"Why...why are you doing this...?" asked a wounded man, shroud and hidden by his robes as he lied against a wall, his mangled arm held tightly by his other. Fire engulfed most of the building around him, beams and supports collapsed all around. A darkened figure approached the man, the light of his green lightsaber being the only light aside from the burning flames.
"You know why this must happen, Matios. It is the Bride's will that your life end here today." quietly spoke the figure as Matios pulled himself up against the wall, barely able to stand. Blood poured from his mangled arm, the bottom half no where to be found. In barely a movement, Matios spat outwards at the figure, who burned the spit mid-air with but a whisk of his lightsaber.
"God damn you Kragok...when the Brotherhood hears of this..." Matios weakly cursed at Kragok as he started to slump back down the wall, but forced himself to remain standing. Kragok shook his head with a smirk across his barely lit furred face as he waved his tail across the floor at a piece of burning ember and slapped it up into Matios' eye. Matios recoiled and fell down to the floor, his remaining arm now covering his eye as he screamed in pain and agony.
"I was...going to be merciful, Matios. Grant you that which you had never granted anyone in your entire career." Kragok spoke as he slowly stepped towards Matios, completely oblivious to a beam that collapsed from the ceiling moments afterwards and broke through the floor just beside him. "However...you have constantly been a thorn in my side since the Bride's return."
He reached his hand outward from his robes, and placed it onto Matios head as he knelt down in front of him. Matios expression turned from that of fear, to pain as his eyes widened outward and he screamed bloodcurtling screams. His entire body shook violently as the screams continued, Kragok's hand firmly placed on his forehead still. "You will know pain, Matios...pain which you could never imagine. A pain...which all who oppose the Bride will soon feel."
Somehow, out of pure will or resilience; Matios cursed out a reply with the final remnants of his strength. "You will not defeat the Brotherhood; and you will be slain before you even come close to destroying Tarentum much less anyone else."
Kragok dimmed his eyes and his expression became that of nothingness. He gripped his hand tighter onto Matios head and forced it against the floor, the screams louder than ever before as he forced the hatred he felt into him full force. He glanced upwards as he heard another beam get ready to collapse from the fire and had an idea. "You know, Matios...I think I will be merciful."
He let go of Matios head, who lied on the floor breathing as hard as he could completely unable to speak. Kragok stood up and twisted on one foot as he slowly walked away. He turned his head towards Matios and looked at the ceiling as he raised his hand up to his shoulder, and in one swift motion flicked his fingers downward; the back half of the building snapping and crackling as it was violently finished off.
Matios opened his eyes briefly and could do nothing but lie there as it fell towards him. He closed his eyes just as several of the beams impaled his body, the rest quickly burying him underneath a mound of flame. A smirk came across Kragok's face as he continued towards the exit but stopped when clapping came from above. He glanced up, and his eyes widened as a beam flew straight at him. With no time to react; it pierced straight through his head as everything went black.
Raimi shot up from his bed, his covers falling from him as he let out a momentary scream. He panted hard as he glanced around the room, realizing he was still in his chambers at the Reinthaler Complex. Sweat covered his fur and his bed, his communicator going off.
He reached down from the bed and grabbed it as he sat on the edge and lept down to the floor. "This is Raimi."
"Is everything ok, Director?" a robotic voice asked over the communicator. "My alarm sensors detected a disturbance in your chambers."
"No...everything is fine, Garian." Raimi replied as he clipped the communicator to his ear and walked across his bedroom into the bathroom. "Just another nightmare, that's all."
"I see. If you need anything, let me know. Have a good night Director." Garian replied as the communicator clicked off, with Raimi covering his face in water as he plunged it into the water filled sink. He pulled it up a few inches away as water dripped from it back into the sink. Still breathing hard, though slightly calmed, he looked up into the mirror at himself and stared straight into his eyes.
"...just a nightmare."
...To Be Continued.
Chapter I - Consular's Consul
Raimi sat quietly in his office, located deep within the heart of the Restricted Area of the Reinthaler Base Complex. Reclined in his chair, his fingers intertwined and resting below his nose, he examined his computer screen as pictures of different individuals scrolled past. For several nights now, nightmares had plagued his dreams. A few weeks ago, maybe once every several days. Recently, it has been every single night.
The same dream. The same betrayal of Tarentum. The same betrayal...of the Brotherhood.
Still, it did not feel as bad as the first dream...where he destroyed the Reinthaler Complex in it's entirety though the use of Garian's defense system. The Battle Teams...murdered. The Apprentices, Acolytes, Hunters...everyone slain either by himself or Reinthaler's defenses. Even Saitou...killed, by his hand. But the one consistent vision from his dream, was the Bride.
Even despite that, he knew something did not add up. Suddenly he flicked his tail back and tapped several keys as the screen passed an image, and returned it to that of a brown haired woman. He lowered his tail and sat up in his chair as he tapped his communicator.
"Garian, meet me in the Grand Conservatory." Raimi asked as he jumped down from his chair, quickly fixing his alchemist's robes as he moved out of the room into a giant lit room. A large painting covered the entire round domed ceiling, the interior of the room sunk downward with a large holoprojector in the center of the room; stairs on both sides that lead down to the platform that held it. He slowly moved down the stairs as a hatch on the side of the platform opened, and Garian rolled into the room.
"Garian, give me a update on this individual." Raimi asked as he fixed his monocle and handed Garian a small datapad. Garian inserted it into the holoprojector, as well as a connection interface from his finger. The woman's face appeared on the holoprojector, slowly spinning around.
"Accessing file now..." Garian replied in a soft robotic voice, the blue light on his lower chest changing colors every few seconds. Raimi crossed his arms and looked up at the holoprojector as information began to appear. "Regina Zocast, a known exile from the Jedi Order circa 21BBY shortly before the Jedi Purges of 19BBY. Previously held rank, Jedi Consular. Expelled from the Jedi Order after it was discovered that she had two daughters and a son; a direct violation of the Jedi Code."
"Hmm..." Raimi pondered as he climbed onto the Holoprojector; his arms now behind his back. "Last known location."
"Regina was last seen on the Naboo moon of Rori in 2ABY by a Bounty Hunter who attempted to assassinate her, however failed to do so. No visible recordings of Regina have been documented since then."
"Where was the assassination attempted at?"
"Attempt was recorded to have taken place sixteen miles northeast of Narmle City."
He scratched his chin as he listened. "Known associates?"
"Rumored previous affiliation with a ex-Imperial Combat Medic; Antenora Cosgrove." A new image appeared on the screen, this time of a red-headed girl with long hair. "Retired from Imperial Service shortly after the Battle of Endor, however was captured by slavers during her attempt to escape to Corellia."
"Where did they take her?"
"She was taken to a slave prison on the planet Zernaum on the outer reaches of the Faarlsun System."
Raimi nodded as he lept back down to the floor. At last, he had a solid lead to try and find Regina...and figuring out how to get there without drawing attention from the Laboratory Staff or Saitou would be the next step. But to prevent his dreams from becoming real, he knew he must.
Finding Antenora was his top priority.
...To Be Continued.
Orbit of Yridia III
Raimi let out a breath of air as he stared out of the viewport into space from his seat. Much to his surprise, he had little issue in getting approval for a scientific expedition to a little known world in Wild Space. It was strange however...feeling that he may not return. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small yellow glowing pill.
He licked his lips briefly and took another breath as he tossed it into his mouth and swallowed it. Slowly he closed his eyes, and started to drift off to sleep. This would be one of the final chances to get some rest before his mission starts, one which would be far more difficult than anything else he has ever attempted.
Reinthaler Complex - Krath Laboratories
Saitou casually walked into the Laboratory, several of the scientists and Black Phoenix battle team members saluted and acknowledged him. He walked to the back of the main area, towards Garian who was giving a brief teaching speech to several newcomers.
"...correct. The substance used in this situation was indeed called Cortosis." Garian replied to one of the students. He glanced up at Saitou, quite happy. "Why, welcome Quaestor Saitou. Here to participate in our training as well sir?"
He shook his head negatively; shaking his hand a little. "No no, not this time Garian. If you do not mind however, I would like to have a few words with you."
"Of course sir." Garian acknowledged. "We will resume with our Alchemy studies later everyone, dismissed." The students all started to stand up and went to different areas of the Laboratory, some leaving. Garian motioned towards one of the offices off to the side, and they both walked inside. Saitou closed the door, and as Garian sat down behind the desk he did the same in front of it.
"So, Garian...I was curious." Saitou asked in a questionable tone. "What was it exactly that one of the Laboratory probes detected on the planet Zernaum?"
Garian cocked his head sideways, seemingly confused. "I...I do not understand the question sir."
Saitou scratched his chin as he raised his left leg up onto his knee. "Was a probe dispatched to the southern reaches of the Faarlsun system?"
"I'm sorry sir, that information is restricted under a Level 5 Security Clearance created by Director Mistwalker." Garian coldly responded. "I can not grant you access." Saitou clearly appeared irritated by this.
"Security Authorization 47632, Saitou, Quaestor of House Reinthaler. Security override on Level 5 authorization." he sternly replied as he placed his foot onto the ground, placing his elbows onto his knees. He rested his head on his hands as Garian acknowledged the command.
"Authorization bypassed. There are no records of probes being dispatched to the Faarlsun system at this time, or in previous expeditions."
"...wait." he wondered. "There have been no probes sent out to that system at all?"
"Negative, Quaestor Saitou."
"Hrm...what is he doing out there then..?" Saitou asked. Garian shook his head and handed Saitou a small datapad.
"That is unknown sir. A security lock was placed on Director Mistwalker's internal network shortly before his departure."
Saitou took the datapad into his hands and examined it. Something was wrong here...he knew that for certain now. But why would he go to such lengths to do so? He typed several commands into the datapad, and a small 'Access Restricted' sign came up. "The hell? Garian, you can not override this?"
"Negative, Quaestor Saitou. There is a Level 7 Security Clearance lock on his network. I can only access up to level 5." Garian replied back as Saitou stood up with the datapad.
"I see...thank you, Assistant Director." he replied as he promptly turned and started to leave. What Garian replied next made him stop dead in his tracks.
"Actually, it is Director Garian, sir."
He turned around, quite surprised. "...What?"
"My new designation sir, is Director Garian."
He stood there, staring for a moment before looking at the datapad. He knew he had to figure out what he was up to...especially now. And since his authorization level would not work, he knew only one other way to do this.
"...Director. Wake up."
Raimi groaned a slight bit and slowly opened his eyes, slightly in a daze. "...hrm? What is it?" he asked as he stretched his arms outward and cracked his neck as he yawned.
"We have arrived at the designated coordinates sir." an automated voice replied. Raimi glanced out of the viewport towards the nearby planet in the distance. Over three quarters of it was covered by pure daylight, only several hundred miles away from the sun. Temperatures ranged upwards of 2000 degrees during that time according to information he had just previously reviewed, and fell just barely below boiling during the time when the sun is not facing a section of the planet.
He knew he would only have a short window of opportunity, maybe 10 minutes to reach the surface and infiltrate the prison before the dawn reaches his location. If he failed, he would certainly be burned to a crisp and this mission would quickly be brought to an end. As he stood from his seat, he pushed the true question he wanted to ask out of his mind.
That question...even if he did manage to get in. How was he going to get out?
...To Be Continued.
Ronovi eyed the datapad in her hand curiously. It was not often that she received random information like this, especially when it involved the Director of the Krath Laboratory. From her experiences fighting alongside Raimi, she was aware that he was bound to go on some interesting adventures. But the lengths he was going to to hide such adventures was ridiculous.
A service droid had dropped the datapad off at Ronovi's office only a few hours ago, claiming it was sent by Quaestor Saitou. The message that came with it wasn't too urgent, but rather seemed to hold an air of curiosity. As the droid presented a holographic message from Saitou, Ronovi couldn't help but notice how pensive the Quaestor was as he spoke.
"This datapad," his little blue incarnation stated, "needs a Level 7 security clearance to access it. Raimi's droid Garian does not have that access, nor do I. I didn't know if perhaps as Consul, you would be able to find a way to access the information. I do know what's going on...but I think the sooner we find out what Raimi's up to, the better."
Ronovi furrowed her brow. She would expending a decent amount of time for one member alone, and while Raimi was an ally, she didn't see how crucial this was. The computers near her office could breach a Level 6 security lock, but she wasn't sure about 7. She turned the datapad over and over in her hands, punching buttons. The authorization seal came up like a gharish warning on the screen.
"Not quite how I want to spend my day," she grumbled as she slid the datapad away from her and rose from her desk. She turned her head and looked out the viewing portal, high above the waters of the Sea of Darkness. The sun was dipping below the waves now. More time had passed than she imagined trying to crack this code.
She was interrupted from her gazing when she heard a beeping noise on the datapad. Rushing back to the desk, Ronovi lifted the datapad up and stared bewildered at it. Sure enough, the authorization seal was fading away, and information was beginning to appear wildly across the screen as the device thrummed in her hand.
"What the Hell...?"
Ronovi sat down at her desk and reached for her flask of Corellian whiskey, downing a mouthful before focusing on the small print zipping across the datapad's screen. Immediately she became even more confused, staring at the various documentations of Raimi's dreams. One detailed a massacre at the Reinthaler base, which she and others called the Pyramid. Another detailed a man named Matios, a name she had never heard of. And constantly, a sentence was repeatedly emerging from the text: "Destroy Tarentum...destroying Tarentum...Tarentum destroyed..." all in the same pattern. Another repeated two words: "The Bride." Who the Hell was the Bride? And why did Raimi keep dreaming about her?
The Consul herself had been prone to dreams that terrified her, but that had been a while back, and involved her finding her master Doni Tzu on Corulag. Those were more precognitions. This, however, seemed to be nightmarish fear drawn straight from the unconscious. And from the looks of it, he was acting on that fear. Ronovi scanned the various information on Antenora, then on the person Regina, whoever that was. She punched another button and yelped as a burst of blue light emerged from the datapad, as a holographic image of the Kushiban emerged from the screen.
"Greetings. You have accessed my last remaining archives as Krath Director," the holographic Raimi recited. "I will warn you, though, by the time you see this, I will most likely be dead. I am on a mission that is my mission alone, a mission that involves my own sanity and self-discovery. Do not attempt to find me. Do not attempt to seek me out. If I am no longer living, there is no point. However, now that you have accessed the information, it is good that you know of it. Hopefully I shall be remembered, even after my possibly fatal attempts to seek out the Bride. As for who that is, you may know as much as I'll ever know. Keep strong, Tarentum. At least know my dreams will never become reality."
The hologram fizzled out and the datapad's screen went black. Ronovi stared at the device for a moment, swigging down more Corellian whiskey as she attempted to digest everything. Of all the missions Raimi had gone on, this was the most audacious yet. And considering that he had formerly been a man known as Aidyn Wolfwood and was ultimately brutally murdered and moved to another body, that was saying a lot.
As for his dreams and motives...there was no way he could betray the clan. Raimi was a loyal Tarenti, a loyal subject. And if he were going on such a dangerous mission to hinder the possibility of betrayal, it was nothing to worry about. Not to mention he was not of capable rank or position to initiate a coup. And yet, this was still concerning.
Moving to a computer console in the corner of the room, Ronovi bunched in a transmission code. The tinny voice of one of the castle worker emerged from the receiver. "What can we do for you, Lady Tavisaen?"
"Connect me to the Pyramid and get me into communication with Saitou. I think he needs to see something, and fast."