(OOC: This was my submission for the Opportunity event in the GJW, where we got to write about how we got a spot on the Dark Council)
The Truth is out there: Opportunity
SW Derev Niroth/Naga Sadow
Smoke rose from the remains of the Dark Hall on Antei. In the distance, the explosions could still be heard. Dark Jedi moved throughout the hall, lightsabres at the ready. The war of the Grand Masters was quickly tearing the Brotherhood into two. Most fought with a fierce loyalty to the Grand Master they believed was the true Dark Lord of the Sith. Others insisted on remaining neutral, to the point of leaving the Brotherhoods territories altogether. A few, however, looked eagerly at the situation as a way to increase their powers and influence in the changing Brotherhood.
With the Dark Council torn apart, both Grand Masters sent open invitations to the Brotherhood to interview for the open positions on their "new" Dark Council. However, the invitation itself was dangerous. The interviews for both Dark Councils were being held on Antei, not the safest place in the galaxy. While the invitations had only been issued mere hours before, various craft were already landing on Antei.
Sith Warrior Derev Niroth, Magistrate to the Master at Arms and Seneschal, sat in his Magistrate Quarters in the Dark Hall, a look of sheer terror on his face. Much to his dismay, he had just learned that his Councilors had both chosen separate sides, quickly placing him in a most precarious situation. Xu Long and Rax Von-Klug had both sent him messages in the past hour, demanding he report to them immediately. The purpose was very clear, both sides were solidifying thier power bases. To make his situation even worse, Derev was determined he would advance himself through this situation. Having spent a good deal of time at both base camps, Derev felt he had learned the truth about the two Grand Masters. Throughout his career, Derev had met with Jac several times, and Derev's quick temper and attitude had led to hard feelings between the two. Derev felt this same attitude from the Red Jac, and believed the Master at Arms had chosen the correct side. However, while visiting the Seneschal, Derev was able to speak with Blue Jac for some time, and, much to his surprise, he was treated with respect, bordering on admiration, from the Blue Jac.
His decision was laid before him. To follow the rightful Grand Master, and continue to serve as a mere Magistrate, or follow the imposter, and almost guarantee himself a promotion to Master At Arms. The impending decision weighed on him deeply, and he searched the force for answers. Derev weighed deeply the fact that both of his mentors, the Deputy Grand Master, and his Consul, had chosen to side with Blue Jac. Finally, he made a decision. He packed his few belongings into a satchel, threw it over his shoulder, and made his approach to the Blue Camp, eagerly seeking the fate of his Quaestor, and fellow Magistrate to the Master At Arms, Xia-Long. His assumption that she would be his biggest competition would soon be proved sorely wrong.
Xanos Sadow was furious. Mere months after his appointment as Deputy Grand Master, the Brotherhood was in shambles, and he was forced out of his plush office. Sitting in the makeshift room, barely meeting the requirements of being called an office, he reviewed the various applications in front of him. The Grand Master had selected five would be councilers for each position, and asked Xanos to interview them all, and investigate all of thier histories. Initially, he was upset at the 'desk work' he'd been assigned, but soon found a different avenue of approach. It hadn't escaped him that Jac was in constant danger, and he felt there was some prudence to stacking a Council that would elect him Grand Master, should it come to that. While so far, his readings had proved rather difficult, he found an obvious candidate for Master at Arms. His old friend, Derev Niroth, was the only remaining member of the Master At Arms Staff on the Blue Side. His experience in the Master at Arms office, and his unwaivering loyalty to the Deputy Grand, would make him an ideal candidate for the position. Goatham continued going through the other two offices, looking for able candidates, who would enable him a quick grab at power should it come to that.
Derev spent his day reliving the interview in his head. He felt he had done well with the Blue Jac, but he had learned throughout his life that perceptions can be very, very deceiving. He had however, answered the question he had about his Quaestor. Xia-Long had choosen the Red Side, and thus eliminated herself from the competition. However, Derev did discover several prominent names had also interviewed with Jac for the number three spot in the Brotherhood.
Deep in his meditation, Derev did not immediately hear the beeping of his comm device. After coming out of his meditation, Derev answered, with a simple summons from the Deputy Grand awaiting him.
"Yes Master"? Derev asked the Deputy Grand.
"Here" Xanos said, passing Derev a list of names. Derev studied the list, and brought his attention back to the Deputy Grand, rather confused.
"That's your competition for Master at Arms" Xanos stated plainly.
"Only two"? Derev responded
"I'll take care of the rest"
"Understood" replied Derev. Bowing out, Derev left the room.
Derev returned to his quarters, studying the two names, and the attatched files about them. Knowing they had to be somehow taken out of the race, Derev studied his options. Surely an outright attack was out of the question, he told himself. Both were fellow ex-EHers, surely that could be used, he told himself. Then realizing he was no better off, he was back to the drawing board. As he sifted through his thoughts, suddenly a lightbulb went off in his head. He went to his comm panel, and keyed in several long encryption codes, opening a channel he had not used for nearly four years.
"Eagle, is that you?" Derev asked the person on his screen with a smile.
"Indeed" replied the figure masked in shadow. "What on earth are you doing contacting me Black Sheep?"
Eagle was the code name for Derev's old contact in the Emperor's Hammer Intelligence Division, and Black Sheep was Derev's code name, apt a code name as one could ask no doubt.
"I take it you're aware of whats happening in and around Antei these days?" Derev asked his contact.
"Of course" he replied "It's about time something bad happened over there".
"Yes well, I was hoping I could call in a favor from you. I need someone framed for being an EH Spy. Think you could foot the bill?" Derev asked his contact, hiding his excitement at the prospect.
"Shouldn't be too hard, who we up against?" Eagle asked
"I'm transmitting his file now, you should find him quite familiar" Derev responded.
The scene was silent for several seconds as the file transmitted, and finally Eagle bursted in laughter.
"This'll be too easy" Eagle said, in between his bouts of laughter.
"I thought so" Derev replied
"We'll take care of it, but don't contact me again, it's dangerous times, even for us snakes in Intel"
"Very well, it's been too long old friend, hopefully we'll meet again. Farewell". Derev closed the channel, and sat back in his chair, with a most evil grin on his face.
"One Down, One To Go" Derev spoke aloud, to no one in particular.
Sith Warrior BubbaX climbed carefully through the rubble on Antei, with the utmost caution. Not only was he up against every other contender for Master at Arms, but he was up against anyone who hated the EHers who had recently flooded the DB. With his Sabre at the ready, he strode through the Dark Hall, trying to figure out how to get to the Blue Jac for his interview. As he passed through a hallway, he thought he saw a familiar shadow pass through a door way. ‘A familiar shadow’ Bubba asked himself ‘what the hell is a familiar shadow’.
Sith Warrior Derev Niroth lay carefully disguised on his heap of rubble, waiting for his target to approach. Five years ago, BubbaX had served as Commodore of the ISD Relentless, and Derev was his Wing Commander. Derev would later rise to Commodore after BubbaX left for political reasons, but the hate from Bubba remained for years for that decision, and that hate was directed at Derev. Bubba remained with the EH for many years after that, while Derev left for the DJB long before. Today, Derev would repay that hatred.
After several hours of waiting, Derev finally saw his target walk through the hall. However, he was not alone, his guard Vasily was ever-present. ‘[Expletive Deleted]’ Derev said to himself. His plot was not so easy any longer. Derev jumped up, and ran through several side corridors, attempting to get ahead of his targets.
“Did you see that?” Bubba asked his guard. “No, see what?” Vasily responded.
“Bah!” Bubba replied, fingering his sabre. “Lets Go!”.
Derev took up a new position, at the base of a long hallway with no side exits, allowing him plenty of time to acquire his target. He lay down, carefully selecting his position, and acquired the doorway in the sights of his sniper rifle. After a few moments, his targets entered the room. Derev quickly regretted his choice of weapon. His antique replica of a bolt action rifle, while lethal, would only provide him one shot easily. After that, his second target would become a threat to him.
Derev zeroed in on the head of BubbaX, and calmed his breathing, using the force to ensure his sights were accurate. As they climbed through the rubble, Derev followed Bubbas Head, and when he finally had a perfect shot, he fired the weapon. BubbaX fell to the ground before the shot was heard in the room. As quickly as he fired the weapon, Derev jumped up and dove through a doorway, throwing his weapon aside. Smoothly, he pulled his blaster into his left hand, and activated his light sabre in his right, preparing for Vasily to charge through the door. Several moments later, he did.
As Vasily approached the door, he pulled out both of his blasters, and kicked open the door. Falling into a roll, he flew through the room, firing both blasters as fast as his fingers would let him. Blaster fire erupted everywhere, including three hits on Derevs left arm. His blaster fell to the ground, as he winced in pain. Derev propelled himself through the air, soaring on top of his opponent, landing a glancing blow across the stomach of his opponent. Vasily fell to his knee, feeling the pain in his stomach, as he grabbed his own sabre. Derev, however, did not allow any time for a fight. He fled through the room, and into the corridor, disappearing in darkness.
Derev ran down the corridor, quickly stopping at the body of BubbaX. Despite the odds, Bubba was still breathing faintly and laboriously. “Farewell, my old friend” Derev said, as Bubba opened his eyes, and realized his attacker. Derev activated his lightsabre, and with a quick swipe of his sabre, Bubbas head rolled away from his body.
Several minutes later, he returned to his meager quarters, and tended to his wounds. His comm panel beeped, indicating a waiting message. Derev flicked on his screen, and found just one waiting, from Eagle. It was a text only communiqué, and stated simply “mission accomplished”. Derev smiled to himself.
‘Mission Accomplished, Indeed” Derev spoke aloud to himself. He felt confident Vasily did not know the identity of the one who had slain BubbaX, and left a scar on his stomach.
As the remaining days passed, Derev found himself constantly the target of attacks. It seemed every Novice in the Brotherhood had delusions of grandeur, and thought not only could they take out a Sith Warrior, but that they would be selected as the new Master at Arms of the Brotherhood.
Derev however, found these assaults to be little more then an annoyance. On the day before the announcements, Derev was summoned to the office of the Deputy Grand Master.
“Yes My Lord?” Derev asked, as he entered the office.
“Would you happen to know anything about Ky Terrak?” Xanos asked, with a slight grin on his face.
“I don’t possibly know what you mean Lord?” Derev responded, with an equally slight grin on his face.
“Ah, I see” responded the Deputy Grand.
After several moments, while the Deputy Grand seemed to be contemplating something, he finally spoke.
“Well, it seems everything is in order then. Watch your back for the next 24 hours Derev, I would hate to see you injured”.
Derev exited the office, now feeling more confident then ever that he would be appointed.
Derev awoke on the morning of the announcements, and turned on his monitor. His screen indicated he had received a new file during the night. It was from the Deputy Grand Master.
For Immediate Release
Grand Master’s Royal Guard
In the early morning hours, orders were released from both Grand Masters, ordering the immediate arrest and execution of one Sith Warrior Ky Terrak, for high treason against the Star Chamber. Information released by both sides included unquestionable evidence that Ky Terrak has been, since his apparent abandonment of the Emperor’s Hammer, been secretly sending information to the Emperor’s Hammer Intelligence Agency. A communiqué was intercepted late last night, detailing much secret information about the recent turmoil in the Brotherhood. This information could, in the right hands, be used by an enemy of the Brotherhood to at a minimum, provide even further unrest on top of the current situation.
Reports released have indicated that Ky Terrak has fled Brotherhood Space, and both Grand Masters have ordered him expelled from the Brotherhood, under pain of death should he ever return.
Derev began laughing uncontrollably at the news. Eagle had turned out to be quite able at whatever he did. He quietly made a note in his head to find a way to return the favor one day, as he quickly bathed and prepared himself for the days events.
Sith Warrior Derev Niroth left his quarters, dressed in his formal robes, medals and awards affixed, lightsabre at his side. He moved carefully through the corridors, ensuring that no evil would come to him as he made his way to the hall that would be used for today’s ceremonies.
As he approached the entryway, he was stopped by members of the Grand Master’s Royal Guard, who proceeded to verify his identity through several methods, and ensured he had no weapons or dangerous items, other then his lightsabre. After a few moments, he was admitted to the hall, and took a seat near the back of the hall, just in case.
For the next hour or so, members continued to file in, nearly all adorned in their formal robes, hopeful that they would be among the few picked to join the Dark Council. After what seemed an eternity to Derev, the Grand Master, Deputy Grand, and his half of a Dark Council entered the chambers, equally garbed in their formal robes. As the members took their seats, the Grand Master took his spot in the center of the hall, and began his speech.
“Members of the Brotherhood” the Grand Master Began “First, I thank you for your appearance here today. We shall soon be able to begin our war against the imposter, and reclaim the Dark Hall for ourselves. However, to do this, we must have a full Dark Council. As you all no doubt know, three members of my Council were lost to the imposter, and those traitors will be dealt with in time. However, today, I come before you to announce my selections to fill the remaining spots on the Dark Council.”
Derev sat, somewhat impatiently, and somewhat distraught, as the Deputy Grand refused to make eye contact with him. Wondering, if perhaps, something had changed, Derev worried greatly. To his dismay, the Grand Master first announced his selections for Headmaster and Herald. Finally, after much too much talk in Derev’s opinion, the Grand Master came to Master at Arms.
“Finally, my brethren, it gives me great pleasure to announce our new Master at Arms, and third in command of the true Brotherhood! This has not been an easy decision, as many qualified people have interviewed and applied for this position. However, in the end, I believe I have made the choice that will best affect the Brotherhood. My choice is the last remaining member of the Master at Arms staff that has not joined the imposters, therefore making this decision a slight bit easier. With his impeccable service record, his expertise in the Master at Arms Office, and the truly awesome recommendation I have received from my Deputy Grand, it is now truly my privilege to announce Sith Warrior Derev Niroth, of Clan Naga Sadow, as your new Master at Arms! Stand, and join the Council Derev!” the Grand Master proclaimed.
Derev rose, somewhat humbled by the experience, and slowly approached the group of Councilors, and took his seat next to the Deputy Grand.
“Today Brethren, is a new dawn for the Brotherhood!” the Grand Master proclaimed, as he exited his central position.
Derev Niroth sat, somewhat amazed at the situation he had crafted for himself, supporting whom he believed to be the wrong Grand Master, and successfully claiming the position of Master at Arms. Derev wondered if perhaps taking the life of BubbaX, and having Ky Terrak expelled had been too much. But that thought quickly left him, as the Grand Master pinned on his badge of office, and began a huddled conversation with his Council.