“Radique is as dangerous as he is unpredictable.” Sidious was aware of an unwelcome warmth beginning to climb upward through the back of his neck, enveloping his cheeks and forehead. “Which is why I sent Maul to assassinate him.”Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown will be released on January 28, 2014.
Sidious leaned slightly forward in an attempt to catch Plagueis’s eye. “I’ve been meaning to inform you. My mission there—”
“Is something I have absolute confidence in your ability to execute.” Plagueis placed a hand on Sidious’s shoulder. “I must commend you on your foresight and commitment to our ultimate purpose, Darth Sidious. As you might have guessed, with the increasing demands of my own . . .private pursuits on Sojourn, I find it profoundly liberating that I do not need to monitor the particular means with which you uphold our united goal.”
“Yes, of course.” Sidious regarded him speculatively. What exactly was Plagueis telling him? Did the Muun harbor his own dark suspicions about what Sidious had hoped to achieve in sending Maul to Cog Hive Seven? Or was Plagueis simply probing him for more detail?
“Well.” Plagueis had already settled back again with a nearly inaudible sigh. “I suppose this is good-bye for now.”
The air-taxi docked, and Sidious realized that he’d arrived at the Senate Rotunda. The cab’s hatch released with a faint sigh, and as he began to step out, he felt Plagueis’s hand take hold of his wrist.
“There is one other thing,” he said, with that same tone of cordial detachment. “I thought you should know that all your talk of Cog Hive Seven piqued my interest.”
“Indeed?” Sidious felt something tighten inside his throat. “How so?”
“I’ve spoken to a contact at the IBC and asked them to dispatch a financial consultant there under the auspices of a routine quarterly audit—a certain Vesto Slipher. He’ll be reporting directly to me.” Behind the mask, Plagueis’s smile was pure diplomatic graciousness. “Perhaps I can help you ferret out this elusive arms dealer after all.” Sidious felt a faint knot tightening in his throat. “That’s—extremely thoughtful of you.”
“I know we are together on this,” Plagueis said, “as equals.” Plagueis withdrew his hand. He was still gazing out at Sidious when the air-taxi’s hatch closed between them and it lifted away from the Senate Plaza, leaving him standing there alone.
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