Artefacts of Old

Episode 45: Blade Dance

“Come on, let’s not hang about, we should get our bags to the bell porter.” Said Terrn avoiding the obvious question running through Rak and Lanyefs minds. Jace watched for threats as Rebeka contained her giggle long enough to ask Terrn about Rak and Lanyef’s sudden elope.
“It was the only way I could get the organiser of the event to give me two tickets. I’m only able to purchase a ticket for the two of us, and it was only after I organised this little white lie that I was able to purchase two additional tickets. It’s a very exclusive event.”
They checked there rooms out. Jaces was across from Terrns, designed to be an affordable room for personal Security. Rebeka’s room was as luxurious as Terrns, but did not have the same security level as further down the corridor. When the honeymoon suite eventually became available Rak and Lanyef discovered it to be just as horrific as they imagined, tailored beautifully to a happy couple as opposed to a couple of ‘friends’ in a very awkward situation. Insult was added when they found an apologetic gift of complimentary Garwillian Champagne on the bedside table, which Rak had drank half of before he’d even opened his bag.
Each of them received an itinerary of the next few days events. They’d arrived a day early which Terrn was content with.
“Why the need to arrive early? You only expose yourself to more danger.”
“If anything we’ve arrived intentionally late, I have a couple of meetings I need to attend today.”
“Then I’ll need to know your Itinerary as well.
Terrn did so outlining his own plans. The ball was to take place in two days time, Terrn was planning to accompany them when they went to buy outfits for the ball, then in the afternoon he was meeting with a man named Harrington Kaele. The following day he would have a meeting with investors in the afternoon, and only Jace needed to attend either of these as security. With the plan outlined they went shopping for outfits, Rak had studied everything he had on Yuo Chihiro’s personality and style in a bid to get some sort of an edge regarding the kind of men she dated, he’d done a fairly decent job and chose an outfit he thought she would find attractive. They bought there dresswear for the evening, at a considerable price which working for Terrn had meant they could easily afford, Rebeka buying a trinket to send on to U’tl as well.
Terrn went for his meeting with Harrington Kaele, a man slightly taller than Terrn, with wavy white hair, a large moustache and a loud personality. Jace ignored much of the details, listening out for threats more than anything, but did pick up that he was working on Desevro, but kept hush hush about what he was doing. Jace did learn however he was formally of the Empires Service, the sphere of archaeology, however Jace trusted Terrns judgement, as they seemed to be old friends. The others hit the casinos for a while, Rebeka breaking even while Raks luck didn’t seem to change, losing three quarters of the money he played with.
The following day Terrn attended the meeting with the investors, and again Jace more or less ignored the incredibly boring conversation about budgets and payment tracking. But the general consensus was that Terrn had done them a good service and they would continue to fund his expeditions.

The evening came and Rebeka could barely contain her excitement as they waited for each other in the lobby. Jace outside on the main balcony knew the layout of the hall after a discussion with the event organiser. There was a dance floor in the centre of the hall between four pillars, eight in total in the hall. Benches lined the hall for sitting as well as the occasional table and chair set. A buffet was set up at the front of the hall while the band played at the back. On the left side were windows that led out onto the main balcony, while on the right were windows that led out to small private balconies.
Terrn looked smart in his finery, walking with a cane that was simply for dress purposes. He had however brought a hold-out pistol concealed in his jacket. Rebeka had taken her pistol too, but Rak and Lanyef had chosen not too, under the impression they’d improvise should anything happen. There embarrassment was not made any less when Terrn handed the droid there tickets and declared there names to the attendees. According to the droid, Lanyef had taken Raks name, which only seemed to make things worse for him. he put that out of his mind as Rak made a beeline for the drinks and he pursued Rebeka and Terrn. They all noticed Yuo Chihiro in a crowd of people conversing, wearing an elegant white dress and a mask with feathers protruding from it that in some cases were entwined with her purple locks.
“There she is. There she is. Let’s get over to her!” hissed Rebeka.
“In due time my dear, in due time.” He said. Rebeka assumed he was suffering from nerves and got him a drink.
Harrington Kaele was in attendance, speaking with a woman across the dance floor, then a conversation splintered ahead of them and Emyef Reolm was there. Rak also spotted a Zeltronian woman whom he recalled from Tatooine, and was responsible at the time for making off with a thousand credits, he decided that would be one person he’d avoid. Rebeka waved at Emyef who responded with her own small wave as she was speaking with someone. Lanyef hid when he noticed her, then not seeing his father he asked a droid at the left entrance who she came with. The droid mentioned she had come alone. A paparazzi droid hovered about Yuo as she talked, but didn’t seem to bother her.
Jace meanwhile took stock of the security. It was Republic security, meaning it was better trained than most private security forces, and it seemed Jace was the only private bodyguard hired for the event. He also noticed there was no guards on the roof above where the skylight was.
“I’m going to send a droid up to the roof.” He warned one of the guards. He simply nodded as Jace released BMO and let it float up to the roof.
Meanwhile Rebeka and Terrn had gone for a dance. Rak continued to drink wine while waiting for an opening in Yuo’s little group.Meanwhile Lanyef tried to keep an eye on his mother while staying hidden. Unfortunately for him she noticed him and approached him.
“Lanyef, what are you doing here?” she asked.
“well…you know…things, enjoying the life of the party. How are you?”
“I’m very well… what’s wrong?” she inquired.
“Where’s Dad these days?”
“Oh he’s at home, a case of the Cardooine Chills I’m afraid. Unfortunately he couldn’t attend but the Reolms needed to be in attendance, so here I am,” she happened to glance in the direction of Terrn, awkwardly trying to dance with Rebeka. ”I understand Rebeka is here, but not with you it seems.”
“No, she’s a paid escort for the night.” He said.
Emyef frowned slightly, “I hope that isn’t what you mean. I assume you mean she is his Chaperone.”
“That’s it.” He said.
“I trust you’re all well?” she asked as Rebeka and Terrn moved to them from the dance floor.
“Emyef Reolm? I did not expect you to attend this event.” Said Terrn, surprised.
“Really? The Reolms have always attended the Mindianis Masquerade ball.”
“Oh…yes, silly me for forgetting that.” He said nervously. “Still good to see you still attended even without your husband, where is he?”
“Oh at home, with the Cardooine Chills.”
“Oh I’m sorry.” Said Rebeka. “I hope he gets better soon.”
“I’m sure he will.”
“my condolences, does that mean you’re on your own?” said Terrn.
“Yes, I’m afraid so, I have some business I need to attend to later this evening, and it was important we make a presence after all that has been going on recently.”
“Do you have security?” asked Rebeka quietly.
“No no, the republic security is more than adequate. There is no better security.”
“Well, be careful.”
Emyef looked puzzled, “I intend to be,”
Rak meanwhile continued to bide his time, but more and more it seemed like Yuo wasn’t going to be left alone by the guests. As he walked around the dance floor another guest bumped him, but he caught his glass in time. He found the apologetic guest to be the Zeltronian and her out-of-place date. The human looked like he should be leading pirate raids rather than attending balls, and certainly looked uncomfortable.
“Oh I’m so sorry- oh, it’s you.” She smiled.
Rak was suddenly very aware of his pockets and checked himself over.
“Why don’t you get a drink or something, while I chat with my friend here.” She said to her date.
He regarded Rak for a moment, and moved off warily as she had asked. The Zeltron moved closer to Rak, and he moved away cautiously.
“I won’t bite…unless of course you want me to.”
“It’s not your teeth I’m concerned about.”
“Ah… you’re worried about my wandering fingers?” she said, gesturing with her elegant hands.”
“It didn’t go so well last time.” Muttered Rak.
“Oh I am sorry, however if it makes you feel any better it did pay for my ticket offplanet and my invitation here.”
Rak considered this, “…No. not really, If you gave me the money back, that would help.”
“Oh I’m sure I could work something out.” She said, trying to get close again. Again Rak stepped away. “Do you care to dance?”
“…No.” he said again.
“Oh… why not?” she asked, a little put out.
“I wouldn’t want to offend your classy gentleman.”
“Oh don’t mind him.”
“Anyway it’s been nice chatting up… catching up, see ya.” He said, and moved off hurriedly across the dance floor, dancing half-heartedly to get to the other side. Leaving the Zeltron a little put out.
He made his way over to Yuo Chihiro, who was talking to one of the assembled group about podracing. It seemed she was a fan of the Racer Dak Orren, and her favourite course was that of Malastare. Rak attempted to wow her with his own knowledge of the racers engines, but got so technical it was clear she was only humouring him. He then went on to mention how he’d watched every episode of Cristeel Stingers, as well as how much he enjoyed her work, and she politely thanked him. Rak found this only to be a polite gesture, and likely not the start of a more private conversation, so he took his leave, to drink away his troubles.
Meanwhile Rebeka tried to ensure Emyef looked to be enjoying herself while moving Terrn closer to Yuo. Harrington Kaele appeared at the edge of the dance floor.
“Ah! Good to see you my old friend.” He said.
Terrn ceased dancing with Rebeka to speak with him, “Ah good evening mister Kaele.”
“And this is your Chaperone is it? Lovely one this one eh?” he chuckled.
Rebeka maintained her composure.
“I’ve been speaking with my representatives,” said Harrington, getting back to business.
“Have you?” said Terrn.
“Yes, This business we’ve been doing on Desevro, I could use your help should you be willing.”
“Oh yes?”
“Yes, a bit hush hush though.” He muttered quietly, so only Terrn and Rebeka could hear. Then seemed to notice Rebeka again, “Is she alright with this?”
“Yes, in fact she could well be one of the people helping you out.” Said Terrn.
“Excellent, Excellent.” Harrington explained, “You’ve heard the rumours of a secret vault on Desevro belonging to Xim the Despot?”
“Yes, yes.”
“Well, there has been knew evidence come to light, apparently it dates back to the era where many of your artefacts existed, and I have reason to believe you may find one of your artefacts in it as well.”
Terrn nodded, “indeed? That would be beneficial for both parties. If you have your people talk to my people, I will see about arranging it. Now I’m afraid I have other business to attend to, Mister Kaele. I’ll speak with you again later.”
“Of Course.” He said, moving off to dance with Emyef Reolm it seemed, While Terrn joined the group surrounding Yuo, Rebeka keeping her distance. It seemed Yuo was quite aware as to who Terrn was.
“Mister Terrn, I understand you’re out in the unknown regions at present, must be incredibly exciting.”
“Indeed, it’s very interesting work, though it can be a little boring from day to day.”
“Yes, I can imagine, being on that dusty planet.”
They conversed for a while the conversation initially about archaeology, then moved on to her career and his. Eventually Terrn brought up the conversation and asked apologetically for her autograph, which she gave with a smile. They gave each other there thanks for the conversation and Terrn put the little book away.
“Well, I think it went well, and I got what I wanted.” Said Terrn.
“Good, I hope it was worth it.” Said Rebeka smiling.
“Most definitely.”
“and I think you were in there.” She said.
Terrn gave a slight chuckle, “Oh dear me no, she’s much too young for me.”
Rak decided to get some air on the balcony after Terrns attempt had gone much better than his. Rebeka excused herself and observed the people about the room, looking out for anything that looked suspicious.
Meanwhile Jace approached Rak on the balcony. “have you seen any suspicious people, anyone who seems out of place?”
“There’s a Zeltron in there with a man who looks like he could cause trouble. Could check them.”
He did so, at the same time Rebeka noticed them and noticed them conversing, moving to a better position to hear them.
“Dear if you like you can go back to the room, I’ll be along shortly.” The Zeltron said.
“You sure?”
“Of course, I will be along in a few minutes.”
The man looked a little relieved and marched out of the left doors quickly.
Jace and BMO only just catching sight of the man leaving. He watched him leave proper, looking for anything suspicious, but aside from how uncomfortable he was, he looked too obvious, and returned to observing Terrn. Rebeka meanwhile used the guise of observing the dancers to try to keep an eye on the Zeltron, she seemed to see through this, and gave Rebeka a wink and a wave. Rebeka smiled and moved away, feeling a bit uncomfortable. Rebeka hid behind a pillar as she observed the Zeltron be approached by a couple of men whom she turned down for a dance. She moved position as a droid went past, and the next minute Rebeka had lost her. That is until she heard a voice whisper,
“What are you doing?”
She spun on her suddenly, finding the Zeltron very much in her personal space.
“I was just looking at all the people in there pretty dresses,” she lied.
“ah… any in particular you find extremely pretty?”
“…No?” said Rebeka, a familiar smell filling her nose, it was less intoxicating, but it certainly made Beka feel like she was in some trouble.
The Zeltron chuckled, giving Rebeka’s hair a playful flick before going elsewhere in the hall. Rebeka breathed again, and visibly half staggered to the balconies on the other side to get some air. Lanyef couldn’t help but observe the conversation, and followed Rebeka out.
“Lanyef, you get back to Terrn right now.” Jace warned. “Blast it, Rak, get in there now.”
Rebeka breathed a sigh of relief as the dizzy flush subsided, to turn and see Lanyef.
“What are you doing? Get back in to Terrn.” She said. But it was too late.
As Rak entered the hall once more the lights went out, and there was a sudden flash as a blaster discharged. Suddenly everyone was screaming and panicking, making it hard to see what had happened. Rebeka and Lanyef saw the fallen figure of there employer while Rak searched the darkness for the shooter.
“Is it Terrn?” asked Jace.
“It is,” said Rebeka, drawing her blaster as she rushed to the side of there fallen boss, so the panicked guests would not tread on him.
“Where’s the shooter?”
“Can’t see him,” she added.
The guards tried to restore order and calm everyone down as they searched for the shooter, then there was a crunch and a sudden smash as a security guard was thrown out the window and screamed as he fell over the balcony to his death. Everyone’s attention was drawn to the noise, Rebeka, Rak and Lanyef seeing someone escape into the hall. The lights were out all over the building, clearly as part of the plan.
“Stay with him.” said Rebeka, dashing after the runner once she had seen Terrn’s injury was superficial. Rak followed as suddenly Emyef Reolm was by her sons side.
“I’ll look after him, and make sure republic security protects him,” she explained, Lanyef nodding and heading out the hall after his companions.
“Someone fled the hall!” called Rebeka on the comm, Jace immediately gave Jace across the roof of the hotel, hoping to get to the front foyer before the killer did. Rebeka caught up a little unable to see the runner but blasted with her stun setting, hitting, but not affecting them. Rebeka described the route the runner took as they pursued to Jace. He jumped down to the front, beating the attacker there and entering the hotel through the dark reception area. As Rebeka followed round the corner, she almost ran into the assailant, or so she thought, seeing the puzzled guest.
“Someone came running down this corridor, where did they go?” she demanded.
“That way!” he said, shocked at the blaster being brandished at him.
“Thank you!” she called, following after where she thought the attacker had fled. Lanyef hurriedly accessed one of the rooms in the corridor in case the attacker had hidden in one, while Rak followed Rebeka. Jace was coming down the corridor they were just in. Rak and Rebeka turned again towards the front reception, Rak just spotting the figure as they turned the corner. Jace turned the corridor to see Lanyef leaving the room he was just in. Rebeka caught up to the figure, and finally a passing window shone enough light for Rebeka to see the beautiful purple hair of Yuo Chihiro. Rebeka blasted her with a stun shot, but it simply scorched the wall as she turned again.
“Stop!” yelled Rebeka. Rak overtook her,seeing Yuo flee down the corridor. Jace and Lanyef tailed behind, shadowing the corridors the others were running into. Rebeka caught one of the doors in this corridor opening, and assumed this is where she went. She kept her blaster trained on it as the door closed.
“She’s gone into a room!” she hissed.
“Which one?” asked Rak, having to slow. She couldn’t think of a way to tell him because the door numbers weren’t visible in the dark. Jace lit a glow rod as he and Lanyef pursued. Rebeka cautiously stepped up to the door.
“This one.” She said.
Rak stepped up to the door, but it wouldn’t open automatically for them. He hacked the door lock and managed to access the door. Suddenly there was an ominous red glow coming from the room as Yuo Chihiro stood holding a red lightsaber, and thrust her hand out at Rebeka. She struck her with the force, throwing her against the opposite door. Lanyef came round the corner just as Jace did, both of them seeing the Red glow from the room as Rebeka returned fire. Causing burns on Yuo’s flesh. She threw herself at Rebeka catching her on the arm. Yuo, altered shape becoming like any generic sith lord, human, but nobody they recognised.
“Don’t recognise me do you.”
“no, and I don’t care.” Growled Rebeka. Rak grabbed a Blaster Pistol off Jaces belt and fired, hitting the Sith across the back. Lanyef went for Jace’s Sonic Pistol as Jace took aim with his Stun rifle. He hit him with waves of stunning energy, but the Sith resisted, Rebeka using the advantage to blast the Sith another couple of times.
“The truth is, I can be anyone I want to be.” Said the Sith, it’s form changing again to become Lykat. She thrust her hand out, sending Jace, Rak and Rebeka hurtling to the back of the corridor, Leaving Lanyef, who resisted, alone with her. BMO, who’d been pursuing Jace was also swept up in the sudden blast of force, sparking slightly as he hit the wall. Rak got up and rushed back. Lanyef tried blasting her with his sonic pistol, but she avoided both shots as there was a sudden crash behind him as Jace tried to use his jetpack in the confined space, hitting the ceiling and floor nowhere near his intended target. Rebeka rushed up after Rak, as Lykat swung at Lanyef, causing a nasty burn in his side as he tried to escape. Rak opened fire, injuring her some more as Lanyef made his escape, also trying to blast her, the shots hitting the hotel corridor wall. Jace staggered to his feet, opting to run towards the Sith and grab her lightsaber, but the obvious attempt meant she struck him with her lightsaber, Rebeka darted in front of Lan attempting to blast the Sith as she swung at him, missing Rebeka,Jace and Rak as she swung low.
“Taivus want’s you dead as much as he does your employer. I’d be doing him a favour by eliminating you.” Said Lykat.
Rak blasted her several more times , as did Lanyef, but neither managed to hit her. Jace again tried to disarm her but again suffered for the attempt, being struck in the leg. Rebeka continued to blast her as she deflected the shots away, striking Jace a third time, cutting Rak deeply across the chest and striking Rebeka across the arm. Rak and Lanyef blasted her, distracting her enough for Jace to snatch her lightsaber from her hands. Rebeka capitalised, blasting the unarmed Sith several times.
She hopped away, “Cute trick.” She said, thrusting a hand out, the lightsaber flying away from Jace’s grip, “But it’s not so easy to disarm a Sith.” She said, flourishing.
Rak blasted her straight through her chest, ending the arrogant Sith’s life.
“No…” she said as her true form revealed, a Changeling Sith. Rebeka called the Security bell, and waited for the Hotel’s security to arrive to deal with the would be assassin.

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