Note: My thanks again to Inachis and Hawklan
for helping out. By the way… you really should visit Hawklan’s author page. He has quite a few fics of his own you should check out.
(A short time later at the Fountain Palace)
The guard watched how the scary Jedi dragged two strange beings inside the sacred corridors by their feet, where he was meet by Jacen and Tenel-Ka.
“Your highness, Knight Jacen,” he said simply. “These are vampires,” he continued.
Tenel-Ka shivered as she bended down. “Their life energy feels wrong, perverted and evil,” she said.
“Indeed,” Xander said and then frowned. Was that blood on his arm? Indeed it was blood, but not his own. That was good. Repairing the soft armor was an annoyance. It was good that he had a whole wardrobe filled with them.
Rona hurried up to him. “Are you ok?” she asked.
Xander nodded. “Not my blood. They were well armed. After talking to them I found out that they were hired by a noble to sneak inside and kill all of the royal family. Lucky for you they lost control over their emotions and attacked me.”
A guard frowned. “Have you tortured them?” she asked in shock.
Xander shrugged. “It’s s vampire and not a human. Vampires are parasitic worms that take over the body of humans and many other types of aliens when they are on the brink between life and death. It mutates the life form and creates this twisted creature. It’s always a complete sociopath and its intelligence is less than before. They have most if not all their original memory. Most vampires celebrate their fist day of existence by attacking anybody the former owner of the body cared about. They need blood from living beings to survive. They love human blood and they like to rape, murder and engage in other bad things”
The guard was silent.
Then she watched how Tenel-Ka ripped open a wound on one of the vampires. Strange 4-6 cm long blood red worms lay on the floor, boiling to death and then turning to dust.
The future queen studied the worms. “Interesting,” she said. She couldn’t find one redeeming quality inside the vampire. Not one nice thing.
“It’s the air, it makes the blood-worm boil to death,” Xander explained.
Rona grabbed one of the vampires. “Do you still need them alive?” she asked.
“No, not really. Just do the normal questioning for lairs. What I need is for you, Dawn, Lexa, Danni to sniff out any vampires in town and remove them. We will see what Noh Noss and Arden will do,” Xander said and then went silent for a moment.
Rona frowned. “What?” she asked after a moment.
Xander growled out. “I just found out where Lumiya is hiding.” His eyes were now glowing in green and yellow as force activated inside of him.
“Bright light, bright light,” one vampire said shivering in pain and fear as it looked at Xander’s eyes.
Rona rolled her eyes and kicked it in the head “Shut up Golom.”
Rona was questioning the vampires, making them beg for death. Once she was done the meeting started.
“We have the coordinates to where Lumiya is,” Xander said. “Now we have to split up. The city is infected and we will remove that taint.”
Looking around he could see that Jacen, Tenel-Ka and Sammy all were ready to fight. “You three will be our secret weapon.”
They lighted up. Tenal frowned; she was the princess, right?
Her mother echoed her expression. “I’m the queen, so wait a moment,” she said.
“Silence or I’ll have you removed from the room,” Xander ordered.
The queen blinked, then obeyed. His eyes were that of a predator on the hunt. The hyena was out for the game. In the corner she could see her own guards almost obey the young man’s order.
Xander continued talking. “Sammy, you’re going to handle communication between our groups. Jacen will help her. Tenel-Ka’s task is to get us travel papers and navigational coordinates. That’s the first thing you three are going to do. The second is stay here in the palace, the royal pains in the ass, also known as Nobles, might create a problem and if Rona, Dawn or Lexa are hurt by your nobles, I’m going to treat them like I treat vampires,” he said, using ‘affect mind’ to create a trick.
All inside the room believed him. The guards swallowed, they could feel death and fear in the room as he said it. Now that was scary. Not even the queen said no.
“Understood?” Xander asked and they all nodded in reply.
Xander relaxed. “Good, now we’re going to split up in three groups. Jacen, Tenel-Ka and Sammy are team ‘Ground Control.’ It’s not as easy as you might believe. Team ‘GC’ will have to make sure the spaceport is closed. No vehicles are to leave town without being inspected. I don’t care how you do it. Your mission is to handle whatever law or political problem that comes our way. Team two will be Rona and others. They will sneak around and hunt down any vampire in town and destroy them.”
He smiled a smile filled with far too many teeth that seemed far too sharp. “I and my team are going after Lumiya. Now who is going with me and who is staying?”
Looking around he stated. “Lexa, Dawn and Anakin are going to be helping Rona. Danni, you’re with them.” He took a breath “Now one of you, either Noh Noss or Arden, is going to join me and the other will be on Rona’s team.”
Seeing protest coming his way he stopped them before they got started. “Wait, this city holds millions of civilians, it’s gigantic. You’ll need all the help you can get just to find the suckers and Lumiya can’t wait. If I sit still too long, the bitch will move away again. “
The Queen Mother of Hapes wasn’t stupid, not at all. She came from an Amazon society and became Queen of this society that was very similar, and she knew what to say. “I approve of your idea Warrior. Guards give team ‘Hunter’ all the help they need. Contact security and move the navy and army outside and surround the town. Tell them we’re searching for terrorists. Set up five medical checkpoints. If they aren’t vampires, let them move out.”
The guards nodded.
Xander opened the com and said, “R3, R6 and R8, ready the Enterprise for takeoff. We’re going for a hunt.”
“I stay and help them,” Arden said and smiled, around him the plants by the window grew bigger and suddenly had claw like thorns as they moved like angry arms. “I’m more useful on ground and underground than in space,” he simply said as the others looked in shock as the plants surrounded the Jedi, forming a living armor with long whip like tentacles full of thorns sharp as knifes.
Xander was impressed. Arden was far more dangerous on a planet than they suspected. Somehow that plant clinged to him, had its roots attached to the earth under him or perhaps Arden worked as a conduct feeding it earth bond energy. Who knew?
“Well I always wanted to meet powerful ladies. So let`s see the dark lady,” Noh Noss said with not much humor as he corrected his thick glasses with build in macrobionoculars. Without the glasses Noh Noss sight was limited to around 50 meters.
Xander nodded. “Good to have you with us. Arden, keep safe and keep the others safe. Listen to Rona. She knows what she’s talking about. Her tracking ability is far superior to ours are when it comes to the suckers.”
Arden nodded. “I will. Rona, you’re in charge then.” This was her area of expertise after all. Seeing the girl look a bit confused, he offered, “I could assist you.” She shook her head. “Now Jacen we need a city map. The suckers can hide from electronic devices so we would need guards to watch the area as we search it. If you have elite teams, they could form a second hunt team to flush them out.”
“I’ll see to it,” Jacen said, smiling. Xander had trained her well.
Jaina and Noh Noss followed Xander as he walked out to the Enterprise. With surprising speed the Enterprise lifted of and the ship was on its way.
Xander pulled up the star chart and some extra maps he copied before lifting of. “That’s where she is. It’s one of the minor cities of Hapes, according to the information the vampire gave us. Not much is left alive and it’s more or less a death trap now. The only thing worth on that planet is this.”
A holo picture of a big hangar was seen.
“What’s in the hangar?” Jaina asked. She could see the hangar outside was filled with repulsor lifting and landing projectors. It seems like something big with slow engines often landed there.
Xander did not look amused. “The dark secret of the Hapes. The mother of the past, the Great Grandmother of Tenal-Ka, found a real Sith alchemy forge or a Sith machine of alchemy.”
Jaina took a deep breath as she heard that.
“What’s that and what could they do?” Noh Noss said.
Xander did what he liked most and explained the topic in full length to Noh Noss which took him a few minutes.
“So you can get powerful yet not too powerful soldiers that depend on you for power out of it?” Noh Noss asked to clarify one of the things Xander had just explained.
Xander just nodded.
“I see where you’re going with this,” Jaina said.
Xander nodded again. “Yes, Lumiya already knows quite a bit about Alchemy. She could be improving herself or creating monsters to serve her. She’s already done something like this on a smaller scale before,” he said.
“That makes sense. What do you think she will do?” Jaina said.
“Improving herself and her cybernetic armor would be the first thing she will try to do and then she will try to create servants. After Hakon ran away and we destroyed him, she’ll be careful about creating living weapons,” he mused out loud. “The vampire said something about Lumiya’s revenge.”
Jaina smiled “I hope it’s not too bad, anything other than that we could handle.”
Xander agreed on that, but he didn’t have much faith on things turning out that way. “According to the sucker something is wrong with the forge. When the old queen mother used it in her experiment, something went wrong, real wrong. The forge became self aware and the Queen was killed. Her daughter ended up hating any force user, especially Jedi, as she blamed it on them and the forge was sealed away.”
Jaina frowned. “What was wrong with it?” She knew her man by now. He always kept the best or the worst to the last.
He looked at them, his eyes dimly glowing in the weak light inside the cockpit. “Nothing wrong, except it became self aware.”
Silence filled the cockpit as they looked at each other, trying to understand the full consequences of that.
(At the same time in the city)
The military and the navy swooped down like locusts on the town and officers joined in a meeting inside the royal palace. What they didn’t expect was a briefing by the Royal princess and some of the Jedi guests that were visiting and a strange humanoid, most likely near human, tied to a steel table.
The briefing was short and to the point.
Monsters, genetic parasites, had infected the city. Each human that they drained of blood and infused with their own worm filled blood mutated into one of them. They have a sociopath behavior against all other beings, pack behavior to follow the strongest, the ability to stealth walk, nearly being invisible. An ability they forced the monster to show them.
One today could create four tomorrow, they could create sixteen, they would create sixty four and so on.
The monsters were difficult to kill. Blaster could do it, but ‘Stun’ was worthless against them. The Jedi could feel if some were nearby, not how far away or what direction, just that they were nearby.
The Force Guardian on the other hand could sense them and the direction they where in. The down side was a shorter range than the Jedi had.
Somewhere in the city a pack of vampires was hiding. If cornered by a superior enemy they would run, infiltrating space ships or escaping away from the city.
Each ship was grounded. Every speeder car and air speeder was to be searched manually if it was to be allowed to leave. Bright light could cause them pain and that might force the vamps to show themselves.
A manual search was needed as the human eye could see the transparent beast, while droids or electronic surveillance couldn’t.
Tenel-Ka looked around the room. “That is the information. Rona is young, but she has hunted these beasts on more than one world. So has the rest of the gang.”
None of the officers said anything so she continued. “You get one holo video to show the men what they are fighting against. I expect you to have a plan of action and set in motion as fast as possible.”
The officers nodded and one of them, a General, stood up. “Your highness. I suggest that Navy command takes care of isolating the city. I will leave most men under the Admiral’s command and the army takes care of inside of the city. The city is big and they are going to need the help of my best. Our soldiers can fight them and flush them forward and also keeping a clean area clean so that they don’t sneak back.”
Tenel-Ka looked at Rona. The two smiled, it was working.
“My experience is in guerrilla techniques, small teams sneaking around hunting down nest after nest. This is big, too big for me alone. If you just handle the details and point me to the monsters, that would be great. Just make sure the guys on the ground follow my orders,” she frowned and sighed. “And if something happens and you fail to reach me, Dawn can help you. She has grown up in a family hunting these beasts and she has hunted them herself. She’s also a Jedi in training.”
Dawn smiled and waved her hand. “Hi guys. This is going to be so fun, just like hunting suckers with my big sister.”
The soldiers stared in surprise at the little girl no more than sixteen and dressed in a golden armor, smiling happily at them. Lex cringed at Dawn’s silly comment.