The Unforeseen Threat: Ch 09 – Betrayal?

Aside from the few candles that were lit alongside the walls, the giant room was pitchy. Whenever the council would meet, they always met in the darkness so they could be in total connection to the force. When there were no distractions, just the blackness of the air around you, one could completely open his mind to any and all possibilities. Now, as he sat on the floor of the council’s chambers, Tenaz was opening his mind to the idea that the republic may soon have a way to quell the Sith. He had come face to face with the technology that threatened the existence of the order and had failed to realize the true threat it had possessed. He had been so wrapped up in his vendetta with Sparzz that he couldn’t see that the man was only a part of a much larger picture.

“Where do we go from here Master Vandin? What’s our next step?” Tenaz spoke with a certain demanding tone as he questioned the dark figure before him.

Vandin reached into his robe and removed a datapad. “We’ve found several republic bases, all with the size and capabilities needed to produce a weapon such as were up against.” He handed the datapad to Tenaz to look over, “We plan to launch assaults on each of these bases until we find what were after.”

ImageTenaz stared down at the datapad before him. He flipped through it’s digital pages slowly, studying each base and thinking of quick attack routes. Each base seemed as though it was heavily guarded, but that did not matter to him. Feeling his hatred for the republic flow through him like a Nabooian waterfall, he felt whatever defense the base would put up would not be enough to stop his fury.

The council has decided that it would be best if we organized two assault teams to launch separate attacks on the bases,” Vandin said as he closed his eyes to envision the attack. Behind Vandin’s eyes beams of light flashed before him as sabers slashed through republic cortosis armor and Sith blades met Jedi. Vandin flashed a smirk – the scene was truly beautiful to the dark master. “The battle will be glorious Tenaz.”

“I am anxious to join my blade to the scene Master Vandin. Who will be leading this brilliant assault?” Tenaz questioned with a hint of pride in his voice.

“Only the best, Tenaz. The council has selected Grand Moff Decayus and Master Vicieouses to lead the teams into battle.”

Tenaz nearly fell backwards when he heard the news. “Vicieouses!?” He shouted as his eyes seemed to jump from his head. “Master, how could you choose him to lead anything? He nearly got me and half a dozen troops killed on Dantooine!”

Vandin slowly opened his eyes and glared at Tenaz. “You are a great warrior Tenaz, but do not become overzealous. You are in no position to question Darth Vicieouses’s abilities or the decisions of the Dark Council.”

Tenaz was ready to lunge at the man and rip his head from his body. His mind continued to tell him that he himself should be leading the attack, he was the better warrior. Vicieouses was too careless, and he would surely lead to the mission’s demise. Clenching his fists tighter than the grip of a Drexl’s tail, a grip he was all too familiar with, he extinguished the flames of rage and furry within him. As he calmed himself, he closed his eyes and opened them slowly. “Forgive me master.”

“The council chose both Decayus and Vicieouses based on their reputations in battle,” Vandin quickly threw a hand up to stop any disagreement from Tenaz, “Granted there are some weak spots in both their records, but this is the will of the council.”

Tenaz let out a large breath, “I understand master.”

“There is a special assignment in all of this for you as well Tenaz. If you choose to accept however.”

“Of course master. I am at the disposal of the order”

“Good,” Vandin grinned. “Then you will be joining Vicieouses and his team.”

Tenaz’s mouth nearly dropped to the floor.

“…but for good reason,” Vandin added.

****************************

“Gorda root?” Neeru asked perplexed as he read the tomb Malus had just handed him.

“Yes, you’re reading right, Gorda root. Hmph. Can you believe it?” Malus seemed to be humored by his own words. Holding the vile below a candle in the study, Malus lost himself in the fluid, “The Jedi never cease to surprise me.”

Neeru remained dumbfounded as he looked back and forth between the tomb he held in his hands and the vile Malus had become so infatuated with.

“Just one ounce of this baby is enough to stop a fully grown Krayt dragon dead in it’s tracks. It’s truly one of the galaxy’s greatest weapons.” Malus continued to stare in awe at the vile. His gaze was focused deeply into the liquid, as if he could see straight into the substance’s atomic structure.

“My Lord, don’t you think we should act to prepare some sort of defense against this toxin if it truly is as dangerous as you say?”

Malus simply flashed a smirk across the side of his face. “Hmph. I suppose you’re right,” he said as he turned his attention back to Neeru. As Malus removed his focus from the Gorda root he returned to his usual spot above his desk. Reaching down to the side of the piece he slid open one of the dark wooden drawers and peeked inside. As he rummaged through the small drawer he called out to Neeru, “Neeru, do me a favor. Hand me that volume on the Cadannia system would you? I believe it’s right behind you.”

Neeru turned around and began to search the massive shelves. Right behind me? These shelves are taller than me. Don’t know how he expects me to find anything on here.

ImageWith Neeru’s back turned and his attention on the shelves, Malus dug deep into the back of the drawer and removed a small pistol-like device. To anyone other than Malus the device, in all aspects of the word was a pistol. What made this pistol special however, was it’s energy cartridge – it didn’t exist. Instead it used a small series of solid darts for ammunition, which could be infused with any liquid substance. In order to fill the darts with the substance, the user would have to steadily deposit the desired liquid into the canister that was seated atop the pistol and sealed by a small metal cap; the same cap which Malus was now gently sliding open.

“Malus, I’m not seeing anything on Cadannia. Are you sure it’s over here?” Neeru asked as he continued to scan the shelves.

“Yes, I’m quite certain. Keep your eyes out for it.” Malus’s response was distant as his attention was locked into the pistol. With the cap on the barrel open, Malus popped open the top of the Gorda root filled vile. With a steady hand, he carefully poured the substance into the open slot atop the barrel. He quickly glanced over to Neeru to ensure the man was still oblivious to his actions. After making sure the canister in the pistol was filled, Malus slid the pistol’s cap back into poison to lock the toxin in. In one swift stroke, Malus raised the pistol to be directly in line with Neeru’s neck. As he pressed hard against the trigger, the pistol released a hiss as a small dart was launched into the back of Neeru’s neck.

“Ackh!” Neeru cried out as his hand instantaneously swatted the back of his neck. Shock seemed to take over his body as he felt the dart needled under his skin. He was momentarily speechless as he tried to piece together what had just happened. As he slowly turned back to Malus, he said whatever his shocked body could most easily project, “What…What did you do to me?” His words were soft and slow as the effects of the Gorda root quickly began to flow through his system.

Malus stood with the silver pistol draped at his side. Reaching an arm over to his chair-bookshelf, he removed a small hide bound volume. Glancing at it quickly, and then turning his head to the wobbling Neeru, “Look at that. Here it is.” A smirk wiped across Malus’s face and Neeru crashed to the floor of the study.

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