Tesserone, Laweeya Prairie, Roon Kerry stood by the still open grave of Joaquin Vehn. Behind and beside her stood the Noble House, not just her siblings but she’d called them all out. Her cousins, their children, the whole brood. Attendance had not been optional. Your Taoiseach requires your presence on Roon to pay tribute to Joaquin Vehn. The instructions sent to all had been simple. Naturally, Kerry had arranged for House funds to pay for the journey. Even so, not everyone was happy to have been pulled away from their regular occupations. As far as the Chancellor was concerned, they could shove their displeasure. Beings like Joaquin Vehn were ones that needed to be remembered. During the ceremony, she caught the eyes of Liam. They were separated by a black veil that Kerry had chosen as a sign of respect for the grief that the Vehn clan was undoubtedly feeling. Liam had been handling the affairs of his family for quite some time but Kerry remembered the death of her own father, nearly 20 years ago. It was a lonely feeling when there was no one else who understood your burdens. When Liam finished his remarks and the Vehns took their turns to throw some dirt on the coffin—an odd tradition, Kerry had never understood exactly what it signified, but then again most Triestes including her immediate kin had opted for cremation and there wa no coffin to sprinkle earth upon—Kerry led the way for the Triestes. She took a handful herself and tossed it in. “Take care,” Kerry said, and then her mouth turned up into a slight smile, “you old sod.” That was the only way to say goodbye between old friends. Kerry’s political advisors had told her that coming was not wise. Follam was hitting her hard over being “in bed with the Vehns”, along with a variety of other things. Mainly he’d been playing off charges of nepotism with her dealings with the RTO and Naboo as well as trying to drag Eleanor into the election on the basis of her recent character. Her attendance here would likely give Follam more ammunition for his charges that she was unduly favoring the RTO at the expense of the Republic, hence the recommendations she skip the proceedings. However, Kerry had business to conclude here that would allow her to shove it to Follam. Before she could, she felt a hand on her arm. Kerry turned to find Siona standing there with Falene. “Kerry, there’s something we have to discuss,” Siona said. “Fifteen minutes, please,” Kerry said. Siona ignored the request. “Falene tried to join the Republican Fleet four days ago.” The Chancellor’s eyebrows shot up and she took her daughter by the arm and drew her aside. “Excuse me?” she hissed. Siona had followed them. “I got a comm from a friend from my Senate days who saw the application go through the database. He thought that the Chancellor would probably want to know about her daughter trying to enlist.” “Falene!” Kerry said, indignant. “I’m old enough to join! I don’t see why either of you are meddling!” Falene said with frustration. “What’s going on here?” Kerry grilled her daughter, “You have your studies at PCNS. At the very least you need to finish them. And doing this behind my back? How could you?” “Mom, there’s a war going on. A war that you know full well about because you’re the one who called out the fleets,” Falene shot back, “Why can’t I serve the Republic like everyone else?” “Because you’re not like everyone else. You’re my daughter and you need to finish your studies. You wouldn’t even go into the Fleet as an officer. If you’d wanted to serve so badly you could have gone to the Fleet Academy and then gotten assigned to the Republican Fleet like your Aunt Fiona did,” Kerry said, “I will not allow my daughter to do something so foolish and throw her future away!” “Who says you get to decide what I do with my life?” Falene huffed before she stormed off. “Thank you for intervening,” Kerry said to Siona with a sigh. “Of course,” Siona said before moving off. Kerry shook her head. She hoped this was a reception that had some booze at it because she’d need one soon enough. Before she could go any further she realized another one of her siblings had witnessed the exchange. “You know, our grandmother forced Dad to be a Poli Sci major in college,” Regan said offhandedly, “He never liked her much.” “Don’t even start with me today Regan,” Kerry warned her sister. “Just saying I never really thought we were all a quarter Hapan, but I guess you are,” Regan commented breezily before moving off. Some days Kerry thought her family would be the end of her. She smoothed her hair down out of habit to feel slightly more put together. Business. Yes, she had some of that to do. Kerry sought out her niece Eleanor. Now that there was another child with the last name Vehn it was a bit of a waste to have had Eleanor and Austin change their names to Vehn to preserve the family name. Though it was slightly convenient these days to not have a Trieste on the throne of Theed. “Your Majesty,” Kerry said as she approached Eleanor, “My condolences to you on the loss of a mentor and more importantly a grandfather.” She gestured for the pair to speak slightly more privately. “Though the affairs of the Republic and Naboo intertwine more than ever, you are thankfully spared having to deal with our electoral politics. A fair sight better than they were once upon a time, but still messy.” She drew Eleanor into a room where they might have some privacy. “In case you are unaware, my opponent has been attacking me on the basis of our relationship and calling your personal affairs into question as a way to cast aspersions on me. I think it is in both our interests to quash this before it goes much further. The citizens of the Republic are not so well acquainted with you as I am.” Kerry smiled. “When was the last time a monarch of Naboo made a goodwill tour of the Republic?