Ask [Mugaar] One Step at a Time

Malou D'Amaris

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One step at a time. That's what she'd told herself. The first step was getting herself off of Serenno, and now the next was actually doing something. That something was far from the North, far from Avillion, far from Exegol, and far from anything that had anything to do with her late master. She had flown down back to the South with the intent to do something, and today that something would be Mugaar.

There was nothing all that special about the planet other than its location on the Corellian Trade Spinee hyper route. Still, it was in the area of space she intended to take for the Sith, so with a bit of help, maybe that's what would go down.

Their approach was going to be more on the subtle side. It was an old tradition, but the Mugaarian's had a tradition similar to the Sith Aura'kesh. If you could best someone in combat, you could take their spot, but it would be a bit more complicated than that for the two offworlders. She'd gone on a mission once before with Vizim, but that had been two, nearly three years ago. She thought he'd be suited to sneaking their way into the palace.

Their ship landed a bit outside the capital, and Malou exited with a hood thrown up over her head. She had both her lightsabers tucked underneath the robes.

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Vizim

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Vizim had never even heard of Mugaar before, but orders had come down from on high within the ISB, and Vizim had responded accordingly. Moving out to the planet, he had occupied his time in hyperspace with reading up on his target. The mission briefing sounded simple on the surface, but this kind of job was rarely simple.

His partner was someone he hadn't seen in some time. If they'd added Xio to the mix it'd be just like old times, but she wasn't actually part of the Sith and hadn't been brought in for this particular job.

The Hunter set down on a landing pad at the outskirts of the city, and Vizim headed out to meet his partner in this particular operation. The location they were to meet at was a seedy hotel room where they could discuss the plan for this operation.

Paid in credit, Vizim made his way to the room and entered, waiting for her arrival and double checking the intel on his datapad.

As she walked in, he waited for her to close the door before jumping straight into business.

Sneaking in and assassinating the royals should be fairly easy if we don't care about collateral damage. If we do that, though, I have my doubts the locals would accept us as their new overlords, he said.

I wonder if it'd be better for us to cut a deal with his successor and frame it so that it looks like they did it. A puppet ruler. Means fewer casualties on the way in, though, and a harder job overall, he said.
 

Malou D'Amaris

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It was a little bit of walking to get to the hotel room from where she'd landed, but it didn't take her all too long. It didn't take Vizim all that long to get straight to things either. As soon as she pulled the door shut behind her, he got right into it. His plan was different than the one she'd initially brainstormed, but that was for the better. His reasoning made perfect sense.

"The second route might be for the best," she began shortly after he finished. "Might be more effort now, but better in the long run." If the Mugaarians were upset about the change in rule but otherwise accepted that it was a result of tradition, they would, at worst, grumble about it and move on. If their ruler's throne was suddenly usurped by foreigners, they would be more likely to create resistance.

"Do we know who the King's successor is?" From what she'd gathered and been briefed on, the Mugaarian king wasn't old, but he was definitely aging. He had exactly two daughters and two sons, but she wasn't sure of the order of their birth or whether they followed a primogeniture system of succession.

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Vizim

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Vizim gave a throaty hum as he thought about what she asked. He hadn't actually sorted who they would pick and it made him wonder if they needed to postpone the operation. Some people would say "the Force would guide them" but he preferred something a bit more concrete. Instinct and intuition were fine, but only after planning and preparation fell short.

If I understand the briefing correctly, whoever we pick to say that they killed the king is next, he said with a shrug. And that probably means whoever we think either has the most ambition or the least problem with us helping them, he said. Picking someone with ambition could end up backfiring with dissent, but might mean less babysitting in the long run. But picking someone more malleable could end up requiring a different kind of oversight.

He pulled up the display of the four children, mulling them over and then promptly realizing she wasn't seeing any of this.

He pressed on anyway, finally selecting one of the sons. The second son, specifically. I think we should approach the second son. Seems like he's always trying to distinguish himself to the point he might even have a grudge against his older brother and father, he said. He also knew it was a risk that they might just approach him and he might turn them down simply out of pride. There was no way to tell for sure.

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Malou D'Amaris

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"Alright, sounds good to me." The second born of nobility discontent with his placement in the family ranking? That wasn't a familiar story to Malou at all. She definitely didn't harbor similar feelings against her older brother and father, either. "I think I'll be able to work with that just fine. That's a story I've heard a hundred times on Serenno."

The Miralukan paused for a few moments, then spoke up again. "How do you think we get in contact with him? Surprise him?" She couldn't imagine it would be difficult to sneak up on him and present the opportunity, but that might freak him out.

On the other hand, they could try to set up a time to speak with him. She didn't really want to go through that or wait for the time. For this, she would leave it up to Vizim again. He seemed to know what he was doing.

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Vizim

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Vizim mostly kept to himself within the Sith, and although he was familiar with who Malou was, his actual knowledge of her background was not particularly well known to him. When she mentioned she had experience with this sort of thing, it was a rather pleasant surprise. Maybe things would go a bit more smoothly after all.

Good, he said with a nod. I figured we'd kill two birds with one stone, he went on to explain the thought process behind his proposal. It wasn't to say that it was foolproof or that it would even work, but it seemed like the best option to him... at least at first.

Sneak into the place at night, approach him and assassinate the king all in one fell swoop, he said. He frowned and leaned back against the wall, a finger tapping on his crossed arm.

Hm, he said quietly, thinking about their predicament and turning it over in his head before speaking up again a moment later. If we approach him first, though, in some other setting we might be able to get him to give us access to the palace, he said.

Let's try that. It means we'll need to track his movements. Speak to him when an opportunity presents itself. Or just straight up kidnap him. People tend to be more open to plans at the end of a blaster, he said, though that was a last resort. They would prefer a willing ally to an unwilling one, after all.

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Malou D'Amaris

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"I might be able to use my name to arrange a meeting," she suggested. "The D'Amaris shouldn't be unheard of in royal ears." Especially since her family did a lot of interplanetary trade, he might agree to meet with them on speculation alone. Wessex would— no. Malou interrupted the thought. She needed to focus, not mope.

With a shrug, she would add, "If that doesn't work, we can just kidnap him. Might as well try the less antagonizing route first." It would be harder to do it the other way around.

However: "It might take too long to arrange a meeting..." As Vizim said, it would probably be better to just find him and take the opportunity to talk to him. That didn't mean she couldn't take advantage of her nobility though. The Miralukan shook her head and turned her body towards the door.

"Yeah, no, let's just find him first like you said." They'd need to head out now if they wanted to make it to the wealthier parts of the city before noon.

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Vizim

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Hm, aight, she said with a shrug. He wasn't opposed to using her name. In fact, if it had enough pull to get them a meeting then this might be easier than expected.

It seemed like she changed her mind after a moment however and he shrugged again. Aright, he said. He wasn't particularly picky about what plan they used as long as it worked and when things went badly they were both competent enough to deal with the situation.

He checked his pistol one last time before slipping his coat forward to cover the weapons he carried. Let's get going, he said, heading outside. The trip to the wealthier districts didn't take them long by cab ride, and that meant they were near enough to start scoping out the palace.

This place is going to be a tough entry, he said, looking at it through the gates.

Can you even tell that? How does this work with you being blind? he decided to just ask directly rather than tiptoe around the issue. Life was too short and their business was too serious for something like that.

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Malou D'Amaris

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Malou looked at the gates with a slight frown. Was there any reason they couldn't hop over out of sight? Speaking of sight...

"I see everything around me touched by the Force," she answered simply. "I can't see digital screens or flat details like writing, but I can see holograms." It was significantly more complicated than that, but she wasn't in the mood for a lecture.

There were several pedestrians around, minding their own business for the most part. They definitely wouldn't be able to enter here, unless someone were to come and let them in. Maybe there were side gates with guards to be persuaded or disposed of.

"Let's go see if we can find a side entrance," she suggested as she began walking down past the walls. If they were lucky, they might be able to find delivery cars to smuggle themselves in on.

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Vizim

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Hm, he replied to her explanation. It made some amount of sense, though it only answered about half of his questions. Oh well, he would get by without knowing for now, and he knew that she at least had an idea of what he was looking at.

Not much for talking about it, then? Or just sick of the question? he asked, deciding that waling around the building was just that: a walk around the building. His eyes continued to flash back in the direction of the building, looking for weaknesses in the defenses.

Eventually, they came to the back entrance where only two guards stood watch.

That might be our way in, but we should probably wait until we've made contact. Speaking of which, this looks like the entrance they'd come out. Might be best to just sit here and wait, he said. There was a bit of a desire to just go stab the guards and get inside, but he knew that wasn't the best option available to them.

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Malou D'Amaris

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"More of the latter," she answered. Plus, Malou had never been the most talkative in general. "It's difficult to explain." From what she understood, her Sight was different from the Sight others could learn.

The guards at the gate gave them both a glance each, then went back to staring straight ahead. Waiting was the game it seemed, but luckily for them, they didn't have to stan around for all that long. Within fifteen minutes there was a bit of commotion from behind the gates. The guards straightened up their backs and moved to attention as a man who looked to be in his twenties approached. His clothes, his gait, and the reverence shown to him by the guards made it all too obvious that this was one of the members of the royal family. It could very well be one of the sons, but Malou wasn't familiar with how he looked.

Hopefully, Vizim would know. The man didn't take long to notice the two of them loitering about.

"Can I help you?" Though it wasn't necessary irritating, the man didn't seem pleased to see them standing there.

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Vizim

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He grunted at her again as she replied that she was just tired of the question. He didn't linger on it much longer before moving back to the mission, deciding that pressing to find out about others wasn't why he was here anyway.

As the guard asked if he could help them, Vizim put on his best "surprised" face as if a tourist caught off guard. He didn't really play that part very well, but it would probably be passable. No one really expected an assassin to just be standing there.

My friend here is a big fan of the royal family. Getting to see the prince even in passing was too much for her to pass up, he said, trying to feign excitement. It also cued Malou in to the fact that this was the man they were looking for.

Sorry, we'll move along, officer, he said, raising his hands in surrender and starting to move. He headed off down the street, grabbing one of the rental speeders before hopping inside and waiting for Malou to join him. Actually following a prince wouldn't be easy, but at a decent distance it might be manageable... maybe.

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Malou D'Amaris

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"So that was him?" Malou asked as she slid inside the rental speeder next to Vizim. Between the way he dressed and the way he held and conducted himself, she wasn't surprised. Nobility, even those trying to blend into the crowd, always had this certain act about them that Malou swore she could pick up on like it was nothing. She usually used it to avoid people like that.

"Stay as far back as you need. I can keep track of him as long as he's outside." She'd done this once before on Corsin when she and Ashla tracked down a force-sensitive kid that'd tried to pickpocket Ashla in a café. This should be a lot easier than that was, especially since they would be tracking a vehicle, and Malou could just sit and look out for him.

While the two trailed the prince, Malou would keep a close watch on the prince's location. Even if Vizim couldn't see the vehicle they were following, he would feel the presence of the Force in the air as Malou looked out to follow its location. She would dictate turns, stops, and whatever else to make sure they were on the right track.

Eventually, they would come to a stop at what seemed to be a very fancy hotel. The prince exited the car wearing sunglasses and a hoodie presumably thrown on behind the dark windows and entered the building through one of the side doors. They would probably need to go in the front.

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Vizim

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When Malou mentioned that she could track him as long as he was outside, her glanced over at her, eyebrow raised.

That's a useful trick. Ever thought about joining the ISB? he asked. It wasn't really a joke. A skill like that could go a long way in an organization like the ISB. He supposed it was probably a little bit like his tracking people with the Force, but far more... second nature to someone like her.

They made a long series of twists and turns when they finally came to a hotel. Vizim eased the vehicle to a stop out front and looked up at the building, and let out a grunt.

I don't like front doors, he stated, dead serious. Even he could see they would likely not be able to go through the route the Prince had gone. Speaking of which, why was the prince here at all?

Wonder if this is... a companionship meeting, he said, opting for a more euphemistic term for it. It was one of the only logical explanations given the circumstances. It also meant they might have an easier time accessing him, too.

I want to look around and see if there're any low open windows we could enter. Unless you're able to tell that with your X-ray vision, he said.

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Malou D'Amaris

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"Not once," she replied. The ISB's whole schtick was unappealing to her for multiple reasons, including the strict watch they kept over each other. Plus, Malou hated cryptic shit. The ISB screamed cryptic code words and all sorts of non-straightforward stuff.

The meetup could very well be a "companionship meeting" as Vizim suggested, which could potentially make their job a lot easier. Blackmail was a powerful tool.

Ignoring his comment about x-ray vision, Malou slid off the speeder and looked out for his specified window type. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be any on the first floor, but someone conveniently left their second-story window open. It was maybe fifteen feet off the ground, which shouldn't be too much of a problem to sneak into if there wasn't anyone actively paying attention to it.

"There, three windows from the back," she would say, pointing out its location. Malou wouldn't be able to tell if the lights were on or off in the room, but Vizim would be able to and decide whether it was safe to enter there or not.

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Vizim

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Vizim took her ignoring his question as a "no" and climbed out of the vehicle. She was bristly, wasn't she? And that was coming from someone who people had made it very clear over the years that he was "difficult."

He headed off in the direction of the hotel and spotted the window as well. He squinted up at the window, deciding it was as good an entry point as any. Okay, fine, so it might attract unwanted attention, but it was better than having your picture on lobby security logs.

He pulled the mask up over his face and leapt up to the window, landing smoothly and swinging inside. The light was on, but he heard a shower running inside and decided to hurry through to the exit before anyone emerged. Assuming Malou came along, it was an easy entry.

Now to figure out what room the Prince was in. And that was where his Force-tracking came in. He paused in the hall, pulling his mask down.

Cover me, he said, not that he was going anywhere. He closed his eyes, reaching out to the Force to let it show him everything around him.

Top floor. Probably a penthouse, he said. Of course he was in the penthouse. At least that meant he'd be isolated.

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