"My name is Rec Sira. Ordinarily I am a game hunter, but... times have changed," Rec introduced himself to the strange Jedi image, inclining his head in respect despite it being a hologram. "Now I am on the run from the Sith, having joined up with a group of other people sensitive to the Force. None of us are true Jedi yet, but we aim to change that; that is the reason we are here, to learn the teachings of the Jedi and understand our ability to manipulate the Force. If I may ask, Master Khodoan, what does this holocron contain?"
Marcus could not help but grin slightly at the suggestion that he close his eyes, as it was simply rare for him to even blink, let alone keep them closed for any amount of time. However, he would humor this Holocron, if to simply see if he could connect to what was going on in the outside world.
Everything huh? Just like when I use my extra sense....just let everything go.
Marcus blinked once, ultimately not sure what he was exactly feeling, but he wasn't quite...there. He felt like the entire vault around him was moving about. Shifting beneath him. The air outside, as toxic as it was, didn't seem to mind him looking through it. The ships in orbit seemed to float about, the people and many species aboard them all thinking, moving feeling. It went even further. The stars, the galaxy, what was left of Graveyard Station, and again the echo that seemed to constantly flow from the long ago peaceful world. As he continued to feel his gaze drift further and further out, he suddenly saw himself, sitting there apparently at peace, looking at the entire galaxy and all it had. Hesitantly, he reached out, tapping his own head from another perspective.
Almost as suddenly as Marcus experienced the change in himself, it appeared to end and he found himself taking in a deep breath and blinking once more. That was something he never thought he would experience, and there was nothing really to compare it to. He was confused, excited, happy, calm, knowing, and lost all at the same time. Bewildered, Marcus looked at the Holocron, wanting an explanation yet not knowing what he would really be asking for.
"That....I..." Marcus began, taking another breath, shaking his head, and beginning again. "I wasn't here, yet I was. I could feel...everything for a moment. Is....that what it always feels like? I mean, was that the Force? Because that was me, and where I have been and...I was just there, looking at me. If that makes any sense."
No wonder Jedi can so easily deflect blasters and all matter of shots. From a point of view like that, it would almost be like child's play. Why, it would be nothing to do half of the things Jedi supposedly do.
Khodoan nodded sagely. "Then it is as I feared. In my time, two hundred fifty years ago, the Sith were believed to have been wiped out in the War of the Stygian Caldera." The crab-like creature shook his head. "We should have known. The Sith are like a monster of ancient legends - no matter how grievously you wound it, it seems to recover from the faint spark of life still within."
Master Khodoan seemed to look more cheerful. "But the Jedi are rejuvenated as well. The degeneration of the Order is tragic, but...unfortunately not unanticipated. The Force willing, you and your fellows will restore it to the greatness we had under the Skywalker line. You come seeking training, then...that is good. This holocrons the collected memories of my life. In my life, I trained four Padawans and sat on the Council as Battlemaster of the Jedi Order. You have the talent of a warrior and the spirit of a Jedi, Rec Sira. I would be honored to train you."
Niner turned his attention to Prenlarr. "My apologies, sir. The last date at which I have a memory gap is six days ago. I have a weekly maintenance check on the entire facility, and I check the Stasis Chamber on that day. The blank spots in my memory repeat every week since one hundred three years since my initial activation."
"Well if anything is in there waiting to attack it is either gone or dead now. Guess I'll go ahead and take a look. Just have to be sure I don't touch anything without knowing exactly what I am doing." With that he didn't both to wait for someone else as two members of the group had wandered off already. He entered the stasis chamber and was glad that there was at least enough light to see.
"Hopefully now I can get to the bottom of at least one puzzle." He said as he looked around him, keeping one hand on his blaster pistol.
While the others were talking to the droid, Kass decided to perform his own investigation. Maybe pocket some of the Jedi items sure to be laying around here. With his carbine raised, he carefully moved down one of the several dull grey hallways. The precaution was probably unnecessary, but Kass had seen more than his fair share of soldiers drop their guard only to receive a burning hole in their skull for their trouble.
At the end of this particular hallway stood a door. Kass couldn't put his finger on it, but something told him that something of great value was behind there. Many somethings. As he approached the door, the sense of dread that had been burning in his chest began to intensify. There was an...unnatural feeling in the air around him. Something just wasn't right. But despite his gut feeling, Kass moved forward. He wasn't about to let some Jedi artifacts creep him out. The door automatically opened, which made him recoil backwards slightly. You're getting jumpy, he thought bitterly. Stepping carefully into the room, he aimed his carbine and scanned the room.
All around him were shelves loaded with containers of some kind. Other than that, it was relatively sparse and very dimly lit. Didn't seem like a room where very important items would be stored. But just to be sure, Kass returned his carbine to its sling grabbed one of the containers to examine its contents.After a few moments of fumbling with the seal, Kass managed to open the container. He carefully removed the object inside and held it in the palm of his hand.
The object had a transparent black surface that hinted at a whirling malestrom of red energy underneath, giving it a strange, other-worldly quality. Gold lettering was inscribed on each of its twelve sides. What exactly it was was beyond Kass. But it looked like it was worth something.
The swirling red energy within the artifact suddenly began to coalesce, catching the Zabrak's eye. Gazing into the object's transparent surface, he saw a form begin to take shape. The form of a human male wearing a crisp formal suit, like one an affluent businessman would wear. Seemingly aware of Kass's presence, the human image nodded politely.
"Greetings. Have you come seeking knowledge?"
Kass wasn't expecting this thing to start talking to him.
"Knowledge? Knowledge of what?"
"True knowledge," the ethereal man replied. "Knowledge of the Force, the only true power that one can have in this galaxy".
Kass scowled. Now it was preaching to him. "And what would knowledge of a dead religion give me?" he asked with a hint of sarcasm.
The man chuckled. "A religion? The Force is not a religion. The Jedi and Sith, perhaps, but the Force? The Force is more than mere parlor tricks and the belief in some entity that cannot be seen. The Force is power. You must know this, or you would not be here, raiding this Jedi vault. You are no mere scavenger".
"Oh really? Then tell me, what do you think I am? And what makes me think I'll buy into this?"
"You're someone with potential. With the strength you have within, you could bring the galaxy to its knees...or raise it to a new, glorious height. You'll believe me because this is why you're here. Close your eyes. Open your mind. Forget this physical transient world...feel your passions. Your anger, your fear. Your ambition and pride. Feel their strength, let them flow through you."
Kass closed his eyes as instructed. He wanted nothing more than to tell this man that he was wrong. But he was right. This was the real reason why he agreed to come down with the rest of this team. Not for money. The money was something he told himself was his real motivation. What Kass was really after was power. Control.
For too long he was at the mercy of someone else. In his time on Iridonia, he was at the mercy of the brutal dictatorship. In his life spent on the fringe, he was dependent on jobs from the scum of the galaxy to keep his ship flying and his crew alive. The same ship and crew that was taken from him in a swift and brutal attack by the Sith. Kass felt helpless in the face of this unforgiving galaxy, and it made him angry. And the anger felt good.
A rush of power began to course through Kass's veins, unlike any he had ever felt before. The anger deep within served as the fuel, burning with a bright intensity that radiated to every corner of his body. It was... exhilarating to say the least. Slowly, Kass opened his eyes. His body was invigorated with energy. Never in his life did he feel so powerful.
"This is what the Force feels like, isn't it?" Kass asked.
The man seemed to grin. "This is only the beginning".
"And I in turn am honoured to learn from you, Master Khodoan," Rec replied, turning from the shelf of holocrons as he did so. "Though... perhaps this may not be the best time to begin. There was some sort of earthquake or collapse in the structure of the Jedi Temple above the Vault. I shall speak with most if not all of the others and see if there is anything to worry about." Holocron in one hand and the crystal case in the other, Katarn's saber still balanced atop the small box, the game hunter returned to the main hall of the Vault to find the rest of the group. He made his way to the droid Niner to see if it knew anything about the goings-on above.
"Excuse me, Niner? Can you tell us anything about the possibility of the Jedi Temple suffering from any extensive damage, up to and including total collapse?" Rec asked. He wanted to make sure that there was no major danger of such an event preventing the group from leaving the Vault once their mission was complete.
Marcus rose, picking up the Holocron as he did so. While that was indeed something different, he didn't really have the time to try something more extended again. He needed to get back to business, and get everyone off this planet. They had a ship waiting, and they could practice all they wanted when they got out of here off this poisoned planet. While the vault was no doubt appealing, it was something that he would either need to come back to, or just take what he could and be settled with that.
"Master Kovagne, I thank you. That was quite the interesting first step in many, I hope. However, this place is not as safe or as secure that I nor my companions are able to stay here. We will need to continue later." Marcus said, being as polite as he could as he stood and touched a few of the odd crystals and lenses that were apparently needed for lightsaber construction.
Going to want to take a few of these....chances are none of us are going to make these things right the first time.
Opening the case, Marcus gently put a few of the crystals and lenses within, making sure they were secured before shutting the case and placing it again at his side. Looking about, he noted that everyone had begun to walk about and explore, some picking up holocrons, or simply looking around. Glancing at each of the rooms, he finally decided the room on 'Force Cults' or some nonsense might as well be examined. He had heard a few taller tales about how there were those who were Jedi, and yet were not at the same time. He remembered hearing a past employer, a Hutt most likely, talking about how they would enjoy having some of those "Mock tricksters" around again to employ. He might as well see if there was any truth to the tale. Stepping towards the automatic door, he gazed about, seeing what was in the room before daring to step inside.
Niner's eyes flickered. "It is possible, sir. The Temple is significantly more sturdy than most structures on Coruscant, but it it is not invincible. However, even if the Temple itself collapses, this Vault should be in minimal danger. The lower floors leading to bedrock level have been fortified with durasteel plates and shields that are designed to enhance structural integrity. Should the upper floors be destroyed, getting off the planet will certainly be more hazardous, but you will not be trapped here."
The lights went on as Marcus entered the room on Force Cults, illuminating a bizarre mix of texts and artifacts. Archaic bladed weapons marked as being designed by the Witches of Dathomir, Aing-Tii texts written in a strange language, the strange illusory creations of the Fallanassi. In a corner, a suit of ornate battle armor resembling a vaguely humanoid crustacean, indicated to be the armor of a Jensaarai Warrior, noted below that the Jensaarai had become part of the Jedi Order.
The glove plate of the armor had indicators on it, that the silvery lines going across it were refined cortosis, a mineral that could cause a lightsaber to temporarily short out on contact.
Prenlarr walked into a sterile, torus-shaped white room, the walls lined with transparent tubes, they looked like hibernation pods or bacta tanks, but a closer examination showed that they were neither. Nutrient tubes, genetic scanners, flash-memory imprinters. There seemed to be thousands of them at the very least, and with a sinking sensation in his gut, Prenlarr had an idea what they might be.
Out of the corner of his eye, Prenlarr noticed a door that would lead into the 'hole' of the Torus. It was unmarked. Strange.
The man in the Holocron gave Kass a smile. He seemed friendly. Charming, even. "It's intoxicating. You must not let it control you, though. Allow me to properly introduce myself to you, I am Galen Cardas. In my life, I was known as Darth Alcerius, the Lord of the Sith. I understand you have made the personal acquaintance of the Sith yourself." Kass' mind seemed to dredge up the destruction of the Mynock, the death of everything he had known and cared for. "A disgusting rabble they have become. Once, the Sith sought understanding of all aspects of the Force, and later vengeance against the Jedi for their persecution of us. Now they have become a witless rabble bent on destruction. Pathetic." Cardas' smile turned predatory. "But they are weak. I will teach you, and you will be the instrument that brings about their change - whether it be their restoration, or their destruction, I care not."
Why would there be a cloning facility under the jedi temple? I can't just be left over from the clone wars. There must have been a reason that this continues to exist and be maintained. But what purpose does it serve?
"Why are you here?" He wondered out loud as he walked down the hall. He wasn't going anywhere near the unmarked door but he hoped he might be able to find a central computer, perhaps with research notes. Then he got an idea, it was a long shot but if calling Niner in would activate the memory for this area he could at least possibly figure out the purpose of this place. If not, he may just have to call Marcus and the others to explore that unmarked door with a bit of caution. He walked back out of the room for just as long as it took to talk to Niner.
"Niner can you please join me in here? Apparently there is a cloning facility in this area and I would like to see if that erased part of your memory activates upon entering the room."
Joseph wondered through the Vaults great halls. He wasn't look for anything in particular. He was just bored. He pulled his helmet off, his head was already slick with his sweat. The cool air felt nice against his face. At least now he had sometime to stop and think. He knew him and Marcus were on rough ground, he'd have to change that for the better, right now, he felt like an outcast of the six. After many minutes of thinking, he came back to his senses, and he found himself in a room of Holo-Crons, each one on it's own pedestals.
He looked at them, they were labeled by era, he was in what appeared to be an encyclopedia room. He was washed over with a feeling of calmness. He liked it, it was a welcome change from the dread he had been feeling. He yawned, he realized he hadn't slept in nearly two days. He felt like this was his best bet to take a well deserved nap. He rested himself against a wall and closed his eyes, he fell asleep almost instantly.
Niner stepped through the door. "Yes, of course, sir." A few moments after stepping through, however, the droid's lights began to flicker.
"Unauthorized intruder detected within Spaarti Cylinder chamber. Transmitting signal to The Casket." Niner's eyes came back to their usual brightness. "Oh, dear, sir, I'm afraid I lost a few moments. Did I say anything?" Niner looked around. "I'm afraid my memory core remains blank in several locations, but these appear to be a modification or upgrade to the original Spaarti Cloning Cylinders used during the Clone Wars as a supplement to Kaminoan clone production, as well as their use by Grand Admiral Thrawn during his campaign against the New Republic. The Emperor was believed to have secreted other caches throughout the galaxy besides the one that was destroyed at Mount Tantiss on Wayland, but...what is one doing here?"
"Yes you called me an unauthorized intruder and sent a signal to something called the casket. In any case I think it is time we get out of here." Prenlarr immediately left the room and enter the jedi vault.
"Time to leave, now. I called niner into the stasis room, which is for some reason a cloning facility, and he sent a signal to something called the casket. You can yell at me later but right now let's focus on leaving."
Marcus growled, annoyed as the announcement came over the comms that Prenlarr had disturbed something, and now that he had activated some defenses or something like that, he needed to hurry up. Moving quickly, Marcus grabbed the armor and began packing it away, intending to either find a way to mimic its construction, or perhaps use it later just as it was. Though he didn't like how it looked particularly, and the helmet would not fit him, but it appeared to be excellently made, and he wasn't going to let this trip slip by.
I swear, I am going to KILL that Sith spawned curious bastard when we manage to get out of here. IF we get out of here, now that he apparently drew the ire of something.
Finishing packing the armor away, he made his way into the main halls, shaking his head as he did so, not in the slightest of ways pleased that this turned out exactly as he predicted. People being idiots and investigating when they should be grabbing the rewards.
Knaake began to dream his body began to cool as he was slumped against one of the vault walls. He looked almost child like as he slept. But, in his head, something much more graphic and violent was occurring. He stirred slightly.
It was three days before the mass gassing of Iziz, and another six before the execution of the Royal Family. Joseph, then only a Private First Class was seated in a Gunship, He was seated on the back ramp, his armored legs dangling over the edge and into the sky. The craft, along with another squadron of ships, all packed with PURK troopers flew low over the city buildings. He held in his hands a Marksman Blaster, easily two and a half feet long, and could reach out and touch someone at nearly two thousand yards. The squadron of Gunships banked a hard left in the sky, Knaake sunk into his suit as the G-forces took hold. Suddenly, the Gunship directly behind Knaake's took a missile into it's underbelly, jolting it up and splitting it in half with a tremendous explosion. The radioactive flew caught flame and a larger secondary explosion occurred, the large shock wave buffeted Joseph and he nearly lost his seating.
Radio chatter picked up immensely, as the wreckage slammed into the side of a building. Two more missiles streaked up impacted a couple of other Gunships. The one Knaake was riding spewed out several volleys of flares to confuse any missiles coming up and banked a hard right, almost going vertical, as did the ones following them. His heart rate spiked and Adrenaline rushed into his veins. Just as he began to load his Marksman Rifle, a missile scrapped against the aft section of the Gunship, exploding close by and destroying an engine. They began to lose altitude worryingly fast. Joseph almost began to panic as they plummeted.
To the outside world, Knaake flinched slightly, and scowled in his sleep.
"Prenlarr, remind me to beat that curiosity out of here if and when we get out of here. Otherwise, you are going to get me killed and I think I would rather get you killed first, or at least crippled." Marcus said as he came out of the Force Cults room. Still very much annoyed, he flipped his comms on and got to shouting as if the place was going to collapse.
"ALRIGHT PEOPLE, CURIOSITY RUINED THE LEARNING SESSION. WAKE UP, PACK UP, GRAB WHATEVER YOU THINK WE WILL NEED TO KNOW OR NEED TO HAVE, AND GET YOUR SORRY ASSES GEARED UP AND READY TO GO. DO IT LIKE YOU HAVE A DAMNED RANCOR BEHIND YOU." Marcus practically shouted into the comms, hoping that was enough to snap anyone out of any lessons, treats, or naps they were in the middle of. Marcus then turned off his comms and his attention to Niner.
"Niner, are there any other faster ways to the surface, and ones that might be closer to an open area where a landing craft could show up? Or is the turbolift our only way out of here?" Marcus said, his annoyance under control after shouting over the comms for everyone to get moving.
Hopefully it will wake them up and realize with that collapse above our heads, and now security coming after us, as well as probably a lot of creatures annoyed that a building came down, they better be awake, and hopefully pissed off enough to get moving NOW
Niner shook his head. "No, I'm afraid not. Further, damage to the top floors of the building may prevent the turbolift from completing it's ascent. You may have to stop several floors below the surface to make your escape properly. However, are you sure this thing is a threat?"
Within the sealed room in the 'stasis chamber', a creature stirred from it's long sleep, and sensed the intruder in it's domain.
Marcus was finishing getting himself ready, making sure all the cases, weapons, and armor were secure on himself, then double checking again, and making sure his helmet was once again ready and secure before speaking.
"Niner, I might not look it right now, but in my previous days I was a salvager, and a damn good one too. And if there is one thing I know about any place you enter and know little about, is that when anyone says that they set off an alarm, that means that there is likely something very actively ready to respond to that alarm, whether it be a turret or.....something else." Marcus explained, all business now.
"So, we might need to stop early? Might be part of a problem, but if we can get a comm through, should be alright...Thanks for the info Niner. I apologize for the idiot companion, but I imagine it was going to happen sooner or later." Marcus said, not exactly pleased that this was how they were leaving, and began walking up to each hall, hoping to see people getting ready.
Joseph woke up in an instant, he pupils dilated fully as Marcus' slightly panicked voice rang through the halls. He jumped to his feet grabbed his helmet and picked up his rifle. His training kicked in, whatever it was now, he was damn tired and pissed off about it. He rushed out into the main area where everyone was gathered. He threw his helmet on and sealed his suit.
"Marcus!" He said through the Comm "What do we have? Is it hostile? And can I kill it?" He asked, as he slung his rifle and pulled his pistol and Vibroblade and activated both. He looked around, for anything he could use as cover. He didn't feel tired anymore.
"Prenlarr here set off some sort of alarm for this place. And since this is a Jedi Vault, and the place is still working, I would imagine it working in excellent condition, and probably quite a bit meaner than all of us put together." Marcus replied.
"So, no idea what we have, it will likely be hostile, and I don't know if it we will be able to kill it, because I don't want to wait to find out what it is." Marcus said, nodding as he approached.
Great, was a soldier just like I expected him to be. Might be useful when we get to the surface, but right now I would rather not start shooting.
"Besides, Niner says there are creatures running about, and if that is true that means that we will likely be dealing with some pissed off ones with that building collapse above us. And I imagine we will have to kill a few of those to get out of here."
"I like those odds." Knaake said. "So the plan is fall back, kill anything that get's in our way?" He asked, scanning. Things were about to get pretty hairy. "Because I got a bone to pick with whatever woke me up." He pulled up his motion tracker, and activated his Thermal Optics. He swung the Knife under the grip of his pistol, in case things got close.
"Well, that's just peachy. At least we got what we came for, the Adegan crystals," Rec noted as he rejoined the group, holding up the box in question. "And a bit more besides," he added upon seeing the holocron in Marcus' possession and remembering his own, from which he would learn the ways of the Jedi. He took a couple of seconds to stash his acquisitions about his person; the suit possessed a few pockets and pouches in which to store small things like ammo magazines or grenades. Thankfully all of the ones built into Rec's suit were empty, and he used them to free up his hands, taking note of where he had placed each item.
Ready to react to the changing situation, the hunter pulled out his rifle and readied it in case something hostile decided to show its face.
"Rec," Joseph said. "I'd hate to be bossy, but stay on me, we're going to clear the way out for the rest of the group. Understand?" He asked. He kept his pistol leveled. "Since you're a hunter I won't bother you about accuracy." Jospeh linked himself up to Rec's, so Rec could see what Joseph was looking at, and the other way around. "Here, take my rifle if things get too close." He tossed Rec his Rifle.
"I set off no alarm, Niner entered the room and sent a signal to something called the casket. You may want to hold of killing me once you find out that the Jedi hid an entire cloning facility under this temple. Excuse me if I actually wanted to know why an organization would want such a thing after certain events. So if you get angry fine, but at least ask yourself some questions first. Why is the facility here? What is its purpose? Why would some kind of creature still be here and only be stirred specifically when Niner and I were in that room?" Prenlarr said, somewhat angry about the accusations being thrown his way. Any one of them could have set off that alarm and yet, because it was him, all the accusations were thrown his way as if they themselves could never have made his mistake.
"Let me put this as simply as possible Prenlarr. Why are we trying to get more questions put in our place when we are NOT here to discover them? We did not come here to find out about everything they stored down here, why the place was built, when it was built, and why they have security in place. You can be curious all you want, but it would be nice to be curious AFTER we get all that we came for." Marcus said, taking a deep breath afterwords.
"Look, I get it. You want to know all about this stuff, and maybe it wasn't your fault that Niner entered the room and set off....whatever. It's done, and we need to get our asses moving, because I'm not very confident that we could take down something guarding a Jedi temple when I'm pretty sure none of us could handle a single Jedi."
"Joseph? Here is to hoping we don't need to blast our way through too much of anything, but you are the soldier. Try not to pull any heroics, eh?" Marcus said, pulling free the Beam cutter from the holster he had locked it on.
Hah....perhaps I should go a little easier on these people. Might be stuck with them for a while, and while they are all quite horrible salvagers, maybe they can pull something else out of their hat. I hope so, otherwise I think I might just try to get the hell away from these people, Sith be damned and the Force be damned too.
"And let me put it this way. Why are you questioning none of this? Why are you blindly accepting everything that is happening and moving on as if none of it matters? Clones destroyed the Jedi order and it has long been known that Jedi can't be cloned, so why are they maintaining this facility? I find it disturbing that it would exist, and that the only reason any of this is happening is because it exists. There is some secret being kept from us, and that troubles me greatly. As it should everyone here." Prenlarr responded as he too pulled the beam cutter he had kept on him.
"Well, I would guess that I am reactionary. That, and being in a Jedi Vault that I didn't know existed until today, and that I am going to be taking some it's contents with me to not even sell like I usually do, but use and learn from is a hell of a lot for me to do in the first place." Marcus said with a shrug, guessing this was as good a time to chat as any.
"And frankly, I don't know if you noticed, but being in a location with things I don't understand, on a planet that is presumed dead, but actually roaming with some creatures outside, with a vault that has some sort of defensive mechanisms doesn't exactly make me the most pleasant person to be around. There is a time to think about they 'why', and a time to just take something at face value and think about it later. It is just how I work. It is very disturbing that things are being hidden from us, and the cloning facility doesn't make much sense, but that is all the more reason to figure it is a danger, and with Jedi it is likely a danger made to take down trained fools, and I don't think we are by any means trained, just fools." Marcus continued, checking his somewhat bulky weapon, as well as checking one more time that everything was secure, just to make sure that while running he didn't drop his new Holocron, nor the crystals he had collected.
As good a time as discuss this as any, if I am going to be possibly dying to this trap, or to something outside that likes to rip apart droids that it spots. Goddamn bad days, I knew I was due for one, but I didn't expect it to be station shattering, world killing, new trap hunting bad.
Rec immediately returned the gun Joseph tossed to him. "I have no use for a weapon such as this. My own weapons will suffice. Trust me; my sniper rifle will be more than adequate for long and medium-ranged combat. If things get up close and personal I have my pistol." The game hunter then took a moment to consider the situation at hand.
Prenlarr and Marcus appeared to be getting worked up over something, judging by the conversation Rec could hear over the comm. From what he could tell, it seemed like they were disagreeing on how best to proceed now that whatever had happened had happened. Prenlarr had a point. Why would the Jedi have a cloning facility in the Vault? There had to be some reason that would cause them to build such a place. And whatever it was, perhaps finding out that reason was not all that bad of a thing. They could observe from a distance, armed and ready in case anything hostile made its presence known.
"If I may chip in, Prenlarr, Marcus; I offer another idea. We hold here a moment, take the time to see if anything hostile comes out of that... cloning facility. If something does, we gun it down and investigate who or what it is and how it was produced. If it proves too much to handle, we run for the turbolift. Perhaps whose of us who cannot fight particularly well should stay closer to the lift than the fighters," he added, thinking of Rana and her limited combat abilities.
The turbolift rocketed up to the surface with it's passengers. The wait was long and unpleasant. To their newly opened minds, there was a sense of a nameless hunger all around them and a darkness in the vault they had just left, like a slowly spreading stain of ink. Roughly a minute and a half after leaving, the turbolift came to a sudden halt.
"Problem detected. Opening turbolift doors, eleven floors below destination."
The doors slid open, revealing the exit. It looked like everything was clear, but there was something echoing through the buildings, a scream or cry that chilled them to the bone. Something was coming.
The uncomfortable silence that seemed to echo about the turbolift as they proceeded upwards was by no means deafening, but the sounds and feelings of the planet seemed much more...noticeable now. Perhaps it was not a good idea to jump into this Jedi business on this planet in particular. However, the sudden halt of the turbolift was not good, and the echoing of something coming did not help the cause.
Well, there are those creatures that were startled. Eleven floors under huh? Long way to the top if we have to fight it.
"Here we go...remember, don't start shooting unless it looks like it is coming for us. No need to attract unwanted attention." Marcus reminded, deciding that he would instead use his blaster pistols rather than the Beam Cutter. Unless there was a mob of them, single shots would work far better....
"....Let's see if we can get an eye in the sky..." Marcus muttered, hoping the comms could get out of the building. "Hey, you guys still awake up there? What is going on at the surface? If you can read, please respond." Marcus said, trying to not be too loud, now certain that he would rather sneak about than face whatever was roaming this planet.
"Remember, watch your corners." Joseph said. "If you see anything, yell." He stepped out of the Turbolift. A sense of unease in his stomach. He keyed his helmet light. A bright wash of blinding brightness flooded the room. He shoulder his rifle, keeping his finger off the trigger like Marcus said.
"Rec, could you cover me?" He said, a hint of caution in his voice. He made sure his steps were light.
"Wouldn't yelling be counter-productive? I mean unless death is imminent shouldn't we just signal each other somehow?" Prenlarr said as he kept his beam cutter close. He followed in the middle of the others as they began to move through the area.
Knaake swept the room with his light. It looked all clear, then he swept it back through, and something moved in the dark. He brought his light back over to it, revealing some kind of twisted monstrosity, a vaguely humanoid figure hunched over with dirt and stone dust ground into it's skin. The flesh on the creature seemed to be sloughing off in rivulets, the exposed flesh weeping stinking yellow pus.
The creature turned it's head to stare at them, it's eyes glowing a pale yellow in the dark. It opened it's mouth, showing a maw lined with yellow, jagged teeth, a grayish-pink tongue picking bits of unidentifiable material out from between it's teeth.
It screamed. Then it ran at them.
"Contact!" Joseph said through Comm in a oddly calm voice. He dropped his rifle and it snapped taut on it's Single Point sling as Knaake drew and activated his Vibroblade. He braced for the inevitable impact of the beast, not wanting to risk missing it with his blaster and risk collapsing the building even further. His heart rate on his HUD spiked as Adrenaline poured into his blood stream.
As Knaake braced for impact - a stupid move in Rec's opinion, since the best way to avoid being hit by something is not to be in its way - the game hunter dropped to one knee, paused for half a second and lightly squeezed the trigger of his sniper rifle. A bright flash emerged from the barrel and what passed for the head of the abomination rushing at Knaake exploded.
The result wasn't pretty, at complete odds with any similar depiction one would see on the Holonet. Nonetheless, Rec was completely unfazed by the simple headshot and the corpse that didn't yet realise it was dead. He had performed such actions many a time before. "There will definitely be more of those things," he stated plainly. "We have to keep moving; they may be attracted by the scent of blood, even if it belongs to one of their own. Joseph, I trust you understand the concept of 'leapfrog' formation?" he asked as he moved to the cover of a nearby column, rifle ready in case more of the aberrations were skulking in the dim light.
Joseph nodded, bits of brain matter, blood and flesh stuck to his helmet. He looked down at the now dead and headless creature and gave it a hard kick to what passed for a chest. He sheathed his blade and grabbed his rifle. He moved up ahead of Rec, and keyed his Night Vision. Those things were sure to show up on his display. He reached down to his duty belt and popped open a compartment, pulling out a small cylindrical red stick. Thinking twice, he put it back and instead upped the power slightly on his infrared projector. Making it easier to see then flat out revealing his position to whatever those were.
"Rec, move it up... And be careful."