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06.12.2012 , 10:45 PM | #50
27. In which Nalenne meets someone and some disapprove (I/II)

The Emperor’s Hand may at first
Seem a mutant, a freak at its worst.
Servant Ten may seem fine,
Twenty crosses the line…
All-hands meetings are full fit to burst.

Hate men. Hate all men. All men are sneaky jerk annoying taskmaster jerks. Jerks. I’ll just stay at home reading the Scarlet Nexu's Revenge ‘til doomsday.

“Master, holo for you.”

Nalenne eyed Jaesa suspiciously and rolled over to tap her bedside console and check current system activity. “It’s the Hand. Disregard.”

“That’s the thing, Master, I can’t. They’ve taken over the main holo. But it’s…it’s not Servants One and Two.”

Nalenne raised her hairless eyebrows. “Is that so?”

“You’d better see.”

Nalenne growled wordlessly and followed Jaesa to the holo room. Most of the crew was settled in or near the reading nook, but Nalenne didn’t notice them at first.

“I see,” said Nalenne.

A lone stranger stood in the holo image. He was tall, slim, and somehow successful in making the uniform robe of the Emperor’s Hand look flattering. His hood was pulled back, allowing a dark wavy mane to fall to his shoulders. His distinguished Sith features had enough facial tentacles and golden ornaments to make the staunchest traditionalist smile in approval.

“Wrath,” he said in a cultured, melodic tenor. “It’s an honor to finally meet you.” He bowed and smiled, warmly. “I am Servant Nine.”

“Where have you been hiding?” she said stupidly.

“Secret locations doing rituals of unimaginable power, for the most part. The Emperor’s Hand keeps me busy. I’ve been aching to get out, though. See this galaxy we’re going to rule.” A small, conspiratorial smile. “Meet the Wrath I’ve heard so much about.”

Brain, girl. Think brain good. “I think I would be willing to help with that last part of your plan.”

“I was hoping so. I can arrange a private dinner on a good view shuttle, say, tomorrow night? Name the system, Wrath. I haven’t been free to tour in a long time.”


Once she had stammered out a destination and hung up, silence fell in the holo room. Nalenne took a minute to process what had just happened. It appeared to be the first time anybody had ever asked her on a date in her entire life. It was direct. It was nice.

It was a non-Talz man who wasn’t trying to make her life difficult.

“It sounds like a trap, my lord,” said Quinn from the direction of the reading nook.

“No one asked for your tactical evaluation, Quinny,” said Vette.

“We smell betrayal,” said Broonmark.

“Ignore the carpet,” said Pierce.

“That Sith is evil,” shuddered Jaesa.

“Hey. People. Guess how many of you get any input whatsoever into my activities tomorrow night?”

Pierce raised his eyebrows in his “I have a really good line but I’m just too nice a guy to say it also I might get Force Choked for it” way. Wisely, he said nothing.

“No not-me person,” concluded Nalenne. “That’s who gets input.”

“Servant Nine is not known to us,” bubbled Broonmark.

“He’s of the Emperor’s Hand, master,” said Jaesa. “You’re the Emperor’s Wrath. Isn’t that…well, incest or something?”

“In every Imperial jurisdiction I'm aware of,” confirmed Quinn.

“Let her have her fun, you whiners,” said Pierce.

“The snows themselves condemn this rashness,” opined Broonmark. “Be ready to kill.”

“If you need that dress of yours touched up, I know a good tailor. I know you haven’t worn it in a while, and you will want to look great,” said Vette.

“Thanks, Vette, Pierce. The rest of you, your concerns are noted. My date’s on.”
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