Artefacts of Old
The Origin of Jace
The old transport lurched slightly as it dropped out of hyperspace, the suddenness of it almost knocking Cordo off his feet, he steadied himself on a support and made his way up the steps into the cockpit. Cordo found his father Marrs seated there, staring thoughtfully into the light blue glow of the navicomputer screen which highlighted the jagged scars on his head and neck. Cordo always said that the scars looked a little like a blaster rifle if you looked at them just the right way, his father gruffly maintained that they were just scars.
“where are we now? have you found where the Sith went?”
Maars sat back in the seat and sighed deeply, “No Cordo, we’re about two parsecs out from the Obroa system”
Cordo furrowed his brow, “I’ve never heard of it, where is that?”
Marrs pushed a few buttons and brought up the galaxy map, “here, come and take a look”, he gestured to the holodisplay
Cordo walked across the cramped cabin of the old transport ship, he knew that it took him three steps to reach the display, he could do it in two if he were running, he also knew there was an access panel at the base of the holodisplay that he could slide into if someone was chasing him, he knew every inch of this ship, there wasn’t anything else to do but weapon drills and planning imaginary battle-scenarios. He looked up and the rotating galaxy map and again furrowed his brow, “but we’ve crossed into republic space, what are we doing here?”
Marrs spun around in the chair and regarded the man standing before him, although most civilizations would still call him a boy, he had seen more combat and encountered more of the horrors of battle than most, at least most who weren’t mandalorian. “Cordo we can’t stay in Sith space forever, the trail either dries up of heads right into the heart of the Sith Empire”
“Then that’s where we should go!” Cordo shouted, a little louder than he had meant to.
“and do what? get ourselves blasted into space dust? There are only two of us…left” he trailed off
“So? So we just turn and run like… like cowards? That is not the mando way!”
Marrs’ eyes snapped up and met Cordo’s, he noted that his son met his stare unflinchingly,despite himself he smiled and chuckled slightly, “That’s novel, my child lecturing me on the resol’nare, and which of the six teachings says that you should throw away your life on a futile crusade for revenge?”
Cordo exhaled and finally broke his fathers gaze, “but we can’t just run and pretend that the last few years didn’t happen! We have to do something”
“and we will Cordo, but we must be patient, just because a battle presents itself does not mean it must be joined, a coward is one who runs and seeks to hide from his battles, but it’s a fool that wages a battle when he has no need. We will have our vengeance on the Sith that murdered our clan, whether we pull the trigger ourselves or use the republic army as our weapon, if it takes one year or a hundred, the Sith will pay.”
Cordo nodded silently to his father, “I understand, it’s just..” He was cut off by a frantic beeping at the control panel, Marrs spun his chair back around and started operating the controls, powering up the engines
“Get on the sensors, what’s out there?”
Cordo was already seated at the copilot station, “Terminus class destroyer… it’s right on top of us” The ship shook and the cockpit lights flickered, “they’ve got us, tractor beams are pulling us in”
“Space them all! following us all the way into republic space” Marrs slapped the console in frustration, “here’s the battle plan, load the essentials into the escape pod, I’m sealing the outer doors and frying the circuits, I’m rigging the hyperdrive to overload, it should cripple their ship aand give us enough time to get clear in the pod, Go, there isn’t much time”
Cordo leapt from the copilots chair and took off to the living quarters, he gathered up the essentials, his fathers armour, weapons and what little rations they had left. As Marrs headed to the engine, there was a loud metallic thud that reverberated through the whole ship, he knew there were scant few minutes before they were swarmed by Sith Troopers, working quickly he re-routed all power to the hyperdrive, crossing wires that shouldn’t be crossed and violating every safety standard that was built in to it. The Large rectangular drive began to hum as several warning lights began blinking.
Cordo had just about finished loading their few possessions into the escape pod, the pod was on the opposite side of the ship to the docking hatch so as the Sith destroyer had pulled in the transport, the escape pod was ready to be launched in the opposite direction, Cordo was certain that this wasn’t by chance, he looked down the length of the ship at the entrance hatch as his father emerged from the hatch leading down to the hyperdrive, the door console was beeping furiously as someone on the other side was obviously having no luck getting it open. “everything is loaded and ready for launch.”
“Good, we have about a minute before the hyperdrive reaches critical mass, I reckon it’ll take those imperial engineers about that long to get the door open.”
Marrs began to walk towards the escape pod but stopped as the control panel halted its beeping and a red hued blade of pure destructive force was thrust through the wall above the control panel, the blade began to slowly work its way downwards, leaving a glowing line of molten metal where it had passed, Marrs turned back to Cordo, “Change of plan, gun , now” Cordo turned and quickly looked over the assembled stockpile of weapons, he immediately went to the underslung rotary carbine, powerful but inaccurate, but when your opponents are all coming through a choke point at close range there was noting deadlier. He hefted it and slung it towards Marrs who effortlessly caught it and turned to face the door, moving behind a bulkhead to shield himself from oncoming fire. Cordo turned and picked up a blaster carbine, setting it to multifire he hunkered down inside the escape pod, the entrance was recessed into the floor slightly and provided good cover.
The lightsaber finally reached the control panel which exploded in a shower of sparks simultaneously the door hissed open and Marrs and Cordo opened fire, the first line of troopers ready to breach the door were immediately cut down, there was a flurry of activity behind the now open doorway as bodies tried to get out of the way of the bolts of deadly plasma flying from the interior of the ship, several more troopers either ran or were pushed over the threshold those that weren’t immediately shot down by the stream of shots from the rotary blaster carbine were picked off by Cordo moments after they entered, mere seconds later there were no more troopers, Marrs stopped firing, the end of the blaster still spinning red hot. There was a cloud of smoke around the transport entrance, vapor rose from the dozens of smoking holes in the troopers and the walls and floor surrounding them, and through this haze came a black-cloaked figure, an ignited red lightsaber in his hand, all that could be seen of his Grey-skinned face was a cruel smile of pointed teeth .
“Get ready to eject” shouted Marrs as he spun up the blaster but the black cloaked figure was faster. With a wide wave of his arm, Marrs flew across the ship and impacted on the other side of the central corridor, his limp body hit the floor moments later.
“I don’t think that will be happening” the Sith hissed as he stalked towards Cordo, the few blaster bolts that were on target were harmlessly deflected by the Sith’s lightsaber. “you need to stop squirming boy” he said, spitting out the final word and turning it into an insult. He swept his free arm upwards and clenched his fist, pulling Cordo off his feet and out of the pod, Cordo gasped and choked as he felt his throat slowly contract, “You two are the only ones I have left to eliminate then I’ll have got the whole set” the sith tittered, “lets wait for your Daddy to wake up so he can see you die”
Marrs’ limp body suddenly surged forward towards the Sith, his eyes filled with anger, “I’ll see you die first monster!” he yelled, as he descended upon the Sith caught off guard the Sith swung his lightsaber towards Marrs but he was already upon him, Marrs grabbed the wrist that was swinging dowards him and held it fast and in a single fluid motion drew the combat knife that he kept strapped to his breast and plunged it down towards the Sith’s head. The Sith had no time to act and instinct took hold, he shrunk away from the blade shrieking in panic and futilely raised his hand to stop the rapidly descending knife, the sharpened metal pierced straight through the hand and into the Sith’s eyesocket, the Sith screamed in agony as his hood fell back revealing two long grey-skinned lekku.
The Sith twilek managed to twist his wrist from Marrs’ grip and swing the lightsaber haphazardly and Marrs forcing him back the knife pulled free cleanly and dark blood began to pour from the wound, he staggered to one side Cutting Marrs off from Cordo and the escape pod, Marrs dropped into a combat stance and adjusted the grip on his knife,
“Cordo, it’s time to go, get in the pod” a quick glance was all that was needed to tell Cordo that now was not the time to argue.
“No!” The Sith Shrieked, grimacing at the pain of his ruined eye, “Now it’s time for you die!” he staggered forward swinging wildly but was unable to hit Marrs who expertly deflected the wild swings with his mandalorian iron blade. Even though he was avoiding the enraged assault of the Sith, Marrs was still being forced backwards.
Cordo contemplated taking a shot at the Sith but the combatants were both moving around so much he couldn’t risk hitting his father, as he tried to come up with a plan of action several alarms began screeching there was a small explosion in the engine room which rocked the ship,
“Cordo, you have to go now, remember everything I have taught you, remember your clan, remember Jace-”
The Sith saw his opening and struck, lunging forwards with his lightsabre and striking Marrs in the center of his chest. Marrs gasped silently and then crumpled to the floor, the Sith turned to Cordo and smiled once more, half of his face slick with blood and his pallid grey skin turned a horrible hue by the emergency lighting that had activated, “Go on boy, I love a good chase”,
Cordo stared at the twilek standing over his fathers body, “that’s good” he intoned coldly, “because I’m going to hunt you down and kill you” He reached out and hit the eject panel, the doors to the escape pod slammed shut and the pod jettisoned from the transport, the sith rapidly shrank in the small porthole until he couldn’t be made out any more. within seconds the transport was detached from the sith destroyer, the powerful guns obliterating it within seconds, preventing the hyperdrive from overloading and crippling the larger ship. The large ship laboriously turned and then, unexpectedly jumped to hyperspace leaving only a faint twinkle of debris in its wake.
The reason for the sudden departure soon became clear as a Republic Valor class cruiser suddenly appeared on the sensors, within minutes it had picked up the cruisers distress beacon and brought it on board. A ring of republic troopers surrounded the pod from a safe distance, unsure if it was some kind of Sith trap, weapons were raised and armed as the seal around the pod door hissed and the door slid open. Their weapons were kept at the ready as a single mandalorian stepped out, armoured from head to toe, hands raised in the air,
“Don’t shoot, I’m not a threat”
A republic officer holstered his blaster and walked cautiously towards the figure, “then care to explain why our listening post detected a Sith vessel in this area and yet when we arrive we find only the wreckage of a transport and you?”
The armoured figure lowered his arms and crossed them in front of him,
“I don’t like the Sith and the Sith don’t like me”
" Quite, well we will need to debrief you of course, make sure your story checks out, what’s your name"
The mandalorian unfolded his arms and glances down at the emblem of his clan displayed proudly upon the chestplate of his armour, he looked back up at the republic officer.