill him the next chance I saw him anyway. Plus the Republic Military wasn’t making a concentrated effort on trying to restore order beyond establishing a perimeter and arresting anyone who came out. It makes me wonder if they are in on this, or merely taking advantage of the chaos for their own ends.
Oh well, I still have a few more tricks of my own to play here. If I am lucky, the Jedi have a stasis generator in the warehouse here. If I am unlucky, they did and I just blew it up. At least I still have some thermal detonators.
And where the hell is the Jedi Council?
The Council would, despite the delaying tactics, be arriving shortly – such things were easy enough to deal with – but they had been held up for a little while.
Ben and Alys, meanwhile, had realized that they were facing a disaster. They’d successfully gotten the Jacob’s restrained, but Xiang and Chan were smashing their way down through the temple. When they hit the levels devoted to cloning…
At least they’d stopped that blasted broadcast. Admittedly, it had been by smashing up that entire level in passing when Lazlo steered them that way a bit, but it was stopped anyway. That wouldn’t exactly make up for Ben importing a doomsday weapon and installing it in the Jedi temple though. The Council would NOT be amused.
On the other hand, it was hard to argue with the Military’s current shoot-on-sight order on Jacob, regardless of what the Jedi Council thought. Even Alys thought it would be no great loss!
It also made it apparent that Fleet Admiral Ramith had some idea of what was going on. That… would be worth investigating later on.
If they survived Chan and Xiang. People that tough should not exist! And neither should they be able to shatter armored glass in a wide radius by cracking their knuckles!
One of the bounty hunters calmly headed out, went up to the current scene of the fight and asked for autographs – while Vi placed bets (and set up some stock market manipulations; it was obvious that the news was going to hit the markets…).
That managed to stall things a bit. Lazlo headed up to discuss merchandising possibilities – while Vi and Ben frantically attempted to redirect their course with phasing and telekinesis enough to get them dropping dramatically down some elevator shafts, rather than smashing open the Jacob levels.
(Chan) “Bacta virus?!? When my grandmother was 714, and had been dead for forty years, she was STILL easily capable of defeating any virus!”
Lazlo promptly got them debating whether or not the Yeveetha qualified as a “virus”, and who was better able to defeat an army, and more – with the eventual upshot of the pair of them going off to fight a planetful of Yeveetha and see who got more. That was another major disaster he’d handled without having to fight anyone!
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 67a (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 66b (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 56 (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 61b (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session 66a (ruscumag.wordpress.com)