The heavy, pressurized blast doors slid open with a loud, mechanical noise that sent echoes into the seemingly inert vessel. A shadow moved in the dark beyond the door, a robed figure with armor painted black. Behind him, another followed. Soon enough, two more emerged from the door. While they did not have stealth in mind, they made as little sound as they could as they approached the first corridor. The first robed figure pressed a button on his armguard, activating his comms. The voice modulator in his black and red Sith mask gave him a more guttural, growling tone as he spoke.
"Lord Apeth to Ziost's Shadow. We've reached the turbolifts on the hangar deck. Shuttle docked without problems, though we encountered no personnel to greet us..."
Another modulated voice spoke on the other side of the comm.
"Proceed as planned to the bridge deck and determine the order of things. I expect results, Lord Apeth. Not meaningless reports."
From the data gathered by The Dagger's surveys, the cruiser Shadow's Wrath had been discovered seemingly drifting in space. Imperial scout probes just outside the Dromund System had recognised the ship's code signal and had forwarded automatic protocols to any and all vessels near that particular sector, to investigate and hail the drifting vessel and re-establish contact, or at the very least determine why it's comm-array was down. The Dagger had answered the call, but being a Survey Ship it's captain had requested support from the Imperial Fleet.
The Ziost's Shadow answered. Under the command of Darth [ERROR: DATA UNAVAILABLE], who reacted quite seriously when he heard the name of the drifting vessel. The Shadow's Wrath belonged to a rather high-profile noblehouse back on Ziost, and was part of a smaller fleet belonging to the powerbase of one of his closest allies, Darth Gustavos. The two had fought many battles together, and both were seasoned warriors who had garnered a rather infamous reputation for being liked by their crews, often leading their own troops into battle themselves with great success. And here was his friend's old ship, seemingly derelict and drifting through space. Something was clearly wrong, and Darth [ERROR: DATA UNAVAILABLE] had immediately jumped on the task to investigate.
His apprentice, Lord Apeth, had accompanied his master hoping to prove himself further. With him were another three lesser Sith who Apeth in turn had taken under his wing to teach, with his master's approval. He had heard many stories of Darth Gustavos and had hoped to meet the man in person. A rescue mission such as this was bound to offer great prestige as well.
The Sith Lord acknowledged his Master's orders and closed comms. "Let us proceed."
Entering the turbolift, Lord Apeth and his three apprentices began to ascend towards the Bridge Deck. The sight that met them as the doors opened could only be described as horrific, even to hardened Sith such as himself. Entering a small access corridor lead from the turbolift to the Bridge Deck, what met the four Sith was something resembling a fresh mass-grave. Uniformed personnel, security and troopers laid spread out across the floor, all with twisted and contorted facial expressions, their skin seemingly dried up, with pale eyes staring into nothingness. Their bodies shriveled up, like strange dried husks. The bodies closest to the turbolift bore strange marks on their hands, like their fingers had lost all fingernails and even scraped to the bone. A quick look towards the turbolift door as it closed revealed dozens, if not hundreds of scratch marks. Fingernail marks. The further the four Sith advanced down the corridor, the more bodies they encountered that appeared to have attempted to escape from whatever happened at the Bridge, but collapsed to the floor. All in the same dried up, lifeless manner.
Lord Apeth drew his lightsaber, and ignited it. His apprentices did the same, and their red energy-blades lit up the poorly lit corridor as they moved onto the Bridge Deck. The number of corpses seemed to grow into hundreds, spread out in horrific, twisted manners across the entire deck. It was clear that when these poor souls died, they did so slowly, and in great agony.
The presence of the Dark Side grew stronger as Lord Apeth grew closer to the main Bridge control deck. In the middle of the catwalk up to the observation window laid a body, clad in red plasteel plate armor, with a purple cloak underneath. A lightsaber laid beside it, seemingly having rolled out of it's hand. Darth Gustavos was dead, having met an end similar to that of his crew. And beside him sat a woman, clad in strange purple robes, with black gloves and Ebon hair. She embraced the Darth's body, whispering to it. Quiet words, yet... Loud. Lord Apeth could hear them clear as day.
"It had to be this way... My love. Our children will shape the future, I have foreseen it. I did what needed to be done. It is all for the better... Greater... Good."
The whispering words echoed all around, as she rose to gaze at the new arrivals. Her face was gaunt, unnaturally pale and covered in blackened veins. She peered at them with blood-red eyes... And she smiled. Lord Apeth's apprentices began to scream, uncontrollably. He watched in horror as they tore their masks off and began clawing at their own faces, soon tearing into their own throats, perishing in a cascade of blood that covered the floor around them. As he turned back around, the woman stood just a few paces from him, with open arms. She smiled broadly, kindly... Warmly. Like a mother would towards her favourite child.
Lord Apeth joined her in embrace. Inhuman tortured screaming soon followed, as she slowly devoured him.