The Citadel, Estle City
“No other explosions reported?” the blindfolded Seer inquired.
“None,” replied Braecen.
“And the warehouses in Korda that were hit? The wounded?”
“Emergency responders have all left the scene as clean-up crews report in. Styx is overseeing them. All civilian casualties have been taken to medcenters as you ordered, my Lady. Our own injured were few, and recover in bacta tanks as we speak. A few of our people are still missing in action.” Keys tapped, clack-clack-clack. “Young Knight Sang-Kalinor is stable, yes?”
“He was burned badly and lost limbs…but nothing I and bacta cannot attempt to mend. Once he awakens, perhaps we can finally have some more answers.”
“Should I call Argona?” The dark-haired, violet-eyed Kaeth paused. “Either — well, any — of them?”
“Ashla and Bogan, no, Starbuck. He needs rest, not an interrogation. Zakky and the others have plenty to apply themselves as is,” the Shadow Lady responded, distaste at the prospect evident in her tone. She swiveled her sightless gaze to her other Quaestor. “Alright, then, and what of our databases, our security? Our funds?”
The Erinos gave a half-shrug. “Not quite robbed as blind as—”
“Celahir, dear, much as I enjoy the jokes…”
“We’ve been set back,” the Qel-Droman went on more seriously, fingers flitting over the datapad in his hands. “Particularly in munitions when those warehouses went up. It looks like they might’ve accessed several of our databanks too, and the DIA is still investigating what intel, exactly, might’ve slipped. However,” he offered with a grin, “we managed to contain most of the damage and kick those di’kuts in their teeth before they could do more.”
“Uji?” The Miraluka turned to her Scion, who stood beside her at the head of the table, neglecting his own seat to her right. “Enemy movements?”
“The DDF has successfully routed this Lorden’s Horizon-class Star Yacht out of Dajorran space. They are in pursuit now. Officer Marinus is due to report shortly, as are Timeros and Sashar,” stated the Sentinel, his narrow eyes fixed on the holoprojections of Korda and Estle City that hovered above the meeting table. His tone was cold steel. As if Pravus’ tyrannical madness wasn’t enough to combat, now they suffered this attack as well. The Proconsul’s stance remained calm, but his gaze was constantly flickering these days, belaying a mind now consumed with strategies, defenses and all manner of war.
“For it to truly be that damnable Muun behind this debacle…” ground out the blue bulk of a man nearly too tall and wide for his chair, his maw-toothed helm on the table before him. Though Wuntila had calmed in his time away, his promise still carried conviction. “It is an insult. I shall crush him.”
“Yeah, and, uh, for those of us who ain’t been at this kark for ages, who the ‘ell is that, again?” called a voice from the door. Kordath, a towel slung over his shoulders and a finger stuck twisting in his ear, stepped inside, his hair still dripping.
The Ryn had been present at the start of the meeting but, for the sake of the lungs and lifespans of all those present, had been asked to go bathe as soon as his report was finished. He’d delivered it in an exhausted slur — he and his Fades had tracked the warehouse bombers down and seized the cabal for interrogation by the DIA. The “testimonies” of the bombers had further corroborated what Arconan agents had already decrypted from the anomalous gravitational wave readings they’d picked up: the man behind this insurrection was a Muun named Tehr Lorden, and he was not, in fact, unfamiliar to the Shadow Clan.
Several noses still curled as the Rollmaster flopped into a seat. He gave the room an irritated glare. “Oi, ya dinnae get to complain about wet rat smell if yer gonna make me shower first. So…?”
“Lorden,” the Galeren Aedile and Arconae began, “was the Chief Financial Officer of Naruba Investments, one of our front establishments, if you will recall. After Aneti’s fall, under Timeros’ reign, he was decommissioned.”
No one present had to ask for clarification on the meaning of that particular statement.
“He fled into exile, and evaded numerous assassins. He was nothing, forgotten. An afterthought.”
“Got a bit of a bite for an afterthought, eh, mate?” Kordath scathed, tail twitching. “Bloody arrogant…”
“Gentlemen, please,” Atyiru interrupted, flowing gently to her feet, her command swift and smooth. “Our concerns, our lives, are here, today. And today, we may be thankful for these small victories.”
“The point is,” piped up Terran Koul in an overly cordial drawl, kicking his boots up on the tabletop and causing the projection to fuzz momentarily. “that we won. Maybe, gents, lady, we could forget the brooding long enough to enjoy that a bit, hmm?”
A silent sigh seemed to pass through most of the gathered Summit as the doors were flung open with yet another disturbance, the Summit guardsmen bowing to two new figures. Timeros Caesus Entar strode in like a ghost, chill and imposing, while a lavander mass of veritable madness skipped along beside him, her heels clicking.
K’tana’s palms slammed down on the table as she half-tripped to a stop, her lekku thrown over her shoulders. She pointed at no one in particular and declared, “I. Am. BORED. And you’re all boring, and are we done yet? Shouldn’t we be celebrating? Drinks, glitter, SOMETHING!”
“K’tana,” Timeros murmured, dread rolling off him in waves, causing the Rollmaster to cringe while the Gatewardeness merely grinned.
“Is right? I knoooow.”
“K’tana,” the Consul called, more gently, and the Twi’lek’s demeanor blinked away as she dipped her head in supplication. “Calm a moment more, please. Brother, your report?”
“Our mission to Boral is completed,” the Entar answered mechanically. Uji waved to Kaeth, who then waved to his Aedile, to take note. “Fruitfully. I have compiled a summary and accorded the DIA custody of our prisoners for further interrogation.”
“Following your own, I presume?”
“Very well.” The Shadow Lady’s hands folded, prayer like, in her lap as she observed the room, the Force swirling around them to a heartbeat rhythm.
“So again, what you’re saying is, we won,” Terran repeated, drawing a snort from Celahir.
“There are no victors in war or death,” Atyiru whispered, then shook her head and gave a smile that burned brightly. “But so to say, yes, my friends…in this, we’ve won.”