Artefacts of Old

Episode 49: The Dark Heart of the Empire

They returned to the desolate tents of Jot’s tribe, where the Dawnstar was parked nearby. Tchaw and Jot seemed to discuss something at length on their arrival, then Tchaw spoke with them.
“Jot is willing to let you take the crystal. As far as he is concerned it brought the Demon and will bring more demons if it remains.”
“In that case we will happily take it off his hands.” Said Rebeka, “But what will Jot do? He’s all alone.”
“The Amanin culture is resilient, I’ll make sure he finds home with one of the other tribes.” Said Tchaw. “Jot has good skills to offer, he should integrate well.”
“Good,”
“Once that’s done, I’ll take my leave too. I’ve done what I came here to do.” He added. He gave them a salute, “Pleasure working with you.”
Rebeka saluted back and the party returned to the ship. They scavenged the imperial speeders weaponry to attach to a Swoop for Jace later, then left Meridun behind. As they made their way out of System, ready to jump to Hyperspace, A ship seemed to approaching them from sensor range.
Lanyef scanned the ship, identifying it as a Defender Class Corvette.
“They’re Jedi Ships aren’t they?” said Rebeka.
“Maybe it’s Stebe.” Suggested Lanyef.
“If it is we should be careful, she might be a droid trap at this point.” Warned Jace, recalling Yusan Kile’s obsession with the Jedi.
The comm came to life, and true enough it was Jedi Master Stebe.
“Check to make sure the signals genuine,” warned Jace.
Lanyef checked the transponder codes and true enough they were republic in origin, and coming from the ship. With no other reason to delay her Lan put her through.
“Hello?”
“Greetings, I thought I recognised the ship, I had hoped it wasn’t stolen again.”
“Don’t worry I don’t let that happen anymore.” Said Rebeka.
“I imagine you don’t. Why are you out here?”
“Killing Sith.” Said Rak.
“Really? Which Sith in particular?”
“You wouldn’t know them, I don’t think.” Said Rebeka.
“Well I may do, as I may be here for exactly the same reasons you are.”
“Well, Darth Storn is dead, if that helps you.”
Stebe was visibly surprised. “That’s a great deal of help. That’s what I came here to do.”
“Well we did your job for you,” grinned Rebeka.
“Well either way it brings me to my next order of business which I need to discuss with the four of you personally. If you would allow us to dock.”
“Don’t let her dock we can meet her on the station.” Said Jace from his position in the turret.
Rebeka muted the comm. “Really? This is Stebe we’re talking about.”
“As far as you know.”
Rebeka sighed and unmuted. “Can we meet you back at Meera?”
Stebe looked a little apprehensive. “I’d rather not do, given this does not concern your employer and is sensitive information. I’d rather discuss it in space in person than on a public station.
“What is it about?” asked Rebeka.
“Your assistance with a mission that would benefit both your employer, and the Jedi and the Republic, if you could help.”
“The Republic could have benefitted Hapes and they haven’t.” said Rebeka sourly. “Okay.”
“I am just as concerned as you about the events in the Hapes cluster. I’m certain this mission could help with regards to that.”
“Then okay.” Said Rebeka, bringing the Dawnstar to a halt. “See you in a bit.” She said, and signed off.
Jace, not keen on this, hid the crystal in one of the smuggling compartments on the ship before she arrived. When she finally docked and entered the airlock with three others, an imperial Astromech, a republic medical droid and an Ithorian Jedi, they got even more apprehensive.
“Do you really need the droids?” asked Jace.
“They are essential to the mission I plan to carry out. The other Jedi is only here to make sure this is not a trap on your part.”
Rebeka looked genuinely offended.
“No disrespect intended Rebeka, Storn was a master of illusions, I couldn’t be more careful.”
“If this was a trap, you’d already be dead.” Said Jace.
“If this was a trap, I wouldn’t be here.” Said Stebe.
Rebeka slapped his hand away from the comm and Let her in, but Jace remained vigilant. Stebe and her companions came aboard. Stebe gave her warm smile to Rebeka. “It’s good to see you again.” She said, giving a slight bow. Rebeka did it back. The other Jedi, Lanyef and Rak bowed as well.
“Who is this?” asked Rebeka, pointing at the Ithorian.
“This is master Hep Roda, he was in the system and could give me a lift here. He came aboard only to see me off.” She said, nodding to him.
“You’ll be alright from here?” inquired the ithorian.
“Yes, thank you. I will be perfectly safe with these people. May the force be with you.”
“May the force be with you.” He said, leaving through the airlock.
“Right, what is this mission?” asked Rebeka.
“It is a mission I have reservations mentioning, but it would be more likely to succeed with your assistance.” She said, making her way to their holoviewer.
“I’m planning an information gathering mission to the Planet of Dromund Kaas.”
They were silent. “…Spast.” Said Rebeka. The Capital world of the Sith empire was not a place someone like Stebe should go. It certainly wasn’t a place any of them wanted to go in the near future.
“It’s not a place we should go.” Said Rebeka. “ooh do we get to be Sith?”
“No, this is the plan.” She said, placing a disc in the holoviewer. An image flashed up of a Sith Lord, who appeared to have someone’s face stapled over hers.
“This Sith in particular was quite deranged.” Said Stebe.
“She’s wearing someone’s face, I’m not going to deny that conclusion.” Said Rak.
“It’s not someone I’d invite over for Tea.”
“No indeed, this is Darth Rynn, The Master of Darth Storn, or was. She met her end on Ord Mantell. I take no pride in it. But it was necessary.”
“Necessary how?” asked Jace, still wary of Stebe.
“While she seems deranged she was incredibly brilliant. She was using Storn who was part of the group known as the scourge.”
“We know them.” Said Rebeka.
“Indeed, she’s been using her apprentice to learn more about this group. Storn was unaware of this, But such is the nature of Sith. Conflict arises even between master and apprentice. Darth Rynn was being groomed to be the next member of the scourge and it is believed she had a great deal of information on the members of the scourge.”
“So we have to talk to her?” asked Rebeka.
“Talking to her is impossible, as I have said she is dead.”
“Oh,” said Rebeka, confused.
“So what do we have to gain here.” Said Jace.
“She kept this information in her chambers, which is what we’d like to collect.”
“So we’re going to sneak into her room?” said Rebeka.
“How can you be sure it’s still there?” said Rak.
“The Sith are unaware she’s dead.” Said Stebe.
“They don’t? But they’re Sith?” said Rebeka.
“Just because they are Sith doesn’t make them aware when a Sith dies.” Said Stebe.
“Does she have no Allies?”
“Aside from her apprentice, Rynn was not particularly popular. As part of her initiation, she also collected one of the Artefacts that Terrn was looking for. I have been trying to put this mission to your employer, but with no success. He seems to be dodging my calls.”
“Now that you mention it, it does seem he avoids using Jedi.” Said Lanyef.
“It’s possible he has no love for the Jedi, few people do, misinterpreting our beliefs for that of the Sith.”
“We’re well aware of the Prejudices.” Said Rebeka, glancing at Jace.
“Well I have come to you directly, I received a message from one of the flight controllers at the station stating his disinterest in putting you in this sort of danger, however I believe if this information and artefact are lost it could put the Republic at a grave disadvantage.
“It’s not another pot is it?” muttered Jace.
“It’s technical readouts for advanced Rakatan Shield Technology. It’s practically in their hands; we need to ensure it doesn’t remain that way.”
“So how are we going to just walk onto a Sith occupied planet?”
“That is the difficulty, however I likely have the ideal ruse in mind. I will impersonate Darth Rynn, she was sent to eliminate me by the scourge, it seems only logical that if she were to return she would appear like me. Rak, Lanyef and Rebeka will need to impersonate three of Darth Rynn’s slaves; Jace will impersonate the Mandalorian Slave master who also perished on Ord Mantell.”
None of them liked the plan. Especially Jace.
“Can he not disguise himself?” asked Rebeka.
“A Holographic Image disguiser might work, but you’d need to be mindful of its power reserves. Of course, I leave it to your decision. I would not suggest a mission like this if I believed there was a safer way.”
“We’ll just have to remember to change the energy cell from time to time, how long are we planning to be there?” asked Lanyef.
“2 days. I don’t expect to be there much longer. I intend to procure a hideout for the duration, something not too difficult for me, and speak with a man, Pult Frexin, who will give us information regarding Rynn’s offices. At that point you will need to don different disguises; it may look suspicious if people associated with Rynn started asking where her office was.”
“You don’t know where it is?” said Jace.
“It’s in the imperial Citadel; I know no more than that.”
“Oh, lovely.” Said Rebeka.
“I understand Jace has a recording droid.”
“hm.” Grunted Jace.
“I understand there is a meeting to take place with two members of the scourge. Darth Rynn mentioned this. And I fully intend to investigate this meeting.”
“You don’t need my droid, they cost 2000 credits, buy your own.”
“In that case I will do that.” Said Stebe, mildly put out.
“I think we should do this, but I don’t know what disguises we could do of our own. Sith perhaps?”
“A Sith disguise would only draw attention to you, especially you Rebeka. The artificial nature of your own ability is too recognisable.”
“Then why am I even going?”
Stebe sighed, “I am not belittling the risk involved, and your employer likely sees this as well. But there is little choice, I am giving you an option, with or without you I will be heading for Dromund Kaas.”
“You can’t go alone.”
“There is no Choice. I have to go.”
“I will go, at the very least.” Said Rebeka.
“I don’t like this, but I’ll not let you go alone.” Muttered Jace.
“I’ll go too.” Said Lanyef.
“Oh well I suppose we’re all going aren’t we.” Grumbled Rak.
Stebe elaborated that they would first need to dock with a Republic station on the border of imperial space, where a Sith fury interceptor would be docked, to add to the disguise. The imperial droid with her she introduced as C2, an Astromech belonging to her who would be accompanying them on the mission. The other droid was a Medical droid to assist Stebe with her transformation.
“What about the Crystal? It is our priority mission, we can’t just abandon it.” Said Jace.
“I wasn’t suggesting we do.” Said Rebeka.
“If there is something you need to deliver to Terrn, the Republic Outpost will see that it gets to him.” said Stebe.
“No we need to deliver it ourselves.”
“I can respect that but keep in mind that this mission has only limited time, the longer we take, the more likely the Sith will learn of Rynn’s death.”
“We can’t trust anyone else to deliver this.”
“I understand, but make no mention to your employer about this mission.”
“Okay, we’ll just say we need a break after killing a Darth.” Said Rebeka.

They arrived at Meera four days later. The trip was uneventful, Rebeka catching Stebe up on events after she had had the dreams. They landed planet side and hurried to Terrn’s office where they handed over the crystal.
“Excellent work.” He said as Rebeka handed it over. “Well done, it’s a highly valuable Artefact and without a doubt will assist the Republic no end.”
“Let’s see some results out of this one,” said Jace.
“Well, I have more work for you; Harrington Kaele has a business opportunity, which I’d like you to explore on Desevro.”
“Is it another Pot.” Said Jace.
“We don’t know,” said Terrn, “The Star map gives vague information regarding the artefact, and we have tracked it to the secret vault on Desevro.”
“Then it will have to wait.” Said Jace.
“We have other business to attend to.” Said Rebeka.
“Oh, alright. I suppose it can wait.” Said Terrn warily.
“Don’t send any mercenaries this time.” Said Jace as they set off. Hurrying back to the ship and heading off.

They arrived three days later at a republic station in the midrim, on the edge of imperial space. Rebeka had died her hair black to look less conspicuous, Jace voicing his misgivings about the plan. Rak gave Stebe the emitting crystal for fenron’s Lightsaber to render it useless. Stebe seemed less pensive now they were on route to the mission.
“We really needed to have that delivered.” Apologised Rebeka, but Stebe wasn’t upset about the delay.
“I understand,” she said, but seemed concerned. “Though I’m not sure why you distrust the Republic so much.”
“You noticed that.” Said Rebeka.
“Terrn has received every Artefact he requested from the Republic; I don’t understand your personal distrust.”
“I’ve seen far too much go wrong already.” Said Rebeka.
“I see, I understand,” said Stebe, dropping the subject.
They landed on the Station, being greeted by a couple of Republic officers, who more or less stated it was a suicide mission, but the information to be gathered from this mission could be invaluable. The Scourge cult may be opponents of the empire, and could well be trying to instigate the war again, but there information isn’t certain without this mission. They passed over the disguises for the mission and took them to the Fury, the fearsome ship was just as they recalled, and set off without a pause, heading for Dromund Kaas.

The disguises were very concealing, allowing them to appear as slaves but conceal a few weapons, such as their blasters. Jace copied the Slave masters armour, named Harridan, and took his pistols as Stebe instructed, though grudgingly, and a whip. A couple of hours into the journey, Stebe underwent her operation, and after four hours of unpleasant sounds, she left the medical bay appearing as though she was wearing her own face. Rebeka shuddered slightly. Stebe seemed uncomfortable.
“Does it hurt?” asked Rebeka, seeing her disfigured face.
“A little, yes.” Said Stebe, “But it’s a necessary pain. It will be reversed when the mission is complete.”
“You hope.” Said Rak. Rebeka gave him a slight tap to tell him to shut up.
“The droid is good at what he does.” Said Stebe. “So long as it only takes a few days, it should be reversible.”
“How long are we planning to stay?” asked Jace.
“A couple of days, the information Broker is quick and can get us the information quickly. We will find a safe house within Kaas City limits, the disguises will only be needed in the city and citadel.”

They arrived at Dromund Kaas within a day of leaving the republic station. The imperial fleet orbited the planet dozens of Harrowers and Terminus destroyers floating among the more civilian ships and fighter squadrons. They reached a checkpoint and were expected to send a code. Stebe sent the code and they were let through for landing. As they entered the atmosphere, the planet itself was foreboding; an endless Storm coated the planet, striking pylons built into the jungle at various intervals. Kaas city loomed fearsomely on the horizon in the dark haze. Towering over the fury as it went to land in one of the assigned docking bays.
They left the ship, Stebe taking the lead to keep up appearances.
“Jace should bring up the rear, the rest of you follow behind me. If you are addressed, let me do the talking, as protocol dictates that I should. Be mindful of your thoughts, a Sith will sense strong emotion towards them, and that generally is not a good thing for a slave to project.”
That was the hardest thing, trying not to think about a situation where one of the scourge appeared. They passed through the checkpoint without incident. No one dared to delay a Darth for trivial reasons. They left the spaceport and descended into the lower levels of the city, where the ordinary imperial citizens plied there trade and generally lived. They passed through the streets unnoticed, or rather noticed and quickly avoided, given a Sith walking the streets was considered a bad omen for someone. Stebe picked a house entirely at Random and knocked. The door opened and a large human looked in surprise to see a Sith and her entourage in front of him.
“You have an Infestation problem.” Said Stebe, waving her hand.
“I have an infestation problem.” Agreed the man.
“I’m here to deal with it, however you need to leave for a few days.” She said, waving her hand again.
“You’re here to deal with it; however I need to leave for a few days. Visit my family while the works going on.”
“Then leave.” Said Stebe sharply. The man did so; he left without bothering to pack, sidestepping out of their way and hurrying into the street. It was hard to tell whether it was the mind trick or whether he was simply doing as he was told. Stebe entered the house, followed by the others and locked the door, momentarily tending to her features. The home was small, but certainly equipped for living. Several obvious imperial decorations adorned it, but take them down and it looked like any other low economy home.
“When do we start?” asked Rebeka.
“As soon as you wished.” Said Stebe.
“Then let’s hurry and get this over with. This place is creepy.”
They donned there civilian disguises, Jace throwing a cloak over his armour.
“Pult Frexin will be found at the Nexus Cantina in the higher city.” She handed over 2000 imperial credits in a pouch for them to use.
“So are we slaves or civilians?” asked Rebeka.
“Civilians, as far as you are concerned you have no knowledge of Darth Rynn, if they ask you are planning a heist. I will remain here and Meditate for a while.”
“Don’t pick at your face.” Said Rebeka.
“I don’t intend to.” Said Stebe. “It’s the reason why I will meditate. I’m surprised how irritating this is, I would like to know how Rynn lived with this on a daily basis.”
“Because she was crazy.” Muttered Jace.
“Maybe she took pleasure in it.” Suggested Rebeka, everyone looked at her. “What?”
“Perhaps.” Said Stebe. Rebeka decided it was best to get underway.

They found the Nexus Cantina after Rak asked a few people its location. The Cantina was of course decorated to Imperial tastes, but the cantina itself was like any other. The occasional apprentice or Lord would go into the VIP area up the lift, but aside from that, the people dancing and drinking could be anyone.
“You look really out of place.” Said Rebeka to Lanyef, noticing the majority of the customers were Human.
“Perhaps we can use that, Arkanians have been known to make deals with the Sith.”
“You don’t look like you’d be dealing with Sith.” Said Rebeka.
“It’s worth a try.” Said Lanyef.
They decided to look for Pult in the Cantina, listening in on various conversations. Rak knowing the type found a man matching the expectations of a Black Market Dealer and after a barely obvious gesture, Rak called Lanyef over. They sat down at the table opposite in the small alcove, the Man looking as though he was waiting for someone else the entire time.
“I see your looking for business.”
“That we are,” said Rak.
“What exactly are you looking for?”
“Looking for a man by the name of Pult Frexin.”
The Man took a sip of his drink. “You’re talking to him.”
“We were told you were a Man that might be able to help us. My friend here has a business proposal for Darth Rynn.”
“Then why are you talking to me?”
“Because we don’t know where she would be.” Said Lanyef.
“Don’t you want to take it up with her office?”
“We’d rather not go through those channels.” Said Rak.
“A bit odd to go through me when you could take it up with her office if it’s a business deal.”
“It’s on the quiet, as few people as possible need to know.” Said Lanyef.
“In that case I’d have thought she would tell you where she resides.”
“She doesn’t know yet, he wants to make the proposal to her.” Said Rak.
Pult chuckled, “Then you are dafter than you look.”
“It’s true.” Said Rak. Lanyef shot him a glance.
“Fine,” said Pult chuckling again, “It will cost you, of course.”
“Of course.” Said Rak, “The Price?”
“What are you willing to pay?”
“A Thousand.”
Pult chuckled, “I’d get more than that turning you in to the Empire.”
“What would they pay you?”
“A great Deal, in fact Darth Rynn herself might like to pay me personally for you.”
“1400 then,” said Rak.
Pult considered this. ”Seems adequate.”
Rak gestured to Rebeka who deposited the bag on his table with she hoped no obvious movement.
“A thousand now, the rest when we get the information.”
“I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that.” Said Pult.
“Give him the full amount.” Suggested Lan, Rak reluctantly did so, but with his hand hovering by his blaster.
“KT-35,” he said. “The Chiss Ascendancy embassy has a droid there that’s very interesting. It’s called KT-35. In fact, something very interesting happens if you mention ‘who watches the face changer’.”
“That interesting thing wouldn’t involve bodily harm to us would it?” asked Rak.
“Suppose that’s the risk you’ll have to take, won’t you.” Chuckled Pult.
“I suppose so.”
“Look I’ve been doing this long enough to know not to cross a Sith or a Deal. As far as I’m concerned, our business is concluded.”
“Wise man.” Said Rak and they took their Leave. Pult watched the four of them leave the bar before finally picking up his credits.

The Chiss Ascendancy Embassy was not hard to find. Rebeka made the assumption KT-35 was a protocol droid if he worked in an embassy. But they weren’t sure about how to find it. They decided to enter the embassy and see where they got to from there. The Chiss Guards did nothing to bar their way. There was a droid behind the reception desk in the main foyer.
“Greetings, I am KT-35. How may I help you for the Chiss Ascendancy today?” said the Droid. Jace kept an eye on the droid just in case the trigger phrase was to start it killing.
“So, who watches the face changer?” asked Lanyef.
The droid shut down a moment, then reactivated, its voice altered to a deep tone. “Follow me.” It said, marching out of the embassy without looking back at them.
“I guess we’re following him.” said Rak.
They followed the droid out of the Embassy to the Office of Mysteries, where the droid conversed in Binary with one of the Chiss gate guards. It told her exactly what they’d asked for and marched away again, leaving the four of them to be beckoned over to an alley aside the Office of mysteries. The four of them were expecting a double cross at any moment.
“I have exactly what you’re looking for. I can deliver the map and information to a bounty computer on 27 districts. Open it up it will be inside there in a day’s time.”
“Brill.” Said Rebeka.
“You will leave three thousand credits in the computer as payment. If you do not, you can expect the Empire to be knocking at your door. So don’t even think of a double cross.”
“The money will be there.” Said Rebeka. The guard nodded and waved them off, there deal done.

They returned to Stebe in a staggered group, one or two returning after a few minutes.
“How’s your Face?” asked Rebeka. Stebe was up and about now.
“The itching has Subsided, I’m doing my best to avoid Mirrors.” She said.
“I would. We can get the information tomorrow, but it will cost more.”
“How much more?”
“Three thousand.”
“I can manage that amount. You will need to retrieve the information tomorrow. Then when we have done so we will enter the Citadel, Enter Rynn’s office, retrieve the information and leave as quickly as possible. I’ve no intention of staying any longer than necessary.”
“I’m already ready to leave.” Said Rebeka.
“While you were out I went to the Meeting which was taking place. This is what I recovered.” Said Stebe, pulling a holoprojector from her robes and placing it on the table.
It displayed an image of a Market area that was somewhat busy. Darth Lykat drew everyone’s gaze, the small hologram pacing impatiently. She was with a Togruta with red skin and black tattoos, and a Human who seemed to be suffering from advanced Dark Side Corruption. Both were Sith, and both remained wary of their surroundings. Eventually they were met by Darth Phage. It suddenly occurred to Rebeka and Lanyef that Phage had human hands, so clearly he was not Arkanian as they had thought. Lykat was observing the statue she was waiting in front of.
“You understand it is not wise to keep me waiting.” She said without turning around.
“Forgive me, I was delayed in the Chambers.” Said Phage.
“Oh?” she replied, turning to face him. “More instructions from our illustrious Leader?”
“As it happens, no.” he said, and paused for what seemed like forever. “Storn is dead.”
Lykat grinned, “That comes as no surprise, she was always exceptionally arrogant.” She said, browsing a nearby stall of its fruit. “Did someone finally decide to knock her off her High tower?”
“It appears so. Someone we’re all too familiar with.”
Lykat’s expression changed to furious anger, the fruit in her hand exploded, panicking the stall owner who fled along with several of the people in the market when she hammered her fist into the stall, breaking it in half. Phage remained calm.
“What is he doing?!” she roared, “He knows exactly where those Backwater cretins are holed up, and refuses to allow us to kill them!! WHY?! Why must we continue to suffer there existence?!”
“It is as mysterious as Taivus himself. But perhaps there is some measure of wisdom in keeping one of them alive.” Said Phage calmly.
“…Rebeka June.” Hissed Lykat.
“Your insight serves you well; I have foreseen that Rebeka has incredible potential in her future. Someone not to be overlooked.”
“You can believe what you like, but you can’t have her. I am going to make her suffer. I will destroy all she loves, I will cripple her, tear that pretty face of hers apart and when her suffering is at its peak and she begs for death, I will deny her.”
“Then it seems we are in a race for the prize.” Said Phage.
“And you will lose.” Said Lykat.
Rebeka covered her mouth, able to suppress the urge to vomit.
“The others are just as resourceful, I doubt your method will be easy. The vision I had insisted that all four of them would cause the Scourges fall. And thus far we are losing members at an increasing rate, and now a Darth is dead by their hands.”
“Is this Serrocan a part of this vision?” asked Lykat.
“He is not, which leads me to believe that he is immaterial in the grand scheme of things.” Said Phage.
Rak was a little put out by this comment.
“We have wasted enough time on them. Storn is Dead, What of Darth Rynn?”
“Word is she has been successful. So we should meet with her as soon as possible to discuss the victory.”
“We shouldn’t be complacent.” Said Lykat. “She May not be so willing to join us now that her apprentice has fallen under our watch.”
“She will accept. Taivus will not allow her to live with the information she has, and speaking of loose ends…” he said, reaching into his robes and handing her a datapad.
She looked puzzled at first, then her horrible grin returned, “Well well well, I guess my side of the race has started.”
“You are to eliminate anyone who gets in the way. Taivus agrees, he must die.”
“Oh he will, I know just who to send as well. Lord Kaine and Lord Adnen.”
Phage scoffed at this, “Not very Subtle. In fact it’s overkill.”
“If I’m subtle like your changeling companion was, it will fail to attract their attention. Besides I told her once I didn’t like anyone to feel left out.”
“Give me your report on the Dark Sisters and we will go our separate ways.” Said Phage.
Lykat snapped her fingers, the Togruta pulling a datacard from her robes and passing it to Phage, who turned to leave.
“I warn you Phage, my patience is wearing thin. If he doesn’t up the game, I will do it for him.”
“Then perhaps, Alicia, we had better hope they catch wind of your plan.”
And with that the meeting ended and the hologram switched off.
Stebe left a moment of silence then placed her hand on Rebeka’s shoulder. “Are you alright?”
“No.” she said, “it could be U’tl.”
“It could be your Uncle.” Suggested Rak. Rebeka slapped him across the face.
Stebe gently restrained her from striking him again. “If you needed some time, you can use the refresher.” Said Stebe calmly.
“I can’t go out.”
“That wouldn’t be a good idea. If you need time, no one will interrupt you. Now, we should all get some rest, it’s going to be important we focus tomorrow.”

Rebeka insisted Stebe get protection for several of Rebeka’s friends and family, and she acknowledged she would do what she could. Morning arrived, brightening the stormy planet only marginally. Jace and Lanyef went to pick up the information while Rak and Rebeka remained close by. Jace updated his computer while Lanyef retrieved the datacard and replaced it with the credit chit. With the first part of their mission successful, they checked the card when they regrouped, and sure enough it displayed information on how to reach Rynn’s office and the codes for access.
“I have a bad feeling about this.” Said Rak. “It’s going too smoothly.”
The others weren’t going to look a gift Nerf in the mouth, returning to Stebe and donning there disguises to finally enter the Citadel. They took a taxi across the gap to the Citadel, entering the central foyer connected to the Dark council towers. The inner halls were grandiose, as intimidating as the city itself, guards lined the walls, keeping watch for anything suspicious. The five of them and C2 remained wary as they followed the halls.
Stebe seemed to pause in her step. “Regardless of what happens next, I need you all to remain calm and clear your minds of any thoughts or feelings. This is very important.”
The four of them seemed confused until they turned into a hall and were faced with Darth Lykat, Darth Phage and the two Sith they had seen in the recording.
Ah, Darth Rynn, fancy meeting you here.” Said Lykat.
The four of them did their best to do what Stebe said, fortunately the Sith’s attentions were on Stebe for the time being.
“Darth Lykat,” she replied in the voice of assumedly Darth Rynn. “Fancy seeing you here.”
“What, you hadn’t expected us to come see you so soon?” said Lykat.
“No, indeed. In fact I was just on my way to get exactly what you were after.”
Lykats gaze was drawn directly to Stebe, studying her momentarily. “I see you have a new face.”
“Yes, indeed I do. It was a difficult battle, which is precisely the reason why I thought I should possess it.”
Lykat then turned her attention to the others. “Quite a little entourage haven’t we.”
“They are only slaves, they care for my needs, ensure my face remains intact.”
“Yes, I understand that.” Said Lykat, moving about the slaves. The party tried their best to keep distracted from the enemy among them.
“Very interesting.” Said Lykat returning to Rynn.
“They’re up for sale if you want them.” Suggested Stebe.
“No no, I have plenty of slaves.”
“You Lord Phage.”
“No, I don’t deal in slaves.” Said Phage.
“Very well, we will meet again, in the appropriate place, this afternoon.” Said Lykat.
“I will ensure that I do.” Said Rynn.
“Good, I’d hate for something to happen to one of your slaves, or perhaps even your task master.” She said, moving past them, her companions following, Phage moving after her after a few moments.
“I’d advise you do use caution, meet at the appropriate time. I’m fairly good at taming Lykat’s passions, but even my powers have limits.” Said Phage, and followed them.
As they left, Stebe seemed to breathe again. “We haven’t much time.”
“You think?” said Rak, behind his opaque slave hood.
They moved on to the office, reaching it without incident. Two troopers stood outside the office and Stebe promptly ordered them to leave. The troopers obeying without question.
Inside the Office of Darth Rynn it was adorned much as the rest of the building. Brass Masks lined the walls of her office with empty eyes. The last mask on the wall Rak and Rebeka recalled as the previous face of Darth Rynn. And on her desk was a parcel.
Stebe couldn’t help but take a look at the parcel, Jace checking it for any sort of explosive initially. Inside she found a Brass version of her face.
“That is incredibly creepy.” Said Stebe. Closing the box.
“You want to space it?” asked Rebeka.
“No, we should not disturb the office any more than we have to.”
There were two doors at the end of the room. Rebeka opened one to what was either a torture chamber or a Medical Bay, or possibly doubled as both. A vicious looking droid was stood in one corner, a small counter littered with used needles and staples sat next to a chair which purpose was to restrain, and a wall of medical instruments that they suspected was multipurpose.
“Maybe you should perform some maintenance on our friend there.” Said Jace. Rebeka moved warily over to the droid that raised its hideous syringes threateningly. Rebeka backed off and the droid seemed to return to its standby mode. So they figured it was better to leave and seal the door. The room opposite was a Bedroom, lit by the glow of the Holobooks in the book case on one side of the room. The rest of the bedroom seemed ordinary; the Holobooks were mostly logs that Rynn had handwritten, as well as books on medical procedures both Republic and Imperial. Jace was set to work downloading the books while the others searched for the information. Lanyef hacked the Terminal only to find the entire system was wiped prior to her leaving to face Stebe. After searching a while, Lanyef found a button behind one of the masks. Jace checked again for explosives and again found nothing. Lanyef pressed the button and one of the desks moved aside, revealing a safe beneath it. Lanyef and Rebeka effortlessly unlocked the safe, and set off a trap that electrocuted them both severely, but did not cause any lasting damage thanks to their speed. Lanyef gingerly opened the safe, to reveal nothing. The safe was completely empty. He hammered the sides, determined to locate something in the empty safe only to trigger a gas trap, that he and Rebeka fortunately managed to avoid inhaling. They decided the Safe was clearly a decoy and continued the search. Lanyef was completely obsessed with the button and after feeling around the block it was set in; he uncovered another button behind it, which he triggered. The central desk adjusted this time, revealing a stairway down to a hidden door with several locks upon it. Lanyef identified each as unbreakable, one a DNA lock, the other a Force Lock, which Stebe acknowledged she’d b’ able to open, and a password only lock so encrypted without the code it was next to useless to unlock. They tried to use a hairbrush from Rynn’s Bedroom, the hair strands were considered insufficient according to the doors computer. They reaccessed the medical room and tried using the Syringes and staples, only the staples having sufficient DNA that was Rynn’s to grant them access. Stebe unlocked the next lock and Rebeka recalled something highlighted in one of her Apprentice Log Books. She checked the holobook and sure enough “Nyssina” was highlighted, the true name of Darth Storn it seemed. Accessing it as the password unlocked the door and allowed them into the small room. Twelve lightsabers sat on slanted shelves in the room, each one looked as though it belonged to a Jedi.
“Are they all Jedi Lightsabers?” inquired Jace as the five of them looked at them.
“All except this one,” said Stebe, the Lightsaber before her looked like all the others, but sensed the dark side within it. She twisted it on a hunch and the shelves pulled away to reveal another safe. Lanyef warily unlocked the Safe again. This time aside from a humanoid Skull and some pieces of paper there was a datacard and Datadisc in the safe too.
“I think this is what we’re looking for.” Said Stebe.
“Are we going to this meeting with Lykat?” asked Rebeka as they locked everything down again.
“No, we have done what we came to do. Now we need to leave.” She said.
They left the office as they had seen it, hurrying to the Spaceports. They were not stopped or delayed as they left, taking a taxi direct to the spaceports. The end was in sight when they entered their bay, when two figures were seen atop their fury. They leapt to the ground, blocking their way. The Togruta and Human Sith who had been following Lykat.

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