"Welcome back, Aislin," the AI aboard her ship greeted. "Did you have a satisfying meeting?"
"No," Aislin answered. "The Sith Dominion wants me to bring down the Dominion. Problem number one, that's damn near impossible."
"But you can do impossible," the ship answered. "You've done impossible before."
"Point taken," Aislin admitted. "Alright, so problem number two, I don't know anything about them."
"I am connected to the galactic database, including secret intelligence information," the ship answered. "Problem number two solved."
"It is a challenge," Aislin admitted. "Alright, let the learning begin."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
For a week, Aislin did nothing but study Darth Tepe, his rise to power, and the restructuring of his government. She learned everything she could about his guards and determined they would not be a problem. It would be the man himself that would give her the most trouble.
Then, there was the matter of his queen. Charna was not as dangerous as her husband, but she was still a powerful threat in her own right. Every one of their children and grandchildren posed a threat, though the more distant the relation, the less of a challenge there would be.
"Ceru, this is a nightmare," she muttered to the ship. "Bombing's the most logical answer, but with a bomb, you can't guarantee that you're getting everyone."
"Stealth may be another option," the ship suggested. "Crash land, get admitted to their home. Gain their trust... then flip the switch."
"Too long term," Aislin objected. "But it's the better of the two options. They'd catch a sniper right off. Barging in, guns and saber blazing is suicide." She shook her head and muttered a string of curses in various languages. "What have I got myself into?"
"Start simple," the ship told her. "Worm your way into the family. Be an historian with a personal curiosity."
"That'll never work," Aislin objected. "The personal curiosity would be the surname we share. But they'll all have heard of Aislin Dantes. I've worked for the Dominion before."
"Alright then," the ship said. "That's your in. You're getting low on cash. You need a job and you want to work for them, but you want to deal with the royal family."
"They never deal with the hunters they hire," Aislin pointed out. A slow grin came to her face. "But I don't just want jobs from them, do I? Casual interest. Dantes may be a widespread family name, but... a girl can be curious."
"Off to meet potential family," the ship suggested cheerfully. "Course set, and off we go!"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"My darling," Charna said softly, tapping lightly on the door to the office. When he did not answer, she entered. Her eyes darted around the room until they fell on the door to the private quarters. Again, she tapped lightly and entered.
"We've just received word that the bounty hunter, Aislin Dantes is on her way to meet with us," she said. "And she's not acting herself. She's requested to deal with our family this time... no middlemen."