Chapter 5 – A pawn is taken (The Sith’s Perspective)
Ilum - Eastern Ice Shelf
Western Jedi ruins
I stood on a hill, my cybernetic eye scanning the situation below us. Imperial forces had surrounded the ruins, but the Republic had responded swiftly to retrieve the equipment from their downed transport. We would have to attack both, simultaneously and swiftly.
Jaesa stood next to me and I could feel the anticipation coil within her. Her utter love for the dark side was as strong as her love for me. It was a curious thing, her loyalty. But Vette had given me some insight not so very long ago that made a great deal of sense.
“You will lead the first wave,” I said to her.
Her smile was lethal. “Yes master.”
General Pierce came up behind us. “Scouts in place my lord. We won’t be interrupted. No Imps or Republic troops anywhere near us.”
“Good,” I said. I pulled on my helmet. I shared Jaesa’s thrill of battle. The love of a good fight, the skill, the danger, the finality of it all.
“How’s Lan been?” Pierce asked, using his binoculars to scan the situation below us.
“Excellent. He found a lead on Hoth.”
“That a boy.”
Pierce had had no issue being solely a genetic maker. He had no issue catering to my desires on occasion either. He had worked out better than expected. At one time, I feared I might have to kill him. I had thought his loyalty to the Empire ran too deep. But, he understood my aims and after some discussion agreed with them. At first I wasn’t trusting. I still searched his feelings daily, tested him constantly. He had not yet betrayed me. Unlike others.
I felt my eldest’s son presence as he arrived and I smiled underneath my armor. Vanceto was pure blood Sith and adopted. Elliah and I had found him together when were both students of the same academy, before our marriage and our alliance. Vanceto was becoming everything Elliah and I had trained him for and more. He was mine, so much that at times I felt like he’d come from me.
Vette and Quinn trailed behind him. I nodded at Vette, who smiled warmly at me. Ignoring Quinn I stepped into Vanceto who let his emotion for me show. He hugged me tightly, and I let him.
“It is always such a rare pleasure to fight beside you, my lord.”
“Mother,” I corrected him.
A single lightsaber sat on his hip, his heavy black armor fitting to him with perfection. He smiled once more at my words, nodding. “Mother. I wish to thank you for Captain Quinn. He has been nothing but an asset to my continued training.”
“Good.” That was all I wanted to hear of Quinn at the moment, though his presence filled me with such a complexity of emotion I did not suppress it. It would be well used in the battle we were about to engage. “And Vette?” I had sent both to his charge, for very different reasons.
“She’s wonderful. Truly a delight,” he said easily.
I noticed that Vette was suddenly avoiding my gaze which amused me greatly. However, business first. “We will lead the charge against the Imperials. Once we have cleared the path, take your forces and attack the Republic. No one lives, we can afford no witness,” I instructed him.
“It will be done,” he glanced over at his shoulder. “Captain Quinn, your team will cover their escape route. Vette, my love… with me.”
Neither could see the amused quirk of my brow at his new pet name for Vette. Pushing my humor aside for the darker emotions I required for battle, I returned to Jaesa and Pierce.
“Jaesa, on your lead.”
Our forces were swiftly loading the equipment into our convoys. We would use it to mine for our own crystals in another area of the planet, away from the prying eyes of the Republic and the Empire.
I stood in one of the archways that had once been a temple, my helmet removed, my arms folded in front of me. I was surrounded by the clinging energy of battle; the fear of the cowards that had begged for their lives, the courage from the ones that had died honorably.
The sound of laughter brought me out of my meditation. My cybernetic eye scanned the distance father than my human one could see, zooming in on Vanceto and Vette, standing together laughing. I could sense something there, building between them. I did not mind a romance between Vanceto and Vette, regardless that she was a bit older. He was a mature boy and their ages were not that far apart. Out of everyone who was not “family” I trusted Vette the most. She’d been by my side from the beginning when I was just an Acolyte. We’d saved each other’s lives more times than we could count, and I’d earned her trust just as she’d mine. I’d gotten her sister freed, and avenged her mother myself.
She knew the Hutt that had worked her mother to death had died, but she had never asked me if I did it. I would answer her truthfully, but she had never brought it up. Perhaps she just knew.
I smiled privately as I continue to watch them. It made me remember a time I thought I might have the same. When I had foolishly disregarded both Sith and Jedi teachings in favor of a romantic kind of love.