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The last few weeks had been rough for the Clan. Jurdan had fought with the rest of the Clan at Meridian before the coming of the new year. Things have been relatively quiet for the man since then. The fleet had been moving, searching the galaxy for their next cache of much-needed resources. Krennel had been one of several pilots who had been busy, scouting out systems in preparation for the rest of the Clan. The work was long, hard and sometimes fruitless.
For now, the man was waiting. The Demolisher was traveling through hyperspace, on its way toward the next seemingly-random set of coordinates given from the Summit. That unknown made the man fidget in the pilot’s seat of his Star Courier as he contemplated it. He almost let his mind float off with the possibilities when a sharp jolt pulled the man from the depths of his thoughts.
The swirling blue-white of space around him had been replaced with the more-familiar black of normal space. Pieces of rock or metal, he could not tell which, bounced off of the hull of the shuttle, forcing Jurdan to push his ship sideways in hopes of escaping the dings, dents and scratches that would accompany such hazards. As he fought with his flight stick, two more ships dropped in beside him. A fang fighter dressed in Naga Sadow regalia and a Warhost-standard T-70 X-Wing were visibly shaken by debris, with the T-70 juking back and forth with elegance compared to the Fang Fighter. Whatever had brought him to a stop in this system had obviously done the same to them.
“What is all this?” The quiet, sharp tones of his Umbaran wingmate crackled over the comm.
“Asteroids, I think.” Finally, the clanging of space junk on his hull quieted down as Jurdan emerged from the nebula of junk. He tried to listen closely. He hoped the cargo in the back had not been too badly shaken.
“An asteroid field, perhaps? Seems an odd omen.” The Neti pilot’s voice was pensive and cautious. This caused Jurdan to perk up a bit with attention. Of the four of them, Malik had the greatest experience.
“An omen?” Calenhad’s tone was irritated. “It isn’t like this is the first time this has happened this month. What sets this so far apart?”
“We were pulled out of hyperspace before reaching our destination.” Malik spoke the words in a flat, matter of fact tone.
Jurdan did not respond to the chatter. His gaze turned across the view out of his cockpit. A planet hung in space before them. Another five orbs hung at different points in the system. While they were suspended, shining like precious gems, they were outshone by the roiling ball of cloud and flashes of light nearest the scouting squadron.. The sight put the man’s stomach into knots.
“You sense it too.” The voice of the scarred Alchemist echoed from behind the human pilot. Krennel did not have time to look back at the Adept who strode into the cockpit, making purposeful strides forward. Resting a hand on one shoulder of the pilot’s seat, the Adept studied the space spread out before him. A bulging Sith-spawned eyed studied the planet. “There is something out there. It is ancient. It is powerful. It is Dark.” The Sith Elder extended a finger, grinning wickedly. “There is a distinct disturbance in the Force and it reeks of the sort of power that would serve a proper Sith empire.”
Clouds of solar dust rolled over the planet. The odd asteroid could be seen, but a lot of the hazards around the planet were not natural. Metallic shrapnel was spread about, the remains of ships as great in number as the rocky ring of debris which encircled the planet.
“I recognize that!” Calenhad’s voice rose suddenly from the brief moment of silence. “Yeah, there are some bits of Vulture Droid and Tri-fighters over there. They are floating up by the wing panel of an Aurek-class fighter.” Another moment of silence met this revelation. “We saw enough of them back during the war. Tools of war are not something that can be easily forgotten.”
“So, there was a conflict here, near this planet, over 40 years ago.” Malik’s even tones contrasted to his Umbaran wingmate. “Which means there must be something of value on the surface.”
“There is something. Something,” Macron let out a low growl, “that could open up the path we need to move forward.” There was a longing in the Mad Alchemist’s voice, which caused a shiver to arc down Jurdan’s back.
“We will need to report back to the Clan fleet. The Summit is going to want to hear about this. I have a feeling that, if you are right,” Krennel gave a half-nod at the planet, “that we will be back out here soon enough. I will gather what further data I can, and then regroup with the rest of you at the Perdition.”
The information that had been presented to Stahoes was at first met with a blank stare. As he studied the datapad, what started as confusion bloomed into a wide grin. He jabbed a metallic finger at the datapad, nodding to the Keibatsu to his left before passing the datapad to her. Ashia arched an eyebrow before taking ahold of the datapad. The Augur’s lips moved silently as she read the contents.
Her eyes grew wide for a moment before her gaze returned to the quartet of Sadowans that stood at attention before two of the Sadowan Summit.
“Shifting gravitational fields, asteroids, storms and anomalies? There was also the presence of something ‘dark and powerful on the surface’?” Ashia’s questions were answered by silent nods from both Jurdan and Macron. There was a hungry gleam in the older man’s eyes as a manic smile split his face. “Was there anything else of particular note at the location in question?”
“We were pulled clean out of hyperspace.” The Neti mused. “That would take something like a gravitational well. According to our instruments, it seemed far out of scale with anything that would be associated with the mass of the nearby planets.”
This revelation caused Bentre’s expression to drop from a wide smile to a more serious grimace. Lounging back in his chair as though it were a throne, the Consul let out a long sigh. “So we have a neat little mystery on our hands.” He looked sideways at his Zabrak second. “Do we have anything in charts or astrogation on this little plot of the galaxy they just tripped across?”
Ashia shook her head. “Not that I am aware of. Although it might take some time to search the archives properly.”
Stahoes’s gaze turned from the Proconsul to the other Sadowans standing in the room. He peered expectedly at the small group. This goaded nothing like the response that the Warlord had been hoping for. Malik was unflinching, while Macron was similarly unfazed by the stare. Calenhad remained at military attention, while Jurdan stood stiffly as he met the scarred Consul’s eyes.
“Well then, maybe we will just have to do a little bit of studying for now to see if we cannot figure out something more about it.” Bentre gave the smallest of shrugs as a half smile threatened to break out again. “The Markosians have been bringing in supplies and the Dakhani have been seeking out some fun trinkets for us. I am glad that you four made it back in one piece.” He gave an appreciative wave of his hand. “For now, you lot may take your leave.”
After the four had shuffled out of the Consul’s sparsely decorated office, Ashia looked from Bentre to the datapad, and toward the door. There was a tiredness in her stare, but she did not speak.
“Well, I think this means that I am going to be pulling a long night.” Stahoes let out a comically large yawn before stretching. “I mean, first I will have to hook up to a relay to connect back to the larger Holocron library, and then I will have to start comparing maps and surveys of systems. And given the size of the galaxy, who knows how many systems could fit the likes of this one they found?”
"Are you sure we can we really afford the cost?" The Zabrak did not react to the humor evident in the Corellian’s tone.
"Well," Bentre stroked his chin thoughtfully. "Macron did say there was something down there. And when the old man says something is big, dark and scary,” he chuckled, “I have to admit that it does make me stand up and take notice.” There was a brief pause before the Consul shot an expectant glance at his Proconsul. “Gather the rest of the Clan. I want to have our people ready for action in two hours time. So,” he looked up as he continued to speak, “unless anyone takes issue with that, I will see you all in the hanger for a final muster. If anybody does take issue with the plan, well that is too bad. I will see you in the hanger for final muster.”
Very exciting times for Clan Naga Sadow! We have hinted at it in a couple of places, and now we are nearly on the eve of the fun. Or the Prologue, in any case. That's right, as has been reported by our fellow Brotherhood-en, or brethren, or Brotherfolks (take your pick) in Clan Plagueis, the Prologue competitions for Operation: Antiquity will be launching very, very soon. We will be kicking off with at least two Prologue events, providing a comp a day (on average) for each of you to take part in, and forging...something. Will this be a new frontier for CNS and PLA, filled with Seals, Porgs, and Darkness? Have we found a brave, new world? dramatic music builds
*Well, there is a slight caveat. See, this event is cooperative.
Let me say that again. We get to work with the folks over in PLA to explore and plunder the planet we have very recently discovered thanks to the scouting operations being completed by our Disciples of Sadow. So of course, when working with another Clan, things can seem a little heated for some. Well, thankfully our angles are a bit different in this event. So, that means that we should be able play fairly nice.
Opening Operation: Antiquity will be an opportunity to help flesh out this relatively-blank-slate of a planet. Look at the fictions provided by Clan Naga Sadow and Clan Plagueis to get a little bit of an idea what is up with this planet. The thing to keep in mind is that we have something big and dark on the surface.
From our angle, these sorts of things can mean power, which is something that Bentre wants for Clan Naga Sadow. Anything that bolsters our strength brings us that much closer to retaking the Orian system. Ronovi and myself will be doing a bit of team work in running at least one of the Prologue events in the week preceeding Operation: Antiquity proper. The wiki competition casts you all into the role of helping describe the planet where we find ourselves.
So if you want to click this here link you will be able to check out teaser comps which will help to lead into the matter proper. Shortly following will be Week 1 events by myself and PLA's Dread Lord Arden, Week 2 will be brought to you by Ashia and Ronovi, and Week three will be brought by Tu'Quan and Tasha'Vel. We will have three weeks full of fun activities for you all to take part in (7 a week give or take) and we will be including a mult-week cooperative fiction. So watch out for more details on that.
As ever, Ashia, Tasha'Vel and I are here to answer any questions. We look forward to seeing Clan Naga Sadow absolutely bursting with activity as we march forward. You all make this and awesome place to be, and I look forward to seeing you shine! We will be cheering you all on throughout the whole of this event. Make us proud.
In the meantime I remain, Yours In Darkness,
Consul of Clan Naga Sadow
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