The four individuals stood surrounding the small holoscreen showing a live footage of Drayen’s private chambers. The battle within had prolonged for over an hour now and normally they would have already rushed in to aid their master in the fight with the Taldryan leader, who again and again had managed to match the powers of Drayen - but their orders were clear. They were Drayen’s most loyal servants, tasked with coordinating the part of C-Sec loyal to Drayen in their fight against the warriors of Taldryan - before locking down the building and waiting for their master to return.
It was only then that one of them voiced the idea of slicing the surveillance cameras of their masters private chambers and watch him bringing order to the Caelus System - order in which the force-users of Taldryan bowed before the powerful leader of the Caelus System. The events in the holo-feed unfolded differently. A small group of insurgents had managed to sneak its way into the residence and joined the Taldryan leader in his fight against their master.
Just when the new arrivals lashed out at a disarmed Drayen, their most dreaded fears came true as a small framed human separated Drayen’s head from his shoulders.
Anger followed fear and the first of them, a dark skinned man, rushed towards the door to avenge his master but he was stopped by another one, a female human in her late twenties with normally piercing blue eyes grabbing him on his shoulders, stopping him. "No, if you go now, you will just end like our masters."
“I don’t care. Drayen is dead, I’d rather follow him now than get sentenced by these wanna be Sith.” The male acolyte’s angry eyes fixed on her as he seethed.
The woman hesitated, sure that his words applied to any of them. "We all would," she exclaimed, "But there must be another way."
“Harbinger.” The other man burst out the name of Drayen’s private shuttle, drawing the group’s attention to him. “Didn’t you feel how much more powerful Drayen was after he left Chyron a couple of days ago? We could fly to where he went, maybe we can become just as powerful.”
"And then we can avenge him and kill them for killing our master." the fourth, another women chimed in.
“So be it.” the first woman spoke. “Let’s board the Harbinger then.”
Getting to and aboard the Harbinger was quite easy as was to get it airborne, and once they were free of the moon’s atmosphere they looked up the navi-computer’s last several jumps. Just when they found what they were looking for the small holoscreen in the cockpit lit up revealing a person clad in shadows with only his hands visible.
"Lord Vishes, I think we have a common enemy that we both want to see eradicated from the Caelus System sooner than later." The man spoke up in a deep voice.
The four individuals looked around each other momentarily.
"Drayen is dead, we are the Children of Caelus. Who are we talking to?" The dark skinned man queried.
“My name doesn’t matter right now,” the shadowy figure said, “If it’s true what you are saying, I still think we should meet to discuss our next steps. You can find me on Heaven’s Crest.”
Some Time Later…
Caelus Senate Building, Imperial Sector
Chyron, Caelus System
Ceyra stood in front of the full-body mirror against the far wall from the desk of the Caelus System’s leader, as both makeup and fashion artists worked diligently to prepare her. The youngest Ky’Lian’s hair was braided into a ponytail, sitting against her back. From the waist down, her form been wrapped in a cybernetic exoskeleton developed by the Sphere of Research and Intelligence after losing use of her legs during the previous battle.
Wrapping her slender frame was no elegant dress befitting a princess, but a bright-white uniform pressed to perfection - something that could also fit underneath the movement-enabling cybernetics. Black gloves covered her smooth, well-manicured nails and a shiny pair of black dress shoes protected her feet. Studying herself in the mirror once the ladies had finished, Ceyra turned her head to face the Caelus Senate official that patiently waited with a datapad in hand.
“Is everything ready?” she asked quietly, softly. Her eyes darted to the floor for a moment, then back to the official.
“Yes, ma’am. There was some resistance; talk of a revolt, but our allies were able to squash anything before it began,” the official stated flatly, “A copy of the treaty has been added to the official archives and several of their officers will meet with you after address.” Ceyra nodded, her mind quickly processing reasonings behind such a resistance. It would be ignorant for Ky’Lian not to take note.
So many unpredictable and gruesome things had happened recently, changing not just the shape of the Caelus System, but the will of her people too. Just as her misguided brother had predicted, a new era had been ushered into the independant star system. With it, she would have to change as well.
“Very well, shall we?” she queried, stepping off the small stool that had held her weight while she was tended to with help from an aide. She would never again regain full use of her legs, but with practice she would be able to walk slowly on her own.
Announcement Balcony. Facing Imperial Avenue
Chancellor’s Palace, Imperial Sector
Chyron, Caelus System
Holo-cams from several news organizations were poised on the empty and dark obsidian podium dominating the balcony exposed on the side of the Chancellor’s Palace that faced Imperial Avenue, a large and wide stretch that traversed a quarter of the sector. Gathered below the balcony that sat two dozen feet in the air were a score of impatient reporters, and in the expansive street behind them thousands of citizens and soldiers of the Caelus System.
The thousands of heartbeats that had assembled on Imperial Avenue waited in anticipation for the address to begin for nearly half an hour, some starting to think it would never happen and beginning to depart. Just as the skepticism grew to near intolerable levels, a form came into view on the balcony.
Ceyra Ky’Lian stepped out into the gaze of her constituents, placing the datapad that had been given to her by the government official on the podium in front of her. She examined the crowd as the holo-cams began to record her. The young woman cleared her throat for a moment, looking down at the datapad before back up at the crowd.
“People of the Caelus System,” she began, “It has by now become clear that the person who was responsible for the attacks during the last tumultuous months that have shaken our home has been no one but my own brother. Drayen’s lust for power, was also the reason why he killed our beloved leader and my father before turning against our allies and myself who have stood up against his regime of terror.”
“It was during one of these attacks, that saw me severely wounded if it wasn’t for the brave warriors of Taldryan protecting me from a save death.” Ceyra continued. “Sadly my brother was killed during the attack. To hold up the laws and regulations of the Caelus System, I stand before you to announce my ascension to the role of Chancellor.”
Immediately after the announcement of her new position, parts of the crowd gathered began to become rowdy and begin shouting at her. In order to try and keep them sedated, Ceyra continued her booming address. The forms of several Taldryans unexpectedly took up a position behind the Chancellor.
“In light of the recent events, I unequivocally issue the following decrees. First, the Caelus Security Force has proven to have failed in its role as a guiding beacon of security for all citizens, biased and inadequate in its effectiveness. Without delay, the ‘Taldryan Securities Treaty’ resigns all security and protection of the Caelus System to our new permanent strategic allies, Taldryan.”
The crowd became a little quieter, as people looked to one another.
“All existing Caelus Security Force personnel will be amalgamated into Taldryan’s existing forces, undergo extreme vetting, and then – under the treaty– serve as a separate branch of their military exclusive to the Caelus System, so that our people are not used in external conflicts.”
Silence engulfed the thousands, becoming eerily quiet as the thought of the “strategic alliance” processed through their minds; the notion was not immediately rejected. Ceyra used the opportunity to finish.
“Finally…” she grasped both sides of the dark podium, scanning the crowd, “The turmoil and chaos that the Ky’Lian family has inflicted upon this system has not gone unnoticed in my eyes. For that, I am truly sorry. To ensure no such situation occurs again, the ‘Fair Elections Act’ is now law; the line of succession for the position of Chancellor will no longer be hereditary. Your next Chancellor shall be elected by a council.”
The crowd erupted in cheers, and Ceyra smiled. She had managed to win them over, without calls for her own removal from office; even if the dream of a democratically elected Chancellor never came to fruition. With security of the system no longer a major concern, she could focus on the redevelopment of the system with the assistance of her allies.
The leader of the Caelus System bowed slightly, before retreating from the balcony with the Taldryans at her side.
Back inside the building, Ceyra realized that of all the members of the Taldryan Summit, the one who has saved her was missing. “Lord Rian, I wanted to once more thank Master Andrelious for saving me, but he doesn’t seem to be around?”
"I am sorry but I sent Andrelious on a mission earlier, he should be back in a few days." The Consul replied coolly to the Chancellor, "I will make sure he pays you a visit once he is back… This was a great speech by the way."
"Thank you my Lord. Do you mind me asking what sort of a mission you sent him on?" Ceyra asked.
There was no hesitation in the Consul’s response. He intended to forge a new, stronger bond between Taldryan and the Caelus System. "Of course not. Andrelious has been sent on a surveillance mission, something he has proven quite proficient in in the past,” Rian explained, his mind returning to the mission debriefing aboard the Paragon where Andrelious explained his experiences from his first visit in the Caelus System.
"Very well then," Ceyra nodded, seeing one of her senate officials winking her over to a group of local news reporters - they looking for more statements on her recent speech.
Once she left the group of Taldryans, the Aleena Proconsul spoke up. “Let’s hope he comes back with good news. A lot of time has passed since we fled the Kr’Tal system and other factions may very well have used our absence to seize control over the Rybanloth System.”
"True to that Justinios, indeed there are a lot of unsolved questions that need to be answered, but only one at a time."
Since the speech of Ceyra Ky’Lian four hours ago, the local holo-news hadn’t stopped reporting on it and the amalgamation of the members of Taldryan and the Caelus Systems Security Forces. The shadow had watched several of the reports, summarising what it would mean to their cause. Up until last, he had been sure that the full-on attack on Taldryan had been issued by one of their own. It would have been one more reason why these power hungry Force-users had to be eradicated from the galaxy. So much was true but as the recent loss of Meridian Station had shown, attacking the Brotherhood at a whole had again proved ineffective. For as much as they live up on their small squabbles, they would always find a way to fight side-by-side when they need to.
No, there was another way. In order to win this war, the Collective didn’t have to show brute force but cunning, destabilising one clan after another until there is nothing left to unite against them. And then, then the fist of Oligard would fall down on the Brotherhood, crushing it underneath. Having Taldryan arrive here in the Caelus System was a lucky coincidence, as the shadow’s Syndicate had already started to destabilise the Caelus System to establish a Collective controlled government - with the goal of using the system as strategic outpost for themselves.
Now, it would be the place that will be the demise of Clan Taldryan. Turning off the holo-screen he prepared to speak to the rest of his Syndicate. The crashed Taldryan flagship would bring in more than enough new recruits for their cause and the mercenaries he had hired on Kiast should arrive soon too.