“Jor-el why aren’t you answering me?” Linduu cried out.
Still there was no reply. As the raider glided through skies over Iziz Linduu’s fear grew more and more with each passing second.
(Calm down, just calm down.) Linduu thought to herself. (I just need to collect myself and calm down. I can’t let my emotions get the best of me. Ok think Lin, what’s the next step?)
“T-4 find us a place to land. Anywhere remote and hidden will do.” Linduu said.
“Beep beep.” T-4 replied as he took control of the ship.
(I need to sneak in and gather as much information as I can before I decide on any course of action)
“There, over there T-4, that will do quite nicely.” Linduu said as she pointed towards what appeared to be a partially destroyed and abandoned warehouse.
(Take my baby huh. We’ll just see about that Vandar.)
T-4 flew the ship through a hole in the west wall of the building that had been created by a Sith cruiser cannon in an earlier attack. It was barely big enough for the raider to fit through but T-4 made it look easy with his masterful piloting. He set the ship down in the very center of the building.
“Good job T-4.” Linduu replied. “You stay here with the ship. I’m going to go and see if I can find out anything that could help us complete our mission.”
“Beep droot” T-4 replied in a low fearful tone.
“I’ll contact you on the communicator if I need you.” Linduu said.
Linduu kept her self-cloaked as she climbed out of the ship’s cockpit. But she made the raider visible again as her feet touched the ground.
(And don’t think that I have forgotten about you Jasra. I’m not done with you yet.) Linduu again thought to herself as she walked over towards the eastern exit of the warehouse.
(Alright I need to make my way to the royal palace. It’s a safe bet that’s where Vandar will be)
Linduu set out towards the palace. Being cloaked no one could see her. But if she walked too loudly or ran they would still be able to hear her. It was slow going but Linduu masterfully weaved her way in between crowds of slaves and patrols of Sith guards.
(There is no way I am going to be able to destroy this whole army, Vandar, and Jasra on my own. I am going to have to find a way to cause swift and mass levels of destruction.)
Linduu did her best to keep her thoughts focused on the task at hand, but found it difficult as fear seemed to continually emanate from the dark red cloud that surrounded the planet. The whole sky looked as if it had been bathed in blood. In the near distance Linduu could see the top of the palace tower. The red energy cloud seemed as if it funneled down from the sky directly into it. The path into the palace courtyard was filled with many Sith patrols but none of them noticed Linduu as she sneaked by them. Finally she came to the palace entrance. She waited for a few minutes for someone to open one of the massive doors so she could sneak inside. Eventually a guard opened one of them and went into the palace. Linduu quietly followed him inside, close enough behind him that she could have stuck out her tongue and touched the back of his neck. As soon as she stepped inside a massive wave of fear sent chills up and down her spine.
(Yep, this is where Vandar is alright.)
She used the Force to trace the wave of fear to its source. Making her way down a few corridors she finally came to the throne room. She pressed herself up against the wall as tightly as she could right outside the entrance. Even though she was cloaked she felt as if Vandar’s gaze was upon her.
(I’ve come too far to blow it now.) She thought. (If Vandar was going to sense me he would have done it by now. Well, at least I think he would have.)
Linduu carefully peeked around the corner. In the very center of the room she saw a tall, dark throne. The red cloud seemed to come down from the top of the tower and cast its glow all around the throne. On it sat Lord Vandar. His body was small and wrinkly when he was a Jedi master and was never really a pleasure to look at. But now as a puppet of the dark side he was almost impossible to look at. His entire body was deformed from ear to toe. His eyes were pitch black and his demeanor was even more evil than what Linduu remembered from when they saw his Force projection back on the unknown planet. Kneeling in front of him was Jasra. A massive amount of emotion ran through Linduu’s body as she was tempted to just run in and end it all now. There they both were right in front of her, but she knew better. She needed to find a way to take care of all the Sith, everything.
(The Force will guide me) She thought.
Having calmed her emotions Linduu used the Force to eavesdrop on Vandar and Jasra’s conversation.
“Why before me have you come?” Vandar asked as he studied Jasra very carefully.
Jasra was already kneeling but bowed her head even lower. “My Lord I have come to inform you that Lord Onasi has been killed.”
“Know this I already do.” Vandar replied as his eyes narrowed. “The real reason you have come tell me now.”
Jasra looked up at Vandar. “My Lord I don’t understand, what do you mean?”
“Growing thin with you my patience is!” Vandar barked out as he lifted his finger and pointed it at Jasra. He used the Force to lift her in the air and began choking her. “Now tell me!”
Jasra could feel the Force wrapping around her neck like a Python. With each second it tightened its grip more and more. “My Lord….” Jasra could barely say. “I came hoping to….. to find favor in your sight.”
Vandar tightened his grip on her. “Onasi killed you have. My favor gain by doing this thought you?”
Jasra put her hands around her throat trying to loosen the tightening grip of the Force. But it was no use. “My Lord…….. I have always…. admired you….” Jasra’s face began to turn a shade of purple as she gasped for air. “To be… your apprentice… has always… been my… dream.”
Vandar released her and she fell to the ground. “Correct you are. Honor it is to serve me. Strength you have shown by killing Lord Onasi. Stronger than him become you have.” He paused for a moment and placed his hand to his chin as if he were thinking. “My new apprentice you shall be. Now rise Lord Lantill, to my meditation leave me.”
Jasra pulled herself to her feet and gently massaging her throat replied. “Yes my master, as you command.” She then turned and began walking towards the throne room exit.
Linduu held her breath as Jasra was almost upon her.
(Oh please don’t sense me. Please oh please oh please.)
But just as Jasra walked through the archway it happened. She stopped dead in her tracks and looked right at the spot where Linduu was standing.
(You don’t see me. You don’t sense anything at all.) Linduu thought.
Jasra just stood there, staring directly into Linduu’s eyes without knowing it. She then slowly placed her hand on her lightsaber as if she was going to draw it.
Linduu’s eyes narrowed in concentration. (Pull that saber from your belt and your head will be rolling on the floor before you even have a chance activate it.)
“Lord Lantill, tell you to leave did I not?” Vandar said from his throne.
Jasra pulled her hand away from her saber. “Yes my master, please forgive me.” She replied. She looked over at where Linduu was standing once more and then continued her exit from the palace.
(Wow that was a close one.) Linduu thought as she wiped the sweat from her forehead. (My best bet is probably to follow Jasra. Since she has a plan to kill Vandar then she probably knows some of the things that I need to find out about this place.) Linduu then peeled herself away from the wall ever so quietly and followed after Jasra at a distance. Jasra exited the palace and went down a dark alleyway where she met two of her assassins. Linduu once again used the Force to enhance her hearing.
The assassins knelt down before Jasra and the one on her left began the conversation.
“My Lord did all go according to plan?”
“Not everything.” Jasra replied as she winced in pain touching her fingers to her throat. “But I now have the fool’s trust and am his second in command.”
“My Lord congratulations, shall we move into the next phase of your plan?”
“Yes.” Jasra replied. “But if we are going to even have a chance of killing him, then we need to sever his connection to the cloud.”
“My Lord?” The assassin asked in puzzlement.
“The red cloud enhances his dark side energy and command of it. When it is present he is unbeatable. But without the cloud he would be much more vulnerable.” Jasra replied. “Take ten of our best men with you to Dxun and destroy the source from which the cloud comes. If you return to me in failure then I will kill you”
“It shall be as you command my Lord. Where on Dxun is the source of the cloud?”
“The tomb of Freedon Nadd.” Jasra replied.