A new scribble, now with 100% more Quinn. :P While I know Some Things about him, I'm still learning my way through the details as I play. Here's hoping I'm not going to get things flat-out wrong as I go...
For Imperial Navy Lieutenant Malavai Quinn, the midday meal offered an excellent opportunity to catch up on reading assorted memoranda, mail and other communications, an activity that could be easily and neatly managed while he ate. Today he had one particular piece of correspondence that needed prompt attention, and it was this file he perused on his datapad in between bites of bland insta-cook flangth. If he’d been focused on the food, he might have been able to point out at least half a dozen ways to improve the decidedly inferior meal, but the entire point of an insta-cook pack was to reserve his attention for more important matters.
Like a dossier on Darth Baras’s new apprentice. The ever-unpredictable Sith Lord had informed him that the apprentice was on his way to Balmorra to “clean house”—in other words, he was going to scrub Baras’s embedded agent, and it would be up to Quinn to give him the intel and logistical support to do so.
Why does a Sith apprentice need to be brought in to do this?
The mildly traitorous notion had barely voiced itself before Quinn ruthlessly squashed it. Darth Baras has reasons upon reasons for every move he makes. It is not for me to question his designs, merely to assist them in whatever way I can. And in order to do that, he would be best served by making himself familiar with the apprentice’s capabilities and inclinations. “Inclinations” wouldn’t matter terribly much with an Imperial soldier; they were to follow orders, not whims. When dealing with a Sith, however, they were important variables to keep in mind when making plans, suggestions, and calculations.
Unfortunately for Quinn’s peace of mind, there was relatively little data provided on young Eilan Rukath. Rukath... Sith nobility. What information about a young lord would need to be kept so thoroughly under wraps? He made a mental note to cross-check the name in a moment; more research seemed called for when he had been given so few details.
It didn’t cross his mind for a moment that he should have been content with the limited information. He hadn’t risen to Lieutenant in such short order by happily accepting blinders, after all. (He chose to overlook the fact that his desire to go above and beyond had ensured he hadn’t risen farther than Lieutenant in a decade.) In order to do his job to the best of his ability, he needed more data, and that was that.
The real question was, why was there so little information? To begin with, there was no holoimage, which was highly unusual for a dossier of this type. How could he have immediate visual recognition of this apprentice without a reference? To be sure, one couldn’t simply impersonate a Sith, but it was well within the realm of possibility that some other Sith Lord would concoct a plot to supplant Darth Baras’s apprentice with his own...
Even worse than the lack of data was the clear suppression of data. Several key pieces of information, such as the apprentice’s homeworld and parentage, were flagged with “INSUFFICIENT CLEARANCE”. For basic information about a mere Sith apprentice to be classified above Quinn’s clearance level was... well, it was thoroughly out of the ordinary. Who or what was this Eilan Rukath?
Forgetting his meal entirely, Quinn rose and went to his Imperial datanet console. A few moments of searching confirmed some of the data in the dossier, and offered just a little more. The Rukaths were a minor noble family on Dromund Kaas, and Quinn recalled some of the scornful talk that had circulated among the upper classes, years ago, when it became increasingly obvious that the daughter of the family had no connection to the Force. Lady Ashalle had died in battle during the War, which Quinn remembered, but during his long quasi-exile on Balmorra, it seemed that the Rukaths’ situation had changed dramatically.
From what he could gather, this “Eilan”, demonstrably powerful in the Force, had been adopted into the family to marry the daughter. It was a very old-fashioned sort of arrangement, but Lord Pavel was an old-fashioned sort of Lord in some ways. The real question was, where had Eilan come from? If he were from a Sith family and displayed enough talent as a child for Lord Pavel to want him, why would his own family have given him up, rather than simply arranging the marriage?
The lack of information about the apprentice’s background suggested to Quinn that it was being withheld to maintain the reputations of the Rukath family and Eilan himself. Perhaps he was an illegitimate child born to another Sith Lord... or perhaps—and Quinn found this more likely—the boy had been a slave, but had displayed such potential that Lord Pavel was willing to take the inevitable black mark for adopting him in order to secure his family’s legacy.
He would have to be exceptional in some way for Darth Baras to take him on, at any rate. The sparse notes of the apprentice’s exploits in Baras’s service underscored that; he had apparently ventured into the Dark Temple on Dromund Kaas—more than once!—and lived to tell the tale, recovering both personnel and valuable artifacts and data in the process. He had also been implicated in the death of the son of the troublesome Lord Grathan, which was interesting... The boy’s very existence had been a secret until his death was publicly announced. He had presumably been killed to bring Grathan into line, but while several sources indicated Eilan’s presence on Grathan’s holdings that day, no formal accusations had been filed. Quinn took that to mean that the apprentice had been involved, but Grathan had (probably wisely) chosen not to seek recourse—not openly, at least.
All in all, the data Quinn had was certainly fascinating, but there was simply too little information for him to plan around. He would have to improvise—a dirty word in his lexicon, no matter how good he was at it. Proper preparation made improvisation simpler in situations that required it, but he’d be nothing like properly prepared for this apprentice. Not by his own standards, at any rate.
But... perhaps that was the point. Was this a challenge handed to him by Darth Baras? To see how well he could plan and adapt to the extraneous variables that were inevitably brought into play while working with Sith? It certainly wouldn’t be the first time he’d had to act as a key contact for a Sith Lord unfamiliar with Balmorra’s state of affairs, but it might have been the most complex mission he’d been told to plan with so little information beforehand. If this were some sort of test...
Well. He’d pass it with top marks by putting forth his utmost effort, as he always did. His certainty was fueled not by overconfidence, but by experience, determination, and sheer force of will. Regardless of the task or the reasons behind it, for Lieutenant Quinn, failure had never been, and never would be, a viable option.