Leaving the archives and defeated noghri behind, the heroes make their way down the sloping tunnel and enter a large cavern with gaping holes leading to water deep below.
And there, standing on the other side, illuminated by his lightsabre and that of his apprentice, is none other than Inquisitor Draco.
“You make out a figure in a flowing scarlet robe of septsilk. You recognize him from the message you received many months ago after your adventure on Bespin: Inquisitor Valin Draco. He is flanked on one side by a stern-looking female whose lightsaber gives a red tint to their surroundings. There is a glint in Draco’s eye and a chilling smile on his lips, as if he already knows more about you than you know about yourselves. Just behind Draco, an incandescent object floats in the air, seeming to grow out of a small cube strapped to Draco’s forearm.”
As the heroes spread out from the entrance, Draco talks to them, as, unseen, his Shadow Troopers make ready to fire their stealth rifles.
“I am Valin Draco, and, like you, I once thought myself a hero. During the Clone Wars, the brave men and women I commanded called me the ‘Valiant Dragon’ as we fought in epic conflicts for the
corrupt Republic. But after I was left for dead on the battlefield of Parein II 4, flattering titles lost their meaning for me. These are dark times, and I know that you’ve suffered great losses, that you wrestle with the same concerns of virtue and compromise that I did as a Jedi, the same concerns that have plagued the conscientious since time immemorial. Surrender yourselves to the Empire. I promise your treatment will be gentler, and you might even be given the chance to serve me. Surrender yourselves—or face your destiny.”
The heroes, naturally, refuse, and initiate combat as Tracer opens fire, trying unsuccessfully to destroy the wrist-computer that the Sith Holocron is attached to.
Draco salutes them, saying “As you die, rest assured that I reflected on you as on all enemies:
despising that you must be wrong and I right, but reveling in the triumph of my convictions while whatever species of maggot indigenous to this world expedites the transition of your carcasses from this existence to the next.”
And while While Draco speaks, the sinister blot hovering behind him seems to pulse and seethe with rage. “Before your eyes, the wraith seems to transfer some of its dark energy into the Inquisitor, wreathing the Human in shadows. The evil holocron gatekeeper hovering in the room seems to writhe with malevolence, and there is clearly some vile connection between it and the Inquisitor. Draco’s eyes acquire a sickening gold hue, and his voice plummets in pitch as he gives a command to the woman and soldiers at his side. ‘My brave companions—kill them,’ says Draco”.
Raik Muun steps forward to deal with them:
“The fire-haired woman stalks toward you, clad in a dark version of the Inquisitor’s attire. She appears Human, but something about her says otherwise. Then you see it. Draco’s gaze shows ruthlessness and calculation, but this Dark Jedi’s entrancing, green-slitted pupils harbor only murder and dementia.”
With the flick of a thumb, the red blade of her lightsaber streaks into existence, casting her body into a bewitching vermillion glow. Each syllable of her death sentence tumbles like wisps of smoke from her lips. “Come at me one at a time or all at once. All shall pass from this world.”
And the melee commences:
As blaster bolts rip chunks out of the wall from the unseen rifles of the Shadow Troopers, the somewhat battered and scorched Droid of Doom opens up with a burst of auto-fire, missing Draco but catching Raik Muun with several bolts. The two Dark Jedi call upon the Dark Side of the Force, imbuing themselves with Dark Rage.
Jedi Riddick uses the Force to sense the Shadow Troopers, locating them and quickly pointing them out to the others. Valdor gestures to the others, directing them as the Jedi moves up to deal with the Dark apprentice and the former clone trooper starts edging around the edge, looking for the hidden Shadow Troopers.
The Dark Side is strong, and it seems that luck is against the heroes. First off, an invisible bolt hits Valdor, wounding him. Then Inquisitor Draco uses Move Object, which Riddick fails to Rebuke, and is thrown against the wall with a solid crunch. Raik Muun partially deflects another burst of fire from the Droid of Doom, and then the Dark Jedi stabs out with her lightsabre, but the blow is blocked by the Padawan’s hand as he Negates the Energy of the blade for a moment. He retaliates, swinging low and scoring a hit, using the following hesitation to catch his breath. Meanwhile, Tracer spots a couple of Shadow Troopers, almost hidden in the darkness of the cavern; he opens up with a burst of blaster bolts, piercing armour and wounding them; and then Valdor finished them off with a well-aimed frag grenade.
Inquisitor Draco follows up with a Force Grip on Riddick, clutching his throat, as his apprentice moves up hoping for a kill. She is distracted by another burst of auto-fire from the Droid of Doom, which helps the struggling Jedi block a thrust from Raik Muun’s lightsabre. As Tracer moves to flank, he tries to hit Draco, but the Dark Jedi deflects the shot, right back into Tracer, scoring a glancing blow, and Valdor lobs another grenade, injuring the other two Shadow Troopers, who both miss with their shots.
Then the heroes luck turns. Raik Muun fails to dodge more blaster bolts from the Droid, and her attack is blocked by the Jedi Riddick’s blade. Released from the Force Grip, the young Padawan uses the Force to drain the power from the Sith Holocron, taking out the Darth Rivan ghost, and visibly weakening the Inquisitor. This distraction allows both Tracer and Valdor to land shots on the Dark Jedi, neither deflected; and the two injured Shadow Troopers also miss, their shots going wide.
Riddick cuts down Raik Muun, then is struck by a powerful burst of Force Lightning from Inquisitor Draco, which knocks the Jedi prone and causes his muscles and nerves to spasm. Tracer opens fire with full auto, some bolts hitting Draco, others deflected, and then Valdor takes out the last two Shadow Troopers with another grenade.
Only Inquisitor Draco stands before the heroes now, enraged and in melee with the Jedi. He lashes out, but Riddick blocks skilfully, but his return attack is just as easily blocked. Then the Droid of Doom and Tracer open up with full auto-fire, some bolts deflected and others striking the Dark Jedi, scorching his arms and legs. Then, visibly injured and weakening before their eyes, Inquisitor Draco Force Slams Riddick to the ground, and in a final burst of auto-fire, the deadly Droid of Doom guns the Dark Jedi down; who crashes to the floor, and rolls off into the dark chasm below, disappearing with a splash.
And as he falls, Riddick calls on the Force to summon the Holocron to him. The item they came for.
With the Dark Jedi left for dead, the heroes head out of the temple, as it begins to collapse around them:
“As you run through the ruins of the academy’s ground floor, the remaining walls of the fountain room and the columns in the entry hall collapse around you, showering you with dust. As you leap for the exit out of the academy, huge clouds of dust billow into the air, obscuring your view as the ground quakes and devours the ruins. As the dust clears, you could not have imagined how good
Almas’ toxin-filled air would feel in your lungs. It’s a good thing you rescued the holocron, because no one will be able to go back down there for a long, long time. Looking away from the falling rubble, you see the familiar buildings of deserted Forard city. You feel like resting a bit before walking back to your ship. You can’t wait to reunite with your uncomfortable bunk bed.
Master Denia will be grateful that you’ve recovered the holocron. You should return to the Resurgence soon, before more Imperial agents come looking for Inquisitor Draco.”
They quickly board the Heart of Alderaan and leave the system, entering hyperspace before the Imperials can locate them. Back on-board the Resurgence, they hand over the holocron to Master Denia, after telling them about Draco and learning that he used to be her Padawan.
“This sounds like quite an ordeal you experienced, and whether you follow the Jedi ways or not, you have contributed greatly to the enlightenment of the Force. With this item, I will seek answers about the slaves that you rescued at Bespin, and hopefully some clues about the Empire’s Sarlacc Project. I am also curious about the creatures and evil forces that you encountered in the academy, and if I find information about them, I will advise you. But now if you’ll excuse me, I must meditate.”
And as she does so, the heroes retire for some much needed rest and recuperation.
End of Episode Four
Heroes are now all Level 9