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Before - Legends Sith Politics: The Game Gets Dangerous

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by PlanetSmasher, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 14, 2017
    This story takes place in The Old Republic Era. This is a very dark story.

    Title: Sith Politics: The Game Gets Dangerous

    Author(s): PlanetSmasher

    Timeframe: The Old Republic Era, about 300 years after Revan

    Characters: The main character in this story is Shahn Lunn, AKA Darth Virulous, Andronikos Revel, Yehw'reh'nomai, and Darth Nox.

    Genre: Sci-Fi, Suspense, Thriller,

    Keywords: Vengeance, Power Struggles, Betrayal, Political Intrigue

    Summary: Darth Nox's Newest apprentice is on a mission for her master. Follow her down the Path to Darkness. Meanwhile, Andronikos Revel and Yehw'reh'nomai have a chance encounter. Will their meeting lead to love? Or maybe not?

    This is the sequel to my original fanfic, "Sith Politics: Fun and Games." This story begins about two weeks after the first one ends. You can find the first story on page 10 of the web forum (as of 10 Feb 18). Although you don't need to read the first story, reading it will answer a lot of questions, as this story sometimes refers to events that occurred in the first story.

    I hope you will enjoy the sequel. As always, please leave comments on what you read. Let me know what you think.



    A Casual Drink With A Tough Girl​

    Andronikos Revel sat at the bar of a very exclusive club on Nar Shaddaa. He'd just finished transferring nearly two trillion credits into Darth Nox's accounts on Dromund Kaas, and fired off a text message to his employer.

    "Boss, I just wired your cut of the take. You should see a deposit of two trillion credits. We had a really great payday! The military hardware sold fast and netted us a really nice chunk of credits. Not shabby at all. It brought in about one percent of our take. The antiques made a really good showing, netting us about twenty percent of our grand total.

    "The gem stones were all snapped up within minutes of being introduced by the auctioneer. That got us another fifteen percent of gross. The art, though! Once the authenticity of the art was verified by three independent and very reputable assessors, the bidding went through the roof! It netted us way more than anything I had imagined. We got our remaining sixty four percent of our gross take from that.

    "Everything sold! Nothing was left over. Military gear brings in good credits, but nothing like gems, antiques and ancient art. If we ever raid anyone like that again, I'll remember not to waste cargo space on military hardware.

    "The grand total for this haul was just over twelve trillion credits. Thanks for letting me loot the place, Boss. It really was a really great payday!"

    Andronikos took another sip of his Hutt's Vile Brew ale, a favorite on Nar Shaddaa, when a Chiss woman took a seat on the bar stool next to his.

    Smiling, she asked, "What are you drinking?"

    He told her, and she ordered one for herself. Andronikos took a close look at her. She was tall, his height, athletically built – not steroidally overdone, but femininely muscularly toned.

    Andronikos thought, "Damn! Her face is cute!"

    He really felt this way despite the old and faded jagged scar on her left cheek.

    Besides the scar, something else about her face made him think, "She's a tough girl!" Giving a friendly smile of his own, he told her, "You look like a tough girl. I like tough girls."

    The Chiss woman smiled back, saying, "You look kind of dangerous, yourself." Laughing, she added, "I like dangerous guys."

    Andronikos laughed and said, "Well, you're in luck. I'm as dangerous as they come."

    He laughed as though he had told a joke. She laughed with him.

    Andronikos asked, "What's such a fine looking woman like you doing in a dump like this?"

    She reminded him, "This is actually a very respectable club. You know?"

    Andronikos laughed, telling her, "Oh, yeah. That's right. I'm not used to high class joints like this." He added quickly, "That was a joke."

    He asked, "What's your name?"

    "Call me Wrehn," she smiled, looking deeply into his eyes.

    "All right, Wrehn. I'm Andronikos." Then, he asked, "What kind of work do you do, Wrehn?"

    Wrehn told him, "I move freight. I own a freighter." She asked him, "What about you?"

    Andronikos told her, "I'm a pirate." Then he quipped, "I steal freight."

    The look she gave him made him laugh out loud.

    He told her, "Don't worry. I'm semi retired, and I don't go after small fry." Showing off, he added, "I just auctioned off the last of my latest haul – twelve trillion credits. That's in Hutt currency."

    Wrehn whistled and observed aloud, "Damn. I'm in the wrong business." To herself she thought, "He's got to be exaggerating!" Then she reasoned to herself, "Or maybe not. His bounty is Sixty two million credits in Republic space, and thirty five million in Imperial space."

    Looking around, she asked, "Are your crew around? I don't see anyone who looks ‘pirate-like,’ besides you, that is."

    Andronikos told her, "I hired mercenaries. I paid them off already. They're gone."

    Just as Wrehn was about to entice him into following her out of the club, Andronikos asked, "I wanna show off. Do you wanna see my ship?"

    Wrehn gave him a sidelong look and said, "You don't waste any time, do you?"

    Andronikos asked, "You don't wanna see my ship? I'm really proud of her. I had some people go in and fix the deck. I had wood floors put in, but the cargo marred the surface. They got the surfaces fixed and covered with a transparent scratch resistant protective cover."

    Wrehn told Andronikos, "That's not enough. You have to put heavy foam shipping pads down to protect the surface of the scratch resistant protective cover from shipping crates and the like, especially loading droids. Those covers aren't so scratch resistant as you'd think."

    Andronikos thought, "She sounds like she knows what she's talking about." Aloud, he said, "Heavy foam shipping pads. Got it."

    Wrehn said coyly, "I don't know about going to a pirate's ship...." Then flirtatiously, she suggested, "Why don't you come to my ship?"

    Andronikos smiled wryly, telling her, "Look at who's not wasting any time..."

    The two laughed at the observation.

    Wrehn said in her defense, "I just finished a long shipping run, and have been so lonely. I could use a real stiff one."

    Andronikos purposefully misunderstood her, flagging the bartender down.

    "Barkeep, get the lady a stiff shot of..." He interrupted himself to ask her deadpan, "Is Duros Whiskey good for you?"

    Wrehn got a real laugh out of that and grabbed his hand, urging Andronikos, "Come on!"

    Wrehn's crew was positioned outside of the club. The plan was to ambush him just as he exited the establishment. Andronikos was wanted, dead. His personal holo-transmitter sounded just as he got on his feet. He pulled his hand free of hers and went for his communicator.

    He apologized, "Sorry. I gotta take this call."

    He pushed the button on the device, and up sprang the holographic image of Darth Nox. Wrehn's eyes went wide. Andronikos spoke to the dark lord's image.

    "Hey, Boss! Your timing couldn't be better. I was gonna call you. Did you get the message? Did you check to see that you got your cut?"

    Darth Nox ignored Andronikos’ comments and questions, ordering, "Bring my ship, immediately. I must travel."

    Wrehn just happened to be standing right next to Andronikos when he connected the call.

    Nox, seeing Wrehn's image asked, "Yehw'reh'nomai, are you working with my servant?"

    Nox looked at Andronikos' image and commented, "She is a very capable bounty hunter. She is costly! However, her services are worth the prices she demands."

    Andronikos replied very darkly, "Thanks for the tip, Boss."

    Nox immediately surmised what the situation was, and spoke very coldly to Wrehn.

    "Who hired you to kill or capture my servant?"

    Wrehn, disgusted at how horribly things were turning out, answered bluntly, "To kill."

    She looked down at the blaster pointed at her exposed belly button.

    Andronikos told her, "I'm not gonna take this personally with you. I know it's just business. So, let’s make a new deal, a new business arrangement. Yeah?"

    Nox interjected, "Yehw'reh'nomai, understand that as far as I am concerned there can only be one class of people who would put a price on my servant's head, and that class of people are my enemies."

    Wrehn remained silent, staring at the blaster pistol leveled at her stomach.

    Nox continued, "I'm inclined to take any attack on my people very personally."

    Andronikos gave a grim smile that had no effect of alleviating the frost around his eyes.

    He said, "Come on, Wrehn. Let's make a deal." Then, as realization hit him, and without taking his eyes off of Wrehn, he asked Nox, "Boss, did you call her Yehw'reh'nomai?"

    Nox replied, "That's her name."

    Andronikos' smiled changed a little as he thought about the irony playing out before him.

    He told Wrehn, "I saw your tag carved on the launch pad on Korriban."

    Wrehn, believing her life would end very soon nodded once, her eyes still on the blaster, and spoke in a strained voice, "Yeah. I did a job there for your boss."

    She gulped back a sob, willing herself to keep a tough exterior.

    Andronikos had heard about her job for his boss on Korriban on the gossip shows. He nodded, arching his eyebrows, quite impressed.

    “You actually faced down a pissed off Sith and took him down like it was nothing.” He asked rhetorically, "That really was you?" He added, "Then I better be extra careful. It means you're real good at your work – shipping freight."

    Andronikos spoke as though trying to reason with a difficult customer, "Wrehn, if you're not willing to make a deal with me, then I gotta kill you. I can tell my boss likes you." Tilting his head towards the holo-transmitter that he'd set on the bar top between them, he added, "He didn't tell me to kill you and be done with it, and he made the effort to give you a chance to make nice with him." He asked her, "What do you say? Can we do business together?"

    Wrehn’s holo-transceiver vibrated on her hip attached to her belt. It was a signal from her team that they were inside and ready to take Andronikos out. They became alerted to trouble, when Wrehn’s bio readings became elevated indicating that she was in distress.

    Wrehn stood too close to him, however. If they fired, she would get caught in the bolt blast. She took the opportunity to warn off her crew. Wrehn spoke cryptically as though thinking to herself aloud.

    "I can’t finish the job and get my thirty five million. If I try it, I’ll end up on the run from the whole Sith Empire. Or I could cut a deal and let Darth Nox take out my client for this job. I won’t get paid, but I won’t have to be on the run forever. Those are my choices.” She paused, as though thinking it over, and then asked herself aloud, “What to do? What to do?”

    Andronikos became slightly startled, as two people seemed to suddenly materialize from nowhere, a heavily armored cybernetically enhanced female human and a heavily armored human male. The male said something in the Mando language. Wrehn started to regain her composure now that her people were there to back her up.

    She said to Andronikos, “It looks like we can do business.”

    Andronikos asked, “Boss?”

    Nox demanded, “Who hired you to kill my servant?”

    Wrehn spoke to the cybernetically implanted female, “Mako, bring up the contract, and put the datapad on the bar top where he could see it.”

    Mako, replied in surprise, “Boss, if we reveal our client, It’ll ruin our reputation!”

    Wrehn replied, “Yeah. You’re right, Mako. It’s better to get chased all over the galaxy for the rest of our lives by the Republic for killing the Chancellor, and by Darth Nox for killing his man.”

    A Deveronian male had walked into the club unnoticed until he spoke, “We have enough problems with the Republic wanting our heads. I think that’s enough pressure already. We don’t need the Sith Empire chasing us around, too. Give them the contract, Mako.”

    The heavily armored human male spoke in the Mando language again, and then said, “That means, ‘honor is everything, but becomes foolishness in the face of poor judgment.’ I think Yehw’reh’nomai is right, Mako.”

    Stubbornly, Mako told Wrehn, we should charge something for this!”

    Andronikos replied with puzzlement in his tone, “We’re offering you your lives, and not getting on Darth Nox’s bad side.”

    Wrehn spoke tersely, “Mako, give them the damned contract.”

    Reluctantly Mako complied, setting the datapad with the relevant contract displayed on its screen on the bar top next to Andronikos’ holo-transmitter. That’s when she saw that Andronikos had a concealable blaster pointed at Wrehn’s exposed midsection. When she turned to look into Andronikos’ face, she saw nothing but murder in his eyes.

    As Mako withdrew from the bar, she told her employer and friend, “Sorry for giving you a hard time, Wrehn.”

    Wrehn said, “Don’t sweat it. We’re just doing business.”

    Mako knew the others hadn’t seen his gun either. It was a compact blaster. His hand covered most of it, and he held it close to his side. However, from behind him, it just looked as though Andronikos was simply leaning on the bar.

    Andronikos looked at the datapad and shook his head at what he saw.

    He said to Nox, “You’re not gonna believe this, Boss. Or maybe you will.”

    Nox replied tersely, “I’m at the end of my patience, Andronikos. Spit it out.”

    Andronikos told him, “Darth Acina.”

    Nox demanded, “Yehw’reh’nomai, how old is that contract?!”

    Wrehn answered, “About two weeks old.”

    Nox told her, “Acina and I have been in a feud. I destroyed Acina. She is no longer on the Dark Council. There is no one left who will honor that contract.”

    Andronikos told Wrehn, “Look it up. It’s galaxy wide news.”

    Mako embarrassedly admitted, “Uh, Wrehn. I don’t know how I missed it, but it’s true.” She added, “The bounty is still in effect, but it’s rated as dubious, Boss.”

    Meanwhile, Darth Nox had ordered his droid, “Put me in contact with Darth Zash. Hurry!”

    Zash had actually answered the call. She was very curious about what Nox would want to talk to her about.

    She spoke teasingly, “My dear Darth Nox, what an unexpected pleasure to hear from you! What could you possibly want from me?”

    Nox spoke furiously, telling Zash, “I don’t know what kind of game you think you’re playing here, but if you don’t want to share Acina’s fate, then you had better cancel that bounty you put on my servant’s head!” He added menacingly, “I swear, if Andronikos is killed because of this, I’ll not rest until you lie in ruins!”

    Zash was taken aback as Nox added, “I had better not find that others in my powerbase have been targeted in this manner. I will make you pay dearly, Zash!”

    Zash was shaken, but she hid her surprise, and spoke with deep displeasure in her tone, “Your tone is most unwelcome, Darth Nox. I can understand your concern that your people have been targeted, but what evidence do you...”

    Nox cut her off, speaking through clenched teeth, “The Sphere of Technology is the client! Acina is no longer ruler of that sphere. That leaves you!”

    Zash said, “I’ll look into it.”

    Zash cut the connection.

    Nox smiled, thinking smugly to himself, “Now I won’t owe her any favors.

    He knew it wasn’t Zash, but putting her on the spot like that made it seem as though he blamed her for the situation. In fact, Zash had considered that Nox had already been involved in two Kaggaths, and that he’d won both feuds, destroying completely both of his enemies, Darth Thanaton and Darth Acina, in the process. Fearing his power in the face of her weakness - Nox had destroyed much of Acina’s powerbase, leaving very little for Zash to inherit - she opted to clear the matter up quickly.

    Mako exclaimed, expressing her shock, “The bounty just got yanked!”

    Wrehn asked, “What about the Republic’s bounty on him?”

    Andronikos’ eyes squinted, making him appear to Wrehn more menacing than before.

    Mako replied, “It’s still up.”

    Wrehn said, “O.K., gang. This job’s a wash. He’s not worth getting a dark lord all worked up over this.

    Andronikos’ eyes still had murder in them, and his back up blaster was still pointed at her mid section.

    Wrehn told him, “The Republic hates us. They’re not going to pay us for any jobs we do for them.”

    Andronikos slid the data pad towards Wrehn and said, “Show me.”

    Wrehn brought up the bounty on she and her crew’s heads and cursed.

    “The blasted nerf turds just doubled it!”

    She pushed the datapad back towards Andronikos.

    He looked at it and exclaimed in disbelief, “Two billion?!” Then he ordered, “Tell your crew to get lost.”

    Wrehn snarled, “To hell with that! We’re all getting lost.”

    Andronikos told her, “You’re my insurance. Don’t make me have to cash in on the policy.”

    Wrehn gritted her teeth and growled out, “Gang, guns out! Now!”

    Andronikos found himself the target of two blaster rifles and a blaster pistol.

    Wrehn reiterated, “You’re not a bounty head anymore in the Sith Empire. I’m leaving with my gang, or we get mutually ashed.”

    Andronikos’ back up blaster vanished into his coat sleeve. He turned to face the bar and picked up his drink, taking a sip.

    Wrehn, wasting no time, grabbed the datapad off the bar top and got the hell out with her crew following her out. She promptly made her way to an alleyway where another of her crew, a Houk, waited with their speeder.

    The Houk asked, “What’d I miss?”

    The Deveronian quipped, “Wrehn ran. Bounty chased her off.”

    The Houk laughed at the joke. Wrehn’s reaction was not entirely unexpected. She reached into the front passenger side of the speeder and pulled out her blaster, which she’d left behind for this job.

    Pointing it at the Houk, she menaced, “Stop laughing, Skadge.”

    The Houk stopped laughing. Wrehn turned to face the Deveronian.

    He had already ducked around the corner of a building at the end of the alley, and shouted into the alley from around the corner, “It was a joke! Take it easy, Wrehn! Come on!”

    Wrehn shouted furiously, “I did not rum from no scummy pirate! I did not want to piss his boss off! There’s a huge blasted difference!”

    Skadge, confused, asked, “Wait! Wrehn really ran? Or did the bounty just get away?”

    Mako answered flippantly, “With her tail between her legs.”

    Wrehn slammed the blaster onto the alley pavement as Skadge let loose a long raucous round of laughter.

    The human male in heavy Mandalorian armor added, “We had the bounty dead to rights, but it turned out the bounty works for Darth Nox.”

    As Skadge recovered from his laughing fit, he asked, “So what, Torian?”

    Mako replied taking practicality into account, “We’re already wanted – dead – by the Republic for two billion credits.” Interrupting herself, she added, “It was just doubled to two billion.” Then she continued her original train of thought, concluding, “Why have the whole Sith Empire chasing after us, too?”

    Skadge asked, “I thought you said it was Darth Nox?”

    Mako replied, “Yeah, The whole Sith Empire.”

    After some reflection, Skadge asked, “What’s wrong with that?” Then he observed, “It just means we have more skulls to crush and bodies to pummel into paste.”

    Wrehn snapped, “Shut the hell up, all of you! Get your carcasses into the damned speeder. We’re getting the hell off of this moon!” Then she bellowed, “Gault, get your ass over here, unless you wanna get left behind!”


    Andronikos was furious. He was furious at the tough Chiss woman with the pretty face for tricking him. He was furious at himself for letting his guard down so completely. Andronikos had to face reality. He had to revise this idea of his about being safe in Hutt Space.

    I knew Hutt Space was harsh and unforgiving, but I ain’t been on Nar Shaddaa for two weeks!” He told himself.

    Andronikos was a proud man, so it hurt his pride to think, “Dammit! I’m a tough guy! Why do I gotta hire bodyguards?!
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  2. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 14, 2017
    Shahn Lunn’s New Name​

    Wearing civilian business attire, Darth Virulous sat in her seat aboard a small passenger starship operated by a regional space carrier, Duros Mid-Rim Spacelines. It was a wholly owned subsidiary of Coruscant Spaceways.

    She flew aboard Darth Nox’s starship to Nar Shaddaa. There she booked a flight to Tatooine from the Smuggler’s Moon, as Nar Shaddaa was affectionately referred to by every facet of criminal and legitimate enterprise.

    As the passengers began to rise from their seats to reclaim their belongings from the overhead bins, she recalled how quickly she’d picked up a tail as she stood at the ticket counter for her flight to Tatooine. Her thoughts went back to Nox’s starship and her conversation with its captain.


    Andronikos stood before Nox’s newest apprentice, as she sat in repose in one of the luxuriously over-stuffed lounge chairs in the common crew space.

    He asked her, “Uh, can I still call you Shahn, or do you prefer your new name?”

    Sitting in one of the overstuffed lounge chairs in the common crew space, she turned her eyes downward as she took on an introspective expression.

    With a pang of regret, she thought to herself, “I’ll miss my old name. It was such a beautiful name.

    In fact it was her grandmother’s name, and her great grandmother’s before her.

    She vowed to herself, “If I ever give birth to a daughter, I will give my child that name.

    She hated her new name, but her new name was part of her title. It was a representation of what Darth Nox saw in her which, in a twisted sort of way, was complimentary.

    Andronikos’ Mandalorian mercenaries supervised their rented heavy duty work droids as they unloaded their looted cargo from Nox’s ship.

    Andronikos took on a worried expression as he shouted at one of the droids, “Hey! Numb nuts! Watch what the hell you’re doing! That’s a control panel your walking that crate into!”

    After thinking it through, she looked up into the semi retired pirate’s eyes, as he returned his attention to her, and told him, “Darth Nox would become terribly displeased if I allowed it.”

    Andronikos replied, completely understanding where she was coming from, “No sense pissing off the boss if you don’t have to. Yeah?” He could see the pain in her expression, when he concluded, “Darth Virulous it is.”

    He could see that she was distracted. He kind of took a liking to her, since she wasn’t ‘all high and mighty’ with the way she treated him.

    Andronikos, was oddly forgiving of the fact that she tried to kill him a couple of weeks ago, before their battle aboard that space station.

    Looking at the demure and petite Sith lord, he blamed himself for her reaction, thinking, “I was stupid enough to openly insinuate that she killed Xalek – right in front of the boss.

    He asked her, “Let me give you some advice, eh? It’s good traveling advice. O.K.?”

    Virulous nodded her head once, giving her consent and thinking, “He’s so rough, but he’s so handsome. I wish I hadn’t tried to kill him.

    Andronikos took a seat across from her. After settling in to the exquisite embrace of the luxurious lounge chair, he began his speech. He started by telling her the obvious.

    “You’re in Hutt Space, and soon you’ll be in the Outer Rim, in neutral territory.”

    Then he got to the point.

    “The place is crawling with enemies of the empire, bounty hunters, Jedi – yeah, Jedi – Republic agents, you name it. They’re all outside of this Imperial starship.” He emphasized that last part, and then went on, repeating it for added emphasis, “The moment you walk down the ramp of this Imperial starship, you’ll have a target painted on your back.

    “Pay attention at all times to everyone around you, droids too. Even if you think it’ll get the boss in a crappy mood, use your old name, or use a fake name. Nothing attracts Jedi like going around telling everyone you’re a Sith lord.

    “Also, hide your Sith clothes and armor. Wear regular clothes until you get to your destination. I know it sounds kind of cheap, but if you want to get to your destination quickly, then you don’t want to get in a fight every three meters. You know what I mean? But keep your weapon with you at all times, and carry a blaster as a back up.”

    Virulous gave a funny look at the suggestion she carry a blaster pistol, but then she considered that she’d been armed with one for years in her service as an officer in the Imperial Reclamation Service.

    Andronikos offered a few more words, saying, “I heard what you done in The Citadel. So, I know you can take care of yourself, but watch your back anyway. Also, when you get done over there, hire an independent starship operator to fly you back to Nar Shaddaa before switching to an Imperial operated spaceline passenger carrier. Don’t fly on any spaceliners from Tatooine. Those’ll be full of Republic agents and Jedi looking to ambush you when the ship gets into space. The rest, you can take care of. Got any questions? Need anything else?”

    Virulous observed with a wry grin, “You’re not a Sith, yet you give advice as if you had personal experience as one.”

    Andronikos replied, “It comes with experience from traveling around with the Boss. He never listens to anything I say though, and he’d always get in a scrap. Hardheaded, I guess. Or maybe he just likes to fight all the time. And then there’s the part where I’m a pirate with a bounty on my head. So, I developed a few tricks on how to look over my shoulder for trouble.”

    Virulous, again introspective, observed, “I’ve traveled to many worlds, but it’s always been in Imperial Space. Even when my dead master, Darth Silthar, traveled to Tatooine and left me alone, in my very early twenties, on Yavin 4 to excavate an old shrine buried in a millennia’s worth of soil and vegetation, it was in Imperial Space that I was left alone.”

    Looking across the coffee table, straight into Andronikos’ eyes, she confessed, “This is the first time in my life, I’ve been outside of Imperial Space, and I’ve always traveled on Imperial Navy starships. Thanks for your advice. I’d never considered any of this before. I didn’t need to before.”

    Andronikos had merely replied, “Well, Darth Virulous, good luck to you.”


    Following Andronikos’ advice, she flew economy class. Virulous rose from her seat and retrieved her carry on luggage from the overhead bin. She made her way down the isle of the passenger cabin to make her way to the starship’s exit. She did as Andronikos suggested and stayed in her seat, until everyone had debarked.

    Three passengers remained behind as well, a man and two women. Virulous could sense their tense emotions. They immediately got up to exit the starship with her. The three passengers were still in the isle, several rows behind her, when Virulous entered the airlock.

    She used The Force to speed her way out of the airlock, down the ramp, and under the starship, hiding behind one of the ship’s landing struts. There, she used The Force to blend in with her surroundings, and to mask her presence from perception.

    It wasn’t quite as effective as Force Shroud was which depended on Force Persuasion to directly affect individuals that entered an area and kept them ignorant of a Force user’s presence, even if standing next to the Force user. However, the technique she currently employed was effective as long as individuals did not get too close. It was as good as or better than photoflexing camouflaging technology used by some of the galaxy’s elite military forces able to afford such technologies.

    The three passengers ran down the ramp, frantically searching around for her. Virulous, very quietly, very carefully set her luggage down onto the tarmac of the spaceport. Then, as she straightened, she carefully retrieved her lightsaber from under her suit jacket.

    The two women ran off to the terminal while the man stayed behind, searching under the ship. Virulous waited until the two women were well on their way to to the spaceport terminal, before she used The Force to speed to where the man searched a landing strut well under the starship. She knocked him over from behind and pinned him to the tarmac using The Force.

    In her grey pants suit and low heals, she squatted beside the man, she pointed the inactive lightsaber hilt at his face.

    Virulous asked him, “Why are you following me?” Then she told him, “Honest answers means you live longer.”

    He lied, “I’m a customs official. We are investigating an illicit spice trafficking ring. We was tipped off that you was a courier. It looks like we was tricked. We didn’t know you was a Jedi.”

    Virulous’ smile failed to reach her eyes as she informed the man, “And now you lose some of your lifespan.”

    The man, watching her grimace with concentration, felt his life force leaving him and began to panic. He tried to get up to run, but The Force kept him firmly pinned to the tarmac. One of the women, returning to the scene, saw their subject squatting next to her partner – laid out on the tarmac.

    She called to her other team mate, the other woman, on her audio only short range transmitter, and then pulled out her concealable compact blaster pistol. She approached quickly but cautiously, aiming her weapon at Virulous.

    Virulous told the man, smiling mirthlessly, “Here comes one of your playmates.”

    She lifted her arm and pointed her hand at the woman. Virulous blasted the woman with a bolt of Force Lightning. The woman collapsed to the tarmac, shaking uncontrollably.

    Virulous told the man, “She’ll live, maybe. Now, how about you?”

    The man felt his life draining from him again.

    He pleaded, “Alright! I’ll tell you!”

    Virulous halted her attack and waited for him to talk.

    He told her, “We’re bounty hunters. You were seen getting off an Imperial starship. You were followed to a hotel. We picked up the contract and met up with the guy who hired us and gave us our instructions.

    He’s a Republic agent. He told us just to follow you and to tell the local Republic agents where you went, when you got there. That’s it! That’s the truth!”

    And it was the truth. Virulous could sense his relief when she smiled again, this time convincingly, as she told him, “You see? Now you get to stay alive.”

    She gently rested her hand on his shoulder and asked, “Was that so hard?”

    Just as he was about to reply, Virulous killed him using the technique she’d learned from Zash when she was eavesdropping on Nox and Zash in their meeting on Korriban following a session of the Dark Council. She stood up and walked to her suit case. Picking it up, she turned to walk from under the starship. Walking passed the woman bounty hunter laid out on the tarmac, Virulous found that she lay still and dead.

    Passing through the gate, she entered the departure lounge, and walked to the terminal droid and checked in. Clearing customs was simple. Merely walking past sniffers assured she was not transporting any illegal spice.

    Virulous hailed a taxi at the spaceport driveway. It was operated by a Kubaz male. He drove her to a hotel not far from the spaceport. Her Imperial credit card was worthless, so she had to pay using physical Hutt currency.

    In the hotel lobby, Virulous walked into a clothing store which was among the other shops conveniently located for travelers, and had clothes made for her tiny stature. She checked into a room at the hotel counter.

    Virulous told the concierge, “I’m having some clothes made for me at the tailor shop, there.” She pointed at the store. Then she instructed the human girl at the counter, “Have my new clothes delivered to my room.”

    The young concierge smiled, looking down at Virulous’ small stature and replied, “Of course, Ms. Shahn Lunn. I’ll be happy to take care of that for you.”

    Virulous walked up the stairs to the second level and walked to her room. She couldn’t locate the second woman who’d been following her. She couldn’t sense her presence either. Virulous decided that either she’d run away, or that she’d hid herself rather well while following her to her hotel.

    A short while later Virulous stepped out of the fresher. She was drying herself off with a towel when a chime sounded, indicating someone was at the door to her room. Virulous wrapped herself with the towel, then reached for her opened suitcase. Her smooth chrome plated lightsaber lifted out of the suitcase and glided into her hand.

    She demanded, “Who is it?!”

    A male voice replied, “Room service, ma’am. I’m here to deliver your new clothes.”

    Virulous ordered, “Come in!”

    The male voice announced, “Coming in!”

    The door slid open and a young man entered her room. He saw a petite woman, her wet, long black hair running straight down her back. He was too far back to see the few strands of gray hair among the black. She stood wrapped in a white bath towel, her legs exposed and bare foot. She held a smooth silver metal tube shaped object in her hand. The young man immediately got the wrong idea, becoming sexually aroused.

    He blushed, smiling a bit too brightly, and asked, “Where do you want me to put these, ma’am?”

    Virulous pointed at the table on which her opened suitcase sat, in which her sabrestaff and body armor were kept. The young man walked to the table and set her new clothing on it.

    He saw her sabrestaff hilt and thought to himself, “This one’s even longer! Heck! I’m right here! She don’t need all this stuff!

    Virulous was amused by the young man’s reactions, which she sensed through The Force. He turned about and asked, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

    Virulous told him, “No. That is all.” Then she added, pointing to another table, “You may take your tip from there.”

    The young man walked to that table and was stunned to find a very large sum of money on it. It was probably two month’s pay, for him.

    He asked, as he turned to face her, “How much may I take…….., ma’am?”

    Virulous had unwrapped the towel from around her body, holding the towel behind her by the corners.

    Smiling coyly, she asked playfully, “Do you like what you see?”

    The young man nodded his enthusiastic appreciation for what he saw and answered, “Yes. I like it very much, ma’am.”

    She dropped the towel behind her and turned slowly about, and asked, “Is here anything wrong with what you see?”

    The young man shook his head side to side and replied, “No, ma’am. There’s nothing wrong with you. You look real nice.”

    Virulous was thirty four years old, but despite her age, kept athletically fit. Being an officer in the Imperial Army, she kept physically fit in accordance to military regulations. Being a Sith lord, she trained her marshal skills, keeping very her lightsaber skills honed. For Sith, being able to fend off attacks and being able to kill one’s foes required a great deal of discipline.

    When she had turned about and faced the young man again, she found that he was inching closer to her. She extended her arm towards him with her palm facing him. He stopped.

    Virulous told him, “You have earned a nice tip. It’s behind you on the table stand.”

    He was obviously disappointed as he turned away from her to claim his tip reward.

    Virulous told him, “Take it all. I want you to have it.”

    As he picked up the Hutt cash, the young man told her, “My name’s Doogen Trey. If you need me for anything, ask for me by name. His face reddened even more as he declared, “I suppose I could do better than your little droids.”

    Virulous was confused, and it showed on her face until Doogen pointedly looked at the lightsaber hilt still in her hand.

    She held back her laughter, thinking, “Is that what he thought this was?!

    She told him, teasingly, “Doogen Trey. I’ll keep that in mind.”

    Doogen nodded his head, as he exited her room, saying, “Please enjoy your stay, ma’am.”

    The door slid open, as he passed through, and then quickly slid shut behind him. Then he was gone.

    Virulous laughed in a low tone. She feared the doors and walls were thin, and didn’t want the young man to hear her laughter. She didn’t want to hurt his pride.

    She began to dress, starting with her briefs and sports bra, and then a slip. Virulous donned her body armor over her slip. It didn’t offer the same protection as her normal medium grade armor, but light body armor was concealable and better than no armor at all.

    Next she donned her leg guards, which protected her thighs, and then her vambraces, protecting her forearms. Over her armor, Virulous put on her newly tailored desert clothing. It consisted of an off white, very loose fitting leggings, she donned brown leather boots, with thin shin guards attached and hidden under the loose fitting leggings. Then she slipped on an off white long sleeved, loose fitting tunic that went down to her knees, a sand colored hooded outer robe, and an off white head scarf, which she used to cover her face up to her eyes.

    Underneath her hooded robe, which she wrapped around herself and held in place with a sand colored sash, she wore her utility belt. Her lightsaber and sabrestaff were both attached to her belt, and hidden from view under her outer robe.

    She looked around in the room making sure she didn’t leave anything important behind. The grey pants suit and low heals she’d worn on her travels to Tatooine from Nar Shaddaa were left crumpled on the floor, and her emptied travel case lay open on the table.

    Virulous reread the mission profile on her encrypted datapad. She was to meet with a local, one of Keeper’s assets. After pulling the sand hood of her sand colored robe over her head, she walked to the window and peeked outside from the edges of the curtains.

    She then pulled the curtains to one side and opened the window. It felt to her as though she had opened a hot oven. She was pleased with what she saw. Not only did her window open to the narrow back alley, but the building across the alley was a one story building.

    Climbing through the window, Virulous used The Force to leap to the roof of the building across the alleyway. Tatooine’s twin stars immediately beat down on her. Crouching low, she turned about and used The Force to shut her window and pull the curtain closed.

    Tatooine’s stars were both high in the sky, one star at the ten O’clock position, and the other at the one O’clock position. The twin stars orbited around one another, even as the planet orbited around both stars.

    The stars also changed positions in the sky, depending on the season. Sometimes they appeared very near each other, at times seeming to merge into one. In those cases, one star was nearest to Tatooine, appearing larger than usual, while the other was very far way, seeming much smaller. At other times, like today, the stars were far apart in the sky, seeming about the same size.

    Virulous dashed across the roof and found a place to jump down between two utility closets attached to the building’s exterior. The sand street was narrow and almost empty, except for a few dewback riding beasts tied to hitching posts towards the end of the side street.

    Near the end of the narrow dead end street, taking cover behind one of the riding beasts, she watched as the local constabulary forces rushed the hotel she’d just left.

    Virulous thought to herself, “The law around here is quite lax. Did they just realize they had two bodies at the spaceport?” She laughed quietly at herself, thinking, “What? Do I want them to do a good job and catch me?
  3. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 14, 2017
    Mr. Tranit's Very Special Guest​

    Virulous exited the narrow sandy side street and walked south on the wider rough-cut stone paved boulevard. The hot yet light Tatooine winds blew a light dusting of sand down the wide road in the early afternoon. She blended in with the thin noon crowds as she made her way towards the town square. The people were dressed similarly as she, with their faces heavily veiled deep within their hoods pulled over their heads.

    At the town square was an open air bazaar, with large triangular tarps suspended high overhead on very long poles or anchored with cables to the roof tops of multi-storied buildings, providing shade while not completely blocking out the sky’s light. The tarps’ arrangement also permitted the hot desert winds to breeze through so that the air would not become stagnant underneath. The crowds at the bazaar were markedly thicker.

    Vendors were calling to passersby to come sample their goods. Vendors and shoppers haggled over prices and argued over the quality of the goods being offered for sale. Laborers rushed to and fro carrying baskets, sacks, crates, and casks filled with all manner of goods and wares.

    Virulous pushed her way through the crowds and found herself in front of a low domed building with a wide entrance at the southern edge of the town square. Two Gamorrean guards armed with wood clubs stood guard at the entrance. When she attempted to enter, one of the guards grunted and squealed at her, blocking her path.

    She asked, “Is this Thieves’ Den?”

    The porcine guard towering over her, nearly twice her height, grunted and squealed at her again, this time shoving her away from the entrance. Virulous recovered from staggering back and rushed forward. Grabbing the Gamorrean by the arm, she used The Force to assist with flipping him over her shoulder, slamming him onto his back and knocking the wind out of him.

    Virulous turned to face the other guard, expecting him to attack. He was overcome with his porcine laughter at his partner’s easy defeat at the hands of what he mistook as a very tall Jawa. He waved her in, still laughing, slapping his knee and pointing at his comrade who struggled to regain his feet. She walked into the vestibule and found herself at the top of a stone staircase which she proceeded to descend. At the bottom of the stairs, in an anteroom, a Bith greeted her.

    In its mid-high pitched warbling voice, it said to her, “You are small. Are you also female?”

    Virulous, already on edge, replied testily, “So what if I am?”

    The Bith replied, “Only when the moon shines on both sides with the light of two suns is the darkness hidden within.”

    Virulous’ heart began to beat with a sudden surge of excitement. This was the pass phrase she was to listen for. This was Keeper’s asset.

    She replied, “Only fools can enjoy daylight with no night, work with no play, love with no hatred, and truth without deception.”

    The Bith told her, “Enjoy a drink at the central bar. It’s on the house.”

    Virulous became confused. She was sure that after reciting the counter phrase that she’d get the info she was after. Instead, she was directed to the bar to enjoy a drink. She began to worry she was being set up for betrayal.

    Beyond the anteroom and past a narrow passageway, at the entrance to the next room, Virulous swept her eyes across the not too dimly lit bar room looking for any signs of a trap or of betrayal. The place was seedy, stinking of stale ale and spilt liquor. However, nothing she saw with her eyes nor felt through The Force alerted her of foul play afoot.

    The patrons kept their voices low as they held their conversations. At one corner was a jukebox playing a song in a style she’d never heard before, but its slow paced, not so flashy and quiet style gave her the impression of it being an old fashioned song.

    As she started to make her way to the bar, she noticed the ratty rug on the hopelessly scuffed wood floor. Over the years, the sand abraded the worn wood floors as the patrons moved about in the bar room.

    She thought, “What a dingy hole in a wall!” Then reflecting that the bar was subterranean, she amended, “Well, hole in the ground.

    At the bar, Virulous called on the barkeep. He nodded her way indicating he’d be there when he finished serving another patron. Virulous pulled back her hood and peeled down her scarf. She looked up at a big bright monitor screen suspended on the wall above the shelves of various bottles of spirituous liquids.

    Virulous gave an ironic snort and chuckle at what she saw. Her face was displayed next to text, written in Galactic Standard Basic, indicating she was wanted for questioning in connection with two deaths at the spaceport. Several individuals of various species started to gather around her, laughing. Virulous, cursing under her breath, grabbed her sabrestaff from under her outer robe and placed it on the bar in front of her.

    In contrast to the rest of the establishment, the bar was somewhat brightly lit. Behind the bar, the mirror mounted on the wall, behind the shelves filled with bottles of spirits, gave her a chance to count how many were gathering behind her.

    Eight,” she thought to herself, her heart pounding in anticipation and fear of the coming confrontation.

    Recognizing the fear growing within her, Virulous sharply criticized herself, thinking, “I am the apprentice of Darth Nox, Dark Lord of The Sith! I cannot bring him shame!

    Some of the thugs quickly left the group upon seeing her weapon resting on the bar top before her.

    That she felt fear of these ordinary thugs angered her. She used her anger to fuel her power in The Force, and to fuel her hatred.

    Virulous made herself hate the thugs, whom she’d never met, thinking, “That leaves five fools to deal with.

    The barkeep approached, looking first at the monitor and then at her.

    He asked, laughing merrily, “What would you like to drink, Miss Wanted?”

    This angered her further. She realized they didn’t take her seriously, she was the butt of their joke, and the fools behind her laughed at the joke. They laughed at her.

    Her voice low and smooth, Virulous asked the barkeep, “What would happen if I were to kill those fools standing behind me? Will they stop laughing at me?”

    The fools laughed even harder, as the barkeep replied, “Order a drink, and I’ll answer you.”

    Virulous’ anger flared as the men around her began to crowd around her. Her face became creased with hatred as one of the thugs, a Kubaz, put his hand on her shoulder. He was in the middle of saying something when he suddenly staggered backwards and fell onto his back like a plank of wood – dead.

    The four remaining thugs became agitated and confused. They didn’t see her do anything, yet one of their buddies had just dropped dead in front of them.

    One of the thugs, an Ithorian, demanded in his bass guttural grunting language, “What have you done?!”

    Virulous didn’t move, but realization of what Virulous was had finally struck him, when he finally noticed her weapon on the bar in front of her. He mistakenly thought, “Jedi!” as he turned to flee, but he did not even take his third step, before he stumbled face forward onto his long, extended muzzle – dead.

    The remaining three thugs, still not understanding how their friends were falling dead, took no further chances. They began to draw their blaster pistols. However, before they could point their weapons at Virulous’ back, she had already grabbed and activated her sabrestaff and was already cutting the first thug down, before they could register that she had zipped past behind them and was attacking them from behind. She quickly cut the last two down, one right after the other.

    To the other patrons of Thieves’ Den, watching the commotion, it appeared as though she had flashed through the three of them, as though she were a ghost, with a bright red whirling and buzzing display that lasted for only an instant, before the three seemed to collapse to the floor together – dead.

    Virulous scanned the remaining patrons in the pub. The patrons effected not to notice anything amiss. They returned to their sabacc games and to their lewd laughter at their lewd stories. Virulous deactivated her sabrestaff and returned it to the bar top as she resumed her seat. She glared at the now visibly shaken barkeep.

    In the same low smooth tone she used before, she told him, “You have only one chance to remain among the living – only one chance.”

    The bartender, his lips quivering, gulped. Unable to speak, he merely nodded his head to show he was listening.

    Virulous told him, “I came here to meet with someone. That someone is supposed to give me some information. I want that someone here, now.”

    The barkeep nodded his head again, then turned to the shelves of bottled spirits behind him and pushed a button under one of the shelves. A few moments later, the Bith from before walked into the bar and stopped in his tracks, looking at the carnage on the pub’s floor. He shouted angrily, something unintelligible.

    Then rebuking his bartender and staff, in his mid-high pitched warbling voice, ordered, “And get this rubbish off of my floor! Look at my rug! My rug is stained!”

    Never mind that the rug was worn through in places to the rough, sand abraded, wood floor beneath the already filthy rug. The Bith turned his attention to Virulous. She looked as though she would kill him.

    The Bith said to her, “I am deeply sorry! My foolish staff could not follow directions to the floor if I shot them in the head!”

    Then he noticed that Virulous did not have a drink in her hand nor on the bar in front of her. He did see her weapon, however.

    He asked the barkeep, “Why isn’t my very special guest enjoying a drink?”

    The barkeep looked as though he would start weeping.

    The Bith asked, “Why has my very special guest not been served?” Then he demanded, “Explain this!”

    Virulous started to get the idea that the Bith was her contact, after all.

    The bartender pleaded, “Mr. Tranit…,” pointing above the shelves of bottled spirituous liquids, at the monitor on the wall which still displayed Virulous’ image, he explained, “I didn’t know that your very special guest was a bounty mark.”

    Pointing at the severed corpses on the floor, now being removed by the other staff, he added, “Those bounty hunters were all over her before I figured out that she was your very special guest. I’m so very...”

    Mr. Tranit barked, “Silence!” After a pause, he said, “Those apologies belong to my very special guest.”

    He nodded towards Virulous, indicating that the barkeep should apologize to her.

    The barkeep pleaded, “Ms. Very Special Guest, I am so very sorry for giving you such terrible customer service. How can I make it up to you?”

    Virulous wanted to be taken seriously. She wanted to make a deep impression on everyone in the pub, especially to the Bith.

    She asked herself, “What would Darth Nox do to show he wanted to be taken seriously?” She thought she knew the answer, and said aloud, “Give me your life.” After a short pause, she added, “That should make up for your poor service to me.”

    Mr. Tranit clapped his hands twice and waved one of them towards the bartender. Two goons came out of the wood works. They hopped over the bar and grabbed the poor barkeep, forcing him to his knees. One of the goons produced a compact blaster pistol and aimed it at the bartender’s head.

    Virulous shouted, “Wait!”

    The goons stopped.

    Virulous told the goons, “I said I want him to give me his life.”

    The goons looked at each other, and then at Mr. Tranit.

    Mr. Tranit asked, Virulous, “You want us to give him a blaster?”

    Virulous replied, “Yes, that or a knife.”

    Mr. Tranit waved his hand at his goons, nodding his approval.

    The barkeep pleaded, “NO! PLEASE!”

    He seemed to be struggling against himself as he reached for the pistol. The goons both stepped back as the barkeep begged and cried, all the while pointing the blaster pistol at his own temple.

    Virulous, her face twisted by hatred and fury, rasped at the barkeep, “This is for laughing at me!”

    The barkeep’s head burst into a cloud of vaporized blood, flesh and bone, while the bar sink suddenly had a hole blown into it with the remaining energy from the blaster bolt. The two goons’ eyes widened and their mouths fell agape as they looked alternately at the barkeep’s corps and at Virulous’ hate filled visage. Mr. Tranit watched in the reflection of the bar mirror, as the barkeep’s body slumped down and began pouring out its blood onto the floor from what was left of his head.

    Virulous turned to the Bith and quite plainly lied, telling him, “That just put me into a very good mood.”

    Her face showed nothing but fury and hatred, but she was also trying to control her breathing to hide how much this display had taken out of her. Her considerable efforts to control the barkeep, as he pointed the weapon at himself, taxed her enormously. However, to Mr. Tranit it looked as though she was readying herself to commit more of this terrible carnage.

    Unknown to Mr. Tranit, Virulous was at that moment greatly conflicted. She felt terrible revulsion for what she’d done. It was an exceptional act of cruelty that she’d perpetrated. However, the seductive power of the Dark Side had been increasing within her, and it frightened and excited her. She wanted more of this power, but she could see plainly that she was becoming a dark fiend because of it.

    Ever since she’d met Darth Nox, she found herself committing worse and worse atrocities. She worried about Dark Side corruption marring her appearance. Virulous was seeing a dermatologist to repair the remaining scars on her skin from Darth Nox’s lightning attack which had left so many electrical burns on her body.

    Mr. Tranit sat on the second bar stool over from Virulous and ordered one of the goons, “Fix me a drink, and one for my very special guest.” Turning to look over his shoulder, he declared, raising his voice to be heard, “The bar is closed. Come back tomorrow.”

    As the patrons obediently shuffled out of Thieves’ Den, Virulous warned Mr. Tranit, “I’m not in the mood to waste time on pleasantries. Just tell me where they are, so that I can complete my mission.”

    Mr. Tranit asked, “What name may I call you?”

    She answered, “Darth Virulous.”

    Mr. Tranit waited until the last of the patrons had left the room, taking a sip from the drink placed in front of him, before telling her, “Darth Virulous, I will be frank with you. I am a crime boss. I have built my little piece of the criminal empire known as The Exchange Gang.

    “I’m not one of those fools who thought they could anger a ruler of the Sith Empire and get away with it, but I am a leader, albeit a minor one, within this organization. When you complete your mission, a very large power vacuum will be left. There will be infighting for years to come while we sort ourselves out.”

    Virulous sighed impatiently and growled out, “Get to the point.”

    Mr. Tranit got to the point, telling her. “Not only do I want to survive this upheaval, but I want to emerge on top, or near the top actually. To that end, I have added a few extra targets to your list.”

    He lifted his hand, forestalling Virulous’ coming objections as he continued his pitch.

    “The target list is divided into two sections, your dark councilor’s targets and my targets. You will notice that my targets have numbers next to them. This is how much I will pay for each one you’ve eliminated.

    “Of course I will not ask you to do this extra work without proper compensation. Also, I am not expecting you to execute my part of the mission. I know you are here on Darth Nox’s behalf, and I don’t want to attract his attention.

    “You could get paid, by me, to do the extra work while pointing out to Darth Nox that you’ve killed a few extra along the way. You win twice, with money from me and recognition from your superior. What do say?”

    Virulous looked at the target list. There were three names on Darth Nox’s part of the list, and six names on Mr. Tranit’s part of the list. She realized that he meant to pay her two million four hundred thousand credits.

    She thought to herself, “Four hundred thousand for each one of these on his list. That’s over four times as much money that I have now, just for taking out one target!

    Virulous had spent several tens of thousands of credits on armor. She’d spent twenty thousand on her black with red accents armor, but Darth Nox had ruined it with his Force Lightning attack at the Citadel when he’d almost killed her. She spent thirty thousand on her new set of armor, but for this mission, she had on a different set of armor, and had spent eight thousand seven hundred on it.

    Virulous was left with just under ninety thousand credits in her financial account. Virulous had to reflect that she was poor. She knew that among Sith, modest means was a sign of weakness. She was strong in The Force. She served Darth Nox directly, meaning she had great influence and held a very high status, but she had no more wealth than an ordinary Imperial military officer.

    Virulous told Mr. Tranit, “Do not attempt to cheat me.”

    Mr. Tranit replied as though the thought had never occurred to him and that it surprised him that someone would think that of him.

    “What? Oh no! Of course not, Darth Virulous!” He pointed at the datapad with the list, and continued, “I do not wish to meet the same end those nine will meet at your hands. I will pay you promptly and properly.”

    Mr. Tranit tapped a few icons on the datapad’s screen, unlocking the contents and making it accessible to his very special guest. The locations of each target appeared, along with the floor plans of each target scene. He passed it back to Virulous.

    “All of the information you will need to accomplish your mission is here, Darth Virulous.”

    Virulous picked up the datapad and secured it in a compartment of her utility belt. She wrapped her face with her head scarf, pulled the hood of her sand colored robe over her head, and then stood to leave.

    Mr. Tranit spoke as though what he wanted to say might be irritating to her, “Darth Virulous, if I may point out a small detail?”

    Virulous was a hair from losing her patience, and snapped at the Bith, “What is it?!”

    He replied, “It may be of small consequence, but your robes are covered in blood. You might stand out a bit out there. Shall I have a new robe brought to you?”

    Virulous replied darkly, “These robes will be covered in much more blood before this day is done. I will return here. Have my money ready for me.”

    She walked out of the bar, making her way to the staircase going up to the surface and to the exit.

    Mr. Tranit clapped his hands twice and demanded, “Where is my management team? The accountant, too, I want her here.”

    Looking at the corps of his retired barkeep, and recalling how strange that she could force him to commit suicide, Mr. Tranit was determined to pay Virulous as promised. He saw no opportunities to get out of paying – as was his usual practice. He needed to hire a new bartender, and recruit new thugs to replace the ones he’d sent to test Virulous.

    Mr. Tranit, looking at the monitor screen above the bottled spirits on the shelves, thought, “Thank the Stars, she did not suspect I was behind this mess.

    Virulous’ image was still displayed, with the notice that she was wanted for questioning.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  4. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 14, 2017
    Virulous, Unleashed.​

    Mr. Tranit’s six rivals worked together in two warehouses situated next to each other on a large parcel of land about five kilometers from the edge of town. Along with the two large structures were several small out buildings used as storage sheds for various materials, items, tools, and a small workshop. The structures in the compound were all surrounded by a four meter tall fence. The six rivals held their offices in the two warehouses.

    Virulous had decided to take them out, first. She used The Force to speed her way from behind a large rock to the fence, which she then leapt over. Landing on her feet, on the hard packed sand, she dashed to the nearest out building. Crouching low, she crept around the corner and surveyed the wide open huge warehouse entrance. She could see all the way through to the opposite end of the warehouse to its other wide open entrance.

    Virulous was surprised at the apparent lack of security, until she realized that the workers were all armed. Everyone packed a blaster pistol. Yet, everyone was working. None were paying close enough attention to their surroundings. Taking advantage of this, she zipped to the side of the warehouse, just around the corner from the main entrance.

    She used The Force to mask her presence, taking advantage of shadows, ducking behind crates, and hiding around corners, to finally arrive at the bottom of a staircase inside the first warehouse. She climbed up the two flights of stairs to reach the second level. According to Mr. Tranit’s information, that was where some of the administrative and business offices were located. Virulous expected to find some of her targets there.

    The second level offices were all located on one side of the warehouse with a catwalk giving access to the office doors. Virulous looked down at the workers through the bars of the guardrail at the edge of the catwalk. When she was satisfied that none of the workers below were any of her marks, she turned her attention to the catwalk and the office doors alongside it.

    The first door Virulous came to was opened. She walked by it quickly, looking inside as she passed. It was a small conference room with a round table and a few chairs around it. Three men were inside, seated at the table, holding a meeting. She instantly recognized two of the men from the images in Mr. Tranit’s datapad. The third man had his back to the door, so she could not identify him.

    Virulous stopped at the side of the door and prepared herself. She chose to arm herself with her chrome plated lightsaber. It was a gift from her previous master, Darth Silthar. She closed her eyes and took in a breath.

    Virulous exhaled. Rounding the door frame, she rushed into the room igniting her lightsaber. She decapitated the man with his back to the door, as she leaped onto the conference table, piercing the chest of the man sitting at the table to her right with her weapon, while blasting the third man on her left with a bolt of Force Lightning. His chair tipped backwards as though he’d been knocked back. Virulous quietly got down from the table and pierced his chest with her bright red lightsaber as he lay on the floor shaking uncontrollably from the electrical shock.

    It was over very quickly, and quiet had returned to the conference room when she deactivated her weapon. Virulous looked at the face on the decapitated head on the floor and determined that the man who’d had his back to the door was indeed on her target list. She then quietly made her way to the doorway, edging closer to the door frame so that she could peek outside the room. It seemed no one on the warehouse floor below had heard her lightsaber nor the crack of her Force Lightning bolt.

    She thought excitedly to herself, “That’s a million two hundred thousand credits, already!” Then she thought angrily, “That blasted Mr. Tranit had better not try to cheat me! He’d better pay!

    Although no one on the warehouse floor seemed to have noticed the commotion, the door to the office next door made a noise as it opened, and the sound of someone approaching from that door towards the conference room made Virulous’ heart leap. By the sounds the shoes made, she determined that it was a woman that approached.

    The woman called out, as she neared the conference room door, concern in her tone, “What’s all the racket, boys? You rough housing in there?”

    Just as the woman stood at the threshold, Virulous pivoted from the side of the doorway and, reaching up, grabbed the taller woman’s throat. Using The Force to assist, she yanked her into the room while crushing the woman’s larynx, again using The Force.

    The woman crashed onto the body of one of the dead men on the floor. Unable to scream, she flailed her arms and legs, pounding and kicking the floor with the heels of her feet and with her balled up fists when she wasn’t clutching at her collapsed trachea. Virulous became alarmed at all of the noise the woman was making, fearing anyone working in the warehouse below the office floor would hear.

    She used a Dark Force technique that severed the woman’s mind from her body. The woman lay still, with her arms and legs left in odd angles. The Sith lord quickly turned her attention to the doorway as she inched her way to the door frame.

    Virulous was too busy trying to determine whether anyone had heard the racket the woman had made to notice the fury in the woman’s eyes drilling through her back as she peeked outside the door. She was too overcome with worry, whether anyone else was approaching, to notice the woman’s tears as she slowly faded away. The woman watched as the hooded stranger left the conference room. She suffocated, passed out, and died shortly thereafter.

    Virulous walked down the catwalk to the office from which the woman had emerged. There was no one else there. She searched each office until she’d reached the last one. They were all empty of office workers. Virulous looked down at the warehouse floor, giving the warehouse workers another look as she searched for her next target.

    She saw no one else on her target list and thought, “Maybe they’re in the next warehouse.”She used The Force to ease her descent, as she jumped down to the dusty resicrete floor below. She spun about and found a couple of stacks of crates behind her underneath the catwalk and the offices above. She quickly ducked between the crates. After ensuring the area was clear, she made her way to the wide open warehouse door at the opposite end of the building from where she’d entered. Exiting the first warehouse, she made her way to the other structure, using The Force to quickly dash to the next building.

    Virulous stopped just at the edge of the large open doorway of the second warehouse. Using The Force, she sensed the interior for anyone near the entryway. Sensing no conscious being nearby, she button hooked her way into the warehouse and tripped over the legs of a worker who was taking a nap, seated just inside the entryway.

    The worker was startled awake, giving a short yelp. Virulous scrambled to her hands and knees and hurriedly crawled to the angrily protesting worker. She placed her hand on his shoulder and used the technique she’d learned from Darth Zash. However, in her haste, she failed to execute the technique properly.

    The worker howled quite loudly in pain, but very briefly. He slumped down to his side, moaning in agony. After her attack, he was too weak to move about or to call for help, but his initial cry of pain had caught the ears of others in the warehouse.

    Angry at her failure to keep silent, she simply zapped him with Force Lightning, ending his misery forever. Virulous, crouching, ran towards the stairs leading to the catwalk and second level offices in the second warehouse.

    As she made her way up the stairs, she heard the voices of men and women shouting in alarm from outside the warehouse. Just as Virulous reached the top of the stairs, someone shouted for help where she’d left the worker at the warehouse entrance. Some of the office doors opened, with worried office workers stepping out to look down at the warehouse floor as they looked for the source of the commotion.

    One of those office workers was her mark. As luck would have it, he was at the far end of the catwalk. Virulous decided the time for subtlety was past. It was time for brute power.

    Virulous grasped her sabrestaff and ignited both ends of it. She ran down the catwalk, cutting everyone down that she passed on her way to her target.

    He took out a blaster pistol and began shooting at Virulous. She deflected some of the blaster bolts with her sabrestaff, and took an opportunity to activate her shield generator during a pause between blaster bolt shots. The man turned and ran to the far end of the catwalk towards the stairs at the other end. Virulous blasted him with a bolt of Force Lightning.

    She ran to where he’d fallen on his face. He was trying to crawl away. Workers on the warehouse floor began to shoot at her from below. She wasted no time, impaling him through his spine to pierce his heart.

    Virulous ran back the way she’d come and entered his office, shutting the door behind her. The angry shouts in the warehouse had increased, along with the screams of shock and grief, as the friends of the dead came across their severed corpses on the catwalk.

    Virulous deactivated her sabrestaff, securing it to her belt. She turned around as she switched to her lightsaber and froze momentarily in her tracks as she made eye contact with a woman, sitting at her desk, also frozen in fear.

    Virulous quickly realized the woman was not on her target list.

    She demanded of the woman, “Where is your blaster?!”

    The woman, hearing her Imperial accented Basic, realized the attacker in her office was not a Jedi, but one of the dreaded Sith.

    Her lips quivering, and tears pouring from her eyes, she pointed a very shaky finger on an unsteady hand towards the wall opposite from her desk. The woman choked back a sob, not knowing what her fate would be.

    Virulous turned her gaze to the wall and saw, hanging from a hook on the wall, a utility belt with a small holster containing a compact blaster pistol.

    Virulous, deciding the woman was not a threat, told her, “The Stars favor you today. I will spare you so that you may live to tell the story of how you survived being in the presence of a rampaging Sith lord seeking vengeance in the name of Darth Nox.”

    She laughed at her own silly declaration as she proceeded to make her way to the office window. Using The Force to force it open, Virulous leapt out through the window and landed on the sandy ground, two stories below.

    Using The Force, Virulous ran as fast as she could towards the tall fence that marked the edge of their property.

    Leaping over the fence she continued to make her escape, thinking excitedly to herself as she ran, “One million six hundred thousand credits! Easy!” Then fearing being cheated, she fumed angrily, “He’d better pay!” Finally, introspectively as she critiqued her own performance, she thought aloud, “Four out of six isn’t bad.

    In her excitement, she’d forgotten the eight she’d killed to get at those four.


    It was early evening. One of Tatooine’s suns had set. The temperature had dropped considerably, making the environment much more tolerable.

    Virulous had ridden her stolen speeder bike to a ranch a hundred and twenty kilometers outside of town. She climbed up a moisture vaporator tower and used her, also stolen, macrobinoculars to scan the low domes and out buildings that made up the entrance to the subterranean home of one of the leaders of the Exchange Gang on Tatooine. Armed guards were posted sparsely on the surface of the estate.

    Virulous was glad to have taken a bath and change her clothing. The stink of her blood soaked robes was attracting too many flying insect pests and was starting to become unbearable. She’d broken into the home of a vaporator farm house, Force Persuading the family into letting her bathe, supply her with fresh clothing, and feed her.

    She lifted the macrobinoculars from a work bench and stole the speeder bike from their workshop as she left. It wouldn’t be until the father of the household had reviewed the security footage with his family a day later, that they would recall what had happened to them the day before.

    Virulous wanted to execute the final stage of her mission in the dead of night. She’d become excited that the teenaged daughter had black robes in her wardrobe and availed herself of them. Wanting to blend into the darkness of night, she sought to avoid light colored clothing. Of course, she ended up regretting leaving the farmhouse with the twin suns still up. It was decidedly much hotter in black robes than her light colored clothing had been.

    Virulous looked forward to Tatooine’s second star to set and to dip below the horizon. The teenager had told her that the temperatures could drop to an astoundingly cold 29 degrees Celsius after the second sun had set and, that in the wee hours, the temperature could bottom out to an unbearably freezing 24 degrees Celsius.

    She laughed as she thought, “I look forward to the freezing temperatures.


    Eight hours after the second star had set, in the wee hours of the morning, Virulous luxuriated in the balmy weather of Tatooine’s early morning hours. She looked through the crystal clear dry air at the early morning sky which dimly lit up the sands with its multitude of stars.

    Using The Force to mask her presence, she approached the villa, crouching low and ducking behind the vaporators that dotted the landscape around the villa. She dashed to a parked speeder, unnaturally fast, then crept around it until she caught sight of a sentry who stood guard at a side entrance of one of the low domes, which she believed led to stairs which descended to the subterranean villa.

    Virulous concentrated, focusing her thoughts, her force of will, and the power of The Force to cause the sentry to become struck by unrelenting drowsiness. The sentry began to shake his head. He stomped his feet, pacing to and fro. He sat at the side of the door jerking his head back up, each time he nodded off. Finally, he gave in and simply lay on his side and went to sleep.

    This was the first time she had ever attempted this Force Persuasion variant. So, she took out her datapad and whispered in her notes, describing what she’d done, how she’d done it, and the successful results of her impromptu experiment.

    Virulous returned her datapad to its place in her utility belt and then crept silently to the sleeping guard. She inspected the door mechanism and fount it required a palm print to release the locks on the door controls. She was overcome with incredulity, knowing the effort she’d expended to remain silent was wasted. This time, she wanted to try NOT leaving a trail of murder and mayhem in her wake like she’d done at the other two homes of the Exchange Gang leaders her master had ordered killed.

    Virulous crouched beside the sleeping man. Pointing her lightsaber hilt at the forehead of the sleeping guard’s head, she activated her weapon, instantly killing him. Immediately after, she severed his hand, just above his wrist, and deactivated her weapon.

    Her eyes had been adjusted to the dark, so the bright red beam of her lightsaber left glowing spots in her eyes.

    Virulous thought in extreme annoyance, “If it’s not one damned thing, then it’s another!

    She felt revulsion as she picked up the severed hand, careful not to touch the bloody end where the wrist would have been. It was still warm in her hand. She had to straighten out the fingers to get it to lay flat on the palm reader.

    The panel lit up, with a touch pad grid displayed on the palm reader screen. Virulous became deeply annoyed at the palm reader, pointing accusingly at it. She tossed the severed hand behind her over her shoulder. Shaking her head and shrugging her shoulders in frustration, she kicked at the sandy ground.

    Virulous fumed, muttering under her breath, “I have to enter a damned code, too!?

    She thought about all of the trouble she had gone through to silently enter the villa. Unlike other homes in Tatooine’s rural desert homes with the sunken open pit courtyard, this home was completely subterranean. Only the low resicrete domes, which were the entrances showed above the sands of the vast flat desert landscape.

    Virulous sighed and said aloud to herself, “So much for a stealthy infiltration.”

    She ignited her lightsaber and began to cut into the durasteel door. She was surprised with how thin the metal was. The bright red beam easily plunged into the door and made quick work of the thin half inch plate metal door.

    Virulous used The Force to yank the wreckage of the door out of the dome and tossed it behind her. She wasted no time entering the dome. Then quickly, but cautiously, she descended the stairs into the home of the third and final Exchange Gang boss involved in the bombing attack of Darth Nox’s home on Dromund Kaas.

    She reached her hand to the inner door controls at the bottom of the stairs and froze. Her instincts screamed out at her to get out.

    Virulous turned and ran up the stairs, thinking, “All of the noise I made getting in and no alarms?!

    Just as she reached the top of the stairs, the door below her was blown apart by a powerful explosive. The blast wave blew her out of the doorway at the top of the stairs and sent her flying, tumbling into the air. Virulous used The Force to propel herself further out and away from the compound. It was all she could do to escape the ambush set for her.

    The concussive force of the blast wave nearly knocked all the wind out of her. Virulous barely thought enough to roll as she crashed onto the top of a small dune of loose sand. She groaned in pain as she rolled to a stop on her side.

    She reached to her utility belt and struggled to get out a kolto injector. She jabbed her thigh with it – twice, administering two doses.

    I’ve got to run,” she thought to herself.

    She knew the security forces had to be searching for her. She didn’t wait for the kolto to start numbing the pain.

    Get up, woman!” She growled at herself.

    Virulous used The Force to help pick herself up. Then she began to limp and stumble her way away from the villa, and into the open desert.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  5. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 14, 2017
    Just A Little Misunderstanding​

    Andronikos had checked out of his upscale hotel suite and hired a taxi droid to take him to the private hanger where his ship was berthed. He had talked himself out of hiring bodyguards.

    Andronikos thought disgustedly at himself, "What am I, a blasted amateur?! I just got to wake my ass up and start payin' attention again!" Still rankled about how close he was to getting killed, he thought furiously, "She's dead! I don't care if the boss likes her. I'm taking her out!"

    Andronikos thought about hiring the Mandalorian team he'd used to help him loot the Arcanum during Darth Nox's invasion and occupation of the station.

    "Those mercs were pretty good, but I wonder how they’ll stack up against her team? Her team wasn’t too shabby, without being in your face about being good." He thought about her accomplishments. “She took out the Republic’s chancellor, and she took out a Sith on Korriban.” He considered, "I might have to hire a bigger team."

    Andronikos' taxi droid came to a stop. He scanned his credit card on the card reader and paid his fare, leaving a nice tip for the taxi droid.

    The taxi thanked him, “I thank you for your generosity, favored passenger!”

    Andronikos didn’t reply as he exited the taxi.

    The taxi droid’s trunk lid opened. A robotic arm unloaded Andronikos’ suitcase from its trunk and set it down onto the metal plated roadway.

    Andronikos told his suitcase droid, "Let's go."

    As he walked into the spaceport concourse, his suitcase droid followed him. Andronikos walked to the launch office and stepped to the counter.

    He called to a clerk, "Hey, there! I'm going to launch. I'm requesting a launch slot - the soonest."

    The clerk told Andronikos, "Sure. Just make your request to the droid like everyone else does."

    That irritated the semi retired pirate. He smiled at the clerk and motioned with his hand to get closer. The clerk had heard it all, every excuse given by pilots requesting immediate or near immediate launch slots.

    The clerk leaned on the counter to get closer to Andronikos. He was curious to hear what excuse Andronikos would use.

    Andronikos' smile vanished, replaced with a scowl. Also appearing, as if by magic, was a blaster pistol barrel – centimeters from the clerk's nose.

    Andronikos told the clerk, "You see, my boss is a dark lord on the Dark Council over at the Sith Empire. And he wants his ship, now." Andronikos asked, "You follow me?"

    The clerk was visibly shaken, but he kept his cool and replied honestly, telling the pirate, "I was born and raised on Nar Shaddaa. I don't know any of that stuff."

    Andronikos replied, "Well, O.K. I'll keep it simple for you. I'll let you pick. Yeah?"

    The clerk nodded agreement.

    Andronikos offered his first choice, telling the clerk, "One, I can blast your face all over the counter, here, walk to my ship and just take off. Or you can get me the next launch slot, and keep your head." After letting the clerk think it over a bit, he asked, "So, what'll it be?"

    The clerk told Andronikos, "I have to make a few calls to make it happen."

    Andronikos holstered his blaster pistol, smiling and telling the clerk, "You see? I knew we could work things out. My ship's berthed in hanger 127, partition Cresh (127-C)."

    The clerk walked to his desk in his office and contacted the launch facilities security chief.

    He told the security chief, as soon as his image came up, "I've got this crazy nut case in my lobby pointing blasters in my face and demanding an immediate launch slot! His ship is berthed in hanger 127, section Cresh."

    The security chief tapped in the registration info into his computer. His brow furrowed.

    Then returning his attention to the clerk, he asked, "Did you look up what ship it is and who the owner of that ship is?"

    The clerk became quite irritated and demanded, "What does that matter?!" Then he added, "The blasted pile of turds pointed a blaster at my face! What are you gonna do about that?!"

    The security chief quietly regarded the clerk before confirming, "So, you didn't check?"

    To the shock and dismay of the launch scheduling clerk, the security chief said, "I strongly recommend you let this slide. Just give him the next launch slot and bump everyone down one slot."

    Anywhere else, anyone in the clerk's shoes would have been outraged, but this wasn't anywhere else. This was Nar Shaddaa.

    The clerk asked, "How important is he?"

    The security chief told him, "His boss could start a war here, if he wanted. He's one of the rulers of the Sith Empire."

    In fact, the Sith Empire had already established a presence on the Smuggler's Moon, Nar Shaddaa, and on the planet this moon orbited, Hutta. The Hutts were forced to invite the Galactic Republic to Nar Shaddaa and on Hutta as well, in order to keep the Sith Empire in check. The Hutts carefully maintained their neutrality and carefully played the Sith Empire against the Galactic Republic.

    Neither side wanted to push the Hutts over to the side of their enemy, so both sides waged a quiet war against the other, sabotage, assassinations, blackmail, and bribery, everything except open combat. The Hutts turned a blind eye to all of it, accepting the bribes of both opposing parties.

    The launch schedule clerk walked back to the counter, approaching Andronikos with a big customer service smile on his face. He handed the semi retired pirate an envelope containing gift certificates for gambling tokens at one of Nar Shaddaa’s most exclusive hotel casinos and one night’s stay at said, hotel casino.

    He told Andronikos, “I sincerely hope your stay on our moon was both fruitful and most enjoyable. Please, return again, and enjoy this gift on your next visit.”

    Andronikos, peeking in the blank envelope raised an eyebrow in appreciation of what he saw inside, exclaiming, “Whoa! Nice!” Then, looking at the clerk with a smile of his own, he pocketed the envelope and asked, “When can I launch?”

    The clerk, giving his best customer service smile, replied, “Mr. Revel, you’re cleared to launch at any time. Please, fly safely.”

    Andronikos left a nice fat tip on the counter, telling the clerk, “Now that’s what I call service! Thanks!”

    The semi retired pirate turned and left the office on his way to his hanger and his ship.


    Andronikos’ ship was at the far end of the hanger, just over a mile away. He had to walk past two other ships to get to it. His suitcase droid followed behind him.

    The first ship he walked past was quiet and still, the crew apparently not on board. As he approached the next ship, he could see plenty of activity in and behind it. Freight was being driven up onto its over sized ramp, which Andronikos could tell also served as the ship’s rear hatch.

    A design like that could allow for oversized freight to be loaded into light freighters with huge cargo bays, but if not properly maintained could let the ship’s atmosphere seep out.

    The ship had no landing gear. Instead it had four very sturdy hard points that protruded as shallow, wide, conical mounds on the belly of the ship’s outer hull. The ship’s belly was only centimeters from the hanger deck, allowing for a shallower ramp that made it easy to load heavy cargo into the cavernous cargo bay. With its belly so close to the hanger deck, and no landing gear, it meant that the cargo bay could be cavernous.

    This also meant a tremendous savings in weight, as well as space, since the ship had no landing gear, no related landing gear machinery, and no tanks full of hydraulic fluids to operate said landing gear. Finally, the ship’s three huge engines were externally mounted on swiveling and pivoting engine mounts. Although, one of the engines tucked itself into the bottom of the ship’s hull when landing, the other two remained outside of the ship’s hull at all times. This design is what really opened up the ship’s interior for huge cargo capacities, despite its small external size.

    Andronikos walked about fifty meters from the bottom of the ramp, behind the three story tall light freighter, getting a real good look at the huge brightly lit interior. One of the crew had just started down the wide ramp and froze in her tracks. Andronikos slowed to a halt, in utter surprise.

    He thought incredulously, “I can’t believe it! It’s actually her!

    The Chiss bounty hunter had changed out of her skimpy dress, and into her heavy Mandalorian armor. She didn’t wear her helmet, so Andronikos could see her face and her hair, quite clearly. It was her.

    Damn! She’s hot!” Shaking his head, he reminded himself, “Too bad I want her dead.

    Before he could take a step towards her ship, the bounty hunter walked briskly down the ramp and made her way to where he had come to a stop, behind her ship.

    Coming to a stop about five meters from where he stood, Wrehn told him, “I wish I’d never seen your bounty. If I had known you worked for him, I never would have gone near you.”

    Andronikos gave a sly smile and asked, “Are you saying you’re sorry?”

    Wrehn laughed mirthlessly, replying, “Sorry? It’s just work. I’m never sorry when I get paid for my work. I sure get pissed when I’m shorted out on my pay, though.” Laughing ruefully, she added, “I’m a pro. I don’t let anything bother me…,” then with feeling, “but this job was the worst!”

    Her ironic smile vanished, replaced with a furious scowl.

    She told him, “I’ve never had to turn and run from anyone – ever. But I had to run from you.”

    Andronikos was perplexed by her demeanor and remarked, “Damn! For someone who’s a pro and all of that, and who don’t take crap personally, you sure seem to be making it a big personal deal.”

    Wrehn declared forcefully, “I am Mandalorian! I have a reputation that I’ve made, and that am proud of, and that I need to protect.” Then she contradicted herself when she told him, “I want you to know that I didn’t run from you. Your bounty was rescinded, and there wasn’t a need to hunt you anymore. That’s all.”

    Andronikos teased, “My boss had a lot to do with you not needing to hunt me, too. Don’t forget.”

    He said that, implying that she had run from Nox.

    Wrehn replied snarkily, “Yes. Thanks for reminding me that your boss saved your hide.”

    That stung Andronikos. It was true. He’d be dead if Darth Nox hadn’t intervened. It hurt his pride that he had to be protected. However, unlike the Mandalorian bounty hunter, Yehw’reh’nomai, he didn’t wear his emotions pinned to the collar of his coat for all to see – if it didn’t suit him.

    He merely smiled, telling her, “Can I help it that I have friends in high places?”

    Wrehn told him pointedly, “My crew laughed at me, Andronikos. I can’t let it stand, even if it pisses off Darth Nox.”

    She watched as Andronikos’ mocking smile waned.

    Good,” Wrehn thought, “I got his attention.

    Wrehn began stepping to one side and began creating distance between them, as she told him, “I know all about you. I make it a point to study my bounties, to plan my hunts.”

    Andronikos kept silent but his hand was down at his side. Under his coat, strapped to his thigh was his primary blaster pistol. His hand twitched, and he mentally kicked himself for it.

    Wrehn saw his hand twitch and noticed the strap around his thigh, partially exposed under his opened long leather coat.

    She thought, “Good. He’s packing heat.

    Wrehn told him, “I know you want to kill me. You have this thing about not resting until someone you want dead – is dead. And I can’t let my crew keep cracking jokes about me running away from a hunt.”

    Andronikos noticed that her crew was all watching quietly from within the ship’s cargo hold and none of them had their guns out.

    The situation hit him and he blurted out with stupefied incredulity, “Are you challenging me to a duel?!”

    Wrehn stopped when she was about ten meters from where Andronikos stood.

    She answered plainly, “Yeah.”

    Andronikos laughed as though it was the funniest thing he’d ever heard, slapping his thigh as he bent over laughing. His hand snapped to his blaster pistol. He drew, pointed, and shot.

    Wrehn threw herself, rolling to the side as she drew both of her blaster pistols. She ended up on a knee, both pistols aimed at the pirate. He ran to the side and fired another shot, as Wrehn began unloading both blasters at him.

    A blaster bolt crossed in front of Wrehn. Instinctively, she activated her jet pack and shot up into the air as she twisted to face Andronikos’ suitcase droid. Wrehn rained down a storm of blaster fire from both over powered weapons, striking the droid a few times.

    As she descended to the landing pad, she fired off a mini guided rocket from her personal mini rocket launcher attached to her right armored vambrace. As soon as the rocket left her vambrace launcher, she rolled to one side and turned towards the last place she had seen Andronikos.

    Andronikos had been shooting at her, but his shots missed because of how much Wrehn kept moving, rolling to the side, and then shooting up into the air. He found an opening when she turned her attention to his droid. He ran up behind her to close the distance, but she had already descended and threw herself into another roll.

    As the suitcase droid skidded across the launch pad, after getting blasted by the guided mini rocket, the Mandalorian bounty hunter rolled and turned to face him. She pointed her other arm at him as he fired repeatedly at her. Some shots missed, but those that hit were negated by her personal high energy shield generator.

    Wrehn’s blasters had over heated and temporarily shut down as CO2 cartridges vented cooling gas through the blasters’ energy bolt generators. She pointed her left arm at the pirate and blasted him with her portable one shot flame thrower.

    Andronikos turned and ran to the side as he ripped off his coat, throwing it to the launch pad. He dropped his blaster pistol as he removed his burning duster. He drew a vibroknife from his belt at the small of his back and activating the knife, charged at Wrehn in the attack while also shooting his concealable back up pistol attached to a special holster strapped to his wrist.

    Wrehn’s pistols both chirped, indicating they had cooled sufficiently to resume operation in single shot mode. She pointed her right hand blaster pistol at the pirate and shot.

    Andronikos fell, screaming in agony. He’d been shot on the thigh. His leg was nearly severed and had terrible burns.

    Wrehn ran to where he’d fallen and stepped on his right arm. Then she ripped his mini blaster pistol from his hand and tossed it to the side. She then kicked the vibroknife, which he’d dropped as he fell to the launch pad, out of his reach.

    The knife clattered away. It continued to give its high pitched hum where it had come to a rest. She holstered her weapons, and taking a kolto injector form a utility compartment on her belt, she administered four doses to him.

    Andronikos’ screams and vile cursing subsided as the kolto mercifully deadened the pain. He felt absolutely woozy from the massive dose of the pain killers.

    He smirked and spoke ironically, “Thanks for the pain killers. Though I suppose it’s the least you could do after you shot my leg off.”

    Wrehn replied, “My honor is restored. I don’t have to kill you, but I am going to kill you anyway.”

    She drew her right blaster and pointed it at his face.

    When Andronikos stopped smirking, Wrehn added, “I don’t have to anger your boss. I’d be happy with letting you go, but only if you swear not to come after me and my crew. If I even think you sent anyone after us, I’m gonna hunt you down and finish where I left off.”

    Andronikos spoke bitterly, reminding her, “Or you could cash in on the price the Republic has for my head.”

    Wrehn kept her blaster pointed at Andronikos’ face and shaking her head in the negative, reminded him, “They ain’t gonna pay us. They put a price on our heads, bigger than the one on yours, and I don’t do charity work. I want to get paid for every job I do.”

    Andronikos laughed at himself for a thought that ran through his mind.

    He told Wrehn, “I told you that I had a thing for cute tough chicks.” After a pause, he told her, “Right now you’re so damned hot!” After a very brief pause, he added, “I’d invite you to my ship if we weren’t trying to kill each other.”

    He laughed, but Wrehn stuck to business, telling him, “Do I have your word, or do I have to deal with your boss for smearing your head all over the launch deck?”

    Andronikos reflected, “Damn! She killed the Republic’s chancellor and has the whole Galactic Republic after ‘em. She ain’t really that worried about what Nox, would think.

    He told her grudgingly, his pride nearly getting in the way, “Fine. I’ll forget about you. I won’t send anyone after you, either.”

    Wrehn instantly holstered her blaster and began to walk to her ship. Andronikos called to her, and Wrehn stopped, turning to face him.

    Wearing a lopsided grin, partly from the effects of the high dose of kolto and partly because he know he was being silly, he asked her, “If we ever meet again, have dinner and a few drinks with me, yeah?”

    Wrehn burst into laughter. She enjoyed a moment of real humor at his absurd dinner invitation. She turned again to return to the ship.

    Andronikos persisted, “You really are my type, babe. You’re beautiful, strong, and not afraid of anything.”

    Wrehn turned to give him a smile, but said nothing as she resumed her march back to her ship.

    She thought to herself, as she walked up the ramp at the back of her freighter, “I really hope I don’t ever run into him again.” Shaking her head, smiling at the surreality of the moment, “What?! Did he forget that I shot his leg almost clean off?!

    Watching as she ascended the ramp, with a fleeting sliver of hope, Andronikos thought, “She didn’t say no…

    When Wrehn had gone out of view, he looked about wondering, “How am I gonna get back to my ship?” Then he thought, “Back to the ship?! What the hell am I gonna do about my leg?!” Then with realization hitting him, “Blast! I’m bleeding out!

    That’s when he spotted the security team approaching him where he lay.

    The security team leader, approaching the pirate where he lay, asked, “What happened here?” Without waiting for an answer, he told one of his security crew, “Get medical rescue here – now, quick.”

    Returning his attention to Andronikos, he listened to Andronikos explain, “I was doing tricks with my blaster and accidentally shot off my leg.”

    The security team leader had been looking around at the blaster scorch marks on the launch deck, Andronikos’ burned up leather duster in a heap, nearby, and at his singed clothing and hair, and then at the destroyed suitcase droid some meters away.

    He asked Andronikos, “So, you don’t want us to arrest her?”

    He and his team had actually been waiting for the duel to end before approaching. They’d witnessed much of the fight, starting from when Wrehn blasted her opponent’s suitcase droid with her guided mini rocket. Andronikos didn’t want Yehw’reh’nomai thinking that he’d broken his word and sent the security team after her.

    He told the security team leader, “It was just a little misunderstanding, nothing to sweat over.”

    After verifying that a medical rescue team was on its way, the security team leader walked to the back of Wrehn’s freighter. Wrehn was on the ramp leaning against a crate, which was to be brought into the ship, with her arms folded across her chest. She wore a dour expression as she watched the security official approach.

    The security team leader fixed Wrehn with an appraising look as he neared the ramp, and thought to himself, “She’s still pretty worked up. I better be careful how I talk to her.” Coming to a stop halfway up the ramp, he jerked a thumb over his shoulder pointing at Andronikos and asked her, “So, what was all that about?”

    Wrehn started with the truth, but then concluded with a lie, telling him, “I’m Mandalorian. He said he wanted me to be his mate. I told him if he defeats me, he could have me.” Briefly pointing at the defeated pirate, she concluded, “He was not worthy.”

    The team leader, fighting hard not to laugh in her face at the obvious lie, nodded his head as though he totally got where she was coming from.

    He accepted her lie, saying, “Alright then.” Then he asked, “I’m not gonna get anymore calls about defeated suitors, am I?”

    Wrehn told him, “Not many are foolish enough to court a Mando woman without being prepared.”

    The security team leader stifled a chortle and quickly wiped the smirk from his face, as he told her, “No more trouble, please.”

    With that, he turned about and made his way back to his waiting team and Andronikos, just as the medical rescue team arrived to save Andronikos’ life. As he came to a stop to where his team stood around watching the medical rescue team work, they began to load Andronikos onto a hover gurney, and then into the emergency medical rescue transport speeder. The emergency medical rescue transport speeder dashed off to the nearest emergency medical center, several stories below in the building they were in.

    Torian Cadera, a Mandalorian male, asked Wrehn, “You sure it was wise to let him live?”

    Wrehn spun on Torian, snarling at him, “Get your sorry ass back to work!”

    Without another word, he returned to his inventory task. The others in the cargo hold didn’t want to be similarly scolded or harangued, so they dispersed, making themselves scarce.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  6. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    I'm going to assume that first piece, was a story, in and off itself.

    Very good and enticing read.

    Am I right in thinking that everyone except the Mando', got named?

    Good tactics and flirtation; nice twists - I understood the Chiss' gal's reluctance to board a pirate's ship, but was surprised to see she had a kill squad outside!

    I liked that they could monitor her stress levels, and deploy covertly inside the club to assist.

    Andronikus has quite the poker face. People saw murder in his eyes, but when we had his POV, that wasn't what was present.

    Darth Nox' concern for his underling was touching, and that was some good reputation-building for Wrehn and Nox.

    Overall, a good story.
    PlanetSmasher likes this.
  7. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 14, 2017
    Thank you very much for your review! I'm glad that you liked it! Except that, this is Chapter 1 of the sequel to "Sith Politics: Fun and Games."

    You will see more of Wrehn, Andronikos and company. I hope I will keep your attention for the remaining chapters.
  8. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 14, 2017
    Warning: Graphically descriptive violence, and very disturbing scenes, in this chapter. I hope that doesn't stop you from reading the rest of this story, however... As always, your thoughts are very appreciated.


    What Gifts To Please A Dark Lord​

    Virulous Force Persuaded another moisture farm family to take her in and to help treat her burns and other injuries. She’d spent a month with them, recovering. On the day she left, she repaid their kindness with four thousand credits – Imperial.

    The family was happy she had recovered, and extremely happy she had repaid their kindness, even if it was with Imperial credits. They saw her off, waving at her as she rode away on her stolen speeder bike. They didn’t know the speeder was stolen, even though it was reported on the local news broadcasts with images of the speeder bike in question. The fact that Virulous was a very small human female, and that a very small human female was sought in connection with several murders, never even clicked.

    It never occurred to them to ask where she had come from, or why she was on Tatooine, considering her Imperial accent. Neither did they make the connection with their own deteriorating health and her remarkably quick recovery. However, now that she was gone, their health would also begin to make a recovery, and over the course of a few days they would start to ask questions of each other about her and about why they were so trusting of her.

    Thus, reprovisioned and partially recovered, Virulous made a second attempt at her final target. This time, she arrived at the Exchange Gang’s leader’s residence at Tatooine’s second star’s apogee in the sky above. The first star was already at its mid afternoon position in the sky. It was very hot. It was so hot that not even the droids had been permitted outside to conduct their routine maintenance activities.

    Back at the family’s moisture farm, the wife and two of their four daughters had made new robes for Virulous to wear. These were off white. That saved her from some of the heat produced by the twin stars. She was grateful for the new robes.

    Virulous hadn’t realized how badly damaged her black robes had been until one of the farmer’s three sons pointed it out and suggested the girls make her some new clothes. Her robes were badly burned. Many holes were torn into them as shrapnel from the exploding durasteel door shredded their way through them.

    Virulous surmised that her life had likely been saved by her body armor even though she used light duty, flexible armor. She still suffered from many cuts on her skin where her armor protected her, but the armor had prevented the shrapnel from penetrating deep into her body. She still had a few lacerations on the unprotected parts of her arms and legs but, luckily, those were not life threatening.

    Her sorrow and fury came, however, from the extensive burns she suffered on her face and head, her beautiful long black hair was badly singed, exposing parts of her heat blistered scalp. Virulous lamented that she’d lost her beauty. She felt she was now a monstrosity, a pitiable woman who would never be able to find love.

    Instead of weeping and mourning her loss, however, she seethed in hatred, fury, and an ever growing thirst for vengeance. The Dark Side of The Force had strengthened its grip on Virulous. Her Dark Side power grew with her grief and her fury. Virulous was also terribly miserable in the oppressive heat of the Tatooine desert. The only positive thing about the climate was that at least it was a dry heat. She was absolutely irritable.

    Virulous, however, also understood perfectly well that these injuries were not just the result of fire and shrapnel. They were the effects of Dark Side corruption, a consequence for recklessly using the power of the Dark Side of The Force. Some mistakenly believed that Dark Side corruption resulted only in premature aging, declining health and, in some cases, insanity. Virulous understood that Dark Side corruption also manifested in physical injuries and disfigurement. It was the price for using such power recklessly and for relying, too much, on such power.

    However, she defiantly vowed to herself, “I’m not going to let it do this to me! I’m going to find a dermatologist or a cosmetic surgeon to fix this.

    She walked right up to the dome stained with the smoke from the fire that resulted from the explosive used to booby trap the door at the bottom of the stairwell. They had repaired the durasteel door, replacing the one she’d cut apart with her lightsaber. In her fury, she reached her hands towards the sliding metal door and used The Force to rip it from its tracks. She angrily swung her arms to the side, causing the twisted metal door to go flying several tens of meters to the side.

    The interior lighting had not been repaired. Standing outside, in Tatooine’s sun blasted landscape, it seemed as though she were peering into a bottomless black void. Entering the void of the low dome, Virulous took note that the soot stained walls, ceiling and stairs is what made the stairwell seem so dark. She wrinkled her nose at the air in the stairwell, which smelled burnt with the overpowering stink of an old house fire.

    She ignited her lightsaber which lit the stairs, walls, and ceiling immediately near her as she seemingly descended into the abyss. At the bottom of the stairs, she found that the door had not been replaced, exposing the foyer which was also charred and filled with the debris of incinerated and shattered furnishings and wall tapestries. A fire warped door at the far end of the foyer sealed this room, separating it from the rest of the residence.

    Virulous concentrated, allowing all of her grief and rage to fill her with the power of the Dark Side. The door frame and the interior wall had already been weakened by the bomb blast and the resulting fire that consumed the foyer and the stairwell leading to the surface. So, when she blasted the door with Force Push, the door buckled, the door frame bent out of shape, and the wall crumbled into rubble. All of it went hurtling into the next room at ballistic speeds, killing several guards and damaging several light duty service droids which had been reprogrammed with light duty security protocols.

    Virulous immediately blasted the survivors with Force Lightning, stunning many of the survivors. She leapt into the anteroom, and using her lightsaber, she killed the stunned survivors and destroyed those few droids which still functioned. Silence fell in the anteroom, with only her weapon humming its menacing song of death.

    A door cracked open and a grenade sailed into the anteroom. She used The Force to force the door back open and, using The Force again, swept the grenade back through the door. As the door slid shut again, the grenade exploded, killing several guards in that room.

    Despite using The Force to hold the door in place, the grenade blast pushed the door into the anteroom, sending the door crashing at her feet. Virulous, greatly startled, skipped back a couple of steps. Greatly shaken by the near miss, she considered herself very lucky that she had the presence of mind to hold the door in place, using The Force, in the face of the grenade’s blast wave.

    With her bright red lightsaber humming its promises of death, she stepped through the doorway into the next room. Surveying the carnage inside, Virulous was surprised to see so many survivors. She secured her lightsaber, attaching it to her utility belt, and drew her sabrestaff, igniting both ends.

    She began killing the guards who’d survived the grenade blast but had the wind knocked out of them. The guards, struggling to get to their feet, disoriented and confused tried to escape, but they were easy prey for her blood lust. After the slaughter, she deactivated her sabrestaff, secured it to her utility belt, and retrieved her lightsaber, igniting it. Virulous laughed darkly at a passing fancy, and spoke to her angrily humming lightsaber.

    “I know you wanted to burn through them. I’ll let you get the next bunch.”

    Virulous searched the three other rooms connected to that central room. The remaining three rooms turned out to be anterooms which led to foyers which led to the domed stairwells which exited to the surface. She had found no other guards or droids in any of those rooms. Returning to the circular central room, she deactivated her lightsaber as she searched about and realized that one part of the curved wall had a floor to ceiling tapestry adorning it.

    She used her free hand to feel the curved wall through the extra wide tapestry and felt a door frame behind it. Ripping the tapestry from the wall, Virulous exposed another sliding door. She examined the door and found it had a simple contact switch to open it. Out of an abundance of caution, she went to one of the undamaged anterooms, and from there used The Force to activate the contact switch. The door slid open without incident.

    She paused, listening for the sounds of guards or droids ascending the stairs in the stairwell which was revealed when the door opened. Virulous quickly approached the open sliding door, stepping over the bodies and stepping on the red tapestry. She stood to the side of the open doorway. Peeking around the door frame, she saw that the gently curving stairwell was empty of anyone.

    She held her deactivated lightsaber hilt at the ready as she carefully, quietly, descended the curved stairs. Virulous shivered as she neared the bottom of the stairs. It was quite cool here so far below the blistering heat of Tatooine’s desert surface.

    She tried the contact switch, without effect. She tried using The Force to slide the door on its tracks, but the door was solidly wedged in place. The door was locked. Again, Virulous gathered her power, and used The Force to blast the door off of its tracks, out of its frame, and into the chamber on the other side.

    This time, she wasn’t met by blaster fire. She swept the room with her eyes and found a lone man, her target, seated quietly in the room. At the side of the main family room, at the doorway of another chamber, stood a woman, and behind her were her two small children.

    The children began to whimper. The woman shushed them and shepherded them to their beds, shutting the door behind her. Thus, the man was left alone to face the wrath of a Sith lord. At that moment, he bitterly regretted letting his greed and the promise of so much wealth get the best of him. He’d heard of how powerful Sith were, and also how ruthlessly and relentlessly they sought vengeance. Here was the proof of it. It shocked him that the Sith lord was so small. He wondered if the Sith was an adolescent youth.

    Her target spoke as Virulous entered the family residence, igniting her lightsaber as she walked.

    “You are persistent, and your persistence has yielded you complete victory. With my death, the leadership of The Exchange Gang on Tatooine will be eliminated.”

    He paused to hear what the Sith lord would say, but she kept silent.

    He told her, “You’ve killed much of the mid-tier leadership as well.”

    Virulous pulled back the white hood of her robe and then pulled the white scarf down from her face. She felt a pang of hurt, in her gut, at the way the man’s eyes changed as he looked at her disfigurement.

    She reminded herself, “I will see a plastic surgeon about this!

    The man remarked, “So, you were hurt by the blast.”

    Before she could respond, she heard the muted voices of the children crying and begging their mother to let them go to their father from behind the sliding door to the children’s room.

    Virulous turned her head to the children’s door and sneered nastily, “They will suffer much when they see their father dead.”

    Had her target remained silent, the idea would never had occurred to her, but he spoke.

    “They have nothing to do with this. I’m the one who made the decision to accept this contract. I’m the one you want.”

    Turning her head to look at her prey, Virulous replied, “Of course they’re innocent. You are my target...”

    Virulous paused a long moment as she regarded the final target on her master’s list, thinking, “This could make a very fine gift for the dark lord!

    She told him, “The dark lord’s two children were also innocent. They had nothing to do with anything, either. Yet, you killed them when you attacked his home.”

    Returning her eyes to the closed door of the children’s room, she speculated, “My master may become greatly pleased if he hears of your suffering, watching the deaths of your children before your end.”

    The man pleaded, “You can let my family escape into exile, and simply tell your master that’s what happened. He will be equally pleased.”

    He could see from the startled look in her eyes, as she returned her gaze to him, that the very idea frightened her.

    Virulous told him, “There is a very real danger of being discovered in a lie. He can delve into your very soul and feel what you’re thinking. The risk is too great. I’d rather not lie to Darth Nox.”

    In desperation, the man leapt into the attack. Activating a vibroknife, he lunged at Virulous, his singing blade aimed at her chest.

    Virulous deftly stepped to her left, swinging her lightsaber in an upward arc that sliced the knife wielding man’s right hand off at the wrist. Then swinging downward, she cut off his out stretched left forearm just below the elbow. She then swept her weapon low, cutting his right foot off just above the ankle. He collapsed to his knees, screaming and cursing at Virulous as she rushed to the children’s room.

    He screamed out a warning, “She’s coming for the kids!”

    A blaster bolt exploded on the door from the inside of the room. The children’s mother, thought to shoot through the door at Virulous, but the blast only served Virulous’ purposes. With the door blown off its tracks and blasted to the floor and out of her way, she reached with her hand and blasted the woman, fighting to defend her children, with Force Lightning. The woman fell forward, violently convulsing on the floor.

    Virulous ran into the room and found the two children huddled in a corner in terrible shock. They watched in horror as she pierced their mother in the back with her weapon. Virulous then easily Force Persuaded the children to run into the family room.

    On seeing him, the Children ran to their Father, now lying on his back and facing the children’s room. They had come to a stop, standing before their stricken father, again in accordance to Virulous’ will.

    With tears streaming, he pleaded, “How can you be so heartless? These are only children. Spare them!”

    Virulous was struck with terrible guilt. She hated herself for what she was doing, but she burned through her guilt as she spoke with venom on her tongue, “Imagine all of the families your gang has killed throughout your criminal empire! Now you are seeing things through the eyes of your victims!”

    She immediately swung her weapon, first one way, and then the other, decapitating each child. Then she pierced the abdomen of her target, letting him feel the agonizing fire of her weapon, once again, before deactivating it.

    He screamed in agony, but his eyes were on the lifeless bodies of his children, tears gushing from them.

    She stepped around the dead and the dying as she made her way to the stairs. She intended to leave him to die slowly. Virulous was most unsteady on her feet, staggering as she walked to the doorway leading to the gently curved stairwell.

    Her target implored her, in a hoarse voice, “Kill me. Kill me, please. Don’t leave me like this.”

    Virulous, unable to take anymore guilt, self disgust, and self hatred turned about and, reaching to the man with both of her hands, used a Dark Force ritual that drained the life force of the man until he died. She turned about and stumbled her way up the stairs, leaning against the wall, for support.

    At the top of the stairs, she stepped into the upper central chamber and leaned against the wall. She felt nauseous, and her head spun as the power of the Dark Side flowed through her as it had never done before.

    She bent to her hands and knees and vomited on the floor, thinking, “This power! This power! This is the power my dark lord enjoys!

    When her stomach had finally settled down, she covered her ruined face with the scarf, and covered her scorched scalp with the hood of her robe. She got back onto her feet, and proceeded to the anteroom and the stairwell that led to Tatooine’s sun-blasted desert.


    Virulous rode many hours from her target’s residence and had finally returned to the outskirts of Anchorhead after the setting of one of Tatooine's suns in the early evening. She found a small clothier shop and bought herself some new clothing. She paid a ridiculous sum in Imperial credits, not wanting to attract attention to herself, she hoped the over payment would buy the silence of the shop owner about a very short woman in bloody robes visiting her shop.

    Virulous was still wanted for questioning in connection to the spaceport killings, and now she was wanted in connection to the massacre at the Tatoo Trade Goods Distribution warehouse earlier in the month. Only a handful knew that business was a front for one of the Exchange Gang’s distribution centers of illicit contraband.

    Her bounty had gone up from fifteen thousand credits, to half a million credits. Virulous smiled wryly, thinking about the bounty on her head.

    The Exchange Gang has a lot of sway on Tatooine. Do they not? Wait until I report this to Darth Nox. He will not be pleased.

    She made her way, carefully, back to the bazaar. The streets had been swept by a terrible wave of gang violence, as the Exchange Gang leaders, as well as the leaders of rival gangs, fought to fill in the power vacuum she had created. Virulous was deeply pleased with the chaotic impact she had on the planet wherever the Exchange Gang held sway on Tatooine. To her, it meant she had demonstrated her power to change a world, and thus the potential to change the galaxy.

    It had been a month since she’d last seen him. He sat quietly behind four heavily armored and heavily armed gangsters who kept careful guard at the doors of the cantina, all protected by a polarized ray shield. Virulous could see that he was visibly shocked at seeing her, as if he didn’t expect to ever see her again. It didn’t matter that her head was hooded and that her face was veiled, he instantly knew it was her from her diminutive stature.

    Without any hesitation, Mr. Tranit commanded, “Let her pass. She is my most very important guest.”

    The two had made their way down to the bar room.

    There, Mr. Tranit commanded the newly hired barkeep, an Advosec, “Make my most very important guest and me a drink.”

    He looked around at the tables in the bar room until he found his accountant, and gesturing with his hand, signaled for her to bring the payment. He pointed at Virulous, so that the accountant would know who to present the credits to. The accountant put her fork down, she was on dinner break, and dashed to the back offices of the cantina to retrieve a case full of Hutt currency.

    The Advosec set two drinks down on the bar in front of Mr. Tranit and Darth Virulous. The two sat with an empty stool between them. Mr. Tranit picked up his drink and held it up to Virulous and toasted her.

    “To my very good friend and business partner, to a successfully completed business arrangement, and to your continued success in your other endeavors, I thank you, Darth Virulous.”

    He gulped down his drink and set the emptied glass down. Virulous, her veiled face hidden deep within the sand colored hood of her robes, watched Mr. Tranit, as he spoke, and then drank. She had not even touched her drink glass. The accountant arrived at that moment, and set the case full of Hutt currency, on its side, between them on the bar.

    The Bith turned the case so that the code pad faced him. Entering a code he opened the case, which exposed the Hutt currency he did not think he would need to part with. He slid the opened case to Virulous. She didn’t need to count it. She knew it was one million six hundred thousand Hutt credits.

    Virulous asked, “Why not simply credit my account with the proper amount? I don’t like carrying such large sums of physical currency.”

    Without another word, the Bith produced a datapad. He punched in the proper amount, in Hutt currency, and set the datapad onto the bar, sliding it towards Virulous. She agreed with the amount, and tapped her credit card on the datapad. The agreed upon amount was successfully transferred to her account, automatically converted from Hutt currency to Imperial currency, which translated to one million seven hundred and eighty five thousand credits.

    Peering at the Bith through her veil beneath the folds of her hood, Virulous thanked the Bith gangster.

    “Thank you for keeping your end of our bargain.”

    She’d gotten paid for four out of six gangsters on Mr. Tranit’s list, which she slaughtered on her first day of mayhem and chaos. She then shocked him with the bad news.

    “My master, Darth Nox, will be dissatisfied when I return and report there are still Exchange Gang leaders left alive. He’ll likely reprimand me, quite severely, for not completing my task. He’ll likely send me back here to finish the job.”

    Mr. Tranit was taken aback. He began to worry greatly, that he’d been betrayed. However, he was a crime boss. He could not show weakness before his subordinates, especially in his own headquarters.

    He said, as though challenging Virulous, “Well...You could start here, right now.”

    His enforcers braced themselves for a fight. Virulous pulled her hood back and pulled her scarf down. As she finally picked up her drink, the gangsters and Mr. Tranit became shocked at what had befallen the once beautiful woman. She took a sip from her very strong drink, and set it down again.

    Turning to face the Bith crime boss, she gave him her disfigured smile and said in a patently insincere tone, “But I like you too much, Mr. Tranit.” Mr. Tranit could easily tell that was a lie, as she added with equal insincerity, “I want to help my very good friend and business partner to escape Darth Nox’s wrath.

    Mr. Tranit realized just how tough this woman was, how hard her heart was, and he learned just how reckless this woman was. He also realized that he would have to do much to soothe Darth Nox to survive the dark lord’s fury.

    He ordered the barkeep, “Another round.”

    As the Advosec fulfilled Mr. Tranit’s request, the crime boss’ enforcers wound down, relaxing their stances and quietly sighing their relief. They were there, a month before, witnessing Virulous’ lighting quick slaughter of the hapless bounty hunters who’d provoked her at this very bar, and word of her slaughter of the Exchange gang’s leadership had gotten out. It was very big news. They knew the Sith lord who sat in their midst was the real deal.

    Mr. Tranit asked, skeptically, “What are you suggesting, Darth Virulous?”

    She told him, quite pointedly, “Truly, Darth Nox will not be satisfied if I return to him with a half finished assignment.” She picked up her drink and took another sip, setting it down on the bar again, adding, “However, if you were to send him a very nice letter, sent on high grade flimsyplast, written by a highly skilled calligrapher, and if in this missive, you were to express your most profound apologies and regrets for what your foolish and now dead leaders did to him. Then, if in your missive you promised to rid Tatooine and the galaxy, of those profoundly despicable vermin who so coldheartedly brought harm to those most dear to him...”

    Mr. Tranit realized that Virulous was actually dictating an apology letter that he should send to Darth Nox. The Bith crime boss looked over his shoulder to a table behind where he sat. He saw that one of his administrators was taking notes. He subtly nodded his approval before returning his attention to Virulous.

    She finished dictating the letter of apology and said, “That in itself should be enough to get him to listen. Next come gifts.”

    Mr. Tranit, unsurprised, asked, “Gifts?”

    Virulous replied, “Of course! Nothing sends across the feeling of sincerity like a very thoughtful gift.”

    As she picked up her drink to take another sip, Mr. Tranit asked, “What sorts of gifts does Darth Nox like?”

    Virulous had finished her drink and set the emptied glass down. The barkeep immediately refreshed it.

    After some thought, she confessed, “It really is difficult to pick out gifts for a man who rules half the galaxy. Isn’t it?” She exaggerated a little. Nox did not rule alone. He sat in a council of twelve who administered the Sith Empire alongside him in the Sith Emperor’s name.

    The Bith crime boss laughed politely, agreeing, “It is never easy. Something you find genuinely interesting may be considered mundane by another.”

    Virulous suggested, “Slaves. You can never have too many slaves. Especially highly skilled slaves, like accountants, or even building engineers.” Then she added, “Money always makes a good gift.”

    Turning to the Bith, she added, “It would make it especially easy for me to sell him on the idea of forgiving the rest of your organization if I could tell him – as the messenger, that this is the first of many gifts that you’ll send to him.”

    Mr. Tranit had been lifting his drink to his lips, but stopped on hearing that part. Turning to face Virulous, he could see that behind her burn scared facade that she was not smiling.

    She told him, “A yearly gift on the anniversary of the attack on his estate which resulted in the deaths of his two children. Every year on the anniversary of the attack, he’ll think of his children, and he’ll want vengeance, but your timely gifts will ease his anger.”

    The Bith bluntly asked, “An annual tribute, then?”

    Virulous nodded, and told him how much, “At least ten million credits each year, or a gift of five or six skilled slaves.”

    The Bith thought, “That’s expensive!

    Virulous could see his doubts, and told him, “Frankly, I don’t want to come back to this planet again. I have had enough of this place and have already paid a terrible price.” She pointed at her face to make her point. She added, “If I have to come back here again, I’m going to bring the Imperial Navy and Army with me, and I will wipe this place clean.”

    The Bith gangster, realizing that was the alternative, shrugged his shoulders thinking, “It’s probably cheaper than fighting the Sith Empire.” Aloud, he said, “I truly hope he will accept my paltry gifts.”

    Virulous told him, “Quick! Find a calligrapher! Get that letter written! I want to be on a starship with your letter and the first of your many gifts to him, before the day is done.” She added, almost as an afterthought, “I’m wanted by the authorities, so I imagine I can’t simply book a flight out of the spaceport.”

    Mr. Tranit reassured her, “Do not be concerned. It is an easy matter for me to arrange passage for you to your desired destination.”
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018