Era of Darkness VOL 2: Chapter 8

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Click Here for Era of Darkness Volume 1: Chapters 1-10
Click Here for Era of Darkness Volume 2: Chapter 1
Click Here for Era of Darkness Volume 2: Chapter 2
Click Here for Era of Darkness Volume 2: Chapter 3
Click Here for Era of Darkness Volume 2: Chapter 4
Click Here for Era of Darkness Volume 2: Chapter 5
Click Here for Era of Darkness Volume 2: Chapter 6
Click Here for Era of Darkness Volume 2: Chapter 7









"We must be close," says Kane. "He should be up here."



"We're close, right?" asks Dreya as she checks the corner.



"Yeah," says Jai slowly, looking around. "It should be just up here."



Kane lets out a controlled breath as he scans the small space. "I'll go on up ahead."



"Let me run up here," says Jai to the group of Alliance contacts. "Just cover my back."







"Nice to see you again," says Jai, holstering his pistol.
Kane smirks under his helmet. "Likewise."



"So what's this about?" asks Kane. "Any news on the Rebels? Dreya? The Cerean?"
Jai Wroth feels a chill go up his legs as he thinks about what to say next. "Well," he pauses. "Not exactly."



Kane grasps his pistol as his eyes move side to side, watching for any hint of what might occur.



"It's," Jai begins. "This is going to be sudden, okay?" he pauses.



"What did you do?" growls Kane loudly.



"Just remember to stay calm, please."



"Drop your weapon!" a voice echos throughout the space suddenly.



"Stay there, stay there!" shouts another Rebel. "Don't move!"



"Hey, woa! Woa!" Shouts Kalin as he comes around the corner, quickly spotting the Rebels with their rifles raised.



"Stop there! Hold it!"



"Don't count on it!" shouts Haas as he enters the corridor, scanning for potential targets.
"Wait!" says Meade. "Hold your fire, no one fire!"



"I can get two of them," says Kalin without blinking. "Just say so!"



"Wait, wait!" says Jai walking between the two groups. "Hold up! Just stop! Hear me out here!"



"Wroth!" Get to cover!" Commands Dreya, her heart beating a bit harder, seeing the man step between the two groups. "Please," she says, focusing on Kane.



"Wait," whispers Jai with a slight smile. "Just wait."



He slowly turns to make eye contact with Kane, his nerves touchy. "Look, Kane," he says, trying to appeal to him. "You have to understand. I've got good intentions here. You-you," he stammers. "We just need to talk about something, about your friend, Brior."



"I know, I'm not supposed to know about that," says Jai to Dreya. "But I do. And they deserve to know."



"It's our fault," he says. "No one has heard from him because the Alliance got him caught. He needs your help Kane. He needs your men. He needs us to help him." Jai raises his hands, not sure what will happen. "The Empire detained him in an Imperial prison-"



"Hey!" yells the Alliance rifleman. "Don't say anything else-"
"Quiet!" commands Dreya, watching the situation, her eyes wide.



"Why would Captain Brior be in an Imperial Prison?" asks Kane, gritting his teeth. "Tell me that."



"It's complicated," says Jai. "Everything's complicated, okay? I'll explain-we'll explain everything we know, let's just lower our weapons first, alright?"



"We're not gonna do that right now," says Kane. "That one-eyed Cerean tried to convince us Brior was a Rebel sympathizer. You know where Rebels belong? Hell."



"Don't escalate it Kane," says Meade. "Kalin, Haas, come on! Think here!"



"Kane," says Jai. "Brior was looking out for you. Get me? The Empire detained him because he was looking out for you. He wanted peace. That's all!"



"The Aberrant Dawn is behind us, we want to be clear of that mess. I don't know what you're trying to do here-"



"You never will be," says Jai. "You know that they won't stop hunting you. Brior has been detained. I'm not lying to you. You needed to know. You needed to meet these people and hear it for yourself."



"Brior is a good man."



"I'm sure."



"He is," adds Dreya. "And a good friend."



"Brior is no friend to you," says Kalin bluntly.



"You'd be surprised," she responds.



"Look," says Jai. "This is the situation. The Empire wants us all dead or locked up. And one way or another, they're gonna get that. Right?"



"I'm finally understanding," he says. "There's always gonna be this big divide that separates the galaxy. And it doesn't matter what I do, I'm caught in the middle. But maybe sometimes we just need to step back and look at things from a distance."



"There's people we like, and people we don't like. Sometimes we just have to figure things out for ourselves and work past our differences. Sometimes living is more important. Sometimes we're just gonna have to cast our differences aside and stand up for what we think is right. Sometimes we're gonna have to ignore the past so we can press on."



"I know things are tough, and you have to keep playing sides. And you can all hate me, and you can want to kill me for this, all of you. But you needed to know about Brior, and they needed to tell you. And this might have been the only way we could have met."



"Because this galaxy is broken. And it's gonna take a lot of different people to fix it! We can agree on that, right? And you can fight for different things: justice, independence, clearing your names and righting your wrongs, but that's also gonna take cooperation. It's gonna be working together and it's gonna be hard, but we have to figure something out. We have to help Brior."



"Okay?"



"Contact right!!!!"










"Kane," shouts Jai. "Watch it!"



"We have to go!" shouts Dreya over the blaster fire.



"Copy that!" growls Kane. "We're getting out of here!"





"Watch the flank!" yells Kalin, as Imperial soldiers begin to block the group in.



"Kane, fall back through that corridor! We'll cover you!"



Kane growls audibly.






"We're cut off!" says Kalin. "We can't go that way!"



"Go out the back," bellows Kane.



"You sure about this, sir?" asks Kalin sarcastically as he fires his pistol.



"No," says Kane.



"And you! We're gonna talk if we survive this."




"Fall back, fall back" shouts the rebels as they flee the corridor, while several blaster bolts fly past Dreya, each barely missing her.



"We're moving, let's go, let's go!"



"Dreya!" shouts Jai, as she stumbles to get behind cover.



"Come on, let's go, let's go!"



Quickly, the group exits the alcove-



-As Kane fires off one last shot.



The smell off burnt air whirls through the tight space.



"They're on the run!"



"Cease fire, cease fire," commands the sergeant. "Maintain positions."



"Sir, shouldn't we pursue?"



"Negative-"



"Too many loses for a patrol-"



"We'll call it in."
 
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Thanks for reading man! You know I would hate for anything I do to be "normal", LOL.
 
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Jodo!! Another spectacular chapter in this absolutely sterling series! Let's dive right in, shall we?


The Kane's Log is still an excellent and efficient way to bring the viewer back up to speed on what's going on. No offense to other PN writers out there, but I VASTLY prefer it to having the "Star Wars" crawl in literally every chapter, especially since sometimes the chapters take place immediately after the previous chapter. Anyway....


The sense of tension in this chapter is absolutely terrific. The mounting sense of danger is truly palpable. I love Jai's "This is going to be sudden, okay?" So much delicious suspense!


And you maintain that throughout the entire confrontation, Mexican standoff style. It's really terrific, really engaging stuff.


I really like the fact that, despite all that's happened to hijm, Kane would never consider himself a rebel and still has general contempt for the rebellion.


But, of course, there's no better way than to make allies than to have a mutual enemy show up and start blasting everything! Can't wait to see what the future chapters have in store as Kane is pulled (whether he likes it or not) more into the lives of this band of rebels.




The visuals remain outstanding. The gun fight has a real sense or chaos, of movement and kineticism. Really feels urgent and alive, with a real sense of danger. Awesome. I already called out my favorite shot in this chapter above, but just about any shot with Dreya in the frame during the battle is absolutely aces. Loved it!


Between the visuals of the crummy, desolate planet, the rag-tag look to the troops, etc. this really evokes "Rogue One" in all the best ways, giving it a real gritty, on the ground feeling of a very rough and tumble group of rebels who are just barely eeking by. The overall tone of the series is just delightful.


Just a few comments/questions and light critiques -


Wasn't sure if it was the Rebel solider or the stormtrooper who said "Contact right!", but consider the Rebel gets off the first shot, I'm assuming it's him. Might have been scarier, though, if the Imperials got the drop on our gang and managed to get off a kill before our heroes could regroup.


I think the writing in the chapter is excellent, as always, but I think Jai's speechifying went on just a little too long and was a little too didactic and, well, almost too "good." I think you could have scaled it back just a little and gotten the point across.


I do wish Dreya was a little more involved in this chapter. She has great moments, but it feels like Jai Wroth has sort of eclipsed her in importance. There's nothing wrong with that in theory. He's a great character and his put-upon circumstances make him a good and conflicted protagonist.


But given that Dreya has a (still murky) history with kane, it seems like she should have stepped in a little more to help diffuse the situation or something. The implication seemed to be that Kane and Dreya had a friendship and a lot of history. Odd that she wouldn't try to intervene more directly and that Kane wouldn't want to hear from her and not from Wroth to clear things up a bit.


Please, dear god, in the next chapter, let's have Kane out of that uniform. It seems like a natural fit. He's already crossed paths with those imperials and they are sure to remember those distinctive "surplus" uniforms. It feels like the safest way for him and Able squad to proceed would be to ditch the highly recognizable suits and try to blend in.


One more comment about the visuals. While your framing and "directing" is always terrific, I had a suggestion about the opening sequence.


I loved the shots of the different parties slowly converging on each other. But I wonder if you switched it up so it looked like each team was coming from a separate direction if it might help convey that effect.


Both teams seem to be arriving from stage left. But what if it looked like they were coming from opposite directions and moving to converge in a vaguely central location? take a look and let me know if you think this works.








Does that do anything? I'm not sure....just a thought.


Anyway, another marvelous chapter with fantastic, visceral action, drama and incredible tension!


Thanks for continuing with this spectacular series and I can't wait to see things move forward.


(and, you know, it wouldn't hurt to check in with my old friend Colonel Elliot from time to time.... :D And I'm also wondering if/when Lt. Sumner will make a surprise return, since he's so far been pretty lax on his mission to track down Able Squad!)
 
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Screw you photobucket.

Click Here for Era of Darkness Volume 1: Chapters 1-10 and Volume 2: Chapters 1-7










"We must be close," says Kane. "He should be up here."



"We're close, right?" asks Dreya as she checks the corner.



"Yeah," says Jai slowly, looking around. "It should be just up here."



Kane lets out a controlled breath as he scans the small space. "I'll go on up ahead."



"Let me run up here," says Jai to the group of Alliance contacts. "Just cover my back."







"Nice to see you again," says Jai, holstering his pistol.
Kane smirks under his helmet. "Likewise."



"So what's this about?" asks Kane. "Any news on the Rebels? Dreya? The Cerean?"
Jai Wroth feels a chill go up his legs as he thinks about what to say next. "Well," he pauses. "Not exactly."



Kane grasps his pistol as his eyes move side to side, watching for any hint of what might occur.



"It's," Jai begins. "This is going to be sudden, okay?" he pauses.



"What did you do?" growls Kane loudly.



"Just remember to stay calm, please."



"Drop your weapon!" a voice echos throughout the space suddenly.



"Stay there, stay there!" shouts another Rebel. "Don't move!"



"Hey, woa! Woa!" Shouts Kalin as he comes around the corner, quickly spotting the Rebels with their rifles raised.



"Stop there! Hold it!"



"Don't count on it!" shouts Haas as he enters the corridor, scanning for potential targets.
"Wait!" says Meade. "Hold your fire, no one fire!"



"I can get two of them," says Kalin without blinking. "Just say so!"



"Wait, wait!" says Jai walking between the two groups. "Hold up! Just stop! Hear me out here!"



"Wroth!" Get to cover!" Commands Dreya, her heart beating a bit harder, seeing the man step between the two groups. "Please," she says, focusing on Kane.



"Wait," whispers Jai with a slight smile. "Just wait."



He slowly turns to make eye contact with Kane, his nerves touchy. "Look, Kane," he says, trying to appeal to him. "You have to understand. I've got good intentions here. You-you," he stammers. "We just need to talk about something, about your friend, Brior."



"I know, I'm not supposed to know about that," says Jai to Dreya. "But I do. And they deserve to know."



"It's our fault," he says. "No one has heard from him because the Alliance got him caught. He needs your help Kane. He needs your men. He needs us to help him." Jai raises his hands, not sure what will happen. "The Empire detained him in an Imperial prison-"



"Hey!" yells the Alliance rifleman. "Don't say anything else-"
"Quiet!" commands Dreya, watching the situation, her eyes wide.



"Why would Captain Brior be in an Imperial Prison?" asks Kane, gritting his teeth. "Tell me that."



"It's complicated," says Jai. "Everything's complicated, okay? I'll explain-we'll explain everything we know, let's just lower our weapons first, alright?"



"We're not gonna do that right now," says Kane. "That one-eyed Cerean tried to convince us Brior was a Rebel sympathizer. You know where Rebels belong? Hell."



"Don't escalate it Kane," says Meade. "Kalin, Haas, come on! Think here!"



"Kane," says Jai. "Brior was looking out for you. Get me? The Empire detained him because he was looking out for you. He wanted peace. That's all!"



"The Aberrant Dawn is behind us, we want to be clear of that mess. I don't know what you're trying to do here-"



"You never will be," says Jai. "You know that they won't stop hunting you. Brior has been detained. I'm not lying to you. You needed to know. You needed to meet these people and hear it for yourself."



"Brior is a good man."



"I'm sure."



"He is," adds Dreya. "And a good friend."



"Brior is no friend to you," says Kalin bluntly.



"You'd be surprised," she responds.



"Look," says Jai. "This is the situation. The Empire wants us all dead or locked up. And one way or another, they're gonna get that. Right?"



"I'm finally understanding," he says. "There's always gonna be this big divide that separates the galaxy. And it doesn't matter what I do, I'm caught in the middle. But maybe sometimes we just need to step back and look at things from a distance."



"There's people we like, and people we don't like. Sometimes we just have to figure things out for ourselves and work past our differences. Sometimes living is more important. Sometimes we're just gonna have to cast our differences aside and stand up for what we think is right. Sometimes we're gonna have to ignore the past so we can press on."



"I know things are tough, and you have to keep playing sides. And you can all hate me, and you can want to kill me for this, all of you. But you needed to know about Brior, and they needed to tell you. And this might have been the only way we could have met."



"Because this galaxy is broken. And it's gonna take a lot of different people to fix it! We can agree on that, right? And you can fight for different things: justice, independence, clearing your names and righting your wrongs, but that's also gonna take cooperation. It's gonna be working together and it's gonna be hard, but we have to figure something out. We have to help Brior."



"Okay?"



"Contact right!!!!" yells the rebel.










"Kane," shouts Jai. "Watch it!"



"We have to go!" shouts Dreya over the blaster fire.



"Copy that!" growls Kane. "We're getting out of here!"





"Watch the flank!" yells Kalin, as Imperial soldiers begin to block the group in.



"Kane, fall back through that corridor! We'll cover you!"



Kane growls audibly.






"We're cut off!" says Kalin. "We can't go that way!"



"Go out the back," bellows Kane.



"You sure about this, sir?" asks Kalin sarcastically as he fires his pistol.



"No," says Kane.



"And you! We're gonna talk if we survive this."




"Fall back, fall back" shouts the rebels as they flee the corridor, while several blaster bolts fly past Dreya, each barely missing her.



"We're moving, let's go, let's go!"



"Dreya!" shouts Jai, as she stumbles to get behind cover.



"Come on, let's go, let's go!"



Quickly, the group exits the alcove-



-As Kane fires off one last shot.



The smell off burnt air whirls through the tight space.



"They're on the run!"



"Cease fire, cease fire," commands the sergeant. "Maintain positions."



"Sir, shouldn't we pursue?"



"Negative-"



"Too many loses for a patrol-"



"We'll call it in."
 
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