The Pinnacle - Level 195
It was too cold in the Dread Lord’s quarters. So cold, in fact, that Ronovi could see her own breath, hovering in front of her like a bewildered ghost. She pressed her left hand against the frosted viewing portal, feeling her skin become pinched and puckered from the chill. She pressed her right hand -
No. Colder. Cold, soulless steel.
The Epicanthix may as well be a member of the Technocratic Guild now. Half-cyborg at this point, she boasted both her familiar blue eyepatch and a brand new cybernetic arm. The explosion triggered by the Zygerrian saboteur of the Collective had removed everything from the border of her collarbone down - fingers, palm, wrist, elbow, shoulder. Gone. Ripped away from her. Leaving her sprawled on the floor of the Ascendancy bridge with all her vital organs still remarkably intact.
She had screamed as soon as she regained consciousness. Aimed lightning at a target who was no longer there. The bastard had scurried off amidst the chaos among the naval fleets. She had, instead, zapped lower officers, cuffed others by the arms or neck, slammed faces repeatedly against unforgiving walls. Just to see them bleed just as much as she had. Just to see them suffer.
Ronovi closed her one organic eye.
Then she used her new cybernetic arm to punch a hole directly into the adjacent wall.
Perfect metal sheen, this new appendage. Perfectly artificial, just as she ordered.
All physical flaws exposed. Just as equal with those emotional and mental flaws she attempted to subdue.
Damn Collective scum who deserved to be disintegrated in the dark, unwelcoming vacuum of space.
Wham. Wham. Wham.
There were several new scars along the wall now. A framed painting had been shaken off its moorings from the blows, meeting its shattered doom on the floor. Ronovi was nearly foaming at the mouth. No pain. No pain. No pain.
She hit the wall again for good measure.
Turning wildly around, Ronovi found herself face to face with her Wrath. TuQ’uan’s large eyes were stoic above his respirator, the brim of his hat pulled away from his forehead.
The Kel Dor inhaled, now remarkably accustomed to his boss’s regular fits of temper. “The summits and di Plagia have convened in the conference below for the meeting. Just as you requested.”
“And the leaders of the Willing?”
“Also there. Admiral Ranin has been granted full release from the medical bay.”
Ronovi nodded. Good. Ranin had suffered a concussion after the bombing on the Plagueian flagship. It was welcome news to have her off a hospital bed.
“I’ll be there in five minutes,” the Dread Lord intoned, before flexing her cybernetic fingers. The lack of strain or soreness, to her, was like losing a sixth sense.
Unknown Regions - Aliso Space
“Mallus. C’mere. I’ve detected something.”
The Chiss wrinkled his nose in both intrigue and impatience. He had been orbiting the gas giant of Tonus for some time now, waiting for a suitable time and angle to land on the Anchorage. The turbulent ammonia atmosphere had made it difficult for him, a relatively new commander within the Ascendant Fleet, to get used to the set-up.
Khryso had been ordered by his summit, Tahiri and Wrathus, to give an assessment of the Anchorage and to keep an eye out for any foreign ships intruding on the boundaries of the Aliso system. After all, a member of the Collective - a Zabrak known as Kel Zar - had been able to sneak in as a trader and initiate an entire, though botched, slave insurrection within the Medina of Aliso City. She had fled the planet upon the capture of Sevrin Arce, but given the aftermath of the war, there was no telling when she’d be back.
Then again, Plagueis wasn’t planning on waiting anymore.
Approaching Captain Ohli at the control panel, Khryso watched data flash across the console. From what they were picking up, Collective remnants weren’t far from here - random squadrons and handfuls of ships that had been stranded after the clan’s deft strike against the Thuvis Shipyards. Some smatterings of Project Indigo, too, and perhaps a few Principate pilots who had decided to maintain an alliance with the Collective. The Chiss nodded with his lips drawn into a thin smile, then turned to gaze upon Ohli.
“It’s settled, then. We’ll deliver these reports back to Ajunta Pall once we’re on the Anchorage. I’m sure they’ll know what to do with it.”
“What do you think the orders will be, Mallus?”
Khryso grinned almost mischievously, which was unexpected, given how he typically kept his emotions under wraps.
“Given our Dread Lord’s latest maiming? I think we’ll be starting the squabble this time.”