WARNING: This story will contain spoilers
THE OLD REPUBLIC
SECRETS ON BELSAVIS
- - - - - -
The sterile smell of medbays had at this point become so common for Malavai Quinn, servant of the Emperor's Wrath, that he no longer even noticed it when he entered one. With a single glance, he surveyed the room and located who he was here to speak to. Coming to his full height and bringing his hands behind him, he moved through the packed medical room with the ease of one who too often found himself surrounded by the wounded.
Dozens upon dozens of injured Imperial marines filled the room, some with limbs hacked off, others with scars from explosives covering them from head to toe, and still more who had simply been slashed open by their foe and yet somehow managed to survive. Most of these men were beyond the point of saving, and Quinn disdained those who provided false hope. Still, he was here at the command of the Wrath, and so he would simply carry out his task and be gone.
"Medical Officer Eldane Byral," he said, his sharp, heavily accented voice immediately garnering the attention of the person he'd come to see. Eldane turned to see who approached. He was a human, his skin pale, but his expression grim. He stood a few inches shorter than Quinn, but he lacked the military build. Instead, he was simply lanky, with long, thin arms and legs that seemed to make up half of his body. Everything he wore was white, from his lab coat to his shirt, pants, even his boots, aside from the dark glasses that rested on the bridge of his nose.
"What is it? I'm busy at the moment," Eldane sighed, apparently either not noticing or not caring about the insignia on Quinn's chest that marked him as his superior. Quinn scowled at the man's lack of respect, but did not call him out on it. He wasn't here to play alpha male.
"My master requests to speak with you, Mr. Byral," he said simply. Eldane smirked.
"Really? Then if he wants to talk he can come here himself. As I said before, I'm busy with my patients at the moment," he said, before turning away and moving on to another wounded marine laying on a gurney off to the side. Now Quinn began to grow annoyed.
"My master has better things to do then come himself to fetch someone as insignificant as you, Mr. Byral," he shot back in reply, following closely behind Eldane.
"Insignificant? Hah! If I were insignificant then your master wouldn't wish to speak to me," Eldane laughed, not even bothering to look at Quinn now. Narrowing his eyes, Quinn paused for a moment.
"Mr. Byral, I do not believe you know who it is you are speaking to," he hissed. Eldane simply laughed again. "I am Malavai Quinn, and I serve the Emperor's Wrath himself. If you fail to comply I could simply kill you and have whoever replaces you speak to my master in your stead," he continued. Now Eldane did a double take, turning to stare at Quinn.
For a moment, there was complete silence, aside from the groaning of the wounded and the whir of the medical droids as they went about their duties. Then Eldane spoke again.
"Perhaps I was a bit too hasty," he chuckled uneasily. Quinn's scowl slowly changed into a false smile.
"Perhaps you were."
- - - - - -
It was cold. That was Eldane's first impression as he entered the room he'd been ushered to. Upon their arrival, Quinn had washed his hands of him and handed him off to a squad of Imperial soldiers. Eldane hadn't recognized the insignias on their armor, but that only served to further his discomfort.
Now he found himself in a dark room with the barest of lighting casting it all in a dull red glow. On the far end of the room, as it was rather large, a man sat upon a marble chair, apparently immune to the discomfort that would usually cause someone. Even though Eldane wasn't Force-sensitive, he'd been around enough Sith to know that this man was one. What was even more disquieting was that palpable waves of hatred and rage seemed to be emanating from the Sith. Eldane, who was not at all a violent man, suddenly wished to rip someone limb from limb.
"Mr. Byral. Welcome," someone said. Eldane was startled as a young woman strode out of the shadows, an abnormally long lightsaber hilt strapped to her hip. She wore dark robes over a tight combat suit that would have provided minimal protection, although Eldane had no doubt she didn't need to worry about armor. She had black hair that fell to her shoulders and into her face, and her eyes glowed yellow with corruption. She made no noise as she moved, simply looking the medical officer over.
"Jaesa, don't scare him away." The Wrath's voice seemed to boom, and even though he was obviously being sarcastic, his words still found some way to chill Eldane to the bone. He suddenly wished he was far, far away from here.
"Sorry, master," the woman chuckled, before nodding slightly in the direction of the Wrath. "Present yourself," she said, before seeming to melt away into the shadows.
Now shaking visibly, Eldane made his way closer to the Wrath, before kneeling. Although his face was concealed by a hood, and the darkness seemed to coalesce around him, the medical officer didn't need to see him to know he was intimidating. Simply being in the same room as him made Eldane want to slaughter his own mother, yet at the same time completely terrified him.
This was the Emperor's Wrath.
"I have a job for you, Mr. Byral. A job of utmost importance," the Wrath spoke, every word causing Eldane to flinch.
"A-anything for the Emperor's Wrath," he managed to croak through his combating emotions.
"Good," said the Wrath. There was silence for what seemed like eternity, but in actuality was likely only a few seconds.
"I am aware that the latest group of marines brought to your medical station were fighting on Belsavis. They are Special Operations, the Ardent Blade, one of the Empire's greatest forces. Yet, I have also heard that they were completely overpowered by whatever they were combating on the surface," said the Wrath. Eldane's eyes widened, even though he shouldn't have been surprised that the Emperor's Wrath, of all beings, would have known these things.
"What I don't know, Mr. Byral, is just what it is they were fighting. So, I want you to volunteer your services for the next operation. I am aware you are often very 'caring' when it comes to your patients. That is well known by the Sith, as you are a very skilled individual when it comes to the healing arts. They will not question this; they will believe you simply want to be able to help when it most matters."
Eldane considered it for a moment, and then his eyes widened as he realized something.
"Wait... if one of the most powerful military forces within the Empire couldn't defeat this enemy, doesn't that mean I'll most likely perish if I go as well?" he asked. Yet Eldane already knew, before he even finished his sentence, that the Wrath had picked him for that exact reason, even though he'd said otherwise. His position on his patients was simply something extra.
"Indeed. I want you to report back to me before you die, Mr. Byral. I simply didn't want to risk one of my own personnel when a tool such as you was available," the Wrath said, chuckling as he finished.
"But..." Eldane gasped, quivering as he realized he had no choice but to die.
"Don't worry, Mr. Byral. Now that you've seen where it is I am located, you would have had to die anyways. At least this way you'll be serving the Empire by doing so," the Wrath laughed.
Moments later Eldane was escorted out by the woman known as Jaesa, and returned to the care of the Imperial squad from before. Fear of the Wrath drove him onward, despite the fact that he was being driven towards his death.
Because, indeed, what choice did he have now?