Into The Underworld: A Tarcona Event
"You are late, Syrus Bek."
The room was dark, sparsely lit only by the holographic images of each of the family heads. The images were obscured by static, hard to make out, especially the faces. Whenever a meeting of the families was called, their heads protected themselves from Syrus in such a manner. Twice before, the families had consented to an actual, physical meeting, and those had not gone well. Syrus could never again expect to meet with these decrepit bastards, but he would always have plans in the making.
"I had a previous engagement that lasted longer than expected," Syrus shrugged slightly, unconcerned about the irritation incredibly apparent in his peer's voice. "We all know that, sometimes, we can't expect everything to go according to schedule."
"And we all know that you consider yourself more than superior to this commission, Syrus Bek," from one of the others, the head of the G'aanovaese. "Your continued impudence will bring consequences, and you know this."
"Don't threaten me, G'aanovaese," Bek nearly whispered in contempt. "I can't seem to get at you, but you don't have the resources to strike at me."
"You'll find yourself trembling with my breath upon your neck soon enough, Bek," Brend of the G'aanovaese rumbled in his throat.
"Enough, gentlemen!" The first holographic image nearly jumped out of his seat, wherever that may have been, and the anger in his voice seemingly caused a bit more static in his image across the holonet. "Let us keep this civil. Syrus Bek, you were requested to this meeting for specific reasons, and it benefits us all if we keep this timely, punctual, and civil. Remember that."
"To what do I owe this pleasure, Taerik?" Syrus now turned himself fully to the accepted leader of the joint families of the syndicate. Taerik Vol was perhaps the eldest member of the body, or so Syrus had always held the impression. His voice seemed to have a youthful quality of it, but it also held a seemingly vast, untapped reservoir of experience and wisdom, as though he had lived several lifetimes, and had gleaned every ounce of insight from every failure, every assassination attempt, every possible mishap that might have come to him, or those around him. Taerik Vol was certainly the most dangerous person on the commission. Aside from himself, of course, Syrus always believed.
"Take your seat, Syrus Bek," the hazy image of Taerik Vol waited while Bek stood a moment longer in defiance, and then took his seat on his own terms. Each of the gathered heads knew Syrus held their power, and their gains in contempt. But Bek also knew their power was deeply-seated in Eden City. They had been here much longer than he. And, while Bek believed his power and resources far above theirs, his was not "old money," as he referred to their own.
"Now," Taerik continued, "we have all recognized the shift in power here in the Yridia system. The noble Tarentae family and their absent lord seem to be waning in their ability to manipulate the populace of Yridia II."
"Yridia II doesn't affect us, Taerik," Bek snorted slightly. "We don't conduct operations on that world, do we."
"That doesn't matter, Bek," Haejm of the Lokhezze would've liked backhanded the youngest member of the seated heads across the holonet if he could have. "Shut up and listen."
"We all know you've made inquiries into the research facility their noble family maintains in Eden City, Bek," Vol continued. "We've heard the whispers, we've seen the evidence. You are looking into an area of Eden City that, quite frankly, is dangerous to us all. You have been requested here, Syrus Bek, because we want this message put to you in no uncertain terms that you are to stop investigating their facility. You are to leave that place alone."
"I don't have to answer to you for whatever I do in my own district, Taerik Vol," Bek stood from his seat, shaking his head, making various gestures that everyone in their own respective seats understood to be degrading and insulting. "They operate in my district, and they will pay me the respect I am due in my own district. I would expect no less from any of you. I am investigating that facility to determine exactly what I will expect from them as a token of their esteem and honor they ought to be paying me."
"Leave it alone, Bek," Vol's tone was intensely lethal.
Syrus turned back to the table, and glared at Vol first, then at the hazy images of each of the gathered families. Six men, including Bek himself, and one woman made up the body sometimes referred to as the commission of the syndicate. While separately, the seven were perhaps not visibly or publicly as powerful as some considered the Rends to be, this syndicate convened and directed its affairs discretely. Bek was the only member of this syndicate that actually conducted business in something of the public eye. While Syrus was the youngest member, the newest member, after the former head of his own family had gone missing, Syrus was overt, aggressive, and willing to take action on any level. The entirety of the family heads believed that Bek had staged a coup of the Kaervanese by eliminating his own uncle Gaerin, placing himself as the new head of that sect.
Syrus took each obscure image in his view slowly, intently. Each knew he was staring daggers through their images sent across the miles physically separating them. Bek looked at Taerik Vol last, and the long, meaningful gaze at the image of the Zibanno head left no questions that Syrus Bek considered him to be Bek's own true rival, the one Syrus was greedily seeking to take everything from.
"I will conduct affairs in my own district as I see fit, Taerik," Syrus hissed. "If you don't agree with how I do business, you can stick your head up whatever you call an ass, and blow. Don't presume to threaten me in my own house. I may not have gotten to you yet, but we both know, I'm still coming.
"Have a nice day, Hutt filth," Bek said as he turned and stalked out of the room.
* * * * *
The long, deeply polished wooden table stretched out, with ample room between each of the six beings that occupied seats set at equal distances apart. Taerik Vol sat at the head, as this was his house, and he had called the meeting. Each of the other family heads seated in the room looked to Vol, remained silent for the moment while their acknowledged front man pondered how to respond or react to the recently-ended conversation with Syrus Bek. The G’aanovaese head was obviously frustrated, and while he was certainly capable of be silent, swift and pensive when he felt it necessary, Brend was ready for action.
“Bek is a danger to us all, Taerik,” Brend finally broke the silence. “He needs to be taught a lesson.”
”And who will teach him that lesson, my friend? Will you?” Taerik’s voice remained calm and composed. Each remained cognizant that Bek would likely never learn the lesson they believed he needed. The youngest of the family heads had tried twice now to claim the lives of his supposed peers. The meetings between the syndicate family heads were now conducted to the physical exclusion of Syrus Bek, forcing him to meet with them via holonet transmissions, because Bek had sought to blow up the meeting location or have it bombarded from one of his own ships. Now, the family heads denied him any face-to-face meetings with them.
Brend’s mind continued to race through every possible torture he wished to inflict upon Syrus Bek. The youngest head did have an impressive array of resources in his arsenal. He did have a number of warriors and mercenaries, and monetary resources that perhaps rivaled any single other family in the syndicate. But against the entirety of his peers, Bek could not stand a chance. Syrus must have known that when he had tried, on those two separate occasions, to take out who were at least visibly his allies and peers. Among the family heads, however, they knew Bek would always be looking to claim their heads, and their territories. Bek wanted everything for himself. He was certainly a resource to the syndicate, but the heads also recognized he was perhaps the biggest threat to their stability and prosperity, as well.
Silence continued to rest over the family heads like a blanket, or perhaps like a shroud, smothering all thought, all conversation. Taerik Vol waited patiently, looking from one of his peers to the next. Each of these men and the single woman in his company controlled various portions of Eden City. Each of them had gained this control in the underworld, but maintained a mask of public prosperity and lawfulness. Each was the head of some corporation, or a philanthropist, or some beneficent member of the community, but secretly traded in goods, services, drug-trafficking, thievery, and more. It was often Taerik Vol’s time consuming question as to whether he was a law-abiding citizen playing at being a rebel and outcast, or a criminal trying to delude himself that he was a vital piece of the community and family of Eden City.
“I think we can all agree that Syrus Bek is dangerous to this body,” Vol finally admitted, almost in a sigh. “He is volatile, intelligent, greedy, and absolutely unconcerned with anyone but himself. And his actions against the Tarentae family and their facility will destroy us all, if we do not have a backup plan.”
“What do you suggest we do?”
Vol turned his attention to Aisling Tarn, the sole female of the group. Perhaps, with as intelligent as she was, she may have already divined his answer, but Taerik felt the need to speak it aloud, anyway, for the benefit of both himself, and the rest of his peers.
“We need to find a way to contact the Tarentae family and rat him out.”
* * * * *
"Settle down, everyone. We have a lot to do, in a short time to do it."
The shuttle buy in the undersea Castle Tarentum wasn't quite full, but there was a great deal of materiel and personnel that filled up a portion of its space. Each of the shuttles that Tarentum possessed that were modified to make the underwater portion of the journey to and from the Castle were within the bay, collecting all of the resources that the Castle was sending for the voyage. The gathered strength of the Force-using members of Tarentum was also present, and making ready for the voyage to the Svalinn platform, where other ships were docked that would ferry them to the mission's destination.
Archean Erinos, one of the Tarentae, stood before the gathered strength of his House. Archean had put out the call for the members of the House to gather their weapons and determination, and gather at the shuttle bay at this determined hour at the request of the House's Quaestor, Sith Bloodfyre, another of the Tarentae. Sith was not present in the shuttle bay; the Shaevalian had departed the Castle after relaying instruction and words of advice to his trusted Aedile, leaving the Battlemaster in charge of the preparations that would take all Tarentum could muster.
"Each of you have been given only a scant amount of information," Archean continued, now that the membership had turned to lay eyes on him, "and for that, I apologize. We haven't gotten much yet ourselves, but we leave for Yridia IX as soon as materiel is loaded and stowed for transport. We've had a situation arise at the Asylum, and Sith has gone on in advance to do what he can to assist the personnel there.
"What we know so far," Archean paced a bit out of habit, "is that someone managed to breach the interior of the Asylum facility, and somehow, they managed to acquire items of interest from the facility, and exit with minimal losses to their own forces. Several of our security forces there were injured or killed, and a number of the research staff were abducted, presumably to assist whoever committed this crime with understanding how to use whatever it is they managed to get away with."
The Asylum was once home to the Mystics of the Black Arts, a facet of the former House Gladius that few within Tarentum were these days familiar with. The Mystics had been some of the most potent Krath that Gladius had ever known, and while the Mystics as a whole were gone, one of them still remained active within Tarentum to this day--Sith Bloodfyre. It was no secret that the present Quaestor of Tarentum had ties to the facility, and in recent years, when the Shaevalian Sith Master had formed a circle of peers and allies, the Rite of Sin, Bloodfyre had returned to his former home to enact whatever rituals had driven the Sinners to whatever fate they now shared.
While the Force-using members of the House listened on as Archean explained the situation, the various ships technicians and crew members continued to direct the cargo loading by various droids and personnel, or continued to oversee final checks and preparations to the ship to make the relatively short journey from the undersea shuttle bay of Tarentum to the Svalinn platform, where the ships that would transport the House's warriors to Yridia IX awaited. They paid little attention to Archean and the Force-users of Tarentum, but many of them continued to listen on absently while the briefing unfolded. Some of these crewmen might be accompanying Tarentum's finest on the journey, and those who were had also been briefed in slight before the preparations were made.
The House was going to be entering syndicate territory, Eden City. Yridia IX did maintain a presence of Tarentum's own, but with the absence of the Reckoners of late, and with the activities of Tarentum mostly confined to the Asylum facility, the majority of Eden City was now out of reach of Tarentum. The criminal syndicates, known by many names, and thought to be a collection of various organizations conducting underworld affairs, maintained their own control over the city, and all local government was now either directly allied with the various syndicate or family heads, or was completely neutered by syndicate forces and had no actual control in their areas. For all intents and purposes, Eden City was completely under the boot heel of crime lords.
While Tarentum had the Force on its side, these deceitful, villainous foes they would stand against in Eden City were capable of taking on all but the greatest of opposing forces. Tarentum brought some of its veteran military, and had a small array of ships, but the syndicates had navies of their own, and mercenary forces that were either highly trained, incredibly brutal, or overwhelming in their numbers. The criminal forces may not have been as highly-trained as some of Tarentum's personnel, but they were very good at what they did. Brigands and cutthroats could still take down the fiercest trooper and advanced weapons of any sort given the right circumstances. And within Eden City, the forces of Tarentum would be taking on these menaces on their own turf. This was not a situation to be taken lightly, for certain.
"When you have everything stowed on board," Archean was finishing, "get to your seats quickly. I want to be underway in the next hour, if not sooner. Shuttle pilots are aware of my schedule, and they're going to be doing everything in their power to get us to the Svalinn platform with all possible haste, and headed towards Yridia IX.
"Please understand," Archean added, "that while the Dark Side is a powerful ally, we're walking into the rancor's den. They may be Eden City slime balls, but they've got blasters hidden in every pocket, and a dagger just waiting to be buried in your backs. Or your necks. Or wherever they can stick them. Let's get to it."
* * * * *
The worst part of leadership was the paperwork. Zandro had come to this revelation relatively soon after his appointment as Arcona's new leader, and little had happened to change his mind. Such was his predicament at the moment, wading through document after document, some interesting, but most of them sinfully boring. It came as a great relief when the Consul's comm unit beeped and he had an excuse to ignore the mounting stack for a moment.
“What is it?”
“Message from the Tarentum Summit; I'm assuming it's pretty urgent. Patching it through to your holo-display now.”
Clearing some of the papers to either side of his desk, Zandro pulled the holo-display unit
forward and watched as a figure sprang to life before him. Smiling slightly, the Erinos
offered a nod of greeting to his family member Archean.
“Archean, I hear you needed to see me. What can I do for Tarentum today?” The Aedile of Tarentum returned Zandro's nod, but his face betrayed his feelings and the
Arconan had to wonder just what was happening with his Clan's allies.
“Tarentum is about to embark on an operation that potentially involves you, and we were wondering if Arcona would be able to provide some assistance.” Archean went on in as much length as he had time to spare, giving as much detail as he possessed about the syndicate activity, and the assault on the Asylum. Zandro sat back in his chair and pressed his fingers together before his face, eyebrows knitted in concentration. Several seconds of silence slipped by before the Sith reached a decision, at which point he leaned forwards and began to speak.
“Consider it done," Zandro affirmed. "We'll be there as soon as possible, I hope to learn more when I get there, but know that we're on our way now.”
Archean's image flickered into nothingness and Zandro rose from his seat, making his way out of the office and up to his aide's desk.
“Contact the Clan, tell them to prepare for an operation and to meet aboard the Invicta within the hour. If anyone asks, tell them that Arcona marches to her sister's aid.”
With that the Battlelord strode from the office, planning a quick stop at his quarters to grab his battle equipment before heading up to Arcona's flagship to meet the rest of his troops and begin their journey to the Yridia system
Wuntila stood in the hangar bay of the Invicta, Arcona's flagship, his blue-hued skin glistening in the artificial light of the cavernous space. He looked over the assembled Dark Jedi and felt a familiar pang of pride at the sight, marveling at the power which Arcona seemed to wield.
We've progressed from the ailing House we were reduced to by the Grand Master's decree and risen up again.
He knew as much about the mission as Zandro did, but Wuntila was not afraid or perturbed, he knew that Arcona and Tarentum were strong enough to face anything. Before the mission could begin however, Wuntila had to brief the troops about what they should expect to see when they arrived in Tarentum's space. Clearing his throat loudly, the Proconsul brought everyone's attention to himself and began to speak, his voice carrying with authority and assuredness.
“Right, we don't have too much information at the moment but here is how things are looking as it stands. We are currently en route to the Yridia system to lend aid to Tarentum who seem to have a problem which they would like our own unique brand of violence to help put to rest. We'll be taking the Invicta and everyone you see here, so until we reach our destination your time is your own. When we arrive be prepared for a fight but for now relax and enjoy the free time, dismissed.”
The assembled ranks of Force users seemed to melt away until Wuntila was looking over a blank expanse of decking. He felt through the Force the approaching person but didn't turn, his attention on the hangar bay floor before him as he heard Zandro's voice behind him.
“You ever wonder what it'd be like if we didn't use the Force?”
Silence was Wuntila's only answer.
“Yeah, me too.”
The perpetual expanse of space was lonely, lifeless. Nothing but a cold film of condensation and the odd piece of debris were visible through the viewport. It was a life of solitude the Proconsul had come to relish; an icy void filled only by his thoughts. In his quarters aboard the Invicta, the low, rhythmic hum of the engines was the only punctuation of an eerie silence. He sat, cross-legged in front of the viewing screen, staring vacantly into the dark abyss. His mind raced while his body remained still; only the occasional flutter of heavy eyelids and the steady plume of lingering mist in the cold air indicated life.
“Sir.” He was thrown out of contemplation. A simple murmur was a sufficient response.
“We’ve had a transmission. Zandro has requested your presence.” Captain Bly’s voice was rugged as rock.
“Inform him that I’ll be there presently.” Wuntila’s eyes still directed into nothingness. Bly nodded and spun on his heels, exiting as quickly as he appeared. The thickset Proconsul emerged wearily from his state of meditation. He stumbled through the control modules of his quarters to the makeshift bathroom. Propping himself up against the sink, he looked up into the mirror and a haggard face stared blankly back at him. He shuddered. A quick splash of water and a few strokes with a brush made him less of an eyesore and more presentable.
The past few months had been tough on the Proconsul and he’d had to adapt quickly to the leadership lifestyle. Paperwork, mediation and responsibility loomed heavy on his shoulders. Shaking his head, he returned to reality and rolled the knots out of his heavily-muscled shoulders – the weight was gone, replaced instead by the urgency of Zandro’s request. He slipped on a vest, put on his utility belt and strolled through the hallways of the Invicta, and towards the bridge.
Zandro stood at the head of the transmission console, flanked by Bly and Felix, the two most senior summit guards. The sextet of eyes darted to the door as Wuntila’s silhouette emerged from the brightness behind.
“Nice of you to make time,” Zandro said, tapping some commands into the console.
“You know what they say about late entrances…” Wuntila’s voice was gravelly.
“Yeah, we don’t let them happen twice,” Zandro was sharp to reply. “The Tarenti have sent us another a transmission, but we have yet to decrypt it--“
“Decrypt?” Wuntila was fully awake.
“--Yes. It’s a high priority message,” Zandro finished past the interruption.
“Odd. Bly, Felix, patch a couple of commands out to the engineering floors, see if we can’t speed this process up.” With that, Wuntila was crouched underneath the module, his big clumsy hands moving delicately amongst the micro-engineering. “We’ll have this up in no time.”
-Aisling Tarn: (Falleen Gangster) Head of the Karssk family of the syndicate, dealing in theft, drugs and prostitution.
-Archean Erinos Tarentae: (Human Sith) Aedile of Tarentum, blind warrior, and a strong leader in Tarentum.
-Brend of the G’aanovaese: (Herglic Gangster) Head of the G'aanovaese family of the syndicate, dealing mostly in mercenary forces and assassinations.
-Captain Bly: (KKE Clone/Human/NPC) Commander of Zandro Savric Erinos Arconae’s own personal attachment of the Summit guard.
-Captain Felix: (KKE Clone/Human/NPC) Commander of Wuntila Zratian Entar’s own
personal attachment of the Summit guard.
-Drecks: (Barabel Enforcer) Syrus Bek’s enforcer and bodyguard.
-Haejm of the Lokhezze: (Devaronian Gangster) Head of the Lokhezze family of the syndicate, dealing mostly in identity theft and cyber crime.
-Justinian Khyron: (Human Sith Grand Master) Sith King, and lord of Yridia.
-Maxamillian von Oberst-Tarentae: (Human Sith) Marshal of Tarentum’s military forces, and Hound of the Sith King, Justinian Khyron.
-Sith Bloodfyre-Tarentae: (Shaevalian Sith Master) Quaestor of Tarentum, powerful Sith, and Prince of Yridia.
-Syrus Bek: (Human Gangster) Youngest of the syndicate family heads, and perhaps the most aggressive, and certainly the most public; he is known across Yridia IX as a brutal gangster. The head of the Kaervanese family, dealing mostly in murder, drugs, and protection scams.
-Taerik Vol: (Human Gangster) Head of the Zibanno family and assumed head of the syndicate as a whole, and perhaps the eldest of the commission; seen as Syrus Bek's rival, but also the stabilizing voice of the family heads. The Zibanno's generally deal in gambling dens and extortion.
-Wuntila Zratian Entar: (Human/Theelin Obelisk) Proconsul of Arcona.
-Zandro Savric Erinos Arconae: (Human Sith) Consul of Arcona and Shadow Lord.
The Asylum, that had formerly been home to the infamous Mystics of the Black Arts, that was now one of the foremost research centers for life and death and all projects that both Tarentum and Arcona had any interest in, was now the base of operations for the foray into the underworld that was Eden City. Arcona and Tarentum jointly occupied an entire wing of the massive facility, as members of both facets of the alliance delved into finding who had committed the crime and theft against Tarentum, and indirectly against Arcona, and sought to bring that criminal facet to justice.
The alliance had even received tips from an anonymous source that led them into various dens of criminal activity and into the might of the man known as Syrus Bek. A veritable war council was now underway, with the leaders and prime veterans of both Arcona and Tarentum gathered together to discuss both the information they had received and dug up on their own regarding Bek and his associates.
"The Kaervanese control their district with an iron fist," Zandro Erinos began pointing out various spots on the holographic map of Eden City. "Their money, enforcers, prostitutes, dealers, everything, it all permeates this district. There is, quite literally, no corner where these pests do not dwell. It's tough to find someone willing to sell out the Kaervanese, but fortunately, by finding so many of them, we've been able to determine something of their nature, their hierarchy, and even of Bek himself by... pressing forcefully on these people."
"Which is certainly appropriate, given that they tend to work more by strong arm tactics anyway," Archean nodded. "I'm sure they learn to understand you quickly."
"Tracking down some of the tips from this strange, anonymous source we continue to receive communication from is proving incredibly fruitful," Wuntila Entar continued the briefing. "Given the information that is being sent directly to Tarentum, we have been taking the more indirect approach, and we have been able to verify everything that is being sent to you on our own."
"I suppose it's good to know we can trust anonymous tips that seem to ferret out or weaken Syrus Bek," Anshar stood with his arms folded, staring intently at the map. "Someone certainly has a grudge against him, or the Kaervanese as a whole. I'm not entirely surprised."
Wuntila continued to comment on the various enterprises of the Kaervanese family, mentioning strongholds, key locations to their various scams and activities, and even a few key meeting houses that the covert operations of Arcona had been able to identify. Everything that was being funneled to Tarentum through their anonymous source seemed to be checking out. It was unsettling to a certain degree that no one knew exactly why they were being fed key details on the Kaervanese, or who it was that was providing them with what they needed to know. It was likely a rival or enemy of Bek's, which meant that everything they received needed to be treated as potentially dangerous for any involved members to investigate or delve into.
One specific location on the map remained highlighted, but everyone was well-aware that Wuntila was staying away from that marker, though it was up to interpretation as to why. As the meeting stretched on, the blinking red dot indicating a potential stronghold of the Kaervanese became almost a focus of curiosity, but it would not remain so for much longer.
"Finally, Tershik Hel and Sons," Wuntila waved to the final location marker. "This is a so-called 'activities firm' that deals with entertainment and pursuits of a most interesting kind. Tershik Hel and his family apparently deal with a wealthier class of scum that is looking for pursuits of any kind that would generally be considered outside of the bounds of law, but that remain perfectly acceptable in Eden City."
"I think you're going to have to explain," Oberst commented, drawing a quick glance from the Proconsul of Arcona.
"We've gained a lot of insight into the Hel family business through Oberst's forays there, coincidentally," Wuntila continued. "Oberst's more... aristocratic nature made him a perfect test candidate for our theory, and after more investigation, when we finally asked him for assistance..."
"The Hel family deals in fetishes and pursuits of a sadistic, morbid, or completely foul nature," Oberst hastened. "Anyone with enough financing behind them can purchase a family to murder, a harem of beauties to defile, or feed to a rancor, or whatever your personal interests are. The Hels are absolutely revolting people who want to entertain the darker fantasies and lusts of any perverted mind."
"Our kind of people, obviously," Sashar spoke up.
"I hear you have a rather large, personal account with them," Oberst glanced at the Arconae.
"Nothing near the investment you've had with them over the past three days," Sashar returned.
"The interesting fact about the Hel family business," Bloodfyre spoke up, interrupting the friendly jabs, "is that it seems that they have been acting as a repository for Syrus Bek's recent acquisitions. Our stolen items are said to be at this central facility for the family."
"With the pursuits in creatures beyond death, and whatever other grim pursuits have been going on at the Asylum," Zandro continued, "it seems that Bek has decided to let Tershik Hel and his children have at the researchers and the prizes they've stolen, to try and get our Asylum personnel to speak up and reveal the methods for animating and using your morbid creations."
"Syrus Bek wants to give his associate a new toy to play with," Archean commented.
"We need to get into the Hel family compound, and retrieve our property, or destroy the entire facility," Ronovi summed up the presentation. "Or maybe we just need to get to Tershik Hel, and claim him and his holdings for our own pursuits."
"That's precisely what we've been thinking, Ronovi," Zandro nodded. "We have people who are trying to stay working on the angles that Oberst, Sashar and the others have opened up for us, and we're working on as much intel as we can about the Hel family compound. Right now, what we believe is that the specific items and information that Bek acquired from the Asylum are at the Hel facility, and are potentially being unlocked to the Hels and the Kaervanese as we speak."
"We need to prepare our forces to move against the firm as quickly as possible," Wuntila added. "Members of both Arcona and Tarentum have the site monitored, and are potentially infiltrating as clientele as much as we can possibly do without arousing suspicions."
"Arousing something," a smirk from Rekio accentuated his remark as much as his silence accentuated his presence.
"The compound acts as a front for the activities of the firm," Arcona's Proconsul continued to brief everyone, "even though they have small offices in every district presumably to help direct Eden City's more perverse population to their door. The compound is highly militarized from the outside, with heavily-armed personnel that maintain a tight rotation to guard the perimeter. One the inside, however, it's as lush and extravagant as it is twisted and revolting."
* * * * *
"Please, come in gentlemen," a lithe, graceful young woman said to the trio of finely-dressed men coming through the doorway. "Welcome to the Hel family retreat, and allow me to extend the personnel welcome of my father to my own. I am Aryaan Hel, and my father Tershik says you are to be afforded every courtesy and luxury we have here."
The three men glanced around at what appeared to be the entry hall to perhaps the finest palace in Eden City. Artwork of every sort, decorations both outlandish and wondrous adorned the walls, stood on ornate tables and accentuated every inch of the Hel family compound. Statues of every sort were placed at intervals that whomever had decorated the compound would have understood, and each work represented perhaps a different pleasure that was pursued either personally by the Hel family, or by their clientele. Nude members of nearly every imaginable species were represented alongside exotic beasts, or vivid landscapes in painting, sculpture, and other methods of artistic pursuit.
"Your welcome is most appreciated, and I am pleased to meet you," a rather large, impressive man nodded slightly. He bore the dress of an officer of some faction for another that Aryaan seemed vaguely familiar with, though she couldn't place it at the moment. "I have been working with your father for several days now, though I have finally managed to convince my associates to come explore the offerings of your family's retreat for their own pursuits."
"Wonderful," Aryaan smiled brightly, though the poison in her eyes made men wonder whether she intended to carve them up into morsels for her own twisted pleasures. "I beg your forgiveness for not recognizing you, sir. I am often not at my family's compound here, since my father most often has me running errands to acquire new additions to our family's offerings."
"No apologies are necessary, I'm certain," the large gentleman noted.
"Well then, let's pull up your personal account, shall we?" Aryaan moved away from the trio of gentlemen and headed towards one of the office alcoves away from the entry. The three gentlemen followed behind, with the largest man leading the way, following several feet behind the eldest daughter of Tershik Hel. After ushering the three in, Aryaan closed the door, and headed behind her impressive, hand-crafted desk to call up the account ledgers, and begin whatever transactions the three would require.
"So, gentlemen, tell me what I can do for your today."
"My associates represent two large, wealthy families whose pursuits parallel those of your own family's," the massive speaker began, "and our families have unique interests that I'm certain can be provided by you and your family's resources here."
"Of course," Aryaan nodded. "Exactly what kind of activities do you and your associates pursue? Forgive me, I should have pulled up your account information, my lord. That would have helped me begin to define where to start our offerings with you. Name please?"
"Maxamillian von Oberst."
The name seemed to strike a cord with Aryaan, and she was certain her father must have mentioned him in passing. As she brought up the file on the man in front of her, a small smile crept across her lips. The man had tastes much like her own in many ways, and it began to dawn on the female's mind that it would probably be as interesting to provide for these gentlemen as it would be to indulge.
"Ah yes, Lord Oberst, welcome back. I'm sure my father would extend you his personal thanks for the amount of time and business you have invested with us thus far," Aryaan nodded deeply in respect, whether feigned or real. "And to your associates, welcome again. I'm sure we'll be happy to set you gentlemen and your families up with accounts and activities as you desire. Please, tell me. Exactly what kind of pursuits do you gentlemen wish to explore with us?"
Oberst glanced at the two men who sat to his left, a moment of silent communication passing between the three of them. Finally, one of the other two men leaned forward, a shadowed individual cloaked in robes of the deepest black, whose face was entirely masked by the darkness that seemed to originate from the hood covering his head. As he leaned forward, Aryaan thought she could now make out the chin, and eventually the lips and barely the tip of his nose, while the rest was entirely obscured by the shadows within the hood. And yet, two eyes seemed to glow from the darkness of the hood, and Aryaan was immediately caught within his gaze.
Perhaps the man had cast some kind of spell, or perhaps the intensity of his eyes had merely caught her gaze, and could not let go. Here, though, was a man of power, a man of dark tastes and exquisite pursuits. Here was a person not to be trifled with, and yet, the power and charisma surrounding the man at that very moment was almost intoxicating. When he finally spoke, it sent a chill up Aryaan's spine that left her wishing she'd had a private moment to completely indulge in the sensation she felt exploding in her core.
"We like to play with dead things."
Tershik Hel tread slowly through what remained of the holding area that had been set aside for Syrus Bek's most recent project. What had been slated as another facet of depravity and morbid entertainment for Hel's clientele that would add revenue to Bek's fortunes had turned sour. The force field generators were destroyed, the entire area turned upside down, and everything either taken, or lying in ruins. The Asylum researchers were now gone, and the precious cargo that had been either research material, or the very reborn creations that would have served in Tershik Hel's horrific leisure palace were gone. And all around lay the carcasses of what might have been Hel's former mercenaries and bodyguards.
"Tell me what happened," the patriarch of the Hel family kept his gaze focused on the scene before his eyes, not even bothering to look at his daughter, Aryaan.
"Father, recent additions to our clientele were gathered here for a party," the lithe female began, "as had been coordinated. They paid a very generous sum, of which you are no doubt aware, and had been indulging themselves in our many pleasures and offerings, again, as you are no doubt aware--"
"Get on with it, my daughter," Tershik's voice was almost void of all traces of emotion.
"From investigations thus far," Aryaan hastened to obey her father's command, "they seem to have been able to infiltrate our compound by members of the established party disrupting our security systems. Those within enabled the rest of their cohorts to violate our compound. A battle ensued, as we have witnessed the trail leading here. We thought perhaps they might have been initially just trying to destroy the compound, or somehow disrupt our business. Instead, they were very specific about disregarding our other pursuits, and were precise about making their way here. They knew about this area, and what was within."
"I have no doubt they were likely coming to reclaim something of their own property," the eldest Hel correctly surmised. "Syrus Bek mentioned that, in keeping this for him, we were potentially incurring the wrath of those who had not paid him his due."
Aryaan waited a moment, her gaze remaining on the back of her father's head as he still moved slowly, deliberately through the wreckage of the sub-basement holding area. It was intended to have served as perhaps the darkest of the Hel compound dungeons, where life and death would have mingled regularly, and destruction and other carnal pleasures could have been pursued at any pace, and for a rather sumptuous price.
"Father, the one that had been here as a new client, Maxamillian von Oberst, he gave me a message."
"He said to tell you that whatever aims we had with this venture," Aryaan was almost puzzled in her expression, "would be better served with another benefactor. He stated that there was no ill will between his family and ours, and that it would better serve us if we contemplated severing ties with Syrus Bek in favor of the Prince and his court. I'm not entirely certain which royalty or court he referred to, but he said that, should you wish to pursue a more profitable relationship in the future, you should send a personal message to the Asylum for one Sith Bloodfyre."
The head of the family Hel said nothing further, continuing his leisurely course around the heavy destruction. All of the furniture was in a shattered state of chaos, the holding areas that would have been cages for the reborn beasts of the Asylum perhaps ripped apart by the very creatures they had been intended to hold. Tershik wrinkled his nose a bit at random intervals, as the smell of death and decay mixed with residual scents of sweat, and blood, and perhaps even life reborn. It was an odd sensation, an intoxicating aroma for those with a more morbid bend.
"Have we had word from Syrus Bek, my daughter?" Tershik Hel now turned fully to stare into the eyes of his daughter. The elderly man, though still powerful of body, caught everyone with his eyes, even his own children. He stood shy of two meters, with an entirely gray head of hair, regal in his dress, aristocratic in his features, but entirely menacing in his gaze. His eyes might have been the hypnotic tool of a conjurer, so deep and entrancing, penetrating that they were to all onlookers. Aryaan had been accustomed to her father's gaze over the course of her life, but even she found his gaze somewhat weakening.
"No father," she stated almost meekly under his focus. "We have had no communications with Bek, though this Oberst gentleman did say that his lord had sent work to Bek that they were not to be trifled with, and that, if Bek insisted we aid him in retaliation, that we ought to decline any such invitation. Again, he seemed to be almost... beneficent towards us. As though he were trying to draw our potential allegiance. Or at least a possible neutrality from us."
* * * * *
Thick, empty blackness seemed to suffocate the entirety of the former sanctuary of all things. Where before, darkness and death had gathered to pass on its secrets to each passing generation of those nearest oblivion, now, only silence hung over the place like a perpetual shroud, smothering all life, all sound, everything into the stillness of the grave. Nothing living moved, nor even gazed upon the still darkness of the great fortress. Any eyes that had glanced upon the interior of this terrible hall in recent years must have been those from beyond.
The sanctuary rested underneath the blackest waves of a dark sea. It had been under the watch of a dark hound of a dread lord. But even that guardian could not keep the great powers held within the sanctuary from meeting death's icy hand. Adversaries of the old way had sought to end the sway of another within this mighty hall, and had filtered madness and anger throughout those who might have laid friendly eyes upon this place. As the plague of enmity swept through the Force, the final battles had claimed all who had called this place home. Now, it was empty, covered in darkness and forgotten.
Shadows coalesced together slowly, into the form of a great beast, one that had never laid eyes, nor clawed foot upon this darkened hall. The guardian entered the sanctuary first, a herald to its masters that would be soon joining it. The shadows became bones, then muscle and sinew covering the structure of power and death. Finally, the shadows of the great beast brought completion to the form, covering all things with a flesh of absolute night. The guardian beast was infinitely, almost impressively black. Looking perhaps like a single-headed Cerberus, the great beast that guarded the next life from all those who were not meant to enter its demonic gates, the beast gazed upon the sanctuary. It's eyes were just as black as the rest of its form, and yet, they seemed to glow slightly red with anger and strength. The great head of what could only be described as perhaps a devil spawn hound as tall as a horse raised its great head into the air, testing the scent of the place.
Old death resided here. Old powers had been here, but not in several years. The beast knew the scent; it was intensely familiar to it. It served those who bore such a scent, though theirs was perhaps mildly different. The masters would be coming momentarily, and the guardian had yet to ensure the safety of those who would come. This hall had to be secure, completely empty, lest its charges be ambushed or preyed upon by those who had claimed their kin.
The great beast moved like lightning, faster than mortal eye could perceive, or than even imagination could give to its mammoth size. The beast did not need to stop to inspect every room, but rather, it simply sensed each room, every alcove, every hidden space within several meters of its proximity through the Force. The beast could not use the Force as Jedi or Sith might, but it was a creation of the Force, of all things that created life and death, and as such, it was intensely aware of anything that would exude its presence upon the Force. With the possible exception of those terrible holes in the Force, the Yuuzhan Vong, the guardian beast could sense anything within a few meters of itself simply by treading the grounds. After a patrol that took perhaps less than an hour, the beast had covered the entirety of the sanctuary that might have taken an entire day to patrol by lesser beings and mortal life forms. The sanctuary was truly empty, and its masters would be safe upon entry, at least for the time being.
The black hound, the guardian beast returned to the entryway it had used to come into this place, and raised its great head in the air, and let out what could only be one of the most terrible wails to ever fall upon any ears, mortal or not. It seemed as though the cry of a dread banshee, the clarion call of death's gaze itself. The howl seemed to last an eternity, much longer than the breath within the guardian beast's chest would have otherwise allowed. But the call had not come from the chest of the beast, nor within lungs that truly did not require breath. It had been the call throughout the Force, and upon the winds of death and destruction that the beast was formed of. Where mortals might have frozen over in death's grasp from hearing such a call, the masters would see it as a sign of welcome, and would shortly come. The beast now stood watch, patiently waiting for its lords and masters to come and restore this place to its strength and place of greatness. Soon enough, the armies would be called, and the herald would raise its trump and bring forth the darkest lord, and eternal master of all of the darkest beings who might have otherwise claimed this sanctuary as home.
Those who had called these great beings masters and teachers, those who had sought alliance with them, would need to be prepared and trimmed as proper warriors and allies, or servants and slaves. In either result, the beast would lead the charge to cull the unworthy. It would be up to them to show their worth, and claim place among the powerful, among the true masters of the sanctuary's power. The guardian beast knew what charge, what task it would be given. And the slightly red, glowing eyes seemed to burst into a fire of rage, anticipating the call to sweep death upon the unworthy.
* * * * *
Scion Altera, Rax Von-Klug, and the warrior known as Demosthenes sat awaiting the arrival of the House Summit. Messengers had been sent to gather each of the three together for a private meeting with the heads of House Tarentum. Each of the three was at least familiar with the others, perhaps Rax and Demosthenes more so. Rax and Demos had both been members of the infamous Tau Squadron at one point, and Scion, sometimes known as "Firebird," had been a decorated officer in the Imperial Remnant that the Brotherhood had at one time called allies. Each of the three was a decorated combat veteran in a number of campaigns, and had served Tarentum in the past with honor and distinguished themselves as officers and gentlemen.
"I suppose while we wait, we might as well order up a spread for us all to enjoy," Demos said offhandedly. "Sergeant, if you please. While we wait here for the Quaestor and Aedile, would you send out for refreshment? No, I know you're not an errand boy, neither would I suggest it. But as my friends and I would rather sit and discuss things while we wait, would you mind fetching some of the staff and having them bring something for all of us?"
"I'd be happy to, sir, but you all have access to Castle-wide communications as well as I do, and I was just going to suggest that to you," the heavily-armed soldier stated firmly. The man reached into his utility belt and pulled out a communications device. "Is there anything in particular you'd like me to have staff bring for you?"
"Alcohol, for sure," Demos smirked a bit. "Thank you Sergeant."
The man stepped out into the hall just outside of the room to complete the order and summon the Castle's culinary staff as requested. Demos leaned back in his comfortable chair, and glanced across the table at Scion, and then to Rax. "I hear the two of you have been called to fill the positions of Admiral of the Fleet and Commander, Air Guard respectively. Congratulations. I can guess that's likely why you're both here, to discuss fleet matters. But I have no idea why I'm here."
"Come now, Demosthenes," the look in Rax's eyes was almost knowing. "You and I have served with distinction and honor, as has Scion. It's obviously a military matter, with the three of us here. Perhaps some upcoming engagement, or a matter requiring the full cooperation of the fleet, and all of Tarentum's assets. The Admiral of the Fleet, along with two of the best pilots in Tarentum's numbers, one of which leads the Air Group in combat; there’s no way this isn’t about a naval muster of some kind.. Even you aren't that clueless."
"I'd see it as entirely likely that Rax is correct," Scion nodded. "With the recent actions against the syndicate families, and the fact that they have access to resources perhaps on the same level as we do, maybe we're going to be preparing for a retaliatory strike at Yridia IX."
"If that's the case, then we need to mobilize our units, and begin planning immediately for potentially striking them preemptively," Rax leaned in slightly, resting his elbows against the table. "We've been in recently, and we have intelligence capabilities already in the vicinity, if not actually on the surface of Yridia IX right now. We just need to determine the strength that the syndicates can mobilize within the next few hours. We could easily muster the Magnus Kaerner and her squadrons, move the ship into position to suggest orbital bombardment, and then send in our squadrons to cover their battle-ready ships and escort them to inspection points for crews to board and search them."
"We don't even need to search them," Demos maintained his position leaning back, "so much as just prevent them from getting underway in a combined assault. Keep them preoccupied just enough with the Kaerner and her assets in order to set up our own defenses, and make it obvious that we're ready if they decide to come at us. And then, maybe just seize a couple of their big ships in the name of Tarentum to let them know we're onto them. Kind of the proverbial smack upside the backs of their heads to let them know not to mess with us."
"Easily done," Scion nodded. "If that's the way this heads, I'll have the flag on alert immediately."
"Not necessary, my friends," Archean announced as he entered the room, followed shortly by the culinary staff with their trays of refreshment and drink. "But it's good to see you all keeping things fresh, and discussing the upcoming future. That does relate to what you've been called to meet here for."
"What are we being called here for, Archean?" Scion glanced over the trays of food, and bottles of drink that had been presented. He, Rax and Demosthenes picked at it a bit, and took drinks of their own preference, but generally kept their focus on this Aedile of the House.
"I figure we'll wait for Sith to arrive," Archean answered, but not to dodge the question. "It's appropriate for him to let you all in, I believe."
"When's the big man supposed to arrive?" Demos remained as nonchalant and plainly-spoken as ever.
"I was only a moment behind Archean," Bloodfyre entered, answering the question almost even before the doors had parted before him. "Forgive my tardiness, gentlemen, but I do appreciate you gathering here to meet with us. And, as Archean has stated, I do appreciate you also considering the options we have available for us, considering recent actions. This is one of the reasons I have asked you three to be here. You are insightful, capable, and your careers have established you as officers of a high caliber, and some of my closest friends within Tarentum."
"And we love you, too. What can we do for you?" Demos seemed to smirk a bit.
"Scion Altera," Bloodfyre perhaps ignored Demos for the moment, "you have been called to serve Tarentum as Admiral of the Fleet and head of the Navy, and you have accepted the call. For that, you have our thanks. Each of the ships needs new commanding officers, and while a few of our House have spoken with me about their desires to fill captaincy spots, I leave that to you to fill these openings."
"I'll speak to each."
"Apollo and Arturis Schulen have both spoken up recently," Sith continued, "as has Cesare. Though, I'm not entirely sure if Cesare has his focus entirely upon naval command. There's a darkness within him that may be calling out to other avenues of power. But still, you may wish to speak with him, in addition to the other two. And I'll make sure it's known that posts within Piranha are at your discretion. But Archean and I would like to keep informed on the happenings of the Navy."
Scion nodded once in recognition. Tarentum's Admiral had been in command of numerous positions within Tarentum. He had served within Tarentum’s Summit, as well as within its once-constituent Houses and other posts within the military. Scion had also been Captain of the Magnus Kaerner itself for a time, and regarded the chain-of-command as any seasoned officer; his was absolute command of the Navy, but it would still do to keep his superiors informed.
"Rax Von-Klug," Sith turned to his old friend, "you have returned and immediately went to work to bring order and structure to the Starfighter Corps, and your reputation and experience precedes you. As a veteran pilot of the Imperial Remnant, and indeed, of Tau, you not only have the capability to train our pilots to a new level of skill and capability, but you have perpetual ties to Tarentum, as well. As we've discussed the potential for the defense and offensive capabilities of Tarentum, it has become increasingly apparent to me that the Corps will move beyond what we have now, and you should move beyond, with it. As such, the reorganization of command structure within the Corps, and within military High Command has a seat for you as head of the Starfighter Corps, to sit with both the Admiral of the Fleet, and General of the Armies to help direct all matters relating to the military efforts and supremacy of Tarentum."
"You do get right to the point, don't you?" Rax's tone suggested humor, but the old pilot and Battlemaster's face spoke volumes as to his mind now going over training, expansion of the Corps and its operations, and how he would have to work to flesh out his command, the liaisons aboard Scion's ships, and more.
"Why shuffle around a point that we both knew would be made, anyway?" The Shaevalian kept his eyes upon Von-Klug for a few silent moments. "And honestly, I didn't think you'd sidestep the promotion to General, no matter how much work now gets put on your plate."
"As though I didn't have enough to do already," Rax rolled his eyes.
"So, the question comes to me now, doesn't it," Demos didn't ask, but stated. "What am I doing here?"
"Isn't it obvious by now?" Archean stared at the veteran pilot with a mild smirk upon his lips. "The nonchalant warrior that tries as hard to get out of administrative work as much as possible, yet always maintains at least a finger or two in the chain of command whenever possible?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Demos shook his head slightly. "I just know that you boys are friends and family, and I do what I can to help keep Tarentum in a position of ascension."
"You're being called upon to do more, my friend," Bloodfyre turned his gaze on Demosthenes. "And you know it. Each of you is a warrior, an officer, and a powerful mark upon the Force. You know exactly why you're here."
"Doesn't mean I don't want to hear you say it," Demos returned the Sith Master's gaze.
“Demosthenes,” the Sith Master began, “you have continually tried to remind me that you have spent years as both a pilot, and a skilled warrior. You always offer your services as an assassin and a warrior, and House Tarentum is calling you into service, but not entirely as you may have understood. There is a great deal that you do know, my friend, and one of the things you should know by now is how much you have attained that you can pass on to a new generation.
“As such,” Bloodfyre stepped forward and extended his hand, prompting Demos to stand, his eyes glancing down towards the Sith Master’s outstretched hand, but not yet taking it, “we’re going to put you to work in the Army. Congratulations, General.”
Demos continued to stare at the Quaestor’s hand for a moment, then looked up into the Shaevalian’s eyes. “I haven’t accepted this call yet.”
“You don’t have a choice,” Sith’s smirk was either a visual pat on the shoulder of sorts, or perhaps a smack on the back of his head. Demos shook his head and took the Shaevalian’s hand, but the Quaestor held up a finger on his left hand, holding off any comments for the moment. “And before you say anything, no—you cannot make your first order of business to take a holiday and start fresh tomorrow.”
“You’re just a spoilsport, you know that Sith?” Demos smirked a bit, as well, shaking the Quaestor’s hand heartily.
“I suppose a congratulatory round on you is in order, General,” Rax stood, coming over to slap Demosthenes on the shoulder.
“I hope you get mounted by a rabid Ewok,” Demos returned with good humor. “Do you know how much work this dumps on me?”
“Were you asleep for my appointment just a few minutes ago, tool?” Rax smirked at the new head of the Army. “You’ll find no sympathy here.”
“Nor from the Navy,” it was Scion’s turn to congratulate his friend and peer in the High Command.
“And now, gentlemen,” Archean spoke up after a few moments, “there is much to speak about, and much to prepare for. We have interested parties who will be looking to serve with each of you.
“General Von-Klug,” the Aedile turned to Rax, “Zero Raven has volunteered to serve within the Starfighter Corps, and we have directed him to you. If he hasn’t been attempting to contact you yet, it’s probably a good idea for you to send something his way. He’s been a dedicated member, and has gained some experience in his time with us. We’re looking forward to great things from him, and every effort you spend with him will be a reward for him, for the Corps, and for Tarentum.”
“Of course,” Rax nodded.
“General Demosthenes, Dranik Tarentae has been one who has volunteered in some ways to work within the Army,” Archean continued. “We’ve had no direct communications with him yet. Anshar has been keeping tabs on him, and as he’s be away on personal endeavors, we expect him to return at some point, but we are still sending messages to him, and passing on vital information to him through Anshar. There will be others who are interested in an Army command or appointment, though, and know that you are not alone in this. The fine men and women of our forces are skilled and disciplined, but they will respond to quick, emphatic changes in command.”
“Yeah, I’ve been in a few changes of the guard like this,” Demos shrugged slightly. “I’ll get everyone on the same page. We’ll do fine.”
“We have no doubts about that,” Archean had a smirk of a grin on the left corner of his mouth. “It’s very possible that, when the Romanae brothers return, you may be able to get them involved in your forces to supplement your command structure.”
“My friends,” Bloodfyre called on their attention, “it is also worth noting that our friend and Aedile here will generally be working with you to represent the Summit on the High Command. He will keep me informed of things, and there may be times when I sit in council with you, but Archean is my peer, and my equal, and he has full authority to authorize and approve issues for the High Command that require Summit input and discussion.”
“Good to know,” Scion nodded informally to Archean. “Exactly how in-the-know and involved do you want to be, Archean?”
“You all have full authority to run your components of our military as you see fit,” Archean answered. “There’s no need for micromanagement. My approval will only be required when you all believe things need to be coordinated from a Summit level, or that will require full House cooperation and cohesion.”
Each of the five men took a drink in hand and saluted each other, and the success of the House unitedly. They continued to speak of a few other matters for perhaps an hour, watching the potential future of the House’s military unfold even as the seconds passed on into history.
* * * * *
“Sith Bloodfyre,” Wuntila’s holographic form hailed him as the channel between the two men opened. “What can I do for you and Tarentum today, my friend?”
“This isn’t a call for aid this time, Wuntila,” Bloodfyre nodded slightly in greeting. “Rather, I wished to impart to you and Zandro my thanks for coming to our assistance with the issue on Yridia IX.”
“Absolutely,” the Proconsul replied. “We both have holdings and projects that we needed to protect at the Asylum, and it was only appropriate that we share in the burden of it.”
“Your own actions assisted us greatly, and I wanted to impart my thanks,” the Sith Master continued. “I wasn’t able to reach Zandro, so I wanted to relay it through you. Beyond that, you specifically made a difference in the actions against the Hel family, so I wanted to speak with you personally, as well.”
“Of course,” Wuntila’s blue image bowed slightly. “Is there anything else I can do for you today?”
“Pass on my thanks to Arcona,” Bloodfyre folded his hands together and leaned his lips against his clasped fists for a moment, “and I suppose be prepared. I sense things coming in the future that may have us pitted together against outside forces.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Wuntila smirked a bit. “And neither would the rest of the Clan.”
“Tarentum stands ready to assist whenever forces array against us, my friend,” Sith nodded, reaching for the terminal. “We’ll speak again soon.”
Sith tapped a key and the channel closed, after Arcona’s Proconsul had nodded, and likely done the same on his end. Sith leaned back and closed his eyes, pondering the visions and sensations that had been relayed to him through ripples in the Force of recent.
“Perhaps much sooner than we may even realize…”