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bright_ephemera
07.06.2015 , 05:01 AM | #5
Part 3-2. In which Nalenne is made privy to a plan

This series has pervasive spoilers for the Shadow of Revan introduction, Forged Alliances. It also regularly uses the chapter 3 titles for the Sith Warrior and Sith Inquisitor, along with the background of their companions.

Beniko and Arkous and Goh
Had a plan to bring Jedi to woe.
Their brilliant solution
Required execution
By someone more willing to show.



The conference room was a narrow assemblage of brightly colored readouts making a manic attempt at emulating productivity. When Nalenne walked in she found three Sith: a lithe Pureblood a head taller than her, a seated Chagrian who appeared to be making a go at meditating a Dark Side singularity into being right here in the middle of the Imperial fleet, and a Human with artfully tousled blonde hair. They all felt powerful, which had Nalenne seriously reconsidering this invitation. Two to one was fun play. Three to one might be an even fight.

And then it got worse. Niselle walked in.

“What is she doing here?” they said, pointing.

“Ah, my esteemed colleagues,” said the tall Pureblood, gesturing grandly. “If I could carry a tune I would sing of this day.” Nalenne looked at Niselle. Niselle looked at Nalenne and barely shrugged. “What we are about to accomplish, the galaxy will forever behold with great wonderment.” He lowered his eyes from the visionary rafters. “But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. After all, we’ve never properly met.”

“Yes, we have,” said Niselle. “We had lunch last week after the Council debate. You spent the entire time staring at Khem and stuttering when you tried to talk.”

“I’ve never properly met your sister,” Arkous amended. “A pleasure. In my capacity as Minister of Military Offense, I have repeatedly enjoyed the fruits of your labor.”

“Military Offense?” Nalenne said skeptically. “You’re too young. Why don’t we have the guy who coordinated the Sacking of Coruscant? He was good.”

Niselle sighed. “He was murdered, you twit. As were the five Ministers after him.”

“Oh,” said Nalenne. And, brightly, “Good luck!”

“Moving on,” Arkous said loudly. “This is my most trusted advisor, Lana Beniko.”

The blonde turned around from her console and fluttered her eyelashes. “So much strength I sense in you,” she said, looking from Nalenne to Niselle and back. “After all the trials you’ve endured, to stand here now is quite an achievement.”

“No thanks to you,” Nalenne coughed sideways.

“Look who’s talking,” Niselle wheezed back.

Lana stood perfectly still during the byplay, then continued with consummate, nearly un-Sith-like professionalism. “You’ve been invited here to perform an act once thought impossible: an attack on the Jedi Temple of Tython.”

Nalenne took that in for a moment.

“Are we, now,” she said.

Arkous beamed. “Promising leads have been rare ever since Imperial Intelligence was effectively dismantled. However, a source I personally trust has alerted me to a hole in Tython’s planetary defenses.”

“You might want to watch out for leads from personally trusted people,” drawled Niselle, staring at Nalenne.

“Oh, shut up,” said Nalenne. “Exactly what weaknesses do you expect to find in the defenses of the base of the Jedi Council’s power in the center of Republic space? Did you figure out when all the perimeter guards take their lunch break?”

A defiant Arkous stuck out his chin. “Is there something wrong with that?”

“Oh, no. I’m sure they have gaping holes in their defenses just waiting for the Sith brain trust to roll in.”

“That’s not outside the realm of possibility,” said Niselle. “I have a Jedi for an apprentice. I assure you they are all highly trained in the art of being a moron.”

Arkous was developing a certain strain about the eyes, as if he sensed this conversation getting away from him. “Yes! If we act fast and strike hard, it will absolutely ruin Republic morale. Annihilate it.”

Lana nodded. “While you concern yourself with the assault, Lord Goh will be tasked with keeping the Temple secured.”

Niselle frowned. “Wait, is he going to keep it secured before or after we assault it?”

“He will follow your lead,” Lana said impatiently, “and retain possession of the Temple after you pass through.”

Nalenne peered at the meditating Chagrian. “Is he going to wake up in time?”

“Some of us actually hone our skills,” Niselle murmured at no one in particular.

“I hone,” retorted Nalenne. “I hone all the time. I can hone right now if you really want me to.”

“As if anyone wants to see that,” Niselle continued in no specific direction.

Lana gave a strangled little cough. “So long as we have control, we’ll explore the artifacts and histories stored inside. Imagine all we can learn about the Jedi and the Force.”

“Or we could just burn it,” said Nalenne. “Just a thought. Professional opinion of the Emperor’s Wrath.”

Arkous shook his head decisively. “The longer we hold the Jedi Temple, the deeper the wound to the Republic’s morale, and the longer it will take them to recover.”

“We can hold ashes. I’m fine with that.”

Niselle crossed her arms, frowning. “Not that I’m agreeing, but last time I checked it takes longer to recover from incineration than from three hours’ sitting there reading their stolen books.”

“Lord Goh and the others will be hard at work extracting what knowledge we can from the Temple,” said Lana. “For now, your shuttle awaits.”

Nalenne frowned. “You mean transport, right? A big one? Full of strapping young shock troopers?”

“My lord? It will just be the two of you.”

“Like hell it is. My crew goes where I do.” Nalenne looked at her sister. “And whatever she can scrape up.”

“I’ll bring Ashara,” Niselle said languidly. “It’ll be just like the life she could have had if I hadn’t kidnapped her. Only with more killing Jedi and setting fire to every sanctuary she might ever have sought.”

“Insanity Company should be here,” said Nalenne. “Can you imagine them all getting to overrun Tython?”

Niselle sneered. “Your husband would have some trouble containing himself, wouldn’t he?”

“That’s for him to know and me to find out. I’m just saying–”

“Time grows short,” said Arkous, “and glory awaits. If you don’t mind…?”

“My crew are just upstairs,” said Niselle.

“My people should be on deck three with the ice cream guy,” said Nalenne.

“And then you’ll go?” said Arkous through a clench-toothed smile.

“Sure,” said Nalenne. “Why not?”
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