Server Farms, Secured Levels
Inos 7 “Rockpile”, Inos Orbit
“DATA SECURE - ENACTING GHOST PROTOCOL,” the message appeared briefly on the woman’s datapad before vanishing into the ether of the holonet. Her associate was safe now, or at least as safe as he could be deep undercover with these monsters. She knew the man was resourceful, the Loremaster wouldn’t have dared assign him to such a mission if he didn’t have the skill or moxie for the job, but it still concerned her that the man could potentially be harmed or killed in the line of duty. The woman struck a couple more keys on the interface before her as she continued to play cat and mouse with not one, but two separate entities within this installations network. She had been fighting as hard and quickly as she could against the Organization’s slicers and engineers to maintain the data-flows connecting to the Organization’s main network. At the same time she had been supplying Quaestor Teu’s agents with alternate routes and backdoors into the network, though she had been quick to eliminate any trace back to herself as she continued to try and secure local information for the Loremaster, information that the agents outside could not. It was this secondary thing, her primary objective, that created a second cat on the prowl for her.
The Loremaster had been specific in his orders, she was to assist the agents of Lady Teu however possible, but direct all highly sensitive information back to SHADOW for analysis without the agents of Ragnos receiving it. At first glance it would appear as though the Son of Sadow were challenging his allies, but he had clarified once she asked the obvious question. The Disciples of Ragnos could more beneficially aid the Clan if they had precise information they could utilize and immediately put to work, the Loremaster would ensure the agents of SHADOW could collect, analyse, and distribute the information for their purposes as swiftly as possible. He had become skilled at this work as an information agent, though it had been at a cost of becoming more reclusive and often times considered a threat to the Clan, despite his work to aid them. He had a habit of manipulating them to avoid civilian casualties or even protect the innocent, it made life more difficult for his Clanmates, but it made him happy. She smirked slightly as she considered the fact that the Jedi still allied himself so closely with a band of sociopaths, but it did keep Orian in line and the Clan happy, for the most part at least.
She secured a few more tidbits of information, things which made chills run down her spine as she worked in the darkness of the server farms, and flagged possible locations within Orian which they would need to investigate; the Loremaster’s other sleeper agents would have to confirm if the Organization actually operated out of any of these facilities though, she was certain. The heavy sound of boots running down the hall caught her attention as she swiftly keyed in a few more codes before implementing her last tool, the code awakening on the network as she yanked her slicing tool from the terminal and spun about to hide herself within the shadowy corners of the room. Her heart was beating heavy in her chest as she waited, she needed to identify how many individuals were searching the nearby clusters of servers, seeking out the rogue on their network. Suddenly the door shunted open and a man came bursting into the room, now was her chance. Quietly slipping past him through the door she started down the hall as quickly and silently as possible, sticking to the shadows and darkness of the server farm until she ended up away from any discernible sound of activity aside from the hum of electronics. Now, it was time to put on a show.
Shrieking at the top of her lungs, the woman started to run down the corridor, back towards the men she had just heard as she was sobbing with a look of terror on her face. The soldiers quickly came out of the server clusters, looking towards the screaming woman with weapons raised as she nearly collapsed in front of them, “Please, please…I got separated from the others, I don’t want to die, please, help me get out of here.”
Crocodile tears ran down her face, smearing her makeup as she trembled and looked about for whatever the men perceived had been chasing her. She had put on a good show, enough that the men’s commander order two of them to make sure she got to the waiting transports as quickly as possible. He recognized her as one of their chief researchers and knew that the Councillors would want her safely secured. It was assurance for her as she smiled weakly, knowing inside that she’d live another day to serve the Loremaster and get her findings to him.
Transit Corridors, Organization Facility
Inos Seven “Rockpile”, Inos Orbit
Methyas moved silently through the facility as klaxons sounded and lights flashed red. He could feel conflict around him, the emotions of those embroiled in the fighting flowing to him as thick as mud through the Force. He could feel it, weighing down on him as he focused and steeled himself against the growing sense of dread. All emotions, however toxic or precious, would aid him in whatever the Organization had waiting for him this time.
His mind ran through the dossiers, the projects, every last bit of information he had managed to collect in his time fighting them and since he had placed his agents in their fold. His earliest point of contact was Refuge, simply brutes hopped up on stims, steroids, and stock full of cybernetics. The toughest of these men were more than a match for even the Equites of Naga Sadow. Then, there was the Voice of Justice on Aeotheran, a band of misfits mostly except for their leader. Deliverance had been an irritating nuisance, her unnatural resistance to the Force made her increasingly more difficult as they had closed in on her. A chill ran up the Jedi’s spine as the last he had heard was that her decapitated head had been reclaimed from Naga Sadow and had been directed somewhere deep within the Organization. Of course, the only concern Methyas really had was what would happen if they someone managed to pair Deliverance’s resistance with the regenerative powers of the creature known as Firak.
While Methyas had never encountered the beast himself, he had read the reports on both sides, it was not a creature to be taken lightly. Within this facility though, he had no idea what projects they had been working on, his agents would give him that information later; he hoped, or else he would have to procure it from Teu’s agents to more quickly refine it for them. The Jedi’s musings however stopped as his mind suddenly noticed something…off.
His Force-given sight washed over his surroundings, giving him clarity that others could not. He could feel the energies, the life of those searching the corridors nearby despite not truly seeing them. But what was just down the hall was…nothing.
Methyas cocked his head slightly as he puzzled over what it could be. It was unlikely to be a Vong but he couldn’t rule it out in any case. It wouldn’t be the oddest thing he had encountered amongst the Organization, but he suspected something more sinister. Focusing deeply, Methyas reached out to touch the soldiers nearby that his mind could reach. The Jedi’s arts moved quickly, making the men believe they needed to reinforce the upper levels where the fighting was more fierce. It was an entirely plausible request, so much so that he could hear a commander amongst them quickly issuing the order over his radio to other members of his team before the heavy footfalls started away from him. Methyas would have afforded himself a sigh of relief if it weren’t for the fact that the strange anomaly still stood in the hallway down from him, just outside of a direct line of sight. It was as he was trying to discern what the source of the anomaly was when the chill ran down his spine with the gruff voice rising up from the center of it, “Nice trick, Jedi. But you’ll find it’s not very effective on me.”
With his cover was now blown, the Jedi quickly moved out into the corridor to reveal himself as he spoke, “I assumed as much, it was more a matter of ‘what’ you were rather than if I could convince you not to fight me.”
The man stepped out, a rather large void in the Force in Methyas’ sight. Despite this the Force flowed around the void of this hulking beast of a man, the outline of his frame making it apparent that he was extremely muscular and modified in ways the Jedi could only imagine. He could feel a faint whisper of the Force within the beast, but could not touch it, most likely some sort of cybernetic enhancement, but what was causing the Force resistance?
“Ysalmiri?” Methyas queried as the man simply cracked his knuckles before him, obviously trying to intimidate the Miraluka.
“No, no. That would require too much work, caring for such a fragile little thing isn’t my style.”
“Of course not, and I would doubt Vong given your grasp and proficiency of Basic. No, you sound more like a Corellian.”
“Very good, Jedi. Though, I know enough of you to know you aren’t going to enjoy a dance with me very much,” the man started towards Methyas shockingly fast, his body moving at an unnerving and unnatural speed with the aid of his enhancements.
Methyas’ lightsaber leapt to his hand and activated in an instant, the typically non-aggressive Jedi immediately enhancing his movements with the Force as he sidestepped the equivalent of a charging Bantha and lashed out with his blade at the man’s exposed side. The blade hissed and snapped at the surface of the man’s clothing, an armourweave, before the man spun about with a balled fist and slammed it into the Miraluka’s stomach. Methyas lurched forward gasping for air before he found himself thrown violently down the wall where he tumbled across the floor for a few moments before coming to a stop several meters from the man who laughed heartily, “So our enemies send you to infiltrate us, a frail little Force wielder. Oh my, this will be great when I present your broken body to your comrades and my masters.”
Methyas’ arm shook weakly as he tried to lift himself from the floor, the air almost burning as it found its way back to his lungs. His eyebrows furrowed as he almost wheezed out his question, “How?”
“I’m sorry, couldn’t hear you. But I suspect you’re wondering how…well, there’s stims, enhancements, and well,” the Man paused, a sinister grin crossing his face as he thought of the last part, “Gene splicing can be a great thing. Make a Clone more loyal, change a beastie to suit your needs, or perhaps give a living being a resistance to its predator. You were close with the Ysalamri guess, very close, but you see…we had more than just lizards to go on to provide ourselves with a baseline, I’m sure you’d remember her.”
Methyas managed to rise to his feet quickly, his mind racing as he considered his options in seconds while he flourished his blade again, “You can gloat as you like, but you’re not invincible. Your pride will be your downfall, and I will triumph over you and your masters.”
The Jedi’s words caused the man to snort aloud as he laughed merrily once more, “Really? You still think you can win? I am our next step, the natural evolution against your kind. The Organization just accelerated the process. Your friends won’t be here in time to save you, and by the time they do get this deep into the facility…well, lets just say I’m not alone.”
Methyas grit his teeth firmly as his grip tightened on his saber, this brute would be a quite a challenge for someone like Kalon, Shirai, or Jeric who specialized in combat, but not impossible. For himself, someone who relied so heavily on the Force, it would be a monumental challenge, but he had been in worse before and wasn’t about to be bested. Methyas breathed deep, focusing himself deeply inside the Force as he felt it flow through his body in an instant, almost immersing himself within the flow of the energies around him. He would bring the might of the Force down upon this beast as simply as you squashed a bug beneath your boot, he had done it before with Yuuzhan Vong, he was certain to do it again here.