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08.01.2012 , 08:18 AM | #2
September, 27 ATC

The mining outpost of Rojek VII was a solid little producer in a desirable location. The Republic had garrisoned it beyond all reason, naturally. Ruth was in the area to fix that.

She was in a good mood. Things were going well with Quinn; he seemed happy for the first time in far, far too long. She was doing better at not unleashing the old anger on him, instead saving it for...well, occasions like this, where it bubbled just at the edge of her consciousness, waiting for a good fight.

Her shuttle landed on Rojek VII's pad. Time for work, then.

Ruth put on her game face.

She was greeted by half a dozen Republic guards when she strode off the shuttle; she shoved them to one side - see? anger, mixed with the sharp pleasure of power - and let the numerous troopers she had brought with her take them into custody. Two of her personal guard came with her into the complex proper.

She opted to disarm and knock out rather than kill anybody who tried to get in her way. She was actually curious as to whether she could do a bloodless operation. It had been a long time.

Through the circuitous halls to the outpost overseer's office. The overseer, a lean middle-aged human, was consulting with some irrelevant person; Ruth grabbed said irrelevant person, threw her to one side, and kicked the chair out of the way.

"Overseer," she said. "Your schedule is clear as of now."

"What is this?" he demanded.

"You're going to uninvite the Republic garrison here and welcome in Imperial replacements. Operations will continue as normal. You'll be given fair compensation for your production."

"Who are you? Since when do you make demands? This is a Republic-aligned operation."

"I am the Emperor's Wrath. You don't say no to me. Or you do, and then you die and I take everything you have anyway." She cast an appraising look around the office, more for effect than for the expectation that anything interesting was there. "I'm here to get a gift for someone, and I'd rather it didn't come full of corpses. He likes things in working order." The overseer was managing his fear pretty well for an untrained, unarmed servant. He wasn't talking, but neither was he fleeing. Most civilians started begging for mercy just when they heard the job title. The look on his face here was half pleasing and half aggravating to her. "Do I sound crazy to you?" she asked.

"N-n-no, my lord," he obviously lied.

"Very good. You might be smart enough to come out of this alive. Just give me what I want."

He found his tongue. "I can't. I won't. You Imperials think the galaxy's going to roll over if you just bully hard enough, but your savagery isn't -"

She interrupted him with a Force choke, lifting him slightly off the ground. "Don’t start. I've heard every speech you people have to offer, and they all end the same way - with exactly the sound you're making now." She gave him a few moments to gag and claw at his throat, then let him down. "Be honored that I'm even considering granting you your life. Cooperate. Evict your Republic friends. If they argue, I'll back you up."

"They'll never let you take this operation."

"Oh? Send in your guards. Send in your reinforcements. Send in your allies. Send in your army. None of it will avail you." Still he hesitated. "Are you so eager to die for this pile of rocks?" She signaled for one of her guard to place a datapad on the desk in front of the overseer. "A declaration of your intention to hand the outpost over to the Empire. Put your signature or your blood on it; I can go either way."

His lips thinned. He glared up at her, never breaking eye contact as he pulled the datapad to him and tapped in his approval.

"Wise choice. I look forward to a profitable partnership." She nodded to her personal guard and they tapped the comm devices that would summon the beginnings of the new Imperial garrison.

She brought up her soldiers in formation outside, then let her mind wander while she presided over the surrender of the Republic troops. Rylon was almost certainly due for new clothes, again. He was almost finished growing, she hoped; after that she would only have to worry about replacing scorched and slashed clothes, instead of scorched, slashed, and outgrown. The Korriban Academy was awfully rough on a wardrobe. She had better check in and see what he needed.

The mingled hatred, disgust, and fear on the Republic troopers' faces as they filed past was enjoyable. She gave them sneering hauteur in return. With her friends, in private, she could be genuine and kind and all that. She wouldn't have it any other way. But on work days she was the Wrath, and neither genuineness nor kindness were part of that. This was all about power.

She would call Quinn later and let him know that valuable little outpost that had bothered him for so long was secured. The just-because presents took him off guard every time. She loved that about him.
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