The Death Watch Schism Part 1
It had been over a year since the battle Geonosis and the beginning of the Clone wars…and there seems to be no end in sight to the war. Despite early Republic victories pushing the CIS towards the Outer Rim, the CIS shows no signs of giving up. Most recent events proving their determination including the destruction of the Gungan colony on Ohma-D’un and the battle of Jabiim, in which Obi-wan Kenobi and the Clone ARC named Alpha were feared to be dead. After the weapon that was used on Ohma-D’un was destroyed and the separatist forces repelled, a proper investigation could be launched into what the weapon contained. Suspecting that the CIS still managed to get a hold of the incomplete Clone killing nanovirus from the research station, despite the actions of Jedi Padawan Etain Tur-Muken and Republic Commandos of Omega Squad, Republic Intelligence sends a team with the virus’s creator, Dr. Ovolot Uthan, on board the cruiser Stardust V.
Before going to Ohma-D’un, the Stardust had to go to the medical station Resolute orbiting the small planet of Myne, in the Althor system, to get the necessary equipment to analyze the affected area reported. The Althor system was not too far away from Naboo and its moon, but it was still dangerously close to Separatist controlled space, so the pilots were on edge when they approached the station.
“Medical station Resolute, this is Republic cruiser Stardust V. We’re on approach to pick up critical equipment and request permission to dock.” The com officer waited for a reply from the station the officer took a quick look at the captain before repeating the message. “Medical station Resolute, this is Republic cruiser Stardust V. We are on approach and request permission to dock.”
When once again the com answer didn’t get a response he turned to the captain. “No response, sir. Coms are green on both ends.”
The Captain nodded at the officer before looking back at the station in the distance. He couldn’t see anything wrong with it, but who knows during this time of war and being this close to Sep space.
“Alright, start taking us out of the gravity well and calculate a jump to Naboo. And contact Courscant, let them know that something suspicious is going on here.”
“yes, sir.” Replied both pilot and com officer.
“Sir! We got ships approaching from the other side of the planet!” shouted the officer on sensors. “We’re also getting ship signs from the station! It’s an ambush!”
“Are they CIS?”
“No sir! They’re unknown hostiles!”
“Shields up. Get the canons online, and make fastest possible speed out of here. Send distress signal to any nearby GAR ships.”
“Aye, sir!” as the officers went about their tasks, the closest hostile ships began to fire on them.
“Damn, those things are fast…” muttered the pilot as he and his copilot try every evasive maneuver the ship could handle trying to shake the hostiles.
The Captain couldn’t get a handle on these hostiles. They were keeping them from escaping the gravity well to jump, but they also weren’t trying to blow them into space dust. It was strange, indeed.
“Do they know our mission and who we have aboard?” the captain thought just before the ship came to a sudden halt, slamming him violently against the straps of his seat harness. “What was that!?” the captain exclaimed once he was sure he didn’t hurt his neck. Most of the crew also didn’t seem hurt, but the copilot wasn’t moving and the pilot seemed sluggish.
“Sir…I think it’s a tractor beam. It’s coming from the station.” said the sensor officer.
“That’s impossible. We’re not at all close to the station. The power it’d need to reach out this far…” the captain started to say before feeling the tugging of the tractor beam and the shaking of the ship trying to pull away from it. “It seems they want us alive. Shut the engines down, we’re not getting out of this…and prepare for anti-boarding action. I have a feeling we’re going to see who our aggressors are.” The captain finished as he looked out at the stars.
After being overdue for standard week, an intelligence scout ship was sent to Myne to investigate the whereabouts of the Stardust V. A few days later, it came back with some hull damage and the entire crew missing. Surprisingly though, none of the equipment was damaged and Republic Intelligence was able to get a glimpse at what’s going on in the Althor system. Upon viewing the information from the ship, an emergency meeting was called between Chancellor Palpatine and the Jedi Council members not away on missions of their own.
“Most disturbing indeed.” Said Palpatine upon seeing a copy of what Intelligence saw.
“Act quickly, we must. A third faction in this war, we do not need.” said Jedi Grandmaster Yoda.
“Agreed Master Yoda, but who to send? We are still recovering from the disaster at Jabiim and most of our forces are still engaged in battle or are on their way. We don’t have that many ships to spare.” replied Palpatine, with his hands on his desk and slowly tapping his fingers together in a folding position.
“Master Kahan’s forces are almost done being resupplied. It wouldn’t take them long to get there.” said the Kel Dor Jedi master Plo Kun to the right of the old grandmaster.
“Yes, but we still don’t know how large of a force this menace has. Sending a large fleet there could spell disaster for us; even turn the tide of the war against us. No, General Kahan’s forces will be used in reserve. He will however move the fleet into position to help the general we do chose to lead the mission. And I was thinking of giving this assignment to General Blue. He’s been out of the front lines long enough to be fresh, as well as currently having the smallest fleet.”
“Yes Chancellor, but his forces are currently made up of untested volunteers.” said Plo Kun with a concerned tone.
“Jedi Knight Blue has had 3 months to arm and train them. He’s had more than enough time to prepare his men. Besides, nothing seems to quickly forge men into soldiers than being thrown into the fire.” Palpatine retorted.
“‘Seems’ is quite accurate, Chancellor. But it also can destroy a person.” replied the the Kel Dor master.
“None-the-less, they are getting this mission. Be sure to send him all the info we have, and tell him he has until Master Kahan meets up with him to come up with a plan. If he can’t achieve his goal in three days, we assume he failed and Kahan’s forces are ordered to launch a full scale attack.” Palpatine said as sat back into his chair and turned it so he was facing the window overlooking Courscant, unceremoniously ending the discussion. The two jedi turned and walked out of the room to head back to the temple.
“Rash, this is. Almost want it to fail, Knight Blue’s mission.” murmured the old Grand Master as he hobbled along with his cane.
“Agreed Master Yoda. I would like to go and join Knight Blue, while I can. He’ll need the assistance.”
“A good idea, that is. All the help, he may need.” Yoda said, nodding a bit.
“Very well, I shall depart immediately. May the Force be with you Master Yoda.”
“May the force be with you, Master Plo Kun.” The Kel Dor master went off ahead of the old Grandmaster to head back to the temple and get to his personal starfighter.
Two days later, General Kahan’s 13th Assault Corps emerged from hyperspace at the rendezvous point outside the Althor system. Being briefed that time is short, Master Kahan stood on the bridge with his armor and modified jedi robe on, looking out the transparasteel window of the bridge while waiting for Knight Blue’s Reinforce and Support Corps.
“Sir, we got incoming transmission from the Achilles.” The bridge com officer said as he turned to face General. The Achilles…still one of the weirdest names I’ve ever heard. Kahan mussed to himself as he waited for his commander to arrive on the bridge. With a hiss of the turbolift door opening from behind him a few seconds later, his commander emerged from the turbolift. Dressed in full beskar’gam save her helmet, which she held in her hand, she walked over to where the general was standing.
“So, any word from General Blue?” she asked, with her turquoise hair done up so it wouldn’t interfere with its sealing mechanic and her orange eyes showing some impatience.
“We’re just getting a hail from now. Just waiting for you.” Kahan said with a small, polite smile on his face. Slight agitation showed on her face after that last comment.
“Well, I’m here now. What are you waiting for? We have more important places to be.” she said courtly walking over to the small holoprojector, the general joining her. “Patch us in.”
“Yes General. Patching now.” After a couple of seconds of flickering, the image of a young woman wearing modified Katarn armor, taking both by surprise, though only the commander showed it visibly.
“…So, I take it you’re not the General.” Kahan’s commander said which got a small laugh from the young woman.
“I’m afraid not, Commander Aira-ty. I’m Commander Sarah Neilson. General Blue is returning from a training flight with some of the volunteer pilots. I know both of you have questions, but time is short. He wanted me to ask you to join us here to go over finalizing the details of the plan. Otherwise, we can come over there. Trying to do it over coms is a bit risky, since we have no idea if they have any equipment yet to pick up our com chatter yet. It’s up to you.”
“Well, commander Neilson, you sure got to the point in a hurry.” Aira-ty said after she was sure nothing else was going to be said. “We’ll be happy to join you over there commander. We’ll be there shortly.”
“See you shortly then General.” With that the image faded out and the projector powered down and Kahan turned to head to the turbolift with Aira-ty close behind him. After entering the turbolift, Kahan sighed.
“You might as well voice your concerns Aira-ty. I’m practically being silently hit by them.” That earned him a glare from Aira-ty for a minute before she actually spoke.
“What the hell is a kid doing wearing Katarn armor? She barely looks like she’s out of her twenties, not a jedi, and is a commander? Either she has an ego only surpassed by Palpatine, or we’re really despite for non-clone officers…I can’t decide which is more insulting.”
“I think you’re jumping to conclusions commander. Let’s at least TALK to her and Knight Blue before you start making accusations. Besides, from what you’ve told me, you were younger than she looks when you got your armor.”
“…that’s different.” she growled back.
“Alright, is there anything you HAVE heard about them?” she asked after a minute of awkward silence.
“Mostly rumors really. They like to keep a low profile…unlike a certain jedi we know.”
“…Skywalker…speaking of him, why didn’t Palpatine send him here with us? He’s practically in love with Skywalker. He certainly doesn’t seem to care about anything else when it comes to putting Anakin in the spot light, even when he doesn’t seem to be the best choice, like the battle at Muunilinst.”
“He’s probably still recovering from Jabiim.” With that she paused a minute, remembering hearing about that disaster, and those who were lost.
“Kenobi isn’t dead. I’ll only believe it when they drag his corpse in front of me.”
“I agree with you Commander. But there’s nothing we can do about it. For now, we focus on this mission. And wait to see what light shines on his situation.”
“Right General.” The doors of the turbolift soon opened as they reached their desired floor.
“By the way, why is it that this General has so few forces at his command? It seems strange.”
“Knight Blue’s forces? From what I heard, it’s probably both a punishment and an experiment.”
“From what I heard, he agreed that if the fighting headed towards the Outer Rim, as it has been happening now, we wouldn’t have the man power to adequately defend the Republic. Palpatine didn’t agree, but at some point Knight Blue was able to prove his case I guess, since here his forces are. The Support and Reinforce Corps made of mostly volunteers that he had to go find and train.”
“You’re telling me he managed to out maneuver Palpatine? I don’t believe you. Plapatine is as slimy a politician as they come.”
Kahan shrugged. “I’m just telling you what I heard. So don’t be surprised if you see non clone soldiers on his ship, like with Rom Kota.”
“…Knight Blue isn’t the same as Kota. Palpatine took most of his men away. Hence the punishment suspicion.”
“Huh…must have really hurt his ego then.”
“I guess so.”
“Now, do we ride in boring, or in style?”
“We’ll take a normal shuttle. No need to really show off now. We can do it on the mission.”
“Fine, I’ll play along with boring.”
With a nod, Kahan raised his right arm with a communicator built in and activated it. “Captain Jesp. Round up the Pack, we’re going to be heading to General Blue’s flag ship to get details of the mission. His commander already geared up, chances they’re going to leave soon after we get the details.”
“Understood General. We’ll be ready by the time you get there. Jesp out.”
Kahan lowered his arm, deactivating the com. “Let’s not keep them waiting, Commander.”
Aira-ty took her helmet from under her arm and put it on. “Right General.”
After a short trip on shuttle, Kahn, Aira-ty, and the of the Pack got to see some of the fruits of labor the three months away fighting and recruiting bore as they made their way to a designated conference room. Being led by a twi’lek dressed in a Republic uniform, they got to witness some joint training exercises, majority being non- clones, on a makeshift obstacle course. Surprising to the clones in the Pack was how well the non-clones were holding up in comparison to their brothers, but still weren’t on the same level. The rest of the “tour” would have to wait as they reached the conference room. Upon entering, they got to see Master Plo Koon, 5 men in Phase 1 armor (2 clones, 1 human, and 2 zabraks), an ARC Captain bearing the traditional red coloring on his armor and pauldran as opposed to Jesp’s teal, Commander Neilson (who Kahan got see have brown hair and blue eyes), and a Jedi Knight with dirty blonde hair, blue eyes, and just a hair shorter than Kahan wearing identical armor to Kahan.
With the sound of the door opening, everyone in the room turned to see the newcomers. The Knight stepped forward to greet them.
“Hello Master Kahan. I am Joseph Blue. I apologize for missing you earlier and that you had to come here, but time is short and the situation is a bit worse than we were lead to believe.”
The newcomers moved to find a space around the holoprojector in the room, waiting for the briefing to start. After everyone was more or less settled in, Joe began the briefing.
“We are here today to recover a prisoner, a jedi knight, and rescue hostages while also eliminating the hostile force that is setting up a base in the system.” With a push of a button, the projector activated and brought up a planet. “This is the planet Myne, the only habitable planet in the Althor system. It’s mostly water, but almost all the land is green. The discoverer of this planet had set it up to be a vacation spot for him and his family. Once he died and the family couldn’t afford to make the trip, it was abandoned for many years until an Outter Rim smuggler ring rediscovered it and made it their own little base. It had exchanged hands of different smuggler rings until the Sith War where the Sith Empire took it over and made it a research and medical outpost. Once the Empire was defeated, the base was abandoned and the Republic took it over, making it a full medical outpost. It has stayed that way over the course of the other wars that had taken place in the galaxy, until the Golden Age. At this time the Nynaeve medical organization was given possession of the planet and base to use as medical center. The medical Station Resolute wasn’t built until twelve standard years ago, so it was up to code. About twelve standard days ago, the Stardust V was sent out to the Resolute to pick up important supplies necessary for the proper investigation of the biological attack that wiped out the Gungan colony on Ohma-D’un. The ship was carrying war criminal Ovolot Uthan and a security team being led by Jedi Knight Alera Setoni, accompanied by her padawan Veirn Flaria. The ship did make contact with the station, but fell out of contact shorty after.
Ten days later, an intelligence ship was sent to investigate the system. On that ship carried Jedi Knight Aliya Soulwood, whose mission was to infiltrate the station if there were signs of activity and find the missing ship’s crew and passengers. When the ship was sent back from the system with no one aboard, it was feared that she, along with the crew, was also captured. When we came here, just outside the system, she managed to inform us she was actually successful, but was planet side, the station being modified by the hostile force. She’s currently inside the medical center, which they are also modifying to be a full military base. She’s also been feeding us intel on what’s going on inside when she can ever since. There are about thirty hostiles in and around the medical center as well as a few tanks and air units she can’t identify.” He paused as he sensed a question coming from Jesp. “Yes Captain Jesp?”
“Sir, you keep saying hostile force. Are they not allied with the CIS, since they happen to capture the only ship to have a CIS agent on board?”
“No Captain. They’re not CIS. As for how they knew…that is still yet to be determined. Which is why this isn’t being sent over comlink.” The captain nodded as being satisfied with the answer before Joe continued, “The intel ship managed to get a good view over the planet that the hostiles happily let us keep. Their leader also sent a holorecording with the ship. I’ll let you watch it, maybe you can identify who this person claims to be, Commander.” He finished the sentence while looking at Aira-ty. She was glad to have her helmet on because she couldn’t hide the confusion on her face.
After he pressed another button, the image of the planet was replaced by an image of a man wearing a strange armor but the T shaped visor on the helmet. Aira-ty instantly froze at the sight of the helmet and looked at it carefully. She’d never seen this guy before, but his armor looked like a hybridization of Neo Crusader four thousand years ago and her own. Besides the T shaped visor, the helmet almost looked like the one Jango had told her Mand'alor the Preserver wore.
“Greetings leaders of the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order. I am Mand'alor the Deathbringer, leader of the Kyr'tsad. I have captured your people and the tool of your destruction in retaliation for your crimes of using a coward of a Mandolarian to breed a slave army. Each and every one of them is an insult to us and we will have the ultimate weapon to wipe them out. Until then we will enjoy killing slaughtering them by the thousands as we burn your worlds.”
Aira-ty was standing with hands clenched into fists so tight they would be digging into her palms, if she weren’t wearing her gauntlets, and with hate pouring out of her that had all three jedi in the room turn to look at her. As she continued to watch “Mand'alor” gestured to someone off camera and clone trooper was brought in, apparently beaten sometime before, as his face showed bruising and his left eye was swollen shut.
“We will enjoy your destruction” the Mand'alor continued before he kicked the clone to his knees, pulled out a knife and slit the clone’s throat…then continued to cut into the clone’s neck for several minutes and after the clone’s gurgling and spams stopped until he had completely severed the clone’s head from the rest of body.
“Savor the image. Yours will be next. Kote for Mandalore! Kote Kyr'tsad! Darasuum Kote!” Aira-ty was so furious after witnessing the execution of Jango’s Legacy as the hands of a Death Watch scum she didn’t even realize she had her hand on one of her blaster pistols and Jesp was restraining the arm that the hand was attached to. She also didn’t notice that everyone that had a blaster on them either had their hands on them or had them partially drawn.
“…I take it that you know this Mand…”
“He is NOT Mandolarian!”
“Anyone associated with him is not Mandolarian!”
“They are Death Watch. They are worse than scum. You’re better off killing them all and do everyone in the galaxy a favor.” Aria-ty let out, slowly regaining her composure and taking her hand away from her weapon.
“Death Watch? I thought they were wiped out.” Joe said.
“No. We didn’t get them all during our civil war. No thanks to your Order.”
Joe let her last comment slide. “Our main objectives for this mission are the recapture of Doctor Uthan, Rescue the hostages taken by the Death Watch, and to capture their leader or the next best person in charge. Any questions before I go over how this is going to be accomplished?”
Another hand from Aira-ty’s men went up, this time coming from one who had his helmet painted with a teal cross. “What about the medical personnel from the center and station? Aren’t we going to rescue them?”
To answer that, Joe hit a few more buttons and the last image of the holorecording faded out to show the center and the area around it from an aerial view.
“This was taken from a probe we sent not too long ago.” Joe said, before he paned the image down and right away from the center to what looked like a symbol made on the ground. “They were used to make that symbol.” The trooper who asked the question shuddered a bit, but remained silent. “Alright, here’s the plan. We all get into a CR-20 that has been modified to be hidden from sensors, and fly along with the monthly comet shower the passes near the planet, to cover the heat given off our engines. Once past, we’ll enter atmosphere on the opposite side of the station. We then fly low to avoid any other redundant sensors or radar they have ground side until we are not too far east of the facility.” Commander Neilson took control of operating the holoprojector while the plan was being discussed; the imagines showing the path of what Joe had described so far. “From here, we go on foot and infiltrate the medical center. Once inside, Commander Neilson will lead her squad to recapture Uthan being held on the second floor, here.” He pointed to the spot on the second floor where Aliya had found the doctor being held.
“Commander Aira-ty and her squad will recover the hostages from here.” He pointed to what looked like a green house. “It’s a physical therapy building for patients who choose not to go outside and those that who want to work on fine motor skills. It’s the more heavily guarded of the two, so be careful. Master Kahan and I will head for the Security room to meet up with Aliya and secure a com link to Master Plo Koon, as well as disabling any com jamming. Aliya will then secure transport back to the ship, while Master Kahan and I go after the leader. Once we’re clear, we call in our forces and take the planet and station back from the Death Watch. Stealth is key here, even though it’s not as heavily defended as some CIS targets, they will want to capture us…just to make examples of us. Any questions?”
Looking around he didn’t see or sense anyone with immediate questions. “Alright then. We leave as soon as possible. May the Force be with us.”