Koryn sat up abruptly. It was not the kind of movement that seemed like the natural waking from a night of slumber, but more as if he had been lying in bed awake and decided to get up. His eyes surveyed the unfamiliar surroundings through the darkness, for these were not his quarters. Everything in the room was carved from the natural materials found on the planet with the exception of a handful of wooden items likely imported through Silvia Industries. He seemed unaware of the figure lying beside him and stared at two objects placed on an elegant stone table, objects that seemed out of place given its surroundings.
Silently, Koryn stood from the bed, gathered his discarded robes and dressed. Leaving the room he grabbed the items from the table: his lightsaber and his commlink. He gave the woman a fleeting glance as he left the room, leaving the Hoka Dachu princess to sleep peacefully.
It had been about one month since the attempt on Queen Naktia's life, as well as the lives of former Quaestor and Aedile Xen and Draco. Who had planted the bomb was unknown, but it had been a most fortuitous event. After the attempt on her life, the Queen of the Hoka Dachu felt that she could no longer trust the Quaestor and Aedile, banishing them from her throne room indefinitely. Koryn had used this time to gain the Queen's trust, becoming her personal emissary to the Dark jedi of Acclivis Draco.
Koryn made his way to the throne room. By now, everyone should have been in position awaiting the signal. Feeling inside his robes, he slipped a small item up his sleeve before sending the signal to his squad.
Aro-Wan stood silently in the shadows looking out of a high open window when his communicator made a barely audible beep. Without looking at it, he made a wave with his hand. The marksman who was standing next to him put a long tube up to his mouth and blew. The small poisonous dart flew out with alarming speed and accuracy out of the window, across the street and into the neck of the fat Antenoran man still asleep peacefully in his bed. By the time the dart met its mark Aro-Wan had already turned and was on his way out of the building.
A humble smile was plastered on Koryn's face as he entered the throne room. It still bore the damage from the bomb, but Queen Naktia had not been deterred from using it for official business. Koryn had to grant it to her, she had performed her job admirably. Like those who had come before her, she had ruled Antenora, with difficulty due to all of the differing tribes, but effectively. And she always took the time to listen to input that Acclivis Draco had provided. For the longest time her role had made it so the Dragon House would not need to worry about the details of running the planet. But she had become solid in her position, still foolishly believing that she was in control.
"Viscount Thraagus, I am glad you have arrived. I have just read through several new reports containing information about the attempt on my life," The Queen began to ramble on and on. It amazed Koryn that this woman could talk so much, yet be so oblivious. She didn’t even notice that none of her normal guard were present in the room, or even close in the halls for that matter. The faces of the guards were strangers, yet she felt no cold shiver go up her spine, no fear for her safety. Koryn continued to walk toward the throne with his head slightly bowed, a smile still playing on the corner of his mouth.
Jodan Krastor moved through the already crowded market, blending in as if he was no different from any of the others there. No one there would have noticed that he had been following a thin Antenoran woman around the market. Not even her bodyguards had paid any attention to Jodan, or noticed that he seemed to always be there with them.
Krastor felt the buzz in his pocket. Without a word he handled the curved throwing knife in his hand. Through the crowd it flew and stopped with a sickening thump in the back of the women, who dropped instantly. As her body guards turned to give chase to the one who had kill the woman, they saw only the locals running away screaming at the site of the woman falling. Jodan was already gone.
Natth a'Niel Palpatine stood in an alleyway, cloaked by the surrounding darkness. The Dark Jedi Master stood sensing his prey through the Force. His pocket beeped, but not loud enough to be heard by those in the streets in front of him. He gripped the spear in front of him, his senses working to give an exact position of his target. Expertly, Natth threw the spear over the building he was standing next to. Seconds later the screams that came from the other side told him that he had hit his target. Peering around the corner he saw the bodyguards run out, searching for the killer, but the Palpatine had already melted into the shadows.
The Rodian was quickly closing the gap between himself and the Queen. The Krath called out in response to the Queen.
"My own people have been combing the streets, trying to find answers for who is responsible, your majesty. I assure you I shall share any news I hear with you. I am just glad that no harm came upon your highness." Thraagus continued to move forward the smile engraved upon his face.
Korroth Karn stood in the middle of the group of soldiers he was with. His eyes were closed, lost in thought of what was to come. He didn’t want to miss the opportunity to show his merit to the house. He felt the slight breeze pick back up. The soldiers were staring, focused on the large protected mansion. They were farther from the city then any of the other strike teams. And this place was well fortified. But it wouldn’t be a problem.
The beep came suddenly. Korroth’s eyes snapped open and nodded. Three of the soldiers raised the bows they were holding and drew the strings. The Dark Jedi Knight nodded again; the arrows flew. Three nearly simultaneous thuds and a scream told Korroth the job was done; the small group disappeared from the hill next to the mansion.
Draco gripped the hilt of the weapon, his eyes fixed on his target. The guards were packed tightly around the portly Antenoran gentleman. The Dark Jedi had spotted an opening in the guards' defences. It was a tiny gap, but taking advantage of it would be of little worry. For a second Draco's eyes seemed to lock with those of the Antenoran.
The man let out a stifled cry as Draco lifted the weapon. Draco pulled back, before his arm snapped forward letting the tomahawk hurtle through the air. With a sickening crunch, the axe met its target's forehead. The man's eyes rolled back in his head as the crimson liquid poured from the wound. Draco blended expertly in to the surrounding panic as the locals fled the scene, fearing they would be next.
Koryn was finally upon the Queen. The walk, which had taken mere seconds, had felt like an eternity; an eternity for one simple act.
"The act that would change everything," muttered the Krath under his breath. In a flash, the item that had been concealed within Koryn's sleeve was in his hand. There was blood streaming from the Antenoran Queen's throat, a shocked look upon her face. Koryn smiled and stepped back. One of the guards pulled another body from behind a curtain in the room and dumped it on the floor.
For one small moment the guards and Koryn stood in silence before they acted. One of the guards let out a fake, but very convincing yell of warning. Koryn screamed and fell back. More shouts erupted. Shots were fired. Within moments, people were flooding into the room. What they saw was an illusion of pure panic. Viscount Thraagus was on the ground, knocked back. There was a body with blaster bolt damage clear on it. There were several members of the Royal Guard huddled around the Queen. And the Queen, sitting in her throne, blood pouring out of her throat, her eyes already having lost what little glow they had to begin with.
The next several hours were a frenzy in the royal palace. Servants quickly moved the body of the slain queen. The princess was woken up and told the news. She had been sobbing uncontrollably since. Then came the reports. All those members of the Hoka Dachu who would be able to succeed the Queen as ruler of the Tribe had been slain. All by old traditional weapons, a call of attack. A spear, bows and arrows, a curved throwing knife, a blow dart. Each was linked to the history of several major tribes on the planet. Even the knife that was found next to the body of the assassin who killed the queen was ornately decorated in runes and symbols of the Malar Denovi.
The relationships between all of the tribes of Antenora was unstable at best. It was not uncommon for attacks to be made on the leaders of each tribe. But this was a whole different matter. Never had there been such an organized attack from different tribes against all the major leaders of a tribe. Word slowly made it on to the street of what had happened. People began to panic and fear for war.
Koryn sat calmly in the throne room, on the very throne that hours earlier had been occupied by the Queen of the Hoka Dachu. The only one who had any legitimate claim to the throne was Princess Darachu. However, the Princess had been in a state of absolute grief following the news of her mother’s death. When she saw the body, Koryn almost thought she was going to collapse dead herself. She was now sitting on the floor next to the throne. Thraagus looked down at her with a pitifully mixed with a forced compassion.
“Your Highness,” He started softly, “You are the only one left who can make a claim for the throne. It is time you step up and rule it.”
The Princess shook her head, tears streaming down her face. Koryn had to admit, for a freak hybrid of human and Jilruan, she was quite beautiful. She seemed to have difficulty finding the words she wanted to say. Several of the remaining high officials in the tribe were in the room staring at her. At long last she calmed down enough to speak.
"No. I will not rule," she said through sobs. "I can't. I just can't..."
"Then who?" One of the officials questioned.
Princess Darachu raised a copper toned hand, and pointed at Koryn. "Him". Koryn looked down to a hide a smirk growing on his face while the Princess continued. "My mother took his council; he was here when it happened. He shall be the one to protect and provide for the Hoka Dachu. And I... I shall retire to the royal retreat. I want nothing more of any of this. I accept the crown only long enough to give it to the Viscount." Koryn looked up with a situation appropriate look of shock whilst still smiling inside.
Two days had passed, and Princess Darachu - who was fleetingly made Queen Darachu - had left for the royal retreat. Koryn sat in the still broken and damaged throne room. His eyes scanned the shattered floor. This place would simply not do for his seat of power on the planet. Ideas were beginning to form in his head; ideas of what could be. Potential: that is what could be seen all around. Pulling a datapad from inside his robes, Koryn jotted down notes and made quick sketches of what he had envisioned. A new era was dawning on Antenora. An era of change and expansion.