With the generator sabotaged and the computer date in hand, the Hunters of the Noble Rose have only one task remaining for their mission, the death of the Captain. But something is amiss. The security room in front of the Captain’s ‘bridge’ is in shambles, its guards dead, physically embedded in the wall, their necks snapped but with no sign of an external bruise.
Carefully entering the central room of the asteroid facility, the Hunters found themselves in an old starship command bridge, complete with catwalk overlooking the lowered crew pits on either side. There stood Captain Dannoos, a massive Yuzzem wielding a Vibro Cutlass, playing the part of a Captain to all of his ability.
The command crew in the bridge were all slumped over in their seats, clearly dead. And despite the ten foot tall hairy Yuzzem, the focus of everyone’s attention was the smaller figure of a human. Wearing ill-fitted armor, the man spoke with a deep authority as he was apparently engaged in an argument with the Captain.
The pirates, in their raiding, had uncovered some kind of ruins which apparently contained an artifact of some importance to the man, and now Captain Dannoos was demanding double payment to hand over the location, an offer which the mysterious man was refusing, countering instead with his intent to murder the Captain, but then he sensed the Hunters enter the bridge. Sensing the intent to dispose of the Captain, the man said he would allow the Hunters to complete their task, and began to leave. But Rusong Lah cotinued to challenge this stranger, but his focus shifted in and out, as if he were unable to fully perceive the Yuuzhan Vong. When his gaze turned on Lieutenant Martell, however, the feeling of being examined through the force was actually painful, as if he were prying open the Lieutenant’s brain with a thousand knives.
Slightly confused by the presence and non-presence of the Yuuzhan Vong, and annoyed at the group for not letting him pass immediately, the man lashed out at the Pirate Captain, a strange whip-like shadow emerged from the man’s hand and struck the Captain, but left no visible wound. He told the Captain to accept what he called the Noctis into him, calling it a great gift. The man then jumped down from the bridge catwalk and strode through the group, a passing attack by Rusong Lah causing a retaliatory strike by that same strange shadow. The others were held by the force, unable to act against him as he walked out, and the Bridge door locked behind him.
The Captain had begun crying in pain, and taking the initiative, Lieutenant Martell began to strike at the distracted Yuzzem, intent to take him down before something bad happened. Worried that a completely different bad thing my happen, Rusong Lah began beheading the dead crew members at their stations, and preparing to use their corpses as shields. The Captain screamed, at first itching at his own skin, but then becoming more and more desperate, he began tearing at his skin, ripping out hair and flesh.
And then both bad things happened. The Yuzzem died, collapsing to the bridge floor, but something else rose up from his corpse, a semi-solid shadow in the vaguest of humanoid forms. As it solidified, the Yuzzem’s corpse withered and broke into dust, and the bizarre entity’s cry was heard in the heads of everyone in the asteroid (save the Yuuzhan Vong)… “Flesh… Insufficient… Must… Feed… Must… CONSUME!” and the creature attacked. It’s very presence a wound in the Force, the things existence physically hurt anyone with a connection to the Force, be it small or large. Worse, it attempted to attach itself to everything in the room, tendrils of shadow bursting from its body and striking both the Hunters, and the corpses of the Bridge Crew, which once attached, rose up as a piece of the creature, including the headless things which suddenly found themselves alive riding atop a Yuuzhan Vong’s armor.
These things attacked the group with an unnatural strength, attempting to bludgeon them with little more then crude tactics. Meanwhile, the strange Shadow creature lashed out with dagger like claws, causing superficial wounds that caused a pain far greater then one would expect to all except the Vong, who found his immunity to the Force a great boon against this Thing. Jedi Raxar Kun was a prime target for it, as It seemed attracted to his Force energy, it eagerly struck him done before moving on to Troika Nobrose, and only retaliated against Rusong Lah when it was struck first, as if it couldn’t otherwise sense him.
Finally, with a blast of precision fire, Lieutenant Martell downed another threat, and the Shadow screamed, it’s voice dying out in the minds of those few still alive in the station, and it’s form disintegrating into dust, much as the Yuzzem’s body had, the crew members connected to it collapsed, harmless corpses once more.
The man who had created the shadow monstrosity was gone. Back at the Noble Rose, Jarn Organa had strained to protect Noble Squad against the painful and fatal effects of the Thing’s presence. The Hunters departed the asteroid, detonating the generator to destroy the base. There were already no other survivors, the presence of the Shadow had burned them away.
Contacting ODIN to report success, the group told their contact about the bizarre shadow, and mentioned the name given by the mysterious warrior, the Noctis. Turning white, the technician immediately transferred them to Revan, who warned the group of how dire the threat this thing may represent.
ODIN had encountered the name Noctis once before, and recorded it as a potential threat to maintain a watch for. On an unknown planet in Wild Space, they had found a ruined temple set within a pristine lake, and said to hold the remains of a Jedi named Nalu. The temple had been devastated, not from time or wear, but from recent, very malicious attacks and vandalism, and anything of value had been removed. But what remained included information regarding an old prophecy, foretelling the arrival of something called the Noctis.
With this new information, ODIN has immediately sent a second team to return to that previous site to search for more clues. Meanwhile, the Hunters of the Noble Rose were assigned to follow the coordinates discovered in the Pirate’s central computer, to track down whatever ruins they had discovered, recover any artifacts they can find, and learn whatever they can about the identity of the Noctis, whatever it may Be.