Coalescence, Chapter 15

Brae-dyn awoke from his sleep to the sight of a small, blonde human woman with a cybernetic cover over her left eye and wearing Republic armor standing near him. His battle-hardened senses quickly took in the rest of his surroundings: another Republic trooper was standing in the doorway while a young Zabrak Jedi was helping an older Jedi down from his restraints.

Carnage.

That was his order. To kill, maim, and destroy, but to give the Zabrak a chance to escape. Brae-dyn had been trained to be an instrument of death. This order was nothing new, nor was it beyond his capabilities.

He played out the fight in his mind.

He would have to act quickly, leverage surprise to even the odds. His hand would reach for the blonde’s windpipe, crushing it. She’d be as good as dead, but he’d hold on, using her as a shield as the remaining trooper would no doubt turn and open fire. Fortunately, while the trooper was in a good position to defend the room against an attack coming from down the hall, he was poorly positioned against an attack from inside the room.

A quick Force pull would send the double-bladed lightsaber resting on a nearby table hurling towards the trooper and, by igniting it at the last second, remove the head from the rest of the trooper’s body. Another Force pull would pull the roof down on the already weakened older Jedi, crushing him and leaving only the Padawan to deal with.

“You should probably step away from me,” he said as he sat up, startling the young woman, who did indeed take a step back, drawing her blaster pistol. The others reacted similarly.

He had their undivided attention now. Both troopers had weapons trained on him, and the Padawan’s lightsaber was drawn, if not ignited.

Good. His father would have been proud.

But that was all the sentimentality of his home he would allow for now. From years of practice with masters who had beaten the ability into him, he flipped on a cold rage and leapt from a sitting position towards the padawan. His forehead connected with the Zabrak’s nose before the Jedi knew what was happening.

The troopers promptly opened fire as the Zabrak crumpled to the ground, but Brae-dyn was already on the move again. He had whirled behind the older Jedi, who was apparently still dazed, and kept his momentum turning as he linked arms with the Jedi and dropped to one knee, pulling the old man across his hip with all his rage-driven, Force-fueled strength and into the wall.

Two down.

Brae-dyn ignited his lightsaber and deflected the hail of blaster bolts that had finally caught up to him. He allowed himself a small grin as the exhilaration of battle began to take hold.

He assumed the woman was more accustomed to the assault cannon strapped to her back, as most of her shots from the blaster pistol went wide. Evidently, she thought so as well, as she soon tossed aside her pistol and began to reach back for the cannon.

Brae-dyn was good, but a full on assault from a cannon at this range would give most Sith a challenge. So before she could retrieve the weapon, he sent a small flicker out through the Force, discharging the firearm. The cannon, still on her back, unleashed a hail of bolts into the ceiling, resulting in a good deal of rubble falling on the hapless trooper.

Three down.

The remaining trooper glanced over at the woman, and then charged his position with a yell. Brae-dyn cocked his head and poised his lightsaber to strike at the trooper as soon as he came in range.

He first swung high, forcing the trooper to duck, and then streaked low back towards his hip, where it was met with a spark from a blue lightsaber. Snarling, Brae-dyn connected a solid palm-heel to the trooper’s armored chest followed by a wave through the Force, sending the trooper flying through the air as he quickly shifted and turned to face the owner of the blue lightsaber.

To his surprise, the Zabrak was struggling to his feet, using his left hand to wipe away a trail of blood that had formed above his lip. Brae-dyn raised his own lightsaber in a guard position, and realized with a start that his too was blue.

The Zabrak spoke. “You fight to maim, Sith. Are you sure you’re really up for this?”

Brae-dyn’s eyes narrowed as he finally looked into the eyes of his opponent. The Zabrak was staggering, but he took the offensive nonetheless. His attack came in a quick thrust, which Brae-dyn easily parried and side-stepped, but instead of countering with his saber, he reached out with his other hand and caught hold of one of the Zabrak’s larger horns.

A brief surge of respect for the Jedi caused only a fraction of a second’s hesitation before a sharp jerk detached the horn from the Zabrak’s head. The Jedi howled in pain and dropped to a knee, his neck exposed for a perfect killing blow.

Instead, Brae-dyn crashed his knee into the man’s already tender face, sending him sprawling back to the floor.

“Stay down, Jedi,” he hissed.

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