[GJWXIII] Clan Arcona Thillon Mischief

(Kordath Bleu) #1

Primary Theater: Moon of Thillon

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE : Eliminate the Collective presence and prevent the Collective from acquiring the kyber crystals, securing them for the Brotherhood, or your Clan, instead.

SITUATION : When the Collective discovered kyber crystals on Thillon’s moon, they moved quickly to seize them. They quickly and easily ‘convinced’ Temnos Excavations Co., the sole private mining company operating on the moon to yield their rights to mining, but have not yet transported any of the already mined kyber crystals out of the mining colony. Inquisitorius agents report that the Collective intends to divert kyber crystals mined on Thillon to its secret weapons program which the Inquisitorius believes is focused on developing ship-mounted superlaser arrays. As such, the Collective have established a strong military presence including elements of Battle Group Elysium in orbit around the Moon of Thillon and a ground Battalion that reconnaissance suggests includes at least one Heavy Armor Company. Given the strategic importance of the kyber crystals, there may be key scientists and agents of the Technocratic Guild on-site with valuable knowledge of the Collective’s secret weapons program. The Collective is likely to aggressively engage Brotherhood forces that enter the area. As Thillon is operated by an independent contractor and not the Principate government itself, there is no Principate military presence, but there is a sizable private security force of around fifty officers in the employ of Temnos Excavations along with many civilian employees living in dormitories associated with the mining complex whose safety would be important to the Principate, and who could be at risk of joining the Collective given recent events in Lyra.

Arconan Snapshots

(Kordath Bleu) #2

XS-800 Bleusmobile

Stealth Systems Operational

The call had gone out, and a coded message from the agent dispatched to accompany the Deputy Grandmaster had shown up in the Director of Intelligence’s inbox scant hours before. Now, a cadre of Arconans were making landfall on the moon of Thillon as the system-wide alerts broadcasted over the vessel’s intercoms on repeat. The Brotherhood had staged an attack, or so the panicked voices were claiming. The alert they’d received from Violet D’slan suggested that Evant himself had no knowledge of the attack.

“So either it’s tha Collective, or Mav is playin’ a strange bloody game,” muttered Kordath Bleu, staring resolutely at the assembled Shadesworn in the hold. If anyone had heard his thoughts over the shaking of the transport as it shuddered through the atmosphere, they didn’t show it.

Arcona hadn’t been idle in the months since helping take down Meridian Station, their Odanite allies snatching the artifact from their grasp by mere minutes. The Arconan Expeditionary Fleet had been actively raiding Capital Enterprise shipping lanes, among whatever Collective assets they could find. And the Severian Principate had been getting louder and louder, just down the hyperlanes from their home in the Dajorra system on the outer edge of the Maw. Kordath and the Dajorra Intelligence Agency didn’t quite know what the Collective was up to in the Lyra system, but they were confident in the intel they had on the moon of Thillon.

“Oi!” he shouted at the crowded group of Arconans. The Bleusmobile was made to hold a fair number of folks, but even this was feeling crowded. “I know this was a volunteer gig and all, but we, uh, did kinda leave in a hurry.”

As the Shadesworn settled down they looked at him with a mixture of apprehension, disdain, and barely restrained glee at the prospect of causing mayhem.

“Right. So. We’re goin’ ta this moon, yeah? Uhh, ya know it doesn’t seem to have a proper name, so just call it Moon, alright? Sometime back, they found a load of them fancy kyber crystals there, and tha Collective,” he paused to let some people make rude noises, “well, they muscled in on tha folks mining. We found out about that when we was lookin’ at the Principals for trad—”

“Principate,” interrupted the red-haired woman standing to his side.

“Right, that’s what I said, yeah? Anyway,” he continued, ignoring Lucine’s eye roll, “lil’ bird up in tha Inquis…inq…tha bloody spies o’ tha Council asked us ta hold off on screwin’ with ‘em. Well, now it looks like someone is makin’ it look like we, or tha Iron Navy anyway,” he waved a hand dismissively, “is attackin’ things in the system. While Evant is havin’ diplomatic talks and all.”

“Also, our agent Violet may be in danger,” spoke Lucine, causing Kordath to look at her in confusion. “The young woman we sent as our representative? Mousey, quiet? Always covered in ink?”

The Consul shrugged, drawing a sigh of exasperation from the woman.

“Can I finish? Right, so, tha Collective, they’re thievin’ these crystals. People tell me they might be able ta make a bloody big laser out of it, planet crackin’ size. Then, it’s pretty much game over, eh? Unless they left some really obvious flaw in it, like forgettin’ ta make sure all tha vital bits was properly armored. But really, who’d do somethin’ that dumb? Uhh, sorry, off-track there.”

He shuffled his feet and looked at his people again. His. People. That thought always bothered him, especially when they were off to cause mischief.

“We also thinks they got some big brain types,” he nodded towards the slender Chiss, Rhylance, “around as well. So we need ta, uhh, take those home with us, or make sure they don’t go home. If they do nae make it out, we oughta steal their data at least. Uhh, what else was there,” the Ryn paused, rubbing the side of his chitin nose, until Lucine murmured something next to him.

“Ah, right! They got some ships full of crystal already, loaded up and ready ta go. Those can nae get ta tha Collective, obviously. So uhh, me, Zuj,” he nodded and grinned at the half-Ryn sitting near the front, “along with uhh,” his eyes tracked the crowd, “Tali, and you, Grot. We’re either gonna make them ships disappear quiet-like or loud-like, eh? The landin’ pads for ‘em are somewhere on tha west side o’ tha excavation site. Lucine and Rhylance will be headin’ up two other, uh, operations. Oh, and, uhh,” he caught the smirk on the lady half of the resident Tameike twins, “Satsi will be headin’ up a team ta deal with tha Collective presence. Direct-like. Just uh, remember, they have upwards ta a whole bleedin’ battalion down there, with uhh, like, mechanized stuff, so be careful."

He paused, looking out over the myriad of faces. He hoped they’d all be making the trip home too.

“Now, uh, we’re meant ta be doin’ this sorta quiet like, but considerin’ tha whole system thinks its under attack by tha Brotherhood…eh, do what ya gotta do.” He shrugged and stepped aside to allow Lucine to take center stage.

(Lucine Vasano) #3

XS-800 Bleusmobile
Stealth Systems Still Operational

Lucine took a step forward, casting a charming smile at Kordath over her shoulder that betrayed none of her earlier exasperation. Her smile did not reach her eyes, a fact that was not lost on the Ryn.

“Thank you, Shadow Lord,” she murmured coolly, before turning her attention to the assembled crowd. She pitched her voice so it could be heard over the susurrus that naturally occurred when several people gathered in one place. “As the Shadow Lord mentioned, my team will be responsible for meeting with the security team. One way or another, we will be tasked with convincing them not to side against us in the conflict. Though I hope we can come to a diplomatic solution, there is a distinct possibility that they will refuse to see things our way. If they do not, then we must do what we can to make their ‘removal’ look like the work of the Collective.” Her tone of voice remained pleasant as she spoke of the possibility of murdering the security team and framing the Collective for it as if she were discussing lunch plans.

She paused, emerald eyes scanning over the crowd. They fell first upon a dark-haired Sith clad in skin-tight latex. “Alaisy, darling, you are with me. You have some unique tactics that might assist in the negotiation. You too, Aru. It makes sense for the Apprentice to be with the Master,” she said as she nodded toward the dark-haired Force Disciple who stood next to Alaisy. She then turned toward a broad-shouldered Zabrak. “Karran, your prowess in battle will be helpful should it come to blows, so you will be coming with us. And finally, Aldaric, your intellect and experience will be invaluable.” As she named the fourth member of her team, she inclined her head toward the Chiss whose face was marred by a thin scar.

She noted the way Kordath raised his bushy brows at her final selection but did not acknowledge his expression. She made no secret about her preference for Chiss; somehow, things just went better for her when one was around.

“After the teams are announced, the four of you should meet with me so that we can determine our tactics,” she continued. “And now, I shall hand the floor over to my lord Shadow Scion.” There was a slight, almost imperceptible emphasis on the word ‘my’, and she favored the scientifically-inclined Chiss with a brilliant smile as she stepped aside. At least she could count on him to have read her reports, and actually get the name of the Severian Principate correct.

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(Rhylance) #4

Rhylance turned his attention away from his datapad before approaching the redhead. After sharing a brief meeting of the eyes, and giving her the slightest smile, he faced the Arconans in attendance. He scanned the area, locating the select individuals he had tolerated for this mission.

“Emere Galo, Eilen Jath, Sera Kaern, and Kant Lavar, you all have skills that I have determined to be necessary for the success of my mission. We are going to act quickly, and we are going to act efficiently. Success for Arcona is of the utmost importance.”

The Chiss met eyes with each of is new subordinates. They had been carefully selected to meet his needs, and under his leadership he knew they would find success.

“Our mission is to…collect several targets of important value to the Clan. Some of the Collective’s scientists have set up a research outpost on this moon. We need to figure out what they have learned. Our orders are capture, not kill,” Rhylance sent a look directly at Emere Galo. “We will also gain access to their data systems and copy whatever information we can ascertain. What we cannot, we destroy. And if we can place some blame on the Collective as we do this, all the better. Now, meet me as soon as this meeting is over. We have much to discuss.”

Rhylance turned away and he walked away from the position of attention. He met eyes with Kordath as he walked away, giving a slight smirk.

“Good luck, my Lord Consul. I would hate for anything to happen to you out there.

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(Satsi Tameike Arconae) #5

“… righto, you too,” the Shadow Lord muttered in response as his second retreated from the press of bodies. “Anyway, Red, I mean, Sats, your go.”

With eyes turned to her, the former Consul — who’d reigned only briefly enough to lead them through the last war they’d all gone to alive — flicked her fingers, a little mock salute to their superiors. She spoke in a clipped, commanding tone, her normal drawl masked for a more businesslike approach.

“Alara, sweetie, and Scarlett, babes, you two are with me. Robokaleesh, Sparky the Jester, you too,” rattled off the woman, referring to Rrogon Skar and Magik. She didn’t deign to step up to the bridge entrance like the summit members, staying firmly beside her brother, sharing the same space as the former Scion. She didn’t even straighten her posture, just raised her voice to shout. Her stance screamed of easy confidence, lazy and casual, but her expression was hungry and her gaze brimming with something hateful. Murderous. She was a nexu coiled to spring. She was war, and that meant she was alive. “Keep it simple, do every damned thing I say and not one stupid karking stunt different, and try not to die. We’re here to kill these frakkers, not to get ourselves dead. Got it? Good,” she gave no time to respond to the rhetoric, already moving on, shifting on armored feet. “Gear up heavy. I’m going to be packing explosives and gas, so unless you can stop your breathing with your sparky powers, get a mask before we go. That means now.”

None of those she addressed did, indeed, move to get a breath mask from the armory selection that had been crammed along with all their bodies onto the Bleusmobile. The Human almost seemed briefly affronted, but instead just rolled her eyes and muttered about Force-Users. She pulled out a small — by its standard — holoprojector provided by Lucine for this meeting and gestured at it as a minimally detailed map of the moon emerged.

“Alright. This here is the excavation site we’re all about to drop on. Rhylance and his team will be at the lab about here. Vasano’s will be at this station checkpoint for intake and their meeting, while Kordy and company do a fly about. When we touch down, we’ll be hitting the ground first before either other team and sweeping the area. We’re the front line here, kiddies and Sithies, and that means we’re the meatgrinder these fools are about to be running into. Anybody that gets past us could be somebody that blows open the skull of one of our other friends or family here, so don’t let anyone get by. Got it? I don’t think I need to tell you lot this, but if it moves, we kill it. Women, men, children, dogs, I don’t care. If they’re Collective, they’re dead walking. Prisoners are the others’ concern today. Today, we aren’t here to play nice or plot any downfalls. Today, we’re Team Murder. Got it?”

“Suits me,” growled the Galerien Aedile’s modulated metallic voice. Alara nodded, Scarlett smirked back with a frenzy, and in his hooded cloak, Magik hissed something about conquering like a real Sith.

“Let’s not forget there are civilians down there,” Zujenia spoke up, her amber eyes firmly meeting Satsi’s. “We cannot harm them.”

It was expected that the stubborn, violent rancor of a woman would immediately blow off the half-Ryn’s comment, but instead guilt flickered briefly over her features, and she dropped her chin. Sighed as if pained by a great burden. Nodded.

“Yeah. That. Fine. You heard the Rollmaster, watch out for civvies. Every one of them hurt is one of your fingers I break. Got it? Fan-frakking-tastic. Kordy, anythin’ else?” She powered down the projector and threw it at the man as she asked. He ducked, letting it clatter to the floor, and huffed. Lucine’s gaze narrowed.

“'Bout covers it. Try nae ta kark up or die, eh?” Rousing speech given, the Ryn waved them all off with his tail. “Go on, let’s git.”

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(Zujenia) #6

With the flick of the Ryn’s tail, the crowded commons of the Bleusmobile slowly dispersed into their assigned teams. As they did, the light freighter passed by the blue stratified orb of Thillon. Its brilliant colors would have awed any passerbye under less stressful situations; but that was not for this warbound band, as the sight of the planet was blocked from view by the black paint their paranoid, space-fearing Consul had applied. Thillon’s shadows quickly fell upon the Bleusmobile like the low and rushed mission plans of the four teams.

The ship’s comms crackled to life with a mechanical buzz, drawing several faces to the speakers momentarily as a string of grumbling gurgles spoke up. Others passed looks between each other when they quickly realized they couldn’t understand. For those who didn’t speak Huttese, Kord quickly translated for the Bleusmobile’s pilot.

“A’ight, we be comin’ up to the moon, be kissin’ ground in five — if this bucket’s stealth system works, get us past the ships.”

The ship rattled as it slowed its speed. Three chimes sounded through its interior while energy was diverted from most of its non-critical systems. The weapons, the lights, the functional toilets, just the non-essentials. Slowly, the light freighter disappeared from detection, the stolen energy coursing through less used wires. The power jump started the specialized electronics of the hull’s coating and if the Bleusmobile had blinked upon an Elysium battlegroup ship, it was gone before a technician could blink — they hoped. Paired with its shadowy approach upon the moon and the line of ships orbiting about it, there was a mixed sense of expectation, dread, and weariness in the air.

“So, what is our plan to keep the ships with the crystals grounded?” Zujenia inquired, her amber gaze affixed on the full-blooded Ryn. The two other sets of eyes followed suit, Grot pausing from clicking a fresh clip into his slugthrower pistol and Tali fidgeting with the metal tip of her lekku in anticipation.

Kord half-shrugged and ran a hand through his hair. “I donnae know, uh, throw the guns back on an’ blow up some shist? I thoughts ya could come up with somethin’ bettah.”

With a flick of her sandy tail, Zujenia stifled a sigh. She looked to the others in the group and nodded. “Right, so ideas? Split into two teams and incapacitate the flight crews?”

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(Kordath Bleu) #7

“Take out tha pilots, sabotage tha ships?” asked Bleu

Tali’s lekku twitched in annoyance, “Both? Ve are not many, it couldt be difficult to achieve both goals.”

The Ryn shrugged as if to say he was just making suggestions.

“How incapacitated are we thinking?” asked the Trandoshan, adjusting his weapons as he stood. His eyes roved around the hold, seeking threats, or challenges perhaps.

If Kordath hadn’t been distracted with thinking on the mission, he may have noticed the look Grot gave a certain someone across the ship.

“Right, okay, so either one works, we’ll uhh, see what we run across first when we get down there, yeah? I gots no issue with us, uh, well, killin’ Collective flight crews and tha like, but if they’re locals we should probably not get too murdery, eh?”

A tanned hand grasped him by the arm and squeezed, suggesting that Zujenia approved of this idea.

“The less Principate deaths, the better,” she said, reaffirming her beliefs. The ship shuddered, and the lights flickered from the usual whitish glow to a dark red. “That’s our cue, move to the rear hatch, we have to get off quickly so that they can drop the rest of the teams.”

The hybrid followed her own direction, heading towards the back of the freighter, Kordath in tow. Tali stood to follow, giving Grot a quizzical look as he lagged behind, waving her onward as he fiddled with his pack. She moved to the rear compartment, glancing back in time to see Rhylance and Grot exchange words, the Trandoshan’s eyes narrowing to slits before giving a non-committal shrug.

“Vat was that about?”

“Nothing, the Scion just wished us luck,” grunted the Mercenary, shouldering his backpack. He stepped past the Twi’lek without a second glance, and into the compartment where Kordath and Zujenia waited.

A hiss of air alerted the quartet that it was time to go, the rear hatch dropping open to reveal the moon’s night sky and a two-meter drop to the surface. Another dozen meters, towards the mining colony, were metal walkways with waist-high railing. Every few meters a short length of pipe extended from this, holding a glow-globe aloft to light the way. In the distance, they could see a half dozen hexagonal platforms, laden with shuttlecraft.

“There ya bloody are,” growled Kordath as he rose from the dusty surface he’d landed on, dusting at his pants. The Arconans scanned their surroundings, looking up and down the walkway and looking for movement. The Ryn closed his eyes and reached out with the Force, trying to sense any life signs nearby. “We’re alone, for now, anyway. Course they may have droids, so, eh, keep an eye out.”

“Do we know where the crew barracks are?” asked Zujenia, her grip tight around her Bo-Rifle.

“Probably near the landing pads. We hunt, yes?” asked Grot, his teeth almost gleaming in the dark.

(Karran Val'teo) #8

Karran strode with purpose to join his squad. Though he tried his best to hide it, his desire to be on the front lines with Satsi’s squad was apparent. Instead, to his mind, he was babysitting a bunch of talkers. Alaisy could hold her own in a fight, but she played too many mind games for his taste. He didn’t know much about Aldaric. This was, to his memory, his first encounter with the Chiss. His first encounter with any Chiss, as he had been doing his best to dodge Rhylance due to the rumors he had heard. He put his back to the wall, crossing his arms across his nearly bare chest. From across the room, he considered Lucine. From what he had heard, she was less than trustworthy, though these were mostly rumors. But his least favorite aspect was that she was a talker. He had no issue with patience, consideration, and diplomacy, but when it came down to it, talking always felt fruitless. Talking your way out of a fight just delays it. It is better to get it out and over with.

A towering, black-clad figure approaching disrupted his train of thought. A modulated voice broke through the din of the room, “Val’teo.”

“Alaisy,” the Zabrak nodded.

“I see you like the bracelet I gave you.” The Sith woman’s eyes smiled, the rest of her face hidden behind her visor.

Karran looked down to the gold band around his wrist. “Yes, I wear it from time to time. It tends to lift a weight off of my mind. I cannot explain it. It seemed an appropriate thing to wear to…” he paused for a moment and sighed, “diplomatic negotiations.”

“Not happy being on this team?”

“I go where I am told, but I cannot lie, I would feel more useful on the front lines.”

“Fear not, noble warrior, I get the feeling we will need your skillset in the coming negotiations.”

(Alaisy Tir’eivra) #9

Alaisy Tir’eivra
XS-800 Bleusmobile
Stealth Systems Fully Operational

The masked Qel-Droman did little to hide the sarcasm in her metallic voice. Alaisy knew Karran would have been better suited for the frontlines. Perhaps command had little faith in a peaceful negotiation, or maybe the higher-ups found it fitting to have someone with a moral high ground with them, if only so he could shake his head with disapproval when a war crime has been committed.

The combat-specialized Zabrak responded to the hint at conflict with a firm nod, as if it was the only redeeming factor of the mission.

Intense interior lighting of the Bleusmobile seemed to be fading as its cloaking system had been fully initialized. Many of its non-vital onboard systems went offline and its power generators began diverting power to fully conceal the spacecraft, visually merging it with the void of space.

Rather than engage himself in a conversation that he knew nothing about, the deep-blue hued Chiss Aldaric seemed to be spending his time studying. He kept himself relaxed while scrolling through his datapad, already intent on figuring out a scheme necessary to frame the Collective.

“I highly appreciate that you’ve shown the importance of the bond between master and apprentice, Lady Lucine. ” Alaisy peered towards her apprentice after giving the red-haired woman a slight bow.

“There is no better way to learn than now, darling. Your apprentice Aru seems to be in his element aboard the starship.”

“Thank you for the opportunity, Lucine. And I won’t let you down, master,” Aru responded confidently, while giving his droid Tinker a gentle pat.

“No I don’t think you will, apprentice. What would my pupil do in a delicate situation such as this? I am curious Aru.” Alaisy’s visor reflected the dimmed interior lights ominously as she pulled her student forward by her glare alone.

Aru Law eagerly stepped forward.

“Well, we’d talk it out right? This is a diplomatic mission, which has no need for violence. From what we’ve heard, Lucine is excellent at resolving precarious situations such as these. Also, I don’t mean to brag, but I can talk the talk.”

His master nodded while Karran and Aldaric questioned whether there was even room for such as thing as talking.

Alaisy pushed herself off the wall in order to give them her own perspective on the matter at hand.

“If circumstances allow us to diffuse the conflict somehow, I would personally agree. Let us show the Severian Principate that we mean well, or at least make it certain that a war would be costly. Prove that there would be more benefits for both camps if we can resolve it without bloodshed. Depending on the willingness and ability of their security team, perhaps some of us can forcefully convince them to see it our way. A slow, tantalizing, creeping fear of us could be the deciding factor. Remember, these guys, or rather, female Triumvirate I should say, they’re right on our doorstep!”

The tall Sith woman crossed her arms after giving her thoughts on the situation, then leaned back against the wall.

In turn the normally quiet Zabrak, Karran Val’teo stepped forward.

“The damage is already done, all signs show that there is an escalation of conflict. I say we do our very best to arm up, prepare and get ourselves battle-ready. I want us all to come out of this alive. If talking gets us out safely, then so be it, but I will be ready to fight and protect!”

The muscled Galerian peered at the red-haired Quaestor and the crimson-eyed Chiss who hadn’t given their thoughts yet.

Consecutively Aldaric looked up from his datapad towards the company with his glowing red eyes and cleared his throat.

“While I approve of a careful deliberation with the Severian Principate, none of you have equated the Collective in this yet. This meeting will be a perfect opportunity to frame and blame Rath Oligard and his posse. Keep in mind that they were not in good standing with the Triumvirate to begin with. Other than that, I concur, perhaps agreeable terms will be met, however I remain skeptical.”

Once he reflected his ideas towards the rest of the Arconans he immediately jumped back into his work.

The rest of the assembly looked towards Lucine, who smiled with her mouth but not her eyes.

“Darlings, thank you all for your input. Let me also please reassure you that if there is any set of people most capable in handling diplomacy and potentially conflict, it would be us. We are working on intel regarding their security team, which may or may not be a deciding factor in all of this.”

“Y’all heard it, everything will be alright,” Aru wisecracked.

(Aldaric ) #10

Aldaric had lost count of how many times he had read over the brief message that Violet had sent. He hoped to squeeze every last bit of information out of it that there could be. It was true that he was skeptical about finding some agreeable terms with the Principate. Convincing them that the Collective had been behind the attack would not be a simple task. However, there was surely evidence to be had. There always was some evidence. There could be ships with a shoddy paint job, a poorly wiped datapad, or perhaps even something blatant as an identification card tying an individual back to the actual aggressor. The only problem would be convincing them to look.

The game is afoot, Aldaric thought to himself. The only thing is, our opponent hasn’t told us the rules and is hiding the board. Though, he thought while glancing over his datapad at the rest of the team, our pieces are definitely in place.

He debated what the game plan should be once they arrive. The Warrior was no diplomat, that much was certain, but he did have the ability to link evidence together and push others toward his perspective. If all else fails, I could always make them see it my way, he muttered to himself with a smirk. If there were any evidence of the Collective’s involvement in these attacks to be found on that moon, Aldaric would surely find it. Though, when he did, would they be able to convince the Principate to bother looking at it before the lasers started firing? If not, he was confident that the team could handle it.

(Aru Law) #11

XS-800 Bleusmobile

Stealth Systems Fully Operational

Aru noticed that Aldaric was clearly immersed in his plan making.

Feeling that he hadn’t given his insight about the matter at hand, Aru stepped towards a center-table in front of him.

Karran stood motionless, his back still against the wall he had been leaning against since the discussion erupted. Although Alaisy, his Master, stayed still, she kept an eye on her apprentice, following his movements with her head. Lucine joined Aru at the table, allowing her to watch closely what he was preparing.

He shuffled his favorite Sabacc deck quite rapidly and skillfully on the table, cutting it several times and then rearranging it again.

Alaisy’s modulated voice was heard in the back. “Now don’t go wasting Lady Lucine’s time with games apprentice.”

“I’m not Master,” Aru said while he kept shuffling his deck. “I promise!”

“I am curious to see what you’re doing Aru,” Lucine remarked, “but we are in a bit of a hurry here.”

Aru finished his shuffling and smiled. He looked at Lucine and took the first card of the deck. It was a red colored 10.

“This represents Karran,” he happily said. His remark caused the Zabrak to open his eyes and look at what he was doing.

He immediately took another card and placed it right next to the first one. This time, it was a green colored 10.

“And this represents our Lady Lucine,” Aru looked at Lucine waiting for a reaction, but none came.

He then cut his deck by half and took two cards from the bottom and placed them upside down.

“You see, people may think Sabacc is all about luck,” Aru said picking up the green and red colored 10’s, “but I say it’s always about misdirection.”

“I don’t see where you’re going with this,” said Karran from the back.

Aru turned to face the Zabrak, “Do you know what the point of a game of Sabacc is, Karran?”

As he spoke, he picked up the two cards he had left upside down.

“It’s to hit 23,” Karran said with a bit of disdain in his tone.

“Exactly!” said Aru showing him the two cards he had picked. They were a red colored 2 and a green colored 3, “these ones are Aldaric and my Master. She’s the red one, in case you didn’t get it,” he mocked the Zabrak.

“If I recall correctly,” said Aldaric, waking up from his deep plan making. “You need to hit 23 in a mathematical way, not by joining two numbers together.”

Aru then walked to the table again and put his hand on top of the deck, leaving it there. “You are almost correct my friend,” he said picking up a card and looked at it without letting the others see it. He then displayed the four cards he had taken before and placed the last card on top of them, “but there’s always another way as I’ve told you in the beginning.”

He then lifted his hand and a blue colored 0 was shown in the card he had picked. “The Fool’s Array!” Aru almost yelled at the others. Their silence hurt him a bit, especially his Master’s. “You can win any game of Sabacc with the Fool’s Array,” he attempted to explain. Seeing that his plan’s interpretation made no sense, he picked the 0 card and handed it over to Lucine.

“This card, my Lady, is my greatest contribution to this mission,” Aru said, his eyes displaying true honesty. “You may not realize it now and I dare not explain it yet but I want you to hold on to it throughout the course of this mission. It may be of help to us.”

“I will keep it safe Aru,” Lucine said with her usual smile. “I trust you mean well.”

“And I volunteer myself to be one of the pilots of our diplomatic ship,” he added. “If y’all agree of course.”

“That’s one thing I know you’re good at Aru,” said Alaisy, placing her latex gloved hand on her apprentice’s shoulder. “I vouch for Aru on this one.”

(Lucine Vasano) #12

Lucine Vasano
XS-800 Bleusmobile
Stealth Systems Fully Operational

“Thank you, Aru, for that unique demonstration,” Lucine said as she daintily tucked the card into one of the pockets of her assassin armor. She then placed her datapad on the table next to the cards and tapped on the interface. A holographic representation of the moon appeared for all of them to see. She pointed to a cluster of buildings at the southern end of the colony.

“This is the security checkpoint, where our meeting will take place. The person we will need to convince is Marcus Albert Hauman,” as the Quaestor spoke, she tapped the interface again. Beside the tactical map appeared the image of a heavyset human male, with a florid face and a carefully tended black moustache. “It is my understanding that he is a career military man. Strict and no-nonsense. However, his brother was killed in a past conflict with the Collective, so he may be willing to listen to us.”

“Alaisy, Aldaric and myself will enter the security checkpoint for the meeting. It has been pre-arranged, so the security officers are unlikely to shoot us on sight. Bear in mind that the Collective have begun this conflict by implicating the Brotherhood for the attacks, so do not expect a very warm reception. However, given the respective talents of this group, I am confident in our ability to sway them to our cause.”

“While the three of us are talking with the security team, Karran and Aru, I want you to acquire a vehicle and make your way northwest. It appears there is a small group of Shikari Huntresses causing trouble. Get their attention and lure them to the security checkpoint. Try to avoid getting captured or killed in the process, and do try to avoid civilians. If the security forces declare for us, then our combined forces should have little trouble dealing with the Shikari. If they do not declare for us, then that will be the point in which we ‘remove’ the security force, and leave the bodies of the Huntresses to implicate the Collective in killing them.”

The Sith paused, her emerald gaze sweeping over the group. “Any questions, darlings?”

There were none, as each person in turn nodded in assent to the plan. It was then that the ship shuddered as the engines throttled up. Lucine tilted her head to the side. “Well then, it appears this is our stop. Good luck, darlings. Try not to get yourselves killed out there!”