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Author Topic: Politics by Other Means  (Read 206 times)

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Offline Joshmaul

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  • A Mind Without Purpose Will Walk in Dark Places
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Politics by Other Means
« on: 07/31/17, 09:55:47 AM »
"We see, therefore, that war is not merely an act of policy but a true political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse carried on with other means. What remains peculiar to war is simply the peculiar nature of its means."
- Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831)


----

Imperial Dreadnought Warspite
High Orbit, Iokath


"Insolent bastard! I'll have his head on a plate for this!" Darth Metheius was livid. "Who does he think he is, threatening my servants in this manner? And why hasn't Heermann done something about this? He's supposed to be curbing the fool's excesses, not encouraging them!"

Lord Ammenkayn stood near the door to her old teacher's private quarters, arms folded across her chest. "Heermann has the support of the Ministry of War, Master. The Empress herself gave him the command. And the core of his command's naval forces is the former Reydovan Sector Defense Fleet. He gave it to Heermann himself about a year ago, when Insomnius took control of Reydovan Prime - attempting to undermine her and increase his stock with the Imperial Military. It worked, all things considered."

"If I didn't know any better, Ammenkayn, I would say that was a hint of admiration in your voice." Metheius' blue eyes flashed red for a second. "Don't tell me he softened you up during your visit to his new pleasure palace."

"He mutilated my father's corpse, Master. I have no admiration for that man." It was only a half-truth, and Ammenkayn knew it. She knew Metheius would, too.

Before Metheius could respond to that, a transmission came from the captain. "Apologies for interrupting, Lord Metheius, but there is a ship approaching. Sith transport Shadowlight, out of IC-711."

"Malagant's ship...where is he going?"

"They're on an approach vector for the Ziost Avenger, my lord."

Metheius set his jaw. "Reroute them. Bring them here."

"My lord, that is a Sith vessel assigned to Imperial Wild Space Command. The Avenger is their command ship. We --"

"I answer to the Empress, Captain, not Moff Heermann. Reroute them! Now!"

"Too late, my lord. They've already landed."

Cursing angrily, Metheius looked over at Ammenkayn; her expression was implacable, but something in her eyes told him she was not all that put out about it. "Then open communications. I want to speak with Darth Malagant."

"Yes, my lord."

----

The Ziost Avenger - Flagship of the Imperial Wild Space Command
Low Orbit, Iokath


One of Heermann's military adjutants was waiting as the Shadowlight's ramp lowered. He bowed. "Welcome aboard, Lord Malagant. Colonel Tekan."

"Good to be here again," Darth Malagant said with a smile. Then he looked around, not seeing someone he had expected. "He is not here?"

"The commander is currently attending to personal business with the Governor of Belkadan, my lord. But I have word from the bridge that we're receiving a message for you. It's Darth Metheius, from aboard the dreadnought Warspite."

"Of course it is. He doesn't like the fact I'm not running around in sackcloth and ashes." He snorted. "I'll take it in the comms room, Lieutenant."

"Yes, my lord. If you'll follow me."

As they followed the adjutant in the corridors of the ship, Colonel Menrim Tekan leaned over and spoke in a low voice. "He must be sniffing around us again, my lord. What do you think she told him?"

"We'll soon find out," Malagant replied. As they entered the comm room, the adjutant patched the transmission from the Warspite, then nodded to the Sith Lord. "Thank you, Lieutenant. You may return to your duties...oh, one last thing." He pulled a small datapad from his coat. "The report from IC-711 from the colonel and I, for the commander when he is unoccupied." The adjutant took the datapad, bowing, and then departed.

The image of Metheius appeared on the holoprojector. "I knew you couldn't keep your hands clean. Building another pleasure palace so soon after we took your old one?"

"My personal finances remained solid even after you plundered the Temple of Introspection. I still had that house on Nar Shaddaa - you know, the one you came grovelling on your knees to me in, fleeing from that eyeless whore who usurped me and tried to give the sector you now rule over to Numair and his army of the dead?" Malagant smiled icily. "I made something of a killing, so to speak. Floating palaces on the Smuggler's Moon are at a premium nowadays...but I don't suppose you're interested in Huttese real estate, Metheius. What do you want?"

"I want to know what you and Heermann think you're up to with this business on IC-711. Installing yourself as a king already?"

"Commander Heermann and I have discussed the possibility of my overseeing this new colony as governor, yes. Not quite a sector, like you've got, but it's a start. Say, how is the weather on Reydovan Prime nowadays? Or has your patriotic duty kept you from overseeing the sector that our Empress granted you?"

Metheius seethed. "We're not here to discuss my conduct, Malagant."

"No? Perhaps we should be. From what I hear, you haven't left your ship since you arrived. How many of Tyth's machines have you waded through? How many Republic soldiers and Jedi have you killed?" He tilted his head slightly. "You don't look like someone who has been down there, dealing with our enemies. You look...rather comfortable, actually. Kind of like how you were on Dromund Kaas, safe and away from the fighting, while I was away on Zakuul for four years, two of them rotting in a swamp. Constantly wary for any threats - Knights, skytroopers, Heralds of Zildrog...even the wildlife."

"Enough! I will not --"

"I will not be spoken to like a slave acolyte," Malagant replied coldly. "I am not one of your pets for you to whip into compliance. I do not answer to you, Metheius, nor will I ever. Your proximity to the Empress has inflated your sense of self-importance. You think because you stayed in the heartland at her side, you're better than me. Tell me, when the uprising came on Reydovan Prime, when did you arrive?" He snorted. "Too late, that's when. She called you...and by the time you got there, it was over." He raised his nose imperiously. "Now, then, if you don't mind, I have real business to attend to here, and I don't have time for your paranoid inquisitions."

Metheius was absolutely livid. "Listen here, you pompous --" Before he could finish the sentence, Malagant had closed the communication.

Tekan looked uneasy. "We could be looking at a repeat of Yavin 4, Lord Malagant. He could try and convince the Empress to shut us down again."

"Then the Empress will see what a fool he truly is, Menrim. And he'll find I'm a lot better prepared this time..."
Circled tomb of a different age
Secret lines carved on ancient stone
Heroic kings laid down to rest
Forgotten is the race that no one knows