3610BBY - Korriban, Valley of the Dark Lords
“Kriff! I just had to go and touch it, didn’t I?”
Struggling against the rapidly hardening stasis crystal, the female Sith growled in anger at her own stupidity. Ka’ani had been so enthralled by the statue of the pureblood before her she’d ignored the danger sense she had been gifted through the force as it tingled down her spine. It was too late by the time she heard the click of the catch triggering under her finger as she traced the ancient Sith language at the base of the statue.
Her mind raced as the sticky, crystallizing liquid pushed her to the center of the room. She’d come here because of a vision. She’d left in the middle of the night without informing anyone of her plans. No one knew she was on Korriban, no one would come looking for her here, eventually they would have to give up their search for the Empress of Zakuul and mourn her for dead.
Well, most of them would. She knew Theron would never stop searching. He hadn’t given up on her during her time in carbonite, perhaps he would figure out where she was and rescue her from her own stupidity.
As the last of the stasis crystal hardened around her, Ka’ani called out her droid, T7-01, to send out a distress call. A distress call that was never made as the stasis crystal wrapped its tendrils around it too, encasing them both in their timeless prison.
10BBY - Korriban (Moraband)
“She’s waking up, alert Major Cepheus.”
Ka’ani groaned as a footsteps hurried towards her. “What’s going on?” she croaked, opening her eyes to the harsh lights hung from the ceiling of the tomb. “Who are you?” Her eyes came into focus on a dust covered young man with blond hair and grey eyes in grey overalls leaning over her with a confused look on his face.
The young man turned at the approach of a considerably older man wearing an olive-grey, dust free tunic over a pair of black trousers. “She speaks Basic, but it’s an odd dialect, sir.”
Doing her best to not look as annoyed as she was beginning to feel, Ka’ani struggled to sit up, her head swimming and her muscles complaining from their extended immobility. “My name is Ka’ani Shan, Empress of the Eternal Alliance. Don’t talk about me like I’m not here.”
The older man, who she assumed was Major Cepheus, appeared somewhat taken aback by her statement. Clearing his throat, he nodded his head in greeting. “My apologies for my ensign, we are both just so surprised that you are alive. We thought we’d lost you while we were freeing you from the crystal.” His eyes traveled along Ka’ani’s body, taking in her dust stained robe and scuffed purple tinted armor. “Forgive my rudeness, but you don’t look like an empress to me, could you perhaps be suffering from a sleeping sickness or the influence from the spirits within the tombs?”
A quiet laugh escaped Ka’ani’s lips as she arched a fine eyebrow ridge. “You are with the Imperial Reclamation Service, correct? You are no doubt familiar with the Eternal Alliance, of Zakuul? The new leader from the Sith Empire sent you, right?”
Major Cepheus blinked in confusion. “I’m with the archaeology division of the Imperial Army. There is no such thing as the Imperial Reclamation Service in any of the Empire’s forces.” He tried to meet Ka’ani’s eyes, but quickly looked away from the pained expression appearing in the woman’s flame red eyes. “I’m sorry, but I’ve never heard of Zakuul, nor the Eternal Empire. Emperor Palpatine sent me to Moraband to investigate a tomb that had appeared in one of his adviser’s visions. There is no Empress Acina, and the Sith Empire vanished millennia ago.”
“Pardon me sir,” offered the young ensign. “perhaps she has been trapped in stasis for longer than we’d assumed? I can’t find any records of Zakuul in our databases, and the only entry matching her name is from a poorly translated historical text dating back over three thousand years. Something about the Hero of Tython and Battlemaster of the Republic.” He gestured over to T7-01, who had begun to chirp and beep angrily several feet away. “The techs were unable to find that make and model in their files either.”
Fear began to creep along Ka’ani’s spine, her blood red flesh paling considerably. Had no one come looking for her? Were they all dead? “Ensign, could you do me a favor? Would you please look up how long it has been since the Treaty of Coruscant and the end of the Great Galactic War?”
Brow furrowing in confusion, the ensign looked to his commander for guidance. At Major Cepheus’ nod, he punched the information into his datapad. “This will take a little while, it’s hard to get a decent connection to the Holonet so far under ground.” He gave Ka’ani a small smile which she politely returned. “Name’s March Henutre, by the way.” he stated, holding out a dusty hand.
Doing her best to control the fear growing inside her, Ka’ani shook March’s hand before turning her attention to her droid, which had finally powered back up. “Yes, I understand that you don’t like being tied down, T7. Just be patient.” she stated as T7-01 chirped its annoyance at being connected to a small generator. “You’ll be back to your old self in no time. As soon as your able to, see if you can establish a connection to Theron and let him know we’re all right?”
“I don’t think anyone will answer your message.” muttered March. “According to this, the Treaty of Coruscant was signed 3,640 years ago.” He looked up and met Ka’ani’s horrified gaze. “I’m so sorry.”