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Zalis rubbed her temples as the Obsidian Phoenix shock itself somewhat violently out of hyperspace. For some reason, Raven pissed her off to the point that she had a lingering headache that she couldn't shake. Putting one hand down, she glanced out at the planet before her that had once been covered in city lights from space, now only had about half the planet in those lights. A green color seemed to overtake the rest of it. Looking towards the Droid, she raised an eyebrow as she kept one hand still rubbing her forehead.

 

"Czerka has a few people here who might try to oppose the contract signed. The last thing that they want is to have a new flag be raised over their territory. This could become... Fun by Delta's standards."

She finally lowered her hand as she leaned forward to really take the planet in. Feeling confident that Taris would be the first of many planets to have no choice but allow for the banner of Black Sun to be raised, she suddenly realized that she didn't officially know what the droid's number was. She turned slightly to look at the droid and gave it a look that may have suggested she felt bad.

 

"If you're going to work closely with me, I'm going to need your name officially..."

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Taris laid before them, a sight that made the small astromech droid tremble with slight fear as his gaze sat upon its visage after exiting hyperspace. He had been here before, been here during his time under that Hutt. And even as she mentioned Czerka, he knew it only held a small presence upon the planet compared to the one who truly ruled it from behind the shadows, a hidden flag that forever flew. Whether or not this being would show himself or his reach, he held no clue. Only that he frightened him so.

 

Remo's small mechanical arms reached up briefly, tugging at the sleeve of her uniform in a motion to turn around, answering her question as best as he could in binary, its chirp echoing vaguely "Re-Mo, Re-Mo" as he ached for her to heed his fear. But even then, Remo held a strong feeling that it was lost upon translation. No matter, for a comm soon began to chim. Only, before either could answer it, it came up upon own.

 

----------

 

Before the two sat the visage of a crimson haired fellow close to his late twenties, properly dressed in a white dress shirt and a long pipe in his hand as he drew upon its tip, his devilish blue eyes gazing first at the woman and then at Remo. He smirked briefly before speaking.

 

"Hello R3-M0, or should I say Remo now? And a welcoming hello to you as well, Zalis Krales. You've been making quite a name for yourself lately, mi'lady. Please join me for a chat, if you will, at my estate. Coordinates are being transmitted now and clearance is being given."

 

And with that, the visage disappeared as the smirk left his youthful face, coordinates being recieved by the ship's computer that would lead to a lavish mansion upon a cliffside overlooking the vast sea. When they landed, the man would be waiting their arrival, a small escort of only two personal guards clad in grotesque armor, all unarmed of course. Only Zalis would end up going alone as Remo would not accompany her for his own reasons.

 

((Hope you dont mind the twist. Seeing as we were coming here, I felt we'd reintroduce an old character and have a little fun.))

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Zalis smiled at the droid as it made its attempt to speak its name. She was able to pick up some of what it was trying to say, but her own follow up question was blocked by an incoming transmission from the planet. There was no chance for either to answer it, as it flooded to life on its own. Before Zalis was suddenly a man of red hair himself. His blue eyes pierced through sharply as he looked over the droid first, calling it by name; Remo. He then addressed her and spoke rather quickly of her own reputation and made an invite followed quickly by the transmission cutting off. Zalis suddenly sat back in the pilot’s chair and spoke out loud to Remo.

 

“He’s quite an Kriffing gentleman isn’t he?...”

 

Zalis looked over at Remo, but could tell that the droid seemed nervous. Clearly there was some sort of history there, but she decided it was best to not press him for the story. She would most likely get it later. For now, she would visit this man and find out who he was and if he was an ally, an asset, or a threat and deal with him appropriately. She couldn’t afford to waste too much time with him though, as she needed to get Czerka under her thumb quickly.

 

As the ship landed, she was met and escorted by two men clad in armor of their own. Ugly armor to be sure, but still armor. She did take notice that neither of them was armed, which was a good sign. Zalis herself was armed, but only with her up close and personal assassination weapons of choice. She never let those weapons not be on her, as she never knew when she might need them. She herself was dressed in a white dress the was free flowing, but had a black coat like cape that covered up the majority of the white dress. Upon entering the main area where the guards escorted her, she immediately plopped herself down on a couch, crossing her legs and stretching her arms out over the top of the couch to make herself comfortable. It was just a part of who she was to make herself comfortable.

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"Please, do make yourself at home, Ms. Krales." The man spoke, waving his hand as to offer her the couch before his desk. His crimson hair held little to the palate of the Lavender Senatorial Robes he was now draped in, his hand grasping the long stemmed pipe he inhaled from as he patted the bowl's wooden rim and heated the tobacco within. As he exhaled into the recycler beside him, his gazed firmed. "I regret to inform you that your trip here to deal with the Czerka Corporation will be invain."

 

Just as he spoke, Arthureo and Erygll both wondered into the room, the twin boys now reaching their perspective teenage years, draped in the rebellious outfits of the Tarisian underbelly, both moaning about how life... and their Father.... wasn't fair. Thinking quietly to himself at how he missed Katlynn and her reasonability with the two boys, his gaze shot toward them with a firm and almost despising glare. "Boys. I've told you both that once you've blown through your allowances, that there would be no more for the month. Shall I let you spend a few months in the underbelly with nothing but those ridiculous clothes upon your backs? No? Good. Now go do something productive."

 

The twins huffed and trotted out of the room, a sense of despair washing over Celteo as he watched them exit before turning his gaze back toward Zalis. "Forgive the interruption. Those two insist that the wealth I've built up is theirs to blow on the latest fashions and high tech gear. Suppose I spoiled them too much. I only wish they had been like their sister and taken after me." Celteo shook his head, rubbing his temples and forehead with his singular outstretched right hand, thumb to the right temple and forefinger and middle to the left. Realizing his mistake, he jumped. "Forgive my manners as well. I am Senator Celteo O' Maoilsheachlainn, and the reason I said your trip has in been in vain is because Czerka no longer has a presence on Taris outside of name alone. The Tarisian Branch is merely a front for my company, Lachlan Incorporated."

 

And his words were true. Lachlan Incorporated, operating under the guise of a Medical Corporation, had completely taken over Taris. Not only had it reached into the pockets of fellow Senators, but ran most of the nefarious workings of the underbelly and its many criminal organizations. But that was a deep as Celteo had managed to reach. Even with the backing of the now missing Sith Lord Ason Antilles, this was as far as he managed to grasp. Looking at Zalis, he saw a new opportunity, and he wasn't about to pass it up. Nodding toward the two guards that had escorted the woman in, they removed their helms as his gaze stared at the woman before him, his fingers now intertwined. What laid beneath the helms were even more grotesque than the helms themselves, revealing the Nekghoul that they were, a species he had worked to restore. "I am, however, not opposed to a proposition, should you have one."

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Zalis looked the man in the eyes after he finished for a good five seconds before she even flinched a muscle. She was a bit annoyed at the fact that the man even knew her purpose in coming, let alone that he would tell her that her time coming was a waste. But if what he said was true, it meant that she had far more work to do.

 

But as she was beginning to think of what her next move should be, the man who introduced himself as Celteo O' Maoilsheachlainn spoke up about a proposition that he was half expecting from her. His posture informed her that he was serious and was now waiting for what she had to offer. It was amusing and brought her to a point of actual laughter.

 

“Oh, son… I can tell you’re slightly new to this.”

 

She now stood up off the couch and threw off her black coat and straitened her dress in one motion. She began to walk towards the desk that Celteo sat at in a very somewhat methodical and slow motion.

 

“You see, if you wanted a deal that favored you, you would have allowed for me to offer up the idea of a proposition first. Because you brought it up first, it means you’ve hit a problem. Most people like you means either one of three things. First, you ran out of credit backing. Second, you’ve hit a limit in your reach. Or perhaps my personal favorite, you don’t have any reach to begin with and being seen next to someone like me would bring more attention that you want.”

 

Her last word she emphasized with her raising both eyebrows before turning around to sit with her back towards him on the desk. She only now began to fully take in the room that Celteo brought her to. It was grand and fitting for someone who belonged at the top of the food chain within the criminal world. Looking at the two guards that he had, who looked a warped version of an animal’s backside, she squinted her eyes slightly.

 

“Based from the look of your place I would say you fall into one of the first two categories.” Zalis now turned her head to look directly at the man. She had already decided to help him, as Taris would be good for business. But she couldn’t let him feel like he was superior to her in anyway, so she would play around with him for a bit. “What sort of arrangement crossed your mind that you think someone like me would be of a help for you? Clearly you have no interest in Czerka Corporation…”

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Celteo sat there with a simple grin upon his face as the Temptress walked about his office, typical of many Tarisian nobles. Fine furniture, luxurious mini-bar complete with an assortment of rare and well aged liquor, and statues forged out of legacy. But this had never been any of Celteo's desires. Money, power, fame... it was all a simple part of life for him, mundane and boring. Lachlan Inc was where his passions laid. Czerka had only been a means to an end.

"You see through me, mi'lady." celteo said with a chuckle, raising his pipe once again to take a draw from its top. "I see my choice in contacting you and inviting you here has proved more insightful than I had hoped for."

Placing the pipe upon a nearby holder, its aromatic smoke flowing upward from its warm bowl, Celteo took his turn to stand, moving around the desk and moving toward her front. "As you can see, money is not an option for me, my family having been Senators of Taris for a few millennia now. And it was my father whom ordered and funded Taris' reconstruction and return. So we are held in very high stature among both the common people as well as the elite."

He spun upon his boot heels, showing off what she had already ascertained, the crimson red Senatorial markings under his eyes only empahasizing the boredom in his life as his gaze returned to hers. "So as you can see, that leaves but one remaining option that you mentioned.... limited reach."

"During my time as a Senator, I have been able to reach outward off of Taris here and there, but nothing significant. And the Sith Lord Ason Antilles was a failure in my endeavor, and it cost me my biggest bargaining chip, the Muur Talisman. It wasn't until I heard whispers of your ventures, and eventually roars, that I felt a bit of hope once again. I knew it would only be a matter of time before you came to collect Czerka, so bid my time."

By now Celteo had slowly made his way toward her, his face more inches from her own as he placed the palms of his hands upon each side of her, his breath oddly refreshing despite the pipe he had been smoking on as his gaze stared into the depths of her own. "My proposition? A merger perhaps? Or at least a subsidiary agreement between us. I sign over the deed to Czerka and a partial ownership in Lachlan Incorporated, and together our companies grow."

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With a slight smile, Zalis turned herself around to walk slightly away from his face. As she moved, she walked slowly towards the large window that overlooked some of the only nicer parts that remained of the city that had rebuilt itself. Squinting her eyes slightly at a glare that came through, she turned her head back around to look at Celteo. She used the pauses to make it appear as if she was truly pondering the situation before she responded. 

“You don’t need to sign a deed over to me. Legally, since Shura Cohl’s death… the contract signed makes the company mine regardless. You only have leverage over the branch of Czerka out here. However, your position here does provide a very interesting leverage that intrigues me heavily…”

She instinctively raised her hand expecting to have someone put a drink in it, only to realize quickly that Celteo did not have such a staff always on hand. With a sigh, she put her hand back down and turned to fully face him. 

“The proposition that I give you is this. You remain here as my sector Vigo. You help increase the black market, increase slave trading, and create a culture of those who will do well within the organization…”

Zalis folded her arms in a way that allowed for Celteo to know that she was awaiting his response. She of course knew that he would have questions, along with a potential counter offer. Although she also knew that she wouldn’t accept anything less more than what she had offered up to him.  

Edited by Zalis Krales

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Lifting his arm up and letting her pass untouched, Celteo took the seat upon his desk that she had previously occupied, his gaze watching her as she contemplated his offer. Her own offer, however, wasn't offering much in return. Under his guidance, Czerka had attained much of what she requested. The Black Market in this sector of the Outer Rim has been booming over the last few years since Lachlan Incorporated had seized control of the branch, as much as the slave trade. As for the culture she spoke of, well, she had seen that with her own eyes briefly just moments ago. The twins may be a bit on the spoiled side, but their connections held a thriving den of mongrels which the likes that even Coruscant had ever seen. They were their Father's Sons after all.

"I see." Celteo spoke with a disheartened sigh. "My acquisition of Czerka wasn't as fool proof as I was led to believe and my leverage has failed."

Celteo moved toward the mini-bar, opening the seal on a new bottle of a hundred year old bottle of Tarisian Scotch, openly pouring himself and his guest a drink as to show no ill intent and turned toward her to offer her a taste. Swirling it within the glass, his lips touched the glass he held as he took a small draw of the liquid into his mouth and tisked behind it as he swallowed it before downing the rest. Another set back it would seem.

"No matter..." He spoke, setting the glass aside, his gaze shifting back toward her own. "As Czerka is your's legally, there is not much I can do about it. What your asking is already in place. I needed the underbelly of Taris as strong as it's ever been so that Lachlan Incorporated remained a beacon of hope for the citizens of our fair planet. And with the help of my sons, as well as the Nekghoul here, we have achieved that. It is as you wish it, but it doesn't bold well for my own company." Celteo chuckled. "I was hoping my leverage could prove beneficial in persuading you to aid me in reaching toward the Core Worlds."

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Zalis gave a slightly amused glance his way as Celteo expressed a desire for more. She walked up to the bar and picked up the glass, and with a rather quick movement, downed the drink offered to her. The very slight burn that echoed in her throat provided her time to put the glass down and leaned in towards the well dressed man to whisper into his ear.

"Who said you can't move towards the core? Chandrila, Anaxes, even Carida sits within your means. A sector Vigo is just that. You have full control over your area, and that area is yours to choose. You can take whatever liberties you want and need to advance Black Sun within your area. The only thing you'd be bound to uphold is that when I make the call for you,... You come."

She now took a step back away from him, allowing for him to regain his space. After a moment passed by, she lifted her hand towards him.

"Do we have an agreement, Vigo Celteo?"

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Celteo smiled at her words. She was more kind than he has suspected, her reputation proceeding her as ruthless and devilish as the Sith of old. But what he saw was much like himself, ruthless when the need arose, but gentle if there was no need for the other side to be shown. Either that, or perhaps she saw something of herself in him, perhaps a kindred spirit as Celteo was beginning to notice in her. If only he had met her a little over a decade ago, perhaps they could have been more than just partners.

"Indeed we do mi'lady." Celteo spoke with a chipper tone, graciously grasping her fingers as he kissed the top of her hand before returning to his desk and quickly grabbing his comm. As a young female voice responded, Celteo spoke but a few words. "Katelynn, Operation Muur is a go."

"Are you sure Father?" She questioned with hesitation, even the Nekghoul within the room motioning with perplexed looks upon their grotesque faces. He smiled. " Yes darling. It's time."

Placing the comm unit aside, Celteo shifted his gaze back toward Zalis with a grin, his fingers crossed as numerous ships left Taris's underbelly with destinations spread across the Outer Rim, all plotted with separate coordinates that would prevent their original placement being tracked back to Taris aside from the Rakghoul in which they carried. "Lady Zalis, it begins. Soon every planet in the Outer Rim will be plagued with the Rakghoul disease of Taris with no way of being traced back to us, and my company holds the only cure thanks to the synthetic antidote we rediscovered from the Muur Talisman I gave Ason Antilles. Lachlan Incorporated will become heroes, and all the while, Czerka grows richer as the foolish wish to rid themselves of the plague that has haunted us for centuries. Now it's their turn to know our plight."

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Zalis offered up a smile that was curled up in a sly devilish manner. She looked upon her new found Vigo as anyone who had just broken a cur. She poured herself another drink of the Tarisian Scotch that Celteo had given to her earlier, and she of course downed it in the same fashion as she did before - quickly and with authority. Having the glass slammed upon the bar-but not hard enough to make a super loud sound or breaking the glass. Using her arm to wipe her mouth dry, so moved away from the bar. 

"I leave that to you Vigo."

She went over to the couch and picked up her coat, and with a quick motion, put it back on as she stared at Celteo. 

"Expand as you wish. Black Sun HQ is now on Ord Mantell. I expect a report in person from you within a standard month's time."

She began to make her way towards the exit, but stopped short and turned around, clearly remembering to tell him something that she forgot.

"Also... Coruscant is... currently in turmoil. If the opportunity arises... offer the Mandalorians free resources from the Black Market. I'm sure that they will have no problems dealing with illegal goods..."

Letting her last few words hang for a moment, Zalis then turned and walked out of the luxury palace and towards her ship. Now that she had somewhat done what she intended for Taris, she would need to report back in to Ord Mantell and keep the local casino owners in line. Hopefully, Remo would have the ship ready for her departure from this planet.

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Celteo smiled as Zalis departed, taking a refill of his own glass into hand and drinking it upon it slowly, letting the spiced flavor and hint of wooden barrel dance upon his tastebuds. Everything was seemingly in motion and coming together. Shifting his gaze toward the Nekghoul, they dismissed themselves to parts unknown.

*******************

With Zalis' arrival aboard the ship, Remo took little time firing the ship up and getting as far as he could from this house, his memory of not a very fond one. Once they were into the upper atmosphere and entering space, the droid looked toward the red haired beauty inquisitively, wondering what transpired with Celteo and where she planned to go next.

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The Prism appeared in the appropriate shipping late, at an appropriate time, with no inappropriate red flags to Taris Flight Control. Completely inoffensive in every way. Unobtrusively, the YT freighter fell into a stable orbit and would stay there for an appropriate amount of time. 

 

Tobias had deactivated the personality subroutines on the PIT Droids- so they were finally behaving. If they, the collective they of all organic and the three droids on board, got in a fight he had a macroprogram to reactivate the droids personality. Ni was stationed in the cockpit, Tobias gathered @Kota Ni and @The Architect in the main hold on the YT as Apprentice Kel (@karyu128) flew in formation next to them.  Idly, Tobias wanted to get a bigger ship so that he could collect the Kel'Dor, but he had made this his home- this ship. To abandon it like his old N1 was unthinkable. Besides, with the Peregrine Cirlce starting back up, and the Order's increasing hostile stance on the Sith and Black Sun, with the Mandalorians on the rise- the communication capabilities of this craft would be invaluable. 

 

"Kota, I'd like for you to meditate for a moment- do you sense your sister here?" Tobias questioned his apprentice. "Clear your mind, and try to feel for something familiar."

 

While they all had come into the system with no remarkable maneuvers or eye catching classifications, Tobias would burn their way to the slavers that took youngling female Ni. 

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