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Family Ties

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01.03.2012 , 04:34 PM | #1
Family Ties Part I

Coriolis sat in darkness. There was a comforting feeling to it—a bit of familiarity in the absence of light. As a Lata’aran, he was used to excessive darkness. His homeworld only saw six weeks of full daylight each year, the remaining days either twilight or illuminated only by star light. As such, his species developed enhanced eyesight that collected and enhanced ambient light. To him, the lights of cities such as Dromund Kaas and Coruscant were nearly painful. But, when he could, he enjoyed the pure darkness of his quarters, allowing his eyes to relax and recuperate after being exposed to so much luminance.

The Sith Lord wore a simple pair of robes; the coarse fabric was black and warm. Around him, he could feel the droning hum of his ship’s systems as it traveled through hyperspace. The noise was a constant companion, beyond the individuals who had allied themselves to his cause and his path, his ship was the one thing he could count on to not betray him out of personal ambition or simple greed. The road he walked was rife with peril, both from within the Empire and from without. Embroiled in his old Master’s schemes, Coriolis had weathered the betrayal and blind ambition of numerous rivals, only to be rewarded with his title and the ability to do as he saw fit within his duty to the Emperor.

Still, it was all a part of being Sith. The Empire would weed out those unfit and reward the strong. There was a simplistic beauty to it; the worthy thrived while the unworthy perished. The Sith were creating an empire of perfection, one life at a time.

A low knocking on the door to his quarters brought Coriolis out of his thoughts, his eyes slowly opening and rising to the sound.

“Enter,” he said, his voice slithering across the darkness and penetrating the durasteel of the door. It was a sound more felt than heard, as if pushed through the Force itself.

The door slowly slid open, retreating into the wall and bathing the Sith Lord in the pale illumination of the ship’s lighting. A silhouette stood in the light, slowly taking shape as Coriolis’s eyes adjusted to the invading brightness. His irises, tainted and yellow, reflected the light, shimmering like a hunting cat’s.

There was a moment of silence as Coriolis looked up at his apprentice from his place on the floor. The room around him was barren, marked only by the coarse rug he sat upon and a sleeping pad in one corner. The Sith had eschewed all luxury in his quarters, preferring simpler accommodations.

“We will be leaving Hyperspace soon, Master. The droid estimates local time at 0500 hours, with sunrise in an hour and forty minutes,” his apprentice said quietly, a bit unnerved by the sight of her master staring at her as if he were deciding to end her life as she spoke.

Her eyes fell briefly to the diagonal scar that ran across his face, stretching from his forehead to his left cheek. She had always wondered how he had gained it—but it hardly seemed like the time to bring it up. Instead, she waited for his response in silence.

“Very good. Inform Tuvee to slowly pull us into Stentat’s orbit. Shut down all non-vital systems and hide among the moons,” Coriolis replied calmly, his eyes closing once more.

“Of course… my Master.”

“You are uneasy,” The Sith Lord observed, the hesitation in his apprentice’s voice betraying her emotion as clearly as her presence in the Force.

“Forgive me for being so bold, Master… but entering the Coruscant system… is this not a violation of our Treaty with the Republic?”

“There are treaties and there are treaties. Simply do as you are told and allow me to worry about everything else,” Coriolis responded, his tone announcing the subject’s close. The apprentice nodded and closed the door to his quarters once more.

The Sith Lord could feel her presence move through the ship, making its way toward the cockpit. Coriolis sighed in the darkness, shaking his head. His thoughts turned inward, the droning sound of the ship’s functions around him slowly retreating, as if he were descending down a long tunnel. Around him pulsed the void of space. His thoughts emptied, all concerns vanishing as he reached out to the Force. There was not so much a sudden rush of energy through him as it was an acute realization that it had been there all along—he was merely acknowledging its presence.

There was a calm detachment about him as he allowed his consciousness to float within his mind. Like ripples across the surface of a lake, his thoughts slowly began to emerge once more, sliding across his calm as he allowed the Force to flow through him. Coriolis smirked softly. He always felt the Jedi had a more rational approach to meditation… but he could not deny the pure power of his emotions. In one cruel movement of thought, Coriolis summoned his contempt for himself to the fore of his thoughts. His hatred at the weakness of the Jedi… his anger at the ease with which he used their techniques… the revulsion of his original teachings at the temple on Coruscant… all of it swept through him like a sudden tidal wave.

As the Force began to flee his touch at the influx of emotion, Coriolis reached out, grasping it and wrenching it back into his being. The once calm flow of energy became frantic, fueled by the power of his raw emotion. Like an untamed beast, it fought against him. The Sith Lord’s will was absolute, refusing to relent to the power of the Force. Instead, he bent it to his thoughts, wresting control amidst the chaos.

In the cockpit, Jaesa blinked. The veil of hyperspace beyond the transparisteel parted, the planets of the Coruscant System rushing into focus as she felt a tremor in the Force. Beside her, Tuvee worked away, imputing her Master’s request into the ship’s computer.

A frown on her lips, the apprentice turned her eyes toward the direction of Coriolis’s quarters. What she had felt had shocked her. A near tranquil calm had settled over her Master… surviving only for a fraction of a second before the hammer of his anger utterly shattered the sensation, slamming through the peace of the moment. As she opened herself to feel the exquisite… intensity of his rage as it boiled within him like a tempestuous force, Jaesa allowed herself a small grin. The power of Coriolis’s anger and the depths of his passion had drawn her to him, even as they now bound her to his fate.

Her eyes shifted back to the transparisteel, watching as the gas giant, Stentat, loomed before them. Whatever her Master’s aims on Coruscant, she was certain it had to be something on a personal level to inspire such rage.


Qualthis T’Lin stood on the edge of an elevated platform watching the bustle of Coruscant. Even in the darkness, the planet was illuminated. Lights from millions of towers and buildings shed illumination into the air as lines of speeders and transports made their way in the pre-dawn hustle. The Lata’aran’s pale skin was framed by the light brown of hair that flowed from the central part on his head. He wore the earth-colored robes of the Jedi Order, complimented by a slender double-bladed lightsaber that hung from a simple leather belt. His green eyes reflected the light of the city around him as they took in the glory of the Republic.

Rebuilding efforts were still in progress; construction droids went about their work below him, finalizing repairs to the supports of the platform. Standing between two large towers, the platform was easily 100 metres wide by 200 metres long. Along its durasteel frame, large planters held various exotic trees and bushes. The center of the platform was nearly bisected by large islands of grass and vegetation, helping to ease the flow of foot traffic into lanes on either side of the grass. Several walkways connected to the platform, one larger such conduit leading to the Senate Hall. There was a small flow of traffic behind Qualthis, a few dozen emissaries and couriers going about their business before first light. Still, the Jedi tried not to pay them any attention.

It had been a trying time for both he and the Order. The Jedi had reestablished the Jedi Temple on Tython, even as they unearthed the mysteries of the founding of the Order. Tython, while beautiful in its own way, would never hold a candle to Coruscant in his opinion. There was a simplistic draw to the planet, yes, but Coruscant was a focus of so much activity and intrigue that he could see no way that the Jedi could ignore it for long. Though he and his line could not part the mists of the future through the Force, he knew that eventually the Council would have to reconvene on Coruscant. They were the defenders of the Republic—it was only natural that they seat themselves at its heart.

While things were slowly improving for the Republic, Qualthis’s own mind was ill at ease. Despite having long since completed his trials, there were still thoughts that penetrated the tranquility of his mind. At the core of them all was his son, Quan. It had been a long-held belief of Qualthis’s, that his son was the reason he had yet to be elevated to Master. Beyond the attachment that he felt to his child, Qualthis had sired him during his period as a Padawan Learner. It had taken all of his Master’s influence within the Council to prevent his expulsion from the Order. Even then, it tarnished his tenure with the Jedi.

After Quan had been born, Qualthis was moved around the Galaxy, never allowed to remain in the same quadrant as his child or Lianna, Quan’s mother. Still, he had made several unauthorized trips to see them and spend time with his budding family. Risking further punishment from the Order, Qualthis arranged for his family to be moved to Coruscant.

It had been difficult, keeping such a thing secret, and in his heart, Qualthis felt his master had known the entire time. There was no hiding it, however, when Quan’s Force sensitivity had been discovered. Pulled away to study at the Temple, Quan was separated from his mother and father, Qualthis having been ordered to report to the Rim worlds to search for a lost Jedi Knight.

Through the years, he had attempted to check on his son’s progress, but was blocked at every avenue. It wasn’t until the death of Quan’s mother that he would see the child again. Lianna had passed away, victim of a speeder crash. Quan blamed his father for not being home. He blamed the Order for keeping them apart. The child’s studies nearly came to a halt as he was overcome with anger and grief.

When Qualthis returned to Coruscant for Lianna’s funeral services, he found comfort in his lessons as a Jedi. He had cherished the time he had spent with her, yet did not mourn her passing. Quan, however, refused to see his father. At ten years old, the child was a bundle of rage and resentment. There was little his father could do to ease his pain. The Order cautioned Qualthis against seeing him, returning him to his duties in the Rim. The next time father and son met… did not go well.

As these feelings threatened to invade his calm, Qualthis sighed and pushed them away. As much as he loved the sight of Coruscant, the planet could summon up painful memories. With a frown passing over his lips, the Jedi turned away from the platform’s edge, stepping into the growing crowd of the early morning as dignitaries and their entourages began to fill the walkways around the Senate.

The Jedi’s path swept him away from the Senate building and the growing flow of foot traffic. He stepped off of the platform, making his way down a walkway toward a lower level. His stepped carried him toward a small courtyard attached to a pair of upper-class housing complexes. A small fountain decorated the center of the courtyard while two large planters stood on the north and south ends, displaying a pair of growing trees. A small selection of benches were scattered about strategically, facing both east and west to catch the sunrise and sunset, while the towering buildings stood on the north and south ends of the courtyard.

It was a peaceful place, especially so early in the morning. Sunrise was still nearly an hour away, so most of the residents were either preparing or their day’s work or still sleeping. As Qualthis walked into the courtyard he noticed a blue-skinned twi’lek offer him a smile from across the way. The female was dressed in high-end formal wear, a fashionable blouse of dark gray matched with a flowing skirt of the same color. The fabric moved gracefully in the slight breeze of the courtyard, flowing against her legs and revealing the outline of a blaster pistol. The Jedi noted it in his mind as he made his way to the fountain, looking down at the calm waters.

Allowing the Force to flow through him, Qualthis let himself be carried on its current. Everything seemed to come into focus around him—from the trickling drips of water to the way the twi’lek spoke into her sleeve as she turned to exit the courtyard. Narrowing his eyes, the Jedi felt a twinge of… excitement from the female while she stepped onto a walkway leading to the residence to the North.

Qualthis turned his attention from her, letting the Force guide him. He could feel the threads of possibilities twist around the immediate future. It wasn’t the sudden insight of Farseeing or visions from the Force. No, his gift was more subtle. He could feel a shatterpoint approaching—rapidly. And he was the epicenter.


On the Imperial Fury, Jaesa smiled. The communications suite of the Fury-Class Interceptor lit up as Vette’s transmission bounced through the network they had established, finally arriving at its destination. Tuvee had gone to clean a portion of the ship, leaving her in charge of the cockpit. As soon as the signal was received, Jaesa flipped a switch on the comm-board and decoded the message.

“He’s in place,” came the simple transmission.

Reaching out through the Force, Jaesa informed her Master, giving him a small telepathic affirmation of the signal. For a moment, she received no response. But, as she sat in the gauge-illuminated darkness of the Fury’s cockpit, she felt a surge through the Force as her master reached across the stars, sending a wave of intent to his agent on Coruscant.


Qualthis's Avatar

01.04.2012 , 05:18 PM | #2
Qualthis sighed as the woman’s Force Presence slowly retreated. It did very little to relieve him, the shatterpoint still approached. Frowning, he kept his gaze on the calm waters of the fountain, one hand resting on the hilt of his double-bladed saber.

The Jedi did not have to wait long before his solitude was interrupted. Another Force Presence slowly entered the area. There was little emotion flowing from the presence, merely a simple sense of purpose. Turning his eyes from the water to the Southern walkway, Qualthis spotted a fellow Jedi in robes begin to approach, his head shrouded by the hood of his cloak. A small chuckle nearly escaped his lips at the anticipation that had filled him. He felt as if he were being too paranoid… at least, until the Jedi placed his hand upon the saber at his belt.

Without a word between them, Qualthis turned to face his would-be assailant, his arms folding over his chest in the sleeves of his robes.

“Good morning, isn’t it?” Qualthis asked with a small smile.

The other Jedi drew the saber from his belt, igniting the green blade in a snap-hiss of energy. As the lightsaber cut through the early morning air, the Jedi launched himself at Qualthis in a Force leap, crossing the distance between them in the blink of an eye. The emerald blade sweeping down toward him, Qualthis gracefully stepped to the side, allowing his attacker to land less than a metre away from him.

“Well, I can’t say that is a polite way to greet a fellow Jedi,” Qualthis commented, stepping back and pulling his own lightsaber from his belt. He ignited the yellow blades, twirling the saber before him in a wave of amber light. “I suggest disengaging the weapon so we can discuss-“

The opponent’s saber snapped around in an aggressive fan, the marks of Djem-so coloring its movements. A powerful, overhanded strike hissed through the air toward Qualthis, forcing the Jedi Knight to spin his double-bladed saber up to block. Qualthis knocked the attack aside, using his attacker’s momentum to send the blade wide.

Spinning his amber blades before him, Qualthis retreated from his opponent a few steps before sliding into a defensive stance. His feet rested a shoulder length apart as he placed his left side to his attacker. The saberstaff spun, finally coming to rest in Qualthis’s right hand, down at his side, the humming blades horizontal to the ground.

The Jedi that assaulted Qualthis grinned in the shadows of his hood, slowly pulling the fabric back to reveal his face. The illumination of the courtyard shone down upon the Miraluka, dancing around the edges of his elaborately trimmed veil. Qualthis did not recognize his attacker, but the simplicity of his strikes showed unfamiliarity with an opponent wielding a double-bladed lightsaber. The Jedi counted at least three times he could have killed the Miraluka.

“My Master… sends his regards,” the Miraluka commented with a grin as he raised his emerald saber in both hands. The fighter’s feet shifted on the durasteel ground as his body shifted. He held his left side to Qualthis, feet planted firmly on the ground, lightsaber held high in both hands.

Qualthis frowned, feeling his opponent begin to give in to his rage. It was as if a small torrent of raw anger had begun to flow through the Miraluka. In response, Qualthis simply took a deep breath and surrendered himself to the Force.

Both combatants moved forward simultaneously, their humming blades cutting through the morning air of Coruscant. The Miraluka brought his blade down in a powerful stroke, only to have it met by one of the ends of Qualthis’ saber. As if anticipating the block, the combatant spun on the balls of his feet, ducking down as he twisted, the humming emerald blade sweeping toward the Jedi’s midsection in a horizontal slash. Qualthis spun the hilt in his hands, twisting it vertical to block the strike. The two blades met in a crackling of energy, the light of the yellow blade illuminating the faces of the combatants for a split second before Qualthis struck out with his boot, the heel catching the Miraluka in the chin and staggering him.

As his opponent stumbled backwards to regain his footing, Qualthis calmly spun his weapon before him, weaving a pattern of light in the air as he settled back into his guard stance.

“A Sith striking on Coruscant… seems you care little for treaties… not that I am surprised,” Qualthis commented as his attacker rose to his feet, holding his blade once more in front of him.

“My Master has promised to raise me to his apprentice if I kill you, Jedi…” came the response. The Miraluka twirled his blade before him, the tip darting toward Qualthis’ torso in a feint a split second before he Force leaped into the air, twirling his body and summersaulting over the Jedi. Landing behind Qualthis, he brought his emerald blade up in an underhanded vertical slash toward the Jedi’s back.

Qualthis spun on instinct, the Force guiding him as he twirled the yellow blade in his hands, one end striking the green lightsaber of his opponent and pushing it aside. With a twist of his hands, Qualthis reversed the direction of his blade, bringing it up and under the Miraluka’s wrist, severing it in a Cho mai strike. His attacker’s lightsaber clattered to the ground along with the severed appendage. Qualthis nudged the lightsaber away with a booted foot, spinning the double-bladed lightsaber in his hands, the tip of one end resting mere inches from the Miraluka’s throat.

“Now… perhaps you’d like to discuss things rationally?” he asked.

The Miraluka groaned, his free hand moving to the stump of his arm as he stumbled backward in an attempt to retreat from the Jedi. Qualthis merely frowned and sent him to the ground, the Force flowing around the attacker and sending him to his back on the durasteel. Standing over him, Qualthis sighed, keeping his amber blade near the Miraluka.

“Do I need to ask you again?”

A twinge in the Force was the only warning Qualthis felt, forcing him to instinctively step to the side as a slug of metal hissed through the air near his head, followed by an unusually large muzzle rapport. There was a sickening thud as the Jedi twisted, looking up toward the Northern tower where the shot had come from. There was a mere glint of light off of a barrel as the final gasps from his attacker made their way to his ears.

Deactivating his blade, Qualthis turned his eyes back to the Miraluka on the ground. A clean shot had sent a slugthrower bullet through the robe over his heart and through his body. He was dead before the Jedi had even turned back to him.

Kneeling down beside the body, Qualthis rummaged through his robes, looking for anything he could use to identify the Miraluka. The only thing he managed to find was a small lapel pin in the shape of a crest. As his fingers touched it, he immediately recognized the emblazoned design—a Lata’aran hunting cat against a shield. It was the T’Lin family crest. His family crest.

Qualthis sighed, his fist tight around the lapel as he sat next to the body. The Cosuscant sunrise was slowly beginning to shed its rays on the courtyard. Security would soon arrive, and he hadn’t quite figured out what he was going to tell them.


Vette made her way through the residential tower on the end of the courtyard as the battle broke out between the Jedi and Coriolis’s pawn. It thrilled her to be at the seat of danger, yet completely unnoticed. The twi’lek held a small smile on her lips as he maneuvered around a few early risers leaving to go to their businesses, offering a polite nod and smile here and there. Her dress flowed with her, the thin fabric shimmering with each movement of her body as she navigated the hallways. It was a small perk, one that she secretly enjoyed. She had the sense that if Coriolis or any of the others knew that she occasionally liked ‘girly’ possessions she would never hear the end of it.

Rounding a final corner, Vette cast a glance over her shoulder, then down at her chrono. She had a minute, maybe less to be on her way. A smirk tugged at the corners of her lips as she took the last few metres of her trip in a quick jog. Finding the correct apartment, she hastily tapped out the access code on the control panel. As the door slid open, she slipped inside, hearing it close behind her.

The entryway was dark, the transparisteel of the windows tinted to keep out the lights of the Coruscant night. As she darted toward the far window, she heard a voice crackle through the earpiece she wore.

“Fight is going as planned… you have thirty seconds before he has a chance to find you.”

Vette frowned, reaching the window and kneeling down to feel for the small satchel that waited for her on the floor. Finding it, she tossed it over one shoulder.

“I’m already in place. You better time your shot, Pierce,” she replied into the comlink in her sleeve.

“20… 19…”

Frowning at the soldier’s lack of a sense of humor, Vette slipped her chrono off of her wrist and placed it against the center of the window. She activated the adhesive on its bottom with the push of a button, and then quickly moved to take cover behind one of the couches. In her ear piece, Pierce still counted off.

“Five… four… there… two…”

Vette winced in anticipation, her finger on the detonation trigger concealed in her earring. As Pierce’s count hit one, she clicked the button. The resulting explosion was focused, spraying shards of transparisteel into the air outside the apartment and leaving a nearly two metre wide hole in the window. The twi’lek peeked over the couch, then smiled, rolling over its back and heading for the new exit.

As she approached, Vette raised her comlink to her lips.

“Now or never, Pierce, time to go,” she said, carefully climbing out of the window and into the waiting air speeder.

“Leaving the weapon now… meet me at the rendezvous in ten seconds,” came the reply.

Vette stifled a small yawn dramatically, winking to the human seated in the pilot’s seat. The man shook his head and hit the throttle, pulling the speeder higher into the air and toward the balcony designated as Pierce’s extraction point.

The human was easily in his thirties, the worn texture of his features hinting that he spent some time in the desert. His cybernetic left hand was a very practical prosthesis, but a cold and ugly lump of metal. He only had one good eye, his left covered up by a metal patch. Vette sighed, leaning against the side of the open-topped speeder. Where Coriolis found these people was beyond her.

As they slowed to a stop at the balcony, Vette spotted Pierce peering over the side. The muscular soldier was wearing a casual business suit. His slacks were of nice quality, but he wore a relaxed top, the fabric loose against his body. As he moved, pulling himself over the railing of the balcony, Vette spotted the tell-tale bulges of two blaster carbines tucked away in holsters on his torso. The twi’lek allowed herself a chuckle as Pierce climbed into the back of the speeder.

“We ready to go?” She asked, looking back at the soldier. Pierce nodded silently, his eyes shifting to the pilot.

“Did you handle your end?” the soldier asked Vette.

The twi’lek smiled, raising her right hand. Waggling her fingers in front of him and displaying the artificial fingerprints adhered to the tips of her blue fingers.

“Courtesy of Imperial Intelligence,” she replied with a wink.

“Remind me to buy Sentra a Corellian Ale when we’re off this rock. The damn Chiss is useful, I’ll give him that,” Pierce smirked. “Oh, your piloting skills up to par?” he asked.

“Yeah, why?” Vette responded, looking back at the soldier again.

“No reason,” came the response as Pierce leaned forward in the backseat. His large hands wrapped around the neck of the pilot. There was a strangled cry as the soldier suddenly jerked his hands to the side. Vette nearly jumped as she heard the sickening wet crack of the human’s neck as it was snapped. “Unless you count this, of course.”

Pierce casually lifted the body out of the seat, tossing it over the side of the speeder. Vette scrambled, slipping into the now-vacant position, her hands flying over the controls as the speeder began to rapidly descend. Pulling the vehicle level, she shot Pierce a baleful look over her shoulder.

“What the hell? Next time warn me, will you?” she demanded.

“Boss said no loose strings,” he shrugged.

Rolling her eyes, Vette pulled the speeder into a sharp turn and a dive, taking them to the lower depths of Corsucant, past the shining towers and into the gritty undercity where their contact and extraction would be waiting.