Plagueis Multi Altitude Assault Transport
En route to Yridia VI
The silence hung uncomfortably in the air, broken only by the rumbling of the engine. Kelly Mendes sat facing Vivackus Kavon di Plagia, spending much of her time awkwardly trying to avoid staring at the former Dread Lord. Was he looking at her through that blindfold? The message had come abruptly that Kavon was handing over the mantle to his Wrath. And soon after that he would be accompanying her on this mission. It seemed like things had moved so quickly ever since Korriban. Kelly was not one to indulge in gossip, but she had heard rumor that Vivackus hadn’t given up the throne entirely willingly, and even more rumors questioning the Sith’s overall sanity.
“We’re approaching the planet, Sir.” Kelly broke the silence, tentatively.
“The honorific isn’t necessary, Kelly. I’m not above you any more.” Vivackus had been still as a statue the entire trip - he could have been asleep for all she knew, but the calm tone of his response and a lack of any sharp physical reaction threw water on that theory.
“I’m sorry. It just must feel weird - you know - one day being Dread Lord, and the next sent on a mission like this.” Kelly couldn’t help fishing for a bit of information.
“On the contrary. I requested this particular assignment.” Vivackus responded.
This answer was technically true, but concealed a good deal of information that the di Plagia did not particularly feel like divulging at this point in time. When Vivackus had finally returned from his fateful encounter on Kamino, Teylas presented him with this particular assignment, no doubt with his own motives. The objective, recovery of a holocron with information on the mysteries of life and death - Tarentum’s studies in necromancy and some of their Clan’s closely guarded secrets interested Vivackus a great deal given his current predicament. Teylas probably just wanted his predecessor out of the way and far from the Anchorage to ensure his hold over Plagueis was firm in the crucial days since his ascension.
“They didn’t tell me who we’re paired with once we get to the planet. Do you know which Tarenti are going to be there?” Kelly changed topics, detecting that she’d get no further in that particular line of questioning.
“I don’t know any more than you do, and I suspect that they’re just as curious as we are, and probably even more nervous.”
“Why would they be nervous? We need their help. It would be stupid to backstab them in our time of need.”
A smile crossed the Miraluka’s face as he let out a slight chuckle. “The Clans, all of them, have a history of just such behavior. If I had a credit each time a Clan betrayed another just since I’ve been in the Brotherhood, I could buy a fleet rivaling Plagueis’. This arrangement should be mutually beneficial, but with such history alliances are forged slowly. I doubt that they’d trust us on our word. And if I were them, I wouldn’t either.”
Mine entrance chamber
“I don’t trust them.” Magik said impatiently, pacing back and forth in front of the airlock. “What’s taking the Plagueians so long? They trying to catch us off guard? Get us when our guard is down?”
While Magik was not on his battle team, Ranarr was trying to assume the leadership role for this mission, to limited success. “They were probably just stopped at the security checkpoint when they got in the system. The briefing was very clear. Plagueis needs Tarentum, and Tarentum needs Plagueis, and-”
“So they say,” Magik cut in. “For all we know it could be a trick.”
“Farrin and Bloodfyre don’t think so. Besides if we’re going to make allies, sooner or later, we’re going to have to take a chance. Worst comes to worst, we’re at least in familiar territory.”
As if on cue, the a mechanical lurch echoed through the chamber, indicating that a shuttle was docking onto the structure. Magik and Ranarr stiffened, moving to stand side by side facing the airlock. The airlock opened, and the two Plagueians stepped through.
“Greetings, Tarenti. I’m Kelly Mendes, Aedile of House Ajunta Paul, and this is Vivackus Kavon di Plagia. We’re here to retrieve the holocron from this mine.” Kelly announced.
“The Dread Lord himself?” Ranarr asked.
“Former Dread Lord,” Vivackus corrected brusquely. “And I don’t think I caught your name.”
“Ranarr, Ranar Kul. Battle Team Leader of Order of the Trident,” the Cathar said. “And this is Magik.”
The four stood across from each other for several seconds awkwardly before Vivackus broke the ensuing silence. “So what can you tell us about this mine?”
“Yes, right.” Ranarr slipped easily back into the briefing mode he was comfortable with as Battle Team Leader. “Master Bloodfyre indicated that the holocron was stored in the natural cave formation some years ago. Six months ago, a mining outfit, unaware of this, found this cave system to be rich in deposits of carvanium and neutronium ore. They built this structure to provide some degree of climate control so that the miners could work without having to wear environmental gear. The cave system is self-contained. It’ll be cold, but habitable, since we don’t plan to stay down there for more than a standard day.”
“Do we know the exact location of the holocron?” Kelly asked.
“Sadly no. The mining outfit restructured some of the existing cave formations to get to the ore deposits. Any maps that we’d have of the structure would be more likely to lead us astray than not.”
“So what happened to the miners?”
“We’re about to find out. Official contact was lost with them a year ago, and we’ve been too busy on Korriban and rebuilding to investigate so far.”
Magik gave Kelly a flashlight and extended his hand to give one to Vivackus.
“That won’t be necessary.”
“Oh right. Miraluka.”
Ranarr keyed the access code to the mine entrance, and the group was met with a rush of cold, stale air.