A House Divided - Contract 2 (Nikola Valtiere)
Valtiere’s request for a personal mission had been submitted less than an hour before, so he was surprised to say the least when a blurry figure burst to life from his holoprojector and began to speak without preamble.
“A straightforward mission for you Knight, we have just received word that one of the swoop gangs that loiter around Port Ol’Val have allied themselves with our enemies and so we are sending you in to eradicate this threat and deny their services to the Summit's forces. Your main target is their leader whose details are following this message, but any additional damage you can do to the gang will be beneficial to our cause. Happy hunting.”
The figure dissipated and was replaced by a short dossier, the words hanging in the air as Nikola read them with a growing feeling of glee; it was time to kill again.
Target: Vance Ryder
Location: Port Ol’Val
Strength – 14
Constitution – 21
Dexterity – 18
Swoop Piloting – 5/5
Blasters – 4/5
Knives – 5/5
Description: Vance has lead his gang the Crimson Scourge to prominence mainly due to his ruthlessness and ability to read a situation and react accordingly. He is a capable combatant both up close and at range, and his gang is quite strong numbering some 20 humanoids of varying species. Recommend you stop him before he tries to make a getaway on his swoop, but that’s your call hunter. Happy hunting.
Valtiere read the dossier of his target. A petty criminal with too much power. A simple target, wielding his scraps of power with too much abandon. A mistake. Revelling in and showing off your power was a way to show weakness. It would bring predators, like sharks to blood.
An expert in knives. He smiled. It was an expression with no warmth, more rictus grin than a human expression. He picked up a small, unassuming weapon from the table that sat in the centre of his room, covered in maps and books. A gift from Nadrin. He unsheathed the flaying knife, looking at the wickedly curved blade, the light playing along the expertly honed edge. An image of a bird in flight was etched into the blade. Nice worksmanship.
He strapped it onto an armoured cuisse, his only piece of armour. It may come in useful. Beside it was his own weapon, gifted to him by Lahek Burchi, the flight instructor he had seen as a father figure when he was learning to fly fighters. Above all of them, he strapped his lightsabre. He pulled on a dark red sleeveless fur collared robe over black faigues. Prepared, he set off.
The requisition officer was a man feared by junior officers. Any item came through him and the Quatermaster office.
Of course, Valtiere wasn't a junior officer. He cut a path through others, heading straight for the short barrel of a man. He glowered up at Valtiere. "What?" He spat. Evidently, the man wasn't afraid of Sith either. Valtiere respected that.
"I need a freighter. Personal mission." Valtiere responded, his voice controlled and neutral, a tight cap kept on his rage. The officer glowered, but knew better than to argue. There was a lull in battle, two sides drawing back to prepare for another push. Many were using the time to take part in engaging in their own personal business. Valtiere was no different. The officer handed him a chit, and Valtiere made his way to the vessel.
* * *
The freighter shot out of the Invicta, leaving the warfleet behind. He ignored standard shipping lanes, expertly moving the freighter through seemingly impossible movements. He barrelled through the void.
Valtiere toyed with the controls. He only ever felt at home on ships. Others relished the solidity of terra firma, but he was comfortable in the artificial gravity and recycled air of space vessels. After an appropriate distance, He entered the co-ordinates for Port Ol'Val into the nav computer.
Valtiere entered Port Ol'Val without incident. He knew the place like the back of his hand, his former life as a slave being useful. He strode out as the ramp descended, drawing in a lungful of air. His eye pulsed blue as he looked around, observing the bustle for a short moment. Cattle, all of them. He began to push through the crowd, individuals instinctively moving away from him. Using the force, he was creating a state of unease in the individuals about him, causing them to shy away and look down. He smiled again, a momentary flash.
Gangs were not hard to find in Port Ol'Val. Simply head to the pride, and trouble would find you. He strode through the streets. He had read up on the Crimson Scourge. They had an area. All he had to do was wait until the night cycle. For their street races. As he pushed onto their turf, the area became quiet, people obviously too scared to come out. Good. It made his job easier. He ducked into a door frame as he heard the throaty roar of modified swoop bikes.
A pair of gangers cruised along, music blaring as lights shone out in a vulgar display. Like a flash, Valtiere leapt from the darkness, knocking the first bike over. With immense speed, he grabbed the other ganger, knocking him off his vehicle as well. He drew the knives, slamming them into their throats as they finally registered what happened. He stood, leaving the bodies where they were, oozing blood onto the road. The brutality would leave a message for the others to see. It would anger them, cause them to slip up. Others would be scared, robbing them of their strength.
Valtiere bolted as the sound of more engines began to build. Looks like he would have to accelerate his plan. He smashed his fist through a nearby window, jumping into the darkness. He watched as a huge rabble of bikers raced down the thoroughfare. At the head, his target. He grinned as they stopped, seeing his handiwork. Words were exchanged, heated words. Valtiere began to draw on the Force, preparing for battle. He closed his eyes as he did so.
As he opened them, a horrifying figure began to take form, stepping into existence. A towering nightmare of twisted blades, eyes black pits of oblivion. The shrike. Valtiere kept his focus as the being stood silently, the gangers transfixed by such a being. He ordered the shrike to attack, four limbs whipping out as it charged. Most of the gang were frozen in fear as the creature stalked forward, it's entire aspect...wrong for the world it inhabited. It tore through a pair of gangers before they reacted. Ryder roared, a wide-bladed knife in his fist. Others did the same, attacking the construct with their weapons, intent on killing the interloper. It lashed out, taking another ganger with a horrific wound on his chest.
Valtiere rarely used the Shrike, keeping it around took a toll on the Knight. He let it dissipate into nothingness as he huddled down, breathing heavily, recovering. The gangers looked around at each other, unsure if they had killed the beast. Evidently, some thought so, letting out a small cheer.
Even as they were cheering, a wave of fear washed over the gangers, coming from a dark room behind them all. Valtiere leapt out into the light. He strode forward, eye glowing balefully. The lesser gang members shrank back. Ryder stood his ground, but Valtiere could see a wariness there. Good. He had Valtiere's respect.
"What do you fear, Ryder?" He asked, extending his arms out, making no move for his weapons. Vance didn't reply, drawing his pistol and firing.
The Force warned Valtiere of the shot, and his incredible speed allowed him to dodge the shot with an inclination of the head to the right. He smiled, a predatory expression. Ryder snarled, drawing a pair of knives, charging Valtiere. Valtiere dodged the initial attack, his arms rolling along his opponents, pushing them slightly aside as he struck under the armpit with a fist. The blow wasn't hard, as Valtiere wasn't strong, but the speed of the blow, and sensitivity of the area hit, made up for it. Ryder dodged back, and a ganger shot at Valtiere. Valtiere jumped back slightly, Ryder using the moment to charge, taking advantage of him being off balance. He stumbled, Ryder's strength telling in the blow. Fortunately for Valtiere, the shoulder barge meant that he couldn't use the knives. Valtiere kept in close, ensuring the gang members couldn't get another shot in. The two combatants settled into a rhythm. Valtiere was fast and weak, but also had the force to back him up, while Ryder was in peak physical condition. Valtiere kept instilling fear in those around him, ensuring they were just too reticent to actually join in the fighting. He began to enhance his body as well, his blows becoming harder, force flaring as he struck. His speed and precognition was such that Valtiere was able to dodge or redirect most of Ryder's brutal, straightforward attacks. Ryder would be able to go on longer than Valtiere. He needed to end the fight. He reached out to the force, his reserves of strength rapidly depleting, and stunned Ryder. It made him just slow enough for Valtiere to dodge aside the blow, and rush in, turning on his lightsaber as he did so, cutting through the man's chest. As he delivered the blow, Nikola finally saw fear in the man's eyes. He shoved the leader off the blade, letting him fall to the floor with a thud.
Valtiere spread his arms wide, turning about so all could see his face. "I have killed your leader. I could do the same to all of you without thought. You are all mine now. You act at my will, as an extension of my power. Any who seek to challenge me will die." One of the lieutenants stepped forward, a scowling Zabrak. Valtiere looked the criminal in the eye, unblinking. He wavered slightly, finally bowing his head. The others did the same. He walked towards the Zabrak, weapon thrumming with power, throwing out wild shadows. He put his metal hand on the man's shoulder.
"This is my representative. He shall lead you as according to my whims. Now, begone. I will contact you with my wishes." He handed the Zabrak a holocommunicator unit, eyes boring into his, emphasising his words. "Do not fail me."
The Zabrak nodded mutely, scurrying off. They all hopped onto their bikes, riding off as quickly as possible. Valtiere turned, cutting the head off his target.
Valtiere showed his evidence, proving the head of the gang was dead. They would no longer be working against the enemies of the Sith. They would be working against his enemies. Another pawn in the game for power. It would remain secret, power hidden to be only guessed at. Hidden, it was useful. An overt show would bring others looking to him. The Crimson Scourge would be a profitable gain that would be well used in Valtiere's grabs for power.
He turned, looking over the maps at his table, moving aside books to study them intently, sheaves of paper rustling as he pushed them around. He scribbled down some notes, nodding, smiling again. Yes, a profitable gain indeed.