SPlit Personalitiy CHpt3 The Rescue Part 1

Armand Banooni, Pat Betz, Mark Cogan, Dora Furlong, Patrick Furlong, Cathy Kehoe, Rachel Schmueter, Rob SMith, and Lisa VanHouten.

Shade and Michael emerge from the local spaceport and immediately check into 
a hotel. The room is transformed into a base of operations in a matter of 
moments. Explosives, maps, and other items are spread throughout the room.

Shade sits in the center of the floor, preparing himself for a long 
meditation. "Stand guard. I will return when I have found her."

Michael nods and finishes placing the last of the surveillance equipment 
outside the door. He isn't sure what the force user is up to; but he has seen 
Darana in action enough to realize whatever Shade is about to do is going to 
take time.


The planet comes to life before him, the darkness welcoming him in, embracing 
him and beckoning for him to join it. Shade studies the darkness around him. 
It is like a thick, humid fog that would smother the weak and infirm, 
crushing their lungs until they died starving for air. But here, air does not 
exist. Here it is only energy. Pure, simple darkness. He plunges ahead into 
the fog, refusing to listen to the weakness, to give in. An eternity later he 
emerges from the mist to the surface. The planet has let him go.  He has won. 
Now, he is able to focus on his mission.

It's easy now. All of the energies are splayed out before him. Everything is 
in crisp, clear, and simple detail. He hunts for the pattern he knows so well 
and after several false starts, he is able to hone in on his goal. Across 
town in the heart of the town's oldest building, Darana's essence glows. 
Shade can feel his link to her strengthen. As he nears her, he tries to make 
mental contact; but something is blocking him.

Sensing the presence of other Sith brings forth the rage in him even more. At 
least a dozen of them. They go about their lives, oblivious to Shade's 
presence. His Force signature is invisible to them. Regardless of his 
advantage, Shade can do no more than remember each signature for future 
tracking. He will need a more physical approach to the immediate situation.

Shade comes back to himself and discovers that most of the day has passed. 
"I've found her. We must find a terminal and locate the building plans."

"Well, we could do that, or we could swing by the public records office and 
pick them up there," Michael suggests.

"That might very well prove more efficient."

Michael grins and tosses Shade a small device. "This is my arena now."

"What's this?" Shade inquires, examining the object.

"It's a jammer. Any surveillance tech won't pick up a useable image from us. 
Here." Michael demonstrates using his own setup in the hotel room.

"Excellent," Shade says as he begins changing into the dingy clothes of a 
builder. "These should help keep us from being noticeable. Did you get the 

"Yes, over there."

Shade walks over to the bucket, dusts himself, and grinds his hands into it. 
"Never saw a builder with clean clothes or fingernails. Ready?"


Michael guards Shade's back as they make their way toward the building where 
Darana is being kept. It is very old, made mostly of stone reinforced with 
modern plastics and unobtrusive metallics. Whoever had restored the building 
was attempting to preserve its historical value.

Michael perks up as a man emerges from the building. From his appearance, he 
fits the description of a man by the name of Nathaniel. Eric knew him briefly 
during his time undercover in the rogue Sith camp. This confirms that Darana 
was kidnapped by those who escaped the earlier wrath of the household.

Nathaniel walks by Shade, paying him no heed. Michael doesn't understand it. 
Shade is projecting so much Dark that even he, Michael, a non-Force user can 
feel it. If anything, the Darkness seemed to grow as Nathaniel neared. It was 
almost as if the Darkness were consuming Shade; yet there was no visible 
reaction from Nathaniel. But then, that is probably why he is called Shade. 
He only truly lives in the Dark.

Shade interrupts his thoughts. "All right, we have the address. Let's go."

Michael nods. "I've got all the obvious entrances mapped along with the 
surrounding architecture. We should get plans for those two buildings as 
well," he adds, pointing to the buildings adjacent to and across from their 
target. Shade cocks an eyebrow at him. Michael shrugs. "You never know."

Shade nods. He makes a mental note to do the same for the security of the 


City Hall, one hour to closing, and their luck holds out. The office of 
Planetary Development was empty. The clerk, an elderly woman in conservative 
dress, appears from a doorway behind the counter.

"What can I help you gentleman with today?" Her voice has a soft lilt, and 
she is downright perky.

Michael puts on his best smile and goes to work. "Well, we are from the 
contracting agency that's doing the annual inspection on the old stone temple 
across town."

"Oh, yes," the clerk says, delighted. "It's such a beautiful old building. 
Nathaniel goes to great lengths to keep its historical value intact."

"Yes; well, we need the original building plans for it, you see, and..."

"Oh, I don't know if I can let them go," she hesitates. "Their historical 
value is just as great as the building itself."

"Well, you see, Mrs.--uhhh--?"


"You see, Mrs. Devlin," Michael begins. He pauses for a moment of 
inspiration. "Oh, no;
I probably shouldn't..."

"What is it?" she asks, her concern evident.

"Well, Nathaniel is concerned that there may be a... Now you've got to 
realize this has to be kept quiet; we can't let anyone find out about this."

"Oh, dear; there's a problem?" she inquires.

"Yes, unfortunately. Nathaniel is concerned that the building foundation may 
be cracked, and...well, the whole thing could just come tumbling down at any 
time if that's the case." Michael gestures widely with his hands.

"Oh, dear!"

"Yes, you could see how this could cause upset. If people were to find out..."

She finishes for him: "Oh, it would be awful! The rioting and screaming, and
then the killing..." She shudders.

Michael's pulse races at the mention of the killing. He'd love to know the 
reason why a building would be that important to a planet's culture.

His eyes hold hers momentarily before continuing. "Yes. That's why we need to 
keep this quiet; and that's why we need the original blueprints."

"Oh, yes! I'll go back and get them for you. It'll only take me a minute."

"I'll be here," he replies. Then, remembering, he adds: "Oh! I'll need the 
plans of the
buildings next to it as well." She looks at him quizzically. He smiles 
broadly. "You never know--they may be affected, too. They may have related 
problems. We don't want to lose any of the buildings."

"Yes, yes; better safe..." She disappears around the corner.

Shade moves forward and stands next to Michael. "Kill her when she comes 

"No. I have something much better in mind for her." Michael reaches his right 
hand into his pocket and withdraws it. Briefly there is a clear shine, then 
it is gone. "Contact poison. She won't remember a thing when she wakes up."

Shade nods, "Save us the trouble of an immediate investigation over a dead 

"Exactly. By the time they realize the plans are missing, it will be too 
late." Michael smiles and steps forward to greet the clerk as she returns.

"Well, now," she says, setting the plans on the counter. "These usually take 
a seven-day turn-around time before I can release them. But since this is an 
emergency..." She smiles.

"Of course. I understand completely. I won't say a word to anyone," Michael 

"All right, then, here you go." Shade steps forward, collecting the offered 
documents from the woman.

Michael extends his hand to her. She accepts. "Thank you so much. You've been 
so helpful. Nathaniel will appreciate it very much."

The clerk beams at his words. "Oh, you're quite welcome."

As the pair leaves the office, they hear the thump of the woman's body 
hitting the floor.


Back in the makeshift base, Shade and Michael spread the architectural plans 
around the room. The pair pores over them for several hours, discussing 
options and possibilities, finally settling on an old underground connection 
between an adjacent building and the one where Darana is being kept.

"Let's go see what we're up against."

Michael voices his agreement and follows Shade out into the night.

Breaking into the first building poses no great challenge to Michael: B&E is 
an essential skill for any assassin. Shade hands the necessary tools to 
Michael as if he knows what is needed when. Michael, for a moment, wonders 
just what Shade had been doing during those two years... Then he snaps his 
attention back to what he's doing. The entrance to the tunnel is blocked off.

Michael pulls out another small device and holds it against the entrance. "It 
sounds as if it might be open. The measure is picking up about a 20-yard 

Shade compares the numbers to the drawings. "The numbers match. Stand back."

Shade ignites one blade of his lightsaber and neatly cuts through the wall 
that is between him and the completion of his mission.

"Cool," Michael laughs. "I gotta get me one of those."

"Pay the price, and I'll show you how to make one," Shade responds.

At the other end of the tunnel, Shade senses for other Force users. There are 
none. He
repeats the process with the same precision on this wall. Watching Shade 
makes Michael briefly wish he had his traitorous sister's abilities in the 

Shade takes the lead entering the target building. They pick their way 
through the lower level and find the old stairs leading up. The door is 

"Call for backup. It's time. There are guards on the other side." 

Michael nods and goes back to the entrance of the tunnel while Shade allows 
the guards to pass, then cuts through this new obstacle.

"ETA 10 minutes," Michael reports. "They will wait in the tunnel."

"Good." Shade tosses Michael a detonator. "Let's do it."

Sensing for Force users, Shade guards Michael as he sets charges in various 
nooks and crannies. Occasionally, Shade hands Michael another one of the 
charges he's

As Shade is getting out the last charge, he looks up from his work, sensing 
the guards before their footfalls sound nearby. Quietly, Shade alerts Michael 
to their presence; and the pair form a plan.

A burly blonde with a scar on her chin rounds the corner. Her reaction is 
immediate: "Drop your weapons and lie down on the ground now," she orders, 
her blaster well in hand.

"Do it now," barks the slender dark-haired man that appears beside the woman.

Michael begins to comply when, with a few swift steps, Shade intercepts the 
female guard. Shade's lightsaber flashes in a deadly arc, slicing her neatly 
in half. The second guard recovers quickly and begins firing at Michael who 
is in a midair leap aimed directly at the young man. Michael lets out a 
silent cry as the blaster fire sears the back of his right shoulder. Before 
he's able to return fire, Shade moves in and neatly decapitates his assailant.

"Thanks," Michael says.

"How bad?"

Michael touches his shoulder, gingerly testing the depth of the wound. "I'll 
live," he grunts. Looking down at the last charge, he adds, "It's set."

"Good. We need to get out of here," Shade responds curtly. "Guard."

"These two will be missed soon," Michael agrees and takes up a post at the 
freshly reopened doorway, his blaster at the ready.

Shade tries several doors in the corridor before finding an open storage 
closet to drag the two bodies into.


After receiving the notice, Arcturus heads back to the bridge of _Bloodwing_ 
and seals it off from everyone else. He activates the communicator and sends 
a highly encoded transmission, masked by outgoing transmissions from the 
planet. The communication is for the Emperor...

    To: Emperor Palpatine
    From: Arcturus

    First, let me congratulate you on your upcoming marriage. I am sure this 
    will be your greatest conquest.

    Second, I am sure you are fully aware of the situation concerning Darana. 
    We are about to take steps to reclaim her. As a special wedding gift, I 
    encoding the coordinates of the planet where a significant number of 
    Sith are encamped. I am sure your Highness would like to see to their 
    punishment personally.

    Your most loyal servant

*****  End Transmission *****


                              (to be continued...)

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