“This is commander Finoru Asafia of the Imperial Security Bureau. His Majesty the Emperor has sent me as security advisor for this moon. I demand to speak with the garrison commander on the double.”
Shamila sat quietly and listened as the man contacted the Imperial garrison on Nar Shaddaa. He looked nearly unrecognizable without his beard and wearing a black silk robe with a matching hooded cloak bearing a broche with the Imperial emblem. And then there were those mysterious markings on his face and the lenses colouring his eyes dark brown. Only Shamila, Bultar and a handful of those closest to him would know Imperial commander Finoru Asafia was in fact Jedi Knight Vhiran Ashukahwa. In her reflection in the ship’s window she eyed the elegant black dress, coat and gloves she wore, all fit for the member of the Imperial nobility she was for now: Sinoa Huu-Fao, daughter of the wealthy Huu-Fao family and Asafia’s niece, taken along to learn about Imperial security from her uncle. Back on Dantooine Ghost had provided them with a ship, equipment and disguises. While Bultar searched for other Jedi to join the conclave Master Potkin was organizing on Kessel, Vhiran and Shamila would go to the Nar Shaddaa garrison to get in touch with Flash, Demo and Blackout. Then they would set the first steps in building a force to fight the Empire, before heading to Kessel and meeting with Bultar and the other Jedi awaiting them there.
“Welcome, commander Asafia.” The image of a man in a dark grey uniform bearing the insignias of an Imperial lieutenant appeared on screen and saluted. “We have been expecting you. I am glad to see you have arrived safely. And, the lady Huu-Fao is well, I trust?”
Vhiran nodded. “She is. Our journey occurred without trouble.” He narrowed his eyes as he looked at the lieutenant. “Though I believe I just demanded to speak with the garrison commander, not have small talk with the staff,” he said in a tone as cold as his glare.
“Y-yes, of course, sir,” the officer replied nervously. “The captain shall be awaiting you at the landing platform. One moment please. I’m sending you your escort right away. Please follow their directions, sir.”
The Jedi Knight nodded approvingly as the image faded from screen. So far so good. He looked at his Padawan next to him. She seemed nervous. “Don’t worry, Shamila. We’re almost through,” Vhiran said in a calm tone and patted her on the shoulder, but he couldn’t deny that under his calm appearance he felt somewhat uncomfortable, a feeling that increased as he looked through the ship’s window. No less than twelve T.I.E. starfighters approached them. An awful lot of fighters for a simple escort flight…
“Master, someone’s trying to contact us,” Shamila awoke him from his thoughts.
“Probably the squadron commander.” Vhiran nodded as he turned to the ship’s comm.-system. “Encrypted channel,” he mumbled as he opened it, but instead of the Imperial fighter pilot he saw the familiar face of his ARC captain. Vhiran looked at the screen in surprise, but before he was able to say anything Flash did it for him.
“General, I don’t have much time, so I’ll make this quick. Those starfighters are not there to escort you. They’ll try to arrest you once they’re in range and apply lethal force if you resist.” The clone did not give his general a single moment to reply. “Information has leaked. Shortly after you left Dantooine they somehow intercepted a conversation between you and Blackout and found out you were coming. They tried to arrest Blackout but he managed to escape to Kamino to continue the plan we’ve been working on. You should go there too. He’s waiting for you on the southern side of the planet and will explain everything in detail once you get there. The Imperials think he’s dead so you should be safe there as long as you lie low.”
“Flash…,” Vhiran tried to reply.
“Go now!” Flash interrupted. “I’m not supposed to be here right now and have to close the channel before they find out what I’m doing! Stay alive, ner vod.”
“You too,” Vhiran replied with a firm nod as his fingers ran over the controls to enter the hyperspace coordinates for Kamino. “Thank you, Flash,” he whispered just before the ARC trooper had closed the channel.