Artefacts of Old

Episode 29: Blood Ties

Homecoming! Jaca Terrn has struck a deal with Lanyef’s Father, Lante Reolm, to have his son visit him to negotiate the exchange of an Artefact. While Terrn wishes to deal with his Father, Lanyef is certain that his family has something more they wish to discuss…

“Well that works out; Lan’s been meaning to see his parents.” Said Rebeka, grinning at him. Lanyef didn’t look well.
“While I say it is an artefact, it is more or less a translation tool we sorely need. If you can get hold of this book, we won’t need to start from scratch with much of the translation.”
“Of course,” said Rebeka.
“At present Mister Reolm isn’t willing to sell, as I understand it, it is somewhat of a family heirloom. However he has expressed a wish to see Lanyef again, so perhaps he might have better luck at bargaining than I.”
Lanyef wasn’t so sure.
“Definitely.” Replied Rebeka.
“Well then, as I have nothing else to mention I wish you luck in the recovery of this Artefact.” He said, and signed off.
Despite Lanyef’s misgivings, Rebeka insisted they set off bright and early the next day. They spent the evening at the Cantina, which while Plono did not like the treatment he suffered a week ago, didn’t have any troubles serving if they were still going to pay for it. First dawn rose and Rebeka bid her uncle farewell, Leaving Tatooine behind the crew of the Dawnstar set course for Arkania.

During the travelling time Lanyef dyed his hair to be certain it was pristine for his return, and four days later they arrived in the Perave system. There was Traffic surrounding Arkania, which itself was a white pearl in space.
“So, Where do your parents live?” asked Rebeka.
“Novania, the whole planet is frozen, so most of the cities are in regulated self-contained domes.”
“Is it going to be cold?” asked Rebeka.
“Only if you go out of the dome.”
They approached Novania and were hailed immediately.
“This is Novania control; please state your business here.”
“Pleasure.” Said Rebeka grinning.
“We’re here to see my parents, the Reolm’s.”
“Please state your family’s code.” Came the reply.
“U37.28”
“thank you, transmitting guidance coordinates now.” There display showed them the route they must take to the landing pad of the Reolm estate, and they followed the traffic around.
“You little rich boy,” mocked Rebeka, but it seemed Lanyef wasn’t particularly proud of his heritage. They passed through the domes main transport bay and into the dome proper. While it was a blizzard and dark outside, inside Sunlight glowed at the domes roof, Novania appearing like any other core world city within the domes walls. They reached the estates and approached that of the Reolm’s, a sterile looking building with basic architecture loomed over the greenhouse gardens belonging to it, the Dawnstar landing on the main landing pad that stuck out above the gardens. As they left the ship, they noticed that the Reolm security was standing ready; every member an Arkanian, the only member of the staff who wasn’t was a shiny Silver droid that approached them.
“Greetings, I am 4L-BRT, and I welcome you to the Reolm estate and you Master Reolm. Please leave all weaponry on your ship during your visit.”
The assembled security seemed somewhat nervous of Lanyef’s companions. Rebeka dutifully put her weapons back on the ship. Rak made a song and dance of it, but concealed a blaster about his person.
Jace didn’t move. “Are you going to stop me?”
The droid didn’t waver, “of course not, but the security forces of the Reolm estate may do so.”
“Lan, what’s the security force like?”
“Excellent, they’re practically military trained; they also have a direct line to the Planetary Security Office.”
The droid momentarily went blank, as though receiving a signal, then begun moving again.
“The Reolm estate has considered allowing you the use of a single regular blaster pistol. No other weapons may be permitted; I am also to state that you will not be harmed for the duration of your stay.”
“It’s better than nothing,” insisted Rebeka.
“Fine, for now.” Grumbled Jace, returning to the ship.
The Security force relaxed a little, but clearly still had their guard up.
“Now, if you’d like to follow me, I will take you to see Mr and Mrs Reolm, and guests.”
“Wait… what?” asked Lanyef.
“Guests?” said Rebeka puzzled
“Who do they have over Bert?” asked Lanyef.
“I’m afraid I am not permitted to disclose that information, Master Reolm.” Said the droid, leading the way.
“come on Bert you know me, who’s over?”
“I’m afraid I am not permitted to disclose that information.”
“I could make you permitted to tell me, if you’d rather.” Said Lanyef.
The droid simply continued walking.
“You want I should pull out his brain?” said Jace
“nah…I guess we’ll know soon enough. I like surprises,” he muttered in reply.
“This is going swimmingly so far,” murmured Rak as they entered the building. The Grandiose furniture and elaborate décor made it clear the Reolm’s were wealthy. Painted blueprints of elaborate weaponry lined the walls and despite the somewhat bland exterior, the interior was beautifully coloured and decorated. They followed the droid through several halls, passing a number of rooms and a few more security and even some Arkanian maids, before finally arriving at a drawing room.
4L-BRT opened the door and the figures inside stood up. One was a man, similar in appearance to Lanyef with long white hair and an aged complexion, who looked unimpressed by any of them. The woman next to him was equally white haired, however she seemed much more approachable and even gave them a brief smile, more for Lanyef’s benefit than the others. The remaining woman was someone Lanyef didn’t recognise at all. Young and attractive, like Lan she had died her hair a brown colour, and it was elaborately platted and fell down one side of her head. She seemed indifferent to the new arrivals, but Lanyef suddenly wished a pit would swallow him right now.
“May I present Lante Reolm and Emyef Reolm, and there guest, Senai Korava.”
“Lanyef dear, it’s so good to see you again.” Said his mother, approaching him and giving him a hug which he begrudgingly took.
“Hey…how’s it going?” he said awkwardly.
Rak hid his mirth discreetly, putting his hand over his mouth at Lan’s discomfort.
Lan gave his father a brief nod, who returned it slowly.
“And who are your… friends?” said Emyef, looking at the others he’d brought with him.
“These are my crewmates.” He said, introducing them. “we sort of, fell into- fell in with each other.”
Rebeka introduced herself and offered a hand. Emyef graciously shook it. “it’s very nice to meet you.” She added.
“yes, and you.” Said Emyef. “oh, this is Senai; she will be with us for the duration of your stay.” She added, reintroducing her, and she gave a polite bow.
“Who are you, exactly?” asked Lanyef.
The woman smiled as attention moved to her, “I am Senai Korava, The daughter of the current chairman of Adascacorp. I was invited by request of my father, and your father.”
“Dad, what are you doing?” Lanyef said warily.
“I’m merely showing you your options, son.” Said Lante, though by his tone this was the only option Lanyef had, “Out of interest, what have you done with your grandfather’s Legacy?”
“It’s rebuilt and ready to fly.” Said Lan happily, his father however seemed just as unimpressed.
“Interesting then that you didn’t bring it.”
“We have a better ship.” Said Lanyef. Lante’s expression worsened.
His mother suddenly interjected. “Bert, why don’t you go and take our guests to their rooms so they may prepare for dinner.”
“Certainly My Lady, if you would like to follow me please.” Said the droid, gesturing to the others to follow him. Lante nodded to Senai and she went with them, leaving Lanyef and his parents alone.
“All this time, and you still have the arrogance of a child. From what I’ve seen you still have done nothing with your life. Gallivanting around the galaxy like some sort of mercenary is not a good business plan, particularly when it involves aliens.” Said Lante angrily.
“These aliens are mostly okay.” Said Lanyef.
“No alien is mostly okay,” stated Lante. Lanyef looked to his mother, but she didn’t look as though she was going to help him out.
“Nevertheless, I understand that your employer wishes my great grandfathers Legacy, the book of his dig at one of the Rakatan sites.” He said, sitting down.
“you know about that.” Said Lanyef.
“Yes, I know all too well about that. Which is why when I discovered you worked for him it seemed the appropriate time to show that you can do worse, than marry a girl like Senai.”
“I could do better.” Said Lanyef defiantly.
“No, you can’t.” Lante said, glowering at Lanyef with his pupiless eyes. “My giving this book to your employer is conditional that you remain here and do something with your life.”
“I can’t stay here-” Lanyef started.
“You have no choice. If you refuse I will take your grandfathers legacy off you, because you are clearly not doing anything with it.”
“I literally just rebuilt it!”
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve ‘just rebuilt it’. That it took you this long to rebuild it is appalling.”
“Money was tight until recently.”
“And the only logical way you could think of procuring that money was by jumping round the galaxy and hunting for buried treasure like a common pirate. Not exactly a stable income.”
“I’ve rescued Hutts as well and other people-“
Lante seemed to burn with suppressed rage. “So not only are you content to run around with an alien crew, but you are spending your time rescuing the scum of the galaxy is that what you’re saying.”
“I’ve met ‘scum’ that are much nicer to me than you’ve ever been.”
“Lanyef please! This is your father you’re talking to.” Said Emyef interrupting the argument. “We have raised and cared for you, we only want what’s best for you now.”
Lante stood up. “I suggest you go to your room.” He said sternly.
Lanyef gave a slight bow and swept out of the room, his thoughts awash with anger.

The others were given there guest quarters, as elaborate and beautiful as the rest of the house, and found that despite they were human, they were treated no differently to Senai. Rebeka inquired if she could return to the ship to pick up her dress.
“That is acceptable, it is a somewhat informal affair.” Said 4L-BRT.
“Somewhat Informal?” asked Rebeka, not understanding the concept.
“If you wish to dine with the Reolm’s, it is expected that you will make an effort of some sort.” said the droid, looking at Jace in his battered armour. “However, we do insist you do not recover any weapons from your ship.”
“Of course,” said Rebeka.
“I’ll return to the ship, I’ll be on the comlink if anyone needs me.” Grumbled Jace.
“one moment sir, while the Lady’s attire will be acceptable, both your attire and the gentleman’s will not. There is guest attire in the wardrobes of your rooms, If you wish to dine with the Reolm’s I advise you wear something more appropriate.
“What if I refuse?” asked Rak.
“Then you will simply not be invited to dinner.” Said the droid.
Rak liked the sound of that, but Rebeka’s eyes screamed at him to go with her. “Fine I’ll put on a different shirt,” he grumbled.
“the guest attire is-“
“I’m not wearing another man’s clothes.” He said, the droid seemed to accept this. “and you sir?”
Jace walked away, “If anybody needs me, I’ll be on the comlink.”
“I’ll take that as a no then.” Said the droid.

The meal was just as uncomfortable as the meet and greet, they had sat Rebeka and Rak at one side of the large table, Senai and Lanyef on the other, with Emyef and Lante on the ends. The courses being brought out were small but filling. As Senai seemed to talk consistently with Lanyef, Rebeka begun to realise what she was here for, and wasn’t pleased. She hid her displeasure quickly, or so she thought, as Emyef regarded her thoughtfully, to break the ice, and so Rak and Rebeka didn’t feel left out, Emyef talked with them about their business, particularly talking about Rebeka’s upbringing and Tatooine. Lante ate in silence, making the occasional noise or derogatory comment about Lanyef’s “job”. Rebeka occasionally dared to ask Lante a few questions, but his answers were minimal and unforthcoming. Dinner was over after a couple of hours and the Reolm’s retired. However Lante insisted Lanyef remain to keep Senai company for a while. Rebeka and Rak were going to return to their rooms but stayed at the request of Lanyef, who wanted some support in case something happened. With this, the parents explained they would continue to discuss the book tomorrow and left them to it. Senai remained interested in Lanyef as the others listened in boredom, until finally 4L-BRT and a couple of maids mentioned there rooms were ready and they gave up and went to bed.

Dawn lights ignited in the dome and everyone got up to prepare for the day. Lanyef had got virtually no sleep, his room seemed alien to him and his present situation gave him no comfort. He found there was no respite as the droid butler woke him and insisted that he see his father as soon as possible, his suffering wasn’t over yet.
Meanwhile Rebeka found a knock at her door and found it to be a maid who gave her a letter from Emyef. It requested that she meet her in the gardens, and Suddenly Rebeka felt incredibly uneasy. She made herself presentable and went to see her, finding her a fair way from the estate admiring a bush of Alderaanian blue roses. The conversation seemed pleasant at first, discussing the flowers, and then asking more about Rebeka’s Heritage. The cool air in this part of the gardens suddenly turned icy when Emyef finally asked the dreaded question.
“What exactly is your relationship with Lanyef?”
“W-we’re just friends.” Said Rebeka, though the pressure of the situation made her lie a little more uncertain. “colleagues, a great guy to work with.”
Emyef picked up on this, “Really, I noticed a little friction regarding Senai and Lanyef. I may be old my dear but I can see the signs.”
“Not at all, I was just eavesdropping, if I’m honest.” She lied, badly.
Emyef fixed her with a look that made Rebeka feel weak, then she smiled, “Just so you are aware, there are plans in motion for Lanyef and he’s not as available as any woman would think. I hope that this has been made clear.” She said, the statement was so poisonous that Rebeka genuinely thought it was affecting her.
“hahaha, no of course not, of course not, I had no intentions, I don’t know where you got that from.”
“good, I’m glad we’re on the same page.” Said Emyef smiling, suddenly she was the nice woman again.
Rebeka smiled nervously.
“You may go, I will see you at dinner this evening.” Said Emyef, then Rebeka walked away, breaking into almost a run as she approached the estate.

Dinner came around, Lante and Lanyef had reached an impasse again and so nothing was really given up. The three of them received yet another invitation to dinner, and after some deep consideration Rebeka chose to go. Once again they were welcomed to the meal by Emyef, who seemed practically unaware of the discussion she’d had with Rebeka earlier that day.
“Your mother is two different people.” Whispered Rebeka to Lanyef as they went to their seats.
“I knew you wouldn’t like them.” Said Lanyef knowingly.
They reached the main course without incident, Rebeka actually getting some decent conversation out of Lante for a change.
Then out of Nowhere the glass skylight above shattered, raining glass down on the Reolm’s and their guests, two loud thuds making them aware something had landed on the sturdy table from that height. As they uncovered themselves from the shower of glass they saw two figures in dark robes standing atop the table. One was a male wearing a mask that disguised his species, the other was a Sith Pureblood woman. Both removed the hilts from their belts.
“Any further orders?” asked the woman.
“No mercy, kill them all.” Growled the man, igniting his Saber staffs blades.
“Jace! Sith! Come now! Rebeka, hide until Jace gets here!” said Lanyef hurriedly as he backed off his chair and away from the table. Rak did the same, pulling the blaster from his trousers and taking several shots at the Sith before him. Each shot was deflected back at Rak, but despite the closeness of the shots, none of them hit Rak either.
“Guards!” called Emyef, heading for the left pillar of the dining room, behind her chair. The Arkanian guards moved to defend her and engage the Sith as Lante drew his own pistol and fired at the pureblood his shots flying wide due to the surprise. The Male Sith hopped off the table, lunging for Rak with his blade, catching him as he tried to dodge away.
The female Sith looked at Rebeka, still shocked at their arrival, “Ah. Lord Lykat says hello.” She said grinning, as she waved her hand in front of her. Rebeka suddenly found chains erupt from the marble flooring and bind her to the chair, keeping her from being able to move. Rebeka knew this had to be an illusion, but despite her knowing this, the chains binding her to the chair were frustratingly tangible and incredibly tough.

Meanwhile Jace sprang into action, dashing hurriedly out of the ship and activating his jet pack as soon as he was clear of the ship, landing on the roof of the estate. He knew of the skylight from a walk around the estate he’d been allowed to make prior to returning to the ship, and he hurried to it.
Lanyef noticed Rebeka didn’t seem to be getting out of her chair. “Beka get up, there’s nothing wrong with you!” he called, blasting at the pureblood catching her across the shoulder and striking her again as she turned to face him.
Rak leapt away, blasting at the Sith before him, catching him across the leg and side as he whirled his blade to try to reflect them away. Senai took cover by the right pillar behind her, firing on the pureblood too, her shots flying wide as the guards fired on them. Another shot hit her, another the Sith deflected at Lanyef striking him in the side. The guards on the other side of the room fared no better, the Sith deflecting a bolt at Rak and catching him on the hip. The woman lunged at Lanyef off the table, striking at him with careful blows so as not to leave her as open, but ultimately missing. The Sith attacking Rak suddenly attacked him with improved speed as Rebeka continued to try to free herself of her illusion. Jace pelted across the roof, jumping into the skylight, his jetpack slowing his descent as he drew his blasters and fired on the Sith attacking Rak. The Sith immediately turned, deflecting the bolts with a spin of his blade as Jace descended, both of his guns ran out of ammo on the way down and he was forced to try to kick him as he landed. But with split second precision the Sith halted his staffs twirling and blocked with the hilt, throwing Jace off him and back onto the dining table. Lanyef dodged back and blasted the pureblood again, her defensive attacks did little to help her avoid being hit and she was hit again, a graze upon her leg. Rak injured the Sith in front of him with a shot to his exposed back, but the Sith reflected his further shots away. More blaster fire criss crossed the room from Lante, Senai and the Reolm guards, overwhelming the Pureblood.
“I won’t go down alone,” she hissed, thrusting her hand out towards Emyef, who held her throat in desperation as she tried to breathe.
Jace suddenly found the table cutlery hurtling towards him, a few forks jabbing into his armour from the male Sith’s power As Rebeka finally disbelieved the chains existence and she got out of the chair. With no weapons on her, Rebeka grabbed a gravy boat and threw it at the Pureblood, her plate following shortly after. Aside from pelting her with food the crockery flew wide of her.
Jace removed the cutlery embedded in his armour, the last bit a steak knife.
“you call that a knife, this is a knife.” He said, drawing his vibroblades and striking at him from the table. The awkwardness of his position however, meant his vibroblades were either deflected away or missed entirely. Lanyef fired desperately to stop the woman from killing his mother, striking her squarely in the chest. She yelled in pain and dropped his mother, who fell to the floor. The male Sith rushed the guards, taking a nasty cut from Jace as he attempted to make his escape, cutting down a Reolm guard and 4L-BRT, who had been panicking ever since the fight broke out. Senai darted out of cover, seeing the Pureblood distracted and shot her in the head, dropping the Sith. The guards near Emyef checked on her to ensure she was alright, while another guard’s blaster bolt was redirected towards Rebeka grazing her back. Rak blasted the Sith twice in the back but he spun on him to deflect the third shot away, as Rebeka picked up her chair and tried to hit the Sith with it, but he cut it to kindling effortlessly as it came at him. Jace tried to capitalise on the distraction but the Sith was too quick, defending himself easily from Jace’s attacks. Lanyef hurried over to his mother to check on her.
“She’s still alive, but just barely.” Said the guard as Rak fired on the Sith, actually physically wounding him with a blaster shot to the back. The Sith roared in frustration, throwing his hands out and throwing Rebeka and Jace across the room. Jace hitting the doors and Rebeka the wall, the table spun over as they were thrown. Rebeka reacted faster than Jace, picking herself up and grabbing Jace’s blaster rifle while he was dazed. She fired on the Sith with careful aim, hitting him in the chest and he finally fell to the ground. Rebeka returned Jace’s rifle, and he gave her a brief nod. Rebeka checked to see Senai was alright, while Lante hurried over to Emyef’s fallen form. Jace picked up there blades. A couple of maids hurried in with a medical repulsor lift and helped the guards gently place Emyef on it as Lante watched them go.
He then turned his attention back to the group his face like thunder. “you, all of you, you brought this down on our house! With your adventures and pathetic excuses for artefacts.”
Lante stormed past them and out of the room. Everyone seemed to wait with baited breath and he returned with a book, the book they had been sent to collect. He thrust into Lanyef’s hands.
“Here, take it, but you’re no longer welcome in this house, none of you are. I’m effectively ending your legacy here and now. You no longer hold the respect or the influence our family does. You have brought shame to this house, and I don’t want to see any of you again, and if you do I will call the authorities and ensure that the full extent of the law is brought down upon you. Now get out!” he barked, he waved his guards over and had them escorted out of the estate. None of them seemed particularly disappointed about this. They were left alone once they were back on the landing platform, Senai had left with them, hurrying over to the Speeder rank and calling for a taxi home.
“Well that went better than expected.” Said Lanyef mockingly.
“What were you expecting to happen?” said Rak, rather surprised by the jovial attitude.
“I could have ended up marrying her.” He said, gesturing to Senai. “it could have gone worse.”
Rebeka did not look happy at all, “Your mum could have died.” She growled.
“I care about that, but I could care less about my father.” He muttered.
“Sounds like she got the better deal.” Said Jace to himself, looking at Senai.
They entered the Dawnstar and were leaving Arkania in a matter of minutes. They flicked through the book they were given, much of it was in Arkanian but any translation droid could decipher that it was indeed a logbook of a Reolm ancestor who had worked on a Rakatan dig. With clearance to leave the dome they escaped Arkania’s atmosphere and plotted course for Meera, their mission by all accounts a success.

There was a distinct lack of Lanyef on the return journey, clearly a sign that despite his jesting he really was upset by the events that had transpired. Despite her irritation by this, Rebeka did however know Lan well enough to know that he was probably hurting, and mentioned that he could talk to her if he wanted to. He considered this, but in the end decided against this. Four days later they arrived at Meera and headed for Terrn’s office to give him the book.
“You sure you’re okay with this?” asked Rebeka as they headed out onto Meera’s surface.
“Yeah, let’s do it.” Agreed Lan.
When they entered Terrn’s Office he had a concerned look on his face.
“I have been informed about what occurred at the Reolm estate. I’m terribly Sorry Lanyef, I heard that you were on your way and had acquired the book; I only wish it were under better circumstances. I also get the feeling you haven’t contacted your family.”
“No.” said Lanyef.
“I’ve made a few inquiries myself and I understand that your mother is doing fine and will perhaps be out of hospital in a couple of weeks.”
“I’m glad to hear it, thank you.” Said Lanyef visibly relieved.
“Yes, as for your father he seems quite distraught and I only hope once this whole matter is over he will welcome you back.”
“I doubt it.” Said Lanyef.
“Again, thank you for your work and the book.” Said Terrn, holding his hand out. Lanyef handed it over.
“This will help a great deal.” He added. “if you needed to take a few days I’d certainly understand.”
“No, let’s get on with this.” He said.
“Very well, If you do not wish to dwell on this I can understand that as well.” Said Terrn nodding. “in which case, come with me, there’s a gentleman who wishes to speak with you about the next artefact.”
“are we getting paid for the book?” asked Rak.
“I will be sure to give you a token fee for your service.” Said Terrn moving into the room with the holoviewer. He pressed a few buttons to put in the call. “I understand you and the gentleman have met before.”
“Who is it?” asked Jace.
“I suppose I should let him tell you himself.”
The holoviewer activated and a figure stood in the viewer, facing the wrong way. He looked around, saw he was facing the wrong way and turned gracefully to face them.
“Ah! My friends it is good to see you.” Said Durgo Vernaka, the Weequay Pirate.

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