Summit Transport Shuttle,
Entering Selen’s Atmosphere
“Turbulence,” the masked Pilot calmly reported as the vessel shook. “Where would you like to land, Prelate Edraven?”
“Giletta Spaceport. I’ll make my own way to the Citadel,” the Assassin replied without a moment of hesitation.
“Right you are, sir. We’ll be landing as soon as they clear us.”
The armored trooper sounded and walked like a clone, but Celevon was unsure and proceeded to feign indifference. The Onderonian resisted the urge to light a cigarette, holding the wrapped cylinder between his fingers. Having the light durasteel mask in a duffel meant he could smoke as he wished without having to lift it to have his lips free.
“Giletta Spaceport, this is shuttle AF23I requesting permission to land.”
“What do you have on board? One moment… Scanning that docking n-”
“Ma’am, is there a problem?”
“Th- No! No problem at all,. You may dock in the first free space you locate.”
The Pilot gave what the Obelisk assumed was an amused glance. “Roger that. Coming in for a landing now.”
The Assassin didn’t say a word, simply smirking in response until the masked Navy Corps Officer shut down the communication.
“It pays to use my landing code, since that one is for Diplomats of the Shogunate of Tao Feng on Eldar,” the Shadicar pointed out, paying little attention to the Pilot. “You may return to your post as soon as I have departed.”
“As you command, sir.”
Second Floor Balcony, Club Trauma
Outskirts, Estle City
The Onderonian took a long pull off of his cigarette, tendrils of smoke escaping his lips and drifting upwards before disappearing from view. The dark clouds of a coming storm cast the area in a blanket of darkness, the silence before the storm making every noise audible. The thrumming bass and furious drum beats of the live musical performance were an almost soothing reassurance to contradict the forks of lightning that leapt across the sky.
The loud crack of thunder startled Celevon from his near meditative state, as he had been gathering Force energy from the violent malestrom brewing on the horizon. An approaching presence caused the Obelisk to instinctively slip a blade into his palm, concealed by the uniform black folds of his cloak. The bag containing the durasteel mask and his Shadesworn Robes sat atop the table before him.
“I’m surprised to see you waiting, Edraven. Usually you appear at the exact time mentioned,” the familiar gruff voice and rumpled appearance of Colonel Eamon Syklauk, Ninth Division Commander of the Arcona Army Corps and Commanding Officer of the Majestic-class Heavy Cruiser Lictor, came into view.
The Shadesworn slipped the small dagger back into his sleeve after showing the blade to his former instructor from Camp Hell, where the cohesive specialist training of Soulfire Strike Team took place for several months before each member could be transferred to active duty.
At least, that was the tradition when the Onderonian’s former Master had been the Sergeant of the Galerean Battleteam.
“I do try to enjoy myself on occasion, ‘Ras. You should try it some time,” the Prelate retorted, handing over a datapad containing the mission information. “This is what my problem is. I need… some old friends to lend a hand.”
“Oh?” Syklauk queried, taking in the details of the device with clearly experienced eyes. “Lots of redacted information on this… Encoded to destroy itself? Interesting…”
“I regret that this information is as is available for your clearance level within the DIA. I need Spectre Cell.”
“You will owe me a favor, for a change. How many of them?”
“At least a quarter,” the Assassin replied quickly, keeping their tones low.
“Granted, so long as I can join in with all of the means at my disposal.”
“I will be in touch with my superiors and inform you as soon as I have an answer,” Celevon bowed in his seat, an oddly graceful motion despite his position.
“Good. We must have a drink or two afterwards,” the Colonel gave a small smirk before slipping a cigarra between his lips. “You have a light?”
The Obelisk held out a primitive flame tool that had the sealed appearance of a small black rectangle with designs upon it. “Keep it. I have more,” the former Soulfire Sniper calmly ordered as he shook the older Human’s extended hand, slipping the zippo into Syklauk’s palm. An annoyingly familiar beep-beep-beep came from his belt. “Please, excuse me. Colonel. I’ll comm you later to keep you in the loop.”
“Much appreciated, Edraven.”
As the Assassin walked away, Eamon Erasmus Syklauk lit his flavored cigarra and exhaled a plume of smoke. Before placing the object in his pocket, as was his habit, the Colonel decided to inspect the flint tool. On one side was an acid-etched image of the mythical Grim Reaper in startling detail. The CO of Spectre Cell flipped the lighter in his hand and spotted an inscription in the Force-User’s handwriting, written in Mando’a. It took the indoctrinated Eldarian Ranger a moment to mentally translate the words.
‘Mount up, Spectres.’
The Selenian local chuckled to himself as he pocketed the zippo. He had served with the native warriors of Eldar long enough to know that the Shadicar had reformed their elite members into the team now under his command. “I’ll pass along the message, Stalker. You put out the call. Spectre Cell will answer it.”
Courtyard, Arcona Citadel
Estle City, Selen
“You’ve called and we’ve gathered, Commander,” Invictus spoke without prompting the moment the Prelate entered earshot. “Though I still wonder why this place has been chosen as a briefing area.”
“It’s due to the fact that I have informed our Consul of my absence from the Contract Offices and he requested my presence here. We will also not be disturbed so long as the Summit Guard is aware of our meeting. Right, to business,” Celevon replied, pulling off the thick black robes to reveal a more form-fitting leather and cloth ensemble. The Onderonian glanced curiously at the sleeping twins in a decorative but sturdy stroller before he turned his gaze momentarily to the recent mother, letting the robes fall to the ground.
The Commander took a quick glance around, instinctively checking his surroundings before he turned his attention to his go-bag. The gleaming hilt of his lightsaber remained in place with an over-the-shoulder holster similar in design to that of Jedi Master Rahm Kota from the Clone Wars and the subsequent Jedi Purge.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, Celevon…” the only female member hesitantly spoke up, unsure whether or not formalities were required. She watched curiously as her friend and godfather to both of her and Andrelious’ twin daughters crouched to pull items out of his duffel bag. The Obelisk was the only Qel-Droman godparent, as the other three were members of House Galeres: Aedile Atyiru Caesus Entar, former Soulfire Sergeant Nadrin Erinos Arconae and Andrelious’ oldest child, Saskia Ortega-Inahj.
“Yes, Kooki?” the Prelate queried absently as he sheathed the matte black blade of his katana in a manner similar to that of his lightsaber, though on the opposing shoulder and that appeared to be a custom part of the outfit.
“I’m reporting for duty despite your orders to remain at home with my children. Atyiru has been shot and is undergoing treatment; Andrelious, Nadrin and Saskia are out working with Soulfire. I’m a nervous wreck an-”
“Please Udesii! I will allow you to assist us in our mission, though it will be from behind a desk here at the Citadel. I will inform you of the specifics after I have dismissed everyone else to begin their tasks,” Celevon spoke soothingly to the only Krath present, as Timeros was still away on the Dark Council-assigned mission. He had turned abruptly as soon as the Alderaanian had begun to hyperventilate.*
The woman took a deep breath, almost instinctively responding to the now-familiar Mando’a admonishment that came from both of the godfathers of the twins facing her. It was clear from the lack of her customary formal tones that the new mother needed something to keep her mind occupied. Kookimarissia was thankful her friend knew her so well and remained calm around the distressed female as she regained control of her breathing.
“Thank you. Now, then… The Dajorra Intelligence Agency has received unconfirmed reports of a cell of One Sith Agents planning an act of terrorism from within our very borders. Agent Gray of the DIA has informed me that there has been plans discovered for an attack upon the old Qel-Droma Temple on Arconae Primus. We are not, however, investigating the Temple itself. Our new Aedile has been given the task of investigating that area for the presence of demolitions. Revs, you will join Templar Sorenn and assist him in any manner as required of you. Act as though it is myself you are reporting to. You will be debriefing upon your return.”
The Miraluka nodded sharply, the folded, decorative black wrap around his face to conceal the empty sockets until the Onderonian could craft a pair of Alchemically-enhanced ‘eyes’ for the Guardian. “As you wish, my Master.”
“Invictus, you and I will be observing and investigating the Archaeology team at the old Northern Ruins to identify the One Sith Agents and eliminate all but one of them for interrogation. It will have to be a simultaneous, blitz attack. My Fade and some of my old friends from Spectre Cell will be assisting us. We will have full support from the Ninth Division of our Army Corps and the MJHC Lictor,” the Obelisk smirked at the Chiss, trying to get a reaction from the stoic Battlelord.
“What of the intel needed for field investigation? Surely we need a cover…”
“Ah, yes. That is all prepared, thanks to the DIA and the Spectres. We have Deep-Cover Alias’ prepared as well as the necessary documentation. We will appear as Special Agents from the Dajorra Military Investigative Service investigating a ‘crime’ nearby. One of us will handle the vocal questioning whilst studying their physical behavior as the other simultaneously monitors the unknown subjects’ mental patterns.”
“I am glad that all bases are covered, Commander. I shall eagerly await our departure,” the Marauder failed to conceal the eager gleam within his crimson gaze, though his features remained impressively blank.
“I’m looking forward to our mission as well, Invictus. Kooki,” the Shadicar gained the attention of the lone female of their team. “You will be safely within the confines of the sublevels of the Citadel, providing on the spot intelligence via our communications equipment and a secure channel. A Dajorra Intelligence Agent will be with you at all times to assist, as you will remain within my Office in the Antei Contract Bureau. Is everyone aware of your tasks?”
The Onderonian turned his piercing, quicksilver gaze towards each member. The military-trained of their members stiffened instinctively, though they held back the impulse to salute, merely nodding sharply in response.
“Good. Gear up, you lot. We’re going into hostile territory with enemies of unknown skill. Revs, Invictus: I will meet you in the Hangar Bay in one hour for our departure. Mimosa-Inahj, you’re with me. Dismissed!”
“Your office?” Kookimarissia questioned as the two Sith males walked off towards the Armory. She slowly stood, keeping in mind the Healer’s orders to not overstress her body. The Krath’s hands automatically went to the handle of the stroller containing her twin infants as she watched the former Sniper crouch to retrieve his durasteel mask and place the black robes within the bag.
“Yes. We can stop if you need a break… or I can have members of the Summit Guard assist you to the Antei Contract Bureau Offices,” Celevon replied as he gave a small smile to the adorable babies, still asleep in their mechanical transportation. “You will have a member of the Summit Guard present there as well as a Field Agent of the Dajorra Intelligence Agency behind the sealed door. I trust these people with my life, otherwise I would not consider it.”
“One would prefer yourself escorting the three of us. Do consider Andrelious’ suspicious nature and one is certain he will be thankful for it.”
“As you wish, my friend. How is Atyiru? I have only been informed recently of the occurrences with Galeres.”
“Well…” the Krath took a breath, prepared to give the Shadicar a full update on the news she had heard whilst sitting in the Family Apartment.
Udesii - Be calm/Calm down (Mando’a)