#Prologue - Raise Thy Sword
Two figures walked towards the massive, twin-hulled starship known as the Broken Blade. Swathed in black robes trimmed with teal, they seemed to be a rather diametric opposite - one tall, lean, idly toying with a datapad, the other short, stocky, arms folded and brooding. They looked utterly mismatched as they traversed the expanse that was the starship dock. All around them, the hustle and bustle of people loading the ship for refit and resupply could be seen and guards were posted every here and there to defend the ship.
All of it was about to be thrown into disarray.
The taller cast an askew glance down to the shorter. “You did remember to send Atyiru the note, yes?” she asked, her lilting contralto voice a melodic purr in his ears. “We would not want to be expelled for this little act.”
The shorter stopped and thought for a moment, actually requiring a moment of clarity to recall the situation as he reached for the small datapad custom-built for him to be more accessible for his… ineptitude to double-check he had indeed sent it. “Yes, love. Of course.”
A click of her tongue followed and a disapproving sigh. Always had to check, always the uncertainty. “My backwards tribal, you are my sun and stars, but you are occasionally insufferable.”
Mirus Hi’ija replaced his datapad on his belt, then rested his hand on the hilt of his mighty Sith sword, fresh from his own smithy. It was going to be the blade that cut through the heart of Arcona. “I love you too, Rhiann.”
For now, they had one mission. The warship that belonged to their beloved Clan would soon belong to them.
Overhead, Atyiru Caesura Entar, Shadow Lady of Arcona, watched from a viewport that overlooked the drydock of the Broken Blade. Very few could decipher the meaning of the measured Consul, trying their best to understand why her attention was so perfectly fixated on two people walking towards the gangplank to the ship below yet she was so utterly hushed, an unusual thing for the Miraluka.
Her silence, and a gentle hand pressed against transparisteel, was a quiet prayer. Two of her close friends were about to do something incredibly foolish but also rather hilarious to watch if done right. Could they possibly succeed? Maybe - they always found a way to survive, no matter the hardship. Would they be expelled from the Shadow Clan without her intervention? Definitely. However, she allowed this. Atyiru allowed this with a measure of humour, if anything.
If this wasn’t a call to action for her beloved Clan, she didn’t know what would be. Perhaps shaking them from their complacency was necessary in times like this.
Ironically, their note was perhaps the best part of this little endeavour:
If you hear the Broken Blade was stolen by pirates, it was us. We’ve got a plan, we promise. We’re not crazy.
Dinner is at seven sharp tonight, as promised. Take a shuttle out past Selen’s moon to the Blade. We’ll see you on board.
Mirus and Rhiann
She shook her head as she turned away, leaving the two lovebirds to do their business. Atty loved them dearly because they were so incredibly strange, yet carried themselves like nothing was wrong. Bless their hearts. They were probably going to get themselves killed one day, but today wasn’t it. No, she was going to find a better seat. With popcorn. Then perhaps a new potted plant to decorate their new ship.
Two guards blocked the primary entrance to the Warrior-class gunship. Clad in black and teal and wearing lightsabers, it was usually an easy thing for two Sith of the Brotherhood to gain entry to any vessel of the Arconan Armed Forces. However, during resupply, things were a little more tight and - as far as anyone knew - nobody was expecting the presence of a Dark Jedi that had never been seen on the ship’s roster.
The guards raised their blaster rifles at port arms - a common sign that they were one, armed and two, ready to engage if absolutely need be.
“We’re sorry, sirs. The Blade is currently off-limits.”
Rhiann bristled for a moment, then glanced at the man on the left. “Listen, Sergeant,” she said, instantly recalling the rank insignia on his uniform and what it meant compared to her. “I am a Lieutenant and I vastly outrank you.” A moment passed as she raised her hand and pointed at him. “You will let us pass.”
The perks of being a Battleteam Leader twice was that her rank in the Arconan military machine was guaranteed. A Shadesworn of the Third Circle, Rhiann had been given command of two battleteams - first Apex Brigade and then Shadow Gate. Such had given her the right to rule, as it were. This command privilege came with a bonus: she could always conjure the Force to work on the weak-minded as she did so. Her pointing served as a wonderful gesture to focus her energy. One part obeying a superior officer, one part the manipulation of the Force, the Sergeant scowled and stepped aside. “We’ll let you pass,” he said, as his fellow trooper stood aside looking aghast.
Mirus and Rhiann passed through to the deck of the Broken Blade. The Juggernaut cast a glance to his technically-oriented wife. “Remind me to get a military rank to do that some time,” he commented offhandedly.
A flowingly-beautiful shrug followed. “Eh.” Apathetic as usual. Her mind was elsewhere, regardless - like the data terminal that was directly to her left as she entered the vessel. Without skipping a beat, Rhiann took her datapad and a security spike and began working. Her fingers danced over the haptic keys that her datapad provided, a staccato burst not far removed from the speed of machinegun fire.
It took only seconds. Black and purple mismatched eyes shone under the fury of the challenge before her, relishing its perfection. However, there were none that could stand before the might of her intellectual prowess. Data flowed like streams of light before her, knowing only one thing: every system on this ship was linked, one way or another. With enough time, Rhiann could conquer each and every system before her. With enough time, the entire ship would be hers to command.
As if on cue, alarm klaxons began to wail. The response was almost immediate. The crew of the Broken Blade knew that something was amiss here and would have to respond in kind. As an afterthought, the door to the lovers’ left sealed shut, completely unflinching as the Sephi locked it from outside influence.
Now it was Mirus’ turn. Slowly, the shimmering blade riding at his hip was drawn from its resting place, pulsating with power as the Sith drew the viciously-shaped sword into his grip. It was finally time to bring forth its power, the tyrant sword hellbent on conquering all. The Dark Side roared in his hands as the sword told him but one thing: it was time.
The crash of boots against deckplates heralded the arrival of the first squad of soldiers that would inevitably try and apprehend them for their crimes. One imminently found a sword plunged through his chest, causing the rest to panic. Not a gigantic vessel, the Warrior-class was not truly capable of carrying a massive complement of soldiers in its superstructure. Every man he killed here was one less person he would have to follow him into battle.
A shame, he thought to himself as the second one found himself cleanly bisected. They would have made great pirates. Their corpses would simply have to make wonderful examples to the rest of the crew instead.
“Mirus, I need more time!” Rhiann shouted over the din of the alarm klaxons. While the first two had died brutally, many of the rest had simply been subdued; telekinetically slammed into objects or slapped silly with the flat of Mirus’ blade, the interloping soldiers had been stopped, one way or another. However, Mirus had a solution - a very good one - but he just needed a few moments to handle it, where he didn’t have to guard her.
“Then I will solve this problem, love. How much more time do you need?”
Rhiann’s current mission was very simple: seize control of the reactor and environmental systems of the ship, from her terminal - and with the power of the Techweaver, the intricate dance of technological superiority, she was succeeding. Already she’d burrowed a security worm through the ship’s systems so that she could seize control of almost everything - the system to control the doors was hers. At will she could seal doors as need be. The advantage of technology was that the entire ship was computerised; one section inevitably led to another. The downside was that it took time.
And then it hit Mirus.
“Rhi, take the ship to General Quarters,” Mirus said.
The Sephi was nonplussed, though her head did not once turn from her terminal. “What are you babbling about now?”
Mirus, who had commanded the military forces of Naga Sadow and Odan-Urr, had plenty of experience serving on warships and seeing them in action. This was something he’d done before. “General Quarters is action stations. They seal the airtight bulkhead doors. At least seal these ones. It will buy you time.”
She turned her head from the panel. “And lock myself in here?”
The blademaster was already through the door with a trophy corpse over his shoulder as his wife sealed it behind him, his sword hefted over his other shoulder and ready for use. Needless to say Mirus had only a single objective now: seize the ships’ bridge and make an example of the vessel’s captain. Rhiann loathed dealing with people and, to be fair, so did he. However, he was slightly more amenable to handling it - and likely more terrifying.
What was left of the ship was not much to traverse: the bridge was not terribly far away and very few doors offered him resistance. With Rhiann in control of the systems and tracking his every move with the Force, she was unsealing the doors around him to ensure his free and clear passage across the warship.
The bridge doors opened and, telekinetically, the body over his shoulder speared itself into the transparisteel viewport before the crew with a very satisfying crunch. Mirus’ voice boomed out behind it, his sword in two hands.
“Who here wants to be rich beyond his wildest dreams and fight some real enemies, not just sit in drydock and do nothing?” shouted the Titan of New Tython, resting the tip of the blade against the deckplates and staring out over the evidently terrified mundanes. Not even Captain Corso, who was in rightful command of the vessel as delegated to him by the commanding officers of the military, had a real response for this.
“I’m taking this ship. Any of you idiots who don’t want a chance at glory and riches can go. But stay, fight for me - and for the glory of the Shadow Lady, with her blessing - and you can be free. And rich beyond your wildest dreams.”
While most of the bridge crew were suspicious, they were also silent. Needless to say, Captain Corso was not. He’d earned his way up the ranks as a weapons officer and finally taken command of his own vessel. This ship was his. No way was he about to give it up so easily. Instead, he drew his blaster pistol and pointed it at Mirus’ head. “I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but you’re standing on my ship. I’m rather sure that once the Shadow Lady finds out about this, she’ll have your head.”
“She already knows,” said Mirus with a grin, then wrested Corso’s blaster free from his hand with the Force, tossing it aside. “The ship’s already mine, Captain. I control it.”
As if on cue, the lights all across the ship dimmed - Rhiann had seized technical control of the vessel and it obeyed her whim. She could read his mind, regardless - and so a little dramatic flair was not out of the question. It made Mirus far more imposing than he already was. Corso glanced up - was he doing that with barely a glance?
The Titan offered Corso a grin. “You’ve got no idea and balls of steel, Captain. Fight with me. We’re going to crush criminals and every other pirate in this sector under our heels and loot the bodies for every credit and gem they’re worth. You want that glory for you and your men, Captain? Do you want to be Arcona’s only pirates, answerable only to our own rules?”
A scowl. Was this throwing his commission away? Hell with it. He didn’t get anywhere by being a wuss.
“Alright, Captain. Where are we going?”
Mirus nodded and stood next to the Captain’s seat. “Rhi, unlock the bulkheads and restore power to the ship. Crew, let’s take the ship out - we’re going beyond Selen’s moon for dinner with the Shadow Lady. And then we’re gonna get rich or die trying.”
The engines of the Broken Blade roared as Rhiann maximised power to the system, the Warrior-class gunship pulling away from drydock rather suddenly without any clearance. The comm screamed with defiance from control officers and military police, but the sealed ship had officially been stolen by pirates - bribing the crew with a little terror mixed with a chance at personal glory and the ability to completely control the ship single-handedly made this a lucrative offer. Defying the will of an angry Sith was oftentimes a bad idea anyway.
Whatever the case, the Broken Blade was going to be flying some new colours now. Rhiann joined her husband up on the ship’s bridge, and put an arm around his shoulders. “Well, that went better than expected,” the Sephi said, resting her head quietly atop Mirus’. “What now?”
“I guess I’d better go cook dinner,” Mirus said quietly. “Atyiru likes punctuality.”
Even here, even on the bridge of his new ship, he was still the housebitch.
Seven sharp. Dinner time. Atyiru’s shuttle docked on the ship’s hull and the lady of the billowy cloak boarded the Blade.
Mirus cooked for the crew and for the Shadow Lady - they were indeed surprised to find that the intruder had not been lying and that this was entirely sanctioned by her. Almost completely, anyway, as they ate dinner. It was mostly a pleasant conversation set aside by a very nice nerf stew and drinks.
While Mirus lifted a spoonful of soup to his lips, Atyiru slammed the ruler she’d smuggled on board down on his knuckles as hard as she could possibly muster, even bolstered by the Force as the resounding snap of wood hitting knuckles with a whip. Soup went flying everywhere, including into his face.
“Bad, Mirus.You can be a pirate all you want, but no killing crew! Ever!”
A scowl as he looked down at his knuckles and cringed at the pain of hot soup splashing into his eyes. “Damnit.”
Raucous laughter erupted around the mess hall at his terrifically bad luck. Yep. This was going to be a good crew.