THE CRIMSON BLIGHT
Episode 2: Deadly meeting
SPACE: Nearing the outer rim territories.
The golden ray continued its voyage through hyperspace, on board, the three jedi had just finished their morning jedi exercise. With Mathorn singing along to the music that was being played over the sound system, all while the kitchen machines were preparing their lunch.
"Why do I get the feeling you see this more as a vacation, than a rescue mission?" Jonathan wondered out loud, while the fresh smell of greeneries filled the air surrounding them.
"Loosen up a little. We don't have to train all the time." Mathorn commented chipperly and added in the same tone. "You can't be at peace, if you work yourself to the bone."
"True, but you can't get better if you don't practice and we don't-" Jonathan was speaking when the mission leader chimed in.
"If I may propose a compromise." Tikala broke in. When she had their attention she explained. "How about we after lunch, all take a small break and afterwards... I can teach you a technique I have recently learned. I believe it would benefit you both."
Jonathan and Mathorn looked at each other and nodded in unison. "That's a sound plan miss Xastra." Jonathan replied in agreement.
"You can call me by my first name, we have known eachother for years after all." Tikala suggested with a soft smile.
"I just thought it was more appropriate-" Jonathan said before being loudly interrupted.
"YES MASTER SISTER! Your will, is our joy... or... at least I hope so." Mathorn exclaimed for the fun of it.
The two more jedi-like jedi, only sighed as reply, before going to the ship's small kitchen, to get their selected menu for lunch.
A little later, in the living room, which had been converted into a training area, not large enough for proper fencing training, but big enough for basic practice. The two gentlemens both sat on soft meditation pillows, with Tikala standing over them as she began instructing. "What I'm going to introduce you to, is a force ability called 'force absorption'."
Jonathan raised an eyebrow. "Force absorption? Isn't that the ability to take in harmful outside energy and convert it to positive energy?" Both he and Mathorn had had some basic training in Tutaminis, but this was above their perceived ability.
"That's correct. With this force technique by your side, you will be able to absorb blaster bolts and other energy based attacks." Tikala explained. "Let me demonstrate." She then took a small pistol and handed it to Mathorn. "This stun blaster is only strong enough to make you feel numb for a short time. It will do for today's practice. Mathorn please shoot at me."
Mathorn looked at the gun and turned it in his hand as Tikala explained. When he was given the command he casually replied. "If you insist sis." He pointed and shot a small blue stun bolt right at his siblings chest, but Tikala just held up a hand and channeled it's electromagnetic energy through her hand and into herself.
"Cool sis!" Mathorn exclaimed. "See! My sister can beat your sister." He bragged for the fun of it.
"Since my sisters are most likely being married to some high ranking imperials, instead of leaning how to defend themselves... there's really no contest." Jonathan sighed heavily as he spoke and turned to the female sibling, keen on learning the new technic. "So where do we start? Miss... I mean Tikala."
Tikala was a bit perplexed for a short moment, so she closed her eyes for moment and let out her breath to calm herself before she began instructing. "This is the way I learned it. First you imagine the attacking energy and yourself as two separate energies. Then you accept the energy as if it were your own."
"I'm ready, just shoot me." Mathorn invited. He handed the small pistol back and prepared himself.
Mistaking imitated confidence for actual confidence Tikala stretched her arm and squeezed the trigger.
Mathorn stopped the bolt with both his hands, but instead of absorbing the energy, it just paralyzed his hands with a pain stinging effect. "Ouch!"
"Mathorn! I'm so sorry, are you okay?" Tikala quickly apologized sincerely. She chected the power settings again, but it was still on its lowest setting.
"Can't move my arms, that's very bad." Mathorn stated his distress, mostly to himself.
Jonathan shook his head. "Mathorn... focus, remember when master Shan taught us to deflect force pushes?"
"Don't remind my... it's embracing." Mathorn hadn't forgotten that experience. Instead of deflecting or redirecting a simple force push, he enhanced it to such a degree, that he hurled himself backwards into the wall in back of the room with such pressure that he was hospitalized the remainder of the week from a dozen broken bones in his back.
Jonathan turned his attention to his instructor "...Tikala, I'm ready."
The aldoranian did manage to absorb the energy, but it wasn't perfect. He did feel some numbness in his hands, he didn't feel any pain from the stun bolt however.
They continuing practicing the rest of day. Mathorn managed to paralyze himself several times and only once did he actually perfect it, while Jonathan on the other hand got it right, about half the time.
DROMUND KAAS: BRIZA'S PENTHOUSE
Briza was awoken by a beeping noise from her comm unit. She answered it immediately and was greeted by the holographic representation of a sith lady, she recognised as being one of her allies. A woman she considered a friend... or as much of a friend as you could be in the fiercely rival minded and treachery filed academy on Korriban, where plotting another's demise was not uncommon.
"Good morning lord Briza, Darth Imperious asked me to inform you, that you are requested to attend a personal war meeting in his office as soon as possible." The holographic figure informed politely with urgency in her voice.
"Tell our lord that I will meet with him in teen minutes, and Deedrah, I hope we get to talk some other time." Briza replied quickly with the same urgency in her voice.
"So do I Briza. I will relay the information now, Deedrah out." She replied softly before returning to the serious demeanor from earlier and flickered out.
Briza took few seconds to washed herself, whereafter her new servant droids dressed in her black lightweight sith armor.
Afterwards she was brought food, which she ate quickly on her way out of her penthouse, to Darth Veness former luxurious private speeder that had just been warmed up and prepared for immediate take off.
Briza entered her new personal speeder and took off from her private landing pad and raced into the midst of Kaas city.
OUTER RIM: near the Ord Canfre system.
The Golden Ray exited hyperspace, all three jedi's stood awaiting an incoming holocall and no less than a few seconds later they received the call. A man in a republic uniform appeared.
"Well met Jedi knight Xastra. I am Kelvan Jelsen of the SIS. I have been tasked by the jedi council inform you of your mission." The agent told them directly.
Tikala made a small bow as a courtesy and replied in a soft voice. "Well meet Kelvan. What is the situation on our mission?
"One of our contacts, an information broker who sells intel, who goes by the name 'Conro' has important info that you need to hear. We are setting up a holo meeting as we speak." Kelvan informed politely and to the point. A moment later he continued. "I have just received a message that he is ready to speak to you. Shall I put him through?"
"Yes please do!" Tikala politely urged him to proceed.
Kelvan nodded and a second person appeared beside him, "Greetings Jedi. I have been told you seek a group of bounty hunters from our sector."
"It's an evil group called the Tenkan bounty hunter Syndicate, ring any bells?" Mathorn impatiently cut in and asked directly.
Conro studied the zabrak for moment. "You are not very jedi like are you. And I wouldn't exactly call them evil. They have contributed much to our sector in the past decades"
"In which way have they contributed, exactly?" Jonathan asked skeptically to know the facts.
"Well for starters they kept both the empire and the republic off our door steps and secondly their founders helped our people in times of need." Conro elaborated while smiling. "So I would advise against attacking them, if I were you."
"Let's just say they have taken something of ours and we want it back. I too would like to see this confrontation resolved without any blood sheat." Tikala cooly replied honestly.
Conro smiled at the female jedi's reply. "That's what I like to hear... The funny thing is, they are still believed to be in our sector... But they moved recently and so far their new base is unknown.
"We would like to know that beforehand!" Mathorn retorted angrily.
Conro hold up a hand for Mathorn to shut up. "Luckily I have traced their recent activities to a space station in the Dathomir sector. Whatever you are after, it is most likely there."
The jedi looked at each other for a brief moment, but it was Jonathan who asked the question. "The station... is it controlled by the empire?"
"As far as I'm aware, it's the Tenkan Syndicate who controls it, but what they are doing in imperial space, is still unknown to me." Conro informed them of his latest intel.
"What are we waiting for, let's get to this spacestation of theirs." Mathorn impatiently stated.
Tikala was starting to get a bit annoyed with her brothers lack of manners. "Patient brother, if there is more to be learned, it would be unwise not to listen."
"There is one more thing you should know." Conro spoke to get their attention. When he had gotten their attention again he continued. "While they have never sided with the empire, they occasionally have done business with them in the past and some of their members could very well be sympathetic to the empire. I would advise you not to show them who you really are, unless you speak to their boss Yurian Tenkan directly, as he is a reasonable man who probably wouldn't sell you out."
"Thank you Conro for your invaluable information. You will be well compensated for this service." Tikala bowed.
"Always a pleasure to do business with a jedi." Conro replied and made a polite bow of his own before he disconnected the transmission.
Jonathan felt an overwhelming amount of unease come over him. "I sense a trap." He muttered, hoping he was wrong.
"No... I sense he spoke the truth... that much I am sure of." Tikala reassured them.
"No matter what, I'm setting a course for that space station. Master Buz isn't going to save himself." Mathorn muttered and went to the cockpit to plot a course through hyperspace.
Tikala and Jonathan looked at each other for brief moment nodded and went to check on the logistics and soon after they were once more flying through hyperspace, this time heading into imperial territory.
DROMUND KAAS: The office of law and order.
Briza arrived at Darth Imperious' office which in reality consisted of a series of interlinked rooms each with its own specific function in mind. She was shown to a particularly large chamber with a holo-desk dominating the lower central part of the floor. This room wasn't as richly decorated as the others she had just been shown through. Here the various exotic plants, paintings framed in gold and sculptures of respected artists, had taken a backseat in favor of a more practical no nonsense expression. Several terminal consols was arranged around the central desk ready to be used to support the leadership when needed. But the command bunker, which it for all intents and purposes was, was devoid of beings, except for the small cluster gathered in the middle. There were one other sith lord and two tall male assassins present in the office. The assassins, one zabrak like herself and the other human, had taken up position a respectable distance from the holo-desk letting their superiors have what space they needed.
"Thank you for joining us at such a short notice Lord Briza." Imperious politely welcomed the newly arrived Zabrak.
Briza bowed slightly. "I'm at your command my lord." She responded politely in a sincere tone.
Imperious smiled in return and turned to a tall robust male pureblood sith lord. "This is lord Kaliff. He will lead the operation to retake our lost space station back. With your intimate knowledge of the interior you will act as his adviser and second in command."
Both Briza and the large pureblood sith Kaliff nodded in understanding, as the high lord began to unravel the plan of attack. "In order to minimise casualty, I will initiate the operation by sending you four in, on a new prototype stealth ship, to shut down the station's defenses. You will be supported by a group of agents, specialized in slicing and sabotage. The fleet will be on stand by just out of sensor reach awaiting your signal. When Rear Admiral Tainor receives your signal, his orders are to jump to pre-assigned location and begin the boarding phase. With the boarding phase under way your secondary objective will be the capture of the rebel leadership for later interrogation. It should all be over in a matter of hours, so I expect you to prepare for the opposite... Any questions?"
Imperious looked seriously at each of them in turn as he finished on the question, all remaining silent at attention. "Very well, the ship is docked in my personal hangar. The operation will commence in five minutes." A hint of worry slid over his face, as he dismissed them. "Bring glory to the empire and may the force serve you well."
The four sith bowed and left for the hanger, a servant droid coming up to them. "My lords, this way please." the droid said in a synthesized voice and showed them the way to the hanger.
The hangar was filled with ships of all shapes and sizes, but the ship they were shown to, was the most unusual of all. The ship looked familiar, yet very unique. To Briza, the corvette looked like an oversized fury class interceptor with a disc shaped bridge attached to the front, half the size of the main hull. Besides the elongated oval shaped prototype cloaking generators mounted on the top and underside of the hull, the entire ship was covered in a black crystal overlay. The corvette housed two medium laser cannon turrets, four ion engines and two curved solar plates spanning the length of the hull. The locations of the turrets, on the top and underside, clearly told her that it was meant for defence against light armored fighters and she suspected that the flat circular cockpit in the front, was made that way to confuse short range radars.
"Welcome on board the Silent Fang." An Imperial agent said as he humbly stood aside to let the sith lords accent the bridge.
The the sith were shown a seat each as the ship took to the clouds and further out into space. As she was shown to her seat, Briza glanced around the ship. It was colored in red and dark gray to symbolize the empire. To her delight, she spotted her brother talking to his superiors, soon after the Silent Fang had taken to the sky and exited the atmosphere, the small fleet that would accompany them in retaking the station from it's rebel infestation, became visible in low orbit around Dromund Kaas.