Enter Black Flag, Part 1

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Enter Black Flag, Part 1

Post by Aurrelius on Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:22 pm

Corporal Norman was tired. And irritated, and confused. His company, stationed on a star cruiser above Dromond Kaas, had been given the entire day off with the recommendation to rest and relax. This of course meant that most of the men went out and lived life up a bit. That night, during the first watch they had been woken up, not by the sergeant, but the lieutenant, instructing them to don their full battle regalia and load into the landing craft. The landing craft had taken the 150 or so men down to a remote part of the jungle. They marched for what felt like miles, through the drizzle and mud and finally halted when they came to a very out of place campfire in a large clearing. Sitting around the campfire were a group of a dozen or so mercenaries, possibly mandalorians? The company was ordered to halt and relax around the fire. The four lieutenants and the colonel had dissapeared for a time, but had now returned just as the rain had stopped. Something was wrong, there were none of the usual sounds you'd expect to hear in a jungle, it was as if everything was holding it's breath, waiting...

“I don't like this, not one bit,” Corporal Norman muttered.

“What I don't like is those mandalorians over there! Have you seen the way they look at us? Like we're some kinda livestock they have to evaluate... Creepy...” came the reply from Private Holter.

At this, one of the mercenaries, a mirialan of average build with long dark bangs and purple eyes stood up from the fire and walked over to the small group of soldiers huddled together. “Rain stopped. That's good, hey?”

Nervous silence was his reply.

“Names Exxeter, and I got a job for yall. See all those big sticks we got piled up yonder? Make sure every soldier here gets one, and I mean every soldier.” Then looking more sympathetic, “I know you're all tired and confused. Things'll get explained quick here, promise.”

Relieved to have something, anything to occupy them, the squad mobilized and began distributing the sticks, each about a meter long and two centimeters across, and covered with a sticky substance on one end. Seeing a project to be accomplished, several other squads took initiative and soon the large stack of wood was in the hands of the men. Back to standing...

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The soldiers awoke from their tired trance with a start. The mercenaries had brought out large drums and were now beating them in rhythm. Just then, the fire flared up and into the clearing strode three figures. A human girl, hooded and skulking. A female sith pure blood, clothed for battle. And a tall human with white hair dressed in a peculiar type of armor with a double bladed vibrosword slung over his shoulder. A bulging satchel was hung from each of his shoulders. But what made the man imposing was his face. Covering his left eye was a dark patch and emanating from it were thick blue lines circling and curving across the left side of his face, only interrupted by three sharp strait lines indicating obvious scars. The clouds shifted and the moon shown on his eerie face, illuminating the blue paint and making it almost glow.

The soldiers shifted nervously. Whoever this was, he certainly wasn't normal, nor did he look safe, or even totally sane.

“It's woad!” Whispered Private Holter.

Corporal Norman lifted an eyebrow, not daring to break the somber quite.

“The blue face paint. The ancients thought it would make them invincible in battle, he must be a believer in the old ways, a druid, like my grandmum.”

“Steady in the ranks!” came the order from the lieutenant, appearing to be just as shaken as his men.

The stranger raised his hand for silence.

“Fellow men, fellow warriors, my name is Aurrelius. I can see you're all tired and confused, possibly even a bit afraid. That is understandable. You have been brought to the deepest jungle at night and not told why.” He smiled widely. “Tonight, you fine gentlemen have the honor of making history! Tonight, we march on the stronghold of one Darth Malefestus, a sith bent on ruining our empire. We shall lay siege to it, breach it, and take from him that which he values most. You probably are saying to yourselves 'oh joy, another raid, another day facing death,' I understand. You'd all rather be home tonight warm in your barracks or even at home with family. But look around you. That which gives you the ability to be free, our empire, is crumbling. We are enslaved to the empire calling itself infinite! We are a people shattered and without purpose! The sith on whom we march seeks to fragment us even further, when what we as a people need is to unite! I would see a day when all members of our glorious empire may live in freedom under law, rather than tyrants, when everyone from the frontier, to the capital can proudly call himself citizen. Today is the day that vision becomes realized, for it only takes one spark to spread the fire of our grand ideal!”

With this Aurrelius took up one of the left over pieces of wood and dipped the sticky side into the fire, igniting it with an eerie blue flame similar to his woad. He took his torch and began to light the torches of the soldiers around him. The two women beside him did likewise. They strode through the mob of soldiers, and as they marched and ignited, the men naturally fell in line behind them.

( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Nae1jzuqho )

Then the drums began beating once more, their music echoing through the jungle.

The three figures began to hum in a deep tone. The mandalorians hummed with them, beating their war drums. The clouds fled, and gave way to a rare sight, the stars and moon of Drummond Kaas, casting pale shadows upon the company of soldiers, mercenaries, and druid.

Corporal Norman felt the urge to join hum and heard that many of the soldiers had already done so.

Aurrelius then began to sing in a deep tone. An ancient tongue that made the soldiers feel stronger, as if infused with the blood of ancients. Once more Norman felt the urge to sing this strange song, and to his surprise, found that he could. His voiced joined in, melding in with the surreal music of the druid.

The column marched onward through the jungle lead by the three figures, torches held high. The eyes of the sith burned with the fire of battle. The eyes of the girl with an unsaturateable hunger for vengeance. Aurrelius grinned manically. This was his day of destiny.

***

The guard at the top of the wall first heard the distant drum. Then the humming, starting small, building into a dread song that seemingly could not be stopped. Then came the blue lights, marching ever closer. He felt a shiver run down his spine as he pointed them out to his superior. The chief guard gulped and stammered out a hasty order to fire at the column. The wall guard nervously rushed to the cannon and swerved it into place. They launched a shell and laughed with relief as the torches and figures scattered. But the man in the front of the line held his ground. He kept marching and kept singing, and around this man the soldiers rallied and reformed the column.

“Fire again!” the now panicked captain of the guard yelled.

This time the column did not scatter, they merely marched around where the shell would impact. They kept marching, and kept chanting. The man in front looked up, the blue paint on his face reflecting the light of the stars, seemingly aligned to illuminate him. His eye met the eye of the guard. Fear enveloped him and he ran from his post.

***

Aurrelius smiled darkly as he continued to manipulate the force, imbuing the ceaseless chant with a strength lost to all but the wise. This was his greatest weapon. One that all men prepared for, but few could ever counter. A weapon with out shield, or defense. His weapon was fear. And it was working beautifully.

When his column had gotten within 100 meters of the towering wall, he raised his hand to halt the column. He made a few quick gestures to signal the lieutenants. He look upon the top of the high walls, now almost empty, for but a few timid souls, more afraid of the dark interior than of the dread horde before them. The soldiers knelt down, raised their rifles, and opened fire. The siege of Castle Dark had begun.

Aurrelius
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