Director Sach: "We are honoured to have you here, Darth Mercu!"
Darth Mercu: "Indeed, Director. Tell me, how is my operation proceeding?"
Sach turned to the men sat at their stations and smiled.
Director Sach: "As you can see, we are operating at maximum efficiency! The poison is being produced at the highest possible rate."
Darth Mercu: "Good, I am pleased. I wish to see the results."
Director Sach: "Of course! Follow me!"
Sach led Mercu into the lower levels of the facility and smiled as he proudly displayed one of the many storerooms.
Director Sach: "We have thousands of rooms such as this. As you know, a single barrel is enough to wipe out and entire planet!"
Mercu walked calmly up to the barrels and peered inside. A frown traced her hard features as she saw the barrel to be empty.
Darth Mercu: "These barrels are empty, Director."
Director Sach: "What?"
Darth Mercu: "All of them, empty!"
Director Sach: "I do not understand! I thought that these barrels were full!"
Mercu turned angrily to the Neimodian.
Darth Mercu: "Director, if these barrels..."
She stopped as she found herself staring at an empty room.
Darth Mercu: "Director?"
A soft clicking sound filled the room and a tall man draped in red walked slowly from behind the barrels.
Darth Ignatious: "Greetings, Mercu."
Darth Mercu: "Lord Ignatious?"
Darth Ignatious: "Oh, I'm afraid its Darth Ignatious now."
Darth Mercu: "We thought you dead."
Darth Ignatious: "I almost was after you stripped me of my power. Fortunately, it worked out for me. I was able to find my old Master, I took from him his power as well as my own and learnt a little in the process. Do you feel it?"
Mercu swallowed nervously, Darth Ignatious was indeed powerful. Mercu could feel the rage inside the man, threatening to boil over into a mass of dark side energy that she had never before experienced in any living being.
Darth Mercu: "Ignatious, you must understand, I was following Algren's orders. He had us believe you were a traitor. Let me help you seek revenge against him!"
Darth Ignatious: "Had I not met a vision then I might accept your offer. But I now know why I failed before. You are a Darth, a member of the Dark Council, the very fact that you beg me to spare you shows how weak we have become."
Ignatious tapped his staff against the floor and his lightsaber roared into life.
Darth Ignatious: "I have returned to reform the Sith. The Empire will survive, but you, Mercu, will die in the fires of retribution."
Before Mercu could reply, Ignatious swung his weapon towards her with blinding speed.
Mercu parried the attack and was immediately put on the defencive, stumbling backwards as she struggled to block Ignatious' expert attacks.
Darth Mercu: "Ignatious, please! Let me help you! Use my knowledge!"
Darth Ignatious: "Do you hear how pathetic you are? This facility is under my control, the Director belongs to me! I already have your knowledge! I have only to take your life!"
Mercu gasped in surprise as she was lifted off the floor by a vice-like grip. She felt invisible hands grab at her lightsaber and wrench it from her grip so that she hung defenceless in the air.
Darth Mercu: "Please, don't..."
Ignatious smiled as he opened the palm of his free hand and unleashed a storm of orange energy that snaked around Mercu and consumed her.
Mercu screamed in fear and pain as her mind was ripped from her head and her skin began to crawl away from her bones. Ignatious took a deep breath as Mercu's power and life entered his body.
The Sith Lord watched as Mercu's pristine bones clattered to the floor.
Darth Ignatious: "And so the purge begins."
Coruscant, one month later.
Much had happened over the past month. Word had reached the Republic of the deaths of two members of the Dark Council but the Jedi had been two occupied fighting the renewed forces of the Empire. In the past month several key systems, including Kashyyyk had fallen to the wrath of the Empire.
All this plays in Grand Master Yurren Relm's mind as he stares out over the skyline of Coruscant, attempting to make sense of all that has happened.
Dala Wasin: "It's a beautiful night."
Yurren smiled as the elderly Arcona approached him.
Yurren Relm: "It is indeed."
Dala Wasin: "What troubles you then?"
Yurren Relm: "Master Ames is preparing to leave to retake Kashyyyk. It will be a dangerous mission."
Dala Wasin: "I know, that is why I am also leaving for Kashyyyk."
Yurren Relm: "Master Wasin, you know you have duties elsewhere."
Dala Wasin: "And you know that my duty has always been to the Force. Right now it tells me that I will be of most use on Kashyyyk."
Yurren Relm: "I don't suppose I can stop you?"
Dala Wasin: "One day, you will face the same choice that I now face. When that time comes, you will know that no one can stop you from doing what is right."
Dala smiled and began to walk away.
Yurren Relm: "Master Wasin? Will I ever see you again?"
Dala paused and glanced over her shoulder.
Dala Wasin: "Be it this side of the Force or the other, we will always see each other again."
Kashyyyk, several days before the Republic invasion.
Commander Trench: "Look at them all, My Lord. We won a great victory here."
Darth Davros: "We did indeed, Commander. But the Republic will not let this stand."
Commander Trench: "What would you have me do?"
Darth Davros: "Prepare your men. The Republic is coming. There are Jedi to kill."