Ok friends... another redo.... this one is the 15th chapter in the Rykrof Enloe series... probably the most effort I've put into any of the redos. Hope you enjoy, there are quite a few changes here. All are new pics as usual, with more emphasis on script.
Several months have passed since a strike team led by Rykrof Enloe has crash landed on Dathomir. Thought to be dead by the leaders of the Republic and by those close to him, no rescue attempt has been made.
As the war continues, a trio of Federation Battleships looms over the planet as the Confederacy continues to hunt for Republic survivors.
Taking refuge in an abandoned Badoo Corba terrorist base, Rykrof and his team search the complex for supplies.
Taking shifts, at all times a lone guard patrols outdoors to watch for approaching droids.
Hoping to find a way off the planet, TK-42 has searched the entire base but has come up empty handed.
During their stay at the complex, Rykrof has become acquainted with Freelo, a freelance archaeologist who had been contracted by the Separatists to help coordinate an excavation on Rhen Var.
Although the Mon Calamari had considered working for the Confederacy, Rykrof has learned that his new acquaintance is no enemy of the Republic, and had preferred to stay out of the war.
Rykrof has enjoyed the company of the stranded alien, who has since expressed interest to help the Republic in the war effort if he can ever get off of Dathomir.
During his stay, Rykrof has managed to repair a damaged terminal, and viewed hundreds of recordings.
One particular recording of interest is a transmission to evacuate the complex sent by an emerging leader of the Badoo Corba, Troffar the Terrible; immediately prior to the Republic’s arrival in the Dathomir system.
After another day of endless research, Rykrof comes across a startling discovery – the secret identities and coordinates of dozens of Badoo Corba terror cells throughout the galaxy, including the underground of the Republic capital of Coruscant.
Amazed at his find, Rykrof quickly saves the data onto two separate security locked data cylinders.
Knowing his chances of survival are slim, he entrusts the second data cylinder to Freelo.
“If only one of us makes it out of here, this information must get to the Republic. Commander Tylin Gere will know how to retrieve the data,” Rykrof tells him.
“We’ve stayed here long enough,” Rykrof then says. “It looks like our only option is to find your ship and see if we can make the necessary repairs.”
Meanwhile, in the Spahl system, Count Dooku makes contact with his master, Darth Sidious.
“The Force is with us, Master Sidious,” Dooku says as he greets the Dark Lord of the Sith.
“Yes, you have done well," Darth Sidious tells his apprentice.
"Neither side has struck an advantage in the war.”
"The conflict is serving its purpose, just as I have foreseen."
"Yes, my Master. Soon we shall have our revenge against the Jedi..." Count Dooku replies.
"...they have become preoccupied by the relentless attacks of the droid armies and are unable to interfere with our interests on Rhen Var..."
"...however, Asajj Ventress has not found proof of the death of the Republic strike team on Dathomir, nor has she encountered the dark witch."
"But as you requested, I have already sent General Snodd to aid in the search for Republic survivors."
"Finding the strike team is insignificant," the Dark Lord laughs.
"The Dark One has found Asajj Ventress. Your protégé’s test is near. She is already watching her."
Meanwhile, back on Dathomir, Nemoidian General Snodd searches new areas far from the original crash site of the Republic strike team…
…and finds evidence that the team has survived longer than originally thought.
“Rancor droppings," he mumbles to himself. "Fresh."
Nearby, a modified Spelunker probe droid emerges.
Traveling on four articulated pincer legs, the agile droid quickly scrambles over the rocky terrain as it searches for traces of Rykrof's strike team.
Suddenly, a laser blast strikes the droid's central processor!
"You're a good shot, Rykrof!" Freelo exclaims.
"What was that?" a patrol battle droid asks in reaction to the laser blast.
"Look out!" Rykrof yells. "Patrol unit!"
Caught off guard, the droids fail to process the attack quickly enough as Rykrof's team advances.
"Watch for more droids!" Rykrof yells over the blaster fire. "These patrols always travel in single file to hide their numbers!"
Hearing the laser blasts, General Snodd approaches the scene of the battle.
“It’s them,” he exclaims. “Kill them!”
Suddenly more droids emerge from the jungle and open fire on Rykrof's team.
"They're trying to kill me!" Freelo screams as a laser blast rifles past him.
“There’s too many of them,” TK-42 says to Rykrof. “We need to fall back!”
"Come on Freelo!" Rykrof shouts, grabbing the panic-stricken Mon Calamari.
As the Republic troops retreat, General Snodd contacts Commander Asajj Ventress.
“I’ve found them! Three Republic troopers and a Mon Calamari …heading southeast at coordinates two-zero-six-point-three-three-eight ...looks like they're splitting up!”
After dispersing into the wilderness, Rykrof and Freelo slow down to catch their breath, only to find themselves separated from the other two troops.
“Damnit! I don't believe this!” Rykrof curses to himself. “Hey, what are you looking at?"
“Whoever that is behind you...” Freelo replies slowly.
As Rykrof turns around, he finds himself starting into the barrel of a D-22 blaster.
"Easy there," Rykrof says to the unknown man.
Suddenly another armed man appears from behind them, pointing his blaster at Freelo.
"Shiste," Freelo cries after dropping his blaster. "We're trapped!"
“Never seen a clone trooper look like you before,” the first man says to Rykrof. "I thought you were all the same.”
“Most are," Rykrof says. "I'm Commander Rykrof Enloe, of the Grand Army of the Republic. And this is Freelo. Who might you be?”
“Cusiro’s the name. Traedon Cusiro. And if the fish hadn’t dropped his blaster, I reckon Briss would have shot him dead in the head. He’s never liked aliens.”
"We've been trying to get off this sewage dump for a while now. Wretched droids have attacked us too, so I guess that puts us on the same side,” he says.
Meanwhile, Asajj Ventress contacts her master, finally having progress to report.
"Commander Ventress," Dooku says sternly as his image appears. "I had begun to think you were in the stomach of a rancor."
Ignoring the insult by her master, Ventress reports the situation on the surface.
“My Lord, we have found the strike team," she hisses. "They are alive just as you predicted."
"My droids are closing in. Enloe is among the survivors, but it will not be long before they are dealt with.”
"Enloe is not your prey," Dooku reveals to her.
"Then you speak of the being on this planet?" she asks. "Of the presence I have felt... it's everywhere."
“Your feelings serve you well, Asajj," he says approvingly.
"Now prove your worth to me. Find her ...she has already found you
Meanwhile, Rykrof’s separated troops discuss their situation.
“Our primary objective is to see to it that the commander survives. Our lives are not important,” trooper 004 says.
“Agreed,” TK-42 replies.
“He needs to get that information to the Republic. If we can't find him, we must do everything in our power to distract the droids so he has a chance to escape.”
Miles away, Rykrof, Freelo, Cusiro and Briss set up camp for the night.
Although uncomfortable trusting these new men, Rykrof feels he has no choice. Any help is better than no help, and Freelo appears to be quite relieved to surround himself with these new companions.
More importantly, Rykrof realizes he must concentrate on finding a way to deliver the data cylinder he has in his possession to the Republic.
Although the Badoo Corba escaped and he has failed in his primary mission, he takes comfort knowing the vital information he has acquired could save millions of lives.
“Now how did you end up out here?” Rykrof asks, breaking the awkward silence.
“Shot down by the Separatists just like you,” Cusiro says. “Smuggling supplies to Ithor and stopped here to rendezvous with another group ...sure as hell didn't expect to see those battle cruisers in the system."
"Once we crashed though, the real hell began. Ran into some sort of witch down here. Killed and actually ate
most of my men. Briss here somehow escaped from her. Doesn’t like to talk about it though.”
“Witch?” Freelo asks.
“I encountered a creature in the mountains after I crashed ...it was unlike anything I've ever seen before. Only in folk lore have I heard of such an abomination. But what I saw after arriving here is true. Such things do exist!
"But don't be scared without your clones Rykrof, these men will protect you."
"Trust me Freelo, I've seen things before that you wouldn't believe," Rykrof says dryly as he stokes the fire.
"No disrespect intended, but I don't care who you are or what you've been through ...you've never seen something like this," Traedon Cusiro insists.
"I don't think I've slept in days ...I guess I'll run watch again tonight."
"Are you kidding me?" Rykrof asks. "We'll run shifts."
Not me! I'm not staying awake all by myself out here!" Freelo exclaims, bringing an amused smile to Briss.
"The creature out there may have been once a Night Sister," Briss tells him. "A user of the Force …evil as hell. I’ve heard stories about them,” he whispers. “Siriadne is her name."
"Space travelers talk about her," Cusiro says. "Some call her the Dark One ...a living demon from the ancient galaxy …a cannibal."
"She never sleeps… her obsession with flesh is her curse.”
“She is the curse of Dathomir…”
TO BE CONTINUED...