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HoloTracker: Include (1) Character's In-Game Name, (2) Faction, and (3) Location
I have been stressing to figure out what that page means, it truly infuriates me that someone can simply sneak in to the apprentice quarters, in Lord Aricevs Compound no less, and plant something in the Journal, just like that. The next time, i might instead recieve a knife in my throat whilst sleeping, which would be unfortunate for the one trying to do said action. But a breach in security is still a breach in security, i now know that i am being watched by someone who is, presumably, not part of the Dominion. As i went through the regular routine by the Academy i was recalled by my Master to his Compound on Dromund Kaas. Upon arriving, he went straight to the point, which was a bit unlike him, from what i have seen so far, he told me that i had advanced in rank, i was a lowly Acolyte no more. It was in that moment that i became a Crusader, and the path towards the Warblade had begun.
My master was crafty however, and decided to adhere to the same principle he used for my training on Hoth. Surprise, and deceit. As i was kneeling, the same agent that i encountered on Hoth, the one that essentially saved my life, stabbed me in the shoulder with a knife. The pain was completely unexpected, but the blade had to pierce through armor to reach my flesh, giving me the time i needed to adjust and retaliate. My Master told me that i would learn new techniques, the ability to enhance my reflexes in combat, and another which would allow me to strike in rapid succession. I allowed the Dark side to take control of my motions, focusing entirely on this invisible adversary. During the encounter he used an advanced cloaking device, he used this stealth advantage to strike at me, but his efforts were futile, attacking from the side, from behind, from the front, it did not matter. Most attacks could be easily sensed and thus avoided or parried, only a few times did he manage to strike through my defenses. As time went on, he became better at striking where i was most vulnerable, but the fight was ended hastily. Upon striking him down on the ground, he re-engaged his stealth field and snuck away to another room, and before i could follow him my Master called off the training session.
I took great pleasure in my Masters way of teaching, i have learned to appreciate his ways and to have faith in his methods after Hoth, my past teachings have helped me tremendously during this encounter with the Agent. I never got to speak to the man, i wished to commend his skill in combat, but my master told me that he wishes to remain anonymous, and i would not be foolish enough to deny a man that wish.
If anything within that damnable piece of paper was true, i would need to unlock as much power within me as possible, And Master Aricev, was the key.
My master has taught me a lot throughout the time that i have spent with the Dominion, he is one of the most influential individuals in my life right now, and rightfully so, without him i would still be the weak and frail Initiate that i was when i came here. Upon seeing him for the first time, what little i could feel of the force told me that he would play an important part in my training, and would speed my growth as a Sith along. Yet again, he showed me something new about myself today, as i was called down to the homeworld of the Sith in order to speak with him. During the Trip to his location within the Tomb Of Tulak Hord i needed to use the new helmet i purchased recently, i would not wish to be recognised and promptly stopped by any vengeful Sith like i was when i was but a lowly initiate. I found my master conversing with one of the acolytes of the Academy, after sharing a few words with the man, my master and i went deeper into the tomb, and upon reaching one of the inner chambers he bade me to open a box that he had commanded me to bring along. My task would be to open the box, by placing it by the Altar in the center of the chamber, and meditating upon the Sith Code. My belief in the code, aswell as my understanding of it would be the key that unlocked the box.
Reciting the code was simple, but to find the conviction to truly break the veiled barrier that hindered me from opening the box was more difficult than i had first perceived. The Sith code was so simple, yet so complex at the same time, i stumbled time and time again when meditating, to the point where spirits within the room decided to taunt me, to break my concentration for their own nefarious purposes. But i soon realised, that there was little to interpret, little to learn of the Sith Code. They were not mere rules or guidelines, they were like Laws of Nature, Peace is a lie, there is only Passion, a natural thing, as the concept of everlasting peace was naive at best, since War was one of the few things left that truly made the galaxy progress. And the passionate were dedicated, and the dedicated were rewarded with strenght, whilst the weak withered under the might of the Strong, hence the phrase " Through Passion, i gain Strenght". And strenght would unlock our potential, the key to power, to authority, to lordship,"Through Strenght, i gain Power". Power, in turn, would be ones cause of victory, the strong would always be powerful, and thus, the only thing that mattered was the amount of strenght, the amount of power, that one had, "Through Power, i gain Victory". And unlocking ones understanding of the Dark Side through Passion, Strenght and to gain power, was to unlock unlimited potential, and by having such potential we were no longer chained to the limitations of our bodies, "Through Victory my chains are broken".
"The Force shall free me". Upon uttering these words, i saw a vision, of a Great temple on Dromund Kaas, ancient and withered by Dark Side energies and time, this was to be the location of my next trial, i felt it. And upon opening my eye again, i could see the box, it had opened, i drew it closer to me with the Force and saw that it contained five runes, one for each Stanza of the Code. They were the keys to unlock a door that would lead to an item of great importance to me and my progression as a Crusader.
The Path was laid out before my very eyes, i knew what was looming on the horizon.
The vision from yesterday returned to me in my dreams, it showed a more clear path to the temple, it led past the Wall close to Kaas city, past Lord Grathans compound, in the wilderness, far off in the distance amidst packs of fierce beasts. The path was difficult, but i would make my way through it, my master called me to the surface of Dromund Kaas in a letter, he would already be by the temple, waiting. As i waded through the jungle and fought through the beasts, i wondered what the purpose of this trial would be, at the time it was completely unknown to me, i knew only that it was of monumental importance. Just like his message said, he stood outside the temple gate, waiting patiently. He bade me to open the door with the runes i had acquired in yesterdays trial, and as i took them out of my pocket, i saw that there was a faint purple glow around each of them, a faint echo of my own power rested within these runes, and would unlock the gate before me. An inscription on the gate said that the words would need to be spoken, and so, as i recited the sith code, i put each rune in one of the sockets on the gate, each word i uttered made the purple glow more intense, upon setting the "Freedom" rune into its socket, the gates started to crumble, and as the doorway was now opened to some extent, My master and i could enter.
The temple was smaller on the inside than expected, a wide corridor would lead to a single chamber with an altar standing in the middle, upon the altar, two swords, wreathed in shadow, they were to be my warblades, a veiled figure could be seen for a split second before disappearing, a spirit guardian. Master Aricev had one last instruction to give me, i was to "tame" the power within the blades, by meditating and establishing a connection with them, after those words, i was truly on my own. As i sat down to meditate, a silent hum could be heard as my mind slipped further and further away from where i was, when i opened up my eye again, i saw:
We seemed to be in a shadowed echo of the same chamber, but none of it was real, i had the warblades in my hands, but they felt weak, unhoned, hinged. My fathers image stood there, taunting me, i denied his existence, it was a mere illusion, the entity that took my fathers image was not happy with this, and pushed me back with the force until i hit the altar, and would have crushed my body had i not been able to break the entities hold over me. I have read stories, of how spirits that are bound without violence give more potent power, due to them submitting to ones own will. Despite my better judgement, i tried to pacify the spirit, its existence was meaningless, a nameless ghost, with authority over nothing. I told it that i would make it worthy again, it seemed to become agitated at me for saying such a thing, implying that it had nothing to prove, that i was the one that needed to be worthy, it projected dark force tendrils and sent them flying towards me, like lethal knives, the effort was wasted however, as i blocked the force attack easily with my shadowed warblades, i let one of the tendrils envelop my blade, so that i could reflect it back at the entity. But the entity did not relent, even though it was clearly damaged by my willpower, it managed to pierce through my armor with another force attack.
Upon seeing my defiance, it called upon yet another spirit, and this one took the form of my Master, this angered me greatly, as its sloppy attempts at trying to attack me where not worthy of Lord Aricev, i told the spirit that i would make it regret the error of portraying Aricevs power so poorly, i closed my eye, and the room started to shake, the entities flickered, as if they were fading away from existence, i sheathed my warblades, and told them that their power was now mine. As i said those words, my mind returned to my body, and in front of me, the two warblades were laying on the cold stone floor, free from the influence of meddling spirits, my just reward for surviving the trial.
Aricev seemed pleased with my progress, however i think that this moment is more important that he realises.
Proving ones worth can be such an interesting matter, i have been in situations recently where i have been tasked with doing this very thing, but in rather varied ways. I recall my duel with Adept Aurel'ia, Lord Axzl told the two of us to show our abilities, so she may assess our worth in battle, it was the first time i had interacted with the lord, and will probably be the only time i see her without that armor on. Never figured her for a Cathar. As i fell into my stance, i attempted to merge what i knew of Jar'kai, with my knowledge of the Makashi form, in order to benefit from both, theoretically it was possible, i held my second blade ( in this case, we used training blades ) in the reverse grip with my off hand, which i had behind my back as Makashi demands, with the blade in my main hand pointed towards my opponent. Her stance was also one of a mixed nature, it was Shii-cho, but as the battle ensued, she relied upon her force abilities to a large degree, i suspect that she would be a fine practicioner of Niman, when she is ready to learn it. The battle was short, that was likely due to her not being in combat for five entire years, and her "rust" was showing, most of my attacks struck true, despite my inexperience with mixing forms like i did. Lord Axzl seemed unimpressed with our performance, but was pleased nonetheless with the display. The Adept did not take her defeat to heart, i can assume that it was an expected loss, i will give her time, she will be strong enough to best me soon.
My Master and Lord Vhexra had observed the duel, but were for the most part unresponsive, defeating an "Out of practice" Sith, was no great feat. Some time later, my master called me to the world of Voss. I have actually been to Voss once, when i was accompanying my father on a trip to establish ties with the then newly discovered world. It was just as wondrous as it was in the past, golden forests and fine architecture, but this time, i felt something, different, i could feel the darkness that Voss is hiding behind its marvelous environment. The dark power was always looming off in the distance, never close, but ever present, as i traveled with a speeder transport to my Masters location, i could not help but feel a bit on edge. My task would take me through the same ordeals as my father typically found himself in, i had expressed interest to my master of becoming a Diplomat, and for good or ill, i would dedicate myself to this path. This assignment on Voss would be my first taste of what was to come, The officer i was supposed to negotiate with was as staunch as they come, a good example of what type of individual the imperial military should employ. My goal was to secure a hefty discount for the Officers Hyper-Battle Stimulants, an enhancer that my master buys in bulk for the Dominion and for his own personal use.
I was willing to bequeath to the man some old technology that is legally owned by me, still on Alderaan, this technology consists of a pair of medical droids aswell as the facilities and computers they use for their work, aswell as access to useful medical and chemical knowledge, the purpose of this tech was to offset his loss of income by giving me a discount by providing the man a stable income on the side, where he could perfect his current stock of stimulants, aswell as sell more of it, allowing him to potentially expanding his business, even if he lost his position on Voss. He was initially sceptical and questioned my motives, he even went so far as to reach for his blaster, but i managed to diffuse the situation, and the deal could be struck. Aricev was pleased, i was obviously inexperienced, but i succeeded, as he has said before, the importance is in succeeding, not in succeeding with flying colors.
I have spent a lot of time recently, speaking with my fellow Sith in the dominion. Since i succeeded with my warblade trial rather early i have been able to focus my attentions elsewhere, i spoke to Acolyte Lacole and Initiate Andrik for quite some time, it was a very giving conversation that told me a lot about them. I do think they overanalyse some things, when it comes to defining the meaning of being a Sith, there is more to the order, than a code and a cause. And i was shown this today, when my master had commissioned Lord Renika to train me, upon taking the shuttle to her location, i noticed that the navicomputer was set on the world of Taris. It is a world with a rich history, and i am sad that the empire does not take the opportunity to rebuild it like the Republic meant to do, before their efforts were obstructed by us. The jungle seems to have taken over much of what was left of the skyscrapers and the neighboring environment, and the wildlife, including the rakghouls, have evolved under the harsh conditions of the withering cityscape. Upon arriving on site i was greeted by Lord Renika, aswell as Rhyylynn, she had been promoted to the rank of Adept since we last spoke, and she is not quite as intent on killing me, which is only slightly reassuring.
We traveled towards an area called the "Tularan Marsh", whilst in the area, Renika searched for a proper location for her instruction, it was to be located on an elevated position, an old sewer pipe would do. When we were on the pipe, Renika told me that my purpose here was to call upon and tame an animal from the Tarisian Wild through meditation. I had to make the animal sense that i was not hostile, make myself drop my guard, embrace my inner anguish. But i struggled extremely, i could not find the emotion, the pain, needed to catch the critters interest, the only time i could initially make something, anything, come forward, it was attacked before it reached me. Lord Renika took pity on me, and i was lucky that she did, she shared her pain with me, through the Force, and it helped, for a time, but it was not enough.
During my attempts calling upon an animal to tame, a large gathering had formed around me, My Master Aricev and Lord Vhexra, aswell as Acolyte Arkaela found themselves observing my training. I was commanded to bring forth my Akk Dog, Canderous, and i did so, they wanted me to feel true anguish, so that i could succeed in my trial, they threatened to make Canderous suffer, in hindsight i am unsure if Lord Vhexra would do so, even if told by Lord Renika, but my Master would probably not hesitate. Truthfully, i considered to strike at whomsoever dared to attack my companion, but by doing so i would seal my fate and then all my time would have been wasted. In that moment i despaired, but as despair arose, so did the curiosity of a young Kath Hound pup, it started to approach, i could sense that it was being followed by something larger, and more sinister, but when i called out to them, only the Kath hound answered. Upon approaching me, the Kath hound pup had ensured my success, Lord Renika, aswell as my master, were pleased that i was able to succeed. My success would have been impossible without her assistance, and Canderous would have surely suffered as a result, so as thanks, i gave Lord Renika the honor of naming the pup.
And thus he was named Hask, after the Sith Word for Anguish, to remind me of that day.
Master Aricev has done well by me, thanks to him my advancement in the Shadow Dominion has been swift, and the more time i spend training alongside him, the closer i get to realising my full potential. Thanks to Aricev i was one of the very first to succeed with the warblade trial, however this rapid advancement has provided me with a slight overabundance of time. My fellow apprentice Militius has yet to recieve his own warblade, and he shares this fate with a few of the other crusaders, thus Master Aricev spends most of his time preparing for Militius' trial. Until Militius has either succeeded or failed with his trial, i shall recieve no additional training of note from Aricev, i am confined to the regular training sessions he is expected to give, though he encourages me to learn from the other lords aswell, as i did with Lord Renika. But even if i were to pad out the days with additional training and study, i would isolate myself from new opportunities, and i would see little of the greater Empire, which i had little to no experience with. And if i were to be a diplomat of the Dominion, i needed to further develop my skills in diplomacy, and forge ties with people i would have never met, had i isolated myself in the Academy with endless training. My wanderlust would eventually lead me to one of the most crowded locations of imperial space, the one spot from which all other roads stem from: Vaiken Spacedock.
And with this written, i shall recount of the most influential events that have occurred to me during my exploration of Vaiken: It was during the late hours of the evening, that i happened to find myself exploring the simple pleasures of the Vaiken Cantina, the location had class, but it attracted all sorts of ruffians and thugs. The usual loud crowd had formed around the bar counter, several of whom i found to be rather detestable personalities. I avoided the bar counter for a time, instead spending some time admiring the moves of a Cathar dancer, a woman named Meurtriere, she and i had interacted with oneanother prior to that day, and she seemed pleased with my presence. After observing her a while i noticed that the bar was not as crowded as before, and i spotted a few friendly faces, so i took my leave of my scantily clad acquaintance and leaned against the bar counter, ordering some Corellian Red from the waitress, a girl called Chrome whom i had spoken with in the past. After recieving and enjoying the first sip of my drink, i turned my attention towards the other patrons. Some pantsless "Noblewoman" acting like she owned the place was there, much to my own dismay, but her presence was offset by a contact of mine: Dectoth. Dec is an imperial, and is as loyal as they come, he hangs around mandalorians a lot and seems to hold me in rather high regard, he is never shy to assist when i ahve need of his services, even offered me a mandalorian escort once. And next to him, stood a rather obnoxious fellow, a robed Sith called "Tyrantan".
That one was the absolute bottom of the barrel, the most unceremonious type of dreg one could imagine House Girard associating with. Arrogant, quarrelsome, and absolutely unworthy of his power and position. I was keeping my eye on him until iheard Dectoth speaking to someone, as i glanced back at him i could see him and one of his mandalorian friends speaking to a droid, it looked more like a heavily enhanced cyborg than a droid to me, but i could sense that it was indeed just a machine. I asked it of its origin and its purpose, it gave me no satisfying answer as to where it came from, but it did tell me that its Designation was "Abaddon", an M3-series droid, last of its kind, built for warfare and genocide. As we spoke, Tyrantan had decided that he fancied the waitress, Chrome, and dragged her with him to an empty table to be his "date". This was completely forced and she was completely unwilling, i asked "Abaddon" to assist her, as it seemed like Tyrantan was heckling her way too much for his own good, but the droid refused. Dectoth volounteered to deal with the problem, a brave move, considering that he had only a rifle against that Lightsaber-swinging brute. Naturally a fight ensued, as Tyrantan was not the type to let up his catch so easily. Luckily for Dec and me, he had already angered two other Sith, and so the four of us opposed him, and fought against him. Chrome was extracted by a security officer of some description, and we eventually managed to fight Tyrantan to a stand-still, but our two sith allies had suddenly decided to leave the scene and let us fend for ourselves, something about it being a "meaningless distraction". I told Dec to take cover, as i charged towards him, he was skilled, but entirely too defensive, i managed to corner him, and i would have been able to keep him there, had he not successfully Force Choked me and slipped past us, running away from the cantina. As the coward fled, i noticed that a large crowd had formed around me, observing the situation that ensued. I told them that the matter had been settled, and as the crowd dispersed, i could see a well dressed and lovely looking Mirialan.
She did not approach me until Dectoth had left my side, and when he did, she told me that she was impressed by my display. She represented a Darth, one that was in control of an organisation called "The Black Guard". She had been followingme closely whilst i was in the cantina, listening to me speaking with Dectoth, i told Dec that my true purpose on Vaiken was to search for contacts, a partial truth, as i was really there to enjoy myself, at the time anyhow. And when she heard that i was in need of contacts, her interest in speaking with me had peaked. I brought her via shuttle to one of the seedier cities on Cademimu, i knew of a sky-palace there used by some old resistance militas that fought against the former Cademiman Governor, militias that my father helped fund. She seemed impressed with the location, but spoke only with me, admittedly most of the old militamen had turned to smuggling and vice, and thus looked like rather unreliable folk, but every single one of them were good at heart, and are still loyal to my family, hence why i am allowed to travel to the location at my own leisure. She and i spoke for a time of our respective organisations, of how they differed from the Sith Empire as a whole, and whom we served within them. She expressed an interest in forging ties with the Shadow Dominion on behalf of her master, a Darth who seems to be the one the Black Guard answer to. Our conversation was cut short, but a few days later, we met once more, and begun speaking of this alliance in earnest.
I had waited long enough, today was day when i decided to reveal to my Master about the piece of paper i found in my journal a while ago, i have investigated the matter for a long while, tried to locate the person responsible. It has all been for naught for now, as the one responsible is nowhere to be found for now. I have found hints as to whom is responsible, several hints in fact, and they do not instill me with confidence for the future. I fear that there is only one person who is personally affiliated to me, that has the motive to want to reach out to me, and the resources needed to have such a message snuck past all manner of security in Lord Aricevs compound.
I did not want to believe it, i still do not want to believe it, but what little information i have points to him, the Thuls use purple ink on their parchments and books, though my father leaves most of the writing to his servants, due to not liking his own handwriting. But the words that are written, the style they are written in, remind me of Father, and the line "I know you", reinforces my theory. There is much yet to learn about him and i am concerned for both of our Futures, i could feel something, something unknown, when i meditated upon this. A bad omen, or perhaps, a sign of good things to come? We shall see, i suppose. My Master did not seem overly concerned by this, but said that i should keep him appraised of the situation, and that he would assist to some degree in the investigation. In the meantime he told me to speak with the intelligence operatives of the Dominion, as they would likely be able to find out the whereabouts of my father, IF he is the one that sent the message. There are coordinates on the back of the paper, written with ink that resembles the color of the paper itself, a dark yellow-ish tinge, so as to veil them from prying eyes, i could make out the details with my cybernetic eye though. Something the sender must have had in mind. As i told my Master, the coordinates seemed to be specific to a certain planet, as uploading them to the navicomputer of a Dominion Shuttle yielded no results. My lord theorised that it could be on Dromund Kaas, due to the page being found there, and due to the fact that no planet was mentioned. Time will tell, where the path will lead.
This segment was written a few days after the first: I have seen nothing of the Black Guard since speaking to their dignitary, i can only presume that things did not pan out well between our leaders, as is to be expected sometimes. As i investigated the matter of our suggested agreement, i found myself in Lord Aricevs compound once more, upon entering the compound i could sense my masters presence, it was unmistakeable. While walking up the stairs i could hear the faint flickering and static of a hologram, he was working on something, a large holographic image of Nar Shaddaa lit up the room when the door slid up, i bowed to him, as is proper, and decided, with current events in mind, to tell him that i had indeed decided to become a diplomat of the Dominion. He commended this choice, telling me that such a position and skillset would serve me well during my second trial as a crusader. It pleased me to hear this, as i had spent a lot of time honing my skills in the art of diplomacy, it was good to know it would benefit my training aswell as my endeavours within the Dominion. Our conversation shifted more towards this weeks training exercises, he asked me what i wanted to learn, which is a question i myself have pondered upon for a while. I answered him, that i wished to learn the form of "Niman", it stood for balance, not only in combat, but in ones way of being, a respectable and worthy form, weaving the art of the Blade, with the power of the Force. He named two individuals that knew of the form, Lord Vhexra, and Darth Suthre. It seemed to pain him, when he mentioned that Lord Vhexra was still recovering, i could feel the aura around him changing, a surreal moment, but i did not comment on it. It was most likely that Suthre would be the one to train me in this form, a moment i look forward to, as i have regrettably not been able to interact much with the Darth at all since becoming a Sith in training.
Everything seems to be building up towards a single, critical, moment, i pray only that i have the strenght to endure it.
This day began harmlessly enough, i spent some time training in the Academy, studied in the archives as i so often do, and walked about in Lord Aricevs compound, tending to my Hounds: Hask and Canderous. Though, while in the middle of my routine, i could hear my communicator crackle to life, it was static for a time, but as i took it off my belt, i could hear a voice coming from the device. It was Arkaela. She sounded concerned and on edge, wanting to know if someone else was on the Dominion frequency. I, aswell as my fellow apprentice Andrik ( or, as i like to call him, "Replacement-Militius", due to him being so brusque ) answered her call. She transmitted her location to me, and i told Andrik that if he wished to tag along, he would need to track my frequency, which he did. I had anticipated some trouble, but i had no idea what sort of trouble Arkaela was in, and figured that back-up could be useful. I even brought Hask and Canderous with me, just in case. The Shuttle took off, and we landed in Lord Renikas compound, where Arkaela had taken refuge due to a recent incident. Andrik was aggressive as always, and they got into a heated argument over the details of the incident, an accident which forced Arkaela to attack Lord Renika, due to Force Manipulations. I had to step between them before it got out of hand. When they both calmed their tempers a bit, Arkaela revealed to us the purpose behind her calling for assistance, she had been fearing for her life and wished for someone trustworthy to keep an ear out for any rumors about her.
Because of this incident, she thought that the lords wished to dispose of her, and theorised that the only thing that stopped them from doing so is that Lord Renika vouched for her innocense in the matter, due to the circumstances. The Lord commanded Arkaela to stay in the estate until the entire situation had cooled down, a wise choice in my opinion, Andrik said that he would consider telling her if he heard anything of note, and left promptly after saying so. Leaving only me, the hounds and Arkaela in the room. She seemed extremely nervous, paced about in the room, and tapped her foot on the floor repeatedly, this situation really got under her skin. I tried my best to calm her down with idle conversation, which seemed to have helped to a certain degree, however, the conversation eventually switched to a rather different, but equally serious, subject. The Subject of Force Severing. She asked me what i knew about the technique and i regret to say that i had little to know practical knowledge on it, i have only ever read about such a power, that it happened to Revan, and the Exile, and that a great deal of power is involved in making it happen, aswell as potential side-effects. It does not seem to be permanent either, i told her this, and she wondered where i had learned of this. I explained to her, of my fathers interest in the Force, and events regarding Revan and his followers, he had collected a lot of texts and books regarding these things in the family archive in our estate. I offered Arkaela to use the archive as she pleased, she was sceptical to recieving help that was freely given, but relented when i explained my intentions, i only sought to help. In return for her help, she explained to me what she would do with the knowledge, the purpose, was to cut herself off from the Force, if at all possible. I told her that i would support her no matter what she decided to do with the knowledge.
She accepted the offer and will visit the estate soon, i only hope that this does not lead to something bad happening.
My master Aricev surprised me today with my second and final trial in my training as a crusader, i will recount the events as best i can, though there may be some elements missing in this entry: I was contacted via the Shadow Dominions com-frequency, my master wished for me to be present on Nar Shaddaa, as he had said earlier, we would have business there. When i arrived in the Duros Sector, where my master awaited me, i could get the feeling that something would go wrong, very wrong. When he saw me, he greeted me, and commented on how i was always on time, something that i had not really put much thought into, were his other apprentices usually late? He and i discussed the task ahead of me: He were to be an observer, a "tag-along" as he called it, whilst i would spearhead an operation with Sith Intelligence to seek out the "Alderaanian Count", Pinko Penguino. He led me to a nearby intelligence outpost, one that was severely under-staffed for its size, and interestingly enough it was an openly Imperial establishment sitting in the middle of a sector that houses a lot of anti-imperial sentiments. Aricev and i stopped by a large conference table and spoke to a Female Human, she was the Agent that would assist us, or me rather, in this operation. The intel she could share with us was that a certain "Tavith Underwood", officially and explorer for the GSI, unofficially an underworld courier, dropped off a package somewhere on the planet, a package that Penguino himself was very interested in.
I suggested a two pronged approach to lure Penguino out: Me and Lord Aricev would attempt to find the packages whereabouts by questioning Tavith, who was on Nar Shaddaa, in the local GSI office, and if possible, learn of Penguinos whereabouts, the second part of the plan was to transmit a diversionary signal across all available channels in order to lure Penguino into a trap, where several agents would be lying in wait, this would be done when we had gathered all necessary information, so that Aricev and i could support the Agents when the trap was sprung. The agent would in the meantime give us intel as the operation went along. It started out well enough, after the plan was laid out we took the closest speeder transport to the Promenade and made our way to the local GSI office. My master asked me wether i wished to go to the front desk and attempt to be diplomatic, or if we would barge in and find the man we sought. Not having an immediate action in mind i contacted the agent, and asked her if there was any back exit from the building, she responded saying that there was an old service shaft that had been welded shut by the shooting range in the back, other than that there were no visible exits aside from the entrance. With this information in hand i told my Master to stay behind to stop our target, Tavith, from escaping. He did so, as i went over to the lovely looking lass by the front desk. I spoke of her about Vibroblades and upgrades for swords, even showed her one of my warblades to hear her opinion on it, and when the time was right i steered the conversation towards the subject of Explorers, and claimed that i was looking for one to help in an expedition. She was initially sceptical, but i managed to sway her, and she told me of Taviths location, further into the building, right by the shooting range.
Tavith, a human of a dark complexion, was drunkenly practising his shooting, next to a second man who was doing the same. I asked whom amongst them was Tavith, and only Tavith himself responded, we sat down by a nearby bar to discuss the "job" he was going to be hired for. I told him that he would map out locations of interest for the sake of research, and that he would get a good deal of credits up front if he revealed the details of his recent dealings, if he was not drunk he would have probably been a bit on edge, but he merely asked for a bonus for revealing the details. I offered him an additional Seven thousand credits on top on the fifty he would be payed normally, aswell as remove all criminal infractions from imperial records (wether this actually happens does not matter). He revealed what we needed to hear, the location of the package, who sent him, and the purpose. As we exited the building we sent the needed information to our Agent back at the headquarter to lure Penguino in. We made our move towards the intended location of the trap, one of the hangar bays of the Mezenti spaceport.
The hangar had no ships in it, a few civilians around, and the container where our agent support were hiding was in sight, but something was wrong. I sensed no powerful presence, except for my master, and only one person could be sensed within the container, we were promised nine agents. As we went up to the container it was obvious that we had been outplayed, i opened the access hatch and could see a single shock trooper, his armor had been vandalised and he carried a holocom. I ordered him to speak, and to remove his helmet, which he did, proceeding to activate the pre-recorded message that Penguino had for us. He taunted us, but commended me for getting close to succeeding, he had planned his every move after us somehow, likely having access to our comm chatter. Penguino said in the message that the trooper would answer one question and one question only, i asked the man of Penguinos whereabouts, but got an unsatisfuying answer: "Prism Headquarters". I let the man cut his tongue out, he would be easy to extract at a later date to be subjected to cybernetic enhancement, so he could be put into speaking order again, and thus questioned. The other agents were dead, and it was because of me. Aricev told me that the outcome likely would have been the same no matter who was in the same position of me, he said that i picked the option that took the least time, covered the most ground and executed it well, i had impressed him that day. Though i felt the sting of defeat, my trial was a success, we ended the trial by the intelligence headquarters, which had been subjected to an EMP attack by one of Penguinos goons, which is why i could not get intel when we traveled to the hangar. I had to tell them the bad news, about their fellow operatives, and requested that the men got a proper burial.
Those men deserve that much, for being brave enough to face a superior foe.
My Father has endorsed quite a few different venues over the years, he has had a few military outposts built for House Thul on Alderaan, had a few of his contacts open up businesses on Voss, even aided with repair costs for Raiders Cove on Rishi, but one of his most successful investments was when he supplied an entire Resistance Cell against the Cademiman Governor, Chornarov. This gained him the loyalty of an entire crew of hardened militia fighters, aswell as ownership of a decently large floating Militia Base on the planet. Since the civilian uprising on Cademimu though, many of the militiamen that did not retire from combat turned to vice and smuggling, refurbishing the old Militia Base into an open settlement, where people could come and go as they pleased, within reason. And since i am part of the family, the loyalty of everyone there, extended to me. It is a refuge, away from the Sith and all this Force business, for when i feel nostalgic of easier times. Yesterday, i decided to take a break from the training and study of the Academy, and turned to this refuge in search of some entertainment, it would however turn out to become a much more interesting day than i had anticipated.
Upon going down the stairs to the market, me and my hounds noticed a pale man in a dark robe, unsure if it was a Rattataki or just a very pale Human, he seemed a bit young too, asked me where he could find himself a drink. I did of course show him to Rurn the Bartenders little corner in the lounge. I was sceptical of this one though, only a handful of people even know where this place is located, and only a third of them are aware of the open door policy of this place. I accompanied the man over to Rurn and had a few drinks, Corellian Whiskey, i believe it was, i offered the newcomer the first round for free. Though he accepted it, he told me that the gesture was unneeded, he proceeded to offer me the second round, and we took a shot of whiskey together. He seemed like the amiable sort, the man payed for his third drink and then walked off down to the dancing parlor. Rurn sure seemed happy when the man payed for the drinks and told him to "keep the change." I do belive Rurn said to himself that "Life day had come early", or somesuch. I went down to check on one of the Twilek Dancing girls that i had scheduled time with, sweet lass, very... "Eager".
As i went down the stairs i saw the stranger walking up again, and shortly after the door closed behind me as he exited the room, i heard a scream from the Twilek Dancer. I ran down with my blades up to investigate and peered past the walls of the parlor, i could see Genn, one of the older members of the crew and a Twilek, lying dead on the floor. The Girl was shocked, though i must admit that i originally thought that she was the killer, so i supressed my sympathy for her, if only for a moment. Upon putting my blades away, i noticed two things, the first was that the Dancer had something in her hands, and the second was that the man had "foam" coming out of his mouth. I asked the Twilek what she was holding, and she showed me a credit chit, a decently valuable one too, must have been atleast Seven thousand credits on it, way above her usual rate. Genn was not known to be a generous type, nor was he the type to own a lot of credits. Not suspecting foul play from the dancing girl, i inspected the corpse of Genn, and i swept the shards of his drinking glass towards a corner with the force. He seemed to have been poisoned, i tried to scan the liquid that was spilled on the floor when he dropped his drinking glass, but to no avail, my Cybernetic Eye was never top of the line, only serves as a minor improvement over my normal one.
To find out wether or not the content of the liquid was poisonous, i signaled for one of the Gonk droids, GNK, to make an analysis, the little metal box came down the stairs in a lazy pace, and proceeded to "collect" the liquid with a small hose protruding from its side, and when it was analyzed within the droids chassis, a small piece of paper could be seen slowly exiting the droids frame, analysis results displayed clearly: "Ziroxin 12", a toxin manufactured by the Empire. It had turned into a murder investigation, Genns drink was poisoned. I rushed back to the lounge to search for every ounce of information i could find about Genns dealings, checking security footage, see where the Ziroxin could have come from, anything. I found little to nothing on my own, way too much to sift through in the logs, so i employed another droid, one of the CZ-probes, a Czerka model. It found nothing about any Ziroxin purchases, and the camera in the Dancing parlor was sabotaged, i put another one of my probes to use to fix it, even then, the footage was next to useless. Genn had appearantly gained a lot of money recently, perhaps someone was jealous? Then i realised, the man i met earlier, the pale one, he took a third drink, but never finished it. Is it possible that he had poisoned the drink on his way down to the dancing parlor, and then gave it to Genn. Genn was never the type to turn down a gift, especially not if it was a free drink, i needed confirmation though.
That is when i got an idea, the glass shards, they would have some sort of "print", not too many fingerprints, but a scent. If the man did hold the glass that Genn used, Canderous would be able to smell it on the shards, making the man the most likely killer. I bade the Czerka probe to collect some of the glass shards i swept away earlier, and when it did return, i took them all and showed them to Canderous. When he started smelling them i asked him if it smelled like the man we met earlier, i could see his eyes twitch slightly, like they usually do when he smells something familiar, due to my connection to the Force i am able to communicate with him in ways i could not before. He hissed, and ran towards the speeder landing area, i followed him, and when i reached him i could see the same man as before. Appearantly waiting on his ride out of the place. I confronted him with the evidence, but he dismissed them, and took a ride with a vessel commonly used by Bounty Hunters. As his ship flew away, i simply decided to go to sleep. Though he was not convinced by the evidence, and though he was right to a degree that i did not have explicit proof that he committed the crime, i searched on, but could not find anything. No one had seen him do anything, Until today, thanks to the Kubaz.