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#11753294 Nov 15, 2015 at 03:35 AM · Edited 2 years ago
329 Posts
Chapter One: Age Eight

I was eight years old when it struck me: I never knew my father.

I was attending a party with my mother, and a few select servants. It was a familial gathering, the celebration of a new child accepted into the Treveleus family. To be honest, I hardly recall who had the child, let alone what the little tyke had been named. I doubt I knew all those years ago, as well.

The party had drawn to a close, and I bid fair well to my cousins and aunts and uncles. My mother drew me close as we climbed into the back end of our sky car, the servants at the front. The engine hummed and rumbled low, and my tired eyes began to drift in and out. But they scanned to the left, and stared at the assorted family leaving, together; mother, father, and children. My heart sank.

"Mother?" My voice cracked as I spoke, and I craned my neck up at her.

"Hmm?" She glanced back down at me, her blue eyes twinkling.

"...why don't I have a daddy?"

My mother shifted a bit, her hand rubbing at my brown locks, causing them to become unruly and scruffy. Her expression shifted into something I'd never seen before - now I know it was a look of internal conflict.

"Because," she finally spoke, hesitance evident now in reflection, "the man who...gave me you...had duties elsewhere...to ensure that your life is safe, secure..."

"Oh..." I nodded and looked ahead, before snapping my head back. "Did daddy sweep you off your feet? Like the heroes in the stories you tell?"

She laughed and patted my head. I guess that meant yes.

I went to bed that night and dreamed of a powerful man with a red blade, claiming the heart of a fair maiden before he was forced to face down the evil that was the "Republic". I had no idea how false my vision of my father truly was.
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#11754714 Nov 15, 2015 at 01:25 PM · Edited 2 years ago
329 Posts
Chapter Two: Age Sixteen

Eight years more went by before anything involving my Father occurred. And I sorely wish it didn't.

By sixteen I had found my talent: painting. I loved sketching down my ideas, then transferring it from paper to the canvas. Grasping the brush between my fingers, combing it down and creating art, pieces that suited my opinions, my views of beauty.

Others found them magnificent, but they missed the reasons I painted. I doubt it mattered to them, and I hid my offense whenever they commented on the fame and the riches I could get if or when I showed and sold them at art shows.

On that certain day I had finishes my studies and schooling for the time, and took to lounging in my room. The old-fashioned sketchpad and pencil rested in my hands as I jotted down the imagery that had been present in my mind. I admittedly can't remember whatever it was.

I was drawn from my passion when I heard the commotion outside. A combination of both curiosity and annoyance overcame me, and I set my items aside. My socks melded with the carpet floor, warming my feet as I strode out into the hallway. There, I met two of my family's servants: an older blue-skinned male Togruta, and a young female Lethan Twi'lek around my age. The girl glanced away as she noticed me and hastily took leave, which boggled my mind at the time. The older man bowed respectfully.

"What were you speaking of?" My tone was subtle, but the demand was still there.

"My Lord, I was just..." The Togruta seemed to mentally sigh before he bowed his head again. "Apologies, Lord Malikhai...your mother has a...special guest. He caused a stir amongst the rest of us...we're concerned."

I quirked a brow. Not at their concern - as I had long learned that my mother treated her servants with fairness - but on the guest. Who could have caused a stir and be threatening enough to be a danger to my mother? I wasted little time, thanking the man briefly before moving through the house. If I had to guess, mother might have guided the guest to her study.

When I arrived, I paused just at the door. There was an uncharacteristic chill at the threshold, feeling as if it could just take hold and reduce me to a gasping, begging puddle of man. Regardless, I passed through the door after inserting the code...and became enraged.

A large, cloaked man had his hand raised, and my mother was suspended in the air, grasping at her throat! He didn't seem to hear me enter, but my mother saw me. And she seemed to be mouthing "run".

I didn't.

"Drop her, now!"

My mother's struggles ceased, the man holding her by whatever power he held tilting his head ever so slight. Then he let go, and she hit the floor. I was at her side in an instant, checking her over for injuries before reassuring her it would be fine. The dark presence had to be addressed, however, and I rose again, refusing to let his mocking yellow-eyed gaze or the cold pressure he exhibited weight me down.

"Who are you?" I kept my tone even and steeled. The man slowly smiled beneath his blackened hood, but there was no mirth in it.

"I am Darth Revus, child. Your father."

My blood chilled, but I remained standing in defiance.

"And I hear you're content with a simple...pathetic life. A painter. A nobleman fat on his inheritance."

My eye twitched.

"So what if I am? Even if half that is false."

Revus' smiled vanished in an instant. I felt the inklings of an invisible grasp begin to form around my throat.

"You will not." Revus took a step forward, and waved his hand, throwing the desk between us against the wall. He brought his other hand up and I was brought into the air, dangling, gasping for breath. I couldn't breathe! "You WILL become a soldier. You WILL live up to my legacy. And you WILL not be some pathetic boy who draws pictures for a living! And if you don't, you can say goodbye to your pathetic family."

And he was gone. It seemed like an instant to me, but I was more concerned on regaining my breath, and my vision had blackened at the edges. Our servants came to our aid, escorting me back to my room. My mother remained in the study, speaking to her most trusted aids. I can only assume it was about Revus' intrusion. We knew Sith, however. They could do as they pleased.

As I lay in my bed, staring up at the ceiling, breathing in slowly and steadily, my mind was focused on one thing: my newfound (forced) duty to protect my family.

I wasn't left with any other choice.
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#11756096 Nov 15, 2015 at 10:15 PM
528 Posts
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#11783823 Nov 22, 2015 at 03:32 PM
329 Posts
Chapter Three: Age Twenty-Four

I did what I had to.

Two years following the encounter with my father, I joined the Imperial Academy - went through their processing and training. Regardless, my heart wasn't into it. I had to hide that, though. "Non-patriots" were weeded out every other week. I couldn't risk my family's safety because of an eye roll.

I was still apart of the Imperial Military when word finally hit: we were going to war.

A year after the beginning of it all - a year after overwhelming the Republic Garrison on Korriban, after pushing them straight out of the Seat of the Empire - I sat back on Dromund Kaas with my squad. We had been rotated out for about a month of leave, and our CO - thankfully - decided to pay for a few rounds.

As the night wore on I chose to depart first. I stepped out with a slow pace, slipping a Cigarra between my fingers. I had taken up smoking after the first month in the war, a habit I initially despised but grew to...well, ignore. The speeder stop was empty when I arrived, and even so I stood beside the assorted seats.

I wasn't alone for long. A man in a cloak with a uniform beneath that screamed Imperial Commander appeared from nowhere, and my body straightened up on instinct.

"Sir."

The man smiled, his eyes dancing with his humor.

"Corporal."

And I stopped. I was fairly certain I hadn't met this man before. How had he known my rank after a single word? I glanced his direction and he seemed to be aware of my internal confusion, as a smirk crossed his face.

"Cigarra?" He drew out his own. "May I have a light?"

I reluctantly fished the lighter out of my pocket and held it out, the Commander hovering the tip over the flame. With a chuckle and a puff, he assumed a straight stance and smiled.

"Thank you, Treveleus." He held up a hand as I went to speak, my agitation evident. "We've been watching for promising individuals...you among them." He looked at me as he drew from the Cigarra again. "Malikhai Treveleus, a gifted artist, fine grades in school, a nobleman...son of a Sith Lord, and you enlisted. You stand out...and we wish to offer you a role in something far larger than a grunt is aware of."

He extended his free hand, and I glanced at it.

I can't remember what I was thinking at the time...

...but I grasped at the hand without a thought, it seems.
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#11784963 Nov 22, 2015 at 10:04 PM
329 Posts
Chapter Four: Age Thirty Two

"Might I say, Cipher Ten, you look smashing in that dress."

I lay atop a skyscraper, a sniper rifle set up on a tripod in front of me. My outfit was an embodiment of discrete - slim and black - and my eye hovered before the scope at the building across from me. The top floor penthouse was a light, individuals in a variety of fancy, costly outfits milling about at a party. My sight lingered on a fair skinned woman with striking blond hair, vibrant blue eyes, and was clad in a purple/red dress with matching black heels. My heart skipped a beat when she looked my way.

"Thank you, Cipher Eight. You words mean much." Despite the rigidity of that sentence, the teasing undertone made me roll my eyes. I solemnly watched Ten approach our target - a Republic-aligned Civilian Contractor who was a major donator to the Republic War Effort. Roughly in his sixties, but still quite filled out. It's quite obvious why we were sent.

I muted out the words that they shared. I knew, deep down, that my jealousy would influence my choice. So I distracted myself by examining the rest of the party. It reminded me of my old family gatherings. Only now did I realize that the attendees were just a bunch of - for lack of Imperial terms - "Brown Nosers".

Five minutes went by and I snapped back to attention. Ten was luring the Contractor off to someplace "private". I managed to resist the urge to grind my teeth and I waited, patiently, as they pulled themselves into an unused bedroom. Ten hastily excused herself to the bathroom, to "get ready". I didn't waste a second longer.

The Contractor's brains splattered harshly all over the wall, and Ten was already playing the stupified blonde role.

I was packed up and off the room in two minutes.

New record. Heh.

---

I released the breath I unknowingly held. Debriefs directly toward Keeper made my blood run cold and my heart stop. Every. Time.

"It never gets easier," I uttered toward myself as I stepped around the holo-table. I definitely needed to relax. But my goal - my bedroom - was blocked by a mop of blonde hair.

Ten smirked up at me, her regularly ponytailed hair released from their usual bond and draped down over her shoulders and over the top of her back. A brief glance into the room informed me that, yes, she had stripped down completely. Another showed all she wore was a white towel.

"Going to say something, Eight? Or just going to stare?"

I blinked, and she giggled, before brushing past me.

"Shower's ready. Move your butt, soldier, if you want any hot water."

I closed my eyes a moment, shook my head, and grabbed at the lower hem of my shirt.

She definitely knew how to push my buttons...

And I kriffing loved her for it.
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#11799689 Nov 26, 2015 at 11:06 PM · Edited 2 years ago
329 Posts
Chapter Five: Eight Hours After Awakening

I felt numb, dead to the world.

I slumped against an old central terminal, staring blankly at the wall across from me. The few still-working light fixtures randomly sparked with life before dimming. The console I lay against slowly died.

I'd say it represented how I really felt fairly well.

Information swelled around in my mind, and each subject made me pale, and my heart to fall and tighten. Thirty whole years had gone by, lost in time. I had awoken in a cargo chamber, frozen in Carbonite. My partner, my lover, my best friend Cipher Ten was killed in action a year later. And...my whole family, the Treveleus line, was purged on Darth Revus' orders. After all, a Sith's word could never be countered, and he accused them of treason.

My right hand tightened, and crinkling metal resounded. I blinked and looked down toward it. Black steel greeted me, digits unfurling and shifting as I tested the new appendage. I followed it's line all the way back up to my shoulder...and then a memory hit me.

I was rushing through Darth Revus' capital ship, disabling bombs set aboard by Republic attackers. I disarmed most of them...but right when I reached the final explosive...blackness.

I lost my arm and thirty years in that explosion.

I rested my hand firmly against the grated floor and grasped at my forehead with my organic remainder. And with a grunt, I staggered to my feet and proceeded forth. I secured my shoulder cape around my neck and drew the hood up, before hefting my pack. With a flourish, I drew a datapad and typed away into it. The screen behind me lit up with red numbers, steadily counting down. I let the datapad fall and calmly walked down the hall toward the entrance.

I slowly stepped out into the Balmorran countryside, staring out at the bright sun that hovered above the horizon. For some reason, it filled me with relief. And the shaking of the destroyed hidden base below the surface filled me with pride.

I took a step forward. The first step of a brand new life.

But even still, the regret of a failed past was slowly, steadily, creeping in on me...
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#12458242 Jun 13, 2016 at 02:05 AM · Edited over 1 year ago
329 Posts
Chapter Six: Eight Days After Awakening

It wasn't hard to acquire credits on Nar Shadda. Though I never stooped so low for the easiest methods.

Still, by the end of my first whole week in this...new galaxy - I suppose I should call it that - I booked a shoddy room for rent at a run down slum and slowly began to piece it all together. With the copied information I stole from the terminals of my...old holding base, it didn't take too long.

Regardless, my mind took it's time processing it all.

Except for two things: 1.) Revus was still alive, after all these years - surviving from his connection to the Force, and intense cybernetic enhancements. And 2.) he had a son...who was raised by an old friend.

My cybernetic fingers tensed as I placed my behind on the foot of my "bed" - it was more like a rotted futon than anything else. An aged face with graying brown hair and beard, and a bored set of blue eyes stared right back.

"Kray Duvallin".

An old associate, a former member of a Pirate's crew that the Empire had some contact with. And I one of it's main liaisons. Despite his status amongst the deadliest of murderers, Kray proved to be a heart-warming man with intense loyalty. A good friend...

I scrolled down the page with another hand. I knew what happened after I vanished. All a set up. And he spent another ten years in a Republic Correctional Facility.

My heart sank.

However, it faded as I locked my gaze upon my second person of interest. A young man with red-brown hair, vibrant green eyes, and a smile that could light up a room.

Qunai Duvallin...my half-brother.

...

I needed to go to Rishi.
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#12482703 Jun 22, 2016 at 01:49 AM
329 Posts
"Didn't you read the sign? The bar's closed!"

A wave of nostalgia hit me hard, hearing that gruff-yet-friendly voice again. Aged, certainly, with an extra coarseness from growing older. But it was still the same voice that belonged to a young, oddly optimistic / expectedly naive pirate who seemed to have clicked with him regardless...so long ago.

I pushed my hood back and proceeded inward anyway.

To be honest, it was less a bar and more a five star restaurant on Alderaan. It was impressive, masterly so. A decorative fireplace was centered at the back of the room, thirty tables neatly placed along the central floor, and at least five booths lining the furthest walls each. A counter with bar stools sat adjacent to the serving section of the kitchen, bottles lining a rack.

I did stand there a solid minute, taking it all in. Until he appeared in the threshold.

He had grown older. Obviously. Thirty plus years, he changed and I stayed the same. A mop of brown hair still sat upon his head, and a fresh, thick brown beard covered the lower half of his face. Gray was creeping in. His face was lined with wrinkles. A dark red colored his eyes, and yet they still looked naturally kind

"You deaf?" Well, he -could- be kind. "The sign said closed."

"That the way you treat an old friend, Kray?"

The old man froze, my imperial-accented voice resonating in him. He quickly advanced towards me, grasped my chin, and looked my face over. Every second his eyes grew wider. I'm surprised they didn't explode.

"...Mal?" I nodded. He gaped. "You haven't aged a day..."

---

"...let me get this straight," Kray laughed out, slamming down an empty glass. My own cybernetic hand clutched a glass, a bottle of Corellian Ale between us. "You got...frozen...for thirty or so years...lost your arm...and you just got unfrozen?"

I nodded. He laughed again. The alcohol was clearly getting to him. I glanced at the bottle and shook my head. What a lightweight...

"You're a man out of time, Mal."

I shrugged.

"I adapt." I paused to take a sip of my drink. "You're the only person I know of from thirty years ago to still be alive."

"Surprised? You are...well, were an Imp spy. Dangerous profession, my friend."

I bowed my head in concession to that fact. I honestly didn't expect much.

"But why are you really here, Khai? Catching up isn't something you do." He narrowed his eyes at me and leaned forward. "What's your game this time?"

I held my breath, and time slowed.

...
...
...

"I know about Qunai." Kray paused at that completely, eyes bulging again. The grip on his glass tightened. "Everything...Revus...so on."

I looked him in the eye.

"And I have news of where Revus will be."

Kray leaned back.

"I want to help Qunai put him in the ground."
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#12824088 Nov 02, 2016 at 01:57 AM
329 Posts
To be honest...my father hadn't aged a day. Whether that was because of the Force, the cybernetics hooked into his body, or...or some soothing cream secreted from the ass of a Voss native. His face bore a fair amount of wrinkles - and was incredibly pale -, eyes the sickly yellow of most sith, and his body clad in heavy black armor. His right hand gripped a single red blade that sizzled and hissed beneath the rain.

One of the longest serving Imperial Commanders, a Dark Council potential, and a terrifying Sith Juggernaut.

...but I hardly felt the chill of fear. I don't think I feared much, anymore.

I withdrew my cybernetic wrist blade from the heart of one of his underlings, stepping over the corpse, and assumed my post besides my half-brother, Qunai. His face was illuminated by the single purple blade of his own lightsaber, his vibrant green eyes locked ahead of us.

I followed suit, and looked ahead as well.

...was that surprise I saw in his eyes?

"...Malikhai...Alarick..." The Revanite General wheezed out behind his respirator. The tone was heavy, as if burdened by...everything. He shook his head, his hood shifting with him. "To believe...we'd meet again like this..."

"You knew it'd be like this, Tsorig." Qunai's voice boomed over the storm, determination clear. "At least with me..."

"What Dyerin did was out of my hands, you know that," Tsorig calmly replied, eyes softening, "if I had my way...what happened to you...it wouldn't have."

"...you can't change the past," I spoke softly, staring up at his yellow gaze as he turned back toward me, "you, of all people, should be aware of that."

"...I am."

Tsorig looked over his shoulder, momentarily. His body heaved in and out, swaying with the heavy wind and pelting rain, as if he was one with the storm.

"...I suppose I...cannot convince either of you to stand down?"

Our head shakes were in sync. Tsorig let out a wheezing laugh.

"Stubborn...just like me."

He brought his saber up. Qunai dashed forward, faster than I had expected...and I moved to eagerly catch up.
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#12826620 Nov 03, 2016 at 05:33 AM
329 Posts
"What are you waiting for?" My voice was weak, hoarse, my throat burning. "Kill...kill him!...KILL HIM!"

"NO!" Qunai roared back, throwing his head over his shoulder to look at him. His emerald eyes glowed in defiance, his face and body soaked from the pelting rain. His purple saber hovered above Tsorig, the Sith on his knees - his breath was heavy, and he seemed resigned to his fate. "I...want to know why....I want to know everything. You don't?"

I eased myself to my knees, my organic hand giving me support. The cybernetic prosthetic hung limp by my side, overloaded from a lightning burst at point blank range. My mouth seemed to be filled with copper, and my vision swam...and was tinted red as I stared at Tsorig.

So close...so close...

Qunai looked back down at Tsorig, letting his saber ease off the man before the blade slipped back into the hilt.

"What..." Tsorig wheezed out, his hood back and respirator long gone, "do you want to know...Alari-...Qunai?"

"You know what I want to know." His voice dropped a bit, but I moved a bit closer, slowly due to my limp.

Tsorig merely chuckled at that, and sighed out in defeat.

"...You two were supposed to be...something far greater than what I managed. I hoped to give you both lives that were better than the one I was given...born into Sith-hood. But your mothers..." Tsorig sagged, and bowed his head. "They had different ideas..."

"...And?" Qunai slowly got down on one knee. "You interfered in our lives...twisted us and set us on...whatever the hell it was. Why?"

Tsorig seemed to twist his expression into one indiscernible. I frowned, and brought my working arm over my chest half-heartedly. I didn't care for his explanation...I was just here, permitting it for my younger half-brother.

"Dyerin was the issue...for you." His sickly eyes shut and he huffed. "He was a wild card I couldn't ever keep in check...after what he did to you...I reached out to the GenoHadaran, and they sent Miss Xyrna Altaros after him."

"What?" Qunai blinked. "But...Synda killed him?"

"Heh." Tsorig smirked. "Either him or his twin brother...it doesn't matter...they're gone now."

"And what about me?"

The two looked back to me, as I stepped forward, and glowered at the old Sith.

"Why did you have to step into MY life?! Derail it, mess it up, BRING ME HERE?!" I threw my good arm out and stepped forward. I snarled as I continued to glare, every part of my body on fire in rage. "WHY DID YOU FREEZE ME?!"

Tsorig merely blinked, and let his jaw hang.

"...I didn't. You...you were dead when I last saw you, Malikhai."

And then the air disappeared from my lungs.

"...What?"

"The explosion on my flagship...medical staff said there was no way to save you. In the flurry of all that happened the wounded and the dead were ferried off...I assumed you were buried, cremated...something."

I slowly exhaled from the mouth and took a step back.

"B-...but I..."

Everything began to spiral, my legs giving out on me. My armor clinked as it hit the old brick and mortar of the Yavin temple, and my hand gripped my temple...

...before I fell forward, and everything went black. My last thought was...

'...how much do I not know?'
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#13371591 Jul 29, 2017 at 12:44 AM
329 Posts
I was never a fan of parties.

On Dromund Kaas, even as a child, the atmosphere got to me - that everyone was playing a game, with masks of emotion and false laughter and compliments. To be frank…I hated it. But at the time, I put on my own, smiled, laughed, presented my art and beamed at the praise - the empty words that should’ve filled me with pride. I hoped that in the military - my forced servitude - I would be spared such thing. Then I made the error of joining Imperial Intelligence, and everything kicked off again. Except, at that time, I had my own ulterior motive.

And now here I am…doing the same exact thing I hated.

Granted, I had to. The “Omniscient” - as my advisors like to refer to us - had eyes and ears in nearly every large-scale to small-scale organization in the galaxy. Since the defeat and capture of the Shroud back on Odessen, we had room to expand - without much fear of being caught. We taught our members all that we knew…and it paid off.

Just like this should.

The Hutts were fickle creatures - my nose nearly wrinkled as I spied the host at the front of the “stage” of sorts, with coffers and other extravagent gifts at the base, mine among them. Enslaved men lay and danced around him at his leisure - a surprise, since most “trophies” were female. Didn’t stave off the disgust I felt as I milled about the party.

I tugged the green scarf around my neck a bit tighter and dusted down my khaki jacket. Polished black boots clacked as I moved, weaving through the crowded chamber. It stunk to high heavens, matched up with horrid drink that would’ve left me wretching if it were anywhere else.

“Mr. Trayus! Mr. Trayus over here! Come come!”

A smile brushed my lips briefly as I swept my eyes to the furthest corner - a corner filled with scantily clad women. But it wasn’t them that caught my eye. It was the slightly bloated devaronian who lavished himself in their presence. I made my way over, gaze locked on him, and when I reached I casually settled my glass aside and leaned against the bannister that divided the corner from the rest of the party.

“Mr Yobin, I didn’t think I’d highlight attention, let alone from the speaker of the illustrious Gadoba. And, please, call me Mordakai.” I canted my head off toward the Hutt behind me.

“Oh no, everyone here wanted to meet you! Sit?”

“No, I can stand, thank you.”

“Then it’s plenty of these women for me,” Yobin grinned greedily, snaking his arms tighter around the abdomens of a red and blue set of twi’leks - who, for their credit, withheld the eyeroll they clearly wanted to do.

“It’s an honor, then. My information brokerage is quite small, after all.”

“But,” Yobin waggled his finger, “efficient. But Gadoba remains hesitant to employ you - security leaks and such - so I need to reassure him it’d be a good investment.”

Good. My “small-time group” has had it’s time to gain exposure. Independence drew attention from all the organizations beyond the Empire’s and Republic’s reach. Throw in the hints that there might be a darker side…hook, line, and sinker.

“I mean, we can talk business but…need-to-know, I’m sure you understand.”

Yobin exhaled and nodded once, and waved his hand over his table. On cue, the group of rainbow colored women rose and dispersed into the party, no doubt so other cretins could ogle and grope their bodies. Regardless, I settled in across the Yobin and reached into my khaki jacket.

“No cybernetic replacement? I’m sure there’s a good one on the market for a man as - I’m sure - rich as you.” Yobin leaned forward, letting his eyes flicker between my stump and my face. I smiled. Inside, I frowned.

Then I tossed a yellow package across the table at him.

“Inside are some records you’ll enjoy, Mr. Yobin.”

The Devaronian’s lips twitched, along with an eye - offended. He thought he had power, as I sat in the same room as his master…but it was me between him, with all the information in the world at my finger tips, and Yobin’s back to the corner.

“Particularly…the little extortion ring you play out with the beastmaster and the head of security down in the fighting pits after hours.”

The red-skinned man twitched again, more obvious this time. I smiled and settled my hand on the table.

“Not just that, of course. There’s also information about the movements of his rivals - through the Nal Hutta swamps outside, probing the barriers, kidnapping your workers, maybe even assaulting some of your security. A slow take-over.”

“W-why…start with our…misdeeds?”

“Simple,” I leaned back and smiled wider, “incentive. I have more where it comes from.”

“...you know I could just keep this and have you executed on terms of extortion.”

“You could, but you won’t.” I rose and clipped the buckle on my jacket pocket. “I’ll have my secretary arrive within the next week to discuss the terms with your master, Yobin. We’ll work out the pay-to-reward ratio, and you’ll keep your position as his speaker. And maybe, just maybe, you won’t end up dead when the war between your master and his rival kicks off. Good day.”

I whirled and strode through the party without another word, without looking back.

Yobin would react as expected - wipe the sweat from his brow, pick up the envelope, and inspect the contents. He’d realize I wasn’t bluffing, and keep the information on his and his compatriots…then deliver the rest to Gadoba, securing my information brokerage a Hutt partner - and a staging area for Omniscient operations, to further bend them to our will.

No…just to watch, not control. We see…we do not touch.
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#13371911 Jul 29, 2017 at 06:12 AM
329 Posts
"...-and even with the grants from Gadoba the Hutt, moving our forces through this space would be too dangerous and reckless."

The woman speaking huffed and folded her arms over her gray coat, yellow cat-like eyes narrowing at the holo-projection of galactic space. I watched as she glared at her fellows, before she snapped to a chuckle.

"You underestimate what my pilots can do, lil' lady," a heavy, gruff male voice responded, said man adjusting his wide-brimmed hat, his smirk hidden beneath the thick beard that covered the lower half of his face, "than 'n the ties I got? We got nothin' to worry 'bout."

"It's not just the damn Hutts - they're the least of our worries," another man spoke up, smacking his fist against the table. The map zoomed away from the Outer-Rim, red highlights flashing across the blue projection - Imperial, Republic and Eternal symbols flashing across the board (more of the last than the first two). "Republic and Imperial activity are growing more and more, and the Eternal Empire's growing more and more hostile. Things are heating up, and - to be fair? - our forces shouldn't get caught in the middle. We'd have to move hard and fast to get anything done."

The beefy Nautolan huffed, slumping back into his chair with narrowed eyes.

"So we're at an impasse."

"Not exactly." The three looked toward the forth voice, a woman clad in black robes - red lekku tips poking from the shadows of her hood. Her body bent awkwardly in her chair as she looked off from the holo-table.

"Heh. Somethin' to share, Sith?" The Nautolan spoke up, his worn Republic commando armor crinkling as he shifted.

"Leave the lil' lady be, Adamah. What'sya gotta say, Hefera?"

The twi'lek glanced up at the three, before her eyes shifted up the stairs and it's railing - right at me.

I smiled, and dropped from my perch.

"S-sir! I'm so sorry, I wasn't aware you-"

"Don't worry about it, Jerra," I waved my hand at the imperial-clad Cathar, resting my hands on the table with a nod at the smuggler across the way, "Kray. How's Reyna? And Qunai?"

"They're good, ol' man," Kray grinned as he idly chewed on an unlit cigarra, "'bout time you showed up."

"Yeah, maybe some actually authority will keep people in line." Adamah snarled over at Hefera and Jerra.

"Alright, alright," I chuckled, padding the air with my hands, before resetting the map to it's most basic form.

I pressed my finger against the center.

"Let's take it from the top."
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#13399434 Aug 17, 2017 at 01:09 AM
329 Posts
"I don't trust her."

A smile graced my lips as I looked from the viewport glass to my second-in-command, Jerra. The white-furred Cathar stood, arms folded behind her, yellow eyes on me dancing with disapproval - hair done up in a formal ponytail. Her old Imperial Uniform sans the typical markings of an officer clung to her.

"Who?" I asked impishly, sliding back to a grin and letting my left side press against the window.

"You know who I mean, Commander," she jumped instantly, hands on her hips, "that Altaros woman. You know of her former allegiances. She's dangerous...and yet you recruited her actively, and showed her around our main headquarters! The risk-"

"I know the risk." I casually waved my hand and sighed. "It's a risk I'm taking upon myself. She's been traveling with me for almost a month now, and we're getting close. She hasn't left my sight, and she's followed along dutifully. I trust her - as an operative..."

My aide clutched the bridge of her nose between a finger and her thumb.

"...alright." She grunted and combed down her uniform. "How goes your ghost hunt?"

"Fruitful."

"The Star Cabal are a myth, with all due respect. Even if they were real, rumors have it they crumbled a long time ago. Sir, with how active the Eternal Empire's become, and the loss of our listening post on Nar Shadda...we should focus more on ensuring our actions are quiet."

"Aren't you?" I responded, letting my arms fold over my chest.

"Trying, sir...but without you present it's hard to get the others to listen."

"You have my sanction." I placed my hand on her shoulder. "You are my voice when I'm not around...Jerra, listen, I have to do this."

"You have many questions, I know." She cast a glance down at the black metal limb that held her. "Just, be careful. I doubt I could run this network without your authority."

"You can." I smiled. "I wouldn't have recruited you if I had any doubts."

I shifted my eyes past her and shook my head.

"You can approach without a worry, Xyrna."

The familiar head of red and black locks - like her armor - settled in beside me.

"I assumed it was a private conversation." Her golden eyes met Jerra's amber, and a small nod was cast between them. An acknowledgement of the suspicion toward one, and the expected duty of another. I inwardly sighed, and moved forward.

"I'll let you know if we uncover more. We will return."

As expected, Xyrna remained in step by my side. I felt Jerra's gaze on my back until we rounded the corner.

"They'll warm up to you."

"You think so?" The mirth in her voice made me smirk.

"If I warmed up to you, who couldn't?"
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#13443353 Sep 17, 2017 at 05:23 AM
329 Posts
My hand shook as it hovered over the button. The eerie, empty silence of my ship rang in my ears. My breath was ragged and uneven. My heart hammered against my rib cage. Every nerve in my body resisted and pulled away. And the cautionary voice that I had heeded since I entered adulthood begged me not to.

Yet I couldn't. My eyes were locked on the screen in front of me: 'Agent ID 42-81: Malikhai Treveleus.'

Every answer to the questions that swam through my mind were beyond that text, the ones that lingered since I awoke on Balmorra. I knew it. My carbonite sleep, how I awoke, how I survived the explosion on Tsorig's ship...the station's owners, the one Xyrna and I had destroyed under a week ago.

These answers...they would come with a price. That was something I knew too.

My finger hit the button, and the text disappeared.

---


Finger tap.

Water drip.

Finger tap.

Water drip.

Body shake. Hand wipe. Hair brush.

Water drip...drip...drip.

Eye flicker. Face slow level to mirror. Blue meets blue. Blink. Red...blood. Torn, contorted faces. Mouths open, screaming. Men, women, the elderly...children.

Look back down, cover the eyes. Doesn't exist, didn't happen! It did. Feel wet. Pull hands down and stare at red. Covers from the finger tips to the elbows. Breath getting heavy, rapid. Turn on the water and try to wash it all away. Doesn't work. Blood sticks.

Water leaks from the corners of the eyes, mix with the faucet stream. Hands grip sink once more. Breath in and out, try to slow, try to calm. Mixed results. Slow look up at the mirror once more.

Red eyes, dead face. Black collar of a suit of armor. Me, but not me. Old me? Maybe. Monster? Definitely. Blink again, back to me. Normal me, current me. Skin pale, like a sickness. Eyes red, puffy. Hair disheveled. A complete and utter wreck.

Stop breathing and just stare. The true me...yes, me. I look down, then to the side.

Fist lashes out. Mirror breaks and shatters. Don't flinch. Doesn't bother me none. Lean on the sink like a lifeline, the only lifeline that matters. Push away and stumble out of the bathroom.

A wreck, a monster, with blood on his hands that can't be washed away.

That's what the recordings showed me.

How could I dispute that?
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