The room is circular, still, and dark save for a lone beam of light enveloping a raised pedestal in its center. Upon boarding the Paradise Lost, the lone Smuggler had realized he had gotten himself into a much deeper situation then he had originally planned. This freighter was no ordinary ship. Finding himself lost in it’s long halls, the Smuggler stopped silently before the room’s tall and glass adorned door that seemed to glow from the inside. Moving curiously into the room he approached a radiant column, a glowing red datacron structure lying on the smooth marble surface. Its twelve facets reflected the incoming light as he drew nearer, the light projecting in spectacular patterns throughout the room. Stepping closer, he was able make out the glint of gold lining the edges of the stunning dodecagon, creating intricate geometric designs within the datacron. The desire to take the stunning piece of history as his own, the Smuggler waved a hand over it. Within a quick moment, all reflections of light suddenly moved back into the holocron, the artifact beginning to come alive. The object glowed intensely before the image of a cloaked humanoid appeared before him. An intangible figure flickered into view, the figure’s eyes piercing through the Smuggler’s defenses and inspecting him for weaknesses as it stared silently from the glimmering holocron. Seconds that felt like eons passed and a cold sweat began to perspire down the Smuggler’s face in amazement and rivulets of the pathetic liquid began to fall to the floor gradually.
"State your name and purpose.” The figure spoke softly, it’s hands folded behind it’s back.
Feeling cornered the Smuggler fell back on his base nature and grew defensive, attempting to almost charm his way out of the predicament.
"Well aren’t you an interstin’ bit of wizardry... and from such a sparkly little whatcha’ ma’call it!” The Smuggler said, nodding to the holocron. Despite his guile the figure was ill affected and made no change in its demeanor. More seconds passed until finally the Smuggler couldn’t take anymore of the silence. Still, the Smuggler puffed his chest and tried to show that his pride was unmarred. "They call me Colten, and I was tryin’ to work out a way through this ‘ere maze of yours and get off this ship!”
"You state only an end and not the original. I ask again your purpose,” the figure asked and then after a brief moment finished its statement. "Mister Colten.”
The Smuggler’s face wrinkled in disgust, growing bored of the mechanisms retort.
"Well what does it look like? This vessel ‘ere seemed like as good a transport as any to help a bloke like myself to. Jus’ never thought it to possess such a ghost with no soul aboard, ‘cept for this annoying piece of matrix I first thought would be worth a pretty credit, but alls I witness now is a closely approaching headache.”
"Then your purpose was thievery, Mister Colten.” the figure stated, again no change in its demeanor or tone of voice.
"Didn’t I just say that?” He said, now growing very irritated yet at the same time equally perplexed. "What is this place anyhow? Registry read some sort of Paradise?”
"Yes, this vessel is known as the Paradise Lost, belonging to the organization of Penumbral.” the figure answered. "It is under the command of the Sith Lord Darth Umbra and her Council.”
"Penerbral... what?” the Smuggler question. The figure nodded in response.
"The Penumbral. which I am here before you to represent, Mister Colten.”
"Aight then...who are they? Or what were they?” the Smuggler said as he began to grow more and more curious.
In a flash the figure was gone replaced by a large and brilliant map of the galaxy. Detailed with countless planets and stars it drew the Smuggler forth in wonder. He hadn’t seen such a map that was both beautifully and accurately charted in years.
"Beginning In the year of 10 BTC, there was a sect of people who dwelled on the planet of Aeten II in the Dreighton Nebula. While they served the Emperor, they had lived for many years free of oppression due to their seclusion. Their teachings, while practiced in the Darkside of the Force, taught others the necessity of bettering ourselves to the highest potential. Then, over time, of all that came to an end. In an effort to free themselves from the occupying forces of the Dark Council a strike team was sent to the Republic world of Bimmiel.”
The map, which had been focused on Aeten II and displaying images of the planet zoomed out displaying the galaxy as a whole once more. A couple moments later it had acquired a new target, Bimmiel. Zooming in on the icey world it began to show images of a communications center of some sort. As the display panned from image to image the Smuggler soon saw that he was watching surveillance footage of it becoming under attack by an unknown force.
The figure continued with its narrative.
"During the battle nearly ninety percent of Aeten’s soldiers were killed and their leader Darth Umbra was taken into Republic custody.. Regardless, they were successfull with obtaining the materials needed to force the end of the Dark Council’s occupation and oppression of Aeten II and their people. Unfortunately, that newly restored freedom would last bare moments in their history."
As the figure's story continued on, the faces of various Sith, Mercenary and key figures displayed before the Smuggler.
"With Darth Umbra missing; the remaining Sith Lords and Sith Knights began a vicious power struggle to ascend to leadership over Aeten’s people. Not wishing to go through a repeat of what they had just endured several of the loyal students, council members and mercenaries left Aeten II in hopes of finding a new home. These refugees would eventually become the people of the organization known as Penumbral. The key members that remained loyal to their leader now encompasses Penumbral's Council.”
"So...” the Smuggler began as he sorted out the information that had just been revealed to him by the figure. "This Penumbral is a bunch of cowards that couldn’t stand up for themselves? A group of spineless sobs that ran away instead of standing and fighting for what’s theirs?”
The Smuggler let out a long mocking laugh at what he considered to be absurd joke.
The figure continued on as though the man had never spoken. "Upon retrieval of their leader and other captured comrades from the Republic and the SIS, those within Penumbral took up a new mission of providing refuge to those who had suffered from the tragedies of war. The people within the organization believe that neither the Dark Side or the Light Side is the ultimate solution. Neither of them holds the answers; the same applies for the Republic and the Empire. Instead they choose to walk their own path and write their own destiny.”
"Neither Republic or Empire, eh?” the Smuggler chuckled. "Their own path? What a joke. Best I’ve ‘eard all year! There ain't no MIDDLE ground in this war.” he exclaimed, continuing to laugh at the figure until suddenly a sharp piercing pain exploded from his chest.
Gasping for air he looked down and saw a bright, hot, aqua colored beam of light sticking out from his torso. As a sudden wave of cold and darkness began to overtake him he looked up to the map of the galaxy which once more displayed the ghostly apparition of the figure he had been talking to all this time. A soft, cold chuckle uttered from behind him. Several moments passed as he looked to it in shock and bewilderment with questions in his flickering eyes as they began to glaze over with darkness.
The saber extinguished, the Smuggler taking his last breath of life before falling to floor. Behind where he had been standing a platinum haired woman dressed in dark clothing stood clasping a lightsaber in her hand. Her eyes, the color of corruption gazed down at the lifeless body that now lay at her feet. For one long moment, no word was uttered and no sound was heard in the empty labyrinths of the ship. Footsteps broke the silence, a large figure stepping through the entryway of the now dimly lit room. The blond haired man, clad with an eyepatch covering one of his eyes released a gruff sigh of displeasure as he turned his focus on the dead body.
"Was that really necessary, Luniara?” He grumbled, rolling his eye with his bulky arms folded across his chest.
"Of course. He did not seem like the type that enjoyed keeping a secret.”The woman, now identified smiled as she turned towards the man."To ensure safety on board this ship, I imagine such precautions are needed, Aeetos.”
"Of course..." Aeetos released a sigh of frustration and watching the woman make her exit from the room. She laughed to herself.
He turned, speaking a few short commands to the console and watched as the figure illuminated before him disappeared back into the holocron it had appeared.