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Old 09-28-2006, 01:05 PM   #3
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Chapter II

''We don't have to win, we only have to fight.''
Mace Windu

The sun rose on the Imperial world of Bastion. The only world still unconquered by the Sith. The only world whose location is unknown to the rest of the galaxy. Darth Talon, one of Krayt's Hands almost found its location six months ago by trying to follow Marasiah Fel, the daughter of the legitimate Emperor Roan Fel, but Marasiah managed to cover her tracks and preserve the secrecy of Bastion's location.

Her father, Roan Fel, was a fully trained Imperial Knight and he was, at the moment, the only person with enough tactical genius and with enough courage to oppose the Sith. During these seven and a half years he and the remaining Imperial Knights, as well as the few companies of soldiers still loyal to him were doing their best to retake the galaxy away from the grasp of Darth Krayt, unfortunately their best wasn't good enough. They have managed to put some disarray into the Outer Rim systems with their guerrilla attacks, but they haven't in fact managed to retake even one system from the Sith.

The walls of the Emperor's Bastion retreat shined on the rising sun. The compound had once been a place where members of the royal family would come to rest, relax and think in peace, but now it had become the Imperial base of operations. Fel called it a temporary headquarters, but in reality it was more permanent than he would believe.

Due to these troubled times the Imperial knights and the military somewhat lacked in tradition, but they still showed the proper amount of respect to their Emperor. Every pointless custom was suspened, only some basic courtesy could be spared. Courtesy like reporting to the Emperor in the audience chamber of his retreat.

The audience chamber was about ten meters wide and about twelve meters long, not even half the size of the throne room of the Imperial Palace on Coruscant, but it did the job well enough. The throne itself was a lot simpler than the one on Coruscant, but Fel didn't mind. Deep inside he knew that things like those are the least of his concerns. The main goal was to reclaim his Empire. The need for luxury could wait.

A squadron of troops has just returned from an attack on one of the Outer Rim Sith strongholds and the squadron leader, Imperial Knight Sigel Dare immediately came to report their progress. Sigel was a cold woman with a high sense of duty and an even higher resentment towards the Sith. She wore the traditional Imperial Knight uniform, just like every other Imperial Knight did, the Red Armor over the black fibersuit with the Imperial insignia on the left shoulder pad and a dark brown cape on the back. Her goldish brown hair was fairly long, but she wore a unique hairdue that hid the actual length of her hair.

She approached the Emperor and bowed down as a sign of respect. The bow lasted about two or three seconds and then she rose. Besides Roan Fel himself, there were four more Imperial Knights in the room, one of them was Antares Draco, the leader of the Imperial Knights and Fel's most devoted bodyguard. He would give his life for the Emperor, if the need arose.

''Commander Sigel'' Fel said, ''How did your attack go?''

''It wasn't a complete success, your majesty, but we did some damage.''

''And our troops?'' Fel asked with genuine care.

''No losses on our part, your majesty.'' Sigel replied.

''Excellent. And the damage to the Sith base?'' Fel asked with even more concern.

''We've managed to destroy their communications array and their food storage.''

''Is that all?'' Fel asked with slight disappointment.

''No, your majesty.'' Sigel said, ''We've also crippled their TIE fighter population and did some minor damage on their weapon emplacements.''

''The repairs will no doubt keep them busy for some time.'' Fel pointed out.

''Yes, your majesty.'' Sigel agreed.

''Which is why I want you to launch another surprise attack tomorrow, first thing in the morning.'' Fel added with a dose of strictness in his voice.

''Tomorrow morning?'' Sigel asked in astonishment.

''You heard me, Commander.'' Fel confirmed, ''First thing tomorrow morning.''

''Yes, your majesty.'' She admitted defeat.

''Now go and have some rest.'' Fel's attitude changed, ''You and your troops have the rest of the day off. I want you well rested for tomorrow.''

''Yes, your majesty. Thank you.'' Sigel did a quick bow and left.

Draco had carefully listened to the entire conversation, but he didn't even think of saying a word while Sigel was still there. Now that she left he thought about it alright. Fel glanced at him from the corner of his eye. Draco glanced back then looked away.

''I can sense that something's on your mind, Antares.'' Fel finally broke the awkward silence.

''Well, if I may be honest, your majesty...'' Draco started.

''You may.'' Fel confirmed with a dose of humor.

''... I'm not sure where these attacks are leading. This hit and run tactics is becoming tiresome and it shows little actual success.'' Draco finished.

''And you would rather we sent a team straight to Coruscant to assassinate Krayt.''

''Something like that, yes.'' Draco admitted.

''One day, perhaps, but not yet.'' Fel said calmly.

''But how will that attack tomorrow benefit our cause?'' Draco asked cautiously.

''That base is the only one the Sith have on that entire planet. If it is destroyed, we'll have a chance at bolsting our own ranks with people who express the desire to join us.'' Fel explained.

''I see. And if the people are too afraid of the Sith to join us?''

''Then we'll have to deal with it. Its their choice after all.'' Fel said.

''I don't know, your majesty. Something's not right and I don't like it.'' Draco said.

''We will deal with every consequence in its proper time.''

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