Lt. Col. Melora Lexor's Training

By Terri Ruwe & LadyViper

Anelis Palpatine contemplated the tapes of the lab security monitors,
riffled through the reports compiled for her by Daravik Kotewa, and
thought about her father's orders.

     "You will become this woman's mentor," he said.  That was
all well and good, but what would not spook her? After all, Melora
Lexor had been working for years, quietly tucked into her lab.  From
all indications, a true and dedicated scientist; and one who used the
Force unconsciously, without thinking.  

A prize, in truth, and why was she not trained?  Most important was
to not let her either get away, or to push her into the fold of some
other Sith. Not even Darana, Anelis thought.  This one is mine.  She
copied the records she perused to a memory solid and placed it in a

She summoned her personal coterie of Imperial Guards.  Lt. Peppra
responded promptly.  "I must visit a laboratory," she announced.
"You will provide escort and see that I am not disturbed."

"Yes, Your Highness."  Peppra responded. "The usual transport?"

"No, Lt." She handed him a solid with the navigation coordinates.
The squad leader raised his eyebrow, just a little, just once.  "Yes,
your highness."

The transport was smooth and uneventful.  Once in the laboratory
sector, Anelis swept through the corridors of the city-world, with
her menacing guards surrounding her.

"You're certain this is the place, my Lady?" Peppra asked.

"Yes," she said shortly.  And the guards followed her directions
without further questions.

The lab was an unique setup; with non-standard security procedures
and the layered Force-dampening was unusual.  Anelis found the
corridor of actual dampening was uncomfortable, but not life
threatening. How interesting.  I believe this woman will be of great

Once inside, the guards held the door open for her, ascertained
security, and preceded her inside, with the point guards following.
Once inside, she dismissed the guards.  Peppra thinned his lips in
displeasure, but said nothing, and left.

Melora Lexor glanced up as the Red Guards first entered, then left,
thinking what I did I do to deserve all this attention?  Standing
when the princess entered.  "Your highness." Melora said with a
slight bow.

"Good Day, Colonel Lexor," Anelis said politely, aware of the woman
raising mental shields, compartmenting thoughts, and squelching the
echoing panicked mental voice that screaming, 'I'm in so much
trouble!'  The reaction amused her briefly, and she tipped her head
to Melora.  "The quality of your work has come to my attention.  I am
commanded by my father to compliment you."

"Thank you, your highness. But I'm unsure as to why His Majesty would
have you waste your valuable time to visit me in my lowly lab."

Anelis eased herself into the chair behind Melora's desk, and
gestured for Melora to take the other chair, well aware of Melora's
discomfort.  "Please sit, Colonel.  There are a few thing s we need
to discuss."

Melora sat after the princess, "I can't understand all this
attention, is there something in my reports on the Zeltron's that has
you or the Emperor concerned?" Melora held back her thoughts, keeping
them in check.

"I have a different interest in the Zeltron project than my Father,"
Anelis admitted.  "That is not what I wish to speak to you about,
however." She withdrew the memory solids from her pocket, and handed
them to Melora.  "You will find that I have a complete copy of your
military and research records---."

Melora took them and kept her attention on Anelis's face.  "You are
an interesting person, Melora Lexor.  I find it intriguing that your
record is so-so bland. Innocuous, unpretentious, even.  Have you any
comment on this record?"

Melora raised an eyebrow, "Innocuous?" pausing she glanced at the
data.  "It seems you have me at a disadvantage as to why you would
have any interests in my projects."

"My interest was originally spurred by the Zeltron project, although,
as I said, I have different interests than my Father."  Anelis
replied.  "I was concerned that the project be carried out by a
competent person, which you seem to be."  She paused for a moment.
"However, your military records, and fitness reports seem to indicate
that you are only competent, no more, no less.  There are no
commendations, no awards. How did you advance so far in rank, if you
have done nothing to achieve it?"

Melora looked at her stunned. "My project documentation should be on
record, along with the many patents I have. I would have thought you
would known of the Salomar project to be used against the Jedi?"

Anelis stood and thinned her lips.  "I have often been a victim of
the drug cleriathazine project.  If it was to be used against the
Jedi, how did the rebels get it?"  

She took a couple of paces away from the desk, and turned back to
Melora.  "I have seen the patent reports.  I have seen your records;
I have people who have researched this for me.  What I have not seen
is supporting documentation for the patents, nor have I seen anything
but good conduct medals in your fit reps." She pinned Melora with a
keen stare.  "So, I ask you, Melora Lexor, are you a rebel spy?"

Melora's mind raced over the Salomar project & how she synthesized
the drug cleriathazine . How did the Rebels get access to
cleriathazine? She thought of the test subjects who were still
confined to BH facility.  SPY ?  ME? No- no- no--- she looked at
Anelis.  Mentally Melora focused on her computer, it began to click
and pull up her private files.

Anelis sensed the woman's confusion, scanned through her rapid,
racing thoughts.  Then she strode to the desk, and watched the
display bring up file after file of documentation.  "Interesting,"
she murmured, and glanced at Melora. "I suspected as much.  You have
your own copies of files a very prudent move.  I believe you are the
victim of maliciousness."

"Maliciousness?" Melora asked.

"I have had a very thorough investigation done," Anelis told her. "It
would seem that although the patents are entered in your name, the
supporting research is filed in the names of Mershon and Ree."

"They are?" Melora bit the corner of her lip. Her thoughts turned to
Mershon, her boss, and Ree, her lab assistant, and how she would
confront them.

Anelis followed her thought. "You can confront them as an Imperial
officer," she pointed out. "One accusing her superiors of
impropriety.  Or, perhaps, if you're interested," Anelis glanced down
idly at her fingertips.  "You might confront them with more authority
than that---"

Melora gave a sly grin. "More authority? You have an idea your

"I have been observing you for a while, Colonel Lexor." Anelis
replied.  "You are quite talented in the use of the Force. It is with
you quite strongly. Not even a Grand Admiral can face down one
trained in its use."

"That is good idea but, I've not been trained in the force. I only
use it by instinct. Really, it was never a priority for me. I was
happy just working in my lab, creating and carrying out my

"You can be trained in its use, though. And in an Imperial officer,
that surprise can be to your advantage."

"I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Yes I'm an officer, what
are you driving at?"

Anelis glanced back to Melora. "For all intents and purposes, you are
only an Imperial officer, Colonel. That is all anyone knows of you.
But there are Imperial officers who are also Sith. I myself am one.
We carry an extra veil of authority. The Force of the Emperor's
authority, if you will."

Melora tilted her head as if in deep thought. "It's authority I've
never used. But it could be entertaining, especially where Mershon is

Anelis lifted an eyebrow in slight amusement. "It would also add a
level of security to your clearances--- perhaps give you a higher
clearance than Mershon. How then can he steal your records?"

Melora smiled wickedly. "I take it you have a Sith in mind for my

"I had in mind to do it myself, Colonel. I do, after all, run the
Sith Academy, among other things."

Melora stared at the princess for short while. "I don't think I'm
worthy of your time."

"That is for me to judge," Anelis said.

Melora paused in thought; "I am most honored to accept your offer."
"I had hoped that you would. Reluctant students learn so much more
slowly." A slow smile broke across her face. "I believe we can be of
much use to each other, Colonel."

"I believe your right your highness"

"Shall we set the men in this Empire on their ears?"

Melora smiled wickedly " As you wish------my Mistress."

Anelis lifted an eyebrow slightly. "Very good, my apprentice."

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