Chapter Eleven: “The Beast Within.”
By Paul Cousins.
Copyright Disclaimer: All copyrighted places, characters, items, and events, within the story, are held by their current owners. No profit is being made on this work of fiction.
It had been a month since the Republic military retook the planet Gavryn from the Confederacy.
On a hidden world, it was evening, during sunset, on the side of the forest planet where Dooku's castle was located.
The castle sat on the side of a mountain.
Inside the castle, Loki was walking down hallway, towards Dooku's office.
Loki was dressed in some of her green and brown traveling clothing. Among other clothing items, she wore green pants, button up green long sleeved shirt, brown leather boots, and brown leather belt with pouches.
There was no one else around, as Loki walked down the hallway.
Loki had her mental defenses up to shield her thoughts and emotions.
Loki made her way at a casual pace, as she thought, 'It is fortunate my personal ship can fit the outside landing pad by the castle. And while I only arrive here, I am actually running early. While I am sure Dooku knows I can teleport, the reason I do not teleport to this castle is that it would be rude to do so.'
'The one matter which concerns me is that Dooku wants to see me in person. I hope this is not a trap. Though, if it was a trap, I would expect him to do so somewhere besides here, which seems to be a second home to him.'
As Loki walked, her hands brushed against the pouches on the sides of her belt. The pouches had snap-on tops. She mentally reflected, 'These pouches are nice. I wear them when I need them, or feel I will need them. And I do not wear the pouches when I do not need them. Fortunately, the pouches are easy to remove and place back on my various belts.'
'It has been some time since I have met with Padme and Anakin. They are almost as fun to be around as Obiwan. I hope they are doing fine. While we are on opposite sides of this war, I hold no animosity towards them. It is too bad we cannot work together.'
'When I win this war, I will try to find a way to convince them and their friends to surrender, in exchange for amnesty. That should not be too difficult.'
By then, Loki had turned a corner and she came within side of the double-doors to Dooku's office.
As Loki neared the doors, the double-doors suddenly opened inward by themselves.
Loki continued to calmly approach the door, as she thought, 'Dooku thinks pulling that trick will impress me. It does not. Still, I will be polite.'
As Loki entered Dooku's office, she looked around.
There was plenty of sunlight light coming from the windows of the office to see with.
Loki saw on the other side of the office that Dooku was sitting in his armchair behind his desk.
Dooku was in his usual formal clothing. His head was tilted towards the desk, with him looking at something on the desk.
There were no chairs in front of Dooku's desk.
Loki continued her walking pace as she made her way through the room towards Dooku's desk.
Loki thought, with mild amusement, 'This is a nice act. He asks like he does not notice me, but he used the force to open the doors. Though, I can make it so he cannot notice me, but I desire to save little ability for a special occasion.'
By then, Loki came to a stop in front of the desk, across from Dooku.
Loki looked down at Dooku. He calmly said, “You wished to see me.”
Dooku looked up at Loki's face. He responded, “Yes. I have a new mission for you.”
Without taking his eyes off of Loki, Dooku used his right hand to pick up something from the desk, and hand it to Loki.
Loki took the item in her hands and looked at it.
It was a data pad. There was information on the screen of the datapad. Loki thought, 'I am glad I learn to read and speak many of the man local languages, including galactic basic, or I would be in trouble.'
'My allspeak abilities have trouble with some of the alien languages in the galaxy. Which means those languages partly come from foreign, immortal languages. If the language was completely immortal language, I would have trouble understanding simple words. But, that is not the case. That means these languages are like Earth languages which borrow from each other and from other sources.'
'Also, allspeak does not work on written languages, so I have to learn the written versions of the languages the old fashioned way.'
Loki looked at the datapad, as Dooku said, “That datapad has all the information you need for the mission.”
Loki looked up from the datapad and at Dooku. She inquired, “While I do enjoy reading. I would prefer to learn what is the will mission directly from you. I hope you did not have me come all the way here just to hand me a datapad.”
Dooku questioned, “I wanted to see you in person. To touch base with you. And see how you are handling your assignments.”
Loki calmly answered, “I am fine.” She thought, 'Though, I am shielding my thoughts and emotions. Save for the calmness I am displaying towards you. And from what I am passively sensing, you have your mental defenses up to protect against myself.'
Dooku stated, “I can see that. It is good that you are well. As for the mission, you will be meeting with some people. I am sending you to a planet called, Inoc Sev. A forest planet, not much different than here. It has a breathable atmosphere, with nice weather. The planet is in northwestern part of the Expansion Region of the Galaxy. We do not officially control that area of space. But, it is close to a number the territories we do hold. It will take you a few days to reach the planet.”
Loki thought, 'Since this is an official visit I will have to take my ship. Still, I want to know exactly whom I am visiting. And what this mission will entail.'
Loki asked, “Since this is in space we do not officially control. Is this a corporate holding by a third party sponsor whom supports our cause?” She thought, 'Much of the Expansion Region is controlled by various corporations. Some are allied with the Separatists. Some are allied with the Republic.'
Dooku answered, “No. Actually, the planet is the location of a secret Separatist facility. The planet is populated by a primitive blue skinned near-humans called Inocs.”
Loki questioned, “How primitive are these Inocs? I do not feel like dealing with savages.”
Loki thought, 'Though, actually a lot of my friends... Well, those that use to be my friends, came from such civilizations. Nice people. It is not their fault they decided to befriend me. I have such a sweet personality and a pretty face that it is not hard to accept me at face value.'
Dooku explained, “While the Inocs are technologically limited, they are not savages. Actually, they just beginning to reach their industrial age. By all accounts the local populations are well mannered and realize it is best interests to leave us be. Though, the workers at our base even do some basic business with them. Trinkets mostly. But, the Inocs serve edible food dishes that I have read reports about which state their food is found to be quite tasty.”
Loki replied, “That sounds interesting.” She thought, 'I may chance a taste of the local cuisine.' She continued, “So is this an inspection mission?”
Dooku stated, “No. I am sending you there to protect the facility and the main project the researchers at the base are working on.”
Loki questioned, “Where is the base located on the planet?”
Dooku said, “The facility is located at the base near the equator of the planet, at the end of a mountain chain. The facility is by one of the Inoc cities.”
Loki asked, with concern in her tone of voice, “You are not experimenting on the locals? Are you?”
Dooku stated, “No. This is completely different research from that.”
Loki thought, 'I will check anyway.'
Dooku went onto say, “Our base of operations is located over a natural valley, carved out of granite, with a ridge around it. We covered the valley to create a plateau above the valley. Our artificial plateau overlooks a large Inoc city.”
Loki thought, 'Interesting. You did not destroy the Inoc city to create you base of operations. And you are working on something that requires a granite bowl to contain it. That could be anything from weapons, to energy reactors, to keeping something contained. I would like to know what the base is working on. But first I need to know how the locals fit into this situation.'
Loki inquired, “Interesting. So how do the locals fit into this?”
Dooku responded, “They don't. Given that the local planet is completely populated by the Inocs. If we had destroyed the city, we would have made war with all of them. It was easier to just bribe the local governments with trinkets and basic metals, than to take over the planet with a droid army.”
“Moving that many resources from Separatist space might attract unwanted attention. This way, we have so far kept that facility secret. Until now. As long as the local population does not inference with us, I could care less about them.”
Loki thought, 'That is not too a bad arrangement for the Inocs. I guess this is the best I can hope for from you. Now for details on this mission.'
Loki asked, “When I reached the secret base, what exactly do you want me to do? How do you want me to protect this base?”
Loki thought, 'I doubt you want to stand guard and weight for some unknown threat which made or may not appear.'
Dooku answered, “Intelligence states that the Republic has learned of the facility. But, they do not know much. The Republic only knows we have set up something on the planet. I want you to help defend and protect the base, as the staff oversees the final stages of the project they are working on. The facility has anti-aircraft guns and droids.”
Loki though,, 'Final stages... This all screams trap. And not the polite kind. I guess he is planning a trap. But not here. Though, there is not much I can do about this. I will let this situation play out and see what happens... I wonder.'
Loki guessed, “It sounds like the base has solid defenses. Though, if the worst happens, do you want me to collect the data that they are working on? To make sure it is not lost?”
Dooku said, “There is more to protect in the facility than data.”
Loki questioned, “You are not going to tell me what?”
Dooku stated, “Your mission is not to learn what the project is, but to protect the project from outside interference.”
Loki thought, 'I am even more intrigued. I can find out when I get there.'
Loki said, “Fine. You pay the checks. I will do that job.”
Dooku replied, “Excellent.”
Loki let go of the datapad with her left hand. She held up the datapad with her right hand.
Loki stated, “If that is all, I will head out. I will contact you if I have any more questions.”
Dooku calmly said, “That will be fine.”
Loki turned and walked out of the office. The double-doors were still open. Loki did not bother with the doors, as she passed by them.
Dooku watched Loki his office and into the connecting hallway.
Dooku continued to shield his thoughts and emotions. Dooku thought, 'No matter how this turns out, I will soon be rid of you.'
Five minutes later, Loki reached her parked spaceship. She boarded the ship. A few minutes later, the pilots on the ship prepped the ship for takeoff.
Soon after, the pilot had the ship took off into space.
Half an hour later, the ship reached the proper trajectory angle, the pilots had Loki's ship jump to hyperspace on a route that would take them towards the western Expansion Region and the planet of Inoc Sev.
A few days later, the Star Destroyer Resolute was traveling in hyperspace northwestern Inner Rim. The Star Destroyer Negotiator following the Resolute in hyperspace.
Three hours ago, the two star destroyers had exited from hyperspace, left the Namadii Corridor at the Rondia System in the Inner Rim. The Star Destroyers orientated in the proper direction to their next hyper-route.
Namadii Corridor hyper-route went from Coruscant in a north by northwest direction, with the other end of the Namadii Corridor being the Namadii system in the Mid-Rim.
When the crews of the two Star Destroyers were ready and they had finished talk to each other on timing their hyperjumps, they jumped back into hyperspace. First the Resolute. Then the Negotiator.
The two Star Destroyers were now heading galactic west on a lesser traveled hyper-route. Soon the hyper-route the two Star Destroyers were on would lead them to cross over into the northwestern Expansion Region.
Presently it was mid-morning on the schedule rotation aboard the Resolute.
Anakin and Thor were walking next to each other, while heading to a briefing room to go over the information for their next mission. The others whom were suppose to attend the meeting had already arrived early, or they were heading there to the meeting.
Anakin and Thor has a few minutes until the meeting was suppose to start.
They were already on the same level of the ship as the briefing room, and they had plenty of time to make it on schedule for their meeting.
Thor walked to Anakin's right side.
Anakin wore a brown short sleeve shirt, brown pants, black belt, black boots, brown gauntlets, brown upper armor over his chest, shoulders, and back. Anakin had his lightsaber holstered on the left side of his belt.
Thor was in her armor, helmet, and equipment. The Black Solace was sheathed, with the scabbard strapped to her back. Her long blond hair loosely ran down her back. She held Mjolnir in her right hand as her right side.
Besides Thor and Anakin there was no one else in the hallway in front of them.
While they walked at a casual pace down the hallway, Thor turned towards Anakin. Thor commented, “Thou heard we had someone boarded the ship last night at a hyper-route junction.”
Anakin turned to look at Thor. Anakin responded, “Yes. I believe it is a high ranking Republic officer. I am just not sure who.”
Thor asked, “Interesting. Have you met him?”
Anakin answered, “No. From what I understand, after he arrive, he talked with Obiwan for a few minutes. Then, he headed to his assigned quarters until this morning. We will see him at the briefing in the communication room by the bridge.”
Thor looked in front. She responded, “Morning... Funny how we still have a morning with no sun.”
Anakin looked towards his front. He said, “Our bodies still have a day-night cycle.”
Thor turned to Anakin.
Anakin noticed this. He turned to look at Thor.
Thor teased, “Do not talk to thou about cycles.”
Anakin hastily said, “Okay. Okay.”
Thor giggle a little.
As Thor stopped giggling, she asked, “So, were are R2 and C3-PO?”
Anakin answered, “In my quarters. There is not much for them to do.”
Thor commented, “That is understandable. At least they will stay out of trouble.”
Anakin agreed, “That is true.”
Thor and Anakin turned to look down the hallway.
A few seconds later, they turned corner and reached their destination, the double-doors to one of the briefing rooms of the ship.
As Thor and Anakin approached the doorway, they saw Ahsoka standing by the doors.
Ahsoka was looking at them.
While Thor and Anakin came to a stop, they saw among other items, Ahsoka wore a red short sleeve shirt, dark violet stockings, over the stockings was a red skirt that went down to her knees. She had on a reddish-brown belt, reddish-brown boots. She wore her red gauntlets on her hands. Ahsoka's lightsaber holstered on her belt. Also, Ahsoka had her padawan jewelry her head.
Thor and Anakin came to a stop a meter and a half from Ahsoka.
Ahsoka looked at Thor and Anakin, as Thor and Anakin looked at Ahsoka.
Thor said, “Good morning, Ahsoka.”
Anakin commented, “Morning Snips.”
Ahsoka smiled at them, as she happily responded, “Good morning. I wonder what are mission will be?”
Anakin said, “We are about to find out.”
Anakin turned towards the doubles. reached over and used a panel by the doors to open the double-doors.
The doors slid opened.
A moment later, the three individuals walked inside. They came to a stop just inside the door way, they looked around the room. Ahsoka was in the center, with Thor to her left and Anakin to her right.
They saw there were four other people in the room.
The room was small, but not to small for everyone present to fit inside. The room was well lit. There was a set of sliding double-doors across the room. These double-doors across the room directly connected interior side of the bridge of the ship.
In the center of the room was a large circular, meter high table which was the holo-monitor.
In front of Thor, Ahsoka, and Anakin there were four adult men.
On the far side of the room were Commander Cody and Captain Rex. Both were wearing their Republic white armor. Cody's armor had yellow highlights and color armored pieces. Rex's armor had blue highlights and blue armor pieces.
Both Cody and Rex did not have their helmets on. And both men were unarmed.
Cody stood to Rex's right side.
To Rex's left side was Obiwan. Obiwan was wearing his white Republic armor, with his brown Jedi Robe over his armor. His lightsaber was holstered on his black belt, under his robes.
To Obiwan's left side stood a slender human man, of average height. The man wear an olive color Republic naval officer's uniform. The man had light colored skin and brown hair. He looked to be in his later earlier forties, with his hairline already receding and a few gray hairs showing on his head.
The moment Thor saw the Republic officer in question, her instincts about people told her not to like him.
Though, Thor remain silent and profession about her feelings concerning the Republic officer in question.
Thor noticed the bars on the officer's chest.
Thor thought, 'Those are the bars of a Vice Admiral. Instead. He is likely the officer we heard, whom came on board last night.'
As the door closed behind them, all eyes turned towards the newcomers.
Obiwan spoke, “Ah. Right on time.” He turned to the Republic officer, as he stated, “This is Vice Admiral Wilhuff Tarkin.” He turned to his students, as he continued, “This is General Skywalker, General Thor, and Commander Tano.”
Tarkin calmly said, “It is nice to meet you three. I realize my journey here was unorthodox. But this mission I am presenting to you is of the utmost secrecy. This is why I did not introduce myself yesterday.”
Anakin calmly said, “It is quite all right. All things become clear in time.”
Tarkin lips curled into a grin, as he complimented, “Patience. From someone so young. That is a wonderful trait to have.”
Anakin replied, “Thank you.”
Thor recalled something, as she asked, “Admiral Tarkin. Thy name rings a bell. But, thou cannot recall from where?”
Before Tarkin could responded, Obiwan answered for Tarkin, “I read Admiral Tarkin's dossier. He has had quite the career during the war.”
Tarkin maintained his smile, as he turned to Obiwan.
Obiwan went onto say, “Recently, Admiral Tarkin lead a number of tactical victories in the regions of space between the Republic, the Separatists, and Hutt Space. He has also been able to use diplomacy and guile to keep the various Hutts factions in those systems from joining the Separatists.”
Thor thought, 'That is interesting to know.'
Anakin commented, “No wonder you have climbed the ladder to Vice Admiral.”
Tarkin turned to Anakin, as he responded, “I have found that skills and successes are rewarded in the Republic.”
Anakin agreed, “That is true.”
Ahsoka inquired, “So how did you end up transferred here?”
Tarkin looked at Ahsoka. He answered, “I do not ask my superiors for their reasoning. I only follow my orders.”
Thor looked closely at Tarkin's face. Thor thought, 'From your expressions I can tell that is not exactly true. But that is a matter from another time. Let us get started.'
Thor commented, “Let us begin this meeting.”
Tarkin turned his attention towards Thor. He said, “Of course.” Tarkin looked around the room, as he continued, “Our mission is a mission is to parts. Reconnaissance. Then, destruction. Given the secrecy, I am not sure if you know our destination. But given you are of the command staff, you need to know. We are heading to a remote area of Expansion Region of the Galaxy, in the northwestern corner of the galaxy. Southwest of the Negs. The location is near Separatist held space. Our destination is a planet called, Inoc Sev.”
Tarkin walked over to the holo-monitor. When he reached the holo-monitor, press a few buttons on the controls on the side of the holo-monitor. The lights in the room dimmed, as a colorful hologram of a rotating planet appeared above the holo-monitor.
The group could make out the oceans, lakes, rivers, mountains, and plains of the planet. Though, the hologram was translucent enough to see through.
Tarkin stated, “This your standard inhabitable planet. The environment is average by Republic and human living standards. Most of the planet has a warm climate with breathable atmosphere, with water and edible planet life. Such as where this upcoming mission pertains too. The planet is like Alderaan. Or, any number of forest planets with mountains and oceans. Not much is known about this planet. But, what is know is the Separatists have set up a secret base on the planet. The base is near the equator of the planet.”
Tarkin pressed another button on the side of the holo-monitor. The hologram of the planet stopped rotating and the hologram zoned in to show one of the continents of the planet. The proper angle of the hologram faced Tarkin, Obiwan. Though, the others could see from their visual angles.
The group saw a large red dot on the continent, with a series of smaller blue dots on one side of the large red dot.
Ahsoka asked, “I can guess the base is the large red dot. Though, what are those smaller blue dots by the red dot?”
Tarkin continued to look at the hologram, as he casually answered, “Those are buildings among a city which was built by the local species. The Separatist base was built right beside one of the cities of the local inhabitants.”
Anakin inquired, “The planet is populated by a local sentient species?”
Tarkin turned to Anakin. He answered, “Yes. The planet is home to a pre-space flight species, called the Inocs. They are near-humans with blue skin, around the sizes of humans.”
Ahsoka asked, “So they are not pro-separatists?”
Tarkin commented, “They are savages. They do not even know there is a wider galaxy out here. While they have developed to the point they realize the Separatists are not gods, they still are only using printing presses and basic combustion based vehicles. Their lights in homes and on their streets are illuminated by gas. Their gasworks also provide them with crude means for heating and cooking.”
Obiwan questioned, “So they are being muscled into this?”
Tarkin replied, “Not that it matters. But yes.”
Thor asked, “After we deal with the Separatists, what will happen to the local population?”
Tarkin happily answered, “We plan to eventually bring civilization to them. They are savages, not fools. All research states they can learn. We will just step up their learning so they can be better productive members of the greater galactic population.”
Thor thought, 'So we trade one set of tyrants for another set if tyrants. And since this is a secret mission I cannot do anything about it. I cannot even mention this mission as a Senator. While there are already laws on the books to protect less advanced intelligent species, they are just being ignored in the name of the war effort. Still...'
Thor commented, “Thou hopes thee do not plan bomb Separatists base. Such a bombing would likely destroy much of the surrounding area, including the native city.”
Tarkin looked pass the hologram, as he turned his attention towards Thor. Tarkin stated, “The Separatist base is a research base. I do not plan to bomb anything until I know what we are dealing with.”
Thor thought, 'Well that is nice to know. I guess this is the best I can hope for.'
Anakin requested, “Before we get to the mission. I would like to know the size of this city?”
Ahsoka asked “Also, what is the population of that city? Given how close that city is to the Separatists, it is a factor in the mission to know the population size of that city.”
Thor looking Anakin and Ahsoka. Thor thought, 'That is what I like about you two. You realize the greater complexities of the situation.' She turned to her attention back to Tarkin.
Tarkin looked to the left of the hologram, as he turned to look at Anakin and Ahsoka. Tarkin conceded, in a calm tone of voice, “Both are good questions. The city is roughly ten kilometers wide in all directions. From scans by our probe droids, the population of the city is around thirty thousand.”
Anakin released the population density of the city. He said, “So they are not living on top of each other. But they are not that spread out either.”
Tarkin stated, “Exactly. Most of the buildings are one or two levels high. With a few having basements. Though, there are a couple of larger buildings that are three or four level high. We believe the large buildings to be used as schools, hospitals, and government buildings.”
Obiwan thought, 'I need to get this meeting back on track.' He turned to Tarkin. He calmly asked, “What is intention of this mission?”
Tarkin looked at Obiwan, as he answered, “This is going to be a reconnaissance mission. If we are not going to bomb them into rubble, then we need to know what we are dealing with before we destroy the Separatist base.” He turned to Thor. He said, “They might be working on chemical or biological weapons. That we might accidentally release, which could kill everyone in its path, including the indigenous populations.”
Thor noticed Tarkin's had address her with the last part of his statement. Thor thought, 'I see you are sharp enough to see that I am most attentive person in the room.'
Anakin asked, “So what is the first part of the plan?”
Tarkin turned to the holo-monitor. Tarkin pressed a few buttons on the side of the holo-monitor.
The hologram on the map changed to show the Separatist base from top down. There were tall walls around the base. In addition, there were a few large gates along the outer walls of the facility. The walls and gate made a near circular shape around the Separatist base. Every three to four hundred meters the flat parts of the walls met large concrete pillars. On the top of each pillar was a turbo-laser battery.
A turbo-laser battery was a turbo-laser with four barrels which when fired cycled through the barrels in its firing intervals. This allowed the turbo-laser to continuously fire without overhearing any one single turbo-laser of the turbo-battery.
Each turbo-battery was anchored to a pillar in a manner that allowed it to pivot and turn in any direction, except right below the turbo-battery itself.
There were over forty turbo-batteries lining the walls of the Separatist base. Though, there were no turbo-batteries located on the interior floors of the Separatist base.
The four most notable buildings was the control tower by the spaceport, the shield generator building, the command building set on the interior of a nearby wall, and a very large dome building in the center of the facility. Though, the large dome building was closer to side of the outer walls than the other sides of the outer walls.
There were red dots through out the floor of the base. Those red dots connected to green lines under the base to blue dots as various points around the sides of the base.
Tarkin looked around the room, as he stated, “The Separatist base is roughly five kilometers in diameter. After several covert scanning passes in space over the base. And scans from around the base. Republic probe droids have mapped out the drainage systems from the amounts of water coming out of each drainage pipe, to the combination with weather patterns. When rain hit which part of the base, and what drains the water came out of. In conjunction with orbital photos of the base, Republic intelligence figured out which drains go to which manhole covers.”
“The drainage pipes large enough to walk in. Security is unknown. But besides battle droid patrols within the base, we believe that security is lax. The base does not even have their battle droids patrol outside of the walls of their base. They likely prefer stealth over security. Though, they have a placed several anti-aircraft turbo-batteries place around the side of the base, pillars attached to the walls. And the turbo-batteries are positioned to be used to defend the base from a ground attack.”
“No single hit is going to take out their anti-aircraft defenses. And those turbo-batteries could be a challenge for a major ground assault or aerial.”
“Though with the plan I am presenting, we will not need to worry about the anti-aircraft defenses. Because we will be bypassing those defenses.”
“We will need two teams of two. Entering the base at two different areas of the drainage system. One team will head for the spaceport and map out the defenses and soft targets. Such as shield generators, droid and weapon depots. The second team will focus large domed building, which is obviously the research area.”
Everyone in the room turned to look at the large domed building inside the base.
Thor turned to Tarkin, as she inquired, “While thy can control weather. Sudden changes in weather might attract attention. So what will be the weather during this mission?
Tarkin looked at Thor. He answered, “Reports states that the skies will be clear and cool in the target area during the mission.”
Thor thought, 'So using my weather powers in this mission might tip off the Separatists. Now to find out who is going.'
Thor asked, “Who does thee desire for this mission?”
Rex stated, “My men and I are ready to go at a moments notice.”
Cody said, “So are mine.”
Tarkin turned to Rex and Cody. Tarkin commented, “As much as I appreciate the sacrifices of our clone brethren.” Tarkin turn to look at Obiwan, Ahsoka, Thor, and Anakin, as he continued, “I believe this mission needs a more specialized team to accomplish our goals.”
Everyone realized that Tarkin was insinuating.
All eyes turned to Tarkin.
Ahsoka looked at Anakin. She asked, “Did we just get volunteered for this mission?”
Anakin noticed Ahsoka was looking at him. Anakin turned to Ahsoka. He said, “I believe so.”
Anakin and Ahsoka turned to look at Tarkin.
Under her helmet, Thor maintained a calm facade, as she looked at Tarkin. Thor thought, 'And you would prefer that we go. That way when we find out what is being worked on. If it is important enough, we can immediately contact you. Where by, you can order us to either destroyer it, or capture and hold it until help arrives. Given many of us are higher ranking members than you. If something goes wrong, it is on our heads. Not yours.'
Tarkin looked at Thor, Ahsoka, and Anakin. He stated, “You three...” He turned to Obiwan. He continued, “And General Kenobi, have specialized skills which will allow this mission to be accomplished with the utmost delicacy.”
Tarkin turned to Thor, Ahsoka, and Anakin. Tarkin went onto say, “As I said. This will be a reconnaissance mission. We need to find out exactly how the base is laid out from the inside. And we need to do so without you being discovered. Once you have returned, we will use what you have learned to figure out what our next move shall be.”
Ahsoka questioned, “So we are going to be crawling around some sewer?”
Tarkin responded, “No. You will be going through storm drains. Our reconnaissance droids analyzed the water runoff from the storm drains. The drains are not connected to the sewers. From the size of the exit points of the storm drains, a full grown adult can stand in one without a problem.”
Ahsoka visibly relaxed, as she replied, “That is a relief.”
Tarkin commented, “I can appreciate your sentiments on the matter.”
Anakin inquired, “When will this mission take place?”
Tarkin answered, “We will come out of hyperspace in about twelve hours. Our reconnaissance droids found that their land base sensors are not the powerful. As such, the Resolute will head to planetside. While the Negotiator stays in space, to prevent us from being flanked by any unexpected Separatist ships coming to planet's orbit by hyperspace.
“By the time we land it will be nighttime on that side of the planet. Inoc Sev do not have a moon, so we do not need to worry about being spotted by moonlight. We will land about a hundred kilometers from the base, on the opposite side of the base from the Inoc city. There no point in intentionally putting civilians in the line of fire, if doing so serves no purpose.”
While not impressed, Thor thought, 'At least you know some basic tactics.'
Tarkin went onto say, “After which, we will send out one gunship, which will fly low to the ground. The nearby area around the Separatist base and Inoc city is mostly brush and low lying trees. The gunship should have no problems flying about twenty meters above the round. The gunship will drop you four off five kilometers from the base, on the opposite side to where the Inoc city is located. Your two teams will split up and head to your destinations. From there you will head to your destinations located at various points around the Separatist base.”
Obiwan looked over at his students. He turned back to Tarkin. He said, “We could use the exercise.”
Tarkin focused on Obiwan, as he responded, “Good. The only barrier put up to enter the drains is a set of metal bars. Which I am sure you will make sure work of. There are lights in the drains, so that will help.”
“We will do an overview of a few different routes through the drainage system. What to expect with a proper drainage system. Given the simplicity of such system, I would expect even the Separatist properly build their drainage system correct. And we will go over how many manhole covers until you come out at the proper locations. We will also cover what we believe are the proper paths of the drains to your destinations in Separatist base. Now who will be paired together?”
Obiwan look at Tarkin. Obiwan stated, “I believe that it will be best that Ahsoka and I take what we believe is the area near the spaceport.” Obiwan turned to Anakin, Ahsoka, and Thor. He continued, “Anakin and Thor investigate the research area.”
Tarkin look over towards Obiwan. Tarkin replied, “I agree.” He turned to Ahsoka, Anakin, and Thor. He asked, “Do you have any objections to this pairing.”
Anakin replied, “No.”
Ahsoka said, “I am okay with it.”
Thor commented, “It would be best that Anakin and I handle the unknown factors. We are more powerful and better able to handle the unexpected.”
Tarkin turned to Thor. He said, “This is good. From various reports, rumor has it that whatever the Separatists are working is meant to be used to kill you, General Thor.”
Obiwan and Ahsoka looked between Tarkin and Thor.
Anakin looked at Thor. He calmly stated, “That would be a tall order to accomplish.”
Thor noticed all this, as she thought, 'From Obiwan's reactions. He did not know this. And while I admire Anakin's optimism in my abilities. If I did not know better, I would saw this is a trap. Sending me to face what these Separatists are trying to create to kill me But I doubt it. Considering Admiral Tarkin is warning me of this beforehand. Perhaps he just has a sense of irony about the subject.'
Thor focused on look at Tarkin. She said, “Thou will keep that in mind.”
Tarkin said, “Please do so. If you are discovered, contact us. Depending on what you find, we may just decide to storm the base.”
Obiwan responded, “We will inform you of any problems.”
Tarkin replied, “Good.”
Tarkin turned turned Rex and Cody. Both Republic officers noticed the Vice Admiral looking at them.
Tarkin stated, “Should that happen, I will need the clone troops ready at a moments noticed.”
Rex said, “Not to worry. Should you need us, we will be ready.”
Cody commented, “Given the size of the base. It should be easy to take.”
Tarkin replied, “Looks can be deceiving.” Tarkin looked around the room, as he went onto say, “There is one other matter. We believe that the base is built on a large naturally created valley, with base being built on top. We are fairly sure the storm drains are not connected to the underground parts of the base. As such, the storm drains likely do not have much security. Though, if you find yourself going deep into the base, back track to the surface. We do not know how deep this Separatists facility goes into the ground. The Separatists likely have sensors place throughout any the more secure underground parts of the base. These sensors will be alerted to your presence.”
Thor said, “We will be careful as we journey down into the depths of this facility.”
Tarkin turned to Thor. Tarkin commented, “I hope so. You are all fine assets to the war effort. I would hate to see something happen to you. Now let us go over the finer details of this plan.”
Thor thought, 'That is what we are to you. Just pieces on a board game. To be used and discard... Though, I have been considered worse.'
Thor said, “Thou agrees.”
The group then spent the next hour going over the mission and discussing the details of their mission. Until finally Obiwan called the meeting and those present went about their duties. These duties ranged from personally preparing for the mission to informing the various personnel of the Resolute what their roles in the mission would be.
Obiwan talked to the captain of the Resolute in person. Then, Obiwan contacted the captain of the Negotiator by encrypted communication. Obiwan informed the captain of the Negotiator as to what the Negotiator's role in the coming mission would be.
A few hours later, Loki's Separatist spacehip came out of hyperspace in orbit over the planet Inoc Sev.
Loki's human pilots directed the ship into a safe trajectory angle towards the Separatist base on the surface, while as contacting the Separatist base for clearance to land. Fortunately, the pilots quickly accomplished both tasks, and they began piloting the ship to the surface.
Loki's spaceship offered the basic necessities for her and her crew.
An hour ago, her alarm clock by her bed had awakened her. She had taken a shower and put on some fresh clothing.
Loki was dressed in her green and brown traveling clothing. Among other items, she a wore green short sleeve shirt, green pants, brown belt, brown boots, and a green jacket which was left open.
Loki did not have on her belt pouches.
After Loki had dressed herself, she had some breakfast in the kitchen area of the ship.
Presently, Loki was sitting in a cushioned armchair, inside the living area, looking through the one of the windows on the right side of the ship, while the ship made entry into the planet's atmosphere.
Loki saw that it was early afternoon on the side of the planet they were on.
As the crew of the spaceship came closer to the Separatist base, she saw them pass over the large Inco city.
While Loki looked down at the city, she thought, 'For it's technological level, this is a fairly nice, large city. I hope to get a chance to visit the Inoc people. The reports on the datapad Dooku gave me state that the Inocs are a friendly people. It is always nice to meet people and make new friends.'
Then, they passed over the Separatist base. Loki saw that the base the base was a diameter of five kilometers wide, with high walls surround it, with anti-aircraft battery towers on the top of hundred meter high walls. There various types of battle droids patrolling the interior of the base, but none outside the walls.
The surface level of the Separatist base was flat and level, which hid the fact the Separatist base was built over a small valley.
Loki thought, 'The Separatists likely are not worried about the Inocs coming near them. Those walls are tall enough to keep the curious from causing problems. Especially any children. Though, such children would run from a few blaster bolts shot in their general direction. But, harming the children would cause problems for everyone involved.'
Loki noticed the base was divided into two main parts. The spaceport, with a control tower, which fifty meters long, a hundred meters wide, and was five stories, sixty meters tall.
There were a number of personnel transports and other spaceships parked at various locations on the spaceport.
Further away from the control tower, by the interior of one of the large walls was another building which Loki recognized from the design as a command center. The building was roughly the same size as the control tower. The command center was to the left wall when facing from the Inoc City.
On the wall opposite side of the wall from the command center, near the control tower were the narrow cone shaped building which was the shield generator for the base.
Further into the facility, near the center of the base, was a large, one kilometer high, three kilometers wide in diameter, domed building. The first three levels above the surface of the base of the building was circular, with the following stories going up curving into the dome all the way to the top of the building.
Though, the dome was slightly closer to the side of the wall to the right when facing the Separatist facility from the Inoc city.
There were a windows at various located on the dome, but the windows were not located on the first three floors above the surface. Though, there were windows located above the third story, on the curve of the dome.
Loki mentally reflected, 'I am sure that domed building is where the research and experiments are taking place. Or, the top of it. Given the granite bowl this facility was build over.'
Loki also noticed the base had two large gates, with large doors. Though, the gates were currently open. On opposite sides. One by the spaceport and one facing the Inoc city.
There were droid guards stationed at the gate.
Loki thought, 'That is likely how the Separatists come and go, when they want to do trade with the Inocs. Or, when they just want to go for a walk.'
By then, Loki saw they were heading for the one of the stripped areas of the landing pad, by the control tower.
A few seconds later, Loki saw that her ship had reached the landing area of the spaceport.
Loki felt the ship come to a stop. Then, the landing gear extended. After which, the ship landed with a slight thud.
Soon the pilots began to power down the engines conserve fuel.
Loki stood up from her chair. She thought, 'I guess I better to greet the Separatists. And see what is going on.'
Loki headed towards the main exit to her personal spaceship.
Less than a minute later, Loki had reached the main hatch to the spaceship. She used a panel by the door to have the door slide opened door, and extend the ramp below the door to the ground of the landing area.
After which, Loki walked down the ramp, to stand on the tarmac.
Loki looked around and she saw that it was a sunny cool day. There was a slight breeze which caused her long, loose black hair down her back to wave a little in the air.
Loki looked around. Loki saw battle droids patrolling in small groups around the periphery of the spaceport.
Loki turned towards the control tower.
Loki noticed three individuals walk out from a bottom entrance of the control tower and towards her.
The three individuals were Skakoans. Which were green skinned humanoids from the planet Skako. They all wore pressure-suits which covered their entire bodies. Though, their pressure-suits were ornate, colorful, and flexible. Each Skakoan wore a unique mask over their face.
Unlike the pressure-suits used by government officials, these pressure-suits were more utilitarian. Their pressure-suits did not have a skirt that went down to the floor, this allow free movement of their covered legs and feet.
From the looks of the shapes of the pressure suits, Loki saw that the lead Skakoan was a female Of the two Skaoans following right behind her. One to the lead Skakoan's right was female. The other to the lead Skakoan's left was male.
Loki's lips curled into a slight grin, as she thought, 'Ah. The welcoming committee. Now for the meet and greet. The lead woman is likely the leader. With the two behind her being her subordinates. The datapad Dooku gave me was very vague on the project here. Only that it was important to the war effort. Maybe I will get answers from them.'
Loki turned her head back to her right, towards her ship, as she continued her thoughts, 'My crew will close my ship soon after I leave. They know that if things start looking bad, they need to get the ship ready for us to leave on a moments notice.'
Loki turned towards the Skakoans. She began walking over to meet them.
Soon Loki and the three Skakoans came to a stop three meters from each other.
The lead female Skakoan spoke through her electronic voice box in her mask, in galactic basic, “I am the director of this facility.”
Loki maintained a mask of calmness, as she thought, 'Skakoans are reported to be xenophobic towards other species. By not giving me her name, she is being tactful in her xenophobia. And even though it is a subtle insult, it is nice to meet someone that understands being tactful. So I will let the matter slide.'
Loki smiled, as she said, “I am Agent Loki Laufeyson.”
The director stated, “We are expecting you, Agent Laufeyson. We are glad you are here to help oversee the security for this facility.”
Loki thought, 'Well that is a little more polite... But, security for what? If I am not careful how I ask they will likely not answer and become guarded towards any further inquires I may have. I will have to be sneaky and later find out the secret of this facility. Though, it is a gamble. I still may able to learn a little bit of the truth though my role here.'
Loki asked, “While I am not asking for details, to help with my job, I need to know the purpose of this facility?”
The director answered, “We are creating a project with the intent to kill Thor.”
Loki thought, 'That explains a lot.' She said, “I will keep that in mind.” She thought, 'It is best I not delve to much deeper into the matter. I can find the rest the answers to my questions by myself.'
The director offered, “Would you care for a tour of our facility?”
Loki said, “I would love for you to give me a tour.” She thought, 'Knowing where everything is will make things much more simpler for myself. Later, as I sneak around, if what I find is not to my liking, the Republic will be the least of the worries for those of this facility.'
The director stated, “Then follow us.”
The director turned and began walking towards the control tower Her two subordinates turned and they followed the director. Loki followed a few meters behind the small group.
The director gave Loki a basic tour of the Separatist base. The director did not inform Loki of concerning the details of the facility was working on. Nor, did the director show Loki to the research areas.
Once the tour was over, Loki had a much better understanding concerning the basic layout of the Separatist base.
Hours later, night had long fallen over the Separatists base on Inoc Sev.
In space, the Republic Star Destroyers, Resolute and Negotiator had come out of hyperspace in orbit around Inoc Sev, without being detected. And as Negotiator stated in orbit, the Resolute successfully landed a hundred kilometers from the Separatists base, while continuing not to be detected.
The Republic gunship flew low near the ground, as it approached the drop off point, which was five kilometers from the Separatists base, opposite to the nearby Inoc city
In case there was trouble, there was a group of Republic soldiers in full armor and weapons on the gunship. The group was mostly composed of Rex and his squad. Though, there was also the clone pilot of the gunship.
When the gunship reached the drop off, the ship landed in a small clearing.
The gunship hovered less than a meter above the ground.
The right side door of the gunship slid open.
The person holding the door was Captain Rex in his white and blue armor. Rex had his blaster pistols holstered on the side of his hip armor.
In case there was trouble there were also the four other members of Rex's squad on board the gunship. The clone troopers were in their white and blue armor, with their blaster rifles in one hand, and in the other hand each of them grips a hand-grip in the ceiling of the gunship.
In addition, there was a clone pilot and two gunners for the gunship.
Thor was the first to exit the gunship. Obiwan was next. Then, Anakin. And finally Ahsoka.
All four of them had on the same clothing as earlier that day.
After all four individuals were on the ground, Rex look at them from aboard the Rex
Rex stated, “Good luck. We will be on stand by in case you need us.”
The four individuals on the ground turned to look at Rex.
Anakin said, “Thanks Rex.”
Ahsoka commented, “Have a safe flight.
Obiwan stated, “Be careful.”
Thor said, “We will contact thee if needed.”
Rex shut the gunship hatch from the inside.
The Republic gunship hover up just above the tree line and the ship turned to head back to the Resolute without any problems.
With the gunship gone, the four individuals look at each other.
Obiwan commented, “Alright. We know where we are. We know where we need to go. Let us split up and head out.” Obiwan turned to Thor. He continued, “And not flying to the Separatist base.”
Thor looked at Obiwan. She replied, “Yes sir.”
Obiwan and Ahsoka separated from Thor and Anakin. The two teams headed in separate directions, to two different, large drainage outlets.
Obiwan and Ahsoka went directly towards the base, towards their entry point. While, Thor and Anakin circled around to their right, to reach their their entry point.
Obiwan, Ahsoka, and Anakin used the force to enhance their speed.
Meanwhile, Thor did not fly, because she did not want to risk being detected by the Separatist. So she ran behind Anakin. Given her enhanced physical abilities, Thor found it easy to keep up with Anakin. Thor kept Mjolnir in her right hand as she ran.
Fortunately, the brush was not too thick and the two teams found it easy to traverse the terrain.
Two hours later, both Republic teams made into the storm drainage system within the Separatist base without a being detected.
Thor and Anakin made their way into the base, with Thor having Mjolnir in her right hand.
As they had made through way through the tunnels, they had found no security, cameras, nor droids.
The only barriers between the two groups faced were the entranced to the storm drains had metal bars.
The metal bars were easy cut through with lightsabers.
Fortunately, the storm drains were circular tunnels with a diameter of three meters. Also, there was only a little water at the bottom of the drains. The drainage tunnel had low level ceiling lights that allowed them to see without a problem.
Presently, as Thor and Anakin made their way through one of the storm drains, Thor walked in front, with Anakin behind.
As they made their way through the tunnel, they kept track of the number of ladders and manhole covers to the top, above them.
While they walked, Thor commented, “Thy finds this lack of security concerning.”
Thor thought, 'Though, at least Tarkin was correct about this being a storm drain and not a sewer. The only odors I sense with heightened sense of smell are the hints of motor oil and fuel, which I guess are from the surface, with the rain washing the chemicals down here. Still, there is a lot of mud and dirt in these drains.'
Anakin said, “They likely built this place cheaply, and they saved money on security.”
Thor responded, “That would not be the first time for both sides of this war. Though, if that is the case why add lightning the storm drains?”
Anakin commented, “These lights are no that expensive. The lights were likely put up during the construction of the storm drains for those whom would inspect them. And the lights were left in place. If the Separatists are being this cheap, they likely do not have camera systems in the buildings.”
Thor said, “That is a good point.”
Anakin thought, 'I might as well mention it, while we are here. Even with her open mic earpiece, we need to talk about this.' Anakin stated, “You know. It does not take the force to tell that you do not like Admiral Tarkin.”
Thor thought, 'Considering Tarkin might be listening in. I have to be careful about what I say.'
Thor commented, “When thee has been around powerful people long enough, one gets a sense of people. And to thou, something seem off and does not ring true about Admiral Tarkin.”
Anakin teased, “Now you sound like a Jedi talking about the force.”
Thor responded, “As thee pointed out, one does not need the force to read someone. A sharp eye for detail is all that is needed. Tarkin seems like someone that would sacrifice those under him to advance his career.”
Anakin commented, “If so, this would not be the first time we have worked with such a person.”
Thor said, “True. Just watch yourself around Admiral Tarkin.”
Anakin replied, “I will.”
As they approached a ladder that lead to a manhole cover, Anakin stated, “If I could count the number of ladders ad manhole covers correctly, this should be the right one. This will lead to a manhole cover, right be the outer wall by the gigantic dome building.”
Thor and Anakin then came to a stop by the ladder, with the ladder being to their right side.
Thor turned around to face Anakin. Thor said, “Thy believes you are correct. Thy counted the same number. I hope Ahsoka and Obiwan are doing as fine as we are.”
Anakin said, “I believe so. Ahsoka's two Togruta montral horns, going up the sides of her head, allow her to have some ultrasonic abilities. She can sense things behind walls, or meter into the ground. If the ground is not too thick.”
Thor asked, “Why was this not brought to thou's attention, earlier?”
Anakin answered, “The subject never came up. Though, barring a few special situations, it is not as effective in battle as the force. But, the two abilities can be used to enhance each other.”
Thor said, “That is interesting.” She thought, 'I wish she had told me earlier. She really has become a polite, young woman. When we were roomed near each other, I sometimes had my music playing a little loudly. I will refrain from doing so in the future.'
Thor looked up the hole the ladder lead into above them, which ended at the manhole cover. She turned back to Anakin, whom was looking back at her.
Thor inquired, “So which one of us should go first?”
Anakin said, “I would not mind if you went first.”
Thor commented, “Thy is still sore the last time that we were together, when thee went up first, and we climbed into an ambush.”
Anakin admitted, “That and you can take blaster bolt hits without injury. While I cannot.”
Thor let out a small groan. She replied, “Fine.” She set Mjolnir onto the floor, away from the water, on the top of its head.
The hammer stayed in place.
Thor began to climb the later, as she thought, 'Given how dirty it is in this drainage system, when I get back to the ship, I am going to give Mjolnir a thorough scrubbing of soap and water, with a nice polish afterward. Then, I will give myself a nice shower.'
A few seconds later, Thor reached the manhole cover. She used her strengthen to grip the handles of the cover and release the clamps on the cover. After which, she slightly lifted the lid far enough to be able to clearly listen on the surface of the base.
Thor did not hear any footsteps nearby. She quietly moved the manhole cover to the side. She climbed out and stood up on the surface of the Separatist base.
Thor turned to her right to see that she was standing beside the outer wall of the large domed building.
Thor looked down into the hole. She stated, “We are here. Thou will summon the hammer. After which, thee will come up to join thou.” Thor held out her right hand over the hole, and Thor gripped the shaft with her right hand.
The hammer flew up the hold in her hand, with the head of the hammer facing downward. Thor reversed her grip on the hammer. Then, Thor moved Mjolnir with her right hand to her right side.
Thor took a few steps away from the manhole cover. She stood, as she acted as a look out. With her enhanced sight, Thor did not see any droids, nor anyone else, in the distance, whom would noticed her.
Thor noticed several things. That she was in the shadow of the building beside her. That the sky clear, and without a moon, the stars did not provide much light, with most of the light coming from various lights placed around the Separatist base.
In addition, Thor saw that two kilometers away, closer to the gate that let to the Inoc city, there were two Separatists Skakoans, in pressure-suits, walked beside each other. The Skakoans had their backs turned to her and they were walking away from.
Thor thought, 'At this distance, I doubt they would even noticed us from the shadows of this building.
Meanwhile, Anakin swiftly climbed up the manhole cover and stood up on the surface. Anakin took a few steps away from the manhole.
Thor noticed Anakin. She saw he had steps out of the way of the manhole cover. Thor did not need to be told what to do next.
Thor walked back to the manhole cover.
Thor bent down to a crouching position. She used her left hand to effortless place the manhole cover on the hole. She did not lock the clamps of the cover in place.
Thor thought, 'I will leave this unlock as a possible escape path. While I can fly and I can carry someone as I do so. I cannot carry three people. And it is nice to keep one's options open. Though, if it reaches that point, we might meet up with Ahsoka and Obiwan at the spaceport and steal a ship there.'
Thor placed the cover on the manhole, as Anakin walked over to the outer wall to the dome.
Anakin pulled out his lightsaber.
While Anakin held his weapon in both hands, he ignited the green blade.
Anakin began to cut into the dome, he did so in a large, even, circular cut.
Thor stood up and she watched as Anakin cut into the wall.
Thor commented, “We need to get this done quickly, before we are detected. That green light can be seen at a distance.”
Anakin kept attention on evenly cutting the wall, as he flatly replied, “I realize that. I only need a few more seconds.”
A few moments later, Anakin finished. He stood a few steps back, as he deactivated his lightsaber, and let go of his weapon with his left hand.
Anakin held his lightsaber hilt in his right hand, as he stood back and admired his work.
The cut part of the wall had a diameter of two meters. Due to the way the wall had been cut, the wall remained in place.
Anakin said, “If I am right, I do not since anything, not even droids on the other side of that wall.”
Thor replied, “Thou hopes thee is correct.”
Anakin used the force to move the circular piece away from the wall, without causing further damage to the piece, nor the wall.
Anakin held the piece of wall in the air, a few meters from the wall, without showing any effort. Anakin angle the piece so he could see inside the hole.
Thor noticed this. She looked at Anakin, as she commented, “Thee is getting better at this.”
Anakin turned to Thor. He smiled towards his girlfriend. He said, “You are not the only one that has grown stronger.”
From under her helmet, Thor returned Anakin smile. She replied, “Thou is glad to hear that.”
Anakin stated, “Now let us get inside before we are discovered.”
Thor agreed, “Good idea.”
Thor walked through the large hole and into the hallway.
Once Thor was inside the hallway, she looked around and she saw no one around.
Thor turned to Anakin. She stated, “We are clear.”
Anakin looked at Thor. He replied, “Good.”
Anakin kept his concentration on keep the piece of wall in place in the air, as he made his way into the hallway in the building.
A few seconds later, Anakin pulled the piece of wall back into the hole, with the wall staying in place.
Anakin and Thor began to search the facility, while they avoided the battle droid patrols in the interior of the building.
Fortunately, the hallway was well illuminated. Also, they noticed there were no cameras in the hallway.
A minute later, outside of where Thor and Anakin had entered the dome building, a squad of four battle droids patrolled by the part of the wall that Anakin had cut and resealed.
While the battle droids passed by, none of the droids noticed the cut marks, as they made their way passed the sealed hole, on their patrol path through the Separatist base.
Around this time, a manhole cover by the shield generators, near the spaceport was unlocked from the inside, lifted, and set to the side.
Ahsoka poked up her head, and she looked around. She saw no one was around. She looked below her, as she said, “No one around. Just as I said.” She looked up. She swiftly climbed out of the hole and stood up onto the surface of the base.
A few seconds later, Obiwan reached the top. Obiwan stood up straight and he turned to look at Ahsoka, whom was shorter than he was.
While they were in the shadow of the shield generator, there was enough ambient illumination from nearby lights for Ahsoka and Obiwan to see their surroundings.
Obiwan commented, “Ahsoka. Your ultrasonic sensory abilities are a true gift.”
Ahsoka turned to look at Obiwan, in the Jedi Master's face. Ahsoka said, “Yes. They are.” She shrugged, as she continued, “Unless you occasionally live near near someone who likes play loud, heavy, fast beat filled music.”
Obiwan responded, “Well we all have our vices. Even us Jedi. Let us be happy that Padme's vice is listening to music.”
Ahsoka said, “Loud music. But true. It could be worse. Though, I am surprised Padme still had her hearing.”
Obiwan sarcastically remarked, “The Senate has a wonderful health program for their Senators.”
Ahsoka replied, “I am sure of that.”
Obiwan looked around, as he thought, 'Getting through the drainage system was easier than I expected. No security. No droids. No even cameras. Plenty of lighting. And only a set of metal bars at the entrance that my lightsaber had no problems cutting through. It is amateur hour here. Not that I am complaining. Through, I do play to get a shower and a fresh change of clothing when we get back to the ship.' He turned his attention to Ahsoka, whom he saw was looking at him. Obiwan continued his thoughts, 'But, we have a mission to complete. And that comes first.'
Ahsoka said, “At least the security is light.”
Obiwan replied, “True. But we should not let our guards down.”
Ahsoka turned to look at the large shield generators by them. The shield generators could be turned on to protect the base from aerial and artillery bombardment.
Ahsoka stated, “It is sad we cannot sabotage this place.” She turned back to Obiwan.
Obiwan looked at Ahsoka with a mask of calmness over his face. He said, “This is strictly a reconnaissance mission. We find the weaknesses to later target with pinpoint strikes. There are too many unknowns. By doing things this way we will prevent lose of life on our side.”
Ahsoka commented, “I understand. I hope Thor and Anakin are doing fine.”
Obiwan stated, “Well if there is they get into trouble I am sure will we know, because we will all find ourselves in a storm soon enough.' He mentally added, 'Both figuratively and literally.'
Obiwan pulled out his lightsaber. But, he did not activate his lightsaber, as he held the hilt in his right hand.
Ahsoka saw this. She did the same thing. She pulled out her lightsaber, though she did not activate his weapon. Also, she held the hilt of her weapon with her right hand in an underhanded style.
Neither of this ignited their weapon because the light from their energy blade could attract attention from a distance.
Obiwan said, “Follow me.” Then, he turned and began to walk close the walls of the building they were by. So he would not be spot.
Ahsoka followed right behind Obiwan, with her being as careful and as quiet as Obiwan was being.
The two Jedi started sneaking around the base, figuring out where everything was, while they were careful not to get caught as they carried out their mission.
Thor and Anakin quietly made their way through large hallways of the large domed building.
The hallways were about five meters wide and three meters high. The hallways were will illuminated. The walls and ceiling were painted white. The flooring was white tiles.
So far they had been able to duck around hallway corners to avoid passing battle droid patrols.
As they quietly walked down a hallway, Thor was in front, with Anakin right behind her.
Anakin held his lightsaber in his right hand, but he did not have his weapon ignited because of the humming sound the weapon made could be heard those nearby, including any droids or Separatist personnel.
Suddenly, Thor stopped four meters from another turn in the hallway to their left, with Anakin stopped right behind Thor.
Thor turned around to face Anakin.
The two lovers faced each other. Thor commented, “This is not getting us anywhere.”
Anakin asked, “Well what would you have us do?”
Thor answered, “Question someone.”
Anakin questioned, “But, who? Besides droids we have not seen anyone. Perhaps they are all off duty. It is the middle of the night here.”
Thor commented, “No one leaves a set up like this unattended. There has to be someone here.”
Suddenly, three meters behind Anakin, to two meters from Thor's right and Anakin's left, a closed hallway door to a room slid opened. A male Skakoan Separatist researcher, whom was wearing a utilitarian pressure suit and mask, walked out into the hallway.
While the door slid closed beside the Skakoan, Thor noticed the researcher standing behind Anakin, to Thor's right.
A second later, Anakin realized Thor was looking at someone behind him. He turned to look at the Skakoan researcher.
Under her helmet, Thor's lips curled into a wicked grin, as she thought, 'Pay dirt.'
It was then that the Skakoan researcher noticed he was standing in front of the Republic Hero Without Fear and the Storm Bringer.
The researcher swallowed hard. The only sound that escaped his lips, through the electronic voice box of his mask was, “Uh oh.”
Even without the force, and super-hearing to listen to the researcher's circulatory system, from his body shaking, Anakin and Thor could tell that the Skaokoan researcher was scared.
The researcher begged, through the voice box in his mask in galactic basic, “Please, do not kill me.”
Anakin stated, “If you cooperate you will not be harmed.”
The researcher said, “That could be a problem.”
Meanwhile, nearby Loki was walking down the hallways of the domed building. She was looking around.
While Loki walked, she thought, 'That earlier tour was a bust. The director did not divulge anything on what the project her people are working on here. All I know it that whatever it is, it is designed to kill Thor.'
'But I should not be surprised Even the most simpleminded of administrators would not share such secrets unless absolutely necessary'
'Though, I was surprised how kind the director was in hosting dinner. That was a good meal. Some of cooked items were from the local wild life. Which were very tasty. If there was not a war, I would be tempted to go on a tour of the galaxy and sample the various cuisines and drinks this galaxy has to offer. I still might do that later on, after I end this war.'
'But onto more important matters. At least with the tour I know the basic layout of this area, including this building.'
'I am not worried if someone catches me here. The droids will automatically identify me as friendly. And I know codes to control them. As for others, I can say I am checking on security. Which is what I am suppose to be the task I was sent here to perform.'
'In truth I am trying to find out what is going on. I am happy I have not heard any cries for help and everything looks fine.'
'Though, security here is a mess. Except for a few areas of the command center and the control tower, I have found any other no cameras facility. This place only has a few battle droid teams doing patrols. And those patrols are only within the Separatist base. Before I leave I will have to beef up security a little just to maintain my reputation.'
'Still, I have yet to find the entrance to the big chamber in the center of this building, that goes down to the granite bowl beneath us. I know there is a chamber because that is how domes like this on constructed. The granite bowl this facility was built over leans to this possibility.'
'But, my options are limited. I have learned that it is not wise to teleport into unknown areas that could have a hazardous environment, or other dangers, including dangerous materials and creatures.'
'Teleporting into an active nuclear reactor would kill me. As such, I am careful when I teleport.'
Loki turned the corner to her right. Loki came to a stop, as about four meters from where Anakin and Thor were standing. About three meters passed Anakin and Thor, and two meters to Loki's right, was a Skakoan researcher in a pressurized suit and mask.
Loki mentally berated, 'You got to be kidding me.... Well, this teaches me not to pay attention. Now to keep a fight from happening so I need to find out what is going on. From there I will decide what to do about this situation?'
Anakin stated, “If you cooperate you will not be harmed.”
The researcher saw Loki. He said, “That could be a problem.”
Loki intentionally coughed to get everyone's attention.
Thor and Anakin turned around to see Loki standing a few meters from them.
In response to seeing Loki, Thor held up Mjolnir, and gripped the weapon with both her hands, as she took on a defensive stance.
Meanwhile, Anakin took a few steps to his right. He gripped the hilt of his lightsaber with both hands. Anakin came to a stop on the opposite side of the hallway as the Skakoan researched.
Anakin kept his eyes on Loki, as he ignited his green blade lightsaber and he took a defensive stance.
Loki quickly said, “Whoa. Hold your horses. There is no need for violence. I have no interest in fighting you.” She held up her hands in front of her chest, as she continued, “And as you can see I have no weapons.” Then, she lowered her hands to her sides.
Thor thought, 'If Loki wanted to be in a fight, we will be in a fight right now. This is a stealth mission. We do not need a fight. Besides, Loki is playing her own game. We might be able to get the information we need, without alerting the security on this base. Though, the researcher will have to be dealt with.' She turned to look at the researcher, as she continued her thoughts, 'Still, Loki might offer options that do not include killing him, or kidnapping him.'
Thor turned to Anakin. She left of Mjolnir with her left hand and she lowered to her right side. Thor stated, “Anakin. If Loki wanted to fight, she would not have given a chance for her to react. Let us try a more peaceful path.”
Anakin turned to Thor. He turned back to Loki. He commented, “Fine.” He did deactivated his lightsaber. He left go of the hilt with his left hand. Though, he kept his weapon in his right hand, so he could be ready to use his lightsaber at a moments notice.
Loki look at Anakin and Thor. Loki said, “Thank you.”
Thor turned to Loki. Thor asked, “Loki? What is the purpose to this installation?”
Loki answered, “I have been trying to find out since I got here.” She turned to the researcher, as she continued, “But they have been a secretive group whom prefer work over vice.” She looked back over at Thor and Anakin. She cracked a grin, as she thought, 'Unlike you two.'
Anakin looked at the researcher. He inquired, “What exactly is the research being conducted here?”
The researcher looked at the three other individuals. He said, through the voice box on his mask, “I am dead if I tell you.”
Loki walked to her right, passed Anakin and Thor. She came to a stop a meter in front of the researcher. Anakin and Thor were behind her, a few meters to her left.
Loki looked at the researcher mask, as the researcher looked back at Loki's face.
Loki commented, “Actually. No. If you talk, I promise to help you get out of here to somewhere safe for you.”
For the next few seconds, the researcher looked hard into Loki's green eyes. Then, he commented, “I believe you.”
Loki smile at the researcher. She replied, “Good.”
Thor asked, “Loki, why would thee help us?”
Loki turned to Thor. Loki dropped her grin. Loki responded, “You haven't figure it out, yet? This entire situation screams trap. I have just been trying to figure out what the trap is.”
Thor said, “Thou believe thee. Thou was informed whatever is in here was being made to kill thy.”
Loki stated, “I have heard the same. And that fills me with worry.” Loki turned to the researcher, as she asked, “What is your name?”
The researcher answered, “Lo'Ran. Ma'am.”
Loki inquired, “Well, Lo'Ran, what are you working on in here?”
Lo'Ran answered, “We were experimenting on an animal?
Thor asked, “What animal?”
Loki inquired, “How big is the animal?” She turned Thor. Loki commented, “In these situations, the animal always big.” She looked over at Lo'Ran.
Anakin asked, “What type of experiments?”
Lo'Ran said, “Speeding up growth and maturity. Genetic manipulation. Cybernetics. And brain implants to control the beast.”
Thor commented, “That is horrific.”
Loki kept her eyes on Lo'Ran, as she heard Thor's comment. Loki said, “Yes. It is. And this is not surprising. I have heard worse.” She turned to look at Anakin for a few seconds. She did not say a word. Then, she turned her attention back to the researcher.
Anakin guessed, “It is a rancor? This would not be the first time that something like this happened with a rancor.”
Lo'Ran stated, “No. The beast is bigger.”
Loki commented, “The only thing bigger than a rancor is...” Her eyes widened, as she said, “On no. A gorog.”
Lo'Ran said, “Correct.”
Loki forced herself to calm down. Loki flatly stated, “You are all lunatics.”
Thor asked, “What is a gorog?”
Loki turned to Thor. Loki said, “You are about to find out.” She turned to Lo'Ran. She inquired, “How do we kill it while it is asleep?”
Anakin asked, “How do you know it is asleep?”
Loki turned to Anakin. She stated, “Simple. We are not hearing any roaring. Nor is this place being shaken to its foundations.” She turned to Lo'Ran. Loki inquired, “Do you have any poisons we can use?”
Lo'Ran stated, “I do not think we have anything that can poison it to death.”
Loki said, “Then we will have to find a way to suffocate the creature to death.”
Thor questioned, “Surely there is a more humane solution?”
Loki looked at Thor. Loki flatly responded, “Giant creatures being experimented on do not usually have happy endings. If this was a thinking person. Yes. I would look for other options. But, as it is, gorogs are animals. I mean this in the polite way. We save its life the Confederacy forces here, or the Republic the forces will experiment on it and prolong its agony.”
“That is not even mentioning that none of us have a way to take care of it. I mean one meal worth of puppy chow for the big guy would likely bankrupt a small nation. As such, we need to kill it. We just do so in the most humane way available. With minimal pain and suffering for it. If we cannot poison it. Suffocation it is the next best option without approaching it. “
Thor thought, 'I did not think about it that way.' Thor relented, “Alright.”
Suddenly, the lights went out in the hallway.
Loki said, “Oh this is never good.”
Suddenly, red lights came on and there was a blaring siren going in the background, with a whooshing sound in the background.
Lo'Ran said, through his voice box, in a worry tone of voice, “Oh no. The systems which keep the gorog asleep have shut down. It is waking up.”
Loki looked at Thor. Loki asked, “Your teams did not blow the power generators here? Did they?”
Thor answered, “No. This was strictly a reconnaissance mission.”
Loki thought, 'That can mean only one thing.'
Loki looked at the three people by her. Loki stated, “Well guys. We need to get out here. This place is starting to make blaring noises, and other sounds, like when they shut down the containment grid in Ghostbusters One. This place is going to blow. It is not going to be pretty.”
Anakin, Thor, and Lo'Ran, at Loki in confusion.
Anakin replied, “Huh.”
Loki realized they did not understand her joke. She groaned. Then, she said, “This is all a trap. We got to get out of here. Now. I will lead you out of here.”
Loki took a step close to Lo'Ran. Loki grabbed Lo'Ran's covered left wrist with her right hand. Loki stated, “Lo'Ran. You are coming with me.”
Loki started running down the hallway, with Lo'Ran following her. Loki ran as a pace she knew Lo'Ran could maintain.
Anakin and Thor looked at each other. Then, at Loki and Lo'Ran. A second later, they ran.
When they can within three meters of Loki and Lo'Ran, they soon slowed down to maintain Loki and Lo'Ran's pace.
Thor was to Anakin's right side. Anakin was right behind Loki and Thor was right behind Lo'Ran.
Loki continued to hold Lo'Ran's covered left wrist with her right hand. Though, Loki was careful not to harm Lo'Ran's wrist, nor the part of Lo'Ran's pressure-suit which covered Lo'Ran's left arm.
After a few more seconds, Lokilet go of Lo'Ran. Loki was sure would Lo'Ran would follow her. And Loki was prove correct.
While they run, Anakin, Thor, and Lo'Ran followed Loki.
Loki made a few turns down various hallway intersection, as she headed to the closest exit she knew of to take them to the side of the building she desired to head towards, which was the side of the building closest to the Inoc city.
After about half a minute of running, they reached the nearest door to the outside on the side of the building Loki desired to be on.
Loki used her magic to have the double-doors to the exit slid open.
The doors slid opened a second before they reached the doors.
Loki and Lo'Ran ran out first, followed behind by Thor and Anakin.
The doors soon slid closed behind them.
As they ran outside, they suddenly they saw they were headed right for a squad of five B2 super battle droids, whom were only ten meters from them.
The droids immediately saw Anakin and Thor behind Loki and Lo'Ran. They raised their right arms, with their blasters in their right arms to fire.
Loki, Lo'Ran, Thor, and Anakin continued to run. Though, before Thor and Anakin could react to seeing the battle droids, Loki swiftly stated, “Loki. Command Override. Password. Vulcans are jerks. Designate all targets on this planet as friendly. Relay command to all droids on this planet.”
Loki thought, 'The droid command password Dooku helped me set up does come in handy. But, I know better than to heavily rely on such cheap parlor tricks. Dooku's own command level overrides any commands I give the droids. Though, I doubt he gave these droids any commands concerning myself. Unlike most Sith. Dooku prefers to kill someone from the front and not the back.'
Suddenly, the droids dropped their right arms to their sides, as they stood in place. The battle droids relayed Loki's commands to the other droids on the planet.
Loki looked in front, as she stated, “Thor. Anakin. Ignore the droids. They will not cause you trouble. We do not have time for you to destroy them.”
Thor and Anakin heard Loki's request. They did not reply, but they did as Loki's suggested.
Loki and Lo'Ran ran passed the droids, whom were to Loki and Loki's right. Anakin and Thor followed right behind Loki and Lo'Ran.
Loki turned towards the gate exit to the Inoc city, as she thought, 'I need to get them towards the Inoc city. Because if what I think is about to happen, I will need them in that location. I could fly, but I want to keep Lo'Ran around in case I can gain some more information from him. I do not think I could carry him in his pressure-suit. I do not want risk dropping him. I am sure Padme does not much experience carrying someone while flying. Including Anakin. Because I have no read any reports of Padme carrying someone in battle while flying.'
As they ran, Anakin said, “Thanks for telling the droids not to target us.”
Loki had no problems hearing Anakin. Loki looked towards her front, as she responded, “No problem. We do not need any other issues. We are about to have our hands full as is.”
Thor asked, “What is a Vulcan?”
Loki inquired, “You know how some Jedi can be tightasses?”
Anakin replied, with offense, “Hey.”
Loki pointed out, “I said some. Not all.”
Thor answered, “Aye.”
Loki said, “Think worse.”
Thor quipped, “That is hard to imagine.”
While running, Anakin turned to look at Thor. He did not say anything, through he was slightly annoyed at Thor's remark.
A second later, Anakin focused on the matter at hand. He turned back to look towards his front.
Loki giggled a little at Thor's comment. She happily said, “I knew there was a reason I liked you.”
While running, Anakin wanted to change the subject. He asked, “How far do we need to run?”
Loki said, “When you hear the crunching of the ceiling collapsing, on the large building behind us, stop and turn around. Because this is not so much how far too run, as having a good head start.”
Thor questioned, “That bad?”
Loki said, “No. Worse. A lot worse.”
Thor thought, 'At least Ahsoka and Obiwan are nowhere near that building.'
Anakin asked, “Loki? Why don't you just teleport out of here?”
Loki answered, “Because I am getting you guys to safety before I leave.” She thought, 'Besides, my ship and crew are here. I need to take them with me.'
Thor inquired, “Are we not enemies?” She thought, 'And I am not flying in case I will have to grab Anakin quickly, and swiftly get us away from here.'
Loki replied, “Not today.”
Several minutes later, they reached the large gates leading out of the Separatist base and towards the Inoc city. The line of buildings of the Inoc being less than half a kilometer from the gates.
The gates were currently open. The battle droids guarding the gates from the interior side ignored the group.
Just then, they heard the dome building's ceiling start to crack.
The group stopped and they turned to face the large dome building.
Anakin was slightly winded. Lo'Ran was almost at out breath. Thor and Loki showed no signs of exertion.
They watched as the ceiling of the dome building burst like an eggshell to reveal a giant hulking, humanoid beast, whom was over three hundred meters high, and towered over the landscape. The beast had a stocky, muscular body, with gray skin.
The gorog's face was humanoid, with a mouth, a nose, and two black eyes on the sides of the nasal ridge above nose. The mouth has a row of razor sharp teeth on both the top and bottom of the interior front of the mouth. Along the jawline below the mouth and to the sides of the mouth there were large sharp horns curving up in front and sides of the mouth.
The gorog has the basic musculature of a gorilla. The gorog oversize arms compared to the over all body. The gorog walked with is legs slightly bent. Even then, the gorog was around three hundred meters in height.
Though, unlike a gorilla, the gorog had a small tail on the bottom of its body, behind the legs.
In addition, while the gorog's had to two arms, each arm was connected to two shoulder points. One shoulder point below the other. Each of arm had two smaller upper arms, one upper arm connected to a shoulder point, with the other ends of the two forearms being attached to the elbow joint of the much larger and longer forearm.
The gorog looked like a rancor's more savage ancestor. Though, this gorog had cybernetic wires and gray plates seen on the outer parts of its body.
The gorog's left hand had to large fingers and a thumb. There was a long sharp claw at the end of thumb and each each finger.
There were what looked black orbs placed along the gorog's back Each black orb had was three meters in diameter and on meter high.
Though, the worst part about the cybernetic gorog was the huge gray energy cannon attached to the beast's right forearm where its hand should be.
The beast raised its right arm cannon towards the sky. It fired the weapon in a bright red light, as the roar it made could be clearly heard for ten kilometers around.
Lo'Ran noticed that Loki and Anakin, whom each had a reputation of facing battle without being scared, showed expressions of fear on their faces as they looked on at the beast.
Lo'Ran would have guessed that under Thor's helmet, Thor likely showed fear on her face as well.
Loki admitted, “This is worse than I thought.”
Anakin stated, “I thought rancors were a problem. This thing looks like a rancor, only bigger and meaner.”
Loki inquired, “That is pretty much the case. Anakin, it is possible for you to use the force to control? Or, maybe make it go back to sleep?”
Anakin looked at the gorog in the distance, as he used the force to sense the beast.
A few seconds later, Anakin answered, “No. All I sense is rage and confusion. In such a state, if I tried to manipulate it in any way, the beast might go berserk.”
Loki looked at the beast. She commented, “At least it is not fully angry. That is better than facing this creature while it is fully enrage. This means the gorog is not going to be quick in the actions it takes. We have a little time to come up with a plan and implement that plan.”
Thor looked at the gorog. Thor admitted, “While that is nice. Thou is not sure if thy can kill it.”
Loki turned to Thor. She said, “Of course you likely cannot kill it. It was designed to kill you. The regular video game version was a bitch to beat. It looks like this one has been upgraded by a factor of the power of ten. Though, there is one question we do need to know...” Loki turned to Lo'Ran. Loki asked, “Has this thing been programmed?”
Lo'Ran looked at Loki. He answered, “Only the basic command functions for its weapons. We are nowhere near finished. We have not even armored its body.”
Anakin looked at the gorog in the distance, as he listened to the conversation. Anakin asked, “What does that mean?”
Loki said, “It means that it is going to do what all giant monsters do when they wake up in a bad mood. Destroy everything around them.”
Thor turned to look at Loki. Thor guessed, “It is going to go after the city.”
Loki looked at Thor. Loki responded replied, “Yes. And you are the best shot at slowing this Godzilla wannabe down. Until someone figures out something better to put this beast down for the count.”
Loki turned to Anakin, as she stated, “Anakin, contact Ahsoka and Obiwan. You three need head to that city and for you three to start trying to evacuate everyone away from this beast.”
Anakin turned to Loki. He asked, “How do you know my student and my teacher are here?”
Loki answered, “Simple. You are almost always with your student. And if you two are here. There is likely another two man team here, with Ahsoka being on the other group here. Given you would only trust Obiwan with your charge, it is Obiwan whom is with her. Now I do not know if you four came alone to this planet or not. If you can call in help. That would be good. Still, I am going to take Lo'Ran to the main control room to turn some of the bases defenses against that thing. Though, I doubt the droids could do anything against that thing, but the anti-aircraft turbo-batteries might slow that thing down. The good news is this the gorog is so big, I doubt the beast will notice us.”
Loki turned and she start running towards the main control center, in the control tower on the other side of the Separatist base, to the left wall, when facing from the Inoc City.
Lo'Ran saw this. Fortunately, Lo'Ran had gotten his second wind and he followed Loki.
They ran towards the far interior side of the left outer wall of the base, around the gorog, to their left.
Loki noticed Lo'Ran run behind her. She slowed down to let Lo'Ran catch up to a few meters behind her. Then, Loki ran at a pace that Lo'Ran could maintain.
As Anakin and Thor watched Loki and Lo'Ran run, Anakin loudly asked, “And how do you expect us to evacuate an entire city on short notice?!”
Loki continued running, as she turned her heard back towards Anakin. Loki had her back turned towards them, so they would not see her lips curl into a smirk. Loki yelled, “Do what you always do! Use the force!”
Anakin all but shouted in response, “The force does not work that way!” Then, he groaned in frustration at Loki not reply back.
By then, Anakin saw Loki and Lo'Ran were about fifty meters from Thor and himself.
Anakin turned to Thor. Anakin said, in a concerned tone of voice, “Do not let that energy cannon hit you.”
Thor turned to Anakin. Thor stated, “Thou won't.”
Anakin holstered his lightsaber, as he looked at Thor, passed Thor's helmet, and into Thor's eyes. Anakin admitted, “I do not think you could survive such a blast.”
Thor responded, “Thy agrees. Anakin. Thee needs to contact Obiwan and Ahsoka. To make sure they are okay. And to see if Obiwan can get Admiral Tarkin to help us. Thou doubts Admiral Tarkin will listen to us.”
Anakin agreed, “That is a good point.”
Thor replied, “I know.”
Thor turned to look at the gorog. By then, the gorog had climbed out of the top of the dome building, and it was standing on the surface of the base, on its two feet, on the side of the building face Thor and Anakin.
Thor, 'Somewhere I was hoping this beast was not as big as I though. Unfortunately, until my friends figure out a better plan, I am the only person that can stop it. Or, at least slow it down before it can reach the Inoc city.'
Thor commented, “Thy will do what thy can to slow this creature down.” Thor thought, 'This battle is going to be like fighting a slow moving mountain, with a large cannon for a right arm.'
Thor used her right hand to hold up Mjolnir. Then, she used the hammer to fly in a charge at the beast.
While Anakin watched Thor fly up into the air towards the head of the gorog, he held up his left gauntlet. Anakin used his right hand to press the button on his left gauntlet which turned on his comlink to an encrypted private channel that he, Thor, Obiwan, and Ahsoka used.
Anakin saw Thor fly clockwise around the gorog's head, throwing lightning bolts from Mjolnir, at the gorog's head. Though, the lightning did not injure the gorog, the attacks did gain the creature's attention, with the beast trying to swat Thor with its arms.
Fortunately, Thor was fast enough to avoid the gorog's attempts at harming her.
Anakin thought, 'Good. You got its attention. You bought us some time.' He turned around to look at the large city in the distance, from the gate.
The Separatists base appeared to be placed on a slight ridge, overlooking the city. And the darkness of the clear night sky allowed Anakin to see the gas illuminated lights from the city street lights and the lights coming from the windows of the buildings. The city stretching out into the distance.
Anakin continued his thoughts, 'While I get some help.' He turned back to look at Thor, as he mentally reflected, 'You may be too busy to talk, but you can at least listen to what we are planning. So you can help on your end.'
Anakin stated into his comlink, “Obiwan? Ahsoka? This is Anakin. Are you there?”
A few seconds later, on the other end of the communication line, Obiwan answered, “Yes. Anakin. We are here. I can guess why you called.”
Anakin responded, “Yea. The reason is obvious. We have to put that thing down before a lot innocent people are killed.”
Obiwan said, “I agree. I will contact Vice Admiral Tarkin.”
Anakin replied, “Good idea. The Resolute might have enough firepower to take that thing down. But, by the time the Negotiator got here, it would be too late to save the city. An orbital bombardment by the Negotiator would destroy the Inoc city and kill the people there.”
Obiwan said, “I agree. You will go straight down the middle of the city. I will go to the left. Ahsoka will go to the right. We will start from the outer populated edges of the city and work are we deeper into the city. Also, keep an eye on that monster. So we do not accidentally send people in the direction that creature is heading.”
Anakin stated, “Okay. In the meantime, Thor is slowing that thing down, while we handle things on our end.”
Obiwan responded, “That's good. By the way, we just watched the Separatists staff escape off world on various ships parked on the spaceport. Given the direction of their ships, they will avoid the Negotiator.”
Anakin replied, “Well that makes things simpler.”
Over the communicator, Ahsoka asked, “What can we do on our end?”
Anakin answered, “We go to separate locations in the Inoc city, where we convince the locals to run until we kill that thing.”
Obiwan questioned, “Okay. We can do this. But how did this happen?”
Ahsoka commented, “We did not do anything on our end.”
Anakin turned back to look at Thor beginning her battle with the giant gorog. Anakin stated, “Thor and I believe it was a trap.”
At that moment, Ahsoka and Obiwan were standing by a wall of the control tower, near the spaceport of the Separatist base. They were on the side of the control tower facing the dome building in the distance.
The are of the control tower Obiwan and Ahsoka were located did not have any nearby outside lights.
Obiwan and Ahsoka had stood by the wall of the control tower, using the shadows to hide themselves.
They had watched as the base had been quickly evacuated, with most of the ships on the spaceport soon flying off.
Presently, they were both looking at the gorog in the distance, as they used the comlinks in their left gauntlets to talk to Anakin. Each of them had their lightsaber hilts in their right hand, though they were not activated to prevent them attracting attention.
While Obiwan and Ahsoka believed the part of the area they were at was empty, they were not sure.
Each of them used their right index finger to work the communicator, while using the rest of their fingers in their right hand to hold their lightsaber hilt.
Using both their comlinks created a stereo effect, though they did not care.
Over the encrypted communication line, Anakin stated, “Thor and I believe it was a trap.”
Obiwan said, into his left wrist communicator, “That figures.”
Over their communication line, Anakin said, “We will talk about that later.”
Ahsoka inquired, “Still, what is that thing?”
Anakin answered, “It is a gorog. Think big, mean rancor.”
Obiwan thought, 'This almost makes me miss when we had to deal with gundarks.'
Anakin commented, “Also, if you see Loki. Let her be. She said she had an idea to help. Given the situation, I doubt she would make things worse. Also, she made sure the battle droids in the base will leave us alone.”
Obiwan responded, “Okay. If we see her, we will leave her be.”
Obiwan used his right index finger to a button on his gauntlet to allow their communication to also connect to the Resolute.
Obiwan stated, into his gauntlet, “This is General Kenobi to the Resolute. I have an emergency. I need to speak to Vice Admiral Tarkin immediately.”
A few seconds later, Obiwan heard Tarkin's voice state over his comlink, “General Kenobi. We are aware there is a situation. What is happening on your end?”
Obiwan admitted, “I am not sure of the how or why. But, I believe what we are dealing with is the Separatists secret project.”
Tarkin responded, “Sensors show what looks to be a small moving mountain.”
Obiwan commented, “That would be a good term to describe it. We need to kill that thing. And we need to kill it now.”
Tarkin asked, “Thor is unable to do so?”
From the lightning Thor was throwing with her hammer, at the upper body and head of the gorog, Obiwan could barely Thor, in the distance. Though, Obiwan could tell that Thor was doing her best to distract the creature. But, Thor was unable to actually harm the creature.
Obiwan answered, “I believe all she will be able to do is distract the beast. Also, we just watched the Separatists evacuate the base. Given what the creature is doing to the base, I doubt this place is set to explode. That would be redundant.”
Tarkin replied, “I agree.”
Obiwan said, “Inform the Negotiator to allow the Separatists ships to leave orbit and enter hyperspace.” He thought, 'We have enough problems as is. We might have to call the Negotiator down to help with this creature.'
Tarkin stated, “That will be done. We will send you aid as quickly as possible. Though, do not be anywhere within the vicinity of the beast.”
Obiwan and Ahsoka looked at each other. Obiwan could see that Ahsoka had heard every word. Obiwan responded, “We won't. Do you copy that? Anakin? Thor?”
Over the communicator, Anakin replied, “Yes.”
Thor said, “Absolutely.”
Obiwan commented, “Good.”
Obiwan then turned off his comlink. Ahsoka did the same.
Ahsoka suggested, “I have an idea. But, I want to run it by you before I suggest it to the others.”
Obiwan said, “I am open to any idea you have.”
Ahsoka looked in the direction of the shield generator. She suggested, “We could turn on the shield generator. If we set the generator lower, we might be able to hurt the creature.” She turned to look at Obiwan.
Obiwan looked in the directly of the stated, “Nice idea. But, energy shields are not designed to handle damage, or stop physical object. The energy shield would hit the beast and then collapse. Also, the dome building is far bigger and taller than the beast. That building would take the brunt of such an attack. And Thor is flying near the beast. Such an attack may harm Thor, or distract her to the point the beast can harm her.”
Ahsoka said, in a slightly discouraged tone of voice, “Alright. I see you point.”
Obiwan commented, in a supportive tone of voice, “But, I like that you are thinking outside the box. I can see the merits of entertaining the idea. I just realize the draw of such a plan.”
Ahsoka replied, in a more normal tone of voice, “Okay.”
Obiwan pointed out, “We are going use the force enhance our running speed, as we move along the outer wall to our right, to get around that creature. Though, I dislike using the force to run fast. We will need to do so to get around that creature in time to save lives in the Inoc city.”
Ahsoka said, “Personally, I like using the force to run faster.”
Obiwan stated, “Just do not rush so fast that you tired yourself out. And be careful not to trip. At these speeds, you can seriously hurt yourself doing so.” He thought, 'Which is why Jedi do not use this technique for extended periods of time. That and doing so can eventually tire out a Jedi.'
Ahsoka replied, “Yes. Master Kenobi.”
Obiwan commented, “To avoid the beast, we will run to our right, by the wall. As I told Anakin. When we reach the gate, head to the right side of the city. I will go to the left. And keep in mind. Save those you can. You will not be save them all. And if that beast gets near. Run away.”
Ahsoka said, in a sober tone of voice, “I am aware of that. I will do as you request.”
They turned towards the gorog. Then, they used the force to enhance their speed and stamina.
Obiwan was in front. Ahsoka ran ten meters behind Obiwan, as she followed the Jedi master.
They soon veered to their right, along the interior of the outer wall. So, they could run around the gorog and towards the gate leading to Inoc city.
They soon passed by Loki and Lo'Ran as two blurs. Obiwan as a brown and white blur. Ahsoka as a reddish-brown and dark violet blur.
Loki and Lo'Ran noticed Obiwan and Ahsoka, but Loki and Lo'Ran not paying them any mind. Though, Loki did recognize that it was Obiwan and Ahsoka.
Obiwan and Ahsoka saw passed by a group of battle droids on patrol, though the droids did not response to their presence.
Obiwan and Ahsoka continued heading around the gorog, towards the gate leading to the Inoc city.
Meanwhile, Anakin was watching the battle between Thor and the giant gorog continued over a kilometer away, as he had turned off his comlink.
Anakin had already watched Thor try to use lightning from Mjolnir to harm the gorog upper body and head. Thor's lightning attacks had no visible effect on the gorog, except to gain the gorog's attention.
The gorog used its left hand to try to swat at Thor. Though, Thor was to quick, as she flew around the beast's upper body and head.
Then, Thor tried to use her the axe head of Mjolnir to attack the gorog's neck, but to no effect.
Presently, Anakin watched Thor created a powerful tornado in front of the gorog. While it was hard to see in the dark, Anakin could make out the tornado was the roughly size of the gorog, three hundred meters high, and a hundred meters wide at the top.
Then, Thor swiftly sent the tornado at the gorog. At the tornado hit the gorog front he front, the gorog just used its left arm to brush the tornado away, with the tornado quickly collapsing into nothing.
Anakin thought, 'Nice try Padme.' He turned towards the Inoc city. He continued his thoughts, 'While you keep that beast busy, we will try to get as many people as possible out of harms way.'
Anakin started running, while using the force to enhance his speed and stamina, as he made his directly towards the outer middle side of city in front of him. So he could to evacuate the people there.
Several seconds later, Obiwan and Ahsoka passed by the gates.
After they passed by the gates, they separated, two other directions into the Inoc city.
Ahsoka went to the part of the outer side of the city to her right.
Meanwhile, Obiwan when to the part of the outer side of the city to his left.
Behind Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obiwan, Thor valiantly fought to harm the gorog. Or, at least kept the giant beast distracted.
Thor was not holding back. She was giving it her all, which was clearly not enough.
Thor held Mjolnir in her right hand, as she used the hammer to fly, while also using the hammer to attack the creature neck and head with lightning bolts. Thor accomplished this by using the hammer to gain speed and inertia.
When Thor enough speed and inertia, for only a second at a time, Thor temporarily stopped using Mjolnir to fly and she used her right arm to pointed the top of the hammer at where she wanted to fire a lightning bolt and she fired the lightning bolt at her target.
As soon as Thor finished her attack with the lighting, she swiftly began using Mjolnir to fly and avoid being hit by the gorog's left hand.
Thor repeated this process over and over, as she attacked the giant gorog with lightning.
Though, Thor found that lightning only caught the beast's attention. Lightning did nothing to harm the beast.
Thor tried to use the axe head of her weapon to try a few grazing blows against the gorog's neck, to try to find a major artery. But, she found that the gorog's skin was so thick that she could not break the skin.
Thor did not dare try to stop and cut deeper, because if she stayed in place too long the gorog might actually hit her.
Thor even swiftly created and threw a strong, intense tornado at the beast, from the beast's front side. With the tornado being the size of the creature. But, the gorog knocked the tornado with his left arm, breaking the wind cyclone to the point that the wind currents quickly dissipated.
To make matters worse, the beast had started heading towards the Inoc city. Though, Thor efforts were distracting the creature enough for it to slow its approach to the Inoc city.
But, each footfall of the gorog was like an earthquake, with the giant beast's very steps being destructive to the surrounding area.
While Thor flew around the gorog's head, and she avoided the gorog using its left hand to swat her. Thor thought, with concern, 'I cannot even slow this thing down. All I can do is distract it like a fly distracting a person. I would be tempted to try to create a storm, but that would not help matters. Doing so would slow down our efforts efforts to evacuate the city.'
'Also, using a barrage of lightning from a storm would likely harm or kill anyone nearby on the ground. Such an attack might not kill the creature, and instead enrage the beast to go on an active rampage, instead of it just lumbering around, crushing anything near it with its feet.'
'Taking all this into account, it looks like all I can do is distract it. I did once wonder what it was like to be a fly facing a person. Now I know. And like a fly, one hit from that beast's left hand and it might be over for me.'
'To think Lo'Ran mentioned this beast was not complete. That it is just reacting with no real programming. And that is not armored, as the Separatists had planned. If I had faced the weapon when it was complete, I would not have stood a chance of even harming it. I would have been forced to retreat. I would consider that to be fortunate on my part.'
Thor continued to try to distract and slow the beast down, in almost any way she could, that would not get her hit by the gorog, nor be destructive to the surrounding area.
As Thor continued to try to slow the advance of the gorog, Ahsoka, Obiwan, and Anakin all headed in different locations in the Inoc city. And none of them had tripped on their way to the city.
Ahsoka was the first to come to a stop. She still held her lightsaber in her right hand. Though, her lightsaber was still deactivated.
Ahsoka came to a stop in a center of a stone road, a few kilometers into the Inoc city, to the right when facing the city from the Separatist base.
As Ahsoka stood on the stone road, she saw there were sidewalks on both sides of the street, and behind the sidewalks she was surrounded by buildings.
The streets were made of stones set close to each other, with mortar used between the stones. The sidewalks were poured and formed with concrete.
Ahsoka took a few seconds to look around, as she caught her breath.
Fortunately, the gas fed street lights provided plenty of illumination.
Ahsoka saw several of Inocs walking down the sidewalks.
Anakin noticed that the Inocs were not primitive in dressed. Their clothing was as formal as any clothing worn by a Galactic Senator.
There were also primitive, vehicle, with four wheels slowly moving down the two lane street.
Along with a few wooden crates stacked on the sidewalk, to Ahsoka's right.
Ahsoka was currently standing in the center of the two lane street, with a few vehicles slowly passing by her, as the Inoc inside the vehicles, were careful not to hit her, as they drove around her.
Ahsoka saw some of the vehicles were filled with Inoc people.
Also, Ahsoka saw some of the Inocs were children being lead by their parents. A few Inocs were carrying babies wrapped in small cloth blankets.
Though, Ahsoka could tell all of the vehicles and the Inoc walking on the street were heading away from gorog.
In addition, Ahsoka noticed some of the Inocs had come to a stop. The Inoc turned turned to look at her in interest and not fear.
Though want Ahsoka was more interested in was that among the several Inocs on the street, she saw some of the Inocs of coming out of the of the nearby buildings.
While some Inocs were wearing formal clothing, some Inocs appeared to be wearing in clothing that one would wear to bed, such as white slippers and white gowns.
Ahsoka thought, 'That gorog woke them up. I do not see any of them with weapons. Which is good. Considering what I am about to have to do.' She turned towards where the gorog was, which was still on the periphery of the city. Ahsoka could not see the gorog.
Ahsoka turned back to the Inocs, as she thought, 'And we are to far into the city to see the gorog. Though, from these vehicles and the people walking down the street. Some of the Inocs have figured out what is going on and they are trying to escape. This will only help me convince them to escape that giant beast.'
Suddenly, they heard a roar from the giant gorog in the distance.
Ahsoka noticed most the Inocs still walking suddenly stop. Both those Inocs whom had stopped walking and those Inocs whom were looking at her, all turn towards the direction the goro roar came from.
Though the force Ahsoka sensed the Inocs' fear.
Ahsoka thought, 'I hope Padme is slowing that thing down. Because this is going to take a while. But I will do what I can. Now to get them to run away from that monster before it reaches them.'
Ahsoka used her right hand to changed the position of the way she was holding her lightsaber hilt to where she holding the hilt upright.
Ahsoka ignited the green blade of her lightsaber. After the next vehicle slowly passed her on her left, she charged at the people just standing on the sidewalks to her right, as she used her lightsaber to scare them into moving away from the gorog. As she did so, she used the force to gently push the Inocs in the direction she wanted them to go. She even used the force to throw the crates nearby, against the wall.
A few seconds later, Ahsoka used the force to jump over the street and the vehicles in the street, to land on the sidewalk on the other side of the street.
After Ahsoka landed, she scared the Inocs on that sidewalk to run away from her, in the direction she desired.
While Ahsoka did all this, Ahsoka was careful not to harm any Inocs.
The Inocs quickly got the idea, as they started to run from Ahsoka, in directions that would take them away from the gorog.
In another part of the Inoc city, Obiwan came to a stop a few kilometers inside the Inoc city, to his left when facing the city from the Separatist base.
Obiwan swiftly caught his breath.
Obiwan saw he was in a residential area. There were houses, with lawns. The houses had driveways with vehicles parked in them.
Obiwan saw Inocs were getting stepping out of their homes to see what all the noise was about. There were a few children present. A few of the Inoc mothers were holding babies wrapped in small cloth blankets, in their arms.
Obiwan look at the Inocs, with the Inocs look at him.
Obiwan took a deep breath. Then, he used the force to let out a roar, like an animal.
The Inocs present began either moving away from him, in the directions he desires. Or, the Inocs got in their vehicles, with their families. The Inocs drove down the two lane street crowds in the direct Obiwan wanted them to go.
And in a third part of the city, Anakin came to a stop a few kilometers in the middle of the outer edge of the city when facing the Separatist base.
Anakin stood on the sidewalk, with a two lane street to his left. He saw that the Inocs were already either walking down the sidewalks on both sides of the street, away from the noise. Or, the Inocs were uses their wheeled vehicles to slowing make their way down the two lane streets away from the noise.
The Inocs mostly ignored Anakin. Though, a few looked at him, as they passed by.
Anakin thought, 'This is a good start. But, I want to make sure there are no stragglers left behind. And I know just how to do so.'
Took a moment to collect himself. Then, he used the force to project fear and a need, to get escape, in directions away from the gorog, into the surrounding Inoc people. Both the Inocs inside the surrounding buildings, and outside on the streets and sidewalks were effected by Anakin's projection of fear through the force.
Those Inocs still inside the buildings walked outside. A few of the Inocs were with their children. Some were carrying their babies in their arms, with the babies wrapped in small cloth blankets.
The Inocs in vehicles continued to drive away from the gorog.
Meanwhile, the Inocs on foot briskly walked, as made their way in the direction that took them away from the gorog.
While The three Jedi did their best to save as many people in the city as they could, the beast had reached outer edge of the Inco city. As the gorog entered the city, its steps created earthquakes, which caused the underground gas pipes in the city to snap, with fires quickly breaking out throughout the city.
A few minutes later, Loki and Lo'Ran reached the inside the control centers of command center building of the Separatist base. As they entered the control room, they saw no one is there.
The lights in the room were lift on.
The control room fills with two rows of computer terminals, with the on row set behind the next row.
There was a swivel armchair at each computer terminal.
On the wall on the far side of the room was a set or large windows with looked at the interior of the Separatist base.
While the two individuals walk further into the room.
A few seconds later, they came to a stop by the back row of computer terminals.
Lo'Ran looked around, as he asked, through his voice box, “Where is everyone? This place is staffed around the clock.” Lo'Ran turned to look at Loki, whom stood to his right.
Loki looked towards the computer terminals, as she stated, “They were intelligent enough evacuate when everything went sideways. Now let us get this done and go. We do not want to be here when the creature responds to my attack.”
Loki thought, 'I believe Ahsoka and Obiwan passed by us in two blurs. I have not seen force user use the force to enhance their speed like. It is nice to see such a feat used in person. This allows me to gauge how fast force users can move when they need to. While they are not as fast as Padme and myself, with their other abilities, that is fast enough to bridge the gap for our raw speed.'
'Now to deal with the matter at hand. Though, I will make sure to allow us enough time to escape.'
Loki went over to a nearby computer terminal. When Loki reached the terminal, she pushed the chair the terminal out of the way. Loki leaned down and she began to use the keyboard to type in the commands, which show on the monitor screen above the keyboard.
Lo'Ran stood about a meter from Loki. Lo'Ran silently watched the trickster at work.
Half a minute later, Loki was finished typing in commands. She hit the enter key. With her task complete, she leaned up, turned and walked over to stand in front of Lo'Ran.
After Loki came to a stop by Lo'Ran, both individuals looked at each other.
Loki said, “Now to keep my promise to us. Just do not move until we arrive. Which will only be a second.”
Lo'Ran inquired, “Arrive where?”
Loki used her right hand to gently grip Lo'Ran's left wrist.
Loki gave Lo'Ran a slight smile. Loki answered, “Where you will be safe.”
Loki thought, 'I already have the computer target locked on the gorog. I keyed the firing sequence to start in ten minutes. Just enough time for us to get to my ship and escape off the planet. Because I am sure once we light this place us, that beast is going to use its hand cannon and destroy this place. I do not want to be here when that happens.'
'Considering what is happening, I have no doubt that my pilots, John and Michael, are already prepping my ship to leave the planet. I would not have hired them if they were not competent to see the obvious and take action.'
'After I help Lo'Ran. And give John and Michael a paid vacation until I need them again. I will then being make preparations with those whom implemented this trap.'
And in the blink of an eye, Loki teleported both Lo'Ran and herself into the living quarters of personal spaceship.
Once inside her ship, Loki let go of Lo'Ran and she checked on the two pilots of her ship.
A few seconds later, Loki found that she had been correct about her subordinates. Her pilots were on her spaceship.
In addition, Loki was pleasantly surprised to find out her spaceship was already refueled and ready to take off. The ship was sealed and engines were already on.
Within two minutes, John and Michael hovered Loki's ship into the air. They retracted the landing gear. After which, they piloted Loki's ship into the air and towards space.
Meanwhile, Loki and Lo'Ran saw in chairs in the living area of Loki's ship.
Once they reached orbit, Loki ordered them to take them towards Seperatist's space in the northeastern part of the galaxy. Loki stated she would decide exactly where they would go once they were closer to Separatist held space in the northeastern part of the galaxy.
Also, Loki requested they reach Separatist held space in the northeastern part of the galaxy by way of hyper-routes along northern edge of the Outer Rim, away from Republic held areas.
The pilots used the ship's navigational computer to plot a course that would take them almost directly north, to the northern part of the Outer Rim. They would passed by Republic held space, but that would not be a problem, given Loki could use her abilities to fake any number of clearance situations.
In addition, Loki ordered John and Michael to turn off all long distance communication systems within the ship. The pilots did not question Loki's orders and they did as she had requested.
This only let short range communications for talking with nearby ships and gaining clearance from the various authorities within a star system which they made need to talk with.
Once the navigation computer was set, the pilots had the entered hyperspace, as they headed to where they would be safe.
Nine minutes, thirty seconds after Loki and Lo'Ran left command center of the Separatist base, the gorag had made it a few kilometers into the Inoc city.
The gorog towered over the Inoc city.
The beast let out another roar.
Thor continued to try to slow down the gorog by distracting the beast with lightning bolts.
Instead of going for the neck and head, Thor further focused her lightning attacks on gorog's mouth, nose, eyes, and ears, while she did her best to avoid the gorog's swipes by flying around the creature's head.
While Thor flew, as Thor turned towards the Separatist base, her enhanced vision noticed the Separatists base's forty anti-aircraft turbo-batteries, placed along the top of the outer walls of the base, turn to aim towards the beast.
Thor quickly flew away from the gorog, to escape from the coming the line of fire.
To make things better, the gorog had its back turned to the Separatist base.
A few seconds later, the Separatists turbo-batteries began to fire on the back of the gorog.
Each turbo-battery fired its four turbo-lasers in a clockwise cycle, with the lasers hitting the gorog.
Hundreds of bolts of lasers a second bounded on the gorog's back and the back of the gorog's head.
When Thor felt she was far enough from the gorog, Thor used Mjolnir to come to a stop and hover roughly two hundred meters in the air above the Inoc City, on the left side of the city when facing the city from the Separatist base. Thor floated in the air as she turned to face the gorog.
Thor watched as the turbo-batteries continued to attack the gorog from a distance.
Thor happily thought, 'I guess Loki came through. While she is clearly on her own side, she does have a good head on her shoulders.'
Though, Thor could see the attack had only mildly harmed the beast's back and the back of the beast's head, with a few scorch marks on the beast. There was nothing signs of injury on the gorog's body.
As the barrage continued, the beast turned clockwise to face the Separatist base.
When the gorog fully faced the Separatist base, the turbo-batteries continued to point on the front of the beast.
Though, the gorog responded by aiming its right arm cannon and firing a few times. As the huge energy blasts hit the Separatist base, the energy released into large explosions which completely destroyed the Separatist base.
Fortunately, most of the rubble from the explosions were directed onto the other side of where the Separatist base once stood, opposite to where the Inoc city stood.
When the Separatist laser attack over, the gorog turned back around. Then, the gorog continuing walking further into the city, though at a slightly slower pac, than before the beast was attacked.
While Thor hovered in the air, Thor noticed the gorog's pace had slowed.
Thor thought, 'At least that attack seems to softened this creature. I am sure Loki and that researcher... I believe his name was Lo'Ran. Got out before the creature counterattacked. And of what Obiwan had said was correct, everyone else in the base seems to have evacuated.'
Thor looked around and she noticed the fires breaking out all over the Inoc city.
Thor thought, 'I need to do something about these fires. Even if the storm slows down our evacuation efforts, if these fires are not stopped the flames and smoke will kill more people than the beast.'
Thor summon a storm over the city, with heavy rain, but no wind, nor lightning. The water from the storm slowed the fires, and some cases stop the fires
Thor enhanced vision allowed her to clearly see the beast and everything else.
It was then Thor saw objects come from the horizon, in the direction of the destroyed Separatist base.
A few seconds later, Thor saw what the objects were. Y-wing bombers. Ten Y-wing bombers, in two five ship chevron formations. One formation was right behind the other formation.
Thor flew further out of the way of the gorog. When Thor came to a stop, she hover in placed, as she turned to watched the Y-wing bombers come from her left, to approach the gorog on her right.
When the Y-wing bombers came within range, they fired their missiles at the beast back, upper body, arms, and the back of the beast's head.
The missiles hit the beast, the missiles detonated and injured the creature at several points along its body. But, the beast still moved. While the new injuries pockmarked the beast, adding to the scorched marks on its body, the injuries did not look life-threatening, nor severely debilitating.
As the beast was hit, it roared in pain. The beast turning clockwise around to face the Y-wing bombers.
By then, the Y-wing bombers were a kilometer from the gorog, they were circling counterclockwise to come around for another pass. This time, the Y-wing bombers pilots intended to fire the rest of their missiles at the front side of the gorog's body.
The beast look at the Y-wing bombers, whom not flew to gorog's right side and around the beast's back.
Unfortunately, due the gorog turned clockwise, the Y-wing bombers had to circle around one more time around the giant creature.
While the Y-wing bombers faced the back of the gorog, the beast roar, and laser fire suddenly came from the numerous black orbs on the beasts back. The lasers create a grid firing pattern which hit Y-wing bombers.
Fortunately, Thor was able to swiftly fly closer to the ground to avoid the blasts. But, as she came to a stop, about thirty meters above the buildings below her, she turned and watched the Y-wing bombers be destroyed.
The none of the pilots were able to eject in time, with the remains of the burning pieces of the Y-wing bombers falling to the city blow.
Fortunately, the rain kept the burning pieces of the bombers from creating more fires, as the pieces hit the buildings and streets of the Inoc city.
Thor thought, 'So that are what those black orbs do. That is a dangerous trick. I guess I am too small to trigger its anti-aircraft defenses. Though, given its size I should not be surprised the Separatists adds such weapons to this creature.'
'Between its size, that anti-air defense, and its large cannon. Outside of orbital bombardment, I am not sure we can take that thing out. Though, an orbital bombardment would kill everyone in the city. Including, Anakin, Obiwan, and Ahsoka.'
Suddenly, Thor realized something, as she thought, 'Though, those bombers gave me an idea. If I am lucky, I might be able to keep it down for at least a little while.'
Thor gripped the shaft of Mjolnir with both hands. She changed the position of hammer so the round flat headed side was facing forward.
Then, instead of having the lightning go out of the hammer, she had Mjolnir charge itself with lightning and hold it.
Next, Thor flew towards the giant beast's chest, when she near the beast, with both hands, she cocked the hammer back to her right, with the hammer now pushing her, instead of pulling her. Thor did a high-speed, ninety degree curve straight up the gorog's chest.
As Thor neared the horned lower jaw she prepared for the attack. When she reached the jaw, she threw her entire strength into the blow, to combine with her inertia. As the super-strong blow from the flat of the hammer made contact with the jaw of the beast, the electrical power in the hammer was unleashed into the jaw, which added to the power of the blow.
The moment Thor felt herself come to a full stop form the blow, Thor has Mjolnir swiftly pull her away from the gorog's jaw.
Thor flew back a little from the beast, as she watched her handiwork. The blow had caused a few of the large jaw horns to break from the beast. The beast's head was cocked upwards, with the power of the blow forcing the gorog to take a few backward steps.
As Thor continued to fly back, she thought, with delight, 'Finally. I found figured out a way to hurt you. Now let's do that again.'
Thor changed direction. She flew towards the head of the beast. But, as she got closer, before she even began to charge Mjolnir, to her surprise, the beast used the palm of its left hand to swiftly swat her from her right side.
Thor quickly realized she could not dodge the attack. Her last thoughts before being hit were, 'Damn cybernetically enhanced speed and reflexes.'
Nearby, Anakin was standing in the middle of a two lane street.
Anakin had long since finished evacuating as many people as he could in the area was he located in.
Meanwhile Obiwan and Ahsoka were busy evacuating the areas they were at.
Anakin was planning to move further into the city. Though, Anakin took a moment to see what was going on with Thor's battle with the gorog.
Anakin had watched as the Separatist base has shot at the beast, only for the base to be destroy. Then, the Y-wing bombers had bombed the beast, then only to be destroyed. While the beast was hurt, the creature was still standing.
After seeing this Anakin had decided he needed to keep a closer eye on the battle. In case Thor needed help.
With the gas lines broken, the gas supply was disrupted, causing streetlights and lights in the buildings to go. The storm clouds and rain prevented any starlight to see with. Except for light from some nearby fires, there was no available light for Anakin to see with.
Fortunately, Anakin could use the force to temporarily enhance his senses, which allowed him to visually keep track of the fight between Thor and the gorog.
While Anakin kept his distance from the beast, he did stay close enough to react if Thor needed help.
Anakin was not very worried because he could temporarily force at a moments notice to run away so quickly he would appear to be a blur to any onlookers.
Anakin was grateful for his decision when he saw Thor get swatted to the ground, by the gorog's gigantic left hand.
Anakin watched as Thor and Mjolnir barreled though the air, onto a nearby street.
Anakin thought, with worry, 'Padme!'
Fortunately, Anakin saw the direction in which Thor landed. From the angle, Anakin quickly calculated in his mind where Thor was.
In addition, Anakin used the force to sense Thor's presence.
Anakin thought, 'From this distance, I can sense you alive, but I cannot tell how badly hurt you are.'
Anakin used the force to run as quickly as possible to where Thor was.
Several seconds later, Anakin reached the two lane street where Thor landed.
Anakin came to a stop in the street, as he quickly looked for Thor.
A second later, Anakin saw that as Thor landed, she had cut a three meter long rut into the stones of the street. Thor laying on her back, with Mjolnir laying next to her, to her right side.
Thor was about eight meters from him.
Except for Thor and Mjolnir, Anakin saw the street was deserted.
In various directions around Anakin, there were fires in some of the buildings a few blocks away. Though, the fires were far enough away to not immediately concern Anakin.
Thor was still in her Thor form and armor.
Due to Anakin being so close to Thor, Anakin could use the force to get a better idea of Thor's current physical and mental state.
Anakin thought, 'I can sense you are dazed, but not otherwise here.'
Anakin looked upwards. He saw the raining had stop, though the clouds above the city were still present.
Anakin looked over at Thor. Anakin thought, 'While it has stopped raining. Given the clouds you summoned are still above us. I believe I can probably get you up and moved in a minute...' A thought occurred to Anakin, as he mentally lamented, 'If we have a minute. If not. I will carry you. We will just have to leave Mjolnir behind for the time being.'
Anakin rushed over to Thor.
When Anakin reached Thor, he came to a stop by Thor's left side, by Thor's left shoulder. Anakin knelt down beside Thor, on his right knee. He gently placed his hands to the sides of Thor's helmet.
Anakin asked, with concern in his tone of voice, “Padme? Can you hear me?”
From under her helmet, Thor opened her eyes. Thor turned her head to look at Anakin. She groaned. Thor was slightly dazed, as she answered, “Aye. Thou is just waiting for everything to stop tilting back and forth.”
Anakin and Thor heard a roar nearby, to Anakin's left side. Anakin remained kneeling. Anakin let go of Thor's helmet with his hands. Anakin turned to his left to look up at the sky.
From the fires nearby, and the smoke, Anakin saw the silhouette of the beast look down at them, with the creature aiming its right arm cannon at them.
It was then that Anakin saw a barrage of blaster fire hit the gorog from its left side.
The rate of fire was several times more powerful than the attack by the Separatist base.
Anakin realized that only one thing could be the origin of that continuous fire.
Across the ruined remains of the Separatist base, a hundred kilometers away, the wedge piece shape of the front of the Republic Star Destroyer Resolute, hovered two hundred meters in the air, as it faced the gorog in the horizon.
While the ship continued to fire its from turbo-batteries and other energy weapons at the beast, on the bridge, Vice Admiral Tarkin took by the front windows, as he looked outside.
Given the size of the creature, even from a hundred kilometers away, Tarkin could see the beast with his naked eyes, as the blaster fire hit the creature's body. The light from the red lasers hitting the beast illuminated the beast which, allowed Tarkin to see the creature in the darkness of the sky.
Tarkin continued to watch the red blaster fire erupt from the Resolute, towards the beast, as he ordered, “Continue firing. And make sure the frontal shields are set to maximum charge.”
One of the nearby officers replied, “Yes Admiral.”
Though, in response, the beast turned towards where the Resolute was. The creature took aim at the Star Destroyer, with its large right arm cannon, and fired.
The cybernetic enhancements allow the gorog to hit a target with is arm canoon even a hundred kilometers away.
The red blast hit the shields of the Resolute.
Fortunately, the Resolute's energy shields held against the blast, with the ship remaining undamaged and the crew unharmed. The Resolute's shields even blunted the brightness of the gorog's arm cannon blast.
One of the officers on the bridge, at his station overseeing the shield, informed Tarkin, with unfortunate news, “Admiral. The shields are now at forty percent charge. We cannot repel that level of firepower.”
Look at the beast in the distance, as the Resolute continued to bound the beast.
Tarkin's lips curled into smiled, as he thought, with astonishment, 'To knock the shields of this ship by sixty percent in one What a shot. I always did like big guns. Still, it is best not to be destroyed by such weapons.'
Tarkin continued to look out the window, as he ordered, “Ceasefire and lower us below the horizon of that creature's field of fire. We have done enough for now.”
The officers complied, as the Resolute stopped firing and lowered itself quickly enough below the horizon for the beast to be unable to fire a second blast at the Star Destroyer.
Anakin could see the attack by the Star Destroyer had stopped, but that the blaster fire had turned the much of the skin of the beast's torso, chest, arms, and head from gray to black.
Though, the gorog eyes were unharmed.
With the force Anakin could still sense life in the gorog and the beast still had enough power to kill them both.
Anakin turned to look at Thor still laying on her back in the rut her landing had created in the street.
Anakin thought, “She still in no shape to fight. And even if I carried her, using the force to enhance my strength and speed, we could not move fast enough to escape that beast. Especially its arm cannon. Still, there must be a way... That might work.. But, it is going to cost me...'
Then, Anakin was reminded of an idea that Loki had suggested. But, it would take everything he had to do it.
Anakin stood up.
Anakin turned to face the beast, with the beast turning to face him and Padme.
As the beast held up its right arm to aim main cannon at them, Anakin held out his open right hand towards the beast for mental focus. Anakin reached deep down into his psyche. Anakin closed his right hand, as he used the force to destroy the cannon on the beast's right arm.
The beast took a step back, as it used its left hand and arm to cradled its injured right forearm, while roared in pain at what Anakin had done.
Anakin continued to hold up his right hand towards the beast.
Anakin tried to use the force to grip the entire beast's body, but he did not have enough power. Anakin reached even down deeper into himself until he found a place he could find power. When he fully tapped into his rage.
Anakin grimaced as he opened his right hand into a gripping position.
Suddenly, the beast stopped moving at the same time it stopped howling in pain.
Anakin used the force to lift the entire beast up fifty meters above the ground. The beast even was above the roof tops of the building it was nearby.
Suddenly the beast let go of its damaged right arm with its left arm. The beast moved its left hand to touch its throat as Anakin began to force choke the gigantic beast.
Seconds turned into minutes, as Anakin continued this.
By then Thor came fully to her senses. She leaned up and saw what was happening.
Thor knew what Anakin was doing. She had learned enough about the force to know what power he was tapping into.
But, Thor did not say a word because she knew of no other way to stop that beast and save lives.
Though, what worried Thor the most was that Anakin was showing more power than she knew he had. Maybe more power than even Anakin knew he had. And Anakin was doing something she could not. Stopping that beast.
Over the next couple of minutes Anakin continued his force attack. Eventually the beast went limp, dropping its arms to its sides, relaxing its legs, and lowing its head forward. But Anakin did not stop.
A minute later, after Anakin felt all life leave that beast did he force push the beast away, as he let go of the creature with his force grip.
This caused the beast to fall on its back as it slamming into the buildings and ground below it.
Once the gorog was laying dead on the ground, Anakin collapsed to his knees in exhaustion, as he lowered his hands to his sides. He dropped his head down while he panted for breath.
Thor stood up. She slowly walked around to her right to face Anakin front. Thor stood less than a meter in front of Anakin.
Thor quietly asked, “That was the dark side? Wasn't it?”
Anakin continued to lower his head, as he softly said, “Yes. There was no other way to save us. To save you. I used my attachment for you and my anger to enhance my force abilities.”
Thor forced herself to speak normally, as she stated, “I know.”
Anakin notice that Thor used, I, instead of, thy. But, he did not respond.
Thor knelt right in front of Anakin on her left knee. Thor gently hugged him, while she leaned her head onto his right shoulder. She softly said, “Sometimes we have to do the wrong things for the right reasons.”
They stayed like that for several minutes as Thor comforted Anakin.
Thor used her powers to cause the clouds above to restart the rains over the Inoc city, save for where she and Anakin were located.
Thor knew the rain would put out the fires in a little while. Soon the Republic clone troopers would move in and seize control of the local population of the city and later the planet.
Also, Thor realized there was nothing she could do about that. But, Thor could pray things would workout for the local population. That the Republic would at least help aid the injured and rebuild the city
In addition, Thor knew that Obiwan and Ahsoka would realize that Anakin had to tap into the dark side to kill the giant beast.
Thor knew that Ahsoka would remain silent.
And if Obiwan mentioned it at all. He would say that Anakin's actions were justified, with all of them omitting exactly what power Anakin used to take down the beast.
This was just one more dark secret in a war full of dark secrets.
But still, Thor... No... Padme realized the toll that waging this war was taking on all their souls.
A day later, in another part of the galaxy, in was night as Darth Sidious sat in his chair, behind his desk, in his office. Sidious was looking at a datapad he had placed on the top of his desk. The datapad contained various reports about events that were taking place across the galaxy.
Sidious was reading one of the reports on the screen of the datapad.
As Sidious read the report, he thought, 'While my plan to kill Thor and Loki has failed. Loki is still in trouble with Dooku. And he will deal with her soon enough. Also, even from this distance I felt the boy tap into the dark side of the force. I am more in tune with dark side, so the fools in the Jedi Order likely did not sense that dark side tremor. Even if they did, they will likely not realize it was from the boy.'
'I consider this a victory. The boy is still on the path to becoming a Sith. A bit more slowly than I wished. But, he still on the path.'
'Arranging this trap was tricky. But fun. When I had all pieces in place, I used the force to tell me when to send the shut down signal and then the real entertainment began.'
“The pay out was worth the effort I put into this. Tarkin has no clue that he is my puppet. And a few minor suggestions from the Chancellor he so desires to please was all it took for him to create this mission.'
'Convincing Dooku to fulfill his role was even more easier.'
'The Separatists even had the chance to test their creature against the girl. And even its incomplete state, the beast did so promise against her. But, the effort, time, resources, and risks are just not worth continuing such projects.'
'Though, I had to act before the beast was fully ready because I realized that if Separatists had completed this project. Stopping that creature might have been much more difficult. Especially on a more populated, more valuable planet, where more discretion would have needed to be shown.'
'In addition, a successful project like this would lead more organizations to create more such beasts.'
'I cannot allow the galaxy to be filled with rampaging giant monsters. It would be unseemly. This project had to end. And end in a way with the least amount of questions being asked.'
'So, now the project is dead with the creature. The base and research are destroyed. And the researchers whom escaped from that base on Separatists ships will soon meet unfortunate starship accidents.'
'All in all. A good day.'
Sidious went back reading the report on the screen of his data pad, as he plotted his next moves in his mind.
A week after the battle on Inoc Sev with the giant gorog, in Separatist held space, in the northeastern part of the galaxy, Loki walked through illuminated the hallways of the large Separatist Subjugator-class heavy cruiser.
The Separatist cruiser was presently in orbit over a barren planet, in a secret location in the northeastern part of the Outer Rim.
Also, in orbit was a military supply spacestation which was sending shuttles to resupply this Separatist cruiser and other Separatist cruisers in orbit above the barren planet.
Loki was wearing a green shirt, green pants, brown leather belt and brown leather boots. She had a green hood and cloak over her clothing, which she used to cover her body and her head, with only her lower part of her mouth and jaw showing from the shadows the cloak cast on her face. There was a brown leather strap that was attached at two ends of the shoulder level in the front of the cloak. The brown leather strap went around the front of Loki's neck to hold her cloak in place.
As Loki walked, she passed by droids, though the droids paid her no mind.
While Loki made her way to her destination, within the ship, she thought, 'Finding this ship was the trickiest part. Once I knew where this ship was, teleporting here was easy. As for the battle droids. While I am sure the Dooku has removed my control codes to the battle droids and other passcodes he assigned to me. My magic still makes technology so gullible for me to use.'
'Even the cameras and sensors of this ship do not see me. Unless I want them too. And the same applies to even people and droids. I only allow anyone to see me when I want them to see me.'
'Finding that Lo'Ran a good hiding place was not so hard. I will make sure he will be fine. I am one Loki that will honor my promises. I will make more permanent arrangements for his safe later on. Once I have dealt with my more immediate problems.'
'After I arranged for Lo'Ran to have some place save to hide. For the time being. I gave my pilots, John and Michael a month off of paid vacation time. That will keep them busy until I desire to use their services again.'
'My starship is docked in a hangar at a spaceport under an alias on a populated planet in a nearby star system. The spaceport has a good reputation. And I paid rent for two months to use that hangar. So, I am not worried about my starship.'
'Now, about Dooku. I know if I allow Dooku to contact me, he will either order me to return to him. So, he can kill me in person. Or, he will just try to force choke me by holo-comm. That is why, when we left the planet, Inoc Sev, I ordered my pilots to turn off the long range communication systems on our ship.'
'I would have also ordered them to shut down short range communications, but we needs those systems just to make our way through various jurisdictions and refueling stations. Though, our trip was not to difficult.'
'That mission was a trap. Not just for Thor. But for me. Either as a way to kill me, or a way to give Dooku an excuse to kill me.'
'Dooku and I will soon be having our showdown. But not yet. I am not ready. I still need to move a few more pieces in place for my final act against him. Which will be a week, or so, from now.'
'When I do face Dooku, I believe that Dooku will overestimate his abilities and underestimate my abilities.'
'The reason I intentionally downplayed by teleporting abilities for Dooku was for this very situation. So Dooku and others, such as Sidious, would not realize how easy it is for me to travel by teleporting from one locations to another location, no matter the distance. I can teleport over and over all day, if I so desired. Though, doing so would eventually tire me and it would be a waste of my time.'
'Though, Dooku acted before I was fully ready. I could probably face him now and win. But I like to hedge my bets. Such as what I am doing now, by moving up my timetable.'
'Dooku likely believes that because I failed him, I am cowering and hiding. He will not believe I am merely hiding as a way to bide my time and finish the final touches on the next parts of my various long term plans.'
'As such, Dooku will not take an immediate active role in looking for me. That is going to cost him. Though, not today.'
'I am glad I learned Padme, Anakin, and the others stopped the beast. I regret I could not stay for the fireworks. Since I no longer have the passcodes to access the classified sections of the Separatists datanets, I cannot find out what happened after I leave the planet. Though, I will find out later. After I have settled matters with Dooku.'
'Magic makes technology gullible, but there are limits to such abilities. And if I abuse my magic in that way, someone might find out and figure out a counter to protect technology from my magic.'
'Still, that was such a brutish weapon to send after Thor. The creature was complete overkill in some many ways.'
'If I ever send someone after Thor. That person would be much more elegant than to send a Godzilla wannabe after her. I might send a hulk against her. But not a Godzilla. Too big, too overpowering.'
'And such battles it make for poor video recording. Such a fight needs to be recorded, for posterity. If you pull out to get the full Godzilla shot, Thor looks like a flea. If the video focuses to close to Thor, the video loses the full picture of what is going on. And split-screen just does not do such a scene justice. A catch twenty-two.'
'But that is for later.'
'I have been able to get all the pieces together. Though, Asajj Ventress seems to have disappeared. That woman always did know when to run. I have a feeling that she has been intentionally avoiding me. As long as that woman stays out of my way, I could care less. I will find her, later. Just as long as she does not cause me trouble in the meantime.'
'In addition, I need to look up Jango Fett. He and his son should not be too hard to find.'
'Though, now to deal with the matter at hand.'
Loki came to a stop. She had reached her destination.
Loki stood front of a set of large, closed double-doors.
The double-doors in front of her lead to the office of the commander of the ship.
Loki used her right hand to press a button on the panel on the wall by the right side the doors.
The doors slid open and Loki saw the interior of the office was dark, save for various lights from readouts along the walls and instruments through the room. This gave the office an eerie feeling.
The one person inside the room was standing across the room. The person looking a holo-monitor that showed a hologram of a nearby star systems. The commander planning his next moves of his naval operations concerning the war effort for the Confederacy.
As the doors the office open, showing the light from the hallway, the person turned to look Loki.
The person was the cyborg, General Grievous. The cyborg wore a white cloak. Though, he had the hood of his cloak pulled back to show his robotic head. Grievous had had a few lightsabers strapped his his waist.
Loki took a few steps inside the room. She came to a stop a meter passed the doorway to the room.
Loki pulled back her hood to reveal her face, and she pulled open her cloak to show her clothing and body.
Grievous recognized Loki.
Grievous said, “You.”
While both individuals looked at each other, Loki's lips curled into a wicked grin. Loki stated, “Yes. Me. You and I need to talk.”
Then the double-doors slid closed behind Loki.
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:26: The Bible.
To be continued.
Admit it. Force choking something the size of Godzilla is a cool idea. Wrong. But, cool.
Sort of like force mind tricking James Bond. Which had already been sort of done. JB007, anyone?... Hahahaha...
And the clues about Loki continue.
Now, about the Inocs. I know that some Chiss have blue skin. If there is any connection to the Inocs and Chiss that is a mystery for another time.
Still, the Chiss homeworld of Csilla is in the Unknown Regions of the western part of the Galaxy. And in this story, Inoc Sev is about halfway between Csilla and the northwestern side of the Galactic Core, not the Deep Core.
The Negs is a section of space near the central part of the galaxy, just northwest of the Galactic Core.
The reason I included a city with a civilization at the dawn of an industrial revolution, was I wanted to put some gaslight technology and steampunk into this story. Complete with the locals wearing fashion and styles of clothing from such an era. I have not read of any Star Wars story including a Victorian style era civilization, with gaslight and steampunk technologies. So, I included those elements into this chapter.
Also, I got to show how just the foot falls of a giant over a city could create problems. With those foot falls of the giant beast none intentional destruction.
And yes. With enough light, an unobstructed view, and if you are a few hundred feet up in the area, you can see something that is three hundred meters high, a hundred kilometers away with your naked eyes.
As for Anakin using the dark side of the force. This is not going to immediately cause him to fall. But, it will cause concern for both Anakin and Padme. For them, it was a no other choice situation. But, a choice they hope that Anakin does not have to make again.
Until next time. Have fun.
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