The Perilous Blade continued its flight across the white expanse of hyperspace. Inside the ship, Aescun was in the medic section of the small room. The door was locked tightly shut. Removing a part of her body armor, she sat down on the bed near the medic droid. Her back arched slightly in pain from her previous scars as she groaned with discomfort. It came over and asked mechanically, “What ails you, huntress?”
Aescun scowled at it and snarled baring her fangs with a response, “Check me over, droid. I wish to see the status of my body.”
The medic droid spoke, “Of course. It will be done at once huntress.”
It took a few minutes of scanning her body with the instrument. It beeped in an affirmation with an almost animated cheerfulness, “If it will please you huntress, you are in complete heath. Of course both you and your child are healthy. You are three weeks pregnant!”
The beast let out a snarl as she grabbed its mouth with her clawed, nailed gauntlet and moved it close amid with protesting from the droid. She spat with coldness while whispering, “Not so loud, droid. You will be memory wiped again anyways, but for now keep it to yourself.”
She clenched her gauntlet on the droid’s mouth crushing the metal as it continued to protest beeping, “I apologize. You are damaging me, huntress. I will not say a word by your order!”
Aescun let out a scoff of anger as she thrust the medic droid aside and it fell into a clutter onto the floor. It deactivated as the auto self-repair mode kicked in. She ignored the droid and focused her attention on her stomach as she stroked it with her left gloved hand.
The beast pondered a bit. As she was raised, the medical droid who assessed her biology confirmed that she was incompatible to breed with any human or Mirialan. So, firstly her child isn’t Jordai. Secondly, it is actually partially Paerilous Khan’s. For the better part of her growing up on his ship, Paerilous had been thinking nonstop on how to make his genes compatible with Aescun’s blood.
He had her instructed early on. She was taught on everything in medical science. He also counted on her sharp mind to learn fast and research throughout the histories of these things. She even was allowed to visit Coruscant once to research the necessary components that she needed. Even while Coruscant was under the Sith Empire’s rule, the Emperor allowed her free reign as long as she is being watched to make sure she does not stray into the forbidden realms of the knowledge restricted to the Empire only.
From there, she had learned everything she could about the medical science required to bypass the incompatibility between Mirialan and Siriian. Of course, Jordai was being kept in the dark as it did not involve him. Paerilous wanted it that way simply because he was human and not beast enough. It would take her a better part of ten years until she finally found a way to bypass the incompatibility but it would require taking his sperm through an extraction into a test tube, mixing it with several other compatible DNAs from different compatible races including Siriian and injected into Aescun’s ovarian sac.
Subconsciously Aescun flinched slightly as she continued to stroke her chest. She was in pain during that time. As she remained seated, she closed her eyes and searched her memory to four weeks prior-
It was dark in the room. Aescun laid on the bed half naked. Her chest was bare but her breast was covered with a worn undergarment. She was watching the green skinned Mirialan, Paerilous, walk toward the table. He scanned the device with a medical scanner. After he was satisfied, he picked up the cylindrical device with a dark red liquid inside and walked toward his huntress. Sitting down, the warlord took her hand as Aescun moved up slightly to kiss him on the lips.
She smacked her lips slightly and snarled baring her fangs as she spoke with a question, “My lord, are you sure this is wise? If this fails, I will die painfully.”
“Positive,” Paerilous assured her with a brief nod as he kissed her back responding, “If there were other Siriian females aside from you around, I would have tested it on them instead to see if it worked. Already in the simulations this proved possible as only four of the five subjects tested and passed while the one died. This is good odds.”
Aescun whimpered slightly unsure as she bowed her head and stroked his arm muscles responding, “But I do not wish to die just yet.”
Paerilous touched her hair and stroked it as she gazed into his dark green eyes. He responded assuring her, “You are the strongest. You will survive this. I know of no other females that match your strength. If you do this, I will be proud of you and will keep you safe. You will survive this. I guarantee it.”
She continued to gaze into his eyes and nodded kissing him on the cheek while taking his hand clenching it. Paerilous placed the cylindrical onto the area of her chest where her ovaries were located and injected the small liquid containing Paerilous’s sperm in it into her egg sac. Aescun grunted in pain as she yelled out. He placed the device aside and hugged her as she continued to bear the pain. She whimpered slightly into his ear as she moaned, “It hurts, my lord. Please stay with me. I need you.”
The Mirialan warlord nodded and adjusted himself to lie on the bed while holding her close. He kissed her on the forehead as she hugged his muscles close still whimpering in pain. She spoke with a question while rubbing his chest muscles, “What of Jordai? Why does not need to know this? I love him as much as I love you, my lord.”
Paerilous shrugged as he responded with a growl, “He is human. He is much too weak to know of this as he is much too temperamental and violent. He is as weak as he does have his human shortcomings with a tendency to let his violent emotions do the work for him. You know how he is. He is also far too short-lived to reach my expectations of him.”
Aescun nodded and kissed him on the cheek as she responded, “Of course. However you decide my lord. He will not know of this. May I ask this? What is your plan for the child if she survives?”
The warlord scoffed as he corrected her with a response, “He, you mean? He is to be my legacy. With both Siriian and Mirialan DNA in the mix among other compatible races into the serum, he will have to be a lot stronger than Jordai. I would hope so. He’d better be because if he isn’t, then I will be very angry.”
She nodded smiling a little bit as she responded obediently, “Of course, my lord. And be that as it may, it will also be my responsibility to raise the child, correct?”
Paerilous nodded as he moved her closer to his side responding with a kiss on her crown avoiding her horns, “Of course, Aescun. It is your responsibility to care for him and I trust you in his care. No one else is to touch this child but you.”
She nodded and continued with her final question, “Also my lord, it seems obvious to me that you have no intention to let Jordai have power, correct?”
He shrugged and responded, “None at all. If he does take over, it will be short-lived. I intend to make sure that does not happen at all. I love what you are Aescun. I love what you are becoming. You are Siriian and if you were male, I would have raised you instead of Jordai. In fact, there would not be Jordai anymore. It will only be you on my side as equals and perhaps more. You Siriian seem long lived and strong and it is what I see to be the next Khan, but not Jordai. It will never be him. Do you promise me?”
Aescun nodded with a final word hugging him close and kissing his chest responding, “I promise, my lord.”
A beeping sound in the intercom woke Aescun as she gasped looking up. Putting back her body armor to cover her chest, she twisted on the comm and half shouted, “What?”
“We have arrived at the last know coordinates of the coffin, huntress. I thought you would like to know.”
She let out an audible snarl as she spat with disgust, “Yes, fine. I will be there, lieutenant.”
The huntress turned it off and stormed out of the medic room. With her gauntlet still on the hilt of her weapon, her cloak swished behind her as she turned to the stairs and leapt with the power of the force. Her metal boots clanged on the upper deck as she stormed toward the cockpit and stood as she spoke, “Where is it?”
Tei responded typing up a screen, “It drifted several light years from here. I am attempting to track its location but it seems that someone found it already.”
Aescun let out a snarl as she narrowed her eyes and spat impatiently, “Who?”
Tei continued his furious typing as he responded obediently, “The light signature matches that of an YT 2000 series, the Dandermind. It is a small trading freighter that regularly trades within Nal Hutta space and the outlying regions, huntress. Shall I pursue it? It is only some light years from here.”
She let out a growl as she responded, “By all means, Lieutenant. Hail it. I wish to speak with the captain.”
“Of course, huntress,” Tei nodded as he twisted for the comm speaking, “This is Lieutenant Tei Ranges of the Perilous Blade hailing the captain of the Dandermind, please respond. My commander wishes to speak with you at once. This is the Lieutenant of the Perilous Blade, please respond.”
There was silence for a bit. It went a bit longer than expected so Tei tried again the second time. No response. Aescun gripped her left hand into a fist as her bicep rose into a well-rounded muscle. She let out a snarl responding, “How many minutes away?”
Tei responded preparing for hyper jump, “Only five minutes away, huntress.”
She shouted with a snarl, “Then what are you waiting for? Pursue it. If it does not comply with my demands, disable it and prepare to board it.”
Tei nodded as the D5-Mantis patrol craft jumped.
Five minutes later, it exited hyperspace as the Blade moved around across toward the Dandermind. Tei hailed it again adding his demands. It suddenly charged up and opened fire. A console on the side of Aescun sparked as she let out an angry snarl. Tei shouted, “Shields are already up. Weapons charged and powered!”
Aescun shouted at him, “What are you waiting for then?”
He pointed as he continued his evasive maneuvers, “I can only pilot this vessel to avoid its attacks. The weapons console is over there, huntress!”
The beast let out a snort of anger as she moved her cloak out of the way walking toward the weapons console on Tei’s right. She sat down and looked into the screen as she maneuvered the targeting into position. Soon as the Dandermind was in her screens, she fired with her forward weapons. The small YT freighter continued maneuvering and firing back. As Tei continued dodging its attacks, Aescun finally found its weak spot and fired. The Dandermind ceased its attacks and was disabled without much of a fight. The beast released a snarl baring her fangs.
“Status,” Aescun shouted as she got up.
Tei responded, “Disabled, huntress. We received no damage. We are on the clear.”
She spoke as she turned to the screen, “Good. Hail him.”
Tei turned on the comm and spoke again, “This is Lieutenant Tei Ranges calling for your surrender. We have disabled your engines. Comply or you will be dealt with severely.”
Finally as the comm static with a male’s voice responding to the hail, “I apologize. I am Captain Tur Suriane. On the behalf of my crew, I wish to apologize for attacking. My comm wasn’t working at first and we could not respond. And then my pilot mistook your threat and attacked. He has been dealt with harshly. How may I serve Paerilous Khan’s servant this day?”
Aescun let out a snarl as she whipped Tei aside painfully with her gauntlet. She spat into the comm, “This is Aescun Shiion and you will treat me as such. I am no servant to anyone but my own!”
The male’s voice responded almost fearfully and hastily, “I-I apologize sincerely, huntress. I meant no offense. How may I serve you?”
She spoke again with a growl, “Did you pick up a coffin with a life sign inside.”
The captain responded, “Yes, yes I did. I recognized the markings of your main vessel on the tube. I however cannot just give it to you. Perhaps you can trade me something for it? I need to make my living you know.”
Aescun let out an angry snarl as her red eyes glowed harshly. She spat again, “You dare ask me, the dark Sith Huntress of Paerilous Khan, to trade with you? You insult me!”
The captain spoke again fearfully, “Ah no of course not huntress. I did not mean to anger you. Of course we can give you back your property without charge.”
Aescun spoke again harshly, “Good. Now begin the docking procedures and I will meet you in the airlock.”
As the comm ended, Tei maneuvered the patrol craft to dock with the freighter’s airlock. It hissed slightly as Aescun turned away heading toward the stairs. Soon as Tei finished shutting down the engines, he turned to her and responded, “Huntress, Paerilous had ordered me to accompany you only simply to observe you dealing with the matter.”
Aescun narrowed her eyes as it continued to glare with harsh crimson color. She spat while keeping her back to Tei, “Whatever. Just stay out of my way!”
Tei nodded as he bowed and spoke with another question, “Of course, huntress. If I may, what is your plan for this encounter?”
The beast continued to glare as she walked forward placing the hood over her head with a response, “Plan? You already know my plan, Lieutenant. Do not ask me of this again.”
Tei bowed again responding as he followed her, “I apologize. I will not ask again.”
As the small docking pylon between the two vessels connected with each other, the doors hissed as it opened. The cloaked dark Sith huntress waited as her gauntlet remained resting on the hilt of her saber. Lieutenant Tei Rauges stood by her side a few inches behind her. Soon as both doors opened, they both walked forward crossing the threshold. On the other end of the airlock was a single Sullustan. It stood with an halfhearted cheerful expression waiting for her.
Aescun stopped before him and snarled with disgust under her hood. She could sense his fear and it was disgusting. The Sullustan male gulped as he responded cheerfully opening his arms and bowing slightly with respect, “Welcome to the Dandermind! I am Captain Tur Suriene! I do apologize for our recent encounter and I do hope to avoid such things in the future!”
She continued to scowl at him as she kept her head down slightly. Only her dual horns were visible. She gripped her claw on the hilt of her saber waiting for more. He gulped and continued, “I will be your host for the day! If you wish for a tour or a little inspection of my little vessel, I would be happy to! It is all I can do for you, Huntress of Pae-”
Aescun let out a snarl shutting him up by looking up as her harsh crimson eyes glowed through her hood. Baring her fangs, she spat interrupting him, “Silence your groveling, fool! Lieutenant!”
The Sullustan captain stopped in mid-sentence as he gasped in fear of her intimidating red eyes. The lieutenant stepped forward and responded in a military fashion, “I am Lieutenant Tei Rauges. You are in the presence of Aescun Shiion, the well renowned Jedi and Sith Huntress in thirty seven systems. You should be in awe and kneel before her, Captain.”
Tur gulped and responded as he knelt before her, “Oh dear. I meant no disrespect.”
Tei continued, “By Chapter 23 in section 4 in the edict as written by your lord Paerilous Khan that all vessels boarded shall be searched. If the vessel refused to respond to the hails as given by him, this section gives him a free hand to take what he sees fit to serve his own vessel. This vessel that violated the rules shall be dismantled and destroyed after all the contents inside had been seized and turned over to the Paerilous Khan’s fleet. You will comply with the rules or you will perish. Those are your choices.”
Tur gulped as he looked up a bit but bowed as he quivered in fear responded, “But I am a simple captain, huntress. I do not have much to offer except my life. Please take the coffin and go. We will not bother you again.”
Aescun let out a snarl and jerked her left hand forward. The aura between her and the captain was manipulated as the captain gasped while being lifted by his throat. He was choking trying to plead with the huntress. As she gently used the force to move him closer, she spoke coldly without care, “Then I shall take your pitiful life, coward. You should not have taken what was mine in the first place.”
He gasped in fear as she took her lightsaber from the hilt. The saber was activated as the bright fuchsia color extended. She twisted with her right gauntlet and impaled him through the heart. The Sullustan captain died instantly as she manipulated the force to toss him aside against the wall. Her metal boots echoed among the small corridor as she continued her march toward the cockpit.
Her force sense continued to spread as she detected at least three people onboard the vessel. One was nearby in another corridor hiding as she continued forward. The Lieutenant continued to remain behind her observing her actions. He dared not intervene unless she asked him to as he was only an advisor and pilot. He was simply her companion for her first journey alone in this galaxy and beyond.
As Aescun turned the corner, she immediately brought up her saber to block the incoming blaster bolts from her attacker who was hiding. She turned glowing at him with her harsh crimson eyes. Taking her hand, she manipulated the force to immobilize her attacker choking him. She moved her hand side by side thrusting her attacker against the walls and the ceiling until finally she thrust him harshly falling down onto the floor snapping his neck with the impact without an effort.
She continued on toward the cockpit and turned into another corridor looking into the new room. The man behind the seat immediately stood and was about to fire when she grabbed him fully with the force and pulled him forward harshly. He let out a yell as he flew out of the cockpit and crashed into the wall near her. Taking her saber, she pointed the end of her fuchsia energy blade near his throat. Using the force, she immobilized the human and used the force to move only his head forward as toward the end of her blade.
The human pilot whimpered as she spat coldly questioning him, “Were you the one who dared attacked me?”
He whimpered a bit in fear as he responded, “Yes, please have mercy. I just simply misheard-”
Aescun interrupted him, “That this was Khan’s vessel that you fired upon. You have to be either stupid or bold to attack us.”
He tried again gulping as he was sweating from his brow from the heat of her lightsaber, “I am just a simple merchant who made a simple mistake. I run into many-”
She jerked her hand forward with a snarl as his vocal cord was impaled through with the saber. Life was snuffed from the pilot as she twisted her saber to the side letting his head roll off from his torso. The huntress was tired of hearing so many excuses from many cowards she faced. She was almost like the Khan, merciless and almost without heart. Tei continued to be impressed by her coldness toward her enemies. Her fuchsia lightsaber was deactivated as she placed it back into the holster.
Aescun moved forward toward the cockpit. With her hand, she waved over the consoles manipulating the electricity inside them. She destroyed the inside of the consoles rendering the Dandermind dead. Moving away from the cockpit, she continued onto her last destination toward the center where the coffin was located. Before her were a giant window and a console beside it. Another man was on the other side. He was only a simple scientist and medic. He had no weapons or anything to defend himself with and he had locked himself inside.
Without a thought for mercy, she simply grabbed the innocent scientist with the force and pulled him forward through the window killing him. The scientist laid on the window pane as the shard impaled him through the chest. The window broke and blood spilled out from the dead scientist as he gasped only once. She moved forward with a will and looked over the console before the broken window. Tapping a button, the cover inside the room opened as the coffin torpedo tube appeared.
She typed in a few more buttons and the console beeped once. Tei gasped as he approached her responding, “Is he alive? Wasn’t he dead?”
Aescun shrugged and responded removing her hood of the cloak and placed it down revealing her cooled down dark eyes and crown of horns, “Does it matter? He is still alive and worth keeping.”
Tei shook his head as he backed a bit unsure. Holding his hands up, he spoke, “No, he was supposed to be dead. We already have the new Khan. Are you telling me that he is still alive? I don’t understand unless you already knew?”
Aescun turned and flicked with her hand as she brought down Tei to his knees. He started choking as she manipulated the force to squeeze the life out of him. He stared back fearfully as she responded with harsh coldness, “Yes. He is still alive. Only I know this because it is what I wanted. What of your loyalties, lieutenant? Are you loyal to the new but false Khan or are you loyal to him.”
Tei continued gasping for breath as he spoke still struggling to breathe, “I-I am loyal to him. I will follow the Paerilous Khan even if it means my life. He did so much for me. He offered me salvation when my home was destroyed. He taught me only so much and made sure I was strong. Of course, huntress, I am loyal to Paerilous Khan. He is my life as he is my guide. I dare not cross him.”
The beast snarled baring her fangs. She flicked her wrist again clenching as Tei gasped some more breathing harder. She spat, “Which one, the old one or the false one?”
Tei stuttered some more still choking trying to get his breath, “Th-tha-the old one, Huntress!”
She let go as Tei collapsed onto his hands on the floor of the ship breathing to get his breath back. She stared at him pitifully as the lieutenant moaned rubbing his throat. He spoke as he got up carefully then stared back at her bowing, “Huntress. I promise you, I only followed the false one because I thought Paerilous perished. Now that he is alive, I have sworn for all my life to serve him without question. He gave me life when he should have given me death instead. For that, I am grateful for the second chance. Now please, allow me to serve you once more for our Khan. If not, then kill me. I shall not resist.”
Aescun scoffed once waving him off, “Fine. Whatever. Do as you will according to the edict. Search the vessel and salvage what you find to fit into the small cargo space of the Blade. If you find any other survivors, take them and throw them into the prisoner hold of the Blade. I will deal with them then.”
“At once, huntress,” Tei bowed as he backed turning away from her.
Keeping her right gauntlet on the hilt of her weapon, Aescun turned back to the door into the room. Taking both her hands, she force pushed the locked door open with all her strength that her muscles bulged into a size. The doors slammed open with a roar from the beast as she walked through the doorway. Waving her left hand at the controls to the coffin, she activated it and opened it. Mists blew out of the tube as the lid hissed open. She waited and moments later the green skinned Mirialan rose from his slumber.He looked back at Aescun and let out a snarl as he scowled at her. She simply stared back at him waiting. He took his time to get out of the coffin and stumbled a bit onto the floor. She continued to watch him. Taking his breath back, he lifted his head and roared with anger rushing at the beast. Grabbing her throat, the former Paerilous thrust her back as she grabbed his hand with her left hand. She grunted as he pressed his arm against her throat.
She kept her right gauntlet down offering no resistance. Paerilous raised his fist and shouted with anger, “Give me one reason why I shouldn’t kill you for your betrayal!”
Moving her right gauntlet up toward his face, she stroked his cheek as she continued to hold onto his wrist with her left hand attempting to speak through her expressionless face, “I carry your son. You do not want to harm me, my lord.”
He let out a snort of anger and growled as he lowered his fist while releasing his grip on her throat speaking, “Then tell me. Why betray me and why is my son in charge of my fleet. You made your promise and then you broke it.”
Aescun nodded getting close to him as she continued to stroke his cheek with her gauntlet. She kissed his palm responding, “I know I did, but Jordai was getting suspicious. I had to accelerate our plan and get you out of there. It would have been chaos if he knew what we were up to, my lord.”
He nodded and touched her chest as he questioned again, “How is he? You already know it’s a he?”
Aescun responded touching his hand on her chest with her left hand, “Yes I do. I can tell, my lord. Your son is still healthy and will be strong.”
The Mirialan warlord shook his head as he smiled lightly looking at her with love, “You mean our son, Aescun. Has it been three weeks now? Why have you come back for me? You should have left me for dead.”
She shook her head as she kissed him on the lips and responded, “I could not, my lord. I still need you. Our son needs a real father. I only trust you to teach him for your empire.”
He nodded as he continued to smile for her moving in for another kiss pushing her against the wall. Moving back slightly, he responded softly, “Call me Malek for now, Aescun. As I am no longer your lord, I have lost the title for now so my regular name should be fine. I appreciate your continued loyalty and forwardness.”
Aescun responded keeping him close to her, “I can only do so. Jordai betrayed me when he broke my promise. He had promised me equal sharing power but instead he punished me. He whipped me as such to teach me.”
Malek responded, “That was to be expected. I do not regret teaching Jordai this. I promise you, when I get back my title. I shall reward you as such by becoming my equal that he denied you of. He does not know the value of you more than I. Only I do and I will keep you safe, this I promise. You will share in my empire when the time comes.”
“Malek,” Aescun let out a snarl baring her fangs as she spoke, “I wish to kill Jordai when the time comes. I want his head for his betrayal toward me and for harming me as well as my child.”
He shrugged responding, “I care not. I raised him as a son, but he is not my real son. He will never be my son. Since you are carrying our son, you will have your chance at killing Jordai.”
The huntress nodded as she grabbed his hand with her gauntlet and placed her left hand around his muscled arm. She responded as she led him out, “Walk with me, Malek. Stick with me. Your presence alone gives me the strength I need to keep cool because without you my inner core is in turmoil. You keep me in control.”
He nodded as they walked side by side along the small corridor. He questioned her after he kissed her head while stroking her hair, “Do I have anyone still loyal to me?”
Aescun spoke one name, “Lieutenant Tei Rauges.”
“Ah,” he responded brightening up a bit and continued, “He has one of the few rare true loyalties. I have trained him well among others and he was my best student. I would trust my life to him as I would to you. You would be wise to heed his consul whenever it is needed. I felt the need to do so when I needed help with my skirmishes against my enemies. Where is he now?”
Aescun responded kissing his arm gently once, “Scuppering this freighter of the necessary items that we can salvage for the Perilous Blade and destroying it.”
“Any survivors,” Malek wondered.
“None, my lord,” she responded with pride.
He nodded and kissed her again on the head responding, “Good. I have taught you well, Aescun. You will do well to lead the good lieutenant.”
They continued their walk around the ship while Tei continued salvaging what he could from the Dandermind.