The battle quieted just as fast as it had started. The enemy laid in lifeless heaps scattered throughout the yard. Only one of the dead wore a SCEPTOR uniform. The sudden quietness was soon interrupted by the sound of an approaching transporter. “Lights!” A soldier wearing an officer's uniform shouted from the yard.
As on queue, the lights in the yard switched off allowing the night to creep in. “Here!” The officer said handing River the abandoned lightsaber. “Incoming, get ready!”
The group, as one, moved back to the steps in front of the antique doors. The ship turned slightly revealing the Arcona logo as it landed outside the wall. Before touching ground, the loading ramp started to slide open to reveal the faces of the members of the Soulfire Strike Team. Relieved, the soldiers holstered their weapons and scattered to start the clean up process.
Riverche picked up her bag as Celahir approached. “I've been trying to reach you for a while. Saying your busy is not acceptable. We have a mission.”
“Oh!” Riverche pulled out the datapad, while walking up the ramp, to look over the numerous messages filling the screen. “How did you...? Why so...? I don't want to know! I will review the messages after I get cleaned up a bit.”
“Glad you can finally join us. Take a seat and let's begin.” Celahir greeted Riverche as she entered the makeshift meeting room. “We will be landing at this landing site and we know that the survivors are being held in this area of the base.” Pointing to a room on the map display. “We are to get in and out as fast as possible. We stick together, no splitting off.” Looks at Riverche, “That means you. Rayze and Venomous will stay with the ship. Any questions? Good, how long before we land?”
“Any second.” Rayze answered focusing his attention back on the controls.
The craft slowly descended to the landing pad next to the weapons depot. The exhaust from the ship blew the remnants of the recent fight in small tornadoes. The feet gently touched the pad as the ramp started to lower. Celahir and Sashar lead the group down the ramp to the door leading to depot. Repeatedly punching a few numbers in, Celahir proclaimed “Pass codes been changed. River--”
“Here.” Handing him a couple of tools while playing with her datapad. “It's faster then to try to hack the doors.”
Celahir pried open the display panel and crossed a couple of wires. From inside the building, sirens started to blare for a moment before being silenced. “I didn't want --”
“All the doors that are shut are now locked and here is the new code.” Passing the pad to Celahir. The datapad passed through the team before returning to River's waiting hands.
The group quietly made their way down long hallways lit only by the emergency lights. At every intersection, Sashar and Celahir would stop to make sure it was clear before proceeding further, waiting long enough for the majority of the group to catch up. The few enemies roaming the halls were quickly cut down by Sashar's lightsabers.
At one particular intersection, Sashar had just cleared it and was clearing the next. Riverche and Xenna who were bringing up the rear about to cross the path, stopped at the corner as if hitting a brick wall. Looking down the new hall, Riverche saw a blinking light at the far end. “What?” Xenna whispered.
“There's something.” Riverche whispered back. The group started to move again as River turned the corner to check out the light. “I'll catch up.”
“I'm coming with you.” Xenna said following River's example.
At the end of the hallway, a door leading into a small vacant room stood half off it's path. Blaster scars and dried blood decorated the walls and floor. Shelves hung in danger of falling to the ground at any moment. The contents of the desk scattered throughout the room. Pieces of chair littered the floor. But even through the mess in the room, Riverche could see a faint blinking light coming from the back of the room. “We need to go back. We'll get in trouble.”
“One second. I want to check something out.” Riverche responded crossing the room to investigate the light. Reaching behind a pile of debris, River's hand located two round cylinders, a smooth rock, and what felt like a data pad. As Riverche pulled the items out, she realized the cylinders were actually Braecen's lightsabers. The datapad was probably his also. The rock, which was the item that she had originally seen, was a crystal of some kind. She will have to look into it later.
“Lightsabers. What a--” Xenna started to ask.
“They're Braecen's. Let's go.” Sashar's voice from the entrance of the room startled the two girls.
He proceeded to lead the two quickly down the hallway they had ventured into. Around the corner and down the original hall. Down the second hall on the right. A little ways down the third hall on the right, the rest of the group were pinned by enemy forces guarding the prison cells.
Sashar and Xenna lit their sabers. River pulled out two round flash grenades. Almost running to join the group, River prepared to throw the two grenades into the new hall. As the light flashed, most of the Soulfire group rushed at the blinded enemy.
With the enemy slain, one by one the group opened the cell door. As each door opened to reveal only SCEPTOR agents, Sashar's, Celahir's and Wes's faces began to show signs of worry and doubt. Even the younger members were starting to doubt Braecen was even there. The last doors opened more soldiers and no Braecen. Rechecked the rooms, still no sign of him.
Pacing in the last room, Riverche went over every detail of the adventure in her mind. Did they forget something? What was overlooked? The room! From the hallway the crystal shone bright but in the room it was dull as if... She pulled the crystal out of her belt pouch and studied it. Bright again as it should be. “Di'kat!”
Determined to give him a piece of her mind, Riverche walked past the group. Down the hall. Around a few corners and back into the room. The crystal shone bright the entire trip. Even in the room, it was still bright. Scanning the room, she could barely make out what looked like a figure under the debris in the far corner of the room. After placing the crystal back in her pouch for safe keeping, she started to uncover the unconscious, severely hurt Braecen.
“Get him on the ship!” Celahir ordered from the doorway.
Several soldiers flooded the room to assist in carrying the unconscious man out. A broken self was slid, carefully under him for support and six SCEPTOR soldiers, three on each side, in unison, lifted him. River scanned the room one last time before following the group. Nothing, but memories!