Over two months have passed since Rykrof Enloe has seen his family. Thought to be dead by the leaders of the Republic and by his closest friends, no rescue attempt has been made. As the war continues, a lone Federation Battleship looms over the planet as the Confederacy continues to hunt any 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 stands outside to watch for approaching droids.
Hoping to find a ship inside the complex, Rykrof and TK-42 have searched the entire base but come up empty handed.
During his stay, Rykrof has found one working terminal, and viewed hundreds of recordings; including a transmission to evacuate the complex sent by the new leader of the Badoo Corba, Troffar the Terrible, immediately prior to the Republic’s arrival in the Dathomir system.
He has also had the chance to 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 is now willing to help the Republic if he can ever get off the planet.
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 capitol 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. Chancellor Palpatine will know how to retrieve the data,” Rykrof says.
With this priceless information in their possession, Rykrof speaks with his troops and the decision is made to leave the complex. They must find a way off the planet soon – and if the base is discovered by the droid army with them inside it, they will have no way out.
“We’ve stayed here long enough,” Rykrof says. “It looks like our only option is to find Freelo’s ship and see if we can make the necessary repairs.”
Meanwhile, in the Daabul 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, the war is going as planned. Neither side has struck a distinct advantage,” Sidious says. “What of the progress on Dathomir? Has the Republic strike team been eliminated?”
“They surely must be dead by now. Commander Ventress has found no trace of further survivors or encountered the witch to my knowledge. However, I have sent General Snodd to accompany her. The two of them will ensure that the strike team is indeed dead,” Dooku replies.
“Time is of the essence. She is too valuable to be chasing down ordinary troops for this long. But within her burns a blatant weakness. Her aggression gives her strength, but she underestimates her enemies …like my former apprentice,” Sidious hisses.
“Inform her that her time allotted to find proof of their death is nearing an end. Then we will see how she fares against a more suitable adversary …Anakin Skywalker.”
“It will be done, my Master,” Dooku replies. “Commander Enloe surely must be dead by now. If he is not, in due time he will meet his destiny.”
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.
“This helmet has not been sitting here for long. Possibly two weeks at most,” he says to himself.
As the general continues to investigate the area surrounding the helmet, several droids from his unit continue to march west.
Suddenly, a laser blast strikes the lead droid.
And the surviving Republic troops continue to fire upon the Battle Droids.
Caught off guard, the droids begin to fall back as Rykrof's team advances.
Hearing the laser blasts, General Snodd approaches the scene of the battle.
“It’s them,” he shouts. “Kill them!”
“Sir, there’s more of them approaching,” TK-42 says. “I request we fall back.”
As the Republic troops retreat, General Snodd contacts Commander Ventress.
“I’ve found them! Three Republic troopers and a Mon Calamari …heading southeast at coordinates two-zero-six-point-three-three-eight!”
Rykrof and his group quickly disperse into the wilderness.
After over 20 minutes of running for their lives, Rykrof and Freelo slow down, only to find they have become separated from the other two troops.
“Damn! How did that happen?” Rykrof yells to himself. “Hey, what the hell are you looking at?"
“There is someone behind you,” Freelo then says.
“Hands up,” a rough voice says.
As Rykrof turns around, he finds himself starting into the barrel of a D-11 blaster.
Suddenly another man appears, this one behind them.
“Never seen a clone trooper look like you before,” the man says. I thought you were all the same.”
“Commander Rykrof Enloe, of the Grand Army of the Republic,” Rykrof says. “And who might you be?”
“Cusiro’s the name. Traedon Cusiro. And if the Mon Calamari hadn’t dropped his blaster, I reckon Briss would have shot him dead in the head. He’s never liked aliens.”
“How thoughtful of him,” Rykrof replies.
“We’re from Correlia. Trying to get off this sewage dump for a while now. Droids have attacked us too, so I guess that puts us on the same side,” he says.
Meanwhile, Asajj Ventress looks upon the corpse of a rancor, who was foolish enough to think she was its next meal. “Pitiful creature,” she laughs to herself.
After relishing in her kill, Ventress approaches General Snodd.
“So, there are indeed survivors. But I see you let them escape,” she hisses.
“They cannot run for long,” Snodd counters.
"My droids have found where they were hiding as well. They were kept up in a Badoo Corba complex. We will keep a squad of droids there in case they return.”
Finally having new progress to report, Ventress contacts her master. “My Lord, we have found them. It will not be long before they are dealt with.”
“I hope not, Commander. You have but 48 hours to complete your mission,” Dooku replies.
“They will be dead in half that time. Master… I have felt a presence on this planet. Of one that is strong with the Force. But it is not the sensation of a Jedi,” she says.
“Your feelings serve you well, Asajj. If it is your fate, you will encounter this presence,” Dooku says. “If you survive, your power will grow to levels you cannot possibly imagine.”
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,” TK-42 says.
“Agreed,” the other trooper replies. “He needs to get that information to the chancellor.”
Miles away, Rykrof, Freelo, Cusiro and Briss set camp for the night.
Although uncomfortable trusting these new men, Rykrof feels he has no choice. Any help is better than no help. He must concentrate on finding a way to deliver the data cylinder to the Republic. Although the Badoo Corba escaped and he has failed in his primary mission, he takes comfort knowing this information could save lives.
“So how did you end up out here,” Rykrof asks, breaking the awkward silence.
“Shot down by the Separatists actually,” Cusiro says. “Smuggling supplies to Ithor. Once we crashed though, the real hell began. Ran into some sort of witch down here. Killed most of my men. Briss here actually escaped from her. Doesn’t like to talk about it though.”
“Witch?” Freelo asks. “I encountered a creature in the woods unlike any I have ever seen. Only in folk lore have I heard of such an abomination. But what I saw after arriving here is true. Such things do exist.”
Intrigued by what he is hearing, Rykrof allows the others to discuss what they have seen.
“She may have been once a Nightsister. A user of the Force …evil as hell. I’ve heard stories about them,” Cusiro whispers. “Siriadne is her name.”
“From what Briss said, she’s a living demon …a cannibal. She never sleeps… her obsession with flesh is her curse.”
“She is the curse of Dathomir…”