Location: The Eclipse
Human Time: 7:00pm/ 1900 hours
Writer: The Examiner
After the massive Imperial Super Star Destroyer “disappeared” from the Kuat drive shipyards that the New Republic were currently tearing down, the Eclipse took a shortcut through the Hydian Way, and tried to reach the end of the Corellian Trade Spire (Ryloth) as fast as the engines would allow. After passing through seven thousand lightyears of the empty void, the engines and hyperdrive disabled. When the hyperdrive disabled, the Eclipse spun out of control, exiting the hyperspace lane, and laid dormant in the depths of wild space. The Raging Nova wasn’t too far behind.
The YT-1250 freighter labeled as the Raging Nova was quite the ship. The ship touched nearly every corner of the galaxy. Munilist to Mustafar. Teth to Byss. Utapau to Kashyyyk. Bothawui to Yavin. Tatooine to Bespin. The Nova has practically been through hell and back. It’s very visually noticeable on the exterior too. Despite Calix always wanting to clean the plating of the ship, Jason always denied. He always said that the scratches and the blaster burnt holes make the ship look “tougher”. He said that the scars on the ship tell the stories of the adventures that the Marauders went on. The Nova typically had two quad guns, and low shields. But Calix eagerly made many “modifications” to the ship. Giving the ship much more powerful shields, and many more weapons.
The Marauders were ready. Uncertain, but ready. The Eclipse itself wasn’t finished. But that didn’t change what many of them felt about the mission. R3 and Zola played denebian chess in the crew lounge, while TZ and HK waited for their turns. I think Zola frequently used his mechanical arms to cheat. Pan, Themba, Xylia, and Xolani were in the crew’s quarters trying to catch some sleep during the long trip it took to the Eclipse, and were quickly waking up. Jumper, Fixer, and IG were tinkering with the components of the engines in the engineering compartment. Hector, Jalo, Bossk, and Sev sat in the ventral access port reminiscing about their lives before they joined the Marauders. Jason, Calix, Addison, Scorch and Chin sat in the cockpit, watching the Eclipse enlarge as they approached it.
The Nova was only several meters in length. Comparing it to the seventeen thousand meters of the triangle shaped heap of black metal made the Nova look smaller than a grain of sand. When the ship was in position, the Nova stopped, and seemed to wait for something. “Something about this rubs me the wrong way.” says Scorch a little worried. “Lighten up a little, Scorch.” says Addison as he lightly punches the commando in the shoulder. Chin decided to chime in as she leaned on Addison’s seat. “Just think about all of the stuff you’ll be able to blow up.” “Yeah.” says Scorch as his mood quickly shifted to irritation. “I love blowing stuff up as much as the next guy, but going to a huge ship like this, and NOT be allowed to blow up the most explosive bits? That’s practically a crime.” “What do you think about this, boss?” Calix asks Jason. “I don’t trust him.” answers Jason. “Who?” asked Calix. “Our employer? Why is that?” Jason honestly stated. “Who would send a group of people that no one knows on a mission to steal one of the Empire’s most powerful weapons? Why would he even want to use it?” “To destroy anyone that gets in his way.” says Addison. “But we need the credits.” says Calix. “What should we do?” asks Chin. “Scorch.” “Yea, boss?” “Would you like to put charges on the ship’s superlaser?” “Really?” Scorch asks excited. “We’re gonna have to put some charges on the engines too. Just in case. If this Knell guy wants to use this ship for intimidation, we’ll get back in the demolition business.” “Now you’re talkin my language!” says Scorch.
Jason got out of the cockpit to explain the change of plans to the rest of the crew. After several minutes, Calix noticed an orange bubble of fire explode from the bridge of the Eclipse. “That’s our que.” he says to them. The Nova flies close to one of the Star Destroyer’s air locks, and connects it to the Nova’s right boarding ramp. A pirate watching the airlock in the Eclipse noticed sparks flying out of the door. He approached it to investigate. Seconds later, a flurry spray of blaster bolts covered the halls, and filled the pirate with smoldering holes. The Marauders stormed out, and rushed to their positions. Bossk, Xylia, Xolani, and IG-88 went to one of the hangars as a way of providing more than one escape route in case the mission went south. Sev, Scorch, Fixer, and HK went to the ship’s superlaser. Zola, Jumper, Themba, TZ, Pan, and Jalo shot their way to each engine of the ship. Jason, Addison, Chin, and R3 went to the bridge to disable the communications array, and arrest the pirate leader that stole the Eclipse from the Allied Confederacy. Tyber Zahn. Calix and Hector stayed behind to guard the Nova.
R3 hacked his way to the bridge, while the others kept the way open, while providing cover. If the Marauders could handle a group of Imperial Royal Guards, then they were more than capable of handling a big ship’s worth of meekly hired guns. With Tyber Zahn being distracted on the bridge, the trip there was quick and swift. The elevators that mainly led to the main bridge made the hour long trip only take several minutes. The group of four impatiently waited in the elevator as they grew closer to the bridge every passing moment. Addison was the first to break the silence. “Hey, Chin.” he says. Chin turns her eye. “Yes, Adi?” “After we’re done doing these missions, would you go on a little trip to Naboo?” Chin seemed surprised by this offer. “But you hate the sun, Adi.” she said. “But you don’t.” responds Addison. “Maybe we could visit a lake or two, and cool off a little?” Chin smiled. “Yeah.” she said. “I’d really like that.” “I thought you might.” responds Addison smiling back. Bringing conversation during a mission? Bringing up a paradise like vacation? Adi? Jason never noticed Addison and Chin interact this way before. He was aware that Chin grew an attraction to Addison, but he never knew that Addison felt the same way. Jason decided to mention his presence to avoid further awkward discussions right before they upright arrested a crime lord. “Hey.” says Jason. “Criminal arresting now, romantic vacations later.” Chin blushed. “Sorry, boss.”
As the buttons and lights indicated that the group was nearing the bridge, Jason picked up his com. “Scorch.” says the Human. “Are you done making new renovations to the superlaser?” Seconds passed, but the commando answered. “Placing the final charges now, boss.” “You didn’t make it too obvious, did you?” Stillness. “Of course not!” says Scorch. “No one’s gonna notice a thing.” “Good. Did you encounter any resistance?” “We ran into a lot of guys that didn’t know how to shoot, but nothing serious. It’s weird. You’d think they’d assign a few more guys to defend the most powerful weapon of the ship.” The human didn’t like the sound of that. “Thanks, Scorch.” “Sure thing, boss.” Jason then switched to another channel. “Calix. Hector.” says the Human. He heard the sound of someone rustling through a cabinet of metal tools. “What is it, boss!” asks Calix frantically. “Are you under attack?” “No.” says Jason. “Did anyone get to your airlock?” Stillness. “We didn’t get any company. Don’t worry. I still got the engines warm.” “Just keep an eye out.” says Jason. “Will do, boss.” Jason then called Themba. “Themba.” he says. “Yes, Jason?” “Have you encountered any resistance when placing the charges on the engines?” “Not much. A few rocketeers, but nothing we couldn’t handle. I’m just glad they didn’t blow up the engines before we got a chance to.” “Keep an eye out.” “Will do.” Something wasn’t right. This felt too easy. The distraction was supposed to keep Zahn’s men occupied, but Jason expected much more resistance than what they were getting. Surely the reprogrammed droids on the ship couldn’t have killed them all. R3 made a series of beeps and whirs. “You said it, little guy.” says Chin. “Something don’t seem right.” Suddenly, the elevator made a complete stop, and fiery sparks came out of the corners. Only then did Jason figure out what was happening. Addison speaks. “The hell was that?” His speech was cut short when the hinges broke, and the elevator was falling to crash into the bottom floor.
Reacting purely out of instinct, Jason reached for the ceiling, pulled a purple bladed lightknife from his belt, activated it, and carved a large hole, and the circle slab of metal fell to the ground. “Get out here!” Jason says to the other three. “You first, boss.” “There’s no time to argue! Go now!” Both Addison and Chin embraced, and shot fiber cords from their blasters to grapple onto the walls above them. R3 activated the miniature jet thrusters, and followed the two. Once they reached a very high door, they placed an explosive onto it, stood clear, and the door blew open. Once passing through, they heard the elevator get crash at the bottom below them. “Boss!” Both Chin and Addison yell. No answer.
That was all it came down to. The leader of the Marauders died by being crushed by a ton or so of chrome and steel. Not in a blaze of glory, but fell victim to gravity. This hit both Addison and Chin hard. Both of them had the chance of receiving a consistent father figure. Now he was gone. This unexpected event caused Addison to feel a rage that he had never previously felt. “The bastard killed him!” Chin then puts a hand on Addison’s shoulder. “Listen to yourself, Adi.” she says. “This is the boss we’re talking about. Nothing can take him down.” R3 gave a series of beeps and whirs. “You’re right, R3.” says Addison. “The boss can handle himself. But for now, we got a pirate to hunt.” “I guess we're taking the stairs.” says Chin. Addison pulls his X-98 rifle from his back. Chin pulled two DH-17 pistols from her holsters, and R3 extended the stun baton appendage from his body. The trio went up each following floor carefully, and prepared for whatever would come their way.
The floor leading to the bridge was just above them. Addison picked up his com. “Themba.” he said. “When you and the others finish placing the charges, we’ll need your help in taking in Tyber Zahn.” “Affirmative, Addison.” says Themba over the com. “Have there been any severe casualties?”" They booby trapped the elevator.” “Are you alright?” Addison looked at Chin, and saw the somber in her eyes. “Jason didn’t come out with us. I don’t think he made it.” Silence. “We’ll try to get to the bridge as soon as possible.” “Affirmative.” answered the Human. “Addison out.”
Aside from the setback, the path to the bridge went smoothly. When the trio arrived at the bridge, everything went according to plan. The b1 droids on the bridge were reprogrammed. Every pirate was gunned down, and Tyber Zahn was left in the open as free prey for the hunters to collect their bounty. What they saw were dead pirates all around the layout of the bridge along with Tyber Zahn who was stunned. However, one of the droids approached Chin.
“Perfidious told us you were coming.” “Who?” asks Chin. “No time to explain.” says the droid. It then hands her a hand held holo transmitter. “If Knell betrayed you,” says the droid. “please find us at these coordinates.” This only confused Chin. “Wait!” she says. “Who is Perfidious?” Before the droid could give an answer, the droid shuts down, and collapses to the ground.
Filled with rage, Addison approached Tyber Zahn as he regained consciousness. “You know,” says Addison. “I would kill you if we didn’t need you alive.” Tyber simply brushes the long white hair out of his eyes, and chuckles. “All jobs come down to the amount of credits. Something that I have a lot of. Perhaps I can interest you into a little….side mission?” In response to this, Addison punched Tyber Zahn so hard, he fell into a state of unconsciousness. Seconds later, Chin saw the elevator doors opened, and heard a clanking sound against the metal. When the sound stopped, an armored arm grabbed the bottom of the door pulled itself up, and revealed Jason. “Boss!” says both Addison and Chin “You’re all right!” “It’s good to see the three of you too.” says Jason with a warm smile. The hunter looked around, and seemed a little disappointed. “What?” he says. “No more pirate scum for me to beat up?”
Jason gets out of the door, and pats both Addison and Chin on the shoulder. “Considered how little we did in actually capturing this guy,” said Jason. “We got another job done. Good job you two.” Jason then walked to one of the bridge’s windows, and couldn’t shake the feeling that something else was going to happen. “Boss.” said Chin. “Yes, Chin?” “There seems to be a complication.” “What do you mean?” Chin hands Jason the holo transmitter. “One of the droids told me that if Knell will betray us, we should meet someone that the droids call Perfidious at this location.” Jason looked at the transmitter with curiosity. “Seems like this Knell guy has a rival.” “I knew that there was something that he wasn’t telling us.” Jason says aloud. Something was wrong. The hunter was proud that they managed to successfully capture who they were looking for, but this all felt too easy. Jason was impatiently waiting for something somewhere to make it’s next move. Little did he know that his own team would make that play.
As time passed, a frantic voice peaked through the com. “Jason!” the voice yells in urgency. “What is it, eighty eight?” “It’s Bossk, and the others.” he says. “They’re trying to leave!” “What?” says Jason sounding more confused. “They immobilized me, and are getting in a--” The was then violently silenced by a blaster being fired. A bewildered Calix then joined in. “Hey, boss.” he said. “An Imperial shuttle just came out of one of the hangars. Is that you guys?” “No.” “What if their Imperials?” That question both stung and burned. The possibility of Jason’s own men being Imperials was a concept that he didn’t want to consider. “Don’t follow them.” he tells Calix. “They may be luring you in a trap.” “Oh.” says Bossk interrupting. “And that would be right.” “Bossk!” yells Jason. “You sympathizers to the Empire all along?” “Not yet.” answers Bossk. “But when we get out of this sector, we will be. But I guess they’ll beat us to it.” “The hell is that supposed to mean?” Suddenly someone else cuts in. “Boss!” “What, Sev?” Yells Jason. “Star Destroyers are coming out hyperspace!” Scorch buts in, and expresses his irritation. “For the last time, Sev!” he said. “You can’t see into hyperspace!” “I’m not crazy!” Sev scowled. “Open your damn eyes, and look!” Jason and the others looked out one of the bridge’s windows. Sev was right.
In seconds, an Imperial fleet emerged out of hyperspace in front of the Eclipse. Venators, Victory ones and twos, Interdictors, Annihilators, Imperial ones, and one Imperium class Super Star Destroyer. Realizing they were out numbered, and the fact that some of his own men left him to die, Jason did the only thing he could think of. “Sev?” “Yeah boss?” I need you, your brothers, and HK to get to the Nova, and get the hell out of there!” “We can fight!” “I don’t have time to argue! Get in the Nova!” “Roger that.” “Calix!” “Yeah boss?” “When the brothers get on the Nova, get out of here any way you can.” “But boss.” says Calix. What about you?” “Don’t worry about us, Calix.” says Jason. “This ship is tough enough to take on the whole fleet. We’ll be shooting our way out.” Chin grins. “Now we’re talkin.” “Once you get in hyperspace, don’t look back. Meet Knell at the rendezvous point. We’ll follow you.” “Try and make it back.” “Will do.” Jason looked at the window once more. He saw the transport that had Bossk, Xylia, and Xolani on board, and watched it try to fly away from the Star Destroyers. The transport bathed in the green plasma that emitted from the ships, and was incinerated.
As time itself froze in suspension, a voice broke through the Destroyer’s communication array. “Well done.” says the voice. “Knell!” yells Jason. “What is the meaning of this? Did you do this just to frame us? “Oh.” Says Knell through the radios. “Far from it, my friend. I gave you the chance of stealing the galaxy’s most powerful ship, and gaining infinite reputation for eons to come. Not to mention all of the wealth.” “When we get out of here,” said Jason. “You and I are gonna have a nice long chat.” Knell decided to bitterly rub Jason’s current situation back into his face. “I will be clamoring for it until meet me at the rendezvous. See you then. Better make your escape look believable.” Silence.
“This is the Imperium class Super Star Destroyer: Righteous Fist.” Says the voice of an Imperial officer over the radios. “You are in current possession of Imperial property. You will position yourself in a safe area where we will connect your ship to ours, come on board, and we will discuss a price. Failure to comply will result in your ship immediately being fired upon, and we will take it by force. We await your response.” Before long, Themba and the rest of the group made it to the bridge, accompanying Jason, Addison, Chin, and R3. “Boss!” said Zola. He walks closer to the hunter with his mechanical spider like limbs on his back. “You’re alive!” “Of course I’m alive.” responds Jason “The brothers and HK made it to the Nova. They got out just before the fleet could detect them.” “Good.” muttered Jason. “What should we do?” asked Pan. “We can’t run.” Jason stared at the ships before him. If him and the rest of his men that weren’t traitors were supposed to die here, they may as well go out in a blaze of glory. “We know what the Empire does with prisoners. We won’t be given them any. Everyone! Each of you get on one of the consoles. We’re gonna ram into that fleet, and use the Eclipse’s turbolasers to shoot down anything that gets in the way. I be on the Superlaser, and see how well it actually works.” Jumper laughs “Will do, sir.” he said.
After pressing many of the buttons on the consoles, Jalo spoke. “I don’t remember how these Imperial ships work!” “Well,” said Jumper “Just apply what you do remember.” “You’re time is up.” says the Imperial officer promptly. “Goodbye.” The fleet approaches the Eclipse, and opens fire on them. As green sheets of beaming plasma bolts shower all over the ship’s shields, Tyber Zahn began to reawaken from his painful unconsciousness. He seemed to have forgotten his name. But after rubbing his forehead, memories began to return. He remembered that he was leader of something, but what was it? He remembered almost successfully stealing a ship, but then someone attacked him. The rumbling of the cold steel floor encouraged Zahn to sit up. A nearby deafening explosion rattled the bridge of the Eclipse so hard, Zahn was lifted several inches off of the ground, and slammed down on the cold steel. He quickly jerked his head up, and saw the Marauders frantically pressing buttons on the consoles. He remembered the one that punched him. “If I get any permanent brain injury from this, you’ll be paying for it.” Tyber says to Addison. “Listen here.” answers Addison. “If we get shoot down, none of us will be paying for anything. Now if you don’t want to get blown to bits, get your ass on one of the consoles, and give us a hand!” After turning around, and seeing the Imperial fleet in front of him, he reluctantly agrees. “Good idea.” He said.
The Imperial officer onboard the bridge of the Righteous Fist watched as the fleet attempted to gun down the Eclipse. Despite the ship being twice the size of the entire fleet, he assumed the ship would just go down by now. Surely it couldn’t withstand a constant barrage. But it did. “What is our progress?” asked the Captain of the ship. “The ship’s shields are taking a brutal beating, but it’s hull hasn’t even been touched. It may take longer than we had thought.” “The ship is no more than a mere fraction of what it won’t become.” began the Captain. “Once we’re finished here, tell the fleet to plot a course for one of these new formed rifts.” “Will do, sir” answered the officer. The Imperial began to notice something. The Eclipse was moving. Quickly. It began firing back. “Sir!” says a nearby Imperial. “The Eclipse is moving at top speed, and it’s heading straight for us!” “All canons! Fire at the bridge!” “Sir!” another Imperial shouts. “The ship’s superlaser is charging!” The Captain’s mind felt cluttered. This couldn’t have been possible. There isn’t any that this was happening. Suddenly, a large green beam of plasma shoot out of the nose of the Star Destroyer, and the Righteous Fist was destroyed in an instant.
“Nice shot.” says Jalo. As he watched the Star Destroyer fall apart before them. “I always loved fireworks.”says Chin. “Jumper!” yells Jason. “Fly through the fleet, input the coordinates, and let's get the hell out of here.” “Thought you’d never ask.” answers Jumper. The coordinates were put in. The Eclipse barged through the wreckage of the fleet, and disappeared in the far reaches of space once it’s hyperdrive was activated.
The officer in one of the Imperial Venators that survived the attack watched in utter shock. His jaw dropped so far down, he thought it dislocated. He immediately shut his mouth not reveal his obvious fear, and lack of professionalism. “What do we do now?” someone asked. “We must rendezvous back to Byss. Our failure must be reported.” “What of the rifts?” “Leave them. They are not our highest priority.” “What about the survivors?” “There are no survivors. Plot a course for Byss.” “Yes, sir.” The fleet prepared their formation, and left not long after the Eclipse. Won’t Thrawn be disappointed.
The Eclipse was now in hyperspace. Out of the Empire’s grasp. Free to take a breath. Addison didn’t believe it. They had once again did the impossible. When the Marauders celebrated, Jason couldn’t shake the thought of his men being traitors. This made him view the rest of his with great suspicion. He treated them the same way a father would his children. Were they really Imperial agents like Xylia, Xolani, and Bossk were? His trust was fading. It’s a shame that it will only get worse. After all of that, there was still Tyber Zahn to worry about. After trying his hardest to retain his memory, Zahn couldn’t remember his consortium. He didn’t remember his betrayal from Jabba the Hut, Nor does he remember why he wanted to take arms against both the Empire and the Rebellion. The Marauders told Tyber that the bodies were once his men, he convinced himself that they were Imperials. The Marauders told Tyber that they had just met, but he was convinced that he was an ally to the Marauders, despite Addison nearly killing him earlier. Before they reached Thule, they made a quick stop, and told Tyber to go to the coordinates that the mysterious droid gave to Chin on the bridge. He would then send the Marauders a message, and tell them his findings.
Thule was quite the looker planet when the team saw it. It was a dark purple sphere covered in storm clouds. A transport exited from the massive behemoth that is the Eclipse, and entered the very hostile atmosphere. As the ship touched down on the surface, the Marauders entered the main elevator of the Capitol building. Something nagged at Jason. He told Calix, Hector, HK, and the brothers to meet him at Thule, but they haven’t showed. Did they go to the Empire too? They reached the top floor, and the door opened. Revealing Knell the Butcher sitting in his throne like chair. He leaned on the left arm of the chair, grabs his staff, and grins in anticipation. Next to him sat a man that the Marauders had never seen. A man with long dark blonde hair, and a beard covering his chin. A man who had the look and the personality of a master politician. The Allied Confederacy’s Fleet Commander Troy Marshall. He sat on a throne like chair that was similar to Knell’s. This is the first time that the Marauders met both of them in person.
“Ah! Welcome, Marauders!” says a cheery Knell as he grabs a bottle of Lum next to him, and pours it into a wide glass that had the appearance of a diamond. “Care for a drink?” “No. I’m good.” responds Jason. Knell shrugs, and downs the entire glass in seconds. He places the glass on the counter next to him, and offers his fleet commander a fresh glass, and whatever was on the bottle. Marshall nods, and grabs them both out of Knell’s hands while pouring himself a glass. “Thank you.” he says. “Where’s the Nova?” Knell seemed bewildered. “Was it not with you?” “No.” “Perhaps they’re late for the payment.” Addison placed his hand on Jason’s shoulder. “Maybe they’re at the hideout. We can just meet them there.” “You’re right.” responded the leader. He turns his attention to Knell. “Where’s Tyber Zahn?” “Wasn’t on board.” Knell tilts his head in confusion “That’s odd.” “Where’s our credits?” “Right there.” Answers Knell. A small table emerged from the floor, and there was a suitcase on it. Jason grabs it, and opens it, revealing twenty billion credits. The exact amount that Knell had promised. Jason closed it, and looked up to the Rioter. “Well, I would say that it was a pleasure doing business with you, but four of my men died.” Jason turns around, and faces his team. “Come on, boys. Let’s get off this rock.” As the team was leaving, Knell interrupted them. He held up his hand, and said. “Wait.” “What more do you want from us?” Knell answered. “I have a favor to ask of you.” Themba steps in. “How will this mission be any different?” Knell grins. “This brand new mission may be a little….other worldly.”
(Author’s note): I do not own the attributes to any film, or video game industries, or any form of internet media that will be introduced, mentioned, or referenced throughout The Unity. Any material that didn’t originate from any electronic media, whether it’d be from film, internet, or otherwise was thought up by me, thus is owned by me.