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Beyond - Legends Annals of the Noble House of Trieste: Volume 12 (AU, OC)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Trieste, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Title: The Annals of the Noble House of Trieste: Volume 12
    Author: Trieste
    Timeframe: 289 ABY and beyond
    Characters: The members of the Noble House of Trieste, a House of Bakura (all OCs)
    Genre: Alternate universe, political drama, family drama, and other things as they arise
    Notes: This fanfic is the continuation of Annals of the Noble House of Trieste: Volume 11, which chronicled the events of the Trieste family under the leadership of Declan Trieste, the eleventh such leader. Volume 10 is available here on the boards. Volumes 8 and 9 exist in Word document form for those who are interested--they number in the hundreds of single spaced pages. Volume 9 is not complete as its contents go up to the beginning of The Bluebells & The Edelweiss (I also possess an original copy with untruncated posts from the pre-board migration era). Those interested in these earlier works are welcome to PM me. TAGs will be provided upon request should you find these scribblings interesting. :) (Though I will provide initial TAGs to @AzureAngel2 @DarthUncle @jcgoble3 and @Vehn as they were on the list in Volume 11.) Your comments are welcome, provided they are goodnatured and constructive. Without further ado...

    Foreword

    Ayn Dormingale Trieste was a historic Taoiseach of the Noble House. Her list of firsts stands alone in the history of this great family of Bakura: first being not born a Trieste to become Taoiseach, first Trieste to become Prime Minister after being Deputy Prime Minister, first Taoiseach to become Prime Minister almost concurrently with becoming Taoiseach.

    She was also the first Taoiseach to become Prime Minister by way of a coup.

    It is clear from the historic record (as discussed in Volumes 10 and 11 of this work) at the distance of so many years that Ayn and Declan Trieste jointly conspired to rob Silas Madsen of the Prime Ministry. What they could not gain by election they won by guile.

    Declan handed the mantle of Taoiseach to his wife after less than three years, the shortest tenure to date (Saraid Trieste’s five year span was the previous shortest). This passage was in accordance with tradition from the time of Niall I that any Trieste who rose to the post of Prime Minister should be the Taoiseach of the Noble House. So it was that Fionn Cormac Trieste received the title from Niall I on his rise through the ranks of the federal government. For that reason Fionn Dunross Trieste awarded the title to his daughter after she won the 252 Fianna Fail nomination for Prime Minister on her way to a general election victory.

    It has been argued by many that Ayn and Declan Trieste led the Noble House jointly starting in 287 and as such their term was unbroken between them. Indeed, not since Lennon and Maeve Trieste had spouses shared so much of the burden of governance. (Some have argued Fionn and Jane Trieste was another such pair, but the contents of Volume 8 show that while Jane took a great maternal interest in her children and their success that led to the Wonder Generation, the business of the Noble House politically and economically was always Fionn’s domain.) Though it cannot be denied that both the eleventh and twelfth Taoiseachs involved the other deeply in their reigns, it discredits Ayn’s talents to view her as an extension of Declan’s time as Taoiseach. Declan was always the public voice, Ayn the maestro orchestrating events and institutions with a perception of events and confluences that went far beyond his vision.

    Ayn and Declan were always partners, but Ayn was the better suited to be Taoiseach. What followed her ascension was an audacious agenda, one that asks us, as inheritors of Ayn Trieste’s legacy, whether the ends justify the means.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  2. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Excellent introduction. I greatly look forward to Ayn's story.

    12th and 13th? Should that be 11th and 12th? After all, Declan was Volume 11 and Ayn is Volume 12...
     
  3. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Oh no!!!! I finally let it slip there was a secret Taoiseach that I've been hiding from you all throughout all these stories! Forget you ever read that! :p
     
  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    You guys never fail to make me laugh!

    This was like a dialogue from "Spaceballs".

    Anyway, it´s Ayn´s not so secret story now. Thanks for taking me on-board for this one.
     
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  5. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    In politics,that denial has to mean that it's true,or some of it?! o_O[face_mischief][face_shhh]
    That sounds like Ayn indeed. Looking forward to the unfolding of that agenda and how it will shape the galaxy.
     
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  6. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    @AzureAngel2 @DarthUncle @jcgoble3 and @Vehn

    State Apartments, Marian Square, Salis D’aar, Bakura

    Officially, the residence and offices of the Prime Minister of Bakura were housed in the Executive Mansion in the green grounds of Marian Square. Over time, the Mansion became known colloquially, if not accurately, as Marian Square. In addition to the West Office, the formal office of the Prime Minister, the Mansion also housed the State Apartments, living quarters that were available to the Prime Minsiter and her family if they so desired. Some PMs kept a separate residence (Fionn Dunross Trieste, for example, had chosen to commute daily to and from Kilmainham Brook in nearby Prytis so as to raise his growing family outside the fishbowl of the capital), but many chose to live in the State Apartments for convenience—not to mention the fact the Apartments were very well furnished.

    Ayn Trieste was one such Prime Minister.

    “We live here now?” 11-year-old Niall Fionn asked, looking at the grand State Apartments.

    “We very much do because I’m Prime Minister now,” Ayn told him. Any trace of Madsen’s time in residence was now gone. Though he had only vacated the premises concurrent with his resignation the day before, the State Apartments looked as if they had never been lived in before.

    “Do we get to pick any room we want?” Shenandoah asked, her eyes big.

    “Yes, you do,” Declan assured her.

    “I want the one with the biggest bed!” Shenandoah cried gleefully, running off.

    “No I want that one!” her twin brother declared, hot on her tracks.

    “Be nice to any of the staff if you run into them!” Declan called after his children. As a result of Bakura’s long history of antipathy towards droids, Marian Square had sentient beings working in service positions instead of electronic help.

    Living at Marian Square had the advantage of providing more robust security for Niall and Shenandoah. Even though the entire family had been assigned Federal Marshal protection when Ayn became Deputy PM less than two years ago, their detail was even more robust now. Marian Square was fortified against external threats, making it an ideal place for young children on the cusp of their teenage years to test their limits and be themselves. Not even the Plaza would have provided the same freedom for the kids.

    “Well they’re adjusting rapidly,” Ayn remarked wryly. “Faster than you did, I dare say.”

    “I was three years old when I moved in here. I don’t even remember anything before that,” Declan pointed out. “I think I adjusted just fine.”

    “I never lived here,” Ayn said, taking in their new surroundings. “I was 27 when Grandma became Prime Minister.”

    “We were in the Senate by then,” Declan said, wistfully. “And all this was just beginning…”

    “And now we’re here.” She took her husband’s hand. “I will never forget what you did for me. What you gave up for me.”

    “No wife of mine was going to be Prime Minister without being Taoiseach.” Such was the Noble House’s tradition.

    “But not many husbands would have abandoned their dream of being Prime Minister for their wife.”

    “It was never about me. It was always about us,” Declan said, squeezing her hand.

    “I do think you’ve been too generous in allowing Holly to come over to my staff,” Ayn said with a small frown. As part of the transition between Taoiseachs, they had decided that Holly would become the new Marian Square Chief of Staff and continue her service to the Taoiseach. “You and she are a good fit.”

    “We’ll still work together frequently, but she should serve the Taoiseach. I have a deep bench at State I can pull from to fill her role. It’ll allow me to focus the office on interstellar affairs fully. Holly is better suited to more…domestic concerns,” Declan said delicately.

    “Indeed. I’ve asked her to set up some meetings,” Ayn said.

    “With anyone in particular?”

    “We’ve been too focused on Madsen lately,” Ayn stated. “It’s time we got our Noble House in order.”
     
  7. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    @AzureAngel2 @DarthUncle @jcgoble3 and @Vehn The gang's all here!

    State Apartments, Marian Square, Salis D’aar, Bakura

    “It’s funny how everything changes, and yet things are still the same,” Siona Lynd remarked, admiring the State Apartments. “If I didn’t know better and you were Kerry, it could be thirty years ago…” When Siona’s elder sister became Prime Minister, Kerry had tapped Siona as her Minister of State in another Noble House pairing of PM and Minister of State. Doubtless there had been many meetings between the two throughout the rooms of Marian Square over the years before Siona had been posted to Naboo as chief diplomat there to foster Bakura’s ties with the fledging Roon Trade Organization.

    “Except I don’t understand why anyone would want to live in a museum,” Vesper Lynd remarked wryly. Ayn had already noticed that the historic-looking furnishings in the State Apartments made most beings walk on eggshells during their visits. She liked the effect. Having others off balance was often a useful thing in politics.

    “I think it’s good for Bakura to see the Prime Minister living in Marian Square. It speaks to a certain level of civic duty and patriotism,” Ayn said as she poured tea for her guests. The mother and daughter had come at her invitation today. “Besides, I don’t mind not having to deal with Salis D’aar traffic to and from the office. More time with the family that way.” She smiled, even though her focus was on her pouring.

    “When I got older, I always wondered why Dad would come every day from here to Kilmainham,” Siona reminisced. “I loved that place…”

    “Would you like to live there?” Ayn asked frankly, handing Siona a teacup and saucer.

    “Excuse me?” Siona asked, startled to the point of not even accepting the offered tea.

    “If you’d like, you could live there. Declan and I will probably spend most of our time here in the foreseeable future so we won’t be using it much, perhaps the occasional weekend,” Ayn said as Siona finally took the drink off her hands. “If it would help make your remaining days more comfortable, I’d be happy to put Kilmainham at your disposal.”

    “That is kind of you, but Gesco City is my home. I’ll live out there rest of my time there,” Siona said firmly.

    “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about,” Ayn said, “what you would like to do with the time you have left. You have ably represented the Noble House on many corporate boards, not to mention your earlier civil service for all Bakura. You have richly earned a full retirement now, if you would like it. I know some prefer activity to leisure.”

    Siona smiled. “It is nice to hear that my efforts were appreciated. If it’s all right, I’d like to pare back my commitments. Not completely though. There are some I’d like to see through to the end, know I left the boards in a good place. It wouldn’t do to be completely idle.”

    “Just let me know which ones you’d like to step away from. I’ll make alternate arrangements. It won’t be Declan or me due to our public offices, but I’ll find an interim solution. We have a deep bench. Where there aren’t conflicts, Quentin and Corrie will be able to step in almost anywhere. For whatever positions you keep, I have one request.”

    “That is?”

    “That you take Vesper with you to whatever meetings you have,” Ayn said.

    Her cousin’s eyebrows went up. “I intend to spend as much time with my mother in the coming months, but I hadn’t intended it to be that much,” Vesper remarked wryly.

    “Your work on Declan’s investments in emerging businesses has impressed me in your investment selections—more in what you’ve turned down than what you’ve chosen. I had Ronan walk me through the numbers last week and while we haven’t reached a profit stage yet, I like the potential and investment mix. I’d like to ease you into assuming your mother’s board commitments,” Ayn informed her. “While Quentin could serve in any capacity, I would rather have someone fully committed to Bakura for the long term.”

    Vesper drank some tea before responding. “I’ll have full autonomy to vote as I see fit on whatever boards I sit on?”

    “You’ll know what to discuss with me before taking a position,” Ayn informed her. It was not complete authority, but it was responsible representation of the Noble House.

    “I’ll say yes for now,” Vesper said. “We can discuss permanent arrangements…later.”

    “Oh come on,” Siona sighed, rolling her eyes. “You can say ‘after I die’ if you want.”

    “No, I can’t,” Vesper said quietly. She drank some more tea to hide her emotion.

    ***

    “The flight was good?” Ayn asked, pouring out some more tea.

    “It was grand,” Elyse Carlowe confirmed, “though I don’t think I should be going around on government ships like that. Taxpayer money, and all.”

    “It was a private flight,” Ayn assured her. “The Noble House paid for it.”

    “You certainly made it nice. Door-to-door service and all,” Elyse said as she took her teacup and saucer. “I never thought I’d be in Marian Square though.” She looked around the State Apartments. “Never in a million years.”

    “I can arrange for a tour, if you like,” Ayn offered.

    Elyse waved her hand. “Another time. This one here makes it more than a mite hard to get about.” She gestured to her swollen abdomen where Enoch’s and her child was growing.

    “About that,” Ayn said, pausing to sip some tea. “I wanted to let you know the Noble House of Trieste will do right by you and your child. They will be a member of the Noble House you are as much of one as if you had married Enoch.”

    “That’s kind of you, but there isn’t anything noble about me. I can provide for my child,” Elyse informed Ayn firmly.

    “I have no doubt, but this is not about means or birth. It is about doing what is right…and what Enoch would have wanted,” Ayn said gently. “I am told you support yourself with secretarial work?”

    “That’s right,” Elyse confirmed.

    “If you would not object, I’d like you to give notice when you return home,” Ayn said. “The Noble House will see to your expenses for the duration of your pregnancy and whatever bonding time you wish after the birth. When you are ready to return to work, we will discuss how to best employ your services. The Prytis Accords Foundation, for example, run by Enoch’s cousin Elfie, has need of able administrators. Do you have any bookkeeping training?”

    “Some.”

    “Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, which Enoch’s father helms, is an option in that line. They are but a few possibilities,” Ayn continued.

    “I don’t need your charity,” Elyse repeated.

    “I would not have you or your child alone in this time,” Ayn said. “Enoch would not want that either. He would want his progeny reared in the way he was: supported with every advantage. That is the purpose of the Noble House and its property: to support its members so they can do great things for this planet. It is no charity—much is expected of us in return.” Ayn paused to drink her tea. “And, as it was once said, it is a kindness to let others do a kindness to you.”

    Elyse drank her tea herself. “I’ll have a think on it.”

    “Please do,” Ayn said.

    ***

    “I hope you haven’t asked me here to be the next Chancellor of the Exchequer,” Ronan joked as he took his tea from Ayn. A few days before, Ayn had announced she was letting most of Madsen’s cabinet go to install a new team. It helped remove the negative connotations from Madsen’s prime ministry…and also allowed Ayn to move loyal beings into top positions in the government. Declan and Fiona were going to continue in their roles, the latter once confirmed by the Senate.

    Ayn laughed. “Would you like to be? I daresay I could get your nomination through the Senate.”

    “Far from it,” Ronan said. “I don’t think I’ve got the energy for such a task.”

    “Yes, I’ve noticed that you’ve seemed a little worn down since…” Ayn decided not to finish the sentence. “That’s why I asked you here. You have been a loyal member of the Noble House for many years. How long has it been since you took over the finances of the Noble House?”

    “It was about 250,” Ronan said, “and all because I made a good stock play for my father. Nova Interstellar Lines. It later got sold to Star Tours and we made a nice bundle on that.”

    “Almost 40 years then,” Ayn said. “A long time, Uncle Ronan. That’s a heavy burden. I wanted to offer you an opportunity to divest yourself of those obligations. You’re going to have another grandchild soon. I imagine that retirement is starting to sound rather appealing.”

    “If you have lost confidence—”

    “Far from it,” Ayn cut him off. “This is about what you want.”

    “Under Falene it certainly became…onerous to manage the Noble House finances,” Ronan admitted. “She was not very engaged.”

    “As I similarly cannot be due to my duties as Prime Minister. Silas Madsen has shown that to us all very clearly,” Ayn said. “I would not have you suffer for my choices. I can make other arrangements for the financial management of the Noble House, but I would not take them from you if they still bring you pleasure.”

    Ronan said nothing for a moment, but contemplated his tea. “Enoch’s death has shown me that our lives are so fragile. I would like to enjoy my time more fully, step back to just running the bank.”

    “So it shall be,” Ayn promised.

    “Do you have someone selected to take over? I’ll walk them through everything to effect a smooth transition.”

    “When I do, I will send them you way.”

    ***

    “Boring house,” Trixie Penn said flatly as she sat in the State Apartments. Ayn had not expected her cousin to be impressed by them.

    “How is Quill?” Ayn asked, disregarding Trixie’s comment.

    “Amazing. He’s the greatest baby ever,” Trixie said. There was the barest hint of a smile. “He keeps me up all night, so I get to watch infomercials on the HoloNet at 2:00 in the morning. I’ve always wanted an excuse to do that.”

    “How’s that squaring with your work at Fleetfire Zarmer?” Ayn inquired.

    “Sydney’s cool with it,” Trixie said casually. “I still win my cases. And by win, I mean browbeat the other side into not even going to trial and giving me everything that I want.”

    “About that,” Ayn said. “Tomorrow I will be signing papers for the Noble House to be formally represented by Fleetfire Zarmer.”

    That got Trixie’s attention. “You’re moving the Noble House business from Crane Poole & Schmidt? They’ve represented the Noble House—”

    “For over a century and a half, before the Neo-Sith War,” Ayn finished. “Frankly, Declan and I had never been happy with our representation. We’ll be putting Fleetfire on retainer moving forward.” She paused to drink some tea. “And I’d like you to not be on staff there when we do so the personal doesn’t cross with the professional.”

    Trixie visibly bridled. “Excuse me? I’m about to make partner. I realize you own half the planet—”

    “I do not,” Ayn interjected calmly.

    “—Three quarters of the planet, but becoming partner at a firm like Fleetfire means a lot of credits when I get my share of the billables,” Trixie powered forward, undeterred.

    “I know, which is why I’d like to offer you alternate employment, supplemented as appropriate by the Noble House,” Ayn said. “I’m about to fire the Federal Attorney for the Southern District of Salis D’aar.”

    “Southern District?” Ayn could see Trixie’s mind calculating rapidly. “The financial exchanges are in their jurisdiction.”

    “They do. Frankly, the incumbent has been unimpressive in her pursuit of financial crimes. I seem to recall hearing how much you don’t care about your clients. How would you like to prosecute them using everything you learned at Fleetfire Zarmer?”

    Trixie leaned forward. “I would frakking love it. When do I start?”
     
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  8. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Well, well, Ayn certainly putting up some promising changes there. Nice to see the very different ways she talks with her different relatives, and the various means of getting them into position for the next game.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  9. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Game? What game? :D
     
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  10. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    @AzureAngel2 @DarthUncle @jcgoble3 and @Vehn (the last of which allowed me some latitude in the use of Eleanor Vehn for this post)

    Senate Building, Salis D’aar, Bakura

    “It does make a change to be the one answering the questions, rather than the one giving them,” Ayn remarked with a wry smirk as she leaned against the lectern. She stood on the floor of the Senate for her first session of Questions to the Prime Minister. Her former colleagues had a good laugh over that one.

    “But to the point: I asked for resignations from several Cabinet ministers because Bakura needs a fresh start with this prime ministry. Where there was exceptional skill and unquestioned integrity, I have retained Ministers in their posts. To that end, I will not withdraw Admiral Westenra’s nomination as she is eminently qualified for Minister of Defense and never had a part of the Madsen prime ministry there are no ethical issues. As for my husband…well, I don’t think our marriage would survive if I asked for his resignation.” More laughter. “In all seriousness, his integrity was never questioned by the Select Committee, which ranged widely in its inquiries. That is sufficient evidence for me. However, if any member of the Senate has hesitations, I expect I will hear them in these questions.”

    Ayn knew no such questions would be coming. Even though there was a new Deputy Prime Minister, her successor was loyal to her. When they had worked together in the Senate as Leader and Whip, Ayn had trusted him with sensitive tasks. She had made it clear that a partnership now would benefit them both. Accordingly, he would make sure that the wrong Senators didn’t get to ask questions.

    “Senator Evanrude,” came the announcement.

    “Given that she has not campaigned for this office and has not had an opportunity to express her opinions on a national scale, would the Prime Minister please elaborate on her goals for her prime ministry?” Evanrude asked.

    “The first order of business for my prime ministry shall be to repair our galactic reputation. The Tund Operation has undermined our standing—and rightly so. The galaxy must know that Bakura is committed to recognizing and rectifying its errors. To that end, Minister of State Trieste is at this very moment meeting with his counterpart on Roon…”

    ***

    Nime, Roon

    “Needless to say, it is a new day on Bakura,” Declan said as he shared an evening drink with his cousin Eleanor.

    She raised an eyebrow. “You don’t say,” she deadpanned.

    “I’m serious. Madsen was never truly committed to Bakura’s place as a galactic leader. He was insular, darn near isolationist. Tund was the only time he ever thought outside the system’s borders, and look where that got us.” Declan scoffed and took a sip. “A complete and total disaster from start to finish. I advised against it at nearly every step—but not because it was the wrong move.”

    “Then why did you speak against it?” Eleanor asked openly. Between the two diplomats there was enough trust for such hard questions.

    “Because it was done in the dark and piecemeal,” Declan said. “The problem with Tund was only the Federation and Bakura were on board. A broad coalition should have been built, at least at the leadership level, for action on the Centrality. If there had been, I don’t think the place would be coming apart at the seams like it is now.”

    “Don’t remind me,” Eleanor said with disgust. She followed it up with a particularly long pull from her glass. “I’m having to hold hands in public with the Corporate Sector.”

    “I understand,” Declan sympathized. “Neither of us wants to see this happen again. It’s bad for the galaxy, bad for our governments, bad for everyone. I have an idea to move forward. It’s going to take time, but Ayn’s fully on board. Unfortunately, given what happened with Tund, Bakura can’t come to the D12 without backing.”

    Eleanor topped off both their glasses. “Then tell me more about it.”
     
  11. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Indeed.....what did they discuss? Great post.
     
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  12. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    I'm with Eleanor Vehn too
    Great to see the tag-teaming Ayn and Declan do, they've always been a very sharp couple.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
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  13. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    @AzureAngel2 @DarthUncle @jcgoble3 and @Vehn Time to check in on some old friends!

    Il Avali, Druckenwell

    “The end of an era,” Quentin Trieste-Ypres toasted his wife. It had nothing to do with the recent transition in the Noble House (though that had come as a great surprise). It had everything to do with the fact that Corrie’s father, William, had just completed his final term as President of the Roon Federation. Though that meant a loss of influence in the halls of power on the capital world, it was also a relief to have the spotlight shine less glaringly on Ypres. Not even the ascendancy of Thaddeus Karr, leader of the main rival to the Ypres Initiative, darkened the mood.

    “To a less complicated life,” Corrie agreed before they both drank. “Dad is going to resume fulltime duties at the Initiative now. He thinks Karr is going to target us now that he’s in power. In truth, it will do Dad a world of good to be able to lose himself, heart and soul, in the Initiative instead of splitting time with the Federation.”

    Quentin knew that his wife enjoyed her work at the Initiative, but had never enjoyed how her father’s political service had muddied the waters around her role there. Beings were never sure if she was in charge, just doing her father’s bidding, or if the real power was still in William’s hands. Corrie was glad to give that all up and let her father lead outright once more.

    “And you’ll have some time for more important matters,” Quentin said, stepping close to Corrie and placing his hand on her abdomen.

    “Last time I checked I’m the breadwinner around her, mister,” Corrie laughed. “You’ll be the stay-at-home dad to raise this little one while I’m toiling away in the spice mines at the office.”

    “With pleasure,” Quentin agreed, kissing his wife on the cheek.

    The chime of their front door sounded. The couple looked at each other. Both faces said, I’m not expecting anyone.

    “Should I…?” Quentin let the question hang. There were two blasters in the house. They’d bought them years ago for their protection when they had begun their work in the Corporate Sector. Quentin didn’t like blasters (Corrie, the daughter of a weapons manufacturing magnate had no such qualms), but he understood they were dealing with dangerous beings and accepted the precaution.

    Corrie put a finger up and grabbed a datapad to access the security feed. Waiting at their front gate was a human male. Corrie pressed a prompt that performed a surreptitious weapons scan. The results were negative. She activated the gate comm. “Yes?” she asked noncommittally. Just because this being didn’t look like an Espo thug didn’t mean he wasn’t one.

    “Delivery for Mr. and Mrs. Ypres.”

    They didn’t receive anything under that name. They used Mr. and Mrs. Ypres-Trieste. Except when…Corrie buzzed him in.

    They went to the front door, without blasters and admitted their guest. As soon as the door was closed behind him, he asked, “Are we free to talk?” Quentin nodded. Industrial espionage was reason enough to sweep their home regularly, but their extracurricular work made it even more imperative.

    “I am a friend of Mr. Quibonz,” he said. Corrie and Quentin shared a look. Elgar Quibonz had introduced them to The Way, the underground organization dedicated to helping indentured workers in the Corporate Sector escape to freedom. The Ypres-Triestes had been bankrolling and supporting much of the operation over the past few years. By prior arrangement, the three were never to meet again. They had deemed it too dangerous for any further contact, lest the Espos be tipped off to Quentin and Corrie’s involvement in The Way.

    “We believe the Espos are closing in on The Way,” the messenger said, getting to the point. “While they have not unearthed our operations planet-side, we believe they are about to close off space routes out of the Corporate Sector. Given your connections to the courier, he wanted you to know immediately to begin closing things down.”

    “We understand,” Quentin said. “We will—”

    “Talk about this right away,” Corrie cut him off. She took Quentin by the arm and pulled him towards their bedroom. “Be back in a second. Drinks in the fridge! Help yourself!” She shut the door behind Quentin.

    “Corrie, what are you doing?” Quentin asked in disbelief. “We need to get things moving now. For all we know, Cillian and Swann are in danger right now with a ship full of beings!”

    “If they are, there’s nothing we can do about that right this second. We need to think this through,” Corrie said, pacing. “He said the Espos are closing in. They haven’t closed in though.”

    “I don’t see what difference that makes,” Quentin said. “If we wait for them to start picking up beings, they’re going to be worse off than they are now.”

    “That’s not it. It’s that there’s a window to act.”

    “What can we possibly do at this point?”

    Corrie paused and braced her hands against a dresser. “Give me five minutes. I’m working it through…”

    ***

    The couple emerged from the bedroom and returned to their visitor, standing awkwardly in their sitting room. It looked like he hadn’t felt comfortable taking a seat and had instead spent his time looking at the furnishings and art.

    “Tell Mr. Quibonz to hold all future shipments until he hears from us,” Corrie said.

    “He was insistent that the operation needed to be wound up without delay, for the safety of everyone involved.”

    “Just ask him to keep things quiet for a week. We have a plan,” Corrie promised.
     
  14. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Corrie has a plan, which is a good thing.
     
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  15. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    I hope it's a good plan, that Swan and Cillian will be okay. And a way to continue some Way (noooo,a pun?)
     
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  16. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    @AzureAngel2 @DarthUncle @jcgoble3 and @Vehn

    State Apartments, Marian Square, Salis D’aar, Bakura

    “Aunt Ayn,” Elza Trieste greeted them. “Uncle Declan.”

    “Or is that Madam Prime Minister and First Gentleman?” Gaius asked with a grin.

    “Ayn and Declan are just fine,” Declan said as he gave a firm handshake to his adopted nephew. “Good to see you both again.” He had last encountered his niece and nephew on Kashyyyk at the Elite League Limmie Draft, where Elza had been selected by the Euceron Officers and Gaius by the Carratos Pirates. “Congratulations on going in the top 10, both of you.”

    “I hope there are no hard feelings that we’re not Miners?” Elza asked. There was enough question in her voice to reflect that she was uncertain of the answer.

    “Hardly,” Ayn said as she finished pouring tea for the quartet. “We got through Vesper playing on Rydonni Prime, we’ll survive this. Hopefully we’ll be making more Galactic Cup Final trips in the years to come. We’ve almost got half the League covered now.”

    “And it’ll be nice to have something to be happy about in the Jar of Dirt game,” Declan mumbled. Carratos traditionally dominated the Miners in their rivalry bout.

    “I understand you two wanted to speak with us?” Ayn said, moving the conversation along.

    “Yes. “We just wanted to make sure there were no grudges. We know the family, the Noble House—” Elza corrected, “—takes its limmie seriously.”

    “It’s a nonissue,” Ayn assured her.

    “There were a couple of other things too,” Gaius said hesitantly. “I understand that it’s tradition that Fleet Academy graduates who play pro limmie be assigned to recruiting duty. I would like to request I be given regular duty during the offseason. I joined the Marines to fight, not to convince high school kids to enlist.”

    “We thought that as Prime Minister you could make that happen,” Elza explained.

    “An admirable resolution. While it’s true I am commander in chief of the Defense Fleet, this is not the kind of matter the Prime Minister involves herself in,” Ayn explained. “However, I am sure that Minister Westenra will be sympathetic to your desires. She will know how to take care of this. I hope you don’t mind publicity that the limmie star wants to do his duty, not just sit at a desk?”

    “I’d prefer there not be any,” Gaius requested.

    “Understood. We’ll see if it can be avoided,” Ayn advised him. “Fiona will do what she can.” After Enoch’s death, Ayn had a suspicion that she would welcome the opportunity to mentor another young Marine.

    “There is another matter,” Elza said. “I’ve been thinking about how I can repay the Noble House’s generosity to us. Falene and all of you did a lot to help the humans of Kitokaime—” She avoided referring to herself as Sith. “—and Gaius, Avie, and I owe you a lot. I got a business degree from UBSD because I saw that’s a large part of what the Noble House is: the financial infrastructure that enables everyone to do what they want. I think it’s only appropriate that during the offseason I support that endeavor.”

    Ayn sat back in her chair and steepled her fingers. “That’s an interesting proposition. Don’t you think, Declan?”

    “Quite,” he agreed, teacup in hand. “Though where you got a penchant for business I’ll never know. Certainly not from Fae.” He smiled. His sister had been notorious for taking little interest in the business operations of the Noble House.

    “I accept your offer,” Ayn told Elza. “When you are free from limmie commitments, you will work with Uncle Ronan in Nouvelle Orleans. He will mentor you in the business of the Noble House and provide me with updates on how you’re taking to the work. We’ll discuss your progress after six months with him, limmie time excluded.”

    “Sounds like a plan,” Elza agreed.

    Everyone shook hands and Elza and Gaius took their leave. When Ayn and Declan were alone again, the Minister of State asked his wife, “You think we can trust her with the money? The very fact that she asked makes me wonder.”

    “I think Elza understands it’s better to be a part of the Noble House than standing outside it. She’s smarter than you give her credit for,” Ayn told her husband.

    “Then let’s at least agree on trust, but verify,” Declan proposed.

    “That’s my favorite philosophy, darling,” Ayn said sweetly before finishing her tea.

    ***

    Outside Marian Square, Elza and Gaius walked along the streets of Salis D’aars government district with its manicured parks and stately buildings.

    “So is this the plan? Get on the inside?” Gaius asked his adopted sister.

    “The plan was to connect ourselves to what was most important to them,” Elza said.

    “And that’s their money?”

    “No. It’s power, but it’s clear money breeds power. It’s the next best thing.”

    “You always have a read, don’t you?” Gaius observed with a smile. He took Elza’s hand and squeezed it.

    “I think I’ve got a pretty good one,” Elza said with a smile in her eyes. She craned her neck up to kiss Gaius. “Yep, I’d say I’m on target.”

    “Yes you are,” Gaius agreed.
     
  17. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Long con....here we come?
     
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  18. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Sounds like I drafted a con artist. Oh boy... [face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh]
     
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  19. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    “No. It’s power, but it’s clear money breeds power. It’s the next best thing.”

    Another great update spiked with hard won wisdom while playing power games. =D=
     
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  20. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Ooh, intriguing, what's the end goal of that scheme.
     
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  21. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    @AzureAngel2 @DarthUncle @jcgoble3 and @Vehn So how are those new appointments going for Ayn?

    Federal Attorney for the Southern District of Salis D’aar’s offices, Salis D’aar, Bakura

    “Hi, I’m the new Federal Attorney for the Southern District,” Trixie Penn told the media at her introductory press conference. Her tone of voice was deadpan. “Apparently you all want to ask me questions or something, so I guess we should do that.” She sighed, as if standing at this podium with the seal of the Ministry of Justice in front of it was the greatest burden a being could bear. “You. There.”

    “Ms. Penn, at 30 years old you’re the youngest federal attorney—”

    “Stupid question. Next,” Trixie cut in blandly.

    “The beings of Bakura deserve to know whether your youth will be a handicap in performing your duties,” the reporter continued.

    “That’s ageist,” Trixie snorted. “You better hope your newsroom hasn’t practiced any age discrimination on Bakura or they’re going to be one of our first prosecutions. Next.”

    “But you’ve only been practicing law since 285. Don’t you think that your lack of experience could be a handicap?” another reporter asked.

    Trixie rolled her eyes. “Yes, I’ve only been practicing law for the last 5 years, only at one of the top law firms on Bakura, with only with one of the largest client lists and billable hour balances this side of Eriadu, where I’ve only gotten settlements from only some Bakura’s largest corporations, and beaten only the federal government itself by getting them to abandon their prosecutions of my clients. Definitely not any relevant experience for this job.”

    “But that very experience has been in defending large corporations, and you just pointed out that involves against federal prosecution. Given that the Southern District initiates a lot of financial crime prosecutions, which would touch a lot of the corporations that were formerly your clients, don’t you think the citizens of Bakura have reason to be suspect of your dedication to enforcing the law?”

    “Absolutely,” Trixie agreed, but with utter lack of interest in her voice.

    “Wait—really?” the reporter asked in disbelief.

    “Yeah,” Trixie continued, as if she was watching paint dry, “I’ll absolutely use everything I know about all their dirty tricks for avoiding taxes, regulations, laws, and anything else the government tells them to do to go after them now.”

    “But won’t that be violating attorney-client privilege?”

    “I didn’t say I’d use knowledge of their actions from having represented them. I said I’d use knowledge of their tactics. Keep up with me here,” Trixie said, snapping her fingers. “You know what, you guys are boring. Press conference over.”

    Trixie left the podium to the befuddlement of the press corps.

    Then she walked back.

    “Oh, I nearly forgot. Today I filed insider trading charges against the Bakuran office of the Eden Banking Group. Marshals are serving warrants at their Salis D’aar and Nouvelle Orleans offices right now,” Trixie said casually. “Bye.”

    Then Trixie really left. The press corps was dumbfounded. The Southern District was going after one of the galaxy’s biggest financial operations and the new Federal Attorney had announced it like she might have told them what she had for lunch yesterday?

    This was definitely a new era at the Southern District of Salis D’aar.
     
  22. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Isn't the Eden Banking Group managed by Ronan Trieste or am I off on the wrong foot here remembering the name of the company that he managed for the Noble House for so long.....? Great post though!!
     
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  23. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    [face_rofl][face_rofl][face_rofl][face_rofl][face_rofl]

    Trixie is awesome. That is totally how I imagine I would approach a press conference like that.
     
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  24. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Your memory does not fail you...in part. :) Ronan once oversaw the entire Eden Banking Group, perhaps the largest financial concern in the galaxy (assuming you don't take entities like the Corporate Sector as monolithic blocks) thanks to backing from his mother in-law, the former Chancellor Serena Kattan. He stepped down from his leadership role after Kattan's death when her stock was broken up among her inheritors. Since then he's managed Fidelity Fiduciary Bank in Nouvelle Orleans, a much smaller concern. However, he made his name, fame, and fortune on his Eden Banking days and is responsible for their place in Bakuran finance. This indictment is no small matter.
    Trixie definitely marches to the beat of her own drum. One has to wonder what Ayn was thinking putting someone like her in one of the federal government's most prominent prosecutorial offices... [face_devil]
     
  25. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Very energetic, though I am not quite sure I'd like a government official in my country to tell the press they are boring and end a presser, it was a great read.
     
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