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Ord Mantell


handofthrawn
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Mjan strolled down the boarding ramp, his Jedi Robes shed long ago and the Robes of his former Order adorned beneath a dark cloak. He gazed out across the horizon, his golden eyes glimmering in the sunlight. He felt a tad bit awkward to Nia after her reaction to his touch, but had often heard of Twileks and Togrutas being similar in fashion, as touching their Lekkus and Montrols were considered an intimate act. If that was the case, then he had certainly crossed a line and would find time to apologize later. But for now, the mission was at hand.

 

Listening to Beth explain the procedures to Nia, Mjan stayed to the back cautiously with his hand holding down the top of his cloak to hide as much of his tendrils and crimson skin as he could. Even as secretive as his species had been in keeping their existence unknown, he had to be careful on the off chance that someone on this world knew of them and recognized him for what he was. Walking up behind Beth and Nia casually, he spoke just loud enough for only them to overhear him. "It would probably be best if we also acquire something to cover my face. You hardly see one of my kind out this far from Sith Space, and if you do, it could cause unwanted attention."

 

That, and if someone who held close dealings with his father or knew who he truly was, this mission could become jeopardized. After all, it's not every day that a Royal bastard is within your midst. It's why he went by his Father's name of Sadow, rather than exclaiming to all that he was a descendant of Adas. "Once we're established Nia, I want to take a moment to evaluate you. If we're to begin your training properly, I need to gain a feel of your current knowledge."

 

That said, Mjan walked away from the group and chose to stick to remaining as much out of sight as possible. As he did, Rose approached the group, the Elder Twilek tossing her arms across Beth and Nia's shoulders. "Now the fun begins." She spoke with a quick chuckle before heading off to haggle for supplies, turning to give a nod to Mjan before walking completely away. She was one of the only two who knew that Mjan was of royal blood and what it would mean if he was truly found out.

 

scorpio.png.f3af7b38a7a0c45d85e8fcaea6d40d45.pngScorpio Armegedon

You heard it too, didn't you? The Insatiable Hunger of the Saber.

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Nia smiled thankfully  at Beth for explaining.

 

"I am out of my element. I am not... great with people."

 

She watched Hotep and the trader discuss a deal, observing their body language and the casuality with which they conversed. She wasn't envious, merely curious. Before she could respond to Beth's question, though, Mjan approached them, speaking of his heritage, and to her of her evaluation. She nodded, turning to face him.

 

"Of course, Master. I look forward to it.". She looked back to Beth "To answer your question, just be more conservative with-"

 

She was interrupted again as am arm was draped around her shoulder, and she nearly jumped out of her skin as she jerked away. After taking a moment to gather herself, she orrected her posture, ooking at the Twi'lek.

 

"Apologies. I am not one for physical contact.

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Not caring at all for royal blood, for she herself was a bastard, Beth stood near the young apprentice as the burly Twi’lek walked away. Beth nodded to the girl. 

 

“Solid copy on that Nia. I’ll follow your lead if you ever need a hug or anything. I think we got off on the wrong foot, and that’s my fault.” She jerked her head towards the bazaar, near where the alliance pilots were haggling with the starship dealers. 


“For now, let's see if we can get you outfitted in flight kit. Are you hungry at all?” 

 

She motioned towards the vendor stalls that sold everything from old imperial flightsuits to prepackaged rations, all likely salvaged from downed star destroyers over the decades. They looked cheap enough, and Beth held up a credit chip. "You game Nia?" 

Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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As Nia and Beth walked away, Mjan stayed close to the shadows, careful to suppress his presence as much as possible. Rose, however, gathered most of the supplies she felt that the group would need including rations, weapons, hygienic products, new identifications, the works. And as usual, after batting her eyes and flaunting herself, she came out with a few credits to spare without touching what they would need for their ship. 

 

About an hour or so had passed when she returned to gather Mjan and the two disappeared back aboard the ship. When the two emerged, Mjan looked almost completely different. Aside from his usual four digit hands and golden eyes, he wore a new flight suit, second hand of course, sporting a small vibro-dagger and a T-21 hanging from his shoulder. But the most drastic change was his face, hidden by a well placed flex-mask that gave him an uncanny human appearance that could vaguely distinguish him from Beth. As the two walked up to Beth and Nia, Mjan half expected them not to recognize him, at least at first, which was the point.

 

"Nia." Mjan spoke, his familiar voice giving him away as he handed her a new identification card that was left blank to place a name of her own choosing. "Rose has a surprise for us. Come. You as well Beth."

 

There was self evident excitement in Rose's expression as she led the group toward the outskirts where a large ARC 170 sat in almost near mint condition. Aside from a few scorch marks as well as some scratches to its undercarriage, it still held it's original coat and even the Republic Insignia it was designed to adorn. Excitedly waving her arms about Rose gleefully spoke. "Ladies, and gent." She made sure to single out Mjan in retrospect. "I present Vao's Prize." Of course, named largely after herself as usual, but given Rose, it didnt surprise Mjan.

 

Ignoring Rose's rambling about the overall history of the ARC 170 line as well as the history of Vao's Prize as he pulled Nia to the side and left Beth subject to it, Mjan spoke plainly. "I know its customary to called your Master 'Master', but from here on out, we have to be careful. I've taken the name Sado Krayt and the file places me as an Ex Imperial Lieutenant and gun for hire. I left your's blank for your own choosing, but your file will state you as an missing orphan originally hailing from your homeworld. That way, if we ever do get caught, you can play dumb and likely receive leniency." Mjan smiled, noting not to touch her this time, as his familiar smile managed to pierce the veil of the flex-mask he wore. "Are you okay with this?"

 

scorpio.png.f3af7b38a7a0c45d85e8fcaea6d40d45.pngScorpio Armegedon

You heard it too, didn't you? The Insatiable Hunger of the Saber.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nia smiled softly at Beth's offer.

 

"Thanks, I will keep you in mind if I ever need one. Though I think I should take you up on food. I haven't eaten since before I was on Nar Shaddaa."

 

She followed Beth to the Bazaar, staying behind her while she bought the food. There was still so much she didn't know- she'd tthought her stories and her research would prepare her  for the galaxy, but she'd been an planet after planet now and not one had been anything like she'd thought. She'd thought Ord  Mantell was full of treasure hunters trying to get rich quick with treasure lost in wrecked starships. But all she saw here were hard working salvagers selling honest goods.

 

When Mjan arrived, she barely noticed at first, until he spoke and she jumped, startled. As he explained their roles, she listened aptly.

 

"I appreciate it. I have questions regarding what we will do here, but they can wait until we are in private. And I would like to hear the story behind the fighter when I have a moment if that's possible."

 

 

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Beth was snacking on a fruit of unknown origin when the Jedi knight ran up to take them back to the ship bazaar. Beth tossed the core aside and followed at a distance, using her datapad to type out a quick message to Hotep and the rest of the old Templars to gather them up in one place. There was no reason to be dispersed. Hotep and the rest acknowledged, and Hotep confirmed that he had purchased three flights of X-Wings as well as a carrier ship. Probably used the last of the Templars funds but Beth did not much mind the idea of it. 

 

Hotep came jogging up after them as they got to the ARC-170. Beth was shaking her head with a degree of laughter at the whole idea of using a vessel older than a hundred years, but there was little hope in dissuading the weird Rebel that such a thing was likely useless. Perhaps with a flight of them, they could make fighterbombers a thing again. 

 

She endured Rose’s ramblings and when they were finished she smiled. 

 

“Then we should buy a flight of them. 12 with an additional replacement ship for parts. Alongside the 3 flights of X-wings Hotep purchased we could actually be effective.” She turned to the shipdealer and inquired on the price of 12 additional derelicts. 

 

She waved down Mjan again and gave him the full report. 

 

“Master Jedi, we have acquired an additional three flights of X-wings and a derelict Quasar Fire-class bulk cruiser. It is in much need of repair and crew, but for now the starfighters are being loaded aboard in orbit, and the flight system slaved to the corvette. If we can acquire the additional ARCs, we should be clear to head to our objective.”

Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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Mjan nodded his head with a smile at Nia, both likely still getting used to the Tsis looking so closely to that of a human thanks to the flex mask, though his golden eyes still were warm and caring. "Understood. We will talk about whatever you wish when we have the time."

 

Just as Mjan and Nia had finished speaking, Beth approached and offered a suggestion that Mjan could already tell was gleaming Rose's eyes like a star struck fan girl and with a chuckle, Mjan nodded his head in approval. "Sounds good to me Commander, as well as Rose it seems. The Clone War Era ships would definitely help us play off our original ties for certain and it's a solid plan." Mjan spoke over Beth's shoulder to Rose who's eyes glistened with stars. "Get 'em Captain." 

 

With a jump, Rose's arms, as well as her entire Twilek form flew into Beth's with more giddy than teenage angst before she took off to hunt down new leads. Mjan shook his head and offered his apologies, knowing full well that if anyone could locate them, it would be Rose. And oh how right he was.

 

scorpio.png.f3af7b38a7a0c45d85e8fcaea6d40d45.pngScorpio Armegedon

You heard it too, didn't you? The Insatiable Hunger of the Saber.

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Zalis sat and thought through the next few steps within her office. Deep down, she knew that the next steps were critical for the survival of Black Sun for future endeavors, but it didn't make them easier to officially act upon. Letting out a sigh, she put down the datapad that showed the progress of Project Titan and placed it next to her drink. A male Twi'lek eyed her as if wanting permission to engage in conversation with her. The awkwardness of the situation was made easier upon the few droids in the room that were packing things into a few suitcases for her. After a moment passed by, she finally looked at him and let out a very loud and annoyed sigh. 

 

"Yes Serfilut- you may speak."

 

The Twi'lek clearly got slightly uncomfortable upon being given permission, and because of it took a few seconds longer than what Zalis wanted him to in speaking up. "Well... You've spent the last few weeks working very hard to push the local owners inline and getting them used to your... Vigos, that I can't help but wonder if you plan to be more... hands off." Slowly, he began to fidget with his fingers. A tick that Zalis picked up on rather quickly. Most people had a nervous tick, and somehow around her recently, many people starting showing them more often than normal. 

 

"Yes. But not in the sense that you're used to. Locally, all systems that belong to Black Sun will now be in direct control of their Vigos, while I will continue to provide... a more legitimate front to the rest of the galaxy. Expect for Remus to be the one whom you report to. But... for credits and other business you can still approach me directly." It was a slight lie, but one that Serfilut would never pick up on until it was too late to change course. He would be stuck by the time anyone found out the true grand scheme of Black Sun. It was apart of the long term goal that she had been laying the ground work for for over three years. Even Delta had no clue what was truly in store for the galaxy. As of right now, only her and Remo knew, and the droid's programing was still kicking in to fully see everything. 

 

Not wanting to have any further conversations, she stood up and waved her hand at Serfilut. "You are dismissed. Continue with Project Alimony and report to Remus when done." She then snapped her fingers at the droids packing her things and waved them out of the room. She needed to get to the forefront of Project Titan soon. 

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Nia was lost in the haze of conversation. She didn't know what a Quasar-carrier was, though she knew vaguely what an x-wing was. An ARC-170 was more in her comfort zone, an old ship with a storied career in the Clone Wars. Still, it wouldn't do her any good to zone out, or to become lost in thought. She'd have to learn this talk if she wanted to fit with their story. 

 

She was silent for a while, searching for the words to what she wanted to say, but she didn't even know what that was. So she settled for silence, waiting to speak until spoken to. She was, however, itching to explore the city they'd landed at. It was her first time on a world other than Glee Anselm with time to spend exploring, and she wanted to make the most of it. She refrained, however, since she knew they were there on a mission, and she had no way to keep in touch yet. She'd have to raise the issue later.

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  • 2 weeks later...

“Ok boys, it's time to pack it up and head out.” 

 

She laughed at Rose and giving her a brief hug back, made a spinning motion with her hand towards the scattered Rebel alliance pilots and technicians. Beth looked over the collected group as they prattled off their finished assignments and informed her of their other leads. 

 

They had successfully provisioned the ships with both fuel and consumables, new crew had been hired, a myriad of fake holo IDs had been purchased, and several large crates of old orange flight suits that predated the Galactic Alliance. Not to mention the several full flights of fighters and fighterbombers and their provisions. 

 

They packed their things to head to the target system of Bakura


_____________________________________________

Rebel Alliance Task Force Silence

- Assigned Callsign - 

Sentinel 

Corvette Maelstrom

 

Menace 

Empty

 

Ghost 

Empty

 

Traveler 

1 Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier

Loadout

2 Light turbolaser Batteries

Advanced Engine system

Attached Squadrons (4)

Templar (Assigned PC Beth Andromina)

12 - T-65XJ3 X-wing starfighters

Loadout

6 Proton Torpedos

6 Concussion Missiles

4 Medium Laser Cannons 

X-Caliber (Assigned PCs Mjan Sadow Iv-Adas, Nia Doarr)

12 - T-65XJ3 X-wing starfighters

Loadout

6 Proton Torpedos

6 Concussion Missiles

4 Medium Laser Cannons 

Hawbat

12 - Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 Fighterbomber

Loadout

2 Medium Laser Cannons

8 Proton Torpedos

2 EMP/ION bombs slung on the wings,

Heavy Sensor/Scope jammers

Wind

12 - RZ-1 A-wing interceptor

Loadout:

12 Concussion Missiles

2 Laser Cannons

Jamming cluster

 

 

 

Andromina

Rebel Alliance Fleet Command - Lieutenant

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As Rose went off to find the rest of the ARC-170s and Beth began to gather the group, Mjan turned to Nia. " If there is anything you want to gather before we leave, now would be a good time to do it. We've got a few hours until we depart, and now that I resemble near-human, I can tag along if you like. May give us a chance to talk and get some trinkets." Mjan ended his words with a smile. Just before Beth departed, Mjan yelled to her. "I've got a few personal supplies that I need to gather before we leave, and Nia may tag along. So we'll meet back here around 0-1800?"

 

With that, Mjan turned back to Nia and offered her the lead.

 

scorpio.png.f3af7b38a7a0c45d85e8fcaea6d40d45.pngScorpio Armegedon

You heard it too, didn't you? The Insatiable Hunger of the Saber.

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Nia nodded, thinking. She'd left most of her belongings at home- she didn't travel with much. A spare change of clothes, her father's lightsaber, a datapad, and a credit chip that was running dangerously low on funds. She didn't need much else- she had never been one for extravagance. Even now, the most she wanted was to explore.

 

"I do not need anything, thank you. I'd like to explore a little bit, if that's alright with you, though. I've never been on a planet other than my home world long enough to do so. Especially above the water. I've never even been to the settlements on Glee Anselm that are above the ocean's waves."

 

She didn't touch on the concerns she wished to raise- there would be time for that. But for now, she wanted to enjoy herself. It was an odd feeling- She'd always been content to sit in her home and endlessly research new topics, but now that she was out and about in the galaxy, all she wanted to do was explore. She'd not even touched her datapad since she'd left home other than to keep in touch with her mother.

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Mjan nodded, offering his outstretched arm for her to take the lead after he handed the girl a spare credit stick with a well rounded balance of funds just in case she needed or wanted anything as they explored. With a chuckle, Mjan spoke. "Here's a good fill of creds, just in case."

 

After they were a bit away from the group and still a distance back into town, Mjan began to speak. "Tell me Nia. What do you know of the Force and how much of it has been taught to you? I'm trying to gauge your potential as well as your skills before our mission begins. It'll make it easier for when we arrive at Bakura to focus on what areas you need training in the most." Mjan gave her plenty of time to speak, walking rather slowly with his fingers intertwined behind him. But as they reached the edge of the township, Mjan brought up one of his single digits as a sign of gushing now that they were in earshot of anyone who could blow their cover.

 

The few personal things that Mjan had to gather were mostly medicinal herbs, a batch of bacta, and a few other minor necessities that Rose had forgotten. Taking his time, Mjan gave Nia a chance to browse around, possibly finding something from her homeworld that she may come across or something new that caught her eye and drew her curiosity. Even Mjan found a small flute like instrument that he held no qualms about buying, and soon placed it within his satchel.

 

Once it drew close to meeting up with Beth and the others, Mjan tapped Nia on the shoulder and pointed toward where the others were beginning to gather. With a smile, Mjan spoke. "Its time to head back. Got everything?"

 

scorpio.png.f3af7b38a7a0c45d85e8fcaea6d40d45.pngScorpio Armegedon

You heard it too, didn't you? The Insatiable Hunger of the Saber.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nia was, undoubtedly, excited to have the opportunity that she did. Ord Mantell was full of old ships, with ancient battlefields and ruins dreadnoughts. It was almost a step into history. But when she was asked her approach to the Force, she hesitated. Her father had taught her little. Most of what she knew she knew from studies and what came from inside her. Even then, she struggled to put it into words.

 

"I know little of the Force. Only that it binds every living thing. And to me, that means severing those bonds through violence is an afront to the very being of our galaxy. Which brings me to what I wanted to speak to you about... I have concerns over what we are doing here. If we train Bakura's people to fight, who's to say they won't use that knowledge after we leave to become tyrants themselves? And if something like that were to happen, are we, the teachers, not just as responsible as those we taught? Either for misjudging their character or teaching them to begin with? Is every death they inflict not our responsibility to prevent?"

 

She was quiet for a moment before continuing, quieter this time.

 

"You are, of course, my master. And if you command me to teach warfare, than I will. But I feel... I feel that my path is elsewhere. I can't explain it. I don't know how."

She bowed her head. She had a crushing fear that she would be expelled from the order for speaking of their decision like this. But she'd rather be home, on Glee Anselm, a shadow of what she could be, than to quietly ignore her morals and convictions.

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Mjan smiled at Nia briefly as she finished her words, a subtle kindness in his golden gaze before a full onslaught of laughter took hold of him, their distance between the town as well as Beth and her group too far to even be noticed by anyone but her and Mjan. Tears formed in his kind eyes and he apologized just as quick as he wiped them away and placed a hand upon his pupils shoulder as his gaze grew back to a semi-serious form.

 

"Nia, you forget who I am, what my very existence here proves." Mjan's words spoke of his own heritage, a Sith Jedi where his very nature conflicted his own outlooks. Removing his hand from her shoulder out of respect, he shifted his gaze toward the others. "My people have always been able to touch the Force, and because of it, fell to their nature within in, just as the Dark Jedi who migrated to our world after the Great Schism."

 

"The Order I was raised under, The Sorcerer's of Tund, are a secret sect of the Sith species, whom like my Master, taught that the Force is neither light nor dark, only the hearts of those who wield it defining the nature of it within themselves." Mjan spoke, memories of his time before the Jedi and of Master Aira fluttering to mind as he reminisced to his own tutelage as a Padawan not the very long ago, even if it felt like ages. "If it wasn't for the Jedi, or even my former Order, the dark nature of the Sith within me would have forged me into your enemy rather than your teacher."

 

His gaze shifted back to Nia, tears of sorrow filling his eyes as his words reached home in his own heart. "We are Jedi, pillars of Light standing against the Dark. But if we stand alone, the Darkness will eventually consume us. So we teach others to defend themselves, to bolster our numbers not just in those who are sensitive to the Force, but even in those who aren't, aspiring hope where hopelessness thrives."

 

"If we worry about the nature of someone, allowing the fear of teaching the wrong student blind us, then that hope is lost." Mjan wiped the streaming tears across his flex-mask, repositioning it in doing so to keep his human like appearence. "The hope I found in the Jedi would never had touched my heart."

 

Motioning for Nia to follow, Mjan allowed her to reply briefly, the time of their departure growing near. Beth and the others were surely had acquired everything they needed for Bakura. But as they grew near, Mjan noticed a disturbed look on Rose's face. Asking his Captain what was wrong, she frowned and spoke of one of the ARC-170 giving out unusual readings and that she needed to test it out, but the others were busy transporting the remaining ones, so she needed Mjan and Nia's help. Mjan shook his head with agreement, but looked to Nia for her own confirmation.

 

For Rose to run a full diagnostics on it, it meant a test flight in zero grav. It would be the only way to truly understand what the readings were giving, and it wasn't something he was sure his Padawan would be comfortable with. She would have to decide this herself.

 

scorpio.png.f3af7b38a7a0c45d85e8fcaea6d40d45.pngScorpio Armegedon

You heard it too, didn't you? The Insatiable Hunger of the Saber.

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  • 3 weeks later...

For the first time since leaving Glee Anselm, Nia doubted herself. She'd always been unsure of her place, but she knew she had the connection to at least warrant her presence. Seeing how her comment had affected her master, though, she was hit with a wave of doubt that this was truly her path. Still, it was a small moment, and she didn't come all this way to be chased off by a wayward reaction. She owed it to her father, at the very least, who's legacy she was here to honor.

 

She bowed her head. He had a different view of the galaxy, which could be attributed to his upbringing. She didn't blame him. And maybe, given time, she'd come to hold that same belief. But she couldn't reconcile teaching others to kill with herself. Maybe he was right, that they weren't responsible if someone used what they taught for evil. Even so, she felt that they should still be cautious, that the blame still fell on them. How many cruel people would never get the chance to be cruel because they were never given the tools? The opposite was true, of course. Perhaps even moreso.

 

Still, she knew that there were more concrete ways to help, even if she didn't know what they were just yet. Maybe in ways like she'd done in the hanger on Nar Shaddaa, healing Beth's wounds. Or maybe as her father did, protecting those whom conflict was forced upon rather than seeking it himself.

 

She voiced none of this, however.

 

When he glanced at her, she nodded. At the very least, simply a test flight wasn't a problem. On its own, it didn't lead anywhere, simply aided whomever piloted the 170 next.

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Mjan could see his Padawan struggling with her thoughts, but this would have to be something she would have to learn through experience. As much as he wanted to express and nurture in her that everything would be alright, he knew that he could not. Such was the way of nature of the hearts of sentients. Like himself before her, she would eventually have to face ther darkness within herself to truly understand the light and what it truly stood for. As she nodded in agreement, Mjan turned back to Rose.

 

"We're in." He spoke, taking in behind Rose as she turned and headed toward the malfunctioning ARC and motioning for Nia to follow as well. It wouldn't take long before they had climbed aboard and Rose was at the helm running preflight checks and readying the elder ship for flight, Mjan taking the moment to point out each of the tasks that Rose was going through and explaining their purpose. When Rose fired the engines and lifted the ARC into the air, Mjan looked at Nia. "Any questions?

 

It would be a slightly bumping ride due to the malfunctioning engines, the small astromech that came along working overtime to keep up with Mjan's superior Officer and leader of his squadron as diagnostics were ran thrice. Mjan, having took the tailgunner's seat so Nia could observe, simply enjoyed the view from his stance as they entered open space and left Ord Mantell behind. But he chuckled softly, Rose's constant cursing enough that he was sure Nia's entire form was surely a completely different shade of color by now. But his chuckle was cut short rather quickly when he felt an unfamiliar disturbance shift across the Force just a Rose told the astromech not to connect some wire.

 

Before Mjan knew it, the stars around them became blurred lines and he felt the shift of hyperspace, unsure of what was exactly going on.

 

scorpio.png.f3af7b38a7a0c45d85e8fcaea6d40d45.pngScorpio Armegedon

You heard it too, didn't you? The Insatiable Hunger of the Saber.

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  • 4 months later...

Letting out a heavy breath she held in for a moment upon arrival, Zalis stared at Ord Mantell through the viewport of Nimbus. Her own thoughts swirled through what sort of mess may have transpired since her last time here. Somehow she had expected for the Vigos she left behind to handle business in her absence, but such reports that she read up on during her travel from Titan to here proved otherwise. As she piloted the ship atmosphere side towards Sandorne Palace, a comm hail came in. With an eye roll she answered it.

 

“Ma’am, we were not expecting you back so soon. Vigo Rylan is in the middle of setting up the monthly meeting with the casino owners in 15 minutes. If you’d like, we can have you p-“ Have“ me what exactly? Are you or Rylan even aware of why I’m here? I’m landing in my private pad and will do as I please within my own home, much as I’ve alway done.” With that, she cut the feed. Her emotions now turning to a slow and steady anger at the leadership she left in charge. Not wanting to have the fool Rylan get enough time to prep for her, she quickly pushed the throttle to have Nimbus race faster towards its resting spot. 

 

**** Sandorne Palace Meeting Room ****

 

Dressed in a black and white tuxedo, Rylan smiled as the final guests arrived and found themselves comfortable within their seats. Already glasses of fine sparkling Ryloth wine and trays of assorted desserts were being passed around as a display screen began to show numbers and reports of the last quarter revenue. Rylan himself threw back a glass before standing up to take center stage. He did his best to ignore the comlink that was constantly buzzing from Gwail. Whatever she had to say was something that could wait. 

 

“Gentlemen, may I applaud your efforts to help increase revenue during a time when Black Sun has seen a slight decline in approval ratings from more cite worlds. I’m sure if Zalis was here, she would have a few words to share with you, an-“ the room of occupants suddenly had their own eyes widened and Rylan knew exactly why. A slow turn around revealed Zalis standing behind him. She was in a pure black dress with her hair pulled up and her blues eyes held a fire in them that Rylan had seen a few times before and knew better than to step on her toes at the moment. “The floor is yours, Queen of Vice…” 

 

With her own eyes burning deep into the soul Rylan, she slowly wakes past him and stood before the counsel of casino owners. “Gentleman, what the kark have you been doing in my absence exactly? You think that a two percent increase in revenue is worth a celebration of any kind? What sort of plans have any of you made to capitalize upon the upcoming visitor traffic of the pod races and the arms expo?” There was a quick clearing of a throat before a man, strawberry blonde hair and beard with near black eyes gave a smirking looking stare and spoke up. “You think that just because you gave us a better foundation that you’re in a position to bark out orders. Black Sun’s funding here only helps generate traffic, nothing more. And your survival funds do nothing more than allow me to keep two or three employees on hand. You, sweetheart, are nothing more than eye candy for us.”

 

Zalis stood up to stand straight and narrowed her own eyes at the man. Huesfan, the womanizer who made some vocal protests recently in the casino world that women shouldn't be on the same level when it came to owning recreational facilities. Part of her wanted to rip his groin out where he stood, but she knew better. So she went for playing him. “Why of course. I’m only here to provide you with ideas from someone else. It’s not like I could come up with an idea of hosting a gala event for the arms expo leaders. That would be beyond me.” Huesfan smiled and stood up. “That does sound like an idea worth doing gentleman, one that I heard floating around long before you spoke it. My place is big enough to host it.” Zalis gave a small curtsy with a smile. “I guess you all are dismissed then. Fluanern, can you come up here?” Zalis backed up and watched as people started to leave, but held her arm out to hold Rylan in. As they were leaving, both Fluanern and Gwail entered. Upon everyone else leaving, Zalis began to pace the room looking at her staff. 

 

“Rylan and Gwail. I left you both in charge with the orders to what? I know they weren’t to goof off and allow for the casino owners to get out of control. I believe my words were, ‘Increase Black Sun dominion.’ What has transpired here in my absence is beyond dismal and worthy of consequences.” Zalis withdrew a blaster in her hand openly in front of the three staff. Gwail’s voice spoke up rather nervously. “It hasn’t been bad enough to kill us all over…” Zalis began to laugh and shake her head. “No, no no! It hasn’t been that bad to kill you both over.” She lifted the blaster and shot Rylan in the throat. “Just one. You on the other hand, are demoted. Spaceport duty. Get out of my face you schutta.” Zalis put her blaster away as she began to walk towards Rylan. “Fluanern, You are the head Vigo of Sandorne Palace now. I expect for you to make right what your predecessors failed.” The young Bothan male gave a smile. “No worries Ma’am. I have a few test poisons ready to be tried. Assuming from how the meeting went that you had me watch, you want Huesfan… more compliant?” Zais only smiled at him and nodded her head. Fluanern knew from that what he had to do, so he left the room, leaving Zalis to stand over Rylan’s body. “And you had such a high promise of potential… Too bad you bet your credits on the wrong path.” 

 

Walking out of the room, she saw Fluanern ordering an agent to be assigned to taking care of Huesfan, along with two others that she did not recognize. The holonet was buzzing about some profiteer on Coruscant making progress with a cooperation named Midnight. It had her stop for a second before letting Fluanern know that she would be taking off immediately to Coruscant, as now she has urgent matters to connect with The Midnight cooperation. 

Edited by Zalis Krales

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  • 4 months later...

Slipping from hyper into real space, the hodgepodge fleet* of freighters and small craft led by Blimp and Jorus appeared one by one across the expanse of space. They drifted silently well beyond standard sensor range of the Black Sun controlled world. That vile orb was not their intended purpose. The Syndicate, in whatever turmoil it may be in, was not their concern. It was merely a bonus that Nok Morliss had set his competitors into a potential tailspin.

 

Aboard the ships, steeled, hardened, and evil beings sat silently waiting, save for the few ryll addled uncontrollable twitches of some of the seedier amongst the amoral forces. Like a troop of Gundarks, they impatiently awaited their prey.

 

It was not long, the information Blimp had paid for had been accurate thus far. Shipping manifests, diverted hyperlanes, scheduled departure and arrival times; all of it, alone it was not worth much, but when analyzed under the dark lights of greed, desperation, and an intelligent hunger pieces began to fall into place.

 

Falling from hyperspace, like a line of lumbering pack animals, a trail of mind-chained, slaved freighters shambles forward.  Their escort, nothing but a handful of aged fighters; pilots looking to make a quick buck.

 

Shipping manifests had a variety of nondescript goods and supplies listed for the cargo. Paid sources indicated the third freighter, however, was not, in fact carrying Corellian silks, but instead was a rather large shipment of glitterstim. Others in the rumbling fleet also did not contain what they supposed, but nothing that was worth that much to our enterprising crew. The remainder of the shipments, foodstuff, mining equipment, the beginnings of a casino, etc would be of use, but were not the focus.

 

The droid-slaved ships were less defenseless than they appeared. Shipboard automated defenses lay in wait for whatever fool hearty pirates sought them as prey. Blimp knew this. The trick was speed. Once thebslaved ships were within planetary orbit, their defenses would be immobilized so that offloading could commence. It was there, at the fringes of the fold, where the spicejackers would strike. They didn’t need everything; but whatever they could liberate alongside the spice was an added bonus. 
 

Watching the shambling column advance, Blimp keyed the comms to the rest of the ragtag posse, “Begin.”His word was simple and cold. It was all that was needed. Nok’s goons knew their job, interference. They would deal with thebplanet and any outside interference. Blimp’s chosen few would engage the freighters directly while Blimp and company extricated their prize.

 

In the cold cold of space, engines flared to life and the ragtag posse advanced, gaining speed.

 

 

 

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Jorus grinned around his cigarra, and keyed his own comm system.

 

"Numbers 1 thru 4, go screw up."

 

On cue, four antique Z-10 Seeker-class scout ships rocketed forward, accelerating to attack speed...and then kept accelerating. By the time they were within 1000 meters of the convoy, they were at the breakneck pace you'd expect of a ship trying to cross stars without a hyperdrive, and at risk of colliding with the train of freighters if anyone so much as turned a degree in the next few seconds.

 

Jorus leaned back, propped his feet up on the dash of his own ship, and waited for several moments before breaking the silence. "...and...now."

 

Retro thrusters, welded to the sides of the ships in ugly clusters, roared to life on each side. The ships strained and squealed in protest at the sudden deceleration, but the old scout vessels had been built tough. Even so it wasn't enough. Cables fired from the undersides of the craft that latched onto the nearest freighters, but the ships were going too fast to match their prey's slower speed, and the suddenly linked ships were wrenched off course and began to spin wildly. The cables detached as the scout vessels rocketed off to circle around for another try...now with the full attention of the escort on them.

 

Jorus chuckled. "Classic two man spacer pocket. Big guy makes a show of robbing you, and while you're trying to make him back off with whatever you've got handy, the little guy takes your credit chits. Professionals will hold their position to fight off pirates...but when someone insults you by doing it poorly...well that gets a special kind of angry out of old pilots."

 

As if following his direction, fighters began peeling off from the convoy to pursue the scout craft rather than wait for them to make another run.

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Blimp watched as Nok’s servant’s crews and ships barreled forward to haphazardly engage the slave-chained convoy. A few mutters of surprise from the crewman closest to him in his Skipray accompanied the eyebrow raising questioning glance of the remaining head of the Troig. “Interesting. Not exactly as planned, but,” he watched a trio of freighters spin chaotically away from the line. The front of the convoy plowing forward as their hidden anti-starfighter blaster cannons locked into sight and began to spew forth blasterfire. The rear of the convoy veered off course as the minimal crews of those ships scurried to try and regain control of what should have been a simple trip. They had not expected to have to do much. Their automated weaponry engaging without prompt from the crewman. “seemingly effective.” he noted with a slight nod.

 

“Continue as planned. Group 1 with Jack 1. The rest of you, focus on the leads. Draw their fire.”

 

The convoy escort had taken off after Jorus’ initial attack run. The freighters plowed forward, those that could still achieve that, putting on extra speed with the attack underway. Radio operators bellowed emergency codes as they cried for help seeing the approaching ships on scanners.

 

Blimp and his assigned ships bellowed downward towards the three lead freighters. The rest of his crews began to did and wave, pushing their gunships and freighters to their maximum specs and beyond as they began to take advantage of the computerized targeting programs and zipping and juking to avoid shots or take them where shielding was strongest.

 

As their ships neared, the vessels pulled up and slowed minimally, turning their loading ports towards the freighters and jettisoning their dropsuit clad spicejackers at maximum velocity towards the line of heavy freighters.

 

Nearly a dozen jackers (10) streaked through the void of space, built in thrusters minimizing their descent so they slammed into the hull at survivable speeds, thanks to their armor; magnetized footwear did the rest. 
 

It only took a minute for the crew to plod their way towards the access hatch, weaving through the uneven surface of the vessel, disabling any weapons platforms they passed.

 

It would only take a minute and a half to slice through the locking mechanism, then the hatch and hallways beyond would be opened to the void of space. From there, it ought to be easy enough. Blimp carried himself almost mindlessly. He had done this more times than he could count. The thrill of the hunt usually pulsing life through his veins. This time though, it was different. Without Shim, the fun was gone. This was business. Blimp knew the business well, his mind churned over every facroid and facet of the attack subconciously; his thoughts dwelling on the greater plan. He was only pulled back to the moment as the telltale click of the hatch popped open and the vacuum of space began to draw forth the air and unsecured contents in the walkways of the ship.

 

They had only a few moments before the ship sealed itself off. Like a team of Corescanti Spec Ops the armored being slid inside, the  self-sealing lock slamming shut behind them.
 

Keying his mic, Blimp growled, “We’re in.  Next contact on control. Prepare to guide us out.”
 

 

 

 

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"Understood," Jorus responded. "We've got things under control out here."

 

He looked up as the fighters, realizing their wards had been boarded in their absence, began curving around to return and run off Blimp's ships.

 

"And this is why it pays to think ahead." He keyed his comm. "One through four, hook and shoot. Five through eight, follow on my tail, we're going to get distracting."

 

The first four scout ships into the fray fired their retrorockets again, but only one side, straining their ships again as they flipped 180 degrees to point their bows directly at the fighters retreating from them. Blasters lit up as they opened fire on the fighters. The escort craft, to their credit, responded quickly, rolling and juking to avoid the sudden fusillade. Only a few glancing blows struck shields, but the situation had changed yet again. Now it was a proper and fair dogfight, and Jorus hated fair fights. Four skiprays flew in formation next to his own AEG-77 VIGO gunship as they lined up an attack run on the nearest cluster of escort fighters forming up. A malicious grin split the old spacer's face as he pressed down on the joystick trigger and sent photonic death arcing towards the enemy.

 

"Yeehaw!" his voice crackled over the radio waves. 

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Blimp and his team surged forward through the ship. The idea that pirates were a bunch of ill-controlled lawless vagabonds was far from the truth seen in action here. With military-like precision, the group cut their way through the ship. Security features were either disabled or outright destroyed. Doors were breached with little care of stealth as the focused explosions rattled the interiors of the ship. Their goal was the cockpit of the rough freighter chain.

 

Blimp moved with an icy coolness. His leg did not limp with the suit’s support and he strode freely, with grim determination and purpose.  Blasting open the doors to the cockpit, the half-troig stalked inward like a devil, the smoke of soot swirling about his otherworldly form as his suit-mounted computer tracked the few crewmen within and neutralized them with a single fiery salvo.

 

Moving forward to the singed, but still functional console, Blimp surveyed the controls in a single glance. The flashing emergency beacon was more or less expected. It meant that time was limited. A twisted grin pulled at the edge’s of Blimp’s face; it was time to see if Nok’s boys were worth their salt. This close planetside, aide would be forthcoming, and rapid at that.

 

 

A nod from a similarly armored being that had accompanied his crew told Blimp the ship’s controls were hacked. The three still slaved vessels were theirs.

 

With the grinding and groaning of the ship about them, the technician pulled the ship into a hard upward loop off course and away from the planet.

 

____________
 

Outside the guns on the trio of chained vessels fell silent as the ship’s automations were overcome. Things had gone without a hitch thus far.

 

The remaining defenses and escorts continued in their futile efforts to force back the harrying combined forces of Blimp’s henchmen and Jorus’ cronies. A rapid response style force began to appear on the fringes of sensors indicating that the convoy’s distress signal had been received. Whoever it was, Black Sun, criminals, entrepreneurs, or otherwise, Blimp had no desire to find out first hand. The trick now was extradition without complication. 
 

__________
 

“We have what we came for.” Blimp growled into his comm as he flipped through the manifests.


Corellian Silk: ‘Spice. As expected,’ he noted by the telltale subtle smugglers mark nearby.

Mining Supplies: he ran his finger along the manifest raising an eyebrow in glee, cave-cracker mining charges.

A variety of foodstuff: Blimp nodded as he noted a few crates of decent liquors and higher class meals amongst the mostly common food supplies.

 

All in all, a decent haul if they could get back to hyper now.

 

“Leave the rest. Keep those defenders back until we get clear of the pull ((gravitational)), then meet at the rendezvous.” The troig barked into the comms. He would have loved to be back aboard The Lady Legionnaire; but the operation was not going to allow it. For now, he was stuck on the line of three heavy freighters with no way to cut weight without disconnecting the third freighter and losing it’s spice-laden cargo. He was forced to rely on the skill, hunger and loyalty of the allied vessels nearby and hope that whatever Nok Morliss had done to stir up Black Sun recently was enough of a distraction to offer escape. 
 

If anything, such a risky venture right out of the gate showed the skill, desperation, and daring he and his crew were willing to go. If Jorus did not like it, it would be good to find out sooner than later.

 

______________
 

The more-freelance-than-Sith aligned fighters and freighters recruited by Blimp turned from their harassing of the remaining convoy, to their own pilots’ relief. They moved to act as an intercepting shield to whatever response Ord Mantell could muster, moving in a dizzying screen between the stolen vessels and the world below; inching with their prize towards a safe hyperspace jump. 

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Zalis and Akor’ketez sat in the bridge of the Supremacy as it entered the system. ALmost immediately, the comsystem began blaring. Akor'ketez quickly checked it before turning back to Zalis. "Ma'am, Fluanern is reporting that Sandorne is getting alerts that one of our clients is currently having their spice stolen." Zalis gave a very annoyed look at her trusty assistant. "It's not even our spice?" The Twi'lek shook his head as he responded. "No ma'am. All of ours is cold stored in the underground facility, and with the recent events of Kessel, we've urged our other... supporters to move theirs to a safer location, hence the reason pirates or rival gangs might be attempting to steal theirs." Zalis turned her annoyed face to look at the planet before her. She allowed for herself to process what was going on for a moment. 

 

"Let them take it. It's not our problem what happens to spice. But lets not have them escape without being noticed. Flag the ships and send a few MorningStar's in pursuit of them to make it look convincing." Zalis then stood up and walked out of the cockpit and towards the back of the ship so that she could get ready to meet with the rest of the Vigos and other officials whom were expecting her shortly. Today began the completely new era that she had worked so hard to establish. 

 

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

 

Sandorne Palace sent out almost immediately after getting word from Akor'tetez, 4 MorningStar-C starfighters up after the raiders taking the spice. Almost as soon as they got in range, they began to open up fire on the ship being hijacked, making it clear to everyone involved that Black Sun held no interest in keeping the spice, only teaching a lesson. 

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Jorus had a brief moment to check on his compatriot as his ship passed through the corona of a fiery enemy ship.

 

"Is that nut going into hyperspace with a full train of freighters in the middle of a fight!? A half mad troig, and it's the sane head they blow away."

 

The escort ships were fighting for their lives with every ounce of ingenuity, skill, and adrenaline fueled desperation they had, but simple math was eating at their numbers. Jorus's ships were pinning them down one after another and tearing them apart. Lured away from the freighters, they couldn't be used for cover and Jorus's forces had room to maneuver.

 

The proximity alarm blared.

 

"Blimp, looks like the people planetside noticed were here. You've got boarders incoming."

 

The starfighters opened fire.

 

"Belay that, you've got gunners incoming. Looks like someone wants to send a message. I recommend you hurry. We'll do our best to draw them off." 

 

Another deadly volley criss crossed the void as Jorus left his ships to finish off the escort while he flew to aid Blimp's ships.

 

"Just a reminder. Hurry."

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The ad hoc wall of ships was well prepared for the oncoming sorty of planetary based responders. Zigging and zagging the freighters, fighters, and gunships swarmed intercepting the bulk of enemy fire that was directed at the fleeing trio of stolen craft.

 

Even so, aboard the ship, Blimp grimaced as some targeted fire rocketed the craft with maneuverability of a line of dewbacks. “It seems we are unappreciated, as usual.” A smile tugged at the corners of the Troig’s mouth as he found humor in his own observation. The concern about the shipment of explosives taking fire only added to the entertainment factor for the slightly-deranged spicejacker.

 

The arrival of Black Sun craft from hyperspace was more interesting anyway. Coming in on the hyperlane they were planning on utilizing for their own jump, the Supremacy was second only to the gravitational pull of Ord Mantell in preventing their escape. 
 

Fortunately, the vessel did not appear interested in engaging the fleeing band of space pirates, choosing to make their way towards the planet instead. Like two ships passing in the proverbial  night of space, they would barely remember one another once they had gone their own ways.

 

Laser fire pinged off the ships’ shields, a stark reminder that pirating the pirates was always a risky business. The freighter groaned beneath Blimp’s feet as his pilot pushed the chain of craft to their limits in preparation for jumping to hyperspace. Several eyes rested on the gravitational sensor waiting for them to clear the planet’s pull. When they did, no warning was given, the slaved ships lurched in space for a moment before becoming vanishing streaks into the darkness between stars.

 

It took only a moment for the remainder of Jaden Jorus’s and Shimsinblimp’s hodge lodge craft to follow suite. The few ships that were unable to make the jump stayed, fighting to the death or surface in an effort to disappear amongst the locals until such time as they could find their own ways home.


‘Those who fall behind, get left behind.’

 

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Zalis walked through the halls of Sandorne Palace with some slight annoyance in the way she carried herself. Akor'ketez walked behind her until a moment when he ducked into a room to do some work. It was something that she admired about him, the ability to do his work without question and needing little to no oversight. He knew what she wanted and what he had to do to make such things happen. As she rounded a corner, she spotted Fluanern standing waiting for her at the entrance of the meeting room. He wore a blue looking tunic with what appeared to be a green vest. His eyes flashed at her a warning, followed by his own words speaking such a warning. "Callika is pissed. Huesfan is stirring up the other investors. Without shooting him... " 

 

Zalis stopped before him and took a moment to compose herself before taking the datapad from him. "I thought we calmed Huesfan down after the last time?" The Bothan shrugged for a moment. "He's an opportunist. He saw this as a chance to fluff up his own position amongst the other investors. I do have a few other options for him moving forward, but..." He stopped and looked at her. She knew what he was thinking and she was almost afraid to say it out loud that she agreed. With a slow head nod she looked directly into his eyes. "Dank Farrik!... Do it." She waited to enter the room until Fluanern walked away and towards his own personal office. 

 

As she opened the doors, the shouting that could be heard outside very muffled now turned up and was beyond loud. It took her about four seconds though to simply walk a bit into the room for everyone within the room to turn towards her and have their own voices die off. She just stood within the door for a moment before walking to take her seat at the head of the table. When she got there, she sat down and tossed the datapad the desk. "Quietly move your spice assets to a secure location... Yet some ambitious smugglers managed to be aware of everyone moving thier goods." She slowly looked around the room, taking a moment to lock eyes with everyone around the V-shaped looking table. She paused for a bit longer on Huesfan. 

 

"Gentleman, I do believe that the majority of you labor under the delusion that this is the Black Sun of old. We are not. I will not have a military force, enforcers or goons around to protect stupid actions. I am not Smash. You all choose to invest within us and allow for us to become the pillar of focus on this planet. When that happened, I informed everyone about how things would be run. Just because I am not here doesn't mean that such said vision is tossed out like bad coaxium. Now I am sure that some here are upset with how things were handled. But allow for me to offer these words up." Zalis stood up and placed both hands upon the table. "I will not let others dictate how I do things, nor will I be bullied into bad business either. From here on, Black Sun will operate exactly how I told you we would way back when. I will provide you with massive clientele and help stir and move people into your own businesses for the sake of good business. But don't look to us for protection. Protect your own damn interests." 

 

Zalis took another moment to look around and lock eyes with everyone at the table before she sat back down. She then lifted her hand and waved everyone out of the room without offering up a single word. With anger, Huesfan left first making it known that he was not happy with Zalis. The last one to leave was Callika who took a moment to really look at Zalis before he walked out of the room. After everyone left, Zalis let out a sigh. And now I need to figure out who the hell was brave enough to attempt such a move...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Akor’ketez walked into the main office of Zalis. The crimson and sapphire colored stones that sat upon the white floor and gold outline of windows made the entire room feel as if the place belonged to royalty of some sorts. It also made Zalis stand out with her typical white or black dresses she would wear, much like the black one she wore today. With a few datapads in his arms, he sat down at her desk alongside Fluanern. Zalis sat looking at a few things on a holo-display that was given from Fluanern, all of which seemed to rotate around Huesfan, whom the Twi’lek heard caused another fuss amongst the investors earlier until Zalis shut it down. Carefully setting down the datapads on the desk, he awaited his boss to be ready for him. 

 

“I approve of these two here-” Zalis spoke while pointing directly with her right hand at the holo-display. “But not these three. They’ll cause us a mess and resources that we can’t afford. Muscle and hired guns outside of bounty hunters are beneath us. Let other crime syndicates hold that low life perception.” She looked at Akor’ketez with a smile and turned to face the Bothan. “Although, this poison requires materials that we simply don’t have. We can claim them, but we don’t have the ability to refine them. Get a bulletin up to get a few smugglers hired for the job. Also, you are free to make the posting on Huesfan-but keep it discreet. No ties to us.” She tapped her finger on the holo-displays to close them and then slide them across the table back to Fluanern. As he took them and stood up, she spoke again. “Fluanern,... give Callika one of those gift baskets of weapons from the Midnight Corperation. Offer up an official apology to him. Don’t want to lose him as an investor anytime soon.”

 

Zalis watched as Fluanern left the room and she turned to Akor’ketez, who was already ready to speak. “Subtle control over the planet - another way to vice grip our position?” Zalis looked down at the datapads and pulled them close to her before she responded. “Yes. Constantly feeding populations like this one makes them dependent upon us. Essentially meaning that taking us out when we are not the majority of the population but responsible for the majority of business means whomever does replaces us needs to continue to feed the large masses the way we’ve been feeding them, or else they watch it die out and become responsible for the death of the entire society.” She let out a heavy breath before she picked up one datapad and observed the details on it. 

 

From the corner of her eyes, she watched Akor’ketez ponder upon her words. She knew he was doing the math, which was simple. Black Sun was only about twenty percent of the population here on Ord Mantell, which was the largest concentration of their employees anywhere. Otherwise Czerka went through normal channels and operated more legit in business avenues, making it far harder for anyone to openly go after them as an ‘evil organization’, especially since Zalis makes them offer up resources for free in recovery efforts like on Corellia. Either way, she didn’t much care for his thoughts on the matter. She knew what she was doing. In order to make Black Sun impossible to destroy and have their legacy endure lightyears, she needed to make such changes. 

 

Looking back at the datapad, she began to really see what was proposed to her in the memos. “How expensive would it be to outfit these Rihkxyrk fighters?” It was a serious question that she knew Akor’ketez held the answer for already. “2k a piece. We have a few supplies being developed for the black market now within our research facility, along with a few upgrades throughout our contacts and independent stations to lower the overall cost. I believe that Midnight Corporation holds some of what we may need, and there would be the flex in price. But we do have a small base on Dubrillion in which we could use as the majority production line, which as you requested things to be- large enough to get the job done, but small enough that no one would notice it.” Zalis pondered upon it for a moment before she came to her own conclusion. “Make it happen. I’m sure we can sell a few, if not deploy them into our own security details.”

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  • 3 weeks later...

Zalis spent the majority of her time pouring over files, updating contacts, removing privileges from old agents and Vigos, along with checking on reports from all over the networks she had spent years and months pouring into. Every so often she would come across a contact or report that held Delta’s name in it and she would feel a slight ping of sadness from not having him around anymore. But she also understood the reasoning and need for him to be elsewhere. With the way Black Sun had grown and evolved into what it is now, he had slowly become irrelevant to the organization. For some reason, she knew that memories of their time together would always bring up emotions that she would rather not deal with. 

 

All of the reports showed promise of what she wanted, which was movement and progression on the fronts of establishing small pockets of communities where the crime would thrive through making the weaker and poorer parts codependent upon the top dogs holding them down, but providing just enough to keep them begging to get what they can. It was a system that while others may deem it cruel, was very much business like in every aspect. She deployed typical business practices used to keep her own company growing, yet climbing and making the others around it dependent upon the success of her own. It was a very useful skill to employ and use, even more so with pockets of society that she could easily help establish a dependency upon what she was offering. Spice, Vice, credits and fame were the things that drove people towards Black Sun, and it was within those elements that she bound a tight grip upon the galaxy. Too spread out to actively hunt or go to war with, yet too intertwined everywhere to ignore. Black Sun was now fully what she always wanted - a weed that grew everywhere with no real use of attempting to rid yourself of it, only pruning what you could. 

 

Akor’ketez walked into her office and held up a datapad. His movement was quick and with some excitement. His voice also carried with it that small hint of excitement. “Ma’am, Dubrillion has received its first shipment of supplies and is looking to get started on the adjustments that you requested. Huarl is requesting that join the shipments of Rihkxyrk fighters though, as a way of making sure that everything is also up to par…” Zalis looked at him as he was clearly letting his words hang for a reason. “...And this is not for the excitement that is within your voice. What else?” Akor’ketez sat down in a chair across from her desk and placed the datapad in front of her. “Dantooine and Iridonia have made requests for Czerka to open up a shop within their trading ports. Well, Dantooine only requested in Garang, while Iridonia has asked for a hub in all major ports.”

 

Zalis took such information and leaned back in her chair. If she was to open hubs in such locations, she would need more materials from the contacts on the other side of the galaxy. It would also be a danger going through both Rebellion and Sith Empire space to retrieve such equipment. Looking up at the grand ceiling of her office and contemplated for a moment. “I’ll leave with the ships tonight. Post bulletin requesting for smugglers. We’re going to need to dive further into that employment field if we are to better sustain this operation. I’ll send you the details on what we’re looking for. Thank you Akor’ketez for your help.”

 

Zalis packed herself and was onboard her own ship, the Supremacy, escorting the carrier ships transporting the eight Rihkxyrk fighters to Dubrillion within less than three hours.

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  • 9 months later...

The air that came rushing into the Supremacy in the private hangar for Zalis was something refreshing and almost disarming for her. Ord Mantell was home to her, and she really couldn't explain it. The Black Sun empire had found its roots here and opened up many doors for her to expand Czerka and HealthiDrive. Even as she walked down the ramp, she could sense that her empire she had created was welcoming her with open arms. At the bottom of the ramp waited Fluanern, who gave both her and Ve a bow as they reached the bottom of the ramp. 

 

“Ma’dam, Titan has been operating at full capacity and has requested a few more additional staff to help run some of the more daily operations. More specifically they want for you to lift the hiring freeze.” Zalis almost rolled her eyes as she kept walking towards the main facility. Fluanern and Ve followed behind her without missing a step. “Of course they do. They won’t get it. The freeze is a business bureau issued mandate, and we don’t have anywhere near enough chips to play that type of hand. Send a small crew from the casinos and gambling pits here to work the ship. For now, I need to have 10,000 kilos of Yarrock that needs to be cleaned, slated and processed for delivery to HealthiDrive. It’s a top priority. I don’t want the Alliance or anyone else snooping around and finding a reason to shut down the entire operation.”

 

Fluarnern quickly pulled out a comlink and sent word to staff to get the Supremacy unloaded and prepared for it’s next adventure, whatever it may be. As the trio entered the building, she turned towards Fluarnern. “Get Ve here up to date on protocol and give him clearance. Then send him to my office.” Zalis then broke off from the two and headed towards her office while the others went to get the rest of what she requested done. She quickly found her chair and sunk into it, letting the weight of everything that transpired on Outer Haven slowly sink in. The moment to process it went quickly, as about forty seconds later her console beeped at her, letting her know that Akor’ketez was calling.

 

She sat upright and repositioned herself before accepting the call. “Yes?” “Zalis, the request has come in officially from Fluarnern for a massive load of spice to be taken in by HealthiDrive. They do not have the storage space for it... “ Zalis let out a heavy sigh. “Well, they’re going to have to find a way to utilize it. I got stuck with it after a quick trip to Outer Haven went sour.” The Twi’lek on the other end raised his eyebrow. “Yes, the Holonet is buzzing with what just transpired on Outer Haven.“Mamoi made a bold move and undercut us. I’m pretty sure she got a tip that the Alliance was planning on striking there and took the opportunity to remove competition. Although I don’t have the proof to even begin to pin her for it.” There was a slight smile from her top Vigo. “An idea for you Ma’am. The Bounty Hunters guild is looking for some backing and a place to get a fresh start… “

 

Zalis leaned back in her chair and pondered the situation for a moment. The idea was a bold one in return for the bold move made against her. And the main ports of Malidris would be a strong suit for many travelers and a way to really bolster up income across the board. She wondered for a moment if the business bureau cooperation would have any objections to the expansion there. But seeing as she wouldn’t be actually hiring anything new, just taking over… ”Gather them to you. I’ll help personally deliver everything to you on Taris. From there, the scheme of ours can really get failproof.”

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