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"Perfect Square Act III" Pt. 10

An even longer time ago, in a galaxy just as far away...


Little Red gave a curious look over the trinket in her hand, "If ya say so..." her tone doing nothing to mask her skepticism over the object. She tossed lightly up in the air and caught it with her other hand. The reaction she read on Kelly's face at this left no doubt as to the importance of it, "Oh relax! I'll take good care of it for ya!"

With everyone back on board Kelly's ship, they broke for orbit and could finally breath a sigh of relief. Mischa made a change of clothes her first priority after boarding and soon returned in her favoured long jacket to find Cipher Four in the central room, "Well then, I think it's about time for us to report in, don't you"

He nodded and joined her at the console as the holographic brain of ADIN gave way to the familiar face of their watcher and a typically curt greeting, "Agents". Mischs couldn't help but smile, "It's good to see you too Watchet. We can report mission success and are awaiting further instructions. Full briefing attached" she said as she punched some buttons on the console to transmit the encrypted data. "Packet received" the Watcher confirmed, "Return to base for a full debrief and reassignment. Watcher out"

Mischa blinked, "Well that was painless". Cipher Four looked to her with a smirk, "The calm before the storm". This made her chuckle, "Anyway, ADIN and Kelly will see to the jump, so just sit back and make yourself at home. We should soon be back on familiar ground" she smiled, moving to the kitchen area so she could retrieve a drink.

Once the ship was set on its way back to Dromund Kaas, Kelly joined Mischa and Cipher Four in the ship's lounge. The Cipher Agent had settled down to work; sitting down on the dining table he was typing away at a large datapad with a cup of steaming vine-coffee beside him. Kelly retrieved her own drink from the kitchen, a bottle of honey wine from which she poured herself a glass. Seeing both of the other agents on board in the same room, Cipher Four spoke up, "Did any of you happen to take a recording of the entire Cipher Sixteen incident? Keeper's going to want to see what happened to his late colleague." Kelly shook her head, "I tried to take audio with my datapad, but that fell off the bridge during the fighting. I checked ADIN's logs in the I2 unit, but it didn't get anything more than the Pubs talking about him indirectly."

"I'm afraid Keeper will have to settle for our narratives on this occasion" Mischa chimed in without looking up from her own datapad which she held with one hand in her lap while the other cradled a steaming mug of Mocoa. She sat cross legged on one of the loungers with her free foot swinging idly, "Though I see no cause for him to doubt the word of three agents" she looked up towards Cipher Four, letting the comment hang in anticipation of a confirmation from the senior agent.

"I wasn't there to witness what happened leading up to your evacuation," he stated. "But I have no reason to believe that you would slander the name of a fellow agent. Besides, all the circumstantial evidence seems to pan out for the story of him going rogue, wouldn't you say?" Cipher Four took a sip of his coffee and looked up from his datapad. His expectant gaze fell onto Mischa, as if waiting on her and her specifically to support his statement.

Mischa quirked a brow as she looked back, "Slander is a strong term... but I also will not lie about what we witnessed - the threat presented by... whatever it was that consumed him - is too great to be ignored. Of course, that's not to say I believe it is any reflection on him as a person, or an agent, but I do not know how long that entity had consumed him" she turned slowly to Kelly, "You knew him before I, besides the whole thing with him trying to kill us and all, did you notice any distinct difference in his character from the past?"

"At least since I knew him, he was always the cold and silent type," Kelly reflected. "Not much fun, but always gets the job done, no matter the cost. Leaving me behind on Nar Shaddaa wasn't exactly uncharacteristic of him, although I have to admit our cover being blown in the first place is a bit suspicious. Apart from his new powers and talk of overthrowing the Emperor, he was always acting like himself." Cipher Four nodded in agreement, "And even that isn't completely far-fetched. I've met other Chiss before, and they all tend to respect the Empire but despise the way it's led by the Sith. If Sixteen did suddenly find himself with the power to change things, he might just have seized the opportunity to shape us in the image of his Chiss government. The part I'm skeptical about is these mystical powers of his- not that I'm doubting your word, but how could he suddenly tap into the Force all of a sudden?"

"Well, I have heard of such cases where an individual known not to be Force sensitive inexplicably gains power to rival that of seasoned Jedi or Sith veteran. As to whether this is the same affliction as that we witnessed in Cipher Sixteen..." she shakes her head, "I know too little to comment, "Perhaps Keeper will have more historical information to hand that will bare semblance"

"We'll tell everything we know to him and see what he thinks," the Cipher agreed. "Regardless of what happened before I arrived, you did very well in getting us off Coruscant, much better than I had initially expected. I will relay your performance to Keeper, and that should improve your credibility." "It's going to be a while until we reach Kaas City," Kelly commented. "There's space in the crew bunks if you want some rest- the only other person that uses them at the moment is our pilot Yatuni. I'd invite you to my room, but," she looked to Mischa with a smirk, "I don't want to have to kick her out."

Mischa grinned at Kelly's comment as she stood from the lounger, though her gaze lingered curiously on Cipher Four, "My... credibility? I was not aware that it was in need of improvement..." her tone clearly edging towards the defensive side.

"Your credibility is fine, don't worry," he smiled. "As with all younger agents though, your prestige could do with a little boosting. Don't think of it as repairing a reputation, but giving you...a little more recognition for your talent."

"Well one would hope that cutting down a Force-imbued Cipher responsible for the deaths of many agents while dangling from a broken skybridge high over the Coruscant skyline and saving fellow agents, Jedi and civilians alike would go some way to that..." she stated flatly, but allowing a small smirk to follow.

Cipher Four chuckled, "You have the craziest stories to tell. You'd make a good Cipher someday." Kelly smirked as well and finished her drink, returning her glass to the kitchen storage, "I'll be in my room. Feel free to join me if either of you would like...or maybe both?" she let her words linger with a wider, playful grin before disappearing inside the door to her chambers.

Mischa narrowed her eyes on Cipher Four; there was something in his expression that eluded to the fact there was more to what he was saying, than what he was saying. But she thought nothing more of it, allowing the thought to quickly subside as she trailed after Kelly to get some well deserved rest...

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