Koekie Donder walked into Thanatophilia with all the arrogance and pomp of a rockstar. She wore a shiny, skin-tight bodysuit that was adorned with buckles and straps that cinched over the contours of her body. The outfit covered from her clavicle to her fingertips and down past the top of her thigh-high, spike heeled boots. Straps of the same material wrapped around her ear-cones and over the top of her head to spiral down her lekku.
Her browless face and pupiless violet eyes did not change her appearance for the worse, but the loss of several of her key features, however, did make her look far more alien and exotic. Yet anyone who knew her would easily recognize her as a member of the Brotherhood even if she did lack a lightsaber and Jedi weapon of choice.
From behind, her entourage consisted of two vastly contrasting humanoids. Koek, the gatherer of intel, was a Zeltron girl of slight frame, crimson hair, quick eyes and quicker reflexes. She wore bright contrasting colors of pale blue, light pink and yellow. Strutting alongside Koek like a puffed up bird was Koekie’s body guard, Hi-Tek. Hi-Tek was a very large Human with a bald head and a long braid that draped over one shoulder and swung over his burly bicep. He dwarfed the Twi’lek and was large enough to make Koek look like a young child.
The three drew stares as they strut through the main room. Koekie rolled her shoulders as she walked past a staring patron, giving him a quick wink and a gentle flick against his jaw as she made her way towards the bar and the smiling woman behind it.
“Hello, Koekie. One of your…guests has already arrived.” Sere smiled at the Twi’lek but a flicker of anxiety passed quickly over her face as she nodded towards a large table at the back. As Koekie’s eyes wandered over to her reserved table, she noticed a familiar form.
“Chud,” she whispered under her breath,” Hi’ya, Sere. Where’s Copper and how long’s’ee been here?”
“He’s in the back, restocking some of the favorites. As for him…not too long.” Sere glanced sheepishly at the lithe man until the amethyst woman manoeuvred her way to being the focus of attention again, “He’s scared out several handfuls of clients. Please, do what you need to and get him out.”
Koekie stifled a giggle as she nodded at the unnerved woman before Sere went back to scurrying around the bar with a faulted smile. As the Twi’lek looked over towards the table she inhaled deeply and grinned wide as her Master watched her approach with his ice-cold gaze. She felt a sudden chill, her lip twitching into a slight frown as she moved to sit across the table from the statuesque man. Forcing a smirk back over her lips, Koekie exaggerated the illusion of her sharpened teeth.
“Oh hai, Mastimeros!” she said with a wrinkle of her nose, “Didn’t think I’d see you here!”
“K’tana. Someone needs to supervise and assess your actions.” His level tone teetered towards bored as he looked back down at his datapad.
“Huh, di’a.” she smiled as she indicated her small posse. “Mi’Lord of Grumpiness, I’d like ya to meet my friends! Hi-Tek and Koek. Don’t be shy, say hi frangface!’
Hi-Tek gave a quick nod to the man, which was regarded coolly and without any reciprocation. In excitement the young girl - not knowing better - ran up to the blond man and snatched the datapad from his loose grip.
“Coo! I haen’t seen one’a dees bef-”
Timeros’ face was a still lake, but his eyes shot terror inducing daggers at the girl and she felt each one press violently upon her. Koekie pushed her palm against an eye as she watched the Zeltron’s olive eyes grow wide just before the datapad clattered to the floor. With a sudden shriek Koek ran from the table and out of the building.
“Karking-frazlat, Timeros! Could you not! Ugh!” Koekie gave an exasperated sigh as the Entar’s brow twitched. She decided it prudent to lean over and grab the datapad, passing it back to the man without so much as glancing at its screen. He took it calmly and without another word, but gestured towards the door.
Koekie flailed her arms towards Hi-Tek and he quickly moved out of her vision, a smirk playing on his lips as he shook his head. She kept waving her arms frenetically as a greasy looking Miraluka, heavily robed man and a suited Kaleesh made their way over to the table. She scooched her way around the table to sit next to Timeros, her lekku twitching from the proximity of the Elder.
“Ruva, Maakz and Malikie, I take it?” Koekie bit her lip and raised her hairless brow as they nodded. Skar, Mks, Revs… “Good. Sit the kark down. You’re the first to arrive. Order a drink or…whatever.”
Koekie lost track of her words as she watched the Kaleesh and Hi-Tek size each other up. She could sense Skar’s discomfort as he looked up at the giant of a Human. Revs’ mouth twitched in discomfort as he ushered his compatriot into the seat next to the Twi’lek before Mks moved to a chair at the end.
Casting a sidelong glance at Timeros, who still sat tapping his datapad, Koekie decided no introductions were needed and she waved her arm at Sere, catching the woman’s attention and flagging her over.
“Something to order, Miss?”
“A glass of Ryl wine.” Koekie smirked and leaned across the table towards the other woman, “put it on his tab.”
“What’s Ryl wine?” Mks’ asked, the first he had spoken, in an exuberant manner befitting that of a child.
“Ooh! You should try it! It’s from my homeworld of Ryloth and it’s super kar-”
Without looking up from his work, the Elder said his apprentice’s name in a soft, but threatening, manner. She rolled her eyes, stuck out her tongue at him and sighed as a wave of chills crept up her spine. She shrugged at Mks and looked back to Sere, pulling herself back into her seat and away from the table.
“Fine. Put it on mine.”
“As you’d like. Anything else?” Sere looked around the table and took Revs’ order when the other three men shook their heads. As she walked away a young, waifish Human male walked over to the table with a smile. At his side was a stern looking woman who eyed Koekie with contempt and suspicion.
“Greetings!” He gave a charming grin to the party, one that was not returned by any but the sharp-toothed Twi’lek, before going onto introducing himself as Dralin and his wife Fiana. He was one of the few members of Shadow Gate that Koekie had not yet met in person and she made a mental note to keep an eye on him as well as the uninvited Fade.
Several moments later, Sere returned with drinks and offered her service to Dralin and Fiana. Both smiled politely but passed on beverages, more keen on finding out the reason they had been called to this meeting. Just as Koekie took a breath to think of where to start, a distantly familiar presence entered the bar.
Violet eyes flickered momentarily to green as the Twi’lek’s concentration faltered and she looked up to see someone she had not seen since long before she was Knighted. As she looked upon the Chiss, a chaotic wave of images fluttered through her mind along with the face of one she wished she could forget. Her breath caught in her throat as she stood up.
Koekie was suddenly a purple blur as she leapt from her seat, handsprung over the morbid table and came to her feet at a dead run. The Gatekeepers watched as their Wardeness made a flying leap and threw her arms around the Chiss woman.
“It’s nice to see you too, K’tana. Glad to see you’ve been little changed.” Fet’ai’narun whispered in the Twi’lek’s ear as she worked to keep her balance. “But, your team is watching.”
The two women slid apart, grins plastered on their faces as they walked back to the table.
“Darlins’, I like to introduce you to an old friend. This is Lachesis. One of the longest standing Knights among us” Koekie said, giving a sly wink to the cobalt woman.
The Wardeness then went around the table, giving proper introductions of Deep Cover Alias’ to her Gate Keepers.
“I’d like to thank you all for joining me today, “ the violet woman started, but stopped to scowl at her Master, “Except you, Mastimeros. I figured you’d be off murdering Tooka cubs for whatever gives you kicks. And…for the love of the Goddess! Could you please blink! You’re hurting my brain every time I look at you!”
The gaunt, blonde man raised an eyebrow at the Twi’lek’s glare. “K’tana,” he spoke, voice glacier-cold, “I take no joy in the slaughter of children. You should be grateful: it has been significantly to your benefit.”
“Y-wait, what?” She stammered, her eyes flickering between colors again before she inhaled a deep, angry breath and regained some of her composure. “Nevermind, as I was saying! Thank you all for meeting with me today. As you have seen the holocomm and the attachment, you know the basis for what we are doing here.”
“Do we?” a cool voice came from behind her, causing Koekie to spin around mid jump. She came face-to-face with an attractive man with stark white hair and an aristocratic air about him. She guessed that part of the alias just came naturally to the undercover Combat Master. To be frank, she hadn’t expected him to show up in the first place, but she was glad for his presence nonetheless.
“Oh. Hello, Rick.” Koekie’s tone dropped to a cool and detached level as her pupiless eyes narrowed at his smug smirk and he flowed around her to take a seat at the table. Her lip twitched in a repressed sneer as she watched the two Elders give one-another a nod of respect.
Koekie opened her mouth to say something but stopped short as she saw another new woman making her way towards the group. Her eyes went immediately to the woman’s prominent chest, then quickly back to her pale blue eyes and deep red lips. Her raven hair was shaved on one side and flipped over and down to her chin on the other. Before she could welcome Socorra back to Shadow Gate, Rick was on his feet and moving to greet her.
He pulled over a stool and gestured for her to join him. She offered a polite smile to Koekie and gracefully accepted the seat. Timeros’s eyes passed methodically from the the former Herald to the former Consul and then finally to the new Wardness of Shadow Gate. He shrugged a shoulder, as if silently reminding her about the gravity of the members she was now ‘responsible’ for leading. She shivered, and had to use every ounce of training to steel her nerves.
“Any-karking-body else?! No? Good!” Pressing her palms to her temples, Koekie once again took a deep breath and went on.
“I’m gonna make this quick. Ol’val has some…” she paused for dramatic effect while she twisted the tip of a headtail between her fingers in a coy and girlish manner, “…Well, gang issues. You are all coming with me to eliminate this threat before these schuttas decide to try and team up against Qel-Droma…again. We will be working in tandem with the 27’s gang. My gang. Hi-Tek here will be emissary of the 27’s…”
“So you want us to start a gang war for you?” Rick’s voice was placid, but his underlying tone of disapproval was evident.
“Not really.” Koekie said, turning her head to grin at him, “I want you to finish one…with me.”
“So why did we need to leave our weapons at the base?” Ruva’s baritone voice was loud, even in a hushed whisper. This caused many of the group to turn their towards him with distress. Koekie’s smile remained, however, and she nodded her head as she slipped her fingers through a cinched belt, pulling out a long, thin dagger.
“Oh that’s simple, Huk-face. Only those with the gift can use the lightblades.” her flat eyes turned towards her Master as she spun the blade around her fingers. “Which we also cannot use. At least not in the view of civilians.”
At this the group began to talk at once in hushed tones that portrayed their distaste over the Wardeness’ instructions. She let them continue for several moments before holding up a hand and standing still, her demeanour demanding silence.
“We will be breaking off into two teams. One set will be continuing on with Hi-Tek. He may look like a big brute, and you may struggle to understand him, however, do not underestimate him. He is a proficient killer and has been able to slice through everything I’ve sent him at.” she giggled for a moment as she smiled over her shoulder at the brown eyed giant, “And you should see the size of his hand cannon!”
Socorra and Fet’a both chuckled and the three women exchanged coquettish smirks as most of the men sat with blank stares or unamused frowns.
“Anyway, we will be going after two separate targets, thus the split groups. I’ve already assigned your teams and team names. Mastimeros,” Koekie gave a slight gesture towards the Elder’s datapad, “could you pull up the map of Ol’val and send it to the rest of the group?”
Without looking up, the Entar gave a slight nod and moved his fingers rapidly over the screen, nodding once more when he was done. Koekie gave a brief smile and borrowed Lachesis’ datapad, bringing up the map and quickly circling three main points of the city.
“Group Aurek will be going into the Ducts and fishing out one of the leaders who has made his lair there. Thesh will be going to the Minefield and assessing if the rumors of activity there have any basis in reality. We will be meeting upon completion of this task in a club called the Lucky Lekku. It is located on the outskirts of the Besadii district and is controlled primarily by the 27’s and Qel-Droma. We must also remain in constant contact through the duration of this mission and I will expect a progress report upon every hour.”
Koekie’s face had taken an aloof and cold visage. The quirky smile she usually donned was gone and no trace of it remained. Her flat, purple eyes took in each member and she bared her teeth threateningly as she spoke through a clenched jaw.
“Now, I assume you’re going to have questions and opinions. Good! See the napkins on the table? Take them, write your questions and whatever on them, fold them up and jam them into your windpipes. Or read them, because your assignments have been written on them. IN GLITTER PAINT! Ugh, Mastimeros, you’re making me shiver, ya’ got somethin’ to say before we head out?”
“I will join you eventually,” the Adept replied, voice even. “However, as it stands, I feel I should await my brother’s arrival.”
“Your bro- oh, Strat! I suppose letting him walk around Ol’val unsupervised would be, uhm…”
“Disastrous,” Timeros finished, just as Socorra piped up with “–really funny?”
“Uhm, that,” Koekie finished. “Anyone else have anything to add, or…like, can we go? I’m itching to stab something.”
“I’m sure there’s a cream for that.” Fet’a added with a smirk.