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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. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Those books remain a great read don't they?
     
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  2. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Öhm... actually, I gave those books away to create space in our flat and for the money I got from the book trader at the market you got a new hair cut. But I had them in German anyway and you are Dutch. We might get them back in digital form, @DarthUncle.

    Okay, I am off for 10 days and my husband stays behind. This is why I won´t be able to comment, because I will travel to a place of magic and nostalgia.



    But my personal house elf will comment a lot while I am at
    The Giant Mountains (Polish side of them, not the Czech one).
     
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  3. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    @AzureAngel2 @DarthUncle @jcgoble3 @Vehn, especially Vehn who worked with me on this post to provide Eleanor's parts!

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

    Now that her cousin was no longer Director of Foreign Affairs for the Roon Federation, it was a simple matter for Ayn to host Eleanor Vehn for dinner. Had she still held that post, the meeting would have been coordinated by the Ministry of State and the media would have made a story. As things currently stood, the evening was nothing more than a footnote in the PM’s official schedule.

    “Thank you for coming out from Tesserone,” Ayn said as the salads were served. She had selected the smaller family dining room for tonight’s meal. Eleanor Vehn, former Queen of Naboo and President of the RTO, did not need to be (and most likely wouldn’t be) awed by the grandeur of the long dining room. It was besides the point that Declan was out with Shenandoah and Niall Fionn tonight, making such a large space frivolous overkill. “I wanted to make sure we personally discussed the revelations at the Kilmainham meeting on Truce Day.” Eleanor had not been part of that as she only rarely dipped into the affairs of the Noble House.

    Eleanor nodded as she finished a bite of her salad.

    “I had heard about the meeting, indirectly, from father,” Eleanor replied, “and it sounds like in this situation the Noble House is having a bit of an internal struggle. Father didn't go into details but something tells me that I'm here for more than a polite meal and recognition of being half-Trieste.”

    Ayn’s fork paused on its way to her plate. “Then he didn’t tell you. You remember the industrial explosion on Hypori a few years ago?”

    Eleanor nodded as she sipped at the glass of wine in front of her, “I do. There were all sorts of rumors about that explosion and who was behind it.”

    “It turns out the object of the explosion was an organized crime operation on that planet,” Ayn said carefully. “The perpetrator was Antrose and the criminal enterprise he is part of. Cillian and Swann were the unwitting deliverers of the bomb. They testified to what happened on Truce Day and had been holding that knowledge as security against retribution by Antrose. I had my Chief of Staff Holly compile a full report on everything we know.” Ayn flicked her datapad to send the information to Eleanor's. “Even though you no longer hold a post with the Federation, it's something I thought we needed to discuss personally. For these actions, and others, Antrose Trieste no longer enjoys the protection of the Noble House of Trieste.”

    “I’m thankful you brought it to my attention,” Eleanor replied, “and I am deeply concerned about Antrose's actions. This doesn’t bode well for the Noble House going forward. If either side takes action against the other I can guarantee you that nobody is going to win. You’re speaking with the member of a family whose very own blood has flamed out in rather spectacular fashion. Is there any scenario where Antrose can be brought back into the fold?”

    “As soon as he renounces his criminal connections and goes straight, absolutely. Others have come in from the cold.” One such member was her Aunt Regan, who had been cast out by Kerry Trieste as a result of conspiring against Kerry's run for Prime Minister in 252. “Anything less weakens the Noble House by continuing to associate us with illegal dealings and undermines the Taoiseach's authority. I will forgive, but I will not indulge.”

    She paused and the two women looked at each other for a moment.

    “The question is whether the Federation will forgive Antrose’s actions on Hypori.”

    Eleanor finished her glass of wine and wiped her mouth with a napkin. When she was done she looked Ayn squarely in the eyes and replied, “I could make a call to Federation Intelligence and have the issue put to rest but there's one thing I want in return.

    Eleanor then leaned forward. “I want a Favor.” She smiled and leaned back in her chair. “That’s all.”

    “A favor,” Ayn repeated warily.

    “No, a Favor. With a capital F,” Eleanor elaborated. “You forget, Dad was part of Kerry’s inner circle. I know about the Noble House family Fulcum and the half credit chips. You might have accumulated favors from beings in the past, but all that means is you can owe them too. We can break a credit chip right now and Antrose will no longer be a concern.”

    Ayn slowly set her fork down with a gentle clink against her china salad plate. Eleanor had just asked for the highest price that she could from the Noble House: an open-ended obligation binding her and any future Taoiseach. Any being who presented the matching half credit chip to a Taoiseach could claim that obligation. The Taoiseach was bound by Niall Trieste's oath “to assume all debts and obligations outstanding upon the Noble House,” and this would be no exception.

    After a couple long moments, Ayn nodded twice. “That is your price,” she said. “For now, let me see if Antrose and I can work out our differences between us.” The door was not shut, but Ayn was not ready to walk through it. She picked up her fork again and resumed a lighter attitude. “In the meantime, I would be grateful if you would encourage strict policing by Federation customs of the trade routes with the Republic. The Ministry of Justice has mentioned that there appears to be significant traffic circumventing Federation tariffs originating from Nouvelle Orleans. Properly enforced tariffs on all goods coming from Bakura would remind the Senate of the importance of good trade relations between the Federation and the Republic, you know.”

    Eleanor smiled as Ayn requested enforcement of trade routes with the Republic coming from Bakura.

    “My pleasure.”

    Ayn returned the grin. “I thought you might say that. Now, I realize this might come as a bit of a surprise, but Marian Square has an extensive liquor cellar.” She motioned for a serving droid to bring over a couple bottles. “How about we find out how it stacks up against the Federation's presidential reserves?”

    “That sounds like a plan,” Eleanor replied as she enjoyed the spirits and allowed herself a moment to relax.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  4. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

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

    Salis D’aar, Bakura

    “Have a seat, officer,” the police sergeant said, indicating a chair.

    Jax Ralter took it. “What’s up, sarge?”

    “You’ve received new orders,” the sergeant reported. “However, my officers get to make their own decisions. You want to stay in the precinct, I’ll see to it that it happens.”

    “What’s the assignment?” Jax asked.

    “New interjurisdictional task force.” The sergeant slid a datapad across the table. “Asked for you by name.”

    Jax picked up the datapad and read the contents. Yeah, I bet they did, he thought.

    ***

    Nouvelle Orleans, Bakura


    “I’d like to begin by thanking all of you for joining the Dixie Organized Crime Task Force. I’m Deputy Marshal Tandy Mannfred,” the squarely-built blonde human female said, “and I’m in charge of this operation. As you all learned when you were invited--or in some cases volun-told--” There was some knowing laughter over that. “--to join the task force, the Ministry of Justice has initiated a broad inquiry into criminal syndicate activities in Nouvelle Orleans and the surrounding Dixie counties. This began with a raid on a warehouse used by a criminal organization operating through a front doing business as ELT Shipping.”

    Jax had already scoped out the other occupants in the large briefing room. All of them were in plain clothes, but every single one of them was a police officer in one form or another throughout the planet. The information Marshal Mannfred was sharing was a summary of the materials that he’d been provided before agreeing to join the team, so even though he knew the stakes was high, this felt like a typical precinct briefing, just on a larger scale.

    “While this raid produced arrests and seized contraband, we did not arrest any high-value targets as we anticipated based on the intelligence we received,” Mannfred continued. “We believe that there may be informers in the NOPD, possibly even in the Nouvelle Orleans office of the marshals.”

    A jolt of electricity went through the room at the news. That had not been in the report, but it explained why Jax had been sworn to secrecy about the request for his services even being made.

    “To combat this, Attorney General Fefkik authorized the formation of an interagency task force comprised of officers with no ties to Nouvelle Orleans. You have all gone through thorough vetting to ensure you do not have anything that might link or expose you to the syndicates operating in Nouvelle Orleans. The work that we do stays in this room. We are answerable solely to the Attorney General.”

    “So we’re not coordinating with NOPD?” someone asked.

    “NOPD doesn’t even know we exist. Same goes for the marshals branch.”

    “If there are bad actors in the NOPD, what happens when we get into turf wars with them on jurisdiction?”

    “Arrest beings first, we’ve got attorneys lined up to defend our actions in county and federal court later,” Mannfred replied without blinking. “Everything we do is going to be double checked by lawyers before we do it. We will have warrants for everything. I’ve got three federal judges on my datapad’s contacts listl. They know this is sensitive and we’ve made sure they’re not in the pocket of the syndicates.”

    “And if NOPD resists?” Jax piped up.

    “Arrest them on obstruction of justice charges. We’re going to make it clear that you’re either helping clean up Dixie or you’re enabling criminal activity.” Mannfred paused. “I know that’s not going to go over well with some of you, but there is no place for dirty cops on Bakura. If we let them continue to exist when we could do something about it, we’re complicit in their crimes.”

    “If the syndicates have this long of a reach, then what about our families? How do we keep them safe?” someone else said.

    “Every one of them is going to get protection through the marshals. I personally selected the head of security. I’ve trusted him with my life before. To show you how serious I am about this, my family is receiving the same protection as all of yours,” Mannfred said. “This isn’t college: there are no ivory towers here.”

    The room laughed, but it was a nervous laugh that acknowledged the danger behind what they were about to do.

    “Any other questions, or can we get down to how we’re going to nail these bantha herders?” Mannfred asked. The room was silent. “All right, let’s get down to it.”
     
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  5. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    This is going into nail-biting territory. Looking forward to these two moves playing out, and seeing the reaction from the Antrose camp. Love the suspense you are carefully, skilfully building here @Trieste !
     
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  6. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Indeed, you are a master of suspense building. And character building.
     
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  7. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

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



    Nouvelle Orleans, Bakura

    “Police! Hands up!” Jax Ralter shouted, blaster drawn, body armor snug to his body after one of his colleagues shorted out the electronic controls of the door leading to the narcotics lab.

    The workers scattered in fear and surprise at the sudden intrusion, but Jax knew it was for naught. Other officers were covering the remaining exits and would intercept anyone attempting to escape. In truth, Jax wasn’t so concerned with catching them anyways. He was more focused on their supervisors, the syndicate goons who were really running the show. This manufacturing center has been selected by Mannfred for three reasons: surveillance suggested that it was the most valuable known target of the ELT organization, the drugs they believed to be processed here were all completely illegal on Bakura (unlike some other smuggled goods that could pass as legitimate unless the task force caught them in the act of avoiding import duties), and surveillance reports suggested that several mid-to-high level syndicate members would be present tonight. It made the most of the DOCTF’s secrecy to grab so much in their first raid. They’d try to keep a lid on everything that happened tonight, but Jax was pretty sure that ELT and Enoch were going to find out about the task force after this.

    Those thoughts were far from Jax’s mind. Right now he was focused on the beings with blasters on their hips. Two of them were reaching for their sidearms. Jax and his fellow officers didn’t hesitate: they pulled the trigger on their own blasters, blue stun circles growing outward from the barrel until they hit the goons.

    “Anyone else want to wake up with stun sickness?” Jax shouted. “Because we can arrange that!” The only reason they hadn’t stunned everyone were strict instructions from Mannfred to use stun settings as a last resort, lest some syndicate member claim police brutality against them for shooting first and taking names later.

    None of the other criminals decided to take Jax up on the offer. All this was being recorded by hovering cam droids, who followed every officer on the raid to ensure there was video evidence of what was going on in case the crooks tried to allege misconduct later.

    “Cuff ‘em and ID ‘em,” Jax ordered, blaster still drawn. “Let’s get everything inventoried and processed.”

    ***

    Enoch slammed his fist into one of his office walla, lucky he didn’t break either point of contact. He increased security ever since the Marshals’ first raid on one of their warehouses and moved all incriminating records off the premises. He almost wished the Marshals would show up with a warrant here so they could find nothing, making it harder to get another search warrant for the place later.

    However, he had not wished them to find the drug manufacturing center. This was an expensive sting.

    “We pay people in the police to know about these raids when they’re coming!” Enoch vented.

    “One of the workers got away and we picked her up. From the description, they don’t sound like NOPD,” one of his lieutenants reported. “They didn’t identify themselves as marshals either.” They had sources inside both forces in Nouvelle Orleans.

    “Whoever they are, they’re going to have to charge people soon. We’ll find out soon enough who’s behind it,” Enoch said. “Get me Remus.”

    ***

    “Docket number 66321, Bakura v. Colbar, Edmud, Sexter, and Poloin,” the court clerk read out.

    Despite what some might think, Colbar, Edmud, Sexter, and Poloin was not a top flight law firm. Each one of the quarter was an alleged member of the ELT syndicate who had been arrested in the narcotics lab raid. The clerk was reading a variety of charges that they now faced: possessions of controlled substances with intent to distribute, manufacturing of controlled substances without a license, possession of controlled substances in excess of 1 kg, and more.

    The four defendants stood stone faced as these charges were read aloud. It might be odd to some that they were so impassive in the face of charges that added up to major jail time if convicted, but standing next to them was Westley Remus, a well-dressed and highly-paid lawyer that serviced ELT in everything from commercial transactions to criminal defense. He usually only appeared in court on the most sensitive matters, but Enoch had ordered Westley that if he “ever wanted to see another frakking one of my credits you will haul your carcass into court and get them off.” Understandably, Remus complied.

    “How do the defendants plead?” the federal judge asked.

    “Not guilty on all counts, your honor,” Remus reported on behalf of his clients. “Though, it hardly seems necessary given that the Federal Attorney’s office has sent a bench warmer in the form of Mr. Aindrews to represent the federal government today. I assume that means we’re about to hear that all charges have been dropped and that this court’s time and taxpayer credits have been wasted.” Remus smirked. “Though then we can say that justice is done, and who can put a price on that?”

    “Well I’m glad we can agree that no one will be able to bribe a judge to get your guilty-as-sin clients off the hook.”

    Remus and the defendants turned around to find the new voice in the conversation, for it certainly wasn’t Mr. Aindrews seeing as he was meekly standing to the side of the prosecutor’s table

    “Federal Attorney Trixie Penn for the beings of Bakura and the federal government, your honor,” Trixie said as she threw her suitcase down on the table. “At this time we ask for the defendants to be remanded to custody through the conclusion of their trial.”

    “Cart before the eopie, your honor,” Remus protested. “Miss Penn--”

    “Ms. Penn, you illiterate yahoo,” Trixie growled.

    “--is a little outside her jurisdiction as last time I checked Salis D’aar was located on the opposite side of the planet from Nouvelle Orleans. Just because she’s a federal attorney doesn’t mean that she has jurisdiction throughout the entire planet,” Remus continued, ignoring Trixie’s insult.

    “Your honor, earlier today Federal Attorney Belden tendered his resignation to Attorney General Fefkik. I present this commission, signed by the Attorney General, naming me Interim Federal Attorney for Nouvelle Orleans, effective immediately and concurrent with a leave of absence from my post as Federal Attorney for South Salis D’aar. Until such time as a suitable replacement for Federal Attorney Belden can be found and confirmed by the Senate, I shall serve in this role and personally represent the federal government in this matter,” Trixie said, handing over all appropriate documents through wireless datapad transfers.

    “Your honor, this is preposterous! We’re now shuffling federal attorneys around like a sabacc deck?” Remus protested.

    “An unorthodox method of filling a vacancy, I agree, Mr. Remus,” the judge allowed, “but that’s a matter for the Attorney General and Senate to discuss, not this court.”

    “Returning to the matter at hand, before I was so rudely interrupted,” Trixie said with an evil glower towards the defense, “the Beings--” the shorthand for “the beings of Bakura”, officially the bringers of any federal case, “--request remand, your honor.”

    “That’s preposterous. The defendants are upstanding members of their community with long ties to this city. They are certainly not a flight risk given their families, who could hardly flee on short notice, and they present no clear and present danger to society,” Remus parried. He was well used to making such arguments.

    “On the contrary, the Beings have evidence of significant financial holdings that would make it easy to flee the jurisdiction, not to mention the planet,” Trixie said without hesitation. “The beings would be more than happy to accept all these assets in escrow until the end of the trial to ensure they remain on hand for it.”

    “Depriving my clients of their property without due process is a violation of their civil liberties!” Remus protested.

    “Not if they do so voluntarily in exchange for being released on their own recognizance,” Trixie pointed out. “Given the magnitude of the charges against them, in addition to potential additional racketeering charges, there is significant motivation for the defendants to flee.”

    “If the Beings want to charge my clients with racketeering, they should do so and then the court can consider those charges and appropriate rulings at that time, but they don’t get to use the threat of a charge to twist the court into remanding my clients.”

    “I don’t think it behooves the beings of Nouvelle Orleans to have the defendants going free on the streets to peddle illegal substances while they await trial,” Trixie pointed out.

    “First she’s okay with taking away their assets in exchange for their freedom and now she’s objecting to them being free at all. Why don’t you pick a position and stick with it, Ms. Penn?” Remus sneered.

    “Why don’t you defend beings who are worth it instead of being a mob stooge?” Trixie shot back.

    “I’ve heard enough. Both of you: stop bickering like a couple of middle school moot court antagonists,” the judge said. “Based on the financial documents provided by the Beings, I’m setting bail at 1 million credits for each defendant as it appears they can afford it. I trust that will be sufficient motivation for all of them to appear at their trial dates. Next case.”

    Trixie gathered her things.

    “You’re going to find that we do things a little differently out here than up in the big city,” Remus warned Trixie.

    “By the end of all this, when I’ve mopped the courtroom floor with your sorry face, they’re going to calling me Dixie Trixie,” Penn promised.

    “That’ll be the day!” Remus called after her.

    “Check your calendar: it’s coming sooner than you think,” Trixie shouted over her shoulder as they parted.
     
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  8. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    "Dixie Trixie"!!! [face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh]
     
  9. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Yeah, Trixie will surely make this eventful for the onlookers; and for the suspects, but they probably wished it wasn't!
     
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  10. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    I like Trixie.

    But were did you dig up the name Manfred? I spend the first two minutes trying not to think about a certain mammoth from "Ice Age".

    (Okay, during the bus tour though Silesia now Poland my mom and I passed the birth place of the Red Baron. But still...)

    But your magic as a writer helped me to get over my memories of a certain child movie again.
     
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  11. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Tandy Mannfred was inspired by an amalgamation of characters from a US TV drama called In Plain Sight about the US Witness Protection Program. One of the US Marshals in the series is named Marshall Mann, which put the idea in my head. I probably then borrowed from the artists of "Blinded by the Light," Mannfred Mann's Earth Band. As for where Tandy came from...time has lost that inspiration!
     
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  12. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    @AzureAngel2 @DarthUncle @jcgoble3 @Vehn and @Bardan_Jusik because I know he's going to want to see what happens here


    Nouvelle Orleans, Bakura

    The lead breacher held up three fingers and silently counted down, fingers ticking off until he made a fist. That was when he punched the slicing device that circumvented the electronic lock and slid the door open.

    “Police! Hands up!” one of the other raid members shouted before the Dixie Organized Crime Task Force squad poured in, blaster rifles at the ready, executing their next raid on their list of syndicate targets.

    After striking in broad daylight in their inaugural run they’d switched to nighttime operations to throw ELT off balance. Mannfred wanted the syndicate to get paranoid, constantly never knowing where the next raid was going to come or when. Once that kind of thinking got under your skin, it was hard to act rationally. Their war on organized crime involved psychological warfare as much as it did arrests and asset seizures.

    Jax was not on point in this operation, but he was still there, rifle raised and scanning the room. The light panels were off and it was hard to see, but there were no shouts of surprise like in their initial raid.

    “Clear!”

    “Clear!”

    “Clear!”

    The repeated shout came from each member of the team in turn as they searched the space. They’d memorized the floorplan during their mission prep so they knew where the danger points were, how many rooms to check, and where it was most likely they might encounter danger. Thankfully, this suite of space only had one entry, meaning they didn’t have to devote teams to other access points.

    There was...nothing. Jax looked around in confusion. “We’re in the right place, right?” he asked.

    ***

    “It’s a federal task force, that’s for sure,” Remus said, “otherwise your associates would have been hauled before county court.”

    “The marshals aren’t running it,” one of Enoch’s top advisors said. “We’ve squeezed every informant we have in the NO office. They don’t know a thing about it.”

    “We are dealing with some deep Sithspit, my friend,” Remus said. “If this is federal and it’s above the local marshals, then this is a Salis D’aar operation.”

    “Of course it is,” Antrose said bitterly. “It’s Ayn. She’s put together her own little hit squad to run us into the ground. She won’t hesitate to use every bit of the federal government against us. She’s running the federal government like her own syndicate.”

    “Got to admire her daring,” Remus said with an appreciative smile and snort. Antrose shot his attorney a look that said the comment was not welcome right now. “What? Wouldn’t you do the same in her position?”

    “You--go get these charges against my beings dismissed. They might be on bail, but they’re under legitimate police scrutiny while they are and that means they’re no good to me,” Antrose ordered Remus. “There’s a right to a speedy trial on this planet, right?”

    “There is, but your cousin the Federal Attorney is pushing the pedal too. Whenever the opposition seems to want something, my natural instinct is to not play into their hand,” Remus cautioned.

    “And my instinct is to grab whatever it is they’re pushing and ram it down their throat until I’m halfway down their esophagus,” Antrose shot back. “Get out of here and make it happen.”

    When the attorney was gone, Antrose turned to his lieutenants. “Move everything.”

    “Everything of what?” one of them asked.

    “Everything everything. Every lab, every warehouse, every safehouse. Anything that we hold I want to be somewhere else by this time tomorrow,” Antrose commanded.

    “What, at the same time? The chances something gets intercepted goes up exponentially if we have so many operations going at once. We won’t be able to give each one adequate protection.”

    “And if we leave them where they are I won’t know which one is going to be hit next by these frakking feds,” Antrose snapped. “We have to assume every location is compromised.” He paused and then his head twitched as an idea took root.

    “What’s the most valuable repository left now that the narcotics lab is gone?” Antrose inquired.

    ***

    “Wait,” Jax said. “How many check-ins were there?” He rewound his memory, counting. Ten.

    But eleven beings had entered the room.

    “Guard up!” Jax shouted.

    His own rifle’s muzzle had dipped slightly with all the clear signals, so it wasn’t all the way up when one of his comrades came flying through one of the doors opening onto the main warehouse space, her chest armor slashed open and blood streaming from it as she fell backward with a cry. One of the squad members fired a stun circle, but it fizzled out as its edges hit the doorframe. As soon as it had, a small figure darted through the shadows of the darkened room, the pale flicker of a vibroknife the lone object of illumination. Before Jax could fire the vibroknife sliced through the trooper’s neck. The assailant swung behind the task force member and used his body as a shield to absorb stun circles shot in its direction.

    The attacker plowed forward, using the officer with the bleeding neck as a battering shield, knocking another one down before shoving the bleeding-out body into a second officer. A curving sweep of the vibroknife took out the first and a cartwheel landed the vibroknife straight into the chest of the second, where it stayed.

    One of the marshals in the squad fired his rifle, but the assailant leapt forward like an acrobat through the widening stun circle. Landing in a roll and finishing by smoothly transitioning to its feet, the attacker whipped another vibroknife off its belt and up into the rib cage before withdrawing it and whipping it around in a throw that went straight into the chest of another officer.

    Jax had read the situation and took cover around a corner. At least six officers were down, potentially with fatal wounds. Clearly this was not just a trap, but the most dangerous one he’d ever been in. He had three squadmates left, maybe four.

    He fingered the switch to go from stun to kill on his blaster rifle. Mannfred’s orders had been to never, ever use lethal force. Their conduct had to be beyond reproach. She hadn’t said anything about a situation like this though…

    Jax’s thumb was right over the switch. This might decide whether he was leaving here alive. Whether he would see Elfie and their soon-to-be born child. He closed his eyes for a moment. He loved them, but there was a reason he’d left them behind in marshal protection to join the task force. He was called to this work. Eyes open, Jax popped around the corner, rifle at the ready, set to stun.

    He received a strike to the front of his throat from the point of four fingers. Involuntarily, Jax fell to his knees, dropping his blaster and reaching for his throat as he tried to suck air into his lungs, his eyes watering from the sudden pain. He was barely able to watch as the assailant slid and struck, a stun circle passing over its small body and taking out a friendly. A kick sent one of the troopers into a wall that cracked under the sudden force. A snap followed by silence told Jax that the last of his comrades had gone down. The attacker came towards him, kicking Jax onto his back.

    “Fancy seeing you here,” Avie Trieste said conversationally as she picked up Jax’s rifle and checked its settings.

    Jax’s first cousin, once removed, in-law, stood over him, limbs and torso splattered with blood but otherwise with nary a scratch on her. Even had he not seen how she got that way, this sight alone would have chilled Jax’s blood.

    “Now what’s a Salis D’aar cop doing in Nouvelle Orleans?” Avie continued.

    “I...could say...the same...of…” Jax wheezed hoarsely.

    “Me?” Avie finished for him. “Summer break. Call this my internship.”

    “Why?...You...have so...much…”

    “I’m like you. I run into fights, not away from them,” Avie said. “And I don’t like someone else telling me what I can and can’t do.”

    There was a slight rustle from somewhere else in the room. Avie spun and fired at it. But she didn’t fire a stun circle. She filed a laser bolt. A body thumped against the ground.

    “That’s something I learned on Kitokaime,” Avie continued, turning back to Jax. “When your enemy has beaten you, if you’re still alive, play dead. Now, where were we? Oh, right, everything I ‘have.’ I suppose you were thinking about limmie? It’s in Ayn’s best interest to keep this all as quiet as possible and our names out of this. It’ll just be the government against organized crime. No scout is every going to hear about this.” She paused. “Though, come to think of it, I’d probably shoot to the top of the Mercs’ draft board. Hell, they’d probably tank this season just to get me.”

    “You said it yourself. Antrose is a criminal.”

    “And I don’t believe for a second Ayn and Declan just found out about Antrose. They let this go on until it was inconvenient for them. I read all about the Noble House when Falene adopted me. Underneath their politician’s veneer, they’re bounty hunters and killers. Beings like Antrose made the Noble House.” Avie glanced at her chrono. “Now, seeing as none of you have reported in yet, I think it’s time for me to go.”

    “Avie--”

    “Tell Ayn we had this little chat,” Avie said and pulled the trigger again.
     
  13. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Damn.

    That's all I have to say.
     
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  14. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    That.
     
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  15. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    “And I don’t believe for a second Ayn and Declan just found out about Antrose. They let this go on until it was inconvenient for them. I read all about the Noble House when Falene adopted me. Underneath their politician’s veneer, they’re bounty hunters and killers. Beings like Antrose made the Noble House.” Avie glanced at her chrono. “Now, seeing as none of you have reported in yet, I think it’s time for me to go.”

    Drug traffic and politics, this has gotten very dark.

    “Avie--”

    “Tell Ayn we had this little chat,” Avie said and pulled the trigger again.


    And you leave us with a cliffhanger like this!
     
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  16. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Oh a very uncivil war indeed.....
     
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