MISSION TO ORDONE - An EU, pre-EP1 story - Chapter I

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  1. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    Here's an adventure story I hope you'll enjoy, featuring in a supporting role Qui-Gon Jinn and introducing my main character, the Jedi Knight Valeda Kor, powerful (with a deep dark secret) and vulnerable at the same time. Synopsis: Jedi Knight Valeda Kor teams with Master Qui-Gon Jinn to investigate an assassination attempt on the Queen of Ordoné. Valeda and Qui-Gon have only a short time to uncover a devious plot and unmask the villains before the real Queen must return.

    Set prior to the events in TPM.

    Chapters will be posted every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

    THE ADVENTURES OF VALEDA KOR - JEDI KNIGHT
    "MISSION TO ORDONÉ"

    CHAPTER I
    'Any (Space) Port In A Storm'

    Valeda crossed her eyes, centering the Force on the headache that was threatening to take over her concentration. The pain was gone in a moment but the source of the ache remained. The negotiations between Melor and the Galavos Mining Cartel weren't going well.

    //But of course, she thought to herself. //That's why I've been brought in. To keep them from killing each other.//

    Valeda glanced over at Prime Minister Galavos XIV who sat chewing on one of his rubbery lips, staring grimly at the Melorian Ambassador. Galavos looked like he wished he were a hyperspace jump or two from Galavos airspace at the moment. Ambassador Crinik would go on, his whiny voice cutting into her head like a drill. Valeda tried to shift position without attracting too much attention, keeping the fixed smile on her face. She also thought about levitating out of the chair, but realized that that would be going a bit too far.

    "We really must insist that our inspectors be allowed to visit the mining site on a regular basis, Prime Minister," Crinik whined. Even though they were all speaking standard Basic, he pronounced it 'meenisteer.'

    "Not acceptable." The Prime Minister rumbled. "Our Cartel has an excellent safety record. There is no need for Melorians --" He spat the word out. "--To lurk at what we are doing."

    "It is not lurking. It is making sure that safety procedures on our planet are followed."

    The ministerial frown grew deeper. "You are insinuating that we Galavosians, the greatest mining engineers in this sector, don't know what we're doing?!?" The Galavosians shifted and muttered amongst themselves, their surly features growing darker by the moment.

    Wearily, Valeda raised a hand. "Gentlemen, gentlemen, this is once again getting us nowhere."

    "You are telling us, Jedi." Sokolo, one of the Prime Minister's least endearing cabinet ministers, spoke grumpily at her side.

    Valeda would have liked to rear up and backhand the little being, but that would be putting a lie to every tenet of the Jedi Code that called for restraint and moderation. Instead, she swiveled her head and smiled with all the force of the Force she could muster. "Your comments are welcome, as always, Dar Sokolo. May I suggest we adjourn for the day? I understand that Prime Minister Galavos has planned a wonderful banquet for this evening, and I for one want to take advantage of his hospitality."

    Sokolo was up and out of his seat as fast as his snakelike base appendage would let him. The rest of the Galavosian ministers quickly followed suit, leaving only the Melorian delegation and Galavos IV to shuffle some flimsies and look uncomfortably in all directions, except at each other. The Prime Minister wrenched his corpulent body out of his seat and glared down at her. "One more day, Valeda Kor," he whispered, loud enough for the others to hear. "If we do not conclude this treaty tomorrow, we will not discuss this again while I am Prime Minister."

    Valeda made to protest, but one look at his face convinced her otherwise. She didn't need the Force to tell her that Galavos IV was speaking the truth. "As you wish, Prime Minister." She pushed herself out of the chair and bowed to the assembly. "I will see you all at dinner this evening, gentle beings. Until then, may the Force be with you." And with me. I'm beat.

    * * * * *

    "One more,
  2. Master_Tahl Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2000
    star 2
    Great start. Hope Valeda gets that vacation sometime, but then again this is 'fan' fiction, trouble first vacation later. =) Post again soon!
  3. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    CHAPTER II
    'Mercenary'

    Neller Podda was not having a good day. He'd done his mercenary work just a little too efficiently at his last job, managing to blow up a couple of galaxy enforcement officers in the process. Hiding out was never his favorite activity and now he had even more reason to lay low. Worse yet, he'd spent all the money from that, and more besides. He was down to just the last few credits of his payment from a particularly offensive 'Stim smuggler named Dreed. Dreed had wanted a fellow smuggler, Tedder by name, eliminated from the short list of applicants for a coveted Hutt job -- a list that consisted only of Tedder and himself. Podda had done a credible job of it, ambushing the unlucky Tedder in the bedroom of a high-class prostitute here in Ordoné City, where he'd come in another attempt to avoid all the warrants out for his arrest.

    The woman had been willing to accept a tidy sum to make herself scarce, recounting that Tedder liked his lady loves meaty and juicy -- and she had the synthskin patches to prove it. Podda had enjoyed the look on the smuggler's face as, cooing and gurgling all the while, Tedder had peeled back layer after layer of flimsy, multicolored garments only to find Podda's Vibroblade in his face, and shortly thereafter, buried in his chest. Podda had taken Tedder's ID documents to prove to Dreed's satisfaction that his rival was indeed as dead as he needed to be. Credits had passed satisfactorily from one hand to another, and Podda had departed Dreed's starship with a bag full of money and memories of just the working girl he wanted to share it with.

    Yet here he was, sitting dejectedly on a barstool in the farthest, darkest corner of The Waterfront, a particularly seedy drinking establishment on the banks of the Riskishi River, Ordoné's largest waterway. Drinking to forget. To forget that the luscious Lydia, she of the particularly tantalizing synthskin spots, had done him wrong. Had the temerity to find herself another customer, a disgusting Whiphid, all fur and big yellow tusks that constantly drooled, especially over Lydia. Podda had witnessed this in person when he had strode confidently into Mae's Home Away From Home looking for his sweetheart, only to find Lydia making eyes at the hulking Whip. His blaster and other weapons having been confiscated at the door, Podda's fury had melted away at the sight of the giant alien towering over him. Podda had given up his dignity and what remained of his new vest and hot footed it out of there as fast as his legs would take him, straight to The Waterfront. He'd been there ever since.

    Podda looked about him. The bar was almost deserted, just two hardy souls besides himself and Gurter the bartender. Two dark crusted windows faced the river, what might have been a nice view if it had been possible to see outside, which it wasn't. The bar top that was holding him upright was stained with hundreds of spilled drinks and marred with dozens of blade cuts and gouges. In one corner of the room a broken down Robo-Bartender sat forlornly, photoreceptors gone, the drink dispensing hatch hanging crookedly. Some wag had hung a crude 'Will Work For Oil' sign off one shoulder. The ceiling was low, and many of the crystals long burnt out. Patrons came to The Waterfront because nobody ever questioned their right to be there -- if they had credits, they were welcome. Podda had been welcome for a while.

    "Gimme another, Gurter." He banged the glass down on the bar, assorted unknown vermin skittering out of the way.

    * * * * *

    Gurter turned wearily back to tend to his customer. He had worked at The Waterfront for many, many years. He had seen it all and heard it all. And he had heard it from this one for about as long as he could stand it. Gurter had decided that, whether it meant a trip to Ordoné's detention center or not, he would not tolerate the human's tale of woe any longer. He was going out this evening, head or feet first, it didn't matter. Besides, as Gurter well knew, the skeletal looking ma
  4. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    Just upping this, looking for more readership. A hack in search of fan fiction fanatics! What can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment <g>
  5. princess-sari Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2000
    star 4
    Yay! Valeda's writing another story!! :)

    Do we *really* have to wait 'til tomorrow for the next chapter?
    j/k I'll try not to whine for new posts. :p

    But I'll be watching for Chapter 3 tomorrow!!
  6. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    Princess-Sari...your wish is my command <g>

    CHAPTER III
    'A Meeting with Yoda'

    "Thank you for coming on such short notice, Master Yoda."

    Yoda nodded as Valeda moved to the closest window and folded her arms, staring at the darkening sky. Her braid switched slowly from side to side as she tapped her long fingertips on the sleeves of her overshirt. He knew that human males found this female very attractive; he had asked Mace about it once, and had been regaled with a dissertation on her commanding height, her trim figure, wide set, dark blue eyes and....Mace had stopped, stammering slightly as Yoda's eyes had grown wider and wider. All Jedi contained, in one form or another, a combination of the Force and heredity that made them sterling examples of their species. Valeda was no exception.

    The Jedi Master had been very surprised when she had requested this audience, aware only that she had abruptly returned from Galavos. Leaving a very satisfying meditation session and hurrying over to this meeting room, one of the dozens that crisscrossed the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, Yoda had quickly scanned her as he'd entered, an automatic trait, and she'd accepted it with a wan smile. His scan had revealed her agitation, although her disquiet would have been evident to anyone, not just to a Jedi.

    He broke the silence. "Too soon, you return. A period of leave need you, you do."

    She spoke without turning around. "Yes. But I'm well enough, Master. Really."

    Yoda did not think that was true. He knew that Valeda had been working without a break for over a year, beginning with a horrifying mission where she'd been a prisoner for many weeks. He had been informed that she had not completed all of her healing sessions following that terrible time. A small period of rest and simple trade negotiations on Halla came next, followed by the ambush on Griffon Seven where she'd barely escaped with her life again. Then Valeda had been asked to assist in a murder investigation on Coruscant, something that he had had a hard time reconciling with his views of the Jedi and their position in Republic society. Following that, what should have been a simple mission -- the latest Senate confirmation hearings, working with the Senate Committee responsible for protocol. Yoda had heard that this particular session had been especially acrimonious, consisting of interminable meetings that went long into the night. Finally had come the mining negotiations on Galavos. He had been optimistic that the free time Valeda had requested when that mission ended would be put to good use. But now, just days later, she was back on Coruscant. Yoda hoped that whatever this was, it would be very, very important.

    More moments of silence, and then Valeda spoke quietly. "You wish to know why I have returned to Coruscant so quickly."

    Yoda's heavily lidded eyes closed for an instant, and a slow smile settled across his features. That was going to be his next question. As jumbled as her own thoughts were, Valeda had her use of the Force until control. No need to speak, then.

    She turned and sat abruptly in a chair, bringing her a little closer to meeting his eyes. "The mission on Galavos was completed ahead of time, as you know." Her eyes crinkled in a smile. "My diplomatic skills were almost wasted. It seems a ready wit was all that was needed to have Galavos and Crinik see the error of their ways, and allow the delegations to conclude trade negotiations. They now have a few new verses to add to their collection."

    "So Minister Galavos has informed us. A great success, we knew. A comedian, we knew not."

    Chuckling, she continued. "Luckily I ignored my Jedi training in this case, Master Yoda. To be somber, grave and circumspect would never have won the delegates' attention." Her features grew dark again. "I thought at first to spend some time enjoying the cultural pleasures of Galavos. As you know, its collection of art is unparalleled. And the libraries! I could have remained indefinitely."

    He placed a three-
  7. princess-sari Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2000
    star 4
    Thanks, Valeda! I wasn't really expecting you to post more, but I'm glad you did, 'cause it's great!!

    I love the chance to see Qui-Gon at a point in his life we don't usually see him at, so soon after Xanatos' betrayal. I liked the history between Valeda, Qui-Gon, and Xanatos, too.

    Sounds like Valeda has her work cut out for her on Ordone, but it also sounds like she's up to it! :)

    So, do we still get a post tomorrow as planned? (Please say yes...) ;)
  8. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    Princess-Sari -- you are a hard taskmaster! LOL

    I have planned to post tomorrow, and should be able to do it. Sometimes my mail program will not allow me to cut and paste, so we will see. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until Monday.

    But never fear, there is much more coming.

  9. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    CHAPTER IV
    'Qui-Gon'

    Qui-Gon parted with Valeda at the turbolifts and headed for the gymnasium for one last exercise session. As usual, the inhabitants of the Temple that he passed on the way were polite, greeting the Jedi Master courteously. And as usual, he could sense what they were thinking. No Jedi would condemn another directly, but Qui-Gon knew their thoughts even without probing. //Why did you not see what Xanatos was? How did you let this happen?// He knew that others still asked these questions even as he pondered them over and over himself.

    Qui-Gon's service to the Jedi had included many important diplomatic missions, disputes and treaty talks. Oftentimes his mere presence had been enough to defuse tension, when he'd used his height to its full advantage or his penetrating blue eyes to stare down recalcitrant negotiators, who then backed down and got on with the point under discussion. His quiet command of the Force had always been his hallmark, his instinctive grasp of the intensity of the path along which he was traveling never questioned. Now, there were doubts, the way no longer clear. Perhaps, he thought, he was past his prime as a Jedi. Perhaps his interpretation of the Force could no longer be considered sacrosanct.

    //If I can't trust myself to know the right path, how can I trust another Jedi?// This was the dilemma he was facing. He had searched within himself, spent hours in meditation, and was no closer to knowing the truth of what the Force wanted him to do as when he started. He had lost the assurance he had once had.

    He knew that Master Yoda had seen this. And he did not know what he would find with Valeda Kor by his side. She had responded immediately to his anonymous message. But he had seen the look on her face when he'd entered the meeting room, had caught the implied rebuke.

    //She is as unsure of me as I am of her.//

    The datatapes he had studied detailed an amazing career, one filled with more violence and dangerous situations then most Jedi saw in a lifetime, much less the six years she had spent since being accepted by Caddo Lar as his apprentice. He thought that there were secrets here, some things she would be unwilling to share. He would watch, and decide if he could trust her. On this mission they would not get many second chances.

    He entered the gymnasium. There were several masters and Padawans sparring with each other, and others using the individual training rooms with the robot droids.

    "Qui-Gon, it's good to see you!"

    A human male was just entering behind him. He recognized Berthe Jeant, a Master from Coruscant. "Welcome to you, Berthe."

    The other man grasped Qui-Gon's arm and pulled him along. "Just what I need, an exercise session with a master of the lightsaber! Come along, come along."

    Qui-Gon hesitated. He'd seen Berthe's style, knew that the younger man was an advocate of quick, athletic moves. It was a direct contrast to Qui-Gon's slow, relentless attack.

    Berthe gave voice to Qui-Gon's own thoughts. "Afraid you can't keep up with me?" He retorted, flashing a smile.

    Qui-Gon, caught off guard, looked at Berthe, whose lithe form was his physical opposite. The younger Jedi was shorter than Qui-Gon and many pounds lighter, and Qui-Gon knew that he kept himself in top physical shape. Qui-Gon reminded himself that he had not been in the gym in a long time. And most telling of all, Berthe was at least a decade younger. The only thing they had in common was their long hair; Berthe keep his braided down his back, whereas Qui-Gon's was caught in his usual leather strap.

    He sensed the other Jedi in the room, most of whom who had ceased their own activities to watch the exchange, waiting for him to decline the match.

    //Testing me.//

    His answer was to begin removing his cloak. "Oh, I think I will be able to keep up with you, Berthe." He rested a hand on the other man's shoulder. "Shall we use the main exercise room?" He knew this would give Berthe even more space to practice his leaps and somers
  10. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    Up, Up! Just looking for a little readership here. There are so many great stories, it's tough! <g>
  11. princess-sari Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2000
    star 4
    I read this earlier, Valeda, but didn't have time to respond until now.

    Great job with the sparring scene. (That's one thing I have a feeling will be a real challenge for me to write when I finally try it.)

    Valeda must be very powerful in the Force. She became a Knight very young--still in her teens, from my calculation. (Did I add right?) So will we get to find out how she got to be so strong?

    I'll be watching for the next chapter, Valeda! :)
  12. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    Valeda is 21, Princess. I calculate this by figuring she spent five years with her Master, and it's 14 months later when this story takes place.

    And yes, you'll find out why she is so strong in the Force! <g>
  13. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    Moving this puppy up!
  14. princess-sari Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2000
    star 4
    Thanks for clearing that up for me, Valeda. It's still pretty young, so Valeda must be special. :)

    I'll be watching for the next post--tomorrow or Tuesday, right? :D
  15. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    I realized it would be easier to post from work, so I'll start following a Monday Wednesday Friday pattern.

  16. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    I like to keep moving this up, would like to get feedback if possible.
  17. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    New Chapter coming as soon as I can today!

  18. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    CHAPTER V
    'Tarak and The Council'

    Grand Councilor Tarak had hurriedly convened the Queen's ministers for this emergency session, having been informed through unofficial channels that there was much discontent and confusion surrounding the circumstances of the Queen's accident. He had summoned the members to attend and listen to how he proposed to keep the government going until the Queen could return. Because he knew that Prince Bakur had his own agenda. And that Count Chandle, the Queen's half brother, the only adult with a legitimate claim to the throne would be of no use at all.

    Just now Tarak was standing by the Queen's Great Chair, waiting. Even with the temperature controls in place the chamber was always too hot to him. Since she could feel neither hot nor cold, Tarak had always assumed that Queen M'lss had arranged that deliberately, so that the heavy court robes that the courtiers all wore would make them slightly uncomfortable as they stood in her presence. It was just one of the many things that M'lss employed to assert her authority and position. Tarak enjoyed his post as Grand Councilor to the Ordoné ruler, taking a secret satisfaction in being able to say he served a Vampyr Queen. But it had never been easy.

    Pulling an elaborately lace handkerchief from a voluminous pocket Bakur wiped his brow, pushing aside the extra flaps of skin that protected his eyes from Ordoné's sun. Even his hair felt hot today, the dark gray locks hanging lankly down his back like thick wet ropes. Tarak had not succumbed to the desire to appear younger as had so many of his fellow aristocrats. He wore his wrinkles and gray hair like a badge of honor, the reward for his hundreds of years in the Queen's service.

    He had managed to reach all the council members. Some he suspected would liked to have been absent, just because he had done the inviting. But none would miss this opportunity to see the political maneuvering sure to take place. With her two millennia of experience Queen M'lss governed the Stuarda System with a confident grasp of the compromises and strategies that were necessary to satisfy the many factions and special interest groups that the half dozen planets were host to. The System was prosperous, with mining and agricultural pursuits the mainstay of the economy. But what made Ordoné renowned throughout the Republic was her incomparable educational system. Queen's College was one of the most prestigious universities in the galaxy, due in no small part to the efforts of the Queen's brother, the college's founder. Count Chandle's reputation as a historical scholar, speaker and author was long-standing. Thousands, in person and via the HoloNet, attended his lectures. If he had to be torn away from this work and thrust into an unwanted position of power...that was what Tarak was trying to avoid.

    The first to come rushing into the chamber was young Lord Khan, a supporter of the Queen.

    Yes, he would be first, Tarak thought to himself.

    Lord Khan's loyalties were immediately evident. Over his black tunic and leggings he wore a hip length cape of dark green, what the Ordoné media called 'The Queen's Green.' He strode confidently to the front of the room, bowed to Tarak, took a seat at the huge Deccawood table and accessed his table vid. Tarak watched with amusement as Khan pulled up coverage of the Stuarda polo finals.

    The guards at the entry admitted two more men, a tall spindly redhead and a much shorter man with a waist-length fall of pure white hair, both deep in conversation with each other. Tarak grunted in satisfaction. Both men wore tunics of the Queen's Green.

    The redhead looked up and saw Tarak. "Well, Grand Councilor, have you good news for us?"

    Tarak spread his hands wide. "And what good news would that be, Duke Lennit?"

    "That the Queen is waiting in her quarters to surprise us."

    Tarak shook his head. "I'm afraid I don't have that good news to give you. The Queen, however, wishes me to tell you that she is enjoying her vacation and she will be
  19. princess-sari Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2000
    star 4
    Wow, she's be ruling for two thousand years? Valeda has her work cut out for her impersonating this Queen, that's for sure!

    I'll be watching for the post on Wednesday, Valeda!! :)
  20. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    I'm glad you are liking it, Princess. I didn't know that "adventure type" stories didn't really fly here, that romantic types are more to people's liking, so I'm glad that someone is reading mine! <g> This one has a tad of romance, but it's basically a mystery story, based on the GFFA.

    What the heck, I've enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it....
  21. princess-sari Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2000
    star 4
    Well, I like everything, including both adventure and romance, and I really like mysteries, too.
    I'm surprised you don't have more readers, Valeda, because I think this is very well-written and interesting. I have heard some people say that it's harder to generate interest in stories based on original characters, although that doesn't bother me.

    Maybe you just have a lot of lurkers. :)

    In any case, I'm enjoying this a lot!! :D
  22. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    Two new chapters this time! Woo hoo!

    CHAPTER VI
    'The Hutt and the Mercenary'

    Seno Tew rested uncomfortably on his repulsor sled in his audience room while servants and bodyguards bustled around him. He stared unseeing over their heads, lost in troubling thoughts. The reports from the mining site were sketchy, but it was clear that M'lss had survived her "accident." As yet there had been no reports of Neller Podda's capture. The Hutt had sent his own search teams out immediately.

    "You can't escape me, mercenary. Not like the Queen."

    The light from the synthetic moon that orbited in tandem with his own artificial planet on Stuarda's outer rim was streaming through the floor to ceiling windows of the audience chamber. The room itself radiated a quiet power, with deep vermilion colored walls and stark transparisteel columns widely spaced to accommodate the Hutt's bulk and the fabulous artworks that lined the alcoves. He had appropriated some exceedingly valuable art from collectors in the Stuarda system who had been unlucky enough to find themselves in debt to the crime lord. Seno Tew had planned this intimidating setting himself and enjoyed the effect it had on would-be sycophants. The highlight was the meters-high ramp that he had had constructed so that he could look down upon anyone in the room. The sight of a Hutt, even a medium-sized one like Seno Tew, tottering perilously overhead had given many a visitor pause.

    He scratched an itch on his right side as he directed the sled to carry him over to his dinner, a deep bowl of tasty Effrikim worms. Usually he would have enjoyed this special treat, but tonight his comfort food was no comfort. His partner had sent a scathing message railing at the failure of Neller Podda to kill Queen M'lss, and intimating that the Hutt should have foreseen this. The uncalled for comment had sent Seno Tew into paroxysms of anger, which had only subsided when the message had gone out to his security forces to ensure that Podda would be on the next shuttle back to Hutt headquarters. They were expected any minute.

    Certainly the plan had had its loopholes, but the concept had been good. He had seen the explosion coverage on the HoloNet, the enormous amounts of dirt and rocks that had been flung skyward. Watched while the corner of the platform the Queen was standing on lift up and shield her from the majority of the damage. Seno Tew's eyes narrowed, remembering the sacrifice of the young guard. M'lss had not lived 2,700 years without being lucky sometimes, he considered. He hoped her luck could not continue forever. He crunched the Effrikim worms and waited, eyes closed.

    A scuffle at the door alerted him. Podda was being half carried across the marble floor, borne along by two of the guards. Dropping their burden facedown on the floor in front of the Hutt's "throne," the guards retreated to the doorway, blasters drawn.

    "Ah, Podda." Tew gulped down one final treat and smacked his lips. "I must have misunderstood you. I thought you told me the Queen was going to be dead."

    Podda, coughing violently, slowly rose up to his knees and stared up at the Hutt. He pulled on his jacket and smoothed his hair back down. "But I did what I was supposed to, Your Excellency! How was I supposed to know that crazy guard would kill himself to save her?"

    Tew contemplated this, frowning. "Hmmm. I suppose." Podda visibly relaxed. Seno Tew continued. "So, she rests at the Delong Convent and we go on to Plan B." He looked down at Podda's face. "Do you have a Plan B?"

    "Me, Your Excellency?" Podda tried to hide his surprise and failed. "I hadn't thought past this too much, actually." He shrugged and threw out his hands. "I've used this particular type of explosive a dozen times. It's always worked before. I inspected the boards beforehand, made sure that everything would be perfect. I even killed one of the security people so he couldn't turn me in."

    The Hutt's eyes flew open. Another complication.

    "I saw the pictures afterward myself, saw all
  23. princess-sari Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2000
    star 4
    Two posts--cool! :D

    I'm wondering who Seno Tew's partner is--but I'm perfectly willing to wait for the mystery to be revealed.

    Good for Valeda not to just let Qui run the show (especially since he doesn't seem to know exactly what he's doing ;)).

    Great posts, Valeda! :)

    I'll be watching for the next one on Friday!
  24. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    Just moving this up, just because.


    The expository chapters are setting the scene, exploring characters and providing a bit of back story.

    New chapters posted tomorrow! Stay tuned.
  25. ValedaKor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    CHAPTER VIII
    'The Queen'

    The heavy dish sailed across the room. "Get out of my sight, you idiot!"

    The medical droid, covered now with the remains of lunch, executed a smart turn and buzzed out of the room.

    Queen M'lss pounded the coverlet and stared fuming at the blank wall. Everything about this room was boring. She was used to more luxurious surroundings, to servants at her beck and call bringing her anything she wanted whenever she demanded it, which was often. She was tired of the blank walls, tired of the sameness of it all, tired of the fodder they had been feeding her, bland and tasteless. Not Padador food. Not fresh-killed.

    The Queen had been specially placed in this windowless room away from the public quarters of the Delong convent. The convent itself was a very old building, thick-walled and impenetrable to outsiders. It had long been a place of refuge and relaxation. She had used it for just that purpose herself, but never for a forced vacation. Tarak sent a messenger from the Palace each day but the information she received was mere compilations of decisions rendered by the Council. This rankled most of all. She did not like to think the government could run itself very well without her.

    Her guards, blasters at the ready, crossed the threshold of the room, their boots clanking on the marble flooring. She could also hear the soft swish of the Priestesses' floor length gowns as they moved back and forth across the opening. It was beginning to drive her insane.

    "I am about to die of boredom in here!"

    On the heels of the drone one of her doctors sidled into the room. He spoke soothingly. "Now, Majesty, please try to be calm. It will only be a short time more, and the days will pass quickly. You'll pull your patches apart if you're not careful."

    She sobered quickly at this statement. She was covered with synthskin; the explosion had torn large chunks of her flesh from her body. When Vampyrs were M'lss' age it was harder and harder to rejuvenate their bodies, so she had had to rely on the skills of the medical teams to put her all back together again. The surgical droids had done their work well. When she looked in the mirror she saw that she was as beautiful as she had ever been. Her face had been barely touched, just a few shallow cuts across her forehead and temples, and a nasty gash in the side of her throat, but that damage had almost disappeared. They had had to work fast to save her leg and her left arm, but it had been done. Tarak had told her about the extraordinary measures taken by the Palace guard to save her life. M'lss had been astonished to learn what Lieutenant Monaper had done, and even more astonished at all the goodwill messages she'd received. She was determined to get well as quickly as possible so that she could go before her people and thank them for their support.

    "You're right, Dr. Vrill," she agreed, stone faced. "I will try to be calm. I'm just very tired of being here. And I haven't had a Tambor in weeks. I'm hungry." The thought of the tasty morsel brought her tongue to her lips. She had cut down, definitely; the blood lust barely simmered anymore. But her illness had brought out some of her long buried cravings. M'lss reveled in the memories, enjoying the feelings of power and dominance they created. She was glad that a Hunt was coming up. She would be back in the Palace by then. She would see to that.

    "It has not been that long since your last Hunt, Majesty," he began reluctantly. "We are trying to solve that problem, too."

    The Queen pouted. "You mean you think that the longer I go without, the fewer Tambors will die, correct?" The doctor hesitated, and then nodded his head. She took one deep breath. "You are right, of course, Vrill. I'm becoming more of a Candrican every day. I can hardly remember what hunting feels like. I know that's a good thing, but...."

    Her voice trailing off, M'lss was immediately lost in the sensation of her last Hunt, 'seeing' her long black hair grow even longer, more to mak
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