Destiny Awaits, Pt. 3 by MioraaNyte ()
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"Nok Drayen... wasn't he an Outer Rim pirate?", Cipher asked the Sith as they sat drinking their tea, then added, "if I recall, he was referred to as the 'Pirate King', my Lord."
"You're correct to a point," Darth Nox replied, "but there was much more to him that." Then turning to Watcher, put the question to her, "how about you Watcher, what do you know of him?"
"Reports say he was a scourge to the Empire, Republic and the non-aligned worlds, my Lord," Watcher responded, "he and his gang would attack whole convoys without hesitation. Reports also state after he raided the ships, he would either imprison or dispose of the crews, then lay claim to or scuttle the ships. There were rumors that he was a direct descendant of the exiled Drayen family that once ruled the Dubrillon system and was actively working to regain the throne."
"Again, you too are mostly correct," the Sith replied, "but much was glossed over about his actual methods of operation." Pausing to take a sip of tea, she went on, "you see, Drayen never took prisoners, instead, he would gather the surviving crew and make them an offer, work for me loyally and I'll make you rich... or die. Most chose the first option." Once again stopping to sip her tea, the Sith, continued, "then he did something quite unusual for a pirate, he would then gather the slaves and their owners together and separate them into the respective groups. He would immediately execute the slavers then inform the slaves that they were now free and they too had a choice... go your own way without any harm or join him as free persons working for him. It was said, none ever left and vowed to stay with him, serving him faithfully until the day they died. I took the man's policy as my own."
"So, I take it that Mayla was once somebody's slave and my words triggered her anger," Cipher interjected.
"Oh, it goes even deeper than that with her," Darth Nox told the man, "Mayla was no ordinary slave. She was Darth Thanaton's favorite bedroom companion." Suddenly the woman's face became red with rage, "I took extreme pleasure in ending that perversion of nature's worthless existence!" Then staring into her now empty teacup and regaining her composure, she hoarsely whispered, "she's only 16."
For a few moments, silence engulfed the scene, then the Sith rose to her feet and spoke once more, "so, now I have an offer to make the two of you. Willingly become part of my organization and I will guarantee you both will be safe from any reprisals that will come from the fallout of Imperial Intelligence's destruction... or leave and deal with what happens on your own. But it must be a unanimous decision, I need you as a team, not as individuals."
Looking at each other a couple of seconds and with a nod, both of the former Imperial Intelligence agents stood in unison and bowing to the Sith, Cipher spoke, "Darth Nox, we accept your offer of our own free will and will serve you faithfully, with honor, until our deaths."
With a smile on her face, the Sith responded, "marvelous! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to dress and begin my duties. I heard one of my people is in the infirmary and just had a baby... I need to go congratulate the parents. Now, if you'll wait in the hall, Mayla will be along shortly to escort you to your quarters." Just as the agents were about to exit the room, Darth Nox called after them, "and please, from now on you may address me as Lord Zefaara... Darth Nox makes me sound like some dried up old prune with a burr up her arse."
Standing in the hall awaiting escort, the two agents began to discuss the meeting with their new benefactor. "Definitely not the typical Dark Council member I've had experiences with," Cipher remarked to his partner, "a handshaking, baby kissing Darth?"
With a slight lilt in her voice, Watcher replied, "first for me, also." Then noticing Mayla approaching, said, "she's here, time to see our new home."
As the group walked down the hall, Cipher said to the young girl, "Mayla, about earlier..."
"I apologize for my inappropriate behavior, my Lord," Mayla turned speaking to the man, "it will never happen again, I promise."
"No Mayla, it is I that owes you an apology and ask for your forgiveness," Cipher softly replied, "Lord Zefaara told us what happened to you, I spoke out of ignorance and your response was understandable."
With a bit of surprise in her voice, "thank you, my Lord. But please, don't feel pity for me. The Master rescued me from that horror and has given me a reason to go on living," Mayla answered the man, "because of the Master, I now know what love, family and home really are. I love her and will always be there for her."
After a few minutes, the group arrived at a door that Mayla opened and motioned for the agents to follow. "Welcome to your quarters," Mayla said as she motioned around the room, "this is the common area and upstairs you will find the bedrooms. My Lord's is to the right, my Lady's is to the left." Continuing with her dialog, the girl added, "on the table you will find your datapads that will give you more information about the Master's organization. You may also use it to order your lunch to be delivered by one of the kitchen staff." As the girl turned to leave, she advised the agents, "the Master has invited you to dine with her this evening in her private dining room at 1900 hours, I will return at 1845 hours to escort you. In your rooms you will find the proper attire, the dress code is formal. Please be ready when I return, the Master expects punctuality." As she left the room, Mayla added, "until then, good day, my Lord and Lady."
Taking off her boots and sidearm, Watcher reclined on the couch and began studying the datapad. Also removing his weapons, Cipher sat down and did the same. As lunch approached, their order from the kitchen arrived and they ate quickly, then returned to the comfort of the couch and the datapads.
A few hours passed when Watcher came across some information she stumbled upon, looking up at her partner, she said, "seems Lord Zefaara was born a slave herself and was discovered to be Force sensitive by her owners. At 14, she was turned over to the Sith for training on Korriban. That would account for her stance on slavery. But I believe there's more to it than that, especially the way she fawns over Mayla. I have a feeling she and Mayla may have shared a common experience." Drawing a deep breath she continued, "the look on her face when she described killing Thanaton was more than disgust, it looked like what you would see from somebody that just filled a vendetta."
"I noticed that myself, Watcher," the man replied, "if I believed in those things, I would have described it as spiritual"
"By the way, Cipher," Watcher said to her partner with a slight laugh, "in my peripheral vision, I noticed that your sight never wandered from Lord Zefaara's eyes... I find that quite admirable. In all seriousness, I didn't think you could do it."
Without looking up from the datapad, Cipher responded, "the chronometer says it's almost 1800 hours, I think we need to start preparing for our dinner date with Lord Zefaara." As he started to place the datapad on the table to go upstairs, Cipher quipped, "and for the record Watcher, you're not the only one with excellent peripheral vision..."
Thanks for dropping by and hope you enjoyed your visit.
Comments are always welcome and appreciated.
Image Comments (6)
Splendid work on the panels and story. The last 2 paragraph did make me smile. Nice interaction between the characters in each of the panel.
The only critical comment I would make is the data pads are too uniform in their positioning. People tend to leave things haphazardly on a table in real life.
I have to say, this is not the typical story line you often read coming from the Sith/Empire side of a Star Wars tale.
I do like how you show not all Imperials are the hack, slash, shoot and kill psychopaths/sociopaths that are usually portrayed by others... they are 'normal' people for the most part.
Keep up the great work.