[Arcona] Soulfire - There and Back Again - A Tale of Destruction

Nadrin sat in his office, glaring at the stack of datapads that had invaded his desk, filling his afternoon with the drudgery that was paperwork. His squad had recently had several new recruits and he desperately wanted to find something to do that didn’t involve either writing or reading.

That’s it, I’m going up the food chain.

Nadrin stood up and left his rather unkempt office, stalking down the corridors that would lead him to the communications suite and, hopefully, something more interesting for him to do. His journey was quick, and he entered the room as though he owned it. Walking up to the control board, Nadrin punched in a series of numbers and waited for several seconds before his call was answered, and a Zabrak face burst into blue-tinged being before him.

What is it Nadrin, I’m kind of busy here.

I’ll be brief then; I want a mission for Soulfire. I want to kill something, extract something, hell I don’t really care…I just want anything to do that will get us some more experience of working as a team.

Cethgus seemed to consider his words for a moment before nodding.

Ok, get your team aboard the Fall and I’ll have the details forwarded there for you.

Nadrin inclined his head slightly before closing the channel, reaching for his own personal commlink and keying it to the squad’s frequency.

We have a mission, meet on the Valour’s Fall within the next 3 hours and you will be briefed when we are assembled. Nadrin out.

With that done, the Warlord headed back to his office to collect his things and make his way to Soulfire’s transport ship, his mood raised significantly by the fact that, for the time being at least, he had a legitimate excuse to ignore any and all paperwork.


[OOC So, that’s a very brief intro for this RO that’ll be lasting for a while. I intend to run it in the background so that if other things come up, you can shift focus for a while and we won’t worry too much about time limits. Post yourselves heading up to the Valour’s Fall and I’ll probably stick the briefing post up as and when the majority of you make it to the ship.

This should be fun guys, relax and enjoy yourselves and let’s see if we can’t write something awesome together]

Kooki yawned and awoke from her disrupted and fragmented slumber knowing that today she had an important mission to embark upon. She took some solace in that her fianc would be by her side and she quite enjoyed being around her fellow Battleteam members. The Krath was new on the Soulfire scene, yet she felt like she had found her calling. Dressing into her usual black and purple attire, she nudged Andrelious to start preparing himself for their latest expedition. The Sith began to rouse, and as he began regaining awareness of his surroundings, he noticed Kooki looking rather pale.

Are you sure you are capable at this moment in time, darling? You really dont look well. queried the concerned Dark Jedi.

Course! snapped the Alderaanian sharply, Now hop to it. We have somewhere to be AND Nadrin and the rest of Soulfire are waiting for us.

Andrelious darent retaliate towards his future spouse. She could be pretty fiery at times and like she had correctly pointed out, they did have a prior engagement with a lot of teammates waiting for each other.

A speeder arrived to collect the two of them and unusually Kooki sat there in silence. Her mind was clearly elsewhere. The Warlord sat adjacent to her, thinking it best not to question her, as she already looked preoccupied. Lately the Krath had been her usual bubbly self and then the next minute she would be the exact opposite.
The speeder ground to a halt. The shuttle waiting to take the couple from Selen was waiting for them. It was at the entrance it happened.

Kooki fainted.

The Citadel
Interrogation Room

“Dawg, for the millionth time…I DON’T KNOW!” the young Bothan wailed, for what had to indeed be the millionth time since the interrogation session began just 30 minutes ago.

“And for the millionth time, I don’t believe you…dawg” the lead interrogator said, smiling kindly at the wide-eyed alien…right before slapping him across the face with an open palm.

The young Bothan was Murs Rawk, a 17 standard years old career criminal from the 3rd Ring of the Selenian Citadel.

The lead interrogator was Talos Erinos, Obelisk Prelate, Oblivion Agent, Soulfire Commando and recent returnee to the Shadow Clan.

“Stang, bro! What was that for!?” Rawk cried as tried to lunge at Talos, only to be held down by the strong hands of the other interrogator in the room.

The venerable Marick, di Tenebrous Arconae, former Oblivion Captain and current Consul of the Clan Arcona (one who had wasted no time in putting Talos to work upon his return) looked up and smiled at the man.

“We’ve got a feisty one here, Tal” he said, applying just enough pressure to Rawk’s shoulders to cause discomfort but no outright pain…no, that was Talos’ job for today.

Talos returned the smile and took a moment to stare at Marick, the man who had once been his best friend; their relationship needed mending, that much was clear, as Talos had up and vanished one night from the halls of this very Citadel for over two and a half years, without so much as a word to Marick (or a few other important people). It was true that the Prelate and then-Proconsul hadn’t been on the best terms at the time, but their old relationship was one that Talos yearned for, now that he was back and active within the Clan Arcona.

“That much is clear,” Talos replied, “Maybe we need to amp up the heat a bit?”

Marick merely shrugged in reply, lifting his hands in a mock-surrender gesture. That was enough for Talos…he and the Consul may not be as close as they once were, but some things never changed. He knew when the Arconae was consenting to a plan.

As for Murs Rawk, he knew he was screwed the minute the restraint was lifted.

He was right. It came in the form of the older man lifting two fingers of his right hand, pointing them straight at Rawk, and swiping them downwards.

Rawk’s face also joined Talos’ fingers on their descent, the Bothan’s substantial forehead colliding hard with the stainsteel table. “HOLY FRACK…GOOD GOD!” Murs screamed as the blood from the gash in his forehead ran into his big eye orbits.

The two Oblivion Agents smirked at each other, both remembering the old days of Oblivion Brigade’s prime, when stuff like this was commonplace. “I think we’ll find him much more malleable now, T” Marick said, offering the Bothan a rag to wipe up the blood.

“No doubt, my lord,” Talos replied. The Prelate was just about to continue his line of questioning for the young alien when the pager at his belt, secured next to the badge that “identified” him as a “Detective with the Criminal Investigations Department” of Dajorra’s federal law enforcement, went off. The distinctive tone marked it for the channel reserved for Talos’ Battleteam, the venerable Soulfire Strike Team.

Talos couldn’t help but smile, as it had been three years since he had heard that tone. Marick, however, wasn’t as pleased.

“Nadrin need you?” the Hapan asked, although he already knew the answer.

Talos only nodded as he read the message from his Mandalorian cousin, the current commander of the SOF team.

“Go,” the Shadow Lord ordered, “I can finish up here. Get back to proving yourself”.

The thirty-one year old Obelisk nodded his thanks to the Consul and skipped over to pat him on the shoulder before sliding out the interrogation room’s door.

“Right Murs,” Marick said, taking Talos’ place in front of the youngster, “Where were we?”

Once again, Murs Rawk knew he was screwed.

Valour’s Fall, Bridge

Events of a forceful magnitude can often be described by attaching weather-like descriptors to them. For instance, “the rain outside howled with the force of a hurricane” or “the ground looked like it had been torn asunder by a earthquake” and so on.

The hug that occurred between the two Erinos cousins, Nadrin Erinos Arconae and Talos Erinos, was an event worthy of one of those descriptors. The two commandos collided together like magnets, the slaps they rendered on each other’s back as loud as thunder in the austere bridge of the Valour’s Fall. In their excitement, neither of the Erinos seemed to notice that their embrace would have probably hospitalized normal people…but that was alright, as for many reasons, Talos and Nadrin were anything but normal.

"Ner’vod! Talos and Nadrin cried in unison, the two men finally extricating themselves from the embrace.

Nadrin, sort of Talos’ nephew, more like a cousin, and technically a brother (Mandalorian families were weird like that) and the new arrival chatted amiably for a few minutes, earning irate stares from the bridge crew of the Arconan ship, before Talos finally cut to the chase.

“So what’s up, coz? I hadn’t heard Soulfire’s chime in over three years. I missed it.”

Nadrin snorted through a chuckle before handing his cousin a datapad and motioning that they should both get off the bridge before the non-foxtrot crew staged a revolt against their Dark Jedi superiors.

“Read the datapad and you’ll get a quick intro…it’s interesting to say the least and I’ll fill in the blanks when the rest of these di’kuts get here” Zandro’s cloned son said, to which Talos only nodded.

He may have been physically looking at the datapad, but his mind was far from it…centered on only one thought. It was good…real good…to be back

OOC
Sorry that I got a bit long-winded guys. I’m excited to be back and wanted to cover some bases. Looking forward to this! //T\

Andrelious was full of concern for his fiance. He immediately removed his cloak and folded it up, turning it into a makeshift pillow for the female to lay upon. As he did so, a member of Arconas medical corps noticed the fallen Kooki.

“Can I help, sir?” the medic questioned.

“No. I’ll deal with it. Shes just feeling a little under the weather.” Inahj replied, dismissing the medic.

The Warlord began to fan the air above his lover, attempting to cool her down. He was no expert on medical matters, usually relying on Kyo or another medicine specialist if he or one under his care were injured beyond his ability to heal with the Force. Kooki, though, was another matter. In the weeks that had passed since the mission to the Hapes Cluster, Andrelious had become increasingly protective of the Alderaan-born woman.

Kooki began to rouse. As she saw Andrelious staring down at her, his face full of concern, she managed a faint smile.

“I’m sorry. It’s so hot in this frakking spaceport,” she began.

“Let’s get onto the ship. I’ll get you a drink. Nothing too strong, I dont think Nadrin would appreciate it if he loses both his lightsaber AND vehicle specialists.” Andrelious responded, helping his fiance up.

Once inside the shuttle, Kooki took a nearby seat, with Andrelious using a nearby drink dispenser to provide his lover with a refreshing drink of water. They both noticed that Grakkar Quicklim, a new addition to the team, was already onboard. Inahj was secretly wary of the Mon Calamari slicer: he had been assigned to the team after Saskia Ortega, the previous slicer, had transferred to Dark Forge.

Many years of Imperial bigotry tried to bubble their way to the surface. Aliens had been treated as second-class citizens at best. Mon Calamari were considered among the foremost enemies of the Empire, having built a sizable portion of the Rebel and New Republic fleets that had been the key to so many victories against the Imperials.

"Hunter Quicklim. Youre new to this team. I want you to take care of Koo- Knight Mimosa while I fly us to the Valours Fall. If anything else happens to her, let me know immediately. Do I make myself clear? "Andrelious hissed.

“Of course.” Quicklim bubbled in his thick Dac accent.

“And if you so much as TOUCH her, you shan’t be needing your Knighthood trials.” Inahj warned as he wandered to the shuttle’s cockpit.

The open air of the city was the refreshing change Riverche needed. She had been on Selen for over a year, and she still had not seen much of the planet. There was always something going on at the Citadel, or some event taking her off planet. This was the day she had decided to go sightseeing, by herself. The day before, she finished all her tasks and cleared her calendar for the day. She woke before the sun even rose above the horizon and left quietly.

The smells of fresh baked bread and cooked meat floated in the air surrounding the commence district. Intrigued by smells she had not smelt since before leaving Coruscant, the Inquisitor decided to enter the establishment. The middle aged woman attending tables ushered her to semi-secluded table near the center of the room. Is anyone joining you?

No. Riverche replied.

Do you need time or do you know what you want?

Riverche quickly placed her order, and the woman left to retrieve the plate of food. The biscuits were still steaming from the oven when her communicator rung. Sighing as she looked over Nadrins message. Breakfast was going to have to wait. She walked to the counter to pay the lady for her troubles and started to leave. At the door, the old women slide a package into her hands, Your breakfast.

The smell of the bread slowly faded as she made her way back to the Citadel. The walk back took less time then she had expected, but still more time then she would have liked. With most of the three hours wasted, she quickly packed what was needed, and carefully placed her breakfast in her bag.

The quiet speeder ride to the shuttle bay only took a few moments, and the bay was almost empty when she arrived. From the entrance of the bay, she could see Andrelious helping Kooki up the ramp of a shuttle. River crossed the bay floors and up the ramp of the shuttle they had disappeared into moments before. She took a set across from Kooki and a Mon Calamari.

The sparring room was darkened and empty save for the towering dark-green/orange scaled Trandoshan standing over the body of a unconscious, bleeding Duros. He stood there looking down upon the unfortunate creature, blood dripping from his claws. His deep-red eyes seemed to glow bright within the darkness.

Draith tilted his head cockily, and triumphantly, his voice a deep growl, Too easy. They could at least give me a challenge!

A holo-panel activated beside the mat, revealing Riverche, a Miraluka in dark robes.

Master, Draith greeted with reverence as he kneeled down on one knee.

Riverches hologram looked down to the Duros then back to Draith, If you are done breaking your toys acolyte, I have an assignment for us. You would know this if you kept your communicator with you.

Yes, Master Draith replied.

Get ready and meet me at the coordinates Ive sent you. Take a temple speeder. You have one hour. Riverche ordered.

It shall be so Master, Draith answered. Master one more thing

Yes? the hologram inquired.

They just dont make acolytes like they used to, Draith responded with a toothy grin.

Riverche smiled. Her hologram ending just as the training room door opened.

Draith rose to his feet as a group of medic droids came rushing in to tend to the Duros. An assisting protocol droid came up to Draith, You killed him!

Draith scoffed at the droid, I merely made him wish he was dead, repairing him is your job. Now move!

The frightened protocol droid moved quickly from Draiths path as he exited the training room.

Less than an hour later Draith sat patiently aboard the shuttle across from Kooki and a Mon Calamari, both seemed obviously uneasy around the massive Trandoshan. Riverche soon entered not noticing Draith as she sat beside him, her attention drawn to the two creatures across from them.

Oh Master, Draith said, startling Riverche from her revere. She looked at him with surprise.

Youre late. Draith said with a toothy grin.

Riverche smiled back.

This kids got potential, She thought.

Valour’s Fall

Nadrin had been sat in the briefing room on the Valour’s Fall for a while, waiting for his squad to slowly assemble in small groups. As the final person entered the room, the young Warlord leaned forwards and stood up, a hush settling over the assembled men and women as he rose.

“Right, you’ll be pleased to know that I have assembled you all here so that we can stop wasting time on pointless tasks; Soulfire has a mission. From what I’ve been told it’s one that could take a while to complete, although I highly doubt it seeing as we’re far better than most other units who might be tasked with this, but I digress. Our mission is located on Ryzon, a planet out in the mid-rim which has worked especially hard to maintain independence over the years. Rumour has it their reasoning for this is so they can sell to both sides of any conflict, but that’s neither here nor there. What is important is the fact that they are supposedly shopping around a new fighter design that is meant to be revolutionary, and the powers that be have decreed that rather than allowing this new craft to enter general sale, it should be hoarded for use of Arcona. I agree, and so I put us forward for the mission.”

Nadrin paused and looked around at the people who were crammed into the small room, and noticed with a hint of amusement the furious intensity in Andrelious’ eyes that had sparked as soon as a new fighter was mentioned.

Gotta love predictability, but I don’t blame him.

“Insertion will be via several commercial means; we’ll be going in as tourists and businessmen and women in order to slip in without too much suspicion. 3 different groups of us, and we’ll meet up at a small cafe that I’ve highlighted in the written briefing you should all be receiving now. Once we’re onto the planet and through security, we will be scoping out the main Government offices to work out where they are keeping the prototype and plans for this new craft, with the final part of the overall mission being getting hold of the prototype, stealing it and wiping all of their plans, possibly even blowing the facility up. We’ll decide that closer to the time, the main point is that we deny them the ability to make any more of these craft so as to keep it for ourselves. If you have any questions, come find me, otherwise we’ll be setting down in our various groups and meeting up as outlined in the briefing notes, dismissed.”

[OOC – Ugh, moving halfway across the country sucks hardcore. Sorry for letting this lapse, with this we should hopefully be able to move it along at a much better pace, and hopefully it’ll be a bit more interesting to do. We’ll need to be heading groundside, someone can rp Nadrin being with them should they wish, and have fun]

As the members of the strike team divided themselves into three groups, Andrelious ensured that he and Kooki were placed with the Soulfire Sergeant.

“I hope you’re not going to claim you’re my parents.” Nadrin stated.

“I would never do such a thing to Zandro’s memory. You know that.” Andrelious replied, slightly irritated at the notion.

Kooki remained silent as the two males began to discuss finer details of the mission. She gazed happily at her fiancé, keeping her eyes firmly fixed on him as he headed off to the ship’s cockpit. As usual, the ex-Imperial had insisted on flying the ship, despite Nadrin’s attempts to stop him from doing so. Unusually, though, Inahj had requested the assistance of a co-pilot, selecting the Force blind Larn Viock, a pilot from the Arcona Starfighter Corps, to fulfil this role. Viock was a trusted ally of Andrelious, having also served with the Imperial Navy and later impressing the Warlord with his abilities.

“This is the first full Soulfire operation you’ve been on with us, Knight Mimosa. But I’ve been watching you train. Your skills with a lightsaber are pretty good for someone of your rank. Just don’t be too overconfident. We shouldn’t meet anyone that will give you too much trouble on this mission, but that doesn’t mean you should be anything but careful,” the Soulfire leader said, sensing that Kooki was nervous about something.

A slight change in the ship’s movement indicated that they were now in hyperspace. Moments later, Andrelious arrived from the cockpit, apparently happy to leave Viock in charge of the ship.

“Not like you to let someone else fly us,” the younger Warlord observed.

Inahj nodded in agreement, before starting to wander around near the passenger compartment’s walls. He reached into various nooks and crannies, finding and frowning at several DIA bugging devices. He threw these onto the floor and stamped down on them with one of his booted feet.

“Spying bastards. Now that it’s just me, you and Kooki, we have something we need to discuss with you urgently.” Andrelious declared, taking a seat next to his lover.

Kooki sat adjacent to her future spouse and opposite Nadrin. An awkward silence loomed. This was not the setup the Alderaanian had originally planned. Then again, spontanaity had always been a trait of hers.

“Come on darling, it’s ok,” the Warlord stated in a surprisingly soft tone.

“Don’t frakkin’ patronise me, you Imperial bastard!” yelled a seemingly highly strung Kooki.

Nadrin broke eye contact with the pair, sensing something slightly odd about the couple before him. Andrelious was being shockingly soft hearted and his future spouse was more irritated than usual. He chose not to comment or say anything, throught sheer fear of getting too involved.

“I was just slightly uncertain of what the mission involved. Now I have conversed privately with a few others and had time to think I understand what is expected of me. Especially with my newly acquired specialist lightsaber attrubutes, combined with the way I’m feeling right now, no enemy would dare cross my path!” the Knight assertively stated.

When she was like this Andrelious shuddered as a shiver travelled down his spine. He was grateful she was only a mere knight and nothing higher. It didn’t bear thinking about.

Nadrin sighed. He couldn’t help but feel his time had been wasted, but he cose again not to express his views. He sympahised that Kooki clearly wanted to be left alone in the immediate future. Something was clearly bothering her, but he did not dare pursue it. He did not want to cause further upset and risk her refusing to go on the mission.

Andrelious however, was deeply concerned for his lover and reached out a hand to accompany her and before Nadrin could shake his head to warn him to let her cool off, Kooki rose to her feet and again let out an explosive outburst.

“Don’t even try and stop me embarking on this mission. AND don’t even frakkin’ touch me. I’m carrying your child, I’m not frakkin’ handicapped!”

With that the Krath, stormed off leaving a Sith quite shell-shocked and her Battleteam Leader open-mouthed at her bombshell.

The meeting was shorter and lacking in detail than Riverche had hoped, but she was use to her superiors giving little bits of information at a time. She knew the drill. They give just enough information to get them interested. Send them on their way. They meet at the spot they are given. Given just a little more details. Do the mission and go home. Not this time! She thought reviewing the sparse information on her datapad.

“Draith, meet me in the shuttle bay in an hour with your gear.” River caught him walking out of the meeting. She immediately turned her attention to the datapad in her hands, and walked to the room where she had stored her belongings.

The room was a small dormitory room meant to house one person at a time. It had a small, square table and chair on one side, and a fold up, twin bed on the other. Before the meeting, she had stashed her belongings in the deserted room and had encouraged Draith to do the same in the identical room next to it.

Pulling out a small Holonet transceiver, the Inquisitor placed the device on the small table and turned it on. A quick search of the net answered a few of her questions. Not much was to be found. Some one has tried very hard to keep Ryzon a secret. She found a few commercials and maps, but no news from the planet.

“Find anything, Master?” Draith asked from the doorway as she saved the results to a datapad.

“Nothing important. What are you doing here? Don’t you have a shuttle to catch?” Riverche entered a few keywords into a net crawler and sent it on its search.

“Yes and so do you.” Draith moved to one side of the door, and waited for River to put her gear back in her bag.

As the Miraluka led the Trandoshan down the almost empty halls, she explained their travel plans. “We are taking a civilian transport to the planet as tourists. You are my companion and seeing-eye Trandoshan.” A puzzled look crossed Draith’s face.

“Please, refrain from calling me Master while on this mission. Remember you are my companion and friend.” Riverche turned the last corner to the shuttle bay.

The small bay buzzed with activity. Two shuttles filled and waited in center of the activity for their passengers to arrive. Talos and three other team members surrounded one of them. River lead Draith up the ramp into the other shuttle. The pilot greeted the pair at the top of the ramp, before retiring to the cockpit.

Shortly after taking their seats in either side of the passenger area, the shuttle jerked as it left the safety of the bay. River opened her bag to pull out her transceiver and datapad. “Are you going to be on your devices the whole trip?”

“Yep!” The inquisitor replied paying more attention to the datapad then to the male sitting across from her. The net crawler failed to produce much more information then her initial search, but it did find a few more commercials and a couple of very old news stories mentioning the planet. “Krack!”

“What!?”

“Got nothing, but…” River began. With a slight laugh in her voice, she searched her bag for the slicer that she had started to carry with her on every mission. “It is so simple, almost genius.”

“What is?”

She ran one of the older commercials through the unit, before continuing. Turning the datapad’s screen towards the Trandoshan, she played the commercial followed by the results of the slice. “The commercials are hiding the information.”

“Why would…, How?”

“They are selling to both sides of any conflict, and they want to attract the attention of militaries, not civilians. So to keep the civilians and lesser militaries away, you hide any information in codes targeted at them. Do you understand?”

“Is that why you did not find anything at first?”

“Yep, and why–”

“Thanks for using Trans Galaxy Shuttles. We have just received permission to land and will be on the ground shortly. At this time, I would like to ask you to put away your devices and return to your seats for the remainder of the flight.” The pilot informed the two passengers. River quickly turned off the transceiver and datapad.

Placing them in her bag and settling into her seat for the rest of the trip, “When we land, I want to look around, before meeting the others. You can go straight to the meeting place if you want.”

A child? A child. Son of the Sith…

The news that Kooki had dropped into the conversation almost carelessly had caused Nadrin to retreat slightly within himself, as plans and machinations whirled through his mind like fish in an ocean. He knew that for the moment at least the pregnancy would not adversely affect the Sith, but as time went on it would become more and more dangerous to bring her on missions.

That, however, is not an issue for right now.

Nadrin turned to Andrelious and cocked his head slightly to the side, suppressing a smirk behind his mask.

“Congratulations?”

The other Sith turned to him with a raised eyebrow and a small nod, obviously working hard to suppress a sigh that threatened to escape his lips. The two men, so disparate in age, had spent enough time together to be able to tell what the other was thinking and were both sensible enough to keep it quiet; Kooki wasn’t far away, and her hormones would be leaving her on the other side of the dangerzone, judging by her earlier outburst at least.

“Right, well. We’ll be landing soon, let’s go over these disguises so we don’t slip up.”

====*====

The false prosthetics that covered his face itched, but Nadrin knew that he mustn’t touch them lest they move or something equally damaging to their attempt to breach planet’s security. While tourism and visitors were encouraged, he still didn’t want the wrong people to know they were here or it might adversely affect the mission.

So he waited, furiously suppressing every instinct in his body that told him to scratch his damn face.

He was portraying a young pilot who was on-planet to talk to a specialist doctor about the prosthetics on his face and hidden beneath his clothing. He felt naked without his mask, but he knew that trying to smuggle it in with him would have been very difficult, and so he had made the difficult choice to have it dropped off, along with his gear, later on.

Forget that, for now you’re Dev Manra, ace pilot who needs his face fixing. Remember that, and we can get through this quickly.

He tried to sense his companions somewhere behind him, but before he got a good fix on them he was interrupted by the officer at the desk ahead of him.

“Papers please.”

Showtime.

Andrelious smiled inwardly as Nadrin handed over his falsified documents. The customs officer appeared to examine them carefully, before returning them to the Soulfire leader and allowing him access. Inahj and his fiancée had allowed a few others to queue between them and the Erinos, in an attempt to further reduce suspicion. The lovers had quickly elected to act as a couple, and were stood holding hands as the queue slowly moved forwards.

“Right. So what’s our story again?” Andrelious asked, keeping his voice down so only his companion could hear. Despite his stature as a Warlord of the Sith, the ex-Imperial had never quite got the hang of lying through his teeth. That was the main reason he and Kooki would be infiltrating as a couple – whilst the Alderaanian was able to hide the chemistry between the pair of Humans, Inahj found doing so almost impossible.

“You’re Prinwal Maltvin, and I’m Brassica Jestra. We’re engaged and we’ve come here to purchase items for our upcoming wedding. Oh, and a little bit of sightseeing.” Kooki responded matter-of-factly.

“Right.” Inahj said simply. He examined his documents carefully. To him they looked and even felt real. Prinwal Maltvin was apparently from Coruscant, and he had been advised to alter his voice as best he could for the mission ahead. He had also been asked to remember to use Galactic Standard Basic – using his preferred Imperial Basic dialect was likely to attract the very sort of attention that Nadrin was seeking to avoid.

The future Inahj couple approached the customs station, Andrelious leading the way.

“You, to station Aurek, and you, Miss, to station Besh. You can’t go through together.” A guard ordered. The couple reluctantly separated, knowing they’d hopefully be reunited once their documents had been examined and, with luck, passed without trouble.

“Papers, please,” the officer at Station Aurek asked as Andrelious approached. The Rollmaster handed over the document.

“Unusual to have passport control, especially so far from the Core.” Inahj stated in a voice that was a little different from his usual Imperial-sounding tones.

“We can’t value security enough,” the gruff sounding Human replied simply as he looked the faked information over closely. He peered at the picture, then at Inahj, then at the picture again. For a few horrible seconds, it looked as if the man was going to discover a discrepancy. Inahj began to get a little fidgety.

“Try to update your photo, Mr Maltvin. This one looks a little out of date – was it taken some time ago?” the officer questioned with a slight sneer. “Other than that, you’re good to go.”

With a buzz, the entry gate opened, allowing the pilot access to the planet proper. Kooki was already waiting, apparently having had no problems herself.

“The cheek of it! He reckoned my picture was out of date. We had that done only a few weeks ago!” Inahj hissed as the pair headed away from the customs area. Nadrin had already gone on ahead, and was not in immediate view. Andrelious, however, knew the Erinos’ Force imprint well, and detected him, along with another familiar presence, at a cantina a little further along the walkway.

“It seems that Nadrin has met with Riverche already. Shall we join them, darling?” Inahj asked, offering his hand to Kooki.