''I will do whatever necessary to protect those who depend on me. No more. But no less.''
– Grand Admiral Thrawn
Night had fallen on Bastion and everyone at the Emperor's retreat, except for the guards were fast asleep. Well, almost everyone. Imperial Knight Sigel Dare was staring through the mansion windows at the city beneath them. Thinking. In just a little under seven hours she would be launching a second attack at the Sith stronghold on Socorro, she knew that she needed to be well rested for the job, but she just couldn't make herself go to sleep.
Bastion's night sky was actually quite a sight. The sky was clearer than on any other planet and you could see almost every star that could be seen on that side of the planet. Sigel was looking at only one star out of the entire flock. Sokor, the sun of Socorro. In a way she was preparing herself for tomorrow's battle, concentrating, using every Knight skill she had to clear her mind.
''You too?'' She heard a male voice come from behind her.
She turned around to see who it was and saw Antares Draco, leader of the Imperial Knights standing in full uniform only a few steps behind her. The first thing she thought was how could she not have sensed him coming. It worried her. She didn't want something like that happening in the middle of tomorrow's battle.
''Couldn't sleep.'' She finally answered.
''Me neither, so I decided to take a walk around the mansion to clear my head.'' Draco said.
''Same here.'' She added with a friendly tone.
''You're worried about tomorrow. I can sense it.'' Draco said.
''Yes. Yes, I am.'' Dare confirmed, ''Whatever damage we did last night, it wasn't enough. Their weapon emplacements are almost intact and tomorrow we have to go there again.''
''You'll succeed. You shouldn't worry so much, Emperor Fel has confidence in you as do the rest of the Imperial Knights, as do your troops. You can do it.'' Draco said.
''I certainly hope so, Antares.'' She said, calmer now, ''So what's your excuse for being awake at this hour?''
''This whole unfortunate situation and our position in it.'' He admitted.
''I'm not exactly happy about it either, but we will not surrender and in the end the Empire will be ours again.'' Dare returned the favor.
''Yes, I know that, but with the tactics we are using now we'll all be in our sixties when we finally defeat the Sith. We need a more direct approach.'' Draco insisted.
''Ah, so that's what's bothering you.'' Sigel said, ''Trust in the Emperor's judgement, he knows what he's doing.''
''I certainly hope he does. I'd give my life for him, but sometimes he just makes me wonder.'' Draco said.
''Perhaps it is his way of testing our loyalty.'' Sigel suggested cooly.
''Perhaps you are right. Come on, we've wasted enough of our sleep time and you do have an assault to lead in the morning.'' Draco said.
''True. Good night.'' She said as she walked away from the window.
''May the Force be with you.'' Draco said.
Sigel returned to her room, but she didn't go straight to bed. She continued her observation through the window in her room. The lights of the city that lay below them were glowing brightly. It was an evening of celebration. One of many customs of the locals. Sigel stretched out with the Force and could almost hear the music on the streets and the cheering of the people. She couldn't understand how they could be so relaxed in the midst of war. She tried though.
Perhaps it was because of the fact that Bastion's location was a well guarded secret, maybe it was because there were no incidents on the planet itself, or maybe it was because Bastion was the most fortified planet in this entire galaxy. The people knew it, knew it all too well and it made them feel safe and confident. Perhaps a little too confident and relaxed for Sigel's taste. They obviously didn't realize the seriousness of the situation in which they were in and didn't think anything, or anyone could penetrate Bastion's defenses.
Who knows? Perhaps they were right not to worry. Perhaps Bastion really is untouchable, but Sigel couldn't believe that. Not after everything she'd seen. The destruction, the violence, the darkness. The galaxy just didn't feel the same anymore. It felt dark, somehow and it wasn't just because of the Sith. That's what worried her the most. The thought of losing touch with everything around her.
Draco was right. Something had to be done. Something drastic. And it would begin with tomorrow's attack. The orders were to simply crush the Sith compound to the ground, but then again, sneak attack tactics weren't one of Fel's stronger sides. He was a good politician and a good military commander, but his expertise lay more in organising large battles, nothing like this one. That is why Sigel decided to modify those orders a little bit. She would destroy the base, but she would first send techs and slicers to take the Sith database apart and pull any useful information it might hold.
She turned her gaze back into the sky and the star Sokor. She stared at it for a few more minutes, or at least it felt like minutes to her. She glanced at her chronometer and it showed that morning was only four hours away. Time to get some sleep. As much as was possible. The Sith will not fight with any less determinance just because she didn't get enough beauty sleep.