A Matter of Loyalty


// Per Policy all record of operations conducted by Shadowhand Operatives are removed from memory without record upon departure of Shadow.//

A Matter of Loyalty

:: Earlier this morning ::

The Grey Estate : Morellia

Avirys gently extricated herself from Aschè’s arms, trying not to disturb her; the sleeping girl groaned in protest as her heat source vanished. Avi pulled the blankets up around the pale shoulder and kissed Aschè’s tousled hair softly, whispering, “I’ll see you tonight aki’vek.” She was nearly out the door when a groggy voice called out from the darkness, “K’oyacyi!” Avi beamed, calling over her shoulder, “Ratiin, cyar’ika” as she left their room.


:: Seven Years Ago :: Night on Ordo : A small clearing in a farmer’s field, the outskirts of the village.

“I don’t trust them ‘Rys, how can you?” Laar demanded, “your mother is a fool to have contacted them and your father was a fool to have ever agreed to this! You’re Mando’ade! What about our plans… what about us?!” Laar’s face was furious but her voice belied her sadness, the sound carrying across the empty field’s expanse before being swallowed by the night. Avirys lay prone, her fingers laced behind her head as she continued to stare up at the stars, refusing to be drawn into yet another fight.

“Things change Laar” she said plainly, turning her face toward her sometime lover. “I have a different path now, the three have something else for me.” Laar glared down at Avirys, her face awash with fury and betrayal.

“So that’s it then? You’re going to leave us all, leave your Aliit for what? To become a kriffing Dar’jetii and forget about us?” The girl spat out, her tears flowing in earnest, crumbling what remained of Avirys’ stoic demeanor.

Avirys sat up, taking Laar’s hand. “I promise, I will be back, I swear on the bones of my father you will see me again, Laar. I won’t forget you.”


:: Now :: Onboard Imperial Shuttle with service to Nar Shaddaa

Avi reviewed her datapad for the hundredth time during the shuttle flight to Nar Shaddaa, nearly able to recite the entries from memory:

Name:  Laar Bralor

Spouse: Eldon Bralor (deceased)

Dependent: Taever Bralor (m) age 4 years

Location: Duros Sector, Nar Shaddaa. (Coordinates attached)

The Lords Grey had a much more extensive Imperial database access than the dormitory, her first week at their Morellian Estate yielded a wealth of information about Avi’s Aliit, her mother and brothers, and of course, Laar. Several nights of insomnia fueled by her overwhelming need to see the truth of her past shatter the illusion of Lord Agatha’s lies and mental manipulations provided Avi with nearly everything she wanted to know about the years of their lives she’d missed. Avi had nearly overlooked the small Enclave notations found in the dossiers of Eldon and Laar Bralor.

4 years ago Eldon Bralor betrayed the Aliit. He killed his brother during a contract hunt for the Hutt Cartel, took the profits and fled to Nal Hutta. For his crimes he was declared dar’manda and a bounty placed on his head. Eldon’s wife, Laar, fled Ordo and joined him on Nar Shaddaa, bringing their infant son. Eldon was eventually executed for his treason in a sanctioned kill by the Enclave, but his wife elected to stay on Nar Shaddaa with their child rather than return to Ordo and rejoin the Aliit. The notation ended, but the questions raised by Laar’s decision had plagued Avi.

Avirys hated this sector of space. Nal Hutta and its moons were a sickening toxic hue that no amount of garish flashing lights could make attractive. The sooner she could be off this moon the better she thought. She closed her eyes in meditation as the shuttle began to descend into the upper atmosphere, letting her memories fuel her emotional state, keeping her on the knife’s edge of control. Brother Tenebris’s words echoed in her mind and she was resolved with what must be done.

“You must prove your loyalty to us before you can continue your training. You will seek out a chain binding you to your past and destroy it to prove your commitment.”

It was evening on Nar Shaddaa and the speeder lanes to the Duros sector were choked with transports carrying weary locals and drunken visitors coming to the smuggler’s moon to indulge every variety of vice. Avi didn’t have much trouble finding the hovels that passed for housing here, she passed unmolested through the throngs of haggard residents. She carried no weapon and kept her clothes dark and without embellishment, to anyone watching she would appear foreign but unremarkable.

Avi turned followed the road until it narrowed into little more than a narrow alley, the coordinates indicating she’d arrived at her destination. She glanced around, noting the lack of security cameras, and the networked lamps were half dead at this end of the block. She closed her eyes and for the first time since her arrival she opened her senses. There were more people here than she anticipated, but it didn’t take her long to find what she sought, familiar and yet… diminished. She narrowed her focus, using her recently trained Life Sense to hone in on Laar. Avi scowled in disgust, finding the answer to the question that had haunted her.

Laar was slumped in a tattered chair on the second floor of the duracrete block residence, the flickering holo the only illumination in the dim room. Years of addiction and abuse had added a decade to her features, her eyes stared blankly ahead, a tray of stims and spice arrayed across the low table at her side. Weeks-old takeaway cartons dotted every flat surface of the kitchen and common room, so petrified that the insects and rats no longer bothered inspecting them for nourishment. Avirys slipped through the front door without notice, surveying the squalor around her with a frown of contempt.

Skirting the threadbare sofa, Avi crossed the room, standing between Laar and the holo-film projected into the room. Laar sluggishly raised her head, bobbling on her neck as she tried to focus on the intruder standing before her. “Wha what’s, who… ‘Rys? ‘RYS?!” The nearly incoherent woman’s voice tone grew more high pitched as she recognized Avirys, her eyes darting over Avi as if she was trying to make sense of the incomprehensible. “They told us you were dead. You died at the Sith Academy five years ago…” her voice trailed off momentarily before her eyes narrowed and she pointed an accusatory finger at Avirys. “Why are you here ‘Rys? To see what loving you cost me? The ruin you made of my life when you left?” she spat.

“I’m here to say goodbye.” Avirys said, extending her left hand toward the seated woman and securing her with the Force. With a glance, Avi levitated the half dozen stim injectors and drove them into Laar’s thigh, delivering the lethal spice overdose with a clenched fist of her right hand. Avi moved her face closer to Laar, watching the drugs take hold of the prone woman, her face morphing from panic to euphoria and then completely slack as the life drained from her body. Avi inclined her head, looking at her first love, she gave herself over to the profound sadness and loss for a moment, letting the tears stream down her face. “‘Rys is dead, I am Avi now.” She said softly, though no one could hear.

Reaching into her pocket, Avi withdrew the small disk, taking Laar’s thumb and pressing it to the reader, a small needle pierced the skin, taking a blood sample before withdrawing back into the identity token, verifying the target and neutralization completed.

Avi stood, quickly moving through the small apartment to the bedroom. She saw the small form huddled beneath a thin blanket on a stained and filthy mat near the door. With a shake of her head she moved to the wall storage, certain she would find what she sought inside. The doors opened easily enough, one side barely attached as the hinge had begun to dissolve after years of use. She found them, top shelf, pushed in the back behind a stiff, thick blanket. The t-visor helmets once belonging to Eldon and Laar, Avi retrieved them, shoving them into a worn but serviceable bag found on the floor nearby. She added to the bag the only toy she could find belonging to the child, a torn, felt dewback and she tossed in some of his clothes for good measure.

She shrugged the bag onto her back and bent over the boy, connecting to his sleeping mind through the Force. she commanded him to sleep. Avirys wrapped him in the blanket and carried him out of the building. The boy didn’t wake, even at the busy spaceport where Avi arranged for a guardian droid to take charge of the boy and accompany him to Ordo, returning to his Aliit. She took a look at the droid, carrying the bag and the boy as it walked up the transport ramp, she sighed, the weight of the task finally hitting her. She turned and made her way to her own shuttle and the return flight to Morellia.

Avirys slid the identification disk into her personal datapad and sent the information to her superiors.

-[Encrypted Message Start]- 

Target: Laar (Vel) Bralor

Executioner: Nameless

Identity verification and confirmation of target neutralization enclosed. 

-[Encrypted Message End]-