Blarex was growing frustrated at the time it was taking to hear back about a potential mission for him to do when suddenly a fuzzy blue figure sprang into existence from his holoprojector and began to speak.
“Greetings Knight, your mission today is something a bit out of the ordinary, due to the fact that rather than denying an asset to our enemies, you will be gaining assets for us. As you know, the perfidious Shadow Summit of Krath and Obelisk upstarts are trying to sway the local populace against the rightful Sith Summit, and so we are dispatching you to one of the power plants to win over the head of the plant and sway him to our way of thinking. While this may at first seem a pointless mission, consider how much damage an angry power plant manager could do if they decided to deny power to specific Sith-controlled sections of Port Ol’Val. I don’t need to tell you how important this mission really could be, so make sure you do not fail. Details are attached to this message, happy hunting.”
Target: Dack Vemba
Location: Power Plant 11a
Specifics: We need to win over the local power plant chief so that he can help us frustrate our enemies by denying them essential power and systems, as well as denying the Obelisk and Krath forces this ability. You are to win the man over, preferably without blowing Qel-Droma’s cover on the station, meaning that you need to make this man loyal to you rather than our organisation. Happy Hunting.
“Wealth of Nations, you are cleared to land in bay 11”. Blarex set his landing sequence and approached landing bay 11. As the ships computer completed the landing sequence, the newly Knighted Corellian reviewed the limited intel on his mission. His task was to covertly turn the chief of power station 11a into a loyal servant. Unfortunately, there was not much intel on a man who spent the last ten years of his life running a power station in a shadow port. This one would have to be completed freestyle.
The relatively unmodified VCX-820 landed without incident in his assigned birth. Looking out the viewports of the light freighter it was clear that his arrival back to Port Ol’val had thus far not aroused enough suspicion that any immediate action was being taken. The lack of a welcome party full of blunt instruments meant the Obelisk specifically did not see his presence as a threat.
The Corellian smoothed a wrinkle from his shirt and removed his lightsaber from his belt. Today he was not dressed in the armored robes he wore into battle. The meeting he was to have would require more from the Vice President of Framkorp than Dark Jedi Knight Blarex. Looking at this chono, he saw that it was only fifteen minutes before his scheduled appointment with the mining foreman from Mal Company. He turned to his personal assistant, a Serv-O-Droid CZ series protocol droid, to dictate new orders.
“CZ-83 please inform the mining foreman at Mal Company that I will not be able to attend our scheduled meeting today," the Sith commanded to his droid.
“One moment sir," the CZ unit responded. It would now use it’s internal comlink to contact the mining foreman. It was only a few short moments later that it spoke again. “They did not express displeasure with the cancellation."
“I did not expect them to," Blarex responded. The beings that ran the Port before would much rather be left alone by the Dark Jedi that now inhabit the station so it was no surprise that the meeting was cancelled without offense being taken. “CZ please call the chief at Power Plan 11a and tell him that I would like to meet with him today at his earliest convenience."
Silence followed. Before even becoming a student of The Force, Blarex had modified the droid so that he did not need to use his external vocabulator when he was making comlink calls. The feature came in very handy during business meetings since the droid could take calls, transcribe them and shoot the transcript to him even as a meeting was in progress. This call was taking longer than the others.
“I have the assistant to Dack Vemba on the line sir," the droid relayed to it’s master, “however she said that Mr. Vemba is not available until sometime later this afternoon."
The newly minted Knight assessed the situation carefully, he could very easily demand a meeting with this Vemba character based only on his membership in House Qel-Droma. This would not help him accomplish his goal of gaining the trust of a man who probably doesn’t even realize his importance in events that may transpire.
In a calm voice he responded to his droid, “CZ please inform the assistant that I will gladly take any time with Mr. Vemba that he is willing to spend with me today." His datapad vibrated a few short moments later, very likely the meeting being added to his schedule.
“Sir you have a meeting in 30 minutes with Dack Vemba at Power Plan 11a," he could have sworn the droid looked proud of itself, “shall I schedule transport?”
Blarex laughed to himself, “Although it would be very amusing to watch you try to schedule executive transport for me in this location, that will not be necessary CZ." He exited the airlock and walked down the already extended entrance ramp. The floor of the landing bay was simple permacrete. His dress boots clicked on the floor as he walked across the floor towards the exit. The Sith continued his travels through the halls of the docking complex unharassed and upon exiting quickly chose a speeder from the stable available to all members of the Shadow Clan. The ride over to the power plan was as uneventful as the rest of his journey so far. The Krath were likely still poring over ancient texts for guidance after his little bait and switch with Mal Company.
The power plants that kept Port Ol’Val running were as ugly as they were important. Criminals don’t generally spend much time making their secret hideouts pretty and Power Plan 11a was no exception to this rule. There was likely only a handful of actual organic beings inside and most of those were administrators. Upon entering the building it was clear the inhabitants of the asteroid did understand that the beings that ran these power stations were somewhat important. The reception area was industrial but it was clean. Walking up to the female Twi’lek sitting at the reception desk, he flashed his Corellian smile.
“Good day sir," the green-skinned receptionist greeted the new visitor, “how may I assist you today?”
“I have an 1145 appointment with Mr. Dack Vemba," leaning on the desk as he spoke, “I am a few minutes early so please do not let me interrupt the chief if he is still indisposed."
The look on the alien’s face told Blarex that she was not used to normal business pleasantries, but that it was also welcomed. “I will inform Mr. Vemba that you have arrived." The emphasis she put on the salutation, along with the subtle smirk, indicated that Dack Vemba not used to being referred to by that salutation. “He should be out shortly to greet you.”
Ten minutes passed before the door to Vemba’s office opened and the human stepped out to greet his last guest. Blarex gauged that the chief was only a few centimeters taller than himself. The other human had dark brown hair, cut very short, with no facial hair. His green eyes shone bright for a man who had spent so much of his life in such a bleak place. The dark haired man wore not the clothes of an administrator, but the coveralls of a factory worker.
The station chief spoke first, “I would say I am sorry to keep you waiting but I’d be lying, and I learned a long time ago not to lie to any Jedi, dark or otherwise." The honesty was refreshing to Blarex, even in the business world, most being spent the first fifteen minutes of a meeting blowing smoke up his rear. “Step into my office," Vemba said as he turned back to his own office.
The administrator motioned for his Sith visitor to sit down at a chair in front of his desk. The office was as utilitarian as the reception area, but also just as clean. The grey walls had no decorations on them and the metal desk was similarly unadorned. Blarex sat down in the chair opposite his host, the chair looked new but he could tell by the lack of cushion that expense was in fact spared when choosing this specific model. The Corellian wasted no time getting down to the business of his visit.
“You are not a stupid man, Mr. Vemba,” Blarex stated confidently, “so I will not beat around the bush.” He paused to see if his candidness caught the dark-haired human off guard. Looking at his face it did not, but his presence in The Force clearly indicated it did. “You clearly are aware that I am not here for caf, I need something from you.”
The human administrator simply nodded as if giving permission for the Dark Jedi to continue. Blarex didn’t need his permission but he also didn’t get to his position by his own hubris. He was in another’s domain and needed him to feel powerful in it for his mission to succeed.
“There is conflict brewing within my House of Dark Jedi," the Sith continued, “I want to minimize any collateral damage this conflict may bring to other residents on this station." The host remained silent and the guest continued, “At some point, another member of my House may attempt to persuade, threaten or bribe you to shut down this station. That must not happen. No being on this station should die because of our quarrel."
Leaning forward in his chair, Vemba finally spoke, “Yet I am to believe that you, a Sith, do not have something to gain from keeping this station running?” The station chief was no simpleton, but this response was also not unexpected to someone who had negotiated multi-planetary contracts.
“As you say Mr. Vemba, I am a Sith and my conspiracies have conspiracies," Blarex said smirking. “However, all I am asking of you is to keep this power station running so that those who have nothing to do with our internal struggles die. All that I have to gain from this arrangement is maintaining the status quo, nothing more.”
Dack Vemba’s emotionless demeanor remained unchanged, but there was a subtle shift in his presence in The Force. The two men sat staring at each other for a few long seconds. Blarex knew he had gotten through to his target, a man of power being so candid with one who should be below him usually has such an effect.
“How can I know they won’t just kill me if I refuse?” Vemba asked very calmly, no fear in his voice. It was a just question, nobody needed him to shut down the power plant, a thermal detonator could easily accomplish that. There was one important item they would need him for.
“I cannot promise any protection, I am not in the business of lying to honest men," sensing their negotiations were coming close to a resolution, the Sith took a more relaxed demeanor. “However, at the end of the day someone is going to have to turn the lights back on. This station is a hodgepodge of parts and equipment from around the galaxy, who else on here could get this place running again in a short period of time?”
Smiling for the first time the administrator responded, “Not a god damned one of them." Reaching into desk, he pulled out a very old holopad. “On this holopad resides the specification for every part and piece of equipment in this station.” He placed it back in the drawer carefully, “There are four terabytes of data on that holopad, it would take weeks to get this place up and running again even with it."
“Well then my friend, I believe we have an agreement,” the bald Corellian said confidently. “I know credits are not a problem, I will make sure you are taken care of in that respect.” With that, both men stood up and shook hands. All that remained was to make a secure transmission to the House Summit on his way back to Corellia with two simple words, Mission Accomplished.