High Orbit over Belsavis
The Bozhnee Sector
The Maelstrom of Retribution
The satellite telemetry data fed into a large holodeck in the prison. Darth Palatinate was seated before it, his gloves cradling the armored sculpture surrounding his head. The lights from the graphics scintillated off the metallic sheen of the stoic visage. The reconnaissance pointed at the mass of invigorated Republic soldiers and marines fortifying their positions on a large, intact, communications tower. Armor and mobile artillery could be seen crossing a large skybridge towards the tombs, protected by Jedi survivors. Imperial loyalists were being directed to the penitentiary, to be held indefinitely by the Republic.
They failed the Empire.
They failed the Empress.
No, they failed us. They do not have faith in us.
They are weak in heart. We did not have the support.
They refused to support us. They want to see us fail. They want us to be replaced. They are a detriment that will never let us inherit the Master’s legacy.
They need to be motivated to become more powerful.
They need something to fear.
The sliding doors to the sanctum opened, an Imperial Navy officer entering. “My Lord, our Minders have successfully deciphered the outgoing datastream from the communications tower. We are, without hesitation, assured that it is a request for orbital support from Coruscant. Our position here becomes untenable. Admiral Babbage awaits your orders.”
Darth Palatinate jolted from his trance. He leaned in to slide the focus of the imagery towards the deep Tombs, where the Bulwark facility lay. Dozens of engineers, construction mechanics, and expeditionary Marines were working to excavate the area, clear the brush, and set up defensive barriers. Abandoning the planet would abandon them to the wilds of Belsavis without any support, and the Republic Incursion would only advance.
Sacrifice them to show others the price of failure.
Protect them and grant them redemption. Martyrdom is below Sith.
You do not know what it means to be Sith. They do not believe you can make the hard decisions. Burn this world and let the souls forge your legacy as Darth Malak once did!
There has to be a better way. How does this serve the Empress? What would the Master do?
He would compromise, because he is weak.
He saw potential in us. He chose us to supercede him, as all Sith choose their apprentices.
But he gave you me. So he knew he would have to destroy you, or us together to destroy him.
“Alert the demolition teams. Cave in the tombs. Get Lord Xistika to the planet and recruit his sapper teams to begin sabotage operations against Republic infrastructure. Every bridge, every door, every wall; We want it in pieces. Hit and run guerilla tactics, free some prisoners and shift the blame on riots and Esh-ka. Have him relocate his resources to the Bulwark. If the facility falls, so goes his men,” Darth Palatinate said after a moment of introspection.
Make them invested. Make them feel their failure.
Make them invested. Make them take pride in their victory.
“Yes, my Lord. At once. Should we maintain position?” The officer inquired.
“No,” Darth Palatinate answered. “After the Bulwark has been girded, we move back to CZ-198. We have something to retrieve.”