Mayda Ferium 8430
Delak Krennel 13944
Athrun Zala 13840
Reiden Karr 10106
[Forgotten RO] Team Shikaka
Mayda Ferium 8430
38 ABY, Month 12
The Emperor’s request for volunteers to infiltrate Evanescent fundraisers had been heeded by the few, the brave. As System Moff, with a few contacts of her own, Mayda had her ear on many facets of intelligence on the known associates and financial backers possible, for there were only so many who could be considered wealthy, and even fewer who were not known to be loyal to the Empire. Little birds and satellites were keeping a watch on movements in and out of those areas for the last few days.
Mayda began her infiltration on her own, early, establishing herself on Judecca two weeks before any operations would begin, handling her work from an undercover base there in a small, humble home. Very few citizens of the Empire had ever seen her, not even in her time in CSP a year ago, so very few would recognize her. In fact, she rather enjoyed this anonymity.
She was well aware that fundraising events would be popping up in the next few days, and had some approximate locations in mind, as she saw traffic coming into and out of various luxury homes, estates and venues from the satellite imagery. A member of CSP had been assigned to go undercover for each of these, to be there on the inside during the events. And a military sniper had been assigned to watch from outside the properties. Gaining knowledge of local caterers and labor companies, she had positioned her apprentice, Athrun, to be hired as staff for catering. His first gig would be at the Wachati Hunting Lodge, a sprawling country club estate on the outskirts of the city, bordering the hunting reservations. The Grand Poobah of the Lodge, Mr. Cadby, would be the host of the event.
Mayda had signed up to work for an escort company, waiting for the right request for a discreet, classy date to a fancy dinner party. She fit the bill and easily convinced the escort director to give her the job. Mind Trick was such a fun power to use. The date would be for Mr. Duopoly, an elderly Ugnaught who had gone bald and thus lost respect among his own kind, so he moved to Judecca just months before. Trying to fit in with the other rich residents, he hoped to impress with his large donations to those whose respect was easily bought. Mayda gathered more information on the preferences of her target, and knew just how to present herself for the evening. She would meet him at a cafe down the road from the Lodge, and arrive in his speeder together.
Wachati Hunting Lodge
When Athrun first received his assignment from Master Ferium, he expected it to be relatively easy. A dinner party on Judecca hosted by some rich ugly Barabel, with random snobbish people from all over the Cocytus system of varying careers–what could be simpler than that? He just had to go in, chat up some of the guests, get a few glasses of alcohol and some nibbles, and would enjoy himself in the meanwhile. He wasn’t expecting to attend the party as a waiter.
Although initially reluctant (and voicing minor displeasure at the idea), he relented that the best way to infiltrate would be one of the hired help. Though some suspicion might be placed on outsiders, he expected more accusations to be thrown about between the two random groups they were investigating. Security would probably be tight on those coming in with invitations, while people like him would go unnoticed. He’d be one with the shadows, with a face barely remembered in favor of champagne and caviar, as he eavesdropped on conversations between “important” figures. And because nobody would keep as close an eye on him, he’d be able to slip off at any time and report anything he overheard, and even snoop around the house.
At least that’s what he thought. As one of the hired help, he was responsible for all the little random preparations for the party, whether that was moving furniture, decorations, and food, or running errands for the kitchen. He could barely sit down, let alone pull out his datapad and send a message with a report. Not that there was anything to send. The only interesting thing that had happened during the day was one of the maids had flirted with him.
Night time had sped along, and he was frustrated he hadn’t found a single piece of information. For that matter, he hadn’t seen the host of the event, Grand Poobah Cadby. Instead, he had been practically accosted by the Lodge’s manager, who wanted everything to go just right, and was giving out orders left and right. Now that some of the guests were arriving at the lodge, it was getting busier, and security was more alert. He’d done his best to note where security was positioning himself, but before he’d gotten a full count, he’d been sent back into the kitchen to assist with the food.
Arms deep in dish water, and sleeves rolled up, he’d just settled into what seemed to be an otherwise dull infiltration, when his first piece of real conversation floated by his ears. “Geez, I hope this party isn’t going to be like that other one.” The remark came from one of the other dish washers.
“Can’t be all that bad, can it? Just gonna be a lot of politicians and boring speeches,” another dish washer remarked.
“Yeah sure, I can handle speeches, just like I can handle my own mother. I don’t mean dull, I mean strange. Like weird. I went to this one “party,” and the lights are dimmed real low like someone had died. Really creepy if you ask me, and they wanted some weird food. Course they never actually let me in, though I did hear a lot of mumbling and weird chanting.”
“Sounds like you got hired for some weird religious get together,” one of the cooks chimed in. “These are just all local folks and a few from out of town. Doubt there’s going to be any mourning here, not if Mr. Cadby has anything to say about it!”
Athrun remained quiet as he soaped up his dish, but he did lean over to the one man who had started the conversation. “Where’d you attend that group of crazies? Just so I know who to avoid.”
“Oh…” The man thought a moment. “Other side of town in some rich guy’s house…a Mr. Bernard I think. Which was strange given he’s more of a conservative type.”
It was then that the manager swung the door open, destroying any chance of continuing the conversation. As the manager began spewing orders at the cook, Athrun filed a mental note to write the name down on his datapad, just as soon as he got out of the kitchen.
Personal Quarters - Delak Krennel
Shortly before the Lodge Fundraiser Party
Delak was standing in front of his closet trying to decide what to wear to the event. He was going undercover as a potential recruit for the Evanescent forces. He had been to many social gatherings but none were of a religious nature. He had clothes ranging from Dark Jedi robes to his ceremonial uniform from his time with the Emperor’s Hammer. He decided to take some dress pants from one of his less ceremonious uniforms and he took the top to his EH uniform and stripped all of the medals and braids off of it. The two pieces were the same color so it worked. He then took the cloak from his Dark Jedi Robes and put it on. He didn’t look imperial or like a bad dresser so he figured it worked for what he needed. He closed his closet and before he went to leave he grabbed his lightsaber. He knew this would look to conspicuous so he put it down on his table and he tapped his mechanical leg where hidden panel container was. He knew he would at least have one saber for later. Delak went to leave his room and closed and locked his door behind him. Party Time.
An hour later…
Wachati Hunting LodgeFundraiser Beginning
Delak entered the party under the guise of his Alias, Lord Darius Flaron. His alias was supposed to be a collector of rare religious artifacts and texts. He also delved into the religions that were described on the texts that he acquired. His cover was that when he heard about the Evanescent he wanted to obtain artifacts from them and actually join a religion he could practice with others. He waded into the crowds and began mingling with the other people who were invited to the event. He was walking around trying to get a sight of the Barabel boss Mr. Cadby. He had not been around all night. Delak figured he was hobnobbing upstairs with other more influential people. He knew it would soon be time for him to dig further into the situation here but he was waiting for Mayda to make her move.
After several more loads of dishes, Athrun had managed to slip out of the kitchen on the pretense of delivering a tray of hors d’oeuvres. Actually… he just left the kitchen to deliver hors d’oeuvres, and nodded his head politely as he flashed a smile to each snobby rich person he passed. When most of the nibbles had been taken, and he had surreptitiously made his way towards the hall, he glanced about, before disappearing from the main room. Once he was in a room clear of prying eyes, he set down the tray and pulled out his datapad.
What he had to write down was only a rumor, but it was a lead nonetheless. He’d accessed a minor map of the surrounding city, just enough to find where he thought this Bernard’s house was, and had pulled up the message interface to transmit the information to his Master. Just as he was typing in the information though, the door swung open, and he was face to face with the security chief. Quickly he pressed the delete button with his thumbs, and moved the datapad behind his back.
“Ahhahah, hello sir,” he began, an embarrassed grin on his face as he quickly grabbed the tray off an end table. “I was just, um, would you like a nibble?”
“I know what you’ve been doing all this time,” the security chief said with a somewhat bored, but suspicious look on his face. He pushed away the tray calmly.
“You do sir?”
“Yes,” he continued, almost patronizingly. “You’ve been sending messages to that maid. You’ve been giving each other looks all evening.”
“I…well you got me there, sir.”
“Please, I don’t care what you do in your spare time. But don’t do it on company time. You’re being paid after all. Now get out there and serve the guests.”
The security chief pointed towards the doorway, and Athrun was only too glad to skip out of the room. He breathed a sigh of relief as he pocketed the datapad, making his way back into the main room where he offered the guests more nibbles.
Every now and then Athrun glanced back over his shoulder, and every time he saw the security chief practically hovering over his shoulder. He flashed a small smile in his direction, before he weaved his way through the crowd and disappeared into the kitchen. He knew he wouldn’t be able to get very far with the chief hanging over his shoulder, and he peeked out to make sure the man wasn’t watching. If any of the kitchen staff noticed his odd behaviour, nobody commented on it.
He was soon handed a fresh tray which he promptly went out with, holding it in front of his face so as to block immediate view. The security chief was otherwise occupied with the guests arriving, so he weaved his way through the crowd until he came to a door at the back. He had noticed a few important looking individuals slip in and out of there last time he was in the main room, so he decided to see what was so important. He set the tray down, and tried the door. Of course it was locked.
Had he had a lock picking kit, he would’ve tried to pick the lock. Instead he was limited only to the wide stretching force, and he placed a hand against the door close to the door knob. Within an instant, the rest of the party had become blurs of color. Sounds and conversation became background noise. All that mattered was the door, and the intricate designs weaving themselves into the locking mechanism. Slowly he felt them, crawled along them, noted what parts fitted where, and what pieces rolled out of the way. So occupied was he with this task that he didn’t even notice the security guard moving in his direction.
Mayda (here known under the alias “Ruby”) and her date arrived right on time for the very start of the party. He was quite the gentleman, opening the speeder side door for her and presenting her with a stole of Vjun fox fur to keep her shoulders warm from the winds against her bare shoulders, as she was wearing a strapless dress. She gladly accepted, making note of a possible weakness of his.
Buford flashed a smile, locking his elbow in hers to lead her on a nice stroll toward the front doors of the large mansion that was home to the Lodge membership. He seemed quite proud to have her on his arm, like a trophy, since her height was an advantage in his view as he tried to fit in with the taller Lodge members.
At the door they were greeted by a hostess, who kept a list of all the invited members. She offered to take the stole and store it in a closet, but Ruby politely declined, as she was only wearing it for the delight of her escort, knowing he was a big game hunter who liked to show off his trophies, human or animal. They were immediately given a tour of the rooms of the lodge, ending on the upper floor. Mayda made a mental note of its layout, but she noticed nothing suspicious, except for the decadent treasures of value that comprised the decor of the lodge. Surely an archaeologist or antiquarian would be able to determine their authenticity or worth better than she could.
At the top of the grand staircase, they paused for a moment to watch the guests on the main floor and see who would enter. Mr. Duopoly was quite eager to drop names of everyone important, bragging how he had interacted with them at the lodge meetings. Mayda would ask seemingly unimportant questions, so as not to arouse any suspicion from too much curiosity. Her date was like a virtual encyclopedia of member names, residences and careers or positions in business or government. She was planning to meet with him again after this to find out even more. Soon enough, he spotted the Grand Poobah and got all excited.
“Come my dear Ruby, I’d like to introduce you to the most nefarious of our bunch,” he instructed, leading the way down the stairway, arm in arm.
But as soon as they reached the bottom stair, Mayda also spotted someone she knew. She ignored it, trying to appear as a newcomer to this area.
Delak was walking around from group to group listening to the conversations and trying to gather intel on the Evanescent forces in the Cocytus System. He saw people of high and low prestige from the way they were dressed. He couldn’t help but notice someone familiar in the room. As he began walking closer to the area in which he thought he saw a familiar face he noticed that it was Athrun. He was at the back of the room trying to break into one of the locked doors leading into a possible office. As Delak had been doing the entire night, his head was on a swivel. He noticed while he was looking around that a security guard was moving towards Athrun’s location. If he didn’t move fast then Athrun would be discovered and this party would be over long before it’s time.
Delak kept looking to see what he could do to cause a distraction until he saw another familiar face. It was Mayda. She was walking down the main staircase next to this short little bald man. He knew she had seen him and she tried to look away, but this was the timing Delak needed.
“That’s quite a wrap you’re wearing,” Delak said to Mayda still looking at her date.
Mr. Duopoly asked his date, “Who is this ghastly man?”
“I have absolutely no idea dear. He is either an archaeologist or something else more disgusting,” Mayda spit out.
“Better than wearing around poor defenseless animals. Tell me did you kill it’s mother and the rest of its family too?” Delak jeered.
“What’s wrong, sir? Why shouldn’t we enjoy nature in any way we see fit? Maybe you should try it sometime; you might just like it,” Mayda said with a hint of sassiness in her voice.
“Hmm. Interesting idea.” Delak said intrigued.
Delak punched Mr. Duopoly in the face knocking him out cold. He picked him up and slung him over his shoulders holding on to him behind his head and his legs holding up on his shoulders.
“You know you’re right. I could get used to this,” Delak stated jovially as he strutted his stuff around the room. He walked back and forth stroking the man’s legs and slapping him in the butt.
“Da da, da da da da duh da. Oooooooooo haaaaaa,” Delak sang as he pulled the man back off his shoulders and held him upside down in his arms. He began shaking his head violently back and forth so that his mouth was shaking open.
“Did not get lucky, you get the idiot’s array,” Delak said using a common example from Sabacc. “Here you go ma’am. He really isn’t my style.”
Delak placed the man in the arms of Mayda and saw that she struggled a bit at first but then readjusted and held onto him firmly. Delak turned to walk away and noticed that everyone was staring at him.
“It was only a joke. I think someone may have spiked my blue milk with something. Excuse me,” Delak said as he walked towards the bathroom.
As he walked he noticed that Athrun had vanished. He had given him the time he needed to make his way inside the room.
As Mayda’s arms held up her would-be-unwitting-informant and she carried him out of the main hall, the white-hot fire of anger boiled within her. Using her telepathy power, she sent this image to Delak so he would know how she felt. But when she probed through the Force for his reaction to it, she did not sense any malice, just concern, and an image - Athrun at a door. Mayda caught on that his dramatic display was just a distraction and her anger soon subsided. She silently sent Delak the phrase, “Oh, I see. Proceed.”
Nevertheless, she would have to deal with this problem in her arms first, as she ushered him into a private room in the west wing, gently lowering him onto a lounge chair to let him rest a bit. She wondered if she should be (or pretend to be) too embarrassed to return to the party. On the other hand, she figured, this display might garner some sympathy for her and secure her position as an ally of the Lodge members, that is… IF Buford would ever speak to her again. But if he did not, others still might.
Her fingers gently traced his forehead. Poor Buford would be shamed beyond all belief. May wondered if she could Mind Trick everyone at the party to not remember the incident. Hmm.
When he regained consciousness, he seemed in a daze, as he should be. Thankfully, he had been unconscious for the worst parts of it, so he only remembered being punched. Mayda gave soft words of assurances that the Lodge members would surely be impressed at how he stood up to that… wretched activist. Offering to go find out their reactions while he rested more, she excused herself from the room and back into the party area.
Sure enough, she was instantly surrounded by Lodge loyalists who wanted to vent and gossip about it. Mayda did her best to appear overwhelmed and indignant, but was really wondering what Athrun and Delak were up to now.
Delak’s little dance with Mayda’s date was only background noise as Athrun moved the bolt lever back with the Force. Satisfaction played over his face as he allowed himself to mentally separate from the door, and as he slid the door open, he looked back to make sure no one was watching him. Not a single eye was turned in his direction; instead they were all staring towards Delak. He didn’t have a clue why, as the mass of people prevented him from seeing anything, but he imagined he’d ask later. Besides, with all their attention focused on Delak, nobody would notice him, which was a good thing. Within a second he had slid into the room and shut the door behind him.
Rubbing his hands together, he looked about the small office he found himself in. There was a desk where piles of flimsiplast sheets and datapads rested, there was a cabinet in the corner that was locked, and there was a holo-terminal that was currently shut off. He wasn’t sure where they would keep important information, but he gathered whoever kept the office wasn’t a tidy person.
As he moved behind the desk, he idly picked up a datapad. On it was the manifest for the lodge’s kitchen, including some rare delicacies purchased off world. Nope, he thought as he chucked it to the side and picked up another. Yet another logistics arrangement for the party, and he wondered if perhaps the safe would have something better. He set the datapad down and picked up another, expecting it to be more of the same. Imagine his surprise when he saw a strange manner of glyphs and strange writing.
“What have we here?” he murmured aloud, as he zoomed in on the holograph. He didn’t recognize the language, and therefore had no clue what it was. But it looked rather ancient and fascinating, and most likely needed further study. So pulling out his own datapad and focusing it on the strange picture, he snapped a few of his own, making sure to get a clear picture of the symbols. That done, he glanced at a few more datapads, doing the same to them. But some commotion from outside drew his attention to the door and he wondered if it was time to escape.
Pocketing his datapad he moved back around the desk, and over to the safe. He was about to open it with a little magic, when he thought he heard sounds outside the door. A clicking sound as if a key had been inserted into the door, and… Quickly he moved to the side of the door and pressed his back to the wall. The door opened a second later, and two gentlemen from the party walked in. Neither of them noticed him as they were headed for the desk, and he slipped out behind their backs before the door auto shut behind him.
He didn’t realize he had been holding his breath as he looked about at those in the room, and he let it out slowly as he moved away from the door. Nobody glanced in his direction, and he mentally patted himself on the back that he had not been seen. Soon as the party was over, he would report his findings to Mayda. At the moment though, she seemed to have the entire lodge focused on her, and he worried slightly they might have been discovered.
Though Mayda kept her eyes on the company around her, her mind was on Athrun, following his feelings and movement. As soon as she felt his relief, she figured he had found something and was out of danger. She thought of how to kill two geejaw birds with one stone.
“Thank you all so much for your concern. I will relay this to my dear Buford,” she was bringing the pity party to an end with this nicety. “You will excuse me for leaving early and wanting to make sure he gets home to recuperate fully.” They all nodded, feeling confident that their new esteemed guest was safe, in the capable hands of such a caring woman.
But one of the men recognized that she could not hold up Buford on her own, or at least, should not be expected to. “My dear, why don’t we have one of the staff help you escort him out to his vehicle?” he insisted.
Mayda nodded, using a slight bit of the power of suggestion to turn his head toward Athrun who was by now in the middle of the room. Yes, he would do nicely. “And perhaps all the way home?” she added.
“You there, come assist this woman,” he directed to Athrun with a wave of his hand.
Athrun was hesitant, but Mayda’s smile reassured him that he should go along with whatever was asked. Within a few moments, he was supporting Mr. Duopoly’s arm over his shoulder, with Mayda in tow, through the side door. Mayda trotted to the land speeder alone and brought it as close as she could to where they stood.
Before the three of them parted from the Lodge, Mayda’s thoughts turned to Delak, sensing that he was a bit away from the property. He was feeling rather hot in a small, confined space. She wondered what he was up to now.