Hand of Revan
There was silence on board the Mantis. Silence wasn’t unusual but the increasingly stagnant air and the tension in it were. The crew had experienced prolonged periods of time where they were held up on board before. This time was a little different.
Four separate warring factions just engaged one another on Corellia. None of the Mantis’ crew saw that coming. They certainly didn’t see the assault’s sudden introduction of Revan as a major player on the galactic scene, let alone his assault on one of the most heavily fortified planets; and fortified by three different factions at that.
But Erikson didn’t have time to worry about those details. He could feel something pulling on his Force sensitive abilities. Whatever it was beckoning him was familiar and coming closer.
The tension was cut a little by Gault. “Close personal friends of yours huh?”
Gault wasn’t meaning to be insensitive, but always maintained a sarcastic tone. None within ear shot minded as Gault had done more than enough to prove the quality of his character to them over the years. In fact Gault was the In-A-Bind-Partner who would come in handy in the most perfect of imperfect situations.
Erikson shifted in his seat. “I suppose you could say that.” He shifted again; this time trying to shake that nagging feeling. “We should be prepared to engage anything when we come out of hyperspace. Consider our dropping out to be a guaranteed ambush.”
Torain turned to Erikson. “How do you figure?”
“It’s just a feeling I have. Something about my feelings tells me that we are being followed and no matter where we go, when we drop out of hyperspace we’ll be ambushed.” Erikson clicked a button on his console. “Blizz, prepare Mark twenty-one. I think it’s time to test that out.”
Excitedly Blizz responded. “Utinniiiii! Metta oobato metree bacco!”
Looking down on the console Erikson read that their hyperspace cords would empty them out in a little under a standard hour. “Blizz and I have been working on a modified version of the already modified EMP. It’s saved our lives numerous times. However, since Revanite ships were at the Yavin ambush I think it smart to change tactics. It’s better to not utilize the same tactics repeatedly.”
Having that said put a little bit of a startle into the crew. Erikson continued, “I don’t think those were the same Revanite ships on Corellia as ambushed us in part at Yavin. I could be wrong, but the Mantis is not a slow vessel. Granted though, I don’t know what hardware is in Revan’s equipment. Regardless, when we fall out of hyperspace we won’t have much time. Revan will likely attempt to shoot us down. At least that’s my gut feeling.”
“Maybe gwanna make fur da best fight ever,” Skadge stated proudly thumping his chest!
At that statement Mako reached for her beau’s hand to hold. She loved him and knew that he loved her equally as much in return. They were equally perfect in history, desire, and necessity for one another. They both knew it as much as the rest of the crew knew. Erikson and Mako were half the team just because of what they could do. But that never stopped Erikson from showing mercy and giving recognition and praise where it was do for the rest of the crew.
Skadge was nearly the equivllent in combat to Erikson, just reckless and less reasonable. Torian absolutely carried the heart of the Mandalorian and was an excellent weapons technician. Blizz of course was a technological genius and loyal friend grateful for the kindness and mercy Erikson had shown him on Hoth where he joined Erikson’s crew. Unlike Mako, the four of them, Gault included, owed something special to Erikson; their lives.
He could have terminated them all in accordance to self defense protocols but didn’t. Well, for Blizz he outright saved his life from Imperials, junkers, and other hunters; and according to Blizz, also from other Jawas.
The crew owed a heavy debt to Erikson’s mercy. He kept them alive even from themselves. Now he was going to keep them alive from himself, from his past. And to do that required some last minute preparations
Mako, Gault, and Skadge remained in the cockpit going over instruments and gauges. Erikson went below deck with Torian to talk to Blizz. They rerouted power to shields and their new EMMP. Erikson wanted to ensure they were able to get clear of these stalkers. With the EMMP they could take down any ray based shielding that blocked even the most powerful aftermarket EMP blasts. That would give them the go ahead to fire off the primary EMP.
Even 2V had a position of importance in times like these. 2V was connected directly into the ships secondary computer systems. Micro-bots were the minions of 2V. They would be utilized to repair hull damage, external weaponry, and general maintenance while 2V also communicated with the ships main computer system.
Whatever Erikson expected was something bad. Time was draining fast. He had one last task to perform before their jump was complete; back to the cockpit.
Resuming his seat in the cockpit Erikson glanced over the controls to see he had just a few minutes left. He turned to his three crew members by his side. “Revan’s forces have likely sensed my presence. I can only guess they’ve followed us because of that. Students of Revan are not like Jedi or Sith apprentices. They are taught to focus their energies differently. The difference is to be subtle and calm in ways that allow them to move through and use the Force without disturbing it on the surface or beneath. As grandiose as the Jedi make them out to be they don’t even do this perfectly since they rely upon the Force so heavily to enhance everything they do. They leave ripples, just deep enough not to notice on the surface. It likely sounds complex but it’s all about moving with the current of the Force to conceal and empower your blows and blocks.”
Skadge listened intensely to this. If it was about advantage he wanted to know.
Erikson continued, “It’s why the Jedi couldn’t sense me previously. I know Sith have trouble with that too. But there is more. Students of Revan can channel more than just rage to empower them. They channel all emotions unlike the Sith with their rage and the Jedi without. And with that ability I can suppress Jedi and Sith alike. So can Revanites. But I’ve never fought another Revanite before. And that’s why we’ve been manufacturing that serum we used on Coruscant.”
With time ending, each turned back towards their stations. They understood more and were ready. Remembering the ambush by Captain Duma a few weeks ago they all braced for a sudden and jarring slow down. Then the stars began to reshape and blackness encompassed the vast nothingness of space again.
Shields went up. Missiles were auto loaded and their cooling systems were overridden. Power was redirected from the main turbo laser cannons and the EMMP was charging with the EMP in queue. Just as suspected multiple ships exited hyperspace right behind the Mantis as it was maneuvering to face the Revanites in attack position.
With a deep breath, Erikson waited the long moment for all thirty-seven vessels to exist hyperspace. Then the first EMMP was set loose. The smaller ships were pushed and shifted. All ships went dark for several seconds. Before more than a few seconds could pass the primary EMP was discharged.
Revanite ships began drifting towards the strongest gravitational force; a large asteroid that appeared beneath them from their points of view. The Mantis was being hailed again and received a new message. Erikson wasn’t going to stick around to find out what it said when he could listen to it in peace later.
The Mantis made another jump into hyperspace. And then another. They bounced about a bit making multiple jumps and shifting directions for several hours in between other lesser used hyperspace lanes and made a few dangerous new paths.
For the better part of a standard day they did this. After a few hours of Erikson feeling completely free of the Revan’s pull he relaxed; but he maintained his strategy. Eventually they ended up closer to the Hoth system. That turned out to be a bit of luck.
2V just came jumping and clattering into the Cockpit. “Sir! Sir! I’ve decoded another portion of the CZERKA Corporation data. You need to see this!” Checking over his console, the next exit from hyperspace would be twenty minutes from now. Whatever 2V had to say would make the time go by faster.
“Sir, it appears that the mentioning of similar CZERKA facilities on Hoth by Blizz may help us acquire new clues to this mystery. Hoth was among the first planets discovered pre-Republic founding. In fact it also seems to be among the first planets terraformed before Humans made contact with too many other species. Also, pre-CZERKA entities established various research facilities throughout the Hoth system on multiple planets and asteroids. The Hoth system looked very different twelve thousand years ago when compared to today’s nav-charts. There were nearly thirty different plaents in the Hoth system them. Also, the Hoth planets have a unique mineral inside of them. CZERKA documents reveal that this mineral was crucial in development of CZERKA equipment before they learned to fabricate cheaper alternatives. I propose that we visit the Hoth system to follow up on Blizz’s aforementioned lead.” 2V stood there affecting a proud stance as best his metallic body would allow.
Erikson sat back in his chair for a moment. The crew knew he was thinking. He would often purse his lips when he was really thinking hard; and this occasion meant he knew something else. “2V, go back to decoding those documents and let me know if you come across a planet or system named ‘Miranda.’”
2V affected a very pleased-with-himself stance. “Absolutely, sir! I’m glad to be of service.”
Erikson turned around remembered to play Revan’s message finally. He pressed a button on his console to open the message channel, then another to play it.
“Apprentice Autarchic, you may well run for a long time but you will not escape me forever. I know you are going to the Hoth system. I will not follow you there. We will meet. I have foreseen it already. What you seek I already know. The Jedi have forgotten this and the Sith desire it dearly. It is not for their minds to recall. It is our destiny to maintain this order. If the Sith obtain this information then the galaxy, is lost. If the Jedi remember this information then they will become more powerful. That is the reason we have returned. Do not intervene or you will be considered against us, apprentice.”
The message ended with a strong emphasis on ‘apprentice.’
The Mantis fell out of hyperspace and on the edge of Hoth space. They could hold up in a neutral outer rim station for at least a day or two. Here they could get some rest and 2V would have more time to work.
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