Beyond The Bluebells & The Edelweiss (AU, OC)

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

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Stoney End Park, Hana City, Chandrila

    When Kerry Trieste suggested to Nessarose that he take the kids and go back to Chandrila for a while and catch a Patriots game, Nessa had to admit it was a good idea. She also knew that Kerry had another reason for the suggestion. She didn?t know what that ulterior motive was, but she knew there had to be one. She?d been a member of the Noble House long enough to know how her sister in-law thought. It was no surprise when Kerry appeared at the Patriots-Ord Mantell game?in the Board of Governors box where Nessa, a former Governor of the franchise, had been invited to watch the game.

    ?You know me, can?t resist a captive audience,? Kerry told Nessa after waving to the fans from the front of the box, ?and they love me here.?

    ?Kerry,? Nessa said gently, her children at the front of the box, enthralled with the action on the field, ?you can tell me why you?re really here.?

    ?Only out of concern for your welfare,? Kerry said, ?We?ve all been shocked by what?s happened, but the loss of a spouse is??

    ?It is,? Nessa nodded, not looking at the other widow.

    ?You have a luxury I did not,? Kerry said, ?You can take whatever time you need. Bakura could not have withstood my absence at such a critical juncture when Mihal was killed. But some time off could do you good. It is part of why I suggested you come to Chandrila. Your family is here.?

    ?One family is. The Thornes raised me, but my mother was more a Trieste than anything else. My husband was a Trieste. My life is on Bakura?with the Noble House.?

    ?I understand, but you are a member of the Noble House wherever you are. You will be provided for.?

    ?That is irrelevant,? Nessa said, ?Bakura is where I will raise my children, the planet where their grandmother made her home.?

    ?Then it is settled. There is one more thing??

    ?Yes??

    ?From time to time I hold counsel with my siblings on House matters. I appreciate their thoughts and views, even if I will ultimately make the decisions. If you wish, you may have Conn?s place. I warn you that sometimes the Noble House is?less than its name would imply.?

    ?In its deliberations or its actions??

    Kerry declined to reply.

    ?I see. Well, I think we always knew that you didn?t always play nice with others,? Kerry Nessa said, ?but I?m in.?

    ?Good. Come with me to Coruscant tomorrow. We have business to discuss.?

    Office of the Treasurer of the Five Brothers, Coronet City, Corellia

    ?Have you considered that you?re in a rather tricky situation if I don?t know anything?? Oren Mott asked Saldor Kann.

    ?Mr. Mott, in that instance it would behoove you to learn something about the murder of Conn Trieste,? Saldor said calmly. The Ithorian had been sitting in the office of the Treasurer for twenty minutes. He had informed Oren Mott that he wouldn?t leave until he learned something worthwhile about the Chancellor?s brother?s death.

    Mott had to amdit that there was some logic to that. ?Very well. Can I at least put you up somewhere decent until I learn something??

    ?So you mean to tell me you don?t know anything now?? Saldor asked, still calmly. He seemed to be the paragon of calmness. ?Nothing at all??

    ?Nothing for certain, but I don?t want the Chancellor acting on rumors,? Mott said sternly.

    ?Rumors will not reach the Chancellor. Facts will,? Kann assured Mott, ?However, rumors may help me ascertain the facts.?

    ?I see. Very well. I trust in your discretion,? Mott said. He picked up a pen and some flimsi and wrote down a brief something in a scratch. ?Start there.?

    Kann took the flimsi in his large fingers and looked at it. ?Thank you very much, Mr. Mott. I won?t intrude further on your time.?

    ?Send my condolences to the Chancellor,? Mott said as Kann stood.

    ?I shall. I am sure they will be greatly appreciated.?

    ?And tell her that she should be very careful. If I?m right, the Chancellor is playing with fire.?

    ?I think that the Chancellor has always played with fire. It?s in her nature. I blame it on her hair,? Saldor said.

    Mott shrugged and returned to his business as the Ithor/>
  2. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Jedi Temple, Coruscant

    ?And what, praytell, was so important that we needed to be dragged all the way out from Bakura for it?? Siona asked with no small amount of irritation.

    ?We do have business to attend to, Kerry,? Regan said, ?The Court is voting on opinions in a few days and I need to be back and not jetlagged for that.?

    ?Though I like the new digs,? Ronan observed appreciatively as he looked around the meeting room the Jedi Order had confidentially provided for the use of the Chancellor.

    ?This was the only place we could meet discreetly and with confidence no one was listening. This time it matters,? Kerry said, ?First of all, though you?ve all noticed I?d like to formally acknowledge that Nessa will, at my request, join the counsels in place of Conn.?

    ?Not to speak ill of the dead, but I think it?ll be an improvement,? Fiona said in Nessa?s direction.

    ?I don?t imagine Conn took much pleasure in the family business,? Nessa said.

    ?Unfortunately, I believe it cost him all the same,? Kerry said gravely.

    That turned heads.

    ?Do you care to explain that?? Fiona asked.

    ?I believe that Conn was killed to send a message to me,? Kerry said.

    ?Excuse me?? Siona asked with no small measure of surprise.

    ?Please, elaborate,? Regan said with interest.

    ?With trade negotiations in their final stages with the RTO, it is a critical time for my Chancellery. Derailing these talks could end any potential for a second term, should I choose to seek one,? Kerry said, ?I believe there are forces arrayed to do just that.?

    ?What proof do you have of that?? Ronan asked neutrally.

    ?None, at the moment.?

    ?Who would come after you though? We smashed the Elder Star Society already,? Oisin said.

    ?I have dispatched Saldor Kann to discover that,? Kerry said.

    ?Suppositions are not your stock in trade, Kerry,? Regan said, ?Why bring this to us??

    ?To protect us,? Nessa said, ?If they?ll kill once, they?ll do it again.?

    ?I fear as much,? Kerry confirmed, ?We must be wary. The House will pay for additional security for anyone, if desired.?

    ?Let?s back up a moment. Will someone explain the leap from crazy jilted lover killing Conn to galactic conspiracy against Kerry?? Siona interjected.

    ?Something is off about all of this,? Kerry said, ?Why would a woman hold a grudge for so long and only now snap??

    ?You expect predictability and logic from the medically insane?? Oisin asked.

    ?Coincidence fails to satisfy me,? Kerry said, ?Not with an offer from the RTO in the Senate for debate.?

    ?It?s plausible, but we need proof of malicious intent,? Ronan said.

    ?And one that is not another body,? Regan agreed, ?We need to be kept updated of Kann?s findings. In the meantime, I will take the protection.?

    ?And what happens if you?re right, Kerry?? Siona asked.

    ?Then we defend the Noble House,? Kerry said, ?against all comers.?
  3. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    Theed, Naboo

    ?Is the new turret almost complete?? Eleanor asked newly hired chief architect of the palace, Pter Underwood, a man whom she had the pleasure of meeting during the flood crisis in Moenia.

    ?Yes, m?lady, we?re just adding the finishing touches now,? Underwood replied, ?I am sure that it will inspire serenity in future monarchs.?

    ?Let me enjoy the tower for many years,? Eleanor said.

    ?Of course, your majesty, I did not mean to suggest that anyone would be replacing you,? Underwood corrected.

    ?Eventually, someone will. That day could come as soon as tomorrow or as long as fifty years from now. Just keep working, Pter, you?re doing a great job,? Eleanor replied as she left the throne room and took a walk around the palace.

    Light flooded in through the floor to ceiling paned glass windows of the palace and the beautifully designed marble interior reflected all of the finer qualities of some of Naboo?s greatest artisans. Naboo was still a wonderfully artistic planet and prided itself on its ability to make anything appear beautiful and exquisite. Underneath the gorgeous exterior was a planet searching for its soul and that search started with its leader, Eleanor Vehn.

    Marble busts of past rulers lined this particular corridor. Eleanor passed King Jafan, Veruna, then Amidala, Kylantha, and finally she reached, Sofia and Camilla Quorro. Their likenesses were fairly accurate from the holovids she had seen during their reigns. Reigns that had seen fantastic highs and deplorable lows. Reigns that had changed what it meant to rule Naboo and also Naboo?s role in the greater galaxy and with each success there seemed to be an even greater mistake. Mistakes such as changing the monarchy to a perpetual reign, invading the world of Lannik, taking control of the RTO Security Fleet, and destroying the civil rights of Naboo?s citizens.

    Change would have to come and Eleanor knew that there were many issues still lingering from the nearly fifty year rule of the Quorro dynasty. As a relative of the Quorro?s by association, Eleanor felt obligated to right their wrongs and had spent much of her first year as monarch bridging the gap between the common person and the monarchy. Her presence in Moenia had taught her much about the importance of being a leader that understood the needs of a suffering city. Her avoidance of being dragged down by the media for the Liam Vehn fiasco, and her recent partying, had done her credit in the face of growing criticism that Naboo had inherited an immature, stupid, little girl. The media had had a field day with the leaked images of a young queen having a fun night out with her handmaidens. Those photos had done nothing to endear the young queen to the progressive minds underneath her rule.

    Already, they, were calling for a return to a democratically elected monarch. Eleanor understood their concerns and shared a great many of them. Part of her wanted to return the monarchy back to its once noble roots of being elected by the people. The other part of her wanted to institute a few more changes before making the leap on such an important decision.
    She wanted the people to believe in her, wanted them to see that she was doing her best, and that she truly had their best interests at heart.

    But few solutions existed from a growing list of problems.

    The administrative structure of the Royal Advisory Council had been gutted following the resignations and exile of the Avonlea family. While the Council members were routinely elected from their home districts there was simply not enough new blood being infused onto the powerful decision making body. Eleanor would have to be the person that would unite the RAC into an effective decision making force and prove to the people of Naboo that she, of all the monarchs, wanted the once democratic world to have liberal principles that reflected liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

    Her eyes lingered on the bust of Sofia Quorro the first hereditary monarch in a very long time. Her rule had changed everything. And as Eleanor stared at the bus
  4. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Galactic Senate, Coruscant

    As Chancellor, Kerry Trieste rarely attended voting sessions of the Senate. As it was, executive duties occupied so much of her time that she didn?t grace the Senate with her presence unless they were taking up matters she considered extremely important. The presence of the Chancellor usually helped to bring some of the truant Senators into the chamber, so Kerry was judicious in the use of her influence in that regard. It therefore spoke as to how important Kerry considered ratification of the Republic-RTO trade agreement that she chose to be present on the Chancellor?s podium during the floor vote on the matter. Though she was officially chief parliamentarian of the Senate, she usually delegated that duty out. Not today.

    A procedural motion to open voting on the treaty had just carried and Kerry Trieste sat at the podium and waited as the ten minutes allotted to the voting passed. This was the moment that last four years of her Chancellery had been building towards. Yes, her Rim Economic Development Bill had been a major piece of legislation, one that Kerry contended had resulted in relieving tensions in the Outer Rim systems of the Republic, a bill that likely staved off a civil war. But this was groundbreaking for this iteration of the Republic. Ever since the end of the Neo-Sith War and Serena Kattan?s insular doctrine, the rule had that any system that wanted to share in the benefits of the Republic had to join with everything that entailed. Extending free trade to the RTO was revolutionary within the context of Republican politics, but not so much that the idea was doomed to fail.

    A soft chime reverberated through the Senate, indicating that there was one minute left before the voting would close. Kerry stirred to attention. She anticipated a close vote. Years of groundwork had gone into preparing this vote and that fact alone meant that Kerry suspected she would win one of her most narrow victories as Chancellor with this one?if she won.

    She drummed her fingers impatiently as she waited for the final tally. As the presiding office she would have the pleasure of announcing the results. It was half the reason she had chosen to attend. Politically risky, yes, if ratification failed, but she would rather take it on the chin than be conspicuously absent in such a moment of triumph.

    The voting closed and the display at the Chancellor?s podium displayed the results.

    ?Voting has now finished on Senate Bill 349, ratification of the RTO-Republic Trade Agreement,? Kerry said, ?The motion passes with 52% of member systems in favor.?

    From those that had been ardent supporters of the bill there was applause and some cheers. Kerry indulged herself with a smile. It was a brief moment, however, for she leaned down to one of her assistants, filling the place of the absent Saldor Kann.

    ?Ready a shuttle for Nime. It?s time Ypres and I signed this for good before somebody changes their mind,? Kerry said.
  5. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    Nime, Roon

    Celebration

    Liam Vehn rested his arms against the cold stone of the balcony overlooking Roon. It was a quiet night in the city of Nime. He watched the lights twinkle on several of the taller buildings. Roon had a policy of keeping buildings at a certain height to prevent a cluttering of the skyline. As he enjoyed the skyline, he realized how proud he was of the fact that his family had built this town from the ground up and encouraged its economic prosperity. Much could be said for the rest of the member worlds of the Roon Trade Organization, an economic union that many thought would fail within the first six months of its conception. That was twenty years ago.

    There had been times when the RTO had nearly crumbled underneath the responsibility of a legitimate government but each time the organization had been saved by forward thinking leaders. Now, in a way, as Liam stood on the balcony of his home with Kaitlyn Vehn, formerly Ypres, he could not help but reflect on the journey his own life had taken and how good it felt to finally be at peace. His disgrace following his trial had humbled him greatly and taught him a valuable lesson on what was really important in life and although he had lost his job as Chairman of the RTO, in a way, he remained influential in government through his wife who held the position as judiciously and intelligently as he ever could have hoped.

    There had been complaints about the marriage in some circles. Once more, Liam had found a way to skirt the rules of the system. But rules were guidelines, meant to be bent, but not broken. He was a changed man. He was no longer the reckless farm boy who played with explosives in his family?s back yard. No longer hiding in the shadow of his family?s success and no longer pining for a relationship that could stand the test of time as his father and sister had discovered. No, for the first time in Liam Vehn?s life, he knew what it meant to belong. Right here, right now, he belonged with his wife.

    [image=http://i39.tinypic.com/wkl5vm.jpg]

    ?We did it!? Kaitlyn yelled from inside the lavish home.

    Confused, Liam turned and barely had enough time to wrap his arms around his wife?s attractive form. Her kiss was passionate, heart felt, had a certain zing to it that suggested good news was one the way. Pulling back, Liam looked into
    his wife?s eyes and asked, ?Did what??

    ?The trade deal! By the Maker, it has on its way to Nime for signing! It just passed the Senate by 52%! We did it!? Kaitlyn cried out squeezing her husband tight in a fierce hug.

    Shock came over Liam. He couldn?t believe it. The goal they had been working for years was going to be a reality. Smiling widely, Liam clutched his wife tight and ran a hand through her long hair. He was about to witness to one of the most important events in the history of the Roon Trade Organization. Free trade with the Republic was going to be here at last.

    ?When will it arrive??

    ?Kerry is delivering it personally in a day. She really came through for us,? Kaitlyn remarked.

    ?Yeah, she did, my wife, she did,? Liam responded, choking up slightly, thinking of the great debt that the Trieste?s had owed the Vehn?s. Now, that was repaid in full. There was nothing more the Noble House could do for the Vehn clan, nothing more that the Vehn clan could ever want in return.

    As the pair stood on the balcony, news of the trade deal spread throughout the city. Thousands of people flooded the main square, clearly visible from the apartment, and rejoiced. In the distance, over the waters of the Roon Sea, fireworks shot up through the darkness and illuminated the city. Today was truly a day to rejoice.

    ?There is other good news, husband,? Kaitlyn whispered as they held eachother tight and watched the fireworks.

    ?Hmmm?? Liam murmured, not wanting to take his eyes away from this beautiful moment.

    ?You are going to have a son this year. Just thought you?d like to know,? Kaitlyn whispered.

    Liam clutched his wife tighter to his chest and kis
  6. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Nime, Roon

    The RTO had grown out of economic imperatives, rather than common culture, political kinship, historic allegiances, or any other reason. This made its founding much different than that of the Republic, where the passing of the RTO-Republic Trade Agreement had, despite the somewhat heated resistance Kerry Trieste had worked to break down over the last three years, essentially been a relatively minor legislative issue that would not trouble the Senate any further now that it had been dispatched for the Chancellor?s signature.

    That made the reception on Roon all the more striking. Here, where economic matters were everything, there had been outright celebration by citizens. Had someone bothered to ask the denizens of Coruscant about the RTO-Republic Trade Agreement, the vast majority would likely have shrugged their shoulders if they?d even heard of it. Most of the ignorant would have been surprised to learn there wasn?t free trade already with the RTO.

    But that was so often the case in for the bigger powers. That which mattered so much to the smaller fish went unnoticed by the big one. It was why it had required leadership from no less than an indefatigable Chancellor committed to passage of a trade accord to bring it about. It was something that the people of Roon were very cognizant of. From the moment that the Chancellor stepped off the shuttle and onto the spacepad at Roon she received nothing short of a hero?s welcome. One would have thought she was the Chairman of the RTO, not the Chancellor of the Republic, given the affection with which the crowds greeted her. In this moment of triumph, she was happy to smile and wave.

    The signing ceremony was to be conducted at Vehn Plaza, an outdoor venue overlooking the Sea of Roon. Some would likely comment on the fact that Kaitlyn Ypres-now-Vehn should choose a spot named for the family for such a momentous event in the history of the RTO, but Kerry would be one of the ones who wouldn?t fault her for it. She, more than anyone else, understood that strong leaders were often needed to make momentous events happen. Needless to say the Senatorial Guard was less than thrilled with the fact that they would have to, on short notice, contend with the many threats that an exposed space like this could prevent, but they?d done it enough times before that Kerry had confidence in it.

    As with so many events in the life of a chief of state, this one was choreographed to perfection. The arrival of Kaitlyn Vehn and Kerry Trieste was simultaneous and the pair crossed the stage to the table to shake hands for the holocameras for smiles. That piece of business finished, the two took their seats, a datapad in front of each. In older times, pieces of flimsi would have been signed by each, then exchanged, and signed again so that each had a copy of the agreement with both signatures on it. Now with the electronic standard in the galaxy, one signature with a stylus once was enough and both parties had a fully executed document. When they set their styluses down, the pair rose, and shook again to applause for the cameras once more before moving to a podium with which to make remarks on the occasion.

    ?I would say that I would limit my remarks today as a guest of the RTO,? Kerry Trieste began, ?but in reality, that is no longer true. I stand here, on behalf of the Republic, as an equal of the Roon Trade Organization. This carefully crafted and negotiated deal is good for the galaxy. And there is no one who will be able to encapsulate this better than Chairwoman Vehn?Chairwoman for the sake of distinguishing between her and her husband. It is my pleasure to cede the podium to her now.?
  7. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    Nime, Roon

    Chairwoman Kaitlyn Vehn, wearing a stylish maroon power suit, shook Kerry Trieste?s hand and gave her a warm smile before stepping behind the platform to the cheers of the crowd. Thousands of flags bearing the symbol of the RTO were waving back and forth and the crowd had begun to chant, ?RTO! RTO! RTO!?

    Leaning forward into the microphone, Kaitlyn said, ?Citizens of the Roon Trade Organization. Our day of deliverance has come.? The crowd roared.

    ?We have signed an historic accord with the Republic, an accord that was not easy to come by, and one that faced many challenges from both parties. I want to extend a sincere thank you to Chancellor Trieste for working very hard to securing the economic future of the Outer Rim. Without the Chancellor?s help, this agreement could never have succeeded. Years from now, when our children pour through their history books, they will remember this day. Help them remember this day, dear citizens, help them remember why it is that a strong RTO makes for a strong Republic. I want to hear a round of appreciation for Chancellor Trieste, and those helpful lawmakers in the Senate, for getting this deal through.?

    The crowd went nuts. Security was having a hard time holding them back. A new chant circulated, ?Trieste! Trieste! Trieste!?
    Kaitlyn smiled and applauded along with the crowd as Kerry was honored. This was also her day, even if she was not a citizen of the economic union, she and her family would always be welcome.

    ?We have overcome challenges, from within, and from without. We have seen that our future as a government, as a people, is interconnected with that of the greater galaxy. No longer can we be insular and turn a blind eye to the affairs of the independent systems. As one of the largest economic forces in the Outer Rim, the RTO must embrace its role as a protector of the trade lanes and as a stabilizing force in a very unstable region of the galaxy. We have proven the critics wrong. They said we would collapse in six months. It has been twenty years. Although we are still in the infancy of government, we have learned, and we shall continue to learn, so long as I am your leader. My interests are your interests, my thoughts are yours, come let us step into this brave new world with confidence, poise, and a desire to do what is right. In your hands, dear citiziens of the RTO and the Republic, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Thank you.?

    Kaitlyn stood away from the platform and felt the reassuring embrace of her husband beside her. The crowd whistled, cheered, hollered its approval from Vehn Plaza to the tallest building, from Lady Constance Medical Center, to the rebuilding world of Lannik. There was much to celebrate today and as Kaitlyn looked over the crowd, looked over at Chancellor Trieste, she understood what it meant to be a part of something far larger than you.
  8. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Nime, Roon

    Kerry Trieste might have been a being with a lot on her plate as Chancellor, but that didn't mean she didn't take time to enjoy her victories. As a guest of the Chairman, she stayed on Roon for the night to celebrate the victory for their constituents--and to ratify the old bond between the families. For a couple of hard drinkers, they put themselves under the table in privacy. The hangover the next morning would indeed be appropriately large (and result in the Chancellor embarking on her shuttle back to Coruscant with sunglasses to hide her bloodshot eyes), but it was worth it.

    Kerry knew she had a decision to make. Her run to become Chancellor had largely been driven by a desire to push the trade agreement through from the top, something she could have never done as Prime Minister. Now she had to decide whether she wanted to retain that power. The Republic was experiencing calm. It was a good time to step away, if there was one, when elections were called next year. But Kerry could not deny her vanity. The great Chancellors were two term Chancellors. Kerry had broken the mold on Bakura by serving four terms, against precedent. On the one hand, it seemed a shame to leave things now, in her prime. On the other, she'd been in politics for nearly 30 years now. She was looking forward to retirement...one day.

    This thought floated vaguely in the back of her mind. Tonight she focused on enjoying herself, and the moment. Ambling about the chambers kept by the Vehns, Kerry eventually landed on an antique keyboard instrument. Perhaps it was the drink, but an old song sprung to mind. She had been taught it by Jedi Master Lexine Wydra, who had been a constant presence in the lives of the Trieste children. Master Wydra had told Kerry she had heard a group of her fellow Jedi singing the tune the night before they faced Lord Deran in what would be the climactic battle of the Neo-Sith War, an encounter that Wydra would carry with her for the rest of her life in the form of a limp inflicted by the Sith Lord himself.

    "Look at all my trials and tribulations
    Sinking in a gentle pool of wine
    Don't disturb me now I can see the answers
    'Til this morning is this evening; life is fine
    Always hoped that I'd become a Jedi
    Knew that I could make it if I'd tried
    Then when we retire we'll write our holocrons
    So they'll still talk about us when we've died..."


    Salis D'aar, Bakura

    "I'm guessing...left half forward tonight," Declan Trieste said as he encountered Ayn Dormingale in the coed bathroom doing her makeup.

    "He's a boor," Ayn replied without the slightest flinch as she continued her work, "I do other things than--"

    "The Limmie team?" Declan interjected before she could finish.

    Now Ayn turned and gave Declan an unappreciative glare before continuing. "The caliber of speakers that are attracted to UBSD is very impressive. Most students take it for granted."

    "So you're getting dolled up solely to go hear a lecture?"

    "Declan, for someone with a sister you understand nothing about the amount of preparation a woman has to undertake to look good on a daily basis," Ayn said, closing her kit.

    "The only makeup my sister wears is eyeblack for the Prytis Limmie team," Declan replied, "She would not be the typical feminine model."

    "You know, for someone who comes from a family like you do, I thought you'd take a greater interest in politics," Ayn said.

    "I take enough of one. I've been around it my entire life. It's hard not to," Declan said.

    "No, you've lived in politics. You haven't learned much about it," Ayn said as she left the bathroom.

    "So have you," Declan retorted.

    "I actually take the time to read about what's going on and form opinions about what aught to be done," Ayn said, "Have you?"

    "Of course I have."

    "Then tell me what you think of Idna Beltar's proposition for the Ord Mantell labor dispute?" Ayn said, crossing her arms.

    Declan wavered. "Idna Beltar..."

    "That's what I thought," Ayn said, opening the door to her room and tossing her makeup kit onto her bed, "Come w/>
  9. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Gesco City, Bakura

    The coming out of Ginnifer Lynd was considered the social event of the season in Gesco City, the new home of Dr. and Mrs. Dorian Lynd. The Triestes had not had a strong presence in the second largest city on Bakura ever since the rebuilding of the planet, preferring to allow it as a space for the Houses of Captison, Sweetwater, and Antruse to hold sway. It was not wise to incite conflict unnecessarily.

    The decision by a former Minister of State, Bakuran Envoy to the RTO, and Republican Ambassador to the RTO to settle in the city was definitely a change in that philosophy. Of course, it had also become convenient for Siona to plant her family in Gesco City. Now that she sat on several boards on behalf of the Noble House, it made sense to decamp from the political center of Bakura, Salis D’aar, and head for the economic locus, Gesco City. Though such things were not discussed outside of the Noble House, Siona also wanted distance from Kerry and the Salis D’aar interests. Her dismissal as Ambassador had not ceased to sting and had no interest in remaining any closer to her sister and the Salis D’aar interests than she had to be.

    Ginnifer’s coming out was the sort of sparkling affair that was expected of the Noble House and one of its preeminent members. Siona and her husband Dorian greeted guests at the front of the ballroom and presented their daughter to them—and more importantly their children. Not every part of Bakura observed the rituals of a debutante ball, but the upper crust in Gesco City did and the ritual was important. The message was that Ginnifer was now a full fledged member of their society, something that Siona felt was important for all of her children. Bakura’s Houses believed themselves to be an aristocracy—not a codified one, but still one all the same. For them, anything was possible. They were a privileged breed of which great things were expected. Ginnifer Lynd had now come into her expectations. She and everyone else on Bakura had better take note. That was the message that Siona Lynd was sending tonight.

    It was not lost on one of the attendees: Regan Eldred. All of Siona’s siblings had been invited, but only Regan had accepted, bringing Atticus and their children Quentin and Trixie. For his part, Atticus still did not understand why and voiced the sentiment again.

    “Because we are witnessing the beginning of open season on the Noble House,” Regan explained as she observed the festivities from a spot on the wall of the ballroom, drink in hand.

    “Should we have brought blasters?” Atticus remarked wryly.

    Regan laughed. “A different kind of season,” she replied with a smile, “No, every House, every family of any worth on Bakura will now begin scheming about how to place their sons and daughters in the way of the tenth generation of Triestes. Ginnifer is the first to be presented. You can bet that every couple here with a son near Ginny’s age will try to follow up tonight if there is even the slightest hope that Ginny could be enticed into an attachment to their boy.”

    “A very mercenary assessment,” Atticus said, “But, then again, I meticulously planned our marriage. All the work of my parents.”

    That was a patent lie and they both knew it, but Regan played along. “And look how well it turned out.”

    “I should think that Declan and Falene would be considered greater prizes,” Atticus said, “The children of the Supreme Chancellor, favorites to become the next Taoiseach.”

    “It’s one thing to go after a Ginnifer Lynd. It’s completely another to compete for Declan Trieste,” Regan said, “Then you’re taking on the Chancellor. No, anyone with any intelligence would never stoop to chase after one of Kerry Trieste’s children. A nexu mother if ever there was one. Her children will find their own way. Treasure hunters will be torn to shreds at the gates—even if her children will never realize it.”

    “So, shall we auction off Quentin and Trixie to the highest bidder when it comes time?” Atticus asked.

    “How crass,” Regan said, “I’d rather barter them. I think Quentin’s worth a new speeder. Trixie…mid-size starship.”

    “Package deal for both of them if someone offers us a summer home.”

    “Deal,” Regan said without hesitation.
  10. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    Theed, Naboo, Royal Opera House

    Eleanor stepped out of the stretch hovercar in front of the Royal Opera House and was temporarily blinded by the thousands of flashes of holocameras taking her picture. She had grown used to the media, used to the security presence that flanked her at every step, and as she walked down the red carpet that had been laid out in preparation for her arrival she turned to wave at the people of Theed who cheered loudly at her presence. Eleanor extended a gloved hand to those fortunate few. Her evening dress flowed around her and her hair was done in a particularly stunning manner, a perfect reflection of the trend setting styles that defined this particular monarch.

    The young woman of Vehn and Trieste descent, a hybrid of two of the most influential families in the Outer Rim, was doing her best to repair her image with the people after the scandal earlier in the year when she had been caught partying at a Theed nightclub. The media had publicly roasted Eleanor for her rare act of personal indulgence and a vocal minority of the people had spoken against the young queen calling for her to set a positive example for families all across Naboo.
    Personally, Eleanor had little to regret about that night. Publicly, she knew that she could not endorse the message she was sending young women throughout the planet, a message that strongly supported underage drinking and promiscuity. Consulting with her newly formed cabinet, Eleanor understood that she needed to wage a war against the media for the hearts and minds of the people. And she did just that by holding family days in many of Theed’s parks and by encouraging young women to pursue education and enhance their skill set to remain competitive in the ever changing work place. She had spoken at commencement ceremonies, commissioned works of art, and made several substantial donations to higher education throughout the planet.

    Tonight, Eleanor was attending the Royal Opera House’s debut of A Night of Opera in Theed. Two promising young women were to perform live before the queen and a sold out audience. All proceeds from the event were to go to a children’s charity to help with battling disease and illness in Theed.

    Entering her box seat, Eleanor took in the magnificent theater that had been built in the time of Amidala and survived the turbulent decades afterward. Beautiful gold leaf designs adorned the walls and a stunningly large crystal chandelier hung from the center of the domed roof. Besides the lavish decorations, Eleanor observed that some of the most influential people in Theed society were out in force tonight, making their rounds amongst their friends and colleagues. There was even rumor that Chairwoman Kaitlyn Vehn might be making an appearance. She highly doubted that Kaitlyn would show up for the event, the two were on excellent speaking terms, and she was sure that Kaitlyn would’ve informed the young queen of her arrival in any case.
    The lights dimmed, the audience roared in anticipation, and two beautiful women stepped out on stage under the bright floodlights. The orchestra began its beautiful introduction and what unfolded next was one of the most beautiful operas that Eleanor had ever heard in her life.



    When the women had finished the audience remained quiet. Eleanor wiped away the tears that came freely to her now. She was not ashamed to show her approval of the program in public. Fighting back tears, Eleanor stood and began to clap. The people in the audience looked to the box seat of the queen and saw her pleasure at one of the most magnificent performances that anyone had heard in a long time on Naboo. They in turn clapped and whistled their approval. It was in that moment that Eleanor Vehn, fifteen years old, made a silent pledge to always support the arts and keep her people’s interests closest to her heart. It was then that Eleanor Vehn decided to grow up and become the leader she was destined to be.
  11. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Salis D’aar, Bakura

    The media firestorm around the Srin Andloinne trial was one of the biggest in recent years on Bakura. The scandalous details of her relations with Conn Trieste back in his heady days of sowing wild oats were eagerly gobbled up by the public. Due to the connection to the Chancellor the story was carried by the HoloNet galactically, though interest was by far highest on Bakura.

    The defense predictably entered a not guilty by reason of mental default plea. Most observers felt it was clear that something was awry with Srin’s mind, but not everyone was certain that she was so unhinged as to not know what she was doing or the difference between right and wrong. By and large public sentiment was that beings didn’t want to see her walk, but there may not be any way around it.

    What was shocking the media and citizens was the wall of silence from the Noble House. The Press Secretary for the Chancellery had said only that the Chancellor was still privately mourning the death of her brother and that it was inappropriate for the Chancellor to intervene in a local matter, regardless of her own personal involvement. The very presence of the Chancellor at the trial, the Press Secretary said, could unduly influence the outcome of the proceedings. None of the other Triestes even deigned to make public comment. Regan Eldred point blank told one reporter that it would be official misconduct for her to make any comment on any case being heard in a lower court due to her position on the Supreme Court. Siona Lynd returned no calls. The office of the Commandant of the Fleet Academy said that Admiral Westenra was unable to provide comment on the workings of a civilian branch of government due to her position in the Fleet. Ronan Trieste’s office in Nouvelle Orleans refused comment and all comms to Tesserone were unanswered. None of them appeared at trial.

    Only Nessa spoke to the media, and then only once. She addressed reporters outside the Salis D’aar courthouse on the first day of the trial with Elfie holding her hand.

    “I do not know whether Miss Andloinne was sane or not on the morning my husband died. But I trust that the fair and impartial system I have taught students about in my civics class will do its job and render a just verdict. But whatever the outcome, I pray that Miss Andloinne’s life will be spared. I forego vengeance for my husband. I ask only that our legal system give us justice, whatever that may be.”

    The statement almost got more coverage than the trial itself. As one courtroom reporter for the BBC commented in her broadcast, “Perhaps it is the great silver lining of this tragic event that we have the opportunity to see the better angels of our nature on display in the actions of Nessarose Trieste.”

    Even then, Nessa flatly refused to appear in court for the proceedings. With such irrefutable evidence against his client, counsel for the defense chose to waive his client’s right to a jury trial. The particulars of what went down in the trial were irrelevant to most. In the end, everyone only remembered the verdict.

    “I find that though the defendant committed a cruel act against society, the evidence and testimony presented weighs in favor of mental incapacity. Miss Andloinne, I find you not guilty by reason of mental default. In accordance with the laws of the County of Salis D’aar, I hereby order you to be placed into a state mental facility until such time as you are deemed to no longer present a danger to society, should that day ever come.”



    Office of the Supreme Chancellor, Coruscant

    “Madame Chancellor,” Saldor Kann said, gently intruding on Kerry’s solitude.

    “Yes?” she answered without even looking up from her work.

    “Not guilty by reason of mental default,” Kann stated without emotion.

    “Please get me Oren Mott,” Kerry replied without even pausing her writing.
  12. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Bakura

    Srin Andloinne sat shackled in a prison transport in flight to her final destination, the Plainview State Asylum. Like the others around her she sat there silently, dumb. Many were on medication to limit the excesses that had led them to incarceration. It was a decidedly dull flight.

    Until engine #3 blew, jolting the shuttle from the sky. The panic of sudden hard loss of altitude, the guards strapping into safety webbing, the alarm klaxons—

    Impact.

    Darkness.



    Elsewhere

    Where Srin woke up, she didn’t know. But it was a hard slap that brought her around. When she opened her eyes, head throbbing, she found it had been delivered by a grimacing Weequay.

    “She’s up,” he growled before stepping away.

    Srin Andloinne blinked, but as the cobwebs left her head she found it wasn’t a hallucination. She was in some old industrial warehouse, tied up. The Weequay had friends—a shortish Human male on the older side and another thug.

    But what she couldn’t believe was that Kerry Trieste was standing next to them.

    “Like I promised, barely a scratch on her,” Oren Mott told Kerry, “You know I charge extra for that.”

    “Only you, Oren,” Kerry said.

    Srin moved her jaw, trying to find words.

    “Looks like she’s ready to talk,” Oren said, “Whether she can…”

    Kerry crossed the bare permacrete floor between them. Along the way she grabbed a steel chair, which she dragged gratingly towards Srin. She spun it on one leg until it was backwards and then she sat down facing Srin, legs apart.

    “Before we get started, understand this—when my sister in-law foreswore vengeance, she wasn’t speaking for me,” Kerry said darkly, “Now tell me who it was.”

    “I don’t—”

    Kerry flicked an eyebrow and the Weequay took the back of his beefy, weathered hand across Srin’s mouth, almost knocking her over.

    “Don’t lie to me,” Kerry said, “It insults my intelligence.”

    Mott stepped forward. “We tracked the money. We know you were paid four days before you shot Conn. Hidden well enough I almost didn’t find it and I know how to keep a lot of credits in places they don’t get found.”

    Finally Srin could cobble together a sentence. “Then why do you need me to tell you?”

    “Because I know someone’s coming after me and you’re going to tell me exactly who,” Kerry said, “and given your current position…well does someone who’s got a mental default need me to spell it out for her.”

    Srin wet her lips. “It was Palaster Qort.”

    Kerry gently patted Srin on the cheek. “There.” She stood—and pulled a blaster from her waistband behind her back. She flicked the safety off in the same motion and shot Srin in the head, knocking her and the chair she was tied to onto the floor.

    She handed the blaster to Mott. “Take care of this, will you?” she said. It wasn’t much of a question.

    “Of course,” Mott said.

    He promptly turned and shot the Weequay and his fellow goon once each through the chest.

    “A shame to lose two good wet men, but you know I give you only the best, Chancellor,” Mott said regretfully. The pair walked out of the warehouse. Once outside, Mott stopped to light a cig. He took one puff and then tossed it back inside. The pair got into a covered speeder and took off. A minute later the old building exploded, vaporizing all trace of the three bodies inside.



    Fondor
    The next day a package arrived at the office Panstellar Holdings’ CEO Palaster Qort. It contained a lock of hair. Qort, a sleek Devaronian, didn’t need to have it tested to know whose it was: Srin Andloinne’s.

    He looked at his confederate, Exeter Xanat, and gave him a smile. “I believe that Chancellor Trieste got our messgage, my friend.”
  13. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    I've been reading every post in this story for quite a while. Could you @TAG me in future posts so I know when this has been updated? Thanks!
  14. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    You have! I had no idea! As for tagging, I think if you watch the thread you can get an alert whenever a new post comes up. Would that serve your purpose?
  15. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    I have on-forum alerts for new post notifications turned off so I can get emails only. I suppose that would work anyway, though, so I'll do that. :D
  16. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    Glad to hear you are reading this story, JC! Wasn't sure if it had a following or not outside the two of us ;)
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  17. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Cape Suzette, Bakura

    “An unexpected pleasure, Ayn,” Sabé Dormingale told her granddaughter as she hugged her. The former Prime Minister had decided the best thing to do was to give Ayn her space in her last two years at UBSD and return to Cape Suzette, the city she’d represented for so many years in the Senate. Its loyal voting bloc had allowed her to focus on mastering the Senate and becoming Deputy PM from whence she ascended on Kerry Trieste’s resignation to assume the Chancellery. It was the city that in her retirement Sabé wanted to call home, even if it put her at a distance from Ayn.

    “It had been too long since I’d seen you. But I should also mention that I came to get my yellow dress from last year. The one I wore to the press thing,” Ayn said with the hint of a grin that could only make her look saucy.

    “The truth comes out,” Sabé said with something of a smile herself. She couldn’t help but be pleased with Ayn. She had all the good looks of her mother, the late Gaeriel Dormingale, but she’d gotten all of the brains of her grandmother. It was a strong, if volatile combination. Sabé knew precisely what sort of social habits Ayn kept with men and constancy was not their hallmark. She didn’t delude herself about Ayn’s tendencies. She was a passionate woman and would have been too dangerous for her own good if she didn’t know where the line was and how to pull back just shy of it. “I’m sure it’s still here in a closet somewhere.”

    “There’s something else too…” Ayn said as Sabé turned away. There was a hesitancy in her granddaughter’s voice, something that the former Prime Minister rarely heard in it. Ayn could at the very least fake confidence when she didn’t have it. It was enough to arrest Sabé’s progress and bring her full attention back to Ayn.

    “Yes?”

    Ayn laced her fingers together in front of her, politely, calmly. “I’m going to marry Declan Trieste.”

    Few things could shock Sabé Dormingale. This did. Even so, she’d learned enough poise in her career to be able to find a seat with dignity. She didn’t speak until she was on the couch. “He’s asked you?” Sabé said. She noticed the lack of the traditional Bakuran engagement gift, a braided silver necklace as the words left her mouth.

    “No, he hasn’t, but I’m going to marry him all the same,” Ayn said.

    Sabé blinked several times. This wasn’t making any sense. “What are you telling me, Ayn?”

    “I love Declan Trieste. I didn’t realize it at first. I didn’t even find him interesting beyond who his mother is, but now every time I look at him…” Ayn broke off, her composure cracking a bit. She crossed to one of the windows of the well-appointed apartment. “He makes me feel…” She still struggled with the words. Finally she looked back to her grandmother. “When I look in the mirror I see in my eyes the deep longing that I saw in the eyes of men I have wooed. When I’m alone, I feel helpless. I’m nothing without him, Grandma.”

    “My Maker,” Sabé breathed. Ayn had played too casually with the hearts of men for too long. It was a shock to discover that she had a heart. “To think, the thing I prevented by keeping you away from the Triestes all these years has come to pass.”

    “No, no,” Ayn said, crossing the room quickly to sit by Sabé on the couch, “I know what you did then. You kept us apart so I would not seduce Declan, to keep him from ruin. And I would have, Maker would I have in my impetuous youth. I could only have loved him now. You have always wanted what’s best for me, I know.”

    “I never wanted to see you waste your talents like your mother did,” Sabé said, putting a hand on Ayn’s cheek, “And yet even she did something good with her life. You love Declan Trieste.” She repeated this last part as if you assure herself this was real. “Does he know?”

    “No, I don’t think he does. But in time, he might. And perhaps he will return my love.”

    “Perhaps,” Sabé said, “Now we should find the yellow dress.”

    “Yes, yes,” Ayn said, remembering suddenly, “After all, it would be in bad form not to be well dressed for the Truce Day Game when attending in the owner’s box.”

    Sabé’s mouth curved into a smile. “A Miners game with the Triestes. Well, you’re certainly starting off in a good position, aren’t you?”

    “It doesn’t hurt,” Ayn replied with a small smile that matched her mother’s, “Not a bit.”
  18. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    Druckenwell Memorial Hospital

    “I’m never having a child again!” Kaitlyn Vehn yelled in pain as she pushed through the agony of giving birth.

    “One more push,” a droid advised.

    Gritting her teeth, Kaitlyn huffed and puffed, sweat beading across her face and pushed. As she did so, she maintained a tight grasp on Liam’s hand who swabbed her forehead with a damp towel. One final scream, one final push, and the whail of a newborn child filled the delivery room. In a flurry the droids attended to the child and after determining that it was healthy passed it off to the newly minted parents.

    “You have a healthy boy,” the droid said before tuttling off with the rest of the delivery crew.

    Tired, tears running down her eyes, a beaming smile on her face, Kaitlyn cradled her son in her arms and looked into his eyes. It was the first Vehn born to the family in quite some time, a new branch to add to the growing family tree.

    “I’m so proud of you,” Liam whispered into his wife’s ear.

    “Our son,” Kaitlyn said through tears.

    “Our boy Jack,” Liam said.

    “So you did like that name,” Kaitlyn teased.

    “I never said I didn’t,” Liam protested.

    “Right, and you suddenly love the Hutts,” Kaitlyn pushed.

    “I see there’s no winning with you,” Liam smiled.

    “Come here, you,” Kaitlyn called as she grabbed Liam weakly and pulled him in for a kiss.

    Pulling away quickly, Liam muttered, “You’re so beautiful and I love you.”

    “And I love you,” she replied as she returned her attention to Jack Vehn who had grown quiet and was sleeping peacefully.

    An hour later, news of the birth had spread across the Holonet. The galaxy had much to celebrate today and nowhere was the celebration more heartfelt than on Druckenwell and Roon. Once a line that had been on the verge of extinction, today, the Vehn family was growing and there was hope for a renewal. And with the renewal would be a new dawn.
  19. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    “In the last five years the Republic has grown stronger than ever,” Kerry declared, pounding a fist on the podium she addressed the crowd gathered at the College of Fondordelphia’s bolo-ball stadium, as if the podium itself represented the solidity of the federation she governed, “Five years ago the member worlds of the Rim were on the brink of secession. We stopped a civil war before it began not through the threat of force but the enticements of peace. Now, thanks to the RED Act our Rim worlds are thriving and there is increased trade that benefits every planet in the Republic.

    “I ran for Chancellor to stand for unity, for the undying belief that well-intentioned beings can focus on their commonality, not their differences, and create something great. And that’s why today I declare here and now that I will seek a second term to cement the achievements of the last five years and ensure that the Republic continues to thrive and prosper.”

    Those were the highlights of yesterday’s speech on Fondor, playing now in the background of a hotel room on Commenor, a world in the swath of the Colonies that her strategists felt would be a key in the election. Kerry’s intuition told her that Qort was going to find a strong Core worlder and set him up as her main challenger. That was going to weaken her vote totals in the Core. The Rim was projecting to break strongly for her thanks to the large subsidies she’d sent their way. But the concentrated Core population would come close to offsetting that. The Colonies were going to be what would put her over the edge if their models were accurate. She needed to get her ground game going before Qort got his operation up and running. But if her gut was right on Qort, he wouldn’t wait long now.

    Then again, Kerry wasn’t going to wait herself.

    “The Attorney General for you, Chancellor,” Kann said.

    “Put her through,” Kerry said, setting aside today’s stump speech as the holoprojector came to life.

    “Madame Chancellor,” Helena Tandy said. The former private practice lawyer had specialized in civil cases, usually against large corporate ne’er-do-wells. Just the kind of person who’d infuriate a being like Qort. She’d continued that crusade as Attorney General, spearheading white collar crime prosecutions, including giving them her personal attention at times. Though the criminals still faced the law, Tandy had not done anything to enhance her department’s efforts. It was convenient that this meant that the activities of Oren Mott, political boss of the Corellian five worlds and entrepreneur in several less-than-legal fields who had delivered critical votes for Trieste, continued to fly under the radar.

    “Helena, up for another five years?” Kerry asked amiably.

    “I serve at the pleasure of the Chancellor with the consent of the Senate,” Tandy replied.

    “Then let us hope that I’ll be able to ask another term from you,” Kerry said, “Tell me, do you feel like getting back in the courtroom for a change?”

    “I wouldn’t mind stretching my legs, though the Republic does provide very nice chairs in their offices.”

    “Do you have a file on Panstellar Holdings?”

    “Not at the moment. Should we?”

    “As Chancellor, I would never suggest that you single out an individual company for an investigation with no basis for doing so,” Kerry said.

    “I would never expect you to,” Helena replied with the hint of a smile.

    “And, as always, the Chancellery will not shield wrong-doers from any investigation. That would be abuse of power as far as I’m concerned.”

    “An admirable dedication to justice.”

    “Indeed, if trillions of credits worth of assets were frozen indefinitely as a result of your investigation, such is life,” Kerry said.

    “As are a myriad of legal filings required by any investigation,” Tandy said, “Madame Chancellor, I am glad that you and I are beings who understand each other.”

    “Thank you, Helena,” the Chancellor said by way of conclusion.

    “My pleasure, Madame Chancellor. I’m going to enjoy getting to know Palaster Qort.”

    “I thought you might,” Kerry said.

    The holoprojector turned itself off as the connection closed. “Five minutes until we depart for the rally, Madame Chancellor,” Kann intoned.

    “Thank you, Saldor,” Kerry said and she took up her speech once more.
  20. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Supreme Chancellor’s office, Coruscant

    “Chancellor, it seems that Qort has not wasted any time,” Saldor Kann said, “May I?” He gestured to the holo projector, already moving to it.

    “I have my first challenger for the general election?” Kerry asked.

    “You do,” Kann confirmed as the holoprojector winked to life.

    “I’ll be damned,” Kerry said, though not without a note of appreciation in her voice, “Follam.”

    There, projected for Kerry’s benefit, was Senator Borelen Follam, the Galactic Senator for Fresia. A Mon Calamari, Follam had been a solid member of the Senate. He kept his head down and was smart. Kerry had entertained him as part of delegations during legislative negotiations a few times. He was not the most likely proxy for Palaster Qort…but that was the beauty of this pick Kerry realized. It would be incredibly hard for Kerry to tie Follam to Qort.

    “I believe in the Republic, but I also believe that we are headed in the wrong direction. For all of her good intentions, Chancellor Trieste has progressively assumed more and more power to the Republican government on Coruscant. And, my fellow citizens, I don’t think that bureaucrats on Coruscant know what’s best for beings in the Outer Rim and the Colonies. It’s time that we return power to where it belongs: the planetary governments so that they can make the decisions that are best for them,” Follam said in his gravelly voice that inspired confidence.

    “Planetary rights, son of a gundark,” Kerry growled, “It could be a powerful argument if he develops it well…”

    “And Qort will make sure that he gets an excellent team,” Kann said.

    “Begin the usual opposition research,” Kerry instructed, “and turn that off. I have to deal with enough blustering Senators as it is. I’ll deal with Follam when I have to.”

    “Thank you, Madame Chancellor.”

    “Saldor,” Kerry said, stopping the Ithorian once he turned the holoprojector off. She paused and thought. “No, never mind. Later.”

    “As you wish,” Kann replied as he withdrew.

    The thought that Kerry kept to herself was a simple one. Would it benefit Follam and Qort if the field of candidates for Chancellor was narrow in the general election, or would she benefit if it was a wider field? It was a question that Kerry would devote quite a bit of thought to. And perhaps a quietly kept research team would do well to study it as well…
  21. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    The Quartermaster Club, Fondor

    “Palaster, you devil,” Elysia Trocar giggled with pleasure, “How did you know I liked Callag clams?”

    “Oh it was nothing. I think you mentioned it a couple years ago at a fundraiser,” the Devaronian said with an offhanded wave.

    “Not many beings would remember such a thing,” Elysia said as she helped herself. Of course, Elysia could have Callag clams any time she wanted. She was worth a couple billion thanks to her prudent investments of her departed husband’s estate into several industrial investment funds. It was on the high brow charity circuit that the Zeltron had first met Qort. “Now what is it you want of me?”

    “Elysia, I’m hurt,” Qort said, putting a hand to his chest.

    “Palaster,” Elysia chided, “When someone plies me with Callag clams, they have a favor to ask.”

    “It’s not so much a favor as it is a…mutual interest I would like to call your attention to,” Qort said, “The reelection, or lack thereof of Kerry Trieste.”

    “Ha!” Elysia barked through a mouthful of clam, “The Human’s never lost an election in her life. Her father never lost an election. His father…well, I don’t quite know about him.”

    “He lost the party nomination for Prime Minister when he tried for it,” Palaster said, “Conveniently forgotten in the annals of Bakuran history now.”

    “Well it’s not the grandfather who’s Chancellor,” Elysia said sourly, “I’ve resigned myself to another five years of Trieste. I’m squirreling away the accounts in the Corporate Sector as we speak. At least the CSA makes it hard for prying Republican accountants rather than giving everything up at first blush.”

    “My dear, the Chancellor is weaker than she exudes. Let me demonstrate,” Palaster said soothingly, “The RED Act was paid for by higher taxes on the likes of us and our investments. Temporary and now over, but Trieste showed her true colors. Anti-business colors no less. Senator Follam, the first challenger to Trieste, voted against the RED Act.”

    “It was popular in the Rim,” Elysia countered.

    “This election will be about the Colonies. Worlds that see themselves as realistically able to replicate the success of the Core. If Trieste did this to the Core, what will she do to them?”

    “That’s a good line.”

    “It was extensively market tested and is quite a good line,” Palaster said with a smile, “Second, Trieste kickbacked trade to the Vehn clan, her fellow Rimmers. Threw the door wide open to the biggest common market in the galaxy for her precious friends, most importantly her niece. A niece with a history of irresponsible partying.”

    “Didn’t I hear that blew over?” Elysia asked, “It was in the social column or something.”

    “On Naboo, but who gives a fig for what Naboo thinks? Plaster irresponsible good time girl Eleanor Trieste-Vehn all over the Holonet in the Republic and Kerry Trieste becomes tangled up in it too.”

    “Royals are popular though.”

    “But everybody loves a good scandal, especially with royals.”

    “Touché.”

    “Third, defense.”

    “That’s Trieste’s strongest area. Won the Civil War, prevented the secession.”

    “Or is it?” Qort asked, “She waged a pointless war all over her relentless need to impose high taxes and assume power to a federal government. And then Trieste bullied the Rim into not seceding. That’s all Kerry Trieste is, a big government bully.”

    “I’m impressed Palaster. You’ve thought this out well,” Elysia said, impressed, “So tell me, where do I come in?”

    “Senator Follam has to go against the vast riches of the Chancellor’s Noble House. He’s just a poor, ordinary Senator trying to stand up for limited government and the ordinary being. He can’t do that on his meager salary as a Galactic Senator,” Palaster said piteously.

    “How many millions, Palaster?”

    “Could you spare six?”

    “For you, my dear, seven,” Elysia said, pinching his cheek, “An artful pitch deserves an award. Now please, pass some more clams, would you?”
  22. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Republican High Command, Coruscant

    “How the frak did this happen?” Kerry shouted at the head of the table, throwing a datapad in frustration onto said table, “I was told that this was a threat in the border worlds and now we have a major explosion deep in the Core, on Balmorra?” She made a noise of disgust and anger.

    Over the last couple months, raids had been mounting on the border planets with the Unknown Regions. Republican Intelligence, which Kerry trusted due to her family’s historic ties with the institution, was relatively certain that they knew who was behind them. However, there had been no indication that an attack as deep in Republican territory and as far from the Unknown Regions was coming. The failure had clearly angered the Chancellor.

    “The last time this body met I was chastising the Fourth Fleet for failing to get a handle on these pirate attacks and now they’ve spread into the deep Colonies and into the territory of the Second Fleet?” Kerry continued angrily, “This is supposed to be the best navy in the galaxy and we haven’t seen violence like this since the G’rho War!”

    The admirals and generals at the table, some present personally, others by holoconference, remained silent. The Bakuran Defense Fleet had participated in the Republican action at G’rho, which had dragged into an extended ground war. Kerry Trieste’s first term as PM of Bakura had been dedicated to ending their involvement in it. Any reference of the conflict by Trieste was not a good one.

    “Teruno!” Kerry barked, calling out the Director of Republican Intelligence, “Are these events linked?”

    “We believe so, Chancellor. It is a decided shift in tactic from border raids, but it fits our profile,” the Quarren said calmly. He was oddly calm, but he was always so sedate in meetings of the High Command.

    Kerry sighed with exasperation and ran a hand through her hair. “Gentlebeings, I want to hear options.”

    “Yes,” one of the admirals said, speaking up, “A major fleet scaleup, calling out the reserves, is one option. It would allow us to protect more territory. It’s passive, but until we locate a base of operations it’s a good plan. There is foraying into the Unknown Regions. Dangerous, even with large task forces, and we don’t know where to begin looking. We’re facing an enemy that doesn’t want to engage in full scale battles. They know we have superiority there.”

    “Those are the only options you have?” Kerry asked.

    “They are the best options.”

    “So you’re telling me that the Fleet cannot defend adequately without further beings?”

    There was silence at the table. “It is highly unlikely.”

    “Thank you, gentlebeings,” Kerry said standing to leave. The table stood with her, as was customary. “Please remain at the ready for further meetings to track the situation.”



    Chancellor’s office, Coruscant

    As a Bakuran, Kerry enjoyed a good drink. She had two upon returning to her office.

    “Frak Saldor. Frak frak frak!” Kerry shouted in the privacy of her office.

    The Ithorian, who was so invaluable to the Chancellor, let her frustration wash over him. He’d quickly learned that the Chancellor needed her outbursts and this was one of those times.

    “What the frak am I going to do? We isolated the pirates on G’rho. The Maples didn’t hide from me. How the frak am I supposed to fight these pirates?” Kerry said.

    “Chancellor, I know that even at High Command you don’t want to play politics, but there is an upside here,” Saldor said. Before Trieste said anything, he turned on a holoprojector with one of Follam’s latest ads. It was complete with sinsister music and images of various wars.

    “Kerry Trieste says she’s tough on defense, but she cut and run from G’rho when the Republic needed help to achieve victory. She says she stood up to rebels as Prime Minister of Bakura, but she really imposed big government and higher taxes on them. And when it came to dealing with the Rim worlds, she didn’t make them respect the Republic through strength—she bought them off. Kerry Trieste isn’t strong on defense: she just talks a loudly and carries no stick.”

    “I’ve seen it,” Kerry said, unimpressed.

    “And Follam’s hammering you on defense. He’s made it into a cornerstone of his stump speech. It’s working too,” Kann replied, “However, if there’s one things beings do, it’s rally to the flag when attacked. I know you don’t want a war, but if you stand up against these attacks and name names, citizens of the Republic are going to respond well. They want leadership and you’re the leader.”

    Kerry said nothing for a moment. “Saldor, do you know how many letters I wrote during the G’rho War to the families of beings who died?” The Ithorian figured she didn’t truly want an answer and remained silent. “Six hundred fifty seven. There were 5,841 during the Bakuran Civil War.” She looked at the Ithorian. “I won’t write another one, not one, unless I know that I’m doing it for the right reasons. Defending the Republic is one thing. But this could become a huge intervention. We’re not even entirely sure what we’re dealing with here.”

    “Chancellor, with all due respect, I can’t make this decision for you. But I can tell you that you’ve got to make one soon or Follam will astutely accuse you of dithering while beings are dying.”

    The Supreme Chancellor went to a window and looked out it. She said nothing for half a minute. The Ithorian, schooled by long experience, knew not to leave until dismissed.

    “Call a special session of the Senate for tomorrow afternoon,” Kerry said without turning around, “And tell the Holonetworks that they should be prepared for live broadcasts on main channels.”

    “Would you like me to get you your speechwriting team?” Saldor said.

    “No, thank you,” Kerry said, “That is all for now.”

    “Thank you, Chancellor,” the Ithorian said before withdrawing.

    As he did so, Kerry continued to look out the transparisteel at Coruscant. The truth was she didn’t know what she was going to do about this. But she’d make a decision by tomorrow afternoon. Come hell or high water, she would.
  23. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Galactic Senate, Coruscant

    “This is the final draft, with your changes included,” Saldor Kann said, handing a datapad over to Kerry.

    “Thank you,” Kerry Trieste said. She was about to mount the Chancellor’s podium to address the Senate. She had made her decision early that morning and the speechwriters had been polishing her words for maximum effect with the Senate and, more importantly, the general public. She had selected a somber dress, gray with dark blue designs and a stiff mandarin collar rising up the neck, for today’s address. She would have gone with black, but it washed out her pale complexion too much.

    “Best of luck, Chancellor,” Saldor said, extending one large hand, “I trust you.

    Kerry took it and the Ithorian’s digits closed gently around her own. “Thank you, Saldor. This moment could shape my Chancellery.”

    “No, you will shape this moment,” Saldor said.

    Kerry just smiled and stepped to the speaker’s podium. She gave a nod and the podium began to rise into the rotunda. Every time she attended Senate sessions, Kerry couldn’t help but look upwards as the podium ascended into the chamber. The vast number of representatives all gathered into one body. It boggled the mind in its breathtaking scope. Today was no exception.

    “Gentlebeings, the Supreme Chancellor!” was the call that rang out as the podium continued its ascent.

    The Senators applauded as was customary, some with more vigor than others. The upcoming election, now just months away, made it an excellent time for some Senators to register their disapproval, especially if they were betting on Follam and his backers led by Qort. What Qort hadn’t anticipated, what no one had anticipated, was that today the entire game changed. It wasn’t how Kerry wanted to win an election, but it was just the way it was going to happen.

    “Senators, citizens of the Republic,” Kerry said once the chamber had grown still again. She looked down at her datapad and the carefully constructed speech that would strike all the right notes. Kerry thought for a moment, just a moment, and turned the datapad over, screen down. This was not a speech she could give from prepared remarks.

    “As you are all aware, yesterday on Balmorra, a devastating explosion destroyed half of the ordinance factories that supply weapons to the Republican Fleet. In these explosions, the lives of a great many Balmorrans were lost. This is a tragedy of a magnitude that goes beyond words. My heart aches—” Kerry clutched a hand to her breast, “—for the families who survived, for the tears they shed today, tears I know all too well. These were ordinary beings who did everything right, who had lives and dreams, and now are gone. They will never be replaced, but they will not be forgotten.”

    Applause rose from every platform in the Senate.

    “In meetings called immediately after these shocking events of High Command, it has been confirmed that these explosions were no accident. They were a premeditated attack upon the Republic designed to do maximum damage with wanton regard for sentient life, as well as attempt to weaken the readiness of our armed forces. Furthermor, they have been positively linked to recent raids and attacks upon border worlds.

    “My fellow Republicans, today we face a threat, the likes of which we have not seen in nearly two decades. We face an enemy that is intent upon death and destruction. We face this being—” a holoprojection of an Umbaran sprung to life, “—Coronad Yssenn, who has gathered a marauding fleet of pirates and terrorists in the Unknown Regions for the explicit purpose of attacking the Republic.

    “Yssenn is no freedom fighter. He is not a repressed minority. He is a murderer, plain and simple and the Republic has only one answer for a being like him: we will hunt him down like the womprat that he is and we will bring him to justice.” Kerry punctuated the last four words with a slam of her fist on the rostrum to the applause of the Senate.

    “To this end, as Supreme Chancellor and commander in chief of the armed forces of the Republic, this morning I authorized the Second and Fourth Fleets to call up their reserves and mobilize for unrestricted warfare against Yssenn and his criminal flotilla. Let me make one thing clear: I do not make this decision lightly. I fully understand that there may be some brave beings who do not return from this mission. These beings of the Fleet and the reserves swore to defend the Republic because of patriotism and honor. They hoped that they would never be called to this action, but they took that oath knowing one day their Republic might ask it of them. And by the Force I am glad they did because not only is our cause righteous, is our cause just, but there is no one, no one, I would rather have fight for me, for our families, for all of us than them.” This brought the entire Senate to their feet.

    “And to Yssenn, who I know is listening right now, and his fellow pirates let me say this—” and Kerry looked straight into the lens of the droid recording the speech and broadcasting to the Holonet, “—you’ve probably seen something on the Holonet recently regarding this year’s election about how I’m not as tough on defense as I make out to be. Know this: I swore an oath to defend this Republic and I will storm the gates of hell if that’s what it’s going to take to hunt you down because this Republic will not be intimidated by terrorists—” applause, “—will not give into fear—” the applause grew, “—and while we didn’t start this war, we will end it!” The applause crescendoed.

    “May our Maker bless, preserve, and protect this Republic!”
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  24. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    Tesserone, Roon



    Joaquin Vehn, the patriarch of the Vehn family was pushing 70 years old. He sat in his old, weathered, high back chair and listened intently to the speech being given by the Supreme Chancellor. A fire snapped and cracked in the fireplace, generating just enough heat to keep the study comfortable. Rain was pounding the windows as the storm season rolled through Roon, turning the fields into muddy pits of despair. The men and women of Roon could handle the mud. There was even an old joke that they were born in the muck.

    His brow furrowed in concern as Trieste laid out her plan of action against the terrorists from the Unknown Regions. There was talk of using the Republic’s military to solve the growing crisis. He took a sip of his brandy, swirling the ice cubes in his glass with a skilled hand of a competent drinker. The old Vehn felt a sense of despair overcome his aging mind as the speech came to a rapid conclusion. There were the usual bombastic promises to hunt down the man responsible for the attacks on the Republic, no doubt amplified by the coming election, and Trieste was really stirring up the hornets nest now, gathering as much support for the coming conflict as she could muster. Joaquin only wished that he could offer his support but he found his political strength and his physical health in serious decline in recent years. Publicly, he told others that he was doing well. Privately, he knew better.

    There was a price to pay for dark deeds. He closed his eyes as Trieste’s last words hung in the air of the study. ‘While we didn’t start this war, we will end it’. Chills rippled down his spine as he brought a hand to his face, physically reconstructed ever since the day he had turned away from the dark path, from the way of the Sith. He hadn’t thought about the distant past in some years but tonight he found that he could think of nothing else. He remembered turning his back on the Jedi, remembered battling his mother, Erisi Wessiri, in the pits of one of the Tibanna gas refineries on Bespin, the terrible pain as a wave of steam melted his flesh and deformed his face. Those had been the times when he could call upon the Force to aid him in even the most mundane tasks.

    Now, those abilities were long gone. He had forgotten his training, forgotten the discipline of the Jedi Order and maybe that was for the best.

    Joaquin Vehn had known the Triestes for decades. In fact, it had been Fionn Trieste, the father of Kerry Trieste, who had been influential in steering the young man back toward the welcoming embrace of his torn mother. A mother he had put through so much with his immature antics. There was something in Fionn’s words that helped Joaquin understand the importance of family, of tradition, of having values that went beyond ones own life. In the darkest of moments, those were the words that kept him going. That kept him fighting and focused. Years after his rehabilitation and the conclusion of the Neo-Sith War, of which he only took a small part in, Joaquin had maintained his connection with the Trieste family as a matter of political survival.

    After the passing away of Fionn Trieste, political debts between the two families had steadily declined as both Kerry Trieste and Joaquin Vehn put in the extra time to make sure that neither family would have their political ambitions restricted by the other. The Vehns had eliminated the Elder Star Society, a secret organization that had been responsible for much of the galaxy’s more intriguing developments over the course of several centuries including the assassination of Joaquin’s wife, Rowena. The Triestes in turn responded with the long overdue trade agreement with the Republic as a final act of putting away past debts for good. Satisfied, Joaquin had used his ailing energy to redirect his efforts at improving the RTO, making it stronger, more secure.

    Good news had reached his ears a few days ago. He had a grandson named Jack. The Vehn line was well on its way to prospering. He had a charming granddaughter as ruler of Naboo and was very impressed with the way his daughter in law, Kaitlyn Vehn, handled the affairs of the organization. The Chairman of the RTO, no, he couldn’t say Chairman, would have to change that to Chairwoman, was leading the economic body into a new era. He was proud of her. Proud of his family, proud of what the RTO had become.

    He felt so tired. It had been a long day. It had been a long life. He felt his eyelids grow heavy and threaten to close. He wanted to stay awake, to tell his family how much he loved them, how sorry he was for the things he had never told them about. Darkness surrounded him and his hand carrying the drink fell limply to his side, spilling all over the floor.

    Joaquin Vehn had gone home. The year was 270 ABY.
    Last edited by Liam_Vehn, Oct 13, 2012
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  25. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4


    Tesserone, Roon, Laweeya Prairie

    The waist high grass of the southern pastures of the Vehn family ranch of Tesserone waved and bowed gently in the wind as if they too were saying their final goodbye to the man that had made them great. Sunlight glinted off the long stems making them glow and sparkle in the late afternoon. From the southern pasture of Tesserone, part of the Laweeya Prairie Preserve, one could get a glimpse of some of the rarest grasslands and animal life to be found on the entire planet, one tiny sliver of the geological and ecological past that had been preserved from any and all development.

    The Laweeya Prairie was a peaceful place, a sacred place, and was a personal retreat of Joaquin Vehn during some of the most difficult moments of administrating the Roon Trade Organization. When the RTO was threatening to break apart before his very eyes by the schemes of a rival politician named Salvadore Mithras, when Tatooine left the fold to pursue its own course, when Camilla Quorro had nearly torn the economic union apart with her foolish war on Lannik, Joaquin Vehn had come here to contemplate and reflect. Now, today, there was a reflection amongst friends and family upon the life of a man who had united a region of the galaxy and lifted them up to the greater good.

    Liam Vehn stood off to one side of the chaplain and casket, accompanied by Kaitlyn Vehn and their newborn baby Jack. Verity and Oisin were close at hand as well and farther afield was Eleanor wearing traditional funeral attire for a woman raised on Naboo. Across from where the Vehns stood were the Triestes who had stopped their political campaigns, who had stopped their very busy lives, to come honor Joaquin and all that he had represented. Liam looked up at Kerry Trieste, a woman he greatly admired and proud to call his friend. She had been a rock to the Vehn family in their times of need. Had done everything asked of her and more. It was her influence, more than anything, that had solidified the trade deal between the Republic and the RTO and that particular deal had been very lucrative for both sides as the economies of both governments had seen drastic improvement on all fronts. He appreciated her coming all the way out here to honor his father. Something, now that he thought about it, he had done very little of while the man was alive.

    The chaplain had finished with the service and gave a nod to Liam. Clearing his throat, Liam stood in front of the assembled friends and family and thought about what to say. There were so many areas in which he and his father had never connected, had never seen eye to eye, and had exchanged a few words that Liam now regretted more than anything. But those moments they had shared, those rare moments, were special.

    “I wanted to say how much I appreciate everyone coming out to pay their respects to my father,” Liam began, his lip quivering slightly as he struggled to compose a speech.

    “Joaquin Vehn was many things to many people. He was a statesman, an intellectual, and as I just found out the other night, an ex-Jedi Padawan who took part in the Neo-Sith Wars if only for the wrong reasons,” Liam paused as the wind picked up, “but most importantly, Joaquin Vehn was my father and a great man at heart. We may not have always seen eye to eye, we may have had our moments where our tempers got the better of us, but I would be wrong if I stood here today and told you that he was not a good man.”

    His eyes teared up a bit as he looked down at the casket and then back to the land that his father loved so much. Land that had been passed on to his sister Verity who would take good care of the many acres that the Vehns called home. Liam and Kaitlyn had decided to make their home on Druckenwell, if only to keep a closer tab on the economic pulse of the RTO.

    “I loved my father. I only wish I told him that every day that he lived. For those that still have your parents, cherish them, honor them, love them. Even when you are upset with them, even when times are tough, even when what they say may be their own way of helping you out, just be patient and love them for who they are. Remember the good times and forget the bad. Never forget that they have sacrificed a great deal for you to be where you are today.”

    Liam knelt beside the casket that was already being lowered into its final resting place. He picked up a fistful of dirt and sprinkled it over the wonderful handmade wood from the family estate. Wood that Joaquin had selected all those years ago.

    “Goodbye, father,” Liam whispered as he took one final look at the casket.




    After the ceremony, the families and friends had a chance to mingle. Drinks were handed out and there was plenty of food. The conversations were hushed, muted, everyone paying their respects to Joaquin in their own way. Liam, however, was interested in only one thing and that was clearing up the air with his sister. They’d gotten into an argument a few days ago about their father’s will and his intentions to leave the estate with his sister.

    “Liam, do we have to talk about this now?” Verity asked.

    “Yeah, sis, we do,” Liam replied.

    “Look, about what I said a few nights ago, you know, something along the lines of how the estate should go to me,” Liam paused, looked around the room as if to count heads before returning his attention to his sister, “I was wrong. You’ve earned the estate.
    You care more about Tesserone than I ever did. I was just upset, jealous, even.”

    Verity seemed to relax a bit. “Well, you always were one for overreacting,” she pointed out. “I’ll take good care of the place. You know Oisin and I love the land and May as well.”

    “I know, that’s why I feel comfortable knowing that it is in good hands. Kaitlyn and I are moving to Druckenwell,” Liam said.

    “When?” Verity asked, alarmed.

    “Next week. We want to be closer to the economic heart of the union,” Liam said.

    “I take it that is not on Roon,” Verity admitted, sounding disappointed.

    “Not anymore, I’m afraid,” Liam responded.

    “Well, you’ll be happy there. Druckenwell is a good place to raise a family,” Verity said.

    “Not as memorable as Roon,” Liam said.

    “No, not nearly,” Verity replied as she moved away to talk to Oisin.

    “So what happens with Eleanor?” Kaitlyn Vehn asked as she sidled up next to her husband.

    “What do you mean?” Liam replied.

    “Did your father leave her anything in his will?”

    “Yeah, he did. And you’ll never believe what it is,” Liam responded as he took a drink.
    Last edited by Liam_Vehn, Oct 19, 2012
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