[Participants: DA Doni Tzu, SBM Destavol, KAP Sashar, SW Shikyo, KP Tariija, DJK Devani, DJK Odin, JH Sephiroth, PRT Arual, PRT Viktor Aralyus]
Anshar sat in at his desk, staring out at one of the rare thunderstorms that dotted Lyspair's landscape. Rain on Lyspair only came at night, the lightning flashes providing but brief glimmers of the land outside the Shadow Academy's walls. The night rain adequately reflected Anshar's present mood. In front of Anshar's desk a man, a failed initiate, stood trembling slightly. In front of him lay a pile of droid parts which only minutes before had been a whole, functioning droid. Without moving, or even turning the chair, Anshar had disassembled the droid with the Force, in front of the man. The door to Anshar's office slid open and Dranik entered, his cloak still wet from the rain.
"The book cannot be found," said Dranik, dispensing with the formality reserved only for public forums. "None of our ships were taken, either. Some conclude that the thief departed on foot, undoubtedly to a hidden ship. I've ordered a reviewing of all sensor logs for any possible ship launch. But, this weather makes that hard to clearly distinguish anything. Also, there are other options for escape." Dranik was the head of the Shadow Academy's defense and security, a role he had co-opted upon his arrival. The fact that the thief had not taken any of the Academy's numerous fighters or shuttles to escape meant he did have other plans; his own ship, hidden somewhere on Lyspair, was a logical explanation, though how the thief managed to get it there, Anshar could not fathom. Dranik saw the remnants of the droid on the floor, recognizing it as the droid librarian as Anshar spoke.
"And the security tapes?" asked Anshar.
"They reveal nothing," replied Dranik. "They were tampered with, very professionally. Even if we can figure out exactly what was done, the chances of getting anything useful are slim. Whoever did this was a professional, and it was not a spontaneous theft."
"It appears, Mister Pola, that you are in the clear," said Anshar. Dac Pola had tried to join the Brotherhood, but though he possessed a modicum of Force ability, he had never been able to make use of the Force. He instead had become on the Academy's security detail and his assignment that night had put him at the library when this happened. "Leave us." Pola bowed and exited the office, trying very hard to make it not appear as a flight driven by fear.
"I will begin hunting this thief immediately," said Dranik. Anshar turned his chair around to face Dranik.
"Under normal circumstances, I would say that would be the best," replied Anshar. "However, you, nor I, can cover every angle. I have reviewed the last flight log, and the star shuttle Sheeta departed with a load of apprentices ten minutes after the theft. It will be traveling to all the clans to deliver the new members to their assigned clans." Dranik nodded. He had noticed this, too, and it was his first choice for an escape as well. The hidden ship theory was virtually impossible, as one could only get through the shroud on board official Brotherhood craft. Anshar continued.
"I want the Dark Vault sealed," he ordered. "No one is to be permitted in without a strict guard, and their time in the Vault will be limited." The Dark Vault was essentially the Academy's library and it contained a great deal of information, ranging from the mundane to very rare items. "As we cannot cover this by ourselves, we will put a call out to the clans for volunteers."
"Should the clans send teams?" asked Dranik. Anshar shook his head.
"We haven't the time for clans to assemble special teams," he replied. "Any member who wishes to help us may come. As they arrive, we will assign them to whatever group we can and send them out. As much as the clans may hate one another, the individual members do need to get used to working together. I sense that far more trying times lay in the future." Anshar paused. "Dranik, put the call out to the clans for volunteers; make certain to mention that those members who help retrieve the book will be rewarded." Dranik bowed and left. Anshar pulled out a holo-recorder and began a mission briefing.
"Members of the Brotherhood, as you may now know, the Shadow Academy had a rare, valuable book stolen from the Dark Vault. The thief, whoever he was, is top rate and he could be anywhere in Brotherhood space or beyond. Given the urgency of this situation, most of you will be formed into ad hoc teams, working with members from other clans. Whatever your personal feelings towards the other clans, or their representatives, may be, now is not the time to dwell upon them. This mission you are about to embark upon is for the greater benefit of the Brotherhood.
Your goals are simple: find the thief, find his supporters if he has them, and retrieve the book. Anyone who stands in your way, or attempts to stop you, may be killed or otherwise incapacitated as you see fit.
You may make use of almost any of the Shadow Academy resources if you cannot get them from your clans. Simply clear things with Dranik first. The only ships off limits are the Mnemosyne and her fighter compliment.
Finally, the book you are seeking is bound in black leather, with gold lettering on the cover. This book is written in runes, and is slowly being translated. The only part of the title we have translated thus far is "bible." Those who succeed, and those who show great skill and courage, shall be rewarded.
Standing in another corner of the dimly lit office was a diminutive Yevethan, the Left Hand of Justice. Arms folded, his head cocked to the side, and his lips curled downwards in a visage of bored annoyance, he spoke to Anshar after Dranik had departed.
"The Chamber of Jusssstice issss already on thisss cassse," he hissed in a heavy accent. "I do not ssssee why you have to assssemble such a ragtag group to hunt for thissss book" he postulated to his fellow Tarantae.
Anshar shot an immediate smile back towards his blood-bound compatriot. "General, it's my book. We're going to retrieve it via any method possible" he stated, putting the matter to rest.
Doni Tzu frowned and shrugged pessimistically, shifting his eyes to the rain outside. Rain was an odd occurance back on N'zoth, and he relished in the change of atmosphere for a minute or two. Turning his attention back towards the Headmaster, Doni Tzu gathered himself.
"Ssssummarily, and by your leave," he began, "I will begin the Chamber's prossssecution of this casssse. The firssst I would like to sssssee is your transsslator. I assssssume the Academy will cooperate fully with my invesssstigation?"
Anshar stood, the smile and apparent goodwill from his bizarre cerulean gaze never wavering as he motioned the fellow Adept towards the door. "Certainly, my friend. We want this item of ours returned as quickly as possible."
The Yevethan half-bowed, turned upon his thinly booted heels and stepped silently towards the door, flicking the hood of his robes up onto his bare head with two clawed fingers from two clawed hands. "Oh, by the way," Anshar called out. Doni's hooded head turned slightly as he halted. "There are some additional volunteers down in the waiting area who haven't found a group yet. Take them." Behind his cloaked figure the Yevethan frowned deeply, and Anshar, though he couldn't know of it, still somehow knew, and smiled a bit wider for it. With silent acquiescence Doni Tzu continued out the threshold of the finely finished great wooden doors.
Within the turbolift he stared straight at the gleaming metal in front of him, his mind churning over the possibilities. His first definite interest was this translator. With only one word supposedly translated, and someone having stolen the book already, this indicated that either the translator knew more than he was letting on, or that he had told someone who knew more about it too much. Either way, this man... or woman... was the first key to the puzzle.
Shortly, the metal doors opened and he strode into the hall where various adventurers and purported independent crime-busters of the Brotherhood had gathered. Grimacing at the foul alien stench, he quickly surveyed the room and located the group of malcontents to whom he had been assigned, in his view, to babysit. He impatiently made his way towards the bunch, skewering them a withering gaze.
"Nittaka sssscum. You all have been ordered to follow me in the prossssecution of this incident. We go firsssst to the transsslator to find ssssome more information about thissss book. Try to be ussssseful and sssstay out of the way."
Without waiting for an acknowledgement or response, the lizardlike Yevethan spun on the balls of his feet, robes flourishing, and made his way.
Hidden in the shadow of her hood, Devani followed the Yevethan silently, embroiled in thought. A new clan brought fresh beginnings but it seemed that no matter where she went, her past followed behind. Capital Ships were boring to study, she needed something new to focus on. When the call came to discover who had taken the valuable book, she had jumped at the chance.
Doni Tzu was vaguely familiar, from where the young Jedi Knight didn't know. She had rarely set foot from Arcona's headquarters since she had first left Plagueis and had been busy since returning to her first Clan. She knew little about his species but his aura of power was unmistakeable, she would be sure to watch him.
At last they arrived at a semi-large room, where the largest man the Plagueisan had ever seen sat at a table, scribbling intently as he glanced from one sheet to another. He was slick and oily, the type she wouldn't trust with a datapad much less a rare book, her suspicions were immediately roused. Moving to the left side of Doni, she watched and waited.
Sashar snorted in contempt. Once again, the darker-than-thou egomaniac had gone off expecting the others to follow like a bunch of obedient nerfs. It didn’t take ten people to interrogate one bookworm. The Mandalorian pulled his grey robes closer about him and let the others train after the Yevethan, all but one; he’d need an assistant for his task. He grabbed the arm of the Nelvaan Protector as he was last in thegroup of force users, and silenced him with a glare from beneath his hood.
“You’re coming with me.”
The canine muzzle’s lips slid back over a mouth of vicious-looking teeth and he bit off a question in passable basic.
“Why aren’t we going with Doni’Tzu?”
“Because he’s an egomaniac, a xenophobe and would just as soon kill every last one of us if it meant he got a bit of personal glory. We’re going to do some investigating of our own.” The Mandalorian replied patiently.
Arual seemed to consider this before giving the Grey Jedi a chopped-off nod. “Where are we going?” he asked, as Sashar started off down a corridor.
Sashar’s pace was brisk and the grey overcloak fluttered slightly behind him like an obedient little storm cloud, yet the Mandalorian paid it no heed.
“We’re going to the Dark Vault. You’re going to use that over-sized nose of yours to sniff out the scent of our thief and I’m going to see if I can get an impression from the force. If we find anything, we’ll share our findings with Doni and his band of sycophants.” Sashar responded curtly. His pace quickened – he was determined to be of use to his ‘group’, even at the risk of alienating them.
Catching a quick glimpse of the Equite and Journeyman taking their leave, a shadowy figure slipped into the room to catch a glimpse of the Dark Adept and a Knight. He did not recognize them by their looks or by their speach, but by the distinguishing marks on their robes. Slipping into a corner of the room, the figure blended into the shadows, spying on how the interrogations would go about.
The Adept approached the man, startling him either from his appearance or just his level of intimidation. From what distance there was, there was only the sounds of hissing and stuttering. Using the Force to amplify his senses, the figure listened in closely on what conversation there was.
"Do realize that the Chamber of Jussssstice will be watching you clossssely, asss well as the Headmassster and Grand Massster. If you have anything to sssay, sssspeak now or wait for either one to rip it out of you."
The man could only speak in a sort of studdered language, as the persuasion techniques used by the Adept seemed to be working well.
"I s-s-swear! I was out for j-j-just a moment and when I returned it was gone! I promise!"
The Adept leaned in closer towards the man, causing him to shake more frequently and studder more. After leaning in slightly, he turned towards the shadow's general direction. Two beams of golden light emitted from the Adept's hands, as his lightsabers were quickly called to attention. With his face slightly revealed, the figure walked out from the shadows, hood lowered.
Shikyo remembered Doni Tzu from the battle against Plagueis and Schoale Palatinae. With a smirk on his face, the Warrior nodded at the Tarentae.
"Don't mind me. Proceed."
The Protector could sense there was something about this Archpriest. A deep feeling of wariness grew in the Nelvaan; he believed this man would be an adventurer that could prove interesting or dangerous. He didn’t know what to feel about the man so he strode side-by-side with him towards their destination.
They approached the Dark Vault only to be stopped by a squat, ugly figure of a man, moving into their path with a small group of guards behind him.
“Stop now and leave this area. The Dark Vault is closed upon the orders of the Headmaster.” he spat at the two Dark Jedi in front of him.
The Mandalorian looked the man in the eyes, “We are here to investigate the robbery that took place. Now step aside.” With a flick of his hand, the man that had just stood in front of them crashed against the wall and slumped unconscious to the floor. The rest of the guards looked at the unconscious, limp lifeform before staring at the Mandalorian, wandering what they should do next.
The Nelvaan had grown tired of staring and decided that the best thing to do would be to make sure that the guards would not wake up until he and Sashar had finished in the Vault. With a flick of his hand, he sent one of the troops into the wall and another flying backwards down the corridor.
The guards raised their blasters but before they could use them the Nelvaan pounced at them. The Mandalorian gave an irritated glance towards the Protector before stepping forward and using the force to propel the last of the guards around the corridor until they were no longer conscious.
“That could have been handled without you acting like a dog.” He sneered at the Nelvaan before walking of towards the large door to the Vault. Arual followed the man, knowing that he had enjoyed the altercation but would have liked to have caused less of a commotion. Stepping over the guards bodies, they reached the door and surveyed it. They had to get inside and the only person around that had the access codes would probably that dumpy little man, slumped up against the wall.
The paired two had no sooner incapacitated the gaurds when they turned a corner and met a figure standing about 6 foot, black garbed robes with slight armor plating, long silver and white hair and an odd set of eyes. "Hmph, I see you know how to abuse our gaurds rather well - care to try those attempts on me?" said the man. At the current moment his presence in the force was weak like he was nothing more than an novice or acolyte. "I suggest you surrender your arms and fall to your knees and explain as to why you have broken into this library and attacked my gaurds.. ..less you have decided to come for death."
Sith Battlemaster Aticus was not a person to be triffled with. Regardless of his rank he was recognised by almost all of the elders as a veteran of the brotherhood and had seen more battles than the couple that had barged in ever thought about seeing. "So whats it going to be? My suggestion is kneel and explain yourself to me or the rest of security and myself will find it not to much of a problem to extinguish the bold flame of stupidity you two have ignited." a white ivory katana hilt levitated from out of his inner robing and into his right hand after he had stated this. The elderly sith was staring the two down like they had killed his soul and seemed ready to devour theirs.
Doni Tzu narrowed his eyes slightly at the entry of the Sith warrior, regarding him for a few seconds before extinguishing his sabers and returning them to his belt. Meanwhile, the corpulent disease bag in front of him regarded this entire interchange with a sort of nervous uncertainty. Cursing himself for having his concentration broken, the Adept glanced around the confines of the translator's office in frustration. A snarl formed on his thin lips, and the translator's face began to take on a new kind of fear; the fear of the unexpected. What would this animal do to him next?
Glancing back down at the man, the Yevethan sneered. "I am no animal." The man gaped at having his mind read, though it should hardly be unexpected in such a place. Doni Tzu turned slowly around, past Devani, and just when he detected that the man breathed a sigh of relief he spun, sending his fists crashing onto the table in fury. The Knight and Warrior to his sides watched in some amusement of this performance.
"Give me what I want, fat alien ssscum!" He barked to the man. At once the corpulent human's last shred of composure disintegrated and his facial expression degenerated into a look of unrestrained horror. Baring a wide, sharp, toothy maw at the translator, Doni Tzu allowed every emotion to well within him. Impatience... this fat blob was standing between him and what he wanted. Rage... no such being could deceive him and get away with it. Hatred... even talking to this human was beneath his standing.
The Yevethan's needle-like dew claws shot from his wrists, only inches from the man's face as Doni Tzu crashed into his brain, sweeping away every piece of civility and humanity in his search for information. "Give me what I want!" he screamed, spittle striking the man's face. "Who have you told about the book, nittaka? How much more did you know? Why doessssomeone else want the book?!"
And then something happened that the Tarantae did not expect. The man stood up, like a marionette whose strings were jerked vertically by an unseen hand. The look of terror disappeared, and most importantly, Doni's mental probe was thrown from the man's brain as if by catapult. The Adept took a step back, adjusting his composure as the man looked straight ahead into nothingness.
"Fallen Jedi. Your search for the book will fail. Do you not see that we are always one step ahead of you?" Doni, and surely the entire team, apprehended this sudden change in behavior - and more notably the complete change of his voice, from a high whine to a deep and raspy baritone - with some curiousity. An additional attempt by the Sith Warrior to intrude on his mind was rejected with the utmost force.
"The man is subject to outside control" Shikyo whispered to the Yevethan. Indeed, Doni Tzu mused.
"Who are you?" the Adept called out. The fat man laughed a gelatinous, belly rolling laugh.
"The same who took your book. The same who devises day and night for the destruction of your vile kind. Our attempt with the Grand Master, you must admit, almost worked. We laughed as you set about each others destruction."
Doni Tzu folded his arms together, mentally throwing a call to Shikyo. I will distract its attention with the Force. Try to ascertain where the control is coming from. Shikyo nodded imperceptibly and melted back into the shadow.
Leaping onto the table, the Yevethan bore his dark olive eyes into the eyes of the translator... or, of the man, since the translator, the soul as it were, was nowhere to be found. He poured every ounce of concentration into breaking into the mans mind to ascertain the source of this new voice, causing the controller thereby to busy him or herself erecting every defense possible.
"You will never find us. The book does not belong in your hands, cancer of the galaxy. We will snuff out your dark flame so that the galaxy will forever be illuminated by the glory of the true way of the Force." The man stammered out the words, barely in a whisper, as his brain was beginning to crumble. The presence of two strong identities battling each other out while his personality cowed in the proverbial corner was too much to bear. Soon the man would be reduced to a dribbling, incoherent simpleton... but for Shikyo's work, Doni Tzu had to buy time. Tiny beads of sweat appeared on the Yevethan's forehead as he closed his eyes, simultaneously trying to keep the man from falling apart, and to keep the unseen entity from detecting Shikyo's attempt at discovering it.
The difference of a few seconds could mean success or failure.
Jedi Hunter Sephiroth Storm watched the interrogation from behind the Adept. He watched in silence taking in everything from the Tarentae’s mannerisms to the reactions of the others in the group.
Suddenly the translator’s body went into a state of shock. Doni Tzu stepped back, with a look of contempt and disgust as the man fell to the ground. The man trembled quickly yet his eyes stayed lucent, seeming staring at the Adept. Then just as quickly as it had started, it was over.
Sephiroth stepped over to the man’s body. “He’s dead.” He announced. “Whatever had control of this man was strong. But this being called upon the other Side. I felt the backlash as it disconnected from his body.”
Without warning, the man’s body began to destroy itself. Something was making the body collapsed in upon itself.
Odin, a freshly elevated Knight from just a couple days ago, as heard noises coming from the direction of the Dark Vault, walked at a fast pace to the left corner of the interior building where the criminal scene had occurred, separating himself from the Adept's group. A while ago, his eyes caught a shadow that he has recognized well for a period of time in his clan, following the Yevethan. Previously he had decided to take himself to the torch lighted room, he was in a bit doubtful to pick up which line he would use to trace the thief. However, considering his specialty, he would rather to busy himself on the small and sophisticated things that missed by the naked eyes in the library, tracking any evidence, along with the power of the Force, than taking less part of interrogation. In addition, he would not enjoy to stay close with the one who had put herself as a defector to her former clan or in other view, to his clan.
Odin Vaaj realized the seal of the Dark Vault door had been broken; something had attracted his attention when he entered the room. Some creatures were lying on the floor, spread on some directions near the wall. Cluttered broken droids were still there also, taking their parts in a good scene. He noticed three shadows standing in the middle of the room, facing at one another. Not lowering his alertness to them, he stepped aside, approaching a nearest lying body; the Knight squatting, his eyes observing the body before him. The SA guard… A life sign still emerged from this guard, as Odin’s hand touched the guard’s neck, feeling the weak pulsation of the arterial blood flow along with the sense he caught through the Force. Something unusual, he felt to this guard, but he did not know what that was yet. He never saw this man before.
“I still demand an explanation of this mess you both generated and the time is short,” the white silvery hair Sith said with a cold tone.
There was no answer from the other shadows. Odin turned his sight back to the standing people. As the torch lightening the respective figures, the Knight identified that, one of them was his fellow Arconan. The others were an Equite and a Journeyman who he met once at this time.
“Sashar...”, the Knight whispered to himself.
Looking at the impact on those unconscious guards, Odin wondered if the intruder had done something on them or if it was because of the work of the two silent Dark Jedi. Sashar was an evenhanded figure; he would do it with ease. They were other Dark Jedi who were assigned by the Headmaster to search the item, even if the Dark Vault had been sealed, it was only closed for public access, not from the investigators. Something wrong had happened, Odin waited for the next talk of theirs, continuing to observe other bodies and seek the chance of any trail.
After seeing that the two were not going to comply under his current power output the Sith sighed. He rather enjoyed not boasting his force level out to everyone and tried to keep it suppressed - but when the time came to show his true power he would happily release his the flow of the force around him. The Sith closed his eyes but could see all three beings in the vault with him - including the half dead security. He saw the waves of the force in different colors, flexing in shapes and patterns. He called upon the waves to nurture the bodies and souls of the attacked gaurds and demanded that the force heal them at once. He then turned his focus to the three dark jedi in the room with him. The new oscilation of energy spawned from a Knight. He knew the taste all to well, and frowned. "So you have brought friends?" said Aticus as he completly released the flow of his energy allowing the ripples off him strike fear into anyone in the room.
In just a few moments an squad of six men stepped into the room - garbed in assassins gear. One of them touching Odin on the shoulder and stating "stand down if you are wise." The others surrounded the Protector and Archpriest. "Let me introduce you to my personal assassination squad, all of these men are fully trained dark jedi knights. Feel free to continue to resist as I'm sure their blades need feeding. And you hiding over there - come out and show yourself or you'll be conisdered in alliance with these two." Aitcus said as he opened his eyes and began to walk past the now surrounded pair who had broke into the vault.
"This is a place of learning - not a place of war. Why have you attacked my gaurds? Why are you here after the book was stolen? Are you the theives? Are you here to attempt another robbery?!" asked the Sith harshly - his tone now very harsh, cold, and generally pissed off. A white blade extended from the hilt. The Sith was through asking as politely as he could. If those who had entered didnt kneel he was going to begin choping off legs with the rest of his gaurd. "You are all outmatched - surrender in the name of the Shadow Academy and you will be sparred."
This is why I avoid interacting with those outside my clan. Even though Arcona is known as the clan of shadows, we still don’t have that many bloated ego-cases going on about how truly awesome their power is. Still, I’d rather not get drawn into a fight this early on in the investigation.
He turned slowly to regard the situation. Before him was a Sith Battlemaster, albeit one with delusions of his own importance. Arual would be of little use in a fight against trained Dark Jedi, and Odin, whilst capable, wouldn’t be able to take on six of his own. Sashar was sure he could’ve taken a few of the antagonists with him, should push come to shove, however that was not going to be the objective of the day.
Teaching the Battlemaster something about reading a situation was.
Sashar closed his eyes and slowed his breathing. He hadn’t remembered unclipping his lightsaber, Fraternity, from his belt, but the weapon was grasped ready in his hand, albeit de-activated. He opened his eyes and made eye-contact with the ‘Battlemaster.’
“I kneel before no man.” He intoned, the corners of his mouth turned down in something just off a sneer. He would’ve loved nothing better than to drive his saber through that little man’s skull, however self-restraint was a virtue – he’d need to give it a try for once.
“However,” he continued slowly, keeping his voice low and level, intimidating but at the same time not threatening “I won’t fight you. Not today. I am Archpriest Sashar Kodiak of Clan Arcona. He,” Sashar said, nodding his head in Odin’s direction “is the newly anointed Dark Jedi Knight Odin Vaaj, also of Clan Arcona. The kid is a Protector from Clan Scholae Palatinae, so go easy on him; he’s still learning. We were requested here by the Headmaster to investigate the theft, and if your idiot guards hadn’t started on us, we wouldn’t have had to…discipline them. No-one was injured, so put your weapon away, call of the nameless cannon fodder and either assist us in our investigation or make yourself scarce. That’s not a request” He added, making sure his words reached everyone in ear-shot.
It was obvious that the Sith hated being told what to do. He was used to barking out orders and having lackeys bow down before him (or kneel, depending on his state of arousal), however he also knew he couldn’t very well attack fellow ‘brothers’, even if they had been roughing the local mundanes up a little.
“Very well.” He said. He gestured and the security detail backed off. The collective breath everyone had been holding, readying themselves for a confrontation, was released. Odin joined his clan-mate and Sashar patted him on the shoulder by way of saying thanks for ‘having his back’ should things have turned nasty. It was always nice to know one could trust in his clan-mates. The Mandalorian then turned to the Protector.
“Don’t pound on the faculty, kid. They might cry.”
“You started it” he half-barked half-exclaimed, obviously frustrated by the Mandalorian’s apparent hypocrisy.
“Fear of force is better than force itself. In this case, it’s a literal term. Dear Slice, who’s your master? That’s a basic tenet…” Sashar commented as he walked past the Dark Jedi Knight security detail, pointedly ignoring them.
(Note - Dont play my character - I dont play yours or his.)
Aitucs took pleasure in feeding off of the hate he spawned in the Archpreist - a tactic he had been taught at the academy none the less. Whilst the KAP rambled on, Aticus half payed attention and half thought about ways of killing all three of the newly arrived 'guest'. However deciding that now would not be the time for confrontation against someone and especially not in the area he was in, Aticus motioned for his guards to move away and to go back for their standard position. Aticus then stared at the KAP for a moment, wanting to taste his blood and spit it in his face. "Tell me Archpreist - what do you think of this matter anyway? I believe Sith Alchemy might have been involved - A force mask to remove the imprents of our theif. Because I dont believe just anyone could waltz into here without their identity being discovered." Aticus deactivated his saber and returned it to his sash.
Tariija Annekke Juornuuo
Tariija contemplated the information that the esteemed Headmaster had given them. Between that, and the recent turn of events, she was wondering why anyone would want a virtually untranslated book. What could they learn from such a tome, unless they had linguistic capabilities? The people who had been interrogated hadn’t yielded much information, so she was also wondering if interrogations were the way to get the information they needed. Wouldn’t more information be gained by an extensive forensic search?
People had to leave traces of hair, fingerprints, body oils, etc. So, unless this thief wore a complete bodysuit, something should be available for analysis. At least that might yield what type of creature they were looking for. That, in itself, would be a big help. Otherwise, they would be walking around like the blind leading the blind. And to quote a well-known reference, “When the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch.”
The other thing that the young Krath Archpriestess from House Tridens realized is that knowledge is power. Any information that could add to the knowledge base of whom or what they were looking for, would be a welcome piece to the puzzle. Hopefully, they could solve this puzzle before the information contained in the stolen tome could be used against them, or others.
Shikyo moved swiftly along corridors, eyes closed as he reached out with the force, following the slippery trail of power that connected the translator and whoever was controlling him. It ebbed and flowed but there was an underlying strengtht that he knew foretold a powerful opponent. Suddenly the Keibatsu saw the connection flare up; a huge pulse of energy sped back the way he came. He knew with certainty that the trial would go cold, very very soon. He ran then, ignoring whatever was in his path as he raced to the end of that connection, to the person controlling the translator.
Bursting through a door, Shikyo heard a mocking laugh, the sound grating on his nerves. “Dark Jedi filth! You think you can find the book?! It will never fall into your unworthy hands!”
"I think you underestimate me, you will be crying for your Mother by the time I'm through. Now tell me, who are you working for? Where is the book?"
"You don't scare me boy! I was a Dark Jedi Knight while you were in diapers, you'll never get anything out of me!"
"You may be able to stand up to me but..." the Keibatsu gestured towards the Dark Adept and Dark Jedi Knight that stepped into the room behind him, "I don't think you can against the three of us. Now you will give us the information we want or we will make you wish your mother had terminated you in the womb." A dark glint of violence in his eyes gave force to his words.
An hour later, the man sat in his chair still, his screams still reverberating in the room. Blood poured from every pore, pieces of his flesh lay scattered on the cool steel floor. Finally he muttered one word, his voice hoarse and rasping, tinged with the pain he had endured.
Devani used a rag and water to wash away the blood that spattered her face and arms before putting her cloak back on. "So, he is headed to Aduba-3. Can't say I've heard of it but it sounds like a planet. What next?"
"Maybe we should inform the Headmaster of the latest developments?" Shikyo ventured.
“Nevermind that, my personal ssship, the Necrosis will be a good bassse of operationsss. We can inform the Headmassster when we have more information. Go, prepare my ssship asss quickly asss posssssible. I've got sssome thingsss to take care of before we leave thisss moon. Go!"
Nodding, Devani left straight for the hangar, albeit a bit irked for being ordered around. "Shikyo, disssposssse of his remainsss after you kill him. Meet me at the hangar bay when you're done. We leave in lesss than twenty minutesss, undersstood?"
"Aye, it will be my pleasure," the man grinned. "Now you aren't so powerful are you Rokkta? You're lucky you get to die this quickly, if only I had more time..." his voice faded from hearing as the Dark Adept left to attend to his task.
"Aye, it will be my pleasure,"
The Warrior gave pursuit to the Jedi, grabbing his saber and igniting it with a fury. The scarlet blade screamed out for the light-sider, anxious to taste his blood. Catching a glimpse of his traditional brown robes, the Sith gave pursuit of the puppeteer down the slightly illuminated halls of the Shadow Academy. As he rounded the corner, he saw an opened door and gave chase. Rurouni entered the room and noticed an opened window.
Shikyo poked his head outside and saw the Jedi taking flight across the grounds, moving like a phantom across the grounds of a graveyard. With a hiss and a snarl, the Keibatsu took his leave and made his way towards the space port, cursing himself for letting the infiltrator slip by. He assured himself that the next time the Jedi would not slip by. Next time, he would meet his fate. As he approached the docking area for the ships of Lyspair, he caught the image of a cloaked, slender figure.
Devani waited outside of the spaceport with her arms folded over one another, with a look on her face that reminded the Keibatsu of a disappointed yet vengeful look. Rurouni couldn't help but smile.
"What's the matter, Devani? I haven't seen that look from you since I was Quaestor. Didn't come here to settle our differences, did you?"
"Hardly. I just wanted to know your intentions."
"My intentions? To find the book and get back home. That good enough for you, sweetheart?"
"Fine but I'll make sure to keep my eye on you."
"Report what you want to the dogs of Arcona. I really don't mind."
"I no longer serve Arcona, Hito."
Shikyo snarled up with that name. It was a name of deception and horrible memories that only brought about a rage to the Warrior. Walking past the woman towards the ship, Rurouni checked in with Doni Tzu and helped him prepare the ship. He had no idea what would be on Aduba 3, but not knowing was half the "fun".
Tariija Annekke Juornuuo
Tariija could still sense a strange energy source. "That dog that stole the tome has to be around here, and I aim to find his putrid carcass!" she thought to herself. Reaching out with the Force, she was able to find a few of her clanmates. She hurried toward them, cautiously. She didn't need any surprises, though she was sure she'd find a few unwanted ones before this search was over.
She rounded a corner only to find enough blood and gore to sicken even the most hardened of warriors. The remains weren't that of a sentient being, but none-the-less it unsettled her. Pulling her Zabrak composure around her like a protective cloak, she pushed on.
Finally, she found the rest of the group. "Boy am I glad to see you guys! You didn't happen to see all the blood and gore a few meters back, did you?" Not realising who she was because she was wearing a uniform that was reminiscent of Darth Vader's armour, some of them had drawn their sabers, having them lit and at the ready. Surprised at this type of response, Tariija replied: "Guys, It's me!" and removed her facial covering, to expose her all-too-familar Zabrak features. Seeing the Krath Priestess, they gave a collective sigh of relief, and told her that they did, indeed, see the carnage a few meters back, and that by all indicaations, there may well be more of it.
"I knew there would be." she answered. "Whoever this person is, they'll stop at nothing to keep us from retrieving the tome. We MUST get it back before he or she translates the rest of that thing, and uses that knowledge against us, or Force Forbid, the Brotherhood at large. We have no time to waste, so let's keep going. There will be plenty of time to rest when we're either successful....or dead!"
“Sith Alchemy could have well been used but that would only remove the imprints, not explain how they walked into the vault and took the tome. Unless he got the tome another way.” replied the Archpriest with a look of disdain on his face.
Arual started to roam the room while the older men discussed the situation instead of taking action. He hated the politics and discussions and would prefer to fight or torture someone, anyone. He used his heightened sense of smell to sniff out where the thief entered the room if he did not come trough the doorway.
It was then he caught the smell, he realised it was still strong and he could follow it. He ran towards the vault door, narrowly missing Odin on his way. He jumped through the open entrance and ran down the corridor towards where the smell was emitting from. As he passed he could see the guards they had dealt with beginning to stir and awaken.
“Damn that mutt.” is the last thing he heard and knew that Sashar would follow, just in case he had found something he could not handle alone and would require their help.
Viktor arrives at the vault and suddenly notices a man running down the hall, or what he thinks is a man, and see's a nother give chases as well. While Viktor would typically stop to interduce himself instead he decides to chase as well. Viktor attempts to introduce himself while running and asks what it is that they are chasing as he saw no one else leave the room.
Too large to fit into a hangar bay, the hundred-meter Necrosis was docked to the Academy via one of the three docking tubes that jutted from the side of the hangar area, capable of servicing what few large starships were actually capable of entering and landing in atmosphere. The unassuming beetle-shaped craft was commencing reactor startup sequences as Doni Tzu entered the main cargo deck. Truthfully the black, semi-stealthy craft was a large flying box, intended only to deliver a cargo of spacetroopers to Republic starships for capture, though Tarentum had decided to use it for slightly different purposes. Inside the cavernous cargo deck, rows of medium tanks outnumbered heavy tanks by four to one, their deathly intentions slumbering on the chocks they were secured by. Five platoons of five tanks each composed here the Deaths Head Armored Company, Tarentum's crack armor unit, led by the General himself. Doni Tzu posted an officer near the entry to the docking tube, to inform his compatriots of where they could lay themselves down - nowhere, really, as the assault cruiser was not designed for comfort, they would have to find a comfortable spot somewhere among the repulsortanks and supply boxes. After checking to assure that none were in earshot, the Yevethan climbed a ladderwell to the command deck and turned a corner to the hyperwave transceiver. Powering the device, his communication was encrypted, coded, scrambled, and tightbeamed to a Tarentum communications satellite floating somewhere in deep space nearby. The Tarentum clan symbol appeared on the screen to inform him of a secure link to Castle Tarentum as he began his broadcast.
"Thissss isss Doni Tzu Tarentae, authorizing code YBF117Q," he began, using a login code changed hourly and randomly generated. "I have begun prosssecution of a sssearch for a book missssing from the Shadow Academy. Thisss book appearsss to be important. Many other degenerates from the Brotherhood and other clansss are alssso searching. I believe that the thief, or thievesss, have already left the Antei ssssysssstem. Therefore I am requesssting that the shroud be closssed to traffic of shuttlesss and fightersss, and groupsss of Brotherhood membersss from one to ten coming or going be detained and sssearched. If the book isss found, report to me via the Necrossssissss. Thisss book may well be of much interesssst to Tarentum."
Ending his communication, the Yevethan sat in thought for a few moments before rising from the faux leather sit firmly affixed to the deck. Clawing his way back down to the cargo deck, he met the Sith Warrior and Knight near the docking tube entry, which was now being pulled away. Folding his arms, he allowed the two to size up their utilitarian surroundings. "I apologizzzze for the lack of creature comfortsss, but you mussst underssstand that thisss is a sssmall warship. Obtain what you can to make your trip passsss more easily. Fortunately what we lack in luxuriesss we make up in ssspeed. It will not take usss long to get to the Outer Rim planet."
Apparently satisfied, Shikyo and Devani nodded and turned to secure the best spot they could find. "Oh, one more item," the Yevethan called out. The two turned to regard him. The thin and boney Yevethan narrowed his eyes as his arms uncoiled from his chest with serpentine grace.
"Everything you sssee here is a Clan Tarentum sssecret. I will take it upon your honor that you will not ssspeak of any of it to anyone. If you do..." and here the Yevethan paused and lowered his voice for emphasis, "I will kill you."
Both of his compatriots regarded this suggestion skeptically, as of course they had both been trained long ago to show neither fear nor weakness. Doni Tzu grinned a thin, tight-lipped smile that barely showed his sharp teeth. "Otherwizze, enjoy the ride." Turning, he walked back to the command deck, his surreal laughter echoing through the dimly lit vessel. The vague sensation of lift and speed gripped all onboard, and the Necrosis rocketed into the dark sky above Lyspair, fading from view within minutes.
Looking around the ship for some kind of schematic, Shikyo made sure not to tread to deep within the vessal. He understood the alliance between Naga Sadow and Tarentum and would do his best to uphold it, out of respect to the Adept. He looked over at his former apprentice with a bit of a smirk and a snarl on his face. He was unsure of whether to trust her or not and decided that distance would be appropriate.
He went down a stretch of hallway for a couple of feet and stopped, kneeling down in the center and closing his eyes. Rurouni felt it appropriate to use the time granted to meditate on the upcoming events. It had been a while since the Aedile had a chance to ease his mind but meditating seemed to come natural to the Sadowian. With his eyes closed and his body placed in a comfortable position, the Sith opened his mind to whatever demons dwelled within.
Howls and cries of a wolf echoed throughout his psyche, as the feel of warm blood splashed upon his face. The visage of the Jedi broke through the darkness of his mind like the first beams of sun after a massive storm. A bloodthirsty smirk appeared on the wolf's lips, as it devoured the image with a fury and wrath like none other. Smirking to himself, Shikyo continued with his battle meditation to prepare himself for the journey.
“Entering the Aduba System, we’ll be arriving soon.”
In a small, dark corner Devani opened her eyes, easing out of her meditation. Pulling out a datapad, she quickly relayed the most coordinates of her whereabouts to House Satal Keto headquarters. She also received a short message from her eldest brother, Ktulu Xyler, the news of which brought a grin to her face.. Getting up she stretched, trying to ease the cramped muscles. Flexing her hand she double checked that her lightsaber, Westar-34 blaster and Azrael were still strapped to her body. Turning, she moved towards the cockpit to meet up with her companions and go over their latest plan of action.
Devani lept back as if bitten, shuddering with the brief contact of her former “Master”.
“Watch where you’re going!” Shikyo complained as he stood, rubbing his back.
“Maybe if you didn’t sit in the middle of the hallway, people wouldn’t crash into you. Did you ever think of that Mifune?” the Xyler spat the word out, as his old name left a bad taste in her mouth.
“Don’t you EVER speak that name again!” the Sadowian growled in response. “I will cut your tongue out…” He left the threat hanging in the air as he turned angrily and stalked off towards the cockpit.
A small smile graced Devani’s features, a cunning and mischievous look brightening up her eyes. “We’ll just see about that Hitokiri,” she hissed, following languidly.
Donitz and Shikyo were waiting not far ahead, already launched into the debate of how to find the thief.
“Do you know anything about thisss planet Devani?” The Yevethan asked as she approached.
“Well, from what I could gather, most of Aduba-3 is a dusty wasteland. Its orbited by one moon and is one of the only planets with a native population of banthas…”
“How would the knowledge they have bathas be of any use to us?” The Keibatus mocked.
“He ASKED what information I have of Aduba-3, it isn’t much but that’s what I found out. Its rumored that the Tenloss Syndicate spread rumors that eventually lead to the devastation of Aduba-3’s landscape. Its my thought we may be able to contact a Syndicate member and found out more information, luckily the Xylers can help us with that. Ktulu’s managed to contact and arrange for a Syndicate member to meet us at the Space Port in Tun Aduban. Now do you have anything to bring to the table, Mifune?”
With a roar, Shikyo jumped towards Devani, pulling forth his lightsaber and ingniting it in one smooth motion. "I warned you!!!" The woman only grinned, taunting the angry man to actually do what he said he would.
Suddenly, they both found themselves sprawled across the floor having been thrown backwards by an unseen force.
"ENOUGH! I don't want to hear another word about your petty sssquables. We're here to retrieve the book and ONLY to the retrieve the book, underssstood?"
Glaring daggers at one another, they nodded reluctantly as the ship landed with a dull thud.
"We've arrived at Tun Aduban on Aduba-3."
Glanced at Arual’s visage disappearing before the Vault’s door slid close, Odin turned his attention back to the scene. The knocked out guards were gaining their consciousness back, still grunted to themselves. Some of the Sith Battle Master’s guards returned to help them, while Odin activated his Comlink and talked to someone. A few moments later, two people in black jacket entered the Dark Vault, joining the crowd. Sashar noticed they were Arconan officers, but he did not resist himself to ask, just to let the fellow ‘investigators’ know the situation.
“Who are they?” the Arconan Arch Priest asked to the Oriens Aedile.
“They are the officers in HOO Lab, my assistances. They will collect sufficient evidences to help us, under my command, “answered Odin formally, making his tone to be heard to all audience there,” As we knew if he or they did use Sith Alchemy, if they were Dark Jedi anyways… they could probably cover themselves from any security detection. But hopefully, I think the imprint, the tiny ones, sometimes still left…somewhere, may be we should use the Force to sharpen our senses even…what smell does this?”
The people moved deeper to the Dark Vault, Odin lead to the right corner which darker than the front one, since there was only one torch ---a bit far from the corner---illuminating that part of the Vault. Everybody was looking for the source of the smell, until Tariija found something shocking after she shifted some piles of ancient books. A creature’s head, couldn’t be identified its face, nearly remained as a skull, surrounded by several rare flowers and stones and marks of blood, set at the dark corner, grinned to the people who stared in agape. A guard’s hand reflectively wished to touch the head, but luckily, Odin could prevent it.
“Don’t touch that! That could be the precious evidences. Damn, does this Vault have any lights beside the torch? The true generated lamps?” Odin asked to the people.
“Activating the lamps will need the Headmaster’s permit, I think, since it will change totally the view of the Dark Vault. Meanwhile, we should use any resources we have,” the Arconan Arch Priest said calmly.
“Do you have any err…flashlights or something?” Odin turned his look to the Arconan officers. They nodded and gave Odin a handy flashlight while they placed the headlamps on their heads. The Sith Knight moved closer to the creature’s head, squatting to observe carefully.
“What’s this? Any ritual practice of Sith Alchemy in the Dark Vault?” Tariija questioned.
“We don’t know yet, it seems fresh,” Sashar tilted his head,”hmm, I sensed some of us… already left the Shadow Academy….”
The Arconan Krath did not continue his words when a scream, he noticed as the Protector’s voice caught to his auditory systems. Some of the people there were also in alertness after having the same voice in theirs. Sashar rushed himself out after saying something, a bit commanding, to his fellow Arconan, “Odin, you stay here to continue with that thing, I’ll go to help Arual, open your Comlink…” His voice faded away with the close of the door.
The anger that Devani created within him was just what he needed for the Jedi. Now, he just needed to harness the power instead of letting it control him like a blind lunatic. As he stepped off into the massive dock of Tun Aduban, the crew of the Necrosis assured Doni Tzu that there would be no issue with the ship. Devani slinked around the crew with a purpose, acquiring any kind of information she could about the Adept and Tarentum. The Keibatsu scoffed and looked around the area, taking in the surroundings.
It looked like a fortress that was built by the Hutts themselves. It was grimy yet forceful and smelt of smoke, exhaust, and other scents that could surely come from toxic sources. It was the kind of place that created catastrophe and it was the kind of situation that Shikyo thrived on.
The Adept and Knight approached the Warrior after finishing with their business. Rurouni turned back towards Devani, smirking under his hat at her.
"It figures you would know about this place. Ever done business here?"
"Oh... I've been here and there, Mifune."
The emphasis on his last name sparked a deeper rage but the Sadowian quickly qwelled the fire. The Yevethan seemed to chuckle to himself as he passed by.
Shikyo smirked and pulled his trenchcoat around himself, proceeding behind the Tarentae. They made their way to the cantina to await the arrival of the Syndicate informant. With his hand on his saber, the Keibatsu was ready for what chaos would erupt in their presence.
Due to inactivity, this run-on has been closed.