Vader examined the wreckage of the base with interest. He could feel the presence of his other half with such intensity, it burned in his chest. He twirled what looked like the remains of a charred lightsaber in his palm, lost in thought.
He could tell there had been 10 of them. Most had been killed on the way into the Sith's chambers. He could feel that more had lost their lives here, too. Who and how, he was uncertain, but two presences were strong and familiar enough for him to pick up. Anakin and Kol had survived the battle. There were to others, but he wasn't familiar enough with either to know who they were.
"You waste time, Vader." Lumiya hissed,uncomfortably close to his helmet. "While you focus on this mess, the Jedi get away."
"He doesn't need your input, Lumiya." Darth Caudus, Vader's grandchild, said. "He is far more experienced than you in this area."
"Foolish boy, you..."
"Enough!" Vader boomed, rising. "I have no patience for your bickering. Keep silent unless spoken too."
Lumiya begrudgingly stepped aside, and Caudus merely shut himself out again. It was rather annoying, Vader thought. He knew it was a valuable asset, but Jacen used the ability like a crutch to lean on, like a mask from the world. How he managed to become a Sith Lord with such a crutch, Vader would never know.
Commander Cody approached the group, giving a crisp salute. "Sir, we've found a trace of movement. Four of them, making a run for the grasslands."
Vader looked up at the full moon. "And so the true hunt begins."
Kol ran as fast as his legs could carry him.
The Recon troopers of Vader's men had caught them just a little earlier while taking a ration brake. Now they had an unknown amount of survivors tailing them through the brush. Lowie had gone up to take out as many as possible, but it seemed that there were much more their than a few recon troopers.
They'd set themselves at different places in the trees, with Kol on the floor, Anakin just ahead, Tsui just above, and Lowie in the trees. It had been enough to divide up and finish off the first few recon troops, but not this mass coming for them.
Lowbacca dropped out of now where beside Anakin, while Kol caught up and Tsui dropped down. "You were right, this is Vader's men. Lumiya and Caudus are with him, not far behind us. We have another problem, too...." The Wookiee trailed off.
"What?" Anakin barked.
"We're coming up on the grasslands, but from the wrong side. The border mountains are just ahead."
Anakin curled his lip back in frustration. Kol looked ahead. He could see the end of the forest already. "Well, they haven't caught up yet. We'll have too....."
Anakin was cut off when an armored shape fell from the tree's, stopping the four in their tracks.
Kol examined the new threat. He was decked out in full Mandalorian armor, a striking red modern set. He carried a verpine rifle, which was now aimed at Anakins head. Kol went for his saber, but soon found a second muzzle pushed against his back. "Drop the saber, arueetiise." The person said, as he circled around to face Kol. This one wore armor similar to a Clone Troopers, only heavier and in matte black.
More figures dropped from the trees, four more in Matte black, and seven in full Mandalorian armor, all in different colors. Kol felt helpless as the armored attackers took their weapons.
"Jetiise, Ba'buire." Said a grey armored Mando. "We don't need their scum."
"Wait, please!" Said Tsui. "You don't understand, Vader's troops are on their way...."
"Vader?" The red armored Mando the other had called Ba'buir, spat. "Why would he come all the way out here?"
"He's chasing us, we're all that's left of a Jedi squad that..."
Another clone cut Anakin off, and stared at his face.
"Hey, hey, look what we got hear, boys, Vader's goodie-to-shoes half, in the flesh!" He laughed to himself.
Another clone walked over to him, and stuck his blaster under Anakin's chin. "We should kill him now, he's not worth the trouble he'll bring."
"No." said a feminine voice from above them. "Atin, back off." The woman, in battle armor, but helmet less, a blaster strapped to her back and two lightsabers on her belt, dropped into view. "They're right. Stormtroopers are on the way. We need to get into the base before Vader crashes the party."
Tsui tilted his head slightly. "Etain Tur-Mukan?"
She merely nodded in acknowledgment, then walked up to the Red armored Mando. "We should get them inside, quickly. We don't want Vader catching them on our doorstep, do we?"
"But if we allow them in, he'll stick around longer."
The Black armored Mandalorian that had been covering Kol turned slightly so that he was both aiming at Kol and standing beside Etain. "But if we let them stay, they may talk. No, I say we take them in."
The red armored Mando tilted his head slightly, then nodded. "Fine, you will come with us, but don't think you're guests. You are strictly prisoners until the Mandalore council says otherwise."