Adam vaulted easily over the fallen tree that was between him and the enemy, running at a full sprint toward the formation of Szuu’s soldiers that were arrayed on the battlefield. It was difficult to perfectly make them out through the haze of the sandstorm that had kicked up less than ten minutes before, but he could see well enough to navigate the field. Szuu’s forces would likely be worse off; they also had to contest with the rising sun in their eyes.
As he ran, Adam had a strange moment of lucid thought to consider the symbolism of the time of the battle and the position of the two armies. The combined forces of the Republic and the Jedi Order had their backs to the dawn, while behind Szuu’s forces was the retreating night sky. Adam smiled for just a moment, considering it an auspicious omen. Light versus dark, good versus evil.
Then he buried his lightsaber in the unfortunate Sith soldier that stood before him.
For several minutes the battle was simply a blur. He could sense Daedor and Goran, both nearby, laying into the Sith lines and dealing heavy casualties.
“Set the hook!” Daedor shouted. Both Adam and Goran nodded and plunged deeper into the Sith lines, attempting to cause as much of a ruckus as possible. Adam kicked a soldier in the chest and struck down another with his saber, taking a moment to scan the area around him.
Less than fifty feet away, Darth Tomb was stalking toward them.
Adam fought down the brief flash of fear that threatened to overwhelm him. Instead he reached out through the Force, lifted a nearby Sith speederbike, and flung it directly into the armored Sith Lord’s face.
Tomb staggered and fell to one knee, and Adam noted that the Sith Lord had lost his helmet from the impact. He braced himself, concentrating to keep his hold on the heavy speeder, and readied to slam the vehicle into Tomb a second time.
Please, no! That is my father! It was Goran’s voice in his head, speaking to him quickly through the Force. Adam blinked in surprise, arrested the speederbike before it could slam into Tomb, and instead flung it end-over-end into another rank of charging soldiers. Bodies went flying in every direction, and a handful of seconds later the vehicle exploded, causing even more damage and confusion to the Sith lines.
“Withdraw!” Adam swung his saber at another soldier that had made the mistake of getting too close to him, then turned and bounded back toward their own front lines. Goran was less than a step behind him, but Daedor was almost completely surrounded.
Both Adam and Goran stopped, turned, and lashed out with the Force. Sith soldiers toppled all around the Iktotchi Jedi, and after adding his own parting shot (which felled nearly half a dozen soldiers) Daedor was running toward them.
Adam looked to Goran. “Do you have this under control?”
Goran nodded. “Go.”
The young human turned and sprinted away at a right angle. Five meters later he leaned down in mid-stride and slapped one hand against the ground, calling on the Force to hurl himself through the air. He tumbled almost gracelessly through the air, head over heels several times over, and landed on his feet atop the steepled roof of the ancient castle tower that the raging sandstorm had begun to uncover.
Adam turned off his saber, taking a moment to catch his breath and survey the battle. He watched as Goran flung Tomb through the air back toward the Order and Republic lines using the Force, and the Sith Lord did not stand back up. He saw Vadalia and Caine battling soldiers and Sith warriors both, alongside the majority of the Jedi Council. Sharn sailed through the air to land near his former master, and the two crossed sabers surrounded by Sith troops.
He saw Backus, Vandar, Stonewell, and Diin engage Szuu, and moments later Morrigan joined the battle as well.
Finally he picked out Troona as she stalked toward the grand melee between Jedi and Sith Masters. He closed his eyes and reached out to her through the Force.
Atop the tower rooftop. Come and face me.
When he opened his eyes he saw her staring at him with hatred and hunger, and she immediately changed course to begin running in his direction. Adam turned and walked to the other side of the tower, lowering to sit down and then folding his legs in front of him. Troona would not be long in arriving.
He took a few moments to meditate and refocus his mind.
If he hadn’t known better, it would have felt like hours before he heard Troona land almost directly in front of him. Adam opened his eyes and looked up at her; the Twi’lek girl was looking down at him with an expression somewhere between a smile and a sneer, saber in hand.
“Hello, Troona.” Adam’s voice was calm and even. He stood up with a deliberate slowness, then took his saber from his belt again and ignited the gold-colored blade.
“Hello, Adam. Ready to die?” Without waiting for a response, Troona swept her lightsaber at him. He batted it aside with little effort, then thrust out his free hand and pushed out with the Force, sending her stumbling to the opposite side of the tower.
“Today is not the day that I become one with the Force, Troona. What must I do to convince you that you could be so much more, so much greater, if you would only turn away from the Sith?” Adam’s tone was plaintive.
No sooner had the words left his lips, however, than Szuu landed on the tower roof at his apprentice’s side. Adam’s eyes narrowed, and without hesitation he strode toward the Sith Lord.
“Go away, Szuu. She does not belong to you anymore!” Then Adam leaned back, raised one foot, and kicked Darth Szuu square in the chest.
The Sith Lord was surprised by both the action itself and the strength behind it. He staggered backward, tried to catch himself, then tumbled over the edge as the rooftop tiles crumbled beneath his feet.
“You bastard! Why did you do that?!” Troona extended a hand, and Adam was bathed in lightning.
He fell to his knees and screamed.
The Twi’lek girl turned and jumped down after her Master. Adam managed to crawl to the edge of the tower roof and peer down just in time to see Backus land between Szuu and Troona. The Sith Lord was still dazed from his fall.
Backus lashed out with his saber, striking a telling blow. Troona’s expression turned from one of hatred to one of gleeful opportunity. She took a step forward and buried her own lightsaber into Backus’ back.
Szuu seemed to snap out of his daze with the combination of pain and anger. “I told you he was mine!” he bellowed. As Backus fell, Szuu seized his own apprentice and flung her carelessly away, nearly 15 meters.
Morrigan, who had been left to deal with the remaining Jedi Masters once Szuu had left the engagement, landed at the fallen Twi’lek girl’s side. “What did you do, you stupid girl?!” Kicks and insults rained down on Troona’s huddled form.
Adam summoned up his strength, pushed up to his feet, and launched himself into the air. “Leave her alone!”
He buried his own lightsaber in Morrigan’s shoulder before he even hit the ground. The Sith witch screamed in pain and hate, launched a final kick down at Troona (more insult than anything else), and turned to flee. Adam swung his saber again and struck, causing her to stagger and sneer over her shoulder at him, but then she was gone.
Szuu had called a retreat, it seemed. The remaining Sith soldiers were either surrendering or in a full run away from the battlefield, and what dark force users were still conscious were in a hurry to follow the lead of their Council leader.
Troona was still on the ground, huddled tightly and weeping. Adam turned off his saber, clipped it to his belt, and stepped up to her side. “I hope that this day has shown you that Szuu is not as powerful or fearsome as he would have you believe, Troona. And I hope you will not run away. I would like to talk to you, but for now I must see to my master.”
By the time Adam made it to Backus, Master Shasa was already there and seeing to his wounds. She looked up when he approached and shrugged. “I have done what I can, but I do not know if he will survive.”
Adam nodded his understanding. There was nothing he could do to help Backus at the moment. Instead he closed his eyes and reached out through the Force, sending his Master a teasing and friendly message.
Master, you must be more careful. I am not sure how many more of such grievous wounds you can take.
There was no response, but Adam had the feeling that Backus had heard him. Shasa was still watching him, and Adam nodded to her. “Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help him, Master Shasa.”
The Selkath Master nodded, and Adam returned to Troona’s side. She was crying on Sharn’s shoulder, but when Adam arrived the Kel Dor immediately handed her off to him.
“Did you put your old master to rest, Sharn?” Adam asked.
The Kel Dor nodded. “I am going to finish it now.”
Adam nodded again, and Sharn walked away. He looked down at the crying Twi’lek in his arms. “Can you walk?”
“I… I think so,” was her sobbed response.
“Come, then. Let us find someone to see to your injuries, and then you can get some rest. I am sure you are very tired.” Adam was bone-tired himself, but he knew that it would probably be at least a few hours before he would have the luxury of rest.
He located Master Shasa, and she agreed to see to Troona’s wounds. Afterward he began to walk back toward their camp, meeting up with Goran and the others as they began to trickle away from the battlefield.
“Adam, well done,” Goran said.
Adam flashed a quick smile to the Arkanian Jedi. “You as well, Goran. I am sorry if I seriously injured your father. I didn’t know it was him.”
Goran nodded. “I know. It’s alright, I believe he will be fine. Eventually.”
They walked in silence for a handful of minutes before Adam blinked and looked around. “Goran… where is Daedor?”
“I thought he was with you,” Goran answered.
Adam shook his head. “I have not seen him since I went to the tower and left the two of you on the field.”
To be continued…