(OOC: When I mean 2 days later, I mean time progressed since the abduction of Feena D'Asta.
This takes place in abduction T +10 )Smarck
2 days later
(Macus Kayniph, vigo of the Black sun)
Macus Kayniph watched as his doctors as they strapped an unconscious Feena D'Asta into a chair. The councilmember had been heavily sedated – again - and was now having numerous scanners attached to her head. “Are you sure this will work.?” Grappa the Hutt asked, for the hundreth time. Macus Kayniph nodded. “Yes, Grappa.” “I am only asking because this will fry her brain if it does not. And we cannot do that yet.”
Kayniph sighed. For a crimelord and despot, Grappa was surprisingly squemish when he was under stress. However, without his partner he would not have been able to do this operation – for it was Grappa that had provided the logistics and a great deal of the funds used in this endeavour. “Yes, Grappa. Doctor, will you please describe the process used?”
The lead doctor nodded. “Of course, Vigo. As you all know, we need to get information out of her fast and transfer it to the intended target. This is nothing more than variation of the standard memory imprint. We will scan her brain and then transfer the information. We estimate that this will take several days, after which you can take the Lady back to your palace.”
Grappa still seemed fidgety, but Kayniph assured him more. “Relax, Grappa. All Black Sun sources indicate the Remnant is chasing after dead ends. There is no way they can find out that it was us – they would have to be psychic.”Ord Cantrell
Communique sent to all embassies (and to the Sith empire via long-range communications, as they do not have an embassy on Ord Cantrell):
The Imperial Remnant would like to assure its neighbours that our alert status is merely a nationwide exercise to prepare ourselves should the worst-case scenario arrive. No nation should be concerned about this.Thranos IV
Thranos IV was a minor colony that had a total population of about one million citizens. Most of those were working on small farms, living of the meagre crops they gathered and sold in the market. It was surprisingly close to a major traderoute, though – just one day travel and one could reach most of the core within days. Or at least that is what the pilot of the Decimator had said. Saenger of course had no knowledge of hyperspace navigation, so he tended to take the pilot's word for it when the pilot – a junior lieutenant freshly promoted from his post signal ensign of the ISD Majestic – had said that it was the perfect place for someone who wanted to hide but also be on his way quickly in case things got bad.
Something Saenger was very much inclined to believe when he walked through the mud of the unpaved streets of the main city after having ridden on speederbikes from their hidden ship to the city. If city could be the right term for it – dump was more likely, as it “housed” only 25.000 inhabitants in a comfort that reminded him more of Coruscant refuge centers instead of anything approaching normal conditions. The local cantina was his target, which was also likely the main source of planetary income by the looks of the passing smugglers.
The abundance of thugs both explained why Imperial Intelligence had decided to take an interest in the place and prevented him from being too much of an oddity. Or at least he thought so.
His thoughts were proven wrong when a man dressed in local clothing and smoking a pipe casually remarked: “The weather is lovely on Harbsen, isn't it?” The first phrase of the codeword took Saenger by surprise. Thankfully, his bodyguard replied “I prefer the one on Anaxes.” So much for secrecy
A quarter-hour later, Saenger was listening as the agent told his tale after having led them to the hut he owned. Imperial communications equipment was hidden in one corner of the room. “You see, I only saw the old geezer once when he went to pick up groceries and some parts from the market. It really was a stroke of luck, you see, because usually she appears in his place.” “She?”
The agent took a drag of his pipe and exhaled grey smoke. “She. A looker, definitely. She does the main shopping – she appears and disappears irregularly, no pattern to her movement. I was only able to trace him when he once did the shopping – that's how I know of him.”
“The datapad only mentioned the older man”, Saenger accused. The agent appeared unfazed. “Because the priority search list only mentioned him. She probably is not important – a hired gun, nothing more.” Saenger grew irritated. “Oh, lovely.” Even I know that any complication is not unimportant
The agent stopped smoking. “Don't get cute with me, Imp. Holos cost money and you guys do not pay that much in expenses.” Saenger was about to ask him from what intelligence academy he had graduated from, when he stopped himself. The answer probably was none
, as the man was most likely a local hired in some great recruiting drive. Due to financial constraints, Imperial intelligence had been forced to rely more and more on untrained men, and this was most likely one of them. Most likely? No, I am certain he is.
“Alright. My apologies. When will she most likely return?” “I do not know. It should be any day now...you can monitor the market from here. I've got two extra pair of binoculars – one for you and one for your guards.” The Agent rose and put on his coat. “And where will you be?” “At the cantina. Just keep looking, Imperial, you cannot miss her.” One final drag of his pipe and he was gone, leaving the stench of smoke in his wake. Lovely.Four hours later
It was past midday when one of his guards tapped him on the shoulder, waking the Moff from a drowsy slumber. “Sir, I think we got her.” Saenger took a second to adjust to the conditions of the hut and then looked through the electric binocular. And indeed, there she was – and judging by the outline of her figure under her cape, she was indeed a looker. As she turned at a local produce stand, Saenger got a look of her black hair, but as it was long and flowing, it was still obscuring her face, as if by design. “Does anybody have a better look of her?” “No, sir. She avoids almost all windows and other areas from where one can take aim. Definitely a professional.” Then the unknown women turned and walked back a different route, this time allowing him to see part of her profile.
Suddenly, Saenger was wide awake. It can't be....or can it? Her hair....
He took another look to verify. She must have changed it.
He dropped the binoculars and bolted out of the door, running after the woman.
His bodyguards were momentarily stunned but trained soldiers they were, they easily caught up with the moff. Realising they were in better form than he was, Saenger gestured at them to charge after the woman. “After her. I need to talk with her.” He gasped for breath. “The future of the Empire depends on it.”
His bodyguards did not even stop to nod, instead muscling their way through the crowd. Faster than Saenger, they disappeared after the woman into an alley.
The Moff himself took some time to enter the alley himself, as he neither possessed the training nor the endurance of the guard members. When he finally rounded the corner after a few minutes, the alley was empty. Then a blue blur appeared at the outer side of his vision – impacting on his table and knocking him unconscious.
The women they had been tracking lowered her fist and picked the moff up, disappearing into an entrance. One hour later
When Moff Saenger came to, he opened his eyes and immediately shut them due to the light amplifying the massive headache he had. A small moan escaped his lips. “I think he is awake.” The voice was precise, definitely female and quite pleasing to his ear. That is, she would be if listening to anyone would not immediately cause the Moff's headache to amplify. “Here, Moff, this will help you.” An injector was put against his skin and moments later, the painkillers began to take effect and he could take stock of his surroundings. It was another hut, but this one was filled to the top with computer equipment and weaponry. He himself was lying on a kind of lab table in the middle of it all. In front of him was sitting the elderly person who had been his target. The female was nowhere to be seen, which meant she was behind him.
Saenger swung his legs over the table and glanced over his shoulder. Yes, there she was, leaning against what appeared to be a kitchen niche. Definitely her
, Saenger thought, but he turned to address the man who was busy cleaning a datapad. “So you know who I am?” “Yes”, the elderly man replied, “we know who you are.”
(the elderly man)
“And I know who you are, Admiral.” “I suspected as much”, the man replied. Then Saenger remembered. “Where are my men?” The Admiral nodded. “Ah. I am afraid they insisted rather uncourteously that she accompany them.” Saenger shot her a look, but it was the other man who replied: “Relax, Moff. They are fine, they are just tied up in the other room.”
Saenger was relieved. “Admiral, I -” “Please, no need for titles.” the old men smiled. “I was never a good naval officer anyway.” Saenger smiled. “Ma-” “I use the name Ruhin now on this world.”
“Very well.” Saenger was getting irritated, which apparently was all too visible for he thought he heard a slight chuckle behind him. “Ruhin
. The Imperial Remnant has need for people of your talents. You would be in charge of your specialty and we have even procured some new technologies to play with.”
Ruhin chuckled as well. “I am retired now, Moff. I have come here to live out the rest of my life in peace, in the company of a dear friend.” Saenger nodded. “We do need you, Admiral. Yes, I know no titles, but the truth is you just do not stop your work. What prevents you from continuing it?”
“My conscience. Over and over again my work has been used for evil. No more.” Saenger nodded. “Ah. I see. Tell me, have you been to Coruscant lately? If not, I have prepared a holo for you.”
Saenger took out a small holodisk and dropped it on the lab table. “All I am asking for is that you help us prevent another Coruscant.”
“We are well aware of what happened to Coruscant.” This time, the women spoke. But Saenger was not to be deterred and dropped another datapad. “Here are intelligence estimates of the Sith empire and our proposals for your work.” When the Admiral did not move to pick them up, Saenger dropped his latest trump card.
“Admiral – I am willing to offer you a complete veto over any usage of your work. Please, will you at least read them?”
Ruhin looked into his eyes and finally, after a period that seemed like eternity to Moff Saenger, he nodded. “I shall take a look at your proposal. Kira will show you to your men – they are in the back. We will give you our decision tomorrow.” Kira?
Saenger looked a bit dumbfounded but concluded he meant the women, which was proven right when she spoke “If you would follow me, Moff?”
Saenger followed her into the next room – the room next to the entry door - where she effortlessly opened the bounds of his men. She then opened the door and motioned for them to leave, standing in the doorway. Saenger, however, had other ideas. “Wait outside, men. I have something to ask of Kira
in private.” The men left, not without shooting suspicious glances with not a little trace of venom in them. Kira ignored them, leaned against the doorway and then focused her green eyes on the Moff. “Yes, Moff Saenger?” She changed her eyes as well
. “You probably remember Feena D'Asta. She told me you were introduced once at -”
Kira held up a hand to stop him. “I am sorry, Moff, but I don't remember anything from my former life and I do not particularly want to, considering what I have heard about it.” Seeing the Moff's disappointment, she added with a hint of steel in her voice. “And if you thought I would kill someone for you, then you are sorely mistaken. I will never kill except in self-defence again.”
“What? Oh. My apologies.” Saenger stammered. “No, I was hoping you might be able to help me solve an abduction.”
Kira cocked an eyebrow at this. “Tell me more.” And he did. After he finished the tale, she shook her head. “I have to tell you that I have no knowledge of elaborate assassinations anymore. I cannot tell you who did it.” “But how did you manage to overpower my men?” Kira shook her head. “I still know how to fight, but I have no encyclopaedic knowledge of those things anymore. It is quite likely that previously I would have immediately recognized the style, but I cannot help you anymore. I wish I could.”
Saenger was growing more desperate each second. Then a thought him. “Would you at least be willing to come to Ord Cantrell and look at the evidence?”
Kira pondered this for a split second, then shook her head. “My fee is very high and I cannot leave him.” Saenger looked around the hut. “I doubt he can afford you.” Kira smiled. “Ah, but he is family.”
Saenger nodded. “Family is important. Would you be willing to help me if he agrees to work with me? Your fee will be fully paid by the Imperial treasury and I assure you he will be safe at his workstation. If you want to, I can have him watched by an entire guard division 24 hours a day.” Kira pondered this. “I will not commit to anything at the moment.” “Will you at least consider it?”
“I consider every offer.” Kira vacated the doorway, a clear sign that he had overstayed his welcome. Saenger took the hint and walked through the door, then stopped and turned around when he was outside. “Goodbye, Kira
. I hope you and Ruhin
decide to help us in these dark times.” He stopped and turned around. “I will be willing to pay any price you demand if you can help me find the Lady. Any price.”
Kira did not reply this time, but merely shut the door in his face.
- Feena D'Asta is getting probed
- Saenger “meets” with an unknown man and an unknown woman.