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So you yet live child?

 

Darksteel arrowheads slid across a wetstone, guided by the precision of the force as the pair walked together towards the boarding shuttles for the dreadnaught. Another dark arrow slid into the bag that was tied to Telperien’s thin waist.

 

Why do you desire to follow in such troublesome venture? Do you not see that you will end in decay and death?

 

The golden eyes turned amethyst in hue and the corners of her lips trembled into a soft smile. Boot gracefully set foot onto the decking of the Scarab as the servant of the Spider led her apprentice to the bridge.

 

Find that part of you that wishes to do evil and explain it to me. Do not go into this darkness without forethought. You can gain power in other ways than sacrificing yourself to the wiles of the darkside.

 

They were home. They were in the master's service, and they would be used for his will. 

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Live? I suppose you could called what state Eve existed in 'Life' as the Melodie followed the two in a twisted manner, her skin and garbs covered in her own blood as the frail and thin being barely managed to stand upon her own two feet as her knees nearly buckled beneath her stage for the stave she propped herself up upon. It took every ounce of energy she held to take each step she took in tow, even as her Reel companion Lusif made a quick entrance to catch her as she nearly fell when they neared the shuttle. Her hand attempted to shoo him away, but only found solice in his scales as he reeled his head high to keep her afoot.

 

No. What she existed within wasn't considered life. It was a mere limbo between the two existences, as her life ended the day that ship destroyed not only the sanctuary of her people, but revealed the cowardice ways of her Elders whom clung to the protection of the waters while the younglings she protected found only death. Only the symbol that adorn the harbinger of her people's demise kept her from finding the embrace of either existence, the symbol of the being before her, the Spider. Life... Death... neither seemed possible until her vengeance was complete.

 

As the shadow of the Scarab flickered upon her face, her gaze shimmered of the fire within her chest, the remnants of her heritage glowing brightly in the darkness after living her entire life in the darkened halls of her people's underground hatcheries like generations before her. But as the light of the Scarab's innards shown brightly upon her bloodied attire, it was subtly hinted at that she was the first to have adapted to life outside. Struggling still to take her steps into the unknown, her gaze never shifted from the two before her as she bore their existences into her memory forever.

 

And as the young girl before poised her questions, she remained silent, unable to give her an answer vocally thanks to the burnt flesh beneath her bandages. All she could do was bare her cold and deadly stare toward the two, much like that of her Reel companion, her breathing being the only thing voiced. Yet, her thoughts spoke louder than anything she could speak. Death and decay? That is who she is. Forethought and Darkness? That was her soul. Evil? That was who they had made her to be. Like the precipice of dusk, on the twilight eve of darkness, the light within was slowly fading into blackness. And as her gaze stared intently at Telperiën, Eve smiled grizzly, her teeth stained with her own blood.

 

"Evil begets evil."

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The eldritch composition of the Sith fleet brooded across the lower orbit of Onderon. Black color-crafts trimmed with the red of battle blood washed each of the vessels that prowled the dark skies. The Black Scarab mounted the planet as crown jewel while the rest of the flotilla moved into a synonymous formation. The Sith Star Dreadnought steered the likes of the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer, the Bleeding Kyber. Warspite, Sunder, Hyperion and Blackblade cut their vessels into the black of space as an escort to their command ship. The collective armies and the bodies that conducted them were now aboard and moments away from their jump to the rendezvous coordinates. Those that abandoned the call of their King, would be ostracized from their ruling campaign indiscriminately.


(Sith Fleet leaves for Space.)

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Zalis allowed for a single moment of clearing her mind as the ship touched down in Iziz at the starport. Her own mind was racing as she had received reports that Delta had taken the entire fleet to Dark Sun station, which somehow became a lightning rod for the Republic and Jedi fleet. Although, they were quick to lock down the area and sealed off transmissions, but not before Delta had requested backup. The fleet was about to be fully outgunned and the majority of the investors and corporations that banked at Dark Sun were likely to be beyond pissed at the damage that would surely happen. 

 

Letting a massive sigh out, she knew how to spin it in a way that would protect Black Sun and allow for her to keep those special corporations she had built contracts with intact. But it would come at a very high price. Namely Delta. She would need to spin things very creatively in order to maintain things, but luckily, she knew how to go about it. And the more time she spent on Onderon, the better her chances at weaving her web. She didn’t spend a good few months working over Shura Cohl and Amius Hulan just to have everything fall apart within a single battle. She knew what she needed to do. And for the moment, she needed to focus on what she could. 

 

Taking in a deep breath, she stood up and strained out her dress and gave both a head and hand motion to signal for Remo to follow her. On her way down the ramp, she could already see one of the port officials who seemed recognized her almost immediately. Even as she walked down the ramp, he offered her up a smile and began to talk to her. Why do they always insist on these petty conversations…

 

“Oh Zalis, it’s been a while since we’ve had the pleasure of your presence here at Iziz. Word on the street is that Dark Sun bank is under fire at the moment, and words also tie your organization to the bank…”

 

Zalis rolled her eyes very openly to the man. Even as she finished, she handed over her starport visa to the man, as security seemed to never die off since the old days here. As he looked it over for a second before handing it back to her, she offered up a half sarcastic smile. “The Black Sun fleet that arrived at Dark Sun Bank has done so without the sanction of me. I plan to make sure that all of the investors and clients who utilize the bank such as Incom Corporation, SyntheTech and HealthiDrive will have their assets protected.” She took her starport visa out of his hand and raised her left eyebrow as she walked past the man and into the main walkway towards the market.

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Zalis moved through the somewhat busy streets of the Malgan market on Iziz. People moved in and around different posts of all sorts of stands trying to sell different items. Her black backless dress was doing exactly what she wanted it to, and she was indeed getting a few more eyes to look her way as she walked through the middle of the square, pulling behind her a case that had wheels upon the bottom of it. From the corner of her eye, she spotted Yordel Vuxen, who was attempting to make a hard sell to a Twi’lek who seemed to want no part of it. With a smile, she knew her own entrance would help him make the sell. 

 

She walked herself up to him directly, almost pushing the Twi’lek out of the way. In the same motion, she dropped the case and put her finger delicately upon his brown skin with a soft movement over his chin and she leaned in and placed a small kiss upon his cheek. “Oh Yordel, those special items you sold did far more than what you said-I could have ended up paying at least twice as much as what you sold to me for… Oh, I’m sorry hon. I didn’t mean to interrupt your business transaction. I’ll wait until you’re done.” As she acknowledged the Twi’lek, she used her right hand to softly move her right hand against his left forearm with a wink as she stepped away. 

 

As she took her few steps away from the two and towards Remo, she could hear what sounded like a goofy low gitty laugh from Yordel. It made her roll her eyes in slight disgust. The eye roll would only have been seen by Remo, so she felt like it was okay at the moment to reveal to the droid her own feelings on the situation. However, upon getting to stand next to the droid, she could see within Remo’s dome that the Twi’lek was looking at her from the corner of his own eye, so she bent down to whisper to Remo, the stance alone would have revealed to both the Twi’lek and Yordel more than the crack in her buttock. “These poor idiots have no clue how badly I’m playing them…”

 

She then stood up to hear the final exchange of the two, and the Twi’lek took his leave, but not without making a few constant look backs to get a full and final last image of Zalis. She made sure to move slowly and provocatively towards Yordel to give the Twi’lek his last request. As she approached Yordel again, he offered her up that stupid gitty chuckle again. “You know, if you stick around, you and me as a team could make thousands of credits within weeks tops.” Zalis now offered him a look of pity. “Oh Yordel… I’m so sorry that you think that a thousand is a lot…” The man’s face was clearly taken back as she finished. It clearly had never come to the man’s mind that she made so much more than him. But Zalis knew better then to let the man sit in a low place, so she picked up the case and had it drop on the man’s counter with a loud thud. 

 

“Twelve reinforced carbine blasters – as you requested. These bad boys have been deemed illegal by the big 3 political powers that be. Although, only two will actually do something about you having them.” As she finished, she opened up the case to reveal the contents to Yordel. As she finished opening the case, she took a step back and took a glance up at the palace, which seemed to not be a busy as she remembered it. Yordel must have noticed her looking and spoke up. “The Dark Lord and his fleet left the area not more than nine hours before your arrival. Rumor has it… To come your aid.” Her annoyed look returned. “So I’ve heard. Remo, is there a way for you to give me updates on that situation. I’d rather not hear about it from others.”

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Onderon was a place that Remo had never held the pleasure of visiting before. Even from space, Remo was mesmerized by its beauty and its hold upon its singular moon, Dxun. It was a lush jungle world filled with life and opportunities. But once he found himself upon its surface, he found it quite puzzling indeed. Despite its lush jungles, there was quite a chill to it, unlike other jungled worlds he had been to were humidity dropped from its many branches.

 

The occupants of Onderon seemed unaffected, going about their daily lives in an almost utopic way, or at least from what he glimpsed here in Iziz. Yet, he couldn't quite shake this weird emotional response of uneasiness. It crept along his receptors like an invisible tendril, and had he been capable, his body would have mimicked the response of a fleshie, risen hair and all. Sticking close to Zalis, they continued on into the heart of Iziz.

 

Zalis was unlike many of the fleshies he had met over the span of his existence, and in truth, he doubted he would ever meet another like her for the rest of it. And he wasnt quite sure why he was fond of her, but he did enjoy the way she played games with the minds of other fleshies and that she didnt seem to trust many, if not any, of them. So when she bent down to coyfully play her part, Remo smiled inside, playfully jolting her rear cheeks when she stood to finish off this Yordel and exposed herself to him. 

 

Who says a droid can't have a little fun?

 

As Zalis continued her transaction, Remo gazed around, taking notice of a few bystanders and even the Twilek whom had just recently departed as he took in Onderon fully. It certainly had the potential that Zalis foresaw. But given the Sith presence, that was a large hurdle for even her to jump over. Turning back to her as she poised her question, all he could manage to muster in response was his usual bleeps and bloops as he went into hacking the Black Sun command lines. It wouldn't present much of a challenge for him to find out exactly what was going on at that very moment, but what presented the challenge was her imcapabilities of understanding what he was saying.

 

"We really need a protocol droid..."

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Zalis gave Remo a sympathetic nod as she understood just enough of what the droid was trying to communicate, which was the lack of ability to actually do so. Within her own mind, she made a silent vow to find a way to give the droid a vocal processer to make it easier for the two moving forward. Even as the droid had finished his beeping, Yordel spoke up rather quickly. 

 

“My dear Zalis, why do you concern yourself with such people. I strongly beli-“ “What you strongly believe and your opinion may stay within your own damn mind. Know your own role well Yordel, and know my role. You walk a very fine line. So your next words you speak better hold something of value to me, otherwise I’m going to consider this entire visit over.”

 

She narrowed her own eyes at the man who clearly now looked like he had just seen a ghost of sorts. Slowly taking in air with his throat, he adjusted himself to stand up perfectly straight and looked her in the eye. “But of course, ma’am. I understand very well. There is going to be grand party held within two days’ time. Many of the wealthiest business owners will be present. They are all looking for… places to invest in.”

 

Zalis allowed for her to gain a grin from ear to ear as he spoke. A little bit of fear used at the right time was always very effective. “Thank you Yordel. I promise to keep you on the list of market owners that we want to keep supplying then.” Zalis then turned and began to walk away from the stand and more towards some of the higher end cantinas. “Remo, did I pack anything that would be appropriate for such a party?”

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Zalis found herself walking down a fairly grand staircase into the University, Ov Taraba and all its grandeur. There were games of Hintaro, Binspo, Sabacc and Swoop racing videos all as the main focus. Even as she walked down the staircase, she took in all of the beauty that the place held, black and white marble stones for the floor. The sheer beauty of everything was well worth noting for any future projects that she would have Black Sun undertake. Upon letting her foot hit the main floor, she very confidently walked past a server who was carrying a tray of some form of champagne and took a glass off of it and moved towards the main hall where dinner tables were placed for guest to sit and eat. 

 

As she moved herself into the room, if only to draw the attention of others to her, she was suddenly touched on her shoulder ever so slightly. As she turned to see who it was, the voice that spoke made her recognize who it was without any question. “You know, when they say it’s a black and white party, people tend to dress that way and not wear something that’s black, red and gold.” Zalis was already smiling when she met the face of Kyllan. His smooth face with dark black eyes and soft and wavy brown hair made her beam with true joy. “You know me Ky, I always go for the eyes.” Kyllan’s face began to show his own smile in return as he placed his hand back at his side, while he used his other hand to direct Zalis towards a tall standing dining table. 

 

“You know, that last time I saw you, we were on Ahakista in the Daystar. You made me a mark.” Zalis took a sip of her drink before putting it down. “I made everyone a mark back then Ky. It’s just how I operated back then. If I recall… You sold me out to the authorities for… what was it again?... a Kyber crystal?” The statement drew a chuckle from Kyllan. “Yeah, we had a weird relationship back then. Part of me was jealous that security go to search and feel you up before I ever did. But hey, clearly, you’ve moved up in the world. The head of Black Sun I hear?” 

 

The feelings on reminiscing upon their prior relationship was beginning to stir with Kyllan. Zalis made a mental note of it before turning her head back towards her drink. “Yeah. It’s been a very long journey for me. Rough at times, even rougher now. But I feel as if the winds are about to fully change in my favor.” Kyllan raised an eyebrow at Zalis in sheer amusement. “Favor isn’t there yet. Dark Sun station is currently under attack my dear.” Zalis rolled her eyes at the very mention of that fact. She was getting tired of hearing it. The last thing she wanted was to hear about how things were going on a station that was begging to be hit- but no one knew that outside of her. It was her well-guarded secret that such a disaster was supposed to strike Dark Sun. Letting out a very annoyed breath, she lifted her eyes towards Kyllan. “I’m surprised you even care about it.” There was a look of displeasure suddenly on Kyllan. “I own Incom Corporation and Incom-FreiTek now…” Zalis slowly closed her eyes and let out an exhale as she understood now. “Both of which have large sums of credits at the station…”

 

Zalis shifted slightly, but not in an uncomfortable way, but rather to a stance of annoyance. “Oh well. That’s a loss for you then I guess.” The very response drew a confused look from Kyllan. “How does it not affect you?” Zalis turned to face Kyllan directly. “The station isn’t owned by Black Sun, if only through a single connection point- it’s owned by me. The finical impact it has on me and my company are, well, almost nothing. The loss is solely upon the companies who had funds there.” She now turned herself back around to rest her back against the table as she had been doing before. “Contract wise, in the agreement signed, such a loss to funds in this manner are not covered by Dark Sun. We cover disaster or brought on damages from within our company. And since the station is being attacked by X-wings created by your company, it creates a complicated situation of conflict of interests. And the other companies present like HyperTech and HealthiDrive also have suppliers present during the fight… Those funds lost fall upon the companies themselves. So making up those funds come through your companies having to charge more for your products.”

 

Zalis offered up a smile and a wink right before she took a drink. Even as she did, Kyllan’s face began to fully process it. She could tell that he was beginning to understand the move she had made. As she put the drink down, his own words came out of his mouth very slowly. “So… That was your move. To make something so grand and appealing for companies to be a part of, knowing very well that the side nature of your other company would draw fire to it… but there has to be a bigger picture. I know you well enough to know that there is always a bigger picture.” With a soft smile still upon her face, Zalis offered up a quiet response. “Oh, you have no idea of how big the picture is. But yes. There is more to it than that. I know that some companies upon finding out will simply stop supplying the attacking forces. Because of which, the easiest ways to gain such resources now fall upon the black market or with Czerka… of which I also own…” “So your end game in this is to drive up your own funds. It’s literally a win-win for you.” 

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When Shiro awoke, he found himself caged once again, this time a sensational tingling vibrating through his entire form every time he struggled against the cuffs that bound him. Rage and pain boiled within him at the thought of having been caught yet again as he resisted his reality and fought to free himself until his muscles ached and wrecked under numbness and electrocution. And then he just laid there in defeat, his form fevered against the cool durasteel flooring he found himself upon.

 

"What's this?" He questioned to himself as he heard the whirling echo of air against steel. "Are we in space?"

 

Struggling to his feet, Shiro realized that he was aboard a small prison transport heading toward an unknown destination his cell having no way to view his outside world. And then his weight shifted as the transport exited hyperspace and he could feel the extra gravity of a planet begin to pull upon his form and that of the ship's, his nostrils flaring with both anticipation and realization that this had became his reality. And when the ship landed and he was led from the ship to Onderon's slaver's market, he fought and struggled with everything he had, causing the guards to bound him in chains and a poled collar.

 

"Ladies and Gents, Our most honored guests, we have a humanoid of the highest caliber. A Force Sensitive of unknown origins with eyes as crimson as the hair that adorns our Dark King's..." Shiro could hear a voice speak from beyond the sheathed hut, his gut twisted in knots and his bloodlust as rampant as the wild beasts he found himself allotted with. If he could just get his hands free... "After killing two members of the Black Sun, adding more murders to his bounty, he displayed the powers of our beloved Masters and took down my own men. If the act had not been so tolling on his own form, I would not be standing here before you this day."

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Zalis kept her eyes upon Kyllan as he finished sending off his own report to the Holonet. There was a single moment where she felt what she would describe as glee that sparked within her as she watched him having to resolve to the actions that she had rendered him and many other companies to. Kyllan’s face also began to display some form of what looked like guilt. Zalis knew it well from the days of her youth when she was a mere assassin and her contracts were all crime lords. She could recall one whom expressed openly his guilt of sleeping with her as he undressed before her. It perhaps showed his own weakness and justification of what she did to him. what she did to them all during those days. Kyllan was no different. 

 

“You’ve been laying the ground work for this for years now. I wonder what other elements are still in play…” Zalis picked up her drink and finished it off before she even responded to him. Taking the drink was all she could do to not let her eyes roll so loudly that everyone halfway across the galaxy could hear it. “Yes. I’ve spent a long time to put these pieces into motion. And for your other statement- I bet you would. I don’t indulge information as former idiots who ran this company did. I keep plans close and ideas even closer.” Zalis allowed for a moment for Kyllan to look directly into her eyes. He looked her over and fully understood everything that had transpired. He knew who Zalis was and now fully understood how dangerous of a woman she was. How dangerous she would continue to be if others also brushed her off or thought of her as the common crime lord. No- she was something very different and deadlier than everyone who came before her. 

 

Zalis watched him as he picked up a drink from a waiter walking by. He made it obvious that he wasn’t done talking to her, but was slowly starting to walk towards the Swoop racing oversight. She allowed for herself to follow him, but knew that the next question belonged to Ky alone. He reached the oversight and took a hard drink before placing the glass on the railing and leaned into it himself. She was still approaching it as he spoke. “My god, you really have changed leaps and bounds since Ahakista.” He took a moment to glance her over, and Zalis knew this was her que to turned herself to lean sideways upon the railing next to him. “Your stunning features is where people always land themselves in massive trouble.” Flattery wasn’t something that Zalis handled well, even when she marked targets way back when. It was a learned skill to be able to roll with them, and that was about as far as she could go this time. “So tell me Ky… Why bring yourself here? I mean, outside of Coruscant falling and you needing a new market to setup a large shop… Onderon doesn’t really fit the good guy role at the moment. You’re here for something else.”

 

Her question was enough to put him on edge slightly. He stirred ever so slightly, letting her know that she may have struck a little too close to a raw nerve. After the moment passed, he took another hard drink and refused to look directly at her now. “While I doubt that you could know that much, or that it would even interest you… Before Coruscant’s fall we were looking to setup a secondary HQ. Both of us thought that coming to a location like this one… would draw some attention off of us.” Zalis knew with a quick poke, she could completely unravel him. She knew already far more than what he was comfortable with, and he held no idea of how much she really did know. But, he was still someone whom she needed to not flat out hate her yet, so she had to continue to work her magic upon him. “I’m sorry. I know that the loss of Coruscant hit many companies really hard. The Mandalorian Crusaders really struck out and made it difficult for a lot of people. If I had seen you earlier before that…” She let her own words hang, knowing that Kyllan would feel out the rest of it. 

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The sun felt warm against his bronze skin and ivory hair as Shiro was dragged out of the tent by the poles collar, the shackled chains ringing around him as he stared out into the masses of aliens that surrounded and stared at him attentively upon the arena like stage, his anger fueled by the mere thought that was no more than a oddity, the same look he saw from the others on Odik II.

 

"We'll start the bid at twenty five thousand credits." Shiro heard the man state as his crimson eyes darted toward him and he momentarily felt the familiar tingle of electricity shooting through his form. "Twenty five thousand to our Trandoshan friend in the back. Do I hear thirty thousand?"

 

It would go on like this for several minutes, most of it a blur for Shiro as he struggled against his confines only to constantly feel the pain of electrocution vibrating through his form. Odik II and the way he was treated there was one thing, but now he had become a captive, and being sold as if he was property. And this made his blood boil with intensity that he had never felt before. If only he could free himself. If only he could reach out and grasp those binding him, he ache to crush their throats and bury their egos in the hatred that was beginning to form within his heart. If only.

 

"Five hundred thousand credits!" Shiro heard abruptly, his gaze shooting to see a onyx skinned fellow dressed in fine silk standing off to the side, a group of crimson skinned confidants standing around him as the beings voice caught everyone off guard, Shiro included. "F-F-Five hundred thousand you say, friend?" Shiro heard the bidding manager stutter out in disbelief. "I'll have to see it to believe it."

 

The onyx skinned being and his comrades began their stroll through the crowd, the crimson skinned beings that surrounded him pushing onlookers aside with authority that even Shiro could not question, his mind not only dumbfounded, but taken completely aback by, a hint of fear rushing in. When the man stood before the stage, he reached up and stroked his beard like tentacles, and said only a few words that even sent the manager reeling fear, making Shiro wonder why he even ran during his arrest. "House Zibeti claims him in the name of the Dark King. Don't worry human, the credits are good." 

 

As he tossed a credstick upward into the hands of the human manager, his men climbed up and began to drag Shiro away, the young boy screaming a echoing proclamation derived from pure wrath just seconds before stun prods were brought out and his world ended in darkness once again. "I will never be anyone's property, his nor your's."

 

As he slipped away into unconsciousness, he heard the being reply. "Good. I will hold you to this."

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Zalis spent the next few days making a few press conferences, comm calls out to other investors and contacts who have suddenly become very aware of the new development within Black Sun and the clear as day change of how they were going to operate. After she finished up her business with everything that she could do on Onderon, she and Remo departed back to Old Mantell to re-establish the pecking order for things to come. 

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