Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic
Why We Fight
“Whatever Nihilus has planned on Nar Shaddaa, Sion, I intend to bring it crashing down around him. Do not think to test my resolve.” – Darth Revan.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
A trio of gang youths, under the influence of a clandestine group called the Cult of Ar’Akanis, attempted to set off a bomb in a heavily populated area of Tau’Hraak City on Nar Shaddaa. Their plot foiled by the Jedi Padawans Daken Rao-Kun, Rai-El Hulis, and Erall Rand, as well as their Scout Droid companion, Risk, a signal was sent out via an encoded datachip recording, somehow granting these three youths incredible strength and the unshakable desire to end their own lives by any means necessary.
Now, only one of the youths remains alive, and in the custody of the Jedi, who have every intention of discovering the reason behind the attempted bombing, the nature of the signal, and the truth behind the Cult of Ar’Akanis.
Approaching our heroes in their hotel room, a young woman named Mira Reskin, a mercenary by trade, appears to have designs of her own for the Cult of Ar’Akanis. For now, her reasons for seeking out this dangerous Sith-inspired cult remain to be unraveled by the Jedi…
Opening crawl ascends as the camera dips down to reveal the massive profile of an Interdictor-Class Sith Destroyer. The music swells as the camera sweeps inward toward a horizontal array of domes in the central superstructure of the destroyer, and the camera fades suddenly as it appears to nearly impact against the ship’s surface. Fade from black to reveal an overhead view of a long, narrow chamber, flanked by faintly glowing holographic images that cast a pale red pall throughout the chamber. Sitting alone on a black reflective floor covering, legs crossed in meditation, is the gray, crumbling form of Darth Sion…
A hiss of air signaled the entrance of a pair of intruders into Darth Sion’s personal meditation chamber. Sion’s left eye, which was the only one which still functioned, opened slightly to regard those who made their uninvited entrance into his chamber. Under normal circumstances, he might have punished such an indiscretion quite severely, but this time, he came to his feet, took several steps forward, and bowed with reverence to the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Revan.
To Rule With Neither Trust Nor Faith
- Revan strode into the chamber to face Sion, folding his arms and crooking his head to one side, regarding the red holographic displays of the fallen Jedi and who followed Revan as he turned to the Dark Side on Malachor, only to die in the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars on Malachor V.
- “Reminiscing, Sion,” Revan asked, quite rhetorically, as he did not expect an answer. “Mourning their losses? I didn’t think you capable of such things. I thought perhaps your heart was the first part of you to crumble into dust.”
- “My lord,” Sion interrupted. “I hope the war goes quite well, that you can justify diverting yourself from the effort just to mock your loyal servant.”
- “Is ‘loyal’ an appropriate term, I wonder,” Revan said. “In fact, that is just the kind of word that led me to… divert my attention, as you so eloquently put it.”
- “I fail to underst…”
- “Don’t be coy, Sion. You know exactly what I mean. What is she up to?”
- “I assume you mean my mistress, Lady Traya,” Sion said, walking over to one of the holographic images and tilting his head to one side as he gazed upon the dying face of one of the fallen Jedi who died on Malachor V. “I have no idea. Why don’t you ask her yourself?”
- “I will,” Revan replied, stepping toward Sion. “But I was intrigued… Lord of Pain, you call yourself?”
- Sion straightened up as Revan moved toward him. He backed away in time to avoid a devastating lightsaber strike from Revan’s purple blade, then ducked under the other, red-bladed lightsaber. Before Sion could mount a counterassault, Revan’s lightsabers were disengaged, and the Dark Lord of the Sith had placed his index finger beneath Sion’s jaw, loosing a torrent of violet Force Lightning directly into Sion’s skull. Sion shrieked as bolts of lightning shone through his mouth, wrapping around his teeth, glowing within his eyes. He fell to his knees and cried out in agony. Revan relented in his attack and turned away from Sion, lacing his arms behind his back and casually walking away from him.
- “What is she planning on Nar Shaddaa, Lord Sion,” Revan said, tilting his head slightly enough for his Mandalorian mask to barely be seen beyond the trailing edge of his dark cloth hood. “Don’t make me ask again.”
- “Nihilus,” Sion said, his voice trembling. “Whatever is happening on Nar Shaddaa, it is the doing of Darth Nihilus.”
- “I see,” Revan said. Suddenly, a practice staff flew into Sion’s hand and he bound toward Revan, intent on avenging himself for his recent embarrassing display. Before he could make a solid attack, Sion recoiled in fear, as his staff had somehow changed into a deadly Korriban Adder. He threw the snake from his hands and was dumbfounded as it clattered against the floor, a staff once more. He looked up from the staff to the person who had entered the chamber alongside Revan… why didn’t he remember that Revan hadn’t entered alone? It was a young human female wearing a black skin-tight suit of serpentine armor, with a devilish grin on her face.
- “Whatever Nihilus has planned on Nar Shaddaa, Sion, I intend to bring it crashing down around him. Do not think to test my resolve.”
As Revan left Sion’s meditation chamber, he could hear the rage and exasperation echoing forth. Carissa found it humorous, but Revan did not. His rule over the Sith had to be absolute in order for this war go in his favor. Malak had his back, but Traya and her Sith Triumvirate were a wildcard he could little afford to ignore. He tapped on his communicator, and a holographic image appeared floating over his outstretched palm.
“HK-47 is ready to serve, master.”
“Good,” Revan replied. “I have need of your services on Nar Shaddaa.”
A Mutual Foe
- Mira re-introduced herself to the group, and told them what she believed would be the best course of action. The best source of information about the Cult of Ar’Akanis would be the local Hutt crime boss, Doado Desilijic, who could be found at a nearby club called the Jekk Jekk Tarr. In order for most of the heroes to enter the Jekk Jekk Tarr, they would have to don special environmental suits, as the interior of the club has various atmospheric conditions based on the natural habitats of the club’s myriad intergalactic patrons. Doado’s area is human-friendly, but to get there, they had to pass through a few areas that would be lethal for everyone except Risk.
- What was worse was that, after yesterday’s sniper attack in the park, travelling in the open, especially with the boy in tow, could be a hazardous ordeal to say the least. Mira had that covered as well, revealing that she arranged for a “babysitter.” That left the Jedi, their Droid companion, and Mira to cross the city square toward their intended goal in relative obscurity, if all went well.
- All did not go well.About half-way through an open plaza, thriving with bustling merchant stands and eager thieves with quick fingers, Mira noticed that the group was being followed. Rai-El gazed through the crowd surreptitiously and said that whoever it was, they were very big and quite skilled at remaining hidden while keeping pace with the group. Mira’s face took on a sly smile and she crossed over to Daken, telling the others to continue onward as the two of them did a little “window-shopping” Risk nodded his approval, ducked behind a trio of passing Neimoidian refugees, and engaged his stealth field generator. “I’m right with you, lady.”
- Erall and Rai-El continued onward until they were far enough from their pursuer to be unable to notice them doubling back. Mira’s plan worked. While she pretended to be browsing wares and hitting on her boyfriend, and while Daken tried not to overtly squirm with discomfort over the whole ordeal, the large-framed pursuer made his move. He threw away his cloak to reveal a blaster rifle and began to level his aim toward Mira. In a flash of crackling energy, the stealthy scout droid Risk hacked the barrel of the blaster in half, causing the attacker’s shot to swing high and wide, striking a passing speedercab. Erall leapt to action, using the Force to safely land the speedercab while Rai-El used her own ability to gain the crowd’s attention, shepherding them away from the danger.
- The attacker was a massive Wookiee with a scarred face, wearing black leather armor bristling with weapons and other gear, and roaring in disgust at the little droid that just made him miss. Daken wheeled toward the Wookiee as Risk tried to make another strike, this one intercepted by the Wookiee’s massive forearm as he crashed the droid into the ground, then kicked him toward Daken. Daken deftly jumped over Risk, leap-frogging into a two-legged drop-kick that found purchase in the Wookiee’s chest.
- The Wookiee didn’t budge, and Daken hit the street hard. He rolled to the side just in time to avoid a double ax-handle chop from the Wookiee’s powerful arms, but not in time to avoid the Wookiee picking him up from the ground and hefting him over his head. Risk, having recovered, stabbed the Wookiee behind his left knee, causing him to lose his grip on Daken. Sensing his freedom, Daken wheeled down and behind the Wookiee, slashing his multi-colored lightsaber blade at his other leg, right where the tendons connect the calves to the ankle. The Wookiee dropped to his knees in agony, spun around and grabbed Daken by the head, his hand wrapped around his face so tightly that Daken’s ears began to ring and he felt all the blood rushing from his head.
- A familiar sound, that of a blaster pistol’s power cell engaging, brought the Wookiee’s attention to Mira once more. In the chaos, which had happened in the briefest moment of time, she moved close enough to place the barrel of her blaster under his chin. The Wookiee suddenly halted his frenzied assault, releasing Daken to gasp for air.
- “Hello there, Hanharr,” said Mira. “Long time no see.”
Wipe to Interior – Nar Shaddaa, Hotel Myondd, Main Lobby. Our heroes emerge from a turbolift to see the young woman they met the night before awaiting them, leaning against a decorative pillar and reading a news report on her datapad about the brave Nar-Sec officers who foiled the bomb plot yesterday. Daken glanced at Erall and shook his head in disbelief. Risk seemed genuinely disturbed by the fact that the inept Nar-Sec officers were being given full credit for saving the turbolift station.
The Wookiee Hanharr had not been hired to follow the Jedi, but was in pursuit of Mira herself. He owed her a life debt, and due to his own twisted world view, he felt that weakened him and made it necessary to kill her himself. He would not let any one else harm her, if he could avoid it, but he would end her life himself in order to free himself from the life debt. Considering his situation, and knowing that there was no way to get away from three Jedi and Mira in his state, he defiantly growled in Shyriiwook for her to finish him and end this ridiculous life debt once and for all. Instead, Mira leaned in and whispered something into his ear, causing him to thrash madly once more. Erall Force-Pushed him back into a vendor’s cart of D’kari Slimefish, which poured down in a massive pile onto the Wookiee. Mira smiled at Erall, then noticed that Nar-Sec officers were making their approach to the scene. With that, our heroes made a hasty exit, continuing on their way east, toward the Dockside Transit Depot. When Rai-El asked what she whispered in the Wookiee’s ear, Mira’s reply brought a smile to her face.
“I said, I think it would be more fun to save your life again today. Now you owe me two life-debts, you massive pile of fail.”
Fade Wipe to Exterior – Nar Shaddaa – Dockside Transit Depot. A small utility shack is perched at the trailing edge of a wide starship berth. Lined up outside the shack are a series of seven speederbikes, and on three of these speederbikes are gang members bearing the telltale face paint of the Cult of Ar’Akanis. Camera pans back to reveal the Jedi and their allies arriving on the scene and taking cover behind shipping containers across a wide, deserted shipping causeway. Mira snaps the goggles from her forehead down to cover her eyes, engaging the device to reveal heat signatures within the structure. Suddenly, much to the surprise of the Jedi, she pulls a blaster and darts out onto the causeway, leveling her aim toward one of the cultist bikers.
“Help me,” Mira bellowed into the heavy dockside winds as she loosed several blaster bolts into the neck and shoulder of the nearest biker. “They’re gonna kill Ozyrr!”
“Sure thing,” Risk replied, hesitating briefly. “Who the hell is Ozyrr?”
“Just help me, you bucket of scrap!”
Tragedy at the Transit Depot
- Erall used his Force Heatwave to ignite the fuel cell in one of the unoccupied speederbikes, throwing two gang members off their feet from the concussive force of the blast, As one of them struggled to pull his blaster from its holster, Rai-el ran past and told him to surrender. He weakly dropped the blaster and laid down with his fingers laced behind his head. Daken looked at Rai-el incredulously. Her ability to dominate the minds of others had thus far been a force for good. However, he realized how slippery a slope such a power could represent.
- Risk dodged blaster fire from behind a small makeshift barricade near the front door of the shack. The barricade was made up of three stacks of cargo pallets, which Risk leapt atop and over in a flash, engaging his stealth field generator in the process. The two shooters behind the pallets didn’t see his maneuver, and with the sound dampeners of his stealth unit engaged at maximum efficiency, they also couldn’t hear his feet land in the space between the two of them.
- The familiar crackling sound of a vibroblade powercell engaging, followed by two unique human screams of shock and pain, came from behind the pallet barricade. The front door of the shack was opening, and Daken could make out the shape of a sawed-off blaster carbine from the silhouetted darkness within. Just as the blaster was about to fire, Daken used the Force to slam the door shut, and the front of the shack shuddered and splintered outward at the point of the blaster’s impact. Stunned screams echoed from within as Daken leapt airward, lightsaber drawn, and leveled a high drop-kick into what remained of the barely-hung door.
- Erall continued to deal with the gang members outside, neatly slicing his two lightsabers in a perfect crisscrossing pattern to deflect blaster bolts back to their source. Rai-el used the Force to slide a speederbike against one of the shack’s walls, pinning a gang member against the wall. She then looked into the building, through the wall, as Miraluka were born capable of doing. She saw the imminent danger within, a frail old Twi’lek man about to be shot in the head from point-blank range. She yelled out to Erall that they needed to get in there.
- Within, Risk tapped Daken’s arm, letting him know the droid was there watching his back. Daken saw a stirring from one of the gang members on the floor of the shack. He pointed the tip of his lightsaber at the face of the gang member and placed his index finger from his other hand to his lips. The gang member instantly obeyed, not due to the influence of the Force, but out of a sheer desire to survive to see tomorrow. Daken noticed that this gang member was too well dressed and far too well armed, at least as compared to the three kids the Jedi had tangled with yesterday. Something in his gut told him that these guys were pretending to be members of the Cult of Ar’Akanis, for some reason…
- The old Twi’lek, Mira’s friend Ozyrr, was bleeding heavily from a wound on his bulging forehead. Two human men in dark, formal suits held Ozyrr hostage as the Jedi began to surround them. One of the humans was holding a vibroblade to Ozyrr’s neck while the other had two blaster pistols, one pointed toward Ozyrr’s head, the other (stained dark red with the blood from Ozyrr’s head wound) pointed toward Daken.
- Mira burst into the shack through a hidden rear door and shot the human with the vibroblade in the back of his head, spilling the contents of his skull across the disheveled floor of the shack. Risk disengaged his stealth field generator to reveal that he had his recently attained sawed-off blaster carbine trained on the groin of the other human.
- “Try me, meatbag.”
- Nar Sec forces could be heard approaching the shack, as well as a number of dock workers who witnessed the brief, yet explosive conflict. Mira descended on Ozyrr, his face betraying the tremendous pain he was in. Nar Sec officers began to fill the shack, and Rai-el handled the task of informing them of the situation. Ozyrr was badly injured, having experienced tremendous blood loss, but even in his delirium he was able to explain who those attackers were. The two men in suits worked for Vogga the Hutt, who was using the recent gang troubles in the area to mask his illicit activities at the transit depot. Ozyrr got suspicious when he saw some of the “gang members” having a serious conversation with one of Vogga’s lieutenants. Apparently, they knew of his suspicions, as they came to force Ozyrr into complying with Vogga’s demands.
Fade Wipe to Exterior – Nar Shaddaa – Storage shed behind Dockside Transit Depot. The camera is positioned overhead as a pair of hands grasp the handles of a plasteel storage container and twist them, a gust of pressurized air billowing the sleeves of Rai-El Hulis’s robe as the container’s lid slides automatically up, tilts back behind the container, and slides into a hidden compartment. Within the container are several maintenance-grade enviro-suits: gray and green jumpsuits with sealed helmets, tool kits, and utility air compressors. Behind Rai-el, Risk can be seen modifying his captured sawed-off blaster carbine to better suit his recoil threshold. Mira Reskin sits on a plasteel cylinder, her head in her hands, as Daken Rao-Kun and Erall Rand stand over her.
“I’ve known Ozyrr for years,” Mira said. “I’ve never seen him so… pale.”
“I’m sure he’ll be alright,” Erall said. “He’d be in much worse shape if you hadn’t sprung into action like you did.”
“Yeah,” Mira said, attempting a faint smile. “That’s never really been my style. Charging into danger. Playing ‘hero.’ That sort of thing.”
“Well, you’re working with the Jedi,” Daken said. “We have that affect on people.”
“Hah!” Mira stood up and punched Daken hard in the arm, which he took with a smile. As Mira turned away to face Rai-El, Daken’s face betrayed the pain he was in, and he rubbed the throbbing bruise on his arm and fought back a single tear.
“These suits should do nicely,” Rai-El said, holding one up for Mira to take. “But is there any point to going into the club, now? With the Hutt targeting your friends, it’s unlikely they will be willing to share any information with you.”
“And even if they are willing,” Risk interjected, “The price might be far too high.”
“No,” Mira explained, “The Hutt we are going to see is Doado. He’s tough, but fair. Vogga’s the one who sent these posers to roust up poor Ozyrr. Vogga might be worth questioning, too, though.” Mira punctuated that sentence by attaching a power cell to her blaster pistol, the high-pitched oscillating squeal of tibanna gas sending a clear message as to the kind of questioning she had in mind. “He’s been using the image of these Ar’Akanis freaks as a cover for his own activities. He might have information that’s worth… extracting.”
“No doubt,” Daken agreed, “And he would deserve every bit of it, but if Doado knows more, and if he would be willing to part with the information without needing to resort to…”
“Alright,” Mira said. “I got it. I got it…” She let out a sigh and looked out toward the quite visible sight of the Jekk’Jekk Tarr club. She shook her head as the group gathered around her, and the camera panned back behind the group, taking the club into the whole frame, and revealing just how massive it was, and how tiny they all were in comparison. “Why do I get the feeling things are about to get a whole lot worse…”