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Old 09-28-2006, 01:04 PM   #2
igyman
Tension!
 
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Chapter I

''...do not underestimate the powers of the Emperor.''
Yoda

Two days later. Coruscant, the former capital of the Old Republic, the First Galactic Empire, the New Republic, the Yuuzhan Vong, the Gallactic Alliance and now the capital of the new Sith Empire. Yes, this planet has had its share of transition and battles throughout history, but, as its residents will learn, the time of peace has not come yet.

The sun was setting over the city-planet, turning the sky yellow. Life went on as normal as it could under the iron rule of the New Sith Order and the Sith themselves have turned most of their attention from hunting Jedi and Imperial Knights to hunting a dark and phantasmic threat, with very little, or more often no success at all.

Darth Maladi, the Devaronian Sith woman, the head of Sith Intelligence was due for another report to the Emperor. As she entered the Throne room of the new Imperial Palace, she noticed the others were already there, waiting only for her. She saw Darth Krayt, sitting on his throne, next to him, on the right was his second in command, Darth Wyyrlok, on each side of the throne was one of the two Hands on the left was Darth Nihl, the Nagai warrior, and on the right Darth Talon, the female Twi'Lek. Darth Stryfe, the head of Sith security forces and the most brutal of Darth Krayt's followers was also there, standing a few meters in front of the throne and waiting.

''Darth Maladi'', Krayt said, ''it was about time you arrived.''

''I apologize, my lord, some late minute reports came in and I wanted to take a quick look at them.'' Maladi said submissively.

''Approach.'' Krayt said with a terrifying tone.

Maladi obeyed and slowly approached the throne. She stood next to Darth Stryfe and bowed down in respect for her master.

''So, tell me, what do the reports say?'' Krayt asked, again in a deep and terrifying tone.

''The operation on Raxus Prime was a failure. Our agents were killed by an unknown perpetrator two days ago.'' Maladi said as she rose back to a standing position.

''Two days ago? And why did it take you this long to tell me?''

''The bodies were hidden, my lord, our agents found them earlier today.''

''Interesting. This is the third time in the last month.'' Krayt admitted.

''Yes. It seems that every time our agents get close to this target they get themselves killed.'' Maladi confirmed.

''And a very interesting choice of locations it was indeed. Gamorr, Chandrila and now Raxus Prime.'' Krayt noted.

''What do you think he was doing in all those places, my lord?'' Maladi asked.

''Well, it is your job to find that out, Maladi. And I want you to get on it as soon as you return to your post. Stop sending assassins after him, but notify our men to immediately report, if they see him and be sure to tell them not to engage, only follow. As for the bounty we offered... rise it for a thousand credits. Who knows, perhaps the bounty hunters can do our job for us and even if they can't, they'll be a big enough nuisance to slow his efforts down.''

''Yes, my lord.''

''Now, Darth Stryfe, have you made any progress in solving the recent murders of our agents here on Coruscant?'' Krayt turned his attention to the second of the two servants he summoned.

''Unfortunately not, my lord'', Stryfe said, ''All we know is that both murders happened yesterday and that both victims died in an... unusual death.''

''Unusual? What do you mean?'' Krayt asked.

''One of the victims, Darth Asphyxus, choked to death and the other, Darth Smyte, appears to have walked under a trash compactor. Needless to say that there wasn't much of a body left after that. We identified him by DNA tests.''

''Unortodox indeed'', Krayt acknowledged, ''Keep me informed. I sense there is more to these deaths than meets the eye.''

''Yes, my lord.'' Stryfe said.

''Go now, leave me. You too, my Hands.'' Krayt ordered.

''We obey, lord Krayt.'' The four Sith Lords said and left the room.

Wyyrlok waited a few minutes after the four left the throne room to address his master. Krayt managed to live for a century thanks to periodical stasis and numerous healing meditations. He managed to become the Emperor, to defeat his enemies or drive them into hiding, but besides it all he fought another battle, a battle known only to him and his second in command, Wyyrlok. Darth Krayt, the Sith Emperor was slowly dying from an unknown disease.

''How are you feeling, my lord?'' Wyyrlok asked.

''Fine, for the moment, but the disease is winning, I can feel it.''

''Perhaps you should perform another healing meditation, my lord.'' Wyyrlok suggested.

''Perhaps I should, but that is only a temporary solution and I need a permanent one. How goes our search for the Jedi that can heal back the dead?''

''Our agents lost track of him, some time ago. The last report was very interesting, it said that the Jedi we seek is the last of the Skywalker line and it said that he has reestablished contact with his fellow Jedi.''

''The last of the Skywalkers. It fits perfectly, the Skywalker family was always strong in the Force. Where is he now?''

''We don't know, my lord. He was last seen on Muunilist, but our agents lost him there.'' Wyyrlok reported with caution.

''Keep looking Wyyrlok, it is imperative that we find him and capture him.''

''Yes, my lord.''

In the meantime, Darth Maladi returned to the headquarters of Sith Intelligence and relayed Darth Krayt's orders. Darth Stryfe, on the other hand, decided to go back to one of the crime scenes and take another look. Night had fallen and the city lights were the only thing that enabled people to see. Stryfe was a big and tough looking human male, with long black hair. He was, like most of these new Sith painted in red and black Sith tattoos. He entered an alley, meaning to take a shortcut to the crime scene when he heard a voice behind him.

''Darth Stryfe.'' The dark voice called.

Stryfe quickly turned around, but nobody was there.

''Darth Stryfe.'' The voice sounded again and again it seemed to come from behind.

''Who's there!?'' Stryfe shouted in anger as he turned around again.

''Your time has come, Darth Stryfe.'' The voice sounded again.

Stryfe turned to see a figure with a red hood hiding most of the face, a Vonduun crab armor with a strange golden hexagonal insignia on the chest and a red dress-like clothing over the legs, hiding the rest of the armor. The only thing that was sure was that the figure was a male.

''Who are you and how dare you follow me?'' Stryfe demanded.

''Such anger and arrogance from someone so patethic.'' The figure said.

''How dare you, whelp?!'' Stryfe shouted and charged toward the male figure only to be stopped and held paralysed in place a meter in front of him.

''The time of you pretenders is over. The time of Truth is at hand.'' The figure said.

''What are you babbling about!?'' Stryfe shouted, ''Release me and I may show you mercy!''

''How patethic. You call yourself ''strife'', as if you could ever produce something like that between enemies. You are just a simple brute, but do not worry. Your life will end according to your name, in strife with the rest of your Order.''

The figure vanished. Stryfe left the alley and instead of going to the crime scene, he went to the headquarters of the Sith security forces. He knew where he wanted to go, but his legs were taking him somewhere else. When the guards asked him to identify himself, Stryfe simply ignited his lightsaber and charged at them. The guards thought that he has either gone mad, or that he has betrayed the Sith Order. They attacked and so Stryfe's life was ended.

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