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The Dar'Nash Legacy - Family by choice

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Fan Fiction
The Dar'Nash Legacy - Family by choice

Khaleijo's Avatar

06.04.2017 , 05:53 AM | #1
Hi everyone,
After reading so many great stories around here, I started to write down my own head canon about my characters and them building their legacy quite a while ago.
With my disappointment of KOTFE/KOTET, these drabbles became a more serious project and after finding someone to beta read them, now I even have the courage to share some of them.
Be warned though, i'm a hobby writer posting stuff in public for the first time, in addition English isn’t neither my, nor my beta reader's first language, in fact with me it is the third, so there probably will be errors in grammar, spelling or choice of words. Feel free to point them out to me, I'll try to correct them.

This won't be one huge story arc, but several pieces following various of my characters for some time, what they are doing besides the actual story in-game and how the legacy is coming together. All pieces are loosely connected to each other and the game stories, but it's not really a retelling of the game quest content, though things from the class quests may be referenced.

First Arc: The agent and the Sith
Freund werben, 7 Tage Probeabo:

Khaleijo's Avatar

06.04.2017 , 05:55 AM | #2
Set after agent story line so some spoilers ahead

The lone agent

A man entered the building. It was one of these skyscrapers housing hundreds of apartments for the lower class citizens. Far away from the centre of Kaas City, the rent was cheap. Patrols of police or imperial soldiers were a rare sight, for the Sith this area was practically non existent. The first and the latter were the main reasons, why the man had moved in here. Everyone minded his own business and while the whole quarter could use some renovations, the houses provided everything needed, at least if you weren't bothered by the small signs of decay everywhere.

Trying to describe the man was and was not easy at the same time. You could make a list of his main features, but it wouldn't help you much, if you were looking for him in a crowd.
He looked like the average white human guy. Average height, average body, common clothing giving no hint about what he was doing for a living. Nothing really noteworthy.
The hair was dark brown; cut in the front longer than in the back, the hair falling into the face, in general it was a bit out of fashion, but not particular uncommon.
The only memorable traits would be the two scars the criss crossed his face. One from the right brow down to the left side of his chin, the other from his left to his right cheek, squaring over the nose. Though mild tan and the hair cut made sure, few people ever got a clear look at the man's face to make them out. Another significant thing would be the cyborg implants over both his eyes, but again, people would rather recognize them as sunglasses than as implants.
Just as it was intended to.
Witnesses being asked for a description of the man, would only point to someone resembling roughly a third of the imperial white human male population.
The man was invisible while being in plain view, so to speak.

Only few knew his real name, Katejo. He made his way to the elevator and up to the 46th floor to his apartment. He was constantly scanning his surroundings, though very subtle with it. Only an excellent observer would pick up the little signs of looking for anything suspicious. Reaching the door of his current home, it took him some time to open it. Given the state of these kind of buildings, probably the lock was old or the opening mechanism worn out and thus not working very fast. Only following Katejo into his home, one would learn, that the entrance was in fact secured by several hidden layers of complicated locks, mechanical, digital and biogenetical.

Once inside Katejo reactivated the security system and sighed heavily. Another day with zero progress.
After a short look around making sure that everything was exactly as he had left it, he went into a small bedroom to his right, to take a shower and change clothes. While only being lukewarm most of the time, a shower with real water was a luxury he really enjoyed after years of sonic showers on space vehicles or dry planets. Given his current situation, he was happy for every little joyful moment he could get.

The apartment was small, only three rooms. A small bedroom with a tiny bathroom added in a corner, a kitchen with just enough space for one maybe two persons to be in it at once. A central living room, with a few shelves on the wall, a couch and a diner table. All furniture had been included when Katejo had rented it.
Nothing special, everything was used and a little worn. But it was enough for him.
While it was his current home, it also was more importantly his base of operations. The table having deep scratches and stains of dubious origin didn't matter, as long as the computers on top of it were the best you could find outside of Intelligence.

The hair still damp Katejo returned from the bathroom. He had changed into something else, but except of a slightly different colour, this set of clothes was as unremarkable as the previous one.
He grabbed something to drink and an instant meal from the kitchen, before concentrating on the various computer terminals stacked on the diner table.

Another frustrated sigh. Nothing new here either.
A short while the man worked on the keyboard, analysing and condensing the various data streams his system collected. There wasn't anything new concerning his own project, but at least some informations would be very interesting to Darth Marr.
After all, they had some sort of alliance, even if it wasn't really a strong and healthy one.

Katejo was a former Intelligence agent, in fact he had been one of the Imperial Intelligence top agents. As Cipher 9 he had taken part in countless covert operations to stop the enemies of the Empire, both from the outside and the inside.
He never had doubted what he did or what he was ordered to do, until one day a republic spy had used a keyword on him to completely shut down his free will. In the end he had managed to free himself and as a side effect also had ensured that never again someone else could mess with his mind, but while finding out how to get free, he also had found that his own Empire had been doing this to him.

In addition to the betrayal itself, two things made him bitter about that whole episode.
First, that he had been subject to such drastic means in the first place of course. But worse the sole reason had been, him ending a major threat to the Empire for good, by killing the rogue Sith Lord, Darth Jadus.
Instead of being rewarded for doing his damn job, he had been brainwashed, because some idiotic Sith on the Dark Council had suddenly been afraid of him. The so called Castellan restraints project had made sure, he had to obey anyone with the proper keywords, literally becoming a human puppet. An insult to the agent's loyalty towards the Empire.
Second, the Sith and/or Imperial Intelligence had even been incapable to keep the keywords safe in a way, that they would not surface during a top secret undercover mission within the Republic.
Being proud of his work and professionalism, the latter had had even more impact, when he had decided to keep the Black Codex and vanish. He hadn't had faith in the new Sith Intelligence agency to be able to secure its contents properly and in his opinion the little box was something the Sith should never ever get their hands on at all.

When he had returned from his last mission for Imperial Intelligence taking out the Star Cabal, he had chosen to disappear. With the help of the Codex, he had erased all data that proved his existence. He became a ghost.
He had left behind his crew and everything except of his starship. A prototype Phantom, currently hidden in a safe cave hangar just outside the city.

The only one who had still known, how to contact him further, had been the former Minister of Intelligence, or former Keeper. Somehow the old man would always be the real Keeper for him. Even though the previous head of Intelligence had been involved in the brainwashing decision, what he had done, had been done to save his agent's life. The alternative would have been an execution.

The Sith had been those, who decided to take away his identity, his mind, his freedom with just one word, for just doing his damn job.

Onomatophobia.... Katejo still had nightmares of being a human puppet again. A really great combination with the dreams about Eradication Day also stealing his sleep.

Eventually he hadn't been able to hold up his grudge against Keeper. Not after their long conversation, about what had happened and what had gone wrong.
The old man had been trapped in between, trying to protect his agents at one hand and pleasing the Sith enough to keep them at bay at the other hand. In the end, it had been impossible to do both.
To be honest Katejo wasn't able to say for certain, what he would have done in the same place.

But that was his past, he was a free agent now. Though in fact he was branded a traitor and enemy of the Empire by those, who still remembered him despite the purge of the data banks.
Soon after disappearing it became clear, Darth Ravage, the man behind the Castellan restraints project, had taken it personally when Katejo had freed himself and destroyed everything connected to the project, leaving no way to recreate it. The Sith had not forgotten him and was still searching for the agent, but without help, he would never find him. Hopefully.
Katejo didn't need much imagination to know what kind of treatment would await him, once Ravage got a hold on him.

Despite his experiences Katejo still was loyal to the Empire, to the institution as a whole and its citizens, not the Sith or the government that would bend to the Sith anyway.
He looked out for threats himself and used the Black Codex to influence things towards a better and strengthened Empire. But being alone, he could only do so much.

One day Katejo had received an unscheduled holocall. Expecting something urgent from Keeper he had been surprised to find Darth Marr on the other end.
His first instinct had been to cut transmission and disappear for good. But being on his own, floating through space for some time by then, he had been a bit desperate to talk to anybody not a droid. Marr being one of the few Council members, who hadn't voted for the brainwashing, had been another reason to at least hear him out.

Since then they had a fragile alliance, Marr was providing some sort of legitimation and support, if the agent had to act at the front lines. He would be designated as Commander in Marr's service whenever needed, which quelled any questions that might have been asked. While Katejo on the other hand provided exclusive Intel he gathered through the Codex and solved situations in person now and then. Especially when there was a delicacy required, Marr's own troops or Sith apprentices couldn't provide.
They weren't exactly friendly with each other, but both acknowledged that the other defended the same Empire.
Darth Marr did not try to arrest and punish the agent for his disappearance, or as others would call it flight and treason, while the agent tried his best to hold back the grudge he held against Sith, when dealing with the Dark Lord.
Still, Katejo had no illusions about himself being trapped in a weak position. Should any situation arise that Darth Marr would need something to appease Darth Ravage, the Head of the Sphere of War would not hesitate to sacrifice the agent. Any ground mission was a high risk of being captured and Katejo did his best to stay out of view and out of reach, even from his ally.

He really needed better protection and after so many months of working alone, he also realized he needed partners. Not only to share the workload, but also to keep himself sane. Having only the annoying ship droid to converse with, was not healthy in the long term.
Vector Hyllus and Eckard Lokin would haven been great assets, but as long as Katejo hadn't secured more safety, he didn't want to bring them back into the line of fire.

The problem was however, his options were quite limited.
Approaching anyone high up in the military or government wouldn't really help. It would be the same situation as with Keeper back in Imperial intelligence. Such a person couldn't really protect him from the Sith.
To be save from the Sith, he would need a high ranking Sith ally, in a position strong enough to keep someone like Ravage in check.
Unfortunately this meant someone on the Dark Council. Any Sith lower in the ranks might rise to enough power with time, but there was the undeniable risk, this rise would be at Katejo's expense
There weren't many candidates, as Katejo certainly would never trust his life to anyone who was part of the Castellan restraints decision.

Only three candidates were left:
Darth Kalzaiir, the newly named Wrath of the Emperor, in this position the highest ranking Sith, except of the Emperor himself.
Darth Nox, the recently ascended new head of the Sphere of Ancient Knowledge, being young compared to the other Councillors and not of the classic Sith origins, he might be more open to new ideas.
Darth Imperius, longer on the council than the other two, but unremarkable for the most part, except of being a Dark Councillor in the first place. He was leading a minor Sphere concerning itself with productions and innovations, something not many Sith were interested in, as it meant a lot of actual non force related work, without much prestige to earn. More or less on the list because three options were better than only two and he hadn't been involved into the brainwashing decision.

But how to approach them?
Katejo certainly couldn't just walk to their front door and ask for an audience.
First, asking or more probably having to beg for an audience, would put him in a weak position from the start.
Second, even with his true identity unknown, he knew enough about Sith politics to expect, that they all eyed each other with eagle eyes to find a weak spot. Too risky to appear in the open.

Not having a better idea the agent went on about this problem the only way he knew, by planning a covert operation, get in unseen, fulfil mission objective, get out unseen.
Somehow he had to find a way to ensure that the Sith couldn't attack him without harming them.

Relocating back to the outskirts of Kaas City to be close by, Katejo had put his surveillance equipment to work, in order to follow the three Sith and their daily routine. Their homes, their daily schedules, their way to work, their security, their guards and troops. Last but not least, their profiles.

It was not promising.

Reaching Darth Kalzaiir or Nox wasn't that much of a problem, both their security being alarmingly bad. But their profiles indicated that they would not accept a non Sith as their equal and Katejo wouldn't go for less than an equal partnership. Not after all he had been through.

Darth Imperius had a more promising profile, based on his demeanour, but his personal background remained a mystery. Katejo never caught him without his full head mask and couldn't find any details of his origins or personal history from before he became Darth Imperius. Another suspicious detail, the Sith's security measures were incredibly good. So far Katejo hadn't been able find a way in his stronghold, not even talking about getting out again or a backup plan.
He was still trying to get access to the systems of the Sith, in order to just start gathering data about what was to be expected inside. Even that was difficult enough, who ever did the security work for Imperius almost got him twice so far, when trying to hack his way in.

Something was not right there. While the security of the highest ranking Sith, the Wrath of the Emperor was laughable, a somewhat unimportant Sith, more or less unknown to the public, except of being on the Dark Council, was fortified equal or even better than how Imperial Intelligence had been. There was much more to this Darth than it seemed.
For several months now he looked for a way in or anything that would explain the tight security, but there was nothing he could find. Katejo's frustration was boiling, his bad mood increasing every day.

After sending his new package of Intel to Darth Marr, he checked the camera feeds of Imperius, maybe today he would catch something odd or suspicious. Something, anything to get a handle. But once more, there was nothing.

The agent groaned tired.
Working alone also meant he had to do everything himself, analyse, data work, maintenance of his equipment in addition to the ground work he used to do when working with Imperial Intelligence. The stress was getting to him.
There was still so much work to do, to plan his visits to Kalzaiir and Nox and the puzzle that Imperius posed. Though the agent also knew, not to overdo things. To forget something, would probably kill him or even worse.
Reluctantly he ate the rest of his meal and went to bed, expecting another night of restless nightmares with only little refreshing sleep. But he had to try at least, even if he couldn't remember how long it was, since he had had a good night-sleep.
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Khaleijo's Avatar

06.08.2017 , 12:45 PM | #3
An involuntary guest

Lights switched on.
The old balding man could feel it deep within his guts, his host was back. He shivered a little, dreading what he would have to endure again soon.
He sat up and looked around. The small room didn't look like a cell, it was furnished with the surprisingly comfortable bed he was currently sitting on, a chair next to a table, a closet built into the wall, a door to a small bathroom, fitted with everything necessary. A standard room one would find in any Imperial outpost, home to thousands of officers throughout the Empire. A room like he had inhabited it himself on several occasions in the past.

Here and now, it was a cell.

There was no opener this side of the door. Though remaining invisible to the man, he knew there were cameras, watching his every move. Heating and lights were controlled from the outside. He knew from experience, gas could be induced into the room.
He was a prisoner, a prisoner within a luxurious cell, waiting for his captor.

The man suppressed another shiver, thinking about the man who would fetch him soon.
Without any doubt he was Sith. The aura his captor wore was unmistakable, as were the traditional robes in dark colours. But he had no clue or any idea who the man was, which master stood behind him and even worse, what he really wanted from the old man.
This Sith was thin and not very tall, compared to others of his kind the prisoner had met in the past. Although appearances were never a good indicator to measure a force user.
The attire was similar to what Inquisitors used to wear. That was about everything he could tell about the man holding him captive.
The man's face always was hidden behind a full head mask out of some sort of silver and black metal. It wasn’t even possible to tell if it was a human or Pureblood Sith, someone young or old. The voice, most time being neutral or slightly amused, was always a bit distorted by the breather of the mask, there was no accent to make out. He acted like most Sith, expecting the natural obedience non Sith in the Empire were taught since childhood. But on the other hand he just ignored any sign of resistance against his orders. There was no punishment, he simply used the force to override any behaviour he didn't want.

The prisoner sighed, he didn't even know how long he was here by now.

He remembered how the two supposedly Mandalorian mercenaries had abducted him. During the night, they breached the house, where he had been under arrest since the end of Imperial Intelligence, with great precision. They knocked him out, just hard enough to make it impossible to escape. No unnecessary pain nor lasting damage inflicted, no deaths, no witnesses, a spotless extraction by true professionals.
Not that there had been a chance to flee to begin with. He was an old man, not only by his greyed and balding appearance, but by his physical abilities. When walking, he was able to hide the limp, a gift remaining from when Darth Ravage had forced his retirement, but running wasn't something he could manage any more. He still was a good shot, but these two had disarmed him, before he even recognized them as a threat. They had kidnapped him out of the house arrest into this imprisonment, where ever it was.
That had happened some weeks ago, or months? He couldn't say.
He had lost any sense of time.

In a way it was ironic that he, who had used the very same methods to unsettle suspects and prisoners, wasn't able to resist their effects either. He knew very well how to weaken minds by changing the night and day cycles, eating patterns, sleep deprivation. How to muddle up anything a captive could cling on, like counting the days or hours. To make them torture themselves with their own thoughts.

And here he was, alone with his more and more unpleasant thoughts, not remembering the time of the day, or how long it was since he had eaten or since the Sith had visited him last time.
His captor always acted as if it was evening, but he could not be sure, there was no clock, no window or if there was, the shutters were always closed, nothing that would have allowed him a glimpse about what time it was outside.

If he hadn't been the subject himself, he would have applauded the Sith for his perfect execution of this whole operation.
Being on the receiving end though, it was getting to him, he felt himself slowly cracking, nearing the edge more and more. Sensing the void he would fall into, as soon as his mind shattered.

He had witnessed this process often enough, to know it wouldn't take much longer for him to become one of those empty and broken shells, he had seen in the cells so many times; he had helped to produce on countless occasions.
Was it irony or fate, some sort of cruel kismet, vengeance of what ever entity there might be overseeing life? He never had been a believing man, but here and now, he wondered, if there was something that kept the balance, if what he faced, was some sort of poetic justice.

Waiting for the door to open, without anything else as company than his own thoughts, was the worst of it. The man looked at his hands, he saw all the men and women he had failed in front of him. The secrets he had spilled, the trust he had betrayed.
He dreaded the hiss of the door, opening the way to the corridor. The masked Sith would greet him politely, order him to follow. And he would just obey, as there was nothing else he could do.

He had tried to resist, but the Sith simply had made him follow into the other room, no matter how much the prisoner had screamed at himself in his mind, not to make another step, to rather die to the Sith's anger, than to endure this any longer.
His body had just moved on, against his will, steered by the force.
Down the hall, where torture awaited him.
Psychical torture. At this point physical pain would have been a great relief.

But the Sith didn't shock him, didn't choke him or used any tool of torture or inflicting pain.
He just asked questions. Even asked them in a polite and quiet manner, without threatening his prisoner or instil horror or fear on purpose.
If he had acted like the gruesome torturers among the Sith, the old man had witnessed himself during his active time, maybe it would have been something he better could have coped with. But his captor was always polite, always relaxed, acting as if he had invited his prisoner around for a cup of tea and some small talk.

There always was tea there, and they never were in a dark torture chamber. In fact, the hall led to a friendly living room, with a comfortable couch the Sith usually motioned him to sit on.
But there never really had been small talk. There had been interrogation, questions, again and again. In the end it was worse than torture. Worse than anything he ever had to deal with before.

The Sith always asked questions, about his work, about the secrets he kept, about the people he desperately tried to protect; and he had to answer.
The robed man usually received the answers without any visible reactions, but somehow he always knew, when the old man was lying or trying to deflect an answer too much.
Then this overwhelming presence would fill the old man's mind and against his will, his mouth would speak out loud the information wanted. He couldn't hide anything, one way or the other, he eventually answered truthfully to what ever question the Sith asked.

With all his experience and training about torture, interrogation and ways to resist them, to resist Sith or Jedi mind tricks..., if he was asked a direct question, nothing he could do would stop himself from speaking.
Nothing of his extensive training helped against this particular Sith.
He was helpless and it was eating him from within, breaking him, every time he revealed another secret, the cracks in his mind opened a bit further.

He had tried to end his life, when being left alone in his cell. But the only thing that had happened, had been a fast working sleeping gas filling the room and stopping his attempts every time, until he ceased trying.
He had tried to attack the Sith, for the sole reason to end all this by being killed. But the thin man just stopped him in his tracks with the force, without rising as much as a finger.
The Sith didn't even bother to lose one word about his attempts. Until the old man just had given up physical resistance, from then on obeying to what ever the Sith had told him to do.

Only a little strength of mind left, he hoped he could at least keep at least one secret safe. Not to spill anything about one man. He had failed this one once before, but not again! Never! This time he would protect him!
Although a faint and small voice in his head reminded him, if the Sith would start asking about this particular topic, there would be nothing he could do. His only hope was, that his captor would never touch this subject.

The door opened with a low hiss, waking the old man out of his desperate train of thoughts.
“Good evening Keeper”, the Sith greeted with a hint of amusement in his voice, using the old designation of his prisoner. “Follow me, please!”
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Khaleijo's Avatar

06.18.2017 , 12:31 PM | #4
Sometimes you just need to be lucky

Katejo returned to his apartment unseen once more and was heading straight to his computers.
He couldn’t suppress a low shout of victory as he read through the reports.
After tedious months of little progress, of the agent trying to find a way into the Sith's lair, to hack the security cameras or droids, to gain access to the network or anything to get to Imperius, luck had be with him for once.

Even with the help of the black Codex, it had been impossible to get into the Sith’s systems or, to be more precise, it had been impossible to stay undetected. Who ever was tasked with the Sith's security was really good and had found his traces sooner or later and ast to close the weakness or loophole the agent had used to get in.
He literally had to start from square one again and again.
A few times there even had been traps and attempts to hack and catch him, as he was trying to invade the Sith's systems.
While it really was frustrating not to get any further, somehow it also had been quite exciting to measure his skills against someone of obviously at least equal capability.
Under different circumstances, he really would have liked to meet that person, have a talk from one professional to another professional.

Today though the data filtered from the city surveillance systems about the area around the Sith’s Stronghold, had found something: the Dark Councillor walking through Kaas City.

The agent was just lucky to recognize the man on the screen. If he hadn’t been observing the man for months now, he probably would have been oblivious to him, but this was Imperius, definitely.
Walking alone, without his usual entourage, the man easily blend in with the crowd of Sith, military men and civilians on the streets.
He was wearing a different mask and robes of lesser quality and completely different fashion, than he usually wore.
Given the lack of reaction within the crowd though, nobody seemed to realize him or herself was walking right next to one of the twelve currently most powerful Sith. Though of course Imperius was widely unknown to most citizens. To be honest, Katejo hadn't had really heard of him either, until he took more interest into the Council recently, but still, these reactions were quite odd.
Civilians of course generally avoided Sith and their business out of fear and kept their distance if possible. Military men would bow to them and just hope to be allowed move on with their current duty. That was no surprise either.
Though other Sith ignoring him…, either they were not recognizing him as someone of important rank or deeming him weak. Or what the agent suspected as way more likely, Imperius did something to conceal himself from them.

Still, knowing what to look for now, Katejo was able to trace most of the Sith's movements. He seemed to leave the city on speeders waiting for him at random places. When the man came back from wherever he went, he would appear somewhere else entirely, park the current speeder and vanish completely out of sight, until the cameras caught him again in his official robe and function around his stronghold or the Citadel again.

The agent had marked time and place every time this had happened under the cameras eyes. It still had seemed random, until he had taken a closer look at the speeders the Sith was using. It was always an Aratech model. Fast, silent and cost a small fortune.
Normally these speeders had a built in tracking system, but in this case the vehicles seemed to be heavily customized, no way to get the destination data. The agent couldn’t even manage to put a tracker of his own on the vehicles, despite his extensive efforts, no useful data was coming back to him.
In Addition, it doesn’t really help to put a device on a speeder, he wasn’t even sure the Sith would use again.
The extent of paranoia the man seemed to have, began to rival what the agent did to stay a ghost.

As there was no pattern to foresee, where the Sith would jump on a speeder, the option to just follow the man was quickly ruled out, Surveillance usually lost him at the city outskirts, but rarely leaving to or coming back from the same direction, there was no way to pinpoint anything.

Then the agent had managed to get his hands on the fuel data and the operating hours of the speeder engines.

During the last few days half of the computers on the agents dinner table had been occupied with analysing his findings and calculate numerous simulations to find possible destinations of the Sith.
Maybe that knowledge could be used to intercept the Sith somewhere under way, where no one would interfere.
The unknown destination of the man or somewhere on the way, currently were Katejo's best options, especially as the Sith was driving alone. An ambush in the jungle..., an old classic.
Well, one could hope at least.

Though once the agent had found a place for an ambush, he still needed a plan to get close, without risking his own health too much.
As part of his extensive intelligence training Katejo had learned how to take out force users. Even if he was meant to use this knowledge against Jedi, the same principles also worked with Sith.
The instructors had used the image of a huge invisible bubble, every force user was wearing around himself, to teach the agents.
As soon a threat entered this bubble, most force users received a subtle warning through the force and enhanced their defences, expecting an attack. The size of this bubble depended both of the potential of force power and the level of paranoia the individual target had. Therefore Sith were usually more difficult to attack by surprise, living with intrigues and backstabbing from the moment they took their first steps into their training. The higher their rank, the more they were constantly expecting attacks.
The core of the strategy taught by Intelligence was, to determine the range at which a specific assassination target was able to sense something was off, then attack from just outside reach. Hit the target fast and hit it hard.

Katejo would use some thugs, thieves or bribe a few imperial guards to test the range of this Sith's perception. He would send them to look out for the man with a picture from the cameras. To pickpocket or something like that, as long as their intention wasn’t friendly, it would help him estimating the range of Imperius force perception.

Of course the agent didn't want to kill the Sith, but he didn't want to be killed either. The Sith certainly had to be incapacitated first, in order to get time to explain, what this was all about.
Aside from the difficulty of conducting a surprise attack on a force user, there also was the problem of their ability to counter common drugs, narcotic agents and poisons with the force. He needed to knock the Sith out long and thorough enough, to get near the man and cuff him with force suppressing shackles, but without unwanted side or long-time after effects.

Unfortunately Katejo didn't have access to Intelligence’ serum arsenal any more. There were some mixtures he knew of, but he would have to mix them himself and probably test them on some acolytes to make sure they worked properly.
Another thing to add to the huge list of things to do before the meeting can take place, the agent sighed, but still incited by his recent findings, Katejo busied himself working off the list.
At least Kaas City never had a shortage of careless Sith acolytes and apprentices to use as test subjects.
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Khaleijo's Avatar

07.02.2017 , 08:46 AM | #5
A house in the mountains

Keytor woke up with a little yelp. A dream had disturbed his sleep, a bad dream he realized, although he couldn't remember any details.

It was night, he was on Dromund Kaas in his secret safe house hidden in the mountains, outside of the Capital.
It resembled a little fortress, a squarish layout, huge walls protecting the house and its inner courtyard. Except of a landing pad on the roof, there was only one other entrance visible.
The whole compound was located in a natural chasm, the high walls keeping it safe from prying eyes and unwanted visitors. Almost vertical cliffs towered above the buildings and were dangerous to climb. In addition the crumbly rock structure, the rainy climate of the planet made the surface slippery.
A few sensors and several layers of automated defence systems added, it was nearly impossible to break in here alive and without being noticed.
As Keytor had made sure that nothing in the owner details could be traced back to him or his beloved, it was a place he truly felt safe and at home.

He had woken up in the master bedroom, laying on a huge comfortable bed. Right next to him, as he observed with a soft expression, slept Tilas, the love of his life. A hint of a smile showed on his lips as he heard her deep and regular breathing. Carefully, in order to not wake her, he shifted out of the dark satin sheets, put on a hoodie matching his light trousers and headed for the door silently.

The man stretched his limbs. Damn, he was tired, but he wouldn't find back to sleep any time soon, the few hours rest hadn't help much with his exhaustion. Though he couldn't tell what it was exactly, but something itched in his mind just outside of his reach. Until he knew what it was, he wouldn't be able to go back to sleep anyway.
Besides, he knew better by now, than to ignore the small warnings the force often provided him with.

Probably the best thing to do was to meditate. Maybe the force would reveal what was bothering him and even if not, it would refresh him and restore some of his energy.
With a determined expression on his face, he headed outside into the inner courtyard with its small terrace, his favourite spot for meditation. The blowing wind from the mountains and the low plashing of a small pool nearby always helped his mind to ease into the state of meditation.
He settled down sitting cross legged on the ground, fully surrounded by darkness if not for the pale moonlight. Straightening his upper body, he soon resembled an unmoving statue, that started to emit some kind of faint glow.

With Jedi, this glow would seem bright golden, lighting up their aura. Only that he was no Jedi, he was a Sith. Though the glow didn't have the deep and menacing black darkness of the dark side either. It was more like a dark grey swirling around him, with distinguishable lighter traces woven into it.

There were only few places he dared to show his true force alignment this open. Most Sith would hunt him for heresy if they knew.
In public he always wore a full head mask. Hiding the lack of force corruption on his face as well as the remaining signs of his origins. Always suppressing and camouflaging the true nature of his aura, the constant risk of being exposed was taxing.
But he was at home, the most secured spot he had in the galaxy. Where he just could be Keytor. No Lord, no Darth, just Keytor.
Starting his meditation, his face was left in the shadows of his hood, hiding its rare peaceful expression.

He let his mind wander, although it didn't come far, as he felt the only other person inhabiting the house currently, except of Tilas and himself. Well, living person, as there where quite a lot of droids serving the Sith.
It seemed another one couldn't sleep tonight. Carefully Keytor touched the other mind. He knew what he would find there and he deeply regretted what he had done to it, still was doing. But there was no other way.
He could feel the pain and sorrow the other one felt, desperation and guilt radiating of the once steady man. He saw a mind that was close to shatter, but he couldn't stop now, not when he was so close to find what he was looking for.
All he could do was soothing the other man for the moment, enough to allow him to sleep in peace tonight, undisturbed by his doubts and fears.

He had great respect for the man, even if he couldn't show it or be considerate of him. The Sith's goal was more important, even if it would cost the man's sanity. But still, Keytor would consider it a heavy loss to destroy this brilliant mind.
He had been witness of the man's work. One had to admire the mostly successful balancing act of keeping the Sith from interfering too much, while not antagonizing them either. This one had been far more skilled with this than his predecessor, though Keytor always had thought it was a waste of the man's talents to promote him into that position. His true brilliance was his tactical mind and the ability to orchestrate a large number of operations, to adapt plans on the fly and by that secure victory after victory for the Empire. Not wasting his time with endless Council meetings and the need to kiss up at the Councillors..

Keytor had argued with himself countless times, if there was another way. In the end he always came to the conclusion, there was no other possibility. The old man was the only one who knew and he was determined not to betray the one Keytor was looking for. He would never share his knowledge without being forced.
He wouldn't believe Keytor's intentions.
The Sith couldn't even blame him. Who would trust a Sith, even less here in the Capital, that cesspit of intrigues, lies and backstabbing. Where not only the Sith went for each others throats to accelerate their career, way too many military and business men would do almost anything as well, to rise within the hierarchy of the Sith Empire. Seeing how most Councillors worked also wasn't something to make anyone more willing to put trust into them

Gaining the information he was looking for, without frying his victims brain, was an exhausting process, though. Far more than he let on. For a couple of weeks now he always was tired, but there was no time to rest. He was too close to pause now.
Soon he would reach his goal. And it was all worth it, he mused, as his thoughts travelled back to the sleeping woman he had left behind downstairs.
Then he finally cleared his mind and fully opened himself to the force in order to receive hints, about what that constant itching in his mind would mean.

Dawn was breaking. Keytor still was out at the terrace. For hours now he hadn't moved at all. Slowly his mind resurfaced from his deep meditation. He groaned as he stretched his legs, they had become stiff and it felt like thousand needles, as the blood started to circulate properly again.
Someday I have to find a proper instructor for meditation. While he had no real difficulties to ease his mind and enter the state of meditation, he just couldn't find a pose in which none of his limps would stiffen after a while. That was both uncomfortable and a risk for his safety, as it impaired his movement for quite some time afterwards.
At least this nightly session helped a bit to refill his batteries, sadly he still didn't know more about that itch than before. The Sith let out a low sigh, maybe next time.

As he thought about his schedule for today, there was another sigh. Difficult and endless discussions at the Citadel, having to balance things out between the interests of the Sith, the Empire, its military and the manufacturers of weapons.
But first there was breakfast with his beloved one.
With a once again brightened mood, he just wanted to order one of the droids to prepare a table for a romantic morning meal under the rising sun, as he suddenly felt a sharp sting at the backside of his left shoulder.
An attack!!
With poison he quickly realized, as a cold feeling spread out fast into his body. Subconsciously the Sith instantly had used the force to counteract the poison, but it wasn't working very well, the force wasn't responding as well to him as he was used to. He had barely managed to build a shield around himself and could feel there had been more bullets, or what ever it was he was shot at with, hitting the barrier.
Though one hit seemed to be enough for Keytor to loose the feel of his feet and hands. Wearily he realized, he wouldn't be able to fight back whoever was behind the attack, with his legs still wobbly from the meditation and the rest of his body slipping out of his control too. Hell, he was fully occupied just to keep standing.
Why hadven't I felt anything threatening through the force and still can't, why no alarm of any of the security grids around the house had been tripped...

His knees buckled, he didn't even feel the pain any more as his knee caps heavily hit the stone tiles of the terrace. There was only this icy cold everywhere now. He couldn't move and somehow the force was evading his grip.
Keytor tried to hit the silent alarm, but his wristband communicator had lost connection.
Careful steps were nearing him, he couldn't even move his head to look for his attacker.
The last thing he could do, was trying to reach out to the woman he could still distantly feel through the force.
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frauzet's Avatar

07.04.2017 , 01:51 PM | #6
Welcome to the fan fiction forum!

I am glad you decided to share your story. This is a very promising start, and I am looking forward to the next part.

My favorite chapter probably was the one from Keeper's point of view. Being aware of what's happening to you and still not being able to do anything about it, adds a special extra level to his torture. It's believable when he says he'd welcome physical pain instead.
Your agent's reasoning to work for the Empire is similar to my agent's. I already like yours and his meticulous method of operating.

Don't worry too much about making mistakes in English. They are still letting me post here as well
The people on this forum are very supportive and encouraging.

*waves to a fellow inhabitant of T3-M4*
Author of "Trouble, Destiny and Other Complications" and the AU "Caught"
Participant of the "Short Fic Weekly Challlenge Thread!"
All my stories from TDaOC and SFWC in chronological order

Khaleijo's Avatar

07.05.2017 , 11:40 AM | #7
Thank you for your warm welcome! *waves back*
I'm glad you like my story so far There is of course more to come, my plan is to update once a week maybe every ten days.

The chapter about Keeper is one of my favourites too, it almost wrote itself so to speak. I always wondered what happened to him after disbanding Intelligence (before the Rishi quest), and as I loved his strong character during the class story, he was one of the NPCs that just had to be involved in my own story.
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Khaleijo's Avatar

07.12.2017 , 03:52 PM | #8
A face revealed

Keytor just felt numb, at the same time he distantly felt cold and heavy. As if he was wrapped in a foggy haze. He couldn't move, his limbs felt too heavy. There were steps, then some rustling.
Some more rustling... two faint stings... a clicking noise of metal. Only when his view changed from the stone tile in front of his nose to the dawning sky, he realised, he was being rolled on his back. There was someone moving in his peripheral view, but he couldn't really see him, his eyes wouldn't move the way he wanted.
The force was still there, but somehow he couldn’t reach it, again there was this weird feeling of distance.

So far so good, Katejo thought approaching the man carefully, who now laid helpless on the ground. The chemical mixture he had used for his sleeping darts really was some potent stuff. Invented specifically to knock out force powerful users, it worked fast.
Fired with a special high velocity weapon, a shot hit before most force users could react even with the force. Although this Sith was fast too, blocking everything but the first dart. Thankfully one dose had been enough to bring him down.

As he searched the motionless body the infiltrator was surprised, the Sith wasn’t armed, no lightsaber, not even a small vibroknife. He really must have felt safe out here.
Though considering how difficult it had been to find any clue about this house in the first place, one could probably feel safe here. Not even talking about all these heavy layers of security Katejo would have had to overcome, if he hadn't been incredible lucky.

The agent fetched two syringes out of his belt pockets and injected them into the Sith upper left arm. The first shot had been to immobilize the man and dampen the force, these two would make the man docile and obedient enough to get started, without affecting the ability to hear and think properly.
Now he just had to wait a few minutes.
He put force cuffs on the Sith's wrists. Better to be safe than sorry.
The agent then scanned the vital signs of the motionless Sith in front of him. The heart rate was slow but rising, body temperature also rose back into healthy regions for a human. The man still reacted slowly to any stimulus, but the effects of the stunning drug seemed to fade without side effects.

While waiting the agent examined the man he had knocked out thoroughly.
Turning the man on his back Katejo realised the Sith wasn't wearing his usual mask. Curious he leaned forward to get a better look at the man's face.
The first thing he notices was a nose that seemed to haven been broken in the past and not healed properly.
Then the eyes,... these eyes were another surprise... vibrant green, even while hidden half in shadows and currently unfocused. Not a colour to expect behind a Sith's mask.
Yet most shocking was the tattoo on the man's cheek, just below the left eye. Barely visible in the dawning daylight.
Slave markings.
Darth Imperius was a slave.
Or had been, or … confused the agent leant back again.
Was this man an imposter?
In his mind the agent cursed, he really hated surprises, that had the potential to change everything.

“The numb and cold feeling should fade soon, although I would strongly advise against any sudden movements as you regain control of your body. I would prefer not having to shoot you again.” the agent explained as the Sith began to stir.
He also took some steps back, out of direct reach. His blaster rifle ready, he hunkered down again, watching the Sith slowly regaining control of his motions.
“Whghhug....Hgn!”, the black haired man tried to speak, but was unable to use his tongue properly yet.
“Speech will come back soon too”, Katejo answered the unarticulated noises.
“Guessing what you were trying to say, I can assure you, I am not here to kill you.” At least that's not the current plan.

There was a pause then, both men waiting for the remaining daze effects to fade. Twice the agent scanned the Sith, but didn't bother to say anything. The Sith on the other hand was finally able to at least have a look at his attacker. The brown hair, the implants over the eyes, the scars, the grey and black armour, the professional way the man handled his weapon. He tried to take in and memorize every detail.

Finally Keytor was able to roll his tongue in his mouth and tested his ability to speak.
“Aar.... yyou awae... off who... I ‘m?” he managed to slur.
“You are supposed to be Darth Imperius.” the agent nodded, unsure about what he should make of the face markings.
“Yyu nnow... atttackking... a m’mber offf ... Counshil ish... t’eashon”, the Sith wanted to know, still plagued by a slow reacting tongue.
“Hmph, so I have heard”, was the short reply, accompanied by an odd expression flittering over the agent's face.
Clearly annoyed the Sith's brows narrowed.

How very very funny, Keytor thought to himself. We will see who is laughing in the end!
In his anger he almost didn't notice the faint static noise coming from his wristband. Communication was back. Tilas
The Sith's force senses were mostly blocked by these stupid force cuffs the stranger had thrown on him, but he could still feel Tilas' presence. Faint, distant, as if she was far away.
But he knew she wasn't, she probably was somewhere on the roof, taking aim with her sniper rifle.
Pride surged through the Sith, his woman was a hell of a sharpshooter. He only needed to wait for the low slumping sound, once a shot would hit his attacker. The intruder had no chance.

Concentrating on what was left of his connection to the force, all of a sudden a deep feeling of dread overcame Keytor.
No, No, NO, NO! The infiltrator must live!
The Sith felt it clearly, even through his weakened link, the force was literally screaming at him.
But Tilas was already preparing to release the shot....

“Keyword Ouranophobia, Senth protocol engaged! Do not take the shot, shoulder your weapon and come down here!”, the black haired man suddenly yelled with a desperate voice, making sure she heard him even if she wasn't listening via her wristband communicator.
Thank the force he had managed to articulate clearly this time...

A pang of guilt washed through him, he had betrayed her, her trust, her friendship, her love.
And for what? For a force induced feeling, while he wasn't even able to call on the force properly...
But he had to, the stranger... was important... somehow,... important for the future.
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frauzet's Avatar

07.13.2017 , 08:04 AM | #9
I like Katejo's doubts about Keytor's identity. It fits the secretiveness shown so far that Keytor would have kept having been a slave a secret as well. And I doubt the rest of the council would make a big deal about it publicly.

Looking forward to see Tilas' reaction. We haven't met her yet, but I know I would be pissed. Not only using the damned word, but doing so in front of a stranger, who might be transmitting it to whomsoever right now? On a hunch?
And I guess this won't get him any bonus points with Katejo either.
Author of "Trouble, Destiny and Other Complications" and the AU "Caught"
Participant of the "Short Fic Weekly Challlenge Thread!"
All my stories from TDaOC and SFWC in chronological order

Khaleijo's Avatar

07.21.2017 , 01:24 AM | #10
Thank you for another reply
About Keytor being a slave before and keeping it secret, there is more to this and some details will be revealed later on, but his real background is focus of my second story piece. Which will be posted once this is done to not confuse readers too much.
I'll tell that much for now though, he is Darth Imperius but never was Zash's apprentice and is not the ingame class story Inquisitor.
As for the reactions to the keyword, happy reading, though unfortunately Tilas is hindered to express her opinion properly for now.

Plan B, no Plan C

As soon as the Sith had shouted, the agent jumped back another few steps, his rifle readied and locked on Imperius. Yet almost instantly after his outburst, the Sith slumped down, all energy lost again.
“You are using the wrong keywords and those don't work on me any more anyway”, Katejo spat acidly, but the Sith didn't react at all.
The hiss of a door made the agent turn around, aiming his weapon. A woman slowly approached the two men, a sniper rifle on her shoulder. Something about her movements was off, yet the agent couldn't tell what exactly was out of place.

Her eyes were focsed on the Sith, but Katejo could see her face. It expressed a mixture of deep hurt, betrayal and anger.
“I wasn't talking to you”, the Sith murmured in a low voice.
Understanding dawned on the agent's face, followed by pity, then bitterness and finally: rage. With a few smooth motions he was back next to the Sith, striking him hard with the butt of his rifle, knocking him over.
“Blast you!” he growled furiously as the Sith laid sprawled at his feet once more.

The Sith had taken the hit without even trying to defend himself and stayed down.
“Should I have let her shoot you?” he asked with a tired voice, ignoring the blood that slowly poured from where his head hat been hit, down to his left ear.
Turning to the woman, he gave another command.
“Do not harm this man,” then, with a sad expression, he added quietly, “I'm sorry, Tilas”
“Oh you are sorry, then of course everything is great, you kriffing son of a gundark!”, Katejo raged on, giving the man on the ground few additional sharp kicks in the ribs.

Thinking for a moment the agent rummaged on his belt, fetched another syringe and a injection vial. Without another word he injected the first into the Sith's arm, just like before.
Time for plan B

Quickly he checked if the security droids and other systems were still offline. Apparently the woman only had managed to reactivate the intern communication channels.
“Get up!” he ordered still fuming “we are going inside.”
As Imperius was unable to get on his feet fast enough. Katejo urged Tilas to help him.
There was pure rage in her eyes and she didn't move until the Sith murmured in a low voice. “Do what he said.”, unable to look at her.
With a rough grip she pulled Imperius on his feet. The black haired man was already more than a bit wobbly, in combination with the hand cuffs, he couldn't walk on his own. She had to support him all the way to the inside of the house.

Katejo entered first and scanned the room before he gave way to the others.
A surprisingly nice and cosy living room, with couches a small table and a bar, an arrangement of two chairs and a table near the huge window towards the terrace. Two closed doors led into the room, one next to the arrangement, the other next to the bar, at the opposite wall of the room.
He motioned the woman to lead the Sith to one of the couches. She let him fall right there, making him grunt in pain and then sought to bring some distance between them.
“Put all your weapons in that corner and then retreat to the bar!”, the agent ordered her shortly. Confirmed by a nod of the Sith, she complied, thin mouthed and silent.
As soon as she was where she was told to be, leaning there cross armed and scowling, the agent approached Sith and hit him up with the vial, this time into the upper leg.

Keytor flinched a little. The stranger had been anything but careful with this injection.
“Not that I have any say in this anyway, but what is this stuff,” he asked through gritted teeth, clearly not happy with the whole situation.
The man threw him an annoyed look, but decided to answer.
“Something to suppress force abilities, especially healing, something to suppress aggressive behaviour and make you very eager to help me, a strong muscle relaxant and this”, he added with a meaningful nod to the vial pumping its contents into the Sith body, “a truth serum.”

“Don't touch it!” he warned menacingly as Keytor moved to the vial. Hesitating a moment the Sith let his cuffed hands fall back into his lap, eyeing the phial with deep disgust. He could already feel his arms and legs grow useless again.

There was silence for a while, no one moved except Katejo, who checked his watch from time to time.
Finally he stated “That should have been long enough.”
He started to ask the Sith questions.
“You have been a slave?”
“Obviously, you have certainly noticed the markings” came the angry and sarcastic answer, although it was clear that the speaker struggled to get these words out.
“Having problems to express your hostility? Seems all is working well then.” the agent said with glee.
“No sarcasm, no irony, no witty remarks! Answer with a yes or no or a short sentence, keeping strict to the topic!”, he ordered.
“Now let's try again, you have been a slave?”
Yes, I was born a being not being a person, but an object to be owned and sold.”, came the unwilling answer again through gritted teeth.
The agents face couldn’t decide if it should show a smirk or a scowl at the Sith being forced to obey and answer truthfully by the chemicals, yet still trying to be snarky.
“You really are Darth Imperius, member of the Dark Council?”
Yes, I am!” an almost incomprehensible growl this time.
“How old are you?”
“29, everyone is 29 you know, each year again” after a little struggling to keep quiet he added a furious “38 years” earning a real smirk from the agent this time
At least something is working according to plan!

“What is your relation to her?” the agent asked, shaking his head towards the woman
“I love her.” the Sith's voice suddenly going soft.
“Sure thing, an impressive way to show that”, Katejo scoffed at him before he went on.
“Any other surprises I should know of?”
The Sith face distorted into a grimace, he was trying to fight the drug induced urge to answer.
The agent pressed.
“Is anyone else here in the house?”
“I... I have a ...guest.” the Sith answered reluctantly.
“Where?” Katejo wanted to know, with a growing suspicion of the meaning of guest in this case.
From the look on his face 'Go and search for yourself' was what the Sith probably wanted to snarl, though finally unable to fight the drug effects, he only mumbled.
“At the end of the hall, Tilas is able to open the doors.”
“Open them!” the agent ordered the woman.

There were hesitant steps nearing the living room. Katejo readied his weapon, to face whoever or what ever would appear in the door frame.
An old man stepped into the room, stopping in his tracks as soon as he saw the agent and behind him in the same line of sight, Tilas at the bar.
“What... how... Cipher Nine, Cipher Seven?!?”, confusion was written all over his worn face.

Both Ciphers eyed each other with suspicion and surprise.
Meanwhile the old man had reached one of the chairs next to the window. Steadying himself, taking a deep breath, he asked.
“What are you doing here?”

Before anyone could say a word, Imperius broke into an almost maniac laughter.
Eyeing the bloodied and shackled Sith thoroughly, the focus lingering a moment on the head wound, eyes widening when recognizing the slave markings, over the casual clothes, down to the leg with the vial still in place, the old man only wanted to know.
“What have you used on him?”
“ SLV-12 and HN-6” Katejo answered in an almost automatic reflex to that oh so familiar voice, while still staring unbelievingly at the man he once had known as Keeper.

The sudden appearance of his former superior had shaken his composure. He had already changed his plans once during this operation, reacting on the surprises outside. Now learning Keeper had obviously been held prisoner here…
Based on the haunted and tired look of the old man, he must have had a rough time. Nine almost hadn't recognised him at first.

“Folly and sudden laughter is a known side effect of this combination”, the former head of Intelligence explained absently.
“Who...” another burst of laughter stopped him from asking for the Sith's identity.
“That is … gnihihi...not what...shnhfhhh,” the Sith managed to snicker. “You are here... hrnhrn.... because I wanted to find … ahahahnh... and there he is... hehe... invited himself in!” nodding to his prisoner first, than to Nine second, followed by even more laughter..
“You... what?” the old man was rendered speechless, finally realising who the man on the couch must be.
“Be quiet!”, Katejo crisply ordered the Sith with a cold voice, the laughter slowly dyeing down until only an occasional snicker was being heard.
“What is the meaning of all of this?”
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