Post by Nicademus Delvardus IV on Sept 13, 2019 12:47:25 GMT -8
Within the immense complex of Imperial Strategic Command is a state-of-the-art facility designated for the personnel and department that makes up Imperial Intelligence. The corridors of this department are patrolled by ISB Stormtroopers, hand picked by senior leadership of military intelligence. Large offices occupy the second and third levels of this section where the senior leadership resides and manages the affairs of their respective departments. The corridors see many personnel ranging from Imperial agents to officers as well as prisoners who are transported to the sub-level which is where they are interrogated and imprisoned. Among the personnel found here, it is easy to find the ISB Director Yularen and the Director of I.I. Merrik Piett. It is certainly a busy part of the ISC due to the never sleeping machine that is Imperial Intelligence, working to protect the Empire from enemies within and without.
Post by Nicademus Delvardus IV on Sept 13, 2019 13:05:00 GMT -8
There was quite the commotion when Emperor Delvardus made an appearance, escorted by members of the Imperial Knights and several Stormtroopers, to see the Director Piett. Salutes were given in crisp fashion as Nicademus walked down the hallway, heading for the turbolift that would take him to the Director's office above. The importance of this meeting was of a vital priority. When the Emperor ensured a meeting time was available with the Director, Nicademus spoke of a vital state secret, known to only a few persons within the Empire. It had been a long decision to consider, but the Imperial felt he needed the mind and opinion of his Intelligence Director to figure out the best scheme to achieve this goal.
With Octavian coming of age to become a squire for the Imperial Knights, and Faina becoming his Empress, Nicademus had considered seeing Xeonon return to the fold of the Imperial Knights. Certainly, Faina would still be allowed to do her duties as Grandmaster, something that the Imperial would dare not prevent. As a result, the upper tier of the Imperial Knights needed vital muscle... Brock Ferrum would certainly be occupied as Steward. As a result, he would see to it that Xeonon could remove his mask and return to the order that he had done so much for, in both developing and preserving it. It is unfortunate that the Knights had lost Gabriel Solomon however. Still, Nicademus had skilled swords nonetheless.
The turbolift came to a halt at the lobby of the Director's office. The secretary present rose immediately and snapped to attention as well as any guards present. Nicademus walks over to the desk, nodding to the closed doorway to Piett's office.
Let the Director know I am here.
The secretary nods and proceeds to key her comlink, relaying the Emperor's message.
Post by Merrik Piett on Sept 13, 2019 15:14:36 GMT -8
Almost as soon as the Emperor announced himself to the secretary the two black armored Death Troopers, the only visible guards in this area of the complex, pulled open the manual doors to give the Emperor access, closing them whenever the emperor and whichever, if any, of his entourage he decides to bring with him have entered. The office beyond the double doors is large and empty, giving it the feeling of an empty warehouse or hangar bay. It was long and gray and sterile with a desk of dark wood nearly large enough to land a TIE fighter on at the very end. It was far larger than director Piett preferred for his working offices but it had been designed as an intimidation tactic and a reminder of who this office belonged to rather than any expression of vanity. Being located in the Imperial Headquarters it was the office in which he generally received important Imperial figures and military officers, the type who sometimes needed a reminder that they were no longer on the bridge of their own ships, and so he put up with the extravagant waste of space for the function it served.
This meeting however was different. He had no need to impress or intimidate the Emperor. The man understood what he was capable and showed him respect, and as such received respect in return. Rather than forcing Nicademus to walk the long empty walk Piett stood halfway between the door and the desk to meet him. Dressed in the black uniform of a Commander in the Core Remnant Navy he looked somewhat out of place in the office. He gave a crisp military salute to the emperor, opting for the forehead salute he had been trained with rather than the now more common fist to heart. It was a nod to shared origins as well as a reminder of how far they had both come over the years. "Welcome my Lord. I would have been happy come to your office rather than force you to make the journey all the way to mine had you needed to see me" His voice was formal and polite, but otherwise devoid of any emotion. His calculating yet emotionless blue eyes giving no indication if he would actually have felt joy about a change of venue or if he was just using a common expression.
Post by Xeonon Solomon on Sept 13, 2019 18:17:05 GMT -8
As the Emperor entered the room Xeonon motioned for the two other Praetorian guards to stand outside the entrance. Entering a few moments later he kept a respectable distance between himself and Nicademus but stayed close enough that he could react in case Merrik proved to be hostile to the Emperor. Even when they were still in the Deep Core Xeonon had never had the opportunity to meet him. Despite the shadowy presence of the man Merrik had inspired many a myth about him, and if even half of which were true it would be difficult to tell who the most dangerous man was in the room.
Post by Nicademus Delvardus IV on Sept 13, 2019 19:23:47 GMT -8
Merrik Piett, a man that Nicademus had come to rely upon more than often. Perhaps because of his efficiency and loyalty compared to his predecessor. Piett desired to see the ideals of Neo-Imperialism obeyed and instilled. The man before desired to see terror, fear, and destruction revived... this ensured that the Emperor worked better with the present Director than the previous. The Imperial gave a subtle glance as the doorway to the Director's office was closed. What was to be spoken was a state secret after all and he did not want this being known to all either. Once that was done, Nicademus's gaze would return to Merrik.
Director Piett, I am glad you ensured there was a time for us to speak. And I figured it would be better if I came here. The personnel of this office don't see me enough and it is good for those who work for the Empire to see their Emperor.
That was the difference of Nicademus with others who proclaimed themselves the inheritors of the Imperial legacy. They hid in their castles, behind guards and veils, and kept themselves away. Nicademus sought to ensure he was seen and visible. It made him more approachable and respected as a leader. He hoped to ensure Octavian was the same when, one day, he would rule this Empire.
Nicademus would pause for a moment before looking at Piett. He speaks in a low voice.
Director, ensure your recording devices and image recorders are turned off. I would like for us to get to business right away.
It sounded like this was pretty important of a discussion. After all, Nicademus had held this secret till Faina learned of it by his own decision, just before the Sacking of Mon Calamari happened. He could not keep such a secret from her of all people.
Post by Merrik Piett on Sept 14, 2019 11:10:45 GMT -8
Piett nodded approvingly when the Emperor mentions the need for those underneath him to see and feel him as a present force, it was the same philosophy that had Piett himself moving around so often to personally oversee the work he did, even if more often than not those under him were more than qualified to do it. There was no better way to instill loyalty than by reminding dissonant elements that you were always watching them. Piett gestured for the Emperor to follow him the rest of the way into the room toward his desk. It appeared that today something both secret and important was going to be discussed and those sorts of discussions were always more pleasant sitting down than standing in the middle of an empty room. Sitting down at his own chair he takes a moment to nudge a very specific button under his desk with his Knee causing the slight atmospheric hum often associated with signal jammers and intelligence skiffers. He had no need to disable an recorders as he did not use any in his own office, his mind was keen enough to remember what needed remembering and the conversations had in this office were generally the type one did not want any physical records of and so having them was impractical. Nodding to the emperor as his countermeasures are activated the Imperial speaks, his voice as measured and emotionless as ever. "We are as discrete as can be made possible in these times. What do you need of me my lord?"
Post by Nicademus Delvardus IV on Sept 14, 2019 11:36:32 GMT -8
One individual did follow the pair to where his desk was, one of the two Praetorians that was present with the Emperor. The other remained by the doorway, silent and unmoved as ever. The Praetorian that followed Nicademus was known as Alpha, the chief among its ranks. All of them were known to be Imperial Knights, but they had no names, simply designations and unseen faces, hidden behind red masks. Their vows of silence were absolute, their skill unquestioned, and their loyalty without doubt to their Emperor.
Nicademus took his seat across from where Merrik was situated. The Praetorian halting just behind where the Emperor sat. Quietly, Nicademus glances at the guard with him, waving his hand as an indication. The helmet click in several places as it was removed, revealing the face of a man believed to be the greatest of traitors and to have been executed before. Xeonon Solomon, former Grandmaster of the Imperial Knights.
Its about this very man before you, Director Piett.
Nicademus reaches into his pocket, pulling out a portable holorecorder. It was handed to Piett for him to examine. What unfolded before his eyes was a recording from one of the Stormtroopers that overlooked what transpired on the day that Xeonon was labeled a traitor. Words were spoken and, soon, the realization that the man who had been hailed as a defender of the Emperor, and died doing so, was the actual traitor. Xeonon's actions in the holorecording showed him defending Nicademus against Antares Draco, a Grandmaster prior to Faina and Solomon's successor. Also present was Anya Syen, a recently returned Imperial Knight, who also defended Delvardus. All of this transpired on the date that Nicademus first arrived on the planet. The original story being that Xeonon turned against Nicademus and Antares Draco defended the Imperial, with his life being the price of his accomplishment.
What you see is the actual truth of what transpired that day, Merrik. It was a secret to ensure that the dignity and the integrity of the Imperial Knights was preserved and that they would continue to exist when a new Empire was proclaimed... and, one day, have a dynasty to serve like the Fels before. Xeonon took the fall to ensure that this would happen.
Nicademus pauses for a moment, letting the Director take in this truth.
I hope you will forgive me for not letting this be known to you earlier. Not even Faina knew until recently and she was Xeonon's apprentice and his eventual successor to the title of Grandmaster. He has been hiding in plain sight because of his true skill and loyalty to me and the Empire. A loyalty shared by the late Gabriel Solomon, who you might remember.
Post by Merrik Piett on Dec 18, 2019 7:49:31 GMT -8
Piett watched the recording and listened to the Emperor's words with the same dispassion that one might use while reviewing the income reports of a small import/export firm despite their much weightier content. Piett had heard rumors of course, nothing this significant happened without rumor, but there had never been enough to really amount to any certainty, or even a reasonable degree of speculation. It had been hidden well, and perhaps justifiably so for the time. Merrik had met all of the Imperial Knights mentioned however he had been a mere Senior Lieutenant in the navy at the time of these events tossed accidentally in command of a small force and had had much more pressing things on his mind than what had transpired among the Imperial Knights. It did however put a lot of pieces into place that had seemed to surface since he had been put in charge of Imperial Intelligence. Turning his unwavering grey eyes to the Emperor he addresses him in the same measured voice that he seemed to use for everything. There is no need for forgiveness. Of all people I believe I understand the need to control the flow of important information. Turning his head slightly to take in the Imperial Knight he nodded slightly before continuing in the same deadpan voice. Your sacrifice in the name of unity will not be forgotten. That was as much polite courtesy as was forthcoming however as he turned back to the Emperor and business. I assume that if you have brought this to me now then you have a reason to seek my counsel. What problem may I help you with this evening my lord?
Post by Nicademus Delvardus IV on Jan 24, 2020 14:13:36 GMT -8
Nicademus proceeds to explain his plan to the Director.
My desire, Director, is to see Xeonon cleared of his crimes and thus returned to the public as a member of the Imperial Knights.
Although Nicademus had a hand in earlier propaganda, most of it was handled by the Imperial Civil Services and Imperial Intelligence. They were the big brains behind the cultivation of Imperial fervor within the populace. To change one story to another required the right tone and message. The Director had a seasoned staff on hand and certainly they could make the story right in order to change Xeonon's identity from traitor to hero.
I wish to see his name restored to greatness and to make the Empire view him as a true hero.
Post by Merrik Piett on Feb 2, 2020 11:25:26 GMT -8
*Piett paused only long enough to think for a moment before responding to the Emperor.*
"That should actually be fairly easy my lord. Simply tell the truth... or rather a slightly modified version of the truth. Wayward son of the Empire returns after sacrificing his career and very existence for the betterment of the empire? Your citizens would eat a story like that up. You must simply frame it correctly. "
*Piett didn't speak with any emotion about the subject. He spoke the citizens of the empire and the possible hero in front of him as if they were simply more paperwork that needed signed. While he wasn't indifferent to either group he displayed nothing on his face, just a calm calculation as his mind began to run with ways to begin framing the story for general consumption*