For twenty years she had served as his loyal apprentice, learning the ways of the Sith.
Whatever the mission might bring, she had decided this would be the last time she answered to Darth Bane. In exchange for their substantial monthly hangar fees, the government kept its nose out of her and Bane's business: The porter was already there, waiting with her bags by the shuttle.
Chet gave a curt nod to the porter, who headed off with the hoversled in the direction of the hangar. Or was he looking to replace her? Might she find her successor the same way Bane had found her?
Zannah punched in the security code, causing the boarding ramp to lower. After nearly a decade, she was able to slip into the role of the wealthy import-export trader without even thinking about it. There was no point in dwelling on all the possibilities of what Bane might or might not be thinking, or what his secret motivations for sending her on the mission might be.
This was one advantage she had over Bane. That was the way of the universe, the natural order. Life on Ambria had been hard, but it had kept her strong.
The first was the tremor she had noticed in his left hand several months ago. Through strength, I gain power. Bane had recognized her own potential when, as a young girl, she had killed the Jedi who had mistakenly slain her friend.
Nevertheless, she filed the knowledge away in case it should ever prove handy. Maybe he had decided she was unworthy of assuming his title.
Zannah understood that chains were not always made of iron and durasteel; they could sometimes be woven of expensive shimmersilk. There were times when Zannah missed the simplicity of those early days.
Perhaps too obvious. But she knew one thing for sure: He was rarely caught unprepared or off guard. Because the world was built on commerce and trade, the government required copies of trip itineraries, verification of ship registration, and a host of forms and permits to be filled out before the port authority would clear a vessel, its contents, or its passengers.
The web of his machinations could be too impossibly tangled to unweave.
Now she was going to investigate the mysterious death of another Jedi. If she was going to seize the mantle of Master from Bane, she would need to find an apprentice.
Over the past few years she had slowly been gathering information on all the members in Darth Bane's network of contacts; they could prove useful to her once she took over the Sith.
Did her Master want her to challenge him? Maybe he was hoping this mission would provide him with someone new to train in the ways of the dark side, and he planned to cast her aside.