AFTER UNSUCCESSFULLY GAINING ALLIES OR CONVINCING THEM OF THE THREAT THE EMPIRE POSES. THE SKRULL, SHI'AR, KREE EMPIRE HAVE DECIDEDLY REMAINED NEUTRAL.
YET, HOPE EXISTS AS A FRIENDSHIP HAS FORMED BETWEEN EMPEROR KALLARK AKA GLADIATOR AND GENERAL LEIA ORGANA AND A PROMISE TO AID THEM IF THE EMPIRE IS A THREAT AS THEY CLAIM.
HOWEVER, UNBEKNOWNST TO ALL LEIA ORGANA AS SHE RETURNS TO REBEL BASE, THE SKRULL EMPEROR KL'RT AKA SUPER-SKRULL HAS ALREADY BEEN IN CONTACT WITH SITH LORD DARTH SIDIOUS, WHO HAS CONVINCED HIM TO AID THE EMPIRE BY LAUNCHING A CAMPAIGN.
NOW, IN THE REMOTE OUTER RIM TERRITORIES OF THE BADOON DYNASTIES SPACE SECTOR, THE EMPIRE'S CAMPAIGN TO DESTROY THE SHI'AR, KREE AND THE REBELS...HAS BEGUN.
STAR WARS - THE CAMPAIGN II: A WAR OF EMPIRES
PROLOGUE - PT II of III
“This is the Ergonian refugee cruiser Piercer. We are under attack, I repeat, we are under attack! Our planet is under siege and our escaped vessels are being shot down. PLEASE! We are 39 jump points away from Hala! We are not a warcraft. I repeat, this is not a warcraAAACKK.”
Gagging at the built-in wall communicator, the red skinned Ergonian slumps down to his knees. Staring at his chest protruding the tip of a glowing purple energy blade, the alien refugee leans forward as a foot is pressed against his back. Suddenly he feels the sword ripped out his back. A cry of pain forces him to fall onto his back. A puddle of green blood pools under him he gasps for air.
Life was escaping him like smoke from a fire. Every fluttered exhale was struggled attempt to hold on a few moments longer. Yet the body start to shiver from the cold realm of deaths invite. His dying breaths fill his ears like water, muffling everything around him, even the faint screams and cries of voices familiar. Struggling to turn his head to the side, the red skinned humanoid squints his dark eyes at sight of the chaos erupting throughout his ship.
The white armored stormtroopers that poured through the exploded through their hull, scatter about from the opening into their ship like roaches. Decisive and brutal, dozens of red skinned humanoids die hunch over their loved ones in a flurry of blaster fire from the stormtroopers prejudiced slaughter. Grinding his teeth in anger at the sight of the slaughter, the Ergonian clenches his jaw in pain, desperately struggling to stand up despite his wound.
However at that moment, a sudden hard boot presses on his critical chest wound, forcing him onto his back once more. Parting her fine jet black hair away from her face, the Ergonian refugee face pales at the sight of the oriental beauty, Betsy Braddock, standing over him. Decked in her black one-piece body suit with eyes fiery red-rimmed, Betsy’s eyes focus solely on the Ergonian as the cries of pain fade in the backdrop.
“You, show me where’s the rest of the royal family?” she asks.
The Ergonian clenches his jaw and shakes his head, “I will die before I tell you anything witch!”
Letting out a frustrated sight, Psylocke clenches her strong jaw. Her eyes focused on the dying Ergonian, Psylocke simply touch the side of her temple, “Well, we agree on one thing.” she snarls as her eyes glow bright purple.
Immediately the Ergonian bares his teeth in agony as the muscles in his mind tighten. What feels like thousands of hot needles piercing his through his brain all at once causes the Egonian to scream out all at once.
Grabbing both sides of his head, the Ergonian screams out as green blood pours out his ears.
Psylocke angrily balls a fist, hearing the Ergonian squeal as she slices through his thoughts, “That’s it, that’s it, give it to me…”
Suddenly Psylocke pauses, feeling the hidden thought the Ergonian struggles to forget like a throbbing heart in someone's chest.
“NO! NOOOO!!” the Ergonian cries out.
Glancing down at the Ergonian, Psylocke smirks, releasing her telepathic hold on him. “Thank you, for your usefulness.” she says, before plafullying swiping her finger across the air and telekinetically breaking the Ergonian’s neck.
Turning aside from the body, Psylocke looks at the sea of Stormtroopers shooting down Ergonian’s struggling to flee or fight back. Closing her eyes, Psylocke tilts her head to the side, tuning out the screams and ambient noise, sifting through all the mind's on the ship.
Then it comes. The fear. The anxiety. The connection she was looking for, Psylocke smirks.
“GLAKTU!.” she hollers. Opening her eyes Psylocke looks ahead with determination, “GET UP!” she demands
Instantly all the stormtroopers cease their fire. Stunned, the few remaining Ergonian’s, watch as the stormtroopers remain frozen in place like statues before all turning to one red skinned humanoid dressed in rags, hiding behind the body of a female Ergonian clothed in white robes.
Glaring at the him, Psylocke points at him, “King Glaktu. You're a slippery one. We descend on your Kingdom like locust, have burned your icy marble of a planet. Annihilated your whole government but you still live. Well bravo at lasting this long." she says, gesturing for him to rise, “Perhaps we can discuss your underground catacomb system after we have a little, 'chat'.”
“Chat?!” The King bellows in his gravelly voice, “I have talked with your so-called ‘Galactic Empire’ Emissary. And i’ll tell you the same thing I told them, you can't attack us! Its suicide! The Ergonian Kingdom is under protection by the BADOON DYNASTY YOU VAGRANT!” he shouts.
"The Badoon Brotherhood to be specific.” Psylocke corrects, “Which, Darth Void just razed the entire Kingdom and pitched them into the nearest Sun. Fortunately, the Badoon Sisterhood, which was quite welcoming to see, are logically forfeited any protections the Brotherhood have promised in interest of keeping a central government. You belong to the Empire now. Thus you will not address me as a Vagrant, but by my name I have earned.” she says.
Glaktu chiseled face washes over with fear as Psylocke steps closer. Watching the red skinned humanoid clench his jaw, Psylocke gently raises her finger, telekinetically lifting Glaktu off his feet. Helpless, Glaktu gulps as Psylocke narrows her mascara heavy soulless eyes.
“DARTH Locke!” Psylocke exclaims she says, gesturing to her finger to the left. Suddenly Glaktu is hurdled through the air slammed up against the metal wall of the ships hull, , “And we need to have a conversation!” she finishes. Immediately Glaktu whines in pain his body is pressed against the metal wall with mounting pressure. Stalking towards him, stepping over the bodies in her path, Psylocke points at him.
“Empire Probes picked up some of your, ‘people’ looking at our Super Secret Mining facility near the Clench Worlds.” Psylocke states, “For your protection, I need to have whatever Intel you gathered and I need guarantees they weren't circulated.” she demands.
Grinding his teeth, barely able to move from Psylocke's tight telekinetic hold, Glaktu face strains in great pain as he struggles to get out his words, “W-we do-nnnot haaavv…”
“Let’s try this again…” Psylocke growls, gesturing her finger to the ceiling.
Suddenly Glaktu is shot up off the wall and slammed up against to the ceiling with a tremble. All the Ergonians in the room to scream at once, watching their King grind his teeth in pain. Tilting her head at him, Psylocke narrows her eyes at the King, "I want you to know this can get VERY bad for you." she says, as random objects fly from around the room and stab into the ceiling, milimeters from Glaktu's face.
"But I am under STRICT orders not to harm you physically or mentally in anyway.” Psylocke explains, but points to the crowd, “But everyone else…” she pauses, looking upon the crowd of Ergonians held at blaster point, “..well, everyone's gotta die some time.” she spits, glancing at a Storm trooper.
Glaktu becomes fearful, seeing Psylocke evident mental control over the storm trooper with a swiftness.
“What are you doing! Stop this!” Glaktu pleads, “I do not have what you are looking for!”
Psylocke cuts a glance at Glaktu, holding her finger to her mouth, “Ssshh...no pleading yet." she says.
Quickly the stormtrooper makes a swift hand signal to the rest regiment. At that moment, all the Ergonian younglings are pulled away from the screaming hands of the Ergonian females.
“STOP THIS THIS! STOP!!” Glaktu shouts.
"I'm sorry I can't...” Psylocke states as Storm Troopers gather all the younglings to her in formed line up, “...you started this when you let your backwater, dirt hole of Kingdom refuse to dealing with the Skrull or the Kree Empires and only the Shi’Ar who aren’t as, shall we say, flexible when it comes to the Galactic Empire.” she states.
“LET THE YOUNGLINGS GOI!”
“So it makes me wonder…” Psylocke continues, “...if the Badoon politically deal exclusively with the Shi’Ar, and your under the Badoon jurisdiction, wouldn’t you share what you have with the Badoon, who would turn it over to the Shi’Ar, thus making a stronger alliance?” she asks, angling her face towards Glaktu on the ceiling, “But if the Badoon Empire is destroyed, your treaty void...” she says, “...then that means you have a decision to make, King Glaktu. Tell me what I want to know, or I start ripping through every younglings mind to find what I'm looking for, then move on to everyone else.”
“You think you can bully me into submission by fear.” Glaktu replies, “I AM KING GLAKTU. ITS MY DUTY…”
“TO SERVE YOUR PEOPLE!" Psylocke loudly interrupts, “But you can’t serve them, if they’re all brain dead. Unless you want to be a King of the Dead, which i'm happy to oblige if that's the case.” she flatly threatens.
Psylocke eyes shift to to a crimson red skinned youngling with big blue eyes, clutched by his mother.
“Don't think I have guilt over doing this.” Psylocke snarls, placing her hand on the crying child's head as she looks at Glaktu “The Emperor showed me how to embrace my darkness for a purpose. And right now, you’re getting in the way of that ideal and I have no qualms over my actions.”
“DON’T TOUCH HIM!” Glaktu shouts.
Psylocke narrows her eyes at the boy before looking back at Glaktu, still telekinetically held up against the ceiling. The sound of multiple high pitch charges from the storm troopers blasters fills their ears as Psylocke eyes glow bright purple, "No." she replies.
“My my, I can already see when he was four years old, interesting, how your planet looked.” Psylocke she says as the youngling screams.
Grinding his eyes, Glaktu shakes his head as the child's screams grow louder and louder.
"Stop this...I SAID STOP!"
Psylocke's eyes return to normal as she looks to Glaktu, "I'll stop when I have a REASON to stop! But i'm getting bored of this youngling." she says in huff of frustration.
Psylocke raises her arm and clenches her fist. Immediately a bright telekinetic knife comprised of purple light constitutes over her fist as Psylocke looks at the youngling, “Perhaps I should dispose of this one and find one more interesting, What do think, O'King Glaktu!" she says, her arm poised over the youngling like a guillotine.
“IN THE VAULT!THE INTEL IS IN THE VAULT!”
Dissolving the Psy-Knife, Psylocke drops her hand to her side, making King Glaktu fall from the ceiling to the metal grate floor with a ‘thud’.
“My chambers, down the corridor, behind the plasma image.” Glaktu says.
Psylocke looks at the Stormtroopers and nods, "GL One Forty Eight, check it!" she orders the Trooper.
Groaning on the metal floor, Glaktu looks up at the Psylocke staring down at him as the Stormtroopers run past her.
“The Empire thanks you for your cooperation.” Psylocke says, “You’ll be transported to Mustafar for processing.” she adds, pressing the communicator in her ear, "Lord Vader I am on the Shuttle, I have the King and I should have the Intel shortly."
Rubbing his neck, Glaktu gasps for air as Storm Troopers rush over and grab him by his arms, lifting him up onto his knees while placing a blaster against the base of his skull, “I hope my eyes live long enough to see you pay for this!” Glaktu pits.
“Tell me that after you return from Mustafar." Psylocke smirks.
“Darth Locke!” calls out a Stormtrooper.
Immediately Psylocke eyes snap to a Stormtrooper running over to her in haste.
“What is it Trooper?"
Standing before her, the Stormtrooper looks at Glaktu’s once angry and resolute red-skin face, now soften to a panic-stricken demeanor, “Vault was already opened and empty. Troopers on the lower level found an escaped shuttle too.”
Closing her eyes in frustration, Psylocke lets out a steady breath, rubbing the bridge of her nose, “Well that's unfortunate.” she sighs, resting her eyes on Glaktu’s resolute face.
“We are all prepared to die…” Glaktu says, “...we do not fear you!”
Looking around, Psylocke shakes her head, “You wanna die, fine, but I don't need your fear" she says before turning to the troopers, "TURN THIS BUCKET AROUND! SET COURSE FOR SHi'AR SPACE IMMEDIATELY!" she orders.
“Ma’am?” says the Storm Trooper.
Psylocke narrows her eyes at Glaktu, “I just need you to be useful.” she says before turning to the storm troopers, “SWITCH BLASTERS TO KREE ROUNDS! KILL EVERY LAST SOUL ON THIS SHIP AND GET ME A TRACE ON THAT ESCAPE POD!” she orders.
As soon as she speaks, Glaku covers his head dropping onto his face as screams and blaster fire erupt. However, Glaktu feels Psylocke’s overwhelming telekinetic hold seize his body. Forced to sit up, Glaktu sees Psylocke standing over him, holding her hand out with purple light swirling around her hand as green blood splatters on her face, “Oh no King you said you're all prepared to die....”
Grinding his teeth, struggling to to resist, King Glaktu screams out loud as his neck is forcibly turned and his eyelids stretched open.
“...so lets see how well they die!” she snarls.
“This is closest rendering we have of our newly expanded universe.” C3PO states. “The Top Sector of space is called, the Empire Galaxy. While the Lower Sector is described as ‘the Known Sector’.
“And the regions with no stars?”
“That is where, prior to the joining of the two universe, what each prospective galaxy would have called their ‘Outer Rim’. Its seems it is quite devoid of life.” answers C3PO.
“Thank you my friend.” says Mon Mothma, placing her hand on the loyal androids cool shoulder. Looking at the crowd around her, Mon Mothma takes a deep breath as she feels everyone’s rapt attention focused to her.
“Our Intelligence gathered Intel that the Empire is striving to develop allies in the new territories.” Mon Mothma declares, “Knowing what Palpatine has done in our galaxy, we have no doubt he will try to replicate what he’s done times past. Coax other kingdoms to ally with him, and then use them as a blunt instrument against his threats - especially us.”
Stepping beside her, General Leia Organa changes the holographic image.
“There’s a silver lining in all of this.” Leia states, “We know for a fact, at least two Kingdom’s refuse to put themselves in a treaty with the Empire. One is The Kree, Homeworld called Hala…” Leia states.
“...and the other, The Shi’Ar Imperium.” Leia states.
“Both of these world are powerful to a large degree…”Leia states, “...and refuse any subjugation to another government let alone the Empire. Unfortunately that’s not enough.” she comments, “We need cannot sit by as the the Empire launches what we know is a campaign, and get caught in the middle of it.”
Seeing a fighter in the crowd, Leia points at him, “Go ahead.”
“Do you believe we can really defeat the Empire if they are already trying to get allies and recognition?”
Hearing the mumbling concerns, Leia holds up her hands, “Yes I do.” she says, “We blew one Death Star out the sky once. We saved those “Earthlings’ from destruction. I don’t know about you, but I know our enemy bleeds.” she says, “And I intend to make the Empire bleed more.” she boasts.
“Which is why we gathered you all here today.” interjects Mon Mothma, “The Empire attacked a planet, razed it with their rumored ‘superhuman’ Sith Lord. This isn’t the first time this has happened.” she says, “They are acting stealthily, but boldly, and so can we.”
“What else can we do?” asks a voice.
Leia stands up, “Find survivors.” she answers, “Bring them to the Kree, to the ShiAr. Show them exactly who they shouldn’t be allying themselves with so we gain them as allies and stop this Campaign by the Empire cold in its tracks.”
“At that…” Mon Mothma interjects, “...is how our Rebellion will grow substantially. Already with the help of our extraordinary Earthlings, we are in a position to push in this direction, but we need to keep fighting and infiltrating.” she says to the mumbling crowd.
“Hence…” Mothma continues, “...we will start surveillance missions as arranged by General Organa. General Organa will board the Millenium Falcon and lead the Empire Strike Team to hold the fight at or homefront. I will lead a Rebellion Task Force.”
“Names will be called out, your assignments given in person.” Leia exclaims, “This is it my friends, this the moment we’ve been waiting for, now go. Rebel.” she says, standing on her feet, “And May be the force be with you all, always.
To be continued….