“I offer challenge and I offer cubits. Neither of which will be matched elsewhere.”
- - Lord Maethoruin
The Republic Day Attacks (3 Martex 15 NE) were a series of assassination attempts made against surviving members of the New Republic Senate a month after the devastating Mou'Cyran Cataclysm, in an effort to force what remained of the Republic to capitulate to the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus. After the Cataclysm, newly sworn-in President Apollo relocated the capital to the Libertus homeworld Capricaerón, where he aspired to rebuild the Senate and restore a semblance of normality in the midst of an intergalactic conflict.
Unwilling to allow for the Republic to open a united front against the Empire, the Phaedric Lord Moranonúngur and Inquisitor Chi Chodecra hired the infamous bounty hunter Éaltar Gauisa to infiltrate Republic security on Capricaerón and assassinate a number of influential survivors of the Cataclysm with the potential to inflict harm on the Empire. The attacks were planned to coincide with the Republic Day celebrations on Capricaepolis, marking the sixty eighth year celebrating the foundation of the United Republic of Cyrannus.
Hiring the HunterEdit
Éaltar Gauisa sat close to the jukebox in the Jonalek Tavern in the Central District of Tar Kuuraen. The place was mostly empty, so he could clearly hear the newscaster on the outdated holoscreen reporting on the latest battles of the Second Great Cyrannus War. Thus far, it seemed, the fighting was isolated to the distant Coru Secundus region, though Gauisa was under no illusion that Tar Kurraen would remain far removed for long, as much to the planet's location along the critical Perliama Hyperlane as the benefits that the presence of the Cyrannian Syndicate could have for either side of the conflict.
The tavern was warm, though rather empty and the beer that was served was great. A dancing Alavar provided highly welcomed entertainment for those that were present in the tavern and drew most of the attention. Just as Gauisa preferred. From the corner of his eyes, he saw a female humanoid staring at him. Narrowing his eyes he recognised her as a species hailing from the Quadrant Galaxies, she was far from home it seemed. The outfit surprised Gauisa, never understanding why humanoids dressed themselves in such outfits anyway. She had donned a tight leather outfit, showing her thighs and belly. Around her shoulders she donned a grey damaged jacket, around her neck she wore a skeleton necklace and her hair was separated in two pigtails. The girl looked right back in his eyes, she was bold, after all. Gauisa picked his teeth with his combat knife to impress her, but she rolled her eyes and placed a hand on the blaster at her side. Gauisa took another gulp of his beer and looked in surprise when the girl approached him.
The girl stood before him and smirked. She handed him over a holo transmission device and gave the bounty hunter a swift kiss on his snout and left again, waving at him with a rather suggestive manner. Smiling to himself, Gauisa swallowed what remained of his drink and returned to his ship docked in a nearby hangar bay. That humanoid must have known who he was, no sane being approached him like that. When he reached the ship, he activated the transmission device. Two shadowy holograms appeared, one in dark armour that he did not recognise and another, a humanoid figure in the armour of the Imperial Inquisition.
- Éaltar Gauisa: "This is Éaltar Gauisa, I take it you have a problem you'd like me to solve."
- Chodecra: "Greetings Bounty Hunter! Your services are once again required for the benefit of his magnificence, the Emperor!"
- Éaltar Gauisa: "Ah yes, I was expecting the Empire to call. Seems you require a lowly bounty hunter to do your dirty work."
The Inquisitor smirked.
- Chodecra: "It is a matter of great delicacy. The instructions are within the holopad as well. Failure shall not be tolerated!"
Gauisa looked over the holopad.
- Éaltar Gauisa: "Ah, ambitious are we? What can I expect in return?"
- Maethoruin: "Know that you speak to a Phaedric Lord, bounty hunter. I offer challenge and I offer cubits. Neither of which will be matched elsewhere. A more pressing situation than hunting mere pirates has arisen. You will accept."
- Éaltar Gauisa: "Relax, I will pulling your chain. I'll take the job."
- Maethoruin: "You irritate me, bounty hunter. Do I resemble one who has time for levity?"
Éaltar felt a shiver run down his spine, and did not respond.
- Chodecra: "May the darkness forebode you well, hunter, we look forward to your success! If you succeed, my ship will await just outside New Republic borders to rendezvous!"
- Éaltar Gauisa: "I make no promises."
Chi Chodecra's grin grew broader and his eyes shimmered with delight.
- Chodecra: Good luck then, bounty hunter! Either way, we shall meet again though the how depends on you!"
Gauisa nodded and closed the transmission and began to make preparations to execute this folly.
The First AttackEdit
With the construction of the new Senate Building underway in Capricaépolis, security was tight. In orbit over the planet, the largest remaining Republic fleet in the galaxy, led by the flagship Republica stood guard against any potential Imperial invasion of the Twelve Worlds. Dropping out of lightspeed with an equipped Imperial cloaking device, Gauisa's ship managed to sneak below the orbit of Lunasa before taking the ship closer to the capital of Capricaépolis. When the ship landed in the Capricaé Hills district, Gauisa holstered his sniper rifle and gazed across the West River toward Republic Island, where he could make out the distinctive shape of the Presidential Pyramid in the distance, where no doubt, Apollo was busy with matters of government.
Blending in with the crowd, he made his way to the Plaza where a crowd had gathered. Along with Ramdard Ramthrace, who awaited Senate confirmation of his Vice Presidency, stood Senators Amirtae Buroa of Achiliquin, Suué Carolausa of the Coventina Sector, Roth Caesenn of Coruaan and Aneen Daerethal of Angrenos Sector. Making his way to the upper floor of one of the surrounding skyscrapers, Gauisa assembled the rifle and pointed it out the window. Gauisa slowly and accurately prepared his sniper rifle, with a sound silencer he calculated the influence of the wind and distance. Looking at the paper flyer he received in the crowd, he still had a minute or two before the speech began. Smiling, Gauisa took aim and silently awaited the appearance of his prey. As the senators made their way up the stage, the hunter took aim and watched his breathing. From this distance any movement might miss the targets by mere centimeters.
The Rambo Serindia stood behind his pedestal, while on his left, Senator Carolausa stood waving at the admiring crowd.
- Ramthrace: "Citizens of the New Republic! In these dark times I have the honour to address you in the name of our president. After recent horrors the New Republic shall endure and will not bend to the cruelties of the Empire. To ensure a working government, I am pleased to announce the return of a great politician as senator of the Twelve Worlds. Let us warmly welcome back Raen Magalen!"
Gauisa narrowed his eyes, this was the moment he required as all attention was drawn to Raen Magalen on the far side of the stage! As Magalen walked onto the stage, to cheers from the crowd, Gauisa aimed the rifle on one of the senators and fired, just as Magalen prepared to speak. As Gauisa pressed the trigger, he felt a cruel sensation. His breathing stopped and he felt his heart beating in his chest. As he fired he saw the bullet's trajectory in slow motion. The first shot hit the young Senator Carolausa directly in the head, killing her instantly, while the second hit Senator Ramthrace in the shoulder, sending him to the ground in agony. As the crowd broke into panic, Gauisa managed to fire another shot, which, due to the chaos on the ground, missed Senator Magalen's head by a few centimetres. Before he could fire again, security had raised a shield around the stage, protecting them from harm. Smirking, Gauisa left his sport, his first stage completed of the plan. Now the game was really on!
Next on the ListEdit
Security in the capital was already heavy, but now, it was almost impossible for Éaltar to even exit the building. However, he had everything planned out. His next target was Vice President-elect Ramthrace, who would no doubt be taken to the nearby Gianne Inviá University Hospital in Downtown Capricaepolis. There, he planned on finishing the foolish old bird off. Ramthrace had a medical room for himself, the shoulder injury crippled the Serindia badly. His heart problems returned and the physicians monitored him with various screens and leads. He had an iv access in his right arm that provided pain medication. Ramthrace could regulate the doses himself to a certain degree. To make matters more complicated, he was on oxygen as well as his heart gave him periods of shortness of breath.
Reading the data pad in front of him, he realised sadly that Carolausa had been killed, another attack on the government of the New Republic. Sighing, Ramthrace realised no matter what pledges of aid had been promised, before anyone could arrive the New Republic stood alone for the time being, facing the march of the Empire by themselves. Ramthrace opted to the president to call for Rambert's aid, but the Empire removed the Rambo as an early player when they placed him under house arrest and placed the Rambo Capital under hostage. Their other allies in the Quadrants, the Terrans were conquered within a matter of days, threatening not only the Cyrannus sectors but now the Quadrants colonial sector as well. Things looked grim and as he was in a hospital, he unable to help Apollo.
He smiled to one of the nurses when she brought him a glass of water with his medications for his heart. Putting the datapad away, he opened the Capricornian Courant, a news paper with the recent gossips and news for which he had not yet found time to read this morning.
- Éaltar Gauisa: "Feeling better, Senator?"
Ramthrace looked up from his paper and raised an eyebrow.
- Ramthrace: "Who's there?"
Gauisa emerged from the shadows, making a point to show Ramthrace the sniper rifle.
- Éaltar Gauisa: "All you need to know is that it'll all be over in a few minutes. I suppose, in a way, it's a mercy that you'll die here and now, that way, you won't live to see your Republic collapse."
Ramthrace fell silent and looked shocked, coughing and breathing heavily he put away the paper.
- Ramthrace: "Y-you would kill a man in his hospital bed?"
- Éaltar Gauisa: "It's just business, bird. Nothing personal. Any last words?"
Ramthrace's face turned sad and full of regret. As he made moves to get out of bed he replied the bounty hunter with a cold voice.
- Ramthrace: "At least let me face my death as a man!"
Getting out of bed Ramthrace stood weakly, though he raised his back and unfolded his wings. Looking stern at the bounty hunter, with all the wires and tubes still attached to him, he smiled sadly when he raised his fist to his chest.
- Ramthrace: "For the Republic!"
- Éaltar Gauisa: "Touching. Now... ta-ta!"
Gauisa raised the rifle and put his finger on the trigger. Suddenly, however, the weapon was blasted out of his hands and an unknown voice emerged from the doorway.
- Arasah-Nui: "Step away, bounty hunter!"
Éaltar whirled on his feet toward the young Cargura, raising his rifle to her and firing. However, Arasah deflected the bolt with her blade, before telekinetically blasting the bounty hunter across the room, sending him crashing into some medical equipment.
- Arasah-Nui: "You're going to spend the rest of your life behind bars, scum."
Éaltar growled as he got to his feet. His benefactors didn't tell him that the Aldárae would be involved! Activating his personal cloaking device, he jumped through the window of the hospital ward onto the city streets below. Ramthrace looked at the young Cargura, what she saw in his eyes was sincere gratitude and relieve before he collapsed to the ground. Gasping, she helped the old Serindia to his feet and helped him into the bed. It was lucky that Master Ryen had assigned her to his safety, otherwise, the day would have been quite different. After Ramthrace lied down on the hospital bed again, Arasah-Nui called for the nurses to help the elderly Serindia.
The Presidential PyramidEdit
Frustrated by his failure to kill Ramthrace, Éaltar nonetheless wasted no time in following through the third, and yet most difficult, portion of the plan—killing President Apollo himself. It wouldn't be the first time he attempted it, though he was resolved that it would be the last. Making his way through the city, cloaked from view, he returned to the Plaza in the shadows of the Presidential Pyramid. Scaling the surface of the structure, making sure he avoided the ray shielded windows, he approached the landing on one of the Pyramid's indents, where Colonial One was preparing to launch.
Within the Pyramid, Apollo sat in the Executive Office with his head against the desk. He had just spoken by holo to Senator Carolausa's family, trying to understand what they were going through, to learn that their daughter had survived the Cataclysm only to be shot a few weeks later. However, he forced himself to cast such thoughts from his mind, for the leader of the Republic must always be resolute in the face of hardship. His reverie was broken a moment later when his Press Secretary Reneé Valentae and Chief of Presidential Pyramid Staff Jeron Isauran entered the room, followed closely by his trusted Captain Lili Narea.
- Jeron Isaruan: "The Imperial fleet under Admiral Adraci has remained within the Mou'Cyran system, Mr. President. So far, no indications that they are prepared for Coruaan, though we believe it's inevitable that they'll try it within the week."
- Apollo: "The chaos here on Capricaerón will probably enbolden them."
- Reneé Valentae: "I know these are difficult times, but all this happened without the R.S.I. knowing about it?"
- Apollo: "I've already had words with the Director."
- Reneé Valentae: "Do we know who's behind it?"
- Jeron Isauran: "Isn't it obvious?"
- Reneé Valentae: "I mean the operative, Jeron, I know this has the Empire's fingerprints all over it."
Apollo held up a holoimage of the Imperical-1, the ship used by Éaltar Gauisa, set down in Capricae Hills.
- Apollo: "Say what you will about the R.S.I., but they have a very clear image... now."
- Jeron Isauran: "Éaltar Gauisa. Been a while since I heard that name. I assumed he would have ended up dead in some bar in the Outer Rim."
Apollo put on his jacket as he rose from the chair, before making his way out the office.
- Apollo: "I had enough of that guy during the First War, shut down all spaceports in the city if you have to, but I want him alive. He may have information on his benefactors. Captain Narea, is the ship ready?"
- Lili Narea: "Colonial One is ready for departure, Mr. President."
- Apollo: "Thanks, Lili."
- Reneé Valentae: "What should I tell the press, Mr. President?"
- Jeron Isauran: "We don't want to frighten people, Reneé, just tell them th-"
- Apollo: "Tell them the truth, Reneé. We screwed up. Now, a Senator is dead and the Vice President-elect severely injured. Tell them we'll do better."
Colonial One lifted off from the landing pad and shot off into Capricaerón's aquamarine skies, on route to the nearby planet Taurophon, where Apollo was due to address the planet's defenders and rally them to battle against the Empire. In his private cabin, Apollo sat at his desk gazing over a holopad giving him a real-time analysis of the ongoing Coru Secundus Campaign. As he read, his eyes widened when he learned that the Battle of Coruaan had ended in yet another Imperial victory, robbing the Republic of one of their key shipyards. Slamming his desk in frustration, Apollo placed a hand on his head and took a large gulp of caff, which had gone cold in the period since the ship departed the capital.
Looking outside the window, he saw various Republic vessels in orbit, proudly guarding Capricaerón in defiance of the Empire. Amongst the ship he recognised a single Rambo vessel. Smiling sadly, he knew he could not expect aid from them as long as the Empire held the Rambo Capital hostage. As with Coruaan, the Empire was cornering and occupying the allies of the New Republic, something had to be done and quickly before the Empire would be at Capricaerón's doorstep. Suddenly, a slight movement in the overhead bay snapped him out of his reverie. At first he believed that it was Gorf playing around, but his confusion turned to dread when an invisible figure dropped from the bay and unto the floor. The figure deactivated his cloaking device, revealing Éaltar Gauisa, his blaster primed to fire. Apollo's arc nemesis and nightmare had returned.
- Éaltar Gauisa: "I think you'll find escape impossible, Mr. President. Calling for help won't do much good either. It's just us now."
Apollo stepped back from his desk slightly.
- Apollo: "É-éaltar Gauisa..."
Gauisa gave a short, cruel laugh.
- Éaltar Gauisa: "You are familiar with me? I'm flattered. Truely. Though I suppose it's unsurprising. After all, I was the one who put a hole in your wife's pretty little head."
Apollo's eyes widened, struggling to process the information. When he did, his eyes narrowed to slits and he roared, kicking over the desk and sending it crashing into the bounty hunter, who was knocked to the ground, his blaster scittering over the ground. Gauisa rose though was to late to avoid Apollo's fist that connected with his snout. The bounty hunter went down while Apollo's massaged his fist. Spitting blood on the carpet, Gauisa laughed.
- Éaltar Gauisa: "That all y'a got Mr. President? I guess little cute Kará can hit even harder, or will she scream when I get my claws on her?"
Apollo roared and launched himself forward, though this time the bounty hunter was prepared. Blocking Apollo's right fist with his arm, the bounty hunter fist slammed Apollo's in the stomach, who was gasping for air.
- Éaltar Gauisa: "How pathatic."
Apollo's eyes widened as the tail of the bounty hunter hit Apollo, sending him crashing into the nearby wall. Picking his blaster from the floor, Éaltar aimed it at the President with a sinister smile. Suddenly, the door to the office burst open, revealing a cadre of Republic Secret Service agents led by Earion Aerellus. Taking advantage of the distraction, Apollo reached into his pocket and pulled out his Presidential Stun Pistol, firing two bolts into Éaltar's chest, causing the bounty hunter to collapse the ground unconcious. Éaltar was placed in the cargohold of the ship, where he was awakened strapped in place in a holding chair. Apollo stood motionlessly with his arms folded across his chest, looking at Éaltar with pure disdain.
- Apollo: "You have lost, bounty hunter. But I can guarantee your safety, offer you clemancy. Tell me what I need to know. Not only those who hired you to kill the senators, but whoever hired you to kill my wife. Tell me, and you'll live."
- Éaltar Gauisa: "For a politician, you aren't a very good actor. What do I gain from telling you? Nothing. And so I'll offer you nothing."
Apollo narrowed his eyes.
- Apollo: "Whatever the Empire is offering, I'll double it. Who?"
Éaltar considered the President's words before shrugging.
- Éaltar: "Well, I did tell them that I promise nothing, so what the hell. I was hired by a Chinawkya Inquisitor and his boss. I didn't catch his name, but humanoid, completely covered in red armour. As for your beloved wife, well, suffice it to say, you may have forgotten about an old enemy, but he has never forgotten about you. The Mortalitas will come for your head before this is all over, and neither your guards or your Aldárae protectors will be able to stop him."
Apollo nodded his head and stared at Éaltar for a long moment, seemingly making up his mind about something.
- Apollo: "Put him out the airlock."
Fear appeared for the first time in Éaltar's eyes and he began to struggle against Earion Aerellus' grasp.
- Éaltar Gauisa: "W-what?! You can't do this..."
Apollo, who had turned to walk away, turned his head slightly.
- Apollo: "Yes. Yes, I will."
Lacking words, Éaltar was placed into the airlock by the agents, who closed the hatch behind him. Apollo watched as the bounty hunter began stalking the confines of the chamber, attempting to formulate a plan of escape. For a moment, Apollo considered releasing him, but when an image of Gianne flashed in his mind, as well as an image of their heartbroken children, he steeled himself and gave the order. Suddenly, the bay doors of the airlock opened, sucking Éaltar out into the void of space.
The modified Imperial Star Destroyer Relentless crossed New Republic Borders and approached the rendezvous-point. Chodecra narrowed his eyes, there was no one present nor a ship was visible at the scanners. Furious he looked at his bridge crew, who all remained silent. Only the commander dare to approach him.
- Chodecra: "Yes commander?"
The young woman sighted, her uniform clean yet somehow she was disturbing as well. After all those year together in service, Chodecra never knew what made him weary around her. Perhaps it were the eyes, a remnant of his former life when he still had mortal feelings.
- Zahra: "Lord Inquisitor, there are no ships in the vicinity. We did however pick up an organic substance three parasec of our port bow."
Chodecra showed his teeth and turned around to look into space again at the coordinates his commander provided. His commander gulped.
- Zahra: "S-sir, scans are coming in Lord. It is organic, its a body."
Chodecra turned around angrily, using his powers to strangle his commanders. The commander grasped for air but Chodecra did not release his hold.
- Zahra: "P-please my Lord!"
Chodecra released his hold over the commander, knowing quite well she was not to blame. With utter distaste in his mouth, Chodecra spat out his next order when he returned his gaze into space.
- Chodecra: "Get it on board."