Not an Option (JA-era, Trett/Arwen, w/guest stars...)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Mistress_Renata, Feb 4, 2002.

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  1. Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2000
    star 4
    Jedi Master Rendell Trett and his Padawan, Arwen-dai Istarri are sent to rescue a deposed monarch from a system torn apart by civil war and insurrection. But when the mission goes terribly wrong, who will rescue them?



    Well, I am always nervous when posting a new story, and this is the darkest I?ve ever done! Be warned! Inspired by the tragic story of the Romanovs, and Stalin's gulags, how could it be otherwise? It's PG-13 for violence & some innuendo. I did try to make sure it wouldn't be extremely graphic, but just so you know... there's violence, some torture, lots of angst, and death. But if you still want to read it? (Special guest appearance in part two).

    NOT AN OPTION


    * * *

    Part One

    The deep crimson color of the Republican corvair Steadfast proclaimed its status as a diplomatic vessel. The starfighters swooping around it, still bearing the markings of the old Malabrian Empire, had chosen to honor that status...for now. But the situation was still unstable, and could change in a heartbeat. Arwen-dai Istarri took a deep breath, hoping with all her heart that they could land soon.

    She checked the stabilizers as her Master, Rendell Trett, switched off the communications system.

    "They're going to let us down," he said with relief. "We'll have an honor escort, of course."

    No of course about it. The situation in the New People's Republic of Malabra was unstable enough that an honor escort might be the only thing that got them on the ground in one piece. Ostensibly, all the planets in the system were represented in the People's Committee, but there had been so many disputes over those elections --indeed, in some places elections hadn't even been held-- that anything could happen. A few local governors had formed their own militias, struggling for even more power in an unstable system. And though the People's Committee had agreed to receive them, other would-be rulers might have other ideas.

    Arwen calculated the landing pattern, checking it against the coordinates beamed up by Planetary Control, and banked the ship gently to the left. Trett adjusted the straps to his boost couch with a deep sigh. Arwen cut back on the power to slow the rate of descent, following the trajectory stipulated by the Malabrians.

    "Why us?" he groaned.

    Arwen understood his concern. When the Kazar of Malabra was brought down in a military junta, the galaxy had been shocked. But the subsequent counter-revolution by an angry populace had led to near-anarchy. The Kazar and his family had been imprisoned, and their fate was uncertain. Since they were related to quite a few of the galaxy's royal families, and had close friends on the ruling bodies of most galactic systems, there had been loud demands for their release. Unfortunately, many of the various factions in the new Malabrian Republic, cobbled together from a hodge-podge of political groups, were calling for their trial as criminals, or for their outright execution. The Senate had all but ordered the Jedi Council to negotiate the release of the Kazar and his children, and fifteen different worlds were ready to offer refuge to them and the other members of the court.

    And it was pure bad luck that Rendell Trett and his Padawan learner happened to be the closest Jedi Knights to the system at that time.

    Arwen knew her Master was nervous about this mission; tact was not his strongest suit, and he disliked dealing with diplomats. She was uneasy, too, but she said nothing. There were so many more Jedi with more experience in these things. Both of them were certain that the Council would rather have assigned someone else, if anyone had been available. Still, Arwen had done what she'd could to help Trett, in the scramble to depart. She'd downloaded every piece of information she could get on Malabrian history and customs, the Imperial family, and the current situation. And she'd wrestled him into the long, formal version of the Jedi robes, which were commonly worn at the highest diplomatic negotiations. She hoped it would flatter the
  2. PadawanKitara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    I'm the firt reply? Wow! This is a good start, but it needs to be at the top where others can find it.
  3. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    Yes, an excellent start! The political situation was described briefly but thoroughly, and I liked the way the people were dressed in drab colours as compared to the bright purple banners. I also liked the way that Arwen had wrestled Rendell into dress robes, and the way she didn't like to pilot, but Rendell made her get the practise anyway.

    Gulags, huh? *shiver*
  4. Abbi_Cee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2000
    star 4
    A new story! And to think I was just about to shut down the computer and go to bed. I would have missed this if I hadn't glanced at the author name. Good start here, I was always fascinated by the Russian revolution and the tragedies it brought. Dr. Zhivago and Anastasia (the Yul Brenner one) were two of my favorite movies.
  5. Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2000
    star 4
    Oh, yay, readers! Hello, Kitara! And Jane and Abbi Cee are here, yay!

    I loved the version with Yul Brynner, too... picture him with a lightsaber!! [face_love] Hot guys are timeless.

    I won't keep you waiting (gotta get this up before the new Buffy comes on... dang it all, HaiGan's got me hooked!)

    This is a bit long, but there's no convenient way to snip it, and I know you won't mind long... ;)


    * * *

    There were ten High Commissioners. They sat behind a semicircular table, impassive, under a rich purple banner bearing the new insignia of the People's Republic of Malabra. Although dressed a little better than their fellow citizens, Arwen could see that the fabric of their tunics was shiny with wear, and carefully mended.

    Lida clenched her fist and touched her heart, the new salute of Malabra. "Commissioners, Commissioner vanZarykk. I bring before you Jedi Master Rendell Trett, and his Padawan learner Arwen-dai Istarri, representing the Greater Galactic Republic and Chancellor Hammett. They have come seeking the release of the criminal Otoran, self-styled Kazar of Malabra, his criminal woman, Vassira, and their illegitimate offspring and parasites." Lida stepped back to stand near the doorway, while Trett moved forward and bowed deeply. Arwen followed suit.

    "Commissioners, the Republic has received your request to recognize you as the elected representatives of the Malabrian system." He waited as a soft whisper ran around the room, feeling a surge of relief in the Force. They were desperate for recognition, he knew, it was the key to getting Senate representation and free trade access to the Republic.

    "However," he added, "they are concerned over the fate of Otoran and his family. We understand that the Committee believes him a dangerous criminal, guilty of bringing oppression and suffering to thousands of your people through his policies."

    "Hundreds of thousands," corrected vanZarykk, studying him. She was shrewd, Trett realized, in her 60s or even her 70s. Her long, iron-gray hair was pulled off her face in a no-nonsense knot, and the wrinkles etched into her face from exposure to the elements were testimony to hard work and suffering, a long, difficult life. But her blue eyes were bright and sharp, assessing the two Jedi in their long, simple robes. Elegant and formal, but simple in cut and fabric. Jedi majesty and humility in one.

    "We have been authorized to offer you a proposal," he continued, "If the Kazar agrees to sign an instrument of abdication, would you be willing to release him then?"

    "There is nothing to guarantee that he would not then work against us."

    "The Chancellor and the Jedi Order would be willing to reinforce it." At least he could be sure of that.

    The Commissioners exchanged glances.

    "The Kazar is a danger to us," said vanZarykk. "And is he not to pay for his crimes?"

    Trett folded his arms, and breathed deeply, silently willing the Force to send him answers. After a moment, he said, "While he is here imprisoned, he is just as much a danger to you. He is a rallying point for the Royalists, the uncertainty over his fate makes him a sympathetic figure in the Republic, and if he dies while in your custody he is instantly a martyr to the Imperial cause."

    The Commissioners nodded slowly, they were aware of that.

    "Also," murmured Arwen softly, "he is a focus for those here in the Republic who see him as the key to power. The warlords could move to seize him, hoping to form a new government and take power for themselves, while usurping your authority."

    The Commissioners exchanged glances, but did not reply. Trett had to feel a small swell of pride at his student's observation. It was an uncomfortable truth that he suspected they did not want to admit even to themselves.

    "If he is held in Republic custody, where everyone can see he is not being mistreated, the pressure on the People's Republic will ease," continued Trett. "In fact, you could ask for him to be brought to trial on criminal and civil charges. If the court finds in your favor, the ensuing judgment
  6. Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2000
    star 4
    Sorry, just trying to fix the title a bit...

    Didn't work? :p
  7. Abbi_Cee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2000
    star 4
    Title change seems to have taken. I wonder what the Comissioners will decide. If they let the Kazar and his family go they stand to gain, but if they have true grievances they also have to take the risk that he will never stand trial. Will his royal relatives really let him go to prison or be found guilty? I would suspect they have enough political clout to ensure that won't happen and I suspect there are those among the comissioners who know that. Can't wait to see where you take this. :)
  8. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    I liked the way Trett really went out on a limb by mentioning the Kazar's assets as a sort of incentive to get these commissioners to hand him over to the Republic. And the way he pointed out that they shouldn't continue to imprison innocent children because that would make them no better than the man they accuse. Also, the way he reminded them that they well knew that lack of freedom was the worst punishment of all. But there wouldn't be any conflict if the commissioners simply decided to make the right decision, so I'm eager to see what they do come up with. Interesting, the way nobody offered living quarters to the Jedi. What will Trett and Arwen see inside the People's Memorial of Oppression?
  9. Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2000
    star 4
    Hello, my dears! Looks like it's just us chickens. This is another of those "starts slowly and builds." But I won't keep you waiting, so we'll walk through the gates... :)


    * * *

    The Sun Palace reminded Arwen of Naboo. Some of the gilded ornaments had been stripped away, sold, probably. Although the Crown Jewels hadn't yet found their way to the Galaxy's auction houses, some lesser ornaments had... and were quickly snapped up by collectors eager to have a reminder of what had once been the most powerful dynasty in the Galaxy. There was other damage, too... woodwork hacked at, scorches from blasters on walls and cornices, glass and mirrors broken...

    The young guide stood at attention. "Stay together please, and do not touch anything!" she said sharply. "We are going to the Family Quarters, where you will be able to see the luxuries on which the Kazars squandered the wealth of the planet, while the people suffered and starved."

    They walked into the Kazaret's garden room, small and charming. Delicate, silvered archways seemed to float overhead and a thin wall of glass protected the exotic plants inside from the harsh Mal winters. There was a small fountain in the center, which was now dry. There had once been a trio of statues, but they had been hacked off their bases. A table and chairs stood looking out over the gardens. Arwen could imagine the woman must have enjoyed spending time here. The other walls were hung with a pale, soft green silk, and Arwen could see lighter ovals where pictures had once hung, only a few remaining. One was a charming drawing of the Royal children. She looked more closely.

    It must have been done about five or six years ago; the youngest daughter, Irille, was only a curly haired infant in the picture. Passana, the eldest, still round cheeked and rosy, a contrast to the middle sister, Ylanna. The artist's skill had not completely disguised her fragility and illness. The third child, Arnet, the heir. Keen blue eyes, and an arrogant set to his chin. He actually reminded Arwen a bit of her friend, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Though to give Obi-Wan credit, he wasn't arrogant. Just stubborn. And the other two boys, Hal and Nax, bright eyed, grinning... the mischievous, lively expression so many human boys seemed to have at that age. Adorable. We have to get them out. She didn't want to think of those sunny smiles erased forever.

    "Kazaret Vassira moved in to this suite with the death of her predecessor, and spent 17 million paktars to redecorate the rooms. The silk on these chairs was custom dyed and woven on Kymbran," sneered the guide. She pointed to a holo of the woman attached to the wall. Arwen looked up at the Kazaret, whom they hoped to rescue. She was from the Alderaanian royal House, and the eyes of the holo reflected intelligence. Her gown was richly decorated, of fine materials, but the cut was simple, as was her hairstyle.

    "In addition to the money wasted on her gowns, jewels and flowers," continued the guide, "she generously bestowed presents on her lovers, and even indulged her pets." The guide held up a tray of something that looked like bracelets. "The Kazaret had fifteen purebred souffs, and each one had a different collar for each day of the week." She held up a small circlet. "This one, for example, is made of chrysolite, and as you can see, the stone is engraved with the name of the animal." She looked at the circlet, and snorted. "Sniffer!"

    The Malabrian visitors joined her scornful laughter. Arwen could understand this. If the people were truly starving, it couldn't be right to buy jeweled collars for souffs. It wasn't like the souffs would care.

    "Through here is the Kazaret slink's closet," continued the guide, leading them through the elegant suite of rooms. "Please observe the markings on the floor." Obediently, the small group looked down. A small area was marked out on the costly rug with paint. "Here you can see the size of a typical worker's home. Three of them fit here inside the closet, which was used to store and clean the Kazaret's gow
  10. PadawanKitara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    You aren't the only ones reading. I'm still here. Whne the guide first started describing the royal wardrobe I had to wonder if the Kazaret's name was Imelda.
  11. HaiGan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2000
    star 4
    Sorry to take so long to find this. It was waaaay down on page 4. Can't be having with that! Up with it!

    I like the contrast Arwen was finding with Naboo. I wonder if THESE royalty ever dressed in plain clothes and went exploring the world outside their palaces? You make it possible to understand the resentment of the citizens... but it's also very sad to see the beauty that has been destroyed. Another good contrast.
  12. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    So it's Ylanna, the middle sister, who is fragile and ill? Wonder how she's holding up in captivity. Not a pleasant thought. *frown* I liked the reference to Obi-Wan, showing him as stubborn, but not arrogant. :)

    I wonder if the Kazaret really wanted those purebred souffs, or if they were forced upon her as part of the image. You showed her with a simply-cut gown and a simple hairstyle. And calling the souff "Sniffer" seems down-to-earth as well, instead of "His Royal Highness the Grand Souff Farouk" or whatever. Perhaps she really didn't like all that ostentaciousness, but went along with it because she had no choice? Maybe she herself insisted on wearing the gowns more than once! I'll be interested to see more.

    I also liked the way you showed Arwen thinking back to her earlier adventure and contrasting this planet with Naboo, where the people were proud to have their monarch displaying their craftsmanship. But, as you say, they were elected.

    Looking forward to more!

  13. Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2000
    star 4
    Oh, Kitara, of course you're one of us chickens, too! :) You were so quiet in your little corner, I'd almost forgotten. Not such a bad thing to be a chicken... as long as your best friend is a Scottish engineering genius who can make airplanes out of bicycle parts and men's underwear... "THRUST!" :D Hello, HaiGan, glad you could join us!

    Yes, the Kazaret is not nearly as bad as she's made out to be. I was thinking of the accusations leveled against Alexandra and Marie Antoinette. Foreign-born queens tend to come off rather badly in revolutions...

    Here's more...


    * * *

    Subdued, Arwen followed the guide, only half-listening to the vitriolic speeches. Her thoughts were on the courtiers. Wealthy, over-privileged, yes. But living beings. Most were now dead in executions that were popular public spectacles, or imprisoned in labor camps across the Empire. Only a lucky few had been able to escape, and were regaling the outside galaxy with lurid tales of the Malabrian peoples' sadistic revenge.

    In the Palace Banquet room, the tables had been set up as if for a grand State Dinner. At one place, skillfully modeled food was arrayed with a menu, detailing the rich, intricate dishes and lavish hospitality that the Mal Kazars were famous for. The golden platters and table utensils still sparkled under broken crystal chandeliers. Next to it, a few roots and starches were on a single plate carved of wood. A royal banquet contrasted with the daily fare of the common folk. Arwen thought of the hollow-cheeked people she'd walked past in the streets. Their rations were even shorter, now that war had disrupted planetary supply routes.

    On the bottom level, the rooms had been rearranged, with panels and holos jammed into the old ballroom. Under her feet, she could still see the beautiful inlaid garlands of colored marble, now muddied by the boots of hundreds of visitors.

    "Here," said the guide proudly, "we show how the People's Government have improved on the corruption of the Kazar's bureaucrats."

    Arwen followed Trett through the exhibits. To her, it didn't seem as if there was much difference between the old government programs and the new government programs. If anything, the Central Committee's insistence on expanding governing power made things more inefficient. Graft and corruption were said to be rampant. Necessary services didn't get to the people who needed them most.

    Trett touched her elbow. "Here," he murmured. Arwen followed him into the next room, which described the new judicial system. Now she could see what he was trying to show her. Along one wall were examples of the Kazar's secret police, and various devices used for..."questioning." She shuddered and turned away quickly. It was becoming more obvious why there had been a revolution.

    Trett was concentrating on a model in the center of the room. She looked at it, a cutaway.

    "Noully Prison," he murmured. She understood now. Once the most infamous of the Kazar's prisons, he and his family were supposedly being held there now. She studied the cutaway floor plans, memorizing them. There was no way of knowing exactly where in the prison the family were kept, but this would give them an idea on how to get around.

    The guide was giving a particularly gruesome account of the treatment meted out by the Kazar's Shadow Guards. Arwen edged towards the doors. She didn't want to know what all those devices on the wall were used for.

    The guide left them outside to enjoy the Palace gardens, now the "People's Memorial Park of Unity." They found a bench near a fountain, which had been turned off.

    "We're going to have to succeed on this one," said Trett softly. "The Malabrians feel very strongly about the excesses of the Royal family. If the ones who are arguing for revenge manage to be persuasive, they won't hesitate to take it."

    Arwen sighed. "Perhaps it is justice," she said. "They had so much."

    "It's not our job to judge," said Trett, looking over at her. "The government can ask for the Kazar to be tried fairly in court, and they can sue f
  14. imzadi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 4
    Great story, Renata! To tell the truth, the Royal family and the new government sound as bad as each other. The way the Royal family was described is worrying. "They have come seeking the release of the criminal Otoran, self-styled Kazar of Malabra, his criminal woman, Vassira, and their illegitimate offspring and parasites." A very difficult situation all around, especially for Trett and Arwen.
  15. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    I liked Trett's reasoning that the new government had to ask for help, or they would see the well-intentioned offers as interference. He certainly does know from personal experience, doesn't he! The contrast between the rich elite and the masses of the poor was made very clear, but I also liked the way Arwen realised that the new government was even more inefficient than the old one, because they were trying to expand their power.
  16. Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2000
    star 4
    Welcome to the party, Imzadi!

    I don't really have much news (except that I am working my way through Season 2 of Buffy), so I'll just dive right in...


    * * *

    It took three days. They slept on the small ship, bought fresh bread and fruit from the local shops, realizing how meager the available provisions were. They frequently went to sit by the broad river which ran through the center of the capital, meditating, seeking the guidance of the Force. Wondering how to proceed. And they toured the city, meeting people, exploring the markets, looking at ruined churches, temples and homes. The revolution had taken a terrible toll.

    On day four, they received a call from Jen Moour. "The Committee has decided," she said. "They will meet with you in half a hour."

    Arwen arched an eyebrow. Not much time.

    "Thank you," said Trett, "we'll be there." They dressed quickly, again donning the most formal robes worn by Jedi diplomats. Outside the Committee chamber, Arwen reached to adjust a fold of her Master's tabard, and to pick a piece of lint from his sleeve.

    He smiled. She was nervous, she wanted to do well on this mission. He wanted to reassure her; if things went wrong the blame would fall on him, not her. But he wanted to do well, too. Failure is not an option, here. It went beyond saving the lives of a family. There were a host of galactic royalty and Senators breathing down the neck of the Jedi Council, demanding success.

    "You smell nice," he said. She blushed.

    "It's not too much?" she said anxiously.

    "No. If we weren't standing so close, I wouldn't have noticed." She's growing so fast! The important birthdays, celebrated with solemnity and ceremony by Jedi students, were 13 and 21. Everything in between rated warm wishes, and possibly a favorite dessert. But Trett couldn't help making a little more fuss over his girl. One day he had realized that she'd missed out on the all-important 13th birthday, being in the hands of a Jedi who had turned to the Dark Side. So he tried to make up for it. It was Wiyella Lluworit who pointed out that 16 was an important birthday for a young human female. She who had forced him to admit --reluctantly-- that the little girl he had the care of was now a young woman. And his birthday present (in addition to what she'd wanted, "The Corellian Culinary Institute's Complete Cookbook") had been a small but complete cosmetic kit and a bottle of extremely expensive cologne. She'd rolled her eyes, and made faces... but he'd noticed that she used it from time to time. And the soft scent of spices and nightlilies sometimes lingered in the room when she'd left.

    The battered door swung open.

    They swept into the room, bowing to the Commissioners, and stood waiting.

    "Master Trett," said vanZarykk. "We have discussed your proposal. We will agree to release the Kazar and his family to you on the following conditions. One, he will sign an Instrument of Abdication, binding to himself, his children and their descendants, and his brothers and sisters and their descendants. Two, on arrival in the Republic, he and his wife will be arrested on the criminal charges which we shall supply, and held in a Republican prison without bail until they can be tried. Three, we reserve the right to press civil charges for damages against him and his family personally. Four, the Galactic Senate will recognize the People's Republic of Mal as the legitimate successive government to the Empire of Malabra. Five, the Galactic Senate will ensure that all off-world funds and properties of the former Empire and its Kazar will immediately be released to the Treasury of the People's Republic. Finally, the People's Republic will be allowed to send delegates to the Galactic Senate to petition for status as member states."

    She sat back and waited. Trett had to admire the commissioners; none of the demands were too extreme. Four and five might be a bit sticky; trying to get the Senate to agree on anything was like... like... organizing cats. Or something.

    "I cannot guarantee four an
  17. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    Every time I sit down to reply to this, I get called away again. I hate hectic days and slow boards. Anyway, let's see if I can slip this in before Renata posts again.

    The Malabrian demands sound almost reasonable, except numbers four and five, of course, but it sounds as though there's room for compromise here. I liked Arwen's concern for the Kazaret and especially for the children, and I'm also wondering just how much the Kazaret could or could not influence her husband. You just never know about these things. But things are going smoothly so far, if slowly ... so where's the catch?

    I also liked the way Rendell was thinking how fast Arwen was growing up, and how she used the perfume even though she'd made faces upon receiving it. And the way she'd really wanted a cookbook for her birthday!

    It must be difficult for Arwen to feel all that pressure on them, even though any blame would rightly fall at Rendell's feet.
  18. HaiGan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2000
    star 4
    The (excellent) advice Trett gave to Arwen about non-interference sounded as if he'd learned that particular lesson from bitter experience, although I'm sure he also knows that sometimes you have to make an exception to the rule. That was how he ended up with Arwen, after all! I think it's a good reflection of his character that he's letting Arwen grow up and acknowledging the fact.

    The pair seem to be handling the situation well at the moment. I hope the Senate is at least willing to open negotiations even if they don't want to concede to the last two points immediately. A point blank refusal on those, and everything could go badly sideways.
  19. Sarah_K Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2001
    star 4
    *puffs slightly from running* I'm here, I'm here! *from behind her a short black furry thing meows loudly* Oh yeah, and Lucy. ;)

    Sorry it took so long, but I don't usually check the boards for new stories and when I finally did, you'd already taken off like a house a-fire!

    So now the question is: What *didn't* I like? Hmmmm... Can't think of anything.

    However, I can list a few favorite parts!: All of Trett's arguments for the new government (he's really much better at that sort of thing than he gives himself credit for). Arwen's budding girlishness in spite of her native seriousness (LOL on the cookbook!). The descriptions of the palace, former government, royal family, etc.; they were very vivid! The breif, but funny, reference to Obi-Wan. Arwen's flying. And Trett's reasoning on the 'no interferance' law.

    Other than that, the plot is very well done, the situation is clever, the characters are just as likable (or unlikeable as the case may be) as ever, and I am already hopelessly enthralled. *sigh* Why is it all your stories seem to have this affect on me? ?[face_plain]

    Lucy wants more. Oh, and she also mentioned that she like the bit where Arwen was tidying Trett's robes. I think it appealed to her sense of cleanliness...

    Sarah >^,,^<
  20. Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2000
    star 4
    Oh, yay, Sarah K made it! *hug* I was hoping you'd show up. This is comfortable, now, the circle is here! :)

    This is a break; tomorrow my roommate & I are throwing "The Empowered Single Women's Valentine's Day Tea and Video Party," and I still have scones and lemon bread to do. But I needed to sit down for a few minutes.

    Okay. I am glad you are all enjoying it so far. Things do SEEM to be going smoothly... but remember who we're talking about... [face_devil]


    * * *

    It took another week to complete their negotiations. As Trett had suspected, the Senate would only agree to discuss recognition of the Republic. And they weren't about to release any funds until the trial of the Kazar had taken place. But in the end, it was decided. The Imperial Family would be released to the custody of the two Jedi. They would fly out of the system on the corvair. Once out of hyperspace, they would rendez-vous with the Republican fleet, where the Kazar and his wife would be taken into custody by Judiciary agents. The children would be retrieved by other family members and brought to Alderaan, until their parents' fate was decided. Not an ideal ending, but satisfactory to most parties. And preferable to death.

    Arwen stashed most of her equipment in her flight case, and locked it carefully in the locker of the corvair. They would need to take a monotrack train to Noully; the closest spaceport had been so badly damaged by local fighting that the shuttle flights were grounded. And the Committee refused to allow them to fly their own ship; insisting that the Imperial family must be processed in the capital before being turned over to the Republic.

    They'd be gone for a few days. Arwen didn't intend to carry much with her. She had put on her arctisocks and thermal underwear underneath her long robes, the days were definitely colder. Trett refused to make the trip in his formal get-up; he was back in his usual tunic and boots.

    She secured a few small pieces of equipment on her belt... lightsaber, datapad, cable launcher, medpac... they didn't really need rations, they'd be the guests of the Committee. And yet... After a moment's thought, she slipped a few energybars in her pouch, and a few protein cube supplements. Just in case. One spare tunic, change of underwear, change of socks... no, just socks and underwear. That was more than enough. She could rinse things out if there weren't laundering units on the mono, and in any event, she'd gone days without being clean before, when necessary.

    Lida Jen Moour was waiting for them at the station, with a small detachment of Committee Guards.

    "The honor guard will escort you to the boundaries of the Kemzen district, where there will be a change. Kemzen will supply the guards for the second leg of the journey. You'll cross three districts, and change guards at each. We have told Commissioner Trulle to expect you. He is the Regional Commissioner of Noully, and Noully Prison is under his direct jurisdiction."

    "Thank you," said Trett. He looked curiously at the monotrack. Arwen had never seen one; it seemed very primitive, a string of sleek cars propelled along a single track. It was faster than speeders, however, and was used in many areas for local transportation, being more efficient for short trips than skyhoppers or cloudcars.

    The cars were reasonably comfortable, at least in the luxury class that they had been assigned to. The two Jedi were ushered into a compartment with two threadbare couches and a chipped table that folded down between them.

    "'Fresher's at the end of the car," said the steward, wiping his nose on the back of his sleeve. "Dining is two cars ahead, or you can buy stuff to eat in here. These three cars are specifically for your party; you are not to mingle with other passengers."

    "Understood," said Trett. He raised an eyebrow at Arwen. It was going to be a long trip.

    It was not an unpleasant one. There wasn't any room for exercise, although they occasionally walked up and down the corridor of the car to stretch their legs. The food was repetitive
  21. Jane Jinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 5
    This is going too well, I don't like it. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, for them to be taken prisoner and thrown into the same cell as the Kazar and his family. Arwen will need those emergency rations that she packed, I'm sure, and she'll be glad for her thermal underwear and arctisocks, too. Loved the way that they ended up talking about Rendell's earlier cases and how they were close to figuring out the ideal system of government!
  22. HaiGan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2000
    star 4
    Renata's smiley looks ominous. So when does the trouble start? The Commissioner has been told as described, yes? The guards are all briefed? Where's the flaw??

    Trett tried to quiz his student on the finer points of Jedi philosophy, and gave up quickly, realizing that she knew more about it than he did. ROLTFLOL!
  23. imzadi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 4
    Things do seem to be going too smoothly. I, too, liked how Trett was trying to quiz Arwen on the finer points of Jedi philosophy and also how they were close to figuring out the ideal system of government. It's just the sort of thing you'd think Jedi would discuss. I wonder if the reason why the royal family will be processed in the capital so the citizens will be able to see. Also, they would not allow a republic ship to enter the system until the negotiations were complete? A little suspicious considering they want the recognition of the Senate. Great posts, Renata!
  24. Abbi_Cee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2000
    star 4
    They were close to figuring the ideal system of government? Is there such an animal? ;) I agree with the others, things are going far too smoothly. Will they actually make it to the prison before things blow up?
  25. Sarah_K Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2001
    star 4
    Here we are: back to being paranoid. ;)

    Of course, at least in this case we have Renata's word at the outset that not all will be plain sailing.

    In the meanwhile, LOL on Jedi methods of releiving boredom! Especially when it comes to Arwen and Jedi philosophy... [face_laugh]

    Lucy feels that if the characters would just avoid things like memorizing the floor plans of the prison, and packing emergency supplies, then likely nothing bad would happen! But noooo, they have to be prepaired and thereby tempt fate to hand them a situation that requires *being* prepaired.

    Lucy gets on her soap box over the strangest things... And now she's giving me that *look*.

    Eagerly (if that's the word) awaiting the other shoe! :D

    Sarah >^,,^<
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