ISD Caelus - Meeting Room
The four Plagueians and the PZ series droid sat eagerly awaiting the return of their Principate counterparts. Zand Hammor and his team had been quickly whisked away about ten minutes prior, due to a communication issue between the comm unit in the meeting room and the Shipyard security team. The oldest amongst them constantly fidgeted with his cane, while his Quaestor had her face buried into her fancy datapad. The pair had only recently began working together, but Gaius knew that his overseer would bring great things to Karness Muur.
The blue skinned Quaestor leaned over towards her Aedile and offered a soft whisper, “Wrathus reports early success with the dis -”
Before the Chiss could finish, Commander Hammor stormed back into the meeting room, holding a holopad of another Duros officer, appearing pretty shaken up. “The Collective soldiers, sir. They suddenly attacked a shuttle in the area. The survivors of the crash have been protecting us from any threats. Sir, they’ve told us this isn’t the first time the Collective has done this." The light blue image flickered off.
“What the frak is the meaning of this?” he bellowed, while his guards clinched their blaster rifles and brought them to the ready position.
Tu’Quan Varick, the recently appointed Wrath was the first Plagueian to offer a response, while slowly moving his right hand towards his blaster in the event that words could not diffuse the tension. “Commander, the forces that attacked the Shipyards were not of the Ascendant Clan or the Iron Throne. That shuttle was attacked by the brutal forces of Rath Oligard and the Collective. Here, take a look for yourself.”
The Kel-Dor slid a datapad over to the opposite side of the table, all while keeping his hand on his blaster.
“That file contains intercepted communications and battle plans for the Collective to seize control of this facility and other locations across this system.”
The Wrath was good at a lot of things, propaganda reports included. He had worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to put together a full report that pinned the Collective forces as the aggressors across the Lyra-3k-a System. His associates in the nearby sectors offered up the locations of both Collective forces and the Severian Principate 5th Fleet. These precise locations came at a great cost, one that Tu’Quan had authorized Plagueian funds to pay for.
The tension in the air cooled off as Zand and his compatriots quickly scrolled through the report. “These people promised us security. Why would they turn around and attack us?” the Duros spoke aloud. “You come here with this report showing that they are authorized to ‘kill any who get in the way, women and children included’, yet you did nothing to prevent this? Where is this Ascendant Fleet you speak of?”
“Commander, please read further down the report, and have your guards here lower their weapons,” offered up Arden, the only Sith in the room. He smiled as he watched the Duros’ facial expressions change once he arrived at the portion of the report put together by his Verpine associate.
Zand read aloud. " ‘The data shows that the Technocratic Guild has been working to install an artificial intelligence unit that will allow complete and total control of the Shipyards and all related Principate stations.’ ” He briefly looked up at the four Plagueians before continuing. “ ‘Such systems were in place on the Meridian Prime space station.’ ”
“Technocrat leaders utilized that station to incarcerate and brainwash Force users,” the Karness Muur Quaestor added abruptly. “Plagueian forces helped liberate the station last year.”
The room fell quiet for a minute while Zand turned towards his officers and looked for any sort of confirmations, though none were given. The Commander had seen many things in his many years of service, but this situation presented a different set of fact patterns that all pointed towards betrayal. “How do I know this isn’t falsified information?” he asked, as a desperate attempt to hold out belief that the Collective were true allies.
“Commander, you can’t afford to ask that question anymore. Everything in front of you is happening this very second. These Collective scum are not your allies. Open your eyes and let it be seen.” Caesar spoke quickly and aggressively, as his patience was nearing its end. “Call for the direct assault on the Collective dreadnaughts now, or your people will suffer the consequences of your inaction.”
Caesar was out of his element. He typically used various interrogation techniques on his targets to obtain information. He was under direct orders to not use those methods on this mission unless absolutely needed, and he felt that he was getting close to that point.
Hesitantly, Zand looked back at the Plagueian delegation. “If what you tell me is true, the situation is dire. However, I’m not yet fully convinced. Provide me irrefutable proof that what you’ve told me is linked to the Collective’s presence here, and we can go from there."