Lieutenant Pierce woke up to the sound of the usual noises that went about early mornings on Taris. He grumbled as he rubbed his face. Today was the day, the day where he'd have to kiss a lot of ass in hopes of getting off this rubbish planet. Today was the day where he'd have to cater to a Sith Lord sent by the Empire to handle the situation that was quickly turning into a crisis. The thought of bending over for anyone already had him in a foul mood. He had dealt with Sith Lords in the past before, all of them smug and arrogant. Just because they can do witchcraft or sorcery did not make them superior to the rest. He known some to be cowards and some to be complete idiots, stubborn and like to nag every chance they get.
He let out a low growl as he picked up his mug of ale. This one will probably fall in either one of those categories or perhaps he will be a little bit of both. That would definitely make this mission more memorable.
Pierce looked out his small bunker window as he took a sip of his ale and saw the smog that always blocked the ray of lights from entering. He would go outside and take a deep breath of fresh air to rid himself of any foul mood this morning, except that on Taris, the air was not fresh, but stained with foul smelling odors and chemicals, remnants of the battle that happened long ago.
His dark brown eyes darted across from his bunker to the huge distant building that he was about to spend his next ten or so hours at. Even that looked to be gloomy and uninviting.
"Lieutenant," came a voice muffled by the thick metallic door. Pierce turned toward it as the voice continued. "Moff Hurdeon sent me to deliver this package, sir."
Pierce let out a dismal sigh and took a few gulps of his ale before letting the errand boy in.
He looked up at him with fearful blue eyes as the Lieutenant towered over him. He was quite young in age, probably just reached adulthood. They just keep getting younger and younger and stupider and stupider. Pierce thought as he took the package from the boy's hands. The boy quickly saluted the Lieutenant and went away, leaving Pierce to stare at the package in his possession.
This package is probably filled with unnecessary things, Pierce thought as he turned over the neatly wrapped package and examined it. With one move, he ripped the delicate packaging with his big calloused hands to find a bunch of items as well as a thoroughly composed list inside.
Pierce quickly scanned the items that lay out before him before averting his eyes to the list. It was a personal letter from the Moff explaining to him, once again, the importance of this day and how he should behave as well as a few other points the Moff thought it necessary to repeat. The small list contained preparations that needed to be done should the Sith Lord request it, such as neatly made quarters for his own personal use, speeder in case he needed transportation, and for some reason, the finest food made on Taris. The list had nothing, but the word "kiss ass" written all over it.
Pierce grunted. He was never much of a kiss ass nor was he into all these rules and regulations. He believed a leader should earn their respect from their actions and not by title alone. This was why he had joined Black Ops instead of direct politics. In Black Ops as well as any other branches, one earned his/her respect by their performance on the battlefield and there were certainly not any rules or regulations when it came to war. In a way, he was free to blow up anything he wanted, provided that it benefitted the Empire.
Just then, the familiar sound of an incoming transmission came from his small personal holocommunicator. Pierce turned to it, dreading the call. In his mind, he had imagined the small holo image of the Moff already popping up and repeating everything Pierce had just read on the list.
The sound came again, but this time it sounded louder just like the Moff's voice whenever he felt compelled to nag endlessly at the Black Ops personnel.
"Ah, I see you've gotten my package," the Moff said when Pierce finally summoned the patience to let the transmission through. "I trust you'd take care of everything by this afternoon? That is when our expected guest of honor arrives you know."
"Yeah, I got it," Pierce murmured, taking another drink from his mug.
"Good. I hope you know how important this day is. It's not everyday a Sith Master contacts me, requesting my help with his personal missions. I feel quite honored in a way. I never had reasons to help Darth Baras before, but I don't want to leave a bad impression on his doorstep. The key to being successful is making friends with everyone that comes your way and pick out the ones that will benefit you and discard the ones that won't. It's how I got here, you know."
"Yeah, I know…"
The Moff narrowed his brows at the unpleasant sound of the Lieutenant's voice, "Yes, well, I won't keep you. I'll meet you here when you are all done. And be sure you have a complete attitude adjustment before Darth Baras' apprentice arrives. Like I said, I don't want to be leaving a bad impression."
"Noted." Pierce ended the transmission prematurely. If he hadn't, the Moff would've went on and on again about the same topics. It was as if he was a broken record that Pierce couldn't get rid of no matter how hard he tried.
With one last gulp of his ale and a deep breathing exercise to relax himself, Lieutenant Pierce stood up and readied himself for the long day ahead.
"My lord, we have landed on the Taris Orbital Station," said Quinn as he watched the Sith turned over in her bed. She was wrapped tightly in her covers and had a pillow over her head to shield her eyes from the harsh lights outside her dark quarters. A low groan came from underneath the pillow followed by some indistinct noises of frustrations.
"You were supposed to wake me before we landed, Captain," she said in a tired tone.
"Yes, well given your earlier encounter with General Gonn and Darth Baras, I thought perhaps it was best to let you rest in a little. Had I awaken you an hour before we landed, you'd be even more exhausted than now."
"Argh…who turned on the lights?!" The Sith yelled from underneath the pillow. She pushed the pillow down further to hide more of her face from the lights.
The Captain pushed the door controls behind him. The door slid shut with ease and now all he could see was a big black shadow on the bed outlined by dimly lit lights. He felt his heart raced a little as he surveyed his surrounding. Without the harsh lights intruding from outside, the dimly lit lights created a nice, relaxed, and even romantic vibe within her quarters.
"I hate the light," she said. "I've always hated the light. Hmph, explains why I am what I am."
"My lord, I don't mean to rush you, but time is of the essence here. With each passing minute, the War Trust gets closer and closer to their goal."
"Didn't you recently stock some energy boosting stims in the medic bay?"
"I don't believe that is such a good idea."
"It will wake me up."
Quinn smirked in the darkness as the ball of black shadow shifted position on the bed and walked closer to her. Her head emerged from the pillow as she sensed his presence towering over her, "Perhaps this will wake you." He leaned down and gently gave her a small kiss.
She kissed him back without hesitation, reaching up to grab the collar of his uniform and pulling him onto the bed. Immediately she went to work, unbuttoning his outer uniform jacket and pulling him down further onto her.
Quinn had to braced himself from the abrupt actions of the Sith. He broke off the kiss and raised his head for some air as she started kissing his neck.
"My lord, as much as it will disappoint me…and I know I will regret this later, but this is not the time for this. The others will wonder where I am. I should get back to my duties," he urged. He couldn't allow his newly achieved personal level with the Sith to color his duties to the Empire. He had allowed himself to break some protocals earlier, but he wasn't planning on making that a habit.
"This is apart of your duties, Captain," said the Sith with no sign of stopping. When the Captain hesitated for a bit longer, the Sith Lord flipped him over, reversing their position. She could see the hard outlined expression of his stunned face cast by the low lamps on each of her bed stands. She chuckled softly to herself at his helpless state.
The Captain's blue eyes met the Sith's as he lay there, staring at her. Even in the darkness, she looked so ravishingly beautiful. Her wild long brown hair, softly lit by the light, cascaded down her body and the thin straps of her pajamas drooped down the sides of her shoulders. There was lust within those ambers eyes of hers as well as determination.
Quinn contemplated stopping her little conquest as he felt her soft hands running up his torso, pushing his white shirt up along with it. But he knew how futile his attempt would be. The determination within her eyes told him she was not going to let him up easily and certainly not until she got what she wanted. So he lay there, watching her as she impatiently pulled apart his garments.
Within the next two minutes, she fully undressed him much to his surprise. He didn't even remember her ever touching his pants, but yet they were off him. She looked down at him, smiling her infamous smile. Then slowly, she started rubbing herself back and forth over his engorged length; the silky texture of her shorts smoothly glided over him.
Quinn gasped at the contact, his hands clenching the sheets around him. He closed his eyes and arched his back a little, pushing himself further against her.
The next minute, he felt soft lips upon his as the Sith bent over to kiss him. The Captain took advantage of this and moved his hands to her night shirt. He cupped her breasts and gently massaged them as his thumbs encircled her already hard nipples. He grabbed at the low neckline of the shirt and pulled it down as the Sith broke off the kiss and straightened herself on him. She fidgeted with something upon him and Quinn took this opportunity to reach out in the darkness for her now exposed breasts, but just as he was about to reach them, her hands came up to grip his wrists firmly and pinned them down beside him.
Quinn looked up at the Sith, her face an inch away from his. There was nothing, but silence as he stared at her, except for the sound of his hard breathing due to the built up of pleasure.
Quinn raised his head to kiss the Sith once more as he wrestled to free his arms. She fought off every single attempt and in no time had him back to how she wanted him. The Sith shifted her position on him and Quinn felt something warm and tight around him.
The Captain groaned at the overwhelming sensation as his head fell back down upon the bed. She started moving up and down, slowly at first, but increased with each passing second. Her hands released his arms as she brought them to his chest, giving herself more leverage.
Instinctively Quinn moved his hands to grip her waist tightly in an attempt to slow down her tempo. He held her down as he arched himself a little higher, pushing himself deeper into her. She let out a small pleasurable moan as a result.
Quinn watched her catch her breath through half-heavy, drooping lids. In the next instance, the Sith started moving up and down again, but this time slower than her last pace. Though he couldn't see her face clearly, he could see the soft outlines of the looks of pleasure she expressed each time she went up and back down.
Why did she have to be so perfect? He found himself asking as he enjoyed her work. Her pace quickened and Quinn braced himself for his release.
In the next minute or so, he spilled into her, letting out a loud groan as he did.
The Sith collapsed down onto him after her release, both panting heavily.
"I'd better not hear you whistling about this, Captain," she muttered sternly underneath her breath after a few minutes.
Quinn couldn't help, but smiled at her statement. Earlier before they arrived on Taris, he had quite a time convincing her that the driving force behind his chipper mood was his old colleagues and nothing else. Of course, he knew he couldn't fool her, "Understood, my lord."
"Hey, did they leave for Taris already?" asked Vette to the former Jedi apprentice.
Jaesa turned around, "I hope not. Master Xy'liah said she would come get me when she was ready."
"Well, where is she?"
"I don't mean to interrupt," said 2V-R8. "But I did see Master Quinn entering her quarters about half an hour ago. I believed he was going to inform our Master that we have landed."
"Perhaps we should pay her a visit? Knowing the Captain, he might be trying to plan something behind our backs," said Jaesa, dropping the metal in her hands and making her way out toward the Sith's chambers. Vette and R8 followed.
The young apprentice seemed to be in some sort of a rush to Vette as she followed her toward the chambers. She must be really worried about what the Captain might be saying/planning behind them. Vette, too, found it quite strange for Quinn to even be in the Sith's chambers. Whenever he had a message to relay to her, he would always send R8. It was quite strange that he, himself, decided to go "inform" the Sith of their arrival.
Vette watched as Jaesa waved her hand and the controls at the side of the door changed from a red to green. She hadn't even bothered announcing her presence to the Sith Master.
Vette quickly caught up to Jaesa, scenarios of catching a guilty Quinn ran through her mind. What they saw, however, caught them off guard; a pair of amber eyes were glaring back at them.
"What is it?" Xy'liah snapped. She was standing next to her bed, adjusting her bun as her eyes stared at the intruding trio.
"Master," said Jaesa surprised. She quickly scanned the room, but saw no other sign of anyone else within the chambers.
"I um…was wondering when we are to disembark. I'm sure they are probably wondering where we are at."
"I could care less about those fools. I disembark whenever I want to disembark. If I decide to disembark 12 hours from now, who is going to stop me?"
"Uh, yes, I understand. I apologize for not knocking. It's just that.—"
"We were worried about you! What if you something had happened to you and we had no clue?!" Vette exclaimed, her worried tone sounded much more convincing than Jaesa's.
The Sith raised a brow at them, "Like what? My blankets or perhaps my bed attacking me?"
"I've heard of that happening…" the twi'lek murmured softly.
"We won't keep you, Master. We'll wait for you in the lounge area—"
"There's no need." Xy'liah turned toward them. "I'm ready. R8!"
"Yes, Master!" replied the droid promptly.
"Tidy up my room. I'm starting to notice dust everywhere. That is unacceptable!"
"Yes, Master! I will make sure this room is sparkling when you return!"
"It had better." Xy'liah walked toward them and the trio immediately parted ways for their Sith Lord to exit.
"Moff Hurdeon, the Sith has arrived," Lieutenant Pierce said as two figures moved toward them out of the corner of his eyes. He turned to see the incoming Sith, only to stare at them in astonishment.
Two young ladies, both with dark brown hair, walked their way. Though, they each wielded a lightsaber or two, the weapon of a Sith, their outfits were far from Sith like. Pierce frowned in his head. He had expected someone more intimidating and much older to walk through those doors. Someone more like the Darth that had just contacted them: short, stout, face hidden behind a mask from all the scars and bruises probably, and decked out in fancy armor. These two young ladies, however, were far from intimidating. Why, they were kids compared to Pierce, who guessed to be at least ten years their senior. The stories he had heard from Moff Hurdeon and travelers in and out of Taris…these were the duo that were responsible for half the destruction within the galaxy?
The Moff looked up from his datapad, "What's that, Lieutenant?" He looked at the Lieutenant's speechless expression before turning to see what he was looking at. Two young ladies were standing at the entrance of the room. Immediately, Hurdeon set down his datapad upon the table before he and Pierce walked to greet the Sith. "Oh, I didn't see you come in. You must be the Sith Darth Baras sent. Welcome to Taris."
"Moff Hurdeon, I presume," said one of the ladies. From her authoritative stance and tone of voice, he guessed her to be the leader of the two.
"I have never had cause to assist Darth Baras before, but I have been a long time admirer of his work…and yours of course," the Moff quickly added, smiling nervously at the two ladies.
Their facial expressions remained the same much to the Moff's dismay. He frowned at his previous failed attempt to lighten the mood.
"I doubt she came all this way to be fawned on," added his Lieutenant beside him as if it wasn't already obvious enough.
"Of course," said the Moff. "May I introduce Lieutenant Pierce, on loan from our black ops division. He is hands down my finest officer."
The two ladies' eyes turned toward the Lieutenant. One of them bowed her head and smiled while the other remained the same. Her eyes subtly eyed him from head to toe and that was when Pierce realized the unique nature of her eyes. They were a bright amber color, definitely one of her most striking features.
"I give you exclusive reign of him while you are on Taris, which I trust will accommodate your every need," continued the Moff.
The Sith's brow raised as she once again turned toward the Lieutenant with a smile across her face, "Are you ready to accommodate me, Lieutenant? It can be very…rewarding."
Pierce, too, raised a brow at her statement. Was she trying to hint at something? It hasn't been long since they have met, but Pierce was already feeling a certain chemistry between him and the leader. If that was the case, then this mission won't be as bad as he previously thought. He smiled at the thought. "Rewarding…is good."
Next to Pierce, the Moff frowned at the two's instantaneous connection, "Yes, well, I will leave you two to your mission then. As you proceed, if I can offer any further aid, do not hesitate to contact me." The Moff left, a bit disturbed at what he just witnessed.
Pierce watched the Moff go. Good riddance. If he were to stick around longer, this mission will never get done. He turned back to the awaiting Sith, "Heard we were going after the War Trust. Did some homework. If that is the mission, I'm fully prepped."
She smiled even more at his statements, "I like a man who goes after what he wants."
"I'm steady and sure in all situations, my lord," Pierce smiled. Yes this was going to be a great mission after all. If he was going to be forced to go through this torture, he damn sure was going to have some fun along the way. "All four of the War Trust's generals are here on Taris, which means something big. But they never show their faces. Got my hand on a Republic scout, leaned on him. Hard. He was setting up supply route for General Frellka, the War Trust's junior member."
"Ah, well I guess this time I won't have to do the chasing. I'd like to interrogate this scout personally."
"Sorry." He added after seeing the young Sith's disappointed look.
Her feelings didn't last long, "Ah, it's inconsequential. A lead's a lead."
"The story checked out. Been scouting the area the scout described. Several heavily armed Republic supply caravans run along carefully staggered routes. Couple of soldiers could hit the caravans, pull their transponders, triangulate their destination with the equipment here."
"Sounds simple enough. Get them rea-"
"Moff Hurdeon can't spare the manpower though."
"-and I knew something like this was going to come up." Pierce watched as the Sith brought her hands to her hips, shaking her head in disappointment. "This mission just isn't a mission unless I do the errands. I wonder when I'll get to sit behind a desk and order people around."
"I can handle the triangulation. Not really my thing, but I'm trained. Here are the coordinates. Caravans run daily-"
"-but they vary in timing."
Both Sith turned to look at the Lieutenant. He couldn't help, but smiled in his head as he saw both of their are-you-kidding-meexpression. "I'm sure you'll run into them eventually."
"So it's a stake out. Great, I'm sure the toxicity of this planet will do wonders for my health."
Pierce smiled at the young Sith's sarcastic attitude. Now this was something he could work with, "Hit them enough to snag the transponders. I'll figure out where they are going. Should zero in on Frellka."
The young Sith turned toward her fellow Sith, "Welcome to my life, apprentice. We chase after idiots and then more idiots, then get blamed for killing those idiots when patience runs out. It's quite boring and pointless, but there are some perks along the way."
The Sith behind her bowed, "I can't wait, Master."
Master? But they appear to be the same age! Pierce scratched his head as the two turned and walked out of the room.
"I pulled the Moff's profile," said Vette quite proud of her work. She turned toward Quinn, a smile forming from ear to ear.
"Moff Hurdeon? I've heard of him," said Quinn, looking at the screen and ignoring the twi'lek's smile. The very sight of her already had him annoyed. He reached out and typed something into the console. Smaller windows popped up next to the Moff's oversized image and bio.
"Whoa, who's that?" Vette asked pointing to the image of a soldier on screen. "He's not wearing the usual uniform."
"I believe that is the uniform worn in black ops," said Quinn as he zoomed in on the soldier. "Lieutenant Pierce of Black Ops Division. He was sent to aid the Moff in his mission to Taris." The Captain looked up at the screen and more closely at the soldier's image. A frown crossed his face once he saw the image.
"Hey, now that I'm looking at him," said Vette as she cocked her head to the side to get a better look as the Captain stepped back from the screen. "Doesn't he remind you of Fi-"
"Don't say it," snapped the Captain. He continued staring at the screen as a small sigh escaped his mouth. Something inside of him told him he was about to relive his nightmare on Alderaan.
"Transmitting the Republic caravan transponder frequencies now," said the small holo image of the Sith.
"Give me a minute to retrace their route. See where they are converged," said Pierce. He waited, awaiting approval from the Sith. According to Moff Hurdeon, everything had to be approved by the Sith or chance the fact that they might get offended and purposely sabotage the mission. This mission put him closer to getting transferred off this toxic planet, so he was in no position to refuse the Moff's advice.
"By all means. Go ahead," she said.
"My Lord." Pierce went to work, punching buttons into the computer. He had successfully inputted the data and was now just waiting for it to load. He cursed underneath his breath when he saw how slow the computer was actually loading. All this money and the Empire couldn't afford faster computers? His eyes kept shifting from the monitor to the Sith periodically as the computer still continued to load. Sith were notorious for their lack of patience and each had a different threshold for it. Hopefully, this one wasn't as bad as her Dark Master before her when the Moff failed to pull up a specific document for him in time.
Thoughts of handling an angry Sith ran through his mind, making him a bit uneasy, but they were soon laid to rest when the screen zoomed into a location on the Tarisian map. "Triangulation's complete. Only one place these caravans could be going…Transmitting coordinates. Has to be General Frelka's location."
He watched as the Sith took a quick glance at the coordinates he had sent her. Her face wore a bored expression and Pierce worried that it might be due to the wait of the loading time.
"Tell me anything else important about the area," she demanded as she passed the coordinates off to her apprentice, who examined the map more closely than her master had.
"We beat the Reps out of there a few months back; all we found were rank caves that the pirates used to use. If they snuck back in, they're after something. Good hunting," said the Lieutenant. He was eager to move on with the mission, but did his best to not show it. He didn't want her getting the wrong idea of him rushing her, so he waited until the Sith acknowledged him before pushing the end button.
When her apprentice was done examining the coordinates and handing it back to her, Xy'liah gave the anxious Lieutenant a quick nod and the Lieutenant sighed as his tensed muscles relaxed; his relaxed finger landed right on the end button.
He looked closely at the map afterwards. The Sith were going to have one hell of a time getting in there. No doubt the Republic had doubled their security from their last encounter with the Empire. But he wasn't worried. So far, they proved efficient at handling themselves. Plus it would probably put them in a better mood, slaughtering all those Republics.
"Man, I am so bored!" cried out Vette as she kicked her legs up onto the chair before her. She watched as the Captain went about pulling up random records on the console before them and double checking them with other files. "Seriously, Captain, you're not going to help them by just pulling up files over and over again."
"I wouldn't expect a non-military personnel to know," he said. "If you are just going to sit there and continue to pester me, you might as well find something else useful to do."
"Like what? You practically did everything that has to be done on this ship during our vacation! And besides, talking to you is much more fun than talking to R8. I like your reactions."
Quinn closed his eyes and took a deep breath, suppressing his annoyance. So the twi'lek purposely annoyed and pestered him? The thought angered him more, but he couldn't let that get in the way of his mission right now.
There was a moment of silence between them and Quinn thought it safe to open his eyes back up and continue working, but the minute he did, Vette's mouth opened up again.
"So…you think she's off somewhere with that Lieutenant?" she said.
Just like her to try and deter me from my duties.
"It is none of my business what she does while out there," he said as his eyes scanned the report in front of him.
"True. You guys aren't a couple or anything. You just shared one kiss. One meaningless…harmless…little…kiss."
Quinn frowned at the way the twi'lek had purposely dragged out the sentence, "Vette, I am trying to concentrate."
A few more moment of silence as Quinn finished reading the reports before him.
"Man, now that Jaesa's in the picture, we're stuck onboard forever! This sucks!"
"Actually it makes quite perfect sense for her to bring Jaesa. She is after all her apprentice now and therefore need to accompany her wherever she goes so that she may learn the way of the Sith."
"What's there to learn? All they do is go around, scare people, and kill them off. They're just like bullies. By the way, since we're going to be stuck together from now on, it wouldn't hurt you to start being nice to me. Would it really kill you if you were my friend?"
Quinn turned to the blue-skinned twi'lek, who gave him her usual childish grin. Yes. His mind had said, but he knew voicing that aloud would only elicit more incessant chatter, "That is actually not a terrible idea."
"Really?!" she said, her violet eyes widening as she sat straight up in her chair.
"Yes. It is a wise thing for one to get to know his crew members."
"That's what I've been trying to tell you!" Vette rolled her eyes. "I just can't say it the way you did."
"Why don't we share a bottle of whiskey at the lounge area and you can tell me how you came to be."
"That's a great idea! Drink a little to ease the awkwardness," said Vette as she stood up and walked toward the exit with Quinn following her. "Where is R8 when you need him? You know I'm so glad you are finally agreeing to do this. This could be a life changing, eye opening experience for you. Then you'll see that I'm not as bad as you think!" She turned around to see the Captain narrowing his eyes at her.
"Sorry, Vette, but I think I already know you better than you know yourself," he said and in the next second, the door slid shut in front of the twi'lek, leaving her quite speechless.
Vette frowned as she gave the door a good kick, "Jerk."
"Foreman! Look!" cried out a miner pointing toward the direction of the ruckus.
Varl turned to see two figures clad in dark armor and wielding lightsabers cutting through the walls of Republic soldiers separating the miners from the fight. His heart jumped at the sight of them. Sith! And then it sank. Just my luck… He frowned as he saw how fast the two figures appeared to be moving. Nervously, he looked around to make sure they had adequate protection before the Sith came any closer, but ended up disappointed when he saw that most of the Republic soldiers was gone from around them. Hmph. Some protection. He turned back to see the two figures striking down the last of the soldiers.
His heart jumped once again as their eyes turned toward his way. Around him, the miners gathered together and behind him, each fearing for their life. He cursed at the position he was in. Out of all days, why did he have to be foreman today?!
As the two Sith approached them, Varl held up his hands and attempted to somewhat reason with the Sith before they were all struck down, "Whoa, whoa whoa! You got all the soldiers. We ain't fighters, just miners. Contracted miners at that." He searched their face for any kind of mercy or kindness, but received none.
They stared at him with narrowed eyes, their grip upon their deadly weapons tightened.
"Where is General Frelka?" One of them asked. Her tone of voice didn't sound too pleasant, much to the foreman's dismay. He hesitated a bit at her question, but thought it best to just cooperate with them if he ever wanted to go back home safely.
"He's the overseer, but he ain't exactly hands on. Hasn't been by in weeks. You gonna kill him?"
"I see. Makes no real never mind to me. The Republic don't pay me enough to get in your way, believe me. If I hit the silent alarm, Frelka'll come with his personal guards. If that is really what you want, I can bring him here." Varl waited as the Sith contemplated his offer. She probably had never had someone cooperate with her so quickly and so easily. She probably thinks it's a trap. But Varl meant what he said. The Republic was quite cheap with their pay and no matter how many times Varl attempted to negotiate, they would not budge. Hopefully, the Sith could sense this with their special ability with the Force.
"Hit the alarm," she finally said.
Varl let out a relieved sigh, "You got it." The miner turned around and signaled for one of his crew to trigger the alarm. The nearest crew member ran to the controls and pushed a small button. He looked toward the miner after he was done and nodded. The miner turned back toward the two Sith warriors. "There, it's done. The general's been summoned. Now please, just let us live."
"Depends on how long I have to wait. If I get bored, someone has to amuse me," came the reply.
"I'm sure he's on his way," said the miner in a worried tone. His facial expression drooped to match that of his tone. So did the rest of the miners as each looked fearfully at the two Sith.
Jaesa smiled in her head as she observed each and every one of the miners. This certainly never would have happened if she was still a Jedi. For some reason, a lot of people tend to think Jedi are pushovers due to their unusually nice nature. It angered Jaesa whenever she saw someone disrespecting Nomen Karr and angered her more to see him pushing it aside. What was worse was when she had to force herself to ignore hateful actions or comments toward herself.
This, however, certainly was different. She enjoyed bringing out the fear within people around her. Fear is what made them certain that they won't do anything or say anything stupid to her or her master.
"Master," the young girl began as the older Sith leaned back against a crate. They were a good distant away from the miners, close enough to react if something happened, but far enough to not be heard. The amber eyes turned toward Jaesa. "Why do I sense that you were bluffing? You're not going to kill them, are you?"
"When you've been a Sith for as long as I have, nonsensical killings get quite boring. I'd rather waste my time on some of the bigger Reps."
"Ah, I see. Is this something I should follow?"
"I know you're thirsty for bloodshed, Jaesa. You'll get your killings soon enough. Heck, I'll even let you take out the General if you're up for it." The older Sith gave the former Jedi a small smile to which Jaesa nodded.
"Of course, Master. I'm eager to show off my newfound skills."
"Lieutenant Pierce, how goes your mission?" asked Moff Hurdeon upon catching the Lieutenant at the main console.
"Just like any other mission. We're getting it done."
"Good. I just wanted to warn you once more on our Sith. She may be a beauty, but her temper is quite ugly. Words has it, she's impatient and rash. If she gets bored and decides to take things into her own hands, you will find yourself in a real mess. Remember we are the real people in control of the mission. We just make the Sith think that they are so as to make them feel important and not left out."
"Noted," said Pierce as he continued to punch in data into the computer. He was not in the mood for anymore of Hurdeon's lectures. Just as he was about to pull up a file, the holo light flashed. "Got an incoming holo."
"Put it through," said the Moff coming to stand beside the Lieutenant.
Pierce pushed the button and stood back as a small image of an Imperial soldier appeared, "Moff Hurdeon, Lieutenant Pierce." He saluted them. "Dirk reporting. We have found a battalion crossing our path. The battalion was found to be that of General Durant, sir, of the War Trust. Waiting for additional instructions, sir."
Pierce's lips widened at the news, "Good. Keep track of the battalion, solider. I'll be out there soon with my troop to figure out where they are going. Good work."
"Yes, sir!" said Dirk.
Pierce turned around excitedly and took a step toward the door before stopping.
"No," said Moff Hurdeon. The Lieutenant and holo soldier turned toward the Moff. "That battalion must not be allowed to join the general."
Pierce raised a brow, "What do you mean?" though in his mind, he already knew exactly what the Moff intended to do.
"Soldier, stay your position. I will send reinforcement your way. We are going to take out that battalion," said the Moff.
The holo image of Dirk nodded and disappeared from the console.
"You can't do that!" Pierce exclaimed. "You take out the battalion, we lose track of General Durant's whereabouts."
"I'm not going to let that battalion join him, Lieutenant. If that happens, imagine the consequences." Moff Hurdeon turned and eyed the enraged Lieutenant.
"We need them to lead us to his whereabouts."
"I'm sorry, Lieutenant, but that I cannot risk. Trust me on this, Lieutenant. I have done this many time throughout my life."
"I have spoken, Lieutenant! Now if you'll excuse me, I have some other duties to attend to and you have yours." The Moff walked past the Lieutenant and out of the room, leaving Pierce to himself.
The Lieutenant stared at the console ahead of him, fists and teeth clenched. He felt his face reddened as his whole body temperature rose. His blood boiled as the Moff's last words echoed throughout his mind. That fool of a Moff is going to kill us all!
Footsteps were heard coming down the cave, causing the miners and the two Sith to turn their way. A group of Republic soldiers, all holding their blaster rifle, walked their way. In the back were two men, a young one and old one. They each wore a grim expression when they caught sight of the Sith.
The group stopped a distance away from the two Sith. The older man raised his brow slightly at the sight of the two women.
Xy'liah straightened herself as she and Jaesa turned to receive the incoming group, but as soon as they set one foot toward the group, the General immediately froze; the colors from his face vanished.
"Enemy sighted! Captain, attack pattern aught-seven-seven," said General Frelka to the younger man to his right.
"Men, fan out! Aught-seven-seven! Be ready to engage, wait for the general's orders!"
The soldiers obeyed and spread to create a semi-circular barrier around the Sith and the soldiers. Their guns turned and pointed straight at the two.
Jaesa smiled at the turnout of soldiers. She was going to enjoy slaughtering them all. Adrenaline rushed up and down her body as she stood waiting for her master to address the General. Her hands started twitching, eager to reach for that long double bladed lightsaber of hers. Her brown eyes turned toward her master, who seemed a bit too calm for the situation. How could she stand there in such nature? The former Jedi had always thought Sith were supposed to be excited at the prospect of killing.
"Foreman Varl, good work tripping the silent alarm. You have shown uncharacteristic mercy, Sith, leaving Varl and his crew alive," said the general turning his blue eyes finally upon the Sith. "I am General Elexis Frelka of the Republic Strategic High Command. Your incursion here violates the spirit of the Treaty of Coruscant. We have you dead to rights, surrender!"
Xy'liah smiled as the general frowned, "My master never told me what a funny man you were."
"We have prisons that can stand up to Sith. Perhaps you'll find them funny," the general hissed. "It's unfortunate you've discovered our plans, but no matter. The wheels are already in motion. Our new technology will deliver arms superiority to the Republic. And I'm ready to give my life to defend the installation."
"We are in accordance then. I am ready to take your life," said Xy'liah igniting her lightsabers.
Jaesa immediately took hers out. Finally, it was time for action.
"Men, fight to the death!" yelled the general's right handed man.
Bolts started flying their way as the two Sith blocked the incoming fire. Behind them the miners scrambled to find cover and if possible, escape.
Jaesa wasted no time closing in the gap between her and the soldiers, eager to show off to her master the skills she had learned during their two weeks together. She smiled as the soldiers backed away as she took them down one by one.
They were not particular hard soldiers to defeat. She even discovered a little secret the more and more she fought these Republic soldiers: the closer she gets to them, the more frightened they appeared to be. She sensed mixed emotions coming from all of them. While a good part of the group wanted to be here, the other part wasn't too excited about facing two Sith. And those were the soldiers Jaesa concentrated on first.
Behind her, her master took out any soldiers she left. She was taking her time as she slowly worked her way to Jaesa and the general.
When the last soldier fell, Jaesa immediately engaged the general in battle. His right handed man came to his aid and for a few seconds, the former Jedi found herself balancing out the two as they engaged her in battle. Luckily, her master stepped into help and relieved her of the right handed man. The former Jedi eyed her master's bout with the young man, carefully noting her style as Quinn said he often so did.
She seemed to be taking her time with him, Jaesa noticed as she kicked the General back a few feet. She noticed the young Captain's frustration as her master danced around him, occasionally striking him whenever he was exposed. When the young Captain figured out her master's little game, he quickly counterstriked her next attack with a kick that caught her off-guard.
Xy'liah gave the Captain a shocked look before striking him down with one of her crimson lightsabers.
What a shame, Jaesa thought as the young Captain fell to the floor. He was a cute one too.
Within the next few minutes, Jaesa too sent one end of her lightsaber flying into the general's armor. The young apprentice stared at him as he looked at her with lifeless eyes. She stood there for awhile, catching her breath while looking down at the fallen general. A general. She just took out a Republic general. Now there was no way she could ever return back to the Jedi.
"Exciting, isn't it?" came her master's voice, cutting through her thoughts.
"Yes, Master," she replied back as the older Sith joined her side. She thought of something else to say, but found herself speechless from her actions.
Xy'liah smiled at the younger woman as she reached out to extract something from the general's armor. She stood up, holding a small rectangular card in her hand, turning it over and over. Her eyes turned toward a computer in the far off distant and started walking in that direction with Jaesa following closely by her.
The Sith Lord slid the card into its' rightful place and immediately the screen came alive with a bunch of data running across it. She took out another device and connected it to the computer before she started navigating the humongous console.
"I am here, my lord," came the Captain's voice on the other side of the comlink.
"Are you seeing this?"
"Give me a minute, my lord," said Quinn as he quickly tried to connect the two computers together. Within the next seconds, data ran across his screen and his eyes widened at the huge amount of information being presented before him. "Amazing…" He watched as a file was pulled up by Xy'liah at her end.
"Project Siantide," said Vette reading the title of the folder.
"So General Frelka was only a small part of what seemed to be well planned project," said Quinn reading the text. "He's been mining materials for their use on Taris. What amazes me is that they have discovered a way to process the substance being mined here, which is residue from the incineration of the millions of life-forms that perished when the Empire bombarded Taris, into a powerful new energy source."
"So they are using what we did to their advantage," came Xy'liah's voice through the comlink.
"Is it possible to find out the implications, my lord?" asked Quinn.
"It doesn't say. Perhaps the information was too confidential for the general," said Xy'liah.
New texts appeared across the screen as Xy'liah accessed another folder.
"A General Minst is in charge of receving the materials from the cave. He is stationed at the dismantled reactor core in the sewer sector of old Taris. Guess I know where we're going next," said Xy'liah reading the text from her end.
"Give me a moment, my lord, to pull up his bio," said Quinn.
"Not necessary," said Xy'liah. "As long as I know where to find him. Saves me a lot of time. I'll contact you the next chance I get."
"My lord," said Quinn as the connection went out.
"Shall we get going, Master?" asked Jaesa as she watched the older Sith close out the opened folders. Gigantic red texts appeared across the screen followed by an option. "You're going to self-destruct the system?"
"We can't have the Republics having access to this," said Xy'liah as she hit the confirm key. She looked at her apprentice as the intercom sounded, warning them of the self-destruct. "Come on."
Jaesa nodded as she followed the Sith to a safe distant. Their quick walk inevitably turned into a sprint as the computer exploded behind them. As soon as they hit the safe point, Jaesa waved her hand and immediately the door behind her shut.
The young apprentice stopped to catch her breath as she looked up at her master. The older Sith wasted no time in resting however. She already had her holocommunicator out and was already talking to the Lieutenant's tiny holo image.
"Lieutenant Pierce, I know where to find General Minst. I'm heading there now," the Sith Master said.
"Great news. I got some, too. Scout report. The battalion of War Trust General Durant is on the move. Odds are he's fortifying his position. Some of my black ops pals are back. We could've discreetly followed the battalion to find the general…"
Xy'liah's brow narrowed at the Lieutenant's choice of words, "What do you mean could've?"
"Sorry, my lord. Moff Hurdeon sent a platoon instead, grounded me and my boys. His forces are engaging Durant as we speak. He's killing our chances."
Jaesa watched as her master's face went red with anger.
"Summon Hurdeon into this conversation, I'll address him," she said. She tried her best to keep her tone of voice calm though there was a strong hint of anger seeping out.
In the next second, the Moff's image replaced Pierce's. He wore a proud expression upon his face as he addressed the unhappy Sith, "Ah, there you are. I see Lieutenant Pierce has already hailed you. I was hoping to do it myself. Can I assume the lieutenant has already updated you? Thanks to me, General Durant's personal battalion will not be joining him, wherever he is." He smiled even wider at his accomplishment as Xy'liah's frown deepened.
"Engaging the general's army was a rash and foolish move," the Sith said unleashing the anger within her voice. "Now withdraw, and allow Lieutenant Pierce and his men to scour for General Durant's headquarters. Understood?"
The smile from the Moff's face disappeared immediately and was replaced by a dumbfounded look, "Yes, well of course. I'll make it so immediately. My lord." His image disappeared and Pierce, once again, was shown on the holocommunicator.
"We'll get something on Durant, I swear it," said the Lieutenant with a hint of glee in his tone. "Good luck on General Minst."
The Sith's image disappeared. Lieutenant Pierce smiled as he switched to another channel on his holocommunicator. Moff Hurdeon's last expression replayed in his mind and Pierce widened his smile. The look was priceless.
"Ready the troop. We're heading out."
"Yes, Lieutenant." The image disappeared and Pierce returned the holocommunicator to his utility belt.
His mind wandered to the Sith and he let out a small sigh of relief. It was good to know that she shared the same views as he did. It would make their mission together a lot easier and without the interference of the Moff, he could now prove just how useful he could be to the Empire.
"Lieutenant, we are in position," said one of Pierce's right handed men as Pierce adjusted the helmet on his head. He was a young boy of about 20, but from what the Lieutenant could see, he had potential in the Black Ops Division. His passion was what drew Pierce to him. In a way, the young man reminded Pierce of himself when he first joined Black Ops; so young and so eager to experience anything that came his way.
"Good," said Pierce as he turned to look down on the recovering battalion. He kneeled down upon the cliff as he examined the damage Hurdeon had caused.
The damage appeared minimal. Hurdeon probably lost more men in the ambush attack than Durant. Luckily the Sith stopped the Moff right before he did any real damage.
Next to him, the young man took his place, "Seems like they'll be moving soon, Lieutenant. Should we ready ourselves?"
"Give them a few minutes head start," said Pierce turning toward the young man. "Courtesy gesture after the Moff's idiotic move."
"Wow, you-you took them all down," said the rodian as the two Sith surrounded him. He looked around them fearfully as he felt something stuck within his throat. They were even more menacing in reality than in the tales he had heard. He panicked as his mind went blank. Quickly, he struggled to find words to say. "Uh, I am General Minst. If you come for Project Siantide, let's uh-let's talk this through."
"Start talking," said one of them as they both crossed their arms.
"Uh, right well, I'll be happy to hand over all my information, but it's—it's going to take some time—," replied the rodian. He stood there for awhile as he was instructed to do. Only after he saw the impatient looks upon his foes' face did he panic even more. He could feel the beating of his heart get louder and louder as he stood there, praying and hoping this all goes as plan.
The Sith gave each other an annoyed look. What's stopping them from cutting him in half?
"NO!" he shouted. The two women turned toward him, eyebrows raised. "I can't do this! I'm not General Minst, I'm just a grunt. I am not going to die for this!"
"Nice to see your undying loyalty to the Republics," said one of them. "Now where is Minst?"
"Minst deleted all the files about the project and set the reactor to self-destruct! He's muted the self-destruct sequence, ask me to stall you. Here—listen!" spilled the rodian. He took out a small controller and switched up the volume.
"The power reactor will self destruct in five minutes," came the thundering voice across the room.
"I'll tell you where General Minst is, you'll let me flee this death trap. Yeah?" said the rodian. He knew his strategy probably didn't sound so convincing, but he didn't have time to devise a better one.
"Tell me, and we'll see how I feel."
"O-okay," said the rodian, unconvinced of the Sith's answer. "General Minst and his advisor are inside the reactor's fallout vault. It's the only place around here that can withstand the self-destruct blast. Here take the code sequencer you need to open the vault. It will take about a minute to input them all."
"The power reactor will self-destruct in four and half minutes," came the voice again.
The rodian looked up and around the room. His breath became short and rapid as fear sank into him, "The vault is back out of here and all the way at the end of the corridor. Please, time's short, let me leave."
"It's already too late for you."
The rodian's eyes widened at the response as the other Sith raised her lightsaber, "It's not fair—"
"He was pathetic, Master," said Jaesa as she watched the rodian fall to the floor.
"Let's go. We don't have time to waste," said Xy'liah. She turned and rushed to the vault.
The two Sith had no problem finding the vault. It was quite easy when they had cleared out the entire power reactor minutes before. Immediately Xy'liah inserted the code sequencer the rodian had given to them earlier as Jaesa stood by and watched.
"Vault code sequence arming," came the voice from the console followed by the thunderous voice from before.
"The reactor core will self destruct in sixty seconds."
Quickly, Xy'liah entered the codes into the computer.
"Vault code sequence initiated."
"Terrific," she heard her apprentice said. "If that imposter was wrong about how much time this will take, we'll be blown to bits!"
"Just sit tight. I'm sure this will work," said the Sith Master, though she quite unconvinced herself.
"I just don't like being at the mercy of Republic techs."
"The reactor core will self-destruct in forty five seconds." Jaesa looked up and around, quite worried at the voice. But her worried mind was soon put to ease when she had spotted a few soldiers clad in white armor out of the corner of her eyes.
"At least we won't be twindling our thumbs. More fools to the slaughter," she said, smiling as she ignited her yellow lightsaber. She rushed at the incoming soldiers, doing her best to provide cover for her master as she worked on the codes. But some of the soldiers escaped her grasp and headed straight for the other Sith, disrupting her concentration.
Xy'liah turned around and took out her crimson sabers as the soldiers shot bolts at her. She immediately deflected the bolts, making sure to aim their bolts right back at them in order to save her time.
When the soldiers attacking her had fallen, Xy'liah turned back toward the computer and quickly entered the last of the codes as her apprentice finished off her group of soldiers.
"I love the thrill of killing. Hope that wasn't our last," Jaesa said, coming back to her master's side. She looked at her master with a grin on her face and then a frown as she realized the codes were still being inputted.
"The reactor core will self destruct in ten seconds."
"If there's something you want to say before the end, now's the time," she heard her master say and once again, her mind and heart raced as scenarios of the next ten seconds played in and out of her mind.
"I feel we only just scratch the surface of our potential together," she replied. But just as she did, a message from the console restored a bit of hope within her.
"Vault code sequence complete."
"The reactor core will self destruct in five seconds."
"Vault locks disarming."
"Vault door air lock releasing."
"Hurry inside," instructed Xy'liah as she rushed into the open door.
"Our enemies will pay for this!" shouted Jaesa as she hurried along side her master.
"The vault is open! Resecure the vault before the reactor core explodes!" yelled another voice from within the vault.
Explosions were heard outside, shaking the ground with its trembles. Jaesa did her best to brace herself from falling over. Her brown eyes looked up and around to see her master doing the same. But just as the young apprentice felt as if her legs were going to fail her, the trembles stopped, though she could still feel and hear the vibrations.
"That was reckless, Sith!" came the same voice in Huttese. "You could've killed us all. I suppose this means my imposter turned tail. Stupid of me to entrusted a grunt. I should have sacrificed my advisor here."
Xy'liah and Jaesa regained their balance and looked up to see another rodian clad in the same armor as the previous one and a human standing right beside him. The rodian wore an unpleasant look as his dark eyes stared at the two recovering Sith.
"You must be a joy to work for," her master commented. She adjusted her position and straightened herself to face the rodian general.
"True patriots are ready to die for their leader. Now that this reactor has detonated, the Empire cannot duplicate Project Siantide. As Frelka no doubt demonstrated, there is nothing more important than our project. I had no choice. All of your effort has been a waste. Project Siantide is out of your reach," General Minst explained with a proud smile upon his face. His smile widened when he saw the look upon Xy'liah's face.
"Guess killing you will have to be my consolation," muttered the Sith Master igniting her crimson sabers.
Minst stepped back as he reached for his blaster rifle, but before he could properly aim the weapon, the long crimson energy blade went straight through him.
"General!" yelled his advisor next to him as he watched the rodian general fall. He quickly took out his blaster and shot a bolt toward the Sith, but was surprised to see that bolt rebounded straight back toward him. He fell to his knees, clutching at his chest as a shadow loomed over him.
He looked up to see the second Sith, lightsaber ignited in hand, towering over him. He closed his eyes as she raised her long lightsaber.