The Photonovel Alliance
ERA OF DARKNESSChapter 1-06






    











Meade struggles to his feet as he breathes heavily.





“Sir!? Anyone!” Kalin yells over the crackling of the fire.





“Hello!?” yells Meade as he tries to catch his breath. “Can you hear us?”













Kane emerges from the smoke, coughing as his helmet’s respirator works hard to filter the thick air.





“There he is!” yells Kalin, throwing his rifle down to help his squad leader.





The solider pulls Kane from the rubble, squinting through the sweat as it collects above his brow.





Meade makes his way to Kane, falling next to him as he checks the damage on his armor. “Are you okay sir? Are you hurt? Where’s Darr?”





“Darr!” yells Kane suddenly, pointing to the temple consumed in fire.





“He’s still in there!” Kane says with a gruff voice as he staggers to his feet. “I’m going back!”





Meade quickly puts his arm against Kane, blocking him. “No, you can’t go back in there!”





“He’s right!” says Kalin grabbing Kane’s arm. “You can’t sir, you can’t!”





Haas runs up to the scene still watching the smoke billow from the temple’s entrance.





Suddenly the crackling of the fire grows louder and an explosion knocks the squad to their feet.









The men move about on the ground, static sounding in their ears.





“We gotta get out of here,” says Haas. “We gotta go!”





The men groan as they recover from the explosion.





“Don’t leave him behind! Darr!” shouts Kane.

“He’s gone, sir,” says Meade over the wind. “He’s gone.”






“No,” cries Kane. “No, let me go! He’s still in there!”





“We need to move out, sir!”





“Frak me,” whispers Haas to himself, watching the temple burn.





“We have to get to the shuttle,” says Kalin over the wind. “Darr is gone!”





“I’ve got point!” yells the soldier. “Meade, help the Lieutenant! Haas, cover our six. We’re leaving!”





Meanwhile, back on the Aberrant Dawn, the vessel’s crew is questioned by officers from the Star Destroyer Dark Talon.





“You are telling me you know that Kane and his men have committed treason?” asks Colonel Elliot.





“Yes-yes they have,” says Lieutenant Sumner. “I overheard it during the mission. They’ve double crossed us all! They met a rebel fugitive, they planned to give us all up. I heard it all-all of it with my own ears. They want us all dead! ‘Long live the Empire’ I say, and kill these traitorous snakes!”





“Quite interesting. We’ll arrest them when their shuttle arrives,” she says. “Take him to the brig.”





“What!? You said you would let me go! I gave you the traitors!” cries Sumner.





“I never told you that,” smirks the colonel. “You’ve still intercepted classified mission communications, and committed treason against the Empire yourself.”





“No-no!!!!” cries Sumner. “You-said it! This isn’t right! I gave you the traitors! It’s not fair!!!”





“He’s right,” she smiles. “There isn’t much that is fair anymore.”





“Sargent, escort me to the bridge. I want to see Captain Brior. He needs to see how a true officer holds command of an Imperial Star Destroyer.”





“Come on, get in!” says Kalin over the wind as the men board their shuttle on the planet below.

















“Goodbye Darr.”





“Has her shuttle arrived yet?” whispers Captain Brior. “Is she here?”





“By command of Admiral Gala, commanding officer of the Star Destroyer Dark Talon, I am here to take control of this vessel.”





“Captain Brior, I have been asked to remove you from command, do you comply?”









“Do you comply?” she repeats.





“I do.”





“Good.” The officer turns to the crew members. “Everyone, I’ll have your attention. I am Colonel Elliot. Soon one of your shuttles will return to this ship. Aboard are traitors to the Empire. Instruct them to land in docking bay 7. That is all.”





The colonel turns to her Stormtrooper escort. “You and your man stay here. Have a squad meet me in bay 7-”





“Sir,” cries Corporal Volgrin, bursting into the room. “Captain Brior, they’ve taken Sumner to the brig, he’s being tried for-”





“Treason, my dear,” Colonel Elliot interrupts with a sly tongue. “He is a traitor, and he will receive full punishment just as he deserves: death.”





“What? You can’t do that!” Volgrin says crying. “He deserves-”





“Alyaa, stop.” says Brior sternly.





“She can’t do this captain! There’s no grounds for it!” says Volgrin. “Sumner isn’t a traitor!”





“He is,” the colonel commands. “Take her to the brig as well.”





The young officer resists the troopers as they attempt to take her into custody.





“Watch her!”

“Grab her arm!”






“Corporal, calm down!” says Brior.

“You can’t do this! You can’t!” she cries. “Captain, they can’t!”






“I can, and I will,” says Colonel Elliot, watching.





“No-no! Stop it!” Volgrin says as the scuffle continues.





“You-” She yells at the Colonel. “You’re terrible! I hope you die! Stop it!” she cries as she fights the men. “You can go crawl back in whatever sarlacc pit spit you-”













“If anyone else aboard this vessel impedes my command of this ship, I will, by order of the Imperial Security Bureau, shoot them on sight with no further warning.”





“Now,” Colonel Elliot says taking a breath. “Carry on.”





The colonel turns on her heels as the blast door opens in front of her.















ERA OF DARKNESS
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