The stolen Imperial shuttle shuddered when it entered the atmosphere. Colthar Taverian was no pilot, but he did always like flying, and trusted both the pilot and the shuttle. Rather than contemplating the approach to Arda I, he spent his time thinking how he went from being a promising candidate almost guaranteed a good position in Imperial Security Bureau, to being an operative of the Rebel Alliance. And of course, like almost all bad things in life, this had happened because of a woman.
In a perverted way it made sense for him to get into trouble over a woman. Like father like son. Not like his father had always made the right decisions, or fallen for the right woman. Especially when he fell for Colthar's mother. His father, the low-borne Correllian mechanic, had probably been her naughty guy on the side, right until he got her pregnant. Her, the daughter of a respected admiral.
And just like Colthar himself had just done, changing his entire life to chase the skirts of a pretty girl, his father had tried to change his life to make his shitty life somewhat palatable to the girl used to the nice life. They had lasted for a couple of years. Trying to make it work for their son. But they both knew that they wouldn’t last. What his father had not suspected was that his fiancée would leave him with the little brat, returning to the glamorous life of the rich and powerful.
To be fair his father had probably tried his best. Colthar vaguely remembered several women coming and going as his father tried his luck with women more in his league. Tried and failed, Colthar thought grimly. He and his father had never gotten along. And since he was constantly moving from one shipyard to another with his father, it was very convenient to blame the old man for the fact that he had always been a bit of a loner, never having any real friends for long. Always moving along just when things were going right.
It hadn’t surprised his old man when Colthar joined the Imperial navy when he turned 18. He had never been interested in his father’s trade. Or school, for that matter. Both of them hoped Colthar would be assigned to the fleet as a crewman, but both thought it more likely that he would be turned down by the Navy and end up as a ground pounder in the Imperial Army.
They were both pleasantly surprised when the Navy accepted Colthar. He did a 12-week basic training course, designed to test where the talents of new recruits would be used to the best effect. He was even more surprised when he was pegged as a good candidate for covert operations. He was selected to receive special training in an Imperial Security Bureau training facility. He never got to know exactly why, but one of the officers who interviewed him said he “fit the profile”, but never really elaborated on which profile, only saying that “he would need a lot of work” in a derisive tone.
Thinking back as the shuttle slowly descended, getting closer to the surface of Arda I, Colthar remembered how dismayed he was when he first heard that to become an agent for the Imperial Security Bureau he would need to go to school for three years. Well, not school, a large training facility. He felt slightly better when he heard that it would not be all datapads and lectures, but also involved physical training, weapons training and other practical training future agents would need.
The years had passed fairly quickly. The training facility, located on the Colonies world Borleias, wasn’t big, but there were over 400 young Imperial citizens there training for various types of intelligence work. To the outside world the facility housed an exclusive Imperial officer school. But most people knew only those selected for intelligence work would be sent to Blackreach.
Almost all the other prospective agents had previous military training, but Colthar did not. This caused him to struggle a bit where others excelled. Although he was trained to take down the enemies of the Emperor quickly, those with more training were simply better at sniping than he was, causing his instructors to focus his training on taking out his foes up close and personal. Again someone mentioned that this would suit someone with "his profile".
He didn’t really make any close friends during the training. There was a certain amount of competition encouraged between the agents-in-training, at least the ones on a similar path. The instructors claimed it fostered independent thinking, but Colthar felt that the lack of cooperation was sometimes damaging to mock missions the trainers sent them on.
Shortly after starting the training he was called to the office of the Colonel who ran the training facility. With the Colonel was a tall, thin man with pale face in civilian clothing. During the interview the Colonel reviewed his progress so far, going over details of his training Colthar had never imagined anyone would document. He got the distinct feeling the pale man was a psychologist of some type or another because the few questions he interjected tended to focus on how certain things made Colthar feel, or what his state of mind had been when he succeeded or failed at certain tasks.
Over the next two and a half year he had five more meetings with the Colonel and the nameless pale man, always in a similar format, but the pale man tended to get more and more focused on his feelings and especially negative or angry emotions, without ever giving any explanation for his line of questioning. Colthar was never allowed to ask questions of his own, and so never even discovered the man’s name.
Despite lacking the military training most of the other prospective agents had when they first came to Blackreach, Colthar found that the training suited him well. He found the constant propaganda annoying, but his natural cynicism helped him deal with it without becoming completely indoctrinated.
The stolen shuttle shook as the stabilizers struggled to keep the vessel level as it passed hot air rising from the mountain ridges on Arda I. Colthar idly fingered the grip of his blaster pistol, concealed under his black synth-leather jacket. His mind wandered back to the challenges he had faced in Blackreach, in particular the one that saw him awarded this very pistol.
At the end of the second year he came third in his group on a grueling training exercise in the jungles of Borleias, mostly by using his wits where other failed using only brawn and bravery. As a reward the top three students received a specially fitted Coronet Arms H-7 blaster pistol. It had a grip custom fitted for each agent-in-training and was seen as a status symbol for the best of the best. He had not been able to bring himself to get rid of the weapon, even knowing that most ISB-agents would recognize the custom designed weapon.
Thinking about the end of his second year inevitably brought up memories from that pivotal moment at the start of his third and final year of training. The year when he defected.
At the start of the third year everyone in his group received a short file on one other agent-in-training, all in other groups being trained simultaneously. They got the assignment to find out everything they could about their target, personal, professional, history and more. Dark whispers among the agents-in-training said that at the end of the mission they would have to kill their target, but most were convinced that, at most, they would have to plan a hit, not carry it out. Unless of course their digging unearthed something.
Colthar’s target was a woman one year his junior, Elena Darmonian. At first Colthar was very professional in his quest to know everything about Elena. He learned that she was from Coruscant, the daughter of a career Navy couple. She was in training as an intelligence analyst, not a field agent like Colthar.
After exhausting the obvious avenues of investigation, breaking into her room, browsing through her datapad, viewing any transmission logs from her arrival and more, he decided he needed more. So he slowly but surely befriended Elena and her group of friends. He soon found out that the atmosphere with the analysts was far more relaxed than he was used to with the field agents.
After spending the three months he was supposed to have to complete the mission, Colthar realized that his obsession with completing his task has transferred into a different sort of obsession. An obsession over the little redhead Elena. Pretty, lovely Elena. The only thing that made the drudgery of this third year in the training bearable.
He also knew that once the task was over and he had handed in his file on Elena, he would be required to break off any contact with her. All part of the exercise. And he could not bear the thought of doing that. She might think of him as a friend, but he wanted to see if that friendship could transform into something much more.
So he did the only thing he could do. He lied. He told his supervisor that there was something off about Elena, something that required more time to investigate. So he got an extension. And after a month, another extension. By now, his supervisor must have sent some messages up the chain of command, because one evening Elena confessed to him that she had been taken out of her training in the morning and interrogated thoroughly by unknown men who had arrived a day earlier. The interrogation was not brutal, but it was thorough. They clearly suspected her of something.
Later, crying, she explained to Colthar that she had been feeling more and more like she didn’t belong in the military or any Imperial agency, that perhaps she should quit and do something else with her life. Go into public service, help displaced refugees or something. But she knew she would never be allowed to simply quit. Especially after the interrogation.
When Elena was interrogated again the following day she didn’t return to her quarters. Colthar found out that she had been moved to the brig. Soon, staff arrived to clear out her quarters.
Later that evening, Colthar made a decision. His stupid bumbling had drawn attention to Elena. He had caused suspicion to fall on her. It was his fault she was being kicked out. Or prosecuted, if the gossip was to be believed. He just couldn’t bring himself to leave her to hang because of what he had done. Which was a new feeling, in his short life he had mostly only done what was best for him, regardless of how it affected others.
Colthar enjoyed free access around much of the facilities, since his training was nearly complete, and he used this to quickly make his plans. He had filched some equipment and weapons and stored in his quarters, just in case, and now he was grateful for his paranoia. He collected his things and ambushed a guard on his way to the brig to relieve the guard there. Putting on the guard’s clothes he got close enough to the guard on duty to stab him three times in the neck before he realized Colthar was no guard.
After he freed Elena came the tricky part. The pair snuck through the complex to the landing pad. Together they had the skillset required. He took care of the guards and the door to the hangar, she sliced the hangar computer to release the tractor beam holding the Lambda-class shuttle the interrogation team arrived on. She was also a decent pilot, and the pair soon blasted off, getting away from the planet and into hyperspace as the alarm went off.
They had settled on simply jumping to any location easy to navigate too that was on the mid- or outer rim. They ended up setting a course to on the oceanic world of Sembla on the outer rim. During the journey they started by disabling any tracking devices the shuttle had, before sitting down to talk about what they were going to do.
Both of them realized that the Empire, and the ISB in particular, would come after them. Neither had any connections that would be able to help them. Colthar mentioned that there was always a market for people with the skillset they had acquired in the criminal underworld, for example in Hutt space, but Elena was abhorred by the notion of selling her skills to the highest bidder.
Both of them had heard about the massive blow struck by the Rebel Alliance against the Empire. Even the massive propaganda campaign launched after the destruction of the Death Star wasn’t enough to cover up what a victory that had been for the Rebels. In the end, Elena suggested that they defect to the Alliance, throwing their lot in with the people opposing the Empire.
Inside Colthar was flabbergasted. Join the rebellion? Surely it would be crushed within months, facing the might of the Empire military machine after one lucky victory against a flawed space station. Since neither of them had any contacts, he went along with her fantasy, hoping they would never even be able to find a recruiter for the Rebellion. And that the search would allow them to get contacts with criminal enterprises interested in hiring them.
The planet Sembla was in many ways perfect for the two traitors on the run. It was sparsely populated and they were able to land the stolen shuttle undetected in a location where it would hopefully remain undetected and get to a small spaceport. Once there, they used some of the small sum of credits they had found in the shuttle to buy passage off world.
Uncertain where to go, they eventually settled on taking several hops until they got to the Wheel. In that massive space station Elena reasoned they would surely be able to find a rebel contact. This suited Colthar fine, since the Wheel was also an excellent location to make contact with the criminal underworld, and hopefully get some work.
Travelling to the Wheel took almost two months. The two happiest months in Colthar’s life. He didn’t admit it to himself, but he was happy travelling with the woman he loved, despite her treating him like a friend only.
When they reached the wheel Elena started looking for a rebel contact. Colthar claimed to be doing the same, but in reality he was trying to find work for a couple of spooks on the run with the criminal element on the station.
He was unpleasantly surprised when, less than a day after arriving on the Wheel, Elena had found a person who claimed to be working for the Rebel Alliance. Colthar went along with it, trying to discredit the man by saying he suspected he might be a slaver, but Elena was determined. She would join the Rebel Alliance, with or without him.
And like the puppy dog he had been turning into, he relented. The pair of them were shuttled off, and eventually received basic orientation and training with several other new recruits on a small asteroid-base near Dantoine. Elena was selected for further training with part of the rebel cell’s command, but Colthar was a bit of a problem for the rebels. While they appreciated his talents, they just couldn’t be sure they could trust him. And they seemed to have little appetite for using outright assassination as a means to win the war, foolishly enough.
What they did was to give him a mission. He should go with a few other rebels back to Sembla to see if the shuttle was still there. If it was, they were to fly to a hidden base on Arda I. The small group found the shuttle still where the defectors had left it. And even with the numerous opportunities to disappear, somehow Colthar found himself heading back to base on the stolen shuttle. He knew he was no rebel at heart, but perhaps if he earned some trust he could ask for a transfer to wherever Elena was stationed. Perhaps if he did something really frelling heroic and then met her again she would see him in a new light.
Specific Connections: Love Interest
Colthar has always been most concerned with his own well being, His defection to the Rebel Alliance was at first made simply to be close to the woman he was obsessed with. And then she was transferred somewhere. He is now determined to do something insanely heroic to get his co-defector to notice him. He is prepared to take absurd risks to make himself look good, which will obviously benefit the Rebel Alliance, if only for all the wrong reasons.
Emotional Strength: Independence
From a young age Colthar has been forced to rely on himself, and only himself. He refuses to be a burden to his friends and allies
Emotional Weakness: Coldness
Colthar doesn't really feel like he fits in anywhere. Never has, really. Although he forms bonds with those closest to him, he sees himself as somewhat separated from the Rebellion as a whole, as if their struggle isn't really his struggle, some of the time at least.
Duty: Intelligence (0)
Trained as an intelligence operative Colhar knows information wins war. His primary duty is the procurement of accurate intelligence.
Obligation: Enemy (5)
When Colhar defected before finishing his training he humiliated his powerful patron, the tall, pale man, who had ensured that the young man was accepted for agent training. Powerful men do not forget slights like that.
Colthar Taverian could be considered handsome, after a fashion. He is fairly tall at 184 cm, athletic with dark hair that has been fashionably trimmed and a short stubble. He tends to pick trendy clothes, with black synth-leather being a favorite at the moment. He is not visibly armed, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that he has a blaster pistol holstered under his left arm.
Colthar can easily come across as arrogant, even callous, in his solutions to problems. He is very convinced his training has made him a dangerous man, and is generally not afraid to voice his opinion. He doesn't mind when his point of view doesn't prevail, but will usually be careful to point out afterwards how his way would have been better. Although he was always to cynical for the Imperial indoctrination to really stick, he still feels that perhaps humans might be the species best suited to run things. Also, some of the weirder aliens really smell. And the food they eat? Euch. He does hide his feelings on that particular subject extra well.
"I'm not a mechanic, I mostly just kill people."