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Honored guest
The newest appointment to the prestigious Custody apprenticeship program was to be picked up at the Central Dominance International Airport, formerly known as Moscow International exactly forty-five minutes after touchdown. Everything was prearranged, of course, as part and parcel of the honor bestowed upon him.

The days of drivers standing with signs on congested airport trafficways were distant memories at CDI. High-resolution gps tracking easily coordinated point-to-point rendezvous. All the new apprentice needed was to work the software preloaded on the state of the art Wallet shipped to his home before he left to find his way. It would direct him to a black Mercedes towncar, four-door, spacious and sharp as a blade.

The driver, a contracted civilian, was completely unaware of the importance of either the traveler or the woman in the car waiting for him, assisted Marcus with his luggage. Both car and driver might appear no different than any of the other Mercedes, Jaguars or BMW's lining the curb, but Marcus was front and center, protected and given right of way by the pair of orange-fringed CCD flags posted on the hood.

Krasivolkya Constantine looked up with Marcus sat beside her. There was a stern freeze across the planes of her face that did not soften despite the recognition. She was a handsome woman, though she would cringe to be called as such. Her short, infinitely curly hair was tightly groomed. Her suit was colored Custody-gray but without the cut of military shapes. The pin on her lapel was that of the Ascendancy's double-crescent, modified silver, as only the Ascendancy had the right to wear the black and orange.

Krasivolkya stretched out a hand to shake Marcus' and immediately transferred to him a Wallet-document itinerary. The same itinerary that she swiped to the air in front of them. The first of many details to discuss was her own identification.

"My name is Krasivolkya Constatine, Chief Liaison in the Executive office of the Ascendancy, Custody of State. You are Marcus DuBois, on behalf of the EoA and the Ascendancy, I welcome and congratulate you. In the fifteen years since this program was founded, your predecessors have gone on to hold influential offices across all seven Dominances, operate billion-dollar corporations, and regularly utilize the apprentice Alma mater network to achieve mutual goals."

She swiped to the next screen. "This will be your itinerary for today. You will find schedules and a modified syllabus of expectations for the next six weeks in the rest of the files. Today, it is my honor to take you to the Kremlin where you will sit through security debriefing before being shown to living quarters."

The next swipe revealed a 3D hologram of the interior structures of the Kremlin. In the southwest corner sat the Grand Kremlin Palace "Visiting dignitaries, Patrons and their families often stay in the Palace. It occupies one-hundred fifty square kilometers in size, and is one of multiple structures not open to the public."

Throughout the duration of the drive, the beauty, symmetry and majesty of Moscow blurred by them. Soon they delved from the sleek highway of the ring road system and delved toward the heart of an empire. The red walls of the Kremlin loomed in the distance.

<small>((K.V. written with permission))</small>
<small>((continued from Biography))</small>

Darth Malik looked around the cabin at his fellow passengers, knowing that they had no idea the significance of this trip. They had all ascended into the heavens during this flight, it was true. But only Malik could view it as a rebirth in those very heavens. With their passage through and above the clouds, he felt the last vestige of his old life fall away. He was Marcus DuBois no longer, not really. At those heights, Malik seized the force, mastered it, let it fill him. The stench of all the people in the cabin- a sealed container of dead skin, breath and other odors- suddenly filled his nostrils while the sounds of talking or moving about or children whimpering and laughing pushed past the hiss of the air pressurization. And yet he did not despise the experience. Instead, he luxuriated in it, in being immersed in humanity and yet knowing that he was transcending them, ascending to new heights, both literally and figuratively. He sent out threads of the force to caress the plane, air and fire mingled together, penetrating the metal and plastic, wires and circuitry. He could feel the speeding flow of the wind outside, the pulsing of the electrical currents through the threads of fire, the skin of the fuselage becoming his skin. He imagined the plane becaming his very own self, an extension of his body, bearing aloft this group of people with him, their one day master. And this trip was the beginning of his new life, his apprenticeship as a Sith Lord.

Marcus disembarked and was able to immediately find his way to the car waiting for him using the Wallet he had been sent. He was wearing one of the few suits he owned, an off-the-rack charcoal black, matching vest, cream colored shirt and black and white striped tie. However, it fit his physique well. More importantly, he walked with the confidence of who and what he really was; not with arrogance, but not with fear or hesitation. In his stomach, he burned with anticipation at how far he had come. But also with how much there was to do. Any sense of trepidation or anxiety that wormed its way into that maelstrom was ruthlessly strangled in his mind. The act of calling on and dominating the force made sure of that.

The car was top of the line, black with orange-fringed CCD flags. A driver transferred his things to the car and then opened the door for him to get in the back seat. There sat a woman, lighter skinned than he was, striking golden brown eyes. From the way she held herself, she was obviously the person he was supposed to meet. Older than him by a good ten years, her bearing brooked no nonsense. She knew who and what she represented, both in her herself and more importantly, in the CCD colossus that bestrode the world. She was polite though, in those duties, conveying professional courtesy and pleasure at Marcus’ accession to such a prestige program. "My name is Krasivolkya Constantine, Chief Liaison in the Executive office of the Ascendancy, Custody of State. You are Marcus DuBois, on behalf of the EoA and the Ascendancy, I welcome and congratulate you.”

Marcus inclined his head as he shook her hand, a pleasant smile on his face. He waited for her to finish her congratulations before offering. “Thank you so very much, Madame Liaison. I am truly honored to be here.”
Tapping on her Wallet, she transferred a document to the one he’d held in his left hand. Immediately, he was able to follow along as she explained his itinerary for the day and his accommodations for the duration of the program.

He listened intently, both with his ears as well as with his other heightened senses. The woman was fierce, loyal to the CCD and what it stood for-no doubt ready to defend it. He appreciated that quality, that loyalty. Once again, it was a sign that Brandon was the real deal and he felt his admiration for th man. The words of Darth Plagueis came to mind. “You must begin by gaining power over yourself first; then another; then a group, an order, a world, a species, a group of species….finally the galaxy itself.” Brandon commanded fierce loyalty in his people. Marcus had played his game successfully at the University. But here was an entire new environment where manipulation and power games were not just common, they were the lifeblood; weakness and failure meant death, figurative and perhaps more. In this new home, he would be able to study it up close, watch the masters and the manipulated, feel the dynamics flow, hone his craft.

His thoughts went on. If Constantine was fiercely protective of the CCD, than it became imperative that Marcus give her no cause to view him with suspicion or question. His stay here was not going to be temporary. He had to lay the groundwork now for his future there. He looked her in the eye. “I really appreciate the opportunity before me, Madame. It is a great honor to have been chosen to be part of what I honestly believe is the pinnacle of human governance.”
Perhaps a bit excessive, but earnestness tinged his voice. And more than that, he meant it. Conveying an impression did not mean one had to be dishonest. Indeed, truth, true deep seated feelings could be a powerful tool, calculated though the time of their revealing might be. So when he said the words, he said them whole-heartedly, meaning them to his core. He let all his admiration come through- for Brandon, for the way he used Sith principles in government, for the opportunity he had as a result of this program. If she thought him a sycophant, a naïve foreigner enamored of the CCD and the Ascendancy’s cult of personality, all the better. She’d view him as a tool to use, a connection to be cultivated, a threat to be ignored. But connections and use went both ways.

As the car took them away from Moscow, Marcus took in the buildings and landscapes. This was no city ready to collapse in on itself as Chicago had. No broken display lights and signs, no dilapidated buildings and pot-holed roads. The paths they took broadcast a city at its peak, pristine, hopeful, and proud. It was the city of the future. But he also knew that there would always be room for more order. He was not ignorant of history. He knew there would be a seedier side, a place where Darth Malik might begin to clean up. The thought gave him a tight smile. Order and justice were in his hands to dole out.

They crossed a river- the sign said the Moskva- and then he could see the red walls surrounding it, the Grand Kremlin Palace Constantine described. Once again, he let the truth be sensed. He felt the beauty and majesty of the place-the crenellated towers in the wall, the gleaming ivory white facades. Golden onion domes in grouping of 4 or 5 sprung up like flowers on stalks of white amid this garden of opulence and power. Though not a student of architecture, it had a distinctly Russian feel, but with elements of Byzantine structure. Which made sense, given the history.

The entire impression of Moscow reminded him of Albert Speer’s writings on architecture. It was that perfect medium that merged two powerful tools together, the emotional conveyance of art and the function and universality of the physical landscape. People were confronted with these structures they could not ignore. Structures that imprinted on and adjusted the way those people moved, lived and thought. It could serve to enforce views of government, order, and even culture- the cult of the superior, the inevitability of victory. He looked at Constantine and thought an observance in that vein might serve. “Just amazing,”
he said quietly, looking around, letting the admiration he had been showing come out more in his soft words. “As Speer might have said, ‘Moscow proclaims himself king.”
He then gave her a wide honest smile. He had a lot of reasons to be happy.

The car rolled to a stop and the driver opened Constantine’s door first, as no doubt was proper, followed by his own. Standing this close to the building was an experience, Marcus had to admit. It was a awe-inspiring. This was indeed the seat of the world. He felt the force, dominated it. And now Malik was going to be entering it.
Edited by Marcus DuBois, Jul 16 2014, 01:17 PM.
Quite appropriately, the car stopped at a passageway through the domineering walls of the Kremlin. Krasivolkya sat straighter, if such were possible, as she displayed her credentials and they were allowed passage. A glance at Marcus gave her all the satisfaction she sought. He was suitably impressed.

Their first order of business faced them the moment they emerged from the vehicle. They were men in Kremlin uniforms. They were perhaps the first line of security, excluding the vast technological presence undoubtedly scanning her and her guest at the moment. There were deeper defenses, the liaison knew of some. Yet she, and others, suspected layers protected the Kremlin that they could only imagine.

Krasivolkya tugged on her suit jacket, straightening it, and waved Marcus to follow. A worker collected his luggage that he would later find undisturbed in his apartment. For now, they were led up a short flight of stairs that opened into a generous space antecedent to the Grand Palace itself.

Technology exploded around them, yet somehow was still superimposed upon antiquity. Such was the feel of the center of the CCD: a glimpse into the civilization of the future, built upon the majesty of the past.

There was a short line of individuals waiting to be screened but a wave of the Chief Liaison's hand and Krasivolkya took Marcus to the front. Everyone else bore DI pins on their lapel, if anything. She was the only one with the double crescent.

Once there, she was given as much attention as anyone attempting to enter the building. She was Chief Liaison to the Ascendancy; not the Ascendancy himself. Marcus was likely given as much scrutiny, despite his association with Krasivolkya. In fact, had security been less attentive, she would have reported them for breech of contract.

She introduced him to Varcim Tamm, a smart-looking EoA staffer with a thick, eastern European accent. Varcim's smile was pleasant but gaudy in comparison to Krasivolkya's constant hardness. "Before anything else can happen, there are a number of orientation-focused presentations you'll be attending. I will leave you in Varcim's hands for the rest of the morning. I'll be back for lunch and you'll have a chance to relax this afternoon."
KV nodded and pat Marcus on the shoulder almost warmly, before handing him off to Varcim.

Varcim, meanwhile turned to Marcus once his boss was out of earshot. "She can be intense. I hope you had a good trip."
He shook Marcus' hand again. Varcim wasn't much older than the new apprentice, but he had a weathered air of experience about him that said he knew how to work the Kremlin backstage.

"There'll be beverages and food, if you need them. And I apologize in advance if you find my presentations boring. Its not the most interesting of subjects you'll need to learn. But they are necessary to get in and out of here smoothly."

Their destination was a short walk down the Palace's main corridor. The space was unlike any government building Marcus was likely to have ever seen. In fact, it was awe-inspiring to Varcim, and he'd worked as a staffer here for six years. In fact, he started out as an intern himself, although nothing that could compare to Marcus' honored position.

The floors gleamed marble and granite. Overhead lighting sparkled from massive chandeliers. Everywhere ornamentation was gilded, carved, or painted with magnificent extravagance. Even the room they entered, set up with a few comfortable tables and a working wall-sized Immersion screen reserved for meetings and the like, was surrounded by Corinthian columns and alabaster moldings anchored by a rich rug of blues and reds.

Everything within was a prominent display of sophistication and power. Not so much as an unsightly power outlet was seen, as they were covered with hinged gold plates otherwise adding to the decor. On the opposite wall, however, was a four-foot wide medallion of the Double Crescent carved from white plaster with as much intricacy as the roses on the ceiling, and by all appearances just as ancient. A technique clearly designed to be as such. CCD symbolism was everywhere, in that regard, and integrated flawlessly into the history of the Russian Empire. As though the Custody always existed and textbooks simply forgot to mention it. However, such an omission was slowly being suggested in the newer additions in school curricula.

"This is the Rose Room,"
Varcim said, as he crossed to the Immersion Screen set up at the front of the room. At the lightest graze of his fingers, the wall flickered like wind passing over still water, and transformed into visual world of such clarity it seemed the wall itself dissolved. It would be from such a screen that Varcim would deliver the mornings presentations.

"Please help yourself to anything you see, and if you have a special request, I am sure it can be accommodated."
He gestured at the aforementioned beverages and foods, but the smile that accompanied the offer was hesitant. The type of people the EoA office typically handled had a tendency to request extreme obscurities.
Marcus and the liaison walked into the building and she strode to the head of the security line. This was just another day for her, to work at the center of the world, near the Ascendancy himself. Malik smiled to himself and felt that excitement stir within him again. He centered himself to stillness. This was the beginning of a very long journey and he needed to take his time. There was plenty to do.

As they passed through the checks, he observed the guards and found himself thinking. They were all powerful men. He himself was in relatively good shape and of course knew fighting from the streets. And obviously in that setting, posturing was nearly as important. But these men moved with deadly grace. They were the real thing, wolves next to pups. They were the best of the best, to be working here. It gave him pause, their quiet danger and competence they exuded, as if their uniforms were flimsy tissue barely masking deadly power.

As they walked through the checkpoint, it occurred to Marcus that for all his activities both studying the Force and in dispensing justice, his primary weapon always was only the Force itself. And it left him satisfied he supposed. But what if he didn't have the Force? He knew from experience that using it was tiring, though he didn't know why. So what if he found himself in that very position, unable to call on it or only weakly? Dangerous. He’d have to remedy that situation, he decided. And just as importantly, it would be another tool to add to his arsenal, physical power and the ability to project it, even menace.

Constantine then handed him off to a professional looking man, Varcim Tamm. She told him about the necessary presentations and later activities, and then patted him almost warmly on the shoulder. It surprised him for a moment. It seemed that he had made the right impression. She was a good person to know and Marcus would definitely want to continue interacting with her. As she walked away, Tamm said, "She can be intense. I hope you had a good trip."
He had an affable easy going manner. "There'll be beverages and food, if you need them. And I apologize in advance if you find my presentations boring. It’s not the most interesting of subjects you'll need to learn. But they are necessary to get in and out of here smoothly."
As he spoke, Marcus knew that this man, too, would be good connection to cultivate.

He chuckled at Tamm's comment about Constantine in mock conspiracy, deciding to display an easy façade, and said, “It was a great trip, thank you."
He looked around, showing how impressed he was. "All of this is just amazing. I am so honored to be allowed to be here.”
He let some of his actual excitement bleed through the admission. And then, to plant a seed, he said “But I’m sure the presentations won’t be boring. I’m betting what you do is pretty important. I hope I can fit in.”

It seemed to work. Tamm took him through the palace, chatting amiably. Marcus kept up his end of the chit chat, but on the inside he returned to his earlier musings regarding projection of power. The halls and rooms they walked through were perfect examples of that. Marcus could feel a genuine sense of awe overtake him. The sheer grandeur and wealth, the power and influence, was unmistakable. High vaulted ceilings and archways served to dwarf the visitor, as if they were a little child in the home of the Gods. Alabaster walls gleamed white, while gold glowed from the light of massively ornate chandeliers. The floor shined with the reflection of the ceilings and walls, enlarging the space even more. It radiated power, age and stability, as if it had always been there, ancient and fixed. Immovable. The effect was palpable and Marcus marveled at it.

They came to another room and Tamm said, “This is the Rose Room.”
A massive Immersion screen was on one wall, while the CCD Double Crescent adorned the opposite. It seemed as if the Crescent had always been there, all the way back to the Tsars, the CCD ancient and august. Once again, Malik marveled at Brandon and his subtlety. Indeed, he had much to learn.

Tamm offered refreshments before they began. “Just water is fine.”
He was a bit hungry, but the dull awareness of it would keep him sharp. The presentations began and Tamm explained the Palace schedules, protocols, security measures and requirements. And also palace expectations.

“The dress code here is very important,”
he said. “We represent the Ascendancy. So we have to be mindful of the impression we give at all times.”
That last was a bit emphasized, perhaps wondering if that was going to be a problem to this young American.

“I understand completely. The way we dress represents who we are and what we stand for.”
And then, an admission, framed in an embarrassed manner to elicit sympathy. “But, uhhhh,”
he said looking down at his clothes rather shamefully. “I don’t really have any more money. This was the only suit I could afford…”
He trailed off, waiting to see how Tamm took this.

The man was as he expected. In a friendly reassuring manner, he said “Oh, no. You don’t need to worry about that. The program you are in comes with a monthly stipend and even a clothing allowance.”

Marcus gave him a relieved smile. “Really? Wow. That is great. I feel relieved. Maybe you could tell me know where to do some shopping so I can represent the Ascendancy proudly?”
And that desire, he meant. Because he wanted to meet Ascendancy. Every minute in this palace only served to reinforce his desire to learn from the man.

But to do that, he had to be wary too. This was world government. The waters ran deep. He needed to know the currents and shoals, the players and the dangers. Tamm would be a useful source. He seized the Force, and then waved his hand. He hoped it would work. He didn’t know if Tamm was strong willed. “You want to help a new friend avoid any pitfalls.”

The man’s eyes glazed a bit. “I would like to help you avoid any pitfalls.”

Another gesture. “You want to tell me about the various people here, beginning with Constantine.”

“I should tell you about the people here. First there’s Constantine….”

Malik listened as Tamm spoke, making sure to feel and understand the dynamic that Tamm described. People lower on the totem pole often had a better view of things. Since they weren’t so high up in the game, they had a better understanding of the players and how they played.

Tamm spoke for a good while before Constantine finally returned.

Edited by Marcus DuBois, Jun 2 2014, 11:03 PM.
It would be many hours later, in a bar frequented by younger Kremlin employees, when Varcim realized how freely he spoke to Marcus. He would chalk it up to simply liking Marcus. That he was easy to talk to. In fact, the longer Varcim thought about it, all unease with his strangely talkative mood was brushed aside and he enjoyed the rest of his night.

After Krasivolkya left Marcus in the staffer's capable hands, she headed toward the EoA offices. They were primarily located in this very building, but smaller divisions were spread across the rooms in the Senate and Arsenal buildings as well. As chief Liaison, Krasivolkya's own office was located on the second floor of the Palace and situated in a nicely sized office. She had hopes that promotion would bring a grander scale to her title, but for now, these would serve.

First on her agenda was to take preliminary notes on Marcus' first impressions. These would be consolidated with those of various Consulars he would meet during the afternoon's orientation. It meant a hectic afternoon, as KV would spend the rest of the day analyzing the patterns and submitting the memo to the Ascendancy before tonight's dinner.

Polite. Was her first thought of Marcus. Those keen eyes struck out at her, but she couldn't talk about his eyes like an imbecile. Hungry. She recalled. The scent of his desire permeated the car with such potency that she had trouble tuning it out. Intelligent. She noted the way he'd appraised her and immediately adapted to her standards. Polite, hungry, and intelligent, three attributes the Ascendancy demanded in the Sigma program. He'd be pleased with Krasivolkya's assessment.

A tap and the holoscreen fell from the air. Other agendas demanded her attention, and there was only a short time remaining until lunch.


The meal took place in a seated dining room reserved for higher echelon government workers. Krasivolkya had to pass through the pale yellow light of the identity gates first in order to punch in the proper code that would allow Marcus to pass uninterrupted.

She spoke a few moments with more than one table as they passed. She exchanged pleasantries more than once, but always kept the conversation to the point, but polite. However at each she introduced Marcus DuBois, the Ascendancy's newest Sigma apprentice. Immeasurable looks of astonishment and praise were given to him. While the general public may not have heard of the program, those in this room knew exactly what kind of an honor it was. Marcus' accent was not lost on them, however, and Krasivolkya sniffed more than one scent of disdain in passing.

"You're the first American in the program, Mister DuBois," she told him as they sat. "For those of us who deal frequently with the Americans, you'll find there is no love lost. Soon they will see you as a Sigma and not an American." Her smile was cold as she unfurled the napkin to place on her lap.

The rest of their conversation was politely personal. Of course she knew Marcus down to the last hair on his head, but she inquired none the less about his life and ambitions. The lunch itself was short, despite butler service. Such was testament to the efficiency by which the kitchen staff worked.

Soon they were parting ways. Yet another staffer would see him to his living space for the next year.
That evening, once ensconced in his room for the next year, Malik sat down on the floor to meditate on the day’s activity.

When Constantine had returned, it was to take Marcus to the luncheon. They went through another security scan to get into this particular dining room. Malik noted that Ascendancy took no chances even inside his own palace. People where always being checked and only allowed where they were supposed to be. One might interpret that as paranoid, but he did not. “Care and long life go together,” floated to his mind, a saying from an old book series he’d read years ago. Imposing order did not always make one popular. But once again, he also saw another aspect to it. It added an element of exclusivity to things. You were here because you deserved to be. And the converse corollary: you can get in here when you earn it. Malik smiled. It was genius. People strove to enter the inner sanctums, angled and jockeyed and competed. It brought out the best, efficiency and order in people.

He’d noticed Constantine and the way she walked through the room, stopping at tables, introducing him. There was no fear, no hesitation, even though these were Consular heads of various Cabinet departments. She had every right to be here, as much as they did, and it showed. She carried herself with pride and confidence. And, he realized, so did he. He mentally nodded to Ascendancy. Well done. Such a little thing, and yet not a little thing at all, to make a Sith Lord feel honored to be here in this room. He smiled. He was indeed in the right place. Oh, he noticed the side-long looks or subtle surprise that some had when finding out he was a Sigma- an American, and a black American at that, as he noted the sparseness of color in the room. No matter, he belonged and they would know it. But when they left a table, conversation would spring up. He would have liked to be privy to those, if for nothing more that gaining information for use later on. And, he thought darkly, perhaps to get an inkling as to who his enemies might be and any dirt on them. A matter for later, he thought, tucking it away.

After the meal and further meetings, orientations and tours, he’d finally been shown his rooms, which were quite luxurious compared to what he’d lived in for most his life. It seemed only fitting though. But by that time, he was getting tired. Between the flight, the orientations, the meetings, and everything else, he knew that he was going to need rest soon. But not yet. There were new opportunities here, just as he’d hoped. He’d met many Consuls, including the heads of the first two departments he’d be rotating into. Leonid Bykov, Consul on Communications, a tall handsome man in his 50’s, with an affable demeanor and engaging manner. He personified his office, able to charm and deflect at will as the situation demanded. Malik approved. The media needed to be the handmaiden to the government at all times. The other was Lesya Alexandrova, a strikingly beautiful woman in her 40’s, red hair and fierce green eyes, sharply intelligent and predatory in her gaze. She was the Consul on Public Engagement, Propaganda, and Interdominance Relations. He found it curious that Communications was separate from Propaganda. But then again, it may simply have been a public and private face of government kind of thing. He would learn. But to learn, he’d need more tools than just Force-compelling people like Varcim, as helpful as that was. It got back to his earlier thought.

He needed to be able listen without being caught. He had been sitting there cross legged on the floor, breathing evenly, eyes closed, and gradually became aware of the way the quiet pressed in on his ears. It spoke to how insulated everything in the room was, even the windows and doors. He imagined he could see the air, the stillness of it, each molecule of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide perfectly suspended and equally spaced from each other, a shifting lattice work swaying. He closed his eyes and seized the Force, forced it to his will, and looked again. He became aware now of the lattice-work, could imagine the tiny vibrations in them as sound energy passed through them. His mind was now more attuned to the vibration of eardrum and cochlear hairs. The Force enhanced his perception of the minor vibrations in the air. He could now hear better. But could the Force actually enhance the sound itself? It was the difference between turning up a hearing aid versus actually turning up the volume on a media player.

As the power of the Force surged in him and the constant mastery keeping him sharp, he thought about the way sounds propagated in media like air. Media with specific densities propagated sound waves over different distances. He paused at that, seeing a key. Air propagated sound relative to the spacing of the molecular density of air. As a gas, the molecules were further apart, so the molecules had to vibrate over a larger distance to transmit the wave energy to the next molecule. Thus, the sound only travelled a short distance. But in water, with the molecules closer together, the vibration was passed more easily, energy was conserved, and the sound could travel much further, sometimes even miles.

So, he thought, If I make a conduit of air between me and where I am trying to listen more dense, the sound waves should be preserved better and I should hear clearly. He wove air in a particular fashion, compressing a tunnel of air between his ears and the door. Nothing. He frowned, examining the conduit. It was very dense, too dense. The sound waves were hitting a wall of air that wasn’t elastic enough to transmit the energy. He modified his weave, lessening the compression a little at a time, as if he were tuning an old-style radio. Suddenly, he could hear outside his door. Feet on the carpet, a man and a woman whispering. He smiled. They were sneaking to his apartment. Interns from different departments, together. He let the weave follow the sound until they came to a door just down the hall. He heard everything, even after the door closed, the breathy kisses, sounds of zippers and clomp of shoes being removed. He pulled the weave all the back to himself, smiling wickedly.

Malik was pleased. Now, now he had another tool for information gathering. There were all sorts of ways to use information gotten this way. The Force surged in him and he laughed as he dominated it.

<small>((continued in Beginnings))</small>

Edited by Marcus DuBois, Jul 16 2014, 01:18 PM.

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