Okay, I actually managed to finish my next chapter today
Chapter 6: Arrival
Darth Eviwy had left the planet's surface a short time ago, in a small TIE fighter. Of course she didn't go alone; at least four other fighters accompanied her. And Travick knew that she had gone out to track down Kyle Katarn with her Force senses.
He stood outside the Imperial Compound where Admiral Staryoung's office was located. Travick knew that the Admiral was beginning to get impatient with Eviwy, although the Imperial knew better than to fully verbalize his displeasure. Maybe she'll come through this time, or maybe she won't,
Travick thought. If she could somehow capture Kyle Katarn, they could use him as a hostage when the Republic attacked. But if she didn't get her hands on him, then there was a chance the Republic could wipe out all the Sith on the world, along with the Imperial Remnant.
Unlike Markal, I can see past the desire for power and fame,
he thought, fingering his chin thoughtfully. It seems that all he can think about is a chance to take down Eviwy and became the next Dark Lord. But the true question should be... will there be anything left AFTER this battle, whether or not Eviwy is dead?
Travick believed that a Sith should be more than just a powerful Force-user, and a Sith should be more than a ruthless being with brute strength. A successful Sith would be a ruthless opportunist, true--a being that would never pass up a chance to gain more power and control. But in order to be successful, a Sith also needed to be good at thinking ahead and planning things out. But Travick knew he needed to think about how this situation could benefit him in the long run. Eviwy was obviously a very intelligent woman... she had a soft spot for Katarn, yes, but perhaps that was all for the best. If she had killed Katarn, they would have nothing available to use against the Republic.
Travick sighed, and slowly walked away from the compound, deep in thought. He had been... having some doubts about the ways of the Sith for some time now. Of course he could never voice them, because they would see it as weakness. He had never been interested in the Jedi, nor would he ever be interested in joining them. But over the past few months, he'd been thinking quite a bit. Both Desann and Alora--as well as Tavion--were dead, despite all of their power. How long would it be until Eviwy--or even Markal--encountered a similar fate? Perhaps the Sith way was not as... fulfilling and glorious as he'd originally thought.
This isn't the time to be philosophical,
he told himself firmly as he started pacing. He had to think about his current situation; who was he going to side with, Eviwy, or Markal? He continued thinking it over for several minutes... then finally made a desicion.
"She's coming," Kyle grunted, attempting to get up. "I can sense her!"
"No, you need to lie still," Jan said, placing her hands on his shoulders. "The Raven's Claw
is a sitting duck, and getting up isn't going to change our prediciment."
Kyle looked at her, meeting her eyes with his own, and sighed softly. "You're right, as usual," he said, and abandoned the attempt to get up. "Hopefully the Republic will arrive soon. In the meantime, I need to do all I can to keep her from finding me."
"What do you mean?" Jan asked.
"It means I'm going to do the only thing I can do," Kyle replied. "Mask my Force signature from her."
Darth Eviwy gripped the steering controls of her fighter, gritting her teeth in frustration. She was a superb pilot, but manuevering through a field of asteroids was challenging even for her. Especially since her former master's Force signature seemed to be... dimming. Was he dying?
She narrowed her eyes, using her physical vision--her eyes--to focus on the instruments while she used her second vision--her Force senses--to keep searching for Kyle. And yet she felt his presence in the Force growing fainter...
No, she realized, not fainter. If he were dying, it would be like seeing a candle light dimming and going out. This was more like encountering a barrier that was blocking the light of the candle, but the candle itself still burned. She sighed in annoyance, smacking her hand against the console.
"Red Wing Alpha to Strike Force Commander,"
came a voice over the comm unit. It was her wingman.
She snapped on the communications transmitter with a flick of her thumb. "Strike Force Commander here. I ordered you to maintain communication's silence!" she barked.
"I know, Strike Force Commander,"
came the reply."But I'm picking up on multiple transmissions, and the Imperial base has detected a large number of ships approaching."
The Republic fleet--DAMN!
Eviwy wished that she could somehow reach through the vaccuum of space and choke that man, just to release some of her wrath. Could things possibly get any more complicated?
"Return to the base, immediately!" she barked. The plan to capture Kyle had failed, and now the Imperial Remnant was about to be overrun. But she would see to it that they did not go down without a fight.
Admiral Staryoung glanced up from his office desk as Travick entered. Under normal circumstances, he would have no interest in seeing one of the Sith underlings. He only spoke with the Sith who was in charge of the other Sith because he had too, and he often felt as though he was putting his life at risk just by talking to her. He knew that she would kill him in a heartbeat if he wasn't so useful to her. In some ways, Eviwy seemed more dangerous than Desann, Tavion, and Alora combined...
The only reason he told the guards allow Travick to enter was because the Sith claimed to have some valuable information about Eviwy and Mavrick... information that they could both use to their advantage. The way the Dark Jedi phrased it was enough to make Staryoung curious.
The Admiral folded his hands atop his desk, and looked at the Sith, meeting his gaze evenly. "You said you have some 'valuable information' as you put it?" he asked. "Information involving Darth Eviwy... and another Sith?"
"Yes," Travick said. He stood casually before the large desk--one that had been replaced after Eviwy destroyed the previous one in her anger--with his hands clasped behind his back. His lightsaber hilt shone like silver in the office light, as if it were an ornament hanging off his belt. He wore a simple outfit, including a cloak and a hood that concealed his face perfectly.
Why does it seem like most of the Sith underlings choose to hide their features?
Staryoung thought. People like Eviwy, Desann, Tavion, and Alora never wore cloaks or masks that concealed their faces, and yet so many other Sith did... but then again, there were some things about the Sith that he had never been able to figure out.
"Markal and I serve as Darth Eviwy's aides, though one might say that we are also her bodyguards, in a sense," Travick said. "Markal, however, is growing more ambitious, and he plans to attack Eviwy when the Republic fleet arrives. He believes that she will be distracted by it, and that he will be able to kill her, and take his place."
Staryoung prevented himself from sighing and rolling his eyes. It was the age-old story that everyone knew--as soon as a Sith underling decides to get ambitious, that's when things turned ugly. "I see," he said slowly, narrowing his eyes. "And why exactly are you telling me this?"
"Because I think we could both use this to our advantage," Travick said.
Staryoung thought. Now this Sith wanted to include him on some sort of scheme. "What exactly do you have in mind?" he asked cautiously.
The Republic fleet had arrived, and the TIE fighters had returned to the planet's surface. The enormous Republic vessels moved into position, prepared to open fire, and to shoot down any
vessel that attempted to leave the surface. It didn't matter if the vessels were trying to escape, or trying to attack; the Republic was ready for anything. The Imperial base below was effectively trapped.
Jan Ors carefully piloted the Raven's Claw
out of the asteroid belt, and brought it aboard one of the Republic base ships. Once the vessel was safely docked within the hanger bay, Jan got Kyle to the medical bay. To her surprise--and relief--Luke Skywalker met her there.
"Let me guess," she murmured as she assisted Kyle, helping him over to one of the medical bunks, "you sensed us through the Force."
"You've got to teach me to do that someday, Luke," Kyle muttered, the corners of his mouth forming a small smile. His arm was draped across Jan's shoulders, and it was obvious that she was supporting some of his weight. He was clutching his chest, and his face was slightly pale.
"Quiet now," Jan said, softly but firmly. Luke took Kyle's other arm, and they both helped him onto the medical bunk. Almost immediately, a medical droid approached them, and began to run its scanning instruments over Kyle. After a couple of minutes it announced, "He will need to be placed within a bacta tank immediately."
Kyle grunted, then he looked from Jan to Luke, then his gaze settled on Jan. "I'll be all right," he said, reaching out and taking her hand. "Just... stop Jaden. Stop the Imperial Remnant."
Jan held onto his hand for a full minute, squeezing it gently. Then the droid made a sound of impatience, and Luke placed a hand on her shoulder. "Let's go," the Head Jedi Master said to her. "He's in good hands." The droid made a pleasent sound in response to Luke's remark, then turned its full attention to Kyle, and began tending to him.