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Character
ROYAL PALACE, COMMENCE
853 ABY - THE IMPERIAL CIVIL WAR




It was a quiet night at the Commenori palace, serene and undisturbed. Guards of both the Systems Alliance and formerly of the Imperial Guard patrolled the grounds and worked to maintain this peacefulness, vigilant against threats seen and unseen. But they were not quick enough to prevent a man, frail in his appearance, from infiltrating the stately home without pause.

He sat in the chambers of one [member="Lady Kay"], resting comfortably in a puffy armchair that may or may not have been there before, silently reading a holonovel as he waited for his quarry to arrive to end the day and sleep away her troubles, how monstrous they may be. His upper body was cast in shadow, the only part of him caught in the dim light being his legs, which were adorned with a fine pair of dress slacks and below that, onyx shoes.

While he was not sitting in front of the entrance to the chamber, he would most certainly be noticed shortly afterwards should his target be aware of her surroundings. He would have chosen her office as a suitable spot, but given the secretive nature of the conversation that needed to be had, and the likelihood of her not being alone, he had abstained and chose his current approach...

But for now, he waited.
 

Carla

Rainbow Smurf
Writer
Kay had had a long day, as usual. Plenty of contracts to be made and still she had to clear things up after the recent exile of her husband. She hated having to consider the man that she loved as an enemy, even going so far as to denounce his name, yet not going so far as to get a divorce. Her territory was still expanding and with that came more work. Delegating wasn't so easily as loyalty was a rare thing these days. So much of it she had to do on her own.

Now she carried herself up the spiral staircase to her chambers, fully intending to calm it a night and get herself some sleep.

However after shutting her door and moving towards her wardrobe, she caught the legs of [member="Reginald Kardal"] as he sat in one of her chairs. At first Kay froze, not exactly clear on just who the shadowy form was as his face was still hidden. Was he an assassin? No. She'd of been struck from behind or something if he was.

"...Can I help you?..." At least she hadn't undressed yet before noticing him. But that didn't mean that she was okay with him invading her private space.
 
Character
He shut the holonovel, a small smile creeping over his face, most likely going unseen by the woman in front of him. "Yes...but I believe we can help each other..." He hinted, his voice like gravel but with a thick Imperial accent, a distinct one that Kay may have heard a long time ago, on a distant world with a neverending storm. He rested one of his extremities on the armrest, a wrinkled hand appearing from out of the darkness, drumming its fingers on the chair before being waved.

A lamp flickered to life next to the chair, revealing the suited form of one Reginald Kardal, the reigning monarch of the Galactic Empire. A pair of half-moon spectacles resting on the bridge of his nose, the Emperor's brown eyes twinkling at [member="Lady Kay"] through them. The old man looked quite amused with the situation, a usual aspect of his demeanour, but something seemed...off...something to do with the Force...
 

Carla

Rainbow Smurf
Writer
That voice. She knew that voice. But never once was the person that made it here in Commenori space. Kay watched his hand appear out of the shadows, drumming fingers breaking the silence of the room. And then the light turned on, revealling the face of [member="Reginald Kardal"] , the Emperor.

For a moment longer Kay remained silent. Was he aware that she knew of one of his secrets? She had to presume that he did, otherwise he might not have used the Force to turn the light on.

"Your Grace...What a pleasant surprise." Did she stammer a little? Perhaps. Was she afraid of him? No. Intimidated perhaps, due to the military might at his beck and call. And although they weren't enemies, she wasn't sure of just what his reaction was with his High Moff Adron Malvern resigning from the Empire to work as her Royal Advisor.

She took a seat in the chair next to his, turning herself so that she could see him more squarely. "What is it that you require?" Kay still owed him favours for his generosity. Now she wondered if it was the time for him to have those fulfilled.
 
Character
Kardal´s smile never left his features as he clasped his hands over his lap, watching with mild surprise as Kay moved to sit beside him. He knew that she was quite the diplomat, steadfast in most if not all situations, but he had expected her to act with more outrage than what was given, though the possibility that this was due to her knowledge of him crossed into his thoughts. "I am here not to threaten or coerce you like those brutes in the Tingel Arm," He began delicately, the smile slowly fading from his lips, "Nor am I here to ask for the assistance of you or your people."

He sighed, looking down at his hands before back at [member="Lady Kay"]. "It has come to my attention the likelihood that young Malvern has confided with you, and others, about my 'terrible' secret." Reginald croaked, "He has left the Empire, as you are certainly aware, and is left wandering about the cosmos because of me, looking to spill the grievances to someone close. I have calculated it...but I have also seen it..."

The Emperor gave pause for a moment, shifting in the armchair slightly as he considered his words.
 

Carla

Rainbow Smurf
Writer
Kay tilted her head to the side ever so slightly as [member="Reginald Kardal"] began, displaying that same old charm that she was used to seeing whenever they were together. It was a side of him that she wasn't quite sure if it were real or just a political facade that he put up to better ensure that she'd be more comfortable around him.

If the Emperor didn't want help from her or her people, then how was it that the two were going to help eachother?

Regardless he continued on. Kay nodded a little as he mentioned Adron's revelations to her not that long ago. "He has told me, but I haven't spread that knowledge elsewhere. It's a tough thing to be a Force User as well as a politician. There is always a deeper level of mistrust..." One that she knew of first hand. She was nearly executed when members of the Republic's Intelligence Office found out about her own secret, and that only led her to hide hers even further.

"Lord Malvern is a smart man, though I don't believe that he is vindictive." Kay studied the Emperor as she folded her hands onto her lap. "What is it that you've seen, Your Grace?"
 
Character
"I've been studying him through the Force, I caught a brief his visit to his home on Serenno, and to a place that for the first time in a long time I did not recognize," Kardal revealed, the twinkle in his eye dimming slightly as he recounted his experiences, "I've heard echoes, through visions and the ISB, of things that he has said about me, about how I'm 'sacrificing the Empire' and that I started that damned civil war."

He shifted again, unclasping his hands and returning them to the armrests of the chair. The old man blinked, affixing his gaze to [member="Lady Kay"] once more. "I am telling you all of this because I felt that you deserved to know the truth as he did before you mark me as irredeemably wicked; because I know that you of all people would understand." The Emperor hinted lightly, smiling slightly before it disappeared again, "I am a Sith Lord, and long, long ago I served as their Dark Lord. Though I have retained my rank and name, I disregarded their methods. I am nothing now but a mere remnant of what once was."
 

Carla

Rainbow Smurf
Writer
Kay knew of the visit to Serenno that [member="Reginald Kardal"] was speaking of, afterall she was there. She had gone into the secret chamber and fought against the droid protectors that tried to stop them from leaving. In return she was given a broach, and thankfully a promise that Adron wouldn't reveal her secret.

And if the Emperor had seen that particular visit, then he too would be aware of that secret. That thought was soon realized as he hinted at it. Kay had done a few bad things in her time, things that she was not proud of and could lose everything over, so it was not her place to judge.

"I had asked him for more information on the civil war and of who was challenging you, but I wasn't given an answer. Perhaps you can enlighten me, Your Grace." And that was the truth of it. She had no idea of who was involved in the power struggle. Lessons could be learned there, in case she faced something like that on Commenor.

Kay sympathized with him, having not seen him do anything cruel first hand. And she hadn't heard any bad rumours of him either, outside of him being a Sith Lord. So there wasn't much of a way for her to discover if he was lying. She could only judge him based on her own experiences, and those have always been pleasant.
 
Character
Kardal gave a small tut at the mention of the civil war, but he was more than willing to explain it. "Around a fortnight ago, I confided in two of my closest allies, one being Lord Malvern. I revealed to them my status and informed them of the oncoming war." Reginald began, carefully choosing his words before proceeding, "Now, you must understand that I did not plan it nor did I provoke it in any way, but Tanomas and I knew that if we do not keep a step ahead, the losses will be catastrophic."

He paused again, "It's a terrible thing, being blind in your own government. We know that there are traitors in our council, in our military, but our efforts thus far to expose them have failed." The old monarch conceded, "Frankly, I would prefer to avoid the theatrics of a civil war and just hand them over to the Inquisitorius."

The Emperor shuffled again, "Tanomas knew as well as I did that when the war begins, he will be their primary target, which is why he agreed to me planning most of the long-term contingencies." He explained, "I told Adron and my second of these eventualities and their place in them. He seemed far more focused on glaring daggers in my direction every time I looked away, likely the post-trauma from the Sith burning his world..."

He stopped speculating for a moment, letting a small chuckle out. "My apologies for rattling on, I'm sure you have more questions than before." He sympathized, glancing back at her.

[member="Lady Kay"]
 

Carla

Rainbow Smurf
Writer
Kay furrowed her brows as she listened to [member="Reginald Kardal"] explain in a little bit more detail of the civil war. He was right in that his explanations led to more questions. And she could tell that he was being selective about what he had told her. Not that she blamed him for that either. Afterall, she wasn't a part of his government, nor was she one of his people. She was just an ally, and not a very close one at that.

"I do have more questions, Your Grace. Although I'm not so sure that they would all be answered. I still don't know who is causing the civil war and why. Do they just want to take over the Empire? Or is there something else involved? Is it spurred on by agents of another power?" Kay hoped that nothing of the sort ever happened with her. Although it nearly did. However she had managed to stop it before such a plan could come to fruition. Through a backdoor deal, she was aided by a few Sith friends to help her to pursuade the government of Yutan to remain under her banner. It had worked. Though it was such a dirty tactic, and one that she never planned on using again. Thankfully, she has had no reason to.

"Why are you coming to me now? Are you trying to warn me about Adron? Or anyone else in my own government?" It wouldn't surprise her if he had somehow kept tabs on what went on in CSA space. In fact it was expected. But her own betrayal was at the hands of her estranged husband. And that was something that she never saw coming.

But as the days wore on, she was getting over the separation and of once again facing the Galaxy on her own.
 
Character
Kardal knew full well why those who were going to begin the civil war were doing so, his agents had informed him and he had felt it during the Imperial state of the union. He was quiet for a moment as he articulated his speech to explain the situation properly to Kay, quickly clearing his throat. "There are those in the Imperial government that see the incumbent grand moff as old, foolish, and weak. They blame the Empire's failures, however small they may be, on him." The Emperor started, clenching one of his hands into a fist, "There are those who are unsatisfied with their position in the Imperial military, however high it may be."

His words were most certainly the truth in his eyes, but he knew that Kay would likely want to confirm them before taking it as fact. "This conflict isn't so much of a civil war as it is an attempted coup." Kardal added, "The reason I've come is that I want to make sure that my secret is kept safe. I want those who have found out to understand why, and when I finally have these loose ends tied up; I will find and attempt to talk to Adron."

[member="Lady Kay"]
 

Carla

Rainbow Smurf
Writer
Kay nodded a little, wondering if perhaps that [member="Reginald Kardal"] was referring to [member="Adron Malvern"] when he spoke of some Imperial officers that were unsatisfied with their position. But there could be many more of them if this civil war or coupe is taking place.

"Your secret is safe with me, Your Grace. I'm not the sort to delve into that side of politics where blackmail is involved. Or even threats. I prefer a level playing field." And balance. Balance was key.

However his mention to find and talk to Adron left her concerned. "When you say talk...do you mean to have a polite discussion? Or are you planning on something more with him? He is my Royal Advisor and I would prefer him being kept intact." Both in mind and body. She had hoped that the Emperor wouldn't try to harm him. That was something that she couldn't allow to happen. Adron was a part of her government and so he was under her protection.
 
Character
[THEME]

The Emperor frowned, averting his gaze from that of Kay's. "I have never actively, nor will I ever intend to kill, maim, or otherwise harm Adron. He was like a son to me, in the few years that I have known him." Kardal lamented, "I have seen him at his worst, after the invasion of Serenno. I have seen him at his best when the Imperial Guard was at its peak. I have seen him cement love by getting married and seen him lose it."

The old man exhaled; why was he, a politician whose cunning went unmatched for decades, having issues deciding his words?

"If he decides to burn all we have built, to further shatter our trust, then I will let him. If he decides to lash out at me because of my past affiliations, then I will defend myself. He is strong in the Force, as talented as they come; but if he decides to attempt to put an end to me, to never stop until he has exhausted every fiber of his being..." Reginald murmured through his bushy facial hair.

"...then I will be forced to slay Adron Malvern."
 

Carla

Rainbow Smurf
Writer
Kay furrowed her brows as [member="Reginald Kardal"] averted his eyes away from her own while he spoke. Was the Emperor lying to her? It was difficult to say as she didn't know him very well.

Or well at all actually.

She remembered the wedding of [member="Adron Malvern"] and his bride, for she was there as well, invited purely for being a Head of State, given that she hadn't met him before then.

Kay blinked as the Emperor seemed to believe that Adron was out to destroy him, upon which he chose to threaten to kill him. "But Your Grace, he has left your Empire, gone off to work for others and busy himself with other work. I hardly think that he has the time to go after you like that..." Or at least that's what she thought.
 
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