SW: TOR: RECKONING OF A LOST SOUL: THE PLAN
Part Three of an Old Republic Tale by MsFicwriter
CORUSCANT, EASTPORT, 0800 HOURS
With the Essence of Victory flowing through me, I had sixteen hours left to live. Six of those had already been spent aboard the Vygrali,
the Sith courier vessel which had transported Qyzen Fess and me to our current destination. It was funny: under ordinary circumstances, those six hours would have passed in the blink of an eye because my mind would have been focused upon other matters. Now, however, every second counted and I knew it. Time seemed to have slowed to a crawl aboard that ship, and it crept still. I was trying to treasure the moments that remained before I succumbed to the Essence, even if they were spent traveling and conversing with my closest friend. I suddenly realized that I could not have survived any of the events of my recent past without him, whether in the crystal cave back on Tython, the cliff of Korriban, or here on Coruscant. Qyzen had transformed himself from a lone hunter reluctant to fight alongside me to a warrior willing to lay down his life for my sake. As for me? With shivers making me convulse, I confessed to myself that I had not changed for the better. I had transformed from an innocent Jedi Padawan into a murderer. My former self would not have quartered Pfon Urazhai. Instead, she would have knelt before him and let him kill her, that he might be redeemed. Who, or what, had I become? I was loath to call myself this: a monster,
pure and simple.
asked Qyzen, dropping the formal term of "Padawan"."What's wrong?"
He and I had both exited the ship.
I blinked. "Nothing."
He raised a scaly brow. "You're a terrible liar. Tell me."
His directness compelled me to reveal what weighed on my mind, namely guilt and shame. When I told him how horrible I felt about killing Pfon, he slapped me with his clawed hand on my back. "Now, hold! If you would not have done so, he would have slain you in turn. The quartering was...magnificent, but do not think for a moment you had the cold-blooded calculation to do it intentionally. Move forward, because neither of us has much time left!"
Standing up to his full height and thrusting out his chest, he snorted with disdain at my continued brooding. Following his lead, I ventured further into Eastport.
It wasn't long before we met up with a tall woman in ebony military garb:
"My name is Imperial Agent Melina Stavros," she informed us. "Come with me."
Now it was my turn to lift a skeptical eyebrow: "Who sent you, Agent?"
"Vadym the Marauder, new apprentice to Inquisitor Ares Seru on Korriban."
Ares Seru? Interesting. I guess that as slaves, Qyzen and I never merited enough attention to meet him, but we sure received plenty of Pfon's...
"Check," I told the Agent crisply. "We're Per'dra Yllari and Qyzen Fess."
"As I've heard." She motioned for both of us to follow her, and we obeyed. I noticed my Trandoshan companion keeping a wary eye on her, and I followed suit. Was he thinking of assassinating her? He certainly could, as the Agent had not yet thought of disarming us. I was still carrying my silver lightsabers, and he his hunting rifle. What would happen now? The next few seconds would tell, and contrary to all my expectations, nothing did. I suppose I'm hypervigilant due to my experiences on Korriban, when my situation was to kill or be killed,
I thought. Agent Stavros has another plan in store for us, and the closer it gets us to Master Karos, the better!
The Imperial operative led us into a transport hub on the far side of Eastport. Dozens of humans and aliens were waiting for speeders to take them to their next destination, which, knowing Coruscant, was probably a hotel or cantina! Was that where we were headed? Before I could speak one word, she said:
"As you may or may not know, we Sith are presently 'shadowing' one of our moles, a Jedi Master named Lenina Karos. I believe you are familiar with her?" Qyzen and I both nodded, trying not to betray our emotions through our facial expressions. Of course, the Trandoshan was far better at this than I was! "The reason for this is that to this day, we still cannot discern if she's with us or with the Jedi. Lenina keeps her cards close to her chest. She'd make an excellent pazaak player." A glint of humor flashed in her green eyes, and I returned it with a grin. "Nevertheless, I want you both to try and find out what she's doing with a candidate for the Galactic Senate named Denon Yepti." Pause.
"Now, I don't mean a love affair or anything like that. Not only is a Jedi Master supposed to be above such things, but I don't think she'd betray her Order to do something so idiotic and petty. What say you?"
I agreed, nodding. Agent Stavros continued, "Presently, Karos says that she's working at Yepti's campaign office undercover, as a public relations agent. That's where we're going, as soon as we stop by the nearest Kaminoan 'transformation facility'." Feeling my stomach turn to liquid, I was glad that the red-headed Imperial grasped my hand before I passed out. "Don't worry! I'm simply afraid that Master Karos will recognize you both on the spot, and so your appearances shall have to be modified." With another cold smile, she said, "It's on the Empire's dime, so the Empire gets to decide what you'll look like for now. Agreed?" Once again, I nodded.
"You'll have to go alone into the campaign office once you get dropped off," she informed us. "If I appear looking like this, Karos will know something's up. I'm going to give you a comlink so that you can not only tell me when to come and pick you up--once your appointment's over--but so that you can also say one of three code words: Green
if the Master seems safely committed to Sith ideals, Orange
if she's cryptic as usual, and Red
if she starts talking about 'honor' and 'nobility' and all that garbage. Got me?"
"Yes, Agent Stavros," I said, "but what if I'm not sure which word to use?"
"Go with your gut instinct." We Jedi are good at that,
I mused dryly.
"One more thing," Qyzen interjected, holding up his right hand. "What if Master Karos suspects us, or even worse, attacks us? What should we do?"
"Fight your way out of Yepti's campaign HQ, but try not to kill her if possible. We want to know why she betrayed us after joining us, and you can't ask a corpse questions." With that, a speeder arrived and Agent Stavros signaled for it. We three climbed in, and it zoomed into the traffic flow...