And here we begin once again. The final instalment of the Veneficus Trilogy! I decided, upon further review, that the title for this third book was just as accurate as I originally found it to be, and therefore chose to keep it. So, please, buckle up and enjoy the ride as we dive right into the tale of the Galaxy, ruled by Lord Veneficus of the Sith! Enjoy... ~F
Order Among Chaos
An Empire Disquiet
The sun bore down upon the jungle world of Dromund Kaas, capital system of the Neo-Sith Empire, and home of the Palace of the Eternal Throne, seat of Veneficus, Emperor of the Galaxy. All had unified behind his banner in the two decades after his glorious victory over the stagnant Republic, and the Galaxy had prospered in those years. But all throughout the empire, even here on the capital world of his power, there were those desperate for their own way, and rebellion stirred in various corners of the Galaxy.
And, as any law abiding government was duty-bound to do, such seeds of rebellion and corruption were stamped out as swiftly as they raised their ugly heads.
Euka Qudru sprinted after the fugitives that had caused the most recent act of terrorism and rebellion in the beloved city of the Emperor, a pair of ruffians that had defaced a statue of their glorious leader, thinking that they could also destroy the monument when challenged by those loyal to his Imperial Majesty. When confronted however, by an advanced detachment of the Dromund Kaas guard, they fled, which is when backup was called in to pursue them.
As to why she, an Apprentice to one of the leading members of the Dark Council, Zhar Quelmok, was leading this inquisition after these fugitives, was that there was heavy suspicion that they held information about other rebellious rings of fugitives across the Core Sith Worlds, and was leaking information back to the underground movement that was spreading throughout the Empire as a whole.
Dodging around another wild shot, which the perpetrators were occasionally shooting at their pursuers, the powerful heir of the seat of Korriban then leapt high into the air, the crimson blades of her weapon illuminating her way as she soared toward her prey.
She was on assignment from the Supreme Prophet of the Dark Side himself, who had requested the talented Iradonian to lead this search, which pleased Euka and her Master greatly. She held a small, bitter rivalry with her fellow apprentices surrounding the Dark Council, and out of those special twelve, she was considered in the running for the most prominent and power of them.
It was suspected that several of the others had attempted to have Euka assassinated at various times, but the Iradonian never admitted to the possibilities that her rivals had ever had such an advantage over her. The other rumors were more to her favor, stating that it was seemed likely that the Supreme Prophet would choose her over his own apprentice to take his place as leader of the Dark Council when the time came for him to step down, or ascend to the rank of an inner advisor to the Emperor himself.
Such rumors were nonsense, of course, as the functionality of the Empire's hierarchy was absolute, and unless the Supreme Prophet chose her to learn under him, Euka would have to be satisfied with her place as the future leader of the second greatest world in the Empire, the tomb-world of Korriban.
Still, the look on Apprentice Ekitc Batoi's face when the Mirialan learned that his rival, and the more favored of his own master, Supreme Prophet Feyd, had been chosen over him was more than worth all the running and work that she now had to endure.
It was all the more difficult for the twenty or so other soldiers and Dark Adepts that followed her through the winding streets of New Kaas City, weaving through the underbelly of their beloved city after the fugitives without the aid of an overwhelmingly strong connection to the Dark Side to propel them onward.
Even still, the head start that those they chased had was enough that they eventually slipped out of Euka's sight, and once she reached the large clearing in the streets that she last spotted them, they were nowhere to be found.
"Spread out, comb every building, and bring them to me," she commanded, sensing that they were not far, likely trying to hide from them rather than continue to run. It was most likely that they were quite exhausted, as Euka had given the pair quite the chase through the windy and narrow alleyways of the underbelly of the city, and they had be given no time to rest their legs or anything for hours.
Her forces spread out, going from building to build and bashing the doors open, uncaring and unapologetic to the inhabitants as they conducted their search. Euka waited in the center of the square, her slightly damp robes still possessing their sheen of the velvety black of a Dark Council Apprentice, which seemed to slap the civilians with the appropriate aura of silence and respect for the inquisitor that had come to search their homes.
Soon enough, there was a commotion from one of the buildings, and the sound of blaster fire before the troopers were dragging out the entire family from within their home, as well as the two fugitives. Clearly one of the pair was related to the family, as they shared many characteristics, and Euka was momentarily baffled at the sheer stupidity that the young fugitive thought that running home would protect him from the justice of the Empire.
They were forced to kneel in front of her, all in a line, while the troopers form up behind them, weapons drawn and safeties removed.
Euka stood before them, surrounded by the four other Dark Adepts that she had handpicked for this mission, for their skills in tracking and their endurance for the long hunt. "Now," she said slowly, allowing the fear to wash over the two she sought to interrogate for all to see, "You will tell me what you felt, in your stupidity, defiling a monument of our beloved Emperor would accomplish…"
The pair said nothing, looking terrified and ashamed that they were caught, and after a moment's pause Euka tutted at the silence, "such a pity… No answer? You just felt like it perhaps, thought it would be a good laugh, make fun of our glorious leader, who has given the Empire all his devotion and guiding care, and this is the thanks he receives?"
Activating one blade of her weapon, Euka started toward one of the far figures, an elderly woman that had clear familiar resemblance to the smaller of the two fugitives, "Please no!" he screamed, and Euka paused for a moment, gleaming red eyes focused on the young man, waiting for his answer.
"We were paid to do it; we had no choice, my Lady…" he said slowly, looking down at the ground beneath his feet. "Please, spare my family…"
"If you were paid to do such a thing, you clearly had a choice," Euka replied, calling him on the lie, and letting her saber fall. The old woman fell to the dust amid the screams of her family.
"We were starving!" the young one belted out, "we would die if we didn't have the money to pay for food!"
Euka moved to the next figure, clearly the husband of the woman she just killed. The old man stared directly at her with eyes of hatred and defiance, and Euka knew exactly what she had found. A melting pot of disquiet and ingratitude for all that they had. "There is always plenty of work for the citizens of the Empire; you could have taken any number of jobs both on and off world." She stated, cutting down the man with equal impunity.
Changing the vein of her questioning, she continued, stepping toward the next figure, a younger man who was probably the father of the young speaker, whose friend or companion had thus far remained stoically silent. "Where is the den of your little insurrection?"
The young man visibly buckled, looking down in horror, and Euka knew the truth. They just used this poor family for their own ends, and like the rats they were abandoned him to be captured, along with their likely observer and enforcer.
Turning toward the silent figure, who still stared blandly ahead with a look of neutrality, as though he was somewhere far different, Euka smirked as she sent probes of the Force toward his mind. "Where are they?" she asked, hoping that the blunt question would force the location to the surface of the man's mind. This one had some training in mental resilience however, and did not react.
"Take him back to the Palace, we shall make his talk," she stated, turning for a moment to the other Dark Adepts, and that was when the man struck. Leaping to his feet, a pair of blasters appeared in his hands, unleashing their barrage at the surrounding troopers. "For the Rebellion!" the man shouted as he took off running, quickly followed by several of the Dark Adepts.
A clear and desperate act to save those left behind, but Euka did not move to follow as of yet. Gesturing at the remaining troopers, she watched as the duped family was gunned down, man woman and child, and their home set ablaze before turning to continue her pursuit of the man that would tell her everything she wanted to know about the cells that dared to operate within the system of the Emperor's crown jewel.
"It seems our efforts to once again stir up an uprising among the poor and lower classes of Dromund Kaas have failed yet again," The operative only known as Shade said through the holoprojector to the crew of the Pursuit of Justice. "Our final spy within their populace has been executed, and his protector is being chased through the streets by an Inquisitorial force as we speak."
"That is unfortunate," High Commander Filius Flitwick responded, looking squarely at the masked figure that had taken it upon themselves to contact the Rebellion, formed out of the fleeing Republic forces and what allies they could rally to their cause to throw off the oppression of the Sith Empire. "Do what you must, Operative, but do not allow yourself to be captured, you are too valuable to our cause to be lost so soon."
"I'll do what I can, but I could do more if I could rendezvous with you and organize your spy network myself…" the unknown ally added, to which the old Charms Master and Duelist narrowed his eyes.
"Watch yourself Operative," he said carefully, "many times have the Sith tried to infiltrate our ranks, and our being a bit too obvious to wanting to know all of our secrets at once, give us time to trust you, and perhaps you will be summoned to out secret base."
"Understood, my apologies Commander," Shade said, subdued in voice.
"For the time being, we think that Dromund Kaas is a lost cause, and so we want you to pull your forces out of the system." Flitwick added, "Flee back toward the Core, and find a more remote world that will easily take you like, I suggest somewhere like Alderaan. They have had a long love for the Republic back in the old days and would welcome a chance to help however they can, but do not expect to find an army."
"Planetary armies are a hard thing to come by these days…" Shade replied sarcastically, and was nodding, "I will do as you ask, and reset our effort to drum up more support services for future endeavors. Shade out."
The holoprojection ended, and Filius sighed. Dealing with the unknown figure was always a taxing job, because he wasn't sure if he could completely trust the operative with their secrets, like the fact that he and his crew were already en route to Malastare, home world of the Dug race, to see if they could procure more fuel for their tiny fleets.
Despite Ms. Granger's wonderful advantages over the harsh climate of Hoth and their ability to form a perfectly concealed base there in, some raw materials were needed if they wanted to rebuild the armies and ships that they had enjoyed during the days of the war, and supply was extremely limited.
It was as though the Emperor knew that they were trying to form this Rebellion, and had intentionally crushed every possible manufacturer or raw material dealer in the Galaxy to make sure that they lacked what they needed to oppose him.
Nevertheless, they would press on, with the hope that one day, either they or those who came after would see the fall of Emperor Veneficus and the restoration of peace and true justice in the Galaxy. Naturally, the secret fact that Veneficus was in fact a Mage-born from earth, and that many of the top rebellion leaders had known or taught him in his youth was never spoken about, even when they were alone, for fear that if the knowledge slipped out, that the madman would take it as a personal affront and seek them out even more directly than he was already.
As it was, between the constant patrols of the massive fleets of ships, more than easily were used in the invasion of the Republic from two decade prior, spread throughout the Galaxy, fill to the brim with weapons and designs that were complete new and foreign to the fledgling Rebellion, but the threat of discovery from the Emperor's forces of Dark Adept Inquisitors, who were always on the lookout for members of their organization, trying valiantly to find their hidden base.
Luckily, that was at least one advantage that they had over the Imperials, was the number of Mage-born that the Rebellion had in their ranks. Filius himself had charmed the entire base, located on the icy planet of Hoth, with a Fidelius, concealing it from discovery except by those he himself had told, or who were given the location via the prerecorded message that he had left with the leader of their base, Director Hermione Granger, who oversaw everything that happened upon the planet, including the defense of their Jedi allies.
The survival of the Jedi Order was another deeply kept secret, and despite many of those warriors and monks requesting to come on missions to aid the Rebellion, both Filius and Ms. Granger had vehemently denied them, knowing that if the Empire caught the scent of the Jedi once more in the Galaxy, there would be no rest until they stamped them out, and all who aided them.
Not that that halted their efforts to give everything that the Jedi might need to rebuild their numbers. With the strong leadership of Jedi Lord Berethon, crippled in a duel with the Emperor himself, as well as Jedi Master Yoda, they had erected a self sustaining enclave within Sanctuary Base, training the hundreds of young Jedi that had fled from the destruction of the Coruscant Temple and the defeat of the Republic.
Now those Jedi, valiant and strong were reaching out with the Force, calling to anyone who felt the burning flame of freedom from the tyranny of the Empire, inspiring acts of courage and drawing those who would agree to fight to seek out the rebellion. But in actuality they were seeking for other Jedi, ones that escaped the wrath of the Sith and were hidden away throughout the Galaxy, but in either case their hopes were slim.
They had come across many new recruits this was however, and even many Force Sensitives had flocked to their cause, coming to Hoth and training in the ways of the Jedi, adding their support to the new and resurgent order that waiting for the moment to come bursting back into the Galactic view to challenge the Emperor and his minions.
Both Mage-born commanders knew that it was only a matter of time that they'd have no choice but to allow them to join in the cause for freedom, and send them out on missions to aid the Rebellion, but they truly feared what the consequences of such an action would have on their cause.
"Were approaching Malastare Commander," said the officer in charge of the Pursuit of Justice, tossing his red hair to the side to stop it obscuring his face.
"Thank you, Admiral Weasley," Filius replied, smiling at his former student, and powerful strategist. The young man had had a lot of growing throughout the war with the Empire, and despite some wound he had received from going in over his head from time to time, the now full grown man had developed a lot of rational thinking and wisdom, rising to be the chief of all their admirals and tacticians, as well as a remarkable magical duelist with tutoring from Filius himself.
Currently they were en route the a diplomatic meeting on the planet below to negotiate a deal for a cut of their fuel production, which would allow the Rebellion ships to operate for a long time yet, until they could come up with the funds to get it through other means.
They had operatives on the planet already, who had negotiated such a plea, but those in charge had demanded to speak to someone with higher authority before they would agree to such a deal, and Filius wasn't about to allow Director Granger to go anywhere she didn't need to. She was very high on the Empire's most wanted list, and while Filius was not far behind, it was enough that he could defend himself far more effectively than she, with her mostly trusting nature, would be aware of.
"Leave the ship in orbit, and calculate a new Hyperspace jump every ten minutes, if Imperial ships appear, leave us and go, before swinging back to Sanctuary and informing the others of the failure," Filius said as his hover seat turned toward the view screen of the planet below.
Weasley scoffed, but said nothing, obeying his orders without question even if he didn't feel them needed. The red haired tactician hadn't even wanted to leave Filius on any planet, but they were the standing orders if a force they couldn't yet contend with arrived.
"Let's get planet side," Filius said, hovering toward the hangar bay, and the small shuttles that would take them down to speak with their inside trader.
"May the Force be with you, Commander," Weasley stated, and Filius nodded.
"And may Merlin watch over us all, Admiral." He replied, knowing that while the Force was the accepted religion of the Galaxy, those among the Mage-born that had been on earth so long ago would never forget the old ways, and the traditions that once had such value to them.
Taking several troopers and a few droids just in case translation was an issue, Filius departed down to the planet in his personal shuttle, even while Weasley took command of the bridge. The half-goblin Professor had no qualms about his highly dependable first officer, and knew that if the worst was to happen, he would obey his orders and get the ship and her crew to safety.
After that however, he feared that the still very brash man would rally all the volunteers he could and lead a strike to recover Filius himself, as well as inflict whatever damage on the Empire he could in the process. It was a small mercy that the man hadn't taken to piloting star fighters when he was sent to the Republic academy, as that would have birthed a totally different and altogether more dangerous version of the upstanding officer than they had now.
Setting down toward a large outcropping of forest, well away from the primary settlements just as their contact, the Gran Loneer Gree, had requested, Filius set his forces to securing the area and setting up a wide perimeter, just in case of ambush or treachery. Many had sought the Rebellion only for the profit of turning them in to the Empire, and his caution was what kept them alive and able to fight often, so he refused to lower their guard for any reason.
The three eyed alien was there waiting for them, watching in fascination as the Rebel Troopers fanned out, checking every nook and cranny for anything out of place but saying nothing, as the Gran was probably as paranoid and cautious as they had to be.
"I apologize for our need to be absolutely sure we are unobserved, but you have to understand our predicament," Filius said in explanation, but the Gran was already nodding his agreement.
"No, no, I understand perfectly, and to be honest I am more comfortable with your people here keeping watch than the last few hours I was here alone, it's a lot more welcoming with other presence here to help me feel safe doing this."
"Shall we get started then?" Filius said, hoping that they could iron out this contract and get it filed into the books for Malastare before the Empire caught wind of what they were up to and investigated.
"Yes, I think that would be for the best," the Gran said, taking out several data pads and passing one to Filius quickly, trying to control the trembling of his hands as he did so. The Goblin Dueling Champion caught the sign that the Gran was still uneasy, and hoped that it had only to do with poor figures of what he was about to read, and nothing more, but it was better to be safe rather than sorry.
"Make sure the shuttle does not turn off its engines, just in case we need to evacuate in a moment's notice," he said to the troopers, who acknowledged his command, before Filius turned to the Data pad, carefully reading some of the figures and charts stating what Loneer would be able to siphon out of the excess of his company's profits and smuggle to them. It was far lower than what Filius had been expecting, but it also was with no strings attached, which was a great bonus. "We cannot afford to demand for more at this time," he said, looking up at the Gran, "and we thank you for whatever you can spare for out fight, if more is possible, we would be most appreciative." He said, starting to hand back the pad.
"You m-might want to read further," Loneer said, stuttering, which put Filius on high alert. Quickly he turned back to the datapad, and read on, finding the hidden message within the pad. 'You need to leave swiftly, there is a trap waiting for you.'
"I understand, and thank you my friend. Be safe, and long live the Rebellion." Filius stated.
"I will have the fuel on the abandoned asteroid belt like we agreed previously, when the time is right, and I will send a coded message to you when it is ready," Loneer said, taking back the pad and turning to leave, "Go quickly, they will be coming as soon as they figure you are planet side. May the Force be with you."
Filius gave their ally a few minutes to get away, before demanding his troops back to the shuttle. "Someone tipped off the Empire, and they're on their way," he explained.
"Sir, unknown figures approaching from the direction of the city," one of the troopers said, and Filius resisted swearing, "They're already here, move!"
Troopers scrambled to get back to the shuttle, and Filius waited at the loading ramp for the last of them to enter before he would board.
Even as the ship started to take off, with Filius at the edge of the ramp, the Sith forces started to pour in. several deft spells took out their forward scouts, knocking them to the ground, and even killing a few. Times had changed from when he had been a teacher, and war made fickle the choices of morals for spell selection. To kill meant that others would survive, and so Filius had allowed darker spells into his repertoire, even if he personally disagreed with them and their effect.
It was no surprise that, as they broke free of their cover and took off back to orbit, a trio of fighters launched in pursuit, firing upon their shields. "Get a message to Admiral Weasley that were coming in hot and to wait for us before launching into Hyperspace." Filius commanded, even as he started to chant a powerful shield charm, layering it around their shuttle to add even more protection from the cannons of the Sith fighters.
Breaking through the atmosphere, Filius was not at all surprised to see the Dread Seeker waiting for them in orbit, already attacking their ship and trying to cut them off from escape. Long had they been hounded by the newly titled High Inquisitor Gor-lak the Cruel, and his terrible forces which had chased them throughout the Galaxy.
Filius had yet to cross spells with the supposed crazed magic user, but that was not a moment he anticipated, as he had more important work to do than try to fight one powerful commander in the Imperial ranks.
Once they escaped into the hangar of the Pursuit of Justice, he commanded that they launch for Hyperspace, and felt the rumble as Admiral Weasley obeyed, and the stars outside blurred to lines, signaling that they had escaped yet again from the Inquisitor, and hopefully their allies on the planet had made their way out of harm's way as well. The fuel was vastly important to their fight, but not at the cost of losing their support on the various planets throughout the Galaxy.
Feyd, current Supreme Prophet of the Dark Side, and leader of the Dark Council that ran the whole of Dark Veneficus' empire under the direction of the Eternal Emperor, smirked as he received the transmission from the apprentice of Zhar Quelmok, stating that they had captured a rebel recruiter, and were bringing the man back to the Imperial Palace for questioning.
"Excellent, I am pleased that my faith in your skills were not misplaced," the Supreme Prophet said, catching out of the corner of his eye movement, likely his own apprentice, who had only recently failed to produce results like unto what apprentice Qudru had in a few short weeks on the capital world.
"We shall return shortly, my Lord, and you will have your answers at last." The Iridonian replied, shutting the connection afterward, only then bothering to look around at his own apprentice.
"Apprentice Qudru has already apprehended one of these rebels, and will bring them to us for questioning soon." He announced, noting with sadistic pleasure the small tic in the Mirialan's face.
"Yes," Ekitc replied, cooling his emotions with difficulty, "I heard as much, my Master."
"I hope that this teaches you a lesson in efficiency, my apprentice," Feyd continued, laying on as much pressure as he dared at this particular moment and about this topic. His apprentice was an angry ex-Jedi, and was prone to the vilest of tempers at the best of times, which was also his greatest flaw, something that the Supreme Prophet had spent much of the past two decades quelling and tempering the younger Force Adept into a precision tool of the Dark Side.
There had been a great deal of progress, but there was still quite a ways to go, hence why Feyd had specifically removed his apprentice from the forefront of the war with the fallen Republic, as he could sense that the ex-Jedi had great potential, but was not nearly ready to face off against his old allies without losing control and wasting all that was himself in a battle he could not win.
"What is thy bidding, then, my Master?" the Mirialan asked, seeking to know why he had been previous summoned by the Supreme Prophet, and inclining his head respectfully in the face of the rebukes that Feyd had previous laid upon him.
"You are to come and learn as I extract the information that we desire from this rebel scum, and then you will lead the extermination effort on whatever crevasse that they've hidden themselves in when they realized we had caught up to them." Feyd explained, watching the pride and sneering smirk return to his apprentice's face. The former Jedi hopeful would have been far better off currently among the Marauders led by Lord Fury, but the Supreme Prophet hoped that his tutelage would instill in the younger Dark Adept a sense of decorum and patience for the work that they were about, sustaining and establishing a dynasty for their Emperor to rule for all time, while the Dark Side of the Force reigned supreme in the Galaxy for the first time in millennia.
"As you wish, my Master," the Mirialan replied, eagerly following as Feyd led the way into the sublevels of the Imperial Palace, where the rooms for their most 'esteemed' guests awaited their arrival.
Even as they approached the receiving room, Feyd could sense that Apprentice Qudru had already arrived with her charge, and from the tensing of his apprentice, the young male had sensed it as well.
The smirk that greeting them from the Iridonian sent dangerous shivers down the spine of the Supreme Prophet, not for the threat that the smile sent toward them, but the possibility of the cleanup that would be required if the two powerful apprentices finally came to the blows that they threatened every time they were in the same room together.
Zhar's apprentice gestured to the unconscious man on the ground before her, "You prisoner, my Lord," she stated flatly, as though it had been a simple task unworthy of her efforts. Mentally, the Supreme Prophet applauded her efforts to further infuriate his own apprentice, as the young man needed to understand that his position afforded him nothing in the eyes of those superior to him, such as the Emperor, if he was to ever ascend to the rank of Supreme Prophet himself.
Feyd had been lucky, and his own master had perished by other hands, rather than in a traditional Dark Side duel, as was tradition for those who followed in the footsteps of the Sith Lords, but such an advantage was not what Feyd desired for his own apprentice. The boon of power in taking the life of your predecessor was unrivaled by any other permanent affix to the strength of a Darksider, outside the use of powerful artifacts that were only afforded to the Emperor himself, and occasionally Darth Diábolis, the heir apparent of the whole Empire.
"Thank you, Apprentice Qudru," Feyd stated, gesturing for Ekitc to take custody of the body, "you are dismissed back to your master, with my gratitude, we shall take command of the investigation from this point on."
The female Iridonian bowed respectfully, giving the pair the room as she started for the Imperial hangar, and presumably her ship to depart as swiftly as possible. Not many desired to remain on the capitol for longer than needed, as the presence of the Emperor was, to the unfamiliar, quite imposing and somewhat intoxicating for the weak minded.
"And now, we find the truth," Feyd stated, watching as his apprentice strapped the man to a frame, which would keep him in an upright position and limit the amount of thrashing that the man would be able to do while the process of their interrogation commenced.
Using the Force, the Supreme Prophet reached into the man's mind, snapping him awake with a sudden jolt of pain and fear pulled from his memories. The man looked wildly around, unsure of his surroundings as his eyes cleared, until they focused on the dark robes of both Feyd and his apprentice.
Upon seeing who he was in the company of, the man's entire demeanor changed, stiffening bodily and narrowing his eyes defiantly at the pair of Dark Adepts. "Oh, I wouldn't bother trying to tell us you won't talk," Feyd stated simply, even as the man opened his mouth at them, "you will spill all the secrets you know about you rebel friends before you die, I can guarantee it…"
The man scowled, but the Supreme Prophet was already using what techniques that the Emperor had personally taught him, reaching into the man's psyche and pulling forth those things he feared the most, playing the horrid visions before the rebel's eyes. Idly he wondered if it was some grotesque monster devouring his family that he saw, or the Sith discovering his loved ones and friends.
Whatever it turned out to be, the man was resilient for a time, before the small nervous tics began behind his eyes. Feyd stopped, making sure that his apprentice was watching and reaching out with the Force to discover the secrets behind these techniques, even as Feyd drove deeply into the man's mind, straining to discover the answers as painfully as possible, inflicting pain throughout the nerve endings of the man as he went. "Where is your rebel base on Dromund Kaas, tell me now and the pain will stop."
The man was not too proud to not scream, which was good for him in the long run, as Feyd had seen what happened to those who tried to clamp their mouths shut, eventually the jaw would snap apart from the strain, severing the tongue or breaking teeth, and often the victim would simply bleed to death before answers were given, which led to awkward conversations with the Emperor, who had the means to transcend death and retrieve the information they sought from someone recently dead, however Feyd preferred to now show that weakness to his Lord any further if he could help it, and would rather that the man told them what they wanted while he yet lived.
Nevertheless, this man had strong willpower, and while he screamed at the mental torture, even to the point of blood vessels in his nasal cavity rupturing, and allowing a trickle of blood to leak from his nostrils, he still did not speak.
"I had hoped for a quick resolution to all this pain," Feyd lied, stepping back and raising his arms, "but clearly you are of a different opinion…"
He smiled for a moment, allowing the man to recover from the mental pain so that he could experience the physical torture of Dark Side Lightning first hand. The sharp crack of the bolt hitting the flesh of the fool who dared to conceal the information from them was only overcome by the renewed screaming as the man struggled in vain against his bonds.
Halting the barrage for but a moment, Feyd spoke his question once again, "Where are the rebels hiding on my world?"
A sharp spark of lightning shot between his hands, and the man flinched heavily, which told the Supreme Prophet that he was most thoroughly broken, and ready to confess all he knew. "Tell me, or I will slay you here and now in the slowest and most painful ways I can imagine…"
Turning away, blood, sweat and tears pouring from his face, the man started to speak, hesitating as his nerves flared from the overstimulation due to the lightning, rattling off slowly coordinates and location, indicating that there were several hold out shelters that the rebellion had been using across the planet, mainly situated out in the jungles and wild of the planet, but the nearest being on the very edge of New Kaas City, well within a few hours journey from the Palace itself.
"Good…" Feyd said, turning toward his apprentice and nodding for him to depart, and eliminate these lairs of their enemies, one by one and swiftly. Ekitc smirked widely, before turning and marching from the room, eager to find troopers that would follow him in exterminating the traitors and rebels that fought against them.
Meanwhile, Feyd turned back to his victim, and smirked once his apprentice left, "You friends will be joining us soon enough…" he said, allowing the fear to settle in for what the Supreme Prophet had in store for the man now, "but we are not even close to finished my friend, oh no, no, no…"
Seizing the man's head and forcing him to look the Supreme Prophet in the face, smirking at the fear that echoed in the man's eyes. "Who is the Operative known as Shade?"
High Inquisitor Gor-lak, chief of the Imperial Forces sent into the Outer Rim to hunt the remaining remnants of the Republic and the rebel allies, watched in irritation as the Commander known as Filius Flitwick slipped through his fingers yet again.
He had been hot in pursuit of all rebel activity in the south reaches of the Galaxy for the last two decades, persuading the Emperor to take the actions of the growing resistance movement more seriously, but alas the Imperial High Command would only give him the barest resources to hunt and slaughter the rebels wherever he located them.
It was absurd how quick the leadership of the Empire when from victorious conquerors to stalled and slothful dictators, lazily relishing in their past victories and ignoring the fact that their enemies had all but eluded them in the end. Very few were even willing to accept the notion that Jedi still lived somewhere in the Galaxy, aside from those who joined Gor-lak's ranks in the Inquisitors.
It was most unlike Emperor Veneficus to allow such corruption to fill the ranks of his non-Force wielding underlings, but the astute leader of their Galaxy-wide Empire was more than a touch aloof as of late, wandering the corners of the Galaxy with a small entourage of his most trusted, or else spending great deals of time in the Imperial Palace of Coruscant, formerly the Jedi Temple, deep in concentration on the mysteries of the Force and the greater implications that it had toward the future of their Empire, and the Galaxy as a whole.
Or so that was how the rumors went from the upper echelons of the Force Adept academies and the lower ranking Prophets of the Dark Side that Gor-lak was in contact with.
In the meantime, the ancient ork spirit, housed with the frame of an aging human body would continue his pursuit of the rebels and dissidents of the glorious Empire, so that he could in his immortal lifetime continue to watch and see how these Sith Lords would continue to rule the Galaxy that they had so thoroughly dominated.
Although his work was constantly frustrated by the network of spies and moles within the populace of the Empire that were feeding the resistance with information to slip away when the Inquisitorial Fleet was closing in on them. Luckily, Supreme Prophet Feyd was working quite closely with Gor-lak, seeking out the main contingent of these rebels, starting from the capital of Dromund Kaas, and the key linchpin in their network, the mysterious agent only known by the codename Shade.
The person or persons unknown had been the proverbial thorn in the Empires side for almost a decade, wherein the Rebellion had surge in activity, breaking in and raiding various locations across the Galaxy-wide Empire, gathering materials to fuel their resistance violently, and making off back to their hidden base.
While the Supreme Prophet sought to hunt down the elusive operative, Gor-lak had taken it upon himself to find the location of the rebel base, or multiple bases if the case was that, and eliminate it. The Ork had a deep suspicion that the leadership of these rebels was more or less hidden in a singular location, behind their surprisingly powerful human magics, and perhaps in collusion with the missing Jedi from over two decades ago.
The hunt had grown slowly more desperate over the years, as Gor-lak was well aware that all the time that these escaped Jedi had to grow and train was dangerous to the Empire, as a new wave of Jedi Knights would challenge their Sith leaders to the very core of their beliefs, and shake those worlds that had once been part of the Republic.
The Jedi had fallen from their position of grandeur, to be sure, but they still existed as a symbol of the Republic that once was, a thought that the Empire and its many servants had worked tireless to erase from the minds of the citizens, but should the Jedi and their allies rise again, the flame of remember ace could spread to all those of the Galactic Core, sparking a war that could last for generations, if not tear the entire Galaxy apart in the fires that the Eternal Emperor would unleash upon them in his anger and rage.
That would be disastrous for the entirety of the Empire, and all that Gor-lak hoped to witness and build, so he would continue his labor, searching for the rebels and hounding them until at last he found their hiding place, and bring their leaders in chains before the Eternal Throne, where he would watch in sinister delight as the Emperor rewarded him with the visual and quite verbose deaths of those foes, and perhaps the acknowledgement that the Ork was an invaluable member of the hierarchy of the new Galactic Order. Would he ascend to a reigning position with the Empire, unlikely, but Gor-lak was a patient one. In time he too would have dominion and power.