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Ja'karr's Search for the Holocron (Part 1)

Order of the Free Force base,

After being gone for over a week, Mi'la finally heard the familiar whirring of Ja'Karr's Fury-class approach the main hangar. As she tinkered with one of their salvaged TIE fighters. Slowly, the ship landed and from it emerged Bix, followed by Ja'Karr and Eli. Bix, the re-programmed CIS assassin droid made his way to Mi'la as usual and hugged her.

"We're back!" Said the droid with its exagerated accent and usual enthusiasm. "We didn't find anything. But we have returned nonetheless."

Ja'Karr walked off deeper into the base without a single word. That was out of character, even for the reserved Force user. Usually he'd wave or ask her how things had been, but this time he simply dissapeared through the temple doors. Eli remained near the ramp, looking a bit shaken. While she couldn't see his facial expressions under the mask she could sense his troubles through the Force.

"Bix!" Mi'la shouted as she rushed over to the droid and hugged it back. Metal or not, He was just as much a friend to her as any other person here. "I am just glad everyone made it back safe. Have you two eaten anything... yet...," Mi'la trailed off as Ja'Karr continued walking away without a word or even a greeting gesture. Mi'la's smile faded quickly as she took her working gloves off and wrung them in her hands a bit worriedly. "W-whats wrong? Did something happen?" She asked turning to Eli as he came down as well. She could feel it. No, this wasn't simply them not finding anything, something went wrong. "Eli?" she called to him, getting closer to where she had to slightly look up to him to see his face.

Eli gave a small shake of his head as he tried to formulate a sentence. She couldn't see behind the mask, but he was very clearly perturbed. He looked down. "Ja'Karr used some sort of.. dark side ability. I'd never seen anything like it before, it.. It made me nauseous." He said, his voice almost shaky at times, though hard to detect through the mask's filter. "But you, have you been doing alright?" He asked, looking back up to the Twi'lek.

Mi'la tilted her head, a look of concern on her face. She sighed slightly as he tried to turn the subject on to her, "I have been fine, I just finished repairing the wing pylon and two of its solar arrays, but the sensor array is still shot...," she mentioned a bit perturbed that she didn't have any parts for it, "YOU, however, are not fine..." She gently reached up and pushed back Eli's hood, and with both hands, unclasped his mask with short a hissing sound as the seal released. She held the mask close to her with both arms as she looked up to him trying to gauge his thoughts. "Even Ja'Karr can have his struggles, nobody is perfect, Eli. Was it the force or the experience that made you uneasy? Maybe you should take a rest and I can bring you something to drink and we can talk about it?" she offered.

The hyaenid looked rather downcast, but her motion did give him a little smile. He took a second to get used to the air pressure of this familiar environment again. "It just, didn't feel right." He said, voice warmer without the mask filtering it. "I'm not sure.. But a drink sounds nice." He relaxed his shoulders, his armor now feeling much more weighty, now that he allowed himself to be tired. Yes, a drink, and then some relaxing. That sounds good.

Bix chuckled, giving Eli a small bump in the arm.
"On the bright side, you two get to actually drink. I just have to sit here and oil my extremeties. And-" The droid cut himself off as his photoreceptors caught something in the distance. He pointed toward the entrance of the hangar and tilted his head.
"Who's that?"

When Eli and Mi'la turned to see, they spotted a human male in a black shirt, trousers and boots. On his belt were two lightsabers. When Mi'la looked at his face, he looked... familiar, too familiar to he a coincidence. The white mark on his hair confirmed her suspicions. It was Zylas... Somehow, the man who had made her life bearable when she had been held enslaved by the Black Sun was here.

"Well then, you go and settle down and I will see to bringing som- Hmm?" Mi'la hummed when Bix called their attention to something. Mi'la gasped as if she had seen a ghost, nearly dropping Eli's mask, catching it, just before it hit the ground. She shakily set it on a toolbox before breathing his name, "Z-Zylas?" She was almost to stunned to move, but she forced herself anyway, just into his path as her eyes were locked on his. "It's you? Here? Wh-h-how? W-wait, Xizor, he's not here is he!?" She stopped him with a hand lightly on his chest, trying to get him to stop for her. Something was wrong, she felt something burning in him, but she couldn't contain herself. Was he finally free too, just like he always wanted? "How did you get here?"

There was a moment of silence as she Mi'la walked up to Zylas and stopped him. She seemed to have momentarily paused the dark urge that had brought him here in the first place. His eyes widened the moment he realized it was Mi'la. Standing a foot taller than her, he looked down seeing her stare back with a mix of concern and astonishment.

"I escaped." He murmured as one of his gloved hands tightened into a fist. If only she knew how far he had to go to get here. Zylas had abandoned everything he knew just to get here. To do one single thing. That reminded him of his mission.
"Where is Ja'karr?"

Bix adjusted his monacle and walked forward, standing right behind Mi'la. "Look, man. I don't know who you are. But you can just waltz in here and ask for the boss, you know? Though..." He rubbed his metal chin, looking up at the ceiling for a moment. "Mi'la did recognize you. Um, who are you again?"

"Ja'karr? How do you know... why do you-" Mi'la started to question as she backed away for a moment, but it all started forming together. There was a feeling of dread that came over her. The way he spoke, his aura, it reeked of hate, but not aimed at her. "I... I don't think you need to know that...," she said, a pained worried tone wavering in her voice.

She looked to Bix briefly, "Zylas helped me keep some sense of sanity when I was a slave...," she answered before looking back at Zylas. "Please..," she pleaded. She didn't want to see eiter of them hurt if he came here meaning to fight like she felt he did. She didn't know why, but the intent was obvious.

Eli approached the two from behind Mi'la with a concerned look. He could sense the stranger didn't mean good, and was possibly a threat to the Twi'lek. He came up behind her in an embrace, eying up Zylas. "What do you need Ja'Karr for?" He asked, fearing the worst.

Zylas took a deep shaky breath, whatever it was that had brought him here was starting to boil to the surface. He glared at them both, gritting his teeth as he tried to contain it all.
"I won't ask again. I don't want to hurt you. Your... 'Master' is a fraud. Tell me where he's gone and get out of my way."

Eli could feel that Mi'la was shaking when he embraced her. This couldn't be real, she thought. It had to be a dream. Things don't just happen like this, people from your past didn't just show up like this. It didn't feel real to her, Zylas felt so distant. How have the last three years changed him. "I.... I can't...," Mi'la finally admitted, "you wish to fight with him... I can't bare the thought. Please just tell me why."

Zylas sighed, sounding more frustrated by the minute. He reached for his belt, drawing his two lightsabers and igniting them almost simultaneously. The two crimson blades hummed menancingly as he pointed one toward Eli and Mi'la.

"I don't want to hurt you. I just want-" Before he could complete his sentence, Mi'la and Eli heard the sound of a blaster and Zylas screaming as he held his midsection, dropping his lightsabers to the floor. Bix chuckled, raising one of his blaster pistols to his voice module.

"But I want to!" As the droid walked forward to check on Zylas, he looked up his eyes turning yellow as he outstretched both hands and Force pushed all three of them away from him. He tossed them far enough for Mi'la to fall on top of Eli as they were thrown across the hangar. The assassin droid didn't fair any better. The attack was potent enough to practically disassemble him. Zylas stumbled to his feet, grabbing his lightsaber as stood up. At that moment, Ja'Karr finally entered the hangar and ran over to check on Eli and Mi'la who had been thrown several meters away.

"You!" Zylas shouted, igniting his lightsaber again. The human glared at Ja'karr with piercing yellow eyes as he slowly approached. Ja'Karr could feel it, that injury had given him enough drive to precipitate his fall to the Dark Side. Vengeance was driving him and the Dark Side was fueling his desires.

"You're a fraud. You left the Jedi and stole their relics. And when my father was sent to retrieve them, you murdered him in cold blood!" In a fit of anger, he cut a nearby crate with his lightsaber, destroying it and the contents within as he approached. "He was doing his duty and you killed him! You're a thief and a filthy murderer!."

"That's not what happened, son." Ja'Karr said softly, as he turned to face the young man. "Put your weapons away. Whatever lies were fed to you. It's not worth your life."

Mi'la was surprised by the sudden feeling of being thrown through the air. Luckily for her, she landed on Eli, though he probably wouldn't say the same, and she rolled off of him and looked to make sure he was fine. "Are you alri-,"she had started to ask but was stopped in her tracks when she looked up to see Bix in pieces across the hangar. "BIX, NO!" She cried out in horror as she scrambled to make sure his memory components were still intact. If those were destroyed... He could never be rebuilt. "Zylas, please, don't do this!" she begged.

Eli grunted as the wind got knocked out of him, being thrown through the air and onto his back
He tried to make sure Mi'la landed on him, and when she got up he didn't have time to respond. He got to his feet as quickly as he could, rushing to stand near where the Twi'lek was, in the way of Zylas. He drew his lightsaber hilt from his cloak and ignited it, going to the starting stance of Form III. He was shaking very slightly, nervous as to what was going to happen.

"I'll kill you!" Zylas leaped from where he was, making a frontflip in the air as he fell on Ja'Karr in an attempt to cut him down with one swift strike. A pair of lightsabers emerged from Ja'Karr's cloak, igniting themselves in a position to deflect Zyla's strike. He jumped back after being repulsed and charged at Ja'Karr, but was repulsed time and time again by Ja'Karr's floating lightsabers. Every time Zylas got too close, Ja'Karr dashed back placing considerable distance betweem the two while directing his lightsabers in between tnem. Zylas's attacks became more and more agressive as he grew frustrated. For a few moments, all Eli and Mi'la saw was Zylas attempting to chase Ja'Karr down while the Free Force Master kept his distance by dodging attacks and using his telekinesis controlled lightsabers to deflect incoming lightsaber strikes. In the middle of the battle one of the lightsabers cut Zylas in the outer thigh and another on the shoulder before retreating back to Ja'Karr's hands. Zylas shrieked as he dropped his own lightsabers to the ground, holding his fresh wounds.

"There's no need for this. You were lied to. Whoever sent you here, they sent you to your death. And I won't be the one to deliver it to you..." Ja'Karr slowly walked toward Zylas, extending a hand to help him to his feet. "Mi'la can take care of you. I can feel your pain. Let us help you."

Zylas sitting on his knees on the floor, with his gaze focused downward. Before Ja'Karr could say more, Zylas assaulted him with a blinding stream of Force lightning which Ja'Karr proceeded to counter by using Force absorption. Zylas stood up, pushing back the Free Force Master as the two battled for control.

There was a struggle between Zylas, who was determined to kill him and Ja'Karr who was doing his best to not hurt him. However, holding back was causing Ja'Karr to lose in their Force tug of war. Eventually, one of them had to give in. Taking a deep breath, Ja'Karr sought to end the fight once and for all. Pushing forward, he was able to break the hold creating an explosion that blew Zylas backward. Zylas shrieked as he was burned by his own Force lightning and tossed to the floor. The explosion was enough to push him several feet away from where he was standing. An eerie silence fell over the room, as Ja'Karr sighed. He walked over to the young man, crouching next to him to check his pulse. At least... he was still alive.

"Mi'la, Eli." He called out, sounding a little out of breath. "Let's take him to the medical bay. I'll decide what to do with him later."

Mi'la slowly picked up the memory core for Bix, which luckily didn't sustain any damage from the attack, so they would just need to rebuild his body. She was relieved, but still rattled by the whole ordeal. She kept Bix's memory core close as she approached the unconscious Zylas. She shook her head, still not believing what she was seeing. Why was Zylas here now after so long. What happened after she was taken away? "I have... so many questions. I just don't understand.... I can take im to the med bay if you don't mind carrying him for me," she said now looking over to Eli. She then turned to Ja'karr, "Are you alright?" He could probably tell her mind was a mess between the confusion and the stress, but she seemed to be holding together well enough now that the two weren't fighting. "He didn't hurt you did he?"

Between the three of them, they managed to carry an unconcious Zylas to the medical bay. In ancient times, this room had been used by the Jedi to heal their fellows. Since then, however, Ja'Karr had used his considerable wealth to outfit the place with modern medical equipment and even a droid to help Mi'la.

This medical room had come in handy on a few ocassions. Particularly when Eli had been wounded after a fight with a Darksider. While the Hyenid's wounds were ugly, Mi'la and the droid managed to patch him up really well and after spending a few days in a bacta tank, he made a full recovery. Now, the room would serve the same purpose for a person who had tried to kill them. The 2-1B medical droid, usually known as Bee activated the moment the group entered and placed Zylas on one of the medical beds. The droid shuffled from his position across the room and brought another one of the medical droids with him.

After they settled him in one of the beds, Ja'Karr told Bee to keep a close eye on Zylas and for Mi'la to administer whatever treatment he needed quickly. And, when she was done he needed to be tied down until he could decide what to do with him. It was cold, to say the least. Leaving Zylas' fate vague might have scared Mi'la, but Ja'Karr had no choice. He was dangerous, and while he believed in the possibility of redemption, he also knew of the power of vegeance and how that could corrupt the soul.

Once Mi'la finished patching up Zylas' injuries, mostly consisting of low level burns and a few bruises, along with a cuncussion Ja'Kard and Eli left. Ja'Karr thought it best to leave Mi'la with Zylas. Have him wake up to a familiar face, rather than the person he had nust fought. He had warned the Twi'lek to tread carefully around him and call for him should anything go wrong. With that agreed upon, Ja'Karr and Eli finally departed. For a few hours, all Mi'la had as company were the beeps of one of the surgeon droids and the idle chatter of Bee. It made her miss Bix's witty remarks...

The monote atmosphere was suddenly interrupted by a light rattle coming from Zylas' bed. As he began to wake up, he struggled against the metallic cuffs keeping him from escaping. Exausted from the previous fight, Zylas' pointless struggle against the cuffs soon ceased. He looked around, spotting Mi'la out of the corner of his eyes.

"Mi'la" He said, still panting from the earlier struggle. "Let me go. You don't know what you're doing... Who you're working for!"

Mi'la had fallen asleep curled up in a chair that she had found and placed next to Zylas, the passing hours and stress making her tired. When Zylas started struggling, she woke with a start, looking to him like she was surprised he was there once again. After all, it still seemed impossible to her. "Zylas..." she started in a calm voice before she took a deep breathe. She looked him n the eyes for a moment, seeing them overtaken in an amber hue, marking the corruption of the dark side. "When... well... last I saw you, it was right before I was sent on a ship to accompany Xizor's men for... their entertainment. It was going to be quite far, and I never thought I would see you again. The man that I am studying under, not working for, had saved my life, freeing me of the chains I once wore. I have learned so much in these last years, enjoyed things that I had never dreamt of, I have finally been able to become my own person! ...Something my mother had always prayed would come to be...," she said, her eyes looking down. "I know who saved my life, but I do not know who has done this to you. Ja'karr did not want to harm you, and I would be crushed if either of you had died. For a moment, I thought i had lost a close friend... He may have just been a droid to you... but... he means so much more to me, to all of us here." She was silent for a few minutes, her ramblings reminiscent of the thoughts buzzing around inn her mind.

"If you had ben successful... I would have been left with nothing once again... and it would have been taken by one of the few people I would have sworn I could trust for all my days. Have you even seen yourself? You have let darkness creep into your heart, and listened to its poison. Your eyes... they aren't those beautiful pools of green I'd get lost in to find my comfort like I had used to. They have taken on shades of amber. I don't know what path someone is trying to lead you down, but I would be fearful of their intent...," she finished.

She stood up and checked a few monitors to see how he was doing. "Ja'karr wanted me to help heal you alongside the medical droids, not that he would have to ask, though I did need Eli to carry you here. You also owe Bix a new body.... a more durable one preferably," she said as she sat back down. From his perspective, she did look a lot healthier than what she had used to, stronger too, maybe even filled out a little more as well. He could even feel a bit of the force within her, could it be that she used the force to help heal him?

"I..." Zylas swalled back tears that had inexplicably made their way to his eyes. Soon, that familiar green hue returned to them. At least, he didn't have that terrifying stare in his eyes anymore. Mi'la's words made Zylas think about everything that had transpired. From his escape to his arrival here. He hadn't realized just how much he had hurt his old friend. He couldn't help but feel ashamed...

"I'm sorry, Mi'la. I just... I don't know who to believe anynore." Zylas felt that rage boil up again. He growled, pulling on the metal cuffs again. Like before, he soon gave up glancing away from Mi'la as his mind raced. He was so sure that he was right...

Mi'la got up and stood over him, gently taking her ad and brushing it against his cheek to turn him to her, meeting her eye to eye. "There they are, just as I remembered," she said with a soft smile, referring to his eyes. "You can always believe in me. I may not always be right, but I will always be honest with you. You have always been there for me, now let me return that favor."

Eli sat in his room, a small but comfortable space. He was at the edge of his bed, face in hands. This hadn't been a good day, and his head was swimming with thoughts. Who was Zylas? Why did he try and kill his master? Why hadn't he seen him when they rescued Mi'la? Was Ja'Karr really bad?
He leaned back in his seat, scooting backwards to prop himself against the wall adjacent to his bed. He needed to listen to some music, perhaps. Some music, and maybe a drink.

While Mi'la did not have the experience or proper study to pick apart someone's emotions, her connection to Zylas was enough where she could at least sense the inner conflict within him. He was confused, angry and regretful all at the same time. The Twi'lek could also sense the Dark Side within him, even if the initial drug-like effects were gone he was still being influence by it. When their eyes met, Zylas couldn't bear to look at her. He turned away the first chance he got. Part of him wanted to believe her, she had no reason to lie to him. Unless...

"Mi'la..." He began, taking a deep breath while avoiding her concerned yet confident gaze. "That man who saved you. He's a killer, a thief, and he betrayed the Jedi Order for his own gain." Zylas glanced at her again. Those green eyes which once gave her comfort, had been turned into something else. They were filled with hate and glassy from tears Zylas was holding back. "How much do you really know about him? How much has he really told you...?"

Mi'la paced around a bit, thinking back. "I remember that he was born on Sereno to a wealthy family, and spent years in Corasant with the jedi order before leaving for some disagreement.... Not everyone is without a a skeleton in the closet, true, but some shose to seperate from what they were. The least i can say is that he has done nothing to wrong me, and has helped me recover from my past, never instructing me to seek vengence, but to build myself stronger. He has never told me I should go slay someone for revenge.... What has your master veen teaching you? To hate? To spill blood to satisfy your anger? Anyone with the force knows whatbthe dark side is capable of, what it can do if not careful, the poisonous thoughts it can put in your mind. You have been encouraged to soak in this poison to bring you strength, haven't you? It is.... all too tempting... but it is not right. It destroys you from the inside, corrupting everything to the point where tou are willing to hurt even the ones you care about to slake that thirst. I will have no part in it. The only thing i have in this life are the people closest to me, I can't sacrifice them for my own thoughts of revenge for what happened to me. I'd suggest the same for you." She sat back down beside him looking back into his eyes. "I'm sure Ja'karr would like to speak to you as well when you aren't trying to lop his head off. If you have something you must tell me, please, don't keep secrets from me. Let us help you. Let me help you."

Two days had passed since Zylas arrived. Ever since their brief conversation, Mi'la's friend had refused to speak to her. Ja'karr had tried speaking with him a few times, though that always ended in Zylas shouting at the Grandmaster to leave him alone. It didn't do well for his condition. Medically, Mi'la and the medical droid saw that Zylas showed symptoms that were commonly seen in addicts. Shakes, paranoia, delusions, and night terrors. He was like a death sticks addict on withdrawal. In the evening, Mi'la had gone over to Ja'karr to ask him about it. He was surprisingly vague about it.

"It is what happens to people who fully embrace the Dark Side. It Corrupts them." He said. "He was desperate and inexperienced. But there is still hope."
At the very least, Mi'la had a chance to possibly redeem him.

A few hours later, Ja'karr called for Eli and Mi'la to meet him in the archives room. The room in the old Jedi temple in Tython was filled with tomes and other relics Ja'karr had collected throughout the years. It was extensive, at least for Mi'la and Eli, who had never seen the splendor and magnitude of the Jedi Archives on Coruscant before the Purge. What Ja'Karr had here was dwarfed by the Archives by a considerable margin. Nevertheless, the tomes here had been one of the main teaching tools for the two Force-users. Meeting Ja'karr at the center of the chamber, they stood around a holoprojector table in the middle.

"I have been doing some research on the Holocron we were looking for in Onderon." He began, turning on the projector to show a planet. The hologram showed a volcanic planet with a starbase orbiting its axis. "My contacts have tracked to this planet. Mustafar."

"Mustafar? That place is dreadful...," Mi'la commented, despite never being there, the place was not one of the planets Mi'la ever wanted to visit. Much less under the pressure of a mission. "Where on the planet is it though? I don't suppose the ones who have it are willing to just hand it to us."

Ja'karr sighed as he stared at the hologram. "This is the last place I would ever want to send you. Mustafar lies deep within the territory of the Black Sun syndicate. It serves as their base of operations." He explained, pointing at the starbase orbiting the planet. "However, we are runming out of time. That holocron cannot fall into the wrong hands."

Ja'karr was starting to grow desperate. The longer that holocron remained out in the galaxy, the longer they could be in danger. Who knows what kind of things had been locked inside? Neither Luke's Jedi Order nor the Empire could get a hold of the holocron. The only place where it could be safe-guarded and kept away from fanatics was here.

"Mi'la." He spoke softly as he approached the Twi'lek. "You've been training non-stop for over a year. You're strong in the Force and determined. I know you can do this... The fate of the galaxy could be resting on this. We must safeguard the holocron."

Ja'karr sighed as he stared at the hologram. "This is the last place I would ever want to send you. Mustafar lies deep within the territory of the Black Sun syndicate. It serves as their base of operations." He explained, pointing at the starbase orbiting the planet. "However, we are runming out of time. That holocron cannot fall into the wrong hands."

Ja'karr was starting to grow desperate. The longer that holocron remained out in the galaxy, the longer they could be in danger. Who knows what kind of things had been locked inside? Neither Luke's Jedi Order nor the Empire could get a hold of the holocron. The only place where it could be safe-guarded and kept away from fanatics was here.

"Mi'la." He spoke softly as he approached the Twi'lek. "You've been training non-stop for over a year. You're strong in the Force and determined. I know you can do this... The fate of the galaxy could be resting on this. We must safeguard the holocron."

"But I...," Mi'la started, though her gaze broke from Ja'karr as she looked to the ground. "What if I'm not.... strong enough?" she asked uncertainly. "I'm not like Eli, you, or even Zylas. My force powers are not focused on combat. What if someone finds me?"

While Ja'karr couldn't see her due to his blindness, he could sense her uncertainty. "You are undetestimating yourself, young one. Your dominance of the Force, coupled with your defensive lightsaber skills... you are more powerful than you realize."
Ja'karr smiled, something he rarely did. "If I knew you couldn't do this, I wouldn't have thought about sending you."

His words made her feel a bit proud of what she had achieved, and thankful for his recognition, but despite that, she still felt inadequate and wondered if he was just trying to give her a moral boost. She took a deep breath befoer nodding to him. "I will do my best to not dissapoint you..... but...I'm not going alone.... am I?" she asked warily.

"No. Zylas will accompany you." Ja'karr didn't like the idea of sending her along with Zylas. But the two held a deep connection. If there was someone here who could help him, it was Mi'la.
"I can sense your concern for him. He's a dear friend to you and you're afraid of what might happen to him."
Said Ja'karr as he walked up to Mi'la. "There is still some of his old self within him. No matter what he says, he still cares about you."

"I really hope so... he seemed so.... distant. Like he could see and hear me, but not enough to listen. I got through to him for a brief momentand the... he just semed to stop talking to me. Its... painful, to a degree. I've wanted to see him again for so long, and now that he is here it just feels... well... empty." She said as she looked to the ground uncomfortably once more. She desperately wanted the Zylas she knew back, but something in him changed, and she as worried that whatever bond they had was holding on by a string in his mind. A feint connection of time gone by, though only a few years ago. What happened to him?

Mi'la shook her head to clear her thoughts and try to press on with the briefing. "You think he would agree to do something for us? Even if it is with me... How would we convince him to do the mission for you? And once we are there, what are we supposed to do then?"

"My sources say that the space station orbiting the planet houses the information on the location of the holocron."
Said Ja'Karr, his eyes drifting away to look at nowhere in particular. Even when Mi'la knew he was blind, Ja'karr seemed to have a good idea of where everything was. He once explained to her that he could 'see', just not how normal people would be able to.
"The station is one of Prince Xizor's pleasure palaces. It is one of the most important too. My contact has assured me that he won't be there, so you and Zylas will have an easier time getting there."

Zylas would admittedly be difficult to covince, but there was one way Mi'la could try and get him on board. "Appeal to his desire for revenge. Against me... and Xizor. Deep inside, he wants to protect you. I know he won't let you go alone."

Mi'la was already uncomfortable with where they were going, but now that one of Xizor's palaces were mentioned, she was even more unsure. If she was captured.... no, she couldn't think like that. It would start down a dark road in her mind she didn't want to traverse again.

When Ja'karr spoke of convincing Zylas, she couldn't help but think it was a little backhanded of a way to get him to help. "I'm not one to manipulate the minds of my friends, master... It wouldn't be right. I will try to convince him, but, the right way," she said, though with how Zylas was acting, she didn't know if he woud listen to her.

Ja'karr smiled. If there was something that defined Mi'la, it was her kindness and her honesty. Her faith to her friends, both Eli and now Zylas made her a reliable and trustworthy person. She would have made a fine Jedi...

"I know you would. He'll never forget your kindness." Walking back to the hologram, he turned off the display. "Keep in touch. If anything happens, return right away. As significant as the holocron is, I don't want you to give your life or Zylas' for it." Turning his head to look at her, he smiled. "May the Force be with you, Mi'la."

Ja'karr walked off into an adjacent room. His famed 'office'. It was a chamber that neither Mi'la nor Eli had ever been inside of. When they first met, Ja'karr had made it clear that they were free to roam the temple, with the exception to that one room.

Eduard had been tending to Aerex' wounds as best he could. Neev had done a good job at mending the most grievous injuries and brought him back from certain death. However, the damage to his arms and the blue streaks across his skin was another matter entirely. He knew what it was. Mana Sickness. Whatever power he used, his body certainly wasn't able to handle it. He was lucky to be even breathing. As he got around to figuring out how to help his most recent patient, Eduard was approached by a taller man. Wearing odd clothes, the newest arrival stood out with his pair of glowing blue eyes. Another Grusk. There was something about him that made Eduard want to step away from the table. But he held fast. He wouldn't abandon a patient. Even if the odds were stacked against him. When the Grusk asked his question, Eduard wasn't any more reassured than he was before. He didn't know him and whoever it was, he was clearly very powerful. This 'Jeevak' may have claims to royalty to the crown of the Grandis Empire. But he wouldn't hesitate to defend this hospital if he needed to.

"Be gentle." He said, noting Jeevak's rather large size. "...And brief. He needs rest." Glancing down at Aerex, Eduard turned to his female companion behind them and walked over to her. Leaving Jeevak and Aerex alone. Though, he still kept an eye on them just in case.

Jeevak nodded. "I appreciate the care these people have shown. I shall return this favor. However, I am afraid that removing mana sickness, even in the form of healing, is not a painless process." Jeevak stepped to look over the young grusk, seeing were the mana sickness had spread. "Your healer is a talented one, despite the fact that I don't see any traces of Isoli magic on this one, commend them." Jeevak said no more as he lifted both hands over Aerex, concentrating balls of mana in the palms of is hands. The concentration was so great, the was a loud low pitched humming that started to reverberate through the air around them.

Without so much as an incantation, a small blue sphere of light formed at his left palm, the side Aerex's head was resting. Jeevak's hand then crushed the ball of light in his hand, and as he seemed to crumble it into dust over Aerex. As the dust settled as a mist over Aerex, everywhere that was effected by the mana sickness started to glow blue, and in particular parts, red. The mana orb that formed in his right hand was green, and when he crushed it, bolts of green electricity arced around his own body, but then regathered to arc around his right arm.
Jeevak pointed to each red spot in the mist. "Here... This shows where the mana paths in this boy's spirit have broken. In an attempt to seal off the part of the body that craves mana after it has ran itself ragged to the point it cant hold it anymore, the soul will block it off, so that the mana will not continue to bleed away.... Few can fix this. We think with our minds doctor, but our heart... is the center of the soul," he slowly explained as he held Aerex down with his left arm. From his right fist he extended his index and middle finger, and then stabbed them into Aerex's heart through sheer force. The Green electricity pulsed through Aerex's body enough to lift himoff the bed if Jeevak wasn't holding him down. The pain would be unthinkable, however, the mana sickness could be seen to slowly fade the longer he the green lightning to him. The red mist faded, and then the blue soon washed away with it.

Jeevak pulled his fingers out from Aerex's heart, his hand covered in his blood. Using said blood, he drew an 'X over the puncture wound, Aerexs body would still be twitching from the shock, an occasional green arc would pop up as he did. Jeevak would then place his right palm over the wound, and the blood would start to glow white hot with a slight crimson sheen and then it would fade away into oblivion. The wound began to heal itself rapidly, and save for the excitement the moment may have caused, would get Aerex's heartbeat back to normal. At the end of the treatment, the doctor would find not a single trace of an injury, not even a blemish. "You are safe once more... we will find each other again, when you are ready." Jeevak said in a low tone to the Grusk.

Aerex was barely aware of Jeevak until he began to cast his spell. The Grusk tailor slowly opened his eyes, though his vision was still blurry. His arms still burned and he could barely move. It was as if he was stuck in a bad dream. He heard voices but couldn't make sense of them. Colors started to pop up over him. They were bright red and green. In his state of mind, he thought he was seeing the stars in the sky. What followed wasn't too pleasant...

Aerex felt a deep piercing pain in his chest. It made him scream and struggle. Whatever pain he had before simply didn't compare to whatever this was. Tears flowed from his eyes as Jeevak healed him with the spell. The screaming made Eduard run back to the table, but stopped once he saw what was happening. Earlier, he had been idly listening to Jeevak's explanation, but... he didn't think it would be this bad. But, in just a few seconds it was over. When Jeevak finished, Eduard walked over to Aerex to check on him. He was a panting and still concious. Somehow... He looked him over to check for any other injuries the spell might caused. But there was nothing he could see. Eduard looked at Jeevak with a mix of curiosity and fear. What was he? Were Grusk truly this powerful...? He didn't say anything aloud however...

After the ordeal, Aerex laid there. His vision had gotten slightly better and the pulsing pain in his arms was gone. However, he was beyond exhausted. He looked up and to the side, seeing a large man with white hair and piercing blue eyes. Not anyone he recognized. However, whoever it was, they were emanating some strange force that Aerex could feel. He couldn't explain it. The man leaned in and spoke to him. Aerex couldn't help but focus on his eyes. It was something he would never forget. Had this been the man who stopped the pain?

"Wait..." Aerex managed to speak, his voice low and shaky. "W-who are you...?"

Jeevak was about to walk off when he heard the young man barely speak. "King Jeevak, of the Grandis Empire. I look forward to our next encounter, young gruskan mage. Rest, recover, and stand proud, young one. You are no longer alone in this world," he told Aerex.

Impossible. At first, Aerex refused to believe it. There was no way this "Jeevak" was the King of the Grandis Empire. If anything, he was a pretender. Aerex' mother always taught him stories about the fall of the Empire. It was gone. Period. However, whoever that stranger was. Jeevak. He was definitely Grusk. A powerful one at that. It reminded him of the stories his mother used to tell him. About powerful healers and warriors who served the Empire in the days of old. Those thoughts lingered in his head as his body slowly lost its battle with exhaustion. The last thing he remembered were Jeevak's eyes. A piercing blue. They were the first thing he saw before the pain went away. If this was all true. He needed to seek Jeevak out. He wanted to know more...
Aren's Temptation

When Zsinj was finished with the young padawan he had coerced into his service, the boy was sent down to Serenno where he was thrown in a prison cell. For weeks he was left there to rot. The boy had served his purpose and Zsinj failed to fulfill his promise. He had betrayed the Jedi, his friends, and even his Master all for the sake of saving his family. A family, he now thought, had probably been killed by Zsinj. Some days, he would cry for hours and hours. He also refused to eat the scraps fed to him by the guards, who didn't seem to care whether he died or not. Recently, Aren had been dreaming about a voice in the dark calling out his name. For days now, the voice haunted his dreams. It would speak from a void of darkness that brought nothing but feelings of dread and in an indescribable amount of power. It was an odd yet terrifying combination. One night, Aren began to meditate in an effort to find out more about his dreams. A technique taught to him by his Jedi Master Kale. It involved reaching out using the Force to “see” things more clearly. It did not take long for the boy to sense something. A powerful dark presence in his cell. Opening his eyes, the young man saw nothing but concrete walls and the laser barrier keeping him inside the cell.

“Who are you? What do you want from me?” Aren asked as he looked around in an attempt to find the source of the voice. Nothing. Waiting for a few seconds, he expected to hear something back, but it never came. He breathed a sigh of relief, perhaps he was overreacting to what was only his imagination. As he was about to give up, he heard the voice again. It was but a mere ghostly whisper that seemed to echo inside of his head. The sound sent a shiver down his spine and he frantically began to look around his cell. “Who’s there!?” He demanded.

“A benefactor.” The voice answered, making Aren spin around, expecting to see someone behind him. But all he found was the concrete slab he used as a bed. “I can help you find your family. Give you the power to save them from their cruel fate.”
Aren tightened his fists, as he erratically searched his cell to find the source of the voice.
“How do you know that? Show yourself!” Aren’s demands were met with silence. Whatever he was facing, it was nothing like he had ever felt before. It was strong in the Force and powerful as well.
“Does it matter? I have the means to assist you.”
Whatever this thing was, spoke with an aura that made it hard to ignore. What it was offering made Aren rethink his stance. Did he have a choice? The alternative would be to stay here and die. Could he truly stay here knowing that his family was in danger? No. The boy timidly nodded, still looking around searching for the source of the whisper. “How will you help me?”

“Observe.” Everything went quiet once more. Aren felt the presence move away from his cell and into the hallway. It walked toward the control center where two guards sat in front of the control panels, bored and eagerly awaiting for their next break. The boy heard the guards cry out and soon their voices went silent. Whatever surveillance system was monitoring the area only managed to pick up a shadow disintegrating the guards into mere ash. Soon, the barrier holding Aren inside opened and he cautiously stepped outside.

“Move. Now.” The voice urged Aren, once again sounding like a voice inside his head. Aren wasted no time and ran over to the control panel. Using his instincts, he quickly found the override controls for the entire block and opened every cell, triggering an alarm. Prisoners from humans to aliens emerged from their prisons and began attacking guards that attempted to put down the ensuing prison break. In the chaos, Aren slipped out and reached an armory near the entrance to the prison. When he was first brought in, he made a mental note of where Zsinj’s men had placed his lightsaber. Retrieving it, Aren managed to escape the prison building and hop on a speeder away from the compound which was quickly falling into chaos. As he sped away, he glanced back seeing columns of black smoke emerge over the horizon. Breathing a sigh of relief, he steadied himself.

“What now?” He asked, fearing that the voice had left him.
"A ship awaits us beyond. Use it and we will leave this planet."
Aren didn't question why or how. At this point, if this ethereal presence could help him rescue his family from the clutches of Zsinj, then he would follow it to the very ends of the galaxy. All he wanted was to his mother, his father and his sisters again.

After driving for over an hour, Aren encountered a remote outpost. Stopping his speeder by the entrance he looked around, searching for guards. However, the place was deserted save for an Imperial Lambda-class shuttle. He approached the shuttle and stepped up the ramp. The lights of the main cabin flickered on as he entered. Aren froze in his tracks as he laid eyes upon something he thought he would never see again. Sitting atop a crate was the Sith holocron Zsinj had ordered him to retrieve.

"B-but how…?" Aren was overcome with fear once more. How was this even possible? He overheard the guards once say that Zsinj had ordered the holocron to be placed deep within the vault of his palace in Serenno, yet, here it was.

"This is the power I offer, young one. I will make you more powerful than your former master. You will wield the tools to save your family and take revenge on Zsinj." Said the voice, this time coming from the holocron itself.

"That's all I want." Aren replied, placing his lightsaber on his belt and walking over to the cockpit. "Where do I go now?"

The voice spoke again, this time with a more gleeful tone. "Follow the coordinates in the navigation computer. It will tell you where to go."
Without so much as a second thought, Aren turned on the ship and soon he was off. As he entered hyperspace, he made a silent pledge to never return to the Jedi Order. Now, with the aid of this being he would no longer need them. Soon, he would see his family again. That is all he cared about.

Imperial Security Bureau Central Office, Coruscant

Isard's Last Hope

"We're approaching ISB Head Quarters Director" A scarlet-clad trooper's metallic voice filtered across the cockpit of the imperial shuttle, one of the hundreds that glided through the indigo-colored skies of the greatest city ever built. A city founded by explorers, independent thinkers, men and women of conviction, of breeding. It rose out of the grounds of a savage world filled with the mindless primitives whom the Mandalorian filth claimed as their spiritual progenitors. In time, twelve tribes of men overthrew those vile thugs and established the world's first city, a jewel in a land of vermin. From that august acropolis came the Galaxy's first ecumenopolis, the world city.

The Bright Jewel, the cradle of Civilization.

Of human civilization.

Which was the problem, Ysanne Isard decided. Oh she'd taken pleasure in watching another woman knock over all the fatuous, vacant and pathetic. The worthless thugs who believed their graft and brinkmanship and petty lobbying for posts, commissions and ultimately moffdom made them powerful. It was nice to see them done in by one they demeaned so. But she was the wrong one, a non human, an alien, the Xeno, a Jedi no less! A traitor by association even if she'd passed into her long sleep before Jedi treachery abounded. But it made her no less guilty, no less foul and no less unworthy.

She was planning something too, oh sure there was the great campaign, a meaningless waste of resources to achieve a pointless symbolic victory to avenge a man she very clearly reviled (Isard was there when an adept compared her to Palpatine several days after her awakening. She ripped his spine out of his back with the force in one of the most grotesque displays of indignation she'd ever seen). No, though Isard ran the arguments the snake would likely make to justify the expedition through her head she couldn't quite figure out what the real reasons were. There was something else being planned, something nigh on unthinkable.

-I will determine what- she thought,

But divining the riddles of a maniac wasn't her purpose today so much as trying to reach another lunatic. A vile, disgusting Cervid descended upjumped piece of venison that she should have had served up on a platter or rendered into jerky long ago. Bothan filth! She hated them, oh how she remembered her youth, during the clone wars when her father constantly had to fend off the ambitious degenerates from a species of liars, spies, traffickers and informants. Bothan honor! Fah! She knew the moment he assumed any power in ISB that Blackhole was either completely senile or dead for allowing it to happen at all. His arrogant gibbering at the meeting only proved her right.

Carvin's dismissal rang in her ears as the shuttle landed on one of the docking platforms that flanked ISB headquarters and Isard rose, her heterochromatic hair fluttering in the city wind, a storm was brewing again. Whoever was manning the weather controls needed to be shot, this was the second day in a row and she made a mental note to fabricate a treason charge on the man later.

A woman's place was on her back or in the kitchen. -and your place belongs mounted on my wall right beside the inhuman scum running ISB!- she thought, bitterness exuding from her being and a deepening feeling of resentment mounting. Why was the Bothan seen as "a regrettable necessity" while she was dismissed? She was far more vital than that prancing hornless cuckold. She would show him that one day, that was the promise she'd made before she stormed into her shuttle to make the trek here.

she would show him

But for now, she needed him.

Without the willing support of the others, she needed help forcing them to support her bid for power against the "Pontifex Invictus". While her domain was foreign spies, the wars and the wider Galaxy it was always ISB that amassed the blackmail dossiers and purple files.

Black clad shadow Troopers moved to obstruct her, Isard stormed passed them and ordered her men to stun them for their impudence. She would not be denied by a Bothan...Not today.

Isard's march throughout the facility was unimpeded for the most part. Raveem's new Shadow Troopers had seemingly gotten the memo to stay away from her. The Bothan had set up a new office space at the very top of the building. Unfortunately for Isard, the elevators were out of service. Even if she demanded to be let into one of the lifts, the technicians working on them refused to. The Imperial Intelligence Director was forced to take the stairs or leave. Over the next half hour, Isard had to climb over a thousand steps to get to the 115th floor of the building where Raveem had built a new office. When she arrived, she was greeted by a great hall adorned with purple banners alongside the flags of the Galactic Empire. In the center was a desk with a protocl droid sitting behind the desk.

"Welcome, Director Isard." The droid said, standing up with a pad in its hand. Its personality module had been replaced with a feminine one and it had been colored silver over the usual Imperial black. "Do you have an appointment?"

"I breathe you spark-less appliance" Isard's voice brimmed with venom, it was bad enough those slime descended Gammorian brained simpletons hadn't finished their work during the hours that the Directors were traditionally "off duty" (Though, the one she would grudgingly admit was that neither she nor the Bothan were ever truly off duty) but now this, convenience item was daring to hold the director of the I.I to the standards of a mere moff? The lack of professional courtesy was infuriating, curse this fiasco. "Now stand aside or my crimson guard will turn you into scrap and set fire to this shallow excuse for a reception room!"

The Coup Raveem had engineered was alarming, it had come almost out of nowhere, organized on a whim months prior when the ISB director realized who the woman was that had been discovered in the stasis pod. -He'd been one the first to realize it too and the first to acquire a strand of hair for genetic testing- She thought bitterly, the eagerness had been dismissed at the time as obvious, common sense measures. But, it seemed odd, almost as if he was an excited child discovering a missing piece or a puzzle. The alternative was that he'd organized the little overthrow on a whim mere days before it happened and that was a possibility she couldn't allow herself to contemplate.

to her left, a transparasteel window's blinds began to flicker close as the solar cycle for this part of the planet entered its mid day phase and the light beaming through began to intensify, matching the fury threatening to boil over within director Isard's atrophied heart. no, she thought, you need to measure yourself. Bravado wasn't going to work with the alien, it had barely worked on her own peers. "that is to say, the Director of Imperial Intelligence has to speak to the director of the Security Bureau on an urgent matter of planetary security and it cannot wait". As if the Emphasize her point, two of her guards stepped forward.

"Ah. Yes, you do have an appointment. Excuse my ignorance. Please, this way."
The protocol droid led Isard and her escorts into the large office beyond. Going through a pair of glass doors, Isard and her guard were greeted by an empty office. When the protoco droid turned to apologize, Raveem emerged from a side door to Isard's left flank. For a moment be stared at her and then to her guards, like a child having been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Slowly, he reached for crotch area and zipped up his black ISB uniform trousers before crossing the room, still keeping his eyes on Isard and stopping at a mini bar. There, he washed his hands on a small basin and dried them with a towel. Finally, he turned to them properly.


The droid turned his head toward the Director, "Yes, sir?"

"I thought I said that you needed to stall her?" He said casually, as if Isard wasn't even standing right across from him. "You know what that means, right?"

"My apologies sir, but the Director insisted that this was a top security matter."
Raveem sighed. It was like he was speaking to an innocent child. Poor thing.

"Of course. Go on then, before she shoots you."
Raveem then walked over to his desk and sat down as the protocol droid shuffled away back to its desk, leaving Raveem alone with Isard and her escort.

"Ysanne Isard!" He exclaimed, raising his hands in the air before putting them back together in front of him, interlocking his fingers. "We meet at last. I may be a little late, but, my condolonces for your father. He will be dearly missed..."

"And here I thought you found religion" Isard remarked an eyebrow raised and her tone dismissively chiding. Doing her best to keep her expression a wry smirk, doing her best to keep her body from lurching as the mental image of a Bothan pleasuring himself continued to assault her mind like a Hutt at an all you can eat buffet. -This is what the Empire is reduced too...dependency upon this..thing- Was he Blackhole's creature? Or had the mad sorcerer gone so crazy he allowed this pathetic creature to amass the power he amassed solely out of a sense of amusement? There was discrepancy after all...And both of them shared madness. as their defining trait.

When he began to bring up her father, the woman had to redouble her efforts, her nostrils flaring for the briefest of seconds before she calmed her fury. "My..Father" she began slowly, was none of your business you filthy moose! "My father always considered the Bothans to be..worthy rivals" she spoke the last part as if she was being forced to digest something foul. "I must...congratulate you. A rising star in Imperial intelligence, non human and from a species stubbornly attached to those damnable rebels" Her posture began to twitch, doing her best to remain rigid she walked towards one of the windows, gazing out at the bustling traffic. Corsec security speeders buzzed towards what looked like the palace district. -Another riot- she thought, likely followers of this week old religion kicking around adherents to the old way. the so called "corrupt" as if their monstrous master was any better.

"I'm curious, my dossier on you suggests you remained on the sidelines, the ascent of your career has been one of maneuvers and feints and counter feints in the dark" She turned back towards him, allowing the sun to flow around her crimson uniform. Doing her best to emulate the body language of that Jedi witch and failing.

"So when I heard you stood side by side this..Pontifex Invictus" she spat the words out contemptuously "As she slaughters a Grand Vizier by animating his own throne, in public, before she butchers Grand Admirals and Moffs on a whim, you support such loudness?!" His eyes narrowed, feigning concern.

"Why would you risk yourself in such a way?" Why would you so foolishly support such an insane, unsubtle and violent monster...Though words died in her throat though, even if her eyes conveyed it.

The Bothan giggled as be turned his chaid to face Isard. What a hideous sight, he thought. She was a pretender. Hiding her true emotions under a half-shattered mask. With some prying and prodding, he knew he could break it into pieces. He wanted to see the starving rancor within her. But not yet. He would save that delicious entertainment for later. The Bothan leaned in on one elbow against his desk, taking in the full disgusting sight of the female human.

"You're so fascinating, Director Isard..." He said softly, his eyes fixating on her heterochromic orbs. She hated him. It was taking a lot for her to come in here and even speak to him. "I admire your commitment to whatever it is you are fighting for." Raveem leaned away from the table, switching poses. "I mean, you are fighting for yourself. But, let's be idealistic here. I do love to pretend. Don't you?"
Isard couldn't read his eyes. It was like he was in another world. Did he consume death sticks or some other drug? It certainly looked like it. She could barely read his expressions.

Ysanne Isard remained silent, her heterochromatic eyes narrowing at the presumptuous Xeno. She couldn't fully read the flickering of his eyes, she couldn't make sense of his body language. What made it even worse was his fur's lack of alteration, she knew he was engaging in deception and yet the Bothan trait of their coats shifting as they lied (Which was a bizarre trait to possess for a race of spymasters and politicians, begrudgingly she recognized it was a testament of their skill in the art of passing poodu off as shimmer silk). -Chaos take him! Is he so mad that he believes anything he says? Or has he persuaded himself that dishonesty for a greater truth is honesty?- Oh, how she hated this creature. When he began to speak the hollowness of his platitude belied the insult within and Isard laughed "Truly Bothan, are we not soldier's of the Empire?" She asked rhetorically, as if that fact justified everything, every moment of duplicity, every self centered and heedless decision that the council had made that cost them parsec after parsec to an advancing Rebel militia. Speeders slowed to a hovering stop as the mid day rush back from lunch to work began in earnest. "Everyone is in it for his or herself, even your precious Jedi. Or do you really think her spiel about "Creating a new order to spread civilization and Imperial justice across the stars" is truly altruistic quest?"

He couldn't be that simple and she couldn't be that fanatical. No one, not even the Jedi she knew as a child were that zealous, that insane. They had long ago abandoned serving the force, they served the corruption of the Republic.

And even then, they served it to perpetuate their own misguided faith. "She sneers and call us vermin, she demeans and mocks the Emperor's legacy while inserting herself into our path! The hypocrisy should be obvious even to you...Director Vash'Ah"

The Bothan raised a finger in the air as he stood up, seemingly telling her to stop talking. He fixed his eyes on of her bodyguards and walked toward him in silence even when he gestured like he was about to say something. That silence continued as he comically shuffled over to the crimson stormtrooper and then walked over to the other in a sorry imitation of a goose-step march.

"Do you hear that, Director?" Raveem exclaimed, standing face to face with the stormtrooper while raising the same digit again. What was he on about? "It sounds like..." The Bothan turned on his heels, keeping to the mockery of Imperial military march protocol "What does it sound like? You tell me."
It sounds like he hadn't heard anything she said. Was he ignoring her? Or did her simply not understand. No way. Someone so... stupid couldn't have gone this far. He was playing games with her, but knowing that was pointless. It was the purpose of this madness that eluded her.

Ysanne Isard was at the point now where she'd have ordered him flayed alive, stuffed in a bacta tank and then flayed akin as soon as his skin regenerated sufficiently. Her whole body heaven in place, her wrist twitching as she did her best to remain calm, mismatched eyes blazed like the fire at the center of a hypmatter reactor. When he rose and began to shuffle, one of the guards instinctively leveled his blaster only to stare in confusion as he began to effect a Storm Trooper marching cadence in as over the top a manner as possible. -Is this fool mocking me by acting like a preening invalid?- for a moment bafflement superseded fury and she gazed in stunned silence at the figure before her. No, this wasn't an invalid, it couldn't be...He had to be something else. Insane perhaps, an idiot savant? Outside, she could hear the traffic pick up, large caravans of speeders were heading to the old presidential supplicate themselves before some damned Alien witch. "I hear the voice of a malicious harpie, a woman whose time came and went over a thousand years before we were born. A relic from a war whose main objective was the extermination of everything the founder of Empire believed in. I hear her malignant laughter as she cuckolds us into becoming a mockery of all that we are!" Isard hissed, her eyes flaring with hatred. This woman was a usurper, the throne was hers! Not that Jedi harpie, not that maniac wizard, Blackhole and not this stunted Bothan...her eyes widened, of course.

This uplifted Moose believed he would have a place beside her when she stole the Empire? Isard almost laughed. "she is diverting almost our entire construction fleet, our repair vessels and the one mobile space port we still possess...reactor fuel, provisions, Tebana gas...burning through billions of credits to requisition civilian liners" Her eyes narrowed.

"Do you not see what she's doing? Do you think she'll extend to treatment that's any different? Fool, your death coils in that palace! hissing poison meant for you as well as us!"

The Bothan smiled. A smile that would perhaps send shivers down the spine of any normal being. For Isard, it would have just confirmed her suspicions that Raveem was beyond insane. Those thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the Bothan making an obnoxious noise that sounded less like a buzzer and more like a Bantha mating call.
"Wrong again!" He exclaimed, as he spun around to face the crimson soldier behind him. Raveem's head tilted to the side as he inspected the stormtrooper with a dissaproving look.

"I always hated this red color..." The Bothan said softly as he extended one arm toward the other crimson soldier, who turned his head to stare at him in confusion. From the Bothan's sleeve shot out two large darts that flew across the room and hit the trooper in the chest. Panicking he dropped his weapon, reaching for his chest. But by then, it was too late. His armored chest exploded into a mess of pieces of armor, blood and bones. It instantly killed him. The other went to strike Raveem with the butt of his weapon, but the Bothan seemed to be one step ahead. With a single move, he dodged the attack and grabbed the soldiers baton from his utility belt. Raveem then stunned him using tje weapon making the stormtrooper fall to the floor. Now stunned, the Bothan crawled on top of the soldier removing his helmet.

"I. Always. Hated. The. Red Color!!!" Raveem shouted as he disfugured the man with every strike, staining both his white tunic and the floor in blood. Clearing his throat, he tossed the baton aside and fixed his blood stained uniform.

"I'm bored." Raverm exclaimed, panting. "So let's get to the topic at hand. Desperation. Yes. That is what I am hearing. And what you should be hearing too."

There were very few beings in the whole of the known universe who could be said to have intimidated the Spymaster, heiress of a family of Spy masters. ISB director Raveem was not one of them, even as the guards torso exploded the woman remained without fear, but something did change in her eyes. She'd ignored the Bothan before, dismissed him as an upjumped Xeno scum, an essential member of the intelligence community that she had to grudgingly endure. But now, as the slaughtered her men and defaced the cadaver of one, howling about his dislike of the color of her uniform Isard's dismissal and contempt was replaced with hatred and disgust.

"Desperate?!" The woman roared storming forward, her own madness and rage overriding sense. "you stupid provincial little animal! You evolved prey! Which one of us is desperate you buffoon? Who butchers my men to sate a fit if pique? You idiot, you brain blasted rancid piece of Dantooine venison. You disgrace your own office acting like a thug" she spat the last part out and waved a hand dismissively "And to think Blackhole allowed someone like you to occupy one of the positions he previously held. He must have been spiced out of his mind!" Her voice waivered, adrenaline surging as she reached for her own gun only to stop herself.

No, I'm not a savage, not like this one. "Get it through your head animal that woman doesn't care about you, she doesn't mocks the Emperor we both served and takes pleasure in killing or converting his surviving acolytes! She wants to burn the Galaxy! Don't you see?! The ships she's requisitioning, the orders Hissa is giving out..DON'T YOU SEE FOOL??!"

Isard took a breath "No of course you don't see, I walked in on you twitching that little piece of Tatooine turnip your sad species calls genitalia, no doubt to her image. You're no different than Plumba or Pestage, if a pair of twits waves their hand in front of you and asks to jump you bow and ask the lady how high! Focus you dimwitted lunatic, focus for once! See the era she is creating over our bones!"

Raveem stared at her rant for over a minute with a baffled look on his face. Either he was feigning confusion or he was genuinely surprised by her suddenly breaking down. She couldn't tell. However, he had been planning to set her off from the beggining and his little show certaintly helped. He thought this would be entertaining, but he was bored out of his mind. Though, in the middle of that, he also found the whole situation funny, even if it isn't what he was expecting. As she finished, the Bothan burst out laughing. A cackle that echoed across the room as he walked back to his desk, holding his stomach as a cramp started to form by the mouth of his stomach. Hunched over, his laughter started to subside. The Bothan took a deep breath and straightened himself. Sighing he walked over behind his desk and opened a drawer, pulling out a fresh white tunic from it.

"Somehow..." He began, as he unzipped the bloodstained ISB tunic and began to take it off, revealing a white sleveless shirt underneath. "I thought that you would be more... creative. Someone who truly 'knew, knew'. But now I realize that you are just painfully average." Putting on the tunic, he proceedes to slowly add his rank plaque and code cylinders. He was very meticulous about it. Ensuring that everything was correctly in place.
"I thought that your odd appearance would perhaps also include some out of the box thinking."

He paused, as he threw the bloodied tunic on the ground and fixed the one he was wearing now. "Something to complement it. Thought I admit..." Raveem sentences seemed unconnected and incoherent. Like he was rambling. But Isard should know better than to trust that. "You are rather amusing."
The Bothan never adressed her comments. Not even once.

"Does it hurt?" Raveem asked at the very end. Once again saying something totally unconnected from the rest of what he said earlier.

Again Director Isard remained leveled, gazing at the maniac that stood before her. The fact that he seriously began to undress before her, caused her heterochromatic eyes to narrow and her hand to reach again for her blaster. "What are you doing, you disgusting creature?!" She snapped "Are you even listening?! Do you think the female you're fawning over sees you as anything other than a beast of burden?! What do you think will come of the Empire with her sharing power?!" Again she came close to howling the last bit out only to stop herself and gawk in amazement when the Bothan asked her if it hurt.

"Hurt? Does what hurt fool?! What are you talking about?!" She blurted out, confused by the trajectory of the conversation.

"Killing your father." He said, his facial expression losing that manic look he had earlier. For a minute, the beast could have passed as normal. "I have it on good authority that... you killed him yourself." Raveem glanced down at his desk, neatly folding the bloodstained tunic before setting it down on top of the desk again. "Of course, he did send you off to your own death. But I am curious. Did you feel anything?"

Success... Raveem though as he looked at Isard up and down. He had more than broken her mask. The Bothan had shattered it, and was underneath was exactly what he had been expecting. Everything was going smoothly.

"wh.." Ysanne Isard's face lost all color as the full weight of the realization dawned on her. Vash'Ah indeed, she thought, those eyes, those mad eyes see everything don't they? Behind her, two service droids hastily entered and began to extract the corpses and Isard merely stood there in startled silence unable to fully comprehend how badly she'd underestimated him.

She stepped forward, out the window several speeders filled with freighter captains were taking off towards a party district, likely in celebration of the new contracts they'd just gotten from the Imperial Navy's office of logistics. "killing my father" She began stepping closer towards the Bothan "Was destiny, as a member of a prominent Bothan clan I'd assume you understand the weight of filial duty yes? My bloodline was in the wrong hands, it needed to be...liberated'

Isard turned and walked towards the window, deflated perhaps but no less filled with hatred. "You continue to avoid my questions Bothan, are you concerned? Are you afraid that pointing such powerful insights inward and toward your beloved religious leader will result in unpleasant answers to questions you dare not ask? hmm? Is that it?"

"Because you keep asking the wrong questions."
He said, his head slowly turning toward her again. With a measured deliberate pace, Raveem began to walk toward her. "I thought you would have figured it by now Director!" The Bothan exclaimed, throwing his hands to the sides "I'll just tell you. I was the one who brought her to that meeting. The one who enabled Invictus Janus to cleanse the Empire of the the corrupt and incompetent leadership." A wicked grin began to grow on his lips as he got closer and closer to Isard. "But I am beyond that kind ideological zealotry. It doesn't interest me. No... no... It was the unknown variable that Miryia Janus, was! It was an experiment. A gamble. Roll the dice and see the Galaxy plunged into chaos or be driven to order. And it paid off."

The way the Bothan stood side-by-side to the window, made the dim lights of the office obscure the side of his face. It made him look feral, ominous and to the faint of heart, terrifying. It looked unintentional, however. An accidental trick of the light marking an otherwise benign moment.

"I know why you're here." Said Raveem, as he got closer. "You are here because the others will not listen. Hissa, Carvin, Palleon, Grant..." The Bothan looked at Isard straight in the eyes as he uttered the last name. "Plumba. Ysanne Isard came to me because I am her last resort. The last person you would ever consider begging for help to stage your coup..."

A cold chill ran down the imperial intelligence director's spine, as the mad Bothan confessed his treason with a look of pure joy! Around him the shadows seemed to dance as he began to speak proudly of his grand quest for order from chaos by tossing a violently unstable variable into an already violent mess! The careless idiot could have destroyed the empire, no, he wasn't careless. In his perverse mind that probably would have been a good thing and slowly, humiliation, shame and a tiny bit of fear intermarried with her rage.

"You did brought this down on us?" She let out a breath she hadn't known she'd been holding and reached up to dust at her shoulder, doing her best to remove some debris and bone matter from the fabric of her uniform. As she shadows continued to reveal the extent of his knowledge slowly shook her head. "The fat one" she muttered it with a curse, she would kill Plumba for this treachery.

"Paid off? Hah, I suppose you think so, but I must ask you Director Raveem" she emphasized the last bit, holding onto the ceremony of rank, the head of I.I still outranked the ISB chief if only on paper. "Can you honestly say, she won't decide that you're too wild, ungovernable and sinful live in her new era?" It was her last line of defense, a desperate plea and she knew very well it wouldn't be enough to sway him but if she could turn him to the path of suspicion just a little.

"You're so amusingly strange Director..." He said softly, his head turning to look out the window. Raveem turned completely to face the window, looking at Isard through the reflection. The Bothan stood there silent, looking at himself on the window with a blank look on his face.

"My father used to tell me, 'You don't have to turn people in your favor. Just sow enough dissent and suspicion to cause chaos in their lines.'" Raveem then turned to face Isard again, a big smile on his face. "Was it your instructor? Your father too, perhaps? It's a good strategy to use if you face a grunt or a politician. But in this instance... it only makes you look desperate."

He didn't have to adress the rest. Raveem was goal driven. Everything served a purpose. To the lighting of the room, to his body movements, to the tone of his voice. He knew Isard was too stupid to realize she had walked into a situation she couldn't control. That she was being guided toward something without her knowledge.

Isard slowly nodded her head at his estimation of the tactic she was using, the look on her face was someone thoroughly defeated yet filled with new resolve. She'd cornered him, humiliated her, reminded her of why he was the only non human to ever reach the position of ISB director.

The discussion about her father only served to dig deeper into the wound and fill her with a madness comparable that of her own enemies. -Alright then- Ysanne Isard began to head towards the exist of the Bothan's office before turning around and gazing into his eyes with a frenzied intensity. "You've succeeded in chastening me Director Vash'Ah, my compliments to you even my father never..evoked..such feelings in me...I promise you, one day, soon I'm going to visit them back on you by an order of...magnitude" The last part was hissed out venomously enough she looked like some crazed predator backed into a corner ready to chew its own leg off to escape. "I promise you that"

The doors opened, whether by her proximity or by the Bothans will, Isard couldn't tell but she'd felt small, like a little girl again before her father's harsh judgments. She felt weak, scared, she felt battered and she was going to skin him alive in a pain web for that, slowly with enough bacta and med droids nearby to ensure this damn thing endured the horror.

"Good day, ISB Director. History won't be able to say I didn't offer you a chance to turn back. History won't say anything about you at all when I'm done with you"

When Director Isard left his office, Vas'ah had his protocol droid seal the door to his office, darken the windows and dim the lights. Sitting down in his desk, he pressed a button and from the desk emerged the holographic bust of an Imperial ISB officer.

"Director Vas'ah." The hologram flickered as Major Oniye Namada stood at attention the moment she saw the Bothan.

"Report." Said Raveem, as a grin formed around the edges of his mouth. The Major would never get used to the Director-Generals eyes... or his general disposition. There was something off about it. Regardless of what she thought of the Bothan, Namada was loyal to the Empire and even more loyal to Vas'ah. He had worked hard to get to that position and issued a promotion to her the moment he became Director-General. The Bothan was seemingly the only one who recognized her talents. While others worked to undermine her work against corruption in the ranks, Raveem gave her more authority and oversight to combat it. For once, she thought, they had a leader who truly cared.

"All agents in Bothawui were killed-in-action, sir. According to Agent Gideon Hask who was in command, the operatives were intercepted by New Republic pilots. While they were successful in their retrieval of the chip, the interferance of the Rebels and subsequent intervention of Bothan security forces prevented proper retrieval." The Major sent a copy of the report she had compiled of the mission. The whole debacle in Bothawui was an embarassment, not only to Agent Hask but to her as well. However, she was ready to accept responsibility for her actions. Or more accurately, lack thereof. Giving the mission to Agent Hask was perhaps a mistake. Something to be rectified later.

"Sir. I accept full responsibility for-"

Raveem raised his hand as he continued to read the report on a datapad in his hand. "One moment, please..."
Major Namada sat there, waiting for the Bothan to finish. One thing she had learned while working for him over the past three years was that he was unpredictable. Nobody, not even the best agents in the Bureau could tell what the man was thinking or what he would do next. While many of the Directors who came beforehand followed protocol, Raveem was someone who thought outside the box. She couldn't recall a single instance where the Bothan actually did anything by the book. Every mission agents were assigned to seemed to have no rhyme or reason. Yet, somehow, they always yielded results.

"You didn't add this part about Senator Fey'lya being there as some sort of joke, right? Was he actually there?" Raveem asked, looking up to meet the Major's now confused gaze. "

"Yes, sir. All the information there is accurate. I went over every account three times." Replied the Major, shifting in her seat.

"And you are sure that he took the chip?" Raveem seemed to be getting more excited by the minute. She could see it in his eyes, the way his right ear twitched and his fur seemed to rise up. At least that, she could read.

"Y-yes." Had she missed something? Abruptly, the Bothan stood up from his chair tossing the datapad over his shoulder.
"Then, mission accomplished Major!" Raveem shouted with a big smile on his face. "You did well. Make sure to give Agent Hask my compliments.

"I don't understand..." Again, Namada was at a loss for words. Had he seen something that she had missed? Most likely. It seemed to be his specialty.

"You will, trust me." Raveem was about to run off without hanging up, before he returned into view again. "Oh, and don't forget to look into that other matter for me. I want to know where Zsinj's very special item ended up."

"Yes-" Before Namada could reply the Bothan ran off. "sir..." She finished off with a sigh. Perhaps Namada would never know how the Director "functioned". He was wild and spontaneous, yet somehow professional and incredibly intelligent. Perhaps it was best she never know.
Phasma had to shoot some overconfident Twi'lek trying to make off with her helmet in order to retrieve it. With her helm in hand, she followed Highsinger's lead, putting the thing on and activating the advanced air filter on it. Finally, air that didn't smell like piss, sweat and booze. That stench was completely alien to her, and she could have gone her entire life without having to smell it. The small group managed to cross the street into a building across from the bar. Along the way, the odd-looking assassin droid dragged what she presumed was some kind of vital target across the street by the hair on the top of his head. The guy, who she had seen earlier while sitting at the bar was a Zygerrian. Seeing one of the slavers be dragged about by a droid was admittedly amusing. Stepping onto a turbolift the group made their way up to a skyscraper above the street.

Highsinger proceeded to coerce the Zygerrian into calling their marks. Once that was done, the droid turned to both women and referred to them by what Phasma could only describe as an insult. "Servant?", she thought? She was nobody's servant. For a moment, the thought of shooting the silly-looking piece of junk that was Highsinger crossed her mind. A well-placed shot to the photoreceptors on the head and the fall would take care of the rest. However, she decided against it at the last minute. Phasma could bring it up with Raveem later. Right now, all she wanted to do was finish the mission and get back home.
It didn't take long for Phasma to get up from her seat and moved in to protect Aladar from the chaos that ensued. Somehow Aladar had gotten one of the thugs in here to start a bar fight. In the middle of the chaos, Invictus Janus' assassin robot, Highsinger appeared. Somehow, the droid had made his way through the fighting crowd to their position. As he spoke, Phasma readied her blaster and checked that the spike she used as a melee weapon was ready to go. All that was left was her helmet. As she was about to put it on, a Duros ran up to her, smashing a chair against her head. The sudden strike made her drop her chromed helmet and fall to her knees. The half-drunken Duros laughed as he drew a knife to finish the job. She took advantage of his brief hesitation and spun around, kicking him in the knee causing him to go off balance. Phasma then tackled the man, wrestling the knife off his hand and then repeatedly punching his enlarged head until he stopped moving.

Before she could stand up and return to Aladar and Highsinger, she was grabbed Trandoshan who held Phasma in a headlock screaming profanities at her. Seems like the guy had a friend… Phasma elbowed the Trandoshan several times in the ribs until he let go of her. As she was about to turn around to face her attacker a human sucker punched her, making Phasma stagger backwards. The Trandoshan then shoved her forwards making her fall over again. The Trandoshan and the Human along with a Gran started laughing and congratulating each other. Now distracted, Phasma used the moment to turn things around. First she kicked the Trandoshan in the knee. The force was enough that the knee was dislocated backwards making the Trandoshan howl in pain and fall to the floor. She then drew her spike and rushed the Gan before he could go tend to his friend. He was impaled by the spike through the chest. The sheer force of the attack forced them both to the floor. Finally, the Human attempted to shoot her with a pistol, but the armor was enough to stop the low yield shots. In a fit of rage, Phasma grabbed the human male by his shirt and tossed him out of the bar into the riot unfolding outside. The crowd trampled on him, probably killing him. At the end of the fight, the Trandoshan laid there incapicitated while his Gan friend had been killed by the spike. Panting, Phasma searched for her gun, finding it under a turned over table. Though now, she was missing her helmet. Damn…

Reading through it, I don't think this is the type of character that we want in the story right now, sorry.
The moment Phasma, Aladar and Highsinger arrived in Taris the human immediately regretted her decision to even come on this mission. She felt… alone and uncharacteristically anxious. What was going on? Was it the planet? The rancid smells of this dump's streets? The people? She couldn't figure it out. All she could think about was Raveem. The moment his face crossed her mind she began to piece together what was going on. Phasma felt like a child who had been abruptly separated from their parents. That sense of comfort and security was gone, replaced by a series of emotions she hadn't felt in a long time. Regardless, she did her best to keep her composure.

The moment they arrived at the brothel she found it harder and harder to keep herself from smashing someone's skull open. That little bit of restraint she had managed to work up on the way here was gone the moment she saw the depravity of this world. She was angry and sickened by what she was seeing. This place was filled with hopeless drunks, depressing drug addicts, disgusting slavers and their victims. Raveem had once told her that slavery was a necessary evil, but she never agreed with him. Going back to that moment, he seemed happy that she disagreed with him. She never understood why that was the case. Though, at one point she gave up in her attempt to understand what was inside the Bothan's head.

Earlier, one of the server girls had brought over a drink. She despised alcohol and refused to drink it, but did so anyway to keep up appearances. Taking a bit, she immediately regretted it. It tasted terribly sweet and it burned her throat as it came down her esophagus. She just wanted to get out of here. That is when Aladar leaned in and outlined their plan. A gang war? Phasma tried not to seem confused, but whatever had popped up in Miryia's disciple was probably the best of all the other options. It sounded chaotic, but she would make do. Wouldn't be the first time Phasma was caught in the middle of a crossfire.

"About time." She whispered back. "I'll follow your lead."
And take you out if I have to... Highsinger and Aladar were two people… well, and droid, who she had only met a few hours ago. While Raveem seemed to trust them, she certainly didn't. For now though, she was going to stick to the plan and follow Aladar's lead.


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