Another chapter in The Enloe Trials is here! Hope you all enjoy, and as always I look forward to feedback! If you'd like to catch up on previous chapters first, the links are below:
The Enloe Trials Prologue: The Baron's Crusade
Chapter 1: Seeds of Insurrection
Chapter 2: Atrocity
Chapter 3: Revelations
Chapter 4: Shadow of Death
Chapter 5: Depths of Despair
Chapter 6: Seekers of the Dark Relic
Chapter 7: Veils of Deceit
Chapter 8: Catastrophe
Chapter 9: The Fall of Banyss
Chapter 10: Shards of Rebellion
Chapter 11: Desolation
Chapter 12: Rising Depths
Chapter 13: Desperate Measures
And updated character profiles are as follows:
Rykrof Enloe - Homeworld - Naboo. Former Republic Commander, who is now an enemy of the Empire. He has a history of entanglements with the Badoo Corba terrorist organization, dating back prior to the Clone Wars. He is a former close friend of Imperial Baron Tylin Gere and was been forced to embark on a desperate mission to acquire an ancient Sith artifact for Tylin - which ended in failure. Since then, he has inadvertently led Imperial forces to a secret Rebel base on Banyss, which was destroyed by Darth Vader's forces. Rykrof has now been taken captive by the Empire and resides in the Imperial penal colony on Tartaaris. Most of those dear to him believe he is now deceased.
K3-95 - Homeworld - Tartaaris. Pieced together from scrap and given life by an unknown prisoner resident on Tartaaris. He has befriended Rykrof following the recent death of his friend, Garlin Nomad.
The Maker - Homeworld - Unknown. Very little is know about this myserious individual, other than he is the current warden of the Imperial penal colony on Tartaaris. For years, he has crafted custom hunter droids from the countless junk piles on Tartaaris and programmed them to terrorize the prisoner population. Rarely seen by the local garrison, the Maker has recently been stirring due to rumors of a pending prisoner revolt.
Baron Tylin Gere - Homeworld - Naboo. Former close ally of Rykrof Enloe, the two served as Republic Peace Officers prior to the Clone Wars and later as officers in the Grand Army of the Republic. Tylin thirsts for power and has become obsessed with acquiring an ancient Sith artifact, which was recently acquired by Darth Vader, who he secretly sees as a rival. He has taken custody of Alyssa and Caldin Enloe, and ordered the death of Rykrof's father. He believes Rykrof Enloe is dead, once and for all.
Commander Vlarra Gere - Homeworld - Naboo. Nephew of Tylin Gere. Vlarra has always admired his uncle's ambition and strives to rise through the Imperial ranks quickly, regardless of the means.
Emperor Palpatine - Homeword - Naboo. Dark Lord of the Sith and the undisputed leader of the Galactic Empire. He attempted to mold Rykrof Enloe as the ideal Imperial officer but failed. He takes great interest in Baron Tylin Gere's personal quests for power and admires his ambition.
Darth Vader - Homeworld - Tatooine. Dark Lord of the Sith and follows the instructions of his master, Emperor Palpatine. During the Clone Wars, he was once friends with Rykrof Enloe. He considers Rykrof a traitor to the Empire but also is fully aware that Rykrof once helped protect Padme Amidala, and rather than killing him, he has spared Rykrof's life by sending him to a secret penal colony on Tartaaris. However, his loyalties to Emperor Palpatine are secure.
Unrest has crept into the prison population within the secret Imperial penal colony on Tartaaris.
Imperial Stormtroopers keep a watchful eye for any signs of insurrection...
...as the evil warden has pushed the inmates to the edge of revolt.
In the midst of the desperate situation, Rykrof Enloe attempts to form a daring coalition with the ruler of the last remaining prison gang on the planet.
Deep under the surface, he meets with Atracion.
"Tell me now," Atracion inquires of Rykrof.
"Educate me as why it is, that a noble hero of the Republic, such as yourself..."
"...was dumped into this pit of defecation with the likes of terrorists and murderers?"
"I wouldn't put my past on any sort of pedestal," Rykrof smiles half heartedly as he glances at Atracion's bodyguard.
"But after the war, I ended up getting tangled up with some rebels..."
"For whatever reason, once I was captured, Darth Vader spared my life..."
"...and I ended up here... with you."
"You know Darth Vader?" the alien grins, mocking Rykrof's story.
He then begins to laugh uncontrollably...
"Can I get your autograph?"
"Look... I made a deal that I thought would spare my family, and ended up here..."
"It's been a tough few years," Rykrof grimaces.
"...all I want is to get out of here and see my family again."
"I see... are you a father?" Atracion asks, changing his tone.
"Yes... I have a boy," Rykrof says sadly.
"Caldin is his name. Good kid... at least he was..."
"Rykrof Enloe, you're a good man; I can see that," the gang leader says quietly.
"If there were more people like you, and less scum like me, perhaps hell holes like this would not even exist."
"Now, before I change my mind... let's discuss your plan for getting us into the Maker's complex."
"There's a secret way into the base, but our overall tactics will depend on how many able men you have," Rykrof promptly tells him.
"Our numbers are limited," Atracion concedes.
"The droids have been more aggressive lately... I've lost over a dozen men in the past month alone..."
"...and the supply drops seem to have stopped."
"It's almost as if the Maker is daring a revolt," Rykrof wonders, as doubt begins to creep into his mind.
"This won't be easy."
"You can yell me more about this secret entrance into the Imperial complex tonight over dinner," Atracion proclaims as the two exit the chamber.
"Oh... and if you try and double cross me..."
"I'll have you beheaded."
"I see you've made a new friend," K3-95 says sarcastically.
"Cut the chatter," Rykrof tells the droid.
"I know what I'm doing."
As dawn breaks, a pair of Stormtroopers patrol the exterior of their command post.
Routine checks have become non-eventful over the years...
...but the Maker has put his troops on yellow alert.
"Keep your eyes open," the lead officer advises his partner.
"But, I'm sure these prisoners aren't dumb enough to..."
"...wait," he pauses.
"Did you hear something?"
Both men reverse their tracks and turn the corner...
...and spot an inmate standing several meters away.
"Hey!" the prisoner shouts.
"Can you tell me when the next supply drop's coming?"
"Drop the weapon!" the lead trooper orders him.
Just then, a pair of Atracion's men emerge from behind the Imperials...
...bringing them to the ground!
The lead officer then spins onto his back and raises his blaster...
...narrowly missing his assailant's head with a laser blast!
The second trooper is quickly subdued...
...while Rykrof makes short work of the officer.
"That was close," the Duros prisoner exhales.
"Glad you're okay," Rykrof sighs with relief.
"It was worth the risk for this blaster."
"We might also be able to use their armor..." Rykrof observes as Atracion approaches the group.
"Two down, one hundred to go," the gang leader growls.
"Well, it's a start," Rykrof replies.
"But we better get moving."
"Indeed... it's almost time to rendevous with the others."
Three kilometers to the south, Atracion's flank team has become delayed.
"This is a suicide mission," Halri Kidell insists to the others.
"...Atracion has lost his mind."
"Better watch what you're saying," Dra'lusk snaps at the Nikto.
"I'm worried too," Drite Bulo interjects.
"Something's not right. We haven't seen any droids since we left this morning."
"So what are you saying," Dra'lusk asks.
"That we're being set up?"
"We don't have time for this," Helmo Iteris insists.
"...we're behind schedule."
The argument is abruptly interrupted by a squad of Stormtroopers!
"Hey, you!" the lead trooper shouts.
"All of you! Drop your weapons!"
"Oh, damn," Felisa Gelmeye trembles.
"You're not authorized to be carrying those blasters," the trooper insists.
"We're not looking for any trouble," Dra'lusk tells the Imperials.
"We're just looking for supplies."
"You've entered a restricted area. Drop the blasters and turn around."
"What if we traded our weapons for rations?"
A laser burst then rips through Drite's chest!
"No!" Dra'lusk shouts!
Another blast then tears into Felisa!
"Run!" Halri bellows as he and Helmo dash past Felisa's fallen body...
...while Dra'lusk takes off in the opposite direction!
The Stormtroopers then quickly secure the scene of the massacre.
"Sir, they went off in different directions."
"One of them is headed toward the complex."
"He won't make it far before the next patrol finds him," the officer says.
"Inform Chief Rolem that we're in pursuit of the other two prisoners..."
"... and that the Maker was right... it's happening."