Reunion 2 - Mask of Treachery: Spies, Lies, Betrayal

Continuing from the events of Reunion Part 1, Jedi Master Kixi Rajki has learnt that her youngest sister Imogen, had indeed survived the devastating attack of her own world by dark lord and self proclaimed emperor Xiz'Jhan.

In continuing the quest to find her, she seeks the services of her supposedly trusted assassin friend Kes En'jusek, to recover a relic that will track down an ancient starfighter, the Câlder mit Arkhan Z, believed to be the key for her to journey back to her own galaxy, and once and for all reunite herself with her long lost sister...

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Author's note

This story is not set in the KnM Blade Universe or my own created universe as is the case with KnM Blade: In Destiny's Way, KnM Blade: I Love You And You Love Me, The Wedding of Kixi And Mako Jhasmin, and KnM Blade: Beyond Seduction Deceit Betrayal.

This is set in a cross universe of Star Wars and Stargate (Which I call KXU), with some of my own creations such as the Sajnan Confederate, (Not to be confused with the Sajnen Confederate in KnM Blade which is not the same), as well as characters with the same names such as Kixi Rajki, Mako Jhasmin Zaneca, Kes En'jusek, Kajtia Xiz'injhürek just to name a few, (The characters with the same names in KnM Blade are not the same). The current stories in that series are; Times Arrow, Total Recall, Reunion Part 1: Entrapment, A Prelude to Chieade Lama (Not on Movellas.com), and A Cruel But Yet Deserving Punishment (Not on Movellas.com).

Over time I intend to publish a handbook that differentiates between KnM Blade and Kixi Star Wars cross Stargate (KXU) in detail, featuring timelines for both, listing characters of both universes, and explaining the differences between the several characters that have the same names (Some with similar roles), between the two universes.
AA

4. Chapter 1.

Chapter 1.

 

Naboo was a beautiful planet. Majestic cliffs and vast blue expanses of ocean were a stark contrast to the planet wide jungle of buildings that was Coruscant, or the actual jungles of deadly, but beautiful Felucia. It was a respectable planet with minimal crime, and as such, Jedi Master Kixi Rajki hadn't ever stopped there properly.

It was a wealthy planet as well. A tourist location that was exotic, but still soothingly familiar so as to not stretch beyond the comfort zone. As a predominantly Human planet, save for the indigenous Gungan, Kixi really should have stopped by at some point. However, it was not unique in any specific regards. The Galaxy was a very large place, with many base-Human planets, and Kixi hadn't had any particular reason to visit this one in particular.

Kixi wasn't sure what she was looking for. There was no signal, no obvious place to go. Kes hadn't known the name of a vessel to give her, nor a time and location for a secret meeting. But, she believed in her trust in the Force, and, like she had on countless occasions, had chosen to trust her friend. In spite of any indications or expectations to the contrary, Kixi strongly confided in the woman who had once been her personal assassin, long before her Jedi days.

Kixi shared a special empathetical bond with Kes, in that she would share her secrets and private matters with her supposedly close friend and former assassin. Yet the Jedi Master could not have been more naive. Aside from being oblivious to the fact that Kes, unchanged in her ways, was still a cold blooded serial killer, she also absolutely resented her, unknowingly and faithfully served the very dark lord that had wiped out her family, and ultimately had plans to eventually kill both Kixi and her significant other.

Scanning the system for ships didn't help all that much either. The planet had its own security, and there was a significant amount of trade ships coming too and from. Nothing stuck out as obvious. There was no way to even know if the other hired gun was in the system.

A few minutes of futility later, Kixi started going through the various outlier ship registries. Trade ships and military vessels did not interest her, and there were no capital ships either. She focused on some of the personal cruisers in orbit and docked, of which there were thousands.

It was almost frustrating. But, she knew with enough time, she would prevail. It was nothing she hadn't had to do to track down a contact. It was expected almost. Perseverance was the key, and when that failed, she would resort to the Force.

After sitting in orbit for nearly two hours, a large ship entered the system. Different although similar in size to Kixi's MXS Morihei Ueshiba Defiant class battleship, the ship was quite long, triangular at the rear and cylindrical in the centre and front. There was a bank of three large engines on the back, giving it some significant speed capability, and there were gun emplacements up and down the hull. Yet it wasn't a warship. It was a Consular-class space cruiser built by the Corellian Engineering Corporation.

"That's the one, it's got to be," Kixi said, gesturing to the image that popped up on her display. The Dagger's Edge, the ship that Kes had advised would be registered to a Raven, a hired gun, assassin and bounty hunter, that Kixi, in a very non Jedi like way, had requested her supposedly former assassin to sought out for her.

"It appears that it is the correct ship Captain," Mako Jhasmin, Kixi's first officer responded unenthusiastically. If having Kes around wasn't enough already, her girlfriend's idea of hiring another assassin for her important upcoming mission didn't bode too well with her at all. As far as things went regarding Kes' dark past, she was fully aware that her days as an assassin were far from a glimpse of her shady past. Twisted and evil, nothing had changed with Kes, knowing all too well how to manipulate her girlfriend. Kes however was far too intelligent to be outfoxed or played. Only fully aware that Mako knew enough, through more manipulation and threat, Mako found herself in quite the unfortunate situation that she was forced to remain silent. Either that, or risk losing Kixi again to the dark side with devastating consequences.

Kixi pushed a few buttons on her console and then spoke. "Dagger's Edge, this is the Morihei Ueshiba, do you copy?"

Only a few seconds passed before an audio only response was received. "Morihei Ueshiba," the heavy male voice crackled through the bridge's communication system's speakers, "the Dagger's Edge copies. What is your query?"

“I, along with a crew member on my ship wish to meet with a passenger on your ship.”

“There are currently no passengers on this ship," came the reply. "This is not a passenger transport, it is a private vessel used to transport its captain the owner, and her crew. Please do not waste our time.”

Kixi turned to Kes and rolled her eyes. "I do not know how secure this link is, but my crew member's name is Kes. The passenger on your ship will know who it is."

There was a noticeable pause that went on just long enough for Kixi to be nervous. The Dagger's Edge was quite armed, however it was no match for Kixi's heavily armed, more superior vessel that could easily blow the other out of the sky. Though clearly, a hostile confrontation was the last thing the Jedi Master wanted or needed, and especially over Naboo's busy planetary orbit.

"We wish to open a holovideo to confirm your statement," the Dagger's Edge eventually said.

"Certainly," Kixi replied. She flicked a switch and suddenly the display was filled with the view inside of the Dagger's Edge. There, a craggy faced middle aged man, with a hint of grey at his temples appeared.

“I am Holden Tarkin," he said. "Second in command of this ship. To whom do I speak?”

“I'm Jedi Master Kixi Rajki," Kixi replied. She leaned forward and grabbed onto the gimbal that controlled the viewer, and tilted it over to Kes. "And this is my associate and friend Kes En'jusek.”

“Holden," Kixi continued. "I need to hire someone for an upcoming critical mission. My associate here has led me to you.”

“Indeed," said Holden. "Apologies for the earlier cautionary measures. One can't be too sure or trustworthy in our line of business. Raven who is the person you seek told me to expect you. I will transfer docking protocols over to you momentarily. We await you at your leisure.”

A light on the console flickered green just as the call cut out. A moment later, the docking formula was loaded into the system, which Kixi immediately transferred to her personal Sajnen X25-C transport shuttle. "Well, this should be interesting," Kixi said.

The Dagger's Edge had entered Naboo's orbit on the other side of the planet. Upon boarding and departure, it took the Jedi Master, Kes and her accompanying first officer, the better part of thirty minutes to get an approach vector for docking.

The Dagger's Edge was large, but it wasn't that large. The docking bay was just barely large enough for Kixi's transport shuttle and maybe a handful of smaller vessels. Kixi would go so far to call it cramped, yet her own ship wasn't exactly big either.

Once docked, Kixi lowered the shuttle's ramp and disembarked, with Kes and Mako following shortly after. This wasn't really her gig, but she was already involved, so she figured she might as well get in on the ground level.

Two crewmen, both dressed in a silver metallic uniform with large shoulder pads and a six button belt buckle, greeted them upon exiting the shuttle and stepping upon their ship. "Welcome," one of the men who also donned some sort of special stole over his shoulders said. He was a dark skinned man with a grey goatee, but a strong jaw. "Our instructions are to bring you to the conference room. Raven will be waiting for you there."

“Thank you," Kixi said. "Please, lead the way.”

The Dagger's Edge was a cramped ship, just like its docking bay indicated. That wasn't actually atypical. Spaceships were almost always designed for utility first, and open space was usually one of the first things to get cut. This ship wasn't any different to the others she had seen, her own ship included.

However, that didn't mean it wasn't extremely nice. It was clear that the owner had gained a reasonable amount of wealth, most likely from shady dealings and crooked business. The rooms and even the hallway had personality to it, and the crewmen all seemed extremely friendly. Given the type of people she was about to deal with, it was a stark contrast to the usual ship crews Kixi came across, which usually ranged from crotchety to outright hostile.

Once they got past the crew chambers and miscellaneous control rooms for the ship's various functions, it actually opened up quite a bit. They were eventually lead to a conference room which Kixi would actually consider spacious, and quiet luxurious. There was even a server off to the side waiting to get drinks for them. Admittedly that was highly unusual for the sort of mob they were about to deal with, but nonetheless, she along with the rest of her entourage accepted them.

There was a large table situated in the centre of the room, taking up a lot of space, but not so much as to feel oppressive. No one was sitting at it. Instead, both a woman covered in all black which Kixi assumed was Raven, and another man who looked similar to the ones that had taken them here, were standing off to the side, near the viewport giving them a beautiful vantage point of the planet below. The man, the same man she had spoken to over the holographic communications, was an older grey haired human who looked like he'd seen his fair share of combat over the years, also donned a military style black beret with an insignia that Kixi did not recognise; most probably she presumed, some sort of logo that represented the group's mercenary organisation.

Upon Kixi, Kes and Mako entering the room, they both turned their attention to them.

"It's a pleasure to see you again Kes," Azalyn said with a slight bow.

"And likewise," She replied. "I've brought the Jedi Master who I speak so highly of." Kes continued, lying about the latter no doubt as she waved a humble gesture toward the Jedi.

Though unavoidably, given that this whole situation, as Kes had put it, involved a Jedi with a dark past, Azalyn's natural instincts had her setting on edge. She was an assassin and a bounty hunter of renown, specialising in high value targets, politicians and Force users. Something was making her anxious about meeting this particular Jedi.

Subtly, Azalyn turned to Kixi, giving her a dubious look which Kixi either didn't notice or had chosen to ignore. "Welcome aboard my ship Jedi Master Rajki, your friend has told me much about you."

Kixi however did not respond, nor did she out of courtesy demonstrate any etiquette in acknowledging her host. In fact if there was any truth in the expression, 'First Impressions Last,' then the Jedi had already made up her mind about Raven. Unlike her host who had at the very least been subtle, Kixi demonstrated no such characteristics, loathsomely smiling back at her.

Raven, was a tall slim woman, taller than the Jedi Master at 182 centimetres, who evidently wasn't the type to ever show her face to anyone. No one except the people she trusted. Instead of the usual bounty hunter armour, Azalyn wore all black. Currently, because she was also in the presence of two strangers in the form of Kixi and Mako, her face was covered by a hood, mask and cloak. Although her precautionary measures in this instant were considered mind, taking into account the absence for potentially far more serious threats. Had such risks been foreseen, she'd also have put on a silver helmet and chestplate.

"You may leave us." Azalyn instructed the two men who had escorted us to the conference room. The men promptly left shutting the door behind them, and would wait outside for until the conclusion of the meeting.

Remaining on her feet along with Holden, Azalyn gestured for her guests to sit. Preferring to simply stay on her feet, Kixi however rejected the offer, not so much as even thanking her host for the friendly thought.

Kes in the meantime, no doubt irritated with the Jedi's deliberate lack of respect toward her friend, said nothing. It was becoming more then clear now, that the woman she secretly despised so much, was going more than out of her way to be rude and uncivilised to her friend. From what Kes gathered, the conversation was bound to falter before it had even began.

“Kixi this is Raven," Kes finally spoke out, breaking the silent awkwardness that the moron of a Jedi Master that she was forced to keep a pretence of amicability with, had unnecessarily caused. "You asked for me to find you another assassin or mercenary for our critical upcoming mission. Here she is. I’ve known her for a while. She is skilful, capable and trustworthy."

"Another assassin?" Kixi was quick to protest. She seemed rather surprised, inquisitively raising an eyebrow. "If she is an assassin you refer to as 'another,' then who is the original assassin? I certainly wasn't expecting this." Kixi foolishly commented as she was under the strong belief that Kes' days as an assassin were truly long behind her.

Yet Kes wasn't at all surprised by the Jedi's ignorant outburst. She expected nothing less from an individual she considered only slightly brighter than the worthless soul she considered the dumbest of the dumbest; her annoying precious girlfriend who stood speechless opposite the other side of the despicable Jedi.

Patiently, Azalyn observed the discourteous Jedi speak to the woman she definitely understood as being an assassin. She didn't require the Force to fathom the Jedi's negative vibe either. The Jedi's immediate distaste upon first setting eyes on her was more than apparent.

Glaring at Raven, there was absolutely no doubt that Kixi herself showed signs of intimidation. The assassin's full black attire, covering her from head to toe, in that only her eyes could be seen was unnerving enough even for the likes of the Jedi Master. For a brief second she turned looking at Mako, almost as if she didn't know what to do, and then back to face both Kes and Raven, keeping her girlfriend well positioned behind her.

Sighing, Kixi made absolutely no effort in hiding her disapproval. She walked closer to Raven, prompting Holden who had been standing behind her to leap forward. However completely unfazed over the Jedi's sudden approach, Raven raised her hand up urging the large man to come to a halt, which he did come upon, but not without the way of any objections. "Raven! You can't possibly—"

“It's okay Holden, she may approach me." Azalyn spoke, confidently taking control of the situation, her voice stern. "She's a Jedi,'she won't go on the offensive.”

All eyes fell upon Azalyn as a tense moment of silence ensued. She stood calmly, the bright image of Naboo dominantly filled the backdrop behind her, as she watched the Jedi Master attentively.

Holden nodded, hesitantly, keeping his gaze fully fixed on the Jedi who had stopped a metre shy of the tall woman that he had sworn to protect. Kixi eyed him suspiciously, while Holden returned eye contact, his hand remained at his side and close to his weapon.

Kixi began inspecting Raven, breathing heavily, hints of annoyance more than obvious. Not very Jedi-like at all, Kixi acted with no due regard toward her host.

“Raven, is that your real name? Or is it just an alias?” Kixi asked taking in a deep breath.

“It’s my alias, and it is all you need to know Jedi.” Azalyn responded bluntly, her voice monotone as she rolled back her shoulders, nodding to Kes who watched on hiding her disgust toward the Jedi Master.

Azalyn's reaction wasn't in anyway a result of her not being too fond of Jedi. To her Jedi were just like anyone else in the Galaxy. If they offered her a reasonable job that paid well, then she found no reason as to not offer her services. However this particular Jedi who could have been Sith for all it mattered, had deliberately gone out of her way to be hostile and impolite towards her. A rather ironic and unexpected situation, as it was Kixi that required Raven's services. Despite Raven needing the credits, she simply wasn't prepared to put up with, nor give in to the arrogant Jedi’s demands. And that was putting it lightly.

“I see Raven.” Kixi replied slowly inhaling a deep breath, and then sighed heavily as she expelled all the air out. “Allow me to make something clear to you right now, you will not speak to me in that rude manner under any circumstances.”

“I will allow you nothing... Kixi Rajki. Your arrogance places the likes of yourself above me, yet I can assure you that in reality, it most certainly is not the case. If you wish to judge others by appearance and occupation, rather than the actual traits of the individual, then you deserve no respect, and therefore I will speak to you how I damn feel like it. You... Jedi, do not own nor command me.” Azalyn said standing her ground much to Kixi's annoyance.

“Last time I checked, you were a guest onboard Raven's ship." Holden added in, his voice calm but yet firm. "It is not customary for a guest to offend their host.”

Not withstanding that she knew she was in the wrong, Kixi silently cursed under her breath at Raven’s reluctance to give in to her demands. The frustration was more than evident to all that surrounded her.

"Kixi, it's only a suggestion, but perhaps you should take a less... aggressive approach." Mako's voice seemed like a murmur as she took a step in closer to her girlfriend.

Yet even to Mako's astonishment, Kixi simply ignored her, frowning. Instead, she leaned in forward and began speaking in a slow but very deep intimidating tone, pursing her lips further attempting to intimidate Raven.

“Please. Cut. The attitude... Out. I don’t appreciate the way you are speaking to me.”

Dismissively, underneath her mask, Raven's cheeks gracefully reddened, not at all unnerved by Kixi's feeble attempts at intimidation. Instead on the contrary, she found her continued persistent threats rather amusing somewhat. She cleared her throat nervously, beckoning the Jedi to step in closer to her.

Fuelling her need to further satisfy her egotistical attitude, Kixi was more than happy to oblige, taking a step in closer.

However not at all intimidated by Kixi’s antics, in a mocking tone she let Kixi know precisely what she thought of her. “Well then, perhaps if you're too thick to get it, that I don't take orders from you, then perhaps I'll take a more direct approach in getting through to you. Go and get fucked you troll!"

Kes couldn't help but smirk behind Kixi's back; what she would do to kill her now. She had to fight her urging desire to step in from behind, and wrap her forearm around her neck to snap it clean. And then the question regarding Kixi's irritating girlfriend beckoned; nothing more than a useless little pet that begged to be put down. What she would do to pop a blaster bolt straight through her forehead and spit on her corpse.

Completely taken aback, Kixi disdainfully eyed Raven shaking her head. The wheels had been set in motion for things to start turning ugly. She crossed her arms hissing, her behaviour no doubt the perfect recipe for potential disaster.

"If you have a problem with the way I’m speaking you, then perhaps you should reflect on your own attitude? You want to gain my respect, then you’ll need to earn it. You, Jedi, are not above me nor anyone else.” Raven said firmly, again holding her ground .

“I see... I see Raven." Kixi once again pursed her lips. "However what you fail to understand... is that as your potential employer, I have a right to know your real name. Further to that... I being the one that will lay down the credits on your platter, will not tolerate disrespect towards me, nor anyone else that is a part of my crew. Do. Not. Speak. To. Me. In. That. Manner. Again... Repeat such vulgar language to my face again, and I will—"

"You will do what?" Raven continued to baldly challenge Kixi, who did little to change her egotistical attitude.

"I will..." Kixi snarled and hissed but no words exited her mouth.

"You'll do nothing Jedi. Or perhaps I should say wannabe Jedi, for I have met many a Jedi in the past, and none have ever demonstrated your arrogant lose tempered traits." Raven countered, this time taking a swipe of her own at Kixi.

“Raven!" Kixi snapped suddenly feeling flush, while her muscles tensed due to Raven's comment hitting a sweet spot. "I couldn't care less regarding your insignificant assessment over me. After all you are just a mercenary, you hold nothing for the greater good of this galaxy.”

"And you? You are no better? After all it is you who is wanting to hire me. Yes?" Raven immediately challenged.

"You seem to find an answer for everything, if only your values were as great as your big mouth. However rest assured I am nothing like you." Kixi said clenching her jaw, while at the same time felt her heart rate increase.

"You Kixi Rajki, are the one who can't even at least pretend to act civilised in my presence. And I've done nothing at all to warrant such inappropriate behaviour from your part. Perhaps you should take the time to reassess your actions?" Raven asked, calmly, her voice nothing but sincere.

Yet that seemed to upset Kixi further who retorted by saying, "Perhaps you should stop hiding your face and reveal it to me."

“I show my face to only close friends and trusted people, otherwise I show it to nobody, and most certainly not you!” Raven said waving a dismissive hand gesture at Kixi.

“What!” You dare continue to defy me! Take off the mask now!” Kixi furiously demanded.

“I will most certainly not! Never! Not to an arrogant and disrespectful woman such as yourself!" Raven barked back not caring even the slightest bit regarding the Jedi’s threats.

“Fine then, I will remove it for you!” Kixi spat back reaching an arm out at Raven in a feeble attempt to rip off the part of her facial wrappings that covered her mouth, only to have Raven reach out with one hand to grab her wrist, and then the other to grab at her throat.

Her eyes wide open in shock, Kixi tried to disengage from Raven, but the assassin's grip held firm. Wisely though, Raven did eventually let go, pushing Kixi back causing her to stumble several feet backwards.

Instinctively, Mako had scrambled forward almost simultaneously, hand over her holstered blaster and ready to draw it. However before Holden Tark who had been keeping a close eye on her could pounce, Mako was stopped short by Kes who wisely stood in between where both Mako and Kixi were standing.

"Put it away you empty-headed imbecile!" Kes said eying her menacing, as she stretched her arm and hand out to stop her. Mako's nostrils initially flared in anger, but she sensibly backed off upon Kes' intimidating whisper. "Draw your blaster and I swear that even in the presence of your dumb girlfriend, that I'll break your fucking arm and your nose you stupid twat!"

Whatever had happened between Mako and Kes was of no consequence, as Kixi had already retrieved and activated her lightsabre in the instant Raven had released Kixi from her grip.

“Don’t you ever do that again Raven!” Kixi menacingly warned.

“Ha some Jedi you are Kixi, you’re the one who advanced on me. I have the right to defend myself do I not? And now you threaten me with that blade? So what are you gonna do, kill me Jedi?”

Raven then turned to Holden who during Kixi's balls-up had gone for his blaster, and now had it pointed in the Jedi's direction.
"You can put that down. She can't hurt us." She paused a moment to scornfully eye Kixi and then continued. "She can't hurt me for no reason. It would be a serious breach of her Jedi code."

It took a moment for Kixi to comprehend the gravity of the situation she had gotten herself into. The Jedi was completely overcome with defeat; her clenched stomach felt like it would implode upon itself.

A cacophony of clashing signals were assaulting her mind, some more reasonable than others. 'My whole family except my younger sister Imogen are dead. At the hands of Lord Xiz'Jhan, assisted by my young traitorous aunt Valeska. They both should be dead. Kill them. Defend yourself. Kill them now. Before they kill your sole remaining sister. You've made a terrible mistake. You don't want to hurt yourself any more. You've abandoned your family in their time of need for not having been there.'

But above all else was one relentless message, roaring in her head, far louder than all the others. 'What have you done? Get a grip on yourself!'

"Oh in the name of the Force," she whispered to herself, deactivating her lightsabre and then re-holstering it. She shut her eyes and clamped her hands to her head in an attempt to silence the intrusive voices. Mako approached in front of her; she wrapped a gentle arm around her, much to Kes' disgust. "Oh in the name of the Force," she whispered again, heaving as if having exerted much energy.

"Kixi, you are okay. Everything is okay." Mako spoke in a gentle, reassuring tone, articulating every word with care. Kixi's breathing began to slow as she continued.

As the others watched on, Kes in particular couldn’t help but feel her hatred towards Kixi and Mako increase. Furthermore, the latter, her precious girlfriend had clearly been ready to point her blaster at her friend Azalyn. Pitiful was the only word Kes could think of to describe her. Indeed she would see to it that she personally dealt with Mako afterwards.

Kixi snapped her gaze back to focus once again at Raven. Yet what Raven saw now was no longer the arrogant egotistical woman that had sought to challenge her just moments earlier, but woman, shattered and broken by her own vivid emotions.

“I'm sorry Raven. I'm extremely sorry for my appalling behaviour towards you." Kixi spluttered her words, tears slowly coursed down her face. "I'm a total wreck, desperate to find my long lost younger sister. My home, my parent’s palace was destroyed. I lost everyone and everything. She is all I have left from my old family. In order for me to be able to journey the tremendous distance back to my home, I first need to recover a device that is imperative to finding a unique ship that is key for me to archive my goal. I am sending my very trusted friend Kes on this mission, as she is more then adapt in succeeding. Yet she will require a partner, and no one in my crew is suited to work with Kes. Thus why I asked her to seek her own, thus why she has picked you.”

Her words caused Raven to raise an eyebrow, while Mako let go of Kixi and once again took a step back. Kixi then looked up through her arms, her eyes shining with emotion. "I will pay you generously well. Should you accept the offer, it's paying a million credits which Kes will transfer to your account. That part is non negotiable, and given its a large sum I'm paying you in full before the job is even started, I'm highly anticipating that you will take it."

"That sounds wonderful, I accept your offer." Raven replied, seemingly softening up a little.

"Oh? And despite what I said about you before, I actually feel that you would make a wonderful addition in your partnership with Kes," Kixi added, shocking Raven greatly.

Kixi paused a moment to take in a long deep breath, and then turned to face Kes as she let it out. “Kes she is your responsibility from this point on. You will leave in 24 hours from now at exactly 0800 hours tomorrow. The details of the mission are on the datapad I gave you earlier. You know all the mission details, bring her up to speed and ready all your things.

The guards who had waited outside, were efficient in responding to a signal that Azalyn sent for them to reenter, reemerging the moment the conference room doors opened.

"They will escort you back to your shuttle Jedi. Once I have made all of my own necessary arrangements, I will signal for Kes to alert your crew in allowing me to board. I will assume from what you said before, that Kes will take care of all the pre-mission specifics so we can depart without delay." Raven said straightening up to full height, while Kes nodded in acknowledgment.

Tilting her head to one side, Kixi studied Raven's posture once more, still wondering in awe what the face under the mask looked like. "That's fine. Just don't be late." Kixi then said dismissively. Without waiting for any possible reactions, she grabbed one of Mako's hands, and then without a second thought, swivelled around as she turned away following the guards, and then exited.

Meanwhile, while casting a quick glance at Azalyn, Kes rolled her eyes as she pointed in the direction in which Kixi and Mako had left. Trying to suppress her smile, she was quite unsuccessful, so a mockingly un-approving grin formed on her lips, her hazel eyes glinting with entertainment. Smirking, a shallow smile with deep piercing eyes and an evil mind betrayed all innocence. She eventually looked away from Raven, following Kixi, Mako and the guards back to their shuttle.

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