Aadya had arrived on Zeltros a few hours before she was supposed to, taking the free time to wander around a bit and think before she was supposed to meet Jaikus. She had never been to Zeltros before and figured it would be a good idea to at least attempt to get somewhat acclimated to their surroundings before she waded waist deep into whatever shenanigans this mission would entail.
Pulling out her datapad, Aadya flipped through her messages to find the ones from Jaikus. She was supposed to meet him somewhere specific but couldn't quite remember where. Finding it after a few moments, Aadya stuffed her datapad back in her pocket and headed off toward a small bistro she'd walked past earlier.
There was a two person table outside the place that Aadya took a seat at. A small umbrella in the middle provided shade and a waitress quickly found her and took her order: No food, just a mimosa. It was still early afternoon so hopefully Jaikus was alright with a little day drinking.
Checking her chrono, she expected her fellow Sith to arrive at any time. There were still some details about the mission she was lacking, but hopefully they could get the show on the road sooner rather than later.
Jaikus had been on Zeltros for a few days at this point, allowing him ample time to get acquainted with the city and strategize his next moves. His meeting with a certain Zeltron noblewoman had gone better than expected, and it was time to set into motion his plan to put Sylvise on the throne. A puppet to the Sith Empire, nestled right within the heart of the FWA.
It was only after a few days of preparation that the Axxilan finally reached out to Aadya - sending the fellow Champion a message and mission brief to go along with it. The pair had worked together once before in the past, back during a time when the Firrerreo was still only an Acolyte. With any luck, this current venture would go just as swimmingly.
The Axxilan weaved his way through the crowds that packed into the capital city of Zeltron, casually making his way towards the place where he was set to meet with Aadya. Neither of them had any reason to conceal their identity for this stage of the mission - unrecognizable amongst the crowds that packed into the middle class district.
It didn’t take Jaikus long to spot Aadya already occupying one of the outdoor tables - immediately starting to make his way towards her. The Axxilan’s dark hair was combed and styled into place, while the air around his person was light scented with his cologne. He wore a pair of black dress pants and a matching suit vest, alongside a form-fitting white button-up just underneath. His outfit was accessorized with a stylish chrono and beaded bracelets, alongside a thin necklace that hung down to his collarbone.
“Aadya,” He said, his voice smooth and pleasant as he approached the table. The Axxilan dipped his head forward into a small bow, keeping his hands tucked against the small of his back. Citrine eyes fixated onto the Champion, a polite smile present on his lips. “It’s been a while. Good to see you again.”
With that, the Axxilan took a seat just opposite to Aadya and flagged down a waitress - forgoing any food and opting for a fruity cocktail to drink - confirming the Firrerreo’s suspicions that the Axxilan didn’t mind a bit of day drinking.
He reclined a bit in his seat, waiting for the waitress to leave before looking to Aadya. “I trust you have the opportunity to read over the mission brief?”
Good to see you again too, Jaikus. Aadya replied as the Champion finally arrived and took a seat. She couldn't help but smirk just a little bit as she regarded his dress - Jaikus always looked so put together, so prim and proper. It was kind of cute.
Her own choice of wardrobe was a little more modern, a little more risqué but still nonetheless fit the general tone that Jaikus did. A little bit of envious drip with "Why yes, I am better than you" undertones.
A couple times, actually. She answered in regards to his question about the mission brief. Though unsurprisingly, its vagueness left a little to be desired.
Aadya's eyes scanned the crowds behind Jaikus, not really looking for anything but not looking for nothing either. Sort of just unconscious, passive threat assessment. Nothing out in the sea of faceless nobody's tripped any of her alarms, at least not for now.
Aadya finished her drink and it was quickly replaced by another, the hawk-eyed waitress clearly hoping to not have a spot in her section wasted by two people who were going to get a single drink and leave. Those kind of people always left shitty tips.
Was hoping you would have some insight on exactly how you want to achieve what we are here to do. Aadya may have been a Champion now, but she was still fresh. Sometimes she still had the bad habit of looking to more experienced Sith to take the lead.
Other than the most obvious way, but I'd rather not get blood on my clothes. A joke, but still laced with truth. Aadya may have been willing to kill people, but there was usually better, less messy ways to do things.
Taking to her second drink, Aadya raised an eyebrow at Jaikus as if to say "Well, you got anything?"
Jaikus gave Aadya a small dip of his head as she greeted him, a polite smile tugging at the corners of his lips as the Axxilan slipped into his seat - positioned just opposite to the Firrerreo at the table. “And you look lovely as always,” He said charmingly, tipping his cocktail glass towards her before bringing it towards his lips.
As he drank, the Axxilan allowed his citrine eyes to wander casually around the bistro and the crowds that flitted through the wide, market and cafe lined streets. Nothing particularly out of the ordinary, and no one that seemed to give the pair of Sith anything more than a passing glance. They were nothing more than another pair of happy tourists, enjoying all the amenities and beauty that the Zeltron capital had to offer.
He finally placed the wide-rimmed glass back down on the table and fixed his piercing gaze back onto Aadya, listening as the Firrerreo spoke. The Axxilan allowed his hand to rest casually on the table, rhythmically drumming his fingers against the wooden surface. “Figured I would leave you in a bit of suspense,” He quipped in return to her complaint about the vagueness of his mission prompt, his smirk tugging a bit wider before giving Aadya a simple nod of his head. “But yes. I do have a plan on how to proceed.” The Axxilan leaned back a bit in his seat, not at all seeming to mind taking the lead on his operation. He reached out and requested her assistance to execute on the plan, but that didn’t mean Jaikus hadn’t thoroughly thought this entire thing out - start to finish.
He glanced over his shoulder, ensuring that they were entirely alone before he continued. Their table was conveniently located at the very end of the restaurant in a more private area - out of the earshot of anyone beside the waitress assigned to them, who only occasionally passed by.
“Queen Eren - the current monarch of Zeltros - has enjoyed a long, prosperous reign over the course of multiple elections, and had managed to maintain a sterling public image over those years. Our job, simply put, is to tarnish that reputation and sink her campaign in the process.” He said smoothly, drumming his fingers against the table once more.
“The most obvious way would also be the easiest way,” He nodded a bit, “But likely not the most conducive to achieving the results we want. And besides,” The Axxilan grinned. “We wouldn’t want to tarnish your wardrobe.” He said, his voice laced with amusement. He allowed his words to hang in the air for a moment before continuing, a bit more serious.
“Our goal is to ensure our dear friend Ms. Vyzles assumed the throne, presumably with as little baggage as possible. The sudden death of the reigning monarch - especially this late in the election - would inevitably blow back on our confidant. Even if we tie up our loose ends.”
“So, I suggest an alternative approach.” Jaikus reached up, taking another drink from his glass. As he did so, the Axxilan slipped a hand into his pocket - pulling out a small data-chip which was promptly placed down on the center of the table for Aadya to see. “For centuries, the people of Zeltros have been frequent targets of human trafficking - their reputed beauty making them valuable in the galactic slave trade.” There was no lack of distaste in the Axxilan’s words, pausing for a moment before he continued. “It is a rather touchy subject here, as you can imagine, and any associate with the practice would not only be political suicide here on Zeltros - but would be the beginning of criminal investigation.
“Which is exactly why our friends in the ISB have supplied me with this.” He pointed back to the data-chip. “Communication logs, shipping records, account statements - all ‘evidence’ of Queen Eren’s dealing with the Hutt Cartels, using her position as the Democractic leader of Zeltros to funnel her own people into slavery, in order to line her own pockets.”
He flashed Aadya a faint grin. “Our objective will be to plant this evidence on personal computer systems within the Royal Palace. Once the damning information is in place, we have a ‘whistleblow’ in place to expose everything to the media.”
He gave a small shrug of his shoulders. “We needn’t do anything else, at that point. Queen Eren’s campaign will go down in flames - and the incumbent Monarch will be fighting off criminal investigation while Ms. Vyzles seizes the election in a landslide.”
The Axxilan glanced down at his glass, tracing his fingers along its wide rim. “The difficulty, of course, will be getting past security and physically implanting the data onto the Palace computer systems. Luckily for us, I have already secured our ticket past the front gate.” Jaikus reached into the pocket of his vest, pulling out a datapad and passing it across the table to Aadya. There was already an invitation to a gala taking place later this evening - in addition to all the information the Firrerreo would need to go over related to her alias ‘Lady Esmera’.
“That will be our in. Once we’re inside..” He shrugged his shoulders ever-so-slightly. “I trust we’ll be able to figure things out from there.” Jaikus tilted his head to the side, arching a brow ever-so-slightly at Aadya. “Questions?”
Aadya remained quiet as Jaikus laid it all out. Not because she wasn't listening or was disinterested, moreso because Jesus fuck the man sure did love to talk. It was all information worth knowing, of course, but Aadya made a mental note to send Jaikus some spacetube links on methods to achieve succinctness.
Seems like a pretty solid plan to me, Aadya said finally, once Jaikus had asked her if she had any questions. She took the datapad he offered her and started running it over. Luckily she was a very quick read.
Only one question, really. She said, an air of whimsy in her voice. I see I've got a code name here. Super cool, nice touch. But more importantly - what's yours? Aadya could think of a few choice ones that would fit Jaikus pretty well, though she'd keep them to herself for now. Not everyone thought Aadya was as funny as she found herself.
Checking her chrono again, Aadya sighed that sigh people do when it was time to get up and get along though they really just felt like staying put and drinking more mimosas. Standing up, Aadya finished what was left of her drink before putting the glass back down on the table and giving Jaikus a semi-serious look.
Make sure to leave a good tip, we didn't even eat anything. The faintest hint of playful ness crept in her voice. Aadya didn't know Jaikus super well and she liked to press to see how far she could go with people.
Heading away from the bistro, Aadya set off in the direction of the gala with relative confidence that she knew where she was going. What little scouting time she'd had before meeting with Jaikus had afforded her at least a decent layout of the land, at least within five or six blocks or so.
A few minutes of walking was all it took, the gala building looming ahead of them. Security was visible and in abundance outside. Aadya hoped that inside they were a little more lax, otherwise this job might become more of a pain in the ass than anything else.
Looping her arm around Jaikus', Aadya flashed him a genuine smile before nudging her head towards the building. Pretty sure you're supposed to escort me in. Where are your manners, Mister Altaris?
As the two headed inside, Aadya couldn't help but laugh just a little bit. Jaikus had no idea what he was getting into.
Jaikus proceeded to lean back in his chair as he finished speaking, idly drumming his fingers against the wooden surface of their table. While Aadya might’ve been internally musing about the Axxilan’s lack of succinctness, Jaikus was entirely unconcerned with being short and sweet about it. Part of the reason that he was good at his job was because the Axxilan was exceptionally thorough when it came to his work - often down to the smallest details.
Moreover, the Firrerreo had only just complained about the vagueness of the mission brief. So he wasn’t about to omit details at this point.
The Axxilan raised a brow ever-so-slightly when Aadya posed her question, a faint grin tugging at the corners of his lips. “I am mulling over a few options. Why - did you have a suggestion?” He asked with no lack of amusement, shaking his head a bit before lifting his drink to polish off whatever was still lingering in the glass.
He watched as Aadya rose up from her seat at the table and promptly did the same. The Axxilan took a moment to smooth out his vest before glancing back at the Firrerreo, brows furrowed a bit more seriously at what was said. “Do I strike you as someone who doesn’t always tip well?” He asked, his lips slowly-but-surely tugging upwards at the corners. “Beisdes. I’m not sure that waitress would let us leave if I did anything less.” He perked his brows and jutted his chin ever-so-slightly in that direction, gesturing to the woman who was still watching them like a hawk.
Without another word, the Axxilan reached into his wallet and placed a few Crowns face-up on the table - taking a moment to smile distantly down at the visage printed across the currency. His gaze only lingered for a few seconds before he gave the table one last cursory look, confirming that he hadn’t left anything behind. Only then did his citrine eyes flick to give the waitress a charming smile and nod of his head, a bit of acknowledgement before he proceeded to follow Aadya away from the bistro and towards the palace where the Gala was taking place.
Despite the casual way that the Axxilan moved, quite a bit of time had gone into meticulously mapping out the city, and he knew exactly where he was going.
Within minutes, the pair arrived at the Palace where the Gala was taking place - the red carpet quite literally rolled out towards the street lined with limousines and no lack of private security. Jaikus’ eyes flicked towards the main entrance and the perimeter of the building, clearly noting the abundance of security that swarmed all around them. With literal royalty likely to be in attendance, that wasn’t much of a surprise - and Jaikus had no doubt the same would be the case on the inside of the party. It was an inconvenience to reaching their goals, but nothing they hadn’t predicted might be the case.
Jaikus glanced over towards Aadya when the Firrerreo hooked her arm around his, arching a brow in her direction as a smirk gradually tugged at the corners of his lips. “Ah yes, forgive me,” He said with feigned apologeticism before taking a step back from Aadya. The Axxilan’s posture was straight and rigid - a lifetime of noble bearing that bled out in this more formal setting, clearly visible in the way that he carried himself. Without a word, Jaikus tucked one arm behind his back and bent low at the waist, while his other hand reached forth to grab Aadya’s hand. He wordlessly brought her hand up in order to kiss her hand. “My lady,” He said smoothly, flashing that polite and practiced smile before standing back to his full height. With that, Jaikus hooked his arm around Aadya’s once again - glancing towards her out of the corner of his eye. “Now that the pleasantries have been observed,” He said with a smirk, gesturing towards the entrance of the gala. He began to walk confidently ahead - leading the Firrerreo into the gathering of Zeltros’ high elite.
The pair were momentarily stopped at the entrance by security, but it only took a simple flash of their invitations in order for that same security officer to dip his head and gesture them inside.
Jaikus lead Aadya into the glittering palace ballroom, taking a moment to allow his eyes to wander across the opulent space. The chamber was filled to the brim with Zeltron socialites and nobles alike, shmoozing and drinking to their hearts content. There was a wide-open dancefloor at the center of the room, occupied by several couples dancing to some local variety of waltz with music to match.
His eyes wandered for a few moments before he finally came to an important conclusion. The Queen herself had yet to arrive onto the scene.
After a few moments of observation, Jaikus opted to make a beeline for a table at the far end of the room - spotting a tray of glasses that had been set out for guests to take from. He finally released Aadya once they got there, his arms instead shifting to pick up two glasses - one for himself while the other was politely handed off to the Firrerreo.
He took a moment, eyes fixed back towards the ballroom, before he turned his attention to the Firrerreo. “The main computer systems are located in third floor of the Palace at the end of the main hallway.” The Axxilan said quietly, though clearly loud enough for Aadya to hear him. He casually brought a glass of champagne to his lips, taking a sip from it before he continued. “First and foremost, we’ll need to find a way to make it past security guarding the main stairwell there.” He gestured with two fingers, pointing out a largely burly Trandoshan bodyguard who was physically blocking the path. “Or, we find an alternative route to the second floor.”
While Jaikus knew the general layout of the palace interior thanks to meticulous work from the ISB, he was still in the dark as to what they would face when they got there. “More important, the Queen has yet to make her entrance to the party. Security here on the first floor is going to become significantly more prevalent once she does. So I suggest that we act quickly.”