Venenum Nostrum Part 4

In 20min they’re on the Phantom, a popular ship among Imperial Agents, masked as a Imperial Diplomatic vessel. It would take about thirty minutes to get to Alderaan. In that time, Crimsen meditates: He needs his flashbacks to go away now, and he needs to process what he has heard. Veno is not a mechanic, but a Sith Lord! Not everyday a Sith Lord hides in plain sight among his own people. What is to be gained from such a ruse? Does he think he is the only Sith with a long kill record?

Veno can talk can’t he? Or should he call him Aatrox? Which name would Veno prefer? A man of many names-  Crimsèn is no stranger to having many names. He’s neither a stranger to killing, nor choosing the lesser of too evils. He’s no stranger to being a killer, either.

He was no stranger to putting on a mask to gain acceptance. The past, sexual orientation, and even what you like to eat in the morning can be a reason for people to exclude. It’s what sentient like to do: Sit on their moral high thrones and condemn the common people among them. The commoners put on good faces to avoid the angry, judging looks. Crimsèn used to do that: Crimsèn put on the face of a strong, heterosexual red sith to gain 5 less minutes when he lived with his biological parents. He would pretend to be straight so no one would bother him during his agent training back in his early 20s. Crimsèn does not talk about how he killed in cold blood because he wanted to follow orders back then just so people will give him a chance now. All masks worn to get a glimpse of acceptance.

Crimsèn understands Aatrox more than Aatrox knows. Willing to talk is one thing, willing to listen is what Aatrox really wants from Crimsèn. He shall give it. He will listen to this Sith Lord turned mechanic, and give his report to Commander Gravy later.

Crimsèn sends the Sith Lord a message when they get to Alderaan: “I am here.”

“Head to these coordinates, no prying eyes, just you and I.” the message wasn’t of his voice it was of a computer’s voice, the location was an old Thul outpost that had long since been destroyed and not bothered with for some time now. The next message would appear. “It would be easier for both of us.”

swtor-2016-08-10-16-24-58-1021

The message is all Crim needs to know this will be a more personal, than professional, visit. He goes to Etek and answers, “I need to do this alone. No calling for help, no following me unless I say go. Understood? I’m leaving the commlink that tracks me behind.”

Etek doesn’t have a chance to answer. He did not even have a chance to notice Crim’s skin was a paler red. That was not required for him to know Crim’s tone meant business. He simply nodded to the disappearing Commander who should be a lord, and waits patiently for his return. Hopefully his patience would not be in vain, and he gets to be at the mercy of the delivery Crimsèn sent the Hevilas’ estate.

Crimsèn arrived at the old Thul outpost 20min later. He is in the ambassador robes, and is carrying a blaster rifle. His skin is a lighter red, and his eyes are a dark crimson colour. He gets out of the speeder and heads further inside, weapon ready and senses poised.

He says out loud, “I’m here, Lord Aatrox and I’m willing to listen.”

“Funny how you bring a weapon to a conversation. But then again I’d be a hypocrite if I said I didn’t.”

Veno moves from behind a natural pillar before motioning Crimsèn to follow him. He wasn’t walking fast nor, did he seem threatening instead of any blaster of sword he had a few lightsaber hilts attached to his belt, three to be exact. Once Crimsen followed him in he would see that another kill room was set up and in the center was a Jedi rendered unconscious, hands and feet in force binding cuffs and of course, and this time he was only wrapped in plastic wrap.

Veno was not wearing the mask he did in the holo, but the robes were very much the same, and he didn’t appear to be six foot at all, so the holo video from Crimsèn’s earlier view must of been distorted. “So. Here we are.”

“I always come prepared, my Lord. If you do not know this by now, you will in time.”

Crim looks around the room, and then to the jedi, before hoisting his rifle behind his back, “Clearly you dealt with the enemies. I want you to know that if my plan was to run screaming from the room first chance given, I would not have shown up.”

 “Indeed. So why look into my personal affairs? Was the facade I made for everyone not to their liking? Hmmm?”

He strides over to the Jedi whom still slept and he produced a Phantom Flayer and let it gleam in the bit of light that was in the cave from some of the installed lights on the wall. “You know the truth, and you can see why I didn’t feel so open to sharing. Why couldn’t you all be happy with what I had to offer?”

Crimsèn is silent, debating how to answer the question. “Actually, only one person ordered me to track you down. The others I’m assuming are still unaware. She wanted to know everything you had to offer, and why you felt the need to hide in plain sight.”

Crimsèn leans against a wall and crosses his arms, “In truth, it is nice to hear your real voice. And you gave me quite the puzzle to solve, and quite the chase to pursue. I felt like the Cipher after almost a decade of being any other role.”

“Hmm always some room for improvement in the facades anyone creates…”

With that he quickly spun the blade and slammed it into the Jedi’s heart, a quick snap of the eyes and a loud exhale escaped the man’s lips blood slowly pooling inside of the plastic wrap and wound.

“Well then, does she want me arrested? Killed? Or what? If she wants me in chains then that is fine. Or if she wants me to come out and reveal my true identity that is fine. But at this point I am more worried about the Empire as a whole knowing my true identity. I wouldn’t be too keen on such a thing…and even you don’t know my true name, only my family it isn’t even on records. So promises could you and her give me that my true name is to be safe?”

Juliet:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Crimsèn crosses his arms and thinks for a few moments. He then drops his rifle and knife, kicks them aside, and then drops and steps on his commlink. “There are two threads here: What the commander wants, and what I want? As for the commander, the best place to hide is in plain sight. She wants a real ally, not the nice façade. I see no reason why your name should be revealed to the others. How many of us actually use our real names anyway? What’s in a name, besides everything in our line of work? Now as for me…”

Crim looks directly at Lord Aatrox: “Do you really think I am such an innocent bystander? Many things have happened to me in the past: Some done to me but most is what I’ve done. There is no innocent Sith looking at you, just someone who has different methods for getting the job done. Those weren’t my methods a long time ago, and if you wanted to I would gladly tell you what cold killing pureblood really looks like. In fact, you don’t know my real name either. You do not know how walking in that building awakened flashbacks I would gladly forget, never mind it giving me the strength to stand underneath them and move forward. We’re both monsters, Veno! But you’re not the monster I would want nothing to do with. Not by a long shot.”

“Innocent bystander? No I think you are a person who doesn’t understand how deadly this could of gone had I been another. How many secrets I could of bled out. Don’t try to relate to me in the monster category. I’m not about to have a contest on who is the worst or better.”

Crimsèn shakes his head. “I do not want a contest. I wanted you to know that I’m not going to run away and cross you out of the friend category. However, if you won’t believe me then at least me show you the message the Commander gave me.”

Crimsèn rummages through a pack hidden by the cape he was wearing, and pulls out a datapad. He presses a button and it gives a way this message:

“Operative Crimsén. We both recently came into close contact with the operative Veno Nesstro, as we tried to unravel the mysteries of technology that presented themselves to us.

Part of me believes that you, much like I do, tries to look past the façade of simple, silent technician that he presents. There are very few people I trust, there are many that I do not bother, and there are those I truly do not believe to be showing who they really are. I have no idea why, there is no need for falsehood among the Shadow Web, but if that´s his game, so be it. We shall play it.

Were I in your position, I would have already started this, but I unfortunately have little time. So, since you were quite close to him recently, and had good contact with him, I pass this info along to you. Veno recently purchased a shipment of heavy sedatives and strong hunting equipment. The name of Lord Aatrox is also repeated many times on his personal datapad.

I am not your mentor, operative, but I can be your guide. Follow this thin thread and find the truth. I am sure all of us will be greatly rewarded when Veno stops pretending. Good hunting.”

After the message is finished playing, Crim closes his eyes, takes a few breathes and talks in a more relaxed, less tightened, Imperial accent- His real voice: “My name is Crimsên of House Hevilas, destined to be a Lord of the Sith and help preserve my family’s line. I have not had this name, nor talked like this, since I was 15. I’m 35. If you can keep that name safe,” Crimsèn says and goes back to his more usual accent, “I can keep your real name safe. Whatever it is. I don’t know your real name, nor much about the real you beyond what I was able to research. I am interested in finding out.”

Lord Aatrox furrows his brow. “My real name isn’t allowed until I know whether or not my fate from this point on. I have no idea what our commander will do with me. So it wouldn’t be very wise to just throw down my whole hand at this point wouldn’t it?”

He then crossed his arms. “I do not hate you, or dislike you, but I have had much betrayal in my life. You I have trusted you A LOT, unless you want to forget that.” The Sith Lord rubbed his pale head for a moment before sighing. “Regardless, if you need to ‘take me in’ let me at least dispose of this fool.”

 Crim shakes his head: “I thought you wanted to talk and listen- Instead you’re just yelling and not really hearing me. Not exactly a conversation, My Lord. You can do what you want, I’m not here to stop you.”

“I am listening and I have said what I have to say. You try being as silent mentally and verbally as I have been,” he uncrosses his arms and then crosses them again, “so speak I can listen and have for a long time,” his tone was even and calm as was his facial expression.

Crim sighs. “I already said it, and you yelled at me for it. Seems you’re expecting me to walk away, so you might as well yell me at it first? Well, you’re going to be disappointed: I’m not here to arrest you, I’m not here to say our friendship is over, and you can dispose of the body however you wish. Now what you do with me,” Crim says and cannot really suppress a gulp, “Is up to you.”

 Aatrox simply tilted his head as he shook it. “Yelling is different. I’m not going to kill you. You are my friend. I will return to the commander soon after I dispose of the corpse,” he nodded his head. “Trust me when I say that I know, you have had your trials and tribulations. I am not saying mine are worst than yours. You have had it tougher than me,” Aatrox sighed as he rubbed the back of his neck.

Crimsen shrugs. “I don’t know your trials, so I cannot make a judgement. All I can say I’m used to yelling before getting tortured. Guess I am not 100% over it yet. What I can make is a promise that when you are ready to tell me your real name, I’ll be waiting.”

Crimsèn gathers his things, turns around and heads out the door. “Now I do believe I have a report to give. What would you like for me to say?”

“You promise not to speak a word of my name?” his voice being deadly serious as he circled around to stare Crimsen down in the face in order to read his face.

Crimsèn looks Lord Aatrox in the eye. “I do promise to never speak of your name outside of our most private conversations. And you better never use my birth name: It only means death to me now. I’m Crimsèn.”

“Casteil.” he simply said. “Casteil Acernoxus. Your group will be welcoming my father very soon.” he said with turn of his heel. “Now let us go and talk to the commander, I’ll see you back at the sanctum.”

Crimsèn nods and turns to head out there door. “You’ll both get my report shortly.”

Crimsèn arrives at the ship and processes his victory, while contacting Psych 5 to see about potential means of keeping flashbacks away while he was on a mission. That made his trip back to Yavin lover then redirected, but it was worth it. Her can be the better spy this.

He writes his report when his visit with Psych 5 is done. It gives all but the real name:

Full Report: Lord Aatrox

For Commander Allyn’grav’nost Only:

Veno Nesstro is an alias for Lord Aatrox, a Sith Lord who served the Empire during the conflicts with the Dread Masters and the Revanites.

Information regarding his past service records can only be found on Oricon: He was a Sith Lord that arose during the war with the Dread Guards and the Dread Masters. He was known to interrogate prisoners with cameras turned off just before he arrives. I only managed to find one recording of him doing an interrogation: He was effective and efficient with his methods, and was able to extract key information from the prisoners.

Another recording of him was with a Lord Maralith, formerly Neira. She disappeared during the third year of the Zakuul invasion. Her disappearance was deliberate on her part: She emptied out all the credits in her imperial bank after the research station on Belsavis she was at was flooded. Preliminary research suggests the research facility was lost, however, a follow up investigation into the old Imperial Intelligence’s, and the Science Bureau’s records could be done.

Lord Aatrox is the Sith name Veno acquired during his ascension to Lordship. He chose to use an alias so that his true work as both interrogator, and systematic killer, would remain hidden. His pre-Lordship name I will leave for him to disclose to Commander Allyn’grav’nost. What I can disclose is that the items he purchased recently were sent to Coruscant in order to interrogate and execute a defector from the Empire who was selling tech to the Black Sun. The other dismembered corpses at the apartment committed similar crimes.

Conclusion: While he tried to pretend to be a simple mechanic, he is an asset to the Shadow. He can hide in plain sight, slip between faction borders, and is efficient at removing the Empire’s enemies. Indirectly, his alias has lead to us having two agents who can go within Republic Space. These are essential to growing the Shadow Web to beyond Yavin IV, and dismantling our enemies from the inside out.

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