"Sensor control, jam the Mercenary's commlink -" Deathstrike snaps as she realizes the Mercenary is communicating with his allies. His commlink issues a squeal of static, and dies. A squad of HK51's charges onto the bridge, surrounding the Mercenary. Deathstrike approaches menacingly, a snarl on her face.
"YOU! You know of Gatekeeper's plans, Mercenary! I want to know what macabre ruse did he pull off just now, and where did he take Lord Darkon! RThe TSE has lost a good number of its forces, and I am in no mood for games, little boy!"
With a massive surge of the Force from her, the Mercenary's lightsabers are ripped from his arms, as the HK51's surround him and hold him. Deathstrike is on him in an instant, her blade at his throat.
"Tell me what you know, Mercenary, or die this instant!"
Ty294's mouth curls into a sinster smirk. At that moment a team of Mercenaries and Cyborg troops storms the bridge, quickly neutralizing the HK droids. Deathstrike suddenly feels the rolls reversed as Ty294 graps here throat with one gloved hand and the blade of her sword with the other.
"No, YOU tell ME! What did Darkon do to the Uberweapon? My men control this ship now, though the rest your fleet doesn't know it. Now, what sort of dark curse did Darkon use on the Uberweapon? Tell me or I'll break your neck!"
Meanwhile, Grage attempts to assess the the losses.
"Captain, any report from the lab ship?"
"They left the Uberweapon's hangar during the battle. The ship was enough out of range that they're still in one piece, but barely."
"Send some transports to evac the crew and Fury relics. That ship's cargo is too important to loose!"
"Understood sir, Star Destroyer Gold Aura is already en route."
Grage turned to another aid.
"Anything from the Gatekeeper?"
"Contact those ships at the edge of the system, maybe they know something. In the meantime, don't attack any of Darkon's craft unless fired upon."
"Right away sir!"
Suddenly, HK's fill the room and start neutralizing the cyborgs and mercenarys. Ty looks away for a second, and Deathstrike seizes the opportunity. She twist Ty's arms, grabs her blade back and holds it to the Merc's throat. The HK leader speaks: "Threat assessment confirmed. Multiple squads of hostiles detected. Hangar 213 isolated. Decks 42 to 116 quarantined. HK troops converging. Acidic gas released to affected decks. Contact. Engaging the enemy. Remnant cyborg troops and some pitiful mercenaries. Enemy incursion contained. They have retreated and barricaded themselves in Hangar 213. Requesting further instructions."
Deathstrike's mouth curl into a contemptuous sneer, as she looks the Mercenary straight in the eye.
"Just the kind of half-baked, puny attack I have come to expect from amateurs like you!"
A squad of mercenaries charges onto the bridge, only to be met with a withering barrage of blaster fire from the HK's. Two of them manage to get close... and one of their heads continues to roll for a few moments, slashed cleanly off the body by Deathstrike's brutally elegant combo of attacks.
"Depressurize Hangar 213."
Deathstrike, now icy calm. "Now. I have asked you a question, Mercenary. And I will not ask again." The blade begins to draw blood from his throat.
"Security team K1 reporting, Admiral Rajko. We have searched the ship. A cockpit, a small common area in the rear. No-one aboard. However, we have found a Mandalorian helmet in the cockpit. Curious."
"Acknowledged. Something is amiss here. Remain in position and guard the vessel. I am dispatching a deep-scanning team to conduct a thorough analysis. Stand by for further orders."
"Perhaps your men are trying to keep you from entering a panic." Ty294 said calmy, "All units report!"
The commlink is dead for a moment, Deathstrike smiles at her apparent victory, suddenly, voices start coming through: "Maccus in the engine room, all secure down here!"
"Lears in the hangar bay, no hostiles here boss!"
"Captain Vols in the barracks section, we're mopping up the last resistance."
Ty294 kicks the head of one of the dead soldiers. Laughing, he makes a quick arm motion. Out of nowhere, 4 shadowtroopers wielding red lightsabers emerge and destroy the HKs. Ty backs away from Deathstrike.
Deathstrike's comm crackles to life: "Sith Trooper Commander RT-1145 reporting. HK shock units cut off near the engine room. My platoon is converging to reinforce them. Resistance sparse for the moment. Contact!" Blaster fire is clearly heard through the comm. "We have progressed to the engine room. 54 hostiles neutralized. Initiating full isolation procedure. Engine room secure, lady Deathstrike. Corridors outside full of acidic gas. Remaining local resistance neutralized. HK Advance Guard reports all compromised hangars depressurized. Platoon 46A converging on the Barracks section. ETA-6.2 minutes."
Deathstrike spins around as 4 Shadowtroopers decloak and engage the HK51's. One is brought down by synchronized blaster fire, but the other 3 manage to destroy the remaining HK's. Another Shadowtrooper is cut down as he turns to engage Deathstrike. The remaining 2 drop to combat stance, lightsabers at the ready.
"It is apparent that neither of us will be divulging anything." The mercenary said, "It seams this must end one way."
Ty makes another arm gesture and the Shadowtroopers vanish. Ty then begins to shed his armor, until all that's left is his charcoal colored undergarments. Two more lightsabers are revealed under his armor. Tearing off his shirt, Ty294 charges Deathstrike screaming one word: "BBEERRSSEERRKK!!"
As the Mercenary charges for his berserk attack, Deathstrike whispers maniacally, her tatooed face spread into a wide grin, as she draws an extendable, double-bladed, electrocharged cortosis vibrosword from a scabbard on her back.
"3 against 1, mmm... I like those odds."
She uses Force Blinding - The Shadowtroopers and the Mercenary are dazzled momentarily, as she leaps directly at the leftmost trooper, intent on cleaving him in two.
Ty294 shruggs off the blinding attack and blocks Deathstrikes intended blow. The Shadowtroopers recover and move to assist but Ty hisses a word in an unfamiliar dialouge. The Shadowtroopers vanish. The bridge is now empty off all life besides the mercenary and Darkon's assassin. Suddenly Ty294 charges at Deathstrike, his attacks are vicious and unpredictable. He seems to have mixed the Dark Rage force power and the Berserker attack style into an unstoppable juggernaught. Deathstrike tries to mount a counterattack but Ty's blows come to fast. The assassin is able to land a couple strikes that would incapacitate a normal man, but the mercenary keeps coming. As he does, he opens a telepathic channel into Deathstrike's mind and begins taunting her.
"Your Darkon's stooge, do you think he will have any use for you when this war is over? Darkon will kill you... he will kill you. You are along here, you have no escape."
The messages keep coming, Deathstrike's once cold deminer has melted into unease and uncertainty. Suddenly, Ty294 spots an opening and makes his strike...
"Captain Vols, this is Maccus, we've encountered heavy resistance but objective Gamma 492 has been completed."
"Copy, we'll join you in a moment, Objective Tau 181 is almost complete."
Maccus returns to the hangar where Lears is fighting off HK droids and poison gas. The towering Chistori and his team assist Lears in re-securing the hangar. As the last HK falls into pieces, the comlink comes to life:
"This ... tain Vols, we're und ... cut off from hangar ... au 181 comple ... go witho-- ARGH!"
Comlink dies, both mercs realize it is to late for Vols. The remaining Mercs and Cyborgs board the transports and blast off towards Grage's fleet.
"Deep scan team to Admiral Rajko: Scans complete. We have detected traces of some unknown energy surge. Preliminary reports from the Research Lab 11 indicate some form of matter transmission device. Technology unlike any we have ever encountered. Their theory is that the occupants of the ships were somehow...'teleported'... at least that is the term those lab rats chose to use... to some unknown location. They are continuing their analysis, sir."
"Acknowledged. Rajko out." What in the name of the Sith is going on here?!
"Sir, the Spectre Force Witch has an additional report."
"Admiral, there is a residue of great power... in this ship. I know it... I can feel it... Lord Darkon, our glorious Sith'ari, was on board. Yes... I KNOW it! And... a residue of equally great malice... weakness covered by false delusions of power... the Gatekeeper. Yes! He was here as well!
"Wh?!? - understood. Rajko out."
"Comm officer, open an emergency channel to the Blood Sanctum!"
On the Blood Sanctum, the Mercenary is cornered to the wall, bleeding from multiple slashing wounds. Deathstrike is not much better off, many shallow lightsaber burns covering her body, as the emergency transmission comes through. Deathstrike, kicking away the Mercenary, responds: "Fleet Admiral Rajko, proceed immediately to Staging Point 3B. The Blood Sanctum will meet you there, along with the rest of the Prime Fleet. We will get to the bottom of this!"
"Our hyperdrive motivators were disabled in the battle, Lady Deathstrike. You will have to come here."
Turning to the Mercenary, she speaks: "As much as I am enjoying this skirmish, I suggest we postpone it, little boy! At least until we know exactly what happened to Lord Darkon and your precious Gatekeeper...."
Ty294 suddenly feels a massive surge of power flow throughout his body, empowering him beyond anything that Deathstrike could possibly imagine, and as he feels it, he knows that the Gatekeeper has something to do with it. "Wipe them out Ty." The Gatekeeper's voice in his head says. "All of them..."
The Gatekeeper starts to laugh maniacally. "Oh, foolish one. Do you really think you have destroyed the Uberweapon?" He asked the Assailant as he pulled out a comlink. "Activate the transfer streams!" The all too familiar red outline of the Uberweapon returns to view, only now, as the Gatekeeper alluded to earlier, it is roughly the size of the star that they were fighting over. "As I told Lord Darkon earlier, you do not understand the powers at work here. Now, you will expierence the power of Spawning!" The Gatekeeper snaps his fingers, and the Executor, the Eclipse, the Vengeance, the Sovereign, at least 50 Titan and Allegiance ISD's, and over 1,000 Star Destroyers suddenly appear out of nowhere, in perfect fleet position around the Uberweapon.
"You see, no matter what you do, I always have a backup plan! Now, tell me more about this 'Enemy.' I always enjoy a challenge."
On the Zatornik, the deep scan team watches in awe, as Lord Darkon suddenly phases in front of them on the flight deck. Striding past them without a second glance, he pulls out a commlink.
"Admiral Rajko, set course for the Uberweapon. Best possible speed."
"Wh?! My lord, where have you... how... the Uberweapon. It..it's destr..." His voice dies down as the Uberweapon suddenly appears in the exact same place as before, along with over a hundred other ships.
"There is no time for discussion. Carry out my orders."
"But this ship is no match for..."
Darkon smiles to himself, "That is beside the point, Admiral."
"I sense my apprentice is in danger...."
Darkon's dissociated avatar suddenly appears on the Blood Sanctum's bridge, merging with Deathstrike and empowering her. Deathstrike's skin turns blood-red, as her eyes begin to glow with a silvery-gray light.
Basilisk gaze* - the mercenary is instantly turned to stone.
Force Shatterpoint* - and is now nothing more than a pile of dust.
At that moment Darkon hears a voice in his head. It rumbles so loud that he clasps his hands to his ears in pain, as he hears Ty's voice.
"Darkon, I've enjoyed our little game. You think you killed me? Nobody can do that. I was only in this dimension because I wished to 'play' with the other physical beings such as you. If I so desired, I could return in any form I wished. But I think I'll relax a while and watch the show. Enjoy the present my merc friends left on your ship."
Suddenly, the Blood Sanctum is ripped in half by the bombs planted by the Mercenaries. All the turrets in the surviving pieces open fire at Darkon's craft causing heavy damage before their power runs out. Meanwhile, the remainder of the mercenary and cyborg forces have returned to the safety of Grage's fleet.
"Is there no end to this insanity?" Rattler asked as more ships appear out of nowhere near the local star. The communications officer reports that a shuttle from the TCS Southampton is on final approach, carrying survivors. Rattler turns to the captain, and says that he will go check on them. Captain O'Neill nods, and Rattler leaves the Bridge.
Rattler arrives on the Flight Deck in time to see the first of the survivors come off the shuttle. In all, Seven TEC, Nine NEF, and Three Sith came off the shuttle. The pilot reported that more were sent the the Kyushu. One of the Sith survivors, a female officer, hesitates as she passes Rattler. She turns to face him, and he gets a sudden creepy feeling.
"You're..." she starts to say. "What?" Rattler asks, still getting the creepy feeling. "Never mind." She finally says, and follows the rest of the survivors to Sickbay. The creepy feeling dies off as she gets farther away from Rattler. Shaking his head, Rattler heads over to where his Rapier is berthed, and talks with the tech.
The Gatekeeper, although masked, is clearly enjoying himself, as he is watching the Blood Sanctum go down at the hands of Ty294 and also watching his fleet of over 1,000 Star Destroyers rip what is left apart. He vanishes to the Uberweapon, to see his armored Assailant, looking out the viewport window. The Gatekeeper takes no notice of him, and begins barking orders: "Transparency. Now." "Yes, Sir!" The Uberweapon suddenly goes transparent, causing all hostile weapons fire to go directly through it, however, it's massive guns are still doing extreme damage to the last of Darkon's fleet. "Tell Patten to postion what is left of his fleet on the enemy's rear flank. We will bear the brunt of their assault." "Yes, Sir!" The Captain sends the transmission just as one of the Uberweapon's Gauss cannons finds a fuel cell on a capital ship of Darkon's, igniting a massive chain reaction of explosions throughout the ship that eventually turn the ship into space junk. "We're going to have lots of suveneirs when this battle is over..."
As the Blood Sanctum is ripped apart, Darkon repairs it with his immense power. Deathstrike stares for a moment at the spot the Mercenary was a moment before, and then snarls one word:
She walks to the intercom, "Supreme Admiral Deathstrike to the Prime Fleet: I have just received a Force command from the Lord Darkon. I am taking the Blood Sanctum to the Akates star, near the Uberweapon. The rest of the fleet will wait here at the edge of the system. Reconfigure to standoff formation. I don't understand it any more than you do, but his order was very specific. I sense that something critical is about to happen..."
Meanwhile, the Zatornik is halfway to the Uberweapon and its 'spawned' fleet. Weapons inactive, shields down, reactive armor depowered. The mass of enemy vessels begins to pelt it with massed fire. For every shot that connects, an exact ghostly duplicate of the Zatornik is created, and the real one remains inexplicably undamage, silver-gray radiance beginning to halo it in flight. By the time it reaches the Uberweapon, over 5.000 ghost duplicates are around it. Every one of them merges with one of the Gatekeeper's 'spawned' ships, nullifying it, and itself. In the end, only two vessels remain on the scene. The Uberweapon, and the Zatornik, out of normal space-time, helpless, but also invulnerable.
Lord Darkon phases to the Uberweapon's bridge, and walks to stand beside the Gatekeeper.
"By all means, Assailant. Tell us about this "Enemy."
Lord Darkon and the Gatekeeper still wait for an answer, as the Assailant stares out the bridge viewport, his back to them.
"I command you to tell us about this Enemy!" Lord Darkon snaps.
The Leviathan appears beside the Excalibur, out of range of the destruction, after emerging from hyperspace flanked by Decimators, Bastions, Firestorms, and many escort ships, having made their jump at the last moment. However, Patten, Carter, and their personal squad of Guardians are not on board. The fleet is reconfigured into a standoff formation. Suddenly, on the bridge of the Uberweapon, the elite squad uncloaks, having entered the ship in a specially modified cloaked shuttle.
"I would also like to hear about this 'great Enemy'," Patten says.
"An officer calls out to O'Neill, "Captain, we are receiving a transmission. Unknown source."
Captain O'Neill turns to face the communications officer. "Patch it through."
"If you wish to learn why your fleet was brought across the universe to this galaxy, then come to these coordinates. I will explain everything to you, Lord Darkon, and the Gatekeeper once you arrive. And bring the pilot you call Rattler with you."
Captain O'Neill blinks in surprise. The coordinates are right next to the massive ship near the star.
"Contact Captain Anders aboard the Kyushu. He's to take command of the fleet while we investigate the source of this signal. Helm, set a course into the system."
20 minutes later, the TCS Excalibur pulls up alongside the Uberweapon. A shuttle from Excalibur locates a landing bay, and Captain O'Neill and Rattler are escorted to the bridge. Rattler takes one look at both Lord Darkon and the Gatekeeper, and gets the creepy feeling of all creepy feelings. Lord Darkon and the Gatekeeper turn, and see the Terrans for the first time. For a moment, they focus on Rattler, then turn their attention to Captain O'Neill.
The Gatekeeper looks around at the crowd of people on the bridge of his ship, clearly amused. A Corporal walks up to him. "Sir, we have successfully deactivated the hostile energy field that is preventing our ships from moving or attacking. Requesting permission to open fire." "Denied, Corporal. I wish to see how this plays out. Return to your duties. Clear the bridge except for us." "Yes, Sir! You heard the Gatekeeper! Move it!" All of the SE crewman leave, leaving the faction leaders alone on the bridge. The Gatekeeper turns back to the Assailant, and everyone in the room notices the mood change to a much darker tone. "Assailant, tell us what is going on, or I swear to you, on my own grave, I will show you the true meaning of the word 'Despair.' This is your final warning..."
"Point Guard 5-1A to Lady Deathstrike: Sensors are detecting several NEF ships near the Confederation fleet. How in space did they-"
"Ignore them, 5-1A! Repeat, maintain standoff formation. Monitor them closely, but do not engage!"
The Blood Sanctum arrives at the Akates star, coming to a halt less than 2.000 kilometers from the Uberweapon. Not the slightest hint of threat. Deathstrike takes her personal infiltrator ship across, and docks in the main hangar bay. As she makes her way to the Bridge, she comes across absolutely no-one. She enters the bridge, and takes in the assembled group in a single glance. Her tatooed face is a mask of surprise. Lord Darkon beckons her over.
"What is this?! What is happening, my Lord?"
"I suspect we are soon to find out, my apprentice..."
Patten nods at the new arrivals, and continues to wait for a response from the Assailant.
As Lord Darkon continues to stare hard at the Assailant's back, his patience draining rather quickly, Deathstrike turns to Grand Admiral Patten, and whispers: "Well played, Admiral. Your fleet did give my forces an interesting challenge. Mmm... I only wish the entertainment wasn't cut short by the Uberweapon's seeming destruction. I must confess at some surprise at seeing you alive. The last I saw of your ship, it was being ripped to pieces by one of my Kurgarin dreadnoughts." With a maniacal look in her dark eyes, "In any case, I really enjoyed the carnage."
"Ah, never underestimate a blast of pure, hyper-condensed plasma. Tears through anything," The general winks, "INCLUDING Kurgarin dreadnaughts. You also seemingly got your facts incorrect, Atlantea armor is extremely tough, especially on my flagship. Nevertheless, your forces gave me the greatest challenge of my life. I commend your battle skills..." ...although you are kinda freaky...
Rattler can't take it anymore, and positions himself between the Sith woman and Patten. His blue uniform contrasting those of Sith woman and the Admiral.
"ENOUGH! You guys can rip each other apart some other time! Right now we got bigger problems to deal with!"
Captain O'Neill finally decides to speak up, hoping to diffuse the situation before it gets out of control.
"Everyone calm down. Threatening people is not going to solve anything. I'm sure there is a reason we are all here."
As Captain O'Neill speaks, Rattler still can't shake the creepy feeling he's getting from the two opposing leaders. He then turns his attention to the third individual who appears to be the focus of their frustration. Something about this person makes Rattler even more uncomfortable.
The Gatekeeper, his patience also running short, takes a step towards Darkon's Apprentice, and reaches into his pocket... "Deathstrike. We meet at last." He says. "Lord Darkon has taught you well, but as Ty hinted at before he left, after this war is over, he will no longer need you. That, and he will view you as a threat to him." Deathstrike looked confused. "Deathstrike, the Sith are always turning on one another. It is natural for them. They have been doing that since I first created them and put the idea of the Sith'ari in their heads. After this war is over, if you two are still alive, it will come naturally to you to take his power for yourself, and it will come naturally to him to kill you for doing so. It is the way of the Sith. But I am sure you will learn that soon enough..."
Deathstrike's confusion turns to cold anger, and she turns burning eyes on the Gatekeeper. "You fool! You know nothing about the Sith! And I don't mean the mockery the Sith have become under the leadership of treacherous, small minded Sith Masters, as far back as when they betrayed the last true King of the Sith, Akirakon Sin. My master is a True Sith, the one who shall continue the legacy of Akirakon Sin. A legacy that was interrupted millennia ago! A legacy of strength, unity, and supreme power! As his apprentice, I am a True Sith as well. You will never cause dissention between us!"
Lord Darkon is silent, listening to his Apprentice's heated rebuttal. To himself, full of pride: "Indeed. I have taught her well!"
"My intention was not to drive you two apart," The Gatekeeper continued angrily. "I am telling you exactly what is going to happen someday. It has happened with very Sith and Apprentice I have ever had the displeasure of knowing. You Sith are like animals! You have no moral values and in my opinion which greatly outshines your own seeing as I CREATED YOUR KIND, you and ALL of your pathetic Sith followers should save me the trouble and just kill yourselves! You Sith have turned into monsters! Absolute monsters! You do not deserve to inhabit the same universe as the human race, or any other life form in existence! And if I was so tempted, I could wipe you out right now!" The Gatekeeper pulls a lightsaber out of his pocket, Lord Darkon spins around in a picosecond, as the Gatekeeper is about to ignite his lightsaber. In a blur of motion too fast even for the Gatekeeper to see, Darkon's blade intercepts the Gatekeeper's, and a massive blast of pure Force energy sends the Gatekeeper rocketing backwards to the far bulkhead, with an impact powerful enough to rattle the entire bridge. Lord Darkon's anger is almost incinerating.
"ENOUGH, PATHETIC ONE!!! If you blaspheme the True Sith one more time, or if you threaten my chosen apprentice again, I will NOT be as restrained as I am now! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!"
Darkon attempts to send a burst of Lightning at the Gatekeeper, but as he extended his hand, a string wrapped around his wrist and yanked his arm down.
The Assailant retracted the cord into his wrist-device and finally spoke: "Your all idiots, and were clearly not paying any attention to what I was saying." He turns to the Gatekeeper. "I did not destroy the Uberweapon, I have no quarrel with you. More importantly, however, you did not re-create it as it would seem. None of us are really here. I expect our enemy has us all captured in a cell somewhere, and is probing our minds at this very moment." He looks at the rest of the people on the bridge. "This is all an illusion. I'm not sure how long it's been, but that is not important. We need to get out."
Rattler is the first to respond.
"Wait a minute... if this is some sort of trick, then explain why we're here. I could understand if it was just those two," Rattler indicates the Gatekeeper and Lord Darkon. "But the thing I don't get, is us. The Confederation is not even from this part of this galaxy, and slightly more advanced than the TEC, at least from what I saw out there. What possible reason would your enemy have for capturing a Confed Captain and fighter pilot?"
All eyes turn to Captain O'Neill.
"Think about it. Everyone here represents a major military power. What if this enemy, if what you are saying is true, wants to learn about our technology to prepare for an invasion. The most heavily defended places would be our respective homeworlds. Earth is ours. If I'm right, then we are all being used to see how we would react to a major threat. The two of you..." She points to Lord Darkon and the Gatekeeper, "Attacked each other. We showed up, and did not choose sides. Now the real question is, if this is all a simulation, when were we captured?"
The Assailant looks at Rattler and O'Neill."I don't know when we were captured, but that doesn't matter, what matters is that we are captured, together, by any enemy far more powerful than all of us. We need to escape."
He looks back at Darkon and the Gatekeeper.
"When you two escaped the plane during your last battle, you let something out. Creatures far more powerful than this galaxy has ever known. I was here to stop them, but it would seem that somewhere along the line, we all got captured and our subconscious minds reset back to this point.
O'Neill interrupted: "Earth is what we call a Class M Planet, which supports a wide variety of environments ranging from ocean to desert. But if this enemy was interested in us, then where are the Kilrathi? The Confederation is currently at war with the Kilrathi Empire. Wouldn't it make sense to study all possible forces that could oppose them?" The Assailant is about to respond when the Gatekeeper, clearly ignoring the Assailant, seizes the opportunity, and attempts to cut Darkon's arm's off. Lord Darkon pulls back, narrowly avoiding the Gatekeeper's blade while drawing his own. He lunges forward intending to run the Gatekeeper through, but the Gatekeeper dodged, causing Darkon to hit himself against the window.
Rattler smacks his own face at the constant fighting between Lord Darkon and the Gatekeeper. Getting fed up that they aren't listening, Rattler pulls out his laser pistol, and shoots the floor several times around both of them.
"WILL YOU GUYS JUST SHUT UP AND LISTEN FOR A MINUTE!?! We could be dealing with a 'Fate of the Universe' situation here, and you two are too busy trying to prove who's got the biggest balls! Break it up already or I'm gonna sock someone!"
Captain O'Neill silently agrees with her Wing Commander.
"Captain O'Neill brings up a very valid point." The Gatekeeper replied. "The SE's homeworld is Komm, a massive planet that is roughly the size of 50 Coruscant's. It supports trillions of species of life, as well as every known environment. The perfect home world. When I first created the galaxy and formed the Shadow Empire, long before your times, I decided to create resource-rich Komm. What kind of resources does Earth have left? If my hunch is correct, they could be after resources to prepare for a full-scale galactic-no---Universal takeover. This fighting between Darkon and myself must be exactly what they wanted. Assailant, tell us more about this 'Enemy.' "
Lord Darkon picks himself up, his animosity towards the Gatekeeper momentarily forgotten.
"Interesting point, Captain O'Neill. Korriban, a primordial True Sith world, is mostly a barren wasteland, with not much in the way of natural resources. However, it is literally alive with the mystical energy we refer to as 'The Force'. I suspect that is why the ancient Sith first evolved there, as a species. Leaving aside the Gatekeeper's absurd presumption and delusions of being the 'creator of the universe', if this 'enemy' would plan an invasion of the known universe, the powers contained within Korriban would definitely be a great asset to him. And our infighting would give this hypothetical "enemy" an idea of the methods we would use to repel an actual invasion. However, I still need more evidence before I am convinced that all of this is an elaborate illusion. Assailant, I am open to hearing more."
Ty294 suddenly fades into view.
"A very interesting story assailant, tell more."
Turning toward Deathstrike, who stands quaking in rage at the reappearance of her enemy, Ty294 briefly remarks: "What? Think you're the only one who can imploy force illusions?" As if he did not even notice Ty, the Assailant snapped his head in the direction of the ship controls. "Has anyone else noticed the fleet is gone?" He asked quickly, more to himself than anyone in particular. "We aren't going anywhere, because there is nowhere to go..." He turned back to everyone else. "We need to get off this ship." The Assailant started to leave the bridge. "No... we can't get off the ship..." He turned around. "We need to destroy the ship."
Rattler runs over to the viewport, and, instead of the TCS Excalibur, sees a massive, organic vessel.
"Um... guys? I think we got bigger problems."
The Assailant looks at Rattler, then out the window, then back at Rattler. "No one else can see that ship, can they?" He asked the room. "Which means..." The Assailant pulls a gun and points at Rattler's head, "They're seeing through him." He fires the gun, Rattler's body falls to the floor and disappears.
Captain O'Neill draws a laser pistol and aims it at the assailant. "You got five seconds to explain yourself or I swear to god you will have more holes in you than a piece of Swiss Cheese."
The Assailant continues, ignoring the threat. "Sorry, I really do ow you all an explanation..." He turned around. "But I'm afraid it will have to wait." The Assailant runs out of the room.
Ty294 turns toward the Gatekeeper and points in the direction the assailant just went.
"Dang, I should have caught that guy earlier. Maybe we wouldn't have gone through so much trouble."
"I can destroy the ship." Sayed the Gatekeeper as he presses a button. "SELF DESTRUCT ACTIVATED: 10 MINUTES UNTIL DETONATION."
He turned to Darkon. "Darkon, I never said I created the Universe. I created the Force, and the galaxies. Those are my specialties. I stopped following the Jedi and Sith when they turned on each other, although I do know exactly what has happened to them up until the now. In fact, all that lore you hear about on the planet you call Earth, never happened. The real story would shock you. But that is beside the point. The point is we need to leave this ship before it explodes in 10 minutes. I'll be the last one to go."
"Oh well," Darkon said to the Gatekeeper, "I suppose you are entitled to your continued delusions, Gatekeeper. That doesn't change the facts, which I know full well are nothing like you believe them to be. Some day, you will accept the truth as well. But, I can tell that day is far from today. In any case, I have better things to accomplish at the moment."
Deathstrike quakes in rage, rage that her opponent would simply disappear in the middle of a fight, but she remains silent. Suddenly, her gaze falls to the forward viewport, and she gapes.
"My lord... the Blood Sanctum... it disappeared! I don't understand this"
Even as Lord Darkon spins around to look, he notices that the Uberweapon's bulkheads begin to lose their cohesion, becoming more insubstantial with each passing moment.
"All right..." He says. "Now I am intrigued... this Assailant is beginning to gain credibility."
Rattler wakes up in some sort of lab. Prying off the instruments attached to him, he quickly takes cover behind the table he was on and takes stock of what he has available. Finding that he has been disarmed, Rattler grabs the nearest object, which appears to be some sort of short blade.
"I guess Mr. Assailant was right. I'd better try to find the others, and a decent weapon."
As he is about to leave, a massive Insectoid being enters the room in front of the surprised Human. Reacting quickly, Rattler stabs the alien, and finishes it off with a quick slash through the head. After checking for some sort of weapon, Rattler set out to try and find the others.
"Bugs... great. What's next? A singing, dancing Mouse with his own amusement park?"
Ty294 fades from view. Just before he leaves to the room to follow the Assailant and the Gatekeeper he wispers into Deathstrike's ear: "Next time tell your master not to interfere."
About five minutes later, the Assailant ran back into the bridge "Ok, everything's re..." He looks around, but only the Gatekeeper was there. "What... where is everyone else?" He notices the self-destruct sequence. "NO! That won't work! We'll all die!" The Assailant runs to the console and starts typing. "Get everyone back here."
The Gatekeeper turns off the self destruct sequence and pulls his comlink out: "Darkon, O'Neill, get back to the bridge now! Deathstrike is already here." "Hey, where's Patten and Rattler?!"
Everyone looks around the room, at their new surroundings. "What the..." "We are awake." Explained the Assailant as he jumped off the medical bed he was laying on. "That's not good." The Assailant looked throughout the room, but didn't see Rattler. "Where's Rattler? He probably thinks he has woken up, but I doubt he has. And if I'm correct, he doesn't have long."
The Gatekeeper rises to his feet and draws his lightsaber, but does not activate it. "Assailant, what exactly did we let out? Was it a Skinwalker? Bloodwrath? My wife?"
"Oh, well look at that," The Gatekeeper continued, "Darkon just left. I'm not going after him. His time is rapidly approaching. I can sense it..." The Assailant wasn't sure what to make of the Gatekeeper's strange remark, so he chose to ignore it. He then realized what was going on. "Sith spit. We are all in separate realities." He picks up a gun that was sitting on a table and peers out the doorway, to see a patrolling alien. "Hey you!" The bug turned as the lazer blew his head off. The Assailant walked over, and looked at the body. "Great. I'm still sleeping"
Captain O'Neill blinks at the sudden change in scenery. She sees the assailant cursing in another language, and tried to speak. "What the hell just happened?" He doesn't seem to hear her. "Hello?" She sees him pick up a gun and step out of the room. She waves her hand in front of his face, with no result. "Hmf." She says, annoyed, that the Assailant wasn't really there.
Rattler avoids yet another patrol as he makes his way around the facility. Just as he was about to make a move, another patrol rounds the corner. Rattler jumps into a nearby room, and discovers Deathstrike wired up just like he was. Putting his pilfered blade down, he pries off the leads and tries to wake the Sith woman.
"Come on lady, I don't have all day here..." he mutters as he looks over his shoulder.
Rattler is still trying to wake Deathstrike when a bug enters the room. Just as the Human reaches for the blade, the bug speaks quietly, in English.
"Stay your hand young one. I don't have much time. What you see is still an illusion, but I may be able to reconnect you with the others. I'm already close with this female. I will try to guide you, but it..." the bug fizzles out of existence.
"You have got to be..." Rattler starts to say as he feels Deathstrike start to stir.
Deathstrike spins Rattler to the floor, an arm lock across his throat.
"NEVER without my permission! Oh.. I thought you were trying to...nevermind"
As Rattler turns around, she is already gone from the room.
"Helluva way to thank someone... HEY! WAIT UP!" Rattler chases after Deathstrike, and manages to catch up.
"You do know that we'd have a better chance of figuring out what the hell is going on if we stick together, right?"
Captain O'Neill looks around in surprise, to see she is in a forest. "Okay..." she says as she grabs a fallen branch, and starts looking for the others.
"Hmm...Strange. I can not sense the Force, though I still have my Force powers. Probably because my body generates the Force. I'm still at full strength. Anyway, I'm sensing this is a large, multilevel complex, we are in the dungeon. I'll keep scanning around for hostiles..."
He surveys his surroundings.
"Wait a minute, I regonize this place! This is where I sent all of the original Force users when they grew too powerful to control! I wonder if they're still here..." The Gatekeeper starts walking down a corridor...
Darkon wakes up. "I haven't left... I am here... here in some sort of... glass cage. I can't break out... Deathstrike, my apprentice, where are you? Help me out of here!
Oh, well. I'll have to do it myself..." Darkon bashes his head against the glass 24 times. The glass breaks.
"Excellent. I always knew I have a hard head. Now, to find my apprentice..."
The Gatekeeper pulls out a commlink. "Guys, I know where we are! We are in an alternate dimention! Meet me at the main door at the third floor! I can coordinate our escape from there! In the meantime get down to the... He stops, as he realizes that it wasn't broadcasting anything. "Great..." Everything around everyone goes black for an instant, and the Gatekeeper suddenly find himself in a massive dark forest with fog everywhere...
The Assailant see's Rattler run around the corner. "Hey!" Yelled the Assailant "I dunno about the rest, but us two are still sleeping." Rattler runs right through the Assailant. The Assailant curses as a realizes that Rattler wasn't really there. He picks up the alien's weapon and starts blasting everything in frustration.
Ty294 fades into view next the assailant.
"I must still be asleep as well since I see the bugs. Tell me then, what the devil does it all mean?"
The Assailant jumps in surprise as he sees Ty. "Whoa! Finally, another person! Look, we need to destroy... What the... we're in a forest..."
The mercenary looks around for a moment, then remarks: "A foggy forest... Feels like home."
He cocks his ACP Tactical Shotgun.
"Where the hell did you get... Nevermind." The Assailant kicks a stick into the air and catches it.
"Since you know what's happening... or I hope you do. Lead the way." Said the Mercenary.
Lord Darkon wanders through corridors made from pure glass for what seems like hours. All of them look alike, and no matter how many he tries to bash through, there are always more.
"Oh, wait! I still have the Force. Silly me!" Darkon concentrates, and uses the force to see through the walls. "Ah.. there is a way out."
Lord Darkon walks down a rainbow-colored corridor, arriving in a hexagonal room with a teleportation portal, guarded by a giant pink frog.
Darkon approaches the frog, only to have it spit acid a him.
Lord Darkon barely manages to dodge this insidious attack from the frog, leaving a smoking hole in the rainbow coloured wall.
Darkon uses attempts to use force destruction on the beast, but nothing happens.
"Wha-? Where is my Force?! Fine then, we will accomplish this the old-fashioned way, frog!"
Darkon uses his Teras-Kasi power strike - Darkon's stiffened fingers jab hard at the frog's throat. The frog collapses without a sound, but a large glob of smelly spit lands on Lord Darkon
"Ah, this is just PERFECT!"
Lord Darkon steps through the portal, finding himself in some sort of foggy forest...
Captain O'Neill hears something snap behind her. Without thinking, she swings the branch around, only to have the assailant grab it. O'Neill relaxes.
"What the hell is going on here?" she asks, then sees that Ty is armed with some sort of weapon. Looking between her branch and his gun, she starts to feel a little out of place. But she still hasn't seen any sign of her Wing Commander. "Have either of you seen Rattler?"
Rattler curses as energy bolts slam into the door frame he and Deathstrike used for cover. He shoots a quick glance at the Sith woman. "Got any bright ideas? I got nothing."
Deathstrike rolls, dodging the rest of the energy bolts.
"I am beginning to sense my Master" - Deathstrike replies.
"I believe Lord Darkon has moved to another dimensional plane..."
Rattler tosses her his blade, before her words register in his mind.
"Wait, WHAT? dimensional plane?"
Ty294 laughs at the assailant and O'Neill's surprise at his weapon.
"Even when I sleep or enter another mental dimension, I never go unarmed. Now let's see if we can find the rest of 'em."
O'Neill follows the assailant and Ty through the forest. After several minutes, they come across Lord Darkon, who is currently in an undignified position and covered in slime. "Well... illusion or not, I think the universe hates you."
Something snapped in the Assailant's mind. It all came back. He knew what he had to do.
He grabbed Ty294's gun and shot O'Neill in the chest. He then impaled Ty294 with his branch. "Your welcome," He said as they fell to the ground, gasping for air. "I'll see you again." He crouched down to O'Neill. "Just remember, these creatures are impossibly fast, strong and intelligent. Use ANY means necessary to avoid contact. I'll be back."
Ty294 and O'Neill woke up strapped by strange vines to a ceiling. This time, it was real.
"Holy crap!" Ty294 cries, "Now I know I'm home!"
O'Neill struggles against the vines. Just as she is about to free herself, she hears something. Deciding that the best way to find out what they were up against was to play possum, she makes like she's still out cold. She can barely make out the shape of the creature. It looks like a robed human, but she cannot see it's face. Ty starts to struggle, but she quickly stops him by putting a hand on his shoulder, and pointing at the incoming creature.
Ty294 whispers to O'Neill: "Considering your a woman, I'd appreciate it if you'd look away."
Ty294 slides his hand into his trousers and removes a small knife from and 'indiscrete' location. Just as he raises it into a throwing position, it suddenly turns red and melts in his hand.
"Aw nuts." he mutters quietly.
"Ah, where is Gatekeeper and his attacks when you need them? Being blasted, fried, burned, buried alive, dismembered, and killed is one thing... but being covered in frog spit is quite another. Ah, look... a lake! Excellent."
Lord Darkon runs to the lake and leaps in, eager to rid himself of the foul frog excretions. As he swims, something grabs him by the legs, and pulls him under.
"Aagbrrljljglulglugljrl" He manages to momentarily raise his head above water.
"Heeelp!!!" Darkon cries.
The Assailant walks over to him, aims the shotgun at Darkon's belly and fires. Nothing happens. Darkon wasn't in the same forest as the Assailant.
The Assailant curses, realizing that he's all alone in the forest.
Deathstrike rolls her eyes at Rattler.
"Grrr, I am THIS CLOSE to ripping your throat out, flyboy! In case you failed to grasp, all of us are spread across multiple planes of existence. And my Master has just found a way out of his, and into another."
Deathstrike uses the force to try to sense a way out.
"Now follow me, flyboy, and keep up! I will not return to drag your corpse!"
Deathstrike unerringly finds her way to a massive octogonal room with a teleport portal, guarded by a small, black cat. The cat locks eyes with Deathstrike.
"Watch out, flyboy... there is something... off.. about this cat. Stay ready!"
"Excuse me for not having fancy powers or otherworldly knowledge. I'm just a combat pilot."
Rattler eyes the cat, thinking that it was definitely a trap.
"I'll draw fire...what the?" Rattler feels something at his side, and discovers a laser pistol materialize. A lightsaber materializes on Deathstrike's belt as well. "Well... looks like that bug was telling the truth. I'll draw fire. You go in once that thing starts gunning for me. Divide and Conquer."
Rattler rushes out and to the left. The cat starts shooting laser beams from its eyes at the Terran.
A critical quarter-second before the laser beam is discharged, about to fry Rattler, Deathstrike uses the Force to interpose herself in front, and catches the beam on her lightsaber. With more beams being anticipated through the Force and intercepted, she kicks behind her, slamming Rattler back against the wall.
"I am really growing tired of saving your worthless life, flyboy! This is not a galvenned particle packet like those fired by your fighter. This is a laser BEAM, an instant-hit weapon... propagating at the speed of light! You cannot dodge it! Now. YOU use that gun on the cat, and I will make sure both of us live through this battle!"
"Pilots! Outside their cockpits, they are useless..." She muttered to herself.
Deathstrike turns her head back, as Rattler is not firing at the cat. He seems unconscious, his eyes moving rapidly behind the lids. Clearly, he is having some sort of hallucination. She darts to the ground under continuing laser fire, and pushes Rattler ahead of herself back to the access corridor.
"What is the issue now, flyboy?!?" -She snapped angrily. "Wake up! Can't you accomplish even so simple a task as firing a weapon?"
Rattler snaps out of it, "I... what a nightmare! I dreamt that the Gatekeeper ripped out my internal organs! I... whew!"
"Well, that was a dream! It will be a reality when I do the same to you if you don't start to rise above this level of competence! If I didn't need you..." -the sentence hangs unfinished- "Now come on! Let's defeat this cat!"
"I am a Sith'ari! A leader of the True Sith! I will NOT simply drown like some worthless vermin!" Darkon thinks to himself, his anger giving him the extra strength required to break free of the unknown creature's grasp, and kick his way to the lake surface. He quickly climbs out.
"Well! At least I am no longer covered in slime... hmm... what is this?" He asked himself, noticing the small silver crystal laying on the ground beside the lake. He bends donw and picks it up. It felt cold to the touch, Darkon squeezed it in his hand, and as he did so, his flesh absorbed it. Darkon feels power pulsing through his body, suddenly, he wakes up next to Ty on the ceiling.
The Gatekeeper comes to his senses as well, and realizes he is dangling from the ceiling in some sort of strange room. He cuts himself down and proceeds to free the others, then he tries to wake them up, but before he can, a man who looks almost exactly like him enters the room.
"Good evening, Gatekeeper..." Said a low voice.
The Gatekeeper stops what he is doing as his blood runs cold. "Kane? Is that you?"
"It's been a long time, hasn't it? You thought you were rid of me. But why? You never killed me..."
The Gatekeeper turns around, his red and yellow eyes glowing bright. "Kane, I banished you. You single-handedly wrecked the balance in the Force, drove the wedge between the Jedi and the Sith, and then tried to kill me, and take my powers for your own. All the while, being my last living relative."
"When you set the fire that burned down our house, I was critically injured! You ruined-"
"I did NOT set that fire! I was only 5 years old! That fire burned my body beyond recognition, much as it did yours! That's why we wear these masks and attires, Kane! That's why we are what we are! I tried to tell you! Harrington set the fire!"
Ty294 lowers himself from the ceiling and watches the standoff between Kane and the Gatekeeper. "For the love of-" Realizing this is something for him to stay out of, he begins waking the others.
"NO! You set the fire, Gatekeeper! Our father loved us! He would never do that!"
"No. Our father loved HIMSELF, Kane! He didn't care about us!"
"Don't stoke the fire again, Gatekeeper! I know what you're trying to do! You want me to go back to where I came from!"
"After what you have done, you deserve it!"
"No... Instead of giving up like YOU wanted, I decided to come back! That is why I assembled these mindless mutated Gorre's to bring you here! Your pathetic war with the Sith'ari Darkon has only helped me, and in fact WAS part of the plan! And after I kill you here, once and for all, I am going to rid the Universe of ALL life and reshape it in MY image!"
The Gatekeeper stands up straight. "So be it... Brother..."
Kane and the Gatekeeper simultaneously draw red lightsabers. "What style are you using?" The Gatekeeper asks. "......My own......"
The Gatekeeper force pushes Kane across the room and into the wall with so much force that he shatters it and keeps going. He does the same to another wall. And another. And another. 4 walls in total, shattered by Kane's body. The Gatekeeper walks over to where Kane landed, and finds him standing there. Kane leaps up and starts shooting funnels of lightning from his fingertips, but the Gatekeeper catches them with one hand. After around 5 seconds, the Gatekeeper flicks his wrist forward and the lightning turns red and reverses course, striking Kane in the chest and sending him flying into a steel door. He stands up almost immediately.
"Okay, you've had your fun. Now it's MY turn!"
Kane lunges forward and moves to stab the Gatekeeper in the chest with his lightsaber, however the Gatekeeper catches him in midair with his own, locking them in a saberlock.
"I sense great fear in you, Kane... And your fear, only gives me more power!"
The Gatekeeper shoves Kane backwards, but Kane ducks down to take a swipe at his legs, which is blocked. ......... Over the next 3 hours, Kane and the Gatekeeper engage in a feriocious battle, with both taking extreme damage. The Gatekeeper falls to the floor, his lightsaber a few feet away, Kane about to finish him off. Kane raises his lightsaber and swings, but just as he does, the Gatekeeper summons his back to his hand, parrys the blow, and cuts off Kane's head! Kane's body falls to the ground, lifeless. But then, a grey spiritual being rises from the body, and flies away before the Gatekeeper can strike. "This isn't over, Kane." He mutters. "Not by a long shot..."