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Xen's office door gave a pneumatic hiss as it opened, revealing Syn Dumarr. Wearing a hood over a durasteel helm, the bounty hunter cultivated a purposeful air of mystery and menace. With durasteel plate over his traditional garb, it was clear what sort of combatant he was. It was strange, though, that his shoulders and arms were free of any protection.

"Welcome, welcome," said the admiral, gesturing to a chair before his desk.

Dumarr said nothing. His every step, every stride possessed the controlled violence of a soldier. No remnant of the Jedi he had been remained to the visible eye. He wore a looted Mandalorian carbine across his back, the blaster at his hip was a relic of the Clone Wars.

Syn stopped ten feet away from Xen's desk. "What's the job?" he asked, his voice gravelly. The helmet gave his voice an electronic quality, static fraying the beginning and end of each word.

"I have a problem I need solved," said Xen, "An Imperial Inquisitor. He thinks he's headed here to cause me considerable problems. He thinks that because he, not unreasonably, thinks the late, great Jurys Juryth of Nar Shadda knew where here was. Fortunately, Juryth's personal pilot worked for me and kept our true coordinates obscured from his employer. As a result, said Inquisitor is now in hyperspace to the Outer Rim, far from us, headed to an old Trade Federation mining colony in an asteroid field not unlike the one we find ourselves in now. If you leave soon, you'll be able to intercept the Inquisitor. Kill him, and I give you a million credits."

Syn remained silent.

Inquisitor. Jedi Hunters. He had yet to meet one in the flesh. They were also known as Red Blades, since according to the rumors they carried Sith blades. Syn had been skeptical of talk of some shadowy organization of Sith apprentices in the Empire, which always preferred brute force to subtlety in his experience. But Xen's concerns gave the rumors credence, and despite his appearance of half-drunken affability, Syn knew the Admiral to be a dangerous and cunning man, not one to start at rumors or shadows.

If the Inquisition was real, their data on Jedi, techniques, and perhaps training in the Force would make them far more dangerous than the likes of the CIS Jedi killers in the last war, Xen's old comrades like Cad Bane.

Dangerous enough to be a threat to Syn's plans.

"Any resources at my disposal?" Syn asked, his tone unchanging. Professional confidence mixed with cold apathy.

The admiral took a drink and smiled at the rogue Jedi, "The mining colony has a contingent of my battledroids already waiting for the Inquisitor, two hundred of them, and they will answer to your orders. I'll also give you 10,000 up front to hire any additional muscle you think you'll need. Xasur can help you with that, I assume you know who he is."

Zejinn Xasur. Crime Lord. Second only to Adamantius Xen. Notorious for his whimsical nature. Dangerous but not unreasonable. Syn recalled mechanically. Though he'd neverr worked for the crime lord, Syn knew Zejinn Xasur to be reliable. Syn nodded in the affirmative to Xen, his countenance never faltering.

"10,000 credits up front to hire any additional muscle..." Syn echoed. A plan began to form. With droids and mercenaries, he could make short work of the Inquisitor. The risks were being mitigated to work in his favor. "I can make do with two hired guns and the droids you have supplied. Provide me with coordinates to the colony, and schematics, I would like those as well. Your problem will be solved before too long."

"That's the spirit," said Xen, with a lopsided smile, "That'll be all, Dumarr."


this seems weird enough for me
@Terminal howdy- you on discord these days? would love to chat w/ you about some potential plot shenanigans. Otherwise I'll shoot you a PM here.
interested. Happy to play a secondary antagonist (lesser vampire lord or other nasty) if that would be useful, or a party member if not!
Though Jurys Juryth was only the one hundred and seventh richest sentient creature on Nar Shadda, excluding the Hutts themselves, it was generally agreed his tower-manse-- won from a rival smuggler-lord in a high stakes game of Hidden Knaves-- was among the grandest, and best fortified, on the entire face of that infamous city-moon. What Juryth lacked in liquid assets he more than made up for in real estate and in the quality of his mercenary protectors.

So it was naturally with great surprise that he entered his private library in order to admire the newest addition to his extensive archeological collection-- the lightsaber of the warrior-poet Aryon Vos, some thousand years now returned to the Force-- only to find his inner sanctum occupied by a complete stranger, smiling at him, the dead bodies of two Juryth House Guards at the man's feet.

A snifter of spicewine fell from Juryth's fat-fingered hand and shattered on the marble floor as the library door slid shut behind him. His mouth fell open.

"Who-" he began, but the smiling stranger put a finger to his lips, then pointed to the broken glass at Juryth's feet.

Dazed, Juryth watched the glass move- as though of its own volition- spinning up from the floor and knitting itself back together as the spilled liquor pooled and poured itself back into the re-forged snifter, which levitated upwards, waiting in mid-air for Juryth to take it back up.

"You had to know we would come for this," said the stranger, holding up the hilt of Aryon Vos' ancient weapon. His voice fluttered, almost girlish, "You have the reputation of a cautious man, Jurys, but this purchase was... injudicious."

He was a pale, sallow man in a simple black tunic. Black hair fringed with grey, going bald on top. His sunken cheeks were pockmarked, his nose cleft by an old and unsightly scar across the bridge. He wore a black cloth tied around his head, covering his eyes. The teeth in his smiling mouth were yellowed, the gums almost black.

Juryth's gaze fell from the man's face to the curved hilt of the lightsaber at his hip.

"I'm not interested in killing you," said the stranger, stepping gingerly over the dead guards to approach the other man, "You can even keep the lightsaber. The Emperor, I am told, never cared much for Vos' inane philosophies."

"What do you want, then?" asked Jurys, taking a half-step back and bumping into the closed door behind him.

"The End," said the stranger, "You will tell me how to get to the Bitter End."

***


Adamantius Xen was studying his cuticles, apparently bored, as Commander Gothren rattled on about the Rebellion's latest reverses, the Empire's latest victories, and Mon Mothma's directive that Rebel cells lay low and regroup for the time being, as the Alliance assessed its strategic situation.

Xen took a drink. "Does the illustrious Alliance to Restore the Republic have any good news to share with this humble footsoldier?"

"No," said Gothren primly, "Though intelligence has asked me to share that-"

Xen held up a beringed hand, "I know. Jurys Juryth is dead."

Gothren said nothing.

"Don't worry," said Xen, "No one in rebel intel is leaking to old Adamantius, that inveterate Confederate. I have my own sources on Nar Shadda. I haven't lived this long without keeping tabs on buyers of the, uh, more high profile items sold in the auction houses here."

"My superiors," said Gothren, "again wish to express their concern about-"

"...how business is conducted at the Bitter End, yes, yes, well you can tell your superiors that a rebellion needs money, and they don't seem to mind when I send them a chest full of credits, only complain about how I make 'em."

"It's not an ethical question," said Gothren, "It's rather more about security. The Inquisition is now looking for the End."

"I know," said Xen placidly.

Gothren looked puzzled a moment, but Xen shook his head, "I appreciate the concern for my welfare, thank your superiors. That's all Gothren."

The Commander didn't move. "You are not the only one with an interest in the End's survival."

Xen laughed and took a long drink, "Don't I know it."

"I must tell you, we will take steps if you-"

"Don't ever threaten me," said Xen, looking over the top of his glass at the Rebel officer, "or I might lose my temper."

The battledroids--which hitherto had been standing stock still along the walls of the Admiral's chambers--now buzzed audibly to life.

Gothren's mouth narrowed, impatient, but he did give the B2's a sidelong glance.

"Empire's been looking to put me down since before it called itself an Empire," said Xen, "I can take care of a little Inquisitorial attention."

Gothren saluted, spun on his heel and strode quickly from the room. Xen poured himself another drink, and drank, his expression sour as he looked out the great window behind his desk. The asteroid field that was his main shield against the Emperor's fleets whirled madly in the chill light.

"Sir," buzzed the intercom on his desk, "Syn Damurr here to see you."

"Send him in."

***


"My lord he is here."

"You have seen him?"

"No, I..."

"Ah. Say no more....You are sure?"

"Yes."

"Clever boy, isn't he? And driven to still be hunting me. Let us hope he is as receptive to our overtures as you expect him to be."

"I know him, he'll join us."

"People can change, Ashuvehe. You did."
Hi all- apologies for my relative radio silence, been a busy time over Christmas and New Years. Great posts so far, will try to get things moving this week and be more available on Discord. In the meantime, feel free to post!
@Nib yep!
I'm interested in joining, if you still have room for one more :)


Is there still room? Also potentially interested.


yep!
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