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Beyond - Legends The Bluebells & The Edelweiss (AU, OC)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Trieste, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Chancellor’s office, Coruscant

    “Madam Chancellor?”

    Kerry looked up at her desk. “Yes Saldor?”

    “Election results from Naboo are in,” Saldor Kann said. He handed the Chancellor a datapad. “Confirmed by the government in Theed.”

    The Chancellor looked at them and it didn’t take long to view the two pertinent numbers. Kerry put the datapad down and closed her eyes. Eleanor had lost. Though her last name was Vehn she was still the daughter of a Trieste and a member of the Noble House. The importance of what had just happened hit Kerry hard. A Trieste had lost an election. That hadn’t happened since the start of the Neo-Sith War. In other terms, it was the first time that a Trieste had lost an election in well over 80 years.

    In fact, Kerry knew exactly when the last time the Noble House had lost an election. It had been when Lennon Trieste, Kerry’s grandfather, had come in second in the Fianna Fail primary. He had been a prominent Senator at that time and had made a run for Prime Minister. No candidate had a majority going into the convention and Lennon had been a real contender. However, for reasons of his own that he had shared with no one (at least not Kerry’s father who had never known the reason why), Lennon had dropped out after the third ballot and swung his delegates to the eventual winner. Shortly thereafter Lennon had been elected Senate leader of Fianna Fail that, as the majority party, meant he became Deputy Prime Minister. Perhaps that was the deal that he’d struck, Kerry didn’t know.

    What she knew was that it had been close to a century since the Noble House of Trieste had lost an election. And that meant there was only one thing for Kerry to do.

    “Please connect me,” Kerry said, opening her eyes.

    “Absolutely, Madam Chancellor.”

    A few minutes later she was alerted that the holoconference was ready. Kerry took a deep breath and then began the conference.

    “Queen-elect Netrybko,” Kerry said, “allow me to be one of the first to congratulate you on your victory…”

    Theed University, Theed, Naboo

    “Everything looks to be in order with your matriculation. I see that you’ve already had your tuition paid so if you just head that way you can get your idea taken. Welcome to Theed University School of Medicine Miss Trieste.”

    “Thank you,” May Trieste said, “Glad to be here.”

    (Short, but it covers the ground it needed to. ;))
    Vehn, Tim Battershell and jcgoble3 like this.
  2. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Trieste residence, Salis D’aar, Bakura

    With the Ssi-Ruuk conflict going on, Kerry had more reason than usual to be on Bakura. The reports from the front (conveyed as always by General Letch, for whom Kerry carried no love—she should have drummed him out of the Marines when she had the chance) were encouraging when it came to the overall progress of the war. However, the casualties were horrifyingly high in Kerry’s estimation, at least for the progress being made. Casualties of this number for these objectives on the Bakuran side hadn’t been seen during the Civil War—at least not on the federal side. Kerry Trieste had inflicted these kinds of numbers on the Maple Flag Republic.

    That was a very troubling statement.

    The good news was that as much as Kerry was troubled by these reports, it was not really her problem. Someone else was Prime Minister of Bakura and this was his problem to fix. Not to mention that as far as Trieste was concerned, the PM deserved this for getting himself into this mess. It was tragic that so many beings had lost their lives for his error. Patriotic sentiment (and hatred of the Ssi-Ruuk) was buttressing support for the war. But the things about wars was that they could change…

    That was what Kerry Trieste was thinking about on the penthouse floor of the Noble House’s Salis D’aar residence. They owned the whole building, which gave the family more than enough room when they all happened to be in the capital for something, like a Miners game. In fact, there was more than enough room for everyone without even doubling up rooms. Fionn Dunross Trieste, Kerry’s father, had been a forward-looking man. He thought the Noble House would have use of the extra room one day and Kerry was certain that he would be proven right in time. The residence was a welcome respite from Coruscant. Thank the Force that Kerry owned the Miners. In limmie season it was a convenient excuse to get out of the Galactic City and away from the Senate. Heavens knew what she would have done without them.

    A gentle chime heralded a visitor. “Come in,” Kerry called.

    The door opened. “A moment, mother?” Declan asked.

    “Of course,” Kerry said, beckoning her son to come in with a quick hand motion. Declan shut the door behind him. “Something to drink? It’s nice on the balcony.”

    “I’d prefer to stay indoors, actually,” Declan said, “I believe that Aunt Siona proved the dangers of talking about sensitive matters on balconies.”

    Kerry smirked slightly. Declan had a point. It had been a hard learned lesson for the family. At least someone had indeed learned from it. “So you have a sensitive matter then?” Kerry asked.

    “I do,” Declan said, “I would like to ask a favor of you. Of the Noble House.”

    Kerry arched an eyebrow. “The Noble House exists to serve its members.” There was no question there, but her manner indicated to Declan that he should continue.

    “My favor is the same one you once asked of your father. I would like the Noble House to stake me in a run for the Senate next year,” Declan said.

    “For what district?” Kerry asked without hesitation. It was not indicative of a decision, just a desire to know how well her son had planned his path.

    “South Telaan Valley,” Declan said.

    Kerry blinked once at her son. “Jeldwen’s seat?” The surprise in her voice was evident. Jeldwen was a seven term Senator. He had been first elected to the Senate in 248, when Kerry had been a young Senator. He’d joined the Maple rebellion, served in their legislature, and then promptly been reelected to the federal Senate after the War. “Declan, if there was such a thing as a safe seat, it would be his.”

    “That’s because Fianna Fail hasn’t run anyone with a pulse against him since before the War,” Declan said, taking a seat next to his mother. He leaned in confidentially. “I think Telaan Valley can be flipped. If someone runs the right campaign against him—”

    “Your 30 second stump speech, right now,” Kerry cut him off.

    “What?” Declan said, taken off guard.

    “If you can’t convince me why you’re running right now, you don’t deserve the money of the Noble House to do it,” Kerry said, “24 seconds.”

    “The Union Party says they’re the party of the farmers and the heartland. Their farm bills favor large corporate farmers, not the family farm that’s the core of Bakuran agriculture. That’s what I stand for, first and foremost,” Declan said, “We need responsible budgeting and the Union Party clearly isn’t bringing that to Salis D’aar anymore—look at the war that they’re financing completely in debt.”

    “Time,” Kerry said. That was all she said.

    “How’d I do?” Declan asked.

    “When did you decide to run?” Kerry asked.

    “In Telaan Valley or at all?”


    “It was hard not to look at you and want to go into public service,” Declan said, “So I don’t know when I first wanted to do it. But Telaan Valley? Junior year of university. I thought about Nevan. He went out to Telaan Valley, won an unwinnable seat, and put Fianna Fail into a renaissance.”

    “So we already need a renaissance after seven years of me out of office? I’m flattered the party misses me so much,” Kerry said dryly.

    “The renaissance can wait. But the truth is that the fact I’m your son will mean there will be an inherent resistance in the party against me being a candidate for traditional Fianna Fail territory,” Declan said, “The new powers that be will be afraid of another Trieste dynasty. But if I go for a seat no one wants, then they’ll tolerate me. That will get me in.”

    “There’s a reason no one wants to run against Jeldwen,” Kerry said, “Fianna Fail can’t crack the Valley.”

    “Because every candidate the party has run has been viewed as an outsider. I’ve been working in the Valley for years. I have credibility,” Declan said.

    “So when you asked Atticus about doing something with your life that would make a difference…”

    “I was glad that he made a suggestion for work in the Valley.”

    “Good to have continuing confirmation of the fact that you are my son,” Kerry said, “One final question: will you win?”

    “Yes,” Declan said, “Jeldwen is soft and he doesn’t know it yet. He hasn’t run a real campaign in twelve years. Watch me run him up and down the Valley and wear him out.”

    “I trust you’ve talked to Ayn about this? It’s already been decided they’re going to put her up for West Cape Suzette,” Kerry said.

    “Not yet. Not until you’ve staked me.”

    Kerry nodded. It was a cautious stance. “The Noble House will back you.”

    “Thank you, mother,” Declan said. He stood up and turned to leave.

    “Declan,” she said, stopping him, “There is no second chance if you lose.”

    “I understand,” Declan said.
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  3. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Bakura Gardens, Salis D’aar, Bakura

    The thrilling defensive showdown that was featuring none other than Falene Trieste was at halftime at the moment, allowing the Triestes to relax their tense nerves. As things stood, one couldn’t really relax with such a tight game. A few more points from the offense would help to let everyone truly enjoy the game. The truth was that it made for excellent limmie. No one was distracted.

    Well, no one but Declan. He’d been waiting for halftime ever since the game had started. He had something on his mind. When the clock wound to zero, he leaned over to Ayn. “If you have a moment,” he said softly to her.

    “Of course,” Ayn said, walking out of the rows of seats to the back of the box with Declan. It was one of the few places that they’d have some level of privacy, which she intuitively knew that Declan wanted based on the way that he’d made his request.

    In hushed tones he proceeded to tell her the content of the conversation that he’d had with his mother the night before. Ayn sat in silence and listened to all of it, waiting for Declan to finish before she made any reply.

    “If you could oust Jeldwen…it would be an incredible coup,” Ayn said finally.

    “But what do you think of it?” Declan asked.

    “I think it’s wonderful. It won’t be easy, but if you can do it, so much the better,” Ayn said.

    “I know you are running next year for West Cape Suzette…this could present problems for your bid,” Declan said.

    “Nonsense. What problem could there possibly be?” Ayn said dismissively.

    “For one, I’m going to have to maintain a Telaan Valley residence,” Declan said, “I know you’ve wanted to get us in the same city. You’ll have to keep one in Cape Suzette.”

    “If you win then we’re both going to be spending a lot of time in Salis D’aar. It’ll be a legal residence,” Ayn said.

    “It could present certain legal issues down the road…”

    “I see. You’re thinking quite down the road.”

    “Yes. I don’t think that as a married couple we would be allowed to establish separate legal residences,” Declan said.

    “In that event, we’ll have to get ourselves some good attorneys,” Ayn said, “It’s a bridge to be crossed at that time and not before. Nice to know you’re thinking ahead.”

    “Aren’t you?”

    “Perhaps,” Ayn said coyly.

    “I wanted us to have this discussion now, well before I have to declare,” Declan said.

    “Naturally. There won’t be any problems that can’t be dealt with later,” Ayn said, “And we will handle them when we need to.”

    “Good,” Declan said.

    “Now let’s see if your sister can put in a good second half. She could use a complete game under her belt,” Ayn said, her mind returning to limmie.

    “Indeed,” Declan agreed. The important business of the day was concluded and he could finally enjoy the game.
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  4. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Theed, Naboo

    “Your majesty,” Queen-elect Rebeccca Netrybko said as she curtseyed in front of Eleanor.

    “My lady,” Eleanor responded and nodded her head ever so slightly in Rebecca’s direction.

    An awkward silence descended upon the two women who were meeting privately in the beautifully ornate throne room that overlooked the wonderful waterfalls of Theed. This was a meeting of cooperation, symbolism, a show of unity between Kerren and Theed. But both women knew that it was so much more than that. So much more than the politics of their time, the customs of their world, would allow them to show. This was about the past giving way to the future and the ending of Naboo’s nearly 55 year entrenchment in a hereditary monarchy.

    Eleanor loved this room and for good reason. During her six years as queen she had spent the majority of her time here managing the affairs of this beautiful planet, its people, and its relations with the governments of both the RTO and the Republic. She could recall wonderful council meetings with close advisors, tense situations such as the flooding of Moenia, and times of emotional and physical peace that lingered in her soul even now.

    She would miss this palace. She would miss Theed. She would miss leading her people. But Eleanor, for better or worse, knew that she represented the past. Represented a time when the people had no say over who their ruler was or what their ruler intended for the planet. The people now required representation, accountability, and a voice. Eleanor knew that she could never really offer them that even if she had won. There would always be those segments of the population, whether in Theed or Kerren, that would doubt her sincerity to the electoral system, doubt her willingness to go along with the people. She had tried to rule with the fairest of hands. Tried to satisfy all the many elements of Nabooan society but the stinging failure of an electoral defeat hung heavy over her mind and had tainted her legacy.

    People wouldn’t remember how Eleanor had brought Naboo into the Republic. People wouldn’t remember how Eleanor had personally helped out with the restoration of Moenia. People wouldn’t remember the freedoms that had been granted and given, albeit slowly, since she had first ascended to the throne. They said that people had a short memory when it came to politics and now in the end Eleanor understood what they had meant.

    She knew her families’ political history as she was a hybrid of the Vehn and Trieste clans. For the Vehns her defeat represented the ultimate failure of their policies in the Outer Rim and the crushing of their dreams. Taking Naboo away from the RTO had seemed the logical course of action, the necessary step, anything, to avoid a potential civil war, to avoid further loss of life and Eleanor would always stand by that decision even if it made her unpopular in her own family circle. For the Triestes, Eleanor’s defeat was a deep humiliation, a deep scar upon the legacy of arguably one of the greatest democratic families the galaxy had ever seen. 80 years. That was the last time a Trieste had lost an election and that, Eleanor knew, was unacceptable. She had brought great shame to both families and she had failed them. She knew it in her heart. She had failed them.

    “You will learn to love this palace,” Eleanor said in a quiet tone, “you will learn to love all of its glorious secrets, its history, what it stands for. I imagine that moving to Theed from Kerren may be a bit of a transition for you but in time you shall see that Theed has a great many good qualities to offer. I do not envy your transition. I went through a difficult period when I first ascended to the throne.”

    “I am sure that I will do right by the people, your majesty,” Rebecca said.

    “I think Serena Kattan had it right when she famously said: ‘You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.’ Now there was a leader among leaders,” Eleanor said.

    “I never got a chance to meet her,” Rebecca admitted.

    “I met her once, when I was young, one of the rare times I entered Republican space. Father had a trip of sorts to Denon and she took a liking to me. Maybe saw something in me that I have long since forgotten,” Eleanor said.

    “I wouldn’t take this defeat personally,” Rebecca said extending a gentle hand to Eleanor’s stiffened frame.

    “Why not?”

    “Because, if I may be so bold,” Rebecca led on and watched as Eleanor gave her the go-ahead to continue, “you are the heart of the people and they love you. Despite the differences between Theed and Kerren, dearest majesty, you are loved. Losing the election is not a reflection on your failures but a sign that people are ready for a change, to try something new, to live in a world without the Triestes or the Vehns.”

    Eleanor reflected on what Netrybko was saying and had to agree that the young woman had a point. Being monarch of Naboo and losing an election had very little to do with failed policies and unpopularity. It had everything to do with the winds of change and the desires of the people to explore the unknown, to live in a world where the old families that had governed the Outer Rim for so long no longer had influence. She could understand their desire. She could truly appreciate where they were coming from.

    Netrybko had won the election, not on popularity, but because she represented a change in the way of looking at the galaxy, of a brave new future for Naboo.

    “Besides, I never would have won the election had I not made a deal with the influential families of Naboo’s most prominent cities,” Rebecca admitted.

    “What sort of deal?” Eleanor asked, curious.

    “Naboo still needs a representative to the Senate. That position has been vacant for a very long time. In order for the landed aristocracy to support my winning the election they needed a little insurance policy in return. So, I told them if they threw their support behind me I would find them a representative of the people, someone who would do right by Naboo in all matters, who would do right by them.”

    Eleanor’s face relaxed for the first time since meeting the new monarch. “You mean…”

    “How would you like to serve as the Chommel Sector’s representative to the Galactic Senate?”

    Thirty-seven star systems. That’s the number that flew through Eleanor’s head. Thirty-seven star systems of the Chommel Sector, of which Naboo was only one, that would come to her with the grievances and concerns. Look to her to solve their problems and be a voice of democracy and reason in the Galactic Senate. She would fill the role that had once been the home of Padme Amidala.

    “You have no right to be so kind and generous. I am a defeated woman,” Eleanor protested.

    “You are a strong woman and in the eyes of Naboo you are one of the greatest leaders we have ever known. You may no longer be queen, Eleanor Vehn, but you shall always be first in our hearts. Do you accept?” Rebecca pressed.

    Eleanor smiled and replied, “I do.”

    Days later, Eleanor Vehn, former monarch of Naboo, was confirmed by a special vote of the people as the legal representative of Naboo. For the first time in a very, very, long time, Naboo had a direct representative of the people in the Galactic Senate of the Republic. Eleanor would be allowed to keep a private security detail around her at all times as well as a few handmaidens for personal comfort and administrative affairs. Chief of Palace Security Robert Norden would lead her security entourage, his heart and his head entirely loyal to Eleanor.

    Eleanor stood next to Queen Rebecca Netrybko on the great balcony of Theed Palace that overlooked Amidala Plaza and held one hand over her heart as the anthem of Naboo played over loudspeakers. The people cheered, flags waved, and for the first time in a long time, Naboo could proudly proclaim that all was right with its wonderful planet.

    Naboo was at peace.

    Naboo had democracy.

    Naboo, first and foremost, had Eleanor Vehn.
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  5. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Eighth District Field Office, Cape Suzette, Bakura

    “Declan, what a lovely surprise,” Ayn said, giving Declan a kiss on the cheek, “I didn’t expect you.”

    “That’s why it’s a lovely surprise,” he replied, “Besides, you keep such nicely predictable office hours.”

    “For constituents,” Ayn said teasingly, “And last I checked you don’t live in my district.” She wagged a finger. “The Supervisor can’t see you right now.”

    “In that case I think I’ll stage a sit in,” Declan said.

    “Please use one of the chairs,” Ayn said, “I don’t want anyone tripping over you on the floor.”

    Declan did so and took out his datapad. “You should have some magazines in here,” he said.

    “You have a datapad. Bum off the government-provided free wireless access to the Holonet,” Ayn said.

    “How long until your office hours end, Supervisor?”

    “Forty five minutes.”

    “Then we’ll just make our dinner reservation,” Declan said.

    “Dinner reservation?” Ayn said, cocking an eyebrow, “Aren’t we prepared.”

    “Shouldn’t you be servicing those constituents?” Declan replied as he flipped through his datapad, “Filling potholes and saving baby eopies?”

    “Morgan Alesh does not need saving by me, thank you very much,” Ayn said, tossing her hair and heading back to her office.

    “No, she’s the Beautiful Stallion now, haven’t you heard?” Declan called after her.

    Bay Park, Cape Suzette, Bakura

    Declan had taken Ayn to Dixie Blue, which was a restaurant in the University district of Cape Suzette. They specialized in the spicy food of what were traditionally known as the “Dixie Counties” of Bakura that had been the heart of the Maple Flag Republic secession. Nouvelle Orleans was the unofficial capital of the Dixie Counties and famous for this sort of fried, spicy food. It probably wasn’t the sort of thing that any being should eat every day (well, maybe a Herglic or a Hutt could handle it), but it was good.

    “How did you ever find this place?” Ayn said, “The Dormingales have been a Cape Suzette family for half a century and I’ve never heard of it before.”

    “Believe it or not, Alana Glencross by way of my sister,” Declan said, “Alana stumbled across it while she was at UBCS and said she had one of the best meals of her life here. A few years ago she heard it was going to close down. Alana decided this was unacceptable. She bought the place to make sure it stays open, kept the same staff. Basically she’s the silent partner. I’ve no idea if she makes credits on it or not, but I do know that if Alana Glencross is going to buy a restaurant, it’s worth going there.”

    “Alana Glencross, the ultimate arbiter of everything,” Ayn said jokingly.

    “She is, you know. Two Duchess Eldin Awards can’t be wrong,” Declan said.

    They said nothing for a while as they walked along the waterfront along the great bay that Cape Suzette was built around. Cape Suzette was not a warm city. Quite to the contrary, cold winds often blew off the bay into the area. It received an above average amount of rainfall, even for a wet planet like Bakura. Right now the rain was holding off, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t start raining soon. Even so, it was beautiful along the water.

    Ayn took Declan’s arm and walked closer to him. “It really was nice of you to come all the way out. It’s not an insignificant trip from the Valley here.” She kissed him once on the cheek.

    “I’ve been thinking about that,” Declan said, “and the conversation we had at the Gardens. I think I was very unfair to you.”

    “Why’s that?”

    “We were talking about long term planning. That’s a big deal. A very big deal. It wasn’t fair to spring that on you,” Declan said.

    “Why not? After a couple of years I’d be offended if you didn’t talk to me about that kind of thing,” Ayn said.

    Declan stopped walking. “No, it’s not that. It’s that we didn’t have a conversation before the conversation.”

    “Now you’re starting to sound like an ancient Jedi Master,” Ayn said with some annoyance.

    Declan reached into his coat pocket and took out a rectangular velvet box. Ayn’s heart skipped a beat and she wondered if the conclusion she had just jumped to was true. Wordlessly, Declan handed her the box. Carefully Ayn opened the box. Set against the velvet was a braided silver chain.

    A noise that had no words to it escaped Ayn’s mouth, which she covered automatically with a hand. She looked back to Declan, who was on the ground on one knee. “I didn’t want to ask you because I know that you want to do this on your own. You want to get into the Senate on your own merits, not on my last name. But after we talked about our plans, I realized that we can’t talk about the future without talking about the real future.

    “So Ayn Dormingale, will you marry me?”

    “Stand up you idiot, of course I will!” Ayn said, though she didn’t know how she got any words out of her mouth. With Declan’s help Ayn put the traditional Bakuran engagement gift around her neck. “How does it look?”

    “I think you make it look better than it is,” Declan said.

    “That’s what you get for being a cheapskate with your credits and getting subpar silver,” Ayn said. She didn’t believe that for a moment though. The Noble House of Trieste did not do anything by half, and she was she that included its engagement gifts.

    The pair kissed, to the applause of a couple of assorted passersby. After all, beings knew when an engagement was happening. Even the Senatorial Guard who looked after Declan smiled and clapped for a moment.

    “I think we have comm calls to make,” Ayn said.

    “Yours or mine first?” Declan asked.

    “We’ll see what we feel like after we get back to my place,” Ayn said, twisting one corner of her mouth mischievously.

    Declan was pretty sure it was going to be a while before the families found out about the engagement.
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  6. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    “So Ayn Dormingale, will you marry me?”

    “Stand up you idiot, of course I will!”

    That is the best response to "the question" that I have ever heard, real or fictional. :D=D=^:)^
    Trieste likes this.
  7. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Brilliant! ^:)^
  8. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Coruscant, Seat of the Third Galactic Republic, 275 ABY

    The Pride of Theed, Eleanor Vehn’s personal starship recently gifted to her by the court, reverted to realspace and gently slipped into the bustling Coruscanti traffic heading into the planet’s atmosphere. The vessel was sleek, modern, and bore the traditional chromium exterior that had come to symbolize a beloved representative of Naboo, a being of power, of grace, and wisdom.

    Eleanor stood surrounded by her handmaidens who made last minute adjustments to her wardrobe. Her hair was done up in the style of the ancient rulers of Naboo and her dress reflected a modern twist on an older theme from a time that no longer existed. Gone were the rich trappings of a monarch of Naboo. She was today a representative of the Chommel Sector and had the full burden of an entire star system resting on her slender shoulders, resting on her mind. Their concerns, their worries, their hopes, and their dreams clouding her own thoughts as she dismissed her entourage and gazed out at the city-planet that had stood for thousands of years as the seat of galactic power.

    The twinkling lights of the Coruscanti surface seemed to beg for her to see them closer, seemed to call out her name, seemed pleased that at long last a daughter of the Republic who represented one of the stalwart democratic worlds of old was coming to this bustling city to breathe new life into a Senate that had seemed to lose its way in recent months. A representative body that had so eagerly declared war against the old enemies of another democratic world of great standing: Bakura. Swayed by the Mandalorians, or perhaps cowering in fear, Eleanor wasn’t quite sure which was truth, the Senate had agreed to allow the warrior-race of old to pass through its space umolested, unswayed, and determined to rid the galaxy of a less than credible external threat to Republican hegemony.

    The ease by which the Galactic Senate had approved the rapid transfer of military might from one end of the galaxy to the next had bothered Eleanor. What was stopping the Senate from allowing other star systems, with equally strong fleets of their own, from exerting their muscle to handle their own independent affairs? Sadly, Eleanor concluded, absolutely nothing. That had been quite clear to her when the leader of the Mandalorians had publicly executed the Ssi-Ruu head of state on the fields of the Meshla’Vhetin before a galaxy spanning audience at a sporting event. Barbaric, despicable, and Kerry Trieste had barely said a word, had done nothing.

    Republican domestic and foreign policy for much of the post Neo-Sith War period had been redefined by the Kattan Doctrine which basically stated that the Republic wouldn’t intervene in the affairs of those systems beyond its control amongst other things. Nothing could come close, or would ever truly match, what that doctrine had meant to the war-weary citizens of the Republic and those who dwelled in the far Outer Rim beyond the Republic’s immediate, or even peripheral, control. For those blessed souls who had grown up in the Republic it meant an age of unparalleled peace, prosperity, and guidance under a string of firm but fair Chancellors starting with Rookorra, then Kattan, and ultimately Kerry Trieste. All had made their mark on the deep democratic institutions of this third iteration of the Republic. All would be remembered long after they were gone. But Republican policy had failed people too.

    Those people who lived in the Outer Rim, who did not live in the upstart RTO or the insular Corporate Sector Authority, were left to fend for themselves, to feed off the scraps that the Republic occasionally threw out beyond its borders. It was said that the Kattan Doctrine had more clearly defined the role of the Republic in the post-war galaxy. Eleanor would even go so far as to say it had neutered the Republic from intervening in situations where the resources of this democratic giant could have been used to for the greater good, could have truly made a difference. Isolationism had its demons as well. Even still, old hatreds and mistrust died hard and many citizens of the independent systems beyond the Republic’s borders felt that the Republic had failed them and let them down as powerful warlords struggled with one another in an endless battle for more resources, territory, and the last terrible remnants of an old war fought between the Hutts and a lesser known world known as Almania. That was a war that had truly ripped apart the galaxy and Eleanor Vehn knew that a famous family member of hers had once participated in many of its classic naval battle still studied around the galaxy at premiere military institutions.

    “We’ll be landing in a few minutes,” the pilot’s voice said into the cabin.

    Eleanor took her thoughts away from the inner machinations of the Republic and was blown away by the glorious afternoon sun illuminating the many buildings of Coruscant as The Pride of Theed descended through the atmosphere. Everywhere she looked there were the flashes of vehicles, symbols of the past, of the present, and glimpses of the future. This was truly a planet that had long known the benefits of galactic government and power. She could make out the the domed helmeted shape of the Senate building, the towering spires of the Senatorial apartments, the infamous relics of the Imperial Palace, and the promising, soothing lines of the Chancellor’s building.

    “Hell of a sight, my lady,” Robert Norden whispered from a nearby porthole.

    “Indeed, Sir Robert, indeed,” Eleanor said using Norden’s recently bestowed title. He had been knighted by Eleanor in the days following her rescue from that madman who occasionally haunted her in her dreams.

    “Have you ever seen anything like it in your life?” Eleanor asked.

    Norden shook his head. “I couldn’t live in a city such as this for long.”

    “Hopefully we won’t have to,” Eleanor whispered.

    The Pride of Theed came to a gentle rest on a floating landing pad. Norden and his security detail departed first, fanning out in all directions with their keen eyes. Nobody wanted a repeat of the infamous bombings that nearly claimed Amidala’s life in her time. Naboo had seen enough strife during its own occupation of the Neo-Sith Wars and the time since. Everyone wanted peace. Everyone wanted stability. Norden whistled and gave the all-clear.

    Eleanor descended the ramp, flanked by her ladies in waiting, and was greeted by the Senatorial Guard.

    “Welcome to Coruscant, Senator Vehn,” the Captain of the Guard said, “the Chancellor is expecting you.”

    Tag: Trieste
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  9. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Oh snap. Eleanor isn't here just to vote yea or nay it seems. :D
  10. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Vehn for the usual, Bardan_Jusik so he can continue to see what he's wrought. ;)

    Senate lobby, Coruscant

    There were a few constitutionally provided duties for the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. Most notably, the Chancellor served as the executive of the Republic, most notably including the power of veto over Senatorial legislation. Administration of the departments of Republican government ultimately resided with the Supreme Chancellor as well. Additionally, the Chancellor officially served as chief parliamentary officer of the Senate when it was in session. This was a holdover from Republics that had gone and past when weak Chancellors were beholden to the legislature. This current iteration of the Republic had attempted to balance this tradition with a strong enough executive to be effective without being all powerful by keeping the Chancellor accountable to the Senate. It was a delicate balance that they walked and it ultimately fell to each Chancellor to determine how he would execute his duties. It had become acceptable for the Chancellor to appoint pro tempore parliamentary officers from time to time (and depending on the Chancellor, sometimes those times were quite frequent).

    Kerry Trieste had, for the most part, taken her parliamentary duties in the Senate seriously. Firstly, she had been schooled in the Bakuran Senate tradition where the Prime Minister was weekly accountable to the Senate in Prime Minister’s Questions. A potentially hostile legislature that called her to task was old hat. Secondly, the most valuable thing that a Chancellor of the Republic had was her time. The fact that Kerry Trieste spent a good deal of hers attending to Senate debate and procedure was a sign to the Senators that she needed to pass her legislation that she respected them. That was worth something later.

    Among the parliamentary duties that Chancellor Trieste sometimes chose to exercise was the swearing in of new Senators. “Today is one of those days,” Kerry told the assembled press with a smile as she stood in the grand lobby of the Senate, “I’m sure that those among you less favorable will claim that today marks the next step in my consolidation of power…guilty as charged.” The press laughed.

    “In all seriousness, it is my extreme honor to swear in the first Galactic Senator from Naboo since the refounding of the Republic,” Kerry said, “no matter if she happens to be my niece.” She turned to her niece Senator-elect Vehn. “Please raise your right hand and repeat after me.”

    “I, Eleanor Vehn, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the Galactic Republic against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

    “Welcome to Coruscant, Senator Vehn,” Kerry said, shaking hands with Eleanor. She turned back to the media. “It is my great pleasure of being the first to introduce the Senator from the great planet of Naboo, Eleanor Vehn.”

    Chancellor’s office

    With Eleanor sworn in, Kerry returned to her office to return to business—and there was much of it. She could let her niece find her own ways in the waters of Coruscant for the time being. She had led a major world of the Rim. There would be an adjustment for her, but she would take to it well enough. Assuming the Core worlders weren’t too inhospitable as they were wont to be.

    Much more troubling was what she had heard from Manda’lor Taab recently during her brief state visit to Mandalore.

    An expensive trip, Kerry reflected, but given what had occurred at it, very well worth it.

    It seemed that the occupation of Ssi-Ruuk space was not going as planned. In fact, Taab had confided in Kerry that the Mandalorians had gotten their pound of flesh (metaphorically—Kerry was certain they’d taken more than that) and that the Ssi-Ruuk were appropriately cowed. Given the way that their interstellar strike capacity had been beyond decimated, Kerry was inclined to agree. Taab wanted out. To his mind, further time in Ssi-Ruuk space was a waste of time. There was nothing to be gained by it.

    The reason a single Mandalorian was still there was because the Prime Minister of Bakura was insisting on an occupation to rebuild Ssi-Ruuk society in a new peaceful mold. Kerry knew exactly why. There was no humanitarian motive for this policy. It was guilt, pure and simple. All of Bakura knew they’d gone into that war for the most selfish of reasons: revenge. They were no better than the Mandalorians here. The very sight of a lizard got the blood of Bakura boiling and the entire planet started frothing at the mouth. Bakurans might drink, but they didn’t forget. They were approaching three centuries of their last tangle with the Ssi-Ruuk but the very sight of one caused them to throw reason out the window. They knew it now and they wanted to pretend that wasn’t why they had gotten involved.

    Kerry understood, but she knew that this vanity would have a cost. Bakura was beginning to realize it as well. The Ssi-Ruuk were clearly not enjoying this exercise in nation building. The rash of violence that had taken place in occupied space was growing and casualties were mounting. Now that a famous limmie player who had enlisted in the Marines to fight had died as a result of it, these deaths were getting attention.

    Supreme Chancellor Kerry Wyvern Trieste knew when it was time for action. This was that time. She pressed her desk comm. “Saldor, get me the Foreign Secretary,” Kerry said. By and large, Kerry Trieste had served as her own chief diplomat during her Chancellery. She’d put an administrator in charge of the diplomatic corps to make sure that her edicts were carried out and that’s exactly what she’d gotten. However, sometimes she needed someone with solid contacts and he had those.

    “I need to schedule a meeting,” Kerry said.

    Just when things were starting to get routine again, Kerry Trieste had been presented with an opportunity to place a capstone on her second chancellery. If there was ever a being that the Force smiled upon, it was Kerry Trieste.
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  11. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Chancellor’s office, Coruscant

    “I need to know if she’s not only able to deal, but has the legitimacy to do so,” Kerry asked.

    Her Muun Foreign Secretary motioned with his hand ambiguously and said nothing. Though Muuns were supposedly quite good at finance, Kerry disregarded stereotypes. This one was excellent at keeping the Diplomatic Ministry in order for her and following orders. That made him a perfect Foreign Secretary to her mind.

    “I believe so,” he finally said, “and she’ll make the deal.”

    “Then set the trip,” Kerry said, “Get everyone in a room and I’ll close this.”

    “It would be a particular diplomatic triumph. I believe your great-great grandfather once won the Laurel Prize for Peace for much less,” the Foreign Secretary pointed out.

    “I don’t give a womprat’s tail for the Laurel Peace Prize,” Kerry said, “but I care very much about my nephew’s life. That’s why I’m doing this.”

    Cape Suzette, Bakura

    “So you grew up here?” Trellam asked, “It’s almost as beautiful as the cities on Hapes.”

    Sierra punched her husband in the arm. “Try that again.”

    “It’s way less beautiful than the cities of Hapes.”

    Sierra punched him again. “Wrong direction.”

    “Don’t they have spousal abuse laws on Bakura?” Trellam asked, rubbing his arm.

    “None that are going to protect you, pretty boy,” Sierra said.

    “I should have never married someone who grew up at a military academy,” Trellam groaned.

    “I should have never married someone who didn’t go to one,” Sierra said.

    “You know you’re speaking to a Captain in the Hapan navy, right?”

    “You’re a member of the royal family. The fact that you aren’t at least an Admiral means you must be incompetent,” Sierra rejoined.

    This was the typical marital banter of Sierra and Trellam. The pair’s combative, but friendly, communication was something that mystified those outside their relationship. Even so, it worked for them. The pair had come out to Bakura for the Hapes-Bakura game (which had ended very well for Trellam and his family) and they had decided to stay for the annual Noble House game that would be held at Kilmainham Brook. It usually coincided with Rydonni Prime’s visit to Bakura (in years where the Monarchs did visit) to enable Vesper Lynd to join the fun. This would be Trellam’s first year of eligibility for the game, which the couple was treating with the requisite seriousness.

    Until the game, Sierra was spending time showing Trellam around Cape Suzette, which was the nearest metropolitan area to the Fleet Academy where her mother was still presiding as Superintendent. It wasn’t exactly home for Sierra, but it was close.

    “Would you like me better if I was an Admiral like your mother?” Trellam asked as they walked through downtown Cape Suzette, on their way to dinner.

    “No, I wouldn’t,” Sierra said, “Captain Trellam sounds very dashing.”

    “You know I could commandeer a Battle Dragon if you wanted. We could become pirates like your grandmother and my forbearers. We’d go swashbuckling to through the stars together. I think we’d be quite good at it. We’d have to come up with some nifty names for ourselves,” Trellam said, “I’m thinking I can be Captain Bloodworthy and you can be the Black Woman. I think that’s got a good ring to it. Don’t you think so Sierra?...Sierra?”

    “Trellam, look,” Sierra said. She hadn’t heard a word of what her husband had said. Instead her attention was fixed totally on a news stand. For mere credits the major news publications could be loaded to one’s datapad with ease. To entice customers the major headlines for each paper were displayed on vidscreens.

    One of the largest vidscreens showed the remains of a ship in space—a ship that had clearly experienced major distress. The headline blared: “HAPAN QUEEN MOTHER’S SHIP FOUND DAMAGED.” Upon reading this Trellam immediately ran to the newsstand and threw credits at the vendor to download the edition, which he began reading as fast as he could.

    “They don’t say if she’s dead. They don’t say,” Trellam repeated, “They don’t even say when they found the wreck. I should have heard about this from my minders…” Trellam looked up from his datapad. “How far is it to the Academy?”

    “Half an hour by atmospheric transport,” Sierra said.

    “We need to get off the streets. Do you have any family here? Anyone you trust?” Trellam said, grabbing Sierra’s arm. Before she could reply, he spotted an airtaxi and rudely shouldered his way through a mother and child to get in, ignoring their objections, dragging Sierra with him.

    “Where to?” the driver asked.

    “Just drive for now, we’ll tell you later,” Trellam said, “and keep moving.”

    “Trellam—” Sierra started.

    “Sierra, I don’t know if someone is trying to kill us right now,” Trellam said.

    “What?” Sierra shrieked.

    “Kill you?!” the driver yelled.

    “Keep driving and there’s a 100 in it for you!” Trellam said.

    “100 creds isn’t worth it, buddy,” the driver said.

    “Neither is having a bunch of Hapan women mad at you, but if you don’t keep driving, you will, trust me,” Trellam said.

    “Don’t have to tell me twice,” the driver muttered.

    “Sierra, we need to get somewhere safe until I find out what’s happened,” Trellam said, “Do you know anyone, anyone, you trust in Cape Suzette?”


    “Come on,” Ayn Dormingale said, opening a maintenance entrance to her apartment building.

    “Thanks Ayn,” Sierra said.

    “Thank me by getting off the street,” Ayn said as she hustled the pair inside, “I’d rather not be a casualty of a Hapan velvet revolution, thanks very much. My family gave that up with Naboo.”

    “I just need to get in touch with people I trust and find out what we know,” Trellam said, “Thank you.”

    “Sierra, I’d recommend getting your aunt on the comm. She has friends at Republican Intelligence, old friends who probably know a lot,” Ayn said.

    “I’ll do that,” Sierra said as they got into the service lift, “Just my luck—marry a prince and find out that people want to kill his family and probably me.”

    “No, definitely you, dear,” Trellam said, as the doors shut, “That’s the beauty of matriarchy.”
  12. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Chancellor's shuttle, on final approach

    “What do we know?” the Chancellor asked.

    She was on a secure holo connection to Cracken Plaza, also known as the Octopus's Garden, on Coruscant. It was the home of Republican Intelligence, the organization that Kerry's father had led before he had gotten into politics proper. The Noble House remained in good standing with the Octopus's Garden (thanks in large part to the fact that Kerry had seen to it that its budget—both the public one and the off-the-books one—remained healthy in all of her budgets as Chancellor. It paid off for moments like this.

    “We've tapped Hapan Security channels. Given the current uncertainty, it's out most reliable source of information. Official channels are going to be useless,” the Republican Intelligence Director said. Kerry was completely unsurprised that Republican Intelligence would tap into the Hapans' internal channels. After all, they weren't a Republican world so intelligence gathering on them was completely within the charge of Republican Intelligence.

    “Go on,” Kerry said, “We're landing soon.”

    “They've found the bodies of the Queen Mother and her daughters. No evidence of foul play right now.”

    Kerry cursed. “Both daughters?”

    “Yes. Which means—”

    “—that my niece is now second in line for the Hapan throne,” Kerry said, “Are the Hapans ruling out a coup?” The Hapans were notorious for palace revolutions. If they had decided that this wasn't a coup, then it wasn't a coup.


    “Your analysis?”

    “We don't think it is.”

    “Saldor, send word discreetly to Ayn about what we know,” Kerry told her secretary, “Tell her to continue current precautions.” Those precautions included plainclothes protection for her residence as long as Trellam and Sierra were there. “Keep me updated,” she told the Director.

    “As soon as we know anything, we will.” The connection winked out.

    “Chancellor, we've landed,” Saldor said, “They're ready for you.”

    “Thank you,” Kerry said. She headed immediately for the shuttle ramp and walked into the harsh sunlight of a dusty world whose name Kerry could not pronounce. It wasn't intended for a mouth that could speak Basic. The honor guard that greeted her was made up of Bakuran Marines and Mandalorian warriors.

    “Chancellor Trieste, welcome to Ssi-Ruuk space,” General Borin Letch said from the head of the receiving line in all his folksy goodness and thin white hair.

    “Cut the crap, Letch,” the Chancellor said harshly, blowing past the Marine general, “I'm here to bail you and your buddy the Prime Minister out of a mess of your own making.”

    “Chancellor, I assure that whatever your information on the situation here, it's not correct if it hasn't come from me,” Letch said, quickly falling into step next to Kerry, “The situation is not out of hand here. While we're honored by your presence, it's unnecessary.”

    “Then you're even dumber than I thought, Letch,” Kerry said, “I should have forced you to retire after the Civil War. Damn my compassionate nature.”


    Kerry stopped and pointed a finger at the General. “Letch, you're a bloviating excuse for a commander. The less you expend your hot air in my direction, the better for everyone involved.”

    “This is a Bakuran and Mandalorian joint operation,” Letch said, his temper rising, “You have no right to come in here and speak to me in that manner!”

    “The Bakuran Defense Fleet exists at the pleasure of the Republic, of which I am the commander in chief,” Kerry shot back, “You would be wise to remember that.” Kerry continued walking, muttering to herself, “I never thought I'd see the day that I'd find a Mandalorian more sensible than a Bakuran, but wonders never cease.” She approached the Mandalorian field commander.

    “Chancellor, an honor,” the Mandalorian said.

    “Indeed. Have arrangements been made?” Kerry said, the Mando general falling into step behind her and not-so-subtly putting Letch in their rear.

    “All has been made ready.”

    “Good. Take care of the security and get all the players at the table. I'll take care of everything from there,” Kerry promised.
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  13. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Senatorial Apartments, Coruscant


    “I’ve swept the apartment for any security threats. You are safe and secure here, my lady,” Robert Norden said with a slight nod of his head to the woman whom he would always view as his sovereign, as his lady, as his friend.

    “Thank you, Robert,” Eleanor said as she watched the bustling city traffic of Coruscant with an air of muted curiosity.

    “Are you adjusting well, my lady?” Robert asked.

    “I must seem so out of place here on the galactic capital,” Eleanor admitted.

    “And is that a bad thing? The people who voted you into office hold you in the highest regard and trust that you will always remain true to them. I would hope that you would also remain true to yourself,” Robert said.

    “You have such wisdom, Captain,” Eleanor replied.

    “I’ve seen much, my lady,” Robert said, “Too much for one man.”

    “Tell me, Robert, should the Republic have supported the war against the Ssi-Ruuk?” Eleanor asked.

    Norden hesitated. “If war means the death of young men then I cannot in good conscience support such an endeavor, my lady.”

    “You heard about Jorpik?”

    “I did. Such a tragic story and one that shall be repeated time and again until this conflict is brought to a close.”

    “You speak as if you know of war, Robert. You speak as if you are a veteran,” Eleanor said.

    Outside, in the busy traffic that flowed past the senatorial apartments, a loud crash was heard. Someone’s speeder back-firing, or maybe it was simply a door slamming. Robert’s head jerked as if he had been punched in the face. He recovered quickly but Eleanor had noticed. Something was troubling him. Something wasn’t quite right here. Movement in his hands caught her eye. His right hand was shaking. He tried to hide it by shoving his hand into his pants pocket but the damage was done. His vulnerabilities were exposed and he knew he would have to explain. If there was one thing he had learned in all of the many years that he had served as Eleanor Vehn’s protector it was that she never gave up until she was satisfied she had the answers.

    “Sit down, Robert,” Eleanor ordered.

    “My lady, I’m fine,” Robert protested shaking his head.

    “As long as you are my chief of security you will do as you are told,” Eleanor said. “Sit down.”

    Robert reluctantly collapsed into a nearby chair. His eyes had a distant look to them as if he was journeying to a far off place, far from Coruscant, far from his position as personal protector of Eleanor, into a time long ago. His arms hung limply at his sides as he stared beyond his lady into the world of memory, of regret, of deep sorrow. His breathing became ragged, hurried, as if he had been running a long distance.

    Eleanor kneeled beside Robert and placed a delicate hand on his cheek. That brought him back from the brink of total collapse. That brought his mind to the present, to the now. She took out a handkerchief and thrust it into his sweaty palm. There was only ever concern in her eyes for the man who had watched over her for as long as she could remember. Robert had been her guardian, her protector, from her earliest years on Naboo.

    “My dear Robert, my good sir,” Eleanor whispered as she held his sweaty hands. “What troubles you?”

    Robert looked down at his lady and replied, “I have not been well these many years. Any loud noise, any sudden fright, and I am sent to another time, another place, a frightening memory, a frightening world of the darkest night of my soul.”

    “What could possibly trouble you? You are one of the kindest men that I know,” Eleanor said.

    Robert gave out a bit of a cough and Eleanor saw the faintest hint of a knowing smile. “Kind? My lady, forgive me, but I am not a kind man. That man you speak of does not exist. Not now, maybe not ever. There was a time when even you would have recoiled at my very actions.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “When you asked me if I was a veteran it triggered inside me memories of times and places that I have worked so hard to forget,” Robert admitted.

    “Forgive me, Robert, I did not mean to—“ Eleanor started to say but was silenced by the callused hand of her protector on her arm.

    “There is nothing to forgive, my lady,” Robert said.

    There was a long pause as Eleanor looked into the hardened eyes of her chief of security. Robert knew that he couldn’t avoid that stare, had never learned to avoid that stare and knew he had to tell now or he would live to regret his error.

    “I never told you that I served in the wars of the RTO, did I?”

    Eleanor shook her head.

    “I was there as a young lieutenant during the invasion of Lannik in 264. What a nightmare. The things I saw, the men I led to their deaths, terrible,” Robert’s lip quivered in grief, “terrible.”

    “350,000 brave soldiers of the Roon Expeditionary Force invaded Lannik to put down Morgan Kynnovan, an enemy of the Quorro dynasty, and of that invasion force nearly 148,000 never returned home. Lannik was the place where the dreams of so many young men, so many friends of mine, went to die. That was the place where a large part of me died. I remember the battle for Hill 352, the murderously exposed slopes, the incessant turbolaser fire, and we had to scale the cliffs to knock out the air defense guns on top. When we got there, what few of us were left, we found the guns had been moved. All that hardship, all that struggle, and all for nothing. And then there were the booby traps. Then there were the raids by supposed civilians in the night on our weakened lines.”

    “Maker above,” Eleanor cursed.

    “We were mad. We were angry. Our division, the 2nd Naboo, rounded up the civilians in the nearest town and interrogated them as to the location of the guns that were obliterating our air attack. They refused to tell us and we-“ Robert stopped as a tear ran down his chiseled face. “We shot them all and buried them in a mass grave outside the town. So long as I live I shall never forgive myself for losing control. I shall never forgive myself.”

    “But you must, Robert, you must find a way,” Eleanor said.

    “Look upon my face, Eleanor Vehn, lady of my heart, and can you sit here in front of me and still find me a kind man?”

    Eleanor had only compassion in her eyes as she cupped her hands around Robert’s worn face and kissed his forehead.

    “You are a kind man, Robert. You must believe and you must learn to forgive yourself. War brings out the worst in people. The very worst and I will not watch as you are consumed in your own grief and self-pity. You are my dear friend, my only friend, and in this harsh galaxy I have come to rely upon you in my hours of need. You are my rock, dearest Robert, and I need to know I can count on you when all else fails.”

    Robert grasped Eleanor’s hands tightly in his own and replied, “And you say that I am a wise man. Perhaps it is the company I keep. I promised your parents that I would look after you until my dying day and I shall do so, my lady. Ever have I been your loyal servant and bodyguard and I pray that you shall wish to keep me in that role in the years to come. Please, do not judge my moment of weakness. Do not hold it against me.”

    Eleanor rose to her feet and looked down at Robert with that fire that burned so beautifully in her eyes when she had a purpose, a mission, and compassion.

    “And my loyal servant you shall remain, always and forever.”
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  14. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010

    “Her Holiness, High Priestess Cor’inataa of the Ssi-Ruuvi Conclave of the Imperium,” was the protocol droid’s announcement.

    A gold-scaled Ssi-Ruuk, the traditional coloring of the priestly caste of Ssi-Ruuvi society, came forward in the large hall that had been set aside for these negotiations. Kerry Trieste knew nothing about what was considered tasteful in Ssi-Ruuk culture, but she imagined this was it. Kerry feigned attention—she was rather good at doing so during the monotone dronings of a protocol droid at just such an event. She had agreed to be introduced last. To some beings, this would be an affront to the honor of the Republic. If waiting five minutes was going to get them closer to peace, then the Chancellor was willing to do so.

    Saldor Kann discreetly leaned forward from behind her. “Chancellor, things have begun moving on Coruscant,” he whispered.

    Kerry nodded slightly and returned her half-attention to the diplomatic proceedings. It turned out to be just in time.

    “Her Excellency, Supreme Chancellor Kerry Wyvern Trieste of the Galactic Republic,” the protocol droid said.

    That ways Kerry’s cue to come forward. She stood next to her seat next to Cor’inataa. “Your Holiness, thank you for representing the Imperium in these delicate negotiations in the absence of a Shreeftut,” Kerry said.

    “How very unfortunate there is no Shreeftut to be present here,” the protocol droid translated. The High Priestess’s eyes slid towards the Mandalorian representative. Kerry wanted to roll her eyes. If they were going to play these games this was going to take a while. A very long while.

    “The situation before us is as it is, not as any of us would like it to be,” Kerry said, hoping to affect as much tact as she could. She took her seat and the rest of the large table followed suit. “Accordingly, let us begin to find a mutually beneficial outcome to all parties, shall we?”

    Senate floor, Coruscant

    There was an old saying: When the nexu is away, the mice will play. The Senate had apparently heard that saying.

    Senator Fowquit of Cato Nemoidia and one of the senior members of the Intelligence Committee had received a very interesting file a few months ago from one of his contacts inside Republican Intelligence. It was a dossier that contained most interesting information. Foquit had bided his time. He hadn’t sprung when the Chancellor was off with her precious limmie team. No, she would get back all too quickly if he moved then. He knew that the opportunity would present itself in good time.

    And it did.

    With the Chancellor in Ssi-Ruuk Space, the damage would be done before she could get back to rectify any of it. Now was the time. For the last 45 minutes he had pontificated before the Senate on a topic of “grave importance” to the Republic and he was reaching his crescendo now.

    “…and as you have heard over and over again today, the contents of this file prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Attorney General Helena Tandy is guilty of collusion with Corellian crime syndicates. She has repeatedly turned a blind eye to their malfeasance and distracted the public with her high profile white collar crime prosecutions. The Attorney General, to solidify her own position, used Oren Mott as a scapegoat for problems of Corellian crime while leaving the organizations intact.

    “I hearby call upon the chair to convene an immediate select committee to investigate Attorney General Tandy—” this garnered murmurs, “—and the Supreme Chancellor. The Repbulic must know if the Chancellor was complicit in Tandy’s actions. The question for the Senate is: what did the Chancellor know and when did she know it?”

    Dozens of Senators clamored to be heard. The stand-in parliamentarian (for the role normally would have been held by the Chancellor herself), banged the gavel for order. “I hereby put the Senate into recess to allow proper time for consideration of the Honorable Senator from Cato Nemoidia’s claims and evidence. The Senate is in recess.”

    From the Senator from the Seswenna sector calmly stood and exited his pod as the Senate refused to calm down. There was a visit he needed to make.

    Office of the Senator Chommel Sector, Senate Building, Coruscant

    The door to the Senator’s office slid open. “Forgive the intrusion, but I wanted to introduce myself and I bribed your secretary with some chocolates,” the silver haired human said, striding into the office of Eleanor Vehn, “Gavin Serling of Eriadu and the Seswenna sector, but please, call me Gavin.

    “Just wanted to stop in, introduce myself, welcome you to Coruscant. Nice to have a Nabooan back in here. Let me know if you need anything.” Serling turned to go and then suddenly remembered something. “Oh! There was one other thing. Don’t worry about this whole investigation they want to do on your aunt. Nothing major. It’ll blow over. Besides, she’s a big girl. Take my advice, enjoy the view from the sidelines on this one.” Serling winked. “If you know what I mean. See you around, Senator Vehn.”
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  15. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010

    Ayn Dormingale had called a modest press conference in one of the rooms allotted to Supervisors in the Watercrest Capitol Building. It was attended by the usual beat reporters. That was their good luck, because it was going to be anything but a usual press conference.

    “Good afternoon,” Ayn said, “and thanks for coming. What I would like to discuss today goes beyond the scope of my duties as a Supervisor, but rather it affects all of Bakura. As a result, it affects my constituents very intimately and deserves my attention—and yours as well.

    “Two weeks ago, I was given the following affidavits by one Haylee Kelt. She is a veteran of the current war against the Ssi-Ruuk,” Ayn continued, “These affidavits detail at great length how the circumstances regarding the death of Anton Jorpik were systematically covered up by members of the Bakuran Marines.”

    The reporters murmured and started to type furiously on their datapads.

    “Before I get into the particulars, which I feel I must do to give full weight to these allegations, let me say this: Haylee Kelt came with no agenda to me. Her only motivation is that the truth be known. I bring this forward with the same motivation—a desire that the sacrifice of Second Lieutenant Jorpik be known for what it was, not a fiction given to us as truth.

    “These statements that I have here and will make available to all of you at the conclusion of this press conference are eyewitness accounts that Second Lieutenant Anton Jorpik did not die by sacrificing himself for his teammates on top of a grenade. He did something just as noble—his job. He was staffing a routine speeder check when he became the victim of a speeder bomb. It is tragic, but no less heroic than the other story that we were given.

    “But that is all it was, a story. It is time that the citizens of Bakura demand answers about the war that is really going on in Ssi-Ruuk Space, the war that our Prime Minister brought us into of his own will. It is time that we understand just what kind of enemy we continue to fight against there and it is time that every being on Bakura have their say on this war,” Ayn said.

    Though Ayn had brought this issue to the press to make the truth known, she had done so with full understanding of the fact that it wasn't going to hurt her public image much either, especially in the district of West Cape Suzette, for which she was not officially yet a candidate. Of course, Ayn couldn't stop anyone from assuming that she would be—especially the media who just might say that this was the opening salvo in her campaign.


    “You have to get back here and take care of this!” Helena Tandy demanded by holoconference.

    “Helena, I have a chance at negotiating a peace here. I cannot run back to Coruscant every time the Senate gets their knickers in a twist,” Kerry said.

    “They are opening an investigation into us!” Tandy shouted, “And you know damn well that these charges are false!”

    “Then I don't see why I need to return. You should be able to rebut false charges with no problem at all given your legal expertise,” Kerry pointed out.

    “You know full well which charges I am talking about and which ones I'm not,” Tandy retorted, “If they go digging, they could well find out about the little gentlebeing's agreement that we had with Oren Mott to leave Corellian crime untouched—the argreement that you brokered.”

    “I'm not aware of any documents extant that prove that. I'm sure Oren didn't keep any—and if he did his papers were mysteriously lost when he was taken into protective custody. CorSec agents found nothing at his home and they tore that place apart looking for them,” Kerry said. Of course they had—Kerry had arranged to acquire them herself and had long since destroyed all of Oren Mott's books and files.

    “Kerry if they call me before an inquiry I am not falling on my lightsaber for you!” Tandy threatened, “I will tell them everything I know!”

    “Helena, I think you're forgetting that if they're investigating you, you're not going to have much credibility with the Senate,” Kerry pointed out calmly.

    All of a sudden Tandy's face was crossed with a look of sudden understanding—and wrath. “I don't know how you did this, but you did this, didn't you?”

    “Did what? Start an embarrassing scandal to my chancellery? Why would I ever do something like that?” Kerry asked with not quite enough innocence, “It wouldn't be because you happened to threaten me with blackmail and demanded a High Court seat. Then again, had such a thing happened, I'd say that you would have been incredibly arrogant and stupid to think that threatening a Supreme Chancellor of the Republic was a good idea.”


    “Though now that you've got me thinking,” Trieste continued unheeded, “This is getting embarrassing. I'm going to have to accept your resignation before things go much further. For the good of the Republic, of course. Now's not exactly the time to have such distractions, not with such high level peace negotiations going on.”

    “I will never let you take this job from me,” Tandy said in a low growl.

    “Suit yourself. I'll have to tell the Senate how shocked I am to learn of this malfeasance and that I have asked for your resignation and that you are defying my orders to leave. I think they'd begin criminal proceedings at that point, wouldn't they? I suppose that would be ironic, all things considered. What's that? Oh, have to go Helena. I'll expect that resignation letter by the close of business, your local time,” Kerry said, turning off the holoprojector.

    “You had five minutes before the negotiations resume,” Saldor Kann said. He had been watching the whole thing unfold from the back of the room.

    “I know. I'd like this five to savor this one,” Kerry said, sitting back and closing her eyes with a smile. It felt good to outmanuever someone who thought she had a superior position. Very good indeed.
    jcgoble3, Tim Battershell and Vehn like this.
  16. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    The Republic Congressional Ball, Rookorra Hall, Coruscant

    Senator Eleanor Vehn eased her way out of the stretch-speeder and stood to her full height with all the grace and years of training that a former monarch of Naboo could muster. She waved and smiled to the assembled media as she glided down the red carpet. Even now, after several months of leaving the media spotlight on Naboo, she could still remember how to turn on the charm. She spun around, showing off her figure and her long sleeved burgundy evening gown for the press, always making sure to present her “good side” to the journalists. She’d borrowed the evening gown for the annual Congressional Ball held at Rookorra Hall from one of her ladies in waiting who had excellent taste in fashion. She had to admit, she did look pretty good.

    The etched glass doors to Rookorra Hall were opened for her. She thanked the attendants and slipped inside, slipped into the buzzing crowd, the noisy room filled with conversation, glasses clinking, and forced laughter. Here she was deep in the heart of the bureaucracy. Gone were the gilded halls of Theed Palace. Only the modern lines of Coruscant, harsh and calculating, called to her now.

    “Senator Eleanor Vehn of Naboo,” a man bellowed from right beside her.

    His voice nearly made her jump. She hadn’t been expecting her name to be announced to the crowd at the bottom of the stairs. Many turned to welcome her, clapping respectfully, as she descended the marble steps of Rookorra Hall. She recognized a few faces but most of these people she didn’t know. She felt incredibly alone, vulnerable, and exposed. Eleanor was fairly reserved and shy for someone who had spent much of her life in the public spotlight, giving speeches here, donating her money to causes there. But she’d always felt like she had to put on a face for the public: a brave face, a face that people could fall in love with, rally around, support, and come to think as one of their own.

    Perhaps that shyness shone tonight as she headed toward the bar to order a ‘Theed Fixer’. The mixed drink, fairly potent, arrived in her waiting hand moments later. Eleanor pressed her back up to the bar and studied the crowd. This gathering was more about intelligence for her. Any information she could glean would be able to help her determine who was a friend and who was an enemy.

    By association, she knew that Senator Fowquit of Cato Nemoidia was public enemy number one. The man couldn’t be trusted. After all, the traditional enemy of Naboo had just called for a full investigation of her aunt. Fowquit caught Eleanor’s eye and gave her the slightest of nods. The look he gave her told her everything she needed to know.

    Stay out of this fight, if you know what’s right for you, girl the look said.

    “Senator Gavin Serling!” the man at the top of the stairs yelled.

    Eleanor looked toward the top of the marble staircase and saw Gavin coming down into the crowd with a beautiful woman in tow. She’d taken his message to heart and stayed out of the fight between Fowquit and Trieste. After all, Eleanor was still learning the ropes of this rather large and ponderous governing body. It wouldn’t do for her to start a fight with a seasoned old salt like Fowquit anyway. At least, not at this moment.


    She looked up from her drink and saw a man she hadn’t seen in years standing in front of her..


    “Rowan? Rowan Hawkes?”

    “One and the same. You look gorgeous tonight,” Rowan said as he grabbed a drink from a passing waiter’s tray.

    “Thank you. You look very handsome yourself,” Eleanor commented.

    “The last time I saw you was—“ Rowan began.

    “Theed Royal Academy,” Eleanor finished.

    “Yeah, you’re right. Ten years….” Rowan said.

    “Something like that. Maker, it’s so good to see you,” Eleanor beamed.

    She’d had a crush on him when she was a teenager. He came from a well to do family from Theed but had always been kind and fair to her despite having everything the galaxy could ever offer.

    “Good to see you as well. You’re a Senator now, huh? Must be quite a change from ruling Naboo,” Rowan said as he took a sip of his drink.

    “Different language, same rules,” Eleanor replied. “What brings you to Coruscant?”

    “I live here now. Work for a private security firm, Galatek, that does contracting with the Republic.”

    “So a hired gun?” Eleanor asked.

    Rowan flinched slightly. “That’s a harsh way to describe what we do.”

    “Is that what you do?”

    “From time to time,” Rowan said. “I get lots of traveling done. Mainly I do a lot of consulting. See if operations are financially feasible, if there’s a genuine need for our services, that sort of thing.”

    “Ever travel so far as Ssi-Ruu space?” Eleanor pressed.

    “You do have an axe to grind tonight, don’t you?”

    “Just being thorough, Rowan. My constituents aren’t real big on wars or their shadowy undertones,” Eleanor warned.

    “To tell you the truth, I’m not big on them either,” Rowan admitted.

    “So why work for a company that takes a profit from war?”

    Rowan was about to answer when music started up. The dancing had begun. Couples floated out onto the floor.

    “Want to dance?” Rowan asked offering his hand.

    “Lead the way,” Eleanor replied as the pair slipped out onto the dance floor.

    The lights were lowered and the music played. Rowan was a good dancer. But she seemed to remember that he’d been good at Theed Royal Academy as well. Top in his class, graduated with honors, she’d lost touch with him when he’d moved off-world to pursue his own life. They’d been friends. Well, as close as anyone would let someone get to a soon to be queen of the people. He had been her first love. They’d shared a kiss in the lake district one afternoon on a field trip. It could have been the start of something special, something memorable, but destiny pulled them in different directions.

    “I’m glad you came tonight,” Rowan whispered in her ear.

    “Me too,” Eleanor smiled as she looked into his eyes.

    Do I tell him that I still care for him? Even after all these years?

    “This might seem a bit ridiculous but I’ve never forgotten about a kiss we once shared,” Eleanor said.

    Rowan smiled a bit and pulled Eleanor a little closer. “You won’t believe how many times I’ve replayed that moment. How our lives would’ve been different had I never left Naboo.”

    “And yet here we are, dancing in Rookorra Hall, me a Senator, and you a dirty contractor,” Eleanor teased.

    “Careful, I may have to eliminate you for being a security threat to the Republic,” Rowan shot back.

    “Don’t force my hand, Rowan. I can make you disappear,” Eleanor pressed.

    “Try it,” Rowan countered.

    “I will,” Eleanor said and then using the cadence of the music brought Rowan to the floor. She stepped on his chest with her heel, leaning over him and whispered, “Check mate.”

    Rowan looked up at Eleanor, shock on his face, and then he swept her legs out from under her. She fell down right beside him.

    “Got you.”

    They shared a laugh. They’d both been trained in self-defense at Theed Royal Academy and had often sparred in their free time.

    “Must be hard to do your job with all the bad press that Galatek gets,” Eleanor said as they helped one another up. Nobody else had noticed. They were too into their own moment.

    “You learn to live with the criticism,” Rowan replied.

    “That’s a hard thing for anyone,” Eleanor admitted.

    “You’ll do a great job representing Naboo,” Rowan said.

    “That’s the plan,” Eleanor replied.

    “And tell me, Senator, what other plans do you have?” Rowan said leaning closer.

    “You’ll just have to find out,” she replied and pulled him close as she kissed him on the lips.
    CPL_Macja, Trieste and jcgoble3 like this.
  17. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    In which a great many things happen. Bardan_Jusik will want to hear this especially.

    Watercrest, Bakura

    The annual Board of Supervisors Yuletide Ball was a tradition in Watercrest county government and so it simply would not do for Supervisor Ayn Dormingale to not attend.

    “As if you'd be anywhere else right now,” Declan remarked dryly as the pair waltzed underneath the rotunda of the Capitol Building, their first moment alone all evening.

    “For someone who doesn't have his own invitation you don't watch your tongue very much,” Ayn replied archly.

    “For someone who attends the Noble House Yuletide Ball on my graces, you are quite bold,” Declan replied.

    “Your mother loves me,” Ayn replied, “I could talk my way in with no problem.”

    “And get seated next to Silas Madsen,” Declan said.

    Ayn's mouth fell into a sneer. “You have told your mother about what he tried to do, didn't you?” Ayn asked, referencing Senator Madsen's attempt to ensnare Declan's heart by way of his adopted daughter.

    “She is well aware,” Declan said patiently.

    “How she stands his presence...” Ayn muttered.

    “My mother has never been a bridge burner,” Declan said, “In fact, she tends to keep beings precisely where she wants them.”

    “Right. Senator Fowquit is precisely where your mother wants her,” Ayn said, with a roll of her eyes.

    “You'd have to ask her,” Declan said.

    “How convenient—she's squirreled herself away in Ssi-Ruuk Space in peace negotiations,” Ayn said, “Just when I want to ask her about galactic political strategy.”

    “It's fortuitous, isn't it?” Declan replied.

    “You mean fortunate,” Ayn corrected.

    “No, I mean occurring purely by chance,” Declan said.

    “Indeed,” Ayn said.

    “By the way, as the bride-to-be, I've been meaning to ask you,” Declan said, “Small wedding or large?”

    “Small. Otherwise I'll have to invite the entire Board,” Ayn said.

    “Well, the only way we do that is if we elope,” Declan said, “My mother is the Chancellor you know.”

    “And, if all goes according to plan, we'll both be Senators when that happens,” Ayn said, “I suppose it can't be helped waiting until after the election.”

    “That depends on how much you want to see the name 'Ayn Dormingale' on a ballot,” Declan observed.

    “That happens to be one of the two driving goals of my life at the moment,” Ayn said, “The other being getting married to you.”

    “Then what would you think of seeing the name 'Ayn Trieste,' on a ballot?” Declan proposed.

    Ayn cocked an eyebrow. “I'm listening.”

    Kilmainham Brook, Bakura

    Though the Trieste family estate was made up of a rather large acreage, it still had borders. Being forced to stay within them made one acutely aware of those limits. Right now Sierra and Trellam were more than acutely aware of them. Kerry had moved them surreptitiously from Cape Suzette to the Trieste estate where she could guarantee their safety.

    The mystery of Trellam's protection had been solved—and the answer was not a heartening one. The pair had been found dead in Cape Suzette. Time of death was unknown and there were no suspects in the crime. “Until we know more about the situation, neither of you is leaving Bakura,” Kerry had decreed.

    There had been little news of any certainty out of the Consortium. All they knew was that things were far from settled. Turmoil on Hapes had been reported. The only good news was that there were no reports of Trellam's mother being dead. Of course, there had been no reports at all and that wasn't much better.

    “How can we just sit here?” Sierra fumed for the umpteenth time, “If there was a danger I'd rather face it!”

    “Easy to say without facing it,” Trellam said, “You didn't grow up fearing just this your entire life.”

    “And last I checked Hapans don't run for cover when there's trouble,” Sierra said.

    “Not all of us were born to fearless mothers who stared down entire navies,” Trellam replied, “Hapans know when to retreat so we can strike again. That's what a coup is about.”

    “Last I checked these things usually get resolved pretty quickly. You either win or you don't,” Sierra said crossly.

    “We don't even know if this is a coup,” Trellam said with frustration.

    “Look, I'm done sitting here!” Sierra shouted, “Somebody has to do something!”

    “You are not going anywhere! I'm not going to let anything happen to you because you're being impetuous and acting like a Gamorrean!” Trellam yelled back.

    “Could we remember that we're all adults here?” the voice of Siona Lynd said.

    The couple paused their bickering. “Aunt Siona, why are you here?”

    “Because your Aunt Kerry tasked me with finding out what was going on. In case anyone forgot, I was once a very skilled diplomat and happen to have a large body of friends who don't care a whit about my previous opinions regarding your cousin Eleanor's juvenile level of attractiveness,” Siona said, not-so-subtly referencing the reason she had been removed as Ambassador to the Court of Theed, “and some of them happen to be Hapan nobles who are still alive.”

    “So you have news?” Trellam asked.

    “I do. And something better,” Siona said, turning on the holoprojector.

    The image that appeared was that of Trellam's mother, Irsine. “Trellam! Oh my son!” she exclaimed, “To see you have no idea how much I've worried about you.”

    “Mother,” Trellam said, rushing to the projector, “You're alive.”

    “Very much so,” Irsine said.

    “What happened? Was it a coup?” Trellam asked.

    “We'll never know. Before they could reverse engineer the cause of the disaster, some of the family's opponents jumped to conclusions and decided they didn't want to wait,” Irsine said, “Regardless of whether it was a coup, we got one.”

    Trellam found he was holding his breath. “And...?” he finally got out.

    “It's time for you to come to Hapes,” Irsine said, “Everything is safe. You and Sierra will need to be here.

    “For my coronation.”

    Ssi-Ruuk Space

    “Gentlebeings, as neutral arbiter by agreement between all forces recently party to hostilities, it is my pleasure to announce that we have an accord,” Supreme Chancellor Kerry Trieste said to the assembled media with a broad grin.

    She was flanked by Ssi-Ruuk, Mandalorians, and Bakuran military officials as the assembled hall applauded. Kerry allowed them to applause as all parties shook hands. General Borin Letch of the Bakuran Marines could not have made it more apparent that he was forcing his good humored countenance for the press, but Kerry had made it clear to him in no uncertain terms that he would do so. If he was displeased about that, all the better. She'd let him know that she may have a year left in her second Chancellery, but that a Supreme Chancellor of the Republic even with just a year could do a lot of damage to someone's career and reputation. He'd gotten the message.

    When the applause died down, Kerry returned to the remarks she had prepared. “Tomorrow, all parties shall affix their signatures to the following agreement that has been negotiated to mutual consensus.

    “First, effective forthwith upon signature, full and total withdrawal of all Bakuran and Mandalorian forces from Ssi-Ruuk Space.

    “Second, Bakura avers that it will not instigate any further interference in Ssi-Ruuk matters henceforth. This condition is backed by Galactic Republican guarantees to rein in Bakuran aggression.

    “Third, the Mando'ade solemnly forswear further aggression on their part. This promise is backed by the strongest bond they have: their word and honor.

    “Fourth, the Ssi-Ruuk agree to limit the extension of their political influence and territory to the Unknown Regions. The Imperium acknowledges that violation of this principle invites swift retribution by all signatories, including the Galactic Republic.

    “Fifth, Bakura, Mandalore, and the Imperium agree to a mutual declaration of non-interference.

    “Sixth, all parties forswear reparations of any kind arising from these hostilities.

    “Seventh, all parties affirm that each has the right of self-determination in the form and constitution of their government.

    “Gentlebeings, we have peace once more,” Kerry said happily.

    And she had a signature diplomatic achievement that was going to cause everyone to forget about any nasty business with Helena Tandy, who Kerry anticipated would be submitting her resignation very quietly under cover of all this news—just like Kerry wanted.
  18. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    And now things start to happen... CPL_Macja will probably want to see this one.

    Chancellor’s office, Coruscant

    “What do you mean she isn’t leaving?” Kerry demanded.

    “Helena Tandy has not submitted a letter of resignation,” Saldor Kann stated calmly, “Furthermore, she has said she will comply with Fowquit’s demand for a full investigation of Justice and this office.”

    “That stupid, stupid woman!” Kerry fumed, “She thinks I won’t allow for an investigation to take place.”

    “Will you?” Kann asked. It was a surprisingly flippant question from the longtime aide.

    “I’m more afraid of what Tandy will turn over when they look into the Department of Justice,” Kerry said, turning towards the broad windows of her office, “Who knows what she’s been saving for a rainy day.” The Chancellor put a hand to her forehead. She had underestimated Tandy, that was clear to her now.

    “Do you have anything you would like me to do right now?” Kann asked.

    Kerry remained silent as she thought. She thought fast. She wasn’t going to have much time, no matter what she did. If the Senate began its investigation…that could get out of hand quickly. She needed the Senate occupied with the Ssi-Ruuk treaty, not this matter.

    In anger, Kerry slammed an open palm against the window. “Damn it Saldor,” Kerry cursed, “Make the call.”


    In the perpetual sunlight of the Hapes Cluster, Irsine Isuelt pulled the veil down across her face.

    “Irsine Isuelt is no more. She is shadow dispelled by sun,” the high priestess declared, “Now Irsine Chume rises, queen and mother to us all. Let us bask in her light.”

    Arrayed in white, the new Queen Mother stood and descended the steps that led to her throne to greet those who had been loyal to her and her family during the recent troubles. Her son and daughter in-law had heard no particulars, but they both knew what fate awaited those who challenged the Queen Mother and lost. They were not worth speaking of.

    These nobles applauded their new Queen Mother, the new goddess that walked among them. At the foot of the steps in military uniform (the only worthwhile occupation for a Hapan male) stood her son with his wife. They would be the first to greet the new Queen Mother.

    “Come, my son,” Irsine Chume said, beckoning from the second to last step.

    Trellem came forward and bent on one knee before his mother. She bent and placed a hand on his head. She whispered something to him that Sierra could not hear from where she stood. She understood only the barest outline of what was happening here. She knew she should understand more of this, that she needed to, but this was all so foreign, so strange. When she had fallen in love with Trellam, this day was never fathomed. It was a remote possibility. Now it was her life.

    “Come, Sierra,” Irsine Chume said to Sierra now.

    Dutifully, Sierra came forward and made to kneel before her husband. She had not dropped more than three inches before she was halted by her mother in-law’s firm hand. Irsine Chume used it to guide her daughter in-law around to face the nobles.

    “My fellow Hapans, this is my daughter, with whom I am well pleased,” Irsine Chume proclaimed, “She Sierra Isuelt, Chume’da.”

    The great body of nobles before Sierra fell to their knees and bowed their heads, almost as one. Suddenly Sierra realized this was going to happen everywhere she went.

    Suddenly Sierra realized that everything was going to be different.

    Gesco City, Bakura

    “The irony of the situation was not lost on me,” Siona said with a smirk as she stepped out of the hired speeder that had dropped her and the family off at the Lynd’s Gesco City mansion.

    The comment in question was regarding the fact that the eldest daughter in the family, Vesper, had, with the Rydonni Prime Monarchs, defeated the Hapes Consortium Buccaneers by a score of 19-7 shortly before her cousin Sierra was set to be formally recognized as the Chume’da as part of Irsine Chume’s coronation. The truth was that Siona wouldn’t have minded if Ginnifer had become Chume’da, so to have her twin sister’s daughter claim the honor was a bit of a coup for Fiona. Then again, Siona would take an Elite League win. Of course, should the C-Bucs beat the Senators next week and face the Miners…well, then all bets were going to be off.

    “Falene and Vesper both nominated for the Duchess Eldin. If one of them wins it, that’s going to be awkward,” Ginnifer commented.

    “It’ll be even more awkward if Loren Jul wins it,” Siona said, opening the front door.

    “Hello Mom.”

    Siona looked up to find her son Cillian standing in the foyer. He must have heard the speeder arrive and come in to meet them. It seems that his Aunt Kerry’s peace deal had brought the young Marine home.

    Ginnifer, who saw Cillian at the same time as her mother, let out a wail of unearthly timbre. Siona said nothing, muted by shock. All she could do was steady herself in the doorframe, something that Ginnifer failed to do as she crumpled to the floor.

    “Cillian,” Siona finally choked out.

    Cillian Lynd stood in the foyer missing his right arm. In its place was a cybernetic limb.

    “So there’s that…” Cillian said, raising his arm.

    Siona Lynd’s tears were already running down her face as she embraced her son for the first time in months. “Oh Cillian. Cillian, Cillian…”

    For the first time in her life, Siona Lynd was faced with a situation that words could not fix and never would fix.
  19. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Allocations Committee, Senate District, Coruscant

    “I don’t care if we have a projected budget shortfall this year, next year, or ten years from now, I adamantly refuse to support a bill that would close the Jedi Academy on Obroa-skai!” Eleanor retorted as the hours dragged on in a very intense debate with more veteran senators of the Allocations Committee.

    The bill in question had been proposed on the Senate floor a few days ago by Rhom Cardaas of Brentaal, a career senator and former military man, who had been tasked by the Mid-Rim Alliance, a faction of the Senate of which he was a member, to further reduce unnecessary expenditure by the Republic. The bill was titled, “The Responsible Spending Act,” and amongst other things had gone right to town in sizing down the budget of the Jedi who were in many ways dependent on funding from the Senate to function across the galaxy.


    Rhom Cardaas was also the Chair of the Allocations Committee and held considerable clout having manned the position for years if not decades.

    “The Senator from Naboo has forgotten that the Jedi exist at the whim of the Senate. These venerable warriors of the Republic have temples on Ossus, Coruscant, and Yavin why do they need one on Obroa-skai?” Cardaas rebutted and feasted his eyes on Eleanor.

    “I shouldn’t have to remind you of the terrible price paid by the Jedi on Obroa-skai for the sake of the Republic and the civilized galaxy,” Eleanor threatened. “In the 67 years since the end of the Neo-Sith War, the Jedi Order has struggled to return their numbers to pre-war levels. That conflict decimated their ranks. That conflict nearly wiped out a generation of force users who learned valuable lessons that were nearly lost had it not been for the great databases on Obroa-skai that even to this day serve as a testament to the noble ideals of courage, self-less service, and sacrifice.”

    “Don’t you sit there and lecture me on the history of the galaxy, young lady,” Cardaas warned. “We’re going to take a long hard look at where the money of the Republic is going and if you don’t play along I can guarantee that you will be off this committee. You’re only here because of your name. Because you are a Vehn. And everyone knows what the Vehns did for the Jedi during that Maker-forsaken conflict. Do your family name some good and keep your mouth shut. Now, can we continue with our meeting or do you have more interruptions planned?”

    Eleanor opened her mouth to spout off a reply when a woman with a crisp Coruscanti accent cut through the tension in the room like a vibro-knife through flesh.

    “I think the Senator from Naboo has made her point very clear. I know I speak for others on this committee when I say that we value her perspective and will take it into consideration as we move toward a decision,” the female senator from Obroa-Skai said.

    “Thank you, now, if we may turn our attention to other matt—“

    “I’m not finished, Senator Cardaas,” the woman interrupted. “I want to remind you that we all have a voice on this committee and it would be in our best interests to not make a hasty decision about any potential budget cuts to the Jedi.”

    Eleanor gave the woman a curt nod of respect.

    The woman only gazed upon the freshman senator with a predatory interest.

    Observation Deck Alpha, Senate District, Coruscant

    Eleanor rested her head against the corporate wall and closed her eyes. What a long day and nothing had been accomplished. She’d never been in an institution with such a troubled feeling. It was as if all the cries of the galaxy were shut out from the representatives who were elected to bring forth their concerns. They didn’t care about the people. The people couldn’t do anything to them. They were safe, drowning in the riches of Coruscant, away from those who they should have been doing everything for.

    “You fought well even though you lost,” a woman’s voice said.

    Eleanor opened her eyes. Saw the Senator from Obroa-skai looking at her with a knowing smile.

    “Who are you?” Eleanor asked.

    “Gabriella Senne."


    “He’s not that difficult to figure out,” Eleanor responded.

    “Mistake number one,” Senne said.

    “I’d be surprised if he really has the room kowtowing to his every desire,” Eleanor said.

    “Mistake number two.”

    “Personally, the old man needs to go. We need new leadership, we need responsible leadership. Someone who can rally the other members of the committee to their cause,” Eleeanor added.

    “Mistake number three.”

    “Fine. You have the ideas, start suggesting some that work!” Eleanor said growing frustrated.

    “I heard good things about you from Naboo. It’s a shame I’m seeing nothing but failure on your part since you got here.”

    “What do you know about it?” Eleanor asked.

    “I know that if you want to fight against Rhom Cardaas and his cronies in the Senate, you better understand all the tools in your belt. Oh, wait,” Senne paused, “you don’t have any tools because nobody is going to listen to you, sweetheart.”

    “What makes you say that?”

    “Because I have paid my dues. I know what it is to fight Cardaas. He’s no slouch. He’ll have you running one way and then knock out out the moment you consider another. You need my help, Eleanor,” Senne suggested.

    “And why should I trust you?”

    “Because I’m the last person in that committee who believes that you can stand up to Cardaas,” Senator Senne said.

    “And how can two senators challenge him? The man is entrenched, has the entire committee nibbling out of his hand!” Eleanor said raising her voice.

    “Listen well, my dear, I’m only going to tell this story once,” Senne said with a gleam in her eye.
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  20. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Senate Building, Coruscant

    Though the Republic was a legislature-led governmental body, the Supreme Chancellor enjoyed some level of executive privilege. For example, though the Senate often asked for information regarding the execution of laws and activities of executive departments, rarely was it expected that the Chancellor would appear in person. Even rarer was the Chancellor coming to make a committee report unbidden. When word coursed through the Senate Building that the Chancellor was coming to personally brief the Intelligence Committee, media started to race through the halls to position themselves for the story.

    Especially because it was the middle of the night.

    Chancellor Trieste had respectfully requested that she give the Intelligence Committee “an immediate and complete brief.” The Committee, its interest piqued, agreed. Dinner plans were cut short, theatre tickets were torn up, and the Senators gathered to be ready for what they were sure was going to be quite interesting. Kerry Trieste had never personally briefed a Senate committee in her life. Her only reports to the legislative branch had been on the Senate floor at large.

    This one was to be in closed session.

    That was not new for the Intelligence Committee. Of course, the fact that the Chancellor should be speaking in closed session to the Committee just added to the intrigue.

    The Chancellor assumed her seat in the meeting room, the sole occupant on the presenter’s side of the room, the gallery empty. The Senators in various state of attire ranging from professional to eveningwear had assumed their customary seats, their names holographically projected before them.

    “Madam Chancellor, this is a historic event,” Senator Julmerth of the Calaron Sector said by way of an interpreter. Julmerth was chair of the Intelligence Committee. “I trust there is reason behind this hasty gathering?”

    “There is, Senator,” Kerry responded. She had no notes in front of her and sat calmly with her hands folded in front of her. It was the typical pose of a respondent before a Senatorial committee and very much at odds with the usual image cultivated by a Chancellor. “My purpose here is to provide the Senate with prompt and speedy notice of certain actions that I, acting under my constitutionally provisioned executive duties, have taken. Before I begin, I would like to ask that these proceedings be kept under seal for a period of no less than one week. While I believe the Senate, by way of its designee in the form of the Intelligence Committee, deserves to be informed of these actions, I would ask that the Committee withhold the proceedings of this meeting until I have been able to brief the Senate at large and the citizens of the Republic myself. If the Committee would be so kind as to put the matter to an object of consideration vote at this time, I would be gratified.”

    Kerry had clearly absorbed nine years of serving as the chief parliamentarian of the Senate.

    “The object of consideration is so noted,” Julwerth said, “I put the motion of proceeding under seal before the Committee.”

    “Madam Chair,” Senator Fowquit interjected, “I object. If the Chancellor feels that the Committee is entitled to notice, is not the Senate at large? If the Senate, then are the citizens not entitled to this as well?”

    “As you are well aware, this committee commonly proceeds under seal for purposes of public security,” Julwerth said, “I trust the Chancellor has requested to proceed under seal for purposes of such importance?”

    “For purposes of the carriage of justice,” Kerry replied.

    “That is sufficient, thank you,” Julwerth said, “May I see the ayes?” She did and the motion carried. “We are now under seal. Madam Chancellor, please proceed.”

    “Thank you, Senator,” Kerry said. She had positioned herself to speak clearly into the microphone provided. “As the Committee is aware, dossiers detailing alleged corruption in the office of the Attorney General were made public in general debate in the Senate. I would like to note for the record that the Republic has Senator Fowquit to thank for doing so. The Republic owes the Senator a debt of gratitude for bringing these allegations to light.

    “As the Committee is well aware, the office of the Supreme Chancellor has been invested with the management of all executive branches and departments. The senior officers of these departments, except as protected by civil service laws, serve at the pleasure of the Chancellor and no other body. After investigating the allegations brought forth by Senator Fowquit, I determined that Helena Tandy’s continued service as Attorney General was no longer in the best interest of the Republic. Accordingly, in deference to Attorney General Tandy’s long service to the Republic, I asked for her resignation three standard days ago.

    “Two standard days ago, Attorney General Tandy transmitted to my office her refusal to resign. I proceeded to engage in negotiations with the office of the Attorney General. These efforts were to no avail. One standard day ago, executing my constitutionally-provisioned power, I terminated Ms. Tandy’s appointment as Attorney General, effective forthwith.

    “Since that time, Ms. Tandy has refused to relinquish control of the Department of Justice to the Interim Attorney General of my designation. She has remained on the premises. As a result of remarks made during the aforementioned negotiations, I had reasonable suspicion that Ms. Tandy intended to use her access to Department of Justice files to perform irreparable harm to ongoing investigations with the purpose of hindering my execution of my duties as Chancellor. Furthermore, with the allegations made by Senator Fowquit currently unresolved, I feared that Ms. Tandy could also destroy evidence proving the claims made against her.

    “With the primary law enforcement arm of the Republic potentially compromised due to Ms. Tandy’s unrelinquished position at head of the Department of Justice, I could not in confidence use standard law enforcement officers to remove Ms. Tandy and secure these files.

    “As a result, earlier this evening I personally instructed the Director of Republican Intelligence to arrest Ms. Tandy and secure the files of the Department of Justice forthwith.”

    “This is an outrage!” Fowquit burst forth, “Republican Intelligence used for domestic matters?”

    “Senator,” Kerry said calmly, “These actions do lie outside of Republican Intelligence’s mandate. That is why I have come before the Committee under extraordinary circumstances and with all haste to inform the Committee, which has oversight of Republican Intelligence in its purview, of these actions.”

    “I would like to ask the Chair that we take an immediate vote on this matter!” Fowquit demanded.

    “Senator, the Chancellor currently has the floor. Your motion is out of order at this time,” Julwerth said.

    “The Chancellor no doubt is here to hold the floor until this unconstitutional action is a fait accompli!” the Neimoidian said.

    “Senator, if I had any such designs, I would not have notified the Committee of these actions,” Kerry stated, “Besides, you give me too much credit. I am not a Chandrilan. I do not think I could hold forth long enough to accomplish those aims.”

    “This is a shocking abuse of executive power! If Republican Intelligence can be ordered against another branch of the Republic, then who is safe?” Fowquit asked.

    “I agree that my action in this case have been far from ideal,” Kerry stated, “However, there was no other alternative to ensuring that the operations of the executive branch were not irreparably compromised by the actions of Ms. Tandy.”

    “The potential actions, Chancellor,” a Duro Senator pointed out with one finger raised, “Your actions were preemptive, were they not?”

    “They were,” Kerry agreed, “but they were not without basis in reasonable suspicion. Ms. Tandy, after refusing to vacate her office at the Department of Justice. Threats were made, Senators. If a being says he will burn your house down, do you wait for him to do it before you arrest him?”

    “Enough!” Fowquit fumed, “Will the Chancellor yield the floor for a vote?”

    “Upon hearing the motion that the Senator wishes to put before the Committee, I shall,” Kerry replied.

    “I move that the Committee halt Republican Intelligence from further meddling in the affairs of the Department of Justice and call an immediate session of the Senate at large to debate the matter,” Fowquit said, “Upon passage by the full Senate, I would like to state, for the record, that I will put forth a formal censure of the Chancellor to be voted on by that body detailing her unconstitutional actions.”

    “I would ask that the Senator amend his motion to call for a closed session of the Senate should the motion pass Committee,” Kerry said.

    “I reject the motion for amendment,” Fowquit said, “There is nothing in these proceedings that threaten galactic security. Will the Chancellor yield the floor for a vote?”

    “I do,” Trieste said, “and thank the Committee for its time.”

    “Then we will proceed with the Senator’s motion at this time,” Julwerth said, “The Chancellor, as chief parliamentarian of the body from which this committee derives its authority, is invited to observe the proceedings of the vote.”

    “With pleasure,” Kerry replied.
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  21. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    The intrigue multiplies... :D
  22. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Eleanor’s Private Apartment, 500 Republica, Coruscant

    Captain Robert Norden’s eyes opened wide with fear as he caught sight of a thin whispy trail of smoke heading straight toward his location. He recognized the trail for what it was: a rocket.

    “My lady, get down!” Robert yelled as he threw Eleanor to the ground and covered her with his body.


    Smoke, flame, debris, flew all around them as the very oxygen in the room seemed consumed by hatred. Robert couldn’t breathe over the roar of flame, the oppressive smoke choking the life right out of him, the stinging jabbing of thousands of shards of wood ripping through the air all at once, sinking deep into his flesh.

    “I need an emergency evacuation of the Senator!” Norden yelled into his comm. as he picked Eleanor up and hauled her out of her burning apartment.

    Ears ringing, disoriented, Robert guided Eleanor down the stairwell with the surviving members of her security detachment. Even in the narrow stairwell, the mournful sounds of fire trucks rushing to the scene could be heard, closer and closer. Norden wanted to avoid the authorities. His only purpose now was the safety of Eleanor. All else be damned.

    “Get us out of here, come on!” Robert shouted as the group slipped their way into an armored speeder. He craned his neck upward as the speeder tore away from 500 Republica and saw the tower of smoke erupting from near the top of the building where moments before he had just completed his final security sweep for the night. Everything had been fine and then chaos.

    “We need to get to a secure location,” Robert said as he cradled Eleanor in his arms.

    Think, Robert think!

    “Working on it, sir!” The young lieutenant in the front said as he deftly guided the speeder through Coruscant’s busy lanes.

    “Head for the spaceport!”

    Minutes later the engines of Eleanor’s personal craft were spooling up. The lumbering silver vessel tore away from the landing pad and rocketed into low-orbit above Coruscant. At least now they had breathing room. Nobody could get them up here. Nobody.

    “My lady, are you alright?” Robert asked as he gently examined Eleanor’s bleeding face.

    “Fine, Robert, just fine,” Eleanor said still in a bit of a daze. Her face tightened as she regained clarity of her own mind. Tightened into an anger that Robert had seen only once before.

    “Find out who did this, Robert.”

    “I shall, my lady,” Robert replied, “I shall.”

    Senator Rhom Cardaas’ Private Quarters, Coruscant

    “Yes! Yes! Yes!” A blonde squealed in delight as Cardaas was enjoying a particularly vigorous love-making session. Both of them were hopped up on glitter-stim to enhance the experience. That was, after all, the only way to enjoy one of Coruscant’s
    premiere escort services.

    His datapad vibrated and the love-making stopped. Grunting, Cardaas rolled off of his blonde thrill and answered the datapad.

    “Its done sir,” a voice confirmed over the phone

    “Is she dead?”

    “By all rights she should be,” the voice replied. “Nobody could’ve survived that explosion.”

    “No, I suppose not,” Cardaas said with an air of indifference.

    “Is there anything else we can do for you, Senator?”

    “No, not at this time.”

    Cardaas killed the transmission. As he turned back to his cheap thrill he was all smiles. Everything was going just the way he wanted. Eleanor was out of the picture, presumabely dead, and now nobody could stop him from working with Senator Fowquit of Cato Neimoidia in fully dismantling the Vehn and Trieste clans from the ground up. All he had to do now was pick up the phone and give his Neimoidian counterpart a call.

    “Hey, you coming back ,baby, or what?” The blonde called out.

    Cardaas put his phone down on a nearby nightstand and came back to his sinful pleasure.

    The call to Fowquit could wait.
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  23. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    The Pride of Theed, Orbit of Coruscant

    “You can’t stay up here and hide forever,” Senator Gabriella Senne said.

    “I know,” Eleanor responded as she looked out a window toward the slow orbit of Coruscant below.

    “Do you know who did this?” Gabriella asked.

    “Norden confirmed my own suspicions. Our good friend Senator Cardaas,” Eleanor replied, “the man didn’t bother to conceal his connections to the attack. He wanted to be found. Should have done it himself if he felt so bold. He thinks nobody can touch him. Nobody can get to him. That’s a mistake.”

    Senne’s hand shook as she took a seat. She looked up at Eleanor and said, “You do realize what this means, don’t you?”

    “That political violence has reached an unacceptable level?”

    “He declared open war on you, Eleanor. Cardaas doesn’t respect you and certainly doesn’t think that you are going to fight back. Hiding up here in orbit only proves his point. He doesn’t want a Vehn in the Senate. The fact that Naboo went over to the Republic is one thing but coming from the family that you come from, both of them, threatens his very tenuous hold on his power. You know your lineage. You come from very strong and politically astute people. Honor them. Fight for what they believed in but most of all fight for yourself.”

    “Why do you care so much about what happens to me or my political future?”

    “Because you are a Vehn and because you are also a Trieste. You are the hybrid of both families. Their legacies are alive in your very blood. And also maybe because I am cogently aware of the sacrifice that both families made to free Obroa-skai from the tyranny of the Sith. Your ancestor, Derek Vehn, stalled the Sith fleets above Taris in 214 so that the Republic could re-group and fight another day. He gave his life so that others could continue the fight. That sacrifice enabled the Republic and the Jedi to defeat the Sith two years later on the fields of Obroa-skai. Everything you think you know about the galaxy is because of the families you come from. They’ve more than done their fair share for our generation. Shouldn’t we do something worthwhile with our time to honor those who have come before?”

    “This issue that Cardaas has brought up about funding for the Jedi on Obroa-skai is very contentious. People want the Jedi around. Pragmatists don’t. My constituents are screaming at me to do something about this attack on what they view as a sacred temple of the light.”

    “There is an energy vortex on Obroa-skai, Eleanor. You can’t see, taste, or hear it, but its there. Obroa-skai needs the Jedi. They learn skills there that are not taught at the other temples. You must do something,” Gabriella pleaded.
    “I’ve fought him legally. There’s nothing more I can do. I can’t go to the authorities, the Supreme Chancellor, and tell them what he did. They’d never believe me. I’m a freshman senator with very little clout. What do you expect me to do?” Eleanor asked.

    “Sometimes the fights in our hearts cannot be won by following the law,” Senne said.

    “Don’t,” Eleanor replied shaking her head, “don’t ask me to cross that line.”

    “If it guarantees what we want?”

    Eleanor looked back down at Coruscant. How she hated that planet now. That city of lies, deceit, and assassination attempts. There must be a different way. There had to be a different way. But Senne had a point. Cardaas wouldn’t stop until she was either removed from office or dead. She had to fight him. She had to put him down for good.

    “Maker help us,” Eleanor said to nothing and everything.
  24. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Senate Building, Coruscant

    “Three votes,” Kann said.

    “Three votes indeed,” Kerry said smugly as she walked down the halls of the Senate Building.

    “You only won the seal vote by three votes,” Saldor said, “It was a foolish risk.”

    “It was more foolish to let the Committee find out about it before now—and they would have,” Kerry said, “And it was a 9-6 vote. That’s nothing to sneeze at.”

    “If two Senators had changed their mind—”

    “Which they didn’t,” Kerry pointed out.

    “—you would have likely been censured on the floor of the Senate,” Saldor said.

    “If I’m not censured on the floor of the Senate I’m going to be shocked,” Kerry said, “And for heaven’s sake, a censure is a piece of paper. Sure, some historian will make a big deal about it in a century. I, however, don’t give a womprat’s tail about it. What would have been more damaging would have been if the full Senate blocked me from carrying out the raid on Justice to secure Tandy’s files. Once I have her private stash, she poses no threat to my legacy.”

    “Says the woman who is sure she’ll be censured,” Saldor said.

    “It’s a formality,” Kerry reiterated, “The Senate gets to do these things, feel superior, and change nothing. It’s a perfect piece of legislation for them.”

    The Ithorian aide’s datapad beeped. “If Fowquit had been able to sway…”

    “Fowquit was never going to sway anyone. I’ve had Julwerth on my side ever since I let her do the closed session as Chancellor pro tempore. She wasn’t going to let her own committee get out of hand on a vote like that,” Kerry said.

    Saldor Kann hadn’t been listening. “Chancellor…” the Ithorian said, putting a hand on Kerry’s arm. He handed her the datapad.

    Trieste looked up immediately and then turned to one of the members of her Senatorial Guard protection. “We need to see the commanding officer on duty immediately. And wherever the Captain of the Guards is, wake him. Take us to your command center, now.

    “How the frak did this happen?” Kerry nearly yelled, pounding a fist on the Captain of the Senatorial Guard’s desk, “We are talking about an explosion at the residence of my niece, the sitting Senator from Naboo!”

    “Our forensics aren’t complete, but we believe that it was some kind of rocket propelled incendiary device,” the Captain said, “When our team can speak with confidence, we will.”

    “And you’re telling me that you don’t have Senator Vehn under your protection?” Trieste asked with equal furor.

    “After her election she chose to substitute planetary security, which is always an option for Senators. Naboo’s was deemed up to the standards expected by the Guard and that was that,” the Captain said.

    “That was very much not that! A rocket took out her apartment!” Kerry said, “I’d say this situation is nowhere near up to standards of anyone’s expectations!”

    “Chancellor, we understand that Senator Vehn is your niece—”

    “Then you don’t understand anything at all,” Trieste said, leaning over the Captain’s desk, “I don’t care if it was Senator Fowquit’s apartment that spontaneously combusted. We are talking about an explosion at the residence of a Galactic Senator. These kinds of things cannot be allowed to happen and they happened on your watch!”

    “Chancellor, no one is aware of that more than me,” the Captain growled, “and you are overstepping your bounds.”

    “Then do your job! Luckily for you I happen to be cleaning out Justice right now and have appointed an Interim Attorney General who will not be a pain in your butt to work with,” Kerry said, “Do your investigation, find who’s responsible, and get the son of a gundark.” She turned to leave and was halfway to the door before she stopped and turned back around. “Oh, and I’m not worried about Senator Vehn. She’s the granddaughter of Fionn Trieste and Joaquin Vehn, two men who survived a galactic war. Anyone who fires a rocket at her better make damn sure they don’t miss, because she does not have the most forgiving blood running through her veins when it comes to these sorts of things. Captain, do your investigation, because if you don’t find who did this fast enough, I can guarantee you that Eleanor will and then there’s going to be more bodies to clean up.”

    “What do you know, Chancellor?” the Captain asked as she left his office.

    That Eleanor Vehn will do exactly what I did once upon a time and what Helena Tandy was going to reveal, Kerry thought, keeping the answer to herself.
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  25. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Wonderful! The plot thickens. :D I like how the explosion at Eleanor's apartment was tied into the Tandy stuff at the end there.