The Force Wars
Posts: 2440
  • Posted On: Sep 11 2013 9:26pm
The Force Wars

Act One: The Unifying Force

Arix Askrima sat upon the terrace of his apartment overlooking Knossa City, in the tallest tower of the Great Jedi Library, meditating on the Force. It had been a difficult year. The Reaver incursions were no longer the pestilence of the galaxy as they had been, but Reaver territory was far from safe and the Ossan Defense Force Green Zone along the Reaver border was under constant assault.

Thank the Force for Chadd Fearsons, Zark thought, marveling at how much could change in so little time. Two years ago, he couldn’t imagine thanking Fearsons, Shadow Jedi Master and leader of the Jutraalian Empire (its capital, Jutraal, the new monikor Fearsons had chosen for what once had been New Alderaan), for anything.

That is, until Fearsons had, as his dying wish, bequeathed the entire Jutraalian Navy and all its worlds to the Ossan Parliament and the Jedi Enclave. The resulting donation had, over the past few months, led to the birth of the United Worlds of Ossus, or UWO for short. Zark was almost certain Chaddwick had been assassinated, and the thought of pursuing his killer to avenge the Shadow Jedi’s death had crossed his mind. But vengeance was no longer his path.

His path was that of the Jedi, and Fearsons’ killers would get what they deserved in the end. Sith always do, one way or another. Even total victory can drive a Sith Lord mad, as history had shown.

He was mulling over the trade agreements currently underway with the former Commonwealth, newly crowned Republic. Zark had learned from his forebears' mistake, there could be no unification between the UWO and the Republic, and it was for one reason and one reason only.

The Enclave.

It would be a danger to them both. Ossus had to remain neutral, and even that hard choice had pained the Grand Master. The people had been willing to bear the Jedi’s burden, but at what potential cost?

All at once, he felt a disturbance in the Force unlike anything he had ever experienced. He instinctively reached for the activation switch of the crystal white saber embedded in his robotic hand. The hand was a newer model. The old one had let the robotic hand recede into the wrist in exchange for a saber sprouting directly from his wrist, but that had been too unwieldy, so this model shot the saber hilt directly from his palm, before closing and clicking into place, wieldable just as a normal lightsaber but still bolted to his robotic palm, and deactivated in much the same way, only reversed, the small panel on the side of the saber and on his wrist controlling the whole device.

The crystal had been an exhumed artifact of the Library, truly unique in the universe. Zark hadn’t wanted to take it, but the Knossans had insisted, and the Jedi Master had quickly learned that when the Knossans wanted something, even his pseudo-messianic reputation couldn’t stop it.

His finger was at the button when he paused, noticing for the first time that the presence was not of the Dark, but in fact exuding Light in quantities he had only experienced in the most powerful Jedi Masters, Jiren and Skywalker among them. All of the sudden there was a blinding white flash, and Zark instinctively threw himself to the floor of the balcony, only to feel cobblestones beneath him where there should have been Ossan lumber.

Blinking rapidly, his vision slowly cleared, and the sight before him took his breath away. He was no longer on his balcony, no longer in the Library, and from the sky it seemed as if he wasn’t even on Ossus anymore. He was standing in what looked to have been, millennia ago, some sort of meeting chamber. The walls were covered with moss and vines, and it was obvious that no living soul had been here in a very long time.

Suddenly, there was a presence to his right, and instantly his wrist saber flashed to life in a brilliant white blur.

“Peace, Master Jedi.”

At first the light was too bright to make out any distinctive features. But slowly it dimmed, though not completely, and standing before him was an alien, encompassed in Light, he had never encountered before, and considering his travels that was an impressive fact.

“Who...what are you? Where am I?” he said, all at once, his voice not harsh but emphatic.

“Peace,” the alien said, its voice soothing in a way reminiscent of Jedi mind tricks. Zark threw up his mental barriers instinctively, but soon realized there had been no foul play. Reluctantly, he deactivated his saber and dropped his mental guards, “No harm will come to you here.”

“What is this place?” he asked, more curious at this point than threatened.

“I have answers for all your questions, but first there are things you must know. Important things, and if I do not tell them to you you likely will not believe the answer I have for the question you seek,” the alien oozed calm, it showed no outward nor mental signs of feeling threatened by the Grand Master in the least.

“Very well, speak your piece…” and then he realized he did not even know its name.

“I am Valis,” she offered, recognizing his disconcert.

“Vah-liss," Zark said, repeating the proper pronunciation, "I have never seen your species before."

“Nor would I expect you to have,” Valis replied, offering what seemed to be a sad smile, “I am Kwa, and in your universe we are all but extinct.”

Kwa? My what? My universe?” Zark wheeled around, “Where am I, then?”

“Relax, Master Jedi,” Valis said, her soothing voice once again a reminder of past tricks, “You are where you are supposed to be, the Corusca galaxy.”

“But where in the...the Corusca galaxy?” he pressed, trying not to be impatient.

“This…” it said, its voice filled with mourning, “is...was...Tython. The auxiliary Council Chambers, to be specific.”

“Tython?” Zark echoed, his eyes wide, “That's...that's an ancient Jedi world! We’ve only seen its name in records at the Library, but no other references and no galactic coordinates.”

“Those were destroyed a long, long time ago, by a dark race known as the Rakata,” the Kwa replied, and for the first time there was a flash of something resembling anger in her tone.

Before Zark could ask another question, there was a roaring overhead and a sudden Darkness filled the room, as if all the windows in the adjoining hallways had been cut off from the Light.

"What the Sith was that?!" he asked, meditating to keep any fear from rising.

"Cree'Ar, I would imagine," the Kwa responded, almost absentmindedly.

"The Cree'Ar?!" Zark asked, his eyes wide, "They're here? On Tython? Why?"

"They're looking for you, I suppose. Well, not just you, all Jedi."

"But why would they think to find us here?" Zark asked.

"Someway, somehow, they found the coordinates of Tython," the Kwa responded, "Who can tell how? Perhaps they had a sleeper agent already here, feeding information back to their home galaxy. Perhaps they knew before they left.

You must understand, it took centuries for the first wave of the Cree'Ar hibernation ships to get here. They have been planning this invasion for a long time. During the height of the Dominion, Tython was still flourishing with life. Perhaps they found the coordinates then and just assumed you would still be there. Either way, they are here.

“And as for your first assumption, you are wrong. Tython was not a Jedi world. It was Kwa. And after the Kwa went on their exodus, it became the home of the Je’daii.”

“The...the Je’daii?” Zark asked, enunciating the word awkwardly, confusion on his features, “I’ve never heard of them.”

“You wouldn't have, Master Jedi,” Valis said, making a gesture Zark took to mean a genuflection, “They disappeared long ago. For thousands of years, they occupied Tython and its neighboring worlds...until the dark times...until the Rakata came.”

“They were wiped out?” he asked, though he feared he knew the answer already.

“Not all, not all,” and on its face, an expression that could have been bemusement, “Some survived. And procreated. Many direct descendants of the Je’daii are alive and well in your galaxy.”

“Where are they?” Zark asked, excitement in his voice, “The Jedi Order is a Shadow of its former self this galaxy, if there are Je’daii alive, they could help turn the tide!”

“Poor, poor Master Jedi,” the Kwa said, but her tone was that of genuine sorrow, “You do not understand. When the Je’daii Order fell, two sects split off. One, your galaxy knows now as the Jedi. The other, the Sith.”

“The Jed...the Sith?!...then the Je’daii are our...our…”

“They are your precursors, yes,” Zark could not contain his astoundment at the revelation. “You mean, the Jedi and Sith were both…”

“One in the same, yes,” to Zark’s surprise, there were actual tears in her eyes, “Forgive me. You must understand, in many ways, it was the fault of the Kwa. You see...we brought them there. The Je’daii. We sent our vessels, our Tho Yor, across the galaxy to gather Force sensitives. Those who chose to leave their homeworlds were brought here, to Tython, to learn the ways of the force. To learn the Je’daii way. Not Light, not Dark, but balance. Always balance.”

“But the Darkside is evil!” he screamed, and now he was angry, “It poisons everything and everyone it ever touches! I know. It touched me, and I went insane.”

“And yet, you are using it as we speak,” the Kwa replied, showing no surprise whatsoever at the Jedi Master’s outburst, and before Zark could bite back a retort, he realized at once that it was right. He was exuding Dark energy, “I...I...forgive me. I did not mean…”

“There is no forgiveness necessary, Master Jedi,” Valis said, smiling, “Under your present circumstances, where you are and who I am, your outburst is understandable, it was even calculated.”

“It calculated how I would react?” Zark sputtered, “So the Kwa are scientists?”

“Science, philosophy, religion, the Force. They are all one, Master Jedi,” Valis replied, speaking without condescension but still in a tone more likely appropriate for a youngling than a Jedi Master, “The Kwa study the Force, so the Kwa study everything the Force affects. And the Force, Master Jedi, affects everything.”

“That part, at least, I know,” Zark nodded, regaining his composure, “So you mean...there are still Kwa alive, out there?” he said, pointing at the stars. Noticing for the first time the majestic beauty of Tython’s twin moons, one shale black and the other a bright white not dissimilar to the color of his wrist saber.

“Few, too few…” the Kwa said, once again sadness reverberating in her tone, “Most of us left this universe, we felt...guilt over our failure with the Je’daii. In hindsight, leaving was, at least in my opinion...a mistake. We should have stayed to right our wrongs; instead, we left you to defend for yourselves.”

“I hold no ill will towards you, Valis of the Kwa,” Zark replied, earnestness in his voice that seemed to momentarily surprise the alien, “Each of us, each sentient being, makes our own choices. We choose the Light, or we choose the Dark, and often we live by that initial choice forever. Perhaps balance is the best way, but until now not a soul in our galaxy thought it was possible, saver for the...what we call Shadow Jedi.”

“Shadow Jedi are not Je’daii,” Valis said, smiling softly, “The Shadows view the Darkside as a tool, a tool they can use in tandem with the Light. But thinking of the Dark as a always leads to corruption. Maybe not in a mortal lifetime, but for the immortals, always.”

“Immortals, then you’ don’t age?”

“Technically, no. But its a little more complicated than that,” the Kwa gave a gesture Zark took to mean a shrug, “Je’daii do not think of the Darkside as a tool, but as a gift, the same way the Jedi think of the Light. The Force is a gift, Arix Askrima, or maybe, just maybe, a curse, and the Dark is half of the Force, or at least it should be, and for too long we have left your galaxy to its own devices. But variables have changed, and the Corusca galaxy is now a high priority for my people. We are here...we are here to help, in what limited ways we can.”

“You know my real name?"

"There is little about you I do not know," the Kwa replied calmy, and though he should have felt threatened, for some unexplainable reason he did not.

"Earlier you said you left the...universe? Where did you go?”

“Somewhere else, somewhere close, yet far at the same time. Somewhere that is, and isn’t. Somewhere eternal, and instant. I know I speak in riddles, but it is difficult to comprehend if you have never seen it,” the Kwa said.

“Can you take me there?” he asked, elated at the idea of seeing the home of such an apparently ancient and renowned species.

“I can, but be warned, it is dangerous,” Valis replied, and its face showed no humor.

“Dangerous? How?”

“I can take you there easily enough, but getting you back…” it paused, and for a moment, he sensed that it might have been keeping something from him, then it passed, “Getting you back would be...difficult.”


“The power required, for one,” Valis replied, “Our technology can produce vast quantities of power at one time, but even the Kwa had there limits. Taking you from Ossus, and bringing you and myself to Tython was...draining for us.”

“But surely your power sources recharge? What’s the problem?”

“The other problem is...more complicated,” Valis paused, as if searching for the right forwards, “There is...a sort of limit to this kind of thing. Passing through once is safe, but multiple journeys can lead to...complications.”

“What kind of complications?” Zark asked.

Terrible ones,” and the Kwa gave what the Jedi thought might be a shudder.

“But surely you must have left this or another universe to go there. Wasn’t it dangerous for you?” Zark asked.

“It was a calculated risk, yes, but that’s not the point,” the Kwa paused, again searching for words, “The point is...Kwa are different from humans. Our physiology is not the same. The journey is...more taxing for your people. You can make it through to our side safely enough, but the return…”

The Kwa wasn’t lying, he could sense, but still he felt there was something Valis wasn’t quite telling him. Still, he sensed no malice from the Kwa, and as far as he could tell it had been straightforward with him to this point.

“So what are you saying?” Zark asked, “If I go through, I can’t come back?”

“You could, at least I believe, theoretically,” Valis admitted, “But the risk of complication would be enormous.”

“Its a chance I’m willing to take,” Zark said, not knowing why he was so compelled to take such a risk but nonetheless certain of his choice.

“One step at a time, Master Jedi,” the Kwa said, arms raised in a gesture of patience, “Unity is a magnificent place. And much good is done there, good that could affect not only this universe, but all of them at once.”

“But the people in this universe need me!” Zark responded emphatically, "And if the Dominion has reached Tython..."

“Peace. Things may seem as Dark as they have ever been, but it always looks that way before the Dawn. If it is your choice to return, when you are done in Unity, we will not try to stop you from attempting.”

“On your word?”

“On my word,” it said, “and the word of all Kwa. You will be allowed to leave, whenever you desire.”

“Very well. Earlier you kept saying Unity, is that what where we’re going is called?” Zark asked.

“In a manner of speaking. That is what everyone calls it. You will understand more when we arrive,” Valis said, calmly turning away from him and towards the twin moons.

“ exactly does this work?” Zark asked.

“Just relax,” the Kwa said, “Focus on Ashla, the Light, and Bogan, the Dark. Meditate on the Force, not just your experiences as a Jedi but your experiences of the Dark. Come to terms with them, if you can, and understand that for a mortal, the past is forever locked away. Mistakes can not be undone, only fixed.”

The words struck home for him, and for the first time, the burden of guilt for his past somewhat lessened. Perhaps it was just the kind words of an ancient alien meant to boost his morale, but as he turned toward the moons as Valis had instructed and began to meditate, he slowly became more and more assured that the Kwa hadn’t just been saying those words out of kindness, that they were the truth.

That they were the truest thing he had ever heard. He closed his eyes.

“We are here,” Valis said.

“Already?” he asked, surprised, and opened his eyes.

He could not believe them.
  • Posted On: Sep 12 2013 1:21am
Hapan Parliament, Hapes
The Republic, Declaration Day

Nathanos tried not to shrink in his seat any more than would be noticeable, and his attempts to make himself seem invisible felt all too fruitless. To be a Darksword, to be a member, not only of the Royal Hapan family, but the cousin of both Dakkon and was never invisible.

Darksword was a High Admiral in the Hapan Navy. He had acquitted himself well at the helm of the Conqueror-class Battleship the Crown Blade in the police action that had led to the quashing of the Lorellian insurgent movement, and since then he had been little more than a pencil pusher, a key figure in the military chain of command yes, but ultimately he felt that to be more a result of fear towards his lineage than his actual combat record.

Still, he excelled in his position. Nathanos was as adept at tactical thinking as he was at command. Though he had never perfected the social graces his cousins had so meticulously cultivated as Princes in line for the Hapan Throne, he felt at home on the bridge of a command ship. Alive.

In Parliament, less so.

In an attempt to at the very least not completely embarrass the Darksword name, Nathanos made one last desperate attempt to catch the movement of the current rhetoric. On the day the Commonwealth had declared itself the Republic, Hapan Parliament had quite simply become a madhouse in less than an hour.

“To throw away Hapes independence would spell the doom of our people, our culture, our very identity as Hapans!”

“How can we not side with the Republic?! Not to do so would spell certain doom anyway! Do you think the Imperials will just sit idly by while Hapes secedes?!”

“The Imperials have bigger problems to worry about. The Reavers, the Dominion, even this Rebellion we keep hearing about! How foreign patriates can call themselves rebels is beyond me!”

“Trust me, they’ll make time! The Empire has always had its eyes on the Hapes Cluster. Lupercus Darksword is in their High Command, for Force’s sake!”


The last speaker knew right away that he had made a terrible mistake bringing up the black sheep of the Darksword family. All eyes turned to the Queen Mother, Nathanos’ aunt, and the speaker broke into a cold sweat immediately.

“I think…” she began, slowly, as a skilled orator would, “I think, that joining the Republic is not only the most strategically advantageous choice the Cluster can make, its also the right choice.”

Nathanos coughed suddenly, gawking. Was this really his aunt, or a robot someone replaced her with? Several nearby glanced his way, but their eyes too were wide with awe at the words that had come out of their Queen Mother’s mouth. For a long while, nobody spoke, and then everyone all at once.

“But the Royal Family! You would have no power, Queen Mother! The Royal Family would be effectively dissolved!

“Joining the Republic means making their enemies our enemies. And I don’t think any of us want the Empire as a mortal enemy!”

“Silence!” at first, Nathanos wasn’t even aware he had spoken. It wasn’t until he realized everyone in the room, including and especially his aunt, was staring at him, that he realized it had been him. He thought quickly, desperate for an attempt to cover, “My aunt is speaking. You will not interrupt.”

After a brief pause and a somewhat surprisingly bemused expression from his aunt, she continued.

“Thank you, Nathanos,” the Queen Mother said, “As I was saying, I think joining the Republic is both tactically sound and morally right, and as for my position. I don’t know what your diplomatic dossier said, but mine stipulated that the Queen Mother is to be granted veto power over all law passed within the Cluster, only to be overturned by two thirds Republican Parliamentary vote. Frankly, that’s good enough for me.”

There was more uproar, but after a loud cough from Nathanos and a piercing glare from the Queen Mother, Parliament was once more silent.

“Now let’s cut to the chase here, fellas,” she said, “I know, you know, everbody here knows that the real issue at stake is the dissolution of Parliament. You’re afraid you’ll lose your jobs. You don’t have to be afraid to admit it, I’d be scared shitless if I were you.”

There were nervous chuckles, but more couldn’t tell whether or not it was a joke.

“Therefore, at the final summit between the Hapes Cluster and the Republic, I guarantee, as your Queen,” she gave a brief pause, for dramatic effect, “Will personally ensure that each and every one of you is given the opportunity to run in the new Republican Parliament as representatives of your current districts.”

There was a brief clamor, though not as loud as before, before once again the Queen’s cold expression turned the room silent.

“Now I know elections are still two years out, and most of you were looking forward to a nice long planning session before your campaigns,” the Queen Mother continued, “But I promise to each and every one of you that the day the Republic election races begin, each of you will be frontrunners for reelection.”

That calmed things down in a hurry. Nathanos whistled softly to himself. His mother had always had a way with the Parliament. I think it was because they were all terrified should would disappear them, though she never had. A few MPs had died or gone missing under mysterious circumstances, and rumors started flying, but that was just it, politics.

The one Darksword skill Nathanos had never had a talent for.

“Very well, Queen Mother,” the voice was that of the Speaker, “All vote yea?....All vote nay?”

The votes were calculated electronically, and ten seconds later the results were in. It was…

Unanimous, in favor.

The Hapes Cluster had just officially joined the Republic.

“Now, if that’s the last item, Queen Mother?” the Speaker asked.

Nathanos began to rise, but froze when his mother said what she said next.

“Actually, there is one more thing.”

No. It couldn’t be. She wouldn’t. Never in a billion years...would she?

“I know all of you have not given up hope on my eldest son, Dakkon,” she began.

Oh Force no.

“And that, a month after his disappearance, we all agreed we would hold the seat of Crown Prince empty for him, should he ever return.”

Murmurings. The smartest in the room had already put the pieces together. Why? How could she possibly do this to him?

“But I think you’ll all agree, that a decision made years ago in days of hope must be unmade in days of reality. Therefore, I put forth the motion immediately to elect a new Crown Prince of Hapes!”

“But who?” came the inevitable call from the parliament.

No no no no. This can’t be happening this cannot possibly be happening!

“I think the choice is obvious don’t you?” no I don’t believe it, “The High Admiral of the Royal Hapan Navy, soon to be granted the titles of Admiral and Protector of the Cluster by the Republic federal Parliament, and the next man geologically in line for the Crown…”

Fuck you, aunt. Fuck you so much.

High Admiral Nathanos Darksword!”

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Shit fuck frack frell damn fuck.

“Very well then, Queen Mother!” the Speaker said, beaming, “Voting will now commence! All vote yea?...all vote nay?”

Ten seconds the results were in. Those too were unanimous.

Nathanos Dawksword was the new Crown Prince of Hapes.

Fuck me.

Calls for speech arose, those that saw his face stopped immediately. His aunt, in rare kindness, waved the shouting away.

"No need for such formalities," she said, and he couldn't believe she was sparing him this small torment after having just thrust so large of one right into his lap, "You all know my nephew, you all know his record, I think we can all agree he'll make a fine Crown Prince!"

Cheers all around. He did everything he could do disguise his horror, and failed miserably. He had never wanted the Throne, and yet now it was his, with all the politics that come with it.

“But Queen Mother, if the Royal Family is limited to your veto power, what would should the Prince play?”

It was a question even he hadn’t thought of. What did a Crown Prince do in a Republic?

“Why, a military role, of course. Young Thanatos here already has the command experience and rank of a man double his age!” the Queen Mother replied, and at his gaping look of awe she tossed him a wink, and it all made sense. Thank you, “Effective immediately, I move to vote that Prince Darksword be placed in full command the Hapan Royal Fleet, under direct command of the Republic Supreme Commander, and immediately be reinstated as captain of the Crown Blade, our Cluster’s finest flagship!”

“An excellent idea, Queen Mother,” the Speaker said, before apologizing profusely for forgetting to remain impartial, “Voting shall commence. All vote yea?...all vote nay?”

Ten seconds. A third unanimous vote.

Maybe being Crown Prince won’t be so bad after all, he thought to himself.

Smiling, genuinely for the first time in his life within the confines of a Royal building, Prince Nathanos Darksword, Admiral-in-Command of the Hapan Royal Fleet, Protector of the Cluster, and Captain of the Crown Blade, stood and left the room.

Not bad at all.
Posts: 6
  • Posted On: Sep 14 2013 2:03am
Etti-IV, Republic Capital
Declaration Day + 28

The day the Republic’s Declaration was made, the Hapan Watchers had dissolved overnight. It was truly a disconcerting feeling, witnessing everything you had worked for your entire life vanish in a day. Cygnus was not used to sentimentality, but he was still a man of principles, and the Declaration, at the time, seemed to have made his obsolete.

The entire Watcher program, save the Royal Family Security Detail, had been reassigned to the newly formed Republic Strategic Information Service, or SIS. Cygnus thought the name was terrible, but apparently it had been a successful intelligence bureau of the Old Republic at one point and these new Republicans were sticklers for nostalgia.

Also apparently, Cygnus was no longer in a position where things like division names were under his direct purview. He had been granted a high ranking Special Agent position at the SIS, but nothing close to the stature he had once held with the Watchers. The SIS brass assured him that high quality performance would lead to rapid promotion, but the veiled demotion stung, even if he understood the reasons why.

Things were changing. The Commonwealth had changed, and twenty eight days ago no one had been more surprised than he when the Hapan Queen Mother endorsed Republic reintegration.

That, more than any other decision, had spelled his doom and those of nearly all Watchers.

Strategic Information Services, what a joke, he thought to himself, as he let the nondescript office door slide open in front of him. On the outward, the building closely resembled normal offices, its front that of a Vinda Subsidiary, Strategic Information Industries.

But inside, the newly crowned Republic foreign intelligence bureau was scrambling to make sense of the intelligence networks of the dozens of nation-states that had flocked under the Republic banner. The next year was about “integration”, how Cygnus despised the term.

Integration never meant what it was supposed to, it always meant one side’s boot stepping on the throat of the other’s, at least a little. So it was with the Watchers, so it would be with others, Cygnus was pretty sure. The special agent wasn’t sure where the SIS brass came from, and held no desire to, but suspected with either former-Vinda Corp or Commonwealth nationals.

Fucking nepotism.

The moment he was in the door, Cygnus was hard at work. The agent was no datapad pusher, and never had been. The agent had always excelled in the field. But since a very young age, Cygnus had excelled in almost everything, and when it came to good old desk jocky spy work, his talents were equitable enough. He only hoped his bosses didn’t notice too much and kept him here. He would put a las round through his head in two years, if he were lucky.

Still, the special agent was aware these were temporary and fleeting moments compared to the future history of the Strategic Information Service, and he was in the ground floor. That was something, at least. So for the past month he had been pushing data, showing his superiors that his record at the Watchers showed every indication of his real potential as a covert operative.

“Agent Cygnus!” came the shout of what had been jokingly been nicknamed “The Bull Pen”, or the office of the head of the SIS, known only by his code name.

The Archivist.

“Yes sir, sorry I’m late sir!” Cygnus bit off instinctively, far too used to military types to know better than to argue, instead hurrying over to the bull pen for the inevitable chew out. The Archivist hated everyone at SIS, but he hated Cygnus especially, because Cygnus didn’t make mistakes.

And the Archivist both despises mistakes and loved torturing those who made them. To him, Cygnus was a frustrating anomaly.

“You’re God damn right it won’t!” the Archivist was a religious man, he had found the Imperial God during his time in prison on Coruscant before the Dominion invasion. He had made it out on one of the last refugee ships as a stow away, so he told it. He could be lying out of his teeth, or the whole thing could be the gospel.

That’s the way the spy game worked, he bore the man no ill will for it. For all he knew, his boss could be an Imperial double agent.. Lies were their business, and for many intelligence operatives, the line between business and personal inevitably blurred the longer you had stuck around. The Archivist had been in Imperial prison for several years, awaiting a death sentence. Before that, he had been Republic Intelligence.

Good enough for him, for the moment. Cygnus didn’t blame the man for hating the world. Sometimes, so did he.

“Well, I don’t know the way they did things at the Watchers,” he paused, for obvious dramatic effect. He had rehearsed this, “Wait, check that, I do.because its my fucking job to, but as long as you are with this unit you will operate by SIS regulations, understood?!”

“Crystal, sir.”

“Now I know you may not happy about what you perceive as a demotion,” the Archivist continued. Understatement, “But I assure you, perform well in the field, and your rise within the ranks will be expedited. Your record already speaks for itself, we just need to see what you can do and how well you take orders. That’s all this is, Special Agent Cygnus, just a vetting process.”

“I understand perfectly, sir,” and he did, as much as it pained him to admit. But this was good news, he reminded himself. He wasn’t completely out in the cold, “Was there anything else?”

“As a matter of fact, Special Agent,” the gruff, older man slapped a datapad down on his desk, “You just landed your first case. Do I need to run you through SIS autoburn protocol?”

“I think I can handle it, sir,” he replied.

“Attaboy, go get em! Prove you’ve got what it takes to be SIS. I believe in you, son.”


Still, an operation was an operation, and Cygnus excelled at those. Whatever this one turned out to be...he read the first few lines of the data pad. And immediately stormed back into the Archivist’s office.

No. Absolutely not.” he said emphatically.

“Not off to a great start here, kid” the Archivist replied, to his surprise not immediately furious, “Any particular reason this assignment is a no-go, or just too beneath your stature?” the last words came out in somewhat of a sneer.

“It has nothing to do with my stature, sir,” he replied. “I merely request another assignment. Any other assignment. Just not this one.”

“And why is that?”

“I know the target,” he said. Silence.

“Would he recognize you?”

“I can’t be sure. Probably not,” he said.

“Then what’s the problem?”

“It’s...personal.” he said, knowing immediately the explanation wouldn’t cut it.

“Son, this is the SIS, not the Watchers. There is no personal.”

“That information is classified, sir...”

“Class-classified?!” now he was angry, “Son, I am your di-rect superior! I have access to your entire Hapan dossier! Classified doesn’t exist between you and me!”

“At the top level.” he finished.

He furrowed his brow momentarily, and then the Archivist’s eyes widened when he realized that the Special Agent was speaking about the Queen Mother herself.

“Well, sheeit. I can’t fault you for loyalty,” the Archivist admitted, sighing and shaking his head, “But I can’t blow an op for something that might go wrong. The truth is, we need a guy of your caliber, Special Agent. And to be honest, you’re the only one who could pull this off that isn’t active.”

“Are you kidding?” he asked, baffled, “This is a walk in the park for a spook!”

“Not this one,” the Archivist said, obviously not kidding around, “The target is too high a priority for the SIS. This op needs to be flawless. There’s no room for mistakes.”

“But he might burn me!” Cygnus roared, before remembering his place and gesturing a mea culpa. The Archivist’s eyes narrowed, but eventually he nodded.

“Except that one,” he said, “No offense, Special Agent. But this agent is a higher priority than your position as Special Agent within this bureau. The chance that he might recognize you is a necessary one.”

“And if he does?”

“Convince him to keep your secret, any way you can.”

Any way?”

“Except for that one. We need him alive, for the moment.”

“I don’t like this,” Cygnus said.

“I don’t pay you to like it,” his commander snapped, “I pay you to do it. So get the fuck out of my office and get it done.”

Sighing, Cygnus realized he had no choice. The oath he had taken with the Queen Mother was a sacred one, and though he knew revealing his secret would result in his immediate reassignment no matter what the Archivist thought, he felt the same way as his commander did. It was a calculated risk.

After all, Nathanos Darksword probably wouldn’t even recognize him anymore. Damian Darksword, codename Cygnus, youngest brother of the Royal Family, had been dead to the galaxy since he was eight years old. To everyone except for him...and his mother. The Queen.

“This one is gonna be a bitch.”
Posts: 12
  • Posted On: Sep 15 2013 5:52pm
Bburru Station, Duro
Dominion Invasion + 3 Months

It had taken Duro just seventeen days to fall. Seventeen days of brutal hand to hand space station combat, but it had been worth it. Mazik Stazi, Captain of Atlom’s Reds, the cell of the Rebel Alliance that had been operating in Bburru Station, capital of Duro, and other station cities nearby in geostationary orbit.

Duro had, millennia, made the all too common mistake of poisoning their world beyond hope of repair. For thousands of years, the Duros had lived, breathed, and worked in the hundreds of cities orbiting their now dead home. It was because of this tragedy, that to be a Traveler was the highest compliment one could bestow on a Duro. And Mazik had travelled a lot farther than most.

Yet today, at last, he was home.

It had been a long journey, the longest of the former Republic Admiral’s life, but it had been worth it. He had been planning with Ajay, planning with his Reds, for months as the Imperial vichy government embedded on the Station unraveled like a bow string in just under twenty days.

Without assurances from the Core, from Imperial Center, the Empire’s name for Coruscant, from the Emperor...Mazik had heard most Imperial governments close enough to the Inner Core were in roughly the same shape, though Duro had been the first to fall. His home. Dawn was coming, he supposed.

Thank the Force for that crazy bastard Atlom, he thought to himself, not for the first time, We wouldn’t have gotten our foot in the door if it hadn’t been for him.

Atlom had been...Mazik hadn’t known what he had been. When he had first asked where the young man had come from, the Rebels would just laughed him off. Apparently he had just shown up one day off a transport with the correct password and a comprehensive understanding of the Duro cell.

When Mazik had asked him why they hadn’t suspected him of being a double agent, Imperial Intelligence would have the resources to plant a mole if they had enough information, but the Rebels had just laughed at him. He hadn’t understood why, until he had seen Ajay kill. There was a sort of graceful brutality to it, as if the act were merely means to ends.

Stazi had done some research, and the kid had either been a genius or had someone very powerful looking out for him. He seemed to be a natural leader, and the best soldier Stazi had ever had the honor to serve under, for what brief time he had, even including his days as a Republican.

Wistfully, he recalled the last day they had spoken.

”No! No frakking way!” Mazik roared, blaster fire riddling the duracrete wall around him.

“If we don’t take out this outpost, your little
uprising fails right here! We need to take the building!”

“You’re out of your fucking
mind, Captain!” Lieutenant Stazi roared back over the staccato explosions going off all over the station, “The supports are too weak from all the arty fire! We’ll never make it out alive! Even if we do take it, the supports will buckle on us anyway! Just wait them out!”

“Is that what you did in prison, Mazik?” Ajay asked, and the jab drew a snarl from the Duro. Ajay was many things, but manners were never a skillset of his, so it seemed, “Made you want to just wait it out? I don’t
need you, Lieutenant.


Ajay had been the only man with the courage to wade through that figurative sea of blaster fire that day. To everyone’s amazement, he had actually made it inside the building, taking down several Imperial guards on the way in a mixture of precision rifle fire and truly vicious martial arts, a mixture of several different forms that Atlom had invented himself, so he had said.

For a second, cheers went up down the whole Red line.

Then the artillery came down.

Mazik threw himself to the duracrete, huddling against the roadblock Ajay and he had been using as makeshift cover, holding his ears not out of cowardice, but the genuine fear that being so close to the explosions would decimate his sensitive Duro ears.

When he had peeked over cover, the building was gone. Just gone.

Who knows how many Imps Ajay had managed to kill that day when he ran through the middle of a battlefield, leading a charge none of his men were quite crazy enough to follow, even Mazik. One thing was certain, no Imperial ever walked out again.

And whether that had been because of what had been dubbed Atlom’s Charge, or just the shell hit, five minutes later the Rebels had taken the district and the street that had been a warzone not ten minutes ago sounded like a ghost town.

Mazik stood in the center of the street, staring at the rubble of the building.

“Lieutenant?!” came a call, and it took a couple of repeats to get him to turn, as if concusssed, “Sorry, I guess it’s Captain Stazi now, sir.”

“I suppose it is.”

“He was sure a hell of a fighter, sir.”

“The best I’ve ever seen.”

There was an awkward silence.

“Do you have something for me, operative?” Stazi said, where others would have been petrified at the sudden command, in another life Stazi had been the Admiral of a Star Destroyer. He thought he could handle a single covert cell.

“Sorry sir, Bravo district has fallen,” the man said nervously, saluting. Mazik had been known to be...unpredictable when drinking with the men, “The rest of the Reds are moving on to Charlie objective. What are your orders?”

He stared once more at the rubble of the outpost. Yes, he could handle command.

“Burn every Imperial alive.”

The soldier laughed for just a second, until he saw the look on his Captain’s face, and knew the man was deadly serious.

“Y-yes s-sir!” he stuttered, sprinting off. Eager to get back to the fight, or terrified of him? He didn’t care.

For the first time since he had been freed on Nar Shaddaa, Smuggler’s Moon of the Hutt homeworld, Nal Hutta, he felt truly alone.

Only cowards die, Ajay, he thought aloud. Only silence and eerie echoes.

His Captain, the finest Rebel he ever knew, was now nothing but a specter of the past.

In the days after Ajay’s status was changed to MIA (presumed dead, no body was ever discovered under all that rubble), Stazi had done everything he could to research the kid, but whoever it was on his side that had the tech skills, they seemed to be quite adept at covering his tracks.

Still, patterns remained, if you looked in the right place.

The Red.

It had been a folk tale, a story. An oddity of the Outer Rim that some Coruscanti anthropologist had brought back and made a decent living off of re-publishing with editor’s notes on the quaint beliefs of such backworld people.

But the Red, the Red was real as they come.

He had gone from world to world, burning tyrannical governments in his wake. The anthropologist had described him as a psychological manifestation of the average sentient’s incapability to comprehend statistical probability theory as it came to falling governments, nor what he had called the...sabacc effect? Lose one chip, the rest soon follow.

But the Red was no myth, and for three months, Mazik hard served with perhaps the finest warrior he had ever met in his life. And the Admiral, in his heyday, had met Jedi Masters.

“Captain, reconstruction of Bravo district is underway.” came a call.

“The building.”

Everyone around him froze. Nobody needed him to be more specific.

“...yes sir?”

“Clear out the rubble, but don’t rebuild,” Mazik ordered, surveying the skeptical gazes all around him. He turned towards the Rebels, “I give you my word, as a former Admiral in the finest Navy the galaxy has ever seen!” ragged cheers, “that no building will stand on that spot as long as the Republic controls Duro.” Silence. That got their attention.

“It will forever be a monument, an altar, to Captain Atlom. And everything he did for us.”

This time the cheers were more genuine. Captain Stazi had bought himself a few days of goodwill, but he still hadn’t the first clue about running a ground-based operation, he now knew. He had to learn how to be a General, and soon. Because while the Empire was overthrown...

Klaxons blared.

Speak of the Devil, he thought to himself.

Explosions riddled the street as drone fighters whizzed overhead in high atmosphere.


The Captain threw himself to the ground, and an alien explosive went off not teen feet from where he had been standing, in the half-rebuilt rubble of Alpha district.

“We can’t take much more of this, Cap’n!” his Lieutenant roared, a human but a decent fighter nonetheless.

“Hold strong!” he roared back, then louder, to all around him, “HOLD STRONG. The Republic will come, I am assured of this by High Command. We just gotta hold em of till the Navy gets here, boys!”

Cheers down the line. He smiled, grimly. It was a lie.

He hadn’t had contact with High Command in three months. They had gone dark after Atlom had traded secrecy and sabotage for all out war in the wake of Coruscant’s fall. The truth was, he didn’t even know anyone in this new Republic.

The truth was, they were all alone. The Core was deserted, and the ship in orbit was part of the reason why. Arching his neck, he peeked out from underneath his cover under a near-collapsed bridge and peered out into space through duraglass walls and at first could not find it, then caught a glint of metal and there it was.

The Dominion had arrived at Duro.

The klaxons went silent. Fuck, he thought, They’re hacking our comms again for that stupid fucking message.

All over Bburru Station, a voice arose. Obviously Cree’Ar, but speaking in Basic.

“People of Duro.

We are here to liberate you! Throw down your arms, do not fight us. We have overthrown the Empire that strangled you, decimated their capital and High Command. We are the Dominion. We are here to help. All we ask in return is one small price.

Turn over your Force sensitives, people of Duro. And then, and only then, can we begin to rebuild your world in peace.

Long live the Dominion. Long live Kal Shora. Long live the Prince.”

Fuck that.

“Get those arties into position boys!” he screamed, and as the next wave of drone fighters flew overhead, they fired.

One fighter down, there was cheering and revelry, but Stazi merely shook his head.

On the horizon, six more drones were on approach.

Is this my last stand? Duro’s last stand? Is this how we end, the way Alderaan did?

Explosions rocked the street. Somewhere, life support warnings blared as decks lost atmosphere. Through the duraglass, much closer in space, he could see sentient humanoids floating, still in the process of death through either exposure of asphyxiation.

So be it.

Posts: 7
  • Posted On: Sep 16 2013 7:07pm
UWOS Providence, Strident-class Star Defender
United Worlds of Ossus Defense Force Green Zone, Reaver Border

Fuck Reavers.

It was a thought that had crossed Isaac Cain’s mind a thousand times a day every day since the Providence had been mustered double-time and mobilized to the Green Zone. The vessels original assignment had been homeworld protection, a prestigious role in the Defense Force and one only granted to those in command with the highest of respect, but these were desperate times.

Desperate measures had been called for.

Captain Anton Yemin was one of the finest rising stars in the entire fleet, and many were whispering that he was a shoe-in for Admiral once he had more field experience. Not to mention the Providence was a Strident-class Star Defender, fresh off the line from Corellian Engineering schematics.

Corellia had always been an Imperial world during the height of the New Order, but Ossus had always had old contacts within the CEC from the days of the Republic, and coming by new Corellian designs was not so much a challenge for the ODF.

The challenge was building them.

Never before had Ossus had the resources at its disposal. The former Juutralian Empire, recrowned the New Aldeeranian Protectorate (a democratically chosen return to the world’s original name before Emperor Fearsons), possessed several worlds with truly thriving economic industries, starship production amongst them.

Above all, there was Sluis Van, its shipyards a legend of the galaxy, and its economy in overdrive as the Reaver threat loomed.

Not only that, but, though they would not capitulate to direct UWO oversight, all League of Nations worlds were contributing production capability to either the United Worlds of the Greater Coalition’s Cooperative, a civilization of free and independent robots that had, in the wake of the Regrad scandal, quickly became the effective heart of the GC due to their sheer efficiency as the democracy reevaluated itself.

Among those worlds were Obroa-Skai, the LON capital, and Neimodia, two planets with long histories of developing vessels of war when they deemed necessary. In a matter of months, both the GC and the UWO had gone from practically helpless to capable of fielding militaries to rival the Republic and the Empire one day.

For now, every asset of those efforts was being used, if not for homeworld protection, than in the Green Zone on the defensive against constant Reaver assaults. The terrible truth of the Reaver threat was that, once a vessel’s life support was exposed to the disease, many of its crew could turn in a matter of hours, and what was once a friendly vessel begins to fire on its allies, sowing chaos and panic down the line.

The Providence had been outfitted with impressive bulkheads, redundant life support systems, and every meter of her was self-containable if necessary. Truly, this was a ship designed to hunt Reavers, just as the Empire had intended it to be. It was not the fear of battle that made Isaac feel so desperate to be in his position, it was fear of the Empire.

Warzones were no problem, but Isaac. Isaac was Imperial Intelligence.

It was not a life he had chosen, but rather one had had been, quite literally, thrust into. Ensign Cain was no operative, he was merely an Imperial asset, a former spacer and occasional now and smuggler that had hauled the wrong cargo and been burned by the Empire for it. He had been a willing conspirator in his placement on board the Providence, but just to be just the Imperials had taken...precautions.

Biochemical explosive-based precautions.

After he had groggily awoken from the surgery, his handlers had explained to him they could detonate the explosives package surgically implanted into his skull, and that it was virtually untraceable, even by the most advanced medical technologies. No one would pick it up, and no one but them could ever fix it.

That had ensured his loyalty in ways a promise never could.

For a year, Isaac had hated them for it, but now, in his current situation, he could understand the mindset. Cain wanted to quit. He wanted to go home, to the Wheel, the floating trade station that he had been born in. See old friends, reconnect with loved ones, make apologies for his mistakes. But instead, he was stuck here.

Manning a single turbolaser battery on a Star Defender in the Ossan Green Zone. Why did the Force hate him so damn much?

Klaxons blared.

“Get to your station, Ensign!”

He didn’t even see who had called out, he was already running. Not out of loyalty, or any real love for Ossus or the Ossan people. Isaac ran for survival.

It was kill or be killed out here, and Isaac planned on killing.

The hatch slid open as he approached and there before him, in all its glory, was a standard Corellian eight-linked heavy turbolaser array placement. Most of the system was automated, but the militaries of the galaxy had always seemed to trust the keen eye of a sentient over shipwide weapon automation.

It made the job more dangerous, and put more lives at risk, but ultimately, if something were to go wrong with guidance, a lot more lives would be lost at the end of the other scenario. Hopping into the seat, Isaac booted up the controls and the battery gave a booming hum as it booted up.

Aligning his crosshairs, Cain gazed out the tactical display attached to the side of the joystick and trigger. Where….where...c’mon c’mon c’mon…there!

Tossing on his headset so that firing orders could come down from above, Cain set his sights on the Reaver ship on a collision course with the Providence. Several surrounding Star Defenders nearby were smoking with oxy vaped flame and that meant, if their containment protocols failed, that would mean this fight could turn a lot bigger than a single ramming attempt.

“C’mon c’mon C’MON!” Isaac screamed, his headset muted, “She’s in range. Give the order. Give the order.”

Crackling over the headset antenna. Methodically, slowly, coldly, the order came.

  • Posted On: Sep 17 2013 4:11am
Etti IV - Republic Capital
Republic Declaration + 29

Admiral Nathanos Darksword of the Crown Blade, flagship of the Royal Hapan arm of the Republic Fleet, sat anxiously and miserable in the hallway outside the conference room that would be the last in what had seemed a revolving door of interviews over the course of the day.

The Queen Mother’s backing had made him overconfident, made him feel a shoe-in for the position. But the Republic, if nothing else, was a stickler for protocol. This was to be the last one, the meeting that would decide, ultimately, whether or not he would get the job he had always dreamed of.

Nathanos was nervous.

He had been waiting for over an hour, and no one had shown. Finally, after what seemed like ages, a nervous secretary cautiously approached him, as if not sure he was who she was looking for. She seemed flustered to him, a kind of anxiety not dissimilar to his own emanating from her spirit as she stuttered out a question.

“A-are you Mr….Mr. Darksword?” she asked, obviously terrified of the answer.

Ah, the family name. Of course.

“Yes, I’m afraid so,” he said, laughing sardonically in a sort of pathetic attempt at getting her to see him as a person instead of a Name, “How may I help you, miss-?”

“Someone asked me to give this to you!” she squeaked, ignoring his question and shoving a slip of paper in his hand before rushing off. She must have really heard a horror story or two about the days of the oligarchy, he mused.

Looking down at the crumpled note she had tossed more than handed to him, he opened it and read:

Office 11
Right Now

What the hell? Was this the meeting he was supposed to be waiting for? Why not just approach him directly and lead him to the conference room? And why not give a full name? Squinting at the letters at the end, he tried to decipher their meaning. Initials? But then why was the C separated? Bad penmanship? It didn’t seem so, from the rest of it.

Curiosity driving him more than the fear of being late, Nathanos bounced to his feet and tottered off in search of Office 11. Fifteen minutes and several confused secretaries later, he found what he could have easily mistaken for a disused broom closet with the words “Office 11” etched in faded print on the plate.

He opened the door, and was immediately grabbed and hurled into the room, landing in a chair underneath an excruciatingly bright light and surrounded by darkness. His eyes blinking rapidly, he struggled to see his assailant.

“What the hell?!” he screamed, hearing but not seeing the door slam shut behind him, “What is this?! Who are you?! Do you have any idea who-”

“You are? Yeah, I do. Now shut the fuck up.”

He paused. Had he just heard the voice correctly?


“You deaf, pretty boy?” came a voice from the shadows, “I said shut. The fuck. Up.”

“Excuse me, but I really think you have the wrong man. I am-”

Nathanos Darksword, in line to be Admiral of the Fleet and Defender of the Cluster and yada yada yada.”


“Shut up, I said,” the voice repeated, not loudly but firmly, “I know all about you, Nanny boy. Now if you don’t shut that fucking dollhead mouth of yours, I’m going to break it.”

“Do I know you? Because your voice sounds really fam-”


“What did I say?”


“What did I say?!”

Again, pain. This time, his left eye.

The blow sent his chair spiraling to the ground, and the swinging lamp from the dust he had kicked up in his fall gave the room an almost comically surreal look.

Slowly, the shadow of his assailant stepped over. The light swung and forth, then steadied, and for a moment…


Silence. Then, rough hands on his collar hoisted him off the ground and hot breath made him blanch as his vision blurred.

“What did you just say?! What did you say?!”

“I...I said…” he sputtered, trying to form words through broken teeth, “Damian?”

For a long while, nothing. Then the hands disappeared, and he was falling. Falling. Falling. Then he wasn’t. Ow.


The word hadn’t come from him, though they adequately described the sensation, rather it was that of his assailant.

“ the Force, it is you!” he managed, at last, “Damian, you’re alive! You’re….mean?”


“God damnit Nathanos will you just SHUT UP!” he screamed. He heard a beep, as if a button had been pressed, and then a smoking POP and hiss, “Alright, here, let me help you up.”

Nathanos punched him in the stomach.

Cygnus winced, but did not give, merely shrugging, “I suppose I had that coming.”

“Damn right you did! You broke my teef!” he screamed, and then “If not funny!” at Damian’s laughter.

“I’m sorry, Nathanos. Its not that, its just…” he trailed off, “It’s just you’re the first Darksword I’ve really seen since…”

“Since what, Damian?” Nathanos asked, “Since you died? We all saw your body. I was there, Damian. It was awful. Your death, it really changed Lupercus. He became...colder, more withdrawn, and then…”

“You don’t have to fill me in on family history,” Damian bit back, “My position has kept me apprised.”

“Your...your position?” Nathanos asked, “You work for the Republic?”

“I’m a Hapan Watcher, Nathanos,” Damian said, and the revelation dawned realization upon his cousin’s features, “Now, Strategic Information Services, Special Agent class.”

“By the Queen, Damian,” Nathanos breathed.

“Yes, Nathanos. By the Queen.”

“What do mean she knew?!” he blurted out, unable to contain the volume of his voice, “She knew you weren’t dead and she still let us all bury you?!”

“She had to, Nathanos,” Cygnus said, “It was the only way. You’re an intelligent guy, you must understand it had to be like this if I was to do what I do.”

As his vision cleared, for the first time Nathanos caught a clear glimpse of his youngest cousin, technical heir to the throne, Damian Darksword. He gasped in a mixture of surprise and horror as he realized what the job had cost what had once been a young boy all those years ago.

His head was completely shaven, his face devoid of all facial hair or recognizable features. Scars covered it, more a shell really than what had once been a bright and exuberant face in happier days for the Darksword family. The only reason Nathanos had recognized had been because of the voice and the fact that...well, Nathanos remembered everyone. He always had, it was why he was an Admiral already.

Cygnus whistled.

“Of all the Darkswords, they assign me you,” he shook his head, “You always were a bright kid, Nathanos. I figured you’d have the best shot at putting pieces together. Really thought I had you there for a second, the punch to the eye was overdoing it a bit.”

Thanks, Damian,” he snarled, narrowing his eyes, “And what do you mean they assigned me to you? What am I doing here?”

“As far assigning me, they didn’t know. They couldn’t.”

“You mean you didn’t tell them.”

“Of course I didn’t,” Cygnus replied.

“Why the fuck not?” Nathanos blurted, “They would have taken you off me immediately!”

“I promised mother I wouldn’t.”

He laughed, then he realized Damian was serious.

“Oh, that’s real sweet D, but you honestly expect me to believe-”

“Yes,” he said, his features unmoving, stone, “The day I left...the day she helped me leave, she made me promise to keep my secret, no matter the cost. And she promised me. To this day, she kept that promise, and so have I. You were an...unforeseen variable.”

“An unforeseen-” Nathanos started, then backpedaled, “Damian, I’m your cousin. You have to come back with me. You have to tell everyone you’re still alive! I can’t be Crown Prince, but everyone still expects me to! If you take the throne-”

“Absolutely not.”


“Think, Nathanos,” Cygnus said, sighing in frustration, “Mom helped me leave because I was different, because I’ve always thought like a Watcher, even before I was one. This is the life I wanted, Nathanos. Its the one she and I both chose for me.”

“Damian, you were eleven-”

‘Technically, yes,” he admitted, “but I was never a child. Not really. Maybe to you and my brothers, but alone and with was too big not to share, Nathanos. So she helped me, taught me, guided me...eventually, to the Watcher. And now, the SIS.”

“But it doesn’t have to be like that anymore, Damian!” Nathanos exclaimed, “You can come back-”

“I’m never coming in from the cold, Nathanos,” Cygnus said, stopping his cousin flat, “Never. You need to promise to never tell anyone you ever saw me. Promise me, Nathanos.”

“I can’t do that! Damian,…”

“If you turn states on me, Nathanos, they’ll burn me. I’ll never be able to go back. And everything I’ve worked for, my entire life, will be gone in a press release.

I know you see me as your little cousin, but I’m not Damian Darksword. Not anymore. He died a long time ago, in that fire. I’m Special Agent, codename Cygnus. And that’s all I’ll ever be, for as long as I live.”


Promise me, Nathy,” he said, and it was the nickname that did it. Too many memories.

“I promise.”


“On two conditions.”


“One!” Nathanos raised a finger, “that you promote me to Admiral and don’t get yourself killed out there!”


“Two!” another finger, “That you call. Your. Mother.”

“Absolutely not.”

“BINDING conditions, Damian.”

“Not happening.”

“ABSOLUTE and FINAL conditions.”

“Nathanos, I am not-”

“Oh Mr. Vindaaaa! Guess who Special Agent Cygnussss really is!”

“FINE. I’LL CALL HER. But she WON’T like it, and that’s ON YOU.”

“I can deal with that. We’ve resolved most of our issues, but what’s one more.”

“That’s good to hear.”

“Yeah, it is,” Nathanos agreed.

“You haven’t resolved any of your issues with her?”

“Not remotely.”

“Neither. Have. I.”

And in that awkward, utterly alien and almost familial moment, there was chatter on the VindaCorp ear com embedded in his ear cavity. Fuck.

“Come with me.”

“What?” Nathanos blurted, still unsure of what to make of the whole exchange.

“Right now!”

Nathanos felt himself being hoisted to his feet and dragged several steps, then a hatch to the door cranked open and blinding daylight greeted him, blinding him temporarily. He had forgotten it was still the middle of the day. It was an idyllic temperature on Etti-IV outside today, the atmosphere all strictly governmentally regulated and controlled. And, on any other day, things would look almost picturesque.

But in the streets, and in the office, and everywhere else in the Republic, people had stopped and were staring, aghast and in horror, at any vidcom unit they could get to. In the waiting room lobby, everyone in the room was huddled around the sole vidcom unit, tears streaming down most of their faces.

There was a HoloNews feed on, one of the main Republic channels, and there was a Breaking News Bulletin on the bottom scroll. Overcoming the surprise of yet another turn in what was already the most insane day in his entire life, he struggled to keep up with what the reporters were saying.

“Once again, we are bringing you live coverage of what is now being dubbed the Gallinore Tragedy as we see up to the second reportage on the firefight that has broken out and now been contained between Imperial and Republic forces in orbit!

At this point, we do not know why the Star Destroyer fired on Station 5, but what we do know is-wait...a moment...I am just getting confirmation that we have a feed of the audio exchange before the incident. We are bringing it here to you now, as a live exclusive!”

”This is Captain Boris Calhoun of the Star Destroyer Vengeance, we request the immediate disablement of your ion fields and access beyond your perimeter grids. I repeat, this is Captain Boris-”

“Captain Calhoun, this is Station 5 of Hapan Space Command,” came the response, “I am unable to authorize that request at this time, copy.”

“Unable to-son, we have
Reavers on our tail. This isn’t about politics, good man, its about survival.”

“I see. I understand how frightening this situation must be for you Captain, but I’m afraid my orders are quite clear that ANY Imperial ship of the line is to be turned away from the perimeter grid at this time, copy.”

“Imperial ship-put me in contact with your superior! The Coalition Compact articles state you are under legal obligation to provide us with safe haven from any and all
Reaver threats.”

“Well I don’t know about that, sir. All I know are my orders. And I’m the commanding officer of this station,

“You insolent little-main batteries online! We’ll blast our way through!”

“What was that? Hello?! Captain Calhoun!
Sir, if you open fire on this station, we will be forced to-”


“Captain Cal-”


Silence in the lobby.

“That was...that was the chilling recording of the voice log between Station 5 in orbit over Gallinore and the former Imperial Star Destroyer-class capital Vengeance, mere seconds before fire was exchanged between the two parties that resulted in the ultimate scuttling of the Vengeance and critical hull damage to Station 5.

With over two thousand Imperial and over four hundred Republican lives lost, the only thing we can be sure of at this moment is that truly this is a tragic day for the entire galaxy.”

“By the Force,” Nathanos whispered, turning to Damian, who he now realized looked eerily normal with his brimmed cap donned and the shadows dancing across his face. Was it tech that helped him do that, or something naturally…anti-magnetic about his personality? “Do you think this means there’ll be war?”

“I think,” Cygnus began, “I think, one’s already begun.” he patted Nathanos on the shoulder, “Dust off those duty bars, Nathy. You’re gonna need em.”

And Damian Darksword, Special Agent Cygnus of the Republic SIS, was right in the end.

There was a war, but not because either side wanted one.

It went beneath politics, beneath posturing, beneath diplomacy. To something more fundamentally sentient. Flawed, perhaps, but passionate, in its own way. It was about all those young boys and girls serving aboard the Vengeance and all those young officers on board Station 5, and how the enemy had murdered them and how there could be no going back.

In Imperial space, anti-alien violence rose exponentially overnight. Anyone different was perceived as one of them or with the Rebs.

In Republic space, more peaceful protests were held on more planets in one day than at any point in Commonwealth history. The first shoe had fallen, the second would drop. It was only a matter of time.

The sabacc effect. One chip falls, the next ten are inevitable.

Just probability theory and science…

Probability and science.
Posts: 171
  • Posted On: Sep 17 2013 5:08am
Nar Shaddaa
Enclave Tower
Consul's Suite

Estro Sabrino looked out at the glittering lights and life of Nar Shaddaa. The Vertical City was his new home, the heart of a burgeoning government and political movement. The Free State Enclave had been rather aggressive since its conquest not only of the Smuggler's Moon but also Nal Hutta, now known as Evocar. Their fleet had swollen with more heavily refurbished ships and weaponry thanks to the joys of technology marching ahead in spite or because of the constant wars. B-X Battle Droids and Enclave Marines marched forth in the name of a new era to conquer their oppressors. All of what once had been Hutt Space had erupted rather violently into what was now referred to as the Enclave Wars.

The Hutts had been a stubborn set of oligarchs and rulers, backed by hordes of criminals and scum. What they'd failed to calculate was just how angry millions, even billions of refugees could be at open oppression and corruption. The abuse of them and willing efforts to enslave many had pushed the people fleeing into Hutt Space too far. The reaction was inevitable; Sabrino had simply nudged it along in the appropriate direction with the vast finances at his disposal. It was initially a small consolation prize after watching his precious Union collapse into moldering piles of selfish stupidity. He'd been forced to scrap the Midas and even worse, the Forge. The Union's vast hidden factory complex had been their greatest asset.

But that was the past, bitter memories for a very bitter man.

Sabrino turned to face a map of the galaxy, his eyes focusing on the United Worlds of Ossus with burning hatred. They held his homeworld, Jutraal, along with various military assets from that traitor, Fearsons. Sabrino felt the bile welling up inside him at the thought of the man he once would have fought and died for. The traitor. He'd given up everything before his death to the Empire and then he'd left all he had to others. It galled him deeply, another bitter betrayal from beyond the grave. Sabrino just shook his head and looked away from that section to what was now decared Enclave Space.

The Free State Enclave had fought hard and bitterly against the Hutts. It was ironic on some level as their former power base was fully annihilated just as they had done to Xim the Despot so long ago. The thought gave him a deeply twisted sense of accomplishment. Where once Hutt Space had been his through puppets, now the entire region belong to him, to the Enclave. In his mind, that was the same thing admittedly. Orchestrating the birth of a new government had taken effort and money to do, depleting various accounts he'd secret away the Union's finances into after its collapse. This was a rebirth for him, no longer willing to hide in the shadows as the quiet master of criminals. He was the founder of what he would hope to make the greatest government in the history of the galaxy.

Delusions of grandeur aside, his own confidence was not without some backing at least in the Enclave's survival. The Hutts were defeated. Utterly. Their clans scattered, leaving only those who would swear loyalty to the Enclave in place. It was a bit dangerous, but the Hutts were informed that Enclave Security was watching the VERY closely. Examples had already been publicly made before the Justice Ministry. The trials had been broadcast. The executions as well. Treason was made an example of in these harsh times. With the collapse of Hutt Space, the Enclave had come surging in to fill the power vacuum that it had created. Each world was run by an elected governor and executive council. Slave uprisings had spread life wildfire, mainly because Sabrino and the Enclave had helped nudge them along with weapons, supplies and paramilitary training. Insurrection was rampant to the point where finally the Assembly voted to declare open war on the entire Hutt Grand Council. Their growing fleets and armies has poured forth from Nal Hutta and Nar Shaddaa, Providence II Destroyers becoming a feared sight often supported by automated support ships.

The Enclave had embraced a curious war methodology, employing a elite corp of trained soldiers. The first generations of Enclave Marines had been mercenaries before signing up. But those that followed came from the Enclave War Academy, put through severe conditioning and given certain... genetic assistance to improve basic performance. It was hard to deny the benefits of tapping in the vast array of darker science Nar Shaddaa had churned out as a testing ground. The Enclave had appropriated all of it in the name of the State and begun to sort through it. Much of it was horrifying on its own scale, but some we beneficial. Enclave Marines were now funtionally above average in physical performance, put throught intense training and combat tactics to ensure they would survive the investment put into them. That was were the battle droids had started to come into play. The Enclave utilized them as support and auxiliary troops, often having many more of them over marines. An entire branch of the Marines was dedicated to droid squad command .

Organic adaptive tactics combined with massed infantry tactics had proven to be horribly effective. Enclave fleets supported a great deal of automation as well, as most Providence IIs have an escort of at least two Recusant IIs in most engagements. The shipyards over Guarja had expanded severely from the war spending and need for large output. Factories on Nar Shaddaa handled most of the needed droid, supplies and munitions output. More of that was spreading to other worlds in Enclave Space now though. These initial ships though were gradually being phased into patrol vessels as the shipyards shifted the construction to larger, more impressive warships. Ships utilized only by the Enclave.

The first wave of Necropolis War Carriers were going into full operation. Another new vessel was being deployed as well, the Centurion-class Interdictor Cruiser. Each of the new vessels was only about 1000 meters long, but came equipped with gravity well generators as well as firepower and hanger space for Scarab Droid Fighters. They were intended to be escorts and ships of the line for the more ungainly Necropolis, giving the Enclave two ships soon to be easily recognized by their sleek designs and curious chrome hulls.

"Here I was thinking you'd lost your mind several years ago," Trachta said as he walked into Sabrino's office.

"Well, one is free to make assumptions. I'm simply a man who had his plans well laid," Sabrino said with a chuckle as he turns to take his seat at his large desk.

"Well, you'll be happy to know the first Centurions are fully operational. We just field tested them on Garga the Hutt's holdouts. A fine message to future pirates who think they can operate in Enclave Space without our permission. The Free Captains League is pleased to see you selling off so many of the refurbished ships to them as well. It seems soon piracy is going to become a major issue for the United Worlds of Ossus," Trachta noted with a metallic chuckle.

"Good, it will be a fine test to see how the UWO handles piracy threats. Excellent intelligence gathering opportunities. Anything else to report?" Sabrino as he regarded his cybernetic confidant. Trachta had been quietly appointed to head the Bureau of Special Affairs, the Enclaves intelligence agency.

"We've been getting some odd whispers here and there of suspicious activity being picked up by Enclave Security. I have people on it, examining the situation. If need be we'll attach a Justicar to the problem and see what they dig up," Trachta replied calmly as he went over his reports.

Justicars were the Enclave's troubleshooters. Beings given great authority at the authorization of the Consul and Assembly to investigate and deal with any problems that they deemed fit in the name of the Enclave's security. The Enclave had about twenty active Justicars at the moment, moving about on their various projects. Some of them not in Enclave Space at all. Sabrino amused himself often by reading over their progress reports, observing them quietly to find those he could use most of his own agendas.

"Then we'll have to shift some resources around since I fear it will be necessary. I don't like the feeling of these movements when we can't find the players moving the pieces. I'm giving you full authority to pursue this to its end, Trachta," Sabrino said with a warning look of not getting too ambitious with that power.

"I shall endeavor to prove your confidence in me correct then, Consul," Trachta said with a mock bow as he said to leave.

Sabrino watched the grim cyborg leave before drumming his hand along the top of his desk thoughtfully. It was time to consider just where the Enclave would begins its expansion to liberate more worlds.
Posts: 142
  • Posted On: Sep 18 2013 10:14pm
Stellar Enterprises Orbital Decommissioning Yard Beta 7

It is hard to explain how a commander loves his ship. How something can become a part of him. How he can become a part of it. Reshmar knew the Hawkeye was gone. But it still hurt to see a ship tore apart for scrap, no matter how badly damaged. These were more than tools or weapons of war. They were peoples homes, their lives, and for some their graves. Now one more ship was gone. A thousand crew were dead, and once again his home was gone. He did not remember much of his childhood on Dac. Memories had long since faded of his younger life. Life before space. He remembered his wife and child. How they smiled and played in the warm water. How they sat in the afternoon sun waiting for the rain to come. Now they were gone, Dac was no long his home, even if he went back it was no longer the home he had left. No, space was all he had now. He had lost everything else that meant anything to him long ago. Now one more thing he cared for was gone.
Reshmar stood on the platform orbiting Denon, overlooking the repair slip and Hawkeye. The ship lay dormant like a dead carcass of some long dead whaleon. The hull of the old ship had been beaten and gnarled by the super star destroyer as it left Sullust. The pride of the 3rd fleet had been left little more than a broken shell housing the most advanced command and control system in the galaxy. The Ship had held up to the onslaught and power of the star dreadnaught but could not overcome the long term damage done in doing so. She had ben a testimonial to Rob Stallar's genius and an shining example of his technology. The ship now little more than a empty husk as the techs from Stellar Enterprises finish their ravenous scavengering.

"She was a good ship wasn't she."

Reshmar turned to see Rob standing beside him. The man looked like he had not slept in weeks. Evidence of the battle he faced with his own demons riddled his face. Reshmar scowled at the man and returned to look at the Hawkeye once more.

"She was that, now she will go quietly into what ever smelting plant you send her to."

The pain in the admirals voice was apparent. Rob had seen it time and time again, but this was different. The calamari looked as if something had broken. His eyes were glossed over in a way Rob had never seen. He had been around many Calamari, he employed thousands of them. This was new to him, something he did not understand. He had known the admiral for a long time and until this day he had never feared him. That was what it was. Rob was afraid, Imagine that, Afraid of a Calamari. They did not strike fear into the hearts of men like other races. Yes he knew they were brave and should not be underestimated but he had never been afraid of one., till today. He stood silently beside the calamari admiral for a moment long then pulled out a data pad.

"Admiral, I would like to talk to you about something. please look over this..."
Rob handed the data pad to Reshmar and awaited a response. The Calamari looked over the data then back to his ship. He stuck the pad out for rob to take from him and said nothing. Rob took the pad and waited for a moment. Rob looked over the data again to make sure he had shown the admiral the correct thing. Yes, this was what he wanted him to see. his logs and data feeds from his mission to Taanab.

"Admiral, This is something that you and the Alliance can not ignore. Yes your ship is gone but I will find you another. I need your help. The galaxy needs the Alliance's help. "

Reshmar scowled even more than before and coughed in derision. He could not believe the balls on Rob. Standing here as his technicians tore apart everything Reshmar had left in the world. The Alliance had sent him into a trap. Used his group as bait and fodder. Maybe not intentionally but his force received over eighty percent of the losses received at Sullust. His fleet was decimated at the hands of the Empire. seventy thousand men and women died under his command that day. over a hundred thousand injured. A planet all but destroyed, and for what? So whoever has it can use it to build more machines to fight, so they can brag about victory and how they stood in the face of The New Order and won. So some politician can move his piece across some invisible line on some table and mark what he had set into action. This galaxy could go to hell for all he cared at this point. He knew about the dominion and the Reavers. Hell how could anyone not. His staff gave him all the reports, all the assessments. He knew they were eating away at the galaxy. And in the back of his mind he knew Rob Stellar was right. But he did not care. All he wanted was to hunt down the bastards who caused him this pain. Every time he had lost in his life it had been at the hands of Imperials. Not some aliens or some diseases. It was pompous, arrogant, Imperials who had caused his pain. they took his wife and son. They had destroyed so many things he had cared for. Now as the galaxy was in its death throws and new powerful forces edged close and closer to taking over the galaxy, all he wanted was to make them all pay.

"Mister Stellar, I understand what you are saying. I have seen all of the data you just showed me and more. The Alliance is very well aware of what is going on in the galaxy. Even you would be surprised at the Intel network we have in place. But i will say this only once. I do not care."
Rob looked confused for a moment then smiled, he knew what the calamari meant. He did not like it but he knew how revenge can drive a person to be single sighted.

"I understand Admiral, I feel the Dominion and Reavers are a far graver threat than the Empire every was. They..."

Reshmar held up a flippered hand and turned to face Rob.

"You are an opportunist's mister Stellar. You sale death to all and count the dividends. You have been a friend to the Alliance, and for that I thank you. But do not lecture me on what is and is not a threat to the galaxy. My family died when Imperials devastated Calamari. I would have too if i had not been serving on a ship in some god forsaken place across the galaxy. I have seen death and destruction wholesale and in every case the Empire had a hand in it in some way. Do I think every Imperial is evil, NO. But by servicing evil they too are deserving of justice and punishment equal to if they had been. I do appreciate your help Rob. and if you want to continue to assist the Alliance then I welcome it. But we will fight who and what we need to in order to cleanse the galaxy of the taint of the Empire."

Reshmar turned and walked down the corridor and out of site. Rob stood silently and watched. He had hoped the Alliance would help him. Now he doubted they would ever lift a hand to assist the rest of the galaxy. and knew that they would never help The New Order.

Stellar Regency Hotel
Stellar Enterprises VIP Guest Quarters

The Next Day Reshmar awoke to nothing. His world was gone. He knew there would be another ship. There was always another ship for him to make his home. But what then. Put it in front of the firing squad like every other ship he had before. The Empire had the power to crush this dominion incursion. But they could never work together to that end. That was always the Imperials problem. No matter who was in charge or which side of the fight they landed on, they always fought each other as much as their foe. He went about his morning routine and prepared for the morning staff meeting. For now the 3rd Fleet HQ was aboard General Forlon's Bulwark battle cruiser. It had enough room and at the moment was not on any mission. The ship had landed in a massive square on the far side of the planet. It had ferried the wounded from Sullust to various worlds for treatment then ended up here. Reshmar stepped off the shuttle and was meet by both Admiral Holt and General Forlon. The two men stood at the far end of the platform near a small repulsor craft. As Reshmar neared the men they stepped forward and extended their hands.

"It is good to see you again Tian, Welcome aboard the Paladin."

Reshmar shook Forlon s hand then Holts. Admiral Holt was not a man of words. He shook Reshmar's hand and nodded.

"Come on Vernin tell the man hello. Bantha got your tongue?"

Forlon laughed and sat down in the lead seat of the lift. Holt made what Reshmar assumed was a growl and spoke.

"It is good to see you Admiral. I have made the arrangements with fleet command for Transfer to the new flagship upon your word. I assume Stellar is replacing the Hawkeye."

Reshmar released Holts hand and gestured for him to sit first in the car.

"I am not sure Vernin. He gave me some run around about helping against the Dominion and reavers. He said he was but that was before i told him I nor the Alliance was going to divert any of our attention away from The New Order."
Holt sat and fastened his restraints. Reshmar fallowed and Forlon took off down the central corridor of the massive ship like he was in a pod race. Forlon began speaking but Reshmar could not make out exactly what he was saying over the sound of the repulsors

"I have had this cars repulsors replaced with a set of K wing repulsors. Its the fastest thing on the ship. "

Reshmar and Holt looked at each other and shook their heads. Forlon was the greatest tactician Reshmar had ever seen. His mind as a forged weapon when it came to military tactics. He had fought in nearly every ground champaign from Hoth to Yag minor during the Vng wars. Admiral Holt called him lucky. And Reshmar thought that could be as good a word to describe the General as any. He had a way of turning an impossible situation into an attainable mission. Holt was the other side of the coin. Where Forlon was brash and impulsive Holt was cautious and calculating. He seldom lost his temper. In fact Reshmar could not think of a single time he had. He was calm and always seemed to be in control. They were the perfect combination for his senor staff. One specializing in assault and one in defense. The repulsor car slowed and came to a stop near the end of the spinal corridor. Forlon unbuckled his restraints and stood.

"Ok, what are you waiting for. Lets go have this meeting."

Reshmar and Holt once again looked at each other. It was hard to believe someone like Forlon was in the position he was. But Reshmar knew once it came time to be serious Forlon would be. It was like a switch he could turn on and off. The Three walked to an open room where the 3rd fleets junior staff sat. As they entered the junior officers rose and saluted. Reshmar walked to the end of the table and waited for Holt and Forlon to take up their positions flanking him.

"At ease lady's and gentlemen. "

The assembled officers sat and relaxed around the table. This group represented the cream of the crop in Alliance commanders, all trained by Reshmar, Holt or Forlon. Other officer had left the 3rd to serve in other fleets but the elite of the alliance fleet had been trained in the 3rd fleet for the last five years now. Reshmar took out a pad and set in a line of code. A large holo display ignited in the center of the table outlining the battle of Sullust.

"There were mistakes made here. These mistakes caused lives. Were they our mistakes. Yes! Each and every one of you here are burdened with the lives lost. We are better than this ladies and gentlemen. We have to be better than this. We were not given detailed data on Imperial resources going in. This was not our doing but we are responsible. I am responsible, I should have demanded more Intel. You should have demanded I demand more Intel. We sit here, each of us, guilty of being complacent. We are guilty of being subservient. And worse of all, we are guilty of being survivors. We will not make the same mistakes again. We will not jump into a fight with blinders on just because we are ordered to. We can not, no will not serve loyally at the cost of our subordinates. We are liable to them not to them so called high command. They do not see the lives lost. All they see is territory and resources gained."

The group looked from Reshmar to one another as a soft murmur began to raise between them.

"Please settle down. I am not saying we are going to disobey orders ladies and gentlemen. I am saying we will not accept orders blindly. I am still loyal to the Alliance, but I will not send men and women into battle before I know i have the best Intel I can get. Therefore I am ordering General Forlon to hand pick an new Intel Corps for 3rd fleet. We will continue to use Intel sent from Fleet Command but we will also have our own Intel group active which will trump any Intel from Fleet. We will not be blind in this galaxy any longer. When we regroup it will be with every tool available to us."

The group, still looking unsettled, stood as they were dismissed. Many began conversations about Reshmar's announcement. Many walked out quietly in deep thought. Holt Forlon and Reshmar were left sitting at the table. Holt stood and looked at Reshmar for a second then spoke.

"Do you think this is wise, They type of people we will be involving in fleet operations will not go over well."

Forlon laughed a bit then spoke.
"Vernin, We all started out as pirates and terrorists. We are still that in the eyes of many in this galaxy. Who are we to label a person for the life they chose to live."

Reshmar sat the data pad on the table and sighed.

"We will do what we must Vernin, but I will be picky in the parties we bring into this. I have the resources in place already. All we have to do now is find Raymond Mosses."
Posts: 118
  • Posted On: Sep 19 2013 3:19am
Nar Shaddaa
Undercity Levels
The Theater

Nar Shaddaa had many secrets still buried deeply within the vast city that sprawled across its surface. The most obvious ones being buried deep in the undercity. Some were not so obvious, including a seemingly harmless and generally very bland looking complex labelled as Sanitation Bureau 1138. Clearly it was part of the Enclave's efforts to restore their capital world, but behind the facade lurked something far more. This was the Theater, home of the Bureau of Special Affairs.

Within its vast rooms were chambers full of personnel sifitng through data, analyzing various snippets of intelligence or planning for operations. Some were busy engaging in counterintelligence work, feeding false leads and data to snooping agents of other governments. The Director looked over the Stage, the vast central operations chamber from his office above it. The Dramaturgs move about with activity and drive one could only expect from those truly driven to serve their cause. The Bureau asked nothing less than that from its various cast members as they prepared their performances for the sake of the Enclave. Admittedly they had couched their terminology in theatrical terms, for their own amusement as well as to ensure no viable data on personnel could be achieved.

"Seems to me you've got a few goods plays lining up, Director," said a man with rough features and smoking a cigar at the moment as he lazed back in his chair.

"The Producer was quite clear about the needs of the Audience at this time. I'm only making sure the Dramaturgs know what they are supposed to be setting up. Once I have a the needed Players in position, we can begin the full production," Trachta quipped calmly as he turned to face the Lead.

"Funny that, I imagine I'll be having a role in some of them?" Lead asked with a smirk as he finally sits upright more to face the Director.

"But of course, you are one of my prime Players after all. I can't have you wasting your talent away here in the Theater when there are better things for you to be doing," Trachta admitted as he took his seat behind a very spartan black desk with silver borders.

"So, the Producer is really that upset over those worlds?" Lead asked with increasing interest, considering he always was looking to cause trouble for someone.

"Quite. But he's a very collected fellow, which is why the Bureau is now taking over those projects form the Justicars. Our visible assets are no longer the best option for instigating revolution on worlds supposedly controlled by 'democracies' and 'republics' playing at the populist game. The end game is quite clear. I have the Orchestra already beginning to fine tune some messages. The Maestro is quite eager to start once his Composers have begun their work," Trachta noted as he pulled up several files to show the Lead.

"Damn, look at all those credits. I'm assuming were going to have some Stage Hands along to set things up for us? My Players are all ready and eager to start a Show or two," Lead said with a widening and savage grin.

"I can see why the Producer always tended to use you for such things. Your enthusiasm is almost... disconcerting," Trachta replied as he grips his gloved hands together. His uniform was immaculate, but more toned down and lacking to high boots of his former Imperial glory days. His was like many others in the Enclave, something more civilian in design but as before he wore no rank designation. The Director had other means to demonstrate his authority when needed.

"What can I say, sir? I aim to please and I'm good at my role. Its why I'm still alive when so many other chumps ended up with their throats slit in a back alley, usually by me," Lead sneered with contempt at his various acts from before.

"I'm just satifisfied you know how to guide your own bloodlust. I don't need a rabid dog as my Lead," Trachta stated sharply as a warning.

"Hey now, I'm the one and only Deraggo Malik. You get what you pay for," Lead or more Deraggo stated with a laugh as he stood up from his seat. Taking the opportunity to put his cigar out on Tractha's desk. There was not an ashtray.

"Just do you job and be glad your worth the money," Trachta said coldly in a firm tone of dismissal.

Deraggo grinned and gave a mock bow, not wanting to push the cyborg too far. He'd heard enough about Trachta's reign as head of the Imperial Security Bureau to know better than to antagonize him too much. Better to remain an asset and not become viewed as a liability. Particularly for the a man charged with running the Enclave's domestic and foreign intelligence operations.

Trachta watched with quiet disdain, never having fully cared for Sabrino's personal pet killer and agent provocateur. The ISB had caught sightings of Deraggo in various incidents and events eventually linked to the Union, but never had enough intel to track him down successfully. Only after abandoning the Empire did he come to understand just why the man had been such a ghost. He had often remained hidden at one of the Union's hidden facilities until called into active duty again. It was a wonder the man didn't just murder his cohorts for fun, but he seemed to vent his tendencies in training. Many of Sabrino's personal guards had injuries from their matches with Deraggo, which lent to why he was often close to Sabrino. Now he was a primary tool to be utilized in the coming events. He was curious to see just how his adversaries would respond.
Posts: 2558
  • Posted On: Sep 19 2013 4:05am
Raioballo Sector

"Have you seen the numbers for this quarter?" Asked Tong Chen, an analyst with Choi Finances.

"Recession, if not depression." Lee Fei responded, who worked for the Raioballo Bank of Commerce.

The two sat on the patio of a fine cafe, situated along the booming skyways and avenues of Bei-diang. Many of the movers and shakers of the financial district came here to unwind after a long day of trade and stocks. Many had been taking to the cantinas as of late, however.

"Between the Reavers, and all the other political instability, I'm surprised that the markets haven't completely collapsed." Lee Fei said, tapping on her datapad. Red numbers flashed across the surface, showing the end results from the market that day.

"People still need things." Tong Chen retorted, motioning to the city around them. "So long as all these problems stay to the other side of the galaxy, and leave us be, the markets will stand. So long as customers need goods, we'll keep building and selling."

"For a fraction of the value in the last fiscal year." Fei said as she pushed her datapad towards him. "These are the projections put out by the Bei-diang Review. At this rate of loss, unemployment will hit thirty percent by the next fiscal year. The central bank will have to inject some capital or we may be facing a rolling wave of bankruptcies."

"Who else are they going to buy from?" Tong asked as put his own datapad on the table. "Vinda has thrown in his lot with the Republic. Assuming they are as noble-minded as the last one, they won't do business with half the galaxy. The new Emperor, Kraken, faked his death how many times? How will anyone trust him or his regime to do business with them? The Empire doesn't have the power to just force people to sell to them anymore under threat of violence."

"The Coalition has more or less closed itself off, we haven't heard too much activity from the Azguardians in months. The same with the Contegorians." Tong says waving his hands for emphasis. "The markets are down, but our prospects are up. We have a galaxy rampant with demand, and Sinsang is one of the few places left in the galaxy capable of providing the supply."

"But what about Stellar Enterprises? The League of Companies? Even if the League formed together in a more formal alliance, they have more than enough business interests AND more available resources." Fei responded, pointing at her datapad. "If not for the Reavers taking their attention, any of them could put pressure on Sinsangese interests, and leave our economy vulnerable to greater external interests."

And so they argued, as people across Sinsang argued about the destiny of their world. From the cafe, to the dining room table, to the highest halls of government. Some argued for further efforts to isolate Sinsang from the chaos present in the Galaxy, and to focus on insulating their economy from the destabilizing effects wracking the rest of the worlds. Some said that they should throw their weight in with this Newest Republic, and hope that they could profit from a rise of power as the Empire collapsed. A handful of others left from the previous cabinet preached of a return to the Coalition, to try and press their luck while Azguardian influence waned.

In the end, the decision was forced by the hand of the private sector.

Grem Devor was an oddity in Sinsangese business. It wasn't enforced, but there was a xenophobia amongst the Sinsangese business elite that made them averse to giving positions of power to off worlders. The old Skakoan was one of the few offworlders, and one of the only aliens, with a position of prominence in Sinsangese business. He ran Rimward Robotics, which had even been one of the main places that a Coalition business delegation had inspected when they were joining their alliance.

He had prided himself on quality, and the innovation that won the Skakoans prominence in galactic society before the rise of the Empire.

He also was the man with a plan to beat the Reaver threat.

Many governments and companies were wracking their minds with how to counter the Reaver threat. New, powerful weapons arrays. Faster engines. Denser shields. The traditional response to a threat, to try and up class your existing vessels to overpower the threat.

But, should the enemy defeat it, all you've done is create a master piece you'll have to face the next week.

The answer was a new strategy, and new style of combat.

A new line of combat vehicles.

After months of work, Grem was confident enough to sell his work. The call was sent out to the Reaver affected governments to see the new creations of Rimward Robotics, and to begin probing the market.