[Forged Alliances] Team 4
Eiko knew well enough to keep his reservations to himself. What the Dread Lord brokered, he had little say in, and when the Dread Lord deigned to call these Tarenti visitors an “embassy,” an “envoy,” or “assistance,” the message was the same. They were here to help end the specter of Drax that clung to the Anchorage’s lower levels, months after retaking the Anchorage from his forces.
Alongside him stood one of Plagueis’s newly minted Knights, white hair draped over his shoulders and eyes glinting. Azmodius stood taller than Eiko by nearly a head, but the insistent smirk on his face betrayed the Knight’s relative youth.
A small contingent of subjugates formed a semicircle around the Dark Jedi. For all of Ramar’s discussion of propriety in greeting the Tarenti, the Anchorage was still not a settled place. Not twenty levels below where they stood, troops were still combing the shadows for remnants of Drax’s forces and whatever else hadn’t already been disturbed over the course of the fighting. Frustration rose in the back of Eiko’s throat. He had been one of the first members of Plagueis to set foot in the Anchorage when it was rediscovered after the loss of Jusadih, and it was still a dark monolith with more secrets than answers. Years. Years and years, and still this place retained its dark corners because every war thwarted exploration.
And as one of his first acts as Dread Lord, Teylas Ramar was throwing those secrets out to the galaxy.
Azmodius broke Eiko’s thoughts. “Do you know either of these new guests?”
Eiko glanced at the display fastened to his arm. “A d’Tana, and one of their novitiates. I’ve heard quite a deal about the first, and nearly nothing about the other.”
His head felt cold, exposed without the shell of his helmet around him. There was nothing to do about it, though. First impressions were only made once, and Eiko’s youthful face and short frame were counterbalanced by the electrical burns that crossed over his cheek.
“I heard the d’Tana are a bunch of criminals and psychotics. Drugs and credit laundering.”
Eiko turned to glare at Azmodius. “And we are torturers and slavers. Etah has served well. You might even appreciate his predilections.” Eiko paused as the tension collected in his jaw, then was released in a sigh. A chirp in his ear alerted him to the incoming shuttle that was just now entering sensor range.
“Atten-tion!” Eiko barked sharply, turning the whole welcoming party to face the shuttle’s approach.
Blackhawk was curious. He had never expected to be called upon so soon for a mission, but he supposed it was inevitable. He knew he was to board the Anchorage with Etah for a joint mission with clan Plagueis, but not much else. As the shuttle approached he turned to his teammate and asked “So what do you know of the people we are meeting?” to which he received no reply. As the shuttle approached Blackhawk made sure that most of his weapons were unconcealed aside from his westars. With the shuttle in the docking bay he deboarded, his armour shining in the relatively dim light. He had considered appearing in a different form but the clawdite decided it would only create distrust if he did. As expected he drew some glances around the bay, he assumed due to either his armour or the ancient weapon across his back. Upon disembarking he saw two figures that, judging by others behavior, must have been of high athority and therefore the people that he and Etah must be meeting. Or at least one of them did while the other apearently young one looked like he could be addicted to some kind of drug. Spice perhaps? Despite this, Blackhawk approached offering a bow of his head and introduced himself to which he heard “Welcome aboard the Anchorage. I hope the trip was uneventful enough for your tastes,” from the shorter, masked one with a metallic voice. He nodded at each of the Tarenti in sequence. “Etah. Blackhawk.” “Interesting” Blackhawk thought as he pondered how they could have known him with his short amount of time within his clan, and with so few who even knew what he even truly looked like. He would have to find out later though. Now, there were far more pressing matters at hand.
After a brief introduction, Eiko led the four towards the start of their journey. As they navigated the halls, the two members of Tarentum were curiously surveying their surroundings. While the common soldiers looked at them with curiosity, none would dare utter a word.
“We’ve restored power to the majority of the Anchorage, though the area well be searching will be mostly dark”, Eiko spoke as they approached a 2 and a half meter opening in the floor. Eiko stopped at the edge to adjust the optics in his mask to the darkness below while Etah lit a torch. Azmodius, being most accustomed to a lack of light, removed the sash from his eyes and took several massive gulps from his flask before turning to offer some to Blackhawk. “Thanks”, he replied as he took a sip and returned the flask.
When the team was ready, Eiko had the team form a line behind him. “Azmodius, you’ll take the rear”, he said. “I always do”, the knight jested with a smile. While Eiko found Azmodius’ humor out of place, Blackhawk and Etah felt a little more relieved. Going into an area unfamiliar to them with little visibility was bad enough. Being coupled with 2 members of a rival house with no problem navigating the darkness made the two uncomfortable, even though the younger of the two was just as capable as the knight following behind him.
Not long after navigating through the rubble that surrounded them, the group felt a dark presence nearby. “Stay on your guard. We’ve encountered several surviving experiments of the ancient sith that built this station”, Azmodius spoke softly.