At the edge of a map of the galaxy a group of figures stood all wearing cloaks of pure black with hoods pulled up. They simply stood. Then, suddenly, like a puddle the blood swept from under them to coat the map of the galaxy in a sea of crimson, the people began to walk across the map, yet, no matter how much they stepped in the blood, their feet never got wet. As they stepped they grew larger, then they all reached up to pull down their hoods...
Felkun awoke suddenly sitting bolt upright as his mind processed the vision. He climbed out of bed, careful not to wake the other occupant as he went to the balcony and put his head in his hands. He had experienced the same vision for the last week, every night he would see the galaxy covered in blood as a group of faceless people grew larger while stepping across it always, the vision would end as the figures were about to pull down their hoods. Both his hearts were beating rapidly as he took slow deep breaths to calm himself. It had been several months since he had defeated Darth Thanaton and taken his position on the Dark Council as the head of the Pyramid of ancient knowledge and since then he had worked his way into securing his position and starting to put his reformation plans in place. Despite the fact that he had healed his mind on Voss it came as a relief when he had redeemed the ghosts to freedom and they left him. Since then he had moved everything of value from Thanaton's chambers in the citadel to his new personal fortress further into the jungle of Dromund Kaas, away from Kaas city. His reasoning had been sound, he was a reformist and known for it, he could not be sure of safety in the Citadel where others on the Dark Council might rally against him. Here he was safe, protected by hundreds of loyal guards and a couple of dozen acolytes, all loyal to him. He turned from the balcony and headed to the refresher splashing some water on his face. He looked into the mirror, his face not very remarkable for Zabrak standards, lightly coloured skin with Horns on the top all facing proudly up while his brown tattoos crossed his face in an intricate design pattern. Yet for a sith he was a rarity, few aliens made it into the academy, even fewer survived the prejudice of the overseers and students to become full sith, and no alien had made it onto the Dark Council before. He had fought a deck stacked against him to get here. For most Sith this would boost their pride to dangerous levels however Felkun never let it go to his head, he kept calm at all times able to analyse what he needed and not letting his emotions rule him. He had been able to do much by thinking with clarity, more than many sith could say, yet these visions still eluded him. He had no idea what they were about, at first he thought they were simply dreams but he had had them for a week now, every night without fail. He was distracted by the sound of the bed covers rustling turning he looked at Ashara as she turned over still asleep, the epitome of calm. He still thought back to when she had openly admitted to liking him.
Several months ago aboard the fury
'My Lord, I'm sorry about before. I didn't mean to end the conversation so abruptly, it's just... Jedi aren't supposed to become emotionally attached.'
'I don't want to force you into anything', he responded.
'I know, I know that you've been perfectly noble, Jedi are supposed to be wary of attachments, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't attracted to you'.
Felkun smiled at that. 'Of course you are', he said, 'you've been warned about men like me your whole life, yet you always wondered'.
'Oh you're confidant'.
That conversation always brought a smile to his face; it helped his through his darkest times. Suddenly Ashara's eyes opened and locked with his. 'My lord, is something wrong?' He smiled lightly walking back over to the bed; she still called him that even though that relationship ended months ago. It sort of pained him in a way; it made him think that she was doing this against her will, with him because he forced her. He knew it wasn't true, she'd been equally accepting as cautious, but still. 'You've had another vision again haven't you?' She'd been trying to get him to open up about them but he just kept passing it off as bad dreams until last night, when he'd finally given his suspicions about it being a vision to her. He simply nodded, 'the same one?' A second nod, he put his head in his hands, then she reached up and peeled them away. 'Describe it to me.'
'No buts', she cut in, 'this is really bothering you, describe it and let me help you, you don't need to shoulder this alone'. He looked into her eyes and saw the truth in them, so he relented and described his vision to her. Afterwards they sat in silence for a few minutes, contemplating what the vision might mean. He'd had some ideas and was investigating them but so far, no luck. Suddenly there was a knock at the door and Felkun buzzed them in.
'Milord I have your schedule for the day.' Mila Escalus the personal attendant of Felkun entered. It had been shortly after he had ascended to the council when he had asked Rylee and Destris to track her down and give her the job offer, she accepted without hesitation, anything to leave Nar Shadaa. She was not a slave, he knew what that was like and as such he had none himself.
'Thanks Mila I'll be out in a few minutes'. She put a datapad on the desk, bowed, then left. Deciding he'd better get up he walked over to the wardrobe, pulled on his robes, black baseline, with purple patterns and red highlights. Fixed his double bladed lightsaber to his hip and picked up the datapad.
Captain Sarnova has a report for you
Training with Xalek
Training with the other acolytes
Darth Achelon has a new artefact for study
Demonstration, Ashara and Xalek vs Felkun
'No rest for the weary' he said as he left for Captain Sarnova's office. When he entered he found the captain already working over a report. 'You had something for me Sarnova?'
'Yes my lord, it's about those people you asked me to investigate'. Felkun was instantly curious; on a hunch he had asked her to check in with an old contact from imperial intelligence about people who might be prolonging this war for their own ends. It was the only thing he could think for that the vision meant. 'Agent Therkad asked that you meet him later at the Nexus Room cantina, this is the time', she gave him a note with a time written on it, 'he said to head to the back and tell the guard on the private room, "knives are drawn in locked rooms".'
'Thank you Sarnova I will'. As he left the room he considered how far she had come since he first met her guarding the wall to Grathan's compound, she had led the final assault on his fortress, she was a fine officer and when he offered her the job as head of his security she accepted. He headed over to the training room to meet Xalek for their training session.
When he entered the training room several pairs of acolytes were sparring. Xalek was waiting for him on the main mat. The acolytes all stopped their spars and bowed to him as he walked over to Xalek who had dropped to one knee. 'Back to your drills' he said to the other acolytes, 'rise and prepare yourself my apprentice. He backed up until they were about 10 metres apart and they both drew their double bladed lightsabers. Facing each other down for 10 seconds before Xalek hurled a ball of lightning at Felkun who caught it in his lightsaber and deflected the barrage of blows Xalek hit him with afterwards. They fought like this for a while Felkun blocking everything Xalek threw at him, Xalek desperately trying to get through his defences then Felkun stepped back slightly forcing Xalek to overstep his reach on a lunge, his arm and shoulders forming a perfectly flat line and Felkun, seeing his opportunity, dodged the lunge then, using the arm and shoulders as a bridge rolled over them bringing his lightsaber around, deactivating one of his blades and ramming the hilt against Xalek's side. Xalek grunted and stumbled backwards. 'You left one side open Xalek, never do that, now again'. Xalek said nothing simply getting into position and they began again. One hour later, after training with both Xalek and the others, Felkun headed into the rain of Dromund Kaas, pulled his hood up, and headed for Kaas city. Keeping his face hidden he entered the Nexus room. While on the Dark council he could go virtually wherever he wished, including the nexus room, however this meeting may hold valuable information and he did not want news to spread of his coming here. He approached a male human guard who asked.
'This room is locked, what is your business?'
'Knifes are drawn in locked rooms' he recited. The guard nodded, punched in a security code in the door panel, and stood back as Felkun quickly stepped into the room. It was clearly high class, dimmed lights, leather upholstery and red linen table cloths. It was small only VIPs would be allowed in here. The Chiss was waiting in the corner at a small table with a drink in his hand he wore a black trench coat with its collar up with what appeared to be a standard imperial uniform underneath. He turned when Felkun entered.
'My lord, it's been a while', inclining his head in Felkun's direction as he spoke. Not waiting for Felkun to acknowledge him he got strait on with business. 'Okay, now I accessed the records and found a group called the war-bringers, lame, I know but they didn't come up with it, they wouldn't claim to have a name. They are a group of high ranking individuals in both the empire and republic who are making this war as bloody and long-lasting as possible, for their own ends. However this is info salvaged from other records, the original we had has been wiped'.
'Competely?' Felkun was surprised, Intelligence was supposed to meticulous, records don't get wiped, no matter how minor, they are kept. 'What did you get from other files?'
'Not much', he admitted, 'I managed to glean simply that they want the war to last as long as possible. However several appear to have been killed already'. He remembered one other thing, 'I also managed to get one name for you, Kelthara Hurs'.
'Who's that?' Felkun had never heard of them.
'I have no idea', Therkad looked at his wrist pad and stood up. 'I'm late for a meeting with Keeper; sorry I can't be more help'. He pulled on a pair of sunglasses and left. Felkun stayed still for a minute, trying to make sense of it all, realising he couldn't, he left for his fortress.
It had been a week since Trysar had successfully repelled the Ulgo terrorists in their assault on the chancellor's ship. The diplomatic delegation then resumed their course toward Voss and, after several important and well publicised summits and meetings, had moved on to the worlds of the Hutt Cartels, in an effort to garner their support for the greater cause. Trysar and Kira however, had elected to remain on Voss, they stayed because A; the Hutt cartels might be worried if special forces soldiers arrived on their worlds and B; They had had enough to the diplomacy wanting to finally relax for a while. They were currently sitting, enjoying the sunset and playing a perfectly innocent game of truth or dare. 'Dare' Trysar said, neither had backed down on one so far, spilling their secrets and doing whatever the other dared them, he was determined to win. 'Walk up to that sith over there, and tell him what you really think of him'. He pointed at the biggest sith he could find in this courtyard of Voss-Ka that wasn't near any Voss. She simply smirked, got up, and walked straight up to the sith. He couldn't hear what she was saying but the way his already blood red skin seemed to get even redder and his hand twitched next to his lightsaber, he could have a good guess. She walked back with a massive grin on her face. Sitting down she said straight away.
'Truth, whats the story behind the cybernetics?' He sighed and began to regale her with the tale.
'It was when I was 10, 11, something like that, my world came under attack by imperial forces in the last days of the war. They bombed the city for days; I remember running through the streets before a building fell on top of the courtyard I was in. Next thing I knew, I woke up in a republic hospital with these things implanted'. A look of sorrow passed over his face before he continued. 'I don't really remember what life was like before then, hell I don't remember what my parents even looked like'. But that did mean I don't have any bad memories before then'. He stared into the sunset for a while before shaking himself and looking at Kira. 'My turn'.
Several turns later, neither gaining a point, the pair gave up and returned to their room. Laid out and decked in the Voss style they entered and prepared to get into bed. When lying under the covers Kira asked, 'when are we expected back on duty?'
'Next few days I think' he replied, he wrapped his arms around Kira's waist, resting his chin on the top of her head and then said, 'but let's not think about that right now'. With that they fell asleep soon after.
They were woken only a few hours later by a knocking on the door, Trysar groaned and rolled out of bed to open the door to see a regally dressed Voss waiting in the hallway. 'I am an emissary from the esteemed Mystic Holat-Ko, he needs to see you both, now, I'll be waiting in the atrium.' With that he turned and walked to the atrium. Trysar blinked a few times, his still groggy mind trying to put the sequence in order, after about a minute he returned to the bed and, as much as he wanted to flop back on the bed, he dragged his feet to the wardrobe and pulled on his clothes, he took Kira's out, returned to the bed, shook Kira awake lightly, explained the situation, gave her the clothes and let her change. When they were both wrapped up warm, they went to the atrium and met the voss who led them, through the darkened streets of Voss-Ka to a small house on the outskirts. They entered and saw an old voss sat on the rug before the fire. They walked over and sat opposite him.
'Come closer, listen to my old voice as I recount one last tale.' They listened intently, confused, but respectful. His eyes appeared to lose their focus as a monotone voice exited his mouth.
'I have seen a vision, a small group of people, working in the shadows, are causing a tide of death that you vowed to stop. However you can't do it alone, you will meet an ally, you've already met under different circumstances, you must trust each other or you will fail.' His head bowed and when it rose again his eyes were back to normal. 'Thank you for your time, you may return to your hotel now'. Kira and Trysar were both shocked by the abrupt ending to the visit but quickly gathered themselves up and headed back to their hotel.
When they were back Kira grumbled slightly at their ruined night and quickly got to sleep. Trysar however stayed awake and thought over the mystic's words, he had learned to trust the mystics were right, first when they accurately predicted the ZR-57 imperial plot against them, and second when he had experienced a vision of his final meeting with Rakton.
Whatever he was talking about it seemed like he, Kira and another would work together to stop it, but blood would flow before they succeeded.