The edge of the wilderness,
Outreach temperate zone,
Caina, Cocytus System,
Dark Brotherhood Territories
Battlelord Desio Predator stood alone at the edge ofthe ice pack; his piercing eyesight was startlinglyoffset by the glowing fish mark on his face. He stoodthere, evaluating everything, rejecting what was notimportant and forgetting nothing that was. He wonderedyet again why the new Consul, Bracen Kunar, hadordered him out here. Sure, the mission that he wasgiven was important, but honestly others could havehandled this mission better than he could. He wasntreally fond of the cold and the dense snow thatsurrounded him, but his cold weather gear was quiteeffective at keeping him warm enough, and he hadsuffered worse conditions before.
He felt a presence come up behind him. It was thecivilian foreman that was nominally in charge of theconstruction crew making this outpost this far out.Predator waited until the foreman was close enoughbefore speaking.
The man was obviously awed at the presence of thesenior Clan member, and barely worked up the courageto speak to the unimposing figure before him.
Sir, the first stage is almost complete. We requestpermission to return back to base for the rest of theequipment. The droids will finish up while we are goneto avoid wasting time.
Predator grunted, knowing that this would leave himalone for the hour that it would take for the modifiedGallowfree-class transport Dragons Find to returnwith the mentioned equipment. So be it, he couldhandle this menial task alone. His orders wereexplicit in remaining on location until the automateddefenses, the second stage of construction, werecomplete. Until then, he would be the only defense forthis outpost.
Permission granted. Ill be here when you arrive.
The foreman bowed respectfully, and hurried away.Within ten minutes, the whine of the Dragons Findsrepulsorlift drive was already fading away.
Still at the edge of the ice pack, Predator took onelast look and turned away. He could put this wastedtime to good use. Walking in towards the center of theoutpost, he situated himself within the center of atemporary lean-to, sheltering him from the bitingwind. Settling into his preferred Jedi meditationposture, he settled into the Force.
Meditating on the tendrils of the Force around him, herode them to the waterfall that was the fullness ofthe Force. Seeking knowledge was a task that neverended, since knowledge was power, and he intended onknowing all that he could. Perhaps this time around hecould find that evasive key of knowledge that he wasseeking for, a tricky move that he tried to get downfor over several months.
It felt like a very short time later when immersed inthe Force that he felt
Another presence. It was oddlyfamiliar, and when tried to focus on the presence hefound it to be very familiar. He could not put downhis finger on the actual person, so he concentratedmore.
He was rewarded with a sudden warning through theForce. Leaping to his side, his hand darted down tohis belt, where it found the reassuring grip of hissteel and velvet lightsabre. Igniting the ruby blade,he affected his characteristic contemptuous Dun Mochstance, ready to take down whatever threat that showedup around him.
Apparently his move was the right one, as the lean-towas sliced neatly in half by a harsh blue lightsabreblade. The attacker turned toward his target, a sloppygrin on his face.
With sudden realization of the identity of hisattacker, his stance wavered. Never in the nine hellshad he thought that this one would ever be a threat.Before he could say anything, the attacker spokefirst.
They told me you would be good. I like that, itllmake for a glorious challenge. You must realize,Predator, that I must defeat you. I must purge thisoutrage from the honor of the Clan. For that outrage,you
Disbelief colored his reply. What the hell are youtalking about, RevengeX? I demand that you stand down,or I must defend myself, Predator fairly demandedthis, waiting for the reply from the Quaestor of thelegendary Acclivis Draco.
Grinning cruelly, RevengeXs only reply was the tossof several concussion grenades in his generaldirection. With the both of them leaping away from therange of their explosions, the grenades rocked thegeneral area, buffeting the structures in the areawith shockwaves. The only difference was that due tothe position of their initial stances, RevengeXs leaptook him towards the inner area of the outpost, whilePredators leap took him out of the border area of thesame. RevengeX did not give Predator a break, throwingmore grenades. Predator realized that RevengeX wasdriving him away from the outpost, although he couldnot figure out why. Whatever it was, it was not a goodthing. Controlling the battle was possibly the firstrule of combat, and he was definitely not in control.
Great, he thought to himself, Im being driven towardssomething, but what to do to counter that? Possessingno other weapons other than his lightsabre, hisoptions were rather limited. Fine, if RevengeX wantedhim to go out there, he would, but on his terms.
Pouring the Force into his leg muscles, he quickly ranaway, towards the edge of the ice pack. A plan wasstarting to form in his mind.
Reaching the area that he first stood contemplatingthe edge of the ice pack, he almost reached the areawhere the snow gave way to the ice, but a sudden blurof motion reached out toward him and knocked him offhis feet from the sheer impact. He was moving too fastin one direction to properly be able to dodge it, buthe had time to at least prepare himself for the blow.Rolling on his side almost twice, he used the momentumto bring himself first to his knees and then onto hisfeet. He couldnt figure out how RevengeX had outrunhim to reach him here, when a look at his opponentconfirmed the powerful build of Pontifex CuchulainPalpatine. Staring uncomprehendingly at this suddenchange in the tactical situation completely threw himoff guard, but his mind already raced ahead to dealwith this threat. The blue blades of his duallightsabres flashed into existence, and his wordsproved to be even more ominous.
A hideous injustice has been done, and it must becorrected. You must pay for your actions, Predator.The Clan has demanded it. Both of his cybernetic eyesblazed hotly, outlining his demands.
Even worse, all around him, emerging from thesnowdrifts like the mythical ghost bears that Timbalalways was blabbing about, opponents slowly stalkedforth, their own lightsabre blades blazing to life.
Predator took a moment to catalogue the hideous threataround him. The people around him made no effort tohide their identities, and their identities shockedhim. Around him stood Rhaub Palpatine, the Proconsulhimself Phoenix Palpatine, Timbal Palpatine, and DarkJedi Master Niemand Machweg. The short pause enabledRevengeX to bring up the rear, effectively cutting offany easy escape from all the powerful Jedi.
With his arrival, something clicked in Predatorsmind. These were all senior members of the Clan,second to none in quite a few areas. The thought thatthese members would actively hunt him down was initself a very dreadful thought, as they collectivelyexpressed the will and soul of Clan. Then somethingelse clicked
All of these people were named
What is it that you want of me?
Battlelord Phoenix Palpatine spoke up, harshly. Youhave been found guilty of your crimes, Predator. Forthis, you must answer. To us. Submit to our justice,and we shall make it as clean as possible. If not, wemust beat it out of you
The threat stood clear. Narrowing his eyes, reachingout to the Force, Predator knew that he was in thefight for his life. All of those that stood arrayedagainst him collectively had decades of combatexperience, much of it as full-blown Jedi.Concentrating all of the collective anger and ragethat he could conjure up, he knew his only scantadvantage was speed. Funneling his feeling through theForce, it flowed through him, and strengthened hismuscles. He leaped at the weakest part of this chain,at Archpriest RevengeX.
He, however, was waiting for him. His blue lightsabreneatly blocking the Battlelords ruby blade, both thenformed an intricate web of parries, blocks, andlunges. Oh, he was able to inflict some cuts, bruises,and the like, but so did they. Predator tried to endthe battle as soon as he could, but in an instant hewas blocking slashing and thrusting lightsabre bladesfrom the rest of his opponents from all angles allaround him. He was using every dirty trick in the bookto help him out, but they all collectively either knewthe tricks, or he had managed to take them out of thebattle for only an instant before they had recoveredand attacked again.
He knew that this could not keep up much longer. Theyapparently were possessed of relentless strength andpower, and he was paying for his inattention to hisown physical condition. He used the Force as much ashe could spare to strengthen himself and refresh him,but every block, every parry slowed down just afraction. He knew that if he were to have any chanceat survival he must do something drastic. With so manylightsabre blades surrounding him, they seemed like asolid wall from which there was no escape.
However, his almost overwhelmed mind did come up withone last desperate move. Concentrating almost the lastreserves of his Force power, he pushed down, givingthe snow and the ice underneath a telekinetic strike.For just the barest of seconds his opponents slowed,understanding the sudden sharp crack!
Still, they did not give up, and almost worn down tonothing, Predator took the last reserves of his Forcestrength, and hit the ice under him yet again. Thistime the ice cracked completely, and Predator fellthrough.
The shock of the freezing water almost forced whatlittle air there was in his lungs, but he knew thatthis was going to happen, so he held that air as longas he could, turned somewhat to his right, and startedto swim straight ahead. His body burned from theexertion, but he knew that he must move away from thedeadly circle of traitorous Jedi and somehow make hisescape. The internal clock that beat in his heart knewthat by now the transport must have arrived andsummoned help when they surely have witnessed thebattle a short distance away from the outpost. Heclung to his hope, but then his body gave up on him.
The edges of darkness were starting to creep aroundhis vision, when a strong set of arms surrounded himand pulled him up with determination. Although hebarely had strength left, he wondered what he could doif his would-be rescuer turned out to be a Palpatine.
Crashing through the ice, Predators lungs took aninvoluntary gasp of air, greedily sucking it down. Hedid not expect any more to come. Those traitors wouldvery likely like to torture him before he died. Hewould not give them that chance.
He felt more arms around him, pulling him out of thefreezing water. His eyesight now was completely gone,and he suspected that his eyelids had frozen shut.Rather, that was what he had hoped. He still not asyet known the identity of his rescuers, but as soon ashe had the thought, he heard the incredibly closewhine of repulsorlifts, with the attendant shouts ofmedical equipment being rushed over to him, and hopesoared in his heart.
Then he heard the voice of his rescuers.
Battlelord Desio Predator, the Palpatines of the Clanwelcome your combat prowess, your tenacity, yourintellect, and your fierce spirit. The Dragon that isScholae Palatinae respects and honors this, and werespect and honor you now.
The crime of which you were accused of is actually ourdoing. You see, you have proven yourself worthy, andnow we formally and forever throw away thataccusation. You have been redeemed by your actions,and now the blood that has been spilled on your partand ours will forever mix together in our family.
Welcome, Brother Desio Predator. We hereby commissionand honor you with the most sacred trust that we couldgive anyone within the Clan. Welcome, Brother DesioPredator Palpatine
Hereby Signed The Sons and Daughter of Palpatine,
Cuchulain Darkblade Palpatine
Phoenix Olkyssagh Palpatine
Rhaub D'ar Aghasett Palpatine
Niemand Machweg(Arania Lawakiro Palpatine)
Battlelord Desio Predator, 2006-11-14 23:00:00 UTC