Ahara has fond memories for me. Firstly, I got to live out my fantasies of busting Rakata ass. Secondly, I got to go near Sravvies without shooting their faces in. Good times.
—A Necasian soldier reminiscing on the battle following the war
The Battle of Ahara was a battle during the Cruentusian War. It occurred when the elite Rakata commando group the Lost Ones, cut off from their civilization, arrived on the desert world of Ahara to activate a secret cadre of droids belonging to the Infinite Empire, the collapsed galactic Empire they had once worked for. As part of this plan, they had obtained the supposedly powerful artifact known as the Hand of Darkness several months before. In the process, however, they destroyed a spy outpost on the world belonging to the fascist Necasian Military, which managed to send out a distress call before its destruction. Both an elite Necasian squad, led by proclaimed Necasian hero Haveer Jarn, and a group of Srav Hammer Division troops led by Jarn's counterpart, Nataska Vergulva, picked up the distress call and arrived on the planet, and both had to reluctantly work with each other against the Ratakan droid legions. Meanwhile, the Zayre leader Storm Ironwings, treated as a heroine by her people, also participated in the battle, engaging the Lost Ones leader Ravyr in a duel. Nonetheless, with the combined efforts of the two commando groups, and to a lesser extent the Zayre, Ravyr was defeated and the Lost Ones fled, with their temple on the planet being razed by a Srav nuclear strike.
Ultimate power is within our grasp, and ours alone! So our former slaves are a bigger threat than expected! So what! By the end of this day, they shall kneel before us once more!
Months before, the Rakatan Lost Ones group had gained a powerful artifact, the Hand of Darkness, during a raid on Kopalnia. The artifact functioned in a similar way to a miniature Star Forge, drawing Force energy from around to empower the user, increasing said user's durability, reflexes and strength. Ravyr also believed that it could be somehow also used to access leftover remnants of Infinite Empire technology, assuming it could act as a key to Rakata vaults. He announced his plan to his followers: locate a cadre of the Infinite Empire's military droids, and along with the Hand of Darkness, use it to re-conquer the galaxy. Some of the other Lost Ones expressed doubt over this privately, as they were not willing to cross Ravyr while he had still had access to the Hand of Darkness.
Ravyr himself had been somewhat destabilized by realization of the power that was now granted to him, and was now increasingly prone to what his followers saw as impulses of a megalomaniac. Meanwhile, he worked on accessing former Infinite Empire intelligence networks via his ship's computer systems to gain the location of what he felt was the most convenient group of droids. Already, he was fantasizing of what he would do as ruler of the galaxy, and his own comrades by now were increasingly disturbed by his apparent mania. Soon, however, Ravyr had gained what he wanted: co-ordinates to a nearby droid storage vault on the desert world of Ahara, placed there by the Infinite Empire some time before as a contingency force in the event of a catastrophic disaster for it.
An advance Lost Ones scout probe made a quick reconnaissance operation over Ahara, and detected a spy outpost belonging to the Necasian Military on the planet, near the location of the Rakata facility. Ravyr decided to eliminate it, not because he considered it to be a threat, but because he wanted, in his own words, to get 'warmed up for war'. Unbeknown to the Lost Ones, the outpost had been placed there to intercept Srav Federation signals, and was equipped with some of the most advanced Necasian spy technology available. Also unknown to Ravyr was the presence of a Necasian transport with Haveer Jarn, considered a hero of the Necasians, and the elite commando squad known as Greyfox Squad aboard, passing nearby. Ravyr initiated his attack plan immediately.
Eliminating the outpost
Hah! These insects think they can stand against us! Crush them!
—A Lost Ones commando
The Lost Ones ship was detected by the sensor array at the outpost as it entered the planet's orbit. Because the personnel manning the base could not identify the type, despite the abilities of their technology, they simply assumed it was a lost merchant ship or some travelers stopping off at the planet. However, as the cruiser began a sharp atmospheric descent towards the outpost, the commander there immediately realized that something was wrong, and ordered the defenses online. Nevertheless, they were taken out in seconds by the cruiser's weapons as it descended, horrifying him.
Descending into the outpost via drop pods, the Lost One commandos began to kill the facility's staff, who were surprised, outnumbered and inadequately armed compared to the Lost Ones. However, the base commander managed to send off a distress call on maximum bandwidth, before he too was finally killed. Satisfied that all present were dead, Ravyr returned to the cruiser and triangulated the location of the Infinite Empire base on the planet, which was about fifty miles away. Arriving there, he found a large army of Rakata droids in storage beneath the complex, which he had expected. He also discovered that the army required a code to activate, becoming a source of frustration for him. However, after experimentation, he bypassed this by inserting the Hand of Darkness into the security system. As the droid army slowly started up, Ravyr gave a speech about the Infinite Empire reasserting its control, and then headed over to the main control area of the complex from where he intended to control the army.
However, Ravyr had failed to realize that passing through the system was a Necasian SkyBull-class transport vessel, with Haveer Jarn and Greyfox Squad aboard. Picking up the distress signal, Jarn was alarmed by its strength and the level of the alert, and so he ordered the transport to change course for Ahara, instructing his men that they would investigate the call and discover the attacks, assuming that they were possibly pirates or bandits.
Even as the Greyfox transport was changing course for Ahara, a Srav Federation transport passing by the system boundary also picked up the signal. Coincidentally, Nataska Vergulva, regarded as hero of the Sravs, and a group of Hammer Division special troops were aboard, as part of a scouting mission into the area to probe Necasian border territory. Intrigued by the signal, Vergulva also ordered her transport to head for Ahara, wondering why what she felt was such an insignificant outpost, owing to its location, would be attacked. Nevertheless, the Necasian transport arrived just ahead of the Sravs on the planet. Orbital scans of the area produced negligible results, so Jarn ordered his men to gear up.
Taken by surprise
You know, Jarn, I kinda think that reports of the Rakatan's demise were greatly exaggerated."
—Jarn and Snaipes Horgan
Entering the atmosphere, the transport deposited Jarn and Greyfox squad in the sky a short distance away from the outpost's remains. Parachuting down, the squad viewed the ruins of the outpost from afar, and saw it largely wrecked. Jarn ordered the squad to move out and investigate the area, and possibly head to the nearby settlement to interrogate locals. He was surprised when his motion sensor started to beep rapidly.
A few seconds later, a Rakatan heavy droid emerged sand behind them, killing one member. Firing back, the squad temporarily disabled it. Jarn then noticed that his motion sensor was picking up identical signatures under the sand all around. He then ordered the squad to follow him and head as quickly as possible to the settlement, throwing mortar grenades into the sand around him to try and repel the droids.
Arriving at the settlement, surprising the seemingly timid locals, Jarn ordered his men to spread out in a circle around the perimeter of the buildings. Repelling the nearest droids with a combination of explosive bullets and grenades, the squad members reported that they had insufficient numbers and ammunition to hold back the droids in the immediate area alone.
It was then that Jarn noticed a Klasnost-class transport, a ship type that was familiar to him, fly overhead, peppered with fire from below. The transport landed near the village behind a large sand dune, out of sight, and Jarn quickly switched his attention elsewhere as infantry droids began to swarm towards the village. Although a single bullet to the head was all it took to disable one of them, their numbers seemed overwhelming to him. Elsewhere, the Sravs emerged from their transport, and moved into the village. As Jarn began to believe that the situation was hopeless, he bumped into Nataska Vergulva.
Why the hell we helping these Sravvies for, sir? That shouldn't be!"
"Soldier, what should be and is be is often very different! I should be at home kriffing hot babes, and look at me! But if we wanna get out of this with our asses intact, we ain't got no choice but to help the Reds!
—A Greyfox soldier and Jarn
Surprised to see each other, both Jarn and Vergulva demanded what the other was doing here. Then, as they came under further fire, Vergulva proposed a temporary ceasefire, in light of the situation. Jarn quickly agreed, and both ordered their respective troops not to attack one another.
Partly relieved by the addition of the Sravs and their firepower into the equations, confidence amongst the Greyfox squad increased. The nuclear-tipped rocket-propelled grenades and missiles of the Srav Hammer troops proved very effective against the heavy droids, and combinations of shrapnel and mortar grenades were seen as highly efficient at eliminating concentrations of the regular droids. However, they kept coming regardless of their losses, and Jarn expressed concern to Vergulva over ammunition. Vergulva replied that she had managed to call for reinforcements, but that they would take time to arrive.
Meanwhile, Ravyr had noticed the two commando groups holed up in the settlement. His subordinates advised him to simply eliminate them with their cruiser, but Ravyr replied that he wanted to witness the effectiveness of his droid legions. He also retorted that they would run out of ammunition long before they could run out of droids. In any case, he expressed a desire to witness the "slave scum" crumble.
As they began facing increasingly larger waves of droids, some of the Greyfox and Hammer troops demanded why they could not simply escape in the Srav transport. Vergulva insisted that the sheer amount of fire from the droids would result in it being shot down. Meanwhile, some droids had penetrated the settlement perimeter, but Vergulva dispatched them quickly with both her sniper rifle and her personalized VLOK-19 combat pistol. Jarn, wanting to show off his own skills, took out some droids with his bare hands. However, by now, ammunition for both the Hammer and Greyfox troops was dwindling, and the situation was looking increasingly desperate.
Comrade Vergulva! Why are we helping this foul Necasians? No doubt they will stab us in the back as soon as they get opportunity!"
"I am not liking this any more than you, comrade! But to guarantee our victory and survival, we must tolerate their existence, as much as it pains me!
—A Hammer soldier and Vergulva
When the last clips of ammunition were used up, the commandos prepared for the worst when Srav Yukel fighters swooped overhead and launched several small-scale tactical nuclear missiles into the sands around the settlement. The resulting explosions cleared the area of a large portion of the swarming droids. Drapeznik-class assault gunships then moved in and dispatched the survivors. One Drapeznik that had been modified with a troop bay landed in the middle of the settlement, and the pilot informed Vergulva that her signal had been received and a reinforcement transport was now in orbit. He also told her that the signal of Rakatan design had been controlling the droids and had been traced to a large complex sixty miles away.
Vergulva announced that they would head to the complex immediately, planning to cull the droids in their way from the air, now that they had access to heavier aerial firepower. In address to the presence of the Necasian troops, Vergulva ordered that their rivals board the ship with them.
Nervously, the Necasian troops boarded the gunship along with the Sravs, and, once there, both groups had their ammo replenished. Taking off, the Drapeznik headed into the desert, which was indeed crawling with Rakatan droids that threatened to shoot it down. Vergulva gave orders for the gunship and any accompanying fighters and other gunships to clear the desert segment by segment. Using a combination of heavy machine guns and missiles, the gunships began to sweep areas of the desert in front of them, with the troops inside the lead dispatching the remaining droids from above. Angrily noticing this, Ravyr ordered some of the droids to pull back, intending to lure the airborne forces to the Rakatan complex where the defenses would eliminate them.
However, both sides failed to notice a battered and stealth-equipped SkyBull-class transport, emblazoned with Zayre insignias rather than Necasian, enter the higher atmosphere and release several smaller objects, which immediately began a vertical dive for the complex.
I am Storm Ironwings of the Zayre! Take up your weapon and fight!"
"Who in the name of the gods are you? No matter. I will break you regardless!
—Ironwings and Ravyr
Unbeknownst to the other parties, the SOS signal had been picked up on Ankarr, adopted homeworld of the Zayre species, which was not far away cosmically. As such, Storm Ironwings, considered the heroine of the Zayre, had decided that she wanted to take part in whatever action was taking place on Ahara. Accompanied by her consort and former Necasian leader Carsal Redharn, Ironwings and several of her warriorwomen boarded a SkyBull that they had acquired in Ilatas months before and raced to Ahara.
Upon arriving in orbit, Redharn performed an orbital scan and quickly deduced the situation from the results, triangulating the droid signal to trace it to the Rakatan complex. Despite Redharn's reservation, Ironwings decided to literally dive right into the Rakatan base and kill all within, feeling that she had gone too long without a fight. Exiting the transport at high altitude, Ironwings and her warriorwomen dived down, reaching almost sonic speeds as they descended. Timing her impact and slowing as she fell, Ironwings smashed right through the roof of the complex, protected by her armor, surprising Ravyr and his commandos. She challenged him to a duel, judging him to be leader by his differing armor. Laughing, Ravyr accepted her challenge, and ordered his subordinates to take out her accomplices.
Moving forward, Ironwings was surprised by Ravyr's power and reflexes as they engaged each other with blades, unaware that the Hand of Darkness was supercharging his already supposedly potent abilities. Bringing her elemental powers to brunt, Ironwings attempted to electrocute him with lightning, but was shocked when he merely laughed in response. Then, moving far more quickly than she had expected, Ravyr engaged her directly, almost knocking her weapons out of her hands. Meanwhile, Ironwing's accomplices were having difficulty with Ravyr's Rakatan henchmen. As droids cut off her escape routes, Ironwings began to wonder whether her venture had been a mistake.
Stop! You shall go no further, or you will face the cold metal of my--
—A Rakatan before being gunned down by Vergulva
With Ravyr distracted by the duel, the Rakatan droids fell into disarray, requiring him to be consciously controlling them. Vergulva ordered the gunships to take advantage of this and press on. Heading over to the Rakatan complex, the gunship deposited both faction's commando troops in front of the complex via parachute. Entering the relatively unguarded entrance and dispatching the few droid guards there, the commandos made their way inside.
Within the temple, Ravyr was briefly distracted by the duel as the temple's security systems sounded an alarm. He ordered some of his subordinates and droids to stop the intruders, while he continued his fight with Ironwings. Although Ironwings was still holding her ground, Ravyr had the advantage of being powered with the Hand of Darkness, and was gradually wearing her down.
In the corridors of the temple, the Necasian/Srav commando team encountered one of Ravyr's subordinates, who attempted to intimidate them with a display of swordsmanship when Vergulva shot his head off. Moving on, they dispatched any droids or sentry guns they encountered along the way before finally entering the command hall, where Ravyr was finally on the verge of defeating Ironwings. Before he could deal the final blow, however, he was distracted by being hit by several dozen rounds from the guns of the commando group. Although his armor and the healing properties bestowed on him by the Hand made sure that the barrage was not lethal, Ravyr still found it painful and dropped his guard for a moment, allowing Ironwings to deal several blows. Meanwhile, the other Rakatans were coming under fire from some of the commandos, this, coupled with the renewed vigor of the Zayre warriorwomen, caused severe damage to their numbers. Eventually, they fled, with Ravyr blasting them as cowards and traitors as they fled.
By now, Ravyr's armor was almost ruined by the volleys of bullets and rocket-propelled grenades it had taken. Even with the Hand of Darkness embedded in his flesh, he was overwhelmed by the amount of fire he was taking. Within a few moments, however, Ironwings knocked the Hand out of his skin with a deft blow, and then apparently finished him off with a stab to the stomach. Picking up the Hand, she and the other Zayre made their escape.
Vergulva contacted the gunship wing commanders and was told that the droid army had deactivated itself as it had nobody to command it, and that an unidentified cruiser was escaping at high speed from the temple. Vergulva announced that the temple was to be razed with a nuclear blast, and left a homing beacon in the temple to that end. Heading outside, she announced to the Necasians that in light of their assistance they would be allowed to leave without intervention, and both groups had nearly exhausted their ammunition anyway. Jarn expressed his approval of Vergulva's combat skills, and vice versa. With that, both Srav and Necasian commando groups packed up and left.
In the now empty temple, Ravyr was still alive, albeit severely wounded. Getting up with difficulty, he announced to nobody in particular that he had lost a battle, but not the war, and that he would establish an empire of his own and exact revenge on the Lost Ones "traitors" and the "slave scum". Moments later, a Srav nuclear weapon detonated over the temple, incinerating it and Ravyr.
If the Rakatans are back after all, I don't think the people need to know. And congratulations, Jarn. A pity you had to rely on the crims, but we can't get all what we want.
With the battle over, the defeated Rakatans were demoralized and despondent. The troops of the Lost Ones that remained fled to the planet Malachor V to recuperate their troops before even attempting to launch another sort of attack upon any of the factions they had encountered on Ahara. The Zayre, led by Storm Ironwings, avoided contact with the Necasian Military, despite their enmity with them after their exile of Carsal Redharn, the new consort of Storm Ironwings, as well as the Srav Federation, those who they also were at disagreements with after many skirmishes and battles with the Sravs. Choosing not to pursue the Rakatans, the Zayre returned to Ankarr immediately after the battle in order to resume the fortifications of Ankarr in case of any future attacks. In terms of the planet Ahara, however, the area where the fighting had been focused was now littered with debris from the battle, including ruined droids, weaponry and corpses.
This in mind, the clean-up operation of Ahara soon began, with both the Necasian Military and Srav Federation working out of their own motives, and not in order to clean up the planet itself. The Necasians began scavenging for parts to the Rakatan droids, in order to develop machinery to combat them should the Rakatans reappear, as well as to furnish their own for use against other factions. In addition, both factions started moving the pieces from the Rakatan weapons away, in order to keep them from falling into the hands of their enemies, meaning that weapons could be devised to combat their own. Within twenty-four hours, both factions had reclaimed all they felt they could, and had chosen to depart from the planet, as the Rakatans and Zayre had already done, leaving Ahara to its own once more.
Before departing the planet, however, spy drones were dispatched by both factions to survey the planet and insure that there was no remaining Rakatan presence on the planet and, if so, to alert the commanders to it so it could be eliminated at once. In under twelve hours, the entire planet had been surveyed and declared clear of Rakatan forces. Aharan casualties following the battle were relatively low, with only a few unused weapons being discovered by the natives, and the nuclear fallout from the bombing of the Rakatan compound was situated over a small, localized area, meaning very few were affected by it, in both the short and long term.
Never again will we listen to foolishness of reclaiming our power! Today's events have shown that we have been consigned to history! Our only choice now is to make sure we survive it!
—A Lost Ones commando following the battle
The battle was considered to have had a large effect on the Lost Ones, predominantly, as it marked their exit from the war, the Rakatan caste having been beaten enough to make them believe that the war was no place for them. It therefore withdrew from any sort of conflict for the most part. They returned to Malachor V, and, from there, made sure as to avoid all sort of conflict, for fear of their caste going extinct, only reacting when forced into it. The Necasian and Srav forces, however, refrained from publicizing the battle to the extent they had done with some of the other battles they had fought. This was due to the fact that both factions felt many of the people under their jurisdiction might have panicked because of the fact that a new faction of Rakatans were at large in the galaxy, owing to lingering memories of Infinite Empire military power; at this point in time, neither faction knew that the Lost Ones would not be rejoining the war.
Although the battle was not considered to have a massive legacy, it would later be regarded as having a larger impact on history than first seemed. Observers commentated that had the Lost Ones succeeded, they could have restarted a new Infinite Empire, drastically changing the balance of power. Meanwhile, most of the Rakata droids had been destroyed by the Srav nuclear strike, but a few would be discovered centuries later by explorers, opening up much of previously lost history regarding the Infinite Empire and the Cruentusian War to historians of later eras. Although one of the reasons the battle was not largely publicized by the Sravs and the Necasians was because both factions did not want accusations of hypocrisy after the co-operation of their commando teams, both Jarn and Vergulva were commended by their superiors for their conduct and their resiliance in the face of what were considered overwhelming odds.
Jarn and Vergulva were affected by the cooperation much more than through praise: both began to realize to a further extent that the respective opposing faction, although an enemy, were not the animalistic barbarians they were being portrayed as by the superiors in the two respective militaries. This would lead to events that would later end with Jarn's quitting of the Necasian Military and fleeing to find Carsal Redharn, as well as thinking about Vergulva as a person, instead of an enemy. In terms of the planet, very little of it was damaged upon a permanent basis, and most of the damage caused was easily repairable: very little of it took years to heal, due to restoration efforts from the planet's few inhabitants, who were not damaged massively due to the localized nature of the battle.
Behind the scenes
The Battle of Ahara was mainly created on the behest of Star Wars Fanon Wiki user Darth mavoc as part of the storyline of Project Cruentus, a collaborative project on the Star Wars Fanon Wiki. Mavoc desired a device to remove the Lost Ones faction from the Cruentusian War, as to not interfere too much with the story. Parts of the actual battle were vaguely inspired by scenes from the 2007 film Transformers, specifically the segment were the commando squads were besieged by the droids, echoing a scene in said film where a group of United States Army soldiers are attacked by one of the titular machines in a Middle Eastern village. The rest of the story, however, was not written with inspiration from other sources, although the basic concepts of it were originally laid out by Mavoc on the Star Wars Fanon Wiki page concerning the Ravyr character following an Internet Relay Chat discussion with user Darth tom. These amounted to the notions of the Lost Ones arriving on the planet for the droid cadre and fighting the other factions. Star Wars Fanon user Unit 8311 built on these ideas and created the rest of the battle's content. The battle also served to further the relationship between Jarn and Vergulva. Unit 8311 considers this an important plot point in the Cruentus storyline, as it would pave the way for the final stages of the war, which were not yet planned during the creation of the Ahara story.