Ask It's Not Edgy

Discussion in 'Deep Core and Core Worlds' started by Varyn Rask, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Varyn Rask

    Varyn Rask Character

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    Stalking people was generally looked down upon because it meant that there was some intent to harm or cause negative actions toward someone else. Stalking someone because you were a serial killer or sexual predator or... assassin. Fine, so Varyn had made a living out of stalking people often with the intent to harm, but today was a little bit different.

    Sergei Petrov was a name that had bubbled to the surface through various back channels, and Varyn's interest had been piqued. Varyn was a man who had ambitions, and if word had it correctly, so did Sergei. Whether those ambitions were compatible still remained to be seen, but Varyn was going to find out.

    He had been taking long walks with the man (though Varyn was the only one aware of it, hence the stalking), and waited until the pair came to a crosswalk before walking up next to him. Though his lightsaber was hidden away and he had no sword at his belt, Varyn was still in his Sith robes. They weren't enough to earn much of a double glance, and Varyn came to a stop near the other man.

    Sergei? he asked, before turning his head to look at the man. Having a random stranger walk up to you and say your name on a sidewalk screamed edgy, but it was all Varyn knew.

    I'd like to discuss a proposal with you, he said before beginning to walk toward a small caf shop and ordering himself a drink from the counter. He didn't know if the man would follow, but maybe he would have at least caught his curiosity. @Deviant
     
  2. Sergei Petrov

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    ergei had been walking back to his personal penthouse after a clandestine meeting with one of his agents. As an Imperial Director and the appointed governor of his own planet, the man had more than his own share of subordinates and connections. Especially as a man of ambition, he always kept an eye out for rivals or rising threats. It was not only his duty and responsibility, but something out of his own interests. While the death of the Empress lost him much needed support, it also left him an opening. A chance to really shine.

    For all his spies and agents, his eyes were always ahead. Never behind. Never seeing the mysterious robed man who decided to stalk him like he was some animal. Although he had his suspicions, no matter how often he looked around, he failed to see the obvious, even when it was right in front of his face. It was not until robed Sith, distantly familiar, called him by his name. He tilted his head, surprised yet prepared. The stranger was the embodiment of edge.

    Um, do I know you?” He asked, less out of courtesy or curiosity and more out of sarcasm. Although he was not dressed openly in his Imperial uniform, anyone who would have recognized him as a Director would know better than to stop him in the middle of the street. Not that it mattered. Sergei decided to ignore the other man and in his head, thought it was best to walk away. There were more important matters to do than to sign autographs or exchange pleasantries with a stranger.

    Except, it wasn’t pleasantries. He felt a pull to the stranger, and they were neither looking for smalltalk. Diving straight to the point and wanting to make a proposal, Sergei could not help but be curious. Enough to follow him into the small shop. It was public enough for the Imperial to believe it was no trap or attempt at assassination. Maybe the supposed Sith was looking for a friend. Or a job.

    Sergei reached the counter and likewise ordered a drink. After a pause, he turned and asked, “All right. Who are you and what do you want?” He could be straight to the point too, if he wanted.

    @Phoenix
     
  3. Varyn Rask

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    Varyn moved toward the corner of the shop, picking a table far away from anyone else as he sipped at his caf. It was a soft roast with some sweeteners added because even edgy people could enjoy some sweetness in their drinks. There was a faint snicker as he sipped his drink and Sergei asked him what he wanted.

    And here I thought you IR were supposed to be more diplomatic than that, he said. It was indicative enough that he wasn't a member of the IR himself, but he also knew that he had been in the Republica, and he certainly lacked diplomacy and subtlety himself. He figured he probably shouldn't antagonize the other man any more though and just get to the business at hand.

    Everything I've heard about you is that you're an ambitious one, so I want to know where you see yourself in 10 years, he said. It sounded like one of those annoying interview questions that were astronomically stupid, but in this case, Varyn was looking for something specific. He wanted to know where he saw the two Empires, which side he wanted to be on, and what he wanted to accomplish.

    Or perhaps he would simply tell Varyn to kriff off, in which case, Varyn would do just that. He hoped for an ally, but he knew that there was as much risk as gain from this. @Deviant
     
  4. Sergei Petrov

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    ho was this man? Sergei had no idea. The stranger barely answered the him, instead taking their drink and carefully stirring a sweetener into the coffee. The Imperial felt obligated to follow him and sat on the opposite side of the booth, but watched him with growing curiosity. And agitation.

    He believed the other man was a Sith but he knew little about him, who he worked for, what he was planning to do. He was here looking for answers but why should Sergei give any if he didn’t know where the answers would go, or what they would mean? The stranger was asking for too much.

    I can be diplomatic when I want to be.” He shot back and took a sip from his drink. Dark roast, black, nothing sweet about it. Perhaps the two shared a similar sense of edge, even if the other man was practically dressed for it. Sergei leaned back into his seat. “But what makes you think I should tell you where I hope to go and what I plan to do? You never answered my first question. I still have no idea who the hell you are.

    For all the Imperial knew, he was a spy. A subordinate to some other rival or nemesis of his in the Empire. He didn’t doubt the thought. There were a number of people trying to undermine the Director since his promotion and subtle attempts to rise in the ranks. It was why he was wary. It was why he wanted to know what the man was truly looking to gain out of this conversation other than vital intelligence that could be used against him.

    You can either tell me, or this conversation is over.” Less of a threat, more of a warning. Sergei was not going to sit around and be lured into whatever this edge lord wanted. The Imperial Director didn’t just talk with any random stranger on the street for no reason.

    @Phoenix
     
  5. Varyn Rask

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    Well it didn't seem that Sergei liked people all that much. Or at least he didn't like Varyn. He gave an unamused look to the other man as he made his demands and threatened to storm off.

    Let's not get hysterical, he said, leaving the comment that would intentionally get under the man's skin. You asked me two questions, I just started with the second, he pointed out. It wasn't that he was trying to avoid telling the man because he didn't really have anything to lose by telling him. Sure, he was on an Imperial Repubilca world, but by the time they'd managed to actually lock down the area, Varyn would have been long gone. Assassination and avoiding people were his business.

    I'm Varyn Rask, he said, though he didn't think the statement would mean much to the other man. It was possible, but unlikely that Sergei would have known his name. He was a brand new Sith Lord and had yet to make a name for himself, but that was who he was. I'm willing to guess you've already figured out I'm a Sith, and not for the Imperial Republica, he said, and he put it out there.

    But you can't really trust what I just told you, he pointed out. If he suspected this to be some sort of test there would be no proof otherwise. But are you satisfied now? he asked with just the faintest hint of impatience at the man's prior outburst. @Deviant
     
  6. Sergei Petrov

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    ergei scoffed. A scowl set upon his lips. “Hysterical? I’ve been nothing but reasonable. I don’t always stop to engage in smalltalk with strangers dressed like they just killed a man. Or are about to.” His eyes hardened. It went without saying he was suspicious of the other man. Natural, given how nobody could trust anybody these days. Elix, Lyanna? Gone. Imperial Hutta? Plunged into chaos. Emperor Vrael? Carving up Imperial territory for his own. The past year was full of surprises, and the Imperial Director was done dealing with it.

    While his one hand thumbed around the cusp of his drink, the other drifted down to his waist. A blaster was holstered there just in case the Sith tried to pull something funny. They may be in a public establishment but if what the man told him was true, it was likely he didn’t care. Of course, Sergei made every effort to avoid suspicion and maintained a composed, nonchalant attitude so as not to alert the man into action. Little did he know how futile that was.

    Varyn Rask? Who?” He said, already lost. His eyebrows creased together. The name was distantly familiar but there was no real memory of it. Not that his name mattered. The fact he was not with the Republica was what really caught his attention. He should have noticed by how dark and edgy he dressed, unlike most Acolytes in the Empire, but he didn’t. Now, he did.

    You’re with Vrael?” He said, almost at a hushed whisper. While his superiors would have immediately leapt into action or turned the discussion into a duel to the death, Sergei was deadpan. In fact, he sipped his drink, relaxed his shoulders and leaned forward. Why? Because it was what he wanted. The opportunity to speak with a contact from the Old Empire.

    It was inevitable. The Imperial Republica was fated to fall against the rebelling Sith, and if Sergei wanted to maintain his position of power, he needed a way to cash in. The man in front of him could very well be that opening. So, he raised a brow and nodded. “All right. I’m satisfied. And interested.

    But what do you really want? I’m sure you’re not here just to ask me about my career path. As if it hasn’t been clear enough, especially if you know who I already am. And what I’m capable of.

    @Phoenix
     
  7. Varyn Rask

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    The hand dipping below the table didn't go unnoticed by Varyn who immediately bent the Force to himself, sucking it into himself in such a way that even the hair on the back of Segei's neck would stand on end. It was the rustle of the Dark Side, and it was terrifying. His saber hilt snapped into his own hand under the table in an instant but remained off.

    You don't want to do that, he said, head shaking ever so slightly and his face and voice growing deadly serious. He wasn't going to be shot under the table, and if he had to strike first, he'd do it. That wasn't why he'd come here, but he'd done things that were more vicious before.

    Assuming Sergei's hand returned from his blaster, he would continue and put away his own weapon. If not... well, things would get ugly.

    But hopefully, things wouldn't get ugly. You insisted on knowing who I was, he said with a shrug as Sergei asked "who." Names weren't worth much in this galaxy, but he was astute enough to pick up on Vrael. That was a name everyone knew, and Varyn nodded in confirmation.

    There was one thing that the two of them seemed to agree on: small talk may not have been the best thing for these two. The Imperial Republica is on its way down, he said bluntly. Sergei was perceptive enough to have figured that out already, and Varyn didn't even present it as opinion at this point. I want to know what your plan is for when that happens, he said. Are you going to ride the rollercoaster down with it? @Deviant
     
  8. Sergei Petrov

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    old air ran down the back of his neck. Hair-raising, spine-tingling. Although the Director could not feel or understand the Dark Side, the invisible power coalescing around the stranger, haunting the air around him, was impossible to ignore. It was like a weight on his shoulders, hands around his neck, prepared to squeeze if he made the wrong move. It went without saying that Sergei had relaxed his hand from his weapon and far from it. Whoever he was dealing with, they were the real deal. That much was certain.

    The revelation that he worked below, or even alongside, Emperor Vrael also confirmed his thoughts. Varyn Rask was no ordinary stranger, and every word he said was every bit right. The Republica was on the verge of collapse. Nothing could change that now. No matter how hard his superiors scrambled about, the rule of the Sith was inevitable. They had yet to even find a new Emperor to replace the previous two lost. The dynasty seemed to have reached its end— or with Vrael, a new beginning.

    Alright, alright.” He said, both hands back in the open for the Sith to see. However, the steely look in his eyes never once faded. Varyn might have been the one in control of the situation but that didn’t mean Sergei was going to sulk and follow in line. It just wasn’t the way he was. Then again, it didn’t mean he was going to resist the man’s questions any longer. If he was really with Vrael, then the Director would show who he was with too:

    My plan is to survive and thrive. Like anyone else, I’m sure.” He was honest, even without the Force, Varyn would know. “I don’t fight for lost causes. I know when to jump ship, and this ship is sinking fast.” He leaned forward, certain nobody but the lone Sith was listening. “Is that why you’re here? Are you looking to pick up a few renegades?” He craned his back into the seat. “Or are you trying to get a foothold in the heart of an Empire you’re struggling to crack open?

    @Phoenix
     
  9. Varyn Rask

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    There was a slight sense of relief that passed over the room as the hostilities dissipated... or at least took a back seat. The Force was a powerful tool, and its influence could often be felt even to "regular' people. There were many Sith who felt that anyone who lacked the Force was little better than an insect or an animal, but Varyn had never been quite sure of that. It ran contrary to all of his teaching as a Venatori, but then, so did some of his more recent "indulgences" in the Dark Side. He told himself it was a necessary tool to advance his ends, but he wondered how many other people who'd fallen had told themselves the same.

    Varyn had the faintest smirk as he listened to the Imperial describe his ambition. It was a smile because he was glad he'd not misjudged or wasted his time. If the other man rejected any offer now, it would be outside of what Varyn could have naturally predicted. Or at least that's what he told himself.

    I'm glad to hear that, he said. He was also glad to hear that Petrov wasn't one of those fools who still thought the IR had a chance. They were perhaps the most intolerable simply because of their blindness. Even as pawns, blind people were generally worthless.

    I'm not sure the two are mutually exclusive, he said honestly. He had no reason to lie to the man about what he had planned. Of course he wouldn't lay out every detail, but he wouldn't have sought him out if all he planned to do was lie. I have a plan to crack the IR wide open already, he said, and it could and would go forward without Petrov, but that didn't mean that the plan couldn't use a man like him at all.

    And when all the dust settles, I'm going to be at the top of the ladder. I've learned it pays to have allies when you're at the top..., ...and it pays to be allies with the people at the top, he didn't bother adding.

    The bottom line was that they could both benefit from an arrangement, which was what all good alliances were built on. It was an odd invitation primarily because of how vague it was, but one worth considering. The scratching of the backs had many potential payoffs for all involved. If you need time to think about it... he didn't finish the sentence. The other man knew what he meant, and he would either take him up on it or decline. @Deviant
     
  10. Sergei Petrov

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    row raised, Sergei watched and listened to the other man with caution, interest and regard. He knew the stranger, Varyn, was a lot more powerful than most Sith he had met. He was no Acolyte. If he represented the Old Empire, even Emperor Vrael, and spoke with confidence about cracking open the Imperial Republica, than the Director was sure he was dealing with someone important. Not a messenger. Someone more, and already, Sergei made sure he tread the conversation carefully.

    The man with the plan.” He said, almost mockingly, but he took the man seriously. Whatever scheme he had hidden up his sleeve, it was big. Especially if it meant uprooting the status quo of the Empire and uniting the Sith as it was in the old days. The Imperial wanted to be part of that. If it lead to a new position of power, likewise in the upper rungs of Sith society or especially the Imperial Navy, then he was not only all ears but ready for all hands on deck.

    This Varyn Rask— he would remember that name, and know it to be the man who salvaged the Empire. Sergei held great hopes for him, and slowly believed he would stand at the top of the Deep Core, as it was for the old Emperors of the past. And if ambition and precedence said anything, the Director wanted to stand beside him.

    I don’t need time to think.” He said and raised a hand, knowing his answer. “We’ve only just met. You haven’t told me much. I have no idea what your plan is or what you’re really aiming for.” He laid out every reason why he shouldn’t trust the man. “But there’s something about you. I don’t know what it is, but I just do.” He shrugged. “And I know this Empire is crumbling. It’s impossible to ignore. And I’m not looking to drown with anyone else in this sinking ship.

    Whatever it is you have planned, count me in.

    @Phoenix
     
  11. Varyn Rask

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    Varyn listened to what the man said. He was surprised he was interested so quickly. It almost felt too easy, and that had Varyn's alarms up. The entire process of working up into power had been met with clawing and agonizing scraping. He had been on the losing side of battles, outnumbered, outgunned, and he sensed more of it was coming in the future. Just to survive, he realized he was going to have to do terrible things to a lot of people. He wondered if he should be suspicious - naturally he was - but he decided to accept the small win for what it was.

    A slight smile pulled at the corner of his lips before it was gone as quickly as it had come. I'm glad to hear that, he said. It seemed that he had been right about the man and his ambitions. It was a good pick, and he wondered how things would unfold. What would this man do in the future and how would it play into the evolution of the Empire? Only the Force could tell, and it would with time.

    There's going to be shifts in the coming weeks, he said, not giving it away too much. And then we'll need to move against the terrorists, he said before stopping. It was as if he'd caught himself and waved a hand. But I'm getting ahead of myself. When the shifts happen, I'm hoping I can count on you to keep others in line, he said. Not everyone was going to be happy about the changes, but he thought most people would.

    Speaking of which, how is the Republica doing? he asked. There were bound to be many people who were ready for a change, but he was more curious about who was still clutching to the idea of another Drast successor. Those were the people who needed to be worried about. Something told him Sergei wasn't the type to worry about such trivialities. @Deviant
     
  12. Sergei Petrov

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    thers— the Imperial Director knew who Varyn was talking about. Although Sergei was not in the position to streamline a merger between the Republica and the Old Empire, he was still in a position of worth to the Sith. He had subordinates under his command. He was in control of his own world. He maintained influence that could rival even Saorise, the woman responsible of the restoration of Kuat and her own noble house. What Varyn wanted was Sergei to exert that influence, to keep order when the shifts happened. Without question, he was ready to do whatever was needed.

    I’ll do whatever I can.” He said, clear and concise. Perhaps vague, but Varyn would know better. Sergei may have been a man of ambition but he knew enough he could never rival the Sith in terms of raw strength and power. The same applied to the rest of the Old Empire. If he couldn’t beat them, then he would at least join them. With that very discussion now behind them, they could get into the real details. The other heart of the matter— back to the others.

    I’m sure you already know the gist.” He responded, not doubting for a second that the Sith Lord didn’t need the Director for a quick refresher. Not that it stopped him from answering regardless. “The Republica is on the brink. We—“ A pause for correction. “they have yet to find a successor. The loss of two Emperors in less than year? It’s thrown everyone for a loop.” He shrugged. “Most share the same sentiment: we need a real Emperor. Vrael is the only one left, so the answer’s clear. My agents have not informed me of anyone looking to take the reins themselves.

    There is Saorise, obviously. Her efforts on Kuat have gained her much coveted attention in the Core. A possible rival.” He took a sip from his drink. “But I have a feeling you’ve already reached out to her, haven’t you?” He raised a brow, curious, but willing to accept a vague response. Regardless, he would continue, “Either way, according to my agents and other reports, most of the Empire has been focused elsewhere rather than confronting the reality of the situation.

    He chuckled. “Ransacking Tython— a planet left dead for five hundred years.” The world was strategically worthless, and nothing more than an already dead symbol to the Jedi. “Establishing a base on Prakith, also abandoned for centuries.” It was a fortress world with potential, but possessed no real value to the war effort. “Oh, and the same thing on a different planet, but even farther.” Ilum was cold and desolate and in the middle of nowhere. What was the point?

    Setting his drink down, he looked to Varyn. “I imagine the Old Empire is faring better?

    @Phoenix
     
  13. Varyn Rask

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    Varyn listeend to his evaluation with interest. Much of it he knew - particularly the parts about the sentiment in the Republica - but there were bits he didn't know as well, particularly as they pertained to measurable IR activity. Operations he'd not heard of personally, and though he wasn't sure any of them would be directly useful, he filed them away.

    Ah, so he'd guessed about Saorise. Either the man was far more connected than Varyn had at first given him credit for, or he was smart enough to throw a piece of information at the wall and see if it stuck. Varyn didn't directly answer, instead his mouth pulled up into a partial grin that wasn't entirely clear if it was a "yes" or merely the Sith finding it amusing that he had thrown out the thought.

    The comments about there being no good candidates struck Varyn as interesting because it was very telling. The Imperial Republica was accepting Vrael because what other options were there? It opened other doors, didn't it?

    The Old Empire is doing better, he nodded in agreement. They had some difficult times, but managed to get themselves together more in recent days. We managed to capture a Jedi on Nar Shaddaa who gave up multiple bases of the terrorists. Operations are being prepared to bring the fight to the enemy, he said. Both would have been new revelations.

    So feel free to spread the word if there are people interested in getting a little bit of revenge, he said. Varyn had become less and less interested in factional boundaries - not that he had ever held to them firmly - and he would take any IR or Sith who wanted to join. There were real threats in the galaxy.

    And what do you think of the Dark Lord? he asked, bringing his thoughts back around to the future Emperor. Sergei would get the impression that regardless of his evaluation of the man, Varyn had no interest in lashing out. @Deviant
     
  14. Sergei Petrov

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    edi. Sergei couldn’t believe what he was hearing. The ancient Jedi Order, considered long dead and extinct, had revealed themselves in the attacks on Corellia. The Director assumed they were nothing more than a minor pestilence, hardly worth attention, still barely on the brink. However, realizing there was even more out there, no less on Nar Shaddaa, made intriguing news. Not only that, but the Sith managed to capture one alive and squeezed enough information out to expose the rest. Smooth, clean and effective. The Republica could have never managed the same.

    So, this rebel pestilence goes deeper than I thought.” He crossed his arms, hiding his uncertainty, his interest piqued. “I’ve fought radicals on worlds before. I know what they’re capable of. Like rabid animals, when they’re cornered, they will lash out.” He leaned forward. “Of course, the only way to beat them is to rip them out root and stem. Whatever bases you’ve found, I doubt they may be the only ones left. They will just continue drilling deeper the farther we dig.” A smug grin played across his lips. “Until they hit rock bottom.

    Relaxing into the booth again, he added, “Either way, if you ever find more, I’m here to help, and I’m sure a few others will be too.” His thoughts reflected back to Sith Acolytes or Imperial Agents. The Empires may be currently divided, but they would be united against the threat of the Jedi. They could not risk the restoration of the Old Republic and the weak bureaucracy and corruption it brought. Neither could Sergei afford to lose the position he had already built up so quickly in such a short time.

    He wondered if Emperor Vrael could handle the threat himself, but the Director had his doubts. Anyone with their right mind would. He was the only option left, but was he the best one? There was no telling. Not that Sergei cared much for the man as long as he received due payment and reward for defection and loyalty to the Sith. With a shrug, he answered truthfully, “There’s not much to think. He’s better than the last two on my end. He proved his skill by Kaggath.

    Perhaps is more brutish than manipulative, but I don’t care as long as he gets the job done.” Another sip from his drink, nearly empty. A curious thought floated by. “What about you, Varyn? What do you think of your Dark Lord?” Of course, Sergei did not except the whole truth, but wondered if the Sith was really so loyal to his Emperor, especially given his age and nature.

    @Phoenix
     
  15. Varyn Rask

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    It seemed he had caught the man's attention with that revelation, and why shouldn't he have? The Sith had wiped - or at least thought they wiped - the Jedi completely out of the galaxy. In many ways it was an amazing feat, and the fact that they were now back was enough to catch the attention of anyone of name in the Empire.

    He nodded at what Sergei said about the Dark Lord. He liked to play his cards close to the vest, but he also could feel the shift in the conversation. The two of them were on the same side now... more or less.

    I can't say I disagree with you, he said. I'm not sure someone couldn't do better, he said. It was about as plain as he was going to get, but Sergei would understand. And he would be able to tell what he was getting at. If I can garner enough support... he shrugged. It wasn't really a matter of if but when for him. He was determined, and he would have the means eventually.

    But unity will let us deal with the Jedi. If the Jedi are gone, maybe the rebels will be too, he said, though it was a guess. It was hard to say whether or not that would ring true, but he could hope. @Deviant
     
  16. Sergei Petrov

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    ebels, Jedi, Republica. It was time for the past to die. Sergei saw and believed as such. He was raised to devote his life to the Republica. He made a vow before Empress Lyanna to fight for the cause. But there was no more cause to fight for, no Empress to swear upon, no dynasty to salvage. Only the Sith, the real Empire and the Dark Lord at its head. Whether that meant Emperor Vrael or a future contender, the Imperial Director neither knew or cared. His loyalty now laid with the Sith Lord and an ambition he knew would go far.

    Sergei knew what Varyn was getting at and didn’t push further. His question was answered, and for the most part, their little discussion was nearing its end. The Sith Lord had done his job. In fact, both men got what they were looking for: an opening. The Director especially. This was his chance to prove his worth directly to the new Emperor, enough to gain the position he always wanted. Grand Admiral, or Grand Moff, or Supreme Commander. So many options, so many titles and so much to prove.

    It went without saying Sergei was excited to see what was in store for him and the Empire in later days.

    The rebels have been a minor nuisance since Andraste and nothing more. Only reason they’ve gained any feeling of traction is because of the Jedi.” It was the truth. Without the Jedi, there was no hope, and without hope, there was no rebellion. “When they’re out of the picture, the Empire can finally focus on real issues. Real problems.” The implication was clear. Their makeshift alliance was set in stone, and Sergei saw no more reason to stay, especially with an empty cup.

    If that is all, then I will take my leave.” He shifted and stepped out of his seat. “If you want to talk again, I’m sure you know where to find me.” The man tilted his head and winked. Not as a flirt, but a sign that he understood Varyn had been following him. How else could he have so conveniently found him, randomly on the street, coincidentally on his way home? Sergei wasn’t that dumb.

    Even then, he didn’t doubt the other man already stashed his personal contact information. Most edgy Sith infiltrators and assassins always seemed to figure it out. The Director had been in the Empire long enough to know that much.

    @Phoenix