Chapter Fifteen: “Balmorran Blues.”
By Paul Cousins
Copyright Disclaimer: All copyrighted places, characters, items, and events, within the story, are held by their current owners. No profit is being made on this work of fiction.
A Y-wing starfighter had just exited hyperspace in orbit over the planet Balmorra, in the eastern Colonial Regions of the Galaxy. The Colonial Regions were between between the Galactic Core and the Inner Rim of the galaxy.
The Y-wing starfighter orbit was between Balmorra and the four moons which orbited Balmorra.
In the cockpit of the starfighter was Padme, in her Thor form. She was in her armor and helmet. Though, she had place Mjolnir and her sheathed Black Solace in a space behind the back of her seat in the cockpit.
It has been a few months since the Senate Hostage Crisis incident which Thor has stopped and saved the Senators and other personnel in the Senate Building. Though, Thor had used her connections to play down her actions in the official documents and to censor information concerning her role in stopping the criminals. Thor did this to help prevent further embarrassment towards the Galactic Senate over the incident.
The Senate hostage takers whom had survived to be arrested had already been tried, convicted, and sentences to prison on various Republic worlds away from Coruscant.
Thor had long since returned to active duty for the Republic military.
The reason Thor was flying a Y-wing starfighter was that it was a common type of Republic military starfighter which came equipped with a hyperdrive. As such, the starfighter would not be that noticeable in Republic space.
Though, the Y-wing starfighter was a fighter-bomber. As such, the Y-wing was not as fast and maneuverable as other types of starfighters. Though, all Thor needed was a ship to get her from one location to another, without be noticed. This meant the Y-wing starfighter was the best choice.
Also, the Y-wing had astromech droid inside the ship, with the droid being used for navigation. Though, the droid did not have much of a personality, and due to this Thor did not talk to it like she did towards R2 and C3-PO.
The Y-wing starfighter Thor was flying had the full compliment of laser guns and missiles, in case Thor ran into trouble. Thor was skilled enough a pilot to know how to fly her starfighter and use the weapons on her starfighter. This did not count the personal abilities and powers Thor had at her disposal.
Thor was not wearing a seatbelt, in case she needed to use Mjolnir and escape the starfighter very quickly. Thor had a lot of experience in doing so on missions in which she had to help Republic military forces invade planets. Thor did this by being the point of the assault and using her weather powers on the planet to give cover for those following her in the invasion.
As Thor orbited Balmorra, she used the controls of her cockpit dashboard to turn the ship's radio to open frequency channel used by Republic military concerning requesting permission for landing procedures.
Thor stated, “This is General Thor requesting clearance to enter Bin Prime. I am sending thee, thou's security clearance code now.” Thor typed in her personal code into a numerical pad on her dashboard. When she was finished, she pressed a button to send the code.”
Several seconds later, over the radio, a republic official responded, “We see you on the radar. And you security clearance code has been verified. We will are sending your navigation system the proper flight path instructions in a few moments.”
Thor checked the monitor in her cockpit.
A few seconds later, the monitor read that the flight path was now loaded in the ship's computer.
Thor replied, “Copy that. See thee on the ground.”
Thor set the radio standby, which meant the radio speakers were one, but the cockpit microphone was off.
Thor used the computer navigation instructions as a guide, as she piloted the starfighter down to the capital city of Balmorra, Bin Prime.
While Thor flew her ship into the atmosphere of Balmorra in the proper trajectory, she thought, 'I wish I could have just used my portal ability to instantly come here. But, I dare not, because I realize the abuse such an ability could be used for and I cannot risk people learning about my portal ability.'
'So instead, I am force to be cramped up in this ship the better part of two days. Save for stopping by a spacestation to sleep and stretch my legs. I could not even use my own space yacht. Or, a shuttle. Given this mission is suppose to be a secret. Not even Anakin, Obiwan, or Ahsoka know of it. All they know is that I was ordered to leave the Resolute, and head somewhere for the better part of a week.'
'The only silver lining was the I was ordered to do this mission as Thor. And this stronger form can better handle the trip.'
'Still, a mission is a mission. I have been requested to do this mission by the Republic military. Even though, I am not sure what the mission is about.'
'Worse. I have mixed feeling on returning to Balmorra. I do not like the thought of coming back to this planet. I have not been to Balmorra since I helped conquer the planet for the Republic...'
Thor sighed, as she lamented in thought, 'And enslaved the planet's population.'
Thor continued her thoughts, in a calmer, more concerned manner, ' Though, what worries me most is I am not sure who gave the order for this mission. All I know is that it is someone high up in the Republic military gave me this mission. This mission did not come from the Jedi Council. Even the Jedi Council are not this cryptic about their missions.'
'To be exact. My orders were to head to Balmorra on a ship. Go as Thor. To pack light. For myself not discuss this mission with anyone outside of those involved. I would receive further orders once I arrived on Balmorra. And that I was to follow the orders with reason the assign governor of Balmorra, as long as those orders do not conflict with my mission.'
'If the orders are correct, once I land. I am sure Republic military on the planet will send someone to meet with me. I will learn what is going on from them. Or, from someone they take me to meet. I just need to be patient.'
'Though, since I am going to Balmorra, this mission will likely involved the military governor of the planet of Balmorra, Odus Denival.'
'Given the sensitive nature of this mission. I am going to leave my earpiece comlink off. My orders did not state I had to use any communication devices. And by not using it, that piece of equipment cannot be used against me. Like the last time I came to this planet.'
'I have it turned off, and in a pouch on my belt. When I am finished with this mission, I will put it back on my right ear in my stronger form and and use for future missions.'
As Thor began to make the orbital trajectory to Bin Prime, she found that she was on the dark side of the planet. Though, her instruments told her that was currently the middle of the early afternoon on the side of the planet Bin Prime, on the light side of the planet.
While on the dark side of the planet, Thor noticed something with her enhanced vision, that caused her deep concerned. Thor thought, 'There is not a many lights on the surface, from buildings and cities, as there was the first time I came here. I would estimate there is currently less than a tenth of the lights I than when I can here last time. Even the lights that are one are dimmed in the way they are clustered together. I will ask about this matter when the opportunity is right.'
Thor piloted her starfighter's approach towards Bin Prime.
An hour later, Thor made it to the spaceport located a few kilometers outside of Bin Prime, the capital city of Balmorra.
Thor piloted the Y-wing to a slow stop and hover over part of the tarmac that was assigned to her. The landing area was by a large, multi-story building which was Thor could tell was the control tower.
Thor extended the landing gear, as she gently lowered the starfighter to the ground.
Once Thor felt the bump of the fully extended landing gear hitting the tarmac, she began procedures to shut down the starfighter's engines.
A minute later, Thor finished shutting down the starfighter. Then, Thor began getting ready to exit the starfighter.
Thor opened the top of the canopy of the cockpit to give herself room to move around.
Thor turned around in her seat.
Next, she pulled out the sheathed Black Solace, which was in its black scabbard. She used the black leather strap and buckle on the scabbard to wear the sheathed sword on her back. Then, she used her right hand to pull out Mjolnir.
Once Mjolnir was pulled out, she used the hammer to hover out of the cockpit, and over to face the right side of the outer side of the cockpit.
While hovering in place, Thor used her left hand to press buttons on a panel by the outer right side of the cockpit to close the canopy and lock the cockpit.
Thor turned to the astromech droid station behind the cockpit. Thor ordered, “Droid. Watched the ship and inform thy later if anyone approaches the ship.”
The droid swiveled its head towards Thor. The droid whistled an affirmative.
Thor turned around and hovered to the ground.
After Thor's feet touched the ground, she lowered the hammer to her right side, as she looked around at her surroundings.
Thor saw that in the afternoon daylight of Balmorra's single sun, that it was a partly cloudy day. The temperature was cool with a light breeze.
Thor looked in front of herself, which was in the direction of the nearby control tower, and she saw a group of three individuals walking towards her.
Thor thought, 'I guess my escort has arrive.'
Thor took a closer looked at three individuals.
All three individuals were human.
Two of the three people were walking side by side. The two were in republic military guards. Each guard wore a dark blue officer uniform. The uniform was a dark blue shirt, under a closed dark blue jacket, dark blue pants, black belt and black boots. There were bars on left side of the chest of the jacket to show their rank and job. Both guards held the rank of lieutenant.
One was a dark skin woman, with short black hair. And the other was a man with tan skin, with short brown hair. The man was to woman's right side.
In front of the two Republic guards was a fair skin woman with short dark red hair. The woman was in good physical shape and she appeared to be in her early thirties. The woman wore in a naval olive green color officer's uniform. This was a olive green shirt, under a closed olive green jacket, with olive green pants, black belt, and black boots. The bars on the left side of the chest of her jacket showed she held the rank of commander.
Each of the three individuals had a blaster pistol holster on the right side of their belt.
While Thor did not recognized the two republic guards. She did recognize the naval officer in front as Commander Talia Brownstone.
Thor thought, 'Commander Talia Brownstone. As I suspected, Governor Denival is involved with my missions. For Governor Denival to send Commander Brownstone is a sign the governor is serious about whatever it is I am suppose to do on this planet. From the bars on Commander Brownstone's uniform, she was still a commander.'
A few seconds later, the three individuals came to a stop a few meters from Thor.
Talia and the two guards stood at attention. Though, Thor noticed that both guards each had their right hand on the top of the exposed grip of the pistol in their holster.
Thor thought, 'They are likely under orders to protect Commander Brownstone. I will let the matter be.'
Thor and Talia looked at each.
Talia calmly stated, “General Thor.”
Thor replied, “Commander Brownstone.” Thor looked over at the guards. She continued, “Lieutenants. At ease.”
Thor saw the three Republic officers take a more relax stance while standing. Thor saw each guard still keep their right hand close to their holstered blaster pistol.
Thor thought, 'So, you are not going to let your guards down. Good. I expect nothing less from Republic officers.'
Thor turned to her attention to Talia.
Talia asked, “You remember me from the invasion?”
Thor answered, “Yes.”
Talia commented, “I hope you had a pleasant trip here.”
Thor replied, “It was uneventful.”
Talia said, “Given you were hovering a minute ago. I am surprised you even need a ship to travel the stars.”
Thor thought, 'I need to keep my portal abilities a secret.'
Thor stated, “Everyone has their limits.”
Talia agreed, “That is very true.”
Thor commented, “Thy noticed thee still has the bars of a commander.”
Talia explained, “While the Military Governor Odus Denival has gone from Admiral to planetary governor, I was allowed to keep my command rank within the Republic navy. Though, I continue to be the Governor’s assistant.”
Thor thought, 'Sometimes, one will keep the same job, while changing positions within the organizational structure. Though, while being a Governor is not in the direct chain of command. During wartime, a military governor has the authority to order military and law enforcement personal when the situation involves the planet, moon, or spacestation said Governor is assigned command of this. The excepts being that the order is conflict, or is withdrawn by the orders of general, admiral, or the Supreme Chancellor. That being said, while normally, as a General, Governor Denival cannot give me an order. Due to this mission, the Governor will be my commanding officer.'
Talia stated, “My orders are to bring you to the governor's manor, in Bin Prime. Which is the converted planetary government building.”
Thor mentally reflected, 'I am not surprised that Denival took the main government building of Bin Prime as his personal home. At least I will soon receive answers to my questions.'
Talia went onto say, “Once we arrive there. The governor will directly discuss matters with you.”
Thor thought, 'The situation must be important for him to want to talk to me personally. Or, he is keeping the matter secret for other less savory reasons.'
Thor stated, “Thou is ready to leave when thee is.”
Talia casually asked, “Do you wish for someone to carry your hammer for you?”
From under her helmet, Thor could not help but burst out laughing for several seconds.
As Thor calmed down, Talia calmly inquired, “Is there something funny?”
Thor stated, “Only the worthy can lift the hammer. And such individuals are few and far between.”
Talia dryly said, “Duly noted.”
Thor said, “Also, thou requires my weapons where thy goes. Thy will not be disarmed.”
Talia commented, “I doubt we could disarm you. If we tried.”
Thor thought, 'This is going to get us nowhere.' She calmly suggested, “Let us head over to see the governor.”
Talia replied, “I agree.”
Thor said, “And as a suggestion, thee need to work on thee's timing for when thee wants to feel someone out.”
Talia stated, “Noted. We will be taking a speeder to the Governor's manor to meet with the Governor. Due to security concerns, we will be taking flying close to the roads, instead of over the city. This will take a few extra minutes, but it is worth the precaution.”
Thor thought, 'That is understandable.' She replied, “Thou agrees.”
Talia continued, “Good. Now, right this way.”
Talia turned to her left and walked around the two guards. Thor followed right behind Talia, with the two guards following behind Thor.
Talia soon lead Thor to a spaceport parking lot, which was located on the opposite side of the spaceport from the tarmac. The parking lot faced the city of Bin Prime in the distance. When facing Bin Prime, the parking lot was on the left side of the spaceport. To the right of the parking lot the spaceport had a small three lane road that connected to the right side of the parking lot, ran along the side of the spaceport and around the spaceport to the tarmac. The three land road looped around the spaceport to end on the left side of the parking lot.
Passed the three land road was a grassy field that extended all the way to the buildings on the outer edge of Bin Prime. At the present time of year, the grass on the field was green.
The parking lot connected to both the small three lane road running by the spaceport and to a four lane road that lead in a near straight direction to Bin Prime.
Thor saw there were only a handful of speeders in the parking lot. Though, she did not comment on the matter.
Talia came to a stop by an open top, four door speeder vehicle. The speeder vehicle was painted red.
They got into the speeder vehicle.
The tan skin male guard got into the left side driver's seat. The dark skin female guard got into the front passenger seat. Talia got into the left back seat. Thor get into the right back seat.
Thor sat down with the Black Solace strapped to her back. After sitting down, Thor placed Mjolnir on its head, on the floor of the back seat, between her legs.
The four individuals shut their respective doors on the speeder vehicle.
While the three other individuals were putting on their seatbelts, Thor noticed this. Thor commented, “Thou would prefer to ride without putting on a seltbelt.”
Though, the other three individuals heard Thor's comment. Due to Thor being a General, the other three individuals did not comment on the matter.
Less than a minute later, tan skin man was started the engine of the hover vehicle. The hover vehicle lifted thirty centimeters above the ground. Then, the driver drove them out of the parking lot and down a paved road leading into into Bin Prime.
A few minutes later, they entered the city of Bin Prime.
The speeder did not stopped, as it headed through the city.
While Thor traveled through Bin Prime, she looked around, and what she saw concerned her.
The streets were empty, with no traffic. And there were no people on the sidewalks.
There was demolishing teams working equipment and vehicles at various empty lots throughout the city, with much of the city appeared to either in the process of being demolished, or already just empty lots.
Due to the streets being mostly deserted, Thor felt the city had an unearthly ghost town feel to it.
Thor thought, 'I wonder where the people are. But, I believe I already know, and I am not going to like the answer. Still, I will find out, later. Though, there is another matter I need to ask about.'
Thor turned to Talia. Thor asked, “Do you believe it is wise to travel in an open vehicle?”
Talia looked over at Thor. She stated, “We have regular sensor sweeps of the city. Including a sensor sweep of this route not minutes before we left the spaceport. If there was someone planning to cause trouble for us, we would have already dealt with that person.”
Thor turned back to look in front of the vehicle, as she thought, 'I have a feeling this situation is worse than I had imagined.'
Several minutes later, the speeder reached the front of the Governor’s manor.
The manor was set twenty-four meters from the two meter sidewalk. The building was a hundred and twenty meters wide, a hundred and twenty meters long, in a square shape that took up an entire city block, with roads encircling the building. The building was three stories high and was ten meters from the ground to the bottom of the roof. The roof was flat, with flat, rough, black granite, to allow for stable traction for feet. There was a meter high parapet which surrounded the square flat roof. The parapet was made of black marble.
Access to the roof was by a door on the floor of the roof, which connected to ladder on the third floor of the building.
The manor walls were made of black marble. The outer staircases were made of flat, rough, black granite.
Black marble, crescent shaped columns ran down from the top of the parapet of the roof to the ground, along the walls of the building, every twenty meters ran down
The crescent columns were placed so they the curve of the columns faced outwardly. Each column was forty meters wide, with the ratios of twenty centimeters.
The columns were there to hide the drainage piping that connected from the floor of the roof down to underground storm drains.
The outer doors were paneled with dark brown wood, to hide the harder, tougher metal underneath the wooden veneer. Unlike most doors in the more technological sections of the galaxy. These were classic style doors with knobs that required to be turned and pushed to inwardly open into the building.
The building was lined with several windows on each floor. Though, for security reasons the windows were heavily tinted from being able to look into the building.
The front main entrance was located in the center of the side of the building. The entrance was on the second story. The steps leading up to the entrance went twenty-meters, from the sidewalk to the alcove to the entrance.
The staircase was sixty-six steps. Each straight flat, rough, black granite step was thirty centimeters deep and ten meters wide. Each step was around six centimeters higher than the previous step.
There was not railing leading up the staircase. The sides of the stairs were met with black marble walls that went up to be flush with the entrance floor at the top. The walls were one meter wide, four meters high, and twenty meters deep. The top of the walls were made of flat, rough, black granite.
The top of the staircase had a four meter, flat alcove, made of flat, rough, black granite.
The alcove was four meters wide, ten meters wide, and three meters high to the ceiling of the awning. The top of alcove awning was right below the windows of the third floor, with the awning being extending at a slightly downward, diagonal angle to allow water to shed from the top awning.
Each side of the awning was held by tall, rounded black marble columns. Each column had a diameter of forty centimeters and was three meters high. The awning had had gutters hidden on the edges which collected water which then was fed into pipes that went down the inside of the two columns, floor, and into the underground storm drains, much like the columns on the sides of the building.
In the center, between the two columns, flat against the main front outer wall of the building was the main double-door entrance to the building. The doors had dark wooden paneling, with metal underneath.
The speeder came to a stop with the right side of the speeder facing the staircase.
The driver put the speeder into park, with the vehicle hovering in place thirty centimeters in the air.
Talia and the two guards unbuckling their seatbelts.
The two guards got out of the vehicles. The tan skinned female guard opened the left back door for Talia. While the dark skin male guard opened the right back door for Thor.
Thor picked Mjolnir with her right hand. She stood up out of the vehicle to stand on the sidewalk. She turned to face the manor, with the male guard to Thor's left side.
Thor held Mjolnir in her right hand, at her right side. Thor looked at the manor. Thor thought, 'I have see bigger. I have lived in bigger. But then, Balmorra has not been know to be an extravagant civilization.'
By then, Talia had walked around the back to the speeder to stand by Thor's right side.
Thor turned to Talia, to acknowledge the commander's presence.
Talia stated, “This way.”
Talia started walking up the stairs, with Thor following behind her.
Meanwhile, the two republic guards closed the doors. The female guard walked around to stand to the left of the male guard. Both guards stood with their backs to the speeder, as they looked towards the manor.
They waited by the speeder, for Talia's return, and potentially Thor's return.
While Talia and Thor walked up the staircase and they approached alcove and the double-doors on the outside of the second floor of the manor, Thor saw that two Republic soldiers, in full white trooper armor and helmets, stood guard at the sides of the entrance. Each of them had a blaster rifle slung over their right shoulder.
A few seconds later, as Talia and Thor reached the alcove, the soldiers saw Commander Brownstone and General Thor approaching them. They opened the doors inward. Next, they stood at attention, while Talia and Thor walked passed them and inside the building.
While Thor passed by the guards, she thought, 'Since everyone recognizes me as Thor, with the rank of General. And I am with Commander Brownstone. They know better than to try to stop me. Because they realize I am on official business. That is the only reason I would be returning to this mud hole of a planet.'
Once inside, the soldiers closed the doors and resumed their guard duties.
Thor found they had entered into a grand entryway, with a large staircase directly in front of them. Midway up the staircase, the staircase came to a stop. At that point, the staircase split to the left and right, to go towards opposite sides of the room. The staircase connected to the opposite sides of leading a balcony that ran along the third story of the entire room.
The stairs had were made of light brown wooden. Red carpet with green zigzag patterns lead from the entrance, to the stairs, up the stairs, and around the balcony of the room. The wooden stairs were two meters wide along both the main staircase and the two upper staircases. The red carpet on the second floor leading from the entrance to the staircase was two meters wide. Though, the red carpet around the balcony was one meter wide.
There were meter high banisters along edges of the stairs and around edges of balcony. The rails of the banisters were very tight, and only eight centimeters apart.
Under the red carpet, the floor in the entryway and balcony was dark brown wooden flooring. The walls and ceiling had dark brown paneling. Four lightning chandeliers hung on chains from in a grid fashion, in the center of the room. The chandeliers were set between the balcony, with them being level with the railing on the balcony.
Wires came down the ceiling, between the chains into the chandeliers to power the lights in the chandeliers. While sunlight came on the tinted windows in the room, the lights in the chandeliers were on to provide further illumination to the room.
Two meters in front of the staircase, on the red carpet stood four fair skinned humans. A slender mid-aged woman, in her mid-thirties, with long brown hair. A fit middle-aged man, in his later forties, with black graying hair. A fit teenage boy, no older than fifteen years old, with short brown hair. And a skinny toddler girl, no older than three years old, with short black hair.
The man stood to the right of the woman. In front of the woman was the young girl. To the woman's left side was the teenage boy.
While Thor did not recognize three of them. She did recognize the middle-aged man as Governor Odus Denival.
Thor thought, 'This must be the governor's family.'
Odus Denival was wearing his olive green admiral uniform. The woman was in a white formal long sleeve dress. The young girl was in a simple short sleeve blue dress. And the teenage boy was wearing a nice gray suit and pants.
Talia came to a stop a few meters in front of the family.
Thor walked over to stand beside Talia, with Talia being to Thor's right side.
Governor Denival turned to Talia. Odus said, “Commander Brownstone. Thank you for bringing General Thor here in a such prompt amount of time.”
Thor looked at Odus, as she thought, 'You were likely informed of my exact arrival time by the control tower personnel I talked too. And you assigned Talia and two guards to come and bring myself here.'
Talia calmly replied, “Governor. I am just doing my job.”
Governor Denival looked over at Thor. He stated, in a slightly cheerful tone of voice, “General Thor. It is an honor for you to visit us.”
Thor calmly requested, “Governor. Thy would prefer to learn of what has brought thou here.”
Odus replied, “Of course.” He turned towards his family, as he continued, “Though. First let me introduce you to my family. My wife, Salonia. My son, Marlek. And my young daughter, Elichia.”
Odus turned back to look at Thor.
Thor turned her attention towards Salonia, Marlek, and Elichia. She saw the Denival family looking at her.
Thor commented, “It is an honor to make your acquaintance.”
The two children remain silent, as Salonia calmly replied, “The honor is ours.”
Thor turned back to Odus.
Odus looked over at his family. He stated, “You will have to excuse us. But, I have business to discuss with these two ladies.”
Salonia turned to her husband. Salonia calmly requested, “Please. Do not be late for dinner.”
Odus focused on his wife, as he replied, “I won't, dear.” He turned to Talia and Thor. He continued, “If you two would follow me. We will continue this conversation in the privacy of my office.”
Odus turned around and started walking up the staircase. Odus used the left rail of the stairs, as he made his way up the steps.
Talia and then Thor followed. Talia walked first, with Thor following a few meters behind Talia. The two women walked around the rest of the Denival family, to Talia and Thor's right side.
The Denival family turned and watched as the Odus, Talia, and Thor, headed up to the third story of the home.
When Odus reached the platform in the middle of the staircase, where the stairs split, he took then turned to his left, as he continued up the stairs.
A few seconds later, Talia and Thor made it to the staircase. Neither Talia, nor Thor used the railings, as they made their way up the staircase.
As Talia and Thor made it up to the platform in the middle of the staircase, Odus reached the balcony.
Odus came to a stop, as he turned to look at Talia, Thor, and his family.
Odus watched Talia and Thor take the left set of steps to where he stood on the balcony.
When Odus Talia came within three meters of himself, Odus turned to his right, and he walked down the hallway, as Talia and Thor followed behind.
Odus soon turned to his right, down an interior hallway which connected to the balcony. The doors to the left side of the hallway lead to rooms that had windows that looked out the front side of the building.
Talia and Thor following behind Odus.
After Odus, Talia and Thor were out of sight, Salonia lead her two children to another part of their home, and away from Thor.
A minute later, Odus, Talia, and Thor reached the double-doors to Denival's office. The double-doors were to their left.
As they approached the double-doors, Talia hastened her pace to walk pass Odus, to Odus's left side, to reach the double-doors. The double-doors had wooden paneling hiding the metal underneath. Each door used knobs which were turn to open said door. Both doors opened inwardly into the office. Each door be separately opened from the other. The doors were held closed by each other. If one door was open, the other door could be pushed open without turning the knob to the door.
The double-doors had locks on the interior side, within the office, with key slots on the sides facing the hallway. Though, the double-doors were currently unlocked.
When Talia reached the double-doors, she opened both doors, inward, into the office. When she was finished, she stood by the door to the right, when facing the office from the entrance.
Talia finished and came to a stop a few seconds before Odus reached the doors.
Odus and then Thor passed by Talia.
As Thor walked into the room, she thought, 'Interesting, Talia. You did not use a key. That means the doors are unlocked. I did not realize how trusting Odus was of those directly under his command. Or, this is an oversight. Either way, that is not my problem.'
Once Odus and Thor were inside the room, Talia entered the room and closed the doors behind her. Then, Talia stood by the closed doors, as she turned around to face the other two adults in the room.
Thor came to a stop, to stand in the middle of the room, as Odus continued walking further into the room, towards some tinted windows that looked outside, at the city.
Thor looked around the office. The office was fairly large for its type. The walls and ceiling had dark brown wooden paneling, and the floor had red carpet much like the style of carpet in the entryway. Only this carpet covered the entire floor of the room.
The ceiling was five meters high, with two chandeliers hanging by chains a meter from the ceiling. The chandeliers had lights on them, with wires running down the chains to the chandeliers to power the lights. But, the light-bulbs on the chandeliers were presently turned off.
Across the room from the entrance was a series of large windows that looked out the front side of the building. While the windows were tinted to prevent anyone from looking in. Those looking out could clearly see the city, and the sunlight provided plenty of illumination to see around the room.
To Thor's right side was a desk, behind the desk was a cushioned armchair.
To Thor's left side there was a set of couches surround a table, with a holo-monitor on the table.
Thor turned to Odus. Thor watched as Odus walked to a small table between two of the large windows, was small table. The table had four shiny brass legs that came up to form a rectangular top. The table was a meter high from the floor. The table was a half a meter long and a thirty-five cementers wide. The long end of the rectangular table was set against the wall. The table had a translucent dark red glass top. There were bottles and small glasses on top of the table.
Thor enhanced sight allowed her to see the labels on the bottles, and she realized the bottles were alcoholic beverages.
As Odus came to a stop in front of the table. He set one of the glasses to the right side of the table.
Thor saw Odus pulled out a bottle of Alderaanian brandy. He opened the bottle, and pour himself a drink.
Thor recognized the brand on the label on the bottle of Alderaanian brandy. Thor thought, 'That is the same brand Bail likes to occasionally drink. It is not bad. But, the drink is a bit stronger than I care for.'
A few seconds later, Odus was had finished pouring himself a drink. Odus kept his back turned to the two ladies in the room, as he offered, “Would either of you care for a drink?”
Talia replied, “I did not drink while on duty.”
Thor calmly said, “No thank you.”
Odus continued to have his back turned. He casually replied, “Fine with me.” He then closed the bottle and set it on the table. He picked up the glass of brandy in his right hand. Next, he turned around to face the two women in the room.
Thor looked at Odus. Thor inquired, “So, what has brought thy here?”
Odus look at Thor, as he stated, “We have a minor rebellion on our hands.”
Thor sarcastically thought, 'This explains why my orders were to pack light. I will likely be doing a lot of hunting and being on the move. A rebellion is not surprising, given the way we took over this planet.' Her thoughts turned grimmer, 'But, if I told you that, I would risk being court-martialed. Still, I can use this mission as an excuse to check on the local population. Though, given how run down and deserted much of this city is. The capital of the planet. My hopes are not that high current state of the welfare of the local population. I will have to wait for the proper time to make the request. In the meantime, I remember that you like to hear yourself talk. So, I will let you talk.'
Odus went on to say, “I wish to keep this from becoming a major rebellion. All we know is that this is a small group. Ten to twenty people at most. We have no clues as to whom these rebels. We believe these rebels are likely some of the people whom have been able to hide since the planet was liberated for the Republic. They are only now showing themselves.”
Thor thought, 'They are likely running low on supplies and they are growing desperate.'
Thor asked, “What weapons have they been using for their attacks? What have been their targets? Where does thee believe they are hiding?”
Odus stated, “They are using mostly blaster rifles and pistols. Though, occasional they have used small explosives. They have a few speeders. But, their speeders are civilian models. They use hit and run tactics. They have been targeting factories and refineries to the south of Bin Prime. They have tried to free other workers, but so far we have stopped them. Though, it has become an effort to keep the local populations in line.”
Thor sarcastically thought, 'It is obvious as to why that is the case.'
Thor questioned, “Why do they target those locations?”
Odus responded, “Beyond the factories and refineries, to the south, is a large mountain range. The mountains are traitorous for those that do not know the mountain passes. The weather can change from a clear sky to storms within an hour. When the rebels use their speeders, they keep close to the mountains, so they are hard to track on radar.”
“The mountains are catacomb with many caves system. We do not man power to search all these caves.”
“As far as we know, except for a few of the mines, most of the resources in those mountains have been mined out. We could be wrong. But, that is a matter for another time.”
“To make matters worse, every few generations, when individuals came to power whom the local population did not like. People whom desired to rebel retreated to those mountains. This goes back thousands of years. Many of deepest parts of the cave systems that were mined have been outfitted to be lived in.”
“This revolutionary practice dates thousands of years. Long before Bin Prime replaced Sobrik as the capital city of Balmorra. Actually, Sobrik is within that mountain range. That was one of the reasons the capital was moved to Bin Prime. And away from that mountain range. To prevent rebellions from attacking from all sides. Including, even underneath the city.”
“After becoming governor of the planet, I have read some of the local records on the history of Balmorra. I realize that a lot of history has been omitted in the galactic records. But, I found that this practice has worked before. There is even one instance, thousands of years ago, where this tactic helped the Balmorrians force an army of invaders off the planet.”
Thor commented, “That is not unheard of?”
Odus stated, “Well, these invaders were lead by a group of force users known as the Sith. I have never heard of them. While records stated they did have some outside help, if what the Jedi can do in battle are anything to go by, that would be quite a feat.”
Thor hid her surprise, as she agreed. “Yes. It is.”
Thor thought, 'This is news. And I am not going to tell you what I know about this Sith. Though...'
Thor inquired, “Besides the three of us. Has thee mentioned thee learned this to anyone?”
Odus answered, “No.”
Thor cautioned, “It would be best not to mentioned this to anyone. From what thou understands, the Jedi have gone a lot of trouble to erase any mention of force users from their records. And the Jedi do not like people looking into research concerning the force, and those in the past whom have used the force.”
Thor thought, 'Though, even then the Jedi are unable to hide all of their mistakes. Such as the era when the Jedi Lords reigned over the Galactic Republic with iron fists. I may not like you. But, if you tell others this may come back to haunt all three of us. Which reminds me.'
Thor turned around, to look at Talia. Thor saw Talia looking at her. Talia had her arms crossed in front of her chest. Talia stood to the door to her right when facing the office from the entrance. This way, Thor was not blocking her line sight towards Odus.
Thor said, “That goes for thee, as well.”
Talia replied, “Yes General.”
Thor thought, 'Good. You seem to be more competent than I believed you were.' Thor turned to look at Odus.
Odus responded, “That might be for the best. Anyway, I wish I had knew this during the invasion. I would have leveled that mountain range with orbital bombardment. Now, my air-forces now number a few scout starfighters.”
Thor questioned, “What does thy fit into your plans?”
Odus said, “Conventional means of searching the mountains have not worked. When the weather is even clear enough to do so. We cannot use out scout craft to find them, because the craft are can be heard in a distance.”
“This planet has no sensor satellites since we cleared them during the invasion. So far, my requests to Coruscant for probe droids, spy satellites, and more aircraft have gone unanswered.”
Thor thought, 'That is probably because those in the military feel you do not need them.'
Odus continued, “We can not gas the locations we suspect the rebels might be hiding, because the wind can shift at a moment's notice. With the gas harming those in the factories and refineries.”
“I know. Besides the strength and power you wield. You can also fly and control the weather. It is reported that your senses, including your sight and hearing, are almost on par some types of probe droids and spy satellites.”
Thor admitted, “Thou senses are not that powerful.” She thought, with a bit of pride for herself, 'But close.'
Odus stated, “They are good enough. I would request to you fly over the mountains and look for them. You can keep the weather clear as you do so. You are too small to notice from a distance. You are silent. If they are out in the open, you may at least find some of them. If we have a general idea of where the are located, this would help lead us to the rest of the rebel scum.”
Thor conceded, “That is a possibility.” She thought, 'At least they did not ask me to try to flood them out. I would have to decline. Because I am not sure how so much water would effect the mountain range, nor the factories, refineries, and mines, in the area. You may realize this. Or, the idea has not occurred to you. Either way, I have no intention of giving you any ideas at expense of other people, including myself.'
Odus mentioned, “While it is early afternoon, the daily planetary rotation of Balmoarra is forty-seven hours. So, there is still several hours until sunset. This is plenty of time for you to begin your search.”
Thor commented, “This would not be the first time thou has had to factor in odd daily planetary rotations in concerning thou's mission.” She thought, Like Cloud City above the gas planet had twelve hour days.'
Odus responded, “Good. We have to usually sleep in the morning and work in the afternoon. Then, we rest in the early evening after sunset and work in the early morning. It is odd. And it takes some getting use to. But, the schedule rotation works.”
Thor replied, “Thou will keep that in mind.” She thought, 'Now, to find out who gave me this mission.' Thor asked, “Governor. Did thee request thou's presence for this mission?”
Odus answered, “No. You were sent here by someone further up the command chain than I, in the republic military. I do not know who. All I did was send a request for help in quietly search the mountains for the rebel scum, so that deal with them before this turned into a major problem. When I learned that Republic military were sending you. I adjusted my plans accordingly.”
Thor thought, 'I believe you are telling the truth.' She said, “Thank you for answering thou's question.”
Odus replied, “It was a fair question. And one I wish answered, as well.”
Thor thought, 'At least we can agree on that. I doubt I will get an answer to this question. I do have other questions about what is going on here which I desire to be answered. I can still use this situation to learn what has happened to the local population. But, to directly ask would likely backfire. Though, I know how to ask without appearing to ask.'
Thor stated, “If that is all the information thee has. Thy would prefer to immediately start this mission, with thy beginning the mission by having a tour of the target facilities. This will allow the a better idea of understanding of the situation. Then, thou will begin searching the mountains for the rebels.”
Odus responded, “I see no problem in doing so.” He looked over at Talia. He ordered, “Commander Brownstone. Please, give the General a tour of one of the factories that has been attack. But, has sense been repaired and full operations.”
Talia looked at Odus. She uncrossed her arms and lower her arms to her side. Talia stated, “Yes sir.” She turned to Thor, as she continued, “General.”
Thor turned to Talia.
Talia went onto say, “If you will follow me. I anticipated you would make such a request. That is why the two subordinates outside are waiting by the speeder we traveled in. We will take the speeder we traveled in to a factory I have in mind. It is only a two hour ride from here by speeder.”
Thor thought, 'It is nice you are thinking ahead of events.' Thor replied, “That will be fine.”
Talia turned around, and of the two doors in front of her, she opened the door to her right, by turning the knob and she gently pulled door the towards herself. As Talia opened the door, she stood out of the way of the doorway.
Thor calmly walked towards the exit to the office. Once Thor had left the room and was inside the enclosed hallway outside of the office, Talia followed behind Thor.
Talia gently closing the door behind herself.
Once the two women were gone, Governor Denival turned back to look out a nearby window. He stood in place. He took a sip of his drink as he gazed towards the city in the early afternoon sunlight.
Once Talia was in the hallway, she headed to the front entrance on the second floor.
Thor followed behind Talia.
When they reached the entryway, Thor saw the rest of the Denival family has left the room.
They soon made it outside. They passed by the two clone troopers in full white armor and helmets. Each guard was still standing, with blaster rifle slung over their right shoulder.
After which, Thor saw that the two guards the Talia had come with to greet her at the spaceport were standing by the red speeder that had brought them to the Governor's manor.
Thor saw the speeder engines were still on and the speeder was set to park, as it hovered thirty centimeters in the air, above the paved road.
As soon as Talia and Thor made it down the outside steps to the sidewalk, by the two guards and the speeder, the two guards opened the back doors to the speeder for them.
The female guard opened the back right seat door. The male guard opened the left back seat door.
Thor goes into the back right seat. Talia goes into the back left seat.
Thor put set Mjolnir on its head on the floor between her legs.
The guards shut the back doors to the speeder. Then, they opened the front doors of the speeder.
The female guard was in the right front side. The male guard was in the left driver's seat.
Once the guards closed the front doors, Talia and the two guards put on their seatbelts.
As before, at the spaceport parking lot, Thor did not put on her seatbelt.
Talia ordered, “Take us to Factory Six B.”
The male guard looked turned as best he could to face Talia. He to said, “Yes sir.” He turned back to properly sit in his seat. He set the speeder to drive and he drove them along the road towards Factory Six B, which was outside of Bin Prime.
Once they were outside of the city limits, the driver had steered the speeder into the sky and he increased the vehicle's speed.
The driver leveled off the speeder at about a hundred meters in the air.
Thor did not mind them taking a more aerial approach. Thor turned to see that Talia looked a little startled.
Under her helmet, Thor's lips curled into a slight smile at Talia's unease.
Thor thought, 'I guess you are not from a very populated planet in the Republic. Fly in an open top speeder at high speed in the air takes a little getting use to. I had a learning curve myself when I moved to Coruscant. But, one does get use to it after a while.'
Thor did not verbally comment on the matter. Instead, she looked around at her surrounding, as she enjoyed the trip.
Two hours later, Thor, Talia, and the two guards reached on Factory Six B by speeder.
As the speeder came down from the air, Thor saw saw the factory bordered the northern side of a mountain chain.
Thor saw there were large cargo speeders coming and going from the factory.
Talia ordered, “Fly around the building once. Then, twenty meters in front of the land at the main north entrance.”
The drive did as instructed. He circled the factory in a clockwise fashion, allowing Thor to see the entire outside of the building.
In addition, Thor saw the driver was careful to avoid the cargo speeders, as he flew around the large factory building.
The factory was roughly a kilometers long, from east to west, a two hundred meters from wide north to south,
The factory was seventeen meters high at its highest point and fifteen meters high at its lowest point. The different in height was due to the angle pitch of the roof.
From the windows in the building, Thor estimated the building had four stories.
The roof was set at a single slight pitch downward, away from the mountain range. The highest point of the building was the south end and the lowest point was the north end.
At the edges of the lower part of the roof there were gutters to collect the rain water. The gutters connected to pipes that lead along the walls and drained on to the brown, flat, rocky dirt ground. There was a little ruin off of the ground where the pipes let out the water. Though, this was not noticable.
There were two meter high lightning rods placed every fifty meters in a row long the top edge of the roof line.
The elements had caused the one shine metallic chrome exterior to rust to a dark reddish-brown color. There were metal weld patches on the exterior walls and roof where the rust had created holes in the factory. Though, even the metal patches were rusting.
The south end of the factory was about a hundred meters from the nearest slope of the mountain range.
There were no roads around the building, nor roads leading to the factory from the distance.
The rocky, brown ground around the factory for thirty meters in all directions was flat and even.
There were were outer double-doors set every so forty meters on the outside of all four walls of the building. Every hundred meters there were emergency exits to balconies that lead to ladders on the upper floors.
With her enhanced vision, Thor saw most of the doors were welded shut.
On the north side of the factory, Thor saw large cargo speeder coming and going from various loading ramps.
A cargo speeder had a cockpit in front and a large enclosed area in back of the vehicle, to transport cargo from one part of a planet to another part of the planet. There were doors on the back of the cargo speeder to load and unload cargo. Cargo speeders were not designed to operate in space.
On the west end of the factory, on the north side, Thor saw crates being offloaded from the cargo speeders with hover-forklifts and hovering repulsorlift platforms. The hover-forklifts move the crates to the repulsorlift platforms. A person could push the hovering platform into the factory, where the crate needed to go, and offload the crates with another forklift within the building.
On the east end of the factory, on the north side, Thor saw crates being taken from inside the factory and moved onto the back of cargo speeder by using hover-forklifts and hovering repulsorlift platforms.
Also, Thor noticed that there were armed trooper guards in full white armor and helmet at the entrances and open cargo areas of the factory. Each trooper had held a blaster rifle in their hands.
Also, Thor only saw the various personnel of the cargo speeders using the equipment to load and unload the crates. The personnel of the cargo speeders looked like their uniforms needed a wash, but otherwise, she did not noticed anything about them.
Thor thought, 'I am not sure what is building here. Though, I can guess the cargo speeders coming from the west to the factory are unloading supplies from foundries and other locations to be used as materials to build the items here. The ships on the east are are the final products being loaded onto cargo speeders to be moved to nearby spaceports, where the crates will be loaded on starships to be shipped off-world.'
'From the rust and patches on this building, this factory has been here for a very long time. I hope the interior is in better shape than the exterior of this building.'
'Also, I can see some many of the closed outer doors have been welded shut. Along with the guards, I believe the reason is likely obvious. But, I want to confirm my suspicions before I reflect any further on the matter.'
A minute later, the drive finished the loop around the building, the driver slowed down the vehicle, until it gently landed twenty meters in the middle of the north side of the building.
Like when the speeder was parked by the Governor's manor, the speeder came to a stop with the right side of the speeder facing the factory.
The speeder hovered in place thirty centimeters above the ground.
Thor turned to her right to see that the speeder was twenty meters from a large, open entrance to the factory. The entrance was on the ground floor. The entrance had a large set of metal double-doors which were slid mostly into the side walls of the entryway. Only a few centimeters of the metal doors stuck out from sides of the entryway.
There were two troopers standing guard. Both were in white armor and helmets. Each guard had a blaster rifle in their hands. There was a guard as each of the exterior sides of the entrance.
Thor saw the guards were looking at her and the others near her. But, the troopers were not pointing their weapons at them.
The driver put the speeder in park, with the engine running.
The driver, the other guard, and Talia took off their seatbelts.
The driver and the other guard open the front doors of the speeder and got out of the vehicles. They closed the front doors and walked over to open the back doors for Thor and Talia.
Thor picked up Mjolnir from between her legs. Then, she got out of the right side of the speeder.
Talia exited the left side of the speeder.
The guards shut the back speeder doors.
Thor readjusted her grip on Mjolnir, to where she was holding Mjolnir upwards in her right hand. Then, she lowered the hammer to her right side.
Thor turned to face the factory. The female guard was to Thor's right side. The male guard was on the other side of the speeder vehicle.
Meanwhile, Talia walked the front of the speeder to the right side of the vehicle. Talia came to a stop a meter from Thor.
Thor turned to Talia.
Talia noticed Thor looking at her. Talia turned to her left, towards the factory. She turned to Thor. Talia stated, “This is Factory Six B. One of many factories located in this area of the planet. The factory was attacked by the rebels a month ago. Though, we are able to repel the attack. Still, for attacks on nearby industrial complexes, we suspect the rebels are within speeder distance of here, in the mountain.”
Thor thought, 'At least I now have a starting point.' Thor looked at the factory. Thor continued her thoughts, 'Though, when is comes to this factory. With all the patching and rust on the exterior of the building, I doubt I could tell where the actual battle damage was. Though, I wonder...'
Thor turned to Talia. Thor inquired, “What is items are built here?”
Talia answered, “This factory produces the housing and internal parts for turbo-laser batteries. But, not to worry, we constructed the parts in a dissembled fashion. And even if the workers could build a complete weapon secret, the power generators for these weapons are made off-world and are not shipped to this planet. Nothing in the factory is explosive. So, no bombs can be created either. This is all so none of the workers can get any ideas to try to use what we have them create against us.”
Thor grimly thought, 'This was not very reassuring.'
As Thor and Talia were talking, the two guards were looking around, to keep an eye out for danger.
Talia turned to the two guards. Talia ordered, “Stay with the vehicle. And keep an eye out for trouble.”
The two guards turned to Talia.
The male guard stated, “Yes sir.”
The female guard replied, “Yes sir.”
Talia turned to Thor. She saw Thor looking at her. Talia stated, “The troopers and personnel stationed here to oversee the works know both you and myself. They will leave us be. Now, if you will please follow me. We will begin your tour.”
Thor replied, “Thou is ready when thee is.”
Talia turned and began walking towards the open entrance to the factory.
Thor followed two meters behind Talia. Thor continued to hold Mjolnir in her right hand, as her right side.
The two guards stood by the speeder. They remained on guard, as they looked around.
Less than half a minute later, Talia and Thor made it to the entrance.
The two troopers standing at the sides of the entrance did not say anything, as the two women walked into the factory.
Talia became giving Thor a tour of the Factory Six B.
While Thor walked with Talia, Thor holding Mjolnir in her right hand, as she held the weapon to her right side.
The troopers acting as guards in the facility recognized both Talia and Thor. The troopers knew better than to bother either of the two women.
The workers in the factory did not acknowledge the two women.
During the tour Thor saw the interior of the factory was better kept than the exterior. The areas and equipment were newer and better maintained than the exterior of the building.
Also, Thor took note that there was one guard for every ten workers. The trooper guards were in full white armor and helmets. Each of the troopers had a blaster rifle in their hands. The body language of the guards appeared to be that they were on edge and they were ready to act on the slightest excuse.
But, what concerned Thor the most were the workers. Men and women of various ages. All were in rags that appeared to have been once clothing. The workers' bodies were barely skin and bones. The workers had tired looks in their eyes that showed how broken a people that had become.
The tour was into its second hour, and what Thor saw was taking an emotional toll on herself. Only Thor's sense of duty to the Republic military prevented her from acting, nor speaking out at what she was seeing.
Presently, Talia and Thor had stopped in the middle of a large steel catwalk, on the second story of the building. The catwalks was fifty meters across and a meter and a half wide. The catwalk was connected two second story balconies on the opposite sides of the room. The balconies had exits that lead to hallways on the second story.
There were meter high steel railings attached to on both sides of the catwalk. There was a steal banister rod attacked from the railings to the sides of the catwalk every five meters. Every ten meters a metal bar extended from the ceiling to the railing on each side to stabilize and hold up the catwalk. The metal rods from the ceiling when down to the railing and attached below the railing to banisters which attached directly to the catwalk.
The ceiling was a three meters above the catwalk, with two floors above the ceiling.
The catwalk overlooked the first floor of the room, which was fifty meters by twenty-meters. It was three meters from the floor of the room to the bottom of the catwalk.
On the floor below the catwalk there were hundreds of workers laboring at building parts for weapons on a fifty meter assembly line that stretched from one side of the room to the other.
The catwalk run across the room parallel with the assembly line.
There were guards located on the first floor and the catwalk, keeping an eye on the working, and making sure the workers would not try anything.
Fortunately, the catwalk was wide enough so Talia and Thor could walk around the guards, without distracting the guards from their job.
Talia and Thor stood by a railing that had been to their left side, when they had entered the room. Thor stood less than meter to Talia's left side.
Thor held Mjolnir in her right hand, at her right side. Thor's grip on the hammer's shaft slightly tightened, as she looked down at the workers. Thor thought with sadness, sorrow, and disgust, 'The situation is worse than had I imagined. This is not a factory. This is a forced labor camp. Those working the cargo speeders are only likely treated better because if they crash a cargo speeder, especially with cargo on it, the Republic will lose the value of what is crashed into the ground. And the cargo speeder personnel likely have some sort of tracking chips on them, so they cannot escape.'
'I am not going to ask about the cargo speeder personnel because I do not want to give Talia any ideas about them, nor myself.'
'While everyone has been behaving in front of me. My enhanced hearing had heard some terrible things in a distance. Though, if I act I may end up condemning these... Slaves to certain death.'
'The trooper armor and helmets make things worse. Because the guards hide their faces. I am not sure if they are clones or other military personnel. They are all the size as the clones I know, so I guess they are clone troopers.'
'That does not change the fact how impersonal and intimidating the faceplates of their helmets can be.'
'At least with my helmet, my eyes and mouth can be seen, if one looks closely enough.'
'I questions to ask. I know just how to phrase my questions.'
Thor continued to look at the workers below her, as she commented, “Thou notices the workers ill health.”
Talia turned Thor. She casually said, “The workers are given food and basic necessities. That is if they work. If they do not work, they do not eat.”
Thor grimly thought, 'An injury will prevent a worker from working, thus no food and the person's health going into a spiral of becoming worse, due to needing to eat food to work, but being unable to to work for food.'
Thor's enhance vision focused on the holes of the clothing the workers had on. Almost all the workers had bruises and scars on their bodies. Some of the scars were new. And more than a few were old scars had healed over without proper stitching, which left scars worse that the injuries should have created.
Thor thought, 'Now about the injuries. I highly doubt they are self-inflicted.'
Thor questioned, “The workers' injuries?”
Talia calmly stated, “If the workers do not work, they are punished.”
Thor mentally reflected, 'This confirms that this is slave labor. I do not want to think about what happened to the children and the elderly. If I act on this I will be branded a traitor to the Republic. In doing so I will only harm this people because if what was happening her became known, the Chancellor would likely bomb the planet to cover up what has happened.'
'If I do nothing, I may be able to help these people later on as a Senator. What worries me more is I am sure there are likely other worlds like this on both sides, which have been enslaved.'
'Though, for the moment I need to know about the lack of city lights coming from the planet.'
Thor turned to look at Talia. She saw Talia looking back towards her.
Thor inquired, “As thou came to the planet. Thou passed the night side of the planet. Thou noticed there were considerably less city lights from the planet than before the invasion.”
Talia responded, “Many of the cities were completely cleared of civilians. Without in those cities, the services to those cities were shut down.”
Thor hid her emotions from being outwardly expressed. Thor felt disgust and anger, though mostly anger to herself for letting all the events happen. Thor thought, 'This means those that were not sent to these labor camps were most likely killed.'
Talia went onto say, “There was no point in maintaining those cities without refineries or factories. Later on, after we were had control of the planetary population, the governor had those cities destroyed, to return the natural environment to those areas. As per Republic regulations in dealing with depopulated cities.'
Thor mentally reflected, 'Those laws are only for willful evacuations of a city. Not the for the enslavement of the population and destruction of the city. I knows because I authored a few of the updated bills on this matter which later was passed to become Galactic Law.'
Thor continued her thoughts, in disgust at the horrors she was surrounded by, 'I cannot take this any more. I need to get some air.'
'I cannot do anything. But, that does not mean I have to stand and watch what is unfolding around myself. I want this mission to be over and done with. So, I can leave this accursed planet behind and never come back.'
Thor turned to her right, and she behind to walk down the catwalk, away from Talia.
Talia noticed this. She inquired, “Where are you going?”
Thor continued to walk away from Talia. Thor made her way around the guards, as she answered, with her back turned to Talia, in a slightly emotionally drained tone of voice, “To search the mountains. Thy will inform thee if the rebels are discovered.”
Talia calmly replied, “Happy hunting. If you need anything, you will find me in the Governor's manor on Bin Prime.”
Thor continued walking away from Talia, as she replied, “Thou will keep that in mind.”
Thor soon made it to a balcony and an exit to a hallway on the second floor.
As Thor walked through the hallway, under her helmet, Thor rolled her eyes for a few seconds, as she slightly groaned. Thor thought, 'Commander Brownstone completely misses the point of what she and the soldiers here have done. Now to find the nearest exit. While most of the exits have been welded shut, not all of them have. My best bet is to get to the ground floor.'
Thor soon found a set of stairs that lead to the first floor. Thor walked down to the first floor, and she made her way to the outside exit.
All the guards Thor passed by recognized Thor and they knew better than to try to stop her.
Once Thor was outside, she used Mjolnir to fly into the air, and towards the south, where a mountain rose over much of the horizon.
Meanwhile, Talia headed for the north entrance she had used to come into the building. Once Talia had reached the entrance, she headed to her two guards and the red speeder.
Soon, Talia and the two guards were in the speeder and buckled into their seats. They were in the same seating arrangement as before. When everyone was read, the male guard, in the driver's seat, set the speeder to drive, and he flew them back to Bin Prime.
Hours later, that afternoon. Thor flew through the mountains, to the south of the refineries and factories. Thor was using Mjolnir in her right hand, in front of her, to pull her through the air.
In the mountainous region Thor flew through, it was a sunny afternoon. The sky was clear of clouds all the way to the horizon in every direction.
The season seemed to be either early fall, or late spring. The temperature was cool and dry in the mountains. It was not cold enough to have snow. There was not even snow on the nearby mountain tops.
The occasional breeze whipped up from the valleys. But, the winds did not bother Thor.
While it had been a few hours since the factory tour, Thor was still trying to clear her head.
As Thor flew through the mountains, she was not so much looking for the rebels, as she just wanted to get away from the horrors she had just witness.
Thor maintained an altitude that put her half way between the mountains tops and the valleys below. She weaved between the mountain sides, as she followed valleys around the mountains.
While Thor had a lot on her mind, she was mindful of her flight path, she should would not accidentally slam into the side of the mountain.
The mountains were sloped, and not that steep. While, the valleys were wide. A number of the valleys had rivers flowing through them that came from water runoff from the nearby mountains.
There was not much foliage in the mountains and valleys. There were only some trees and mostly bushes every so often on the steps of the mountains and in the valleys. Thor did occasionally see animals.
Thor found the scenery to be very beautiful and relaxing. Traveling through the mountainous area helped Thor cope with what she had see earlier that day.
Thor did not care if the rebels saw her. Because if the rebels saw her, she hoped they would be intelligent enough to hide, so she would not find them.
As Thor flew between the mountains, she thought, 'There is nothing I can do about the people enslaved on this planet. I want get this mission over with and get off the planet. I do have a job to do. No matter how disgusted I am of this mission. Nor, the causes of this situation.'
'Still, I really do not want to find the rebels. If they see me and I do not see them. I hope they have enough sense to hid. I doubt the Republic military will expect me to spend an extended amount of time looking for the rebels. If I cannot find them within a few days, to a week. I will request to be resigned and return to my normal duties on the Resolute. I am sure that the Republic military will allow me to call off the search and resume my duties.'
'I have a war to fight against actual enemies, instead of people trying to survive. I do not have time for this.'
'Though, this might upset Governor Denival. But, upsetting him would be the least action I desire to do to him for what he has done to the population of this planet.'
'I will just fly around a for a few hours. And then I will do some more flying around tomorrow. If I do not see out here, I would have just said I could not find them. And I am not going to look in caves and mines. On good cave in could trap even me. Even Governor Denival admits the caves and mines are a maze.'
Thor continued to flying for the next few minutes.
As few seconds after turning to her left, around the bend of a valley, someone from the ground suddenly began taking potshots at her with blaster fire.
The red energy shots were not even coming close to hitting Thor. Thor quickly located where the shots were coming from. The shots were coming below her, to her left.
With her enhanced sight, Thor spotted the sniper in the distance by a flat open area half way up the side of a mountain. There were rocky outcroppings around the open area the mountains. Due to being being parallel in elevation, with Thor being a few meters eye, Thor could not see over the rocky outcroppings.
The open area was almost circular and around twenty-meters in diameter.
Though, from the way the clothing hung on the sniper's body, Thor could tell the sniper was a woman. The woman stood by an rocky outcropping on the far side of the area, opposite to where the area met a gentle decline down of the mountain to the valley below. The rocky outcroppings were between half a meters to a meter high.
The woman wore a green jacket. The jacket was left open. Under the jacket was a red shirt. Also, the woman wore blue pants, a black belt, and black boots. The clothing looked dirty, but intact.
Thor thought, with annoyance, 'Damn idiot. That has to be one of the rebels. Oh. I am not in the mood for such foolishness. Where there is one rebel, I am sure there are others. I was hoping not to find you. But, since I have found you, I have to follow my orders. I am going to hand you your asses on a platter, then I am getting off this planet. Though, first let's check for any traps.'
Thor swiftly flew towards the open area to investigate.
Though, instead of taking a direct route, Thor flew up at a diagonal upward fashion towards the open area.
Thor saw there was only dirt behind the rocky outcroppings.
Thor thought, 'Good. There is no one behind the rocks. So, it is just this woman. I hope the other rebels are not as foolish as her.'
Thor flew at a diagonal angle downward, at a reasonable speed, towards the open area.
As Thor approached the flat open area on the mountain side, she noticed the woman had stopped firing at her, but the woman had not running away. Instead, the woman just stood there, as she used both her hands to aim her blaster rifle on Thor.
Thor saw the woman's right hand was on the stock, with her right index finger was on the trigger. Her left hand held the underside of the barrel. She had the butt of the weapon against the front of her right shoulder. The woman looking down the open sights of the weapon.
Thor landed in the middle of the open area, about ten meters from the woman whom shot at her.
Thor was about to request the woman to surrender, when from around rocky outcroppings behind the woman, and in front of Thor, more rebels stood up from their hiding places.
The rebels stood in a inward semicircular towards Thor.
Thor noticed the other rebels were women and men. The other rebels wore similar clothing as the sniper woman had on. The other rebels clothing were just as dirty as the sniper woman's clothing.
Also, Thor saw the other rebels were either pointing blaster rifles or blaster pistols at herself.
As Thor noticed the other rebels, sniper woman took her right index finger off the blaster rifle, lowered her weapon, turned and ran to join her friends, behind the rocks directly in front of Thor. When the woman reached rocks, she held the blaster rifle in her right hand, as she climbed over them with her feet and her left hand.
As soon as the woman made it to the other side of the outcropping, she stood and she turned stood to face Thor. She took aim with her blaster rifle at Thor, with her right index finger back on the trigger.
Thor held up Mjolnir with her right hand in a defensive position in front of her chest, with the head of the hammer just below her neck.
Thor looked around at the rebels, as she thought, 'They likely use blankets, with dirt and rocks attached to the top of the blankets to hide from my sight. Simple. But, an easy trick to do. This is a nice ambush trick, by luring me into a killing box. Though, I wonder if they realize their weapons will not harm me.'
Thor quickly counted the number of people she was facing. She thought, 'There looks to be two dozen rebels in all.'
Then, Thor noticed something about the men and women surrounded her.
The men and women were to small to be adults. Almost all of the rebels were shorter than she was.
Also, Thor could tell from the way their clothing hung to them, all of the rebels were physically lean to almost skinny.
Thor took a closer looked at the rebels, with her enhanced vision. Thor sight confirmed what she suspected. Thor thought, 'They are all teenage children. I was sent to find and deal with teenage children.'
Under her helmet, Thor grimaced, as her thoughts turned to anger, 'And Governor Denival likely knew.'
Thor dropped her grimace, as to her horror, Thor fully understood her situation. Thor lamented in thought, 'I have to kill them. If I capture them, they will be made an example of. And given what I just saw, I have no doubt they will be tortured and executed. I doubt they will listen to me. I helped invade this nation. But, then what?'
'If I ran and it got out that I abandoned a mission with permission from my superiors in the Republic military, I would be court-martialed and I would lose everything.'
'If I use my portal abilities. They would tell others, and the Republic military and Jedi Council would force me create more death on even greater scales. Besides which, there is no one I can turn to for help. If I talk, I will get court-marshaled. The press is controlled by those supporting the war effort. That is why the crimes on this planet are not being reported. And according to these law, not matter how extenuating the circumstances in how they ended up in this situation, these children are terrorists. Anyone aiding them will become an accessory to their crimes...'
Thor reaffirmed her believes, as she continued her thoughts in a more clear minded fashion, 'No. I have to find a way to save them. Killing them is not the answer. I have to find another way. But first, I have to convince them to trust me. I have to do this very carefully.'
Thor slowly lower Mjolnir to the ground, with the top of the head of the hammer resting upright on the ground.
Thor slowly looked around at the teenage rebels, as she chose her words carefully, in a calm, clear tone of voice, “Appearances aside. I did not realize I was hunting those so young. If you surrender, I promise you will not be harmed.”
One of the teenage girls behind the rocky outcroppings, whom was last person in the row behind the rocks to Thor's right, asked, “Are you Thor?”
Thor answered, “Yes.”
The same teenage girl stated, with each of her words laced with more anger than the previous word, “We remember you as the monster who helped the Republic invade our world. Destroy our cities. Enslave and murder our family and friends. FIRE!! KILL HER!! BURN HER TO ASHES LIKE SHE DID TO OUR WORLD!!”
The teenage girl fired her blaster rifle at Thor. A second later, the other teenage rebels also began to fire their blaster weapons at Thor.
Though, the red blaster bolts did not harm Thor, her armor, weapons, and equipment.
Thor sadly thought, 'They are already shooting at me. As such, they are not going to listen to me. They are not going to trust me for very justified reasons. I am going to have to kill them. But, I will do so as quickly as possible, with them being dead before they know it.'
While the hail of blaster fire hit Thor, causing small arcs of electricity on her and the hammer, with her right hand, Thor reached over her chest and left shoulder to grip the hilt of the Black Solace. Once she gripped the Black Solace, she drew the weapon from its scabbard. After the weapon was fully drawn, Thor used her right thumb to flip the switch on the back top part of the hilt, near the guard. This activated the vibrations mechanisms of the vibro-katana's black blade.
Thor rushed at the nearest rebel to her right side, which was the girl whom had ordered the others to fire at her.
Thor made her way through the rebels.
Each strike Thor made caused a single quick death.
Each of the rebels continued to fire as Thor cut them down one at a time. Thor stepped over the camouflaged blankets the rebels had previously used to hide from her.
But, as Thor killed one teenage child after another, under her helmet she began to cry. As which each live she took tearing a little more of her soul away from herself.
Though, Thor did not allow her inner turmoil to effect the sunny weather around them.
When Thor reached the last child, a teenage girl, on the far end of the rock out cropping from the one she spoke to, Thor found she had lost all taste for death that day and she was unable to kill the teenage child. Instead, Thor cut the blaster pistol in the teenage girl's left hand in half, without physically harming the girl.
Thor stood a meter away from the teenage girl, and her blade held half a meter towards the girl.
As the teenage girl pulled the trigger of her blaster pistol, she found her weapon no longer functioned. The girl dropped her weapon to the ground. She swiftly backed up to a large rock a twenty centimeters behind her
Thor stood in place, as she looked at the girl.
Instead of Thor seeing fear in the teenage girl's eyes, Thor only saw fury in the teenage girl's soul.
Under her helmet, tears running down Thor checks. Thor begged, “Please. Surrender.”
The teenage girl then used her left hand to reach into a pocket in her clothing.
Thor heard the click. Thor immediately recognized the click, as she thought, 'A thermal detonator.'
Unlike the military grade thermal detonators which were designed to be grenades, the thermal detonator the teenage girl used was was originally designed to trigger other explosives, such as explosives used in mining. Though, even this type of thermal detonator could be use manually as a powerful improvised grenade.
Unfortunately, the teenage girl did not know how to armed the timer and she had immediately set off the detonator.
The explosive went off. While the explosion of super-heated plasma was confined within a few meters of the detonator, the explosion vaporized the girl, the rocks around the girl, and the ground below the girl by a few centimeters deep. Though, Thor, the Black Solace, Thor's armor, and her equipment was far tougher.
Due to Thor's enhanced reflexes, super-speed, super-strength, training, and battle experience, Thor instantly leaned into the blast before the kinetic wave of super-heated plasma from the grenade hit her. As a safety precaution, Thor held the Black Solace with her right hand away from her body to her right side. Thor dug her heels into the ground, shift her weight to her toes, while she tensed her body in preparation for the kinetic wave.
As the blast wave of super-heated plasma hit Thor, the force of the blast pushed Thor back a few centimeters, but she remained standing, with the Black Solace in her right hand.
The super-heated plasma quickly dissipated a few meters behind her.
Like the time on Cloud City over gas giant Bespin, in the chemical freezing attack in carbon freezing room, the kinetic wave of super-heated plasma did not harm Thor. Thor was left physically uninjured, with the Black Solace, her armor and equipment undamaged. But, Thor's mind was a completely different matter.
While holding the hilt of the Black Solace in her right hand, she brought the weapon in front of herself, Thor stood in place. Thor was silent, as she experienced an emotional shock from everything that had happened to her that day.
Thor was in to much emotional shock to even cause the weather to change around her.
After several minutes of standing in place, as the sunlight shown down on Thor and the area around her, Thor was able to emotionally collect herself enough to turn off the vibrations mechanisms in the Black Solace. Thor sheathed the vibro-katana into its black scabbard.
Thor turned towards where Mjolnir was set on the ground, in the middle of the open area.
From Thor's viewpoint, the rocky outcroppings hid much of the carnage she had just created.
Thor held out her right hand towards the hammer. She mentally called Mjolnir to come to her right hand. The hammer lifts, rotated in the direction of where Thor was, and came to Thor at a reasonable speed.
Once the hammer had reached Thor's right hand, Thor closed her right hand around the shaft of Mjolnir, with the hammer's head pointed upwards. Then, Thor used the hammer to fly away into the sky and to the north, towards Bin Prime.
In the far distance, further south, in the opposite direction from where Thor traveled towards, there was a mountain that faced the flat area Thor had just left. On the side of the mountain that faced the area there was a cave. In the shadow of a cave, stood a tall, muscular person wear armor and a helmet that completely covered the head and face. Various parts of the armor and helmet were painted in either blue or gray. The shoulder armor of the armor was blue.
The armored person had watched Thor altercation this rebels using the binoculars in the faceplate of of his helmet, while he was able to not be discovered by Thor. The person had made a recording of the video.
Later that evening at sunset, the skies had darkened with heavy cloud cover. The winds howled between the buildings as it began to rain and thunder over the capital city of Bin Prime,
This was unusual weather for the season of the year for Bin Prime.
In the Governor’s manor, Governor Odus Denival was alone in his office. The office was well lit by the lights on the two chandeliers hanging from the ceiling in the room.
Odus was still wearing his olive green admiral uniform from earlier that day.
Odus stood by the windows of his office. He looked the windows, as he thought, 'It is unusual for a storm to appear this time of year.'
Suddenly, Denival heard a female voice behind him state, “Thee knew that they were children.”
Odus turns to see it is Thor standing across the room, by the open double-doors to his office. Thor was in her armor, helmet, and equipment.
Thor her sword sheathed on the scabbard that was strapped to her back. She the shaft of the hammer in her left hand to her left side.
Odus was oblivious to the danger he was in, as he thought, 'She was able to slip into the build and open the doors without anyone noticing. That is impressive. From what she just said, I can guess she accomplished her mission. And she complete her mission within a day. I expected her mission to take her a few weeks to accomplish. Though, that unimportant now.'
Odus calmly admitted, “Yes. I knew. But that does not matter. What matters is making the Republic stronger.”
Thor questioned, in a firm tone of voice, “By tearing down entire civilizations? Condemning entire populations to slavery?”
Odus commented, “Society needs to be lead by the strong.”
Thor spat out, “Let thou show thee the meaning of being strong.”
Thor began to advance on Odus, as she stated, “Thy should have killed thee during the invasion of this planet. To prevent what thee from enslaving the people of this world.”
Suddenly, Odus eyes widened, as he realized how much trouble he was in. He pleaded, by all but begging, “Wait. I have a family.”
By then Thor had come to a stop a half a meter from Odus. Thor used her right hand to swiftly reach for the governor's throat. Then, Thor raised Odus up into the air, to the point his feet were not touching the ground.
Due to Odus' head being high than Thor's head, Thor had to look up to see Odus. She saw Odus' eyes looking down at her.
As Odus slowly began to choke, Thor coldly stated, “Thou does not care.”
While the minutes passed, Thor slowly watched a life drained from Odus' eyes, until he soon closed them before he died.
Thor enhanced hearing allowed her to listen as Odus' heart stopped beating. Thor held Odus in the air for another half of a minute.
Thor was caught in the moment until she heard a teenage boy scream behind her, “No! Dad!”
As Thor held Odus' body up with her right hand, Thor turned around, counterclockwise to look towards the doors to the office. Thor saw that standing inside the entrance to the office was Odus' wife, children, and Talia.
Thor saw all of them looking at her.
Salonia held her young daughter, Elichia, in her arms. Salonia's teenage son, Marlek was in front of his mother and sister. Marlek looked ready to charge at Thor.
Meanwhile, Talia stood in front and to the left of the other three people behind her. Talia had a blaster pistol draw. Talia held her weapon in both hands, as she took aim at Thor. Talia's right index finger was on the trigger of her weapon.
Thor saw that Salonia had a look of horror on her face. Elichia was too young to understand what was going on. Marlek's face a mixture of shock and rage. Talia's face as an unreadable mask.
Thor continued to look at the people, as she dropped the governor's corpse to the ground. Odus' body fell onto his back. Then, Thor lowered her right hand to her side.
Thor felt disgust with herself, as she wondered in thought, 'How did I end up being the bad guy? I need to reign in this situation before I cause this to spiral completely out of control.'
Marlek threatened, “I will kill you.”
Thor coldly replied, “Thee would not be the first child I have slain today.”
Talia realized what Thor was alluding to. She kept her blaster pistol trained at Thor, as she asked, “The rebels?”
Thor spat out, “They were teenage children.” Thor continued, in a far colder tone of voice, “I have dealt with them.” She thought, 'Or, at least those whom confronted me. I could care less about the others whom chose to hid. If any of them did.'
Talia realized that Thor had killed the rebelling teenage children. Also, Talia realized that the unsual storm outside was probably created by Thor.
Thor cautioned, “Choose your next actions wisely.”
Talia removed her right index finger off of her blaster pistol. She lowered the blaster pistol. Then, she holstered her blaster pistol.
Thor stated, “Good girl. Now, thou demands the locals be properly treated, housed, and fed. And should thou find out that is not the case, thou will return.” Thor continued, with malice lacing her voice, “And by the time thou leaves this planet for a third time there will be nothing will be left standing.”
Talia said, “I will take care of the matter myself.”
Thor commented, “Thou will hold thee to your promise.”
Thor began walking towards the group.
The Denival family swiftly moved to their left and into the room, as they walked around Thor's right side, to the body of their fallen patriarch.
As the Denival family came to a stop in front of the body of Odus, Marlek looked closely at his dead father's corpse. He turned towards Thor. Tears streamed down his eyes, as he stated, more out of sorrow than anger, “I will someday kill you.”
Thor came to a stop a meter in front of Taila, to Taila's left.
Thor not turn to face the teenage boy.
The lights in the room provided enough illumination that when Taila looked at Thor, through the slits in Thor's helmet, Talia saw that Thor's eyes were looking back at her. Thor's eyes were so cold and intense that Taila instinctively looked away from Thor's eyes.
Thor calmly said, “The line forms to the left. Though, if thee decide to seek vengeance against thou. Keep in mind that your father's victims may someday seek to kill thee for his transgressions.”
Marlek's eyes went wide for a moment, in fear, as he realized that Thor was right.
Salonia set Elichia to stand in front of her. Salonia turned to Thor. She said, “We will not trouble you further.”
Thor kept her back turned to them, as she replied, “See that you do not.”
Salonia said, in a tired, mournful tone of voice, “Please leave.”
Thor heard Salonia's defeated tone of voice. Thor kept her back to Salonia and her children. Thor did not response, as she began walking towards the exit to the office. Thor passing by Taila, to Taila's left side, with Mjolnir between them.
A moment later, Thor exited the room.
Thor turned to her left, down the opposite direction from the main entryway of the manor. The direction Thor walk lead her to the exit to the roof, which she had used to enter the building unnoticed.
To reach the roof exit, Thor had to turn to the right on the corner on the far end of the hallway. Then, Thor had to walk almost to the other end of the adjoining hallway. There was a at the end of the hallway that had to a ladder which let to the exit on the room.
As Thor walked down the hallway, her enhanced hearing allowed her to hear Salonia breakdown and cry over the body of her slain husband.
In response, Thor continued walking towards the exit. Thor was fearful of what she might do if she stayed a moment longer than she had to in the manor.
Since everyone knew of Thor's power and reputation, Talia did not report Governor Denival's death.
Talia knew that by doing so, the Republic forces would attack Thor and provoke Thor to commit worse acts against the Republic forces on the planet.
Instead, Talia wanted to let Thor leave the planet.
Since no one had been informed of the break in and the Governor's execution, the Republic force left Thor alone.
Thor saw no one, as she made her way down the hallways of the manor.
Less than a minute later, Thor made it to roof exit the manor.
Once outside, Thor changed change her hands to hold Mjolnir in her right hand. Then, Thor used Mjolnir to fly under the storm, to the spaceport outside of Bin Prime, where her starfighter was located/
A few minutes later, Thor reached the spaceport. Her enhanced eyesight allowed her to quickly located her Y-wing starfighter.
Those saw the starfighter was where she had left the ship on the tarmac, near the control tower.
As Thor came to hover by the right side of the cockpit to her Y-wing starfighter, with astromech droid still in the back of the ship, Thor willed the storm to end, and the clouds to part, to show the sunset.
While Thor hovered by the Y-wing, she turned to the astromech in the back of the Y-wing.
Thor saw the droid head had rotated to look at her.
Thor asked, “Has anyone approached the ship since thou has been gone?”
The droid beeped a negative.
Thor thought, 'Good. I should have enough fuel to reach a nearby Republic spacestation that is a few star systems away.'
Thor turned her attention to the cockpit. While using Mjolnir to hover in place, she used her free left hand to press buttons on the outer panel by the cockpit open the canopy.
As soon as the canopy fully opened, Thor hovered into the pilot's seat. She sat on her knees, facing the back of the chair. Thor them lowed Mjolnir, by its head, to be behind the pilot's seat. After which, Thor took off the strap to the scabbard of the sheathed Black Solace. She placed the sheathed Black Solace by Mjolnir, behind the pilot's seat.
Then, Thor turned around and she properly sat in her seat. As Thor got comfortable in her seat, she realized the front of the cockpit was in line with the setting sun in the horizon.
Thor saw how setting sun cast wonderful orange and red hues along the clouds that were still present in the sky.
Though, Thor was in no mood to appreciate the beauty around her. She wanted to get off Balmorra as quickly as possible, with as little trouble as possible. Though, Thor realized that using her portal abilities likely cause her problems, because she would have to explain how she got to her destination without her Y-wing starfighter.
Thor used her cockpit controls to low the canopy. As soon as the canopy was lower, the readout in the dashboard of the cockpit stated the cockpit had an airtight lock on the canopy and life-support systems inside the cockpit already online.
Thor did a flight check. After everything was in the clear. This check included Thor checking to make sure the starfighter have enough fuel to reached a nearby reach orbit and make it by hyperspace to a nearby Republic spacestation, she took off into the sky.
Thor did not wait for clearance from the spaceport control tower to take off. Instead, she saw with her enhanced eyesight there was no ships in the path she was planning to take.
Thor started the engines of the Y-wing. She had the Y-wing hover in the air, as she had the landing gear retract into the ship.
Once the dashboard readout stated the landing gear was completely retracted, Thor flew her starfighter into the sky, and into orbit over Balmorra.
Once Thor was in orbit around Balmorra, she had her astromech droid plot a hyperspace route to Republic spacestation in a nearby star system.
Thor thought, 'I will head to a Republic spacestation in a nearby system. I will refuel there. I do not want to stay in this system any longer than I have too.'
Thor held back tears from regret, sadness, and disgusted with herself, as she thought, 'I went too far. And I do not know if there is any coming back from this. My orders are not to talk about this. But, I need to do something. I know just who to call. I know he is not on a mission, and he should be in his quarters, right now.'
Thor used the communications system of the ship to patch a long distance audio call using a personal holo-comm call number Thor has been given by the person she was calling. The communication was encrypted on both ends, so no outside parties would be able to tap into the call.
A few seconds later, the person on the other end answered the call from his holo-monitor. Though, the call was audio only on both ends of the communication.
The male voice on the other end of the line said, “Hello. Who is this?”
Thor recognized the voice as her lover, Anakin Skywalker.
Thor stated, “It is thou, Anakin.”
Anakin replied, “Hi... Thor. How are you doing?”
Thor thought, 'Thank you Anakin for not saying Padme over the line. I am not sure if this end of the communication is properly encrypted.'
Thor coyly replied, “Thou could be better.”
Anakin asked, with concern in his tone of voice, “Is something wrong?”
Thor felt shame, as she lied, “No. Thou just wanted to hear thee's voice. Thou should be seeing thee in a few days.”
Anakin stated, “I will look forward to your return.”
Thor softly replied, “Thank you.” She thought, 'Tomorrow you will likely inform Ahsoka and Obiwan, in person, that I am returning to the Resolute. But otherwise you will remain silent on the matter.'
Then, Thor pressed a button to end the communication.
Thor leaned back in her chair, as she thought, 'I wonder what I will put in my report. I think I will list Governor Denival's death as an accident. I found him dead. That he had already chocked on his drink. Embarrassing, but believable. And I then left the building.'
'I doubt the governor had a camera in his office. And the other cameras that recording me entering and leaving the building will back up my story.'
'If there was hallway camera outside his office. The video recording will show the Commander Brownstone and the Denival family entering the governor's office before I left.'
'Anyone look at the recording will wonder that if I kill the governor, why I did not kill the witnesses to his death. As long as the commander and the governor's family remain quiet, their presence on the video recording will actually be my alibi.'
'Commander Brownstone and the Denival family will keep quiet because they realize how politically damaging their situation is in all that has happened.'
'What is one more lie in this war. But, I will list I was put into the position of killing children, without being inform beforehand that I was hunting children. I will state I did so only because taking them alive would have put the Republic military in an embarrassing situation. Though, I will omit the real reason is I did not want them to be made examples of and tortured to death.'
'Saying that I killed these children to help the Republic military from being embarrassed will probably keep me from being court-martialed over Governor Denival's death.'
'I am not sure how Commander Brownstone will report the Governor Denival's death. But, I doubt she will say I killed. She will likely report that the governor had a heartattack. The governor was an older man and choking can cause a heartattack.'
'Anyone that digs into the matter and finds how the governor really died will realize that if they press the issue the reason I was sent there in the first place, to hunt and kill children, will come out in any such trial.'
'The trial will become and embarrassment for everyone involved.'
'Though, I will state in my report that I protest being put into the position of hunting children, again.'
A few seconds later, the astromech droid used a monitor in the cockpit to inform Thor that the droid's calculation were ready and logged into the ship's navigation computers.
Thor angled her starfighter in the proper trajectory for the Republic spacestation in the nearby star system. Then, she had her ship jump to hyperspace.
A few days later, Thor rejoined her friends on the Resolute. Though, she refused to discuss the mission she had returned from. All she said was that her mission had been emotionally taxing. Her friends let the matter drop.
Nothing came of the mission. Thor's report was accepted as face value. No one asked any questions about Denival's death. And Thor was allowed to continue her duties with her friends on the Resolute and Negotiator.
A day after Thor returned to the Resolute, after leaving Balmorra, in another part of the galaxy, Darth Sidious, with his face being covered by a hood over his head, save for his lower jaw, sat in a chair behind his desk. He was alone in a darken room.
Sidious had just answered a holo-call that he had been expecting.
The small hologram of blue helmet and gray faceplate of the Gen'Dai alien, Durge. appeared on top of the desk in front of Sidious.
Outside of the holographic display, Durge was wearing his power-armor, which was were pieces of either blue or gray painted armor which covered Durge's body.
Sidious ordered, “State your report.”
Durge said, “Everything went according to plan. She killed the children. I made a recording of the incident. I will send it to you. Though, it is from a distance, angle, and resolution which is not a quality I would have preferred.”
Sidious commented, “That will fine.”
Durge stated, “I will leave a recording of the video on the anonymous account in the datanet we agreed to use.”
Sidious said, “Good.”
Durge mentioned, “Though, I heard a rumor from my contacts on the planet that she then killed the governor of the planet.”
Sidious replied, “The governor is a small matter.”
Durge stated, “Even so. I spent a lot of time and resources in this mission. From breaking those children out. To training them. To equipping them with weapons. To sending them out on missions they would survive. To arranging their final meeting with Thor. I hope you realize that.”
Sidious said, “Yes. I do.”
Durge replied, “I will expect my payment.”
Sidious stated, “I have already pay you for your service to the account you specified.”
Durge said, “I know. But, I am talking about the other part of our deal.”
Sidious responded, “You will be rewarded with an opportunity to face Thor, yourself. Though, it will be some time from now.”
Durge commented, “I can wait.”
Sidious said, “Good. And not to worry. Your patience will be rewarded.”
Durge all but spat out, “Patience is all I have after the Confederacy has lost its taste for blood. And I have never cared for the Republic and their army of mandalorian clones. Even the missions offered by the Hutts and the Black Sun have become bland to me.”
Sidious replied, “I am sure that will change someday.”
Durge responded, “One can hope. I will await for you to contact me through the usual channels.”
Then, Durge ended the communication
Sidious lips curled into wicked grin, as he thought, with amusement, 'A fool. But, a useful fool.'
'It is very rare to me someone as skilled as Durge, whom only do enjoyed battles for the sake of fighting. He will accept money for his missions. But, he mostly takes job out of the thirst for violence. I admire such passion. It is rarity to have such a competent individual show such passion in their work.'
'The Sith have a long history of using the Gen'Dai as servants. Both as bodyguards and as assassins. A trained Gen-Dai can hold their own against anyone one in battle except for a Sith Lord. If Durge did not have such a reputation as a loose cannon, I might consider having him work for me on a more permanent basis.'
'But oh well. Our current arrangement allows him to be useful to me. And should he fair well in his future battle with Thor, I may decide to have him serve in a more long term, whether he is willing to do so, or not.'
'After Dooku and my council were deposed, I have lost control of the Separatists. The new individuals in control of the Separatists have reigned in must of the bloodlust on their side of the war. Those private individuals looking for jobs solely for blood and glory have found no missions to suit their tastes from the Separatist side of this war.'
'The Republic had Jedi and specially trained military teams to on take such missions. As such, the Republic has a policy of not officially hiring mercenaries.'
'Still, I am not sure who is in control of the Separatists. Nor, how many people control the Separatists from the shadows. I am sure that Loki is one of them. And she has proven too clever, skilled, and powerful, to allow herself to be an easy target.'
'Though, the Separatists are to large an organization for Loki to be able to rule it by herself. Even Dooku needed the Separatist council to handle various matters. And the same is for the Supreme Chancellorship of the Republic.'
'But, these are matters for another time. When is comes to Padme. Everything is going according to my plans. Pulling strings from all sides to create this mission for Padme was not difficult.'
'I could not have hopes for better results.'
'I have forced young Padme to kill children and for her to face the darkness she has created towards the population of an entire planet. In doing so, she has just taken a larger step on the dark path I intend for her to follow.'
'Her immediate response in killing Denival merely confirms that she has become darker for her experiences there.'
'Denival's death was a small price for this turn in Padme's nature.'
'I even have a video of the recording. But, if the resolution is a problem, the video would be useless as blackmail material. Though, the video will confirm was Durge said. And that is all that matters.'
'Padme will not be punished for killing Denival. I know that the governor's death was a possible outcome before I sent Padme on this mission.'
'Commander Talia Brownstone will be appointed the new governor for Balmorra. It is logistically easier this way. Brownstone assisted Denival and she managed the day to day operations on Balmorra. From all the records I have seen, she had done a excellent job in doing so. Also, she has shown loyalty to the Republic.'
'This way, I do not have to bring someone in from the elsewhere of the Republic military, whom might not be supportive of the measures being taken on Balmorra to help arm the Republic military.'
'Commander Brownstone may have a bright future in my coming empire. I need leaders are whom loyal and skilled. Commander Brownstone is both.'
'As for Denival's family. They are not my problem. Killing them could cause problems with Brownstone. Also, Salonia is related to a number of Republic officers in various locations. She is still in contact with a number of them. While I am sure she is not trying any political moves against the Republic, she is close to a number of these officers. Until those officers can be replaced, her death might hurt morale among various sectors of the Republic military.'
'I need all the morale possible from the Republic forces in this fight against the Separatists and especially Loki.'
'Besides, by all accounts Salonia and her children never left Bin Prime. They did not know what was going on. Denival was a skilled leader. I see no reason his children will not prove useful when they reach adulthood.'
'I will arrange for Commander Brownstone to have them moved off the planet. I will have them watched. If they speak about what is going on in Balmorra, they will have no proof. And in speaking out they will have signed their death warrants.'
'It is nice to have options. Both Anakin and Padme had proven to be wonderful options.'
'I am glad I changed my mind on Padme. With the powers and skills she has displayed by her victories in battle, she has proven herself worthy as a potential servant for myself.'
'Though, I am still trying to figure out how to trick those two into fighting each other to the death. To complete the journey to the dark side for the victor. A victor whom will be my loyal servant.'
'I will have that victor deal with Loki, the Jedi, and anyone else that stands in my way for conquest of the galaxy.'
'To this end, Durge will be a worthy test for Padme. Though, there is one test before this. One that I need to start implementing the final parts of. It will take months of preparation. But, I am in no rush.'
'The war has stalled. That is beneficial to me and counterproductive to Loki and the Separatists. The longer I have, the more time I have to continue to bring young Padme further into my web of darkness.'
Sidious lightly chuckled to him, as he reflected on the dark designs he had for Padme and her friends.
“You lie and kill in the service of liars and killers. You pretend to be separate. To have your own code. Something that makes up for the horrors. But, they are a part of you. And they will never go away.” Loki Laufeyson towards the Black Widow. Avengers Part One Film, 2012.
To be continued.
I know some of you might not be happy with this chapter. But, I have to show how far Sidious is willing to go to achieve his goals. And yes. Padme has long since been caught in Sidious' web of manipulation.
Also, with this chapter, I wanted to show how evil does not have to be malicious, nor malevolent. Evil can be done in a casual manner.
For example, Odus Denival and Talia Brownstone are both relaxed with the evil they have done to the population of Balmorra.
Odus and Talia believe they are not wrong. And they calmly enforce this belief with a casual emotions they express from the standpoint of their actions.
While Padme may not be a user of the force. With the powers of Thor, from Mjolnir, I believe there is no debate that as Padme continues to prove herself in battle, that Sidious would eventually see Padme as someone worthy to serve him.
Considering Padme already has Darth Vader's job, as an Enforcer for the Republic. In many ways, this matter is only a formality.
Given that in the story, Sidious has lost control of the Separatists and he now has an actual war on his hands that he and the Republic could lose, he has to be a bit more concerned with morale of the Republic and the Republic military. Also, he has to be mindful of how he deals with his subordinates and their families.
Some scenes translate better as text. And some scenes translate better as pictures. As dark and violent as the scene is, the massacre in the mountains in this chapter would have been better in some ways visually. To show that massacre happening in the middle of an otherwise pleasant sunny day. With Thor being so professional that she did not effect the weather as she did her job. While afterward, Thor was to shocked to change the weather as she calmed herself down and left for Bin Prime.
Until next time. Have fun.
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