Jay Thalzar. He was an emissary. A go-between if you will. His job was by no means an easy one, but he was doing it for the glory of his master; the head of the One Sith, and the successor of Darth Bane's ancient and ultimately fruitless Rule of Two. He had not told anyone, not even Darth Krayt, about this little endeavor, in the hopes that it would bring him and only him favor in the eyes of his master. And how could this not bring favor? An alliance with the undisputed ruler of this section of space would bring the Sith that much closer to their ultimate goal. The fact that this ruler was a Hutt made the matter that much easier. Hutts were always open to new alliances. Hutts were always thinking of what was to gain. And Hutts never cared about the ideals or convictions of their allies. Their own ideals were what made them predictable. And that predictability was their weakness. This Surga the Hutt would be no different.
As Jay's ship, a heavily modified Dunelizard starfighter named the Shadow's Ambition, neared the odd asteroid base of Surga the Hutt, the internal comlink signaled an incoming message. Jay flicked the switch, activating the small holoprojector. After a second of static, a blue shimmering image of a well aged Duros took shape.
"Starfighter Shadow's Ambition," he said in a dusty, yet still melodic voice, "this is Void Demon Sector Authority restricted space. State your business or be vaped."
Jay smirked, and gave a slight push on the Duros' mind through the Force, "I'm here with an offer that will prove most lucrative. If you were to allow me into your leader's court, I'm sure he would reward you greatly."
The Duros remained motionless for several moments, obviously caught up in grandiose thoughts of a reward, before nodding, "Yes, yes. I have granted you docking permission in Bay 4. Coordinates have been sent to your ship."
The smirk, still on Jay's face, only widened as he broke the signal and prepared to dock. His master would be very pleased indeed. He powered down the main thrusters, and drifted the rest of the way towards the asteroid. It was oddly shaped, with the top covered in structures, and the bottom devoid of anything at all. Many of the structures on the top looked like parts to a dilapidated mining facility built right into the asteroid, only to be obviously repurposed as the main structure of a pirate base. It was bristling with all forms of weaponry; the weapons being in stark contrast next to old mining cranes and mag-levs. That, however, wasn't what caught Jay's eye. On one of the sides, just coming fully into view, was what appeared to be the aft end of an old cruiser of some sort jutting out from the rock. It was obviously from a very vicious battle long past; a testament to how resilient the Void Demons were…and that resilience was the very reason for his meeting with them. He moved to the small cargo room directly behind the cockpit, and began to go over what he would say and offer to the Hutt as he swung his cloak around his neck and fastened it, then attached his lightsaber to his belt. He kept his hand on it, feeling the combination of cool metal and yorik coral on the hilt, summoning the memories of those who had died at it's blade. The Dark Side would not fail him. One way or the other, he would come out victorious. If the Hutt chose not to take his offer, he decided, then it was high-time that the Void Demons were disbanded. Or, he thought, given new leadership. He sat on the thought for the last remaining moments before the starfighter shook under the docking clamp. The smirk returned to his face anew as he exited his ship, his lightsaber swinging at his hip as he walked.
As Jay approached the large blast doors connecting the docking area to the interior of the facility, a small stalk with a bulbous robotic eye popped out from the adjacent wall. It turned to look at him, then began uttering a strange, fast-paced language.
He replied in clear galactic basic, forcing a loud melodramatic tone to his voice, "My name is Jay Thalzar, emissary of the One Sith, and messenger for his Dread Lordship: Darth Krayt."
The wall probe blinked several times, before saying a vulgar phrase that even Jay knew the meaning of, then retracted back into the wall. Almost immediately after the probe withdrew, the blast doors parted, a slow moaning and creaking that may very well have been a precaution against anyone sneaking in rather than due to age. He had to give himself a moment for his eyes to adjust to the dim lighting beyond the doors before he could continue, silently wishing his nose could adjust to the smell as easily as his eyes adjusted to the darkness. A wave of various putrid odors assailed him, ranging from spilt oil to the sweat of a dozen different species mingled together. He fought down the urge to audibly gag, and continued forward into what appeared to be a large foyer mixed with a sensor and weapons control room. In it, he found beings of every race—Human, Trianii, Twi'lek, even several Wookies—monitoring systems, chatting in hushed voices over drinks, and huddled around betting rings. He could feel the general sense of malice in the room; not clearly directed at anyone, but just an overall atmosphere. He gently probed at several of them, tasting the thoughts of an assassin, a smuggler, a slaver. The Hutt obviously kept himself surrounded by the dregs of society, Jay thought. A servant droid appeared to notice him as he stood there, and moved over to him, walking with what appeared to be an air of dignity about him. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be wearing makeshift rings of some sort, as well as a sash draped around its neck. The Hutt seemed to not only attract the criminally insane, but also the mechanically insane, he thought.
The droid bowed to him, then said in a soothing masculine voice, "Welcome, friend. Allow me to guide you to the inner chamber. Your presence is expected in the court of the Leader."
Jay simply gave the droid a disgusted look, then followed the droid through the foyer towards another set of large blast doors. The droid moved over to the door's security console, and the doors parted ponderously. After being motioned inside by the droid as it bowed to him, the doors closed behind him.
The first thing Jay noticed about this inner room was the strangely intense flow of the Dark Side. It felt concentrated in here somehow. He took a deep breath, completely ignoring the awful smell that always seemed to accompany a Hutt as he felt the Darkness brush against him, focusing him on his mission. The first thing in the room that caught Jay's eye was the beings that occupied it; most of which were standing around a tacticians table, reviewing schematics of some sort. There was the Duro whom he had spoken to on the comlink standing next to a thin and equally ancient looking Rodian in a dilapidated captain's uniform that was probably as old as he was. Across from them was a Skakoan, who was briefing the others on the schematics, and over in the corner, eyeing Jay, one with obvious suspicion and the other with piercing red eyes, were a rough looking Human spacer loaded with weapons, and a deadly calm Chiss cradling a just-as-deadly sniper rifle. Looking around the rest of the room, he then noticed the large collection of antiques on the far wall. The Hutt obviously fancied himself a collector of some sort. Jay saw several ancient droid chassis, the ones he recognized ranging from an old Czerka HK unit to what appeared to be a Phase III Darktrooper, to a much larger Vulture droid starfighter—all beautifully refurbished. Suddenly he saw one of the droids, a small buzz droid, scrabble out from among the others, moving to the front of the room before crawling up a large lump that Jay quickly realized was Surga the Hutt.
"Bo shuda, human." The large Hutt bellowed, offering a common greeting in Huttese. His stubby arms opened wide in an inviting gesture as the buzz droid scampered to a perch on his pale greenish-yellow tail. Surga then motioned to his side, and the insane droid with the sash stepped up on the dais to stand next to his master.
Surga spoke, his golden-green eyes narrowing as he did. In turn, the droid translated, "The great leader of the Void Demons, and Protectorate of this sector asks you to state your business here quickly, lest he is forced to clean whatever mess you make off of the floor."
Jay felt a flash of anger that burned hot in his gut, but he managed to sound civil when he replied, "Surga the Hutt, your strength and renown are great, as they have reached the attention of my master. We, the Sith, offer you the chance to play a pivotal role in the reforming of the galaxy, the opportunity of any number of lifetimes, by simply lending the strength of your fleet, and safe passage through your sector. The Sith smile down on those who help them achieve their goals. You will be amply rewarded. The Jedi who have plagued your line of…business will be exterminated, you will become richer and more influential than a thousand senators. The Sith will—"
His well rehearsed dialogue was cut off by the wave of one stubby arm. Licking his lips, and uttering a low guttural sigh, Surga then spoke, with his droid translating, "Protectorate Surga says that he declines with much regret. He is unable to deal with such matters at the moment, and says that he tends to shy away from deals with…overzealous, naïve cults, such as your master's."
The young Sith could feel his anger begin to bubble up at the slander the Hutt spewed. He could already smell the smoke rising from his hand, the raw feel of Dark Side lightning tendrils coursing up and through his fingers. "You should be more grateful for an offer from the Sith," he said through grated teeth, his hand already itching for his lightsaber.
The Hutt laughed a low and mocking laugh before speaking in plain Basic himself, "I have seen what the Sith offer their 'allies', and have enough knowledge from the last Sith controlled Galactic Empire to not want another to take its place. There is nothing you could offer that I would even be remotely interested in. I believe you know the way you came in, and wish you safe journey back to your master." The small buzz droid at his side emitted a sound that, too, sounded like jeering laughter.
With a distinctive snap-hiss, Jay's lightsaber ignited and sprang into his hand, accompanied by a surprised "Oh!" from the translator droid. He pointed the glowing crimson blade at the Hutt's face, and spoke in a much darker tone as he spat out the words, "The Sith are nothing to be trifled with! You are a fool to think that this won't have repercussions that may very well cost you your life!"
Surga seemed unperturbed by both the blade, and the threat, "I think not," he said with a slight sense of boredom in his voice. "I am quite confident in the survival of myself, and this organization."
"Then you will have the irony of dying with those words still on your breath," Jay hissed, lunging towards the Hutt.
Jay surged forward, grasping a hold of the Force and using it to augment his speed. As he surged forward, his foot caught on something, causing him to trip. Tucking his legs in, he reflexively turned the momentum from the trip into a rolling tumble. He spared a quick glance behind to see what had tripped him, and saw the little buzz droid, watch him vault past, its central eye gleaming deviously. Jay ended his tumble, and came to a stop in a low crouch near Surga the Hutt. Looking up, he saw a small hold-out blaster in the Hutt's stubby fist, pointed directly at his face. Feeling a tug from the Force, he leapt backward into a mid-air summersault, watching the blaster bolt blacken the ground where he had been just a second before. He landed on the holotable, interrupting the schematics that the others had been studying. Immediately he found himself batting away blasterfire from his side; the Skakoan having drawn his blaster carbine and begun peppering the room with blaster bolts. Holding his hand out, Jay used the Force to rip the blaster from the Skakoan's grip, crushing it, then flinging the ruined weapon across the room.
Just as he was about to cleave the now unarmed Skakoan in two, he heard a deep metallic voice from behind him utter, "Target acquired;" the ubiquitous catchphrase of the Darktrooper series. Turning to face this new threat, he was immediately driven back on the table by the withering amount of blasterfire the Phase III Darktrooper poured out on him as it powered up. He batted away the bolts that came closest, and quickly jumped down to the other side of the table, watching out of the corner of his eye as the Duros and Rodian scampered to hide in the corner of the room. Using the table as partial cover, Jay began moving around opposite of the Darktrooper, keeping pace with it. Suddenly, with a bit of insight from the Force, he switched to the offensive, and leapt over the table, pushing off of it with his boot to gain an extra boost of speed. Slashing with his lightsaber, he heard the metallic thwump of the droid's severed arm falling to the ground. He spun around, intending to finish the job with a blow to the droid's head, but the Darktrooper seemed one step ahead of him, and caught his lightsaber hand at the wrist with its still functioning right hand, squeezing until there was an audible crack as the bone shattered under it's vice grip. Jay cried out, dropping his lightsaber to the ground, but also letting the pain fuel his already burning rage. He exerted himself in the Force, picking up the droid telekinetically and hurling it across the room into the wall, making a visible crater in the bulkhead as the Darktrooper's photoreceptors flickered, then darkened as it slumped into a sitting position against the wall.
Jay turned to face Surga, letting his anger take full control. He threw out his good hand towards the Hutt, sending blue bolts of Force Lightning snaking from his hand, arcing towards him. Just as the bolts were about to converge on their target, the deadly calm Chiss he had seen earlier leapt in the way, allowing himself to be hit by the full brunt of the lightning instead of the Hutt. Jay smirked, waiting for the man to falter, but he didn't drop…in fact, the lightning seemed to have no effect on him. Jay cursed. The Chiss was wearing insulated armor! He quickly broke off the Force Lightning attack, and whirled around, calling his fallen lightsaber into his off-hand, his sword hand aching with the movement. He reactivated it, and turned back to his opponent. The Chiss, however, had pulled a large-nozzled blaster from his belt, and was smiling as he fired. The blast, a brilliant blue-white concentrated haze, was easily caught by his lightsaber blade, but instead of being deflected, it pulsed down towards the hilt, and the blade immediately cut out. Jay cursed again. He hadn't expected an ion pistol, and now he paid the price for that miscalculation. His surprise only increased when he watched the Chiss' face, now looking at him with a knowing smile, changed in appearance back into the gruff Human, and then into the face of a Clawdite shapeshifter. Growling in anger, he used the Force to hurl the Clawdite across the room, skidding to a halt on the floor next to the Darktrooper, dazed and unable to properly get to his feet.
Jay spun on his heels, searching for the real Chiss. He saw, only too late, the flash of a scope against the dark far wall of the room, and watched in seemingly slow motion as a brilliant red blasterbolt illuminated the Chiss for a split-second, before streaming towards him, burning a hole straight through his sternum. Jay was lifted off his feet from the impact, and was sent spiraling backwards, coming to a skittering stop, face down, in front of Surga. The little buzz droid ambled over to him and poked him with one of it's many probes, before grabbing his lightsaber, and scrambling back up to it's master, making the droid equivalent of a snigger. The Hutt's laughter boomed in Jay Thalzar's ears, matching the rhythm of the blood rushing in his ears as he felt his life begin to ebb. He forced his head up to look at the Hutt, and said in a dark, throaty voice, "You'll…regret ever doing this. My…my master will…avenge me. Hundreds of ships…against your pitiful band. Your whimpering will be my…final vengeance."
Surga the Hutt simply looked down at him, and licked his lips. He simply admired the young Sith lying there on the floor for a time, then replied, "Ooooh, I don't believe your master will come at all." He waited again, reveling in the look of surprise and hate dawning on Thalzar's face, as he realized the Hutt was right. Surga paused until the Chiss and Clawdite had moved to either side, taking seats in ornate thrones beside him, then continued, "Our intelligence agents told us of this, and our agents are never wrong. They say that you made no communications, no attempts at coded transmissions, and were not followed. In fact, several of our agents inside your One Sith tell me that your master did not even know you were coming, nor your intentions."
Jay Thalzar took one last look at the three beings sitting in front of him. The Dark Side had failed him. He had underestimated this organization. Underestimated its capabilities. Their leader…no. Their leaders, were nothing to be trifled with. If only he could warn his master. Warn him of this possible threat to their rise to power. His mind dwelt on this final thought and regret as he began to sink, his body growing cold, everything fading into darkness.