Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Player Characters

Star Wars

Rebellion Era

Lords of the Expanse Campaign

WEG D6 (GM: Dave)

There Is No Rose Between These Thorns

Kort Vizzorio was not a man of patience. Far from it! Kort stood looking out a viewport gazing at the stars of a nearby system. Waiting for the Captain to return wasn't really necessary but Kort knew that it was for the Captain's benefit that he do just that.

'Weak-minded fools!' Kort thought. 'I could command whatever I wanted just by focusing my energy in the Dark side of the Force and demanding that the holocomm be ready instantly. It won't matter once he does get here because he will have to stand aside while I communicate with my Master'

The door to the HoloNet room whispers open and a tall human, with brown hair and eyes enters. Captain Kaimerk says, " Lord Vizzorio, the HoloNet is now at your disposal and the communication you are expecting is being transmitted as we speak."

" Wonderful!", Kort says sarcastically. "Now step aside while the message comes through." Kort steps up onto the platform and drops to his right knee as another figure materializes in front of him.

The figure is giant and unmistakable for anyone associated with the Empire, or for that matter in the galaxy. The eerie drone of the breathing machine fills the room and Captain Kaimerk unconsciously takes a step or two back from the HoloNet platform as if to try and escape the intense gaze of the black helmeted figure.

"Yes, my Master. I await your bidding.", said Kort, bowing his head.

"Yes, I know Kort." Said Lord Darth Vader, "You do not mind if we share this transmission with another.", the last was mostly a statement of fact and not a question.

Another figure materializes near the Dark Lord but smaller and close to the stature of Kort. "Master", said the figure with a bow of his head while kneeling on his right knee. "I await your bidding." Kort instantly recognizes the face of one of his adversaries and competitors for the favoritism of Lord Vader, Vin Gryduli.

"Gryduli!", Kort screams the name as he jumps to his feet in complete, unrestrained anger.

"Calm yourself Kort!", Vader says and with a minute movement of Vader's right hand, Kort slumps to the floor and with both hands grasps his suddenly constricting throat. "If you continue to show these outbursts and fail to control your emotions, then I will have no choice but to discontinue our association.".

The constricting lessens and Kort gradually regains his composure and resumes his kneeling position. " You have been a loyal and faithful servant of not only myself, but the Emperor and I would hate to see all the time spent on you wasted in such a way.", said Vader.

"Perhaps, Master, you need to recall Vizzorio to Coruscant for some more training.", taunted Gryduli. "It seems obvious that the child needs more lessons."

Kort's eyes burned with intense anger and hatred at the remarks from Gryduli.

Vader then turned his gaze to Gryduli and said, "Perhaps, Vin, you shouldn't speak so of your fellow conspirator in such a way that emphasizes your apparent lack of wisdom and own childishness in such matters."

Sufficiently rebuked, Gryduli bows his head again and says, "Yes, Master."

Vader then addresses them both together. " Servants, my Master and I have felt a tremor in the Force that needs to be addressed and I do not have the time to do so right now with my time taken up in the search for Skywalker. There seems to be a growing concern in the Tapani sector. Some very small pockets of resistance has sprung up and I desire you two to look into it. The Empire has already devoted a considerable amount of resources in this area and due to the vital Bacta supply line that cuts through the sector we can not afford to have any problems develop. Therefore, since Vin has had past experience in this sector and Kort is already in close proximity to the sector my desire is for both of you to put aside your differences , cooperate, and eliminate any problems that arise. Failure is an option that will not be tolerated. Diagreements that jeopardize the success of this assignment will also not be tolerated. Is that clear gentlemen?"

In unison, Kort and Vin respond quietly, "Yes, Master."

Lord Vader then says, "Then I leave you two to determine the specifics of the assignment.", then the image of the Dark Lord dissolves, leaving the room in a cold silence with the two Dark side apprentices staring each other down.

After a long pause, Captain Kaimerk ventures forth with the comment, " Lords, perhaps if we arrange to meet at Tallaan we can observe how the project is progressing?"

Vin is the first to break the stalemate. He stands up and smiles at Kort. Kort stands up but the burning gaze that was there during Lord Vader's instructions remains.

"Kort, Kort, Kort", begins Vin. "Let us do as our Master has indicated and put aside our differences in order to get the job done. Okay?"

" Suck on a Mynock you pile of Bantha dung!", spat Kort, " I will cooperate with you, reluctently, only because our Master has willed it but rest assured I will still do everything in my power to see you eliminated!"

"I certainly hope that if you intend to eliminate me then you might brush up on your Force skills.", said Vin, "I know that if things are as they were the last time we met, then you won't be much of a challenge. Remember, I was the one that went on more missions to purge this galaxy of the hated Jedi then you, and I have been in the Emperor's presense. What can you offer that can even compare?"

Kort shot back, "I may not have gone on as many purge missions as you, and it is true that I have not been graced with the opportunity to bask in the Emperor's presense, but I have been more of a loyal servant to Lord Vader than you ever have been and trust me when I say that my Force abilities are more powerful than you realize so I welcome the chance to prove you wrong!"

Vin calmly replies, "Kort, that has always been the problem with you. Too fired up with anger and emotion. You need to get control of that emotion before it becomes your undoing. You should not underestimate what Vader has said. Nor should you treat lightly his instructions on working together on the task given to us to accomplish."

Kort, calming down some, replied, "As I said, I will cooperate with you, but when the time comes, you best be ready to meet your destiny!"

"Well, then,", Vin said, "We will do as your wise Captain has suggested and meet at Tallaan to monitor the progress of the project." Gryduli"s visage suddenly scowls and he spit out, " Vin out!" The Holocomm abruptly shuts off leaving Kort to steam with the thought that Gryduli and not Kort had cut the communication. After a very long, quiet minute, Kort spoke very quietly and menacingly, "Chart a course for Tallaan, immediately."

Captain Kaimerk turned abruptly and briskly walked into the hall on his way to the bridge. Several thoughts were swirling in his mind. ' When Dark side apprentices have that much annomosity between them, I don't want to be anywhere near when the detonite blast goes off. I certainly hope those two can manage some kind of truce while working the Tapani Sector. Kort is getting more and more unstable. I hope that I can find a way to keep the Chiilak and her crew safe from harm'. With these thoughts swirling in his head Captain Kaimerk steps onto the bridge of his Interdictor Cruiser and motions to the astrogation section. "Prepare our jump to lightspeed at the coordinates previously prepared for the Tallaan system." As the stars began to elongate outside the viewscreen, Kaimerk wondered what he had ever done to get into this mess.