Jun 26, 2019 3:57 PM
the continuing adventure of Rafa and Occlus
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Brin nods.

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"Pirate. Stay with the ship, keep it ready. Khem, with us."

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"You got it, Sith."

Khem Val merely growls his acknowledgement.

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"Apprentices, follow."

Occlus leads the way off the ship. They are met on the docking bay floor by a pair of soldiers, who bow to Occlus and say that they were sent by Moff Pyron. They have a speeder outside to bring them to the base. Occlus gestures for them to lead the way.

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Rafa waves at Andronikos and Khem Val and follows Lord Occlus.

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Pyron's base is set up in Axial Park, once a bright spot of nature in the center of the city, now pocked with craters and blastmarks. He presents his report on the disposition of Thanaton's forces on their arrival. Thanaton has three apprentices. Two are known, Darth Kallous and Lord Skar. The third is younger, and new. It seems that Thanaton is keeping him with Darth Kallous, and both are hanging back from the main front. Lord Skar is presently engaged in control of the rocket trams, the primary means of mass transit on Corellia. He is using his position to hamper the movements of Pyron's men, and this has begun to affect the overall Imperial effort.

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"Skar must be our first target. Without freedom of movement, our other efforts will be hampered considerably."

     "True, my lord, but it is possible this is a trap. A distraction from some other move Thanaton is making."

"Perhaps. We will simply have to deal with that in turn." She inspects the list of assets. "These captured Republic dropships. Does Darth Charnus have plans for them already?"

     "Ah, no, not so far as we are aware."

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Is she planning a feint of some kind?

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Are they recognisably Republic ships? She could be going for a fake Republic attack.

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"Requisition them. And leak Kallous's location to the Republic, presented as a high-priority target. That will keep him occupied until we are ready to deal with him."

     "It will be done."

"Now, Skar's base. He's with 115th, yes?"

     "Correct, my lord. The control hub is on the Incorporation Islands, here. The Republic has been launching sporadic attacks to regain control. Skar has been holding them off, but hasn't yet managed to produce a defeat that would dissuade them entirely."

"Tch. We shall have to amend that." She pauses, and glances at her two followers thoughfully. "Apprentices, your thoughts?"

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"What is the Republic's interest here, anyway?" he asks instead.

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"Corellia is a major center of shipbuilding. Well, design. Kuat does more construction, but the best plans are drawn up here. And it was one of the founding worlds. Losing it would be... symbolic."

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"What are the odds they'd lose it, anyway? Realistically."

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"...There's not a lot of strategic information here." She glances at Occlus.

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"Nor is there likely to be. Speculate in its absence."

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"Then... There's more than three strong Imperial forces here. And Corellians have a reputation for independence. A lot of them probably don't like the Republic much to begin with?"

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"Why not? It's a founding planet."

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"There's a difference between proclaiming your love for the ideals of peace and freedom, and actually having to meet the obligations of supporting them."

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"Hmm. And what alternative is there for them? The iron fist of the Empire?"

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Occlus gives him a small shock. "Mind your surroundings."

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His body jolts and his muscles clench due to the electricity, but he buckles down and does not otherwise flinch. "My apologies for the flippancy, my Lord, but I don't see how this isn't the way the Corellians would be thinking about it."

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"We... make them think in a different way. The Empire is strength and discipline, loyalty and order. We tell the Corellians that, and show them in our conduct here."

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He nods, internally sighing. "That sounds worthwhile, then. But how well can we do that, while fighting other Imperials like Skar? We would have to discredit him and his, too."

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"That is the trick."

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"But we already have that excuse with Skar, don't we? If his control of the rocket trams is hampering other Imperials, not just us, then replacing him is good for everyone. And if he's going so far, he's probably not appreciated by the locals either, so we can point to our actions as Imperials taking steps to intervene when Corellians are harmed."

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