A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
Cue Star Wars them song
It is a time of great conflict and war. The Sith Emperor has finally led his armies out of the Unknown Regions to destroy the hated Jedi and Republic fools who serve them. Many Sith lay claim to new positions, and the power of the Dark Side grows. Victory after victory is claimed by the Sith. From the opening blows at Sernpidal, to the reclaiming of the Sith tomb world of Korriban, the Sith have proven their true superiority in the galaxy.
All is not well, though. For the past few months, the Sith have been unable to take new ground. The Jedi have managed to stall the mighty Imperial War Machine. In order to reclaim momentum, the Emperor ordered Imperial Intelligence to conduct a high-risk operation, one which should see great return on investment...
Before you lies a gorgeous nebula, as well as several rocky fragments. This system, M3473, has no value to anyone, and is insufficient even for a settlement. It is out of the way and remote. Through space, against the backdrop, floats a Sith Battlecruiser, as a CEC YS-205 drops out of hyperspace.
Zilar's ship, the Renegade, has just come out of hyperspace in M3473, and you see a Sith Battlecruiser floating before you. Hopefully, it's the Inexorable, the ship you are supposed to meet. You have a special broadcast code that will allow you to dock - if this is the correct ship.
You have been furnished with special guest quarters aboard the Inexorable, and are awaiting the arrival of the bounty hunter Zilar Fran and his crew aboard their ship, the Renegade.
You are on the bridge of the Inexorable. Lord Kyrak has chosen to keep you close, so that he can send you to oversee the transfer of cargo for whatever operation Imperial Intelligence is running.
"Meeting an Imperial cruiser way out in the middle of nowhere, with valuable cargo that Imperial intelligence wants. Zilar, how much did you say we were getting paid for this gig?"
Closing her eyes and breathing in, she lays back in the chair before exhaling.
"This is giving me the willies and stinks of a setup. Plus I nearly broke my hand on that guys face. Bring him back alive you said, I know that. But the guy was wearing a helmet when I punched him without combat gloves on. Still, the pay should be good right?"
The miraluka will be at attention, ready to be commanded at what to do for the glory of the Sith Empire, hough he will be the picture of a calm lake.
Koro Tass stood at the side of the bridge, hands clasped behind her back, seemingly umoved by her proximity to the power center of the immense battle cruiser.
However, inwardly she revels in the power she felt through her boots. The deckplates thrummed with the contstrained energies flowing through the mighty vessel, commanded by her Master , Lord Kyrak.
Glancing over, she could see her Master, directing his underlings. Another source of power, one mighter than this battlecruiser.
She spared another glance at the two standing near her. Apprentices all, they shared with her a devotion to their own Masters, why else would they be here?
Returning her gaze to the nebula, Koro waited for her Master's pleasure.
The War against the hated Jedi rages and we are sent out here to the middle of nowhere by the Emperor. My Master is one of the premiere Warlords of the Navy why do we flounder out here... Trevan keeps his thoughts to himself knowing better than to question the Wisdom of his Master or the Emperor openly.
He pauses for a moment as he makes an adjustment and slowly but sure a smirk finds its way to his lips. "Though next time you might want to use your pistol's grip -you know, the non-shooty part- or maybe that big sword's pommel instead of your hand. I am sure they will get the job done also."
His smirk turns into a smile. "Just a suggestion, Three."
17 sat quietly in his quarters of the Inexorable, a Sith Battle-cruiser floating in the middle of a backwater system, M3473. The system was without any real value or resources, just a surplus of wide open spaces, and that's why Sith Intelligence had chosen this location for this exchange. 17's watcher had informed him that the cargo would be a carbonite-encased republic general, and 17 was thankful they were far away enough from republic space to attract any more republic attention.
As the agent busied himself with cleaning his side-arm, an Arkanian heavy blaster, the commlink on his wrist buzzed to life and a voice on the other end told 17 that Zilar's ship, the Renegade, had just come out of hyperspace.
" Ten-four." He replied. Already out of his quarters, 17 slid the heavy blaster into it's holster at his left hip and made his way with head held high to the cargo bay where the exchange is set to take place.
His handler had informed him that two bounty hunters would deliver the frozen general, and that some number of the light-saber wielding Sith would oversee the exchange. The ambitious 17 was happy to be a part of the operation.
" Should be fun..." He muttered to himself, tapping the blaster at his side absentmindedly and whistling a tune as he walked the red-lit and metallic halls of the Inexorable.
"A fat 30,000 credits for this one. He's valuable, he is. Now, let's hope this code they gave us works." Zilar punches in a code and, after a short wait, a crisp voice says, "Welcome, Renegade. You are clear for docking in the rear starboard docking bay."
Smiling, Zilar says, "See, nothing to it. This guy's gonna make us rich."
Maneuvering, he brings the ship around for the approach.
Captain Zavrin Golt, commander of the ship, steps away from a conference with the communications officer and approaches Lord Kyrak. Bowing, he says, "My lord, the ship carrying Intelligence's cargo has arrived. I have given them permission to dock, as you commanded."
"Thank you, Captain. Have your men notify the Intelkigence agent who has been assigned to the ship, and send a squad of troopers to the hangar bay as well."
Turning, Kyrak's yellowish-red gaze fixes upon the three Apprentices, two his, one another's, and he says, "Go to the hangar deck as well. I feel something in the Force. Be alert."
Three bounty hunters, not two. Don't forget, they get paid once you arrive on Dromund Kaas with the general. Don't thaw him out early.
The miraluke will give a nod of deferrement and understanding and head out after the other 2 apprentices.
"You know as well as I do that if I had drawn my blade he would have gotten away."
She pauses for a moment before smiling back.
"You should know, I have hit you with it before, I am fond of my blade after all. It's been with me through a lot of tough times."
Looking back at her console and pressing a few keys to make sure they were on the right track she wonders out lout.
"And what 30,000 credits for some guy, who the heck is he anyway? We found him at a bar in a spaceport. A hive of scum and villainy if you ask me, and now we are handing him over to a literal hive of scum and villainy and hoping we don't get blasted to smithereens. Sure the pickup was easy enough, beat him up, turn him into a fancy room piece for some Imperial intelligence officer. But what are we doing all the way out here? Like I said, it gives me the willies."
At her Master's command, Koro nods and leaves the bridge with the other apprentices.
Her placid face did not betray the racing emotions roiling within her.
Finally, her Master has deigned to entrust her with a task, an important task.
And , he had detected something to do with the Force, and still sent her....and the other two, to handle the situation.
With a roll of her shoulders, she calmed herself and did as her Master bid, focussed her senses to a razor thin alertness.
She nodded at Trevan's question, resonding abruptly, "Boarding, I think not. The ship was expected. It's contents might not be."
She did not respond to Trevan's other musings, not choosing to be overly familiar with her Master's other apprentice at this time.
Hangar Deck/Rear Starboard Docking Bay.
C-17 heard the siren that indicated a ship was cleared for docking, and in turn met up with the squad of troopers en route. They approach the large sliding metal doors and 17's heart jumps. This was a "big fish" it seemed, and it looked like the kind of thing that could really make a young agent's career.
As the three Sith Acolytes meet the Intelligence agent and a squad of Sith troopers in the docking bay, they watch a freighter pass through and into the bay. Settling in for a landing, Zilas turns to Kordin and Venaris and says, "Let's deliver this popsicle and get paid."
Descending the ramp with the carbonite slab floating before them, Zilas looks at the array of people before him, and says, "Well, you must really want this, if you're giving us this kind of welcoming committee. Who's got our money?"
Kordin looks around, her hand reaches near the vibrosword at her waist instinctively.
That's a lot of guards for one guy stuck in carbonite. That's a lot of guards for handin' over a credstick. Somethin' reeks like wet bantha.
She slowly scans the room, looking over the guards, making sure nobody makes a sudden move.
17 steps forward, a hand resting casually at his blaster as he sees one of the three bounty-hunters place a hand on her sheathed sword, he holds his off hand up high as a show of peace.
" The welcoming committee is to ensure that this little exchange of ours all goes smoothly. " He assures the bounty hunter who speaks up, glancing over at the three Sith with a smile for emphasis. "Zilas, I presume? We, The Sith Empire have your payment, 30,000 credits." He speaks with such confidence, seemingly for the whole Empire, with his chest slightly puffed out.
" You'll be paid in full once we have secured the package in the nearby Esstran sector."
"Ah," Venaris remarks, a hint of nervousness evident in both his expression and his tone as his silver eyes take in the number of troopers making up the welcoming committee, "so this is not the end of our... business arrangement?"
"I suppose it is only fair to firstly secure the guy and then complete the transaction," he quickly continues, not only for the agent's benefit, but for Kordin's as well. The fact that her hand moved closer to her sword did not go unnoticed by him either. "Although he is encased in carbonite and probably not going to be going anywhere any time soon. Being, well, essentially a statue stuck in a slab of metal."
Despite the circumstances, not quipping would seem to not have crossed his mind.
Koro watches the freight dock with interest, more so for the three individuals that descend the gangplank.
Standing relaxed, she assumes rightly that the well coifed individual that had joined them was the administration's representative, as she and the other apprentices had not been appraised of any information on the the transaction.
She notes the motion of the bounty hunter's hand towards her weapon, but refrains from cutting the woman down, realizing it was merely a show of strength and resolve, however impertient.
She does frown at the other bounty hunters tone of disrespect , stepping forward to stand at C-17's shoulder, "You'd do well to adjust your tone, bounty hunter. You address an agent of the Sith Empire, govern yourself accordingly."
Under her breath, Kordin whispers to herself.
"bal gar Ru'kel vaabir pirusti at treat mhi ti respect ra Ni Kelir ganar gar ne'tra listed teh anay Mando beroya ibic eso be te galaxy."
Her hand still resting near her vibrosword she leans over and grabs the carbonite slate waiting to move it wherever Zilar motions to move it. She looks at Venaris before speaking in basic.
"Not sure I like her, we aren't part of the Sith Empire, out here we don't have to listen to their rules right? I mean sure on their ship which is understandable, but otherwise no problems right? We don't want trouble, they don't want trouble, we want to get paid, they want to pay us. This should be easy right?"
The Miraluka will think to himself, I have never encountered anyone that has been frozen in carbonite. I wonder if there is anything going on in their heads. He will reach out in the Force and attempt to see if there are any surface thoughts in the imprisoned person's mind. UTF 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14
17 shrugs and takes his hand off his blaster... it was looking like he wouldn't need it. " Now now friends." He begins, with both hands up disarmingly.
" No need to come to blows over this, A deal is a deal, but I apologize if some of the details were lost as it descended down the chain of command. We apologize for any inconvenience but we'll have to withhold payment until the cargo is secure on Dromund Kaas. You're welcome to stay until then...But we would strongly prefer to hang on to the carbonite-encased prisoner, to ensure that there aren't any accidents and that he isn't thawed out before we have arrived at our destination." Seventeen speaks in as even a tone as possible. " I realize tensions are high Zilas, but such a generous bounty on the part of the Empire calls for some slightly unusual security measures, you understand. You and your friends will not be harmed, and you'll have your credits." He bowed his head and turned his head slightly to Koro at his side, whispering- (Koro)
" I'll have to consult with my superiors regarding accommodations while you are with us, but for now feel free to use the quarters of your ship." Seventeen added as he stood to his feet.
Trevan says nothing just watches the exchanges with interest, No fight to be had here it seems...
Use he Force 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
" Perfect, I'll get right on it. I thank you for your cooperation Zilas." Seventeen says with a smile.
He turns to the squad of troopers and motions to a couple of them. " Gentlemen, If you'd be so kind as to secure the cargo , I'll have your commanding officer send details to your commlinks."
With that, he'll turn on his heels and nod at the three Sith. " One moment." He says, holding his wrist up to speak into his commlink.
" Sorry about that, duty calls and all. You understand. You may call me Seventeen, if you'd like. I suspect we'll be working together at least until we secure the frozen prisoner on Dromund Kass." He initiates the pleasantries with Koro, Trevan, and Iliquoi
The tall human grips the carbonite slab a little tighter.
"Whoa whoa whoa, nobody said nothin' about Dromund Kaas. What part of this is a deal? They get the prisoner and we get a nanny and an I.O.U? No offense soldiers, you do good work, I admire that. They have got to have better things to do than stand outside of a door and keep tabs on us."
Thinking back to the lack of payment, she quips in again.
"That sounds like a steal for the Empire, and not so ideal for us. But Ten percent up front and the rest on Dromund would probably make up for at least travel expenses, food budget, and make it a little more cozy. Nothing extra of course, thirty thousand is a fair price. But as you can see, we have already done a lot of the work. A little compensation for a job well done before final payment arrives would be a lot more reassuring than your word. I don't know you, I don't know if you have honor, I don't know if you can be trusted, and I don't know if you even have the credits or accommodations that don't include the following words; jail, cell, brig, clink, lockup, etc. Maybe a holo of the rooms?"
The Miraluka grows tired of the exchange Perhaps it would be best human if you waited for payment rather than belly aching about something that for now, cannot be helped.
"Would you look at that? Another one with a number in his name," Venaris quips mostly to his Mandalorian friend after the agent -sort of- introduces himself. "I wonder if the others have one too." His eyes move from one Sith to the next. He gulps, though not too audibly. "Somehow I doubt it," he mutters under his breath, answering his own question himself.
"I will admit an... advance does not sound all that bad to me though," he adds with a shrug and a smile. A friendly smile. Mostly. And then it is gone. "But I am sure we can trust you one way or the other," he finally concludes with a sigh.
"Thirty thousand is thirty thousand, Three," he offers, his tone placating. "And I am sure they would not go back on a payment, despite their apparently... altering the deal slightly. Even they would not want to appear untrustworthy to bounty hunters near and far. Bad for business that."
Yap, Venaris is a smartass... :-P
Koro nods as C-17 murmurs something to her, her eyes on Zilaas, enjoying his obvious discomfort.
Her gaze then settle on the Echani, then she meet the direct gaze of the Mandalorian.
She waits for 17 to finish his communication, then says "Those two," indicating Kordin and Venaris, " place them in the guest officer's quarters. The Echani shows sense, the Mandalorian...well an admirable professional attitude. The other one, confine to his ship, else he experience an unfortunate accident."
Nodding at Iliquois's comment, she addresses Venaris and Kordin, "Be at ease, you are guests of the Sith Empire until your business is complete." she says , appraising them anew, "You seem capable, professional, perhaps more opportunities may arise for you , once we arrive on Drommund Kaas."
She speaks with certainty, as if she knew without a doubt that such would come to pass.
Trevan walks to the slab and looks down at the prisoner encased in carbonite smiling wickedly. He then turns to Zilas.
"We should search your ship to ensure that no undesirables have managed to stow away on board. You are sure you were not followed or tracked to this rendezvous point?"
My Master must be wary for some reason...
Use the Force to Sense whether another presence in on board. 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
With a short bow to Koro, the Sergeant says, "As you command." He contacts his superior to make arrangements.
Zilas looks about to protest, but when Trevan approaches and questions him, he wilts slightly and says, "I didn't see anyone following on sensors, and I cut through 5 other systems on my way here. If anyone is stowed aboard my ship, I'll shoot them myself."
Looking around, he sighs and mutters, "I was hoping to sleep somewhere besides my ship for once."
The miraluka will walk up to Zilas and lightly touch him on the temple to attempt to use the force to peer into his mind,
1d20 + 12 ⇒ (15) + 12 = 27
"Better safe then sorry no? If someone or something is on board you don't want it to interfere with your pay day do you?" asks Trevan twirling his lightsaber in his hand as he starts for the ramp to enter the ship.
Venaris' right hand moves just a little closer to the pistol holstered by his right hip, though he neither touches nor draws it. Not yet anyway. He does however turn to look at Kordin, waiting to see what she is going to do, ready to follow her lead.
"Now, now," he says, his tone placating, "how about we all calm down a little? Maybe keep our hands to ourselves while we are at it as well?"
The miraluka will simply smile at Venris's comment. We must be sure that there is no danger left aboard the ship.
Keeping her hand close to her vibroblade, the Mandalorian sides with Venaris.
"No reason to not do it the old fashioned way, hands to ourselves. Maybe next time ask before touching. We wouldn't want anybody to lose anything over a misunderstanding now would we?"
Her voice clear, no implied threats, but no jokes either.
Zilas steps away from Iliquoi's touch, clearly not appreciating the intrusion.
You don't need physical contact for that, and it doesn't give you any bonuses. You sense a great deal of unease and fear in his surface thoughts. This clearly is not how he thought this meeting would go.
Turning to walk with Trevan, he says, "I'll show you where everything is." With a cautious glance back towards Iliquoi and Koro, he also heads for the ramp.
The miralkuka will smile to himself getting the reaction he desired.
Oh I know that, I just thought it was a little more flavorful.
Trevan turns back to Kuro Tass, "Kuro Tass, perhaps search the outside of this ship as well, perhaps there is a beacon or tracking device our new friends were not aware of..." He then heads into the ship with Zilas.
Trevan either does not notice or does not care about the tension between Iliquori and Zilas.
Kordin laughs a bit.
"Darjetii dinn'ii. Hoping, but not paying. Sounds like an empty apology to me. Venaris you didn't find any trackers before we left right? Oh here, you wanted him in one piece... these fell out before we got here. He sorta ran into my fist when we first met."
The woman reaches into a belt pouch and pulls out a few teeth that belonged to the man in the slab. Good for testing if it's him without having to unfreeze him. And hands them to the man calling himself seventeen.
Koro looks blankly at Trevan, neither acknowledging his suggestion, nor moving to act on it.
Turning , she watches impassively as C-17 chats up the two bounty hunters.
Reconsidering, she turns to the nearby troopers, and snaps "Scan and exmaine every inch of this vessel's hull."
You really should calm yourself Trevan. No harm will come to you, We are all friends here. he says with a slight smile.
"I did not find anything, no," Venaris answers Kordin's question, his tone casual. "Still, Zilas is more than a little protective of his ship."
"A bit too much, if you ask me," he adds with a smile, seemingly addressing the somewhat uptight Sith. Then his smile dies down. "Which you... did... not."
"Point is, my search was a tad less than thorough."
"You're nearly as quick to anger as our Sith friends here." 17 remarked to the female mandolorian with a laugh. " They're powered by it, but what's your excuse? You gotta roll with the punches, as they say."
He wasn't trying to start a fight or anything like that, rather just sharing his opinion.
" That being said, Koro is right, maybe another 30,000 creds are right around the corner on Dromund Kass. But patience is a virtue."
Kordin thinks for a moment in a flashback
Zilas pointing to a poster he's holding: "This guys been reported nearby, if we can track him down we make 30k easy peazy. Practically a blue milk run."
Venaris looking at the poster, then looking up, then looking at the poster points out the man sitting at a bar thirty feet away with that stupid smile on his face that he's always got.
Kordin: "Dibs." The woman takes off into the crowd near the bar...
"Things change, much like our arrangement to get payed upon delivery. Sometimes you have to improvise. I don't exactly have a stun baton on me."