A message sent to what, from the CC list, appears to be everyone Tyron has ever so much as seen in passing.
It's that time again. The most important time of the year. My birthday!
Some of you were invited to #22. The rest of you have no idea how much awesomeness you are about to step into. Now's your chacne to find out just how amazing a party is when I'm there. Especially when it's all about me.
RSVPing is lame, so just show up. And bring me stuff. Lots of stuff!
Coordinates to this neat little village on Ord Mantell attached. Be there. Or miss the best birthday in the galaxy.
[ Details on the calendar obvsly ]
Oradam Village hasn't been blown up yet. Which is actually big news, because everything on this part of Ord Mantell seems to be perpetually blowing up.
Party's in nine hours. Be there. Bring me stuff.
A message sent out over the Syndicate secure frequency.
"Uh... so yeah. Anyone who was there already knows this, but someone tried to kill me at my party.
"You might wonder why (assuming you aren't disappointed they didn't succeed -- hi, Verad). Answer: long story. Short version: I'm ex-Alderaanian nobility. Bouris Ulgo wants me dead. He hired House Rist to do it. Rist is an entire order of elite asssassins parading as nobles. They're pretty damn good at what they do, and I'm lucky I survived.
"Here's the good news: they think she succeeded. We're going to keep it that way as long as possible. It gives me time to figure out what to do next. Current plan is to hit Ulgo hard and show it's not worth trying to kill me. I got all of you at my back, right? They bit off more than they can chew, and we'll let 'em choke on it. I figure Rist will want to negotiate if we do enough damage.
"Meanwhile, if you got any good ideas, I'd love to hear them. Life hanging in the balance and all..."
[ Event 2 is... 'sometime in the future'. Possibly next week. ]
Message from Ztaka to Tyron:
Someone tried to kill you and I missed it? Frotz! Next year, tell your would-be assassins to make their move early in the party, so people who have to leave early won't miss the fun!
Seriously though, I'm all for causing trouble on Alderaan. Done that quite a few time in the past, although on a small scale. I'm all for going for a bigger scale. I'm not familiar with House Rist, but most of those noble types aren't happy when you mess with their property or their honor, from my experience.
Also, shouldn't you try to convince House Ulgo they shouldn't go after you, rather than House Rist? Go for the head, as it were? Or is it just to big a morsel for us to chew? (I heard of House Ulgo... They're a pretty big deal, aren't they?)
Rel checks with Cinia, Jeos and down the list until he finds someone who knows where Tyron is, then goes off to meet him.
"First things first, we've got to make sure any Rist slicers have NO CHANCE of finding you." Rel thumps a snap-top plasteel box on the table. On the lid is scribbled "Lam kit - TS". Rel pops the lid and keeps chatting as he starts pulling things out of the container and arraying them on the table. "Here's your new stuff. I've been up all night putting this kit together. Any crap you have right now that blinks, chimes, or vibrates is going in this box, and I'm taking it with me. Credsticks, data pads, every bit."
Rel fans out a few credsticks on the table. "Brand-new, nominal limits, local issue--should get you by for a bit." He moves on to a couple of ident-cards, holding the first one up. He gauges the likeness a bit, then nods. "Nordall Glascock....lookin' great!" Setting the first one down, he moves on to the second, repeating the assessment process. "Frown a bit more....aah, that'll do. Pleased to meet you, Patty Lourkai. Patty? Heh, that won't work." Shaking his head, he slips that one back in a pocket. He continues through a few more mundane items, datapads, holocomms and the like. "No accessing any old accounts. Here's a new one set up for you already." Rel taps a few things on the new datapad, grins and slides it over to Tyron. "There you go, 'NoMoGrls4M3'...that's your new general account. Rel picks up the last item, a datcard. Waggling it in emphasis he explains, "Now these guys are going to be watching every asset they know you have. That's why all your stuff is going in this box. But that goes for your ship, too...Can't put that in the box though. On this datcard is a warrant of transfer...send this off and it is basically a repo notice that allows CTE to take possession of your ship and assets contained therein as restitution for some fraudulent expense reports or some nonsense like that." Rel waves his hand flippantly. "Deceased people always leave a bill somewhere that has to be paid. Lastly, try not to go anywhere. Hole up on somebody's ship or something. If you do have to go somewhere, even to use the fresher at Pete's, you gotta let me know so I can scrub any security camera feeds that might have picked you up."
"This is serious. Now, get to filling this box," Rel raps his knuckles on the container as he checks the time. "...and hurry! Happy Hour's about to start at the Jewel...no sense in both of us sticking around here if one of us can go have some fun!"
The sound of heels clicking against duracrete made it abundantly clear to Tyron that she was, in fact, leaving. His protests had done very little to deter her at this point.
"Cinia! Honey, wait. You blue-balling me?" The Zeltron whirled around, exasperated. "Ok, first off, Chiss and Wroonians probably find that completely offensive. Second, we've definitely just... for the past five hours. I'm late for something, and I'm sorry but the galaxy doesn't stop moving along just cause you fake died."
He looked at her, his lip going into that familiar quiver when he wanted something from her. It usually worked. Much to Cinia's chagrin. "But what am I supposed to doooooo while you're gone?"
Cinia threw her hands in the air. "I don't know, what am I, your mother? You can keep yourself entertained. This is important."
The man arched his eyebrow. "Actually, what are you doing? You still haven't told --"
She put a finger to her lips. "Shush. It's important, and for you. Now I have got to go."
"Is the slinky, short, neon green dress part of the whole --"
"Yes! Now for the last time, I have to go. Love you."
She finally made it out of his ship, and, while he was probably in there throwing some sort of Tyron-fit, Cinia smiled to herself.
'Benefits you, benefits me more.'
Totally OOC right now
I don't plan on more than two events to close out this plotline, but those two need to be very close together because the first one might leave some people stuck on Alderaan. I don't like doing that for too long (at least without express consent beforehand). The times I have two days free in a row in the coming weeks are:
Preferences? Days that absolutely can't work? (Need more time to finish making a clone, or something?)
I'm pretty much never around Friday and Saturday nights, so it'd have to be the 24th and 25th for me.
Oh sorry sorry sorry; Hope that didn't disturb you too much there. It was the sound of books... pages being turned. So, that's just what I was doing, just reading, uh... books. So not a moron. Anyway, just finished the last one, just now, the hardest one. Machiavelli. Do not know what all the fuss was about - understood it perfectly. Have you read that one?
Those days it is, then!
H_Fab wrote:As always, I am good from 10:30 EST on on any day I know in advance.
Also taken into consideration. Events are now on the calendar.
I will make the appropriate IC announcements in this thread this weekend--or earlier if Certain Things happen sooner than I expected.
A message sent over the secure Syndicate channel.
"All right. I'm sick of being fake dead. More importantly, Janice 'suggested' a target on Alderaan. Turns out that House Rist sunk a lot of credits into an experimental war-droid for Bouris Ulgo. Don't remember the exact numbers, but it's apparently something like fifteen to twenty percent of their assets. Basically... we blow this thing up, we send them a message they can't ignore.
"Of course, they probably also figure out I'm alive after that, which won't leave us a lot of down-time. She actually thinks it would be possible to storm House Rist itself if a sufficent number of their people were tricked out by some sort of diversion. I'm still working on what it's gonna be, but it doesn't sound too impossible. Besides, we got a lot of smart people in the group. And Jeos. We'll figure it out.
"Meet me in the same village my birthday was in. I'll get us more details on this droid and then we'll go to Alderaan. Settle this once and for all."
Musings of an old Jedi, archived and long forgotten wrote:An assassin’s brain…what a morbid yet interesting study. Anyone can kill; that has been done since the dawn of time. But repeated successful assassinations – the cold, calculating act twisting the natural, instinctual act of self preservation to cross the void into a callous, often trite application – often suggests a great underlying intelligence, superb cunning and unparalleled patience and determination. All of these great attributes…wrapped around a faulty core. Something deep in the emotional core is broken to allow such an action to take place. So despite what typically is seen as an above average intelligence, the assassin is brain damaged from the start; cracked on the nest as it were…broken at the very basal level. What fragile, fragile creatures….
Sha’ree wasn’t on the House Rist payroll just for her looks. True, when Kolnak first set eyes on her, smoking was the only thought in his head. But Sha’ree was beyond that, she was good at killing. Unflinching over any assignment, Sha’ree would perform with outstanding results. On the payroll, or even when Kolnak had the urge, she performed perfectly well on more ‘personal’ assignments off the House Rist payroll. When the Ravein job came up, Kolnak knew Sha’ree was the one for the hit, especially given the mark’s penchant for women.
She touched down on Ord Mantell doing the same equipment checks she’d done what seemed like a million times before. Comms, cameras, other tools of the trade…the selection for this evening would be a subtle blade, plenty enough to do another pompous noble. “Beach Party” it said in the dossier. Sha’ree grunted at that and made her selection from several sexy outfits. Did they make outfits that weren’t sexy, she mused? Bodybags, she surmised as her thoughts returned to the poor bastard in the file. Final preparations done, she set out. Arriving at the quaint village, she noticed she could recon the party from a railing right off the speeder stop. Idiots. It wasn’t long before she picked out the young man. Much better looking than the holo. It had been years since Sha’ree killed a man with her thighs; she definitely needed to get this one alone. She warmed below, and with a wicked smile tore her thoughts away from sweat drenched bodies and the sound of neck bones crunching…she decided this job just might be fun.
She made her way down to the beach, making smalltalk from the data in the mark’s file. Images of Tyron’s associates were captured and streamed…a weasel-like man, could cook well but non-descript otherwise. A pilot, nicknamed “Monkeyman”. The women were more guarded. Still, the food was good and work was work. Let the slicers do their cross references…not her primary mission and none of her affair. A doctor. She caught him giving her an eye somewhere between lecherous and clinical. He nearly made her shiver. Great friends. Tyron was clearly distracted with a brooding woman who was shooting Sha’ree looks that would make a Savrip piss itself. Ok you barvy chulla, you’ll bleed just like a stuck gammorean, she thought behind a friendly smile. Sha’ree soured inwardly as she let her previous lustful fantasy vaporize. There was no way she was going to be able to pull this guy alone, away from this viper’s nest. Mentally she could feel the odds of the mission plummet, but Kolnak was very clear that a move needed to be made here and soon. Someone mentioned a swim --the cute Twi’lek-- and she jumped at the chance to possibly shake an opening out of the pending disaster. Much to her chagrin, the Mantell seawater was too harsh on her equipment and all recording and transmission at that point was out.
Sha’ree returned from the mission, logging it as a success. Tyron Ravein – deceased. This job came from way up though, and Kolnak hit the debriefing by the books…and didn’t like the results. The post-event intel crew were picking up bits that corroborated Sha’ree’s report, but something happened there and Kolnak didn’t know what it was and he didn’t like it. Was she too close to this job? She seemed straight away too eager to please and her usual cool, collected nature didn’t return for a few more days. Kolnak decided to have a couple of his lieutenants keep tabs on her, but nothing eventful happened over the next several days after the assignment.
Sha’ree rocked back and forth, her skin clammy with sweat. Back and forth, back and forth. Naked, save the locket she wore from Cinia, which was buried in the center of her clasped, white knuckled hands. Her bedsheets lay twisted, cast off the side of the bed. At some time she had sat up, but she could not recall when. Back and forth she rocked, sitting cross legged in the center of the bed. What happened? She knew she killed Tyron, or at least gave it a good try. The doctor? No, another woman…Jedi..not her though. Back and forth, back and forth. The palm of her hand began to feel warm and slick. The locket was gouging her palm, yet she refused to lighten her grip. Pain…and that awful smell, then Cinia’s face and all was better…Cinia. Why did she love her so? Why couldn’t she remember? Back and forth. A bead of cold sweat dropped from her eyebrow, darkening the sheets where it landed, just as several others had…the same as last night and the night before.
Sha’ree couldn’t have known that when the mission failed, and she taunted Cinia to end her life, that Cinia would do just that…and then bring her back. Although she thought she was ready to die, that ancient reptilian-like part of her brain wrapped snugly around the stem was not…and it was in charge of survival. It fought to keep a spark alive as long as it could, and Cinia was able to snatch that spark and bring it back. Nor did Sha’ree know that Cinia would repeat the cycle and go too far, shattering her fragile ‘cracked in the nest’ psyche. The lizard brain did not know what it was called…hypothalamus, amygdala…these words meant nothing to it…but survival it did know. The lizard brain stretched out, oozing through the cracks in Shar’ree’s shattered neocortex, locking down forever certain memories and images that might work against survival if they ever surfaced.
Back and forth. Cinia…oh Cinia. Sha’ree couldn’t explain the infatuation. Oh, Cinia. "She must die," the lizard brain whispered. Sha’ree shot bolt upright. No! "Yessss…and Kolnak…everyone must die." Sha’ree relaxed again and resumed rocking. Back and forth, back and forth. "EVERYONE…"
“N-no, not Cinia,” Sha’ree whimpered as she squeezed the locket tighter. Back and forth, back and forth.
Kolnak noticed the locket. Sha’ree always dressed the part easily enough, but was never attached to any jewelry. Kolnak noticed her absentmindedly fidgeting with a locket several times in the last few days. His spine crawled with a bad feeling. He watched her dart about the office. She was nearly giddy. He called in one of his lieutenants. “Bug her. Something’s up.” Sha’ree never noticed the guy bump into her as she was rushing out the door.
Kolnak listened to the exchange in the Coruscanti hangar over the bug feed and grimaced. So, the mark was alive. Too bad….too bad for Sha’ree. Kolnak reached for his comm. “Dohll, back up the local process on those files, and get it off-planet, then clear your crew out. The slicers can stay, let them keep working.”
“What’s she going to do, boss? Won’t she kill those tekkies?”
“That’s my guess. But if everyone is cleared out, she’ll be suspicious. This time of day, a couple tekkies would be the norm, and that’s what she’ll get. Let it ride. Who do we have in hangar security at the starport? We need to keep that ship locked down. Get a crew ready and head over there for when she returns. Maybe we’ll find out where Ravein is holed up. Then we can send him a message…something along the lines of a dead girlfriend.”
(Bump so this is on the front page, for people who want to get up to speed before the event).
After years of overseeing assassinations, Hugo Rist knew instinctively when something had gone wrong. He could see it in the slight hesitation before his men spoke, in the way their eyes darted towards the door as if seeking an escape route. He could have spared them their misery, but he did not. Instead, he waited, drumming his fingers on the hilt of the vibroknife in his belt.
"The L'Ciak played his part well, Lord. He led them against the droid and then abandoned them. But..."
The man paused, waiting for praise that did not come. Hugo simply let an eyebrow lift until the assassin recovered his nerve and continued.
"But, ah... when Ulgo's forces arrived, they found the droid destroyed. And no bodies. Later, our man at the spaceport reported seeing them there--"
"All of them?"
"Er... no, Lord. He did not see Ravein."
Hugo drew his knife, inspecting the blade. He smiled as his men flinched away. When he spoke, his tone was mild.
"The sensible thing would have been to get off-world... but I suspect our young friend is not here to do the sensible thing. He deliberately destroyed our most valuable property. That... ingrate has insulted our House for the last time."
With a casual flick of his wrist, the knife flew and embedded itself into the wall--the length of a hair away from one of his men. Hugo watched with narrowed eyes, smirking when the assassin flinched away, his reaction just moments too late. The man would be dead if he had been trying...
"Ravein is not off-world, and he was not with his friends. That means he's hiding somewhere on Alderaan. Find him--and anyone else who might have stayed behind with him--and bring him to me."
His men nodded and moved swiftly towards the door. One hesitated and stayed back, then spoke.
"Sha'ree reported him dead..."
Hugo's fingers found his dark goatee, scratching at a persistent itch. He had almost forgotten about the assassin dispatched to do the job in the first place... it would have been a dangerous oversight.
"Yes, she did. She has been compromised... if she is still on the estate, kill her. If not, we will deal with her in due course. Traitors receive no mercy."
The man nodded and followed his fellows out. Lord Rist turned back to his holoterminal, calling up a map of the old Panteer lands. The droid had been there... it was the best place to start looking.
"I will find you, Ravein. You and your friends will die for defying me."
[Panteer Cave Hideout]
Something was making her sleep too lightly. Maybe it was the cold floor of the cave? Maybe it was sleeping on the cold floor of a cave in Alderaan, hiding from House Rist after a botched mission? Maybe. Llinos sat up and looked over at Tyron who was sound asleep. Tyron didn’t strike her as the sort to lose sleep over much. She envied that.
She thought about taking a sedative. She’d brought a small amount, a needle and syringes among her other medical items. However, she worried about taking anything that might inhibit her senses – what if House Rist snuck up on them and she was too drugged to do anything? But as things stood, she’d be groggy the next morning and would be of little use anyway…
She just couldn’t sleep when she didn’t feel safe!
Llinos quietly got up so as not to disturb Tyron and strolled out towards the entrance of the cave. She did not intend to leave, of course. She just wanted to see the guard posted. She wanted to find the same comfort in her surroundings that Tyron seemed to have. But as she made her way to the entrance, the quietness of the cave chilled her bones. Something felt wrong – gave her a bad feeling. As she approached the entrance, it became evident why: the guards were gone.
Llinos’s eyes widened as she cautiously made her way to the mouth of the cave, her heart leaping into her throat, still hoping that maybe the guards were, at least, still in sight. Maybe they moved out to get a look at something? Surely, they couldn’t both have just left! Her hand curled around her comlink, the other around her blaster, hoping she was just panicking for no reason…
But as Llinos timidly stepped outside the cave, a force slammed into her side, knocking the wind out of her as she fell hard to the ground. She felt her comlink slip from her hands and heard it smash somewhere in the shadows. Likewise, her blaster had slid away as well. It was very dark outside the cave and the hit made her head swim – for a while she was lost and disoriented. Meanwhile her assailant was quick and knew what they were doing. He positioned himself on top of her, pinning her shoulder with one hand and prodding a blaster silencer into her neck with the other. She couldn’t see who it was very well, but she had a good guess.
“Aren’t you a pretty one?”
Her heart was at her throat. Don’t speak, don’t speak, don’t speak, her mind was racing. The fear was making her mind jump around trying to find the best way to keep safe. She was remembering old courtly courtesies. She was remembering all the times she remained silent, hoping to not be noticed. She remembered….
Suddenly her fingers twitched – she always fidgeted with her gloves when she was nervous. The man had pinned her shoulder, her hand that was free of its blaster had instinctively gone to her wrist, which was pressed flat to her belt. When her fingers twitched, she felt it – her surgical knife, hidden by her belt under her jacket. She always kept medical tools close. For emergencies.
“Tell me what I want to know and I won’t have to harm that pretty, little face of yours...”
Llinos drew a deep breath as her fingers subtly slipped around the small blade. “Please, I won’t fight...I’ll do as you ask!” She whispered shakily. She raised her eyes up, pleadingly, hoping he’d remove the barrel from her throat and ease back. At least a little, she hoped. She only needed a little space…she knew perfectly well where to make her cut.
She’d hoped that the ‘Mouse’ nickname she got from Dannik meant that she seemed unassuming enough. It seemed it did, or that the man was overconfident enough to let up. Slightly, he pulled back. Llinos’s eyes narrowed, gripping her concealed blade tight. Quickly and as hard as Llinos could, she swiped the blade across the man’s neck. The man moved his lips to ask, perhaps, where Tyron was, but the words were choked by blood. In his shock, he was easy enough to roll off her. As the blood poured it was even easier for him to stay put on the ground, struggling for air and failing with each rasp.
Llinos was shaking as she got to her feet. Her mind, formerly seized by adrenaline, was now being retaken by fear. Somewhere on the dark ground, she must have dropped her surgical knife. It wasn’t in her shaking hands. She thought to grab for wherever her blaster was – but she couldn’t see it! She thought to scream for help or warning, but her voice caught in her throat at another sound.
There was a rustle and the only thought she had was ‘run.’ There was a snap – maybe a twig? - very faint, but enough to spur her. She darted, and did so loudly, past some low-lying brush. She knew she couldn’t take on another assailant and she knew calling Tyron out for help would only put them both in danger. And she didn’t know how many more assassins were out there. She had a chance, albeit a small chance, to throw them off…she just had to run fast.
She stumbled once, early. She looked over her shoulder and saw where the two guards were, lifeless. It only made her want to run harder. After a while, Llinos thought she was losing her pursuer. The footsteps that were once audible, started to fade until she couldn’t hear them anymore. She slowed, straining to hear, but all she caught was silence.
Had she lost him? She stopped and turned to look about her – searching, peering in the dim…
She heard something, but by then it was too late. It was muted, but she knew what it was when it caught her in the side. Llinos let out a cry this time as she fell – but now she was probably a good distance away…who would hear her but her pursuer? Her hands went to her side where she’d been shot, the burning watering her eyes. Footsteps were approaching, but she couldn’t get up. The more she struggled the weaker she got…
The voice was looming over her. She saw a shadow. It kneeled over her, a hand wrapped around her neck and squeezed as it jerked her closer. “Where did he run to?” He shook her insistently, eliciting a wince.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She said through her pain. He was lifting her up at an angle, adding strain to the area she was shot.
“I’ll give you one more try. If you didn’t know what I was talking about, why did you kill my associate? And I heard both of you running this way…”
He didn’t know that Tyron was still back there. If she said it was just her running, he’d head back to the cave. If she kept denying she knew anything, he’d soon have no use of her. There was no way out. “He left me behind….I don’t know where he is.” She felt her heart sink a little as she said it. She knew what came next.
He released his hold on her neck forcefully, unsatisfied. “I think you know where he is, and if you don’t…you’ll help me find out.”
The aftermath of the Syndicate's assault on House Rist has left their estate in rubble, Lord Hugo dead, and the surviving members of the House scattered and deprived of resources. Under the circumstances, all outstanding death marks, including Tyron, are probably safe. Bouris Ulgo is understandably furious to be deprived of such a key ally, especially given that the Republic and Empire are both pushing his forces back. The Alderaanian political scene will doubtless be dominated by gossip and rumors about the culprits for the foreseeable future.
Thanks for attending this short plot! I may bring House Rist back for revenge later... and we've still got that Atzin jerk to deal with