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Blood-Soaked Calculus

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
"The war dragged on for two more solitary years and everyday we preformed our blood-soaked calculus."

The dial ticked on the table above Sebastian's eyes. They peeled open as the effects of the invasive Force power subsided, beholding the bodies of communications experts slumped together on the floor. Smoke traveled from burning holes in the walls, laced with the metallic smell of blood clinging to the air as the civilians shuffled, waking to the remnants of the fight that had been.

Still feeling the other operative laying unconscious against his chest, Sebastian moved slowly, regaining the use of his arms and legs. Nausea still caused his to spin and his eyes blinked in effort to make sense of the blurred shapes morphing together. They were gone, the rebels, the businessmen and the Sith and the only sound to disturb every pained breath came from the march of soldiers from outside.

The young man began to stir as Sebastian turned to face the window. Hearing him groan in pain, he said nothing as he gripped his shoulders and helped him to sit upright. His head flopped over to one side and the colour drained from his face. Sebastian knew in an instant that he was going to be sick and held his shoulders while directing his head over to one side and away from Sebastian's legs.

While he held his shoulders, the operative was sick all over the floor, thankfully away from Sebastian himself. He coughed and sniffed as Sebastian stroked his air, breathing through his mouth to avoid the stench of vomit. He lay him on his side and rose to his feet, stepping over the other employees who had yet to wake up. He walked around to the other side of the table and slipped on his coat, which had still been hanging over the headrest of his chair.

The dial on the terminal continued to tick as Sebastian sat down and placed the headphones over his ears. He hooked up the terminal to Imperial communications and began to key in a distress signal, which was sent out to the major parties of authority within the Empire. Just as typed in the final line of code, the marched of boots sounded behind him and he turned around to face a group of Imperial soldiers. Sebastian, along with the civilians in the comms hub, raised their hands in a gesture of surrender.

"We're not with the Rebels!" Sebastian cried to the leader of the platoon, with his eyes facing the equipment. The civilians in the room stood with wary glints in their eyes, some huddling together as the soldiers prepared to collect them.

The soldiers said nothing in response and filed in, taking the communications experts as prisoners one by one. The mathematician felt the barrel of a blaster brush the clothes on his back as he was ushered from his chair and out of the room. The young operative walked right up beside him and clung to his shirt. As he tried to grab his briefcase, the soldier pushed him out of the door and down the corridor.

[member="Darth Carnifex"]
The Two Who Were One
Only about an hour had passed since the tumultuous anarchy had engulfed the capital city, with much of the combat zones still under heavy scrutiny as the Emperor and his colleagues were still in furious debate about whether or not a continued occupation of Jaminere was a viable option.

So far the talks had been rendered inconclusive due to the continued threat lurking beyond the palace, and a recess had been called for another hour.

Emperor Carnifex now stood in seclusion, his battle helmet slung under his arm where he held it in a casual embrace. Only two of his Crownguard stood just out of sight, silent and ready to leap into action at the first sign of danger. Right before him was a massive ten-foot window overlooking the main boulevard that ran through the center of the city, constructed out of reinforced glasteel that could withstand the combined force of seven missile launchers without cracking. He replayed the prior events of the day in his head over and over again, going over every detail both personally witnessed by himself and relayed to him from other hot spots in the city.

It was obvious that the wayward son of Grayson was making his move, but to what end? He knew that Cedric was planning something from what he learned through [member="Taeli Raaf"], but he didn't have much else to go on. He needed to put more feelers out into the galaxy to unravel this quandary.

There was an alert at the door, his soldiers had returned from the Communication Station. "Enter," declared the Emperor, and a pair of soldiers in Legionnaire armor entered escorting a Human male of average height and build into the chamber. "Leave us," was the Emperor's next order, and the two guards saluted with a closed fist over their left breast and curtly proceeded to leave. Now alone, the Emperor set his gaze upon the smaller mathematician.

"They say you were in the comm center when the terrorists attacked, tell me what you saw."

[member="Sebastian Thel"]

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
The soldiers marched Sebastian and the other communication workers up the stairs and out of the building. Feeling the younger man still gripping the back of his coat, Sebastian was forced into a military speeder car with the barrel of a blaster pointed to the back of his head. The operative who had been clinging to him was wrenched away and Sebastian heard him squeal as the soldiers took him to another waiting car.

Two Imperial guards entered the car on either side of Sebastian. No words were exchanged between them as the car descended from the ground and left the district. As to where they traveled, Sebastian could not tell. He was at the mercy of the Sith and their soldiers, with no choice other than to obey them. A grand structure emerged in the the horizon and the car descended towards the ground in front of a palace, spires and towers piercing the sky.

The guards exited each side of the car, followed by Sebastian, who walked ahead with their rifles pointed behind him. He was marched up the staircase into the entrance hall of the palace, where a feeling of internal dread built within his chest. Standing in the main hallway of the palace, was a gargantuan man whom Sebastian could only recognize from the propaganda posters as the Dark Lord of the Sith. Darth Carnifex beheld Sebastian, who lowered his head before the Sith Lord and stood perfectly still.

As the Dark Lord dismissed the guards, the soldiers filed out of the hallway and left him alone with Sebastian. For the first time in many years, Sebastian recognized fear, a tremor vibrating through his chest and spine, rendering him petrified where he stood. He knew that this could very well be the last moment he spent alive. Gripping the front of his coat, he appeared a mouse compared to Carnifex, who towered above him at a height Sebastian had never seen.

"I was decrypting Rebel transmissions for the Sith and I picked up the lead of a militia travelling through the sewers." Avoiding the gaze of Carnifex, Sebastian glanced from one wall of the palace to the other, his soft brown eyes glassy as he spoke. "They were lead by a Jedi and broke into the comms hub through the floor, right under our feet." Every image now repeated in his mind. The jammed frequency, the Rebel message and the sound of the lightsaber slicing through the floor organized in Sebastian's mind and formed a pattern.

"There were two mercenaries with them, one shot a slug threw the roof and threatened to gut us." Taking a breath, Sebastian recalled the words of the mercenary who had fought with the rebels, the one who had threatened to eviscerate civilians immediately after the Jedi had claimed that his rebels were not terrorists. "The other one threw a flash-bang grenade and then the Jedi used some kind of Force power on the civilians." The nauseous effects of the power still made Sebastian feel light-headed.

"I don't know what kind of power it was, but we couldn't move. We all felt light-headed and collapsed." Sebastian explained to the Dark Lord the effects of the Force power. "After that, everything went black, I can't remember anything that happened until we awoke." Shaking his head, Sebastian regretted that he could not share any more details.

[member="Darth Carnifex"]
The Two Who Were One
"Yes, the terrorists were led by a Jedi."

The Emperor reached into the confines of his robe and produced a small holoprojector, which was then activated by the press of a button on its chrome chassis. An image materialized in a haze of cerulean static, the distinct visage of Cedric Grayson and his gaggle of goons threatening private civilians with the pain of death should they refuse to surrender the communication hub to them. "His name is Cedric Grayson, we recognized him from voice recognition and the weapon he carried into battle. He's a deposed dictator originating from the planet Ession, his father was a Sith Lord and political idealist that attempted to blend both Sith and Jedi teachings. He was eventually executed for his heresy, but it appears that same blasphemy runs in the veins of his son."

Carnifex deactivated the projector, snuffing out the image of the terrorists. "Others have commended you for your efforts in resisting the terrorists, and your files indicate that your skill as an information analysis is more than adequate. With these terrorists still on the loose, and undoubtedly preparing to strike against our fair Empire again, we have a need for talented men and women like yourself, Mister Thel."

[member="Sebastian Thel"]

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
When the Dark Lord reached into his robe and produced the holo-projector, Sebastian stared at the wall while he clutched the side of his coat. His brown eye was drawn hesitantly to the visage of the man whom Carnifex identified as Cedric Grayson. His eyes turned to the ground and silently, his lower lip hung open as he considered the situation. He saw the faces, the mercenary, the gangster and the Padawan who had accompanied Grayson all lined up beside him in the little image.

"But he's a Jedi!" Bas failed to hold his tongue as he blurted out. His eyebrow creased in confusion as he continued to nervously grip his coat. "How could a Jedi be a despot? I thought they never hurt anyone." Suddenly, he berated himself for speaking so openly and vigorously shook his head to gather his thoughts.

"Well I don't think heresy is good a reason to execute somebody." Sebastian said as he placed a finger on his chin. "In fact, I don't think there's any good reason." Speaking plainly, the mathematician did not consider his words until they left his mouth, at which point he slammed his lips shut and smacked his forehead. Any slip of the tongue could mean the end of his life and speaking directly to the Dark Lord threatened his ability to manage words, as well as his people skills. Both of which were lost on Sebastian.

There was a pause between them. Closing his eyes, Bas prepared for Carnifex to maim him and took a breath, before opening his eyes and making visual contact with the black holes of Carnifex' gaze since he had entered the room. "Forgive me, My Lord." Dropping his head low, Sebastian spoke quietly and admitted his error, although he knew he had truly made no error by speaking his mind.

"It is not my place to question the actions of my superiors." Running a hand through his pin-straight hair, Sebastian sighed following the sentence. "I will lend my skills to the Empire in effort to capture these terrorists." He spoke assuredly. After all, Grayson had assaulted him through the Force, why wouldn't he want to bring him to justice? He was still confused as to how a Jedi could commit an act of wanton terrorism.

[member="Darth Carnifex"]
The Two Who Were One
"So you have been led to believe."

To say the Emperor was annoyed by Sebastian's words was an understatement, the anger that rolled off of him was palpable and capable of great feats of destruction. However, he contained his ire from spilling out and harming the smaller man, and instead allowing this moment to be something of an educational lesson.

"But make no mistake, Mister Thel. The Jedi are masters of deception, they cloak their true intentions with the shawl of pacifism, generosity, and compassion. In truth, they jealously guard their stranglehold on the masses, masquerading as benevolent protectors while influencing or disposing of those who would be a threat to their decadence. The Sith have always been smeared as wicked, evil beings, no different from the cacodemons of children's tales who lurk in dark places with dripping fangs. Because submission to such horror is unthinkable, many believe they must fight or face extermination. The Jedi are shameless in spreading this alarmist propaganda, Mister Thel. They are exceptionally well-versed at subversion of the weak-minded."

Darth Carnifex's derision and unadulterated hatred of the Jedi Order was clear and articulated with genuine passion, he spoke fervently of the Jedi's weakness and failings while elevating the righteousness of the Sith cause, that in order for the galaxy to reach the pinnacle of enlightenment it must be stripped clean of everything and everyone who would hold back progress.

Especially the Jedi.

"The Jedi path teaches harmony and peace. But if all we aspired to was harmony, the intelligent beings would still be scratching for food from rotted tree stumps. The Dark Side of the Force is both an enabler and a guide, a galactic Sith regime could build great wonders in defiance of the natural laws of silence, stillness, and ruin. That is why we fight them, and that is why we cannot allow their weak-minded heresy to infect the galaxy any longer, Mister Thel."

He would forgive Sebastian's transgressions this time, but there was an unspoken warning about the unfortunate punishment that would befall him next time he spoke out of line to the Dark Lord of the Sith.

[member="Sebastian Thel"]

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
In the moment that he finished speaking, Sebastian realized his mistake. With a gasp, he cupped his hand to his mouth and stared at the wall, his soft, brown eyes failing to completely make contact with the black gaze of the Emperor. The anger emanating off the Sith Lord pierced Sebastian's clothing and dug into his flesh with metaphysical talons. A moment of pause held the air between them as Carnifex coiled a fist. Slowly lowering his hand from his mouth, Sebastian remained quiet and listened to Carnifex speak.

"I'll be good." Was all the mathematician said.

Gripping the side of his coat in a nervous gesture, Sebastian took the time to think as the words fell from Carnifex' tongue. He placed a finger against his temple, trying to make sense of the words. The manner in which the Rebels had behaved had not been that of peacekeepers. The Jedi Knight named Cedric had assaulted him through the Force, which lead him to believe that Carnifex was right.

"I am an Imperial citizen." Sebastian began. "My family lived well and we were spared the poverty which befalls many who live outside of our borders." Scratching his head in thought, he pondered the answers to the age old question challenged by many who lived in the galaxy. Who was good and who was bad? Sebastian only liked questions with clear-cut answers, not problems distorted with ambiguity.

"We never had to live in fear of crime or assault." Thinking back, he could not recall a time in his life when he felt unsafe living within Imperial borders. "Unless you count high school, but that's another matter." With a chuckle, he added levity to the discussion. "My Lord, it would be my honor to ensure that all our citizens have the same right." Placing a hand against his diaphragm, he bowed to Carnifex.

"I am qualified in cryptography and tactical analysis." He said as he adjusted his glasses. One of the lenses was cracked and he struggled to see through the shattered glass at Carnifex' features. "... and can use my skills to assist the Empire." He said before pausing. "Have you encountered any more suspicious transmissions in the Imperial security network?" Finally, he inquired about the future tasks which would require his assistance.

[member="Darth Carnifex"]
The Two Who Were One
"We have. Should you prove to be of use, you'll be assigned to monitor and decrypt these transmissions."

A pair of guards moved forward to escort the smaller Sebastian out of the chamber, leaving the Emperor on his lonesome to oversee the repairing of the city from his vantage point in the palace. In due time, the terrorists that had caused such damage to the city would be rooted out and quietly executed; their bodies unceremoniously atomized to prevent any sympathizers from rallying around them as martyrs to a lost and misguided cause.

The order would be restored, no matter the cost.

Months had passed since the flames of dissent and rebellion had been stamped out on Jaminere, and in that time the Sith Empire had waged a vicious shadow war against insurgent elements inside of the Empire that had been inspired by those events. Security had improved all over the Empire, new methods of encryption and decryption were developed the counter the ingenuity of the terrorists culpable for crimes against his Supreme Excellency and those that served him. Often, entire communities had to be liquidated to preserve the integrity of the Empire's hold on the border systems, their disappearance officially recorded as the result of a quarantined epidemic while every record of their individual existences redacted and erased.

Though the threat of rebels has subsided with the success of Operation: Endgame and other Sith campaigns, the Empire did not cease in its vigilance for threats both without and within.

On the grassy world of Chiron, the Sith Empire had established a listening post to monitor local communication traffic in the Ash Worlds. With Iego embroiled in revolution, the Empire's top analysts suspected that foreign influence had exacerbated tensions in the region. To prevent further border systems from breaking away from the Empire, they had begun to ruthlessly uncover conspiratorial organizations both real and fabricated in order to strengthen their own hold in the area.

[member="Sebastian Thel"] was one such analyst that had been dispatched to aid in detecting rebellious influence, himself and more than a dozen other similar individuals crammed into an underground bunker hooked to a vast network of excessively powerful radar dishes and other sensitive equipment.

Little did any of them know that today they would be visited by the Sith Emperor himself.

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Taking a moment to stretch the cramps out of his wrist, Sebastian leaned back and inhaled the smell of metal stained with fuel. The system churned within the terminals, processing the calculations which Sebastian and his fellow analysts input. Craning his neck over his shoulder, Sebastian exchanged a glance with William, the analyst who had been rescued with him on Jaminere. Hard at work, he combed the channels linking regional outposts and output the values of points where they had been breached. With a hand held on the ear of his headset, Sebastian watched William's screen keenly.

"Looks like we got a breach on the Iego line, somebody's feeding data into the channel." William affirmed Sebastian's suspicions and he turned around to face the other mathematician, who turned back around. "Thel, can you decrypt the feed and find out where it's coming from?" He asked, adjusting his glasses. Pulling his headset over fluffy, dirty blonde hair, he turned around and continued to comb the lines between the channels for any more suspicious presences.

"I'm on it." Sebastian said, pulling on his headset. After tapping in an entrance code, he opened the channel between Iego and Chrion, where an operator received him on the other end of the line. Static muffled her voice, disrupted by pops of grain and external activity. "This is Agent Thel reporting from Chiron, we've detected a breach in your system, I need you to grant me access to your channel so I can locate the source." Sebastian said through his headset, having vaguely heard the voice of the operator on the other end, which belonged to a woman, but he hadn't heard what she had said. For a moment, Thel waited, drumming his nails on the terminal as the channel struggled to relay the message from the other line.

"This is Agent Thel reporting, do you read me?" Sebastian asked again.

As the woman spoke, her voice became more distorted, slurring out of tone beneath the static. When William turned around to speak, Sebastian waved him back firmly with a hand, while he focused on hearing what the operator was trying to say. The deeper he listened, the more he could hear the feint trace of a song, which sounded almost like a lullaby, ringing at a shrill pitch behind her voice. The connection must have been cut by the data which was being fed into the system, replacing the operator's voice with their own cryptic message to the Sith.

"They're down, log out before we get cut too." William said, his tone dire.

Paying no heed to the warning, Sebastian left the channel open to hear the message that was being fed. Cupping his chin in thought, he listened the woman's voice wane, to be replaced by a series of numbers, repeated in sync and all baring the same behavior in terms of their divisibility. The malicious data came in and Sebastian set his fingers to the keys, ready to decrypt it, just as William turned around.

"Bas, log out." William warned. "They could breach our systems too!" He cried, keeping his voice low.

"Not unless you safeguard them." Sebastian said, in a tone which could have passed off as threatening. Ignoring William's gaze, he continued to wrap the numbers around as they came through, turning each character into plaintext as he entered them through the modular function on his keyboard. The numbers rang in his ear, juxtaposed with the shrill lullaby playing in the background, which sounded like it had been designed to threaten, or send a message.

An alert beeped on Sebastian's terminal, informing him of the Emperor's imminent arrival. He stiffened at the sight of the notification, momentarily pausing with his hands above the keyboard. The doors to the bunker opened at the top of the stairs, allowing Carnifex and his guards to enter. With a jolt, Sebastian turned around and looked William directly in the eye, almost threatening to grab him if he did not do what he was told.

"Install my encryption right now, Will." Sebastian ordered.

As the march of boots became closer, the smaller mathematician turned around and installed the encryption which Sebastian had designed specifically to use when accessing a sliced channel. William shook, his hands trembling as he hammered the installation code into the keys, successfully backing up the channel with Sebastian's encryption. A notification rang on Sebastian's terminal, ensuring him that the system was guarded, now he could finish decrypting the suspicious feed. Before he could turn back around, Darth Carnifex entered the bunker and stood above the analysts, his back flanked by guards.

Immediately, Sebastian and William shot up. Straightening the double-breasted coat of his uniform, Sebastian shoved his headset back around his ears and put on his cap. The other analysts wore the same uniforms and stood up justly, in time to greet the Emperor as he stood before their terminals.

"Your Majesty, we uh, didn't expect to see you just now." Sebastian said plainly. The formal titles had escaped him again and all he could manage was a broken stammer. Scratching the back of his head, he looked past Carnifex' shoulder hesitantly, his eyes falling over William, who trembled uncontrollably in the Emperor's presence.

"We've located a breach in our line with Iego, an enemy source is leaking data into the channel." Sebastian informed the Emperor of the situation, his mouth hanging open at the sheer size of the man. "I've designed an encryption system which can be used to protect our home channel while accessing a sliced one, William just installed it so I can decrypt the feed." Sebastian said, nodding in William's direction

"Here it is." Sebastian said, pointing to the message. While the presence of Carnifex loomed over his back, he found the characters he had been deducing and proceeded to wrap them around based on how they behaved. The encryption kept the channel unguarded while Bas tapped away on the sliced line, pocketing the intercepted data right under the enemy's nose, "I'll transmit the message to your commlink, so you can see what it says when I crack it." Quick as a flash, Sebastian cut the message from the feed and isolated the plaintext.

"Will, secure a line between my station and his majesty's personal device." Sebastian said and pulled on his headset.

"Okie dokie." William said, sitting down. With a few taps, he used the same encryption system which Sebastian had designed to secure an edge between Sebastian's system and Carnifex, which would arrive on the devices on the Emperor and his guards with a beep.

Once the line was established, Sebastian turned around and forwarded the plaintext to Carnifex. Entering numbers through his modular function, he divided them based on the behaviors they shared, which produced a pattern, the letters which the numbers stood in for. With every number he wrapped around, a letter appeared, revealing the message the Rebels were feeding to their allies in real time. Tapping away, Sebastian unveiled the plaintext, forwarding it to the Emperor's device as he went.

[member="Darth Carnifex"]
The Two Who Were One
The Emperor stood over two feet taller than the analysts, his muscular body cloaked in a well-kept uniform lacking any sort of discernable rank plaque. A cloak of blood-red scarlet cascaded down from his broad shoulders clasped just beneath his neckline by a magnetic brooch fashioned in the shape of the Sith Empire's crest. Behind him were two members of the Imperial Crownguard, the elite brotherhood of royal protectors that guarded the Emperor and his family with unwavering ferocity. Even now, when the Emperor was surrounded only by unarmed analysts and their attendants, the held their weapons out in front of them in an all-together aggressive nature; perpetually on edge to react to the slightest offense made towards their Lord.

Silently the Emperor watched the two analysts show him their methods and the results of their labor. Of course, it was nothing less than exemplary work for the greater good of the Empire; His Empire, but his expression did not waver from a mask of stoic impassiveness. When the decrypted messages were forwarded to the Emperor's personal device, he didn't even look at them. Rather, they were automatically redirected to the Legion's forward command bases in the area on a heavily encrypted channel, deconstructed, and reformed into unique cuneiform symbols that could be sent to agents in the field to briefly and efficiently detail the most important aspects of this new intelligence. From there they would act accordingly in the name of the Emperor.

"Your deeds bring pride to the Empire, Analyst Thel, Analyst Koez. Every communication breach brings us one step closer to eradicating the terrorist threat present in this sector." The Emperor crossed both arms over his chest, his dark eyes boring into both of them whenever able. "Though I wonder, with you being so involved in the communique of the terrorists, what is your assessment of their actions and beliefs?"

[member="Sebastian Thel"]

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Sebastian stood proudly in his uniform as the Emperor received the decrypted feed, his demeanor more contained than that of William, who shook uncontrollably. Although his colleague's fear was justified, after all, there were two men with fierce weapons backing the Emperor, Sebastian had stop himself from spinning around and yelling at William to keep his chit together. He knew that Carnifex would not tolerate cowardice. Turning around, he delivered a harsh "sh!" in William's direction, which was enough to shut the weedy analyst up.

When Carnifex received the message, he bestowed upon Sebastian and William, a very real compliment. Now it was Sebastian's turn to feel uncomfortable. He brushed back the hair underneath his cap and managed a smile which revealed the two of his top teeth which sat above the others at the sides of his mouth. Raising a hand, he scratched his nose to hide them and blushed, shying away beneath the weight of the Emperor's words. He pointed to the message on the screen dismissively and shrugged off the effort he had put into decrypting it, as though the task had been simple.

"Well I mean, all I did was isolate the feed from the enemy channel, so we could monitor it without the risk of them breaching our systems as well." Sebastian said, still smiling awkwardly as he thought about how to respond to the compliment. There was no "thank you", just a simplified explanation of his efforts, which he played down to make it sound like it had been easy.

When Carnifex asked Sebastian and William for an assessment on the terrorists' actions and beliefs, Sebastian cleared hos throat and retained the professional stance he had held before. With his gloves in his hand, he stood tall and held it behind his back, then waved a hand over the back of his shoulder in a commanding gesture.

"Will, statistical report." Sebastian ordered, plainly, but not too cold.

"Yessir." The shorter analysts said, raising his hand in a mock salute. William turned sat on his chair and swerved around, where he began to compile a summary of the percentages pertaining the terrorist's decisions and maneuvers in the past. William was the top statistician in the bunker, whereas Sebastian handled the encryption system and determined outcomes based on the data William supplied. "There's a high percentage of light side oriented beliefs within their organization, for the most part their Force-based, their leader was a Jedi after all." William said, reading the data he had compiled on the screen, the percentages representing the types of members recruited by the terrorists, as well as the tactics they employed.

"But they're not afraid to use violence, they kinda stray from your typical passive Jedi agenda." William presented his statistics verbally, adjusting his wire-frame glasses as he recalled the data, as well as his treatment and Sebastian's at the hand of the terrorists back on Jaminere. "High percentage of casualties, both civilian and Imperial at their hands." He said with a nod, turning around.

"Based on that, I can confirm that they are indeed, devoted to the Light Side, but in a way that's really hypocritical." Sebastian said, performing a quick analysis of the Rebel's tactics, as well as the actions he had seen from them, in his mind. Before Jaminere, he had always held the Jedi in a favorable light, even if he never would have admitted it, which changed when he was faced with the reality of how easily the light side could be used an excuse for violence. "They believe in peace and justice, but their way of attaining it is by eradicating anybody who disagrees with their idea of what that is." Sebastian expressed his opinion, resting his gloves on his terminal as he spoke.

"They'll kill civilians who willingly serve the Empire." With a shrug, Sebastian offered his final point, before turning back around to face the screen.

"They breached the Iego channel in an attempt to communicate with their allies here on Chiron." He said, reading the message on the screen, which was still only half-decrypted. Upon cracking it, Sebastian could trace the source of the feed, which could potentially reveal the branch of the terrorists who had sent it. "If his majesty permits, I'll finish decrypting the message they're feeding into the channel and locate the source of the breach." Sebastian said, eager to continue his work in order to produce the results which Carnifex desired.

"Then, we'll find out which sect of the terrorists it came from and whether they pose an immediate threat." Sebastian nodded. Taking off his cap, he left it on the bench of his terminal and motioned to sit back down. "I'll let his majesty decide the most appropriate course of action." He said, with a further nod.

[member="Darth Carnifex"]
The Two Who Were One
"To believe in the Light Side of the Force is hypocritical in itself." Replied the Emperor, in a very matter-of-fact tone of voice. He had spent many years constructing sound and reasonable arguments against the Light Side and its practitioners, many of which had been incorporated into the Empire's propaganda to further drive a wedge between those citizens who adhere to the Empire's proclamations and those who still may yet harbor sympathies for the Jedi and their plight. To further emphasize this divide, the Empire's brute squads routinely uncover some conspiracy or another involving certain less reputable citizens involved in nefarious anti-state activities and brutalize them in public forums, antagonizing the crowd to partake and direct their violence towards an easily obtainable scapegoat; someone they can actually lay their hands on rather than the insidious shadow-enemy they are frequently exposed to on the Empire's holonet channels.

"The beliefs of the Jedi are ultimately unstable, faltering under extreme duress. It is an inevitability that Jedi resort to terrorism when they are unable to persuade a populace with honeyed poison, I have seen the same scenario play out many times before. When the Silver Jedi fled to Kashyyyk following the Mirial Atrocity, those that stayed behind to fight against us formed the League of Voss, a terrorist organization that routinely destroyed civilian structures and publicly executed anyone suspected of Imperialist sympathies. In the end, their ruthlessness served to galvanize the Empire against them." How much of this was true is unknown, if these acts were truly the work of the League or a part of some greater false-flag operation put in motion by the dark underbelly of the Imperial Administration.

Regardless, it served to strengthen the Emperor's hold indefinitely.

"We destroyed the League, and we'll eradicate these vermin as well. It is only a matter of time, the Empire is implacable; we cannot be stopped. Continue to monitor the situation and compile all intelligence you uncover, we may yet land the killing blow with your aid."

[member="Sebastian Thel"]

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Sebastian stood still, listening obediently to the Emperor's every word, even if he was apathetic to the topic of the Force. When Carnifex stated that believing in the light side was hypocritical in itself, the mathematician took a moment to think about what that meant exactly. The Rebels on Jaminere believed in the light side and their actions outright conflicted with what the light side of the Force embodied, as far as Sebastian knew from simply being a witness. Placing a finger in his mouth, he thought more about Carnifex's words and ultimately decided that he the force itself was not something he cared for.

"Based on the repeated pattern of violence committed by Jedi orders, despite claiming to follow the tenants of the Light Side, it seems clear that belief in itself can't be sustained for long." Sebastian affirmed, his finger still poised in his mouth as he thought about the sides of the Force which Carnifex was explaining. A entity which embodied all things most people would regard as good or positive seemed attractive at first, but applying in real situations, especially during wars, seemed impossible to achieve without breaking the tenant in the first place, yet Sebastian disliked violence as much as the next person.

"I think the Light Side is attractive in theory, but during times of war, it's simply not applicable." Sebastian said plainly, having reached his conclusion. During a war, everybody committed acts of violence, regardless of which side they were on, going headfirst into any armed conflict under the mantra of the light side did not seemed bound to last. A pause followed and Sebastian scratched his head beneath his cap, his brow creased in thought. "I trust in an order's ability to speak the truth, rather than what they claim to be true." Was all he said, following a nod

"The Sith use violence, we both know that, but they don't hide it, whereas the Jedi try to maintain a pacifist mantra which simply can't stand in situations of war, where everyone is bound to commit violence." Sebastian said thoughtfully, turning the topic on a logical slant. Along with honesty, he valued stability above all else and a truth which could not be upheld when applied was not a stable one. The Empire had given him a secure life, free of the crime and poverty of many parts of the galaxy. For that, he was thankful and offered his gratitude in loyalty.

When Carnifex gave the order to monitor the feed for further updates, Sebastian gave a quick nod and sat down. He took off his cap and left it on his terminal, then pulled on his headset. The feed was still being flooded with data from the enemy source and Sebastian swiftly set his hands to the keys, after gesturing to William to do the same.

"Roger that." He said and continued to decrypt the feed as it arrived.

"Alright, let's see what these bastards are up to." With that, Sebastian cracked his fingers and wrapped around the mass of a prime number to it's divisible product. Finding the congruent, he typed the numbers into the operation and sent it into the processor, which resulted in the modulus, the letter which each number stood in for, until the data being sent through had been reversed into it's original text. As the information arrived, Sebastian became more and more convinced of Carnifex's argument.

"Acquire four to seven Force sensitive children, Imperial children and bring them to the following coordinates. Make sure they are young and not yet trained." The plaintext read. Following more of the information which appeared, it quickly occurred to Sebastian that the receiver was planning to abduct Force sensitive children from their families and take them away before they could be recruited into the Sith. Whether they intended to join the Sith or not did not appear to concern them, only that they were turned against the Empire.

"Sire, take a look at this." Sebastian said and swerved around on his chair to allow Carnifex to read the message. "The receiver is going to abduct Force-sensitive children in the Empire, possibly so they don't join the Sith." Turning back around, he saw that no more text was appearing and set about tracing the source. The message continued to describe the various methods that the sender would use to brainwash these children, possibly even turning them against their families. As he waited for the coordinates to appear, the feed he had isolated hit a dead end, with no more data to display.

"Oh no you don't." Sebastian said to himself.

"Tracing source now." He said and hit the account which had been sending the feed, it was encrypted, but he did not need to know their name to find out who they were. Once he opened the account, he backtracked them to the server they had used to send the data, which revealed a series of nodes representing various channels they had recently used. All Sebastian had to do was find the one with the same address as the sender of the feed, which brought him to an encrypted link, hiding the channel which the two recipients were using to exchange the details of their plan.

"Go, modulus!" Sebastian chimed, lost in the process as Carnifex stood behind him. He broke down the prime into it's divisible points and ran them through the congruent operation on his keyboard, which wrapped them around the letters they stood in for. He found his modulus, rearranging the letters to form the passcode for the sever, which he entered. "Access granted." Bas said excitedly. The server opened to reveal the source of the feed, a group of Light Side users who were using guerilla tactics to operate within Imperial space.

"Okay, I'm in, the feed is coming from a group of Light Side users who broke away from the Rebel Alliance." Cupping his chin, Sebastian scanned the server, as well as all the necessary information and swerved aside to allow Carnifex to see for himself. "They're based on Iego, but use guerilla tactics to operate within our borders." Sebastian confirmed, reading the information as he scrolled. Shaking the cramps out of his wrists, he turned around and swiped off his headset, running a hand through his hair, which was now damp from the thrill of the process.

[member="Darth Carnifex"]