A New Way of Doing Things

Part One

A StarFox Fan Fiction by Jason Hunter

A few months after Jason and Ambis break up, Jason realizes he if falling to the Dark Side of the Force. And this takes a greater effect when he’s on a mission for WolfBlazers, in which he lands on Fortuna and is taken hostage by a strange specter, which Jason senses as being the Dark side incarnate. After falling to the dark side completely, Jason is sent to destroy a small band of Cornerian Army holdouts in the lower levels of the Fortuna base.

Chapter One

 

Sitting in a darkened room, Jason Hunter sat before a jumble of various metal components. Closing his eyes and taking a deep, calming breath, he reached out and took hold of the throttle assembly for a high-end speeder bike. Already having had oblong sections cut out of it, the hulled component had been pieced back together with the rubber grip from a child’s bicycle, and short neon lights were fixated down the shaft, which, when turned on, would provide more confusion to whoever would be dumb enough to attack him.

With the Adegan crystals, power cell and circuitry in place, he screwed on the next component: a long, thin blaster rifle barrel, with more of the same kind of circuitry. Each end of the barrel was cut open, threaded, and had the leads from the internal wiring dangling out. Attaching the leads into the hollowed out portion of two separate riflescopes, complete with their own Adegan crystal, he screwed on what would become the blade emitter.

Fitting the D-ring that would allow the lightsaber to hang from his belt, Jason hefted the newly built Dual-bladed lightsaber.

Months before, he had been hit by a stroke of genius; make a dual-bladed lightsaber, but not have a blade come from each end, but rather, have two blades at the front. The result was a completely individual lightsaber, with the lethality of a double-bladed saber, but with the control of a normal saber.

Standing, Jason strolled over to his green-and-blue painted R2 droid. Tapping the robot on its domed head, he said, "Whistler, wake me up from meditation in about two days. Have some water and food ready; I’ll have two days worth of hunger after I charge my new lightsaber."

He smiled as the droid tooted a sound of affirmation, and walked over to where he had a plush pillow situated on the floor. Sitting down on the soft pillow, he set his lightsaber out before him.

Bringing his legs up to sit cross-legged, Jason took another calming breath, and drew the Force about him. Hitting the button on the converter that would charge the weapon’s power cell, he touched the weapon with his hand. Bathing the lightsaber in the Force, minute transitions took place in the weapon. Elemental bonds shifted, allowing more energy to flow in the power cell and throughout the weapon. Even after making several lightsabers, he still didn’t how the changes were being made, but he did know that with the changes in the lightsaber, changes were being made in him.

With each lightsaber her constructed, he gained just that much more of his Jedi heritage. He was part of an organization of peacekeepers that went back tens of thousands of years.

Hearing the click of the converter switching itself off, he opened his eyes. He looked down at the lightsaber and smiled to himself. Lifting the weapon up to look at it better, he glanced over at Whistler. The droid had a tall glass of ice water and a hefty piece of cake.

Nodding his head to his droid, Jason drank the water in large gulps, and similarly devoured the cake.

Having sustained his primal need for food, he stood up.

"Well, I’ve made another saber, Whistler." He said as he looked down at the droid. "Now all I need to do is see if it works." Hitting the blue activation switch on the top of the hilt, he switched on the weapon. Two blue beams of light, parallel to each other, burst from the duet of emitters. The deep blue blades bathed the room in an icy glow twice as bright as a normal lightsaber would have. Even the neon tubes on the hilt worked.

Looking down at Whistler bounce from tread-to-tread, Jason turned the weapon off. "A new Jedi has just been born. Jason Hunter, version three-point-zero."

Clipping his new lightsaber to his belt, Jason walked over to where he kept his shoes. Picking them up, he turned back to Whistler. "Anyone come looking for me the past two days?" he asked.

Whistler emitted a sound that Jason had long since associated with a negative answer. "No Ambis? She didn’t come by to apologize to me?" Months before, Jason had been doing something that had kept him and Ambis, his former girlfriend, apart since the latter part of the prior year, and the beginning of the current year. She dumped him in January, and it was now June. Although he had gotten used to sleeping alone again, he still missed the feeling of having her body pressed against his, and the love that they had shared.

Whistler again hooted a negative answer. Sighing, Jason pulled on his shoes and placed his backwards on his head. "I’m going out. I need to loosen my legs from meditating for two days. Lock the door when I leave."

 

 

Chapter Two

Strolling down the wide hallway from his quarters, Jason made his way toward the mess hall. Even though the food there was not always the best, he was still hungry enough to eat the rump of a mynock.

Turning into the drably painted mess, he grabbed some pastries, an apple and a packet of thick, blue syrup that tasted pretty good. Taking a seat towards the back of the room, he began to chew on one of the sweet rolls.

Looking out towards the entrance of the mess hall, he spotted Ambis and Taylon Rene enter, and quickly turned his head to avoid detection. Pushing out his senses, he could feel where everyone in the room was. By keeping and ‘eye’ on Ambis and Tay, and their emotions, he could tell if they saw him or were coming towards him.

As he was slurping down the blue drink, he felt Ambis come toward him, with Taylon heading off to a table. Looking up at Ambis as she sat down across from him, he tried to put a pleasant expression on his face. "Well, hello." He said. "Haven’t seen you around in a while."

"Yeah, I know." She replied. "I’ve been busy with flying missions and everything."

"That’s good. At least you’ve been keeping busy." Sucking down the rest of his drink, Jason started to rise. "Well, I really should be going. I’ll see you later."

"No, wait a minute." Ambis said, grabbing a fistful of his shirt sleeve. "I wanna talk to you."

"If you’re not going to be apologizing to me for the pain you’ve put me through, I don’t want to hear it." Jason said, twisting out of Ambis’s grip.

"Jason, what’s your problem?" Ambis asked, rising from her seat as well.

"What’s my problem? What’s my problem? My problem is that you dumped me, and you don’t even tell me why, or come by to say you’re sorry, or anything!" Jason now realized that he was gripping his tray with an iron grip and was bending it beyond what it was meant to. Easing his grip, he took a deep calming breath. "I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled."

"Now, that’s ok. But, I don’t come by to see you because you’re never in. Your droid tells me you’ve been out doing things. If you’re never home, how can I come to see you?" Ambis said, jabbing a finger into his chest. The jab hurt for a moment, but Jason shunted away the pain as easy as flipping a switch.

"You know, I do stay up well past midnight. It wouldn’t hurt you to come by then." Jason growled out through clenched teeth, turning to throw his trash away.

"I know you’re up until dawn, but normal people sleep."

"Yeah, well, you know, I’m not normal. I though knew that while we where together." Jason called back over his shoulder as he left the mess hall.

Sighing, Ambis turned and walked over to where her avian friend sat.

"What was that all about?" Taylon asked as she sat down.

"He still seems to be going through that ‘post-breakup’ stage." Ambis responded as she took a bite out of a piece food.

Laughing lightly, Taylon said, "Well, who can blame him. You did dump him pretty hard."

 

Chapter Three

 

Quickly entering the access code, Jason walked into his quarters. Reaching out with his feelings, he took in the whole of the room and acknowledged that nothing was amiss.

Sitting down on the couch in the main room, he tried with all his might to suppress his anger. His conversation with his ex had sent him overboard. He knew that he had no reason to be angry with her, but he still hadn’t progressed far enough in his training to be able to totally overcome his lower emotions of anger, fear, and hatred.

Yes, dwell on that anger. It will lead you to your true power.

Looking up, Jason scanned the room. He saw and sensed no one, but he had distinctly heard the voice of someone.

You can hear me, can you not? The voice whispered, inside his mind.

"Yes, I hear you." Jason muttered under his breath. "Who are you?"

I am what you will become. Cultivate your anger, and you find the unlimited power of the Dark side.

"The Dark side? I’ll never fall to the Dark side."

We shall see… And with that, the presence in his head left. Shaking his head violently, Jason cleared away the last vestiges of anger that followed in this experience.

Looking over at the coffee table in the middle of the room, he saw that the red light on his holo-phone blinking. Walking over to it, Jason pressed the button next to the light.

Standing nearly 20 centimeters high, the miniature image of Sean Wolf appeared above the holoprojector.

"Ah, Commander Wolf. What do I owe the honor?" Jason asked, sketching a quick salute.

"At ease, Jason. I’m calling to you about a mission." Sean Wolf said, smiling warming at Jason.

"Mission?"

"Yes. To Fortuna. I want you to fly out there and inspect some strange happenings on the moon. You can use your own ship, but make sure that it’s up to sub-zero standards. I’ll assume that you’ll accept, so I’m sending over the mission packet."

"Thank you for thinking of me, sir. I’ll fly out as soon as the techs prep my fighter." Jason said, taking the minidisk that popped out of the machine.

"Good. And may the Force be with you." As Sean’s image disappeared, Jason went to his bedroom and slipped into his flight gear.

*****************************************

 

Standing before his personal fighter, Jason donned the clumsy life support chest-box. Rubbing his paw over the forward view port, he predatorily smiled at the Terrorfex, his own personal TIE Defender. This was the newest and most deadly of the TIE Starfighter line.

It shared the same ball cockpit as the other TIEs, but instead of the usual parallel solar panels, it had three of them; one at the top, and two at 45 degree angles at the bottom, with little notches taken out of the front edge. And instead of the standard gray Imperial paint scheme, Jason had it painted a bright teal, and had a tech set up a slot for his astromech, as if the Defender wasn’t deadly enough as it was.

With the added help of an R2 droid, the fighter could be repaired in flight much faster than normal. Plus, with Whistler along for the ride, long trips in hyperspace wouldn’t begin to grind on him like they did when he was flying his old Doom’s Pride, the modified WolfenII fighter.

Looking up at the customized cherry picker that was designed to place astromech droids into their ports behind the cockpits of fighters, Jason smiled at Whistler.

"You ready?" He called up at his R2. Whistler gave a high-pitched shrill sound that indicated that he was ready for action.

Jumping the three meters from the hangar floor to the top of the ball cockpit, Jason opened the hatch on the top of the fighter. Standing on the command couch, Jason shut and latched the hatch. Dropping himself down into the seat, he pulled on his helmet. He had switched out the normal TIE pilot’s helmet for something more suited to his needs.

He’d also traded the TIE yoke for a normal joystick.

Hitting the appropriate switch to warm up the ion engines, Jason opened a little compartment to his left. In it, he had his old lightsaber placed in foam padding; something he’d added himself. Closing the box, he looked at his primary screen and saw that all three ion engines, shields, weapons, and the tractor beam system were all in the green. Hitting the flashing read button on his communications board, he opened a channel to the control tower.

"This is Commander Jason Hunter of Wolfen 6 squadron, requesting permission to take off." He said into the microphone.

"This is control. You’re exit vector is clear of all civilian craft. You are cleared for launch."

"Thank you. Hunter out." Shutting down the comm., he shunted power to his repulsorlift coils. Lifting the fighter a few feet off the ground, he nudged the craft forward. Exiting through the open hangar door out into the warm sunlight, he put all the power going to the tractor beam to his engines, and made use of the faster starfighter in the galaxy. Going at a speed of 217 kilometers per minute, he blasted his way out of Corneria’s atmosphere.

Engaging his hyperdrive, he headed off to the tundra moon of Fortuna.

 

Chapter Four

Orbiting around the moon, Jason put his shields full forward, and dove into the stratosphere. Not only did his deflector shields defend him from laser fire, but they also acted as a heat shield when entering a planet’s atmosphere.

Breaking through into the cold air of Fortuna, Jason activated his scanners. On the visor of his helmet, a 3D grid map of the terrain below floated before his eyes. Spotting the base that he was supposed to land at, he powered down the scanners and kicked in the repulsorlifts.

Sitting the Terrorfex down lightly onto its lower solar panels, he popped the hatch. Cold air and snow drifted in. Doffing his helmet, Jason powered down the fighter. Grabbing his lightsaber from his ‘glove box’ he pulled himself out of the open hatch.

The air chilled him for a second, but his Jedi training kicked in and the Force kept him warm. Leaning on the top panel, Jason looked over at Whistler.

"I’ll have my comlink on. I’ll tell you if I need help, or I’ll tell you to take off head back for the base. I don’t want to have this ship captured or destroyed, ok?"

In response, Whistler hooted at his fiercely.

"Yes, I know you wouldn’t let that happen" Jason laughed lightly. "But, still, be careful. I don’t want to lose you or the Terrorfex."

Jumping off the top of his ship, Jason landed in a crouch. Straightening up, he made his way over towards the entrance to the base. The door appeared to have been slashed open by something resembling a lightsaber, and that chilled Jason to the bone more than the cold. Stepping in through the large hole in the heavy doors, his foot crunched down on snow that had blown in.

Drawing his lightsaber from his hip, he started to walk further in. Reaching the end of the hall, he noticed the telltale signs of a firefight; blaster burn makes on the walls a floor, and the scattering of dead bodies. Some of the bodies wore a traditional Jedi cloak, and obviously died of blaster shots. But, the most frightening sight, was the dead bodies of the base personnel. Instead of blaster holes in their uniforms, they had been cut open, amputated, decapitated, or worse.

Crouching down by one of the cloaked bodies, Jason felt around the snow for the hilt of a lightsaber. And, sure enough, he found one. Pulling it free of the hard snow, he looked it over. It was fairly plain, but it had Sith incantations engraved on the hilt. Pressing down on the activation switch, a red beam of light shot from the emitter. Shutting it down, Jason stood.

Reaching out with his senses, he sensed a great evil on the fringes of his awareness. Walking to the turbolift, he hit the button that would send him down to the bowels of the base. Reaching the bottom, the frozen doors slowly grinded open. Stepping out, Jason sensed his closeness to the source of evil. It was indescribable. He hadn’t felt evil this strong. He could only determine that was the Dark Side, itself.

Walking out further into the wide hall, Jason readied himself for attack. He didn’t feel the aggressor until it was almost too late.

Spinning and lighting his icy blade, Jason parried a quick slash from a red lightsaber. Bringing his blade low to his let, he blocked a slash that would have cut his leg off at the knee. Blocking the shinning red blade up by his right ear, Jason stepped in toward the hood creature and planted his right knee in its stomach. The attacker staggered back a few steps, freeing Jason use the Force to temporarily blind his assailant.

Not being able to see where Jason was for the moment, he swung his blade around, franticly trying to find him.

Pressing his attack, Jason blocked the red blade and slid his blade down. Cutting off the first fingers on the hand, his attacker dropped his saber, and the dead man switch shut off the blade. Flipping the hood back, Jason could see that his assailant was not from this galaxy. He quickly recognized it as being a human.

"An Overlander, eh? How’d you people follow me here?" Jason asked.

"Follow?" the human grunted between his teeth. "We came here weeks ago. He had no idea that a cowardly Light side user was in this pitiful star system."

"Cowardly? You’re calling the Light side cowardly? What do you call sneaking around in the shadows, preying on innocent people?"

Laughing evilly, the Dark Jedi glared up at Jason. "Since you Light side cowards protect the innocent, why not kill the one who preys upon them. It wouldn’t be the way of the Jedi to just sit around and not eracticate the problem."

"I may protect the innocent, but I also protect all life. Killing you like this wouldn’t be the way of the Jedi."

"Really?" the Dark Jedi asked. "Would it be the way of the Jedi to kill in a fair fight?"

"If you are able to defend yourself, then it would be allowed, but not recommended."

Reaching for his lightsaber with his good hand, the Dark Jedi lighted his blade. Sweeping in at Jason’s torso, he came in for the kill. In an attempt to block, Jason kept his blade in front of him. What surprised Jason was, with the attack, the Dark Jedi threw his lightsaber aside. With the human’s momentum built up, he fell directly on Jason’s blue blade, dieing instantly.

"Well done, Hunter." A booming voice said behind Jason. Turning around, he imposed his blade between himself and what he saw. It was the source of the Dark side power he’d felt earlier. It started as a black cloud, and quickly took the form of a bald human. It had ominous tattoos on his lip and chin, and had no eyes. He wore a black cloak with red Sith writing running down the hem. "You’ve started your journey to the Dark side. Now, join me, and realize your true power!"

"What?" Jason asked in disbelief. "You really think that I’d join the ranks of a clan of Dark Jedi, and of humans?"

"You’d be surprised how convincing I may be. I am Dark Jedi Master Jerec. I came here after being defeated at the hands of another Light Jedi, Kyle Katarn. If I couldn’t bring about the rebirth of the Empire, then I had to come here to rule over this pitiful galaxy of animals."

"Typical of a Dark Jedi; a power-hungry psycho with a superiority complex." Jason murmured. "By the way, how do you know my name?"

"The power of the Dark side is stronger than you expected." Jerec chuckled. "While you were fighting my lackey, I probed your thoughts, and I came up with some very interesting information indeed."

"Oh, so that’s why I didn’t feel alone in my head."

"It seems that you have a certain, should I say, gift for the Dark side. It seems that you come from a planet oppressed by human beings, and you have a deep hatred for these ‘Overlanders’, as you so colorfully call them." Jerec said, taking a step towards Jason. "As you know, a lightsaber cannot harm the dead. Deactivate your weapon, and come with me."

"No. If I drop my guard, you’ll have me killed. Plus, I could just turn around and run." Jason replied, strength entering his voice.

"Ah, that you could." Jerec breathed. "But, you’d have to get past my servants in the halls.

"I don’t sense any ‘servants’." Jason said, turning his head slightly.

Laughing lightly, Jerec responded, "Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Dark Jedi have been to be able to hide their presence from the Jedi. If you join me, you will learn to utilize this skill."

"I have no reason to join you. Just because I have a hate for a race that I haven’t faced in four years doesn’t mean that I can be easily swayed to the Dark side." Jason alleged.

"No, but you also have fear, the other negative emotion of the Dark side."

"I have no fear of you or anyone else."

"No, you don’t." Jerec stated confidently. "But you do have the fear that you won’t be able to love again." Jason could only stare back in disbelief. "Yes, I too know that the only love in your life left you, and that you’re afraid you won’t be able to love another."

Shaking his head to clear his mind, Jason deactivated his lightsaber and clipped it to his belt. "You won’t use my fears and hate against me."

Cackling like an evil chicken, Jerec’s image grew larger before Jason. "You may be defiant now, but wait until you see the unlimited power of the Dark side!" Flinging has hand out from his side, Jerec used the Force to throw Jason into the far wall. Slamming into the duracrete structure, Jason felt ribs pop. As he struggled to stand again, Jerec pressed his attack.

Suddenly, Jason was jerked to his feet, and then his toes left the ground. Floating a good few feet off the floor, he felt tightness around his trachea, as if invisible hands were choking him. Reflexively, he started pulling at the collar of his jumpsuit.

Standing several meters away, Jerec was laughing cruelly. Hearing the Dark Lord’s laughter at his suffering, Jason lost all control of his emotions. In the anger that he had felt as a young child at times when things went bad, he touched upon a new kind of power. Feeling this new, unlimited power flow into him, Jason erected a wall of the Force before him, breaking Jerec’s grip.

Surprise ruled over Jerec’s face at the moment that he knew that his power wouldn’t be able to stop this young kit fox at the time.

Seeing that he had a window of opportunity, Jason lit his saber’s humming blade and dashed at Jerec. Dodging blast of Force destruction, Jason bounced himself off the wall to his right, and launched at Jerec. Swinging his blade through the Dark Lord, he felt no resistance, and sensed no power drain from the lightsaber that normally came with cutting through something. Looking back, Jason saw that Jerec was no longer in sight.

Sensing the evil behind him, he swung about and frantically tried to dismember the laughing ghost.

"Very good! I haven’t seen such power since Sariss!" Jerec’s booming voice cackled. "Welcome to the Dark side, young kit fox!"

In the wake of using the Dark side of the Force, Jason felt intense exhaustion. Turning his lightsaber off, he fell to the floor and passed out.

 

Chapter Five

 

Blinking his eyes open, Jason looked up at the ceiling of the base’s boiler room. Staring at the numerous pipes for a moment, he sat up. Looking down at his body, he saw that a gray tunic, black pants held up at the waist by a red sash, and a black hooded cloak, had replaced his gray jumpsuit. Glancing at the Dark Jedi robes, Jason felt a kind of pride.

"He’s awake!" He heard a voice yell. Looking to his left, Jason spotted another Dark Jedi walking over towards him. Taking the hand the Jedi held out, Jason stood. "Greetings. I am Apprentice Zuol Sli’cla. I was told to formally welcome you into the ranks of the most powerful force the universe has ever seen."

"Thank you." Jason replied, shaking the man’s hand. This human was not like any he’d ever met. Despite his seemingly evil alignment, Jason sensed a sort of peaceful aura about him. Having his dark brown hair cut short, and no eyebrows, he had a frail appearance, but his firm handshake betrayed his true physical strength.

"If you would come with me, I shall get you affirmed with our base." Zuol said, turning to his left to allow Jason to walk past him. Taking a few long strides, the lanky human caught up with the kit fox and matched his pace. "We have many training areas," he continued. "They are all meant to teach you and others the true way of the Force.

"On sub-levels two-through-six, we have our physical training centers. Levels seven and eight are our Force training rooms. And, lastly, and perhaps the most interesting of all the rooms, are the lightsaber training rooms on sub-level nine."

"If I recall, there are around twenty sub-levels to this base." Jason commented idly.

"Yes, this is true." Zuol said, his tone of voice lightening slightly.

"Why only utilize less than half of the available space. Training here would pick up in speed and efficiency if you cleared up the lower levels."

"We already attempted that." Zuol remarked gravely. "Despite our best attempts, it seems that a group of alien hold-outs have taken over the lower half of the compound. The defenses down that low are far too powerful, for even half our entire force. We lost twelve of our best warriors to these alien slime."

"Do you mean to tell me, that with all these Dark Jedi around, and all the unlimited powers of the Dark side, you can’t take out a simple Cornerian defense grid?" Jason asked in disbelief.

"We would have had no trouble, had we known what these...aliens were capable of." Zuol growled. "Our unfamiliarity with the weapons of this system is becoming a problem."

"I can help with that." Jason said.

"Really? How?"

"I was part of the Cornerian army, once upon a time. I’ve lived in the Lylat system for the better part of four years now, and I have operational knowledge of most of the standard weapons and defenses used by them."

"You may come in handy." Zuol commented. "We must inform Master Jerec of this fortunate chain of events immediately." Turning down a long darkened corridor, Zuol headed off towards Jerec’s lair in the heart of the base. Arriving at a pair of heavy durasteel doors, the human Jedi knocked loudly on the metallic surface. Slowly, the doors opened to reveal the large room beyond.

Sitting in the middle of the chamber on a large stone pedestal, sat the residual Force presence of Jerec, Dark Lord of the Sith. His chambers were decorated by the lightsabers of his fallen Dark Jedi, who fell at the hands of Kyle Katarn, hanging from small hooks on the walls. There were five in count. The rest of the room was hidden in deep shadows, except were a beam of white light shone down on Jerec and the lightsabers.

Lifting his head, his empty eye sockets focusing on the Dark Jedi before him. "What is it?" he asked in a half-interested voice.

"I bring news of a sudden development in our battle against the heretics in the lowers levels of the base, my Master." Zuol said, bowing his head as he stepped forward.

Smiling evilly, Jerec licked his lips. "And what would that be, Zuol?"

"Jason Hunter has operational of the weapons these aliens use against us, Master." Zuol waved his hand back towards Jason, beckoning him forward.

"Is this true?" Jerec asked of Jason, standing up to stalk towards them.

"It is, Master Jerec." Jason said, bowing his head in respect. Raising his face to meet Jerec’s eyeless gaze, he continued. "I was once a member of the Cornerian Army. I had served with them for almost two years, before I joined the WolfBlazers Assault Team. In that time, I gained the knowledge of almost all of the standard issue weapons and static defenses used by the Cornerians."

"Very good," Jerec laughed. "In your first day with us, you bring me information vital to our domination of this pathetic galaxy. Keep this up, and you may ascend the ranks rapidly."

"Thank you, my Master." Jason bowed his head again.

"Zuol," Jerec said, turning his attention to the human. "Give this man a complete list of all of our assets. He will be assuming command of all our military forces for the time being."

"Yes, Master." Zuol bowed his head as well.

"And, give him clothing proper for a commanding officer. I think it’s time to retire Bies Zabierek. You are both dismissed." Jerec cackled, turning back towards his throne.

"Yes, Master." Zuol and Jason said in unison, bowing deeply and backing out of the room. Shutting the large doors quietly, Zuol turned to Jason.

"You will be given a list of all your equipment and forces shortly. You will then be expected to study them and formulate plans accordingly."

"I will be ready." Jason smirked.

"Good. We will also be sending you your new uniform. One suitable for commanding an army of Dark Jedi." Zuol sketched a short bow, and turned down a side hall.

Chapter Six

His quarters were not as roomy or clean as his one at WolfBlazers, but that was to be expected from a much smaller base. Plus, his old quarters had been designed for him and Ambis to live together in.

With the sleeping chambers and refresher station off to the side of the main room, it actually gave him all the space the he needed. The ample closet space was enough that he could have landed a small shuttle.

Sensing Zuol outside the duraplast door, Jason hit the button on the side of the wall, and the door slide into the ceiling with a whoosh.

"Greetings, Jason Hunter." Zuol smiled. "I have brought you the appropriate datacards, that hold your required data, and I have brought you your new robes."

"Thank you." Jason said, stepping back from the door and allowing Zuol to pass through. You can just sit them anywhere."

Laying the bundle of cloth and datacards on the small table in the center of the room, Zuol looked around. "Much roomier than the other quarters. Rank has its perks."

"Yes, it does." Jason smiled. "Not as big as my old quarters at my old base, but then again my old room was built for two people."

"Room for two?" Zuol asked, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Wife?"

"No. Girlfriend." Jason corrected him.

"Oh, I see. Didn’t work out?"

"Actually, it did. We stayed together for over a year and a half. Then she dumped me." Jason said, feeling a lump rise in his throat. He quickly resorted to a Jedi calming technique to keep himself calm. "In fact, I asked her to marry me a long time ago, and we never went through with it. Maybe if we’d gotten married, I wouldn’t be alone anymore."

"Can’t win ‘em all." Zuol said, walking closer to the door. "I’ll leave you to your studies. Farewell." And with that, he walked out the door. Shutting the door behind Zuol, Jason strolled over to the datacards piled on the table. Picking up a datapad, he slipped the first datacard into the slot and brought up the list of supplies available.

Two hours later, Jason stretched out on the couch. Setting the datapad on the stone table, he draped an arm over his eyes. Yawning, he rubbed the fatigue from his eyes and stood. Taking up the neatly folded robes, he sliced the string that held them in a bundle. Letting the heavy cloak unfold and hang to the floor, Jason held it out at arms length. Looking it over, he realized that it was made of a high quality fabric. Colored black with deep blue hem and cuffs, it had a certain kind of power that only rank gave him.

Taking his new uniform into the sleeping chambers, he slipped out of the plain, black robes, and into the new ones. Black pants with the same kind of blue as the cloak running down the sides of the legs, blood red tunic, blue sash, and shiny, black boots completed the ensemble. Smiling at himself in the full-length mirror, Jason turned to leave his quarters. Walking down the hall, he got bows of respect from all the Dark Jedi he ran into.

Reaching Jerec’s chambers, he pounded on the doors. Opening slowly, the doors grinded on their hinges. Stepping into the giant room, he dropped to one knee and bowed his head. Jerec, still sitting on his stone pedestal, smiled down at the kit fox.

"You may rise." He said. Doing as told, Jason stood and tucked his hands into the large sleeves of his cloak.

"I see that you have gotten your new robes." Jerec commented. Are they appropriate?"

"Yes, Master Jerec, they are." Jason said.

"Good." Jerec whispered, smiling again. "Have you formulated a plan to take out the last pockets of resistance?"

"Yes, I have, Master." Jason stated, producing a datapad from within his left sleeve. Handing it to Jerec, he continued. "My full analysis of the forces and supplies available will be more than sufficient to take out the Cornerians. I have also included a full schematic of my plan to take care of the threat."

"Why not tell me what your plan is, in a shortened form." Jerec told him. "I find it much easier than to read through boring text."

"Basically, I’d go down there and take them out. The reports about their numbers and kinds of defenses will pose little trouble to me."

"Do you honestly believe that you are skilled enough to completely kill forty-six of these ‘Cornerians’, and destroy twelve of their sentry turrets?" Jerec asked, intrigue showing through his face.

"I do, Master."

"Very well." Jerec smiled. "You will construct your lightsaber immediately, and proceed to eliminate this problem."

"I will not fail, Master." Jason bowed, leaving the room.

Chapter Seven

 

Looking up from his consol, lieutenant Kre’fey turned his gaze to the turbolift doors. The green light above the sliding durasteel doors indicated that the lift was moving towards his position. With a ding, the turbolift stopped at sub-level twelve, and the doors slid open. Rising from his swiveling chair, Kre’fey looked into the lift; there appeared to be no one in the lift. Taking a step into the lift, the leopard looked up at the slashed opening to the top of the lift.

Grasping the edges of the hole with his spotted paws, Kre’fey hefted himself onto the top of the turbolift compartment. Straightening to his full height, he suddenly had a metallic cylinder shoved into his left eye. Following the hand holding the object up an arm, he found himself looking into the blue eyes and young kit fox.

Clad in black tunic, boots, and pants, the gray canine smiled coldly at Kre’fey.

"Well, hello lieutenant." The kit fox said. "Say goodbye." Pressing his thumb down on a red button on the long cylinder, the kit fox sent a yellow beam of pure energy shooting from a small hole in the end facing Kre’fey’s eye. Burning a hole from eye socket to back of head, the kit fox killed lieutenant Kre’fey as simply as smashing a bug under a heavy boot.

Shutting his lightsaber off before Kre’fey’s dead body could pull his head through the blade, Jason Hunter slumped next to the hole he’d cut in the top of the turbolift with his new lightsaber. Pulling a smoke grenade off his belt, he pulled the pin and tossed it down the hole into the guard post below.

After white smoke filled the turbolift and room, Jason hopped down through the hole and ignited his yellow blade. Walking from the turbolift, he deftly swung his lightsaber to his left, trimming a wolf’s hair at roughly the level of his ears. Spinning right, he stabbed the argent blade into the torso of a lizard. Bringing his blade in front of himself, he batted away two randomly shot blaster bolts that just happened to have been aimed at him.

Using the Force, Jason closed an invisible fist around the trachea of a low-ranking husky. Squeezing the fist tighter, he collapsed the poor fool’s windpipe, leaving him to squirm on the floor for the last precious moments of life.

Stepping over the dead body of the husky, Jason strolled through a door to his right and into the next room. Anticipating the blaster shots, he deflected all the red bolts aimed at him. Slicing his blade through the hips of a female lizard, he batted away two more shots before running the commanding officer of the Cornerian resistance through. Clutching at the wound, the commander dropped his knees, and slumped forward to die.

Looking over at his last adversary on this level, Jason smiled predatorily.

"P-p-please! Don’t kill me!" Begging for mercy, the young red fox dropped his blaster pistol and went down on both knees. "I don’t want to die! I have a wife and two kids back on Corneria!"

"Two kids? And a wife?" Jason asked, with mock sympathy. "Fine, I won’t kill you…"

"Oh, thank you!" the fox said, smiling.

"…In this life time!" Swinging his blade around, Jason decapitated the pleading fox. Walking past the carnage in the room, he opened a door that lead to stairs that took him down to the next level.

Opening the door to sub-level thirteen, he stabbed his yellow blade through the forehead of a waiting feline. Cutting the legs from another cat, he batted away fire from a blaster carbine. Deflecting shots until the gunner had to the reload, Jason rushed the wolf. Watching the wolf’s eyes widen in horror, Jason cut him open from groin to head, leaving two halves of a brave wolf lying on the floor.

Turning to the sound of a blaster being cocked, Jason looked into the green eyes of a silver jackal. Pointing a pistol at Jason’s face stood Ambis Cosmos, her angered face softening into one of surprise.

"Jason?" she asked, barely whispering.

"Ambis?" Loosing control of his hands, his yellow blade began to shake lightly. "What are you doing here?"

"I could ask you the same thing." Ambis said. "Why are you killing these people?"

Shaking his head violently, Jason regained his composure. Cutting the muzzle from the blaster Ambis had aimed at him, he smiled coldly at her. "I’m here serving my master. And these pests are in the way of the next Empire!"

"What!"

"If you don’t want to die with your comrades, I’d leave. The Dark side knows no mercy." Turning from his ex-girlfriend, Jason cut a hole in the durasteel wall, letting the snow that blanketed Fortuna to blow in. "I left my ship out there. Whistler’s in it. I’d suggest you’d use it to tell Sean and General Pepper that Venom was just the beginning. The next wave of battle is coming."

Shaking nervously, Ambis cautiously made her way past Jason and ran out into the cold.

Watching Ambis disappear into the gray day, Jason continued on his mission.

*****************************************

Shivering from the cold, Ambis Cosmos searched frantically from Jason’s TIE Defender. Spotting the landing lights on the solar panels of the Terrorfex, she sprinted towards it.

"Whistler!" she called out. Hearing the droid toot a question at her, she leaped up onto the side of the ball cockpit. Pulling herself up, Ambis opened the top hatch and dropped onto the command couch. Closing the hatch behind her, she blew into her paws to warm them up.

Strapping on Jason’s spare flight suit the he kept in the emergency pack behind the command couch, Ambis started power flowing to the various systems in the fighter. Kicking in the engines and repulsorlifts, she lifted off the ground and rocketed into space.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Nine

Kneeling in front of Jerec, Jason’s hooded cloak pooled on the ground around. "I have completed my task, Master Jerec." Jason said, looking up at the image of the Dark Lord of the Sith.

"Very good," Jerec barked, licking his lips. "I believe that you will be fine addition to our forces."

"Thank you, my master." Jason bowed his head.

"Bare your right arm, and join me at my side." Jerec commanded. Not wanting to anger his master, Jason pulled his bulky sleeve up, exposing his gray fur. Jumping down off his throne, Jerec walked over to Jason’s side. Gripping his arm in an iron grasp, Jerec channeled the Force into the fur and flesh of Jason’s bicep. Blue lightning shot out from between the man’s fingers, sending a jolt trough the kit fox’s body.

In a bright flash, a purple tattoo was permanently emblazed on Jason’s arm. His fur and skin would forever more carry the purple Sith incantations, showing his sign of elevation to being Jerec’s right-hand man. "Rise," Jerec said. "Stand beside me, as we begin our first strike against the feeble beings of this galaxy."

"We shall rule all of Lylat, my Lord." Jason smiled coldly. "No army will be strong enough to destroy us."

Rising to his feet, he brandished his lightsaber, and held it up above his head.

"Lylat shall bow before us!"