The Kings In Yellow

With Korriban, the ancient home world of the Sith, destroyed, the Sith Order have retreated to the sanctuary of the frozen realm of Zoist.
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Emic Lai
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The Kings In Yellow

Post by Emic Lai » Mon May 13, 2019 11:05 pm

The clank of durasteel on concrete introduced Emic to the landing pad of the estate of the Sith Lord Pharsalus on the planet Pygorix. Emic fondly remembered conquering this world in Lord Vesper’s campaign over a year ago, when she slaughtered the pitiful native and Imperial resistance. She was summoned by Lord Pharsalus for a special job. It was good to be back in the saddle after a lengthy vacation; all of her credits exhausted to pay for strong liquor and ammo.

The palace was staffed by people in long, violet robes who stood silently at their posts, never speaking, at least in front of Emic, as she approached the courtyard. She briefly took in her surroundings. The planet was mostly covered in jungle and the estate was little different. It seemed Lord Pharsalus had quite an affinity for his gardens. She noticed several of the estate staff pruning small trees that lined the walkway to the courtyard from the landing pads. The estate was walled with durasteel and the buildings, while heavily decorated with banners of red and black, were much the same underneath.

As she approached the courtyard, she noticed a large uneti tree at its center, surrounded by various diplomats and military personnel. She took note of the uniforms of the army officers. So much black and red. The Sith sure loved their color schemes.

The Iridonian garnered many glances from the diplomats and military alike, all supposedly wondering why a refined Sith Lord such as Pharsalus was employing such scum. All it could do was make Emic smile underneath the visor of her helmet.

She passed through the hallways up to Lord Pharsalus’s chambers, where she entered despite the protests of a Twi’lek secretary. She saw two figures, one draped in the elegant violet robes of Lord Pharsalus, and the other dressed in the garb of a Sith warrior. Presumably some sort of apprentice.

As Emic removed her helmet, revealing the black and red of her own skin, she was met with the glow of a crimson lightsaber in her eyes. She could barely see as she was reprimanded for entering unannounced. Lord Pharsalus’s voice, however, chimed in shortly after.

“Hazred, you are dismissed. I would suggest you not anger my esteemed guest. She is more dangerous than your inflated head would notice.”

The warrior withdrew his weapon and bowed. “Yes, Master.” He then departed.
Lord Pharsalus stood, several heads taller than Emic, draped in a purple robe, collar raised, and an ornate mask covering his face. It was more or less how she remembered him after the few times they had interacted before.

“Mistress Lai,” the Sith began. “It has been too long.”

Emic rolled her eyes. Creepy old man. “What is it you want, Pharsalus?”

“I see you’re eager,” Pharsalus continued. “See, I am interested in sponsoring the creation of a task force within the Sith military. Special operations and the suchlike. Able to deploy anywhere, anytime. Classic, really.”

Emic narrowed her eyes. “And me?”

“I want to put you in charge of it.”

That took Emic by surprise. Typically she works alone, but she had quite a bit of experience in military operations, especially spec ops. She’d have to get more info. Fortunately, Pharsalus continued.

“I will pay you a hefty sum, larger than some Sith Lords are paid, and cover the costs of training and outfitting recruits. In return, you will report to me. Not the Sith military command, not the Dark Lord, me.”

An intriguing offer, for sure. Good pay is always a bonus, and the Sith are known for liking their killing done bloody. She was certain she could manage this endeavor. “I believe I could do this for you, Pharsalus. I want armor and weapons, made to my exact specifications, and a training location with all the fixings.”

“It will be done,” Pharsalus replied, nodding. “My liaison will handle it.”

Emic raised an eyebrow. “Liaison?”

“Of course,” the Sith chuckled. “Why would I allow you to work completely independently without supervision?”

Emic scoffed. “Whatever.” Pharsalus summoned his liaison from outside of his chambers. A Rattataki woman, clad in a Sith officer uniform, pristine and well-maintained.

The woman smiled as she spoke. “Lieutenant Luce Dunwich. A pleasure.”

Pharsalus quickly dismissed them both; after all, there was work to be done.

Emic spoke first as she exited the chambers and approached the courtyard. “You’re cheery, Luce.”

“Of course, ma’am,” the lieutenant responded, subtly directing Emic toward the landing pad as they conversed. “I heard many good things about you when I was training as an officer on Vjun. You were the most fearsome soldier in Lord Vesper’s campaign in the Gordian Reach. I hear you took on a whole Imperial stormtrooper platoon with just your bare hands.”

“Two platoons…” Emic muttered as the two entered the landing pad. She saw a very familiar vehicle settled into one of the pads. A modified Aggressor assault fighter that had seen many battles.

“Ah, yes,” Lieutenant Dunwich noted, a sound of pride in her voice. “This is the first asset we have acquired for Task Force Aurek-115. I understand you know this vessel well.”

Emic remained silent as she gazed upon the ship. Luce continued. “The Core Predator. A fine boat. It was assigned to Lord Pharsalus after the reintegration of Lord Vesper’s kingdom. Crewed with the finest droid pilots and fitted to be a mobile command station. Hope it suits you, ma’am.”

The Zabrak set her eyes forward. “I want big guns: blaster cannons, slugthrowers, the works--”

Lieutenant Dunwich interrupted. “Should I be taking notes, ma’am?”

Emic stared the Rattataki down. The lieutenant did not lose her diligent smile. “Don’t call me ma’am,” said the Zabrak.

“Then what should I call you?”

Emic turned around again, looking once again at the Core Predator.

“Chief.”
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Emic Lai
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Re: The Kings In Yellow

Post by Emic Lai » Tue May 14, 2019 7:13 pm

The interior of the Core Predator was not, however, as Emic remembered it.

The refitted quarters were situated in what used to be the cargo bay. The captain’s quarters were mostly the same, although they tore out the carpet. That was okay, though. There were wine stains all over it.

The cockpit and gunner bay were both staffed by droids. They would do for now, until they recruited a better pilot. She sighed and was a little concerned by the small size of the ship. How big did Pharsalus want this unit to be? At best this was a decent starter.

“Greetings, madam,” the pilot droid addressed Emic. “What is your destination?”

Emic ignored the droid for a brief moment to ask Lieutenant Dunwich a question. “Do you know where Colonel Forn Ballast is stationed?”

“Yes, Chief,” replied the Rattataki. “He’s on Ziost. I believe it’s General Ballast now. You know him?”

“Yeah,” Emic affirmed, looking back at the pilot droid. “Take us to Ziost.”

The droid responded in its robotic voice. “Right away, madam.” The ship, which had found its way into orbit, calculated its hyperspace trajectory and blasted away into the depths of space.

Hyperspace travel can take quite a long time, and there’s a lot of silence. Emic relaxed in the cockpit while Lieutenant Dunwich read quietly on her datapad. The Iridonian decided to speak first. “So, Luce. Why did you leave Rattatak?”

“Hm?” the officer replied softly. “Oh, I was taken offworld as a newborn. I was raised in Sith space by human parents.”

Emic nodded and returned to silence, taking out her slug pistol and taking it apart to clean it. Luce returned diligently to her reading. Emic wondered what she could be reading so intently, but she wasn’t the type to be social if there wasn’t anything in it for her.

“You?”

Emic continued to clean her weapon. A very dangerous Iridonian model slugthrower, especially in her hands. “Me what?”

“Why did you leave Iridonia, Chief?” Luce said, looking at the Zabrak with genuine curiosity.

Emic snorted and rolled her eyes. A ridiculous question. “You gonna give all my info to Pharsalus?”

“Between you and me, the old man can sit in his office in rot for all I care,” Lieutenant Dunwich answered. “I’m not going to give him any more information than I have to so he won’t get suspicious. This is the first time I’ve ever had the chance to work independently of his prying eyes.”

Emic was pleasantly surprised. She leaned back in her chair and prepared to tell the story.

“Well, I was a young woman when I left. And, long story short, I did what most other Iridonians were doing at the time. There wasn’t a lot of war going on back home so a killer like me didn’t have any work. So I set out on my own as a mercenary.”

“How’d you end up with Lord Vesper?” Luce inquired. Emic thought this girl asked too many questions. But somehow she felt compelled to answer.

“I saw an open posting for someone willing to clear out some Yuuzhan Vong on Vjun. I accepted the contract, went in by myself and slaughtered all of them,” Emic explained, reminiscing how great it was to see her slug rounds pierce the deformed skulls of those extragalactic abominations. “Vesper selected me to take his troops on an assault on the main Vong stronghold. I led them to victory. He wanted me at his side after that.”

Luce thought briefly about continuing her inquiry, but she decided it was unwise. While Emic Lai was an incredibly violent and-- admittedly scary individual, Lieutenant Dunwich was rather more concerned about making a poor first impression. At least she hadn’t been killed yet.

It was not a short time before they arrived on Ziost, but the two passengers were well-rested and arrived during the planetary sunrise. The Zabrak and the Rattataki disembark from the Trilon Aggressor patrol craft and make their way through the streets of the capital settlement. The Iridonian had sealed her helmet over her head to regulate her temperature, while the lieutenant had put on her winter uniform, complete with a large knee-length coat.

The majority of the city was still in construction. The attack on Korriban that led the Sith to resettle Ziost was a recent development--within the last six years-- but not something that the average galactice Joe would know about. Vesper had told Emic about it during an operation in that area of space. The capital sure seemed to be coming along though, as the Citadel at the center of the city was already towering over the landscape, despite being incomplete.

Emic took note of the workers. The majority of them were slaves, but a big amount were also Sith military. It seems resources were fairly short, or that the leadership wanted the construction done in a hurry. She stopped two infantry men flying a speeder loaded with cargo before they departed.

“I’m looking for Forn Ballast,” Emic said. “Where can I find him?”
One Sith trooper responded quickly, directing a gloved hand at the grand tower at the center. “General Ballast is in the Citadel, floor three, ma’am,” he spoke, quickly. “He’s got the big office, can’t miss it.”

Emic continued towards the Citadel without another word, and the troopers pulled away on their speeder out towards the city.

While the capital was still in construction, the walk took close to an hour to arrive at the base of the Citadel. The guards at the entrance inquired about the pair’s business and Lieutenant Dunwich flashed her credentials and said she had business on behalf of Lord Pharsalus. Emic and the lieutenant took the lift to the third floor and located the office of General Ballast.

“Your business, ma’am?” the secretary inquired.

“Need to speak with General Ballast on private business of Sith Lord Pharsalus,” Emic replied.

“Gladly,” the secretary said, typing away on her console, examining the schedule. “He can see you in three hours.”

Emic ignored the rest of the statement as she entered the office, despite the protests of the secretary. She entered to find a portly man wearing an adorned Sith officer uniform, looking incredibly stressed out and drinking a glass of Corellian whiskey.

“Didn’t clock you as an alcoholic, General,” Emic introduced herself, taking a seat in the visitor’s chair across from the desk.

“What is the meaning of--” General Ballast began to shout, before stopping himself as he saw who was present before him. “Oh. Ms. Lai.”

“The one and only,” the Zabrak responded, kicking her feet up on General Ballast’s pristine desk. “You’re looking under the weather.”

“I landed a promotion, and what do the Sith have me do?” Ballast lamented. “Oversee a bunch of grunts putting their swords into plowshares building a city! I have no experience in this!”

“Well, let me give you an opportunity to lighten your load, General. I’m building a secret military unit for Lord Pharsalus. I need recruits.”

“Recruits? Do you know what you’re asking?”

“I know quite well. It never hurts to have a Sith owe you a favor.”
General Ballast fidgeted as he figured out his answer. “I respect Lord Pharsalus a great deal for his tactics in the Gordian Reach. Okay. I’ll help you.”

“I’ll remember that, General.”

“Captain Slag Moore and his platoon. They served with us in the Reach. I can mark them AWOL and send them to you.”

“Much obliged, General. We’ll transmit the coordinates for the training ground to you as soon as we can.” Emic saluted snarkily as she removed her feet and made her exit. “And do take care to remain silent about this matter.”

As the Chief and the lieutenant made their way back to the ship, Dunwich spoke up, in a hushed tone. “Chief, Lord Pharsalus has directed us to a secret training camp on the Onderonian moon of Dxun. Shall we head there next?”

“Transmit the coordinates to General Ballast along with some hush money. He’s an old acquaintance but we can risk him spilling to the Sith.”

“Understood.”

“Dxun, here we come.”
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