Star Wars: Darkness and Honor
It has been nearly a year since the Fall of Coruscant and what remains of the Jedi have retreated to Tython. With the Treaty of Coruscant in effect there is an uncomfortable cease fire between the Sith Empire and the Republic. Despite the truce, reports of strange events have reached the ears of the higher-ups in both the Republic and the Empire.
There are more and more reports of ships from both sides vanishing, Colonies are coming under attack by unknown forces and those who have gone out and searched for those responsible have never come back. And now there have been reports of assasinations within both goverments.
Both goverments realize that there is something more to this than simple piracy. Someone or something is gathering strength in the infinite reaches of space for reasons unknown.
The time has come to fight.
((Just so you guys know, your characters have all recieved transmissions that ask them to report to either the Shavoel if Imperial and the Coruscant Briefing room if Republic.))
Imperial battlecruiser Shavoel
Hmph. And here I thought that imperials didn't have any taste. Zassos thought as he was escorted through the Captain's quarters of the Shavoel. Nearly three days ago he had recieved an encrypted transmission from the Imperial command center on Dromund Kaas instructing him to meet with the commander of the Shavoel regarding a possible job offer.
When there where credits or adventure to be found anyhwere in the galaxy Zassos was usually the first one to show up with both blaster pistols armed and ready.
"Ah...Bounty Hunter." Came a voice from behind him. "I'm glad that you decided to show up when you did. I heard that you have a hunger for credits...and for adventure."
Zassos turned around and narrowed his eyes. He hadn't seen anyone come in behind him and he hadn't heard so much as a door open. "That's correct." Zassos said.
"Have a seat." The commander motioned him to sit down in the chair infront of his desk. "We have much to discuss, but I feel we should wait until the others arrive."
"Yes. This is to be a mission that will be undertaken with others.
Coruscant. Briefing Room
The least the commander can do is show up on time...Vlalkor thought as he looked up at the clock on the wall and sighed. He had been waiting here for nearly twenty minutes and there was still no sign of the commander who was to conduct the briefing.
The door opened quietly and he turned to look over at the figure who had entered. "Sorry I'm late...there was a situation over in the market district that needed my attention."
Vlalkor rose to his feet and saluted. "No apologies needed sir. I understand that these things happen from time to time. Are we to conduct the briefing now?"
"Sorry, but we need to wait for the others to show up before the briefing to begin."
Others? They're not trying to put me back in a squad are they?
"With all due respect sir...I wasn't aware of the possibility that I would be working with others on this mission."
"Well, you will be. As I said, the briefing will begin once the others we've contacted arrive which should be shortly."
Imperial battlecruiser Shavoe
Darth Kyara walked out of her transport followed by three handmaidens who also served as bodyguards. These had been assigned to her during her time on the Sith Academy, she had hand picked and trained all three. She looked over to the three of them as they were finally escorted to the Captain's quarters. She waved a hand and all of them nodded. They stood outside side by side, as if guarding the entrance. She saw the commander sitting at his desk with a bounty hunter sitting in one of the chairs opposite him.
"I hope you are not deliberately wasting my time Commander", Kyara said, not waiting for him to offer her a seat, she sat on the chair next to the bounty hunter, but she did not address him, only the commander.
Coruscant. Briefing Room
The door to the room opened. A woman with a mask covering her eyes only entered and bowed to the commander and the other man present in the room.
“I apologise for my tardiness, the transports from Tython were taking long”, she then paused to examine through the force, the presence of both men present. “I am Lai S’Dalan, Knight of the Jedi Order”.
Imperial battlecruiser Shavoel
A small fighter ship had just docked in the Shavoel’s hangar bay just moments ago. Darth Velox soon stepped out of the ship, and started walking towards the Captain’s quarters. Despite being only of average height, and a slightly muscular build, Velox still had an intimidating look about him. He wore a set of light armor colored silver and a dusty red, with black robes. He wore a hooded black cloak over this that was more for show than anything. Under the hood was a mask that followed the same color pattern as his armor.
Velox had an interesting stride about him. He wanted to get to the captain’s quarters, but he also wanted to be noticed. He wanted the crew aboard this ship to look at him in both fear and awe. They should too, after-all he was a sith warrior. These common crew members should be honored to have someone like him on this ship. He actually contemplated activating his lightsaber, just to show off that he had one. He decided against it, wanting to hear exactly what this captain had to say.
He was certain he had arrived at his designated location upon seeing three figures standing outside. He figured they were the captain’s bodyguards and nothing more. A smirk found its way to his face as he walked inside, ready to impress whoever was in the room with his presence. He saw the captain sitting his chair, and across from him a bounty hunter. He then looked to see a woman in black clothing…sith. He pouted for a few seconds until he got a better look at this woman.
Velox stared at the woman in complete disbelief. The last time he had seen her was right before she left for Coruscant. It could always be someone else…no. It couldn’t be someone else, it was her. She looked almost like she had back then, just older now. He couldn’t believe this was actually Kyara, after all of these years. He could say something to her…no, he wasn’t here to talk to her. Besides he’d look unprofessional if he did that, and that was a big no no for him. She probably wouldn’t have anything to say to him anyway.
“Well I’m here now, this little meeting can officially get started now,” Velox said in his usual cocky tone.
He took a single step, deciding where he should sit. He could sit next to her, the more preferred seat in his head…or he could sit next to the bounty hunter he didn’t know at all. He took another step towards the bounty hunter, not making eye contact with Kyara. What if she noticed he was trying to ignore her though? Then another question popped into his head, and then another…and then another. Velox snorted and took a seat next to Kyara, not bothering to let the captain offer him a seat just as Kyara did before despite him not knowing that. He simply looked over to Kyara and nodded his head at her, trying to act completely cool about everything.
Kyara almost couldn't believe her eyes. Velox had entered the room. The last time she had seen him, she had gone to Coruscant to invade the Jedi Temple. He did not seem to make eye contact with her nor did he seem like he was ignoring her, but his expression was hard to read. Had he noticed it was her or not? If he did, why didn't he say anything yet... a nod... that's it? After all this time?
She did not return his nod, she simply looked back at the commander, positively annoyed. She was a sith, a warrior, but also a woman. A woman who in a way had managed to build during her early years, a relationship with the man next to her, a friendship or... something. And yet, after so much time, a nod. That's all. Not even a formal greeting or a simple joke of challenge like in the old days.
Velox didn't say anything when she didn't return his nod. Why didn't she say anything though? Had she forgotten about him and simply thought he was some other sith warrior? The fact that she didn't do anything bothered him quite a bit. He tried to look back at the captain, but his gaze went back to Kyara. He let out a small sigh and looked to the captain.
Velox tried to mentally tell himself to pay attention to whatever the captain would say, but it was a difficult battle. He couldn't just turn to Kyara and say something to her, he'd look like he had no interest in this matter what so ever. At this point he had to do something though. Something that told him this was the same Kyara, and she hadn't forgotten him.
A small idea popped into his head. Perhaps he'd just have to remind her that he simply couldn't be forgotten. He slowly moved his foot towards hers and tapped it. Velox took his foot away only to playfully do it a second time. He was sure the captain couldn't see, so he wouldn't come off as rude. At the same time he could be a little more playful. Again he nudged her foot, and waited to see what reaction he would get.
Kyara was surprised as Velox nudged her foot. As he did it a second time, she nudged him back with a small grin and a quick glance. It was enough to restore the familiarity between the two. But whatever words they would exchange, would have to wait until the Commander was done with his briefing.
Kyara was getting a little impatient. Who else would they be waiting for? She simply began fiddling with her bracelet but still looking at the commander directly. She always did this when she started getting annoyed.
Velox couldn't help but grin himself as Kyara nudged him back. The small grin was enough for him to know she hadn't forgotten about him. Now he was able to focus on the task at hand. He stretched his legs out a bit, getting into a much more comfortable position. He kept himself from chuckling as Kyara messed with her bracelet. Right away he knew she was getting annoyed. He focused his attention on the commander.
Kale Merro wondered why he was being asked to report to Coruscant. He had served his time, and the war was over, so what could possibly be the problem? As he walked into the briefing room, he noticed there were already people in the room.
"Kale Merro, Galactic Republic soldier, at your service."
It was pitch black. Varik could see absolutely nothing; he couldn't even see his hands, which were right in front of him. A low, gray mist formed beneath his feet, which made slight illumination of the dark expanse. He heard voices, indecipherable, barely audible whispers. He took a few steps forward, and the voices grew louder. He took a few more steps, and he heard the voices, but the words were slurred. He continued walking, until the voices grew loud, enough to hear the words. Their voices echoed across the "walls".
"Do you truly think that this is vindication? This is revenge. It's merely another word with the same meaning."
"Your family abandoned you. They left you to be kidnapped by the Jedi. And when your family needed you most, the Jedi kept you on Coruscant, while your parents choked on their poisoned wine."
"Jedi, Sith, you don't get it, do you? The galaxy isn't black and white with shades of gray. It's just black throughout. Open your eyes, the Jedi and Sith are the same thing, only with different slogans."
"Do you truly believe that you're free, child? Your soul shall never be truly free from my spirit's imprint. You may have won the duel, but you have lost your sanity - and your humanity."
He then heard more voices, each one becoming less and less familiar. All the voices began to converge, growing louder as the words became incoherent. He couldn't understand what he was, and he clutched his head in his hands as his ears were ringing from pain. He then screamed, a loud, deafening scream.
Varik woke up in a fright. He was profusely sweating, and his bed sheets were soaked in sweat. His ears were still ringing, as he realized that he had the same nightmare again. He got out of the bed and walked into the bathroom of his apartment. He decided to take a refreshing shower, relaxing as cool water droplets were rushing towards him.
He got out of the shower 15 minutes later. He dried himself with a towel, and used the Force to rid his thin hair of all the water that still clenched to it. Once he was sufficiently dried off, he checked his holofeed. He was surprised to find out that he was requested to attend a Republic debriefing. The last time he was in the company of Republic soldiers, he attended a Republic Marine Academy in order to get a sense of how Republic Marines trained - and also for an improved hand-to-hand fighting technique. After severing ties with the Brotherhood of Swordmasters, he rarely participated with the Republic anymore. Guess now is a time for change., he thought to himself.
He walked into his wardrobe to grab his underclothes. He then grabbed his red and orange robe, the colors symbolizing the Jedi Crusaders that followed Revan into the Mandalorian Wars 300 years ago. It was a reminder of what all Jedi should fight for. He put it on and grabbed his two lightsabers, placing them onto his belt.
He walked outside of his apartment, and down the hustling bustling streets of Coruscant. After walking into his garage, he grabbed his speeder to drive to the Republic Briefing Office. After the normal heavy traffic, he landed just outside the doors. He walked inside and into the elevator, and reached the top floor. He walked into the office, and sat next to a woman who appeared to be a Jedi Knight.
"Varik Athzaria, Jedi Knight, and former swordsman of the Brotherhood of Swordmasters.", he said, in a mild voice.
Imperial battlecruiser Shavoel
Approaching the Captain's quarters, Darth Morbus stopped, feeling two unmistakeable presences in the Force. His former apprentices were here also it seemed; not unexpected given how they were known within the Empire. He eyed the three handmaidens, rolling his eyes and shaking his head, he said to himself quietly, "She always was a little self-spoiled."
Darth Morbus walked into the Captain's quarters, walking up behind his two former apprentices, he nodded to the Captain, not sitting immediately, waiting for the Captain to offer him a seat.
It took a moment, but the Captain finally realized why Morbus was still standing, half-surprised by Morbus' politeness, he offered a seat to Morbus, who nodded once more, and took his seat.
Having seen the antics of his two former apprentices when he had entered, he grinned as he looked over at Darth Velox, "Come now Vel, playing footsie is no way to attract girls! I thought I taught you that when you were a teenager!"
Looking over at Kyara, he spoke kindly, "Hello Kyara, as beautiful as ever, though still the princess I see." He reached out and flicked her nose softly with a toothy grin.
Morbus smiled to himself, sitting back and placing his finger-tips together habitually, he waited for the maelstrom of emotional hellos, and reunification between the three. He expected, and intended for Velox to be embarrassed, and expected that much, but knew that Kyara had been away from him, even both of them, far longer than he and Velox, and in some ways did not know what to expect from her; he did not know how she might have changed since he had last parlayed with her.
((Bad entry post, but...Meh.))
Kyara's expression brightened up much more by just seeing her old Master come inside the room and take a seat next to Velox(?). She had a wide smile on her face, almost resisting the urge to hurry over to Morbus and embrace him.
"Master! This is definitely great!", she said and pouted a little at his jesting. "I can't help if people treat me like royalty". She stuck her tongue out playfully, she then looked at the commander.
"If Master Morbus is joining us on whatever we have to do, you can count me in right now".
She knew her genuine happiness for rejoining Velox and Morbus was not the usual way for Sith to behave but screw it, the way that Morbus had trained them was different, special and much more honorable and familiar that the norm. Not to mention that a bond between them had been formed, much like family, a unity that most sith could not relate to, but in this, they were stronger than the others.
"Come now Vel, playing footsie is no way to attract girls! I thought I taught you that when you were a teenager!"
Every muscle in Velox’s body seemed to tense at once. He was lucky he had his mask on still, or else they would have seen his cheeks redden a little. He looked to see his old Master, and he was already embarrassing him. He looked to Kyara for a few seconds before quickly looking away. He was being playful, he wasn’t doing what Morbus said…no he was being playful and that was his story.
“Quiet Old Man,” was the response Velox gave him.
Despite his rather bitter response, Velox was indeed glad to see Morbus. He may not be giving this vibe on the outside, but he was on the inside…even if he wouldn’t admit it. It really was like some type of a reunion for the three of them. He soon found himself chuckling as he glanced back at Kyara.
“Still kissing up to Morby I see,” Velox teased.
"I hope you are not deliberately wasting my time Commander",
“Well I’m here now, this little meeting can officially get started now,”
The Captain cleared his throat as the last of the sith who had been summoned took a seat. "I thank you all for coming. The reason you have all been summoned is because we find the Empire facing a new threat...a threat that not even the dark council has been able to locate."
A screen on the wall turned on as the commander hit a button on his desk. A long list of numbers and ship names rolled down the screen. This was followed shortly after by a list of names and the organizations that they belonged to.
"Over the past few months, We've been losing ships at a rate that quite frankly astounds us. We've sent agents and spies out to try to locate the source of these disapperances but our agents have vanished without a trace as well. Finally, we sent a battlegroup out to escort one of our ships. None of them returned but we did recieve a brief message from one of our ships before it was lost.
A man with a face filled with utter terror filled the screen. "We can't stop them! Nothing stops the-!" Explosions filled the bridge behind him and the screen went dark.
The screen was filled with the symbol of the empire and the commander cleared his throat again. "That was the last transmission we recieved. Since then we have lost nearly twenty ships and nine more agents. You are have been summoned because you are among the elite. Well, that and a smaller force will most likely attract less attention."
The commander motioned Zassos and the bounty hunter stood up and saluted the sith. "Zassos is one of the best bounty hunters in the empire and we believe that with his help you'll be able to locate this threat. He has many contacts throughout the galaxy and we feel that one of them may have the information we need to locate a lead."
Zassos got up and the screen lit up. "Based on the area of attacks I felt that I should ask a few of my contacts near illum. I'm still waiting for a reply but most of my contacts are reliable and we should get a response shortly. Any questions?"
“I am Lai S’Dalan, Knight of the Jedi Order”.
"Kale Merro, Galactic Republic soldier, at your service."
"Varik Athzaria, Jedi Knight, and former swordsman of the Brotherhood of Swordmasters."
The republic commander saluted the three and smiled. "I'm glad to see you all. You have all been selected to participate on this mission if you wish to because of one simple fact: You all have commendations on your records because of exceptional bravery, outstanding service to the republic and because you were all recommended to me by your superiors."
The commander pointed to a screen that showed a list of ship names. "This is just a small part of the list that I've recieved from high command. "We've lost nearly thirty ships in the past few months due to unknown ships. We've sent out commando squads but so far we haven't recieved any word from any of them. So far we don't have any information on what has been attacking our forces. Due to the attacks we've been forced to abandon a few of our trade routes."
"Recently though, we've recieved word from a smuggler who claims to have information about the attacks, he is charging us a small fortune for the information but he did give us one small bit of information for free: The Empire is also losing ships at nearly the same rate we are."
The commander hit a button and a picture of a man appeared on the screen. "This is Nirel, the smuggler who contacted us. He is currently located on a space station near Illum. Your mission if you choose to accept it is to make contact with him and retrieve the information. If he tries to skip out you are authorized to take him in for questioning. Are there any questions?"
Darth Morbus chuckled in an almost villainous manner at both of his former apprentice's reactions to his prodding. He was known as cruel, but his cruelty was dumbed down to the point of mere teasing when it came to his apprentices:
"Master! This is definitely great! I can't help if people treat me like royalty." Darth Morbus grinned at her reaction.
"I must admit, you were hard to handle as a child, very much the brat, and as a teenager at the time, I found it taxing on my patience, though it did teach me patience, one thing most Sith lack.....Though, I'd blame a certain someone who will not be mentioned at this time," Morbus looked quite blatantly over at Velox, then returned to talking to Kyara. "For making you comfortable with the royal treatment. He never could keep himself from being conned into every little thing you wanted him to get you."
Morbus paused, stroking his chin in thought, "Mind you, he was only nine, and you were eleven, and he was as naive and gullible as they come."
"If Master Morbus is joining us on whatever we have to do, you can count me in right now." Darth Kyara announced exuberantly, Morbus chuckling at her anxious behavior.
“Quiet Old Man,” Morbus heard from Velox, a typical, and most expected response.
“Still kissing up to Morby I see,” Morbus heard Velox tease Kyara, Morbus enjoying the whole thing greatly.
"Come now Vel, don't be petty. Kyara was my first, and is her Master's girl," the Sith Lord paused, looking over at Kyara with a sly wink. "Besides, there was much 'kissing' before you were even considering what being a man even meant!"
Morbus teased, though not far from the truth, it was merely to get under his younger former apprentice's skin, and he knew it would work.
He knew much of his apprentices, he'd spent much of their latter years of tutelage under him studying them and manipulating who they were to better ensure their survival from one-another. This manipulation had made them into the formidable group they were now, and given them genuine attachment to each-other. He was tied to them, or they to him, and he could sense their intentions and feelings, much like any Force user could, though on a far more accurate scale; often taking what he knew from what he felt from them, and prodding these emotions, forever testing the depths of their characters, much like his Master had done with him, to better them, and to ultimately teach them of things other Sith lacked.
He felt Velox' disgruntled behavior, but also sensed the happiness Velox hid within himself. Morbus also sensed the far, far less hidden joy and anxiousness within Kyara, and her desire to embrace him.
He'd have to give her what she wanted after the briefing, and rough-up Velox a bit, playfully of course. They'd all have time to catch up after the briefing.
Darth Morbus chuckled once more and turned to the Captain, "I apologize, carry on."
After a briefing that left Morbus with his head angled down, the shadows of his hood masking his face, his fingers placed together at the tips as before. He was contemplating, serious now, he was analyzing all that they'd just been told.
As the bounty hunter was introduced and saluted, Darth Morbus stood, bowing at the waist slightly, and placing his fist on his chest to return the sign of respect to his person and authority, sitting back down promptly.
"Based on the area of attacks I felt that I should ask a few of my contacts near illum. I'm still waiting for a reply but most of my contacts are reliable and we should get a response shortly. Any questions?" The bounty hunter asked, Morbus shaking his head.
"None from me. I only hope we are contacted soon, for I am concerned as to the nature of all of this information," Darth Morbus replied, looking all the more like a brooding Sith Lord now that things had grown serious.
Aware that he was late for the meeting, Darth Atrion shoved past the others in the hallway in order to reach his destination. He walked inside discreetly, just after the Commander was finished explaining about the mission. Rolling his eyes under his mask, he silently leaned on the back wall, parallel from the Commander.
"None from me. I only hope we are contacted soon, for I am concerned as to the nature of all of this information,"
The commander was about to respond when his comn-device went off. The screen was flashing red signaling that the incoming message was important.
"Excuse me for a moment my lords." He said quietly as he moved away and listended to the message. When he turned back around after listening to the message his face was ashen. "I...It appears that there was just an assassination outside the imperial citadel. Two high ranking members of the dark council are dead and a third is in critical condition."
The commander brought his fist down on his desk hard enough that a small crack formed. He turned to Zassos and then to the other sith. "You will be traveling with Zassos aboard his ship as soon as his contact reaches us. It is a heavily modified D5-Mantis with plenty of space aboard for all of you."
The commander then turned to look at a new arrival who had just entered the room. "I assume that you have been informed about the mission?" He asked cautiously. He wasn't really sure who this new sith was but it was possible that a member of the dark council had assigned one of their apprentices to the mission without him knowing.
Atrion gave him a curt nod, and he strode outside towards the hangar bay. Being the apprentice of Darth Marr, he was assigned to the roster without the mission commanders knowing. Once he reached the hangar, he walked inside of the shuttle - patiently waiting for the meeting to finish.
Coruscant Briefing Room
"...Are there any questions?"
Varik spoke up.
"Our ships, as well as the Sith's, are being attacked? Are the Hutts, or the Exchange involved?"
He asked this because he knew that suspicious activities surrounded both organizations. However, he was smart enough to know that no matter how obvious something may be, you shouldn't jump to conclusions.
((Sorry for the late reply, been really busy with RL issues.))
Coruscant Briefing Room
"Our ships, as well as the Sith's, are being attacked? Are the Hutts, or the Exchange involved?"
The commander shook his head. "We don't believe so. As far as we can tell from our sources on Nal Hutta and Nar Shaddaa the hutts are aware of our losses but are trying to steer clear of whatever is attacking our ships. As for the Exchange...we're pretty sure that they are not involved either. We have many spies in the exchange and not one of them has sent us any messages informing us of attacks."
The commander's holocom device went off and he quickly answered it in full view of the group. "Senator Gevelo." He said in suprise. "This is an unexpected pleasure."
"Commander Relo. There has been an assassination at the senate chambers. Senator Balveros has been killed. The senate building is on lockdown until we find the killer but he may have already escaped."
Relo's eyes widened in shock as the holocommunicator turned off. "Excuse me, but I must attend to matters here. You will be traveling with Vlalkor aboard his ship. I suggest you leave as soon as possible."
Rela walked out of the room and headed for the senate building as quickly as he could.
"Mind you, he was only nine, and you were eleven, and he was as naive and gullible as they come."
"Oh come on, I wasn't that bad...okay so I did it for a year or two...three tops. I stopped though, and I got a few nicknames for her from it," Velox said as he attempted to defend himself.
"Besides, there was much 'kissing' before you were even considering what being a man even meant!"
"Remind me to stab you later," Velox replied, though he obviously wouldn't do it.
Velox watched as the commander walked away to take care of something. It was then he noticed the other sith in the room. He was confused why so many sith were contacted for this. In his head it made sense that the three of them had been called.
Velox knew how Morbus and Kyara fought, and could work well with them. The three of them were a force to be reckoned with. This crisis seemed quite important, and their ability to work together as sith was most likely the reason they were here. So why another sith? Velox mentally shrugged and looked back to the commander.
"You will be traveling with Zassos aboard his ship as soon as his contact reaches us. It is a heavily modified D5-Mantis with plenty of space aboard for all of you."
Velox seemed alright with going on Zassos's ship. His was much to small for him anyway. Plus he'd get a chance to catch up with Kyara...and Morbus. He got up, ready to get a move on.
"Hopefully his ship is worthy enough of your stature," Velox said to Kyara, teasingly again.
Velox turned to look at Morbus. "Try not to get lost," he teased.
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