The Sith Empress – Part 16

The Sith Empress

by AJ Marks

Part 16

“My lord,” a man said bowing to the tall, dark-haired and clothed woman standing on the bridge of the ship.

“Report,” Jessica replied curtly turning to look at the man.

“The attack fleet is ready to strike,” he stated, obviously scared of her.  She knew many of the crew were scared of her and it was exactly how she wanted it.  At least this one was behaving himself.

“Excellent, tell Admiral Pietete to have everything ready to go when I saw so,” she replied and headed off the bridge of the ship and towards one of the hangars.

They had converted one hangar to a large training room where they were practicing Jedi and Sith techniques.  There were a few instructors, who wore dark grey clothing to make them stand out from the light colors the trainees used.  She strode into the hangar making her way to a specific person.

“Darth Rizon,” the woman with blonde hair said doing a slight bow.  She wasn’t quite as tall as Jessica was but had proven adapt in training and being ruthless.  She was also someone Jessica would keep an eye on.

“Katie,” Jessica said to her.  “How are the recruits coming along?”

“We have a great group, mostly trained already,” Katie replied back to her.

“See for yourself,” Katie replied back.

Jessica walked into the hangar as the training stopped to watch her.  She motioned for one of the students to attack her.  He paused, glancing at Katie who also nodded before he moved forward unsure of what to expect.  Finally after a few seconds he ignited his lightsaber and attacked with a flurry of attacks.

Jessica easily dodged or blocked the strikes but she wasn’t looking for his ability to attack.  She continued to block watching as his frustration got the better of him and anger took him over.  He put more effort into his attacks this time.

Jessica casually blocked the attack before using the Force to send him across the room.  “Excellent work, you are ready,” she said to them all as the man slowly stood up and looking over at Katie.  “Get them ready for a planetside attack.”

“Of course my lord,” Katie said as Jessica returned to the bridge seeing Admiral Pietete standing there.  She then motioned them both over to discuss the planet she wanted to hit first.

*****

Gaia arrived at the planet she had discovered in her meditation.  It didn’t seem like much and the people there greeted her with a bit of hostility, or so it seemed to her.  They must not like outsiders too much but once they realized she was a Jedi they warmed up a bit more to her.

She had a feeling that somewhere in their past a Jedi had done something for them.  There were several towns and cities on the surface and she realized the planet was mined for some ores used in manufacturing, but aside from that wasn’t very livable.  Most who were there either worked in the mines, or tried to earn a living on the surface.

The conditions reminded her of some of other worlds, like Tatooine where people only lived there if they had to.

She really had no idea what she might be looking for, only that she had been led here, either by the Force or something else.

*****

Six large warships appeared in orbit, the types of which hadn’t been seen in over a thousand years.  They stopped out of hyperspace in such a way to quickly blockade the planet and that the planet would have a hard time to defend against them.

Jessica looked on from the bridge as the planet came into sight.  This would be where she would begin her conquest of the galaxy, her empire.  She would be swift and merciless in her conquest of those who dared to stand up to her.

Even as she looked on a familiar feeling swept over her.  She had to think about where she had the feeling before, and realized she felt it several times, the last time was on Korriban specifically it had been when looking at a certain blonde-haired Jedi.

“Get me Katie,” Jessica said to the bridge crew, waiting a few seconds until the woman appeared on the communicator.  “Katie, be careful, there is a Jedi on that planet, and I want her alive.”

She watched as the blonde hesitated for a second before replying back to her.  “Yes my lord,” she finally said, as Jessica ended the communications.

Jessica looked on knowing that a single Jedi would not stop her, but there was something else going on which she wanted answers to.  For those answers she had a feeling that only that Jedi might have them.

She ordered the attack and stood watching as fighters rushed out of the ships and headed to the planet, the shuttle would follow shortly after and soon the planet would be hers.

*****

Gaia was wondering around looking for a place to sleep for the upcoming night not having found much of anything during her search.  There really hadn’t been anything going on here for a while now, and they were at peace with their neighbors for now, so the sirens caught her by surprise.

Looking up she spotted a group of fighters sweeping though the sky blasting away at everything they could reach.  She had never seen anything like them before and were more round than anything the Imperials had.

The entire attack lasted longer than she expected as she ran around trying to find a safe spot and learn what might be going on.  Other locals were rushing around as well and it appeared they didn’t have any such shelters for attacks like this.

It was after the strikes the shuttles appeared and Gaia could only think of one reason why the shuttles were coming down, a ground assault.  She readied herself as best as she could, trying to figure a way out of this situation without the use of violence.

She noticed they were dark robes and had ligthsabers themselves.  One word rolled through her mind, Sith.  She turned and ran knowing she was outnumbered hoping not to be detected by anyone.  With her training she was able to stay ahead of her pursuers, at least until she turned the corner and found herself face to face with a group.  She couldn’t turn around because there were groups behind her as well.

Knowing she had little choice she took out her lightsaber and readied herself for combat.  A few of the troopers opened fire which she easily deflected.  Surprisingly she felt herself get hit from behind and briefly wondered if this I s what death was like as she fell to the ground and darkness overtook her.

*****

Jessica waited impatiently for the reports to come in from the attack on the surface.  The entire attack had only lasted a few hours before the planet leaders surrendered.  She now had her first planet in her empire.

Now all she was waiting for was the reports of a Jedi on the planet.  She knew the blonde was down there somewhere.  How she knew that was still a bit of a mystery, and made Jessica wonder what type of power this Jedi held.

She turned to see Tyi heading towards her and hoped he might have some good news for her.

“My lord,” he said.

“Report Tyi, any word on the Jedi?” Jessica asked a bit impatient for any news.

“Yes my lord, it seems that Pitpis’ groups ran into a Jedi while patrolling.  On your orders they stunned her,” Tyi replied as Jessica smiled.  “What should we do with her?”

“Bring her to me,” Jessica replied, knowing her day had gotten better.  With the Jedi now in her procession she could finally figure out this secret and perhaps add a new power to her Empire.

*****

Leia made her way towards the council chamber with a grim look on her face.  This was not something she wished to have happened at all, and it seemed like ever since the end of the Empire there had been one crisis after another.  There was something about this one though which seemed different to her.

“Madam President, what is so important that you had to call a special meeting?” one of her aides asked, obviously not having heard the situation developing.

“I’ll inform you in the council,” Leia replied to him, as they continued to walk into the chamber.

Inside the large room several people were already there, their voices echoing off the walls and ceiling as they everyone seemed to be talking at once.  She took a moment to head to the front even as the assembled people quieted a bit waiting to hear what she had to say.

“I want to thank you all for coming here on such short notice,” Leia said to them all.  “Intelligence had come to a conclusion about the loss of a Republic cruiser around Korriban, which was supporting a Jedi mission.  The intelligence office had sent me their findings from the ship’s computers.”

Leia stepped to the side a bit as the lights dimmed and the holo screen came to life as they all looked up and watched what had happened.  Everything appeared normal as the cruiser approached the shuttles which had lifted off the planet.  It was suddenly when another ship appeared, one which appeared to be a large warship.

Leia heard a few people gasp in the room which mean they understood what they were looking at.  Leia had to be told what it was having never seen one before in her life.  She had spent her life learning ships of the Empire so this one surprised her.  Everyone waited watching as the warship opened up on the cruiser before the recording ended.

“What you saw was a Sith battleship from a thousand years ago when the Sith Empire was at war with the Republic.  Intelligence had confirmed this,” Leia said to them seeing a few shift uncomfortably in their chairs at the thought.  “I’ve been told that they are unsure if this is a replica or a real ship.”

“I’m sorry, but what is this again?” one of the council members asked.

“A Sith battleship, of a design that is thousands of years old,” Leia replied.

“Are you saying that an empire which hasn’t been seen in over a thousand years attacked a Republic cruiser, and it wasn’t able to defend itself?” another council member asked.

“I do not know about the Sith Empire, but there is someone out there using a model of a Sith battleship to attack us.  Intelligence informs us that even if the design is outdated, its weapons still pose a problem to our ships,” Leia said pausing knowing she was going to get to another problem.  “An hour ago we received a new report, six of these ships appeared and attacked a planet on the rim of the Republic.”

That bit of news caused an even bigger stir.

“We can’t go helping everyone madam President,” one senator said.  “We don’t have the resources, or the manpower, to do such things and watch out for the remnants of the Empire.”

“I realize that, which is why I called this meeting.  It appears there is a new power out there, or an old one re-emerging and whoever it is has a fleet large enough to be dangerous,” Leia told them.  “If anyone else encounters this new enemy inform us at once, we need information.”

“If this is what you wanted, a waste of a meeting,” one said and walking out.  Leia noticed he was the senator from Kababi and watched as a few others left as well.

“Well, that went about as well as I hoped,” Leia said wondering how many would actually inform their governments of a new, and possibly powerful, third power out there.

“There are those who will always look for any way to avoid war, even at their own peril,” another senator said close to her.

“I know, but and it’s the same ones who ask why nothing was done when it does happen,’ Leia replied with a sigh.  She had a bad feeling about it all.

“There must be balance, you are cautious and yet can use force when needed,” her aide said.  “It’s why so many dislike you.”

“Gee, thanks, I think,” Leia said glancing at her aide.  She still had a lot to do.

End part 16

Continued in part 17

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