Another day, another hunt. Shor had been approached in order to participate in some scheme or other to alter the complicated political web of Naboo high society through the slaughter of gungans. He was frankly more interested in the latter detail, having little interest in the machinations of morsel nobility. The annoying part was that it needed to be blamed on House Palpatine, and so Shor had to set a trap of sorts. The gungan settlement was to be, allegedly, the desired site of mining operations meant to bring the disgraced house prestige and wealth.
The trap consisted of several vital details. Shor had a datapad with well-forged instructions on it to clear the sight, with a contract for the Jade Company to do the clearing, clipped to his belt. He himself had taken the time to temporarily dye his fur a much more ordinary brown, with goggles to cover his crimson eyes, and was armored in a wookiee-fied fashion of the Jade Company, white plastoid covering his torso overtop a black sleeveless tunic. His usual E-11D fit in quite well with the disguise, and he'd switched out his usual melee weapons with nine foot, single-head electrostaff. He still had his lightsaber tucked away in a satchel of course, in case he needed it, but he suspected he'd do just fine.
In addition to the datapad were rumors spread over the local holonet via dummy accounts routed through VPNs in the weeks leading up to the present day, which had naturally found their way into the conversations of the local nobles. There was no actual proof of course, the same as of the vast majority of local gossip, but Shor and the horned red meat-person joining him would soon putting on the pressure. Even if the nobles didn't quite believe House Palpatine was behind the massacre, at least of them may use it as an excuse to scrub out a black stain on their planet's history.
For the moment he waited two clicks from the settlement, in the dead of night, next to a speeder truck. Horned meat should show up soon, and they would get to play the part of mercenaries wiping out a gungan village. Not the most fun of fights, but mediocre murder was better than no murder.
Something always drew him away from his own interests. His goals playing second fiddle to the goal of other about or around him. His trip was no different. A day ago the knight known to Balal as Mardos Ren would send him an encrypted message, unable to part from his own tasks he needed the Echani to replace him. The bonus of the favor would be worth the effort. That bonus being the slaying of innocents to feed The Ren, and thus his connection to it.
So here he was in the swamps of Naboo. He didn't know the entire details of the task or trap as it were. What he did know was he would need to replace his normal ren armor with the a set of the Jade Company's recycled trooper armor. Which he did. By force choking a mercenary while he tried to relieve himself. To the Echani's fortune, the merc also happened to be armed with a Z-6 blaster weapon, with a backpack sized power cell. Balal kept the weapon, as well as his D17 pistol, and his lightsaber. Which would be hidden on his utility belt.
Ready for the task at hand. Balal would show up to the coordinates given to him by the other knight. Where he found what he thought might be the furball. It was hard to tell. But the wook's signature in the ren seemed the same as the wookiee from Corillia.
"Shor?" He asked the fur cloaked half armored troop.
The tall wookiee turned towards the other cultist's approach, noting the oversized anti-infantry weapon and the stormtrooper armor at the same time he noticed it wasn't his original partner for the job. Well, it mattered little in the end who it was. He simply nodded in response to Sin's question and hopped into the speeder truck, moving off as soon as Sin boarded as well. It would do best to appear as actual mercenaries as well as leave in a hurry. Shor didn't want authorities getting too close of a look at them if he could avoid it.
The speeder wouldn't take long to get to the gungan settlement, rumbling to a stop just inside the entrance. Shor hopped off, grabbing his electrostaff and walking more towards the center of town. He reached up to his mask and adjusted several setting, the voice set to sound like an impartial Imperial-era security and be magnified similar to a loudspeaker.
"Attention citizens! By royal decree, you are to vacate the area of this land within the next hour, as it has been purchased by the illustrious and powerful House of Palpatine. Refusal to comply will result in immediate judgement on your right of existence. Thank you for your understanding." the wookiee announced through the mask's voice, the sound echoing through the night. He repeated himself as gungans began to gather in the center, wondering what all the noise was about and beginning to argue with the two "mercenaries". As they gathered he allowed the Dark Side to bubble up inside him, his seething hate seeping out in waves to the surrounding gungans and stoking the fires of anger in their hearts. More gathered drawn by the ruckus until most of the settlement had gathered in the center, their protestation of the alleged eviction drowning out all other sound.
This too was part of the trap. Amplifying and spreading out their anger would mean they would fight instead of run, made their thinking stupid. Survivors would remember this as exactly what Shor had told them it was. When their outrage had reached its peak, Shor hefted his weapon, activated the two-foot electric head, and swung through the heads of two surrounding gungans. "Please do not resist." his mask intoned impassively. While an electrostaff was generally a stun weapon, it was still a big metal stick, and the gungans he hit would be left with not much of their heads intact from the attack.
Balal Ren would board the speeder as soon as the other costumed knight gave his nod to confirm who he was. He could feel the other man in the ren. Knew the Wookiee's hate and aura from their time together on Corillia. Yet still waited for the nod. Then jumped into the back of the speeder.
The ride was short. Taking only but a few minutes to get into the gates of the village before landing. Balal would depart with his companion and allow him to take the lead, as the plan his in the first place. While the white armored Wookiee started to speak, the Echani moved to his right flank. Allowing the shadows to swallow him for a moment as he took position between two huts.
As the crowd grew. Balal felt the waves of hate and anger flow from the other knight. Now he understood, and in that revelation did as his partner had. Pushing feelings of hate, anger, and irritation into the ren. Letting it spread over the aliens like a cancer.
As the Wookiee swung his stick, nearly if not instantly killing two Gungans. Balal leveled the massive weapon. The sound of the tiny gears spinning up would turn the head of a young floppy eared child. She died to moment her eyes locked on the barrels. A spray of blue blots tearing threw her face, into the next beside her. As well as a couple round her. Keeping the trigger pulled, Balal shifted left and then right. The shower of blaster fire ripping threw the crowd.
Roaring a challenge the massive wookiee stepped forward, swinging his staff like a glaive, the petty the weight of gungans doing nothing to slow it down. Arcs of lethal energy struck along with the sheer force, sending gungans careening away from where they tried to rush in towards Sin or close into a closer range. Those who managed to bypass the reach of his pole would found themselves struck with the shaft or a bone-crushing kick, a painful lesson on why most try to avoid close combat with a wookiee.
As the murder mounted so did the waves of hate, stoking the crowd into anger over fear at the deaths of their friends and family. The mob surged ever onward, trying to reach the two Knights of Ren. But these weren't warriors, merely untrained civilians. The warriors would arrive soon, but until they did the mob was little threat. Bones cracked to splinters and flesh fried under his assault while Sin's repeating blaster chewed through the crowd from behind.
His electrostaff, flitting left and right at any target within range, acted as both spear and shield, preventing the mob from overtaking the Z-6 behind Shor's large frame. The few that got within arm's reach of Shor before being brought down did him no real harm seeing as they were unarmed, his thick fur preventing even bruises under the pathetic assault of these land-born amphibians.
It wasn't long before the last gungan fell. There were not nearly enough gungans to count for much in the throng. No doubt the rest were hidden in their huts. Snarling with irritation Shor stepped over to the speeder truck and retrieved a satchel containing a single explosive charge, throwing it on top of a flat-roofed hut.
He was interrupted in his tossing of another by the arrival of three gungan warriors, demanding surrender and yelling a challenge. Shor roared back, readying his staff and prepared to kill.
Dav didn't really like all this fancy armor. It pinched in all the wrong places, and it was bulky and heavy. He'd seen enough men shot - and shot enough of them - that he knew how this worked: you got shot, the armor didn't save you. He failed to see why anyone bothered.
His lightsaber was stored in the belt of the armor he now wore, and the blaster rifle in his hands would serve as his primary weapon. Killing gungans, eh? That was fine with him. They were in the way, and if they couldn't defend themselves then they got what they deserved.
The attack had been split into teams, and Dav had yet to actually see anyone from his team. It seemed some people had decided not to show up or perhaps their ship had crashed. After murdering a member of the Jade Company, he'd taken the armor and weapon and set out.
He could hear the sounds of violence in the distance and appeared through the swamps as the last of the gungans seemed to fall.
He dropped to his knee, raised his blaster, and fired at one of the approaching gungans. It slammed into its chest and dropped him to the ground in a heap to a satisfied cackle from Dav.
Just after a shot rang out and impacted one of the incoming guards, Shor leapt into the scene, taking advantage of their momentary distraction. The two gungans were clad in their traditional leathers and wielded electropoles, filled with determination, but they were no match for the power of the Dark Side.
The wookiee rushed forward, his electrostaff stabbing out and delivery a mix of high voltage shock and sheer blunt force to the stomach force to the leftmost gungan and driving him to his knees. He followed through by swinging left, driving the business end of the staff against the legs of the second gungan and flipping him onto his back. The staff raised up and came down on his head, cracking it across the ground.
The one still living thrust at him with his own weapon from the ground and Shor batted it aside with a disdainful snarl with the butt of his weapon, kicking forward and caving in the offender's rib cage to leave him gargling in the dirt until he died. Then he turned to look at the newcomer, someone Shor was certain he hadn't met before.
"Another replacement? Welcome to the hunt." he growled in greeting, mask translating his speech in real time. Then he got back to tossing satchels of explosive atop huts. If the gungans weren't going to come out, he was just going to have to bury them. He certainly wasn't about to chase them into their sad little holes. Once they were fully in place, the explosives should level a large portion of the village and kill most of the remaining gungans, leaving some alive.
Along with an 'accidentally' dropped datapad containing theirs orders, of course.
Dav watched as the other "stormtrooper" tore the Gungans apart. In short order, they were all three dead, and Dav's rifle swiveled around from left to right but spotted no targets. He pushed himself up from his kneeling position and pushed forward in time to here the greeting.
Hunt indeed, he said. It wasn't a fight or even a slaughter. They were simply here to kill and move on. The Gungans would run and hide, but they would soon discover that there was nothing they could do except bleed.
The explosion from the bomb was spectacular. It thundered into the air, and Dav had taken cover to avoid the shrapnel that now filled the air. Bloody Gungans came stumbling out, but most hadn't even survived the initial detonation.
Things went even better than expected. Dav's rifle turned as the Gungans came into the open and he fired. And fired. And fired. And fired.
The E-11 had 100 rounds before it required reloading, and Dav was suddenly very glad for that. No less than a dozen Gungans, dazed, wounded, or simply fleeing fell under the barrage of gunfire.
Moving! he declared as he continued deeper into the village. He continued cleaning up Gungans as they went and hoped for the best when it came to not running into more warriors. And as he moved, he drank it all in. The feeling of power was intoxicating, and being able to decide who lived and died with a squeeze of his finger was enough to nearly send him into a frenzy. He knew why the Sith Lords had loved this power. It was everything.
Shor continued his advance as the last warriors fell, moving deeper into the village along with the new arrival at a steady jog. His electrostaff swung out at any gungans within reach, caving in skulls and cracking bone as he passed by. It didn't take too long before more warriors had equipped themselves and moved forward, more organized than the last bunch and in greater numbers.
Ten warriors approached the disguised wookiee in a five-five formation with spears pointed forward in an attempt to defend against his reach and prowess in close combat. Shor charged forward and roared out a challenge, swinging his long staff down through their defenses to impact with a loud crack on one of their shoulders, the target crumpling to the ground in agony.
However, the remaining warriors followed up, moving in and jabbing their spears towards him, bloodying his forearm and left leg and forcing him to step back. He let out an irritated growl and slapped aside the spears, now at a stand off. The Dark Side seethed inside him and was brought to the surface, readying himself for a rather flashier attack.
Assuming the other Sith didn't do anything, of course.
Dav frowned behind his helmet as he watched the Wookiee literally charge into a phalanx. What exactly was the idiot's plan? It was a phalanx. Dav was just flabbergasted, but didn't waste any more time. The Gungans were advancing, they were in formation, but... they were using melee weapons, and he had a blaster.
Dav had no shame in taking full advantage of that. He opened fire on the group and they quickly realized their formation was less effective against ranged attack. They broke up their formation, but not before Dav managed to fell a trio of them.
The opening shot struck one in the chest before he had even noticed the stormtrooper. The second was just turning his attention when he went down as well. They immediately began to scatter to cover, and before they could make it there, Dav managed to hit a third and send him stumbling into the dirt. The follow up shot made sure the stumbling permanently ended.
Shor had been briefly repelled, but then several gungan warriors fell to the other man's blaster fire, their formation breaking apart. He surged forward once more, slapping aside electropoles and swinging at gungans, but these were still apparently more prepared than the last group. His strikes were blocked and two of them threatened his hands, bloodying one and forcing him to drop his pole.
Well, fine then. Shor engaged two directly with his now unsheathed claws, a vicious kick aimed for the left one's stomach blocked by a spear shaft but still knocking him back. Shor grabbed the shaft of the other warrior's weapon to keep it in place with sheer strength while his right hand shot out and embedded claws deep in the warrior's ribs. He gripped and pulled, throwing the gungan aside without a good chunk of his left side ribcage, which the wookiee tossed casually in the direction of the other warrior who was now cautiously approaching again. Shor had a much shorter weapon now, but he was still ready.
Dav was on quite a roll. In fact, he wasn't sure the last time the Dark Side had favored him this much. It must have been enjoying feeding on the death that they were causing. With half the gungan warriors dead already, the pair of Sith were doing a splendid job of staging a massacre.
Dav's rifle swiveled around again and he began to move. The initial Gungans had taken cover, which meant he needed a new firing angle to flush them out. That angle came a moment later as two that had taken cover behind a building came into view.
Dav fired, and one of them was struck in the hip, causing him to stumble and fall over. Kriff, bad shot, he thought. The second was already running and he fired, but missed, allowing him the opportunity to find new cover. A second follow-up shot scorched through the air and pummeled the remaining, wounded Gungan into the ground followed by two more shots for good measure. A large, burning cavity marked where his chest had been moments before and there was no further movement.
Shor wasn't quite on a roll, but he was certainly pissed off, and the Dark Side seemed to like it well enough. He let out a vicious roar and surged forward to give the impression of a reckless charge. The gungan thrust toward him but Shor deftly sidestepped, a clawed hand whipping out with supernatural speed and promptly removing the gungan's throat.
The amphibian never hit the ground however, as Shor had other plans. Gripping the limp body by sinking his claws into its rib cage he continued moving, chasing after one of the scattered gungans who fled the other Sith's blaster fire. Frankly, he wasn't ready.
With Wookiee strength backed up by the burning fire of the Dark Side, Shor promptly beat the surprised gungan to death with another gungan, leaned down, and gripped the second one. Now he was armed again, perfect.
He ran towards the remaining two gungans in cover, roaring long and loud and throwing one of his wielded gungan bodies at them. Only one of them properly left cover and panicked, the other one merely sinking deeper in.
Dav continued to maneuver, closing in on one of the Gungans only to find that his position had been compromised. He had let himself be flanked by one of the warriors that had slipped around a building in the village and swung down with a staff that knocked the blaster out of Dav's hand.
Rather than let himself be caught off guard with another attack, he used his Force enhanced reflexes to catch the staff before it retracted, something that shouldn't have been possible for anyone with normal reflexes. He brought his elbow around and smashed into the face of the Gungan, sending him stumbled back as Dav's blaster leapt to his hand. A small enough action to go unnoticed in the chaos of battle. He brought the blaster to bear and fired thrice.
Only one left. Poor guy. The entrenched Gungan thrust his spear at Shor but it was met by the wookiee's meat shield and wrenched to the side. With a firm step forward Shor delivered a crushing front kick to the Gungan's sternum with a decisive and wet-sounding crunch, sending him flying back into the wall to slump choking on the ground. He'd be dead soon.
Especially after the follow up kick to the head directly afterwards. Shor was in a bad mood. But when was he not, really? He snorted and dropped the speared body in his claws and turned away, striding over to the speeder truck and retrieving the remainder of the explosives. He began distributing them fairly amongst the building rooftops, claws flashing out at any civilians that happened to be within his reach. The other one had a blaster, and Shor expected he'd be using it for its intended purpose in the meantime.
It wouldn't take terribly long to plant the det charges around the village. It wasn't the biggest place and Shor had long legs. Now all they had to do was leave a bit of evidence behind.
To that end, the massive wookiee unclipped the datapad on his belt and allowed it to join the pile of corpses around the village square, safe from the explosions that would soon follow.
"Time to go." he intoned through his mask in Dav's general direction, moving back towards the speeder.