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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


Khaleijo
08.07.2017 , 02:44 AM | #11
Precaution


Restless, Katejo paced through the room, pondering about how to proceed. He had come here in search for an ally and had found this... mess? Confusion? Disaster?
The Sith had wanted him and had tortured Keeper to find him. He was using imperial brainwashing technology on another Cipher agent, that was his lover at the same time...
Katejo cursed heartily. He needed some answers!

“How do you know of me?” he started a new lane of interrogation.
“I managed to get access to Darth Ravages secret archives some time ago.” The Sith answered, still under the effect of the drugs.
“All files concerning me were erased!”
“Not until Intelligence was disbanded and the Star Cabal was crushed. I gained access before that happened.” Imperius made clear.
“And obviously, you know of the Castellan restraints program in detail”
“I do” the Sith answered, almost whispering now, his eyes focused on Cipher Seven.
“So that’s what you are after? You want to rebuild it? Getting more minds to toy with? I made sure that it is impossible!”, the agents voice was pure ice now.
“No, to reverse it.”
“I already freed myself and- ” Katejo snarled, just to be interrupted by the Sith, his glare matching the agent's.
“Yes, you are free, but the others are not!”
“Others? There were no others” Keeper spoke up confused.
“There were”, the Sith repeated.
“How many?”
“In total: 16 agents.”

“But-, this is impossible, there was no authorization for this, neither by Intelligence, nor the Council!” Keeper couldn't believe his ears.
“Do you really think a missing authorisation would have stopped Ravage?” the man on the couch chuckled mirthlessly.
“He would have needed access to the agents”, Katejo was thinking aloud.
“Oh yes, that's such a difficult hurdle. I really wonder, what would a newly named Keeper, conveniently genetically enhanced for loyalty and obedience towards the Empire, do, if a Dark Council member requests a bunch of agents for a secret operation?” Keytor asked, his voice despite the drugs dripping with sarcasm again.
The former minister looked as is someone had slapped him. Once again speechless, he just stared at the Sith, then at Seven and back again.
Katejo on the other hand was outraged, spitting out a stream of curse words aimed towards Darth Ravage and Sith in general.
“But why...?”

Finally Imperius sight drifted away from Tilas, now looking directly at Cipher Nine.
You...., you were the reason”, he explained with a hint of anger in his voice.
“You killed Jadus and the majority of the Council panicked, authorizing your treatment. Ravage just didn't stop there, he ordered an examination of all active agents. Who among them would possibly be capable of the same feats was treated as well, as a precaution” Imperius continued, spitting the last word out.
“Who?” Keeper weakly requested, his voice almost toneless.
“Each and every Cipher agent from Cipher 5 to Cipher 20”, the Sith revealed, his eyes searching for Tilas again, pleading her to understand.


“What happened to them?” the agent asked, breaking the grave silence that had set in.
“Most of them died. 5 and 8 didn't survive the initial treatment with the chemicals. 6 and 10 were killed during an operation, shortly after their programming. Not sure if it was due to the restraints or purely coincidentally”, the Sith started to count.
“13 was killed by Darth Decimus, someone had her try to assassinate him on Corellia. 14, 16 and 18 all lost their minds a short while after being back to duty. Running amok through the bases their were stationed at, until being shot down. No idea if their keywords had been used or not.”
“15, 17 and 20 worked directly for Ravage for a while, with the programming activated.”, he continued, ”In the end all three committed suicide. 15 just kept standing in plain view to let enemy forces kill him on purpose. 17 didn't retreat from a bombing site and 20 managed to bypass the security safeguards of her transport ship, opening the cargo bay doors mid flight, while travelling through hyperspace.”
Hesitating a moment, the Sith also shared the rest of his information.
“Cipher 7 was working with me since the end of Imperial Intelligence. 11 and 12 were still alive, when they disappeared on Hoth two years ago. Though I wasn't able to find any trace of them since. Cipher 19 went missing the moment he left the project's facility on Quesh.”
Freund werben, 7 Tage Probeabo: www.swtor.com/r/GJhHrY

frauzet's Avatar


frauzet
08.07.2017 , 04:30 AM | #12
Yes, it's very likely, Cipher Nine wasn't the only one being subjected to the restraints.
What is Keytor's main motivation? Would he be looking to find a cure without his relationship with Tilas?
And I am still curious about Tilas. Did she know about the restraints at all? Did she know Keytor knew? Has he used them before? Did she know about Keeper (since Keeper didn't know about her)?
As you can tell, I am curious how this conversation continues.
Looking forward to the next part
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


Khaleijo
08.07.2017 , 07:06 AM | #13
Well, stay tuned
I hope some of these questions will be answered soon. Though as one detail or the other would spoil Keytor's background story, you may have to wait a while for the whole picture.
Freund werben, 7 Tage Probeabo: www.swtor.com/r/GJhHrY

Khaleijo's Avatar


Khaleijo
09.05.2017 , 11:37 AM | #14
My next update, some time later than planned, but having my three little nephews over for vacation is a very effective method to keep me away from my computer and afterwards, I found it rather difficult to get back into my own story when editing what i wrote weeks ago


A game or not

Katejo was thinking hard again, looking at Seven... He hadn't been the only one, not only her, there had been sixteen agents, sixteen living puppets, trapped in their own head...

It occurred to him, he himself never even thought about suicide as an exit strategy.
He had been way too angry, too determined to free himself. To get revenge, to kill this so called Jedi, to wipe that smug grin from Hunter's face. To become himself again, make sure those weapons wouldn’t be used against his home.

But what if there hadn't been the ghost, vision or hallucinations of Watcher X, he still didn't knew what it had been, helping him to focus on his escape?
He could also remember himself lying on the floor of his ship at times, unable to move, to talk, to think, being so close to snap.
It still was a reoccurring scene in his ongoing nightmares.
How desperate do you have to be, to vent yourself into space?

Watching the supposed Imperius sitting sort of relaxed on that couch, eyes focused on the woman again, Cipher 7, no, her name was Tilas, Katejo frowned.
“You want me to believe that you, another karking game playing Sith, are chasing the survivors of this... this ...atrocity, to reverse the programming?”, he snarled.
“It doesn't matter to me what you believe or not” Imperius almost growled back.
“So it's her you want to believe”, the agent spit with a snide, waving towards the bar.
“Typical Sith arrogance...”, he ranted, “you love her” mimicking the Sith’s previously soft tone. ”But you control her just like that” he snipped with his fingers. “Who knows for how long you are already using her keyword to make her please you!”
“Don't you dare...!” the Sith's demeanour changed from one blink to another. Where there had been a tired and exhausted air of defeat around him, was now righteous anger flaring instead. His green eyes blazing menacingly and narrowing into a piercing stare at the agent, conveying murderous intentions.

For a split second Katejo really expected the man to break his shackles and attack him. But luckily the drugs incapacitating the Sith's ability to do more than bark were still working.
“Ask her if I used the keyword before!” Imperius hissed.
“As if you couldn't make her forget it happened or just forbid her to talk about it!” the agent retorted, with as much fury in his own voice.

All of a sudden, just like on the terrace before, the Sith lost all his energy from one moment to the other. He looked as if he just had been thrown into cold water, gone was all the rage and fury. His eyes were finding Tilas again, his face softened into an expression of deep shame and regret.
“Keyword Ouranophobia, Senth protocol disengaged!” he whispered almost inaudibly.

An awkward silence settled in once more.
When the woman finally spoke, she made all the men twitch a little.
“I guess now I know, what Andronikos is talking about you going into what he calls 'hell of a scary Sith mode' ”, there was an unexpected hint of humour in her quiet but melodic voice.
For a second, an embarrassed grin flickered over Imperius' face.
“Tilas, I-...”, he started seriously again, instantly falling silent, as she lifted a hand.
“Why, -...?” did she ask, sounding heavily disappointed now.
“I-” again she interrupted his second attempt to apologize, finishing her question.
“Why didn't you tell me?”
Freund werben, 7 Tage Probeabo: www.swtor.com/r/GJhHrY

Khaleijo's Avatar


Khaleijo
09.18.2017 , 11:41 AM | #15
Sith mind tricks


“I-”
Keytor took a deep breath before starting anew, “I was afraid.”
With an apologetic look on his face, he went to explain.
“When we met and you started working for me, I didn't know of your Cipher designation. You had passed all my security and background checks, which probably shows how good you are at your work.
By chance I learned of you being a former top agent. Going through the data I stole from Ravage, I stumbled upon some reports from an unnumbered Cipher agent.”
The Sith paused for a moment, a light smile curved his lips.
“You have this peculiar habit of using the galactic standard abbreviations for planetary names in your reports, instead of the imperial index. It makes them somewhat hard to read, if you aren't a two legged living name register, but it also makes them recognisable for people actually reading your reports.
You did extraordinary work in your position, being more than a simple agent was a plus and I thought to understand why you wanted to keep the Cipher designation secret. I didn't say anything.”

Imperius gaze unfocused as he travelled back into his memories.
“At first, I just hoped you weren't one of them. There usually are way more than 16 Cipher agents around and at that time, I didn't even know which Ciphers had been submitted to the treatment. Knowing your exact designation wouldn't have helped at all, thus I didn't ask nor did I tell anything.”
He sighed heavily.
“Then you had seen me without the mask. You knew my secret. I just panicked, there are no more than a handful people alive who know who I once was. I feared the consequences, I knew you would be able to track down my past, if you really tried, so I tested the keywords I had found and your reaction to them. One of them made you freeze for a moment.”

“You were doing these stupid crosswords, with these ridiculous long and rare used words, all of them some sort of phobia...” Tilas remembered that evening and his odd behaviour, though obviously not her own reaction.
The Sith nodded affirmative.
“There now I had my safeguard, in case you became a threat. As Ravage experimented with variations of the programming, I even was able make sure no one else would be able to command you with the keyword once the right protocol was initialised.” he paused again. “Which I did.”

“But you never did anything with your knowledge, didn't betray me, didn't track my past down. Didn't try to take advantage”, another heavy sigh.
”With time I got to know you better...you grew on me... You changed too, began to look behind my rank, behind me being Sith,... you saw just-, me.” His voice trailed off again, full of emotion.
With a pained expression, he looked directly at Tilas once more.
“How could I tell you then, what a fellow Sith, a Dark Councillor had done to you. You would only remember the Sith in me again, hated me, or even worse, feared me. So again, I said nothing.”

After another pause to gather his thoughts, he went on, “With more time passing by, it became even harder. We fell in love, but how could I tell you then, that I had the means to take total control over you, all this time. Would you have believed, I didn't use it, that our feelings were real and not a sick game I played with you? How to even start such a conversation, I just didn't know and again, kept quiet.”

“I didn't dare to risk losing you. All I could do, was to find a way to free you, maybe..., maybe then you would believe me, if I told you the truth.”
Unable keep eye contact with her, Keytor looked down on his hands.
“I tracked down the facility, only to find Cipher Nine already had blown it up. No scientists, no data, nothing left but smoking ruins. But I didn't believe, he hadn't at least tried to free himself or knew how this could be achieved. He was the only trace left, to learn anything in detail about the chemical components and mind twists used on you.”
“I tried to find him, but with the chaos of reconstructing Intelligence under direct Sith control, the war on Corellia and me not even knowing more than his Cipher designation, I was too slow. Before I could catch up to him, he had vanished.”

Keytor fell silent again, then with a somewhat apologetic look, he turned to Keeper.
“I couldn't find any trace of him. I had found the other agents, well, most of them, but not the one man I needed to. They all were connected to you. You made them Cipher agents and you were the one whose name was on the authorization of Nine's treatment.”

“Surprisingly you were still alive though. Putting myself in Cipher Nine's shoes, knowing about your involvement, I certainly would have killed you, just like the scientists on Quesh or the Pubs that used the keywords during that undercover mission. That he didn't, made me realise, you supposedly meant more to him than just being his handler. Knew more about him. Therefore I tracked you down, had someone take you out of Ravage's hands and brought you here.”

“Why didn't you just ask instead of all of this, this... “ the old man's voice broke, as he cut into a small pause of Imperius tale.
The Sith slightly tilted his head, a mix of curiosity and amusement on his face.
“In all honesty, would you have believed anything of this, of my intentions, without me being drugged with this?” he glared at the vial still stuck in his leg.
“I am an Inquisitor”, he continued, “I have certain... well talents, in lack of a better word. With the help of the force few are able to lie to me without me knowing or can refuse me answers.”
Keeper flinched at that.
“I also know of some experimental techniques few minds know to defend against at all. Though I don't think you really have a notion how thick the mental walls are, you built around anything related to Cipher Nine. How well guarded these memories are in your head.”
“It didn't help me much against you”, the old man whispered, reliving his torment, the overwhelming feeling of weakness and helplessness.
“Pffft!” Imperius snorted with somewhat injured pride. “If I don't care about the mental state of the subject, I have my answers within hours or days at most. If I do care not to leave empty husks behind, usually within a few weeks. You are here for more than three months and despite all my efforts, I was closer to destroy your mind, than to learn anything about him. Even after weakening your mental confidence this long, you would not have answered any direct question connected to Cipher Nine.”
“But you forced-” the old man stammered confused and was interrupted by the Sith.
“Minds are a curious thing, the influence of a vivid imagination is quite useful at times. Especially with strong minds that aren't as susceptible to the usual force tricks and mind games, as one would wish. Though the centuries of mystifying the force clearly does help with this too.” the Sith thoughts strayed.

“You were believing I could force you into anything, by that, you so to speak opened your mind to me yourself, allowing me access without having to fight your mental defences. Once I'm in your head, I can of course subtlety influence thoughts and will, though not all the way I made you believe I could, I needed your mind intact after all until I had my answers.” Keytor explained matter-of-factly.
“Aside from certain force techniques, a big part of this is tricking the subject into just giving up resistance. Not that it helped much with what I was searching for. Your guilt towards this Cipher is quite strong. You somehowv managed to turn that guilt into a strong mental wall able to deflect far more than you think. As I said, I was closer to destroy your mind than to find what I was looking for.”
Keeper could only blink flabbergasted upon these revelations.

Spoiler
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Khaleijo's Avatar


Khaleijo
10.10.2017 , 06:09 AM | #16
What to believe


The Sith had closed his eyes, not saying anything further, having finished his tale.
The agent hadn't said one word since Imperius had released Cipher Seven.
This was unexpected.

His eyes wandered between the female agent and the Sith. Wondering how she could stay this calm. There had been strong emotions before on the terrace, but now? Except of the slight disappointment in her voice, she didn’t seem to care what the Sith had done to her. Her face was expressionless, her posture not exactly relaxed, but neither too tense like for her trying to keep herself from doing something rash.
Either she had a lot more self control than he had had once he had been free to act again, or Imperius still was pulling her strings somehow.
Yet what the Sith had told had to be the truth, he really did care for her. The serum was working for at least another hour…
Katejo had seen the man's emotions, when talking to Seven. Deep love, regret, guilt. It all had seemed real.
This dark haired Sith was… an oddity, when it came to a comparison to the Sith Katejo had met so far.
He had appeared so... human, so... normal. Something totally unexpected from a Sith in Katejo's books.
Showing so much concern on the one hand and revealing weakness on the other.

Right until he boasted about his interrogation skills. The agent cursed inwardly.
And he almost fell for it!
The man still was a typical Sith and a dangerous one. This all had to be part of some crooked game these blasted Sith constantly played!
Getting access to Ravage's archives, Katejo knew himself how well those were protected, what the man must have been able to pull of to get there. Tracking down Keeper would have been easy afterwards, but learning the fate of the other Ciphers without raising suspicions?
Tormenting Keeper, while fooling him into spilling his secrets.
Katejo took another good look at his former handler, the deep lines in his haggard face, the haunted look in the eyes, the tension as Imperius just had talked to him.
A primary example of the Sith's ability to deceive and his ruthlessness, to do what ever was needed to get what he wanted.

Uneasy the agent had also noticed, that the drugs seemed to be not as effective on the man as expected. Especially whenever the Sith was emotionally involved
That constant sassiness and sarcasm, the angry outburst, this amount of aggressiveness shouldn't have been possible with those drugs still running through the man's veins.
Katejo was really glad now, he had decided to play safe with the multiple force blocks.

Going over the other details Imperius had just told once more, the agent's brows furrowed.
“You know all the keywords? Of every treated agent?” he demanded to know.
“Yes.” came only a short clipped answer.
“And you would not have had any scruples to use them. These agents being way less important to you.” Katejo accused him angrily.
The Sith huffed, “As if these keywords alone are of any use. There was a list of keywords. Without knowing who of the Ciphers those were related to that's almost nothing. The files didn't contain anything to properly identify them. Only the race when not human and gender because of the necessary physiological alterations. Really useful to track down people who are professional liars, actors and masters of disguise. Since Intelligence was disbanded and your purge of all the related files, there is no way left to find them in the data-banks”
“That isn't denying my assertion!” Katejo snarled.
“No, it isn't, but what exactly do you expect?”, Imperius retorted. “That I forget what I found? That I take the risk, a rival of mine is having a unimpressionable death squad at his hands, that I could at least try to stop with this? Sheer self preservation dictates to keep these codes memorised.”

“So there is no physical copy of them any more?” tightening the grip on his weapon Katejo asked slyly.
“No, there isn't, at least not in my possession” Imperius answered, glaring at him. His voice was controlled, but the agent read in the eyes, the Sith had realised the flaw in that just now.
Too late, you kriffing bastard
“Then let's just end all this mess, here and now!” the agent growled darkly, lifting his weapon to shoot the defenceless man on the couch.
Freund werben, 7 Tage Probeabo: www.swtor.com/r/GJhHrY