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  1. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away… The galaxy has fractured! Different factions, vying for control of the galaxy, have wreaked havoc among the star systems in their quests for power. In these moments of chaos, heroes on all sides of this conflict try to seize the day, bringing war and death wherever they go, and seek after yet another advantage in this bloody conflict. As forces fight in the outer rim, agents of the evil Sith Empire head to the dead planet Coruscant in search of the fallen jedi temple, but all is not as it seems.... It was dark in the old library, a fact complemented by the musty smell of decade’s worth of dust, decay, and neglect. Great statues, gave tribute to the place that had once been the home of the greatest Jedi order of the old Republic, before the Purge. It had been abandoned for much of the reign of the Empire, many considering the place haunted or full of dark memories. They were right on both accounts. Regardless, after the rise of the new Jedi order, the temple had been repurposed, serving as a library instead. A place of learning, with vast amounts of knowledge behind its gates, and many secrets in its vaults. Powerful secrets. Valran read in the dim light provided by the dying beacons surrounding him, decades of being left on and unattended had caused them to flicker and fade in and out like a primitive candle. Valran turned the page of the old book, the paper almost cracked as he moved it. There were seldom few actual books left in the galaxy these days, Valran hadn’t actually seen one before he’d set up shop in the abandoned temple. As inconvenient as they were, the information they contained was priceless. Valran was a tall man, by human standards. With blue eyes and brown hair, he looked much like his ancestors did. He didn’t like that though. It made him stand out on some planets across the galaxy. He usually tried to avoid such systems where he’d be recognized, sticking to the outer rim where life tended to be simple and dangerous rather than the alternative. The alternative, of course, was complicated and dangerous. Valran turned another page. Long ago he could have been banished from the Republic for simply being in this room, or even executed for reading this book. Now there was no one to carry out either task. Still, Valran thought. It would be fun to see the Jedi council's face when they learned he was studying the force techniques of a Sith lord. Things like this had gotten him expelled from the order. They were… interesting. Books about the Sith were always interesting. Or creepy. A great deal of them made Valran feel uneasy reading them, but there was just so much truth in them that he felt he couldn’t just leave them to the dust. If he could sift through all the brutish techniques, the manipulation of the force through sheer instinct, perhaps he could do something that was worth the price of his life. The Jedi looked down on him because of his studies, and the Sith hated him because of his connections to the Jedi. Not that he cared much for the Sith, as long as they didn’t bother him in his studies. Valran frowned. He felt… Standing up, he slammed his book closed and pocketed it in the hooded cloak he wore around his shoulders. He walked to the center of the room, where a circular platform waited. Standing on the platform, Valran hit the switch with his fist. The platform shuddered with age and misuse, but still managed to serve as a lift to the main library. He entered the library, rising from a hole in the table that he had cut with his lightsaber. It had been fused shut and he had no way of getting in. He entered the dark library greeted by the glow from head gear mounted lights. Soldiers, six of them. Though he felt that there were more ahead. Valran felt something in them, a familiar feeling of darkness. A darkness he hadn’t felt in nearly three years. The Sith had found him. Drawing his lightsaber Valran leaped into the air, activating it in mid-air-it burst into a glowing green blade- and brought it down on the closest of the Sith troopers. The blade sliced completely through him. Burning through bone muscle and armor as if it were no more than wet paper. The Sith fell with hardly a startled yelp. There were shouts as the other Sith troops noticed. Valran tore into them cutting three of them down with almost astonishing speed and ease. The remaining two Sith raised blasters and fired rapidly, bolts of plasma ripped passed him as he rolled underneath them. Coming back up from his roll, Valran raised his lightsaber to deflect a set of bolts. One was sent backwards towards the Sith who had shot it, hitting him in the head and sending him reeling. The second Sith trooper attempted to flee, but Valran jumped and landed between him and the exit, slamming his weapon into the Sith’s gut as he landed. “You should have let me be.” Valran growled. The Sith hit the ground with a thud. “Freeze!” Valran turned his head to see a dozen more Sith troopers blocking off the exit, all leveling blasters at him. “Don’t move, Jedi,” Valran cocked his head. Then with a snap of his wrist, his arm moving at a near blurring speed, he attuned the force to his will. The group of soldiers shot backwards at an incredibly lethal velocity. Crashing, no, slamming into the wall behind them so hard the stone cracked. Valran released them with a drop of his hand. “I am no Jedi,” Lightsaber still activated, Valran made his way past the crushed heap of Sith and from there down the hall and into the main corridor. The corridor was massive. Big enough for three or four airships to fit with still enough room to maneuver. More movement. On the balconies above. Gripping the Force, Valran leapt up three stories to the nearest of the balconies. He swung his saber in an arc decapitating one sith and carving the other in two. Freehand lashing out, Valran ripped a sidearm from a holster at the Sith’s side. He raised it and fired three times into a surprised Sith’s chest. He fell and Valran dispatched another four in the same way before the small blaster ran out of ammo. He spun out of the way of blaster fire from below, deflecting several back to their source. One grazed his arm, burning it painfully. He hid behind a grey pillar. “damnation to you people,” he shouted, “Why can’t you leave me alone!” He spun out from the pillar, slamming the soldiers below with a crushing push with the Force. Valran tapped his wrist communicator. “Arsev, I need a quick pick up.” He deflected more blaster fire. “Roger that,” “Meet me at the balcony by the library,” “Of course, Sir.” Closing the comm link, Valran leapt to the ground below and landed in a run. Blaster fire burned through the air around him as he ran. He deflected what he could, but was forced to take cover behind another fallen pillar. Blaster fire stopped. Valran frowned but did not spend any time thinking on it, gripping the Force again, he concentrated on the broken pillar he took cover behind. Anchoring himself, Valran slammed the pillar with the force, tossing it into a group of soldiers who had begun to creep towards his position. They scattered as the giant stone came hurtling towards them at a deadly speed, shattering on impact against the stone floor. “I’m sick of you people!” he shouted to the advancing group of Sith troopers. They began firing at him in earnest. He deflected them, sending many back towards the ones who shot them. They forced him back towards the open balcony. He heard the roar of engines as a single ship flew over the entrance. “I’m here” Arsev said on the comm link. “Good, I need some air support.” “Firing rockets, sir.” A half dozen rockets shot through the air, trailing smoke. They impacted the ground around where the troopers stood. “Direct hit, sir.” “Good, I think I’m done here.” He rubbed his forehead. Valran jogged to the balcony opening, stepping into the sunlight he winced. It had been a long time since he’d seen light that strong. One or two month’s maybe. He blinked as his eyes adjusted to the sight of what used to be the great planet of Coruscant. Or rather the decrepit, half-molten slag that was left of it. It used to be Coruscant the great city world, now people mostly referred to it as the Graveyard. Uninhabitable. “Sir, I must request that you put on your helmet. The air here can still be deadly.” Valran tapped his wrist and his helmet materialized around his head. “Is the transmat ready?” “Yes, transmatting now.” Valran’s vision went blue and his gut jerked inside of him. The blue faded to reveal what had been his home for the last ten years, his ship. The Javelin. “Welcome back, Sir.” Valran glanced at the small flying droid. R-17 –or Arsev as Valran preferred to call him—was a first class AI assisted reconnaissance droid. He traveled with him nearly his whole life. “What’s going on? How many ships are in the area?” “My sensors are picking up three separate Specter class starships in orbit above the Temple. They seem to be more concerned with taking control of the building than they are in you.” “Will they follow us?” Mark said, throwing himself into the pilot’s seat. “I calculate a twenty-three percent likelihood.” Arsev said. “I would suggest jamming them before entering hyperspace.” “Done.” Valran hit the controls and burst into the blue, black and white of hyperspace. “What is going on down there?” commander Veyes of the Sith fleet demanded. There had been nothing but confused yells and startled chatter all over the comms since they touched down. “We’re not sure, sir,” a voice said over the channel. “Some sort of Jedi attacked our men. We have thirty-seven reported casualties so far, but-“explosions sounded over the comm. “sir, he has his own ship, estimated two dozen casualties from its weapons. Target is fleeing in a cendar-15 class ship,” The Captain stood up straight and pointed to one of the ship's gunners. “Lock onto that target.” “No.” a deep voice said. Shivers ran down Veyes spine as he heard it Veyes turned to gaze into the yellow eyes of a Sith lord. Darth Ventrus. “The pilot is of no consequence to us. Focus on the containment of the-“he cut off suddenly and turned to face the window of the bridge. He gazed into the distance, towards a single Cendar-15 class ship. “Valran…” he said. The ship disappeared. The bridge was silent for a few moments, then Ventrus turned to the captain. “Secure the temple. Forget the Jedi, we have what we need.” With that, Darth Ventrus turned and stalked from the room.