"Yes, who is it?" He demanded.
"Captain Rigel, Your Majesty. I have an urgent message for you."
He recognized Electra's no-nonsense voice immediately.
"This is unexpected. Come in."
The woman stepped inside the door and bowed reverantly. She was not often privileged to enter the evil master's suite and she tried to avoid her nervousness. She snapped to her businesslike mode. "A crypic message came just moments ago, to your attention."
Palpatine took the small datapad out of her outstretched palm. It read:
HAVE INFO YOU WILL CONSIDER VALUABLE stop LOCATION OF PRIZE RED GAURD
STUDENT PSYLOCK. stop KNOW HER TO BE IN MORTAL DANGER. stop WANT NOTHING
IN RETURN OTHER THAN HER SAFETY. stop
The Emperor's expression wore a hint of recognition, but he waved for her dismissal without comment. Disappointed, the Captain turned and left the room.
Palpatine looked up at the grating sound of an enormous crowd hissing and cheering over the holo-vision on the wall. He turned his head just in time to see two figures standing inside an arena, posed aggressively at each other. He moved closer and the evil master's yellow eyes practically glowed with anger as he recognized one of the combatants. It was Psylocke. Stunned, Palpatine lowered himself in his chair to watch the results. He smiled to himself when she finished off her opponent - but there was something akin to his old Sith apprentice...Maul. She was good..she was very, very good. He had every intention of making her HIS champion...and no one else's!
He pressed the intercom to the bridge. "Captain Rigel."
"Yes, Your Majesty."
"Contact Colonel Logan. Tell him it is urgent. His newest Red Guard recruits is missing. A rescue mission must be conducted immediately."
"We will send a courier immediately, Your Majesty."
"Good. Oh, and Rigel..."
The Emperor's pale hand moved to the data pad. This "Concerned" messager was clever enough to contact him, knowing he would sit up and take notice. And now he would write a transmission of his own...
"..I will be transmitting a deep space message in just a moment. See that it receives none of the usual interferences, will you?"
"I will see to it *personally*, Your Majesty."
Palpatine smiled to himself as he began to dictate into the datapad.
Begin Coded Message:
"TO: 'CONCERNED' YOU DID THE RIGHT THING IN CONTACTING ME stop PSYLOCKE IS UNDER WATCHFUL EYES stop I WILL MAKE SURE SHE WILL COME TO NO HARM stop IF YOU ARE PSYLOCKE'S FRIEND THEN YOUR IDENTIFICATION WILL ONE DAY BE REVEALED stop UNTIL THEN...stop" >>>>>
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