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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
    West Office, Marian Square, Salis D?aar, Bakura

    Shortly after arriving back in Salis D?aar, Kerry Trieste had been informed by her chief of staff that Sandon Waterborne had requested a meeting with her. Without the slightest hesitation, Kerry indicated that the meeting should take place at their soonest mutual convenience.

    Waterborne had been appointed as an Associate Justice of the Bakuran Supreme Court in 220 after the resettlement of Bakura by Kerry?s father as part of his initial appointments to rebuild the Court. Waterborne was an outspoken conservative voice on the Court, appointed not because Fionn Trieste had agreed with his principles, but out of a belief that the planet needed a Court that had different and strong voices to debate the pressing legal issues Bakura would face. Sandon Waterborne had obliged by proceeding write numerous opinions, many of which that would have irked the Prime Minister who had appointed him.

    Kerry Trieste had always kept her distance from the Supreme Court as a matter of separation of powers rather than personal dislike. She had appointed two justices to the Court in her terms, including Chief Justice Xavier Wollongong (who replaced Rosamund Cabot, another of Kerry?s father?s appointments), but other than that had barely interacted with the Court on a personal level. This was to be the first time she would meet Waterborne and she was consequently intrigued by the prospect.

    Sandon Waterborne had not been a young man when Fionn Trieste had appointed him. He had been 65 years old at the time, a venerable legal father who was still middle aged for a Bakuran, but not expected to hold office for much longer. Some speculated that was why Trieste had appointed him in the first place?to make it appear that he was being impartial when really he was creating a short term court that would see a quick turnover in its conservative judges?and that Waterborne had spitefully stayed on the Court for the last 45 years to shove it to Fionn.

    Though 110 was only starting to get into a Bakuran?s elder years, Sandon Waterborne entered the West Office bowed and with the aid of a cane. ?Madam Prime Minister,? he said, extending a shaking hand.

    ?Your Honor,? Kerry replied, taking it gently and proceeding to lead him to one of her couches.

    ?You have similar taste in decoration to your father, not that you would remember that,? Waterborne said.

    ?Mere coincidence,? Kerry said, ?Tea??

    ?Whiskey would be more preferable.?

    Kerry didn?t hesitate to have the spirit produced and indulge herself. Waterborne drank without toasting.

    ?Do you know that I have been waiting for the last seven years for the Unionist with enough daring to defeat you?? Waterborne said.

    ?I?m sorry I have been such a disappointment,? Kerry replied, more than happy to engage the Justice on his own terms.

    ?I don?t know how you beat Norland, but he was the best yet,? Waterborne continued. He paused and drank with a shaking hand. ?But unfortunately I can wait no longer. I must bow to this.? The last word was said with a sneer as Waterborne held up a shaking hand. ?They say Epie Belden was two years older than me when she led a revolution on this planet against the Empire. She obviously did not suffer from the nerve degeneration that I do. My plans to retire when a proper conservative could be appointed to my position have been thwarted by this disease.?

    Kerry set her glass down and took the hand in her?s, steadying it. ?Allow me to be the first then to congratulate you on an impressive career in the service of the people of Bakura.?

    Waterborne withdrew the hand, which resumed its shakes. ?Save your pleasantries for the voters. I would die in that seat to spite you if I could, but my respect for the office is too high to continue any further. You have outwaited an old man. There is no glory in that.?

    The Prime Minister stood up abruptly. ?There is only so much exasperation I will suffer at the hands of a purposefully irritating codger,? Kerry Trieste said, ?especially when my time is at a pre
  2. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Bakura Fleet Academy, Forsythia, Bakura

    ?Goooooooooooood evening cadets! Welcome to this semester?s Fiiiiiiiiiiiiight Niiiiiiiiiiight!?

    The twice yearly tradition of boxing matches between members of the individual classes of the Bakura Fleet Academy to their feet. Unlike other fights throughout the galaxy, this was not a simple knockdown fight but rather a point based system in which participants wore padding for their safety. Even so, it allowed the cadets a much needed way to blow off some steam by cheering for their friends and classmates.

    It was an event remembered nostalgically by many of the alumni of the Academy and usually drew some of the brass of the Bakuran Defense Fleet. Tonight was no different for the cadets had warmly applauded for Commandant of the Marines Annabelle Dualla and Rear Admiral Fiona Westenra, the Heroes of Nouvelle Orleans, as well as for the Prime Minister. The PM was the only one of the three who had not attended the Academy, but she was still the Prime Minister and she got an ovation.

    Alcohol was not allowed on the Academy campus and that was never more true than on fight night when emotions ran high among the cadets. Of course that didn?t mean that some of them didn?t slip hip flasks in. Trieste chose to tape hers to her thigh, Dualla inside the double breasted jacket of her uniform, and Westenra went for her boot. Then again, no one was going to challenge the Commander in Chief, the highest ranking ground commander in the Fleet, and the commanding officer of the Fleet?s finest vessel, the Pegasus, but they were going to keep up appearances all the same.

    ?How flies the Peg?? Dualla asked, leaning across Kerry to shout over the noise of the cadets that hit them full force in the first row of seats as two male boxers duked it out.

    ?Right as rain,? Fiona shouted back, ?The Mark IIIs run themselves. We could expand our operational coverage areas by 50% if we transitioned our original model Mark I BakurStars to Mark IIIs.?

    ?And the Mark III?s cost is astronomically high as a result,? Kerry replied, taking her eyes off the fight for a moment, ?We don?t have the budget to keep building them. I also don?t intend to fight a naval war any time soon.?

    ?No one expected to see a Ssi-Ruu in the galaxy again and now one?s playing Limmie,? Fiona responded, ?We don?t build fleets because we want to use them but in case we have to.?

    ?We should junk the Arden anyways,? Dualla said, ?It?s been in drydock since the war.?

    ?Of course she is. I put her there,? Fiona shouted.

    The Arden had been captured by Maple forces at the start of the Civil War and had become their flagship. Its attempt to break the Federal blockade had failed when it became engaged with the Pegasus under Fiona?s command. Rather than destroy the ship, Westenra had led a successful boarding assault to retake the ship. It had later been used by Westenra in her daring Adama Maneuver that had broken the Maple Army?s defense of the city. The ship had been through a lot to say the least and mainly thanks to Admiral Westenra.

    ?I balanced this budget at great pain and cost and eliminated our deficit,? Kerry interjected, ?I am not going to throw it out of balance by buying a new Mark III.?

    ?Then why are you stockpiling capital reserves?? Dualla asked.

    ?Those reserves are being held in Republican bonds. It is useful to remind Coruscant that there is wealth in the Outer Rim,? Kerry replied.

    A blow to the head dropped one of the boxers and the crowd roared. It was only a few seconds later that the fight was declared over by the referee.

    ?Damn,? Fiona said, ?What a left hook.?

    ?Too bad we?re going to put a rifle in his hands rather than just leave it empty,? Dualla said.

    The next fight shortly commenced and Kerry leaned over to her sister. ?I saw our in-laws from Roon this past week,? the Prime Minister commented.

    ?Oh? They had a moment to spare themselves from their ongoing affair on Lannik?? Westenra asked with a raise eyebrow.

    ?It was at the fo
  3. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Palasea, capital of Lannik

    The bunker was dimly lit, smelled of stale recycled air, and had the appearance of being on the losing end of a tornado. Papers, desks, drawers, and the occasional body or two lay strewn about the many rooms of the underground complex. Walls were cracked, accompanied by scorch marks from several fierce battles between the mercenaries and the forces of the Fifth Druckenwell Division. Already, those intrepid soldiers were making their way through the underground complex, searching room for room looking for any evidence that could be used against the mercenaries under Morgan Kynnovan?s power.

    Private First Class Geoffrey Tarmak was one of those soldiers. A new Captain had been assigned to the platoon, one of the ninety day wonders that routinely were killed in the first few minutes of hard fighting, whose presence had gone over like a lead balloon. The man was arrogant, overconfident, and routinely made errors that cost the lives of good men and women.

    Tarmak had wanted to slip a grenade in the officer?s tent. No one would ever notice the difference. People died in their sleep all the time, whether from a stray mortar round or a lucky shot from a sniper, it was commonplace on Lannik. Death had become the normal working environment. Several of the men wanted to embrace death if that is what would guarantee their departure from the miserable existence of being a soldier in this most modern of wars. Tarmak wasn?t so eager to die but every day he could feel a piece of his soul depart with every life he took. He no longer blinked at the carnage around him.
    His mind had seen enough and had shut down.

    ?Found something, Captain,? Tarmak grunted in a hoarse voice as he entered a lush office with strategic maps spread out on a table dominating the room. His boots made crunching sounds over broken glass as he approached the desk, noticed the dark blotch of crimson on the walls. A cold realization swung over his mind and body as he looked beyond the desk at the source of the blood on the wall. A man had taken his life. Not just any man. A man whose physical features had been memorized by every soldier in the unit in the event a capture could be pulled off with any success.

    ?Captain! I think I?ve found him,? Tarmak yelled.

    The Captain came rushing in with a few non-coms behind him and grunted as he examined the dead body.

    ?That who I think it is?? Tarmak asked.

    ?Yeah,? the Captain whispered quietly, one hard toe of his boot nudging the body, ?that?s him.?


    One would never think to suspect there was a vicious war being fought by the RTO on a planet called Lannik if one were to examine the shoppers and merchants of Nime. From his office, Liam Vehn was afforded a panoramic view of the city and the harbor beyond, sun glistening on the water, waves a tad choppier than normal.

    Looking at the office of Liam Vehn, great grandson of Derek Vehn, the famed admiral who sacrificed his life in the Neo-Sith war, one would never suspect that here in this simple work environment lay the reins of one of the most influential trade organizations in the galaxy. That power was held in check by a powerful body of corporate bureaucrats known as the Board of Tribunes, and, as anyone who had ever studied the political situation in the south eastern quadrant of the galaxy knew, to have the corporations on your side was power.

    One wall of the office was dominated by holographic displays relaying information about the stock market in the eastern Outer Rim, in particular, the RTO and the independent systems through which the RTO had various business dealings. Since the Republic was off limits, as well as the BASE 300, or the Bakuran Stock Exchange, the eastern Outer Rim had decided to take matters into their own hands and forge their own path by using a similar system in the lesser known but equally venerable trading world of the Karl Ypres Industrial Average, named after the father of Tribune Kaitlyn Ypres.

    The KYIA, as it was affectionately known in the eastern Outer Rim, is the only stock market index in the
  4. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Three Party Talks, Nar Shaddaa, Drawdown of Lannik War

    The stars glimmered and shined beyond the windows of the large conference room as a steady flow of traffic weaved its way in and around the Vertical City, dodging skyscrapers and utility vehicles, carrying people from every socio-economic background to their ultimate destinations. It all seemed so orderly, so peaceful, so different from the memories Liam Vehn once had of this place. Granted, Nar Shaddaa would always smell like a garbage dump, that couldn?t be helped, but the city really had improved since the Hutts had been pushed out over sixty years earlier.

    That particular conflict, prelude to the Neo-Sith War, had created a great divide between the Hutts of Nal Hutta and the upstart governments in the south eastern quadrant of the galaxy. Today, that conflict seemed as if it had never ended, as tensions were high in a meeting between delegates of the Roon Trade Organization, the people of Lannik, and several high ranking slugs, Can?t call them that anymore, Liam!, representatives, from Hutt space.

    ?Our terms are quite clear,? Liam reiterated as he returned his attention to the Hutt representative sitting across from him on a hover sled.

    ?Your terms are unacceptable,? the Hutt sitting across from Liam shot back. Liam didn?t need a translator droid. He understood the guttural language of Huttese perfectly.

    ?I am sorry to hear that but you must realize that we have strong evidence suggesting that several influential Hutts were directly responsible for creating the situation on Lannik as well as instigating turmoil within the sovereign territory of the Roon Trade Organization. We did not ask for this war, friend, this war was thrust upon us,? Liam explained for what seemed the umpteenth time.

    ?I resent that allegation that we are responsible for the war on Lannik. Morgan Kynnovan was acting independently and what he did to the natives on Lannik cannot be defended or excused. This so called intelligence that you have assembled is nothing more than an excuse to carry out an act of aggression against my people,? another Hutt chimed in.

    ?If you are not responsible in some way for the war on Lannik then why was General Hal Rivera, the right hand man of Morgan Kynnovan, heading straight for Hutt space when the capital of Lannik fell?? Liam inquired, eyes staring into the bulbous counterparts of his Hutt opponent.

    ?General Rivera is not in Hutt space, that I can promise you,? retorted the Hutt, clearly annoyed at having to be dealing with this human in negotiations that could only be termed as a farce.

    Liam threw up his hands in frustration. ?Listen to me you slimy,? he stopped himself.

    ?Look, I?ll tell you what I?ll do. I will shut down every single trade route going into what used to be known as Hutt space and will put a strong embargo on your home world of Nal Hutta if you do not comply with the terms in this treaty. I need not remind you what happened to Nal Hutta the last time your people decided to wage war,? Liam threatened.

    The Hutts remained silent and exchanged a few looks. Liam glanced over at the Lannik delegation, diminutive beings who were incredibly intelligent and capable. It was a shame what had happened to them underneath what was supposed to be the watchful eye of his organization.

    ?Believe me, gentlemen, I do not want to have to carry this devastating war into the very heart of Nal Hutta. You need our goods far more than we need yours and that, dear representatives, is something you need to keep in mind if you continue to defy the Roon Trade Organization and the people of Lannik,? Liam added.

    One of the members of the Lannik delegation nodded politely to Liam Vehn. They admired his strong-armed tactics in achieving his goals. Everyone in the galaxy knew how difficult the Hutts could when it came to reaching diplomatic goals.
    This time it was no different.

    ?Might I make a suggestion?? A member of the Lannik delegation inquired, breaking the silence.

    Both parties turned to look at the diminutive species with their pointy ea
  5. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Marian Square, Salis D?aar, Bakura

    Kerry Trieste stepped up to the podium to address the press. Early this morning the results had been finalized and Kerry had spent the last two hours with her speechwriters tinkering with the language of this address. It was an important occasion and though the speech stood a fair chance of not being remembered by history, it was important that she speak to today?s audience much more than the future.

    ?Good afternoon,? Kerry said to the reporters and Bakura through the medium of the Holonet, ?Yesterday the county of Marielle completed its special election as part of its readmission to the federal union of counties. Federal observers reported no significant voting irregularities in the process. As has been reported by the election commission of Marielle, the people of Marielle have elected the four Senators proportionally allotted to them based on population, as well as a county legislator, governor, and mayor of Nouvelle Orleans. As you are also aware, the Union Party has secured a majority of the county legislature, the governor?s mansion, and three of the four federal Senate seats.?

    Though it had been an outright Union landslide, the big picture gave Kerry comfort. That one Fianna Fail Senator, who represented the center of Nouvelle Orleans, meant that her party retained control of a full 80 seat Senate by the slim margin of 41-39. It was all she wanted out of the election.

    ?The federal government has approved plans for a speedy swearing in of all of these election officials to take place in two weeks? time,? Kerry said, ?At that time, the federal role in Marielle and the Dixie counties will formally conclude, ending Reconstruction after four years or work to give the people of the former Maple Flag Republic the ability to get a fair deal, to have their livelihoods restored to them, and to be able to move forward to a future of prosperity to those who wish to seize it.

    ?With this timetable, I have fulfilled my promise to end Reconstruction by 266. The end of this project will result in direct savings to the federal budget that will strengthen our surplus and our fiscal standing in the Republic and the Outer Rim. At a time when many governments are tightening their belts due to lack of stability in their tax base due to financial market fluctuations, I am pleased to report that Bakura is in a sound and sustainable place.?

    And this was where Kerry had inserted language that had pleased no one. However, with the elections over, there was no further time to wait.

    ?On another matter, as you are all aware, Justice Sandon Waterborne has indicated that he will be retiring after a long and distinguished career on our Supreme Court. Since he informed my office of that decision, we have carefully considered several candidates to fill his seat on the bench. In doing so, we placed a priority on finding someone with a fair and astute legal mind, a justice who would respect the Constitution but be unafraid to face the challenging dilemmas of the future. In doing so, one candidate clearly stood out based on her work in so many aspects of the legal profession: criminal prosecutor, civil litigator, and appellate justice.

    ?I would like to introduce to you now my nominee for the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Bakura, current Salis D?aar Supreme Court Justice Regan Eldred.?

    The surprise could not have been greater for anyone present when Kerry Trieste?s own sister stepped forward, nor could the cameras have flashed any faster. The audacity! The gall! The blatant nepotism! Kerry Trieste was nominating her own sister to the Supreme Court? It had been one thing to make Siona Lynd Minister of State for eight years?that was a limited appointment?but to appoint a sister to a lifetime position? That took a special breed of daring, to put it lightly.

    ?Thank you, Madam Prime Minister,? Regan said as she stepped up to the podium. She was considerably shorter than her sister and had to stand on a box to reach the appropriate height, ?It is an honor for me to
  6. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Nime, Roon. Chairman?s Office

    ?Final tally from Lannik, sir,? an aide announced, hand extended with datapad.

    Liam grunted and took the datapad, not saying a word, the aide understanding that it was time to leave this man alone. The door shut behind the aide as Liam headed out to the balcony overlooking the bustling city of Nime. For the first time, Liam noticed how Nime was built between the day portion of the planet and the night portion. It was never fully light and never fully dark in Nime. Just part of how the planet Roon orbited the nearest light source.

    Below on the streets, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, and plain friends strolled past the government district to the bars, retail shops, and other amenities geared toward the consumerist culture that was quickly growing throughout the Roon Trade Organization.

    As Liam watched the people stroll the wide boulevard below his office, he could not suppress a feeling of jealousy and longing. ?I once knew what love was, but those feelings are as distant to me as Coruscant,? Liam whispered to the stars.

    Liam wanted to hold the hand of his wife, to bask in the glow of a warm sun on Naboo, to see her eyes flash with that spark they once contained. That was all gone now. She was a shell of her former glory, the explosion of mental dementia too great for her to control. The last time he had visited her had been six months ago. She hardly recognized him. When there were moments of recognition, she had pleaded with him to find a new woman, to leave her behind. Until she was dead, that he could not do. That he would not do.

    Look at the datapad. Look at the lists. See how you have sent brave men and women to their deaths, for what? Resources? The oldest reason for war in the entire galaxy? Liam mused as he finally brought his eyes to bear the cold figures that stared him in the face.

    The 1st Roon Expeditionary Force, numbering 350,000 combat troops, representing fifteen member worlds, had lost forty two percent of their number, or 147,000 killed, wounded, or missing in action. Liam clutched his jaw as tears fell down his face. Slowly, as if he had suddenly aged a thousand years, Vehn headed for his familiar office chair and collapsed into its deep folds. The datapad fell weakly from his hand and clattered on the desk, sending a resonating sound throughout the room.

    Never before in his life had Liam Vehn, heir to one of the most powerful families in the Outer Rim, experienced such overwhelming grief and sorrow. For what seemed an eternity he sobbed uncontrollably, muttering quietly, ?All my fault, all my fault.?

    Liam Vehn had never properly grieved for the loss of his mother in a bombing attack by a secretive society years earlier and neither had he grieved for the loss of others who had been influential during his most formative and vulnerable years. As he wept, Liam was grieving for them, as well as the soldiers of the 1st Roon Expeditionary Force.


    ?Atten-hut!? Screamed the voice of a sergeant as the brass walked in, including the commander of the entire REF, General Griffyn Rokom.

    The soldiers of the Fifth Druckenwell Division, what remained of them, came to attention looking smart and crisp in their dress uniforms. Curious eyes stared under the caps they all wore as the common rank and file absorbed their commanding officer with a mix of adoration and respect. The division?s flags fluttered in the wind at the head of the assembled soldiers reminding them of their esprit de corps.

    ?At ease, soldiers,? Rokom said as his voice reverberated over the assembly area.

    A clicking of several thousand boots responded to Rokom?s command. He smiled ever so faintly and continued with his address.

    ?Today officially marks the end of the occupation of Lannik. Chairman Liam Vehn, who some of you know and most of you don?t, has signed a treaty with the Hutts and the people of Lannik formally ending our military mission. The terms of the treaty have established a neutral zone between Hutt space and that of the RTO and secured the independence
  7. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Salis D?aar, Bakura

    The nomination of Regan Eldred to the Supreme Court set off a storm that hadn?t been seen on the planet since the outbreak of Civil War. Trieste opponents?emboldened by the Marielle victories?immediately attacked the Prime Minister as indulging in blatant and unvarnished nepotism. Many members of her own party remained mum on the issue despite the fact that the media, including the BBC, made the point that two defections from Fianna Fail?s ranks on this issue would likely spell defeat for the nomination. There was rampant speculation about how some of the more conservative members of the party would vote, first and foremost among them Silas Madsen, one of the few Senators from the former Maple counties.

    With the nomination made, Kerry Trieste was disinclined to spar with the press or her detractors about the nomination. Only on two occasions did she address the matter, and then shortly after the nomination was announced. Both times her comments were much the same. ?Justice Eldred has an established judicial record that speaks for itself. I fully expect she will answer questions fully and completely before the Senate Judiciary Committee relating to her nomination.?

    In traditional fashion, the nominee refrained from answering questions, saying that the appropriate time to do so was when she was sworn in before the Senate. In reality, it was good practice not to give the Senators fodder prior to sitting down before them. A well prepared enemy was all the more dangerous, and Regan Eldred was well aware that she needed to go into her confirmation hearings treating the Senate like an enemy, even if she was going to be cordial to them in person.

    When the day came, she appeared before the five Senator panel, accompanied by her husband Atticus and her two young children. For a woman in her 40s, Regan Eldred had all the youthful appearance of a woman twenty years younger. Her brow was uncreased, her cheeks rosy, her gaze clear and penetrating. A diminutive woman, Regan Eldred radiated an insightful intensity. Her professional attire was every bit the attentive attorney and her straight dark hair fell sleekly down her back.

    ?Justice Eldred, before we begin, we will swear you in for today?s testimony,? Senator Edco of Gesco City said. Regan stood, placed her right hand on a Fulcrun held for her, and raised her left hand. ?Do you swear to tell the truth before this committee under penalty of perjury??

    ?I do so swear,? Regan said.

    ?Thank you.? Regan was seated. ?Justice Eldred, you have been called before this committee to answer pointed questions regarding your judicial philosophy so that your suitability for confirmation to the Supreme Court of Bakura may be determined. With that in mind, would you like to make an opening statement??

    ?Only as so far as to say that I will gladly answer the questions of the committee as far as I am able. I believe that it is the responsibility of anyone nominated to the high office of Supreme Court Justice to represent him or herself accurately before the legislature, but there are certain questions that cannot be fairly answered when they pertain to hypothetical cases. The crafting of a legal opinion is based on the case presented to the Court, and the details of that case are integral to forming a proper opinion. While many nominees seek to hide behind the reply of, ?It would depend on the case set before me at that time,? I have no intention of using that answer as a crux to hide my opinions but only as an accurate response to an abstract situation in which I am unable to give an honest reply.?

    ?A refreshing point of view, and one that I hope will continue throughout these proceedings,? Senator Edco said, ?Let us begin??
  8. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Bakuran Senate Building, Salis D?aar, Bakura

    Silas Madsen sat very comfortably on the other side of Sabé Dormingale?s desk. The Deputy Prime Minister preferred to keep all of her visitors somewhat on edge, but the Senator from Blackbranch, Arcterra was apparently immune to such subtleties. No, the saloon owner-turned-politician looked rather at home here. Maybe it was because Madsen knew how to play hardball. He hadn?t survived the Bakuran Civil War in the heart of Maple territory secretly working with the Federal Union by being a pushover. That made Sabé?s task all the harder.

    ?Silas, if you?ll allow me the liberty,? Sabé began with a smile, ?We can confirm Regan Eldred to the Supreme Court.?

    ?Some of us do not hail from the safe districts of Cape Suzette,? Silas replied, ?My voters are naturally concerned about the tendencies that she might show once ensconced in her lifetime appointment.?

    Sabé knew that he was right. How Madsen had ever gotten elected to the Senate from a conservative region like Arcterra was beyond her, but he was the difference between a deadlocked Senate and the current 41 seat majority that Fianna Fail held. Every Senator was valuable to Dormingale, but Madsen was the one she knew she was going to have to work hardest to keep.

    ?I should think you would find Eldred to your liking. Her hearing showcased a rather moderate mind,? Sabé gently suggested.

    ?Do not confuse conservative liberalism with moderation,? Silas said, holding up a finger, ?Moderation is overused. Eldred is clearly a woman of the left, though she is not so far left as her sister.?

    ?All the more reason to support her,? Sabé replied.

    Madsen refused to be maneuvered so easily. ?She may no longer bear the name, but she is a member of the Noble House nonetheless. The mark of her sister is upon her and that does not sit well with Arcterra.?

    ?You mask your own opinions in those of your constituents,? Sabé observed.

    ?Is that not the basis of republican democracy?? Silas replied with a smile.

    ?It is not,? Sabé rejoined with a smirk of her own.

    ?Ah yes, this is where you appeal to me to stick by my principles, for the good of the planet, even when they go against the will of those who elected me,? Silas said.

    ?I preferred to let you say it,? Sabé said graciously.

    ?You learned well at the court of Theed,? Silas said.

    ?So many years ago I have surely forgotten,? Sabé said.

    ?Naboo crafts its rulers early, molding them in their formative years,? Silas rejoined, ?You bear its fashions still.?

    ?With a particularly Bakuran cut,? Dormingale said, no less pleasant, ?The language of Naboo?s court sounds fine, but all too often substance follows form. In the last 40 plus years of experience, I have found that Bakurans cut to the chase much more readily.?

    ?We are a restless people who are deeply in touch with our frontier spirit,? Silas said, ?or at least the best of us are.?

    ?And Arcterra would be our frontier, would it?? Sabé commented wryly, ?We digress.?

    ?We do,? Silas concurred.

    ?I am in a deal making mode, Silas,? Sabé continued, ?What is it going to take to get this nomination confirmed??

    ?Sabé Dormingale, I always liked you for a reason,? Silas said expansively, ?Sometimes you get right to the frakking point.? Though he had tempered his language in public, Silas Madsen had a hardly clean mouth in private. ?I want a ski resort.?

    Sabé raised an eyebrow. ?A ski resort,? she repeated with no lack of incredulity.

    ?Well not personally. I want one for Arcterra. Our mining reserves will not last forever. The rest of the planet has gotten on the tourism shuttle but Arcterra is still a resource-based economy. We need to look to the future and the sooner the better. Incentives to spur private investment would make it happen sooner, which, as I said, is better.?

    ?If it?s such a good idea, private capital should be sufficient,? Sabé commented.

    ?Consider it one last piece of Reconstruction,? Silas persuaded smoothly.

    ?And what bill would
  9. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Naberrie School For Young Ladies
    Harte Secour, Naboo

    Eleanor Vehn understood pressure. Knew the value of managing her time wisely lest she fall behind in her grueling educational studies that covered a wide variety of fundamental curriculum such as politics, economics, foreign languages, the sciences, and mathematics.

    At the formative age of ten years old, Eleanor Vehn was years beyond her peers with regards to her intelligence and maturity but despite these commendable qualities, Eleanor felt as if her life was lacking something fundamental that her educational regimen could not satisfy. A deep gnawing sensation tugged at her soul when her peers would head outside for recess as she stayed in to study advanced concepts and theories that were preparing the young girl for her future role as Queen of the Naboo.

    Staying inside while her peers were enjoying time away from their studies was not her choice, rather, it was under the strictest of measures from her tutor, a good friend of Cecil Avonlea, governor of Naboo.

    ?Why can?t I go outside and play?? Eleanor questioned her tutor. She put down her datapad, frustrated with the concepts in front of her, bored with the lack of excitement in her life.

    ?Because, my dear, playing with those silly little girls will not help you become a great ruler. Your destiny lies elsewhere. One day, all this training will make sense to you,? Eleanor?s tutor responded in a tired voice. She had been asked this question many times, especially as the weather at the Naberrie School for Young Ladies in Harte Secour had improved.

    ?I never get to have any fun,? Eleanor complained.

    ?Monarchs do not experience fun, Eleanor. Monarchs must set a good example for their subjects and sacrifice their personal desires for the desires of their subjects. Such is the way it has always been done on Naboo,? the tutor replied.

    ?Maybe I don?t want to be a monarch!? Eleanor retorted, a temper flashing. She had the dark curly hair of her mother, Verity Vehn-Trieste, and the dominating eyes of her poetic father, Oisin Trieste.

    ?If you are not monarch, then you will send Naboo into a very dark age. You wouldn?t want people to suffer, would you?? her tutor questioned, pulling at the young girl?s overwhelming desire to do the right thing.
    Eleanor looked down at her dress, simple yet fashionable. She plopped her face in her hands and slowly shook her head.

    ?Good, now, how do you solve this particular equation?? her tutor asked as she attempted to guide Eleanor back to her studies.

    ?I don?t know,? Eleanor replied.

    ?Look again.?

    ?I said, I don?t know!? Eleanor replied, her voice strained, tired.

    ?Look harder,? her tutor pressed.

    ?Enough!? Eleanor cried out and shoved the pile of datapads in front of her off the desk.

    Running past her shocked tutor, Eleanor opened a pair of broad wooden doors and flung herself to the far reaches of the balcony gazing out over the beautiful valley below her as the wind whipped her strawberry colored hair.

    Tears began to creep down her ashen face, across her rosy cheeks.

    ?I don?t want to be Queen,? Eleanor whispered to the wind.

    ?I don?t want to be Queen.?
  10. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    [link=](Your soundtrack selection: Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel)[/link]

    Prytis, Bakura

    Prime Minister Kerry Trieste had the worst case of Senioritis on the entire planet of Bakura. It was a well-known disease and specifically hit university-bound high school students at the end of the academic year. With their acceptance letters already mailed, these Seniors often lacked motivation, cut class, and generally screwed around for the remainder of their high school education because they?d finally achieved the goal they?d worked for twelve years to attain.

    In the last fourteen years, Kerry Trieste had fought and won a civil war, passed comprehensive financial reform, balanced the budget every year, cut government costs to better utilize tax revenues, paid off the national debt, built up hard currency reserves, completed Reconstruction of 13 of Bakura?s 32 counties, and all that only constituted the highlights of her three and a half administrations. With the confirmation of Regan to the Supreme Court, Kerry Trieste could safely call it a day. She could do jack squat for the next two years and she was pretty sure that she?d still go down as one of the greatest PMs in Bakuran history.

    In essence, that?s what Kerry was doing. She walked into her office at 9:00 in the morning and left it no later than 5:00 at night. It was an unheard of schedule for Kerry Trieste. ?If the planet isn?t in danger of exploding, it can wait until tomorrow,? she told her staff when she left for the evening. The first time it happened they were floored. Now they knew to expect it, but they were still shocked when their boss actually took a vacation day, something she?d done only rarely during her four administrations.

    Kerry spent time with her children, now 16 and 14. Though she had always been there for their childhoods and had tried hard since the death of their father to be there constantly for them, she still felt like she?d missed something. She knew that she?d never be able to regain what had been lost?if anything had been?but she could only be there now for them. She felt lucky that they were still a family, that her years of service to Bakura hadn?t driven a wedge between them.

    Even so, Kerry knew that her kids were coming into their own now, especially Declan. Though Falene was growing into a lovely young woman with each day, Declan was at the age where he was becoming his own person. Kerry couldn?t smother him at a time like this. That was why she used some of her newfound downtime for just be alone and let her kids be themselves. Today was one such day and Kerry had decided to climb the mountains outside of Prytis. Falene would have enjoyed the outing, but Kerry wanted to enjoy this one on her own.

    One of the things about Prytis was that it was close enough to Salis D?aar that you weren?t far from the city, but you felt like you were ages away. That was why Niall Trieste had built Kilmainham Brook there. It was an effective retreat that had kept the Noble House close to the action in the capital. Today Kerry sat in shorts and a flannel shirt on a rock and looked out to the just visible gleaming skyline of Salis D?aar. It was the afternoon and the light was beginning to catch the glass and steel of the buildings. In a couple hours it would light up in oranges and reds. Kerry Trieste had been tied to this city since the age of 18. She?d gone to UB Salis D?aar, worked for Fianna Fail at their national headquarters, been a Senator for Southeast Salis D?aar, then lived in Marian Square. It was so much a part of who she was.

    She?d always known that she could never run for reelection. A fourth term had been pushing things. But quite frankly, what more was there for her to do? She had climbed the mountain. It was satisfying and from here Kerry could do whatever she wanted. She had earned the right. But at the same time she was only 45 years old. For a Bakuran she was quite young. Kerry and her siblings had been called the Wonder Generation, the seven children of the Prime Minister who
  11. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    It came to Salis D?aar. It came to Nouvelle Orleans. It came to the admiral?s quarters of the Pegasus, in orbit around Bakura. It came to the Embassy in Theed. It came to Tesserone on Roon. Wherever there was a member of the Noble House it came. It was simple, it was clear.

    The message that they received was as follows:

    The Taoiseach requires the presence of all members, young and old, of the Noble House at the Plaza to discuss a pressing matter relating to the future of the House. Your attendance is expected in one week?s time. Accommodations and meals shall be provided.


    Kerry Trieste
    Seventh Taoiseach of the Noble House of Trieste

    Trieste residence, Salis D?aar, Bakura

    They had all come, with one exception. Eleanor Vehn had been excused by virtue of her situation on Naboo. In all honesty, it was better she did not attend. They came and their Taoiseach gathered them in the largest room of the house, her siblings, their spouses, and their children. So too had come her cousins, their spouses, and their children. It was the largest gathering of the House in Kerry?s tenure as Taoiseach. Not since her father had held the mantle had they all been in one place, and then there had been many fewer.

    Kerry told them what thoughts revolved in her head. What she told them were not speculations and suggestions. She told them what would happen, what she as Taoiseach decreed would happen.

    It did not go over well in some sectors.

    ?You have the right to do as you wish as Taoiseach, but must you drag us into this for your own personal aggrandizement?? Adolair Trieste, one of the cousins, said acerbically, rising from his seat, ?This is the Miners all over again. You were not content to gain our side?s share of the Miners, to consolidate your power, make it your team. Now you ask this of us? You don?t even need us!?

    ?I am taking the Noble House where it has never gone before, where it could never hope to have gone before this day,? Kerry replied evenly, ?We shall stand before the galaxy together.?

    ?Not all of us share your views, Kerry,? Mandy Syfred said, ?Some of us remember the Civil War and what was done. How can you ask us to do this??

    ?Because the war is behind us. Your private opinions are yours, but this House has always rallied against its own and it shall now,? Kerry replied, ?We all need to move on. All of us.? This look was directed at the cousins.

    ?You know I will go where you follow,? Siona said, ?but now? There is talk of trouble in the independent systems, to say nothing of the Hutts.?

    ?Some of us are not so comfortable as you here,? Oisin said, ?Clouds grow dark on Roon.?

    ?This could provoke the Hutts,? Verity said darkly, ?I don?t say it will, but it could. I would ask if it?s a risk you?re willing to take, but it?s others of us who face the risk, not you.?

    ?The Hutts will be the Hutts regardless of this. If this sets in motion events?then it is merely the excuse for an inevitability,? Kerry said, ?But this House has always remembered its own.?

    ?Ha!? Adolair barked.

    ?You have been provided for,? Kerry shot back with a stare that indicated she lost patience, ?I have done more for you than any would say was required. Owning the Miners completely and totally may have satisfied my vanity, but clinging to bitterness fuels yours. Choose your words carefully Adolair. What I have given I can take away.?

    The cousin scowled but remained silent.

    ?That settles?? Kerry began.

    ?Not quite,? Regan piped up.

    The redhead turned to her raven haired sister, who stood, though she scarcely seemed taller than everyone else sitting somehow.

    ?You who object seem to forget that the Taoiseach sees the long view. Every Taoiseach has, and Kerry is no exception. We, myself included, are often bogged down in the present and see only but dimly the far off, wondrous things she can descry. Our Taoiseach has a vision. Though I cannot see it all, if she succeeds?if we succeed?then we shall be worthy of the Noble House not by birthright but by d
  12. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Bakuran Senate Building, Salis D?aar

    The word had gone out to the Trieste loyalists throughout Bakura: a moment was coming that they would not want to miss. The Prime Minister would be addressing the people of Bakura and the galaxy from the steps of the Senate Building where she had taken four oaths of office. According to the notices, it would be a ?historic announcement for Bakura?. It was no accident that the galactic media also happened to get these announcements leaked to them so that they could be on hand for what was expected to be a massive rally.

    Indeed, by the time that the appointed hour rolled around, the mall in front of the Senate Building was packed with people who had gathered to hear what the Prime Minister had to say. They cheered when the doors of the Senate opened and their redheaded PM descended the steps, waving to the crowds on her way to the podium. On the steps behind her was a row of alternating Bakuran and Republican flags. The slight breeze blowing through the city today gave them each a small wave.

    ?My fellow Bakurans present here today and fellow Republicans who join us from across the Holonet,? Kerry said when she stepped up to the podium, ?It has been my privilege to serve as Prime Minister of this fair planet for the last 14 years. In that time we have confronted great challenges ranging from war to forestalling financial ruin. As a society, we have much to be proud of, much to celebrate.

    ?But we cannot forget that we are but one part of a whole. We have joined into a great galactic compact as members of the Republic, an alliance of planets for justice, prosperity, and freedom. Once we shunned such associations but now we embrace them. We have risen to meet the challenges of today with an eye to the future, a future where we leave a better galaxy to those who will follow us.

    ?This is a dream that is shared throughout the Republic, but this dream is threatened. A recession grips the Outer Rim in the Republic, one that could threaten the long term growth of the Republican economy. Along the border with the independent systems there is tension and unrest, and many fear military intervention will be required,? Kerry continued, ?My fellow Republicans, we can master these challenges but it will take determined leadership to do so.

    ?Accordingly, I am here to announce that I, Kerry Wyvern Trieste, am running for Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic.?

    The crowd went wild and Kerry indulged them for only a few seconds.

    ?My friends, it is time that we embrace our destiny across the galaxy and seize this moment in history! When the histories of this era are written, let it be said that we stood tall and faced our challenges, great though they may be, and that we are worthy of the legacies of the beings who have made this galaxy great! Let us dare to believe in a better tomorrow, the tomorrow we have dreamed about, the tomorrow that is waiting for us to awaken to its glorious dawn!

    ?My fellow Republicans,? Kerry said over the cheers, ?It is time for us to be worthy of the legacy we inherit and forge a galaxy that we will be proud to leave to our children!?

    Kerry stepped back from the podium with a large smile and descended a few steps as her [link=]campaign anthem[/link] played. It was not a new one?indeed, she had used it the first time she?d run for Prime Minister. Now she was taking its message to the galaxy beyond. No Taoiseach had ever had ambitions beyond the Bakura Sector. Kerry Trieste was indeed trying to take the Noble House somewhere that it had never gone before and she knew she could do it, but it wouldn?t be easy.

    Up the steps from the crowd came Declan and Falene to greet and embrace their mother and join her for this moment in front of the people of Bakura, the people who had taken her so far. Now she would have to appeal to half the galaxy to achieve her goals. The three waved to the crowds happily.

    Then, in a great burst, the doors of the Senate Building opened and out came the entire Noble House of Trieste to join K
  13. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Druckenwell Orbital Shipyard Gamma-120

    The Citadel-class frigate Rowena rested quietly in its orbital drydock undergoing final touches before it was to be sent out for space trials. At 550 meters at the keel, with a crew of 4,000, and bristling with sixty-five turbolaser cannons of varying strength and function, the Rowena was the most powerful warship in the RTO Navy, and arguably, the eastern Outer Rim.

    The Citadel-class of frigates were designed to provide a standardized ship of the line for the RTO Navy in order to combat the continuous threat of the Hutts, expand and protect growing trade routes to planets far beyond the borders of the RTO, and most importantly, replace aging vessels that were not able to fulfill the new demands placed upon the navy.
    Captain Horatio Quorro, 24 years old and grandson of famed Admiral Anya Quorro of both the Commonwealth and the RTO, stood quietly on the bridge of the Rowena, hands clasped together behind his back, staring out at the black void. He was a young man but a proven veteran of naval actions having fougth admirably for the RTO during the liberation of Lannik. As a result of his heroic actions during the Lannik campaign, Horatio Quorro had been bumped ahead of many older, and arguably more experienced, men to his first major command of a new breed of warrior.

    ?Captain Quorro, the techs report that all maintenace on the Rowena has been completed and the ship is all yours to conduct space trials,? a junior officer announced.

    ?Thank you, Ensign. Take us out of drydock nice and slow and head for the following hyper buoy,? Quorro commanded, typing in coordinates in a nearby control panel.

    ?Yes sir,? the ensign replied.

    Cautiously, like a newborn nerf, the Rowena powered up its sublight engines and emerged from drydock. The deck plates did not vibrate on this new ship unlike so many of the older models and the only way Captain Horatio Quorro was able to tell that the vessel was underway was the subtle change in perspective of countless twinkling stars lightyears away.

    ?Hyper buoy reached, Captain. Shall we engage the hyperdrive??

    ?Engage,? Horatio responded. The familiar blue streaks of hyperspace reached out to grab the Rowena as she tore toward her space trial destination of Nar Shaddaa, on the borders of Hutt space and the newly established demilitarized zone demarcating RTO territory from that of the Hutts.

    Upon reaching the Vertical City in record time, Rowena began a slow orbit of the Vertical City.

    ?Position us on the most heavily traveled hyper-buoy to the independent systems. Let?s see what?s out there,? Horatio commanded.

    Agily navigating the unrelenting flow of space traffic to and from Nar Shaddaa the Rowena took up position on the fringes of the Y?toub system keeping a close eye on the coming and going of all vessels, in particular, the activity emanating from the Hutt capital world of Nal Hutta.

    Pacing the bridge, Horatio asked his sensor officer, ?What are the slugs up to today, ensign??

    ?Not a lot of activity on the surface, sir. Orbiting the planet are a few picket ships, nothing that could seriously threaten us,? the young ensign replied.

    ?Odd, I would have figured that the Hutts would be out in force patrolling around Nar Shaddaa, inspecting cargo craft on their side of the border,? Horatio said, staring at the instrument readouts. ?Do a larger search of the area, I want to know where the Hutt fleet is.?

    ?Yes sir.?

    Horatio stared out the large windows of the bridge at the small moon of Nar Shaddaa forever enslaved in its orbit to the larger world of Nal Hutta. Quorro knew a thing or two about the Hutts. Knew they had been supplying arms and ships to the renegade Morgan Kynnovan and also knew that even after a month since the cessation of hostilities on Lannik, General Hal Rivera, second in command to Kynnovan, had not been turned over to the RTO for trial.

    Never trust a slug Quorro thought as he awaited the report from sensors.

    ?Scan completed, Captain. I?ve searched al
  14. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    For all her popularity and success on her homeworld, Kerry Trieste?s announcement of her Chancellery bid received a cool reception in the rest of the Republic. Her problem was simple?no one automatically identified themselves as her constituency. To the Core, she was a successful, but ultimately marginal politician. Bakura was still to them a minor world, the first among the lesser planets of the Rim. Its 80 million inhabitants were a drop in the bucket next to a small Core world like Chandrila. There were Core world mayors who had larger constituencies than Kerry Trieste. In the Rim, Kerry was viewed as another in a long line of Triestes, an entitled family of rich elitists with their Core sympathies and connections. And this wasn?t even to mention that Bakurans by their very nature were regarded as suspiciously specist simply by birth.

    Whether or not any of this was true was, as far as Kerry Trieste was concerned, besides the point. It only mattered that people thought that. Therefore, she had only one recourse: to change minds one planet at a time. Kerry Trieste, mindful of the taxpayer burden, chartered her own shuttle and began to jet through the Rim to make her case directly to the voters. It was the sort of encounter that Kerry Trieste excelled at.

    ?Bakura has had to build itself up the hard way,? she told the people of the Outer Rim, ?It?s the same way we?re all traveling. I?ll admit it, I come from a planet that?s built itself into a leader through a sector like healthcare, but we were once a mining economy, pure and simple. I?m running for the Chancellery because I understand that we?ve all got to get ahead together. You can?t just bring one sector of the Republic along and assume it?s going to trickle down.

    ?Times are tough out here. Leaders have made bad decisions, but there are some powerful interests who made a lot of money in the market crashes, crashes that have hurt growth and job creation here.? it never particularly mattered where here was, it was always the same. ?On Coruscant, they?re doing nothing to promote stable growth. They?re going to let the boom and bust cycles keep going and it?s going to keep hurting you and your children. I?m not taking the money of these financiers. Go look it up for yourself on the Holonet. There isn?t another candidate out there who has the same independence I have. And if any of you don?t think that I?m not going to stick to my guns when the going gets tough, well, go see what I did when the Maple Flag Republic called my bluff.?

    In her sweep of the populous Core worlds, Trieste presented a different message, but not an opposite one.

    ?We are growing into a Republic divided,? Trieste said, ?I saw it happening on Bakura and what resulted was a tragedy. The Republic can work for all of its member worlds. We are united by a dedication to the free market, to liberty, to freedom. There is more that ties the Core and the Outer Rim than we remember sometimes. The prosperity of the Core is based on that of the Rim. If we forget this, if we pursue our own paths separately, the resulting clash will result in ruin.

    ?The sad truth is that the politicians of the Core have lost credibility in the Rim over years of insular thought, of treating the Rim like second class citizens. I am the only candidate who can bridge the divide, who sees both sides of this issue. Yes, we have our regional differences, but it is time now to commit to overcoming them if we are to be the truly great society we expect ourselves to be.?

    At its core, the message was the same: every member world of the Republic was in it together. They could fight it and go their separate ways to no avail or they could accept it and do something great. It was a daring message, one that challenged both the Rim and the Core, but it was one that was slowly gaining traction.

    The more support she started getting, somehow the less sleep Kerry Trieste felt like she got.
  15. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Coronet City, Corellia

    Babette?s Supper Club was where anyone of importance dined when visiting the capital of the Five Brothers. Accordingly, it was where Oren Mott most often dined when he chose to go out, almost always in the company of Shandra Gilder. Tonight some of the city fathers had come together for no particular purpose other than the desire to have a good meal. It was not uncommon for business to be transacted in one form or another at such occasions and tonight was no exception.

    ?Tancarda will never make it out of the general election,? one of Coronet?s councilmen said, referring to the incumbent Supreme Chancellor. The Republic usually saw many different candidates compete for the Chancellery, which were narrowed down in the general election to the two highest vote getters, who proceeded to a runoff election. ?Five years of uninspired leadership will go nowhere with the voters after Shakra?s chancellery.?

    ?Now there was Togruta who knew how to get things done,? the Selonian Minister of Justice said, ?Mind you, not the best friend of business, but I?ll be damned if he didn?t get us out of G?rho in three years, two less than he said it would take.?

    The G?rho War had been launched before Supreme Chancellor Shakra, Chancellor Tancarda?s predecessor, had come into office and had been a response to daring pirate attacks afflicting the western Outer Rim. The Republic, in trying to eradicate the threat, found itself dragged into a protracted land war against a resentful native population. The action had been justified, for the Republic guaranteed its member worlds and citizens protection from such things, but it had been painful. Kerry Trieste?s predecessor, PM Yeorg Shrubb, had committed the Bakuran Defense Fleet to the action as part of a preemptive strategy to forestall raids on Bakura by eliminating the threat at its source. The involvement led to Shrubb?s outser when Trieste rode the public?s discontent over the war into Marian Square. Her pullout of the Defense Fleet forces anticipated Shakra?s by two years.

    ?Tancarda was never able to control the Senate,? Mott said, ?He spent his entire chancellery vetoing their bills and they?ve killed his proposals in committee in return. Leave it to a Givin to screw up a perfectly good opportunity.?

    ?The issue still remains that once again we have a clustered general election field,? a guant Caamasi said, ?If we do not see to it that a profitable candidate is put forward, we may find ourselves with two highly unsatisfactory choices in the runoff.?

    ?Klandor, that Duros Senator, he?s been sympathetic,? the councilman said, ?Good name recognition too.?

    ?With no major legislative accomplishments. His early lead will likely evaporate like morning dew,? the Caamasi said dismissively.

    ?Farnax, the Devaronian general then,? the Selonian suggested, ?Iron will, a friend of business. He?d be a strong candidate.?

    ?Too likely to start a stupid war and upset the shebang,? Mott said.

    ?That?s a chance we may have to take,? the Caamasi said, ?Rumblings of discontent near the independent systems grow strong. There is talk of secession. Farnax?s election would quiet that instantly and put the fear of the Maker into them.?

    ?Generals rarely make good politicians. They are used to commanding, not negotiating,? Mott said, ?But you have a point, there may be no other option.?

    ?There?s always Kerry Trieste,? Shandra suddenly inserted.

    The entire table turned to look at her. ?Trieste is an Outer Rim populist, a rabblerouser. She has no business being Supreme Chancellor,? the councilman said, ?Why even bring her up??

    ?Mr. Mott and I met her on Coruscant last year,? Shandra said, ?She was rather impressive.?

    ?She has done nothing but ride her father?s coattails on a planet predisposed to follow her left-leaning majority party,? the Caamasi said dismissively, ?She couldn?t handle a diverse body like the Senate.?

    ?She passed major legislation in her first term with an opposition-controlled legislature,? Shandra said, ?Including pulling out of
  16. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Disputed Territory, RTO/Hutt Space, Near Ganath

    The Varyndor Way was crowded as merchant traffic was pulled out of hyperspace near Ganath as a direct result of a Hutt interdictor whose gravity well generators were indiscriminately disturbing the peace.

    Ripped out of hyperspace was the Rowena, Bounty, and two escort carriers carrying a variety of snubfighters for any potential occasion. Immediately, the frigates and escort carriers fired up their massive deflector shields as sensors indicated they had blundered right into a terrifying traffic jam of civilian and military vessels.

    The sudden jolt to realspace nearly knocked Captain Horatio Quorro from his feet near the head of the bridge. ?Report!?

    ?Sensors indicate one Hutt interdictor, and several larger frigates of unknown class near Ganath, Captain, but the interference is too strong. We won?t know if these readings are accurate unless we pierce the cloud. Also, no sign of those merchant vessels that sent the distress signal,? the ensign replied.

    ?Maker,? Quorro breathed as he examined the traffic potentially containing millions of tons of cargo bound for the independent systems and the RTO.

    ?Signal the interdictor, I want an explanation!? Quorro commanded.

    A holographic display near the center of the bridge suddenly illuminated and the gargantuan face of a Hutt appeared licking his lips as if he were about to enjoy a savory meal.

    ?To whom am I speaking?? Captain Quorro inquired trying his best to look the revolting image in the eye.

    ?Tiroga, captain of the Hutt interdictor Ylesia,? the Hutt replied.

    ?This is Captain Horatio Quorro of the Roon Trade Organization and I must insist that you power down your gravity well generators and allow the merchant ships to carry out their business,? Quorro sternly said.

    ?Quorro, progeny of the famed Anya Quorro who defeated my people at the end of the Hutt-Almanian Conflict?? Tiroga asked.

    ?I am her grandson, but don?t see how this?? Quorro began but was cut off by a wave of a stubby arm from the Hutt.

    ?Silence, Quorro. Your government has commissioned a trade route that violates the sovereignty of Hutt space. Therefore, my people have insisted that any traffic passing through Hutt space is subject to a tariff, should you fail to neglect this tariff, I am afraid the consequences shall be most serious,? Tiroga stated.

    Captain Horatio Quorro clenched his fists and gritted his teeth. ?Might I remind you, Captain, that the RTO has specifically chartered a course around Hutt Space, known as the Varyndor Way, that was designed to avoid this kind of entanglement.?

    ?Perhaps your maps are faulty, Captain. I can assure you we are in what you call, Hutt Space,? Tiroga countered.
    His resolve began to falter ever so slightly. Turning to his executive officer, Quorro barked, ?Check the coordinates but don?t make it obvious, I won?t want to give this slug any pleasure.?

    ?Coordinates are accurate, sir. That slug is lying!? The executive officer replied in a hushed tone.

    ?Captain Tiroga, I have checked my coordinates and they are perfectly mapped. Power down your generators and withdraw your ships back to Hutt Space where they belong or you shall be escorted out,? Quorro recommended.

    The Hutt?s eyes grew large and irritated. ?Is that a threat??

    ?You are interfering with the legal traffic recognized between agreements the RTO has signed with the independent systems. Failure to comply with those laws makes you a pirate and piracy has no place in the eastern Outer Rim. Should you fail to cease and desist?? Quorro never got a chance to finish his sentence as a massive explosion rocked the Rowena.

    Horatio was stunned as his face slammed into the cold metallic deck plates Klaxon alarms sounded throughout the vessel as the distant sounds of turbolaser fire could be heard. Picking himself up off the deck, Quorro called out in a shaken voice,


    ?Sir, the slugs must?ve been planning a trap the entire time. We?ve got a sizeable fleet of twenty or so ships emerging out of hyperspace beh
  17. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Hotel Regata, Coronet City, Corellia

    ?Prime Minister, on behalf of the Five Brothers, welcome to Corellia,? Oren Mott said, receiving his guest.

    Mott had, for whatever reason, chosen not to live in a house or in a high rise apartment but instead in a hotel suite serviced by a private lift at the Hotel Regata, one of Coronet City?s finest establishments. His five rooms were more spacious than most apartments and it allowed him to easily entertain guests, visitors, dignitaries, and anyone else that he might find it useful to keep up with. Today, it was Kerry Trieste.

    ?Thank you. It is a pleasure to see you again. I am surprised our meeting at Republica House left such an impression,? Kerry said.

    ?In all honesty, it was Mrs. Gilder who remembered you so fondly. It seems she?s taken an interest in your career,? Mott said, ?Corellian whiskey??

    ?Please,? Kerry said. She accepted a glass and tasted it, nodding for a moment with appreciation. ?I suppose that millennia of experience would account for the refined taste compared to Bakuran reserves.?

    ?Oh no, we brew cheap Sithspit here too. I just don?t pay for it myself,? Mott said.

    Trieste smirked. ?So, if I?ve impressed Mrs. Gilder so, I find it rather curious that you and I are meeting alone.?

    ?I would hardly call having two armed men in the room with us meeting alone,? Mott pointed out.

    Kerry looked over her shoulder with a raised eyebrow. ?Oh, them?? She turned back to Oren. ?You may still consider us alone. The Marshals are rather discreet, but ever since someone nearly killed me they?ve been a bit more?conservative in their approach.?

    ?Understandable,? Mott said.

    ?You still haven?t answered my question,? Kerry pressed.

    ?Mrs. Gilder made a very convincing argument at a dinner we attended that you are rather qualified to become the galaxy?s next Supreme Chancellor,? Mott said, ?and I thought it would be good for us to sit down and discuss your prospects in light of that.?

    ?I think it?s very clear where I stand on the issues,? Trieste said, ?I take it you propose to lend assistance to me in the Core??

    ?I have been in this business for quite some time,? Mott said, ?and I know quite a number of my colleagues throughout the Core. With some persuasion, I believe that they will understand that you are one of us?someone committed to unity and prosperity.?

    ?Who isn?t?? Kerry remarked with a smile, ?It?s all in how we get there that we differ.?

    ?Despite some objections you may be too prone to expansion of Republican power into the affairs of the member systems, unlike some other candidates in the running you see the federal government as a provider of services, not a means of wealth redistribution. Your track record on Bakura speaks to that. Despite what people say about you, I think that you and I have more in common than seems evident at first blush, so to speak.?

    ?Then we?re on the same page, Mr. Mott,? Kerry said, ?I?m still waiting to hear the price tag.?

    Mott waved his hand. ?I don?t want a Chancellery appointment. I am quite content to remain here. It?s a rather comfortable life. I simply want you to remember that we had this conversation here today.?

    ?I don?t like open-ended commitments, Mr. Mott.?

    ?Then let?s settle on something more concrete, shall we?? Mott suggested, ?In exchange for telling all my dearest and closest associates that you would be an ideal Chancellor, you will let Corellia be Corellia.?

    ?Meaning that your status quo, complete with whatever vices you might sponsor, remains the status quo,? Kerry said flatly.

    ?Come now, Prime Minister. The Corellian system has been a very productive member of this Republic. Besides, our ?vices?, as you care to call them, are so much tamer than what happens on the fringes of the Outer Rim,? Mott said.

    ?At the risk of bargaining too lightly with you, it seems a small price to pay for such support,? Kerry said.

    ?The third iteration of the Republic has never had a Human as its Supreme Chancellor. The closest we came was Serena Kattan, a Near Human, and
  18. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Nime, Roon,

    Chairman Liam Vehn of the Roon Trade Organization was standing before an inquisition of the Board of Tribunes, dressed in a newly tailored suit, over the recent spark in violence between the Hutts and the RTO Navy, the battle between the forces under the command of Horatio Quorro and the Hutt interdictor Ylesia having ended twenty hours earlier in a bloody draw.

    ?The Varyndor Way is still not secure, Chairman,? hissed a tribune from the planet of Leritor.

    ?Six Hutt ships were badly damaged, one beyond repair. Five vessels in our own fleet are heading back to Silver Station for repair and one has to be towed, overall I would say the action ends favorably for our forces,? commented the tribune from Rothana, one of Liam Vehn?s key supporters.

    ?Favorably? How can you say anything is favorable when once again we have been sucked into an unwanted conflict with a neighbor!? Cried the tribune from Cularin, an environmentally conscious planet.

    The Board of Tribunes began to lose semblance of order as representatives from the various worlds that had signed the RTO Charter began to debate with one another over the sequence of events that had transpired twenty hours earlier. As the debate raged, Liam Vehn was well aware that the tribunate was equally divided between those who supported his policies and those who did not. Starting a conflict with the Hutts was not Liam?s idea of a regular day at the office, however, securing the Varyndor Way to allow the flow of goods in and out of the RTO was of the highest priority and thus an executive order had been released by Liam authorizing all navy ships to use whatever force necessary to keep the trade lanes open.

    ?Tribunes, please, if I might have a word,? Liam called out holding up a hand to silence the raging debate. Slowly, the voices of silence replaced those of anger in the conference room as Liam made his way to the center of the room to a holographic sphere of the known galaxy, the boundaries demarcating Hutt space from that of the RTO clearly outlined.

    ?The Varyndor Way is of the utmost importance to this organization,? Liam began, pointing at the highlighted trade route that now ran between Roon and Mon Calamari.

    ?Failure to secure the trade route would result in the Hutts having an unprecedented amount of influence on the flow of goods to and from our member worlds and that, dear tribunes, would most assuredly take the influx of credits out of your bursting coffers,? Liam said, knowing he was making his point most effectively. Though the tribunes may not have always agreed with his policies, they, just like everyone else in the RTO, benefited from a shorter trade route with the outlying independent systems.

    ?So you?ve resorted to open conflict with the Hutts in order to secure our trade?? The tribune from Leritor pressed cutting Vehn off mid-sentence.

    ?I have resorted to nothing, tribune. I have instead decided to protect our interests abroad. Nobody could have expected a Hutt trap waiting for the RTO navy near Ganath. Now, to be reasonable, I don?t expect this situation to flare up. Personally, I detest conflict. I think it serves little purpose and I will not forget the sacrifices made on Lannik to secure what I thought would be a lasting peace with the Hutts. Obviously, I was wrong in assuming those slugs would honor their end of the agreement,? Liam stated in a confident manner.

    ?What of their agreement? The Hutts have failed to hand over General Hal Rivera for his war crimes committed on Lannik?? Asked another tribune, this one from Thaere.

    ?Our priority right now is keeping the Varyndor Way open. I do not want an escalation of hostilitites. Hopefully the skirmish near Ganath has convinced the Hutt fleet that we are not to be trifled with,? Liam countered, ?also, Hal Rivera will be held responsible for his crimes, but the solution may not occur overnight. I hope you gentlemen and ladies remember that in the future I have the best interests of this economic union at heart. Plunging head long into a conflict is not my idea of proper rela
  19. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Nouvellen Orleans, Marielle, Bakura

    The stately mansion in the garden district of Nouvelle Orleans that Ronan and Mandy Trieste had purchased at the end of the Bakuran Civil War had clearly seen worse for the war. The repairs required had been considerable, but the result had been a home that was in touch with its older roots while featuring all the modern amenities a hedge fund manager and a pop star would want. The couple loved their home so much that they barely cared about the fact that their children were speaking with a hint of a drawl thanks to their peers in the neighborhood.

    The large verandas and balconies made for convenient places to lounge in the humid evenings of the Marielle summer. Sure, one sweated through one?s clothes in such weather, but the Triestes had adopted the light, breathable clothing of the city just as they had adopted the city itself. First viewed as carpetbaggers, generous and unconstrained philanthophy had established Mr. & Mrs. Ronan Trieste as favored citizens of the city. The fact that Mandy had penned ?The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down? as the lament for the Civil War defeat had only helped to endear them to the rest of Nouvelle Orleans.

    It was a long twilight tonight, and the couple were enjoying some beer on the balcony outside their bedroom. A light breeze flowing through the house courtesy of cross ventilation was gently wafting the white curtains out onto the balcony, creating a pleasing effect.

    ?Do you think your grandmother will endorse Kerry?? Ronan asked his wife.

    ?No,? Mandy replied. Her grandmother was Serena Kattan, second Supreme Chancellor of this iteration of the Republic. ?She doesn?t like her politics. She won?t publicly oppose anyone. Besides, it?s been a long time since she endorsed anyone. She?s been very content to remain retired.?

    ?Or as retired as one can be when one is an ex-Chancellor,? Ronan replied.

    ?She does a good job of it,? Mandy said.

    ?Speaking of which, Kerry?s decision forces my hand.?

    ?How so??

    ?The Eden plan. I have to act now. There?s a chance that with this many credits at stake Republican regulators could get involved. If Kerry is Chancellor it will be much more difficult for us to influence those regulators in our favor,? Ronan said.

    ?The opposite should be true,? Mandy pointed out.

    ?If my sister is Chancellor, that deal will get more scrutiny than the hair of a Wookiee going through customs in the middle of a lice infection,? Ronan said, ?We can influence people now, before she has any great influence.?

    ?This is dangerous. The House has only bought 8% of the Group through intermediaries. You told me 15% was necessary,? Mandy said, putting her beer down and turning to her husband, ?And you also said that going forward before we were ready was dangerous.?

    ?You know I picked up 2% personally when the Rim markets tanked,? Ronan said, ?and I have friends who will back our play.?

    ?Our play was predicated on the support of those friends,? Mandy said with irritation, ?Ronan, you have waited too long for this. This is your destiny. You can?t blow it now.?

    ?I won?t,? he said, taking her hand, ?but it?s going to require one favor more than we were prepared to ask. And it?s one you will have to make. To your grandmother.?

    Mandy withdrew her hand. ?Ronan, you know that favors do not come lightly from her. I might be family, but this is business.?

    ?Just get me in the door to see her and I?ll make her a pitch,? Ronan said, ?It?ll be strictly business.?

    ?I hope you know what you?re doing because you?re only going to get one shot with her,? Mandy sighed.

    ?I only ever expected one shot at this anyway,? Ronan said, ?It?s best that we take it now.?
  20. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010

    When Kerry Trieste hit the important Inner Rim world of Denon, the second capital of the Republic, her poll numbers were clocking in at 11%. Ordinarily, that would be an absurdly low number for a serious candidate in an election, bur ordinary elections did not have 15 serious candidates in them and two dozen more crackpots running for a kick. Trieste's 11% put her fourth, still two spots out of making the runoff that would actually decide the Chancellery. Leading the field was incumbent Chancellor Tancarda was leading with 22%, mainly based on name recognition. Even so, he was doing better than expected given his lackluster first term. Taron Mado, the Ithorian governor of Commenor, was second with 18% as he preached a message of fiscal conservatism and a need for leadership in the independent systems. Brentaal's Senator Gruntuda, a well connected Chagrian, was third at 13%. His bellicose proclamations about the Republic going soft and being threatened by emergent powers had a certain appeal among members of the electorate.

    In all, the day that Kerry Trieste visited Denon, she was a realistic longshot for the office. No debates had taken place, which meant that anything could still happen, but she knew that she needed to start making her move--and soon.

    That day, anything did happen.

    Before Trieste left her hotel for a rally, she was discreetly informed of a matter that she would want to be aware of. The economic downturn in the western Outer Rim that had spared Bakura had also been felt on the opposite border of the Republic. Things had gotten much worse there--so much so that there had been days of protests and marches in recent days. These peaceful gatherings had suddenly gotten less peaceful. On Tirahnn, the protestors had seized government buildings and ousted the ruling oligarchy, which had fled the planet. The newly formed opposition government had taken control and the President had made a most interesting statement.

    "Our membership in the Republic has brought us nothing," he said, "It is time that Tirahnn does what is right for Tirahnn."

    The implication was clear: Tirahnn was considering withdrawing from the Republic, something that had never happened to this iteration of the Republic.

    Kerry Trieste thought about this carefully as she was driven to her rally. When she got there, she left her datapad with her speech in the speeder. That speech no longer spoke to the galaxy.

    "The worlds of the Rim have been hurt badly by our recent economic troubles, even in the Republic," Kerry said, On individual worlds, the response to this will sometimes result in new governments being formed. This is the right of all beings in the galaxy, to enter into a collective compact for their mutual self-interest, a right we have extended to the interstellar level with our Republic. It is also the right of beings to break this compact when there are egregious violations on the part of government towards its citizens.

    "There have been no such abuses by the Republic towards any of its member worlds. The beings of Tirahnn are among those who have received the brunt of the fallout of our economic woes. That is not the flagrant breach that merits even considering the language we have begun to hear lightly suggested. These problems can be fixed through considerate reforms of our financial system, for which I have consistently advocated during this campaign. They do not require, nor does Tirahnn have the right to, succession. I will not stand for secession if elected Chancellor. If the new government of Tirahnn doubts this resolve...well, they should ask the Maple Flag Republic if I mean business when it comes to secession. Oh, wait, I'm sorry. I forgot that I wiped them off the map of Bakura. Guess that answers that."

    The crowd of Denonians roared in response.

    Coronet City, Corellia

    Oren Mott turned off the Holonet. "In the face of a rapidly developing situation, Prime Minister Trieste has the guts to take a strong, unequivocal position, unlike our indecisive Chancellor who dithers on Coruscant as the Rim
  21. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Montellian Serat, Devaron

    Kerry Trieste was the most serious of the female contenders for Supreme Chancellor, which meant everyone expected her to go over well on Devaron. It was for this reason that Kerry decided to ratchet up the new thrust of her campaign.

    "The Outer Rim worlds of the Republic have faced a crisis for the last five years. It has grown from a small germ of neglect into a crushing weight that is bringing the entire Republic to its knees," Kerry told the people of Devaron, "The economic troubles that we have experienced are the root of this problem. We need to make sure that the Outer Rim is working with the Core for shared prosperity. I know we have heard that song and dance before, but here in the Colonies we've shown that can happen through intelligent, meaningful incentivization sponsored by the Republic towards public-private partnerships that create jobs, increase the tax base, and result in value to shareholders.

    "We have done this here on Devaron and we can spread this model elsewhere with success," Kerry said, "For far too long the Senate has not been provided with the leadership needed to united disparate interests and constituencies and pass meaningful legislation. There is so much more that unites us than that which divides us and I'm sick of hearing about squabbling on Coruscant when the beings of the Republic agree on so much. I'm not going to go to Coruscant to make friends and take it easy. I'm going there to do what needs to be done. It's what I do. I wasn't elected to four terms as Prime Minister of Bakura to kick my heels up on the table and relax.

    "The divisions of the Senate are precisely why I'm taking a strong stand on Tirahnn. If even one system secedes from the Republic, the Senate is going to spin out of control and nothing will be done for months. They will be bogged down in nothing but squabbling as the lives of those they claim to represent descend into chaos. Secession will hurt us all. The east Outer Rim is still reeling from the collapse of the Commonwealth of Independent Systems, an ill-advised maniacal undertaking that stroked the ego of an Emperor," Kerry said, "On Coruscant they talk. They piddle, twiddle, and resolve without doing a thing to stem the tide of revolution and chaos that is rolling through our systems. Well I talk too and but I know when to fight and I will fight for what I love: for unity, for prosperity, for liberty, and for the Republic."

    Kerry's impassioned speech drew attention throughout the Colonies. The next major poll of candidates showed Chancellor Tancarda's support slipping down to 18%, drawing him even with Taron Mado at the same number. Kerry Trieste had surged to 15% as Gruntuda fell slightly to 12%.

    The first debate was in one week.
  22. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Fondor City, Fondor

    "And welcome back to the HoloNet's coverage of the first Chancellery General Election Debate, which pitted the top five contenders for the office against each other," the Tynnan newscaster said as the feed came back from commercial, "General consensus of political analysts and pundits is that Supreme Chancellor Tancarda's chances of reelection hit a major stumbling block tonight as a result of a dual attack from Governor Mardo and Prime Minister Trieste who hammered away on Tancarda's lack of leadership in the Tirahnn crisis."

    The HoloNet cut to a clip from the debate of the Chancellor, a well groomed Givin. "The situation on Tirahnn is inflamed. The Republic cannot afford to act rashly and make a misstep that could end up costing lives," he said in response to a question on the topic.

    "If I may," Governor Mado interposed in his deep, sonorous Ithorian voice, "we need action right now. That's why we need to expand our diplomatic engagement with the independent systems and recommit ourselves to Outer Rim development in our member worlds. Simply talking on Coruscant is getting us nowhere and only making things worse. Neglect is the problem in the Outer Rim and obviously Chancellor Tancarda is not going to change that."

    "My administration is keeping abreast of the situation and we are engaging with the new government on Tirahnn to find an acceptable solution for the current troubles. Obviously everyone here doesn't want to see secession, but we need to temper our passions and make sure we make the best decision for all the citizens of the Republic," Tancarda responded.

    "Gentlebeings, this is what differentiates me from my opponents," Kerry Trieste interjected, "The situation on Tirahnn has gone beyond words without action. While I favor diplomatic engagement, as Governor Mado has suggested, in many instances, Tirahnn has gone beyond that. The Republic needs to prepare itself to use the Fleet in the event of secession. Tirahnn's unwillingness to be a member of the Republic is not cause for leaving our union."

    "Prime Minister, such strong language will only drive Tirahnn further into the arms of secession. They need to know that their voices are being heard, not falling on deaf ears. They have legitimate grievances," Governor Mado said.

    "Grievances that have gone unaddressed or unheard by this Republic," Kerry said, jabbing her podium with one finger, "I know--I'm from the Outer Rim. And while Bakura has done well for itself, I know that others haven't. I have consistently advocated solutions to promote Outer Rim growth, to increase prosperity for the entire Republic. The people of Tirahnn have a point, but they threaten to go too far. We must all live with decisions that we have made, I know this just as much as anyone else, and Tirahnn does not get to simply undo a decision they made to join the Republic solely because they are unhappy with the results. The response of a mature nation that wants to take ownership of their society and create a better world for their children is to accept the consequences of their decisions and work to improve life. Tirahnn is not in an impossible situation from which to recover. This revolution was started over their economy and those are ills we can address. If I am elected Chancellor, Tirahnn will have a choice--work with a leader who is committed to fixing their problems, languish as they are, or break away and face the consequences. Tirahnn will be given every opportunity to succeed and if they work with us and they fail, then that will be their own fault. At the heart of it, every citizen in the Republic only wants the chance to succeed. I am here to give it to them."

    The feed went back to the Tynnan.

    "Strong words from Prime Minister Trieste, who many feel had one of the strongest showings in the debate. Governor Mado also scored several points, as both Mado and Trieste continued to hammer Chancellor Tancarda with accusations of lacking leadership on Coruscant," the Tynnan said, "We'll return shortly with reactions from several obse
  23. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Nime, Roon

    Kerry Trieste was a storm swirling throughout the Republic. Debate after debate, each one a steady juggernaut of the Trieste family agenda tearing down the old barriers of the Republic and leaving an enlightened and intelligent populace in its wake clamoring for reform clamoring for this red headed beauty from the world of Bakura to ease their fears and soothe their pain.

    Liam Vehn admired his distant family relative by marriage. Admired her a great deal. Took a few notes about her political machine to oil his own but deep down in his gut, Liam Vehn recognized that what Kerry Trieste had to tackle in the western half of the galaxy was a far cry different then the outlaw eastern half with its independent star systems still recovering from the Neo-Sith War.

    But they were his starsystems and Liam would do anything to protect them from harm, even if that meant another war.
    War. That ever present reminder of the failure of civilized beings to come to a diplomatic solution to their troubles. A simple conversation could go a long way to eliminating the need for armed conflict. But that groundwork had not been laid properly in the eastern Outer Rim. Here, war had once been the domain of lightsabers and blasters of Jedi versus Sith of capital ships exchanging enormous broadsides to further the political goals of powerful entities and of the stench and decay of widespread death and destruction.

    Now there was a peace, albeit a shaky one forged out of the fires of despair and economic ruin. But still there were enemies in this new political order. First there were enemies from within the Roon Trade Organization, now, there were enemies from without in the form of resurgent Hutt warlords whose eyes grew big with dreams of glory from times long gone.

    The recent skirmishes between the RTO Security Fleet and the Hutt navy had drawn a heavy amount of criticism from the general populace, war weary from the vicious campaign on Lannik that had only achieved a demilitarized stalemate at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, many of them brave beings from Druckenwell.

    The door to his office chimed.


    Stepping into the room was a handsome young captain of the RTO navy wearing the dress uniform of an officer. His slightly red hair stood out from the rest of his uniform reminding Liam of a woman he once knew from many years ago. A woman he had not heard from in awhile.

    ?Chairman, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Horatio Quorro, Captain of the RTO frigate Rowena recently engaging the Hutts near Ganath.?

    ?Sit down, Captain,? Liam commanded as he returned to his own chair behind his desk.

    Briefly scanning a datapad Liam blinked his eyes slowly as he scanned the information scrolling across the screen. Having his fill of this particular man?s biographical information, Liam decided to ask a few questions himself.

    ?You are related to former Grand Admiral Anya Quorro?? Liam asked.

    ?Her grandson, sir,? Horatio responded, a bit nervous.

    ?How is she, Captain? I have not spoken with her in a number of years.?

    ?She passed away this last winter on Naboo, sir. Pneumonia,? Horatio replied, a slight tremor to his voice.

    ?Maker,? Liam exhaled feeling as if he had been punched in the gut, ?she was a warrior for the ages. The last of her breed.?

    ?They will be naming the Royal Naval Academy on Naboo after her. Fitting, I think,? Horatio responded.

    ?Yes, very. Tell me about Ganath.?

    ?The Rowena received a message from some ships stranded in or near the Ganath Cloud, clearly in Hutt space. Since the Varyndor Way had just been opened not too long before, I decided to take the Rowena out for a test run of her weapon systems,? Horatio said as he looked directly into Liam?s eyes.

    ?When we arrived we stumbled upon a Hutt fleet ransacking the trade route. There were not any RTO merchant vessels, sir. The Hutts were broadcasting a signal to trap us there, to find out our response times and tactics I imagine. Well, they found them out as we were able to call in the rest of the fleet from Silve
  24. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Eden Banking Building, Denon

    Eden Banking Group, one of the galaxy's largest and most influential investment firms, had gathered together for their annual shareholder meeting. It was an invitation-only event, closed to the media, at which the health of the company was discussed, as well as certain matters requiring shareholder approval. It was standard practice on most worlds, which had generally similar laws of incorporation.

    "We now move to item 12 on our agenda, the election of the second of our class II directors, our Chairman, Belvedere Gravnor," the Corporate Secretary said as the Pau'an bowed his head in recognition, "Mr. Gravnor runs unopposed--"

    "Forgive me, but at this time I would like to affect a motion to add another candidate to this election," a shareholder said from the second row.

    The necks and heads turned to find Ronan Trieste rising from his seat.

    "All such requests must be routed through our Nominating Committee," the Secretary said, "All candidates must be identified ahead of time so they can be properly vetted by the shareholders."

    "The Noble House of Trieste with its 8% share of the Group wishes to affect the nomination of a candidate for Mr. Gravnor's directorship. I have here authorization from Taoiseach Kerry Trieste of her desire and that I am empowered to vote these shares to that end. I personally add my 2% personal holdings to that vote, giving double the 5% threshold needed for a candidate's consideration," Ronan said.

    "Even so, no candidate can be added now," the Secretary insisted, "Your request is--"

    "If you please," interrupted a voice that shocked the meeting, "Pursuant to Rule 19, section b, I wish to second this motion, citing emergency circumstances."

    Heads whipped around to look former Chancellor Serena Kattan, one of Eden's directors. Her family's Red Baron Capital Management, which had catered wealthy clients looking to invest their cash reserves, had absorbed into Eden decades ago and the result was that the Kattans held 13% of Eden, a stake they had built up with judicial acquisitions over the years. It was the strength of this fortune that had enabled her to run for Supreme Chancellor in 221, a post she'd held for two terms.

    "Ms. Kattan," the Secretary said.

    "Chancellor Kattan," she replied not too harshly, but definitely with an edge.

    "Chancellor, I fail to see the emergency here."

    "The emergency is this year's fiscal results," Kattan said, holding up her datapad, "The losses that this firm has suffered as part of the recession are inexcusable. We are Eden Banking Group. We should have seen this coming, not been blindsided by a debt fueled recession that has seen our Outer Rim holdings operation tumble by 53%. Our stock price fell by more than a quarter in the last year at its lowest point and we are still only at 90% of our value pre-recession. This firm should be thriving by making smart investments, not wallowing about helplessly. I hold the leadership of this firm responsible and that starts at the top. I no longer feel that Mr. Gravnor deserves a free pass for his directorship. Accordingly, I am exerting my privilege as a director and supporting the entry of a new nomination."

    The Secretary turned to Trieste. "Mr. Trieste, it appears you may now enter your nominee."

    "I nominate myself to run against Mr. Gravnor," Ronan said, setting off expressions of surprise throughout the room.

    Before the Secretary could say anything, Serena Kattan cut through the din saying, "I support the move, and vote the Kattan family's 13% in favor of Mr. Trieste's election."

    The shock increased. Right out of the gate, 23% of the shares of the Eden Banking Group were arrayed in Ronan Trieste's favor. The Secretary had no choice but to let voting commence. With an imposing force like Serena Kattan behind Trieste, it was a battle royale. The politicking that occurred in the hotel ballroom was intense and heated. Gravnor rallied his supporters, but not all could be won over when the specter of Serena Kattan, calmly filing her nails sat at t
  25. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Theed, Naboo

    Eleanor Vehn had never been so nervous in her entire life.

    Heart pounding, palms sweating, adrenaline racing through her veins, the oldest Vehn child of the newest generation to bear the family name was scheduled to meet with Queen Mother Sofia Quorro, Eleanor?s maternal grandmother at eight o?clock in the morning, Naboo time.

    Sitting in a very comfortable backseat of a heavily armored speeder, complete with police escort, the heiress to the throne of Naboo watched as the city slowly awoke from another night in the artisan capital of the Roon Trade Organization.
    Shops were setup by half-awake city dwellers as the early morning rays of sunlight reflected gently in the glass panes of the city of Theed.

    Queues were beginning to form around a popular cafa franchise begun on Naboo, a franchise that distributed high quality cafa beans throughout the RTO and the entire galaxy generating significant income to the local citizens as well as the royal family. This cafa franchise, however, was rumored to be cheating the farmers out of several fair trade agreements that had been signed by Chairman Liam Vehn months before.

    ?That must change when I rule,? Eleanor Vehn whispered aloud.

    ?What must change?? asked Eleanor?s governess, Lady Salle Rockford.

    ?The laws of this planet, of this galaxy,? Eleanor replied as she gazed out the window at the whirring cityscape.

    ?Princess Eleanor, such matters are beyond your focus right now. You still have studies to attend,? Rockford protested quietly.

    ?The galaxy needs my leadership, Lady Rockford,? Eleanor rebutted, ?now more than ever.?

    ?Now will have to wait, won?t it?? Rockford replied with a bit of a smile. She was very proud of Eleanor and knew she would make a good sovereign when her day came. Unfortunately, Eleanor was very impatient for that day to come.

    ?We?ve arrived,? Rockford idly commented as she stepped out of the armored speeder into the beautiful morning sunlight of Theed. Steadily and with a determined purpose, Rockford began the long march up the marble steps of Theed palace.

    Eleanor quickly followed, gathering the small train on her dress, ignoring the armed escort of Royal Naboo Security as she made her way up the marble steps to the grand entrance.

    Waiting at the entrance was Queen Mother Sofia Quorro dressed in a splendid white gown that accented her fading blonde hair as it transitioned into the twilight years full of gray splendor. Opening her arms wide in acceptance, Sofia beamed with delight as she beheld her granddaughter for the first time since Eleanor entered finishing school.

    ?Dearest child, come here!? Cried Sofia as she knelt in her dress and wrapped her arms around Eleanor in a hug only a grandmother could deploy.

    Eleanor returned the hug and smiled. She had never felt as safe or secure in her entire life as the times she spent with her grandmother.

    ?It is so good to see you. Come in, come in!? Sofia beckoned as she waved off the security and sent a look to Lady Rockford to stay back while she walked with young Eleanor Vehn.

    ?You must be about twelve years old now, my, how you?ve grown!? Exclaimed Sofia as she walked down the long palace corridors with a gloved hand resting on Eleanor?s shoulder.

    Eleanor beamed with delight. ?Almost finished with my education.?

    ?I hear you are doing very well in school. You will make a fine leader, Eleanor.?

    Eleanor?s eyes twinkled with the look of a girl about to claim the prize she most coveted in her entire life. She was ambitious, without being stupid about it, intelligent, and eager to make her mark on the galaxy. Eleanor also bore the name of a very powerful and influential family.

    ?I shall do my best,? Eleanor replied in a confident manner.

    ?You will do your best, yes, I can see it now. You will be powerful, respected, and feared,? Sofia commented as she closed her eyes picturing the future.

    ?But I do not know how to wield this power, grandmother,? Eleanor admitted feeling for the first time this morning out of her league.

    ?I think you know exactly what you need to do