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. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    Space Around Druckenwell, Bridge of the Black Hand

    “The RTO Navy is nearly defeated, sir. Druckenwell’s shield generators are down and our troops will begin their landing operations shortly,” an aide informed Speyburn who stood in front of the holographic globe of the battle.

    Everything had gone exactly as planned. The RTO was on the brink of defeat and because the Republic cowered behind their Kattan Doctrine, no aid would be coming to help the Vehns. Soon, he would be named Chairman of the RTO and remake the economic union in his own image. That had been the entire point of his war. To climb to the top and usurp power away from the Vehns, a family that had never won the support of the people, a family that was only in power because the RTO member worlds were too afraid to speak up against their rule.

    “Finish off the remnants of the fleet. I want to begin landing troops within the hour,” Speyburn instructed.

    “Aye, sir,” the aide replied carrying out the order.




    Rear Admiral Horatio Quorro ignored the searing pain that tore across his face, wiped the blood away from his eyes, and clutched the railing of the bridge of the Rowena, the flagship vessel of the fledgling RTO Navy. He had done his best these past few weeks to keep the fleet intact despite mounting losses and the demoralizing feeling of retreat. Now, the final battle for the future well being of the RTO was occurring right before his weary eyes and there was not a damn thing he could do to stop Speyburn.
    Not one thing.

    “Status report!” Quorro yelled over the sound of consoles exploding, the screams of the wounded, the silence of the dead.

    “Fighter wings are reporting heavy losses. Our bombers are returning to Druckenwell. The few ships of the line that aren’t licking their wounds are holding steady but they are concerned about the flanks,” a junior lieutenant cried out, voice wavering in fear.

    Quorro couldn’t blame the man for being afraid. This was the worst war to have ever struck the RTO. Nobody had been prepared for this conflict. Not even leadership. That either said that everything was going well or something major was about to happen, well, something major did happen and now the galaxy would witness whether or not the RTO would survive another day with the Vehn family in power. Adding to the man’s fear was the fact that all of the senior command staff, save for Quorro, were either dead or wounded. Chain of command had gone right out the window.

    “Keep fighting. Close the gap with Speyburn’s fleet, make every broadside count!” Quorro said.

    “Sir, that will put many of our ships within range of a boarding action. Would it not be better to ru-“

    “Damn it man, I gave you an order! You will close with those ships or I will find someone else who is better suited to the task.”

    “Aye, Admiral,” the young lieutenant replied.

    The fleets of the RTO gave one more collective heave into the heavy formations of Speyburn’s forces. One last act of defiance, one last act of heroism before the end, and that was all that Quorro could ask of his men. The vessels of the RTO exchanged fierce broadsides with Speyburn’s forces, locked in a struggle to the death, and though they packed the heavier punch, they were outnumbered.

    Maker, if this is the end, let there be no finer end than taking these bastards down with me! Quorro thought as he clutched his command chair, the bridge giving another sickening heave as battle was once again joined.




    “Concentrate all firepower on the Rowena. Bring that schutta down!” Speyburn instructed as consoles exploded from missile impacts and heavy exchanges of turbolaser fire.

    “I’ve got you right where I want you,” Speyburn growled as the Black Hand and the Rowena exchanged blows.

    “Don’t finish her off. I want to kill Quorro myself.”




    “We can’t hold on much longer, sir!” the young lieutenant said.

    Quorro gave a dismissive wave of his hand. This was a fight to the death. Speyburn was going to get as good as he was giving.

    “Shields are down. Hull breaches on decks nine through thirteen. We’ve got a fire in the main hangar, Maker, we’re burning up!”

    “Tell me something I don’t know,” Quorro grumbled. “Make ready the starboard turbolasers for another swipe!”

    There was a long pause. Quorro hadn’t heard the young lieutenant cry out in pain, so he must not’ve been dead.

    “Lieutenant?”

    “Sir, I’m afraid it is over. We’ve got a massive fleet emerging out of hyperspace on Speyburn’s left flank.”

    “What?” Horatio hissed.

    “Reinforcements, sir, come to finish us off.”

    “Who are they?”

    “The Hutts, sir,” the lieutenant replied. “They wish to speak with you.”

    So this is how my death is to be handed to me. By the slimy slugs of Nal Hutta! I suppose they are contacting me to gloat on my defeat.

    “Put them through,” Quorro commanded. Moments later, a hologram burst into view, distorted by the battle but still visible enough.

    “Your sovereign commands that you continue your fight, Admiral,” Queen Eleanor Vehn stated.

    “My lady!” Quorro exclaimed kneeling on one knee.

    “Make Naboo proud, will you?” Eleanor stated.

    “I shall, your majesty, I shall!” Quorro replied, tears in his eyes.




    Speyburn had the Rowena right where he wanted her. One more volley and she’d be his to take. Just as he was about to issue another command, klaxons blared.

    “Multiple ships coming out of hyperspace on both flanks!”

    “Damn it all, who are they?”

    There was a long silence. One of astonishment.

    “Who are they?”

    “The entire Naboo Security Force and,” the aide choked, had a hard time speaking.

    “And?”

    “The Hutts, sir. It appears they have decided to honor their alliance with the RTO. There’s another message coming through from Ord Pardron, sir. The Republican Sixth Fleet, the Bothans, are readying for war. We have overextended ourselves!”

    Speyburn felt a chill slip down his spine. One moment, victory had been within his grasp. How could he have been such a fool? He had underestimated the resolve of that little girl Eleanor. She had brought the Hutts here to defeat him. She had brought him to ruin. Damn the Vehns and their resourcefulness. Now, to make matters worse, Kerry Trieste and her brood were rattling their sabers. How could he have overlooked Bothuwai? Of course the Bothans would help the RTO. They loved a good economic deal as much as the next sentient.

    Money speaks, as the old saying went.

    “Shall we engage them?” the aide asked.

    Speyburn looked at the map. His forces were now slightly outnumbered. Victory could still be his, correction, would be his. This was just a mere wrinkle in the fabric of time.

    “You may engage.”




    The battle for Druckenwell had lasted four hours. Casualties had been enormously high on both sides but the RTO had emerged victorious. Speyburn’s fleet was in total disarray, their tightly packed formations had proven to be their greatest vulnerability as the heavier, harder hitting frigates of the RTO Navy, including the Hutt fleet, had a field day with the enemy. The flanks of Speyburn’s forces were rolled up and thrown upon themselves in a twisted confusion of men, droids, and material. Now, those forces were in full retreat being pursued by the Naboo Security Force and elements of the Hutt navy.

    Frozen bodies and millions of pieces of debris littered the well traveled lanes to Druckenwell. The cleanup would take months. But a new era had dawned for the Outer Rim. A lasting trust had seemed to have been formed between two former enemies, enemies who now understood that only together could they hope to aspire to the dreams of their citizens, dreams of peace and prosperity.

    Queen Eleanor Vehn stood on the bridge of the Hutt flagship Ylesia and lowered her head in deference to Diija, the Hutt who had made the wise decision to aid the RTO in its hour of need.

    “You shall be remembered in the many songs of my people,” Eleanor stated.

    “And you shall always be welcome as a friend of Nal Hutta,” Diija said.

    “I have the full permission of the RTO government to pass along the terms of our new relationship,” Eleanor stated, handing Diija a datapad.

    Diija laughed in that great way that the Hutts were known to do. He read the agreement out loud.

    “Nar Shaddaa is to return to its rightful place with the Hutts. Hutt space shall be restored to pre-Almanian conflict borders. All areas under occupation by the RTO are to return to the Hutts. In exchange, the RTO and the Hutts shall share all matters of military intelligence with one another and jointly defend the trade lanes from pirates. Free trade shall exist between our two governments. In the spirit of future cooperation, the RTO and the Hutts are to make every effort to maintain the peace and put diplomacy before war,” Diija paused and looked at Eleanor, “These terms are far too generous.”

    “Nothing less for a friend of the family,” Eleanor replied. “Besides, we benefit from your acceptance of them as well.”

    “Long have we been enemies,” Diija said, “do you think a peace can truly last?”

    Eleanor looked Diija in the eyes and replied, “I believe it can but only if we work together.”

    “You are a wise woman, Eleanor of the Naboo.”

    “I am only seventeen, Diija,” Eleanor responded, blushing slightly.

    “Then I look forward to many more meetings with you in the future. I expect great things from you.”

    “I fear you expect too much of me,” Eleanor said.

    “There is a season for everything. In time, you shall bloom and the galaxy will honor your name.”

    “I pray that I do not let my people down,” Eleanor said.

    “As long as you trust yourself, you never shall,” Diija replied.

    “You are far too kind,” Eleanor said.

    “I only speak what I know,” Diija replied.

    With that, the two bowed slightly to one another and parted ways.

    A new era had begun in the galaxy.
    Trieste likes this.
  2. Trieste Force Ghost

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

    Oren Mott was causing the Chancellor sleepless nights. Kerry had already given Tandy the go-ahead to follow the Panstellar case to its conclusion. That meant that Mott’s criminal organization could be exposed at any moment. And when that happened, Maker knew what Mott was going to do and how it was going to blowback on Kerry.

    Damn it, Conn. Why did you have to get yourself killed? was the thought that ran through Kerry’s mind as she sat in her Coruscant residence and watched the night skyline of the diplomatic and government district. This was the Coruscant that people held in their minds, free of dirty industrial districts, seedy underlevels, plebian housing. This was glistening modernity and technology, reaching higher and higher with each generation. Kerry wondered how far below real ground was these days. It was a mere legend at this point.

    And this view was potentially in jeopardy. Who would have thought that less than a year after winning reelection she would be positioned so precariously? A second term Chancellor is one of the most secure beings in the galaxy in the public eye, a being at the height of her power and prestige. Funny how things worked.

    If Kerry moved against Mott preemptively, whatever his backup plans were would go into motion. If she called off Tandy, Kerry could see the Attorney General refusing to comply unless fired. And then that would be a political firestorm. Questions would be asked—questions that couldn’t be asked.

    The Chancellor rubbed her fingers together pensively. “If history has taught us anything, it’s that you can kill anyone,” Kerry murmured. But she didn’t want to kill Mott. It would solve some immediate problems, but it likely wouldn’t take care of his contingency plans. No, she needed something more sophisticated.

    Two hours of later, when most of this time zone of Coruscant was asleep, Kerry Trieste placed a call. “I need a file.”



    Chancellor’s office, Coruscant

    “Senator Wiquirk,” Kerry said pleasantly, rising from her desk the next morning.

    “Chancellor,” Senator Terax Wiquirk of the Corellian system said, inclining her head respectfully as she shook the Chancellor’s hand.

    “It has been too long since we last saw each other, the inauguration I believe?” Kerry said, motioning for her to sit on the couch in the middle of the office.

    “I believe so. Then again, the Senate is a vast body. It’s hard to keep everyone happy,” Wiquirk said.

    “Praise be to the Force that a Galactic Senator should actually see the big picture!” Kerry said with hyperbolic relief, “I thought the day would never come!”

    “We are a territorial bunch at times,” Wiquirk admitted.

    “And as Chancellor even territorial concerns fall under my purview,” Kerry said, “Senator, I am pleased to announce that I have secured your reelection.”

    The Selonian could not hide her surprise. “Forgive me, but that was the last thing I expected to hear today. You do know that Corellia runs free elections for Senator?”

    “Indeed, but events are currently taking shape that will mean that the Five Worlds will be sure of your able support for another term,” Kerry said, “Oren Mott is going down.”

    “Oren Mott?”

    “Yes. I have been personally briefed by the Department of Justice that they have uncovered definitive evidence that incriminates Mott’s machine,” Kerry said, “Financial transactions, mainly. Justice thought that things ran deep in the Five Worlds, but we’re just now discovering how deep they run. I know you are well-acquainted with Mott’s corruption. it's all here in this file.” Kerry raised a datapad.

    “Yes, of course. He is quite…infamous to those in the know,” Wiquirk said.

    “With his influence removed from the system, I doubt there will be much opposition to your election,” Kerry said, “especially once we get Mott’s testimony.”

    “His testimony?” Terax asked, “I thought you said he was going down.”

    “Oh he is, but Attorney General Tandy will be pressuring him to name names, turn over the whole organization,” Kerry said, “I believe when I add my weight to the effort to convince him that this is the best option. I suspect we’ll be cleaning out the Five Worlds of corruption in the near future, leaving upstanding beings like yourself to lead the Corellian system into a brighter future.”

    “It will be a hard task, but one that my constituents deserve to see undertaken,” Wiquirk said.

    “Undoubtedly,” Kerry said, “I thought you’d appreciate knowing now so you could lead the efforts to win the peace, so to speak, once the dust settles.”

    “You honor me, Chancellor,” Wiquirk said, “It heartens me that the day is nigh.”

    Kerry stood. “Senator, thank you.”

    “No, thank you, Chancellor,” Wiquirk said, shaking Kerry’s hand again before departing.
    Liam_Vehn likes this.
  3. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    II Avali, Druckenwell, RTO,


    [IMG]

    II Avali, the capital of Druckenwell, had never seen a crowd as large as the one that gathered at Merchant’s Square, the largest plaza and assembly area on the entire planet. Millions had turned out to hear their leader speak in the wake of a historic alliance with the Hutts and a war that had nearly broken the back of the RTO. Dominating Merchant’s Square atop a tall pillar was a statue of the founder of the RTO, Joaquin Vehn, gazing out across the capital of II Avali, toward the future.

    Kaitlyn Vehn, with the help of an assistant, put the finishing touches on her navy blue suit as she took one final look at herself in the mirror before addressing the crowd. Her mahogony hair ran to shoulder length and her figure cut a nice shape for a woman who bore the stresses of running a coalition of member worlds, each with a different voice and agenda, during one of the most trying times of her political career.

    “We’re ready, Chairwoman,” her chief of security announced.

    Kaitlyn exhaled and pinched her one and a half year old son Jack’s cheek. The boy giggled and looked up at his mother with adoring eyes. That calmed her down, focused her for what needed to be said, and reminded her of what was so important to the citizens of the RTO. Unfortunately, a great many men and women had fallen on Ord Pardron defending the RTO from Speyburn’s deadly attack. Most of the soldiers were still there. She would be addressing them as well.

    “Wish me luck, Jack,” Kaitlyn whispered to her son.

    Her boy responded in something close to Basic, she wasn’t sure what he had said, but it was a good effort nevertheless. With a wave of her hand, a nanny rushed in and scooped the boy up to take him for his afternoon nap. Watching him leave, she breathed a sigh of relief. Now, the RTO could know true peace. She tugged at her suit jacket and emerged onto the balcony over her personal quarters overlooking Merchant’s Square.

    Video feeds, transmitting the speech throughout the known galaxy, captured every movement of the Chairwoman of the RTO. She waved at the crowd who went absolutely bonkers for their leader, a leader who had seen them through a short but incredibly vicious war, a war that had claimed many lives, too many lives. A line of armed guards and police held the crowd back aways from the balcony and security personnel patrolled the rooftops just in case any supporters of the Speyburn following decided to take Kaitlyn out of the picture.

    Camera spheres hovered close, not only to film the speech, but to record the audio in the highest definition possible.

    “Citizens of the RTO and friends of our economic union around the galaxy, we have peace,” Kaitlyn said.

    The crowd roared, hollered, whistled, clapped, and hugged one another.

    “Our peace was achieved only through an incredible loss of life. Good friends have fallen on the fields of Ord Pardron, in the heavily traveled trade lanes of the RTO, and just beyond the orbit of Druckenwell. I ask that you remember them, I ask that you honor their sacrifice, and I ask that you do everything possible to help our veterans when they return home. Now is not the time to let petty differences linger between neighbors, now is not the time to be selfish, now is the time when we must look to the future and think of our children, think of the world we want to create. Envision that world, embrace that world, and in so doing we can forgive our enemies.”

    “I did not come here today to make a long speech, only to tell you that our galaxy is changing. The RTO and the Hutts are at peace and Speyburn will be brought to justice. This war has threatened the very fundamentals that our economic union is known to uphold. We have survived. So long as there are good people in this galaxy, and good friends to rely upon, we shall survive.”

    The crowd went silent, reflective. A deathly quiet floated across the square. All eyes were on Kaitlyn, their leader, the woman who had stood tall during Druckenwell’s darkest moment.

    Kaitlyn looked out over the crowd and felt a stirring from deep within. Raising her hand in a clenched fist, voice shaking, she started to sing.


    Arise, the workers of all member worlds!
    Arise, oppressed of the galaxy!
    For justice thunders condemnation:
    A better world's in birth!
    It is time to win emancipation,
    Arise, you slaves, no more in thrall!
    The RTO will rise on new foundations:
    We, who were nothing, shall be all!
    Forward, brothers and sisters,
    And the last fight let us face;
    The Internationale
    Unites the citizens of the RTO!
    Forward, brothers and sisters,
    And the last fight let us face;
    The Internationale
    Unites the citizens of the RTO!

    She stopped, could only hear her breathing, felt a sharp pang of nerves, and nearly burst into tears as the audience carried the song forward. With clenched fists raised, the millions gathered in the square started to hum and then sing the rest of the song that had come to define the RTO.

    No one will grant us deliverance,
    Not Maker, nor Emperor, nor hero.
    We will win our liberation,
    With our very own hands.
    To throw down oppression with a skilled hand,
    To take back what is ours –
    Fire up the furnace and hammer boldly,
    while the iron is still hot!
    |: This is our final
    and decisive battle;
    With the Internationale
    society will rise up!






    Ord Pardron, RTO

    With tears in their eyes, the soldiers of the armies of the RTO stood at attention and sang as the Holonet feed was piped into their bunkers, relayed down the trenches of death, and into their hearts. They had seen enough of war, of death, of destruction. It was time to go home.

    “Long live the RTO!” Many shouted in between verses.

    Today was a new day indeed!

    Theed, Naboo

    Queen Eleanor Vehn, her administration, and thousands of supporters gathered in Amidala Plaza singing the song of the RTO. Her heart swelled with joy as the lyrics swirled around her in all their glory. She had never felt more proud of the people she governed, of being apart of this economic union that had been a beacon of light to so many.

    And she had been a part of that peace Kaitlyn had talked about. Yes, she had played a very important part, indeed.

    Nime, Roon

    Thousands of people gathered, waving flags, whistling, crying, celebrating, a new era had begun!

    “Long live the Vehns!” Supporters cried out in protest of the occupation of Tesserone and Roon by Speyburn’s forces.

    II Avali, Druckenwell

    Kaitlyn wiped tears from her eyes, felt a tug on her leg, looked down, saw it was her boy Jack. The nanny gave an apologetic look but Kaitlyn shook her head with a smile. This was fine. Hauling her boy up, the crowd roared, still working its way through the song and now the final verse was approaching. She saw motion out of the corner of her eye. Verity Vehn emerged from the blackness beyond onto the balcony, her eyes watery, accompanied by her brother Liam.

    Together, the family sang the final verse.

    Just we, the workers of the galaxy-wide,
    The greatest army of labor,
    To own the RTO have a true right -
    But the parasites — never!
    For too long we've endured exploitation,
    Too long we've been the vulture's prey.
    Farewell to days of condemnation!
    The red dawn brings a bright new day!
    Forward, brothers and sisters,
    And the last fight let us face;
    The Internationale
    Unites the citizens of the RTO!
    Forward, brothers and sisters,
    And the last fight let us face;
    The Internationale
    Unites the citizens of the RTO!

    “Vehn! Vehn! Vehn!” Cried the crowd as the Vehn family waved to their supporters.

    It was a moment in the history of the RTO that would never be forgotten.
    Last edited by Liam_Vehn, Feb 5, 2013
    Trieste likes this.
  4. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Five Worlds Treasury, Coronet City, Corellia

    “The Republican Sixth Fleet, informally referred to as the Bothan Home Fleet, ended its unannounced wargames today on near the RTO border,” the Holonet reporter said, “The wargames, which had previously been described as a realignment of forces by High Command, were initially thought to be the first step in Republican Fleet intervention in the recently ended RTO civil war. High Command has denied that such a thing was ever possible. In other news—”

    Oren Mott turned off the vidscreen in his office. Why it was even on was beyond him. He needed to concentrate right now. Tandy was a vornskr when she got the scent. She had been in her civil practice. Mott had assumed she’d keep chasing her white collar crooks when he’d told Trieste she would be a solid Attorney General. It was vastly preferable to getting someone in the Department of Justice who would have a raging desire to destroy organized crime. Unfortunately, Trieste had yet to show any sign of calling off Tandy now that her financial investigation was going to open up his own dealings.

    There would be Korriban to pay if Trieste didn’t put a stop to this soon. Mott was sure of that. She could flex her military muscle at Speyburn all she wanted, but that wasn’t going to do her a lick of good here. She couldn’t just send the Fleet in to invade Corellia.

    His door slid open and one of his bodyguards stepped inside the office, much to Oren’s chagrin. “Not now, I’m busy.”

    The bodyguard said nothing as he walked further into the office—followed by several men with leveled blasters. Men that Mott knew.

    “What the frak is going on here?” Mott asked.

    “When you got in bed with Kerry Trieste, we assumed you were smart enough to remember whose side you were on.”

    “Well that’s helpful,” Mott replied sarcastically, “How about you level with me.”

    “You think you were going to get away with this? That you could turn states’ evidence and waltz out of here? Hang us out to dry?”

    “Are you frakking insane? Who says I’m going to do that?”

    “We’ve seen the file, Oren. You were going turn us over to Tandy.”

    “That’s a lie! This investigation is going nowhere, and it certainly isn’t going to succeed because of anything I do,” Oren shouted, “I have Trieste over a barrel! What reason do I have to cooperate with her?”

    “The facts don’t lie. And it’s a perfect cover. We’re done, Oren.”

    Those last three words hit Oren Mott with the reality of his situation. “Guys,” he said, not quite pleading, but abandoning his previous anger, “Guys. If you go down, I do too. There’s no deal. We only beat Trieste together.”

    “No, we only beat Trieste if we have your files.”

    Mott’s expression fell. “Guys, please. We made a lot of credits together.”

    “Credits aren’t as important as knowing who to trust, Oren.”

    And with that, Oren Mott’s tenure as Five Worlds Treasurer came to an abrupt close as he was discreetly led out of his office at blasterpoint.
  5. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Coronet City, Corellia

    The gentle chime of doorbells heralded the arrival of a visitor at the Guilder residence. It was a droid that opened the door and announced the arrival of Mr. Wilhuff Mott for Mrs. Guilder. So it was that Shandra Guilder found herself standing in her parlor with the brother of her lover who paid for the metropolitan residence she inhabited.

    “Have you heard yet?” Wilhuff asked.

    “Apparently not,” Shandra said.

    Wilhuff looked around the room awkwardly. “Sithspit…your pardon,” he apologized, “There’s just no easy way to tell you this.”

    “I find just saying it helps,” Shandra suggested.

    “They’ve taken Oren.”

    Shandra Guilder found that she had to sit. “Who’s taken him?”

    “Beings we trusted. Beings we thought were loyal,” Wilhuff spat.

    “But why? What happened?”

    “The word on the street is that Oren was going to sell everyone out to Coruscant, to Helena Tandy,” Wilhuff said.

    Shandra was stunned. “I…I don’t know what to say. What’s going to happen now?”

    “You’re safe. Everyone knows you’re a civilian,” Wilhuff said firmly, “but Oren told me about the backup plan. If anything happened, I was to get the files and put the plan in motion. I need them right now if I’m to save Oren.”

    The woman hesitated but then stood and crossed the room. She opened a desk drawer and removed a false bottom that concealed a small datapad. She gave it to Wilhuff. “Here.”

    “This will save Oren. Thank you,” Wilhuff said, “I have to go.”

    “Go, before something happens,” Shandra urged him, “Please. I can’t lose him. Please”



    Hana City, Chandrila

    Wilhuff Mott entered a tapcafe. He had been told to look for the green carnation. Sure enough, he found it tucked behind the ear of a raven haired Human woman who was reading flimsi and marking it with red pen. He took the empty seat across the table from her without bothering to order anything.

    “Miss Thorne,” Wilhuff said, “I think you know who I am.”

    The woman raised her eyes. “I do,” she replied.

    Wilhuff drew the datapad out of his jacket and set it on the table. “This has everything that was promised.”

    Discreetly, she set her flimsi on top of the datapad. “I’m glad to hear it.”

    “I want your assurances that my brother will not be harmed,” Wilhuff said.

    “You know the deal. I’m the go between,” Miss Thorne said, “But we keep our promises.” She gathered her flimsi—and with it the datapad—and put them into her bag. “Safe travels back to Corellia, Mr. Mott.”

    With that she left.
  6. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Kilmainham Brook, Prytis, Bakura

    Kerry Trieste stood in the dark great room of the Trieste family home of Kilmainham Brook. She had lit the fireplace that evening and few of the lights were on inside the room. As she stood before the hearth her head was raised to the portrait above the mantle, which she calmly surveyed over sips of whiskey.

    [IMG]

    “Good evening, Kerry.”

    The Chancellor turned to find her sister in-law Nessarose standing just inside the room.

    “I hope I’m not interrupting,” Nessa said.

    “When I pay a lot of credits for something, I like to enjoy it,” Kerry said, turning back to the portrait, “Every Taoiseach has had their portrait painted. A quirk of a bygone age. This one—” she pointed with one finger on the hand that held her tumbler, “—is of Fionn Cormac Trieste, second Taoiseach of the House, one of the founders of Fianna Fail, and until my father and I the only Trieste to ever be Prime Minister.

    “Like the others, it was lost at some point during the occupation. Someone took them as trophies. Scattered across the galaxy. At the time there were only seven Taoiseachs. Six had been painted. This is the fifth that I’ve recovered. Oh, where are my manners, help yourself to a—”

    Nessa had stepped next to Kerry and lightly rocked the glass back and forth in her hand, causing the ice to knock against the sides.

    “Forgive the liberty,” Nessa said before taking a sip, “Please, continue. This is the fifth.”

    “Yes. The only one that remains outstanding is the portrait of Niall I, the founder of the Noble House,” Kerry said.

    “How did you get this one back?”

    “I have beings who keep their ears open for such things in a variety of circles. This one was the black market for art. I paid three million credits for it,” Kerry said, “And then I had my beings give all their information to the Department of Justice because I’ll be damned if I’m going to let someone get away with three million credits of my money for something that’s mine.” She turned away from the portrait. “Now, I believe we have business to discuss.”

    Nessa had left her purse on the table. She went to it and pulled out a datapad. “I hope this was worth me going all the way to Chandrila for it,” she said.

    “Nessa, when Conn died you said you wanted to be a part of the Noble House’s affairs,” Kerry said, “That time has come.”



    Chancellor’s residence, Coruscant
    Not too long ago

    It had all started with a datapad. A datapad of files she requested from Republican Intelligence on the Mott criminal organization. She’d read it late in the night, reviewing the organization. Oren Mott at the top. Wilhuff Mott second in command, running the day to do day and the muscle. And on the payroll was Senator Terax Wiquirk. Kerry dug further into the files. Mott was keeping his sector’s Senator under his thumb. It didn’t hurt to have an inside track on Courscant. It’s what Kerry would have done if she’d been a criminal mastermind.

    And that was when she began revolving a plan, one that formed before the night was done.



    The first step was to dummy up a file on Mott with Tandy’s help. It was a risk—the Attorney General was loyal, but only as long as you were in line with her goals. Kerry made sure that Tandy saw how this plan served her goals. And so Tandy got on board and made the file.

    So Senator Wiquirk was dutifully called in the next day to the Chancellor’s office where she heard about the “deal” that Oren Mott was on the verge of signing with the Department of Justice. A deal that threatened Mott’s entire operation—and a deal that would unmask Wiquirk once the Attorney General got her hands on Mott’s files.

    That set events in motion in Coronet City. As soon as Wiquirk told her associates what Mott was “planning”, they resolved to take action immediately. Oren was hauled out of his office ignominiously and taken to what everyone knew was going to be his death.

    Except CorSec, working in conjunction with the Department of Justice was waiting. The whole lot was arrested in one fell swoop. Before that had happened, Wilhuff Mott got wind of the fact his brother had been taken by his confederates. And the anonymous comm he got said that Oren’s life could be spared in exchange for his files.

    It was a tough call, but to Wilhuff Mott his brother was worth more than whatever he had on the supposedly powerful beings in his files. And so it was really no call at all. He handed the files over to one Miss Thorne, contact on Chandrila—“just to make sure that we do this nice and discreet.”

    Except those files had been delivered to a woman using her maiden name. Nessarose Thorne Trieste who was notable for nothing at all in this galaxy other than perhaps who her sister in-law was.

    And now, without his files, Oren Mott had a choice: take a plea deal with the Department of Justice or get released. After all, CorSec hadn’t arrested everyone from his organization and now everyone knew about the “deal.” He was welcome to take his chances out there as a turncoat…which after all, if the Department of Justice released him without charges, it had to be because he’d cooperated, didn’t it? Mott signed the deal.



    “And that is what happened,” Kerry told Nessa, “and your part in this production.” The Chancellor turned the datapad over in her hands. And then she slammed it on the stone mantle, cracking the display before tossing it into the fire where it sparked and would soon begin to melt.

    “I trust whatever was on that datapad was worth it,” Nessa said.

    Kerry turned her eyes from the fire to Nessa. “Well you know one thing about the House’s business. You know better than to ask,” the Chancellor said with a faint smile. “Those files detailed how I killed Srin Andloinne, the woman who killed your husband,” Kerry said out of nowhere.

    Nessa put down her drink. “The shuttle crash…wasn’t an accident?”

    “The shuttle crash?” Kerry said, “I’d forgotten about that. No, Nessa. I held a blaster and I shot that frakker. I shot her because nobody comes after my family. Oren Mott made the arrangements, he covered it up. And apparently he kept records that would have implicated me. As you will soon be hearing about, the Panstellar Holdings investigation is about to uncover widespread corruption and graft on Corellia, run by Oren Mott. Mott tried to get me to use my influence to drop it with those files. I obviously had other ideas.”

    “So you killed her,” Nessa said.

    “I did.”

    “And you’re telling me this why?”

    “Because sometimes this is the Noble House’s business and it’s time you understood what that means,” Kerry said, backlit by the fire.

    Nessa nodded. She picked up her drink, finished it off, and then slowly stood. “Will you indulge me one comment?” Kerry motioned for her to proceed. “I’m glad the harlot’s dead.”

    “Then we understand each other,” Kerry said.

    “We do. Good night, Kerry,” Nessa said.

    “Good night, Nessa,” Kerry said. She turned back to admiring the portrait of Fionn Cormac Trieste and sipped her drink. Kerry Trieste very much enjoyed getting what she wanted.
  7. Trieste Force Ghost

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

    “Declan, an unexpected pleasure,” the deep voiced Atticus Eldred said, welcoming his nephew into his law office, “You should have told me you were coming all the way out from the university.”

    “It’s not a long monorail ride,” Declan said as he shook his uncle’s hand, “A little spur of the moment, if you’ll forgive me.”

    “Of course,” Atticus said, motioning for Declan to take a seat, “I assume there is some business that brings you here.”

    “Yes,” Declan said with a small smile, “I’ll be graduating from UBSD shortly—”

    “Graduating…” Atticus said with wonderment, “You know how to make a man feel old. Though the day that Trixie graduates from college I’ll feel positively ancient…”

    “Tiarest for her?” Declan asked.

    “If her mother has anything to say about it, it will be,” Atticus said, “I’ve long ago given up hope that she might be an Archer.”

    “How about a Golden Bear?”

    “Not a chance,” Atticus said with a grin, “But enough about me being old. You’re in your prime.”

    “Right,” Declan said, “and a little while ago I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life when I graduate. I know that I’m incredibly lucky, that I can do anything you want thanks to Mom. I mean, she’d let me live my dreams. She’d probably even let me do nothing.”

    “Your mother?” Atticus scoffed, “That’d be the day.”

    “Well, maybe not nothing, but she wouldn’t make me mop floors,” Declan said, “But I don’t want some job where I’m just making credits. University showed me that there’s a lot going on in the galaxy, even here on Bakura, that there are things to do to help beings who need it. I want to do something about that.”

    “Well, the Noble House does a lot of charitable work. Your Aunt Regan is involved in a number of causes on behalf of the House. She could make some recommendations as to ones that could use you,” Atticus said.

    “I know she could, but that’s not how I want to help people. I don’t want to file flimsi in an office. I want to be out there doing something. I don’t care what it pays—if it pays. I know if I believe in it, Mom will support me,” Declan said, “Aunt Regan told me that you came to what you had on your own once and I you’re a good man. I thought you might know something about what really needed to be done, not what people who go to benefit dinners in Salis D’aar think need to be done.”

    Atticus looked away and was silent for a moment. “Your Aunt Regan is right. I grew up in a much different place than Salis D’aar, though I found my way here with time.” He looked back to Declan. “I won’t say it’s better or worse, but it was just where I came from. I’m honored you would ask me such an important question, what to do with your life.”

    “Not my life, just what to do with myself right now,” Declan said.

    “That’s very smart, Declan,” Atticus said, “Life is full of many twists and turns. I find that planning too far ahead never amounts to much.” He paused again. “If I had to tell you the first thing I thought of, it’s that the family farm has been a fabric of Bakuran life for years. That’s largely thanks to your grandfather. When he oversaw the resettlement, he made sure that families got tracts of land to farm and he did his best to make sure that corporations didn’t take over. He pretty much succeeded, but that doesn’t mean that life is easy for people who get food to the rest of us.

    “If I was a young man and wanted to do something, I’d want to help Bakura’s farmers,” Atticus said.

    “Are there groups doing that now?” Declan asked.

    “Absolutely, and they need intelligent beings in the field. Of course, you might get your shoes a little muddy…though I can’t guarantee it’ll always be mud,” Atticus said with the hint of an impish grin.

    Declan just laughed. “Who’s doing the best work, really getting results, do you know?”

    Atticus didn’t, but he made some inquiries and one week later came back with an answer: Telaan Valley Farm Authority. Declan asked his uncle to make some inquiries without hesitation. This would be a chance to do something with his life, to make a difference.

    And Becca Durst was currently a freshman at UB Telaan Valley, he remembered…
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  8. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Nouvelle Orleans, Bakura

    “Your wife to see you, Mr. Trieste.”

    “Send her in, please,” Ronan Trieste, Chairman of the Eden Banking Group said, “Mandy, what a delightful sur—” He stopped. His wife’s large eyes were not their usual bright self. “What’s wrong?”

    “Grandma is dead,” Mandy said. She didn’t burst into tears, but Ronan now realized his wife had already done so.

    Though Mandy had two grandparents, there was only one that she could be referring to. Serena Kattan had been the second Supreme Chancellor of the Republic and one of its most formative leaders, transitioning the union of systems from war to peace. Ronan could only assume the news was not yet public, likely out of consideration of her family, but that it shortly would be.

    “Mandy, I’m sorry,” Ronan said, coming from around his desk to hug his wife.

    Inside his embrace she said quietly, “We need to start thinking about the future.”

    “No. Now is a time for grief,” Ronan said.

    “Now, but Eden is set to vote on Class II directors at the next shareholder meeting,” Mandy said, “That includes you. Grandma’s death breaks up the old Red Baron shares. I don’t think we can count on all those votes at the vote. And you didn’t make friends with the last vote.” She looked up at her husband with her blue eyes. “Ronan, I think they’re going to vote you out.”

    “We’ll deal with that later,” he said, smoothing his wife’s cheek with his hand, “There are things more important than credits.” He paused as he looked at her. “You know, even in grief you’re still unbelievably beautiful.”

    “A faded pop star?” she said with a smile.

    “Married to a dull banker,” he replied.

    “What a team. We’ll take the galaxy by storm,” she said with a laugh despite herself.



    Denon

    The funeral of Serena Kattan was a somber and large affair. It was attended by all members of her family, which had grown quite large with great-grandchildren and even great-great-grandchildren. All the surviving Supreme Chancellors were in attendance as well, Kerry Trieste included.

    Kerry would have come even if protocol didn’t require it. The Noble House owed Serena Kattan a debt. She had stumped for Fionn Trieste in his first PM election. Though Kattan had been returning the favor for Fionn’s endorsement in her first Chancellery election, Kerry still would have been there to pay the proper respects.

    “Serena Kattan understood that true bravery is not demonstrated in winning war, but in winning peace,” Kerry pronounced in her brief eulogy to her predecessor, “After we defeated the greatest threat to galactic society in over a century, Serena Kattan had the courage to lead us into a new era: to rebuild our lives, our economy, and our society after decades of strife and worry. It was Serena Kattan whose foreign policy had the sagacity to respect the rest of the galactic community with the knowledge that the time for unbounded displays of power had passes. We lack the wisdom of history, but one day it may perhaps be said in the annals of history that Serena Kattan founded the Republic as we know it today.”



    Nouvelle Orleans, Bakura

    Mandy found the other half of her bed for the third time in as many nights. Tonight she decided to do something about it. Slipping on a robe, she found her husband sitting on the balcony outside of his home office. It was a warm night and Ronan was shirtless as he sat on a lounger reading files on his datapad. He was so engrossed that he didn’t even look up from them until his wife settled in next to him.

    “Come to bed or I’ll fall asleep here and you can’t have that, can you?” she asked him as she shut her eyes and lay her head against his neck.

    “You’re the one who said we needed to think about the future,” Ronan said. He’d done the math. He didn’t think he’d have the votes to stay head of Eden. To avoid scandal, he had already informed the Board he would not stand for reelection at the next annual shareholder’s meeting.

    “You’re the one who said we could do that later,” Mandy said, “Come to bed.”

    “Do you know those lawyers that Regan hired for the Miners?” Ronan asked.

    “Fleetfire Zarmer with that slick Talon fellow?” Mandy asked.

    “Yes. It seems they’re handling the defense of the Dawes hostile takeover,” Ronan said, “I’ve been reading about it. Bakura National wants to absorb them.”

    “I know Bakura National. But I’ve never heard of Dawes Bank,” Mandy said, her eyes still shut.

    “It’s the Dawes Tomes Mousley Grubb Fidelity Bank,” Ronan said, “One of Bakura’s oldest investment houses. They were movers and shakers in the 100s, ABY, that is,” he clarified, “They’re not very liquid at the moment. They don’t have the internal reserves to fend off a hostile takeover, but they’re right to be scared. Bakura National has bought and dismantled three banks like Dawes in the last two years,” Ronan said.

    “And?” Mandy inquired.

    “Do you not know how my mind works?” Ronan asked.

    “I do, but I like hearing you talk.”

    “I’ll sell our Eden shares and come in as a white knight to save Dawes,” Ronan said.

    “Don’t forget the shares I’ll get from Grandma,” Mandy reminded him, “We’ll have enough for a good vacation from that. And you’ll have a place to go every morning when you’re not managing the Noble House assets.”

    “You know me so well,” Ronan said, patting her head.

    “Bed?” she suggested.

    He flipped the datapad off and set it aside. “I think I’m quite comfortable right here…”
  9. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Senator Cambric of Bespin’s apartment, Coruscant

    Any social event that the Chancellor attended required her to shake hands with far more people than she wanted to do so with and exchange a few pleasantries. Such was life.

    “Have a lovely evening,” Kerry said, dismissing one well wisher to accept the next one. There was not exactly a receiving line, but something like it formed all the same. The next citizen came along with barely a pause.

    “Madam Chancellor, we haven’t had the pleasure yet. Senator Gavin Serling, recently elected from Eriadu,” the steel haired, thin human said with what Kerry guessed was a well polished smile. It had plenty of shine, but not so much that it failed to be authentic.

    “Senator Serling,” Kerry said taking his hand, “Welcome to the Senate. I expect more of an accent from an Eriaduan.”

    “We’re not all tight up Tarkins, you know,” Serling said.

    “Quinn Cundertol is,” Kerry said.

    “I said not all of us,” Serling pointed out familiarly.

    “A pleasure to meet you, Senator,” Kerry said, segueing into gentle dismissal, “I’m sure I’ll see you in the Senate.”

    “The audience is over so soon?” Serling said with what Kerry thought was convivial disappointment, “And here I was hoping to talk to you about your Hutt trade problem.”

    That stopped Kerry. Plenty of special interests pressed their case, but this one was pinging her political sensors for some reason. “I don’t have a Hutt trade problem.”

    “If you don’t think you have one, then you have a very big Hutt trade problem,” Serling said, his jovial nature for the moment minimized.

    Kerry Trieste thought quickly and made a decision. “Senator, please contact my office. We should find some time for us to meet tomorrow to discuss the matter.”

    “My fifteen minutes with the Chancellor spent already? I’ll never get reelected now,” Serling said with a wink, “Tomorrow, Madam Chancellor.”

    Serling took his leave and for a moment Kerry wondered what Gavin Serling’s game was. Then she had to shake the next hand and she put it out of her head for the rest of the evening.



    Supreme Chancellor’s office, Coruscant
    The next day

    “Senator, thank you for coming,” Kerry said, standing from her desk to greet Gavin Serling.

    “I think I’m the one who’s supposed to say that,” Serling said as he shook hands with Kerry.

    “And then I’d have to have the Senatorial Guard beat you up for not calling me Chancellor,” Kerry said.

    “Fair enough,” Gavin said. He spied Kerry’s liquor cabinet to one side of the room. She caught the look.

    “May I get you something?” she suggested.

    “Getting drunk with the Chancellor—my career is skyrocketing before my very eyes,” Gavin said, “You’re a whiskey drinker, I believe?”

    “Two whiskeys then,” Kerry said. She went to the cabinet and poured.

    “Don’t you have a droid to do that for you?”

    “Bakurans have retained our distrust of droids, even if we did legalize them in my father’s time,” Kerry said, “We prefer to do things for ourselves if we can.” She brought a tumbler to Serling and motioned for him to sit. “So, I have a Hutt trade problem.” It wasn’t a question, but it was too.

    “Absolutely. Your dear niece Eleanor caused it for you,” Serling said as he settled into a sofa, “Nice way to repay her aunt for all of the kindness you’ve shown her over the years.”

    The Chancellor swirled her drink. “And exactly how has she created a problem? I’m not aware of anything.”

    “Then you should fire your trade experts,” Serling said, “You signed the free trade pact with the RTO and the Republic. A cornerstone of your first Chancellery.”

    “Of course,” Kerry said before taking a sip of her whiskey.

    “Then dear Eleanor to save the RTO gets the Hutts to come to their aid at Druckenwell. The Hutts’ price? Nar Shaddaa, which the RTO built up into a nice little economic fief for them to run their Nal Hutta exports through, and a free trade agreement,” Gavin said, leaning forward. “That—” he jabbed a finger on the glass table between him and the Chancellor, “—is where she screwed you.”

    “We didn’t sign free trade with the Hutts. Our treaty with the RTO doesn’t bind us to their treaties,” Kerry said. Even so, she was beginning to figure it out.

    “Madam Chancellor, with all due respect, it doesn’t matter. We ship goods, duty free, into the RTO. Then some Rodian—no disrespect to Rodians—turns around, tacks on a 1% surcharge, and then sells the same goods duty free to the Hutts. It’s that simple. Heck, it gets even simpler. The Hutts open up some holding company and do it without the surcharge themselves. It takes a little longer for them to get their goods, but now they’ve just circumvented Republican tariffs.”

    “Well frak me,” Kerry said.

    “Yeah, exactly. You know some Hutt was smart enough to figure it out too. They’re probably setting it up right now. You’re about to see tariff revenue nosedive, and with it the Republican budget. You’ve got it balanced, but if you start losing billions of credits in decreased tariffs that’s not going to last and you’re going to get blasted as a tax-and-spender when no Senator is going to want you to cut what programs they’ve been able to hold onto,” Gavin said.

    “So how do we stop it?” Trieste asked.

    “How good are your relations with the Board of Tribunes?” Serling asked.

    Kerry stood, grabbed the bottle of whiskey, and came back to refill both their glasses.

    “That bad?” Serling asked.

    “I find a two drink minimum is required when trying to handle Kaitlyn Vehn,” Kerry said with a smile.

    “Then I should deal with her more often. Cheers,” Serling said, returning the smile.
    Liam_Vehn likes this.
  10. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4


    Tesserone, Roon- Shortly after Kaitlyn Vehn’s address to the RTO on Druckenwell

    Two solitary figures departed a lone shuttle armed to the teeth. They landed for revenge. They landed for blood. They landed for all the wrong reasons. They had arrived at the Vehn family home of Tesserone, under occupation by Alexander Speyburn and eleven of his hired guns who now patrolled the perimeter. Today was going to be a day of bloodshed. Today was going to be a day of reclaimation.

    Liam Vehn and Verity Vehn, carrying heavy blaster rifles, snuck quietly through the outskirts of the property. They knew how to hide in the brush of Roon. They knew how conceal themselves to turn the tables on their enemies. This was their home and they knew how best to go about taking it back.

    “You ready, Verity?” Liam asked as he examined the family home with electrobinoculars.

    “If you’re asking if I can kill a man, then, yes,” Verity responded as she double-checked her rifle.

    “You sure?” Liam questioned. “It’s not like the holovids.”

    “You’re forgetting who you’re talking to, Liam. I’ve had years of experience cutting into people to save their lives. I think I know just what to do to take those lives as well. Besides, I’ll never forgive these bastards from taking our home away from me,” Verity growled.

    “I love it when you talk dirty,” Liam grunted.

    “Dad raised me well,” Verity replied with a smile.

    “We’re going to need twelve coffins today,” Liam said.

    “Damn straight,” Verity replied with a grin.

    And the hunt began. It started with eliminating two of the guards on the eastern perimeter. The rest never heard them cry out as they were dragged into the brush and their necks were slit wide open. Then there was ten thugs left, not counting Speyburn.

    A small building, separate from the main home had once been used for the hired hands that had come to work the property when the Vehns had seen better days, and was now occupied by six of the thugs that Speyburn had hired. Four of them sat around a table playing a game of Sabacc. The other two rested in the corner presumably sleeping off a night of hard drinking. All of this was visible to Liam Vehn as he peered in through the window and then looked back at his sister who had blood and fire in her eyes.

    Yes, she always had more fire and he loved her for that.

    Liam kicked in the door, surprising the men who were playing Sabacc.

    “Who the frak are you?” One of them crowed squinting through the bright light coming in from the door.

    “The man who owns this property,” Liam growled.

    “Vehn, you son of a b-“ the man cursed as he reached for his gun. His hand never even made it that far as Liam pulled the trigger of the rifle sending a scatter shot that blew the man’s chest to smithereens. His body lifted up and away from the chair and hit with a resounding thud against the far wall. A red streak followed him to the ground.

    Nine thugs left.

    Verity entered the room and threw a vibro-knife into one of the men at the corner who staggered into the Sabacc table overturning it sending cards and chips flying.

    Eight men left.

    Now one of the men from the other corner stumbled to his feet and slashed at Liam with a knife of his own. The other Sabacc players peered around his lumbering form, not wanting to shoot their friend in the back just to take out the Vehns. Liam jumped out of the way and rolled to his left. He brought a blaster pistol up and shot past the man at the pipe of a wood stove in the corner. The shot ricocheted off the wood stove and bore a sizzling hole in the last thug who had once called a corner of this room home.

    Seven men left.

    The other three men knew it was a do or die situation and were prepared to go down shooting. Verity could see that there was no chance for Liam or herself to get a shot off to take them all out so she shoved her older brother out of the room, popped a quick-charge thermal detonator into the building and leapt to safety. The building exploded in a tower of fire and smoke.

    Four men left.

    The explosion and gunfire had now alerted the remaining men around Speyburn. Windows were broken in the main home as Verity and Liam dove for cover, blaster fire erupting from the darkened interior of the house.

    “Now you’ve pissed them off,” Liam laughed.

    “They picked a fight with the wrong lady,” Verity returned as the pair crawled their way from cover to cover, moving ever closer to the occupied gun-ports of the windows.

    The windows were close now. Verity reached for her thermal detonators and Liam put a hard, reassuring hand on her wrist. He shook his head. His meaning was clear. Verity nodded and slithered her way forward so that she was just to the right of the first window. The shooting stopped. The thugs inside knew that the Vehn siblings were close, dangerously close.

    One of them would make a fatal mistake. One of them would slip up and it would be the end of them. Liam waited on the other side of Verity, out of sight of the window. One of the thugs extended a blaster rifle through a broken window pane, sighting something in the distance.

    Liam gave a nod to Verity who grabbed the blaster rifle and yanked hard. The thug maintained his grip on the rifle and was dragged through the glass out into the open. A vibro-knife into his heart a moment later ended any discussion as to whether or not he would be able to recover.

    Three men left.



    The pair snuck into the house, careful not to step on the broken glass. The remaining men fired a few parting shots before disappearing into the living room with its massive hearth, handmade by Joaquin and Rowena Vehn years earlier when they had first built the house. Liam briefly allowed himself to slip back into a mode of memory as he remembered playing with toy action figures in front of that hearth, blazing fire going, father stressing over the details of how to get the RTO up and running., mother cooking something delicious in the kitchen.

    Carefully, Liam creeped toward the entrance to the living room and as he poked his head around the corner he nearly got it taken off by a well placed shot that splintered the wood sending fragments everywhere. One of them stuck in his cheek, drawing blood. Spinning away from the entryway, he clutched his face, felt the sting of the blow.

    “You okay?” Verity asked, other side of the entryway.

    “Yeah, just fine,” Liam responded after a brief moment.

    “Stun ‘em, bag ‘em, and tag ‘em?” Verity asked.

    Liam nodded. He knew what she meant.

    Verity charged a sonic grenade and rolled it into the room. It detonated and the screams from the disoriented thugs reached their ears like the sweetest music that they had ever heard. The pair rolled into the room, guns blazing, loads of bolts flopping and jarring the thugs where they stood. Whe the room was cleared, all three were dead. That left Speyburn by himself, somewhere in the house.

    “Any idea where you think he is?” Verity asked as she stepped over a pool of crimson.

    “Dad’s study,” Liam murmured, gesturing down the hallway to a room at the end of the hall.

    Cautiously, floorboards creaking, Liam and Verity made their way to the door. Just as they were about to open it, the door blew outward into a thousand fragments, sending the Vehn siblings sprawling for their lives. Smoke, burnt wood, singed hair, hit Liam’s nose as he hit the floor hard. In a daze, Liam vaguely saw Speyburn stand over the limp body of Verity who was groaning, a free-flowing wound opening at her head.

    Speyburn pulled out a knife as he brought Verity to kneel at his side. “I’m going to enjoy cutting this schutta,” Speyburn seethed.
    Liam, still in shock from the explosion, could only watch, his body not responding to every demand from his brain to get up and fight the guy who had brought so much pain to this family.

    Speyburn brought the sharp edge of a vibro-blade down against Verity’s soft skin. He pressed a little on her throat with the blade drawing blood. There was a sadistic stare to the man who had once been a rising star in the RTO. Liam had seen this look before, from men who had nothing to lose. From men who had no concept that they were staring death right in the face. Men so full of themselves that their hatred for the outside world had consumed everything and everyone that they had ever cared about.

    Verity was coming around now as Speyburn stood over Liam. Liam’s muscle sensations were returning, the ringing in his ears and head was diminishing. The world suddenly becoming more clear and just to test himself he moved a bloody hand. Yes, his hand still worked. Now, if only he could reach his blaster rifle, a foot beyond his grasp.

    Verity stared at Liam, fully aware, her eyes showing contempt for Speyburn even to the end.

    “Shoot him, Liam!” She screamed. “Shoot him!”

    Speyburn tightened his grip on Verity and the muscles in his arms tensed as he was prepared to slit her throat.

    Liam cursed and grabbed a shard of the exploded door, catching Speyburn behind the knee, crippling him. Speyburn screamed as Verity tore away from his grasp, the vibro-knife cutting off a thick section of her hair. Rolling to safety, Verity brought her foot straight between Speyburn’s legs, dropping him to the floor. A few more punches from Verity had him on the ground sniveling and bleeding like a wounded animal.

    Ripping out a blaster pistol, Verity leveled it at Alexander Speyburn. There was nothing but coldness in her eyes. Liam struggled to his feet, watched his sister, no longer doubting that she had the moral strength to pull the trigger.

    “You were always the weakest link in the family, Verity,” Speyburn spat. “You honesty think the Vehn’s can keep their hegemony over the RTO, you’ve got another thing coming. You, along with your family, are doomed to a life of irrelevance and servitude. I nearly broke the RTO’s back. It was only the intervention of the Hutts and your stupid nieces defense force that saved the day at Druckenwell.”

    “Nearly is the key word, Speyburn,” Liam said. “You underestimated our resolve.”

    “The galaxy is changing, Vehn. You and your family are going to be extinct if you do not change with it. This home of yours is from a different era. An era that no longer supports your totalitarian rule of the RTO,” Speyburn hissed through the pain.

    Verity was seething now, breathing hard, and Liam watched as his sister analyzed and calculated.

    “You’ve run out of ammunition, haven’t you?” Speyburn chuckled.

    “I know what you’re thinking. Did she fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I’ve lost count. So, the question you have to ask yourself, Speyburn, is do you feel lucky? Well do you, punk?”

    Speyburn flashed a bloody grin. Contempt in his eyes.

    “You can’t kill me. You don’t have murder in your heart,” he whispered.

    “Never tell me what I can and can’t do! Get out of my home!” Verity roared as she pulled the trigger ending Speyburn’s life.

    “Good riddance,” Liam whispered as he clutched his weeping sister’s body tightly to his own.

    “I love you, Liam,” Verity whispered.

    “I love you, sis. You did real good today, real good,” Liam responded.

    An hour later, the bodies of Speyburn and his thugs were buried in a mass grave and lit aflame. Night had fallen and as the flames crept higher and higher into the sky, both Verity and Liam could look up at the stars and know that today they had done their family proud.
    Last edited by Liam_Vehn, Mar 9, 2013
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  11. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    Theed Royal Palace, Naboo, Hours Before the Royal Ball



    Today was the first Royal Ball to be held at Theed Royal Palace in several hundred years. The once popular gathering had faded from public memory in the years after Amidala left the regency. Now it was being reintroduced to a new generation by a new monarch eager to revive the celebrated traditions of the past as she carved out a legacy for herself that would endure well into the future. Today was also the day that Naboo would recognize Queen Eleanor Vehn’s majority and adulthood.

    The palace was a hive of activity as thousands of maids, butlers, and others in the service world hustled around making sure that everything was perfectly arranged for the coming celebration. Marble pillars and floors were waxed, tables, chairs, and all manner of dinner ware were cleaned, dusted, and pristinely displayed in a Skywalkian effort to impress the arrival of thousands of dignitaries from around the galaxy. Everything was immaculately prepared right down to the stitching on the handmaidens outfits for the evening. The queen, of course, would have little time to notice the efforts of those who worked downstairs but that was to be expected. That was the way it had always been and that was the way it always would be. That was tradition.

    Naboo was finally stepping into its own shoes regarding its relationship with the outside galaxy. No longer the beautiful piece of dinnerware on the shelf for the RTO, to be shown at special occasions. Naboo had taken a course of equal relations with the Republic and other galactic entities. The planet was suddenly very much of its own alignment, and the place to be, and there were rumors that its relationship with the RTO was no longer serving its best interests. Would it rejoin the Republic? Would it strike out on its own? Nobody really knew. After all, speculation is born of idleness and gossip.

    Today was a day to honor Naboo. Today was a day to honor Eleanor. Today was a day where anything was possible. Peace was the word around the RTO and the Republic. Peace and prosperity. There were good times ahead. Good times indeed.




    Theed Royal Palace, Ball Room




    Hundreds of dignitaries from around the galaxy, wearing flowing dresses and flashy tuxedos, patrolled the antiquated yet beautiful ballroom. A small orchestra had been setup in one corner of the room while refreshments and appetizers zinged around on trays carried by only the best looking, and smartest dressed, citizens of Theed.

    The energy in the room was absolutely positive and full of the chatter that people make at large social functions who have very little in common but somehow find a way to carry on a conversation. There was laughter, clinking glasses, gazes of respect, gazes of hate, and everything in between. The people gathered here tonight were here because they wanted to be seen. Roon might have been the symbolic capital of the RTO, Druckenwell may very well be the functional capital of the RTO, but Naboo was the place to be seen on any level of social function. If you wanted to be in the ‘in’ crowd, well, than Theed was where people belonged. Here, social circles were fluid, organic, and one climbed based on their talents rather than their connections. Yes, Theed in the age of Eleanor Vehn going to be something great.

    [IMG]

    Eleanor stared at her reflection in the bedroom mirror, all the while being attended to by her handmaidens who flitted here, flicked there, and preened as if she were the most fragile creature in the galaxy. They made adjustments to her hair, made last minute recommendations to her dress, applied one more bit of makeup to accentuate her fine features and then were gone with the mere shake of a gloved finger.

    Now she was alone. This was a time for contemplation, reflection, a deep breath, the realization that she was finally stepping into her role as Queen of the Naboo for the rest of her life. If she hadn’t known that before, the full weight of that responsibility hit her hard now. Sure, she’d helped broker the pivotal intervention of the Hutts at the battle of Druckenwell during the Speyburn Conflict, pushed hard for the RTO to get its trade deal from the Republic, of which there were still annoying little loopholes that could come back to end it all if she weren’t careful, and responded well to the flood of Moenia several years back that had damaged a city and nearly broken the heart of a people.

    But she was still alone. She had no love to walk beside her during the trying times of rule. She had no one to wake up next to who would always have her back, always be there for her, either in spirit or in person, and so now the truth of this Royal Ball came to her as a small grin creased her pretty face. Yes, this Royal Ball was very much for the people and social functionaries who thrived off gatherings but it was also a way to see what prospective husbands were waiting for her out there in the galaxy. The invites to this occasion had gone as far as the Corporate Sector Authority and as wide as Bakura. No stone was left unturned and every available bachelor was eagerly invited to come.

    She’d read through the files of all those who had come to the gathering and sifted through the pieces of flimsi detailing even the most insignificant features of their lives. She had her eye on a few men but wondered if they would be there tonight. She wondered if they responded. She also wondered if they cared. No matter, she would have a good time, men or no men. Tonight was her night and she would handle it with the dignity, honor, and intelligence that was required as a head of state. She made her way downstairs.

    Her dress with its relatively long train flowed behind her as she made her way down the marble steps in the direction of the ballroom. She hadn’t been that nervous giving speeches on Coruscant during Kerry Trieste’s re-election campaign, she hadn’t been that nervous persuading the Hutts to help the RTO out in their hour of need, but now she was nervous. Now she would be coming into her own. It felt as if all the eyes of the galaxy were upon her. She stood before the entryway into the ballroom and took a few deep breaths.

    “Relax, Eleanor, you’ll be fine,” she whispered quietly to herself.

    The doorman caught her eye. Spun smartly on his heel and announced for all in the ballroom, “The Queen of the Naboo, Eleanor Vehn!”

    Eleanor Vehn stepped into the ballroom as those around her either bowed or courtseyed as she walked past the now parted crowd towards a dais that had been setup with a long banquet table at the far end of the room. She made eye contact with several people. There was her father, Oisin, and her mother, Verity. Her sister May and brother Austin looked quite nice in their outfits. She flashed them a quick smile before moving forward. As she did so, she saw Liam Vehn and his wife Kaitlyn, her good friend, admiring Eleanor from a distance. She knew that the other Triestes were in attendance as well. Even they could put down their busy schedules to check up on their relations.

    Hundreds of flashes from holocameras filled the air as Eleanor stood on the dais, turned to face the crowd, and said, “Let the first Royal Ball of this era begin!”

    The orchestra took up a song from a time long ago and couples began to waltz their way across the floor. She scanned the crowd, noticing that five men, at different points in the room, had looked at her longer than the rest. So, she did have some suitors.
    Her mind accessed the files and put names to the many faces.

    Her suitors were as follows:

    [IMG]
    Pter Underwood. She had met him during the crisis on Moenia. They had formed a lasting friendship but at the time Eleanor was far too young to be considered marriageable material. He had assumed the leadership for the cleanup from the flooding that had destroyed much of the city. Although he was older, he was kind, steady, and seemed to dote on her. She had her misgivings about a long term relationship. He was nearly twenty-five years older than she.

    [IMG]
    Theodore Redmane was a dashing young man from the city of Kerren, far to the east of Theed. He was around Eleanor’s age and quite handsome coming from a family of bankers. He seemed level headed and responsible and she had been unable to uncover any particular bad qualities. It was only his youth that was a bit disconcerting for her and the fact that Kerren and Theed had their disagreements ranging from the allocation of government money to an old dispute involving the Dormingales from a time long ago.
    [IMG]
    William Solaro was an up and coming executive from Druckenwell. He worked for the Ypres Foundation and was heavily active in the campaign to make Druckenwell the capital of the RTO, not Roon. Although his political views were a little harsh for Eleanor’s personal tastes, he did have a lot of money and influence in all the right areas. Potentially, their match up could be very advantageous indeed for Naboo’s relationship with the RTO.
    [IMG]
    Tjaden Newsson was from the Republic, from Bakura. He’d attended the University of Salid D’aar, hot on the heels of someone that Eleanor really wanted to get to know: Ayn Dormingale. He’d gotten his degree in business administration and was enjoying a somewhat stable, yet mundane, career with the Telaan Valley Authority. He was on the table for what a potential marriage to him might bring, a very solid relationship with the Republic and Bakura, to further strengthen Naboo’s traditional ties.
    [IMG]
    Last but not least was Dirk Cason from Coruscant. College educated at Republican University, an avid Senators fan that practically bled black and orange, he was the most creative of the bunch. Instead of pursuing a well paying job in the city, he’d moved off world to Agamar to work on a farm. He was pretty level headed, loved the farm life, and wasn’t terribly ambitious. In other words, Cason wasn’t the kind of man to challenge Eleanor on much of anything. He’d help her have a family and that would be that.

    With the suitors in her mind, Eleanor sat out the first dance. She couldn’t make herself too available. Her eyes looked for a familiar face to talk to and it was at that moment that she saw Ayn Dormingale, a woman that could create a stir wherever she went.
    But a woman, by reputation, who knew men. The young queen waved her over. They had much to discuss.

    Tag: @Trieste
    Last edited by Liam_Vehn, Apr 6, 2013
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  12. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Ball Room, Theed Royal Palace, Theed, Naboo

    As a courtesy to her niece, Kerry Trieste had conveniently scheduled a friendly match between the Bakura Miners and the Naboo Ducks. The Crown had been forced to divest from the Ducks when they had been in the Elite League while Eleanor had been in her minority. Elite League bylaws declared a conflict of interest since Verity Vehn also controlled the Smugglers. Once the Ducks had been returned to the Premier League, the Court had quietly arranged for ownership to be transferred back to the Queen. The Chancellor had thought it would make for a nice good will offering for Eleanor’s birthday celebrations if she had a limmie game to go along with them.

    It also meant that it was convenient for most of the Noble House to attend the festivities. The younger children had been left at home (though the youngest was only 12 years old) and only the elder members of the tenth generation were present tonight. It had been unofficially decided that those who were 16 or older would be allowed to be on this trip given the fact that there would be very important dignataries present and childish antics would cause quite a lot of headaches. This had resulted in a lot of pouting from Quentin Eldred, aged 15, and Jane Serena Trieste, aged 14—and quite a bit of tongues stuck out in the aforementioned directions by May Trieste and Elphaba Trieste, both aged 16.

    And, as with any gathering of the Noble House, there was the appropriate amount of sniping amongst all of them.

    “Siona, how nice to see you,” Regan said as she gave a sisterly kiss on the cheek to her blonde sibling, “I didn’t think that you’d be allowed back on the planet after that nasty little mess you caused.”

    “I didn’t know they were allowing snits on Naboo these days either,” Siona said just as sweetly.

    Kerry had appointed Siona the Republican Ambassador to the Court of Theed after becoming Chancellor after she had previously served as Bakura’s Special Envoy to the Court. The Chancellor had been forced to recall Siona after remarks about the attractiveness of the young Queen made by Siona had been circulated and caused quite a stir. It had effectively ended Siona’s diplomatic career.

    “So sad Quentin and Trixie couldn’t make the trip,” Siona continued, “Of course we couldn’t have them running amok on El—the Queen’s night. I’m sure it must hurt that neither of them were deemed mature enough to attend.”

    “It’s lucky for you maturity is measured in years, otherwise Ginny wouldn’t have been able to come out,” Regan said, motioning toward’s Siona’s eldest daughter, “Tell me, has she slept her way through the entire class of 275 at UBGC yet or just half of it?”

    “Ladies, ladies,” Atticus Eldred said, cutting in to keep the peace, “I think it’s time you allow your husbands to dance with you.”

    “Of course my dear,” Regan replied, allowing herself to be led off by her husband.

    Elsewhere the Chancellor stood with her son having dispensed with most of the receiving duties for the night.

    “How are you finding the Valley, Declan?” she asked. The pair had not seen each other for a while with her duties on Coruscant and his job.

    “It’s different than Salis D’aar, but that’s to be expected. People still look at me out of the corner of their eyes in a certain way. The Triestes have never been too popular out there,” he said, “I think I’ll be able to break them down with time.”

    “You’re wrong about one thing,” Kerry said, “We were popular there once. Have you forgotten that Fionn Cormac Trieste won the Noble House’s first Senate seat in the Telaan Valley? He got to know those beings and he launched our House’s fortunes from there. It’s a fact you would do well to remember, Declan.”

    “Yes, well indeed,” Declan said as he surveyed the room.

    May Trieste stood against a wall, watching. Even if she hadn’t been 16 she would have still been invited tonight. The sister that she had barely known always invited her and Austin to everything. No one ever understood their family. Eleanor Vehn, Austin Vehn, and May Trieste were all siblings. Once they had all been Triestes, but their mother had been concerned that her name would die out with Liam Vehn locked in a marriage to then-Queen Sofia Quorro that would never produce an heir. The children had been given a choice by their Taoiseach to choose what name they wished to take. Only May stood pat.

    May with the facial scars that were not to be talked about, even in private. She never enjoyed these public events, mainly because of her deformities. She only came because her parents—mainly her father—insisted that she come. May knew it was important, but that didn’t mean that she liked it. She pretended otherwise.

    “It must be so odd,” her aunt Nessa said, taking a position next to May, “for this to be your life. Well, maybe not for you. You’ve always known this kind of existence. But I married into this. I was once nothing more than a teacher and happy to be it. There are days I wish Conn and I had left it all behind.”

    “You’re wrong,” May said, “It’s always odd. The others just don’t recognize it.”

    Across the ballroom, the young women were gossiping.

    “I like the look of that Solaro fellow,” Falene Trieste said, “He’s got a certain something about him.”

    “I’d much prefer that Declan introduce me to Newsson,” Ginnifer Lynd replied, “He looks dreamy.”

    “No, Redmane,” the young Elphaba, or “Elfie,” Trieste said, “Look at those cheeks…”

    “Dream on,” Ginnifer said, “You’re too young for him. You’re not even out of high school.”

    “I will be soon enough! I bet he’d wait for me,” Elfie insisted.

    “Not if I let him touch the college championship trophy,” Falene teased.

    “You wouldn’t!”

    “Maybe I would…”



    One young lady of the Noble House was not present. She was standing on one of the terraces outside looking up into the night sky. This was how her mother found her.

    “Here you are Sierra,” Fiona said in her Fleet dress uniform.

    “Oh, mom,” Sierra said, surprised to find she wasn’t alone. She turned her attention back to earth.

    “Stargazing?”

    “Yes…and trying to figure out how to tell you something,” the golden skinned girl admitted.

    “Sierra, anything.”

    “I’ve made my mind up about college.”

    “Finally decided to do the Fleet Academy then?” Fiona said, kidding around. They both knew that Sierra Westenra was not cut out for a life in the Defense Fleet, despite all of the time that Fiona had spent serving her homeworld.

    “No,” Sierra said with a smile. Her mouth then fell as she remembered what it was that she had to say. “I’ve…decided to go offworld. I’d like to go to BCC.” She was referencing the Brentaal College of Commerce.

    “If that’s what you want Sierra, of course,” Fiona said, “What’s the problem with telling me?”

    “Mom, I know you love me. So much,” Sierra said, “And I know if you were honest with me that you’d want me to stay on Bakura. But I can’t. I have to see the galaxy. If I don’t do it now I never will. Mom, I have stars in my blood. I was born up there.” She motioned her head up to the sky. Fiona was well aware that she’d given birth to her daughter and raised her on a BakurStar. “I have to go back.”

    “Sierra, come here,” Fiona said. Her daughter dutifully approached to be hugged. “I would tell you to stay and it would be my own selfishness that would say that. But my love for you is so great that I would see you go to be who you are meant to be. Just remember to visit your poor mother from time to time, all right.”

    “Always Mom,” Sierra promised.

    “That’s my girl,” Fiona said.
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  13. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    The Pond at Theed, Theed, Naboo

    The Chancellor and the Queen settled in next to each other for the Duck-Miners game. Kerry Trieste was not a being who put off business and shortly after the opening kick off she began.

    “Your Highness, Eleanor,” Kerry began, “There is a matter that has come to my attention in recent months, one that I believe we can handle ourselves, albeit with some assistance from associated bodies. The trade agreement that the RTO entered into with the Hutts has opened a certain loophole in the Republic-RTO free trade agreement. It is extremely possible for goods to be imported into the RTO from the Republic and then imported to Hutt Space from the RTO. At no point in this process would the goods be taxed. Yet if the goods went straight from the Republic to Hutt Space, they would be.

    “This is more my problem than yours, I realize, but I think we can both agree that this goes against the spirit of both trade treaties that the RTO signed. And yes, this is the Republic’s problem, not yours. However, I wanted to unofficially explore the RTO’s willingness to address this unintended consequence.”
  14. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    The Pond at Theed, Theed, Naboo

    “Chancellor,” Eleanor replied, “I appreciate you bringing this matter to my attention. My relations with the Hutt Grand Council are in good standing and I believe that I can make them see reason on this matter. Tariffs can be made to seem to be in the benefit of all parties and I doubt the Hutts want to trouble our alliance.

    “The war against Speyburn nearly destroyed the government, the Board of Tribunes. I appreciate you contacting the Bothans. That provided the necessary distraction to win a critical victory at Druckenwell. There were times in that dark period where I felt that the end was at hand. But I knew I could rely on the Hutts. They may love money but even they were hard pressed to want to see the RTO completely destroyed. Weakened? Yes. There is no sport in having a rival completely defeated. Speaking of sport, I do hope our Ducks give the Miners a run for their money. You may be recent Galactic Cup champions but we play for love of the game. I know The Pond hasn’t been the Miner’s easiest venue. Perhaps that will reflect today.

    Eleanor grew quiet as the game began. After a sharp skirmish at midfield, the Miners were up by 3.

    “Aunt Kerry,” Eleanor said, “sorry, Chancellor, there’s something else I’d like to discuss with you. What would you say if I wanted to return Naboo to its rightful place in the Republic? I have given this matter a great deal of thought. Granted, any move would need to be decided by the people but I feel that it is in Naboo’s best interests to return home, to the sovereignty of the Republic. In looking back, we can go forward. Would there any any opposition to such a movement in the Senate? I doubt the RTO will miss us much. Druckenwell has taken center stage now. They’re even moving the capital to that planet. Roon is fading away, a mere symbolic name, and the Vehn family legacy seems secure with the birth of Jack Vehn three years ago. I just personally feel that my own allegiance, my planet’s allegiance, lies along our traditional ties.”

    Tag: @Trieste
  15. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    The Pond at Theed, Theed, Naboo

    The news that Eleanor could reason with the Hutt Council was everything that Kerry had hoped to achieve diplomatically today. There would always be some level of smuggling (that didn't mean that it had to be accepted, especially by the Republic), but if the Hutts would willingly agree to close the loophole and deny even unofficial recognition to trading through the RTO free trade zone, that would solve a lot of problems for Kerry. Quietly informing the proper committees in the Senate would leak out over time and remind the galaxy that she knew what she was doing.

    But what Eleanor had said next surprised the Chancellor beyond words. The glass had nearly slipped from her hand upon hearing that Eleanor was considering bringing Naboo back into the Republican fold. Senatorial opposition? Kerry nearly laughed at the thought. When the RTO had been founded in 250 ABY and Naboo had chosen to join it there had been quite a bit of displeasure in the halls of Coruscant at the thought. Kerry had only been a member of the Bakuran Senate at the time, but she'd tracked the developments from the Outer Rim. There were a great many Senators in the Core who had felt that Naboo should have been forcibly prevented from leaving the Republic. The Supreme Chancellor at the time, Zalli Lur of Omwat, had respected the wishes of Naboo and let them leave. Her actions had cost her the 251 election, which she had soundly lost, barely making the runoff itself.

    To hear that Eleanor wanted to bring Naboo back into the Republic was to hear that Kerry could score a major diplomatic victory in the middle of her second chancellery.

    "Your Highness, my dear Eleanor," Kerry said with gentle warmth, "I will speak with key Senators, but I believe the Senate would vote overwhelmingly to admit Naboo as a member of the Republic. Before any such thing was announced, it would help matters to make sure that there would be no objection from Druckenwell. We would not want to spark an incident over the matter. After all, the Senate gets rather incensed when our member worlds make such references." Kerry knew that very well. Part of the way she'd won her first election to the office of Chancellor in 256 was by taking a hard line with restless Rim worlds that were murmuring about secession. The fact she'd fought a Civil War over the question of secession on Bakura gave her quite a bit of respect and standing on the topic.

    "If it is the desire of Naboo, I will do everything I can to ease your world's way back into the Republic," Kerry promised.

    Down on the field, the Ducks scored a beautiful goal and tied the game. Well, you couldn't have everything, but Kerry Trieste didn't mind getting almost everything.
  16. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    II Avali, Druckenwell

    Some time after the Bloom Bowl

    “So you’ve got the Hutts to close the trade loophole?” Chairwoman Kaitlyn Vehn asked.

    “That won’t be an issue anymore,” Eleanor replied.

    “So why have you come to visit me? Why not a holographic transmission?” Kaitlyn asked.

    “I’ve made up my mind, Kaitlyn. This decision wasn’t easy for me but I’m going to hold a referendum on Naboo to ask the people if they want to return to the Republic,” Eleanor said.

    Kaitlyn stiffened slightly. Her back was to Eleanor. She was looking out at the sparkling capital of the Roon Trade Organization. How much progress this economic union had made in twenty-three years of existence and she had helped mold it into a trade empire. So much power, right at her fingertips and now they had peace. The Board of Tribunes’ power had been reigned in significantly since the days of Speyburn’s attack. They were to tow the line or face economic excommunication. After all, rebellion was bad for business and that was what drove this little conglomeration, trade. At least now, the Hutts were paying duties on the goods entering and exiting their little fiefdom, but so were they. So, it all worked out in the end.

    “I’m a little disappointed, Eleanor. I had hoped that Naboo would stay in the fold. We’re doing great things here, great things,” Kaitlyn responded.

    “Perhaps you are. But they are great things that do not benefit Naboo,” Eleanor said.

    Kaitlyn sighed and nodded her head. “Perceptive as always, Eleanor, can’t pull the proverbial wool over your eyes, can we?”

    “You don’t get to being where I am by being stupid,” Eleanor said.

    “No, but there was once a line on Naboo that nearly ruined your planet,” Kaitlyn quietly whispered.

    She was, of course, referring to the Quorro dynasty that her husband, Liam Vehn, had married into. They were an upstart family that had wrestled power away from the people following the conclusion of the Neo-Sith War in 218 ABY. The family had successfully removed the diplomatic measures that had once made Naboo great. Now, Eleanor found herself walking a very tight rope between the generation of yore who grew up remembering the days of the diplomatic monarcy and the younger generation who never knew anything but a monarch with absolute power and a hereditary bent to boot.

    “That line is gone. Lost to the ages,” Eleanor said, “do you give your consent, Kaitlyn?”

    Kaitlyn turned to look at Eleanor for the first time since the meeting. There was a bit of a smile in her eyes, a twinkle, yes, by Naboo leaving she was getting what she wanted. “You know, we’ve never known what to do with Naboo.”

    “Here’s what you can do: let us go,” Eleanor replied.

    “I will not stand in your way. I wish you luck, Eleanor Vehn. You may be more of a Trieste than you realize,” Kaitlyn said.

    “I am my own woman. I may be the result of the unification of two very powerful families but I am my own person, Kaitlyn. Don’t you ever forget that,” Eleanor pressed.

    Kaitlyn folded her arms across her chest and turned to look out the window again. “We won’t, Eleanor. We never forget those who leave our protection. Send us a line sometime when you’ve crossed over to the other side.”

    “I may do that,” Eleanor said. “You understand that Naboo must respect tradition?”

    “I understand why you’re doing this. I think it makes sense for Naboo. I think it makes sense for you. And I think the Republic will benefit greatly from having a traditional member world return to the fold. I expect the Senate will be seeing a lot of you. Just remember that we care for you too, in our own way.”

    “I know,” Eleanor said. “Thanks, Kaitlyn.”

    “It is the very least I could do for family,” Kaitlyn responded.

    Eleanor gave a short nod of her head before leaving the room. Her footsteps echoed on the very modern corporate walls of the capital building of the RTO. So much had changed in her lifetime. Now, she was asking much of her people. Maybe too much.





    Tonight was the night that the referendum on returning Naboo to the Republic was to be held. Eleanor stared at the clock. Five minutes until the polls closed. Five minutes until history was made. Five minutes too long. Had she made the right decision? She quietly prayed that she had. Naboo was a planet of tradition. Naboo was a planet of forward thinkers, of artists, of engineers, of the great captains of industry. But Naboo did have a dark side. Naboo had born Chancellor Palpatine, suffered invasions, and lived through the long reign of the murderous Quorro dynasty.

    Eleanor watched the chrono tick over to a new hour. She closed her eyes, waited. Could hear footsteps outside the hall, the door to her chamber opened, a palace guard spoke in soft tones, “Your majesty, come to the balcony. The people have spoken.”

    Queen Eleanor Vehn emerged onto the balcony of Theed Palace overlooking Amidala Square. People were clapping, hugging, crying, and celebrating.

    “Eleanor! Eleanor! Eleanor!” The crowd chanted.

    “And what does Naboo say to the referendum?” Eleanor asked, her voice amplified by technology installed into the railing of the balcony. One definitely had to be careful what was said up here.

    “Long live Naboo! Long live the Republic!” The square chanted.

    The Chief of Palace Security sidled up next to Eleanor, handed her a datapad. “The referendum passed with 92% of the vote. I would say, your majesty, that Naboo is officially part of the Republic.”

    Eleanor breathed a sigh of relief. She had done it. She had done what others before her felt incapable or too selfish to do. She had brought Naboo back home to its rightful place. She closed her eyes, whispered a quiet prayer of thanks, and then motioned for the crowd to hear her speak.

    “People of Naboo, today is a historic day. We have returned our beautiful planet once more to its traditional home in the Republic. At last, the Republic is whole again. At last, Naboo is whole again. Let us go forward with the best ideals of our culture as we honor and remember our allegiance to Coruscant. Please, turn your attention to the flag that now rises over Theed.”

    Eleanor turned to watch one of the domes of the palace as the flag of the RTO was lowered and replaced with that of the Republic. A wind had begun to pick up stretching the flag to its full length. What a beautiful flag it was. And in that moment, Eleanor heard the quiet strains of a song, picking up momentum. It was a song from a time long ago, a song during the days of Amidala, the glory days, the days of the Republic.

    The people in the square were holding hands, arms linked together, swaying back and forth as they sang the song that stirred deeply in their hearts.

    Naboo was back with the Republic, back in its rightful place.
    Last edited by Liam_Vehn, Apr 29, 2013
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  17. Trieste Force Ghost

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

    “Chancellor, results from the plebiscite on Naboo are now available,” a floating droid said near Kerry’s ear. It was sometimes necessary to bring individual items to the Chancellor’s attention, especially in the middle of a Senate session. No doubt the Senators, who could pay much less attention to proceedings, would receive similar notifications from their aides or datapads.

    Trieste flipped through her datapad to find the proper file. An overwhelming majority. 92%? The Republic was more popular than ducklings on Naboo. That was not something you saw every day.

    Kerry tapped the direct communication application on her datapad and neatly skipped her fingers through the contacts. She had planned ahead for this moment.

    [IMG]

    “I’m seeing good news out of Naboo,” Senator Serling of Eriadu said, “I think everyone is.” Indeed, the chamber was starting to buzz.

    “Ready?” Kerry said.

    “Yeah, if only the distinguished Senator from Adumar would shut up,” Serling said.

    “So shut him up.”

    “Right then,” Gavin replied, and cut the connection.

    Kerry Trieste looked up. It took only five seconds. “Will the Senator yield for a question?” came the amplified voice of Senator Serling.

    “On what topic?”

    “Is the Senator aware of the recent results of the referendum on Naboo regarding admission to the Republic?” Serling asked, “Would the Senator be willing to table the current debate so this esteemed body can take up the question of admitting Naboo to the Republic?”

    The Senator from Adumar did. “The chair recognizes the Senator from Eriadu,” Kerry said.

    “My thanks to the chair,” Gavin said, throwing Kerry a look of roguish appreciation, “Gentlebeings, from its critical position in the Outer Rim, Eriadu heard rumblings of Naboo’s desire to rejoin the Republic—” Actually he’d heard it from Kerry, but minor details, “—and as a result we are not unprepared for the fact that 92% of Naboo’s citizens desire to join the greatest interstellar government in existence in the known universe. I therefore wish to submit for approval by the Senate the following articles of admission for Naboo. Of particular note for your consideration is recognition of Naboo’s existing armed forces, those not formally part of the RTO Fleet, as a militia under the accepted conventions of the Republic, to be used as a self-defense force. Given Naboo’s position on what would be a new edge of Republican space, this will keep our borders secure, as well as provide the Republican Fleet with another emergency force in times of crisis—all without adding to the current military defense budget.” Serling turned his platform towards the Chancellor’s dais. “I would like to enter a motion that the Senate adjourn for the day to consider these articles properly and without haste.”

    “The chair finds this motion in order and submits it to a voice vote,” Kerry said, “All in favor.” A loud response. “All opposed.” Not much. “The chair deems the motion carries. The Senate is adjourned for the day, to reconvene tomorrow for full debate on the acceptance of Naboo as a member world of this Republic.”

    It was a huge political point for a freshman Senator to bring articles of admission for one of the most prominent worlds in the galaxy to the Senate. Kerry had given the matter to him for just that reason. She liked the way that Gavin Serling worked and even though she had plenty of allies in the Senate, she had a politician’s intuition that she might need Gavin Serling down the road. Then again, she enjoyed his company and for that reason alone it was worth it to promote his career.

    The next day, there was very little debate. The ability to add a jewel like Naboo to the Republic’s crown was too good to pass up. “The ayes have it,” Kerry Trieste announced, “Naboo shall be the newest member world of this fine Republic. It will be my pleasure to personally travel to Theed to sign these articles, ratified by this body, and welcome Naboo to our fair alliance.”
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  18. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Theed, Naboo



    “It is the privilege of Chancellors who preside over fortunate times to welcome a new system into the Republic,” Kerry Trieste said in one of the largest halls that Theed had to accommodate its own nobility and the assembled galactic media, “It is the luckiest of Chancellors, however, who have the honor of welcoming in a system so in tune with the historical values that personify the Republic as Naboo.

    “One figure comes to mind more than any other—92%. The populace of Naboo voted by a 92 to 8 margin to become members of the Republic. Allow me to read a list that I have prepared of things that are less popular on Naboo than membership in the Republic:

    “Limmie.

    “Wine.

    “Baby eopies.

    “Dinner and a holo.

    “And, finally, me.”

    This last one drew very hearty laughter at the Chancellor’s self-depreciating turn.

    “When Queen Eleanor first approached me in confidence to gauge the Republic’s interest in Naboo’s entry to the Republic, I told her that I felt that the Senate would be glad to welcome Naboo as a full member system. When the beings of Naboo voted by a 92% majority to join the Republic, the Senate bent over backwards to welcome you all to the fold. The last time the Senate bent over backwards for anything was…well, I don’t think they ever have.”

    Further laughter.

    “I wish to recognize Senator Gavin Serling of Eriadu, who joins us today, for his prompt bill to admit Naboo to the Republic. His swift, but thorough, legislative action is part of why we gather here today, so soon on the heels of Naboo making her wishes known.”

    Polie applause.

    “I could stand here and talk all afternoon—it’s what I’m good at, after all—but we have pressing business to attend to,” Kerry said, “Therefore, Your Highness, let’s get this taken care of.”

    The pair sat down at an ornate, gilded table, side by side, flags of the Republic and of Naboo alternating behind them in a long line. Nerf leather binders were presented to each of them with ink pens. Printed on fine, thick flimsi were the articles of admission into the Republic lately passed by the Senate and ratified by the Privy Council in accordance with the vote of the people of Naboo. The Queen and the Chancellor each signed one and then they exchanged binders and signed the other. They would each keep one, to be filed with the archives of their governments. The pair stood, their duty finished, smiled, and shook hands to the sweeping applause of the hall.

    Naboo was a member of the Republic once again.

    Kerry leaned forward and kissed her niece on the cheek as she gave her a friendly hug. “The Republic is glad to have Naboo home,” she said to Eleanor in private, “and I am glad it was you who brought her back.”

    They parted and Kerry motioned that it was Eleanor’s turn to make remarks, her first as leader of a Naboo that was a full member of the Republic once more.
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  19. Vehn Force Ghost

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

    “Ladies and gentlebeings of the Republic, it is with a grateful and honest heart that I can proudly proclaim that Naboo is once more a member world of the Republic, that Naboo is home,” Eleanor began.

    The audience issued a smattering of applause, a few cheers, apparently, people were pretty happy to leave the RTO.

    “Many of you might ask when this idea first occurred to me to return Naboo to its traditional dwelling. Ever since I was a little girl, I was raised hearing the stories of Naboo’s important role with the Republic, of our gloried past as a planet worth honoring in the
    halls of political legend, and when I ascended to the throne I made a commitment to make sure that one day Naboo would return home. Today, that dream is fulfilled.

    “Even though Naboo has left the Roon Trade Organization, we have made every effort, and will continue to make every effort, to honor our relations and economic ties with that government in the spirit of peace and harmony. Chairwoman Kaitlyn Vehn was generous enough to allow Naboo to decide its own fate and was most gracious throughout the proceedings. I also would like to take this time to thank Supreme Chancellor Kerry Trieste for her role in helping to bring Naboo back to its rightful place. The stars aligned this year for Naboo and I am proud to call myself a citizen of the Republic.

    “In the coming weeks, elections will be held on Naboo to determine who is to be our representative in the Senate. Naboo is proud to have a voice in the Senate of this great Republic. May this vote today help us honor past representatives such as Padme Amidala who gave their lives defending democracy.

    “Thank you, gentlebeings and may Naboo be a contributing member of of this Republic for centuries to come,” Eleanor stated, concluding her address.

    After the speech, there were holos, drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and plenty of networking between the young Queen and countless influential people in the Republic. Everyone wanted to spend time with either the Chancellor or her young niece. They were the focus of the party and everything was going splendidly until the Senator from Cato Neimoidia asked Eleanor,

    “When do you plan on holding elections for your position, Your Grace?”

    Eleanor nearly choked on the delicious smoked fish she was eating. She looked at the Neimoidian emissary and simply stared.

    Seriously? You had to go and challenge me on democratic elections for the monarchy today of all days? Oh, and it has to be a Neimoidian. It couldn’t be someone from Corellia or Denon, what year is this anyway? 32 BBY? Are we back in the days of the Trade Federation? You going to come invade us with your big, bad, droid army? Grow up! There will be elections for my position when I’m damn well ready to have them.

    But she didn’t say that to the Senator. Instead, she smiled and graciously replied, “Naboo values democracy, Senator. The planet wants to return to a democratically elected monarch. That day will come. Unfortunately, there are still many political factions on the planet that find value in a more autocratic system of rule. A holdover, you might say, from our dalliance with the RTO. I understand Cato Neimoidia has only very recently embraced the values of democracy so as to have access to greater Republican funding for civic projects. Tell me, is all the wealth of Cato Neimoidia being distributed to those who live below your station or is the Viceroy continuing to keep revenue for his precious purse?”

    The Senator’s big eyes blinked, his headdress wobbled, and he took a step back. He was ill prepared to tangle with someone who had clearly kept an eye on his planet’s activities. “Reforms will come in their own time.”

    Eleanor gave the Senator a delicate smile. “Then you understand that reforms take awhile to implement.”

    The Senator looked at Eleanor and realized the trap he had just stepped into. “I would say they do.”

    “Then we have nothing further to discuss. Excuse me, Senator,” Eleanor said as she brushed past the Neimoidian diplomat whose hands wavered like a spice addict.

    She made her way out onto a balcony overlooking Theed. The noises from the party still could be heard, muted laughter, clinking drinks, people talking about everything and nothing all the same. Her datapad vibrated. Reaching into a tiny pouch built into the back of her dress, she accessed the message.

    It was from William Solaro, the young corporate climber from Druckenwell, telling her that after three dates with the Queen, he realized that it was better if they remained friends. Great, another rejection, Eleanor thought as she slumped over onto the balcony. Doesn’t anyone want to have a relationship with the Queen of Naboo? Hello! Chances are, Eleanor reasoned, Solaro was pulling out of the race for her heart because she had moved Naboo back to the Republic. Solaro was as diehard as the RTO could ever hope for and if he wasn’t seeing credits before his eyes, things didn’t have value.

    So that left two men. Two men who could claim her heart. Two men from Naboo.

    Pter Underwood of Moenia and Theodore Redmayne of Kerren.
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  20. Trieste Force Ghost

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

    Her meeting with a small delegation of Senators finished, Kerry Trieste pressed the button on her desk to get the attention of Saldor Kann, her assistant and confidant. “What’s next?”

    “Nothing,” was the reply.

    That stopped Kerry. “What do you mean nothing?”

    “You’re running ten minutes ahead of schedule. There’s nothing for the next ten minutes,” the Ithorian said.

    “Is there anything that urgently needs my attention?” Kerry asked.

    “Not urgently.”

    “No brewing wars to put out?”

    “All quiet.”

    “Financial meltdowns to avert?”

    “Markets are stable and no employment reports due for the next two weeks.”

    “Diplomatic snafus?”

    “None.”

    “Then…find me in ten minutes when there is something,” Kerry said. She turned the comm off and sat back in her chair. “Well I’ll be damned,” she said to herself and the empty office.

    The Chancellor swiveled her chair to look out at the Coruscant skyline, or at least the portion she could see of the government district. A Republic at peace and untroubled. A galaxy that was not in imminent danger of spontaneous combustion. She knew from doing this job for seven years that a day like this did not come along very often. Kerry Trieste thought about everything that she’d done in the last seven years.

    She’d stopped a secession movement in the Republic through her reputation and economic stimulus to the Outer Rim systems. That stimulus had boosted tax revenues, which were helping Trieste to bring the Republic’s debt under control. She’d defended the realm against pirates in decisive fashion. She’d signed a trade agreement with the RTO to open new markets for the Republic and gain access to resources and finished goods. She’d subtly propped up the RTO without getting involved in a war she had no business fighting. She’d brought Naboo back into the fold, itself a minor coup.

    That right there was a pretty good resume for the history books. Trieste put her hands behind her head, fingers laced, and leaned back in her chair. It was a little less than three more years before her term ended. Maybe, with luck, the hard part was over and she just might get more time to enjoy moments like this one.
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  21. Vehn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2009
    star 4
    The Lake Country, Naboo



    Two men stood at ten paces from one another, swords drawn, ready to duel to the death. Dueling had never been outlawed on Naboo thought the practice had fallen out of favor in the centuries after some important men from famous families had killed one another over a political dispute.

    Now, in the beautiful lake country of Naboo, a new duel was being fought. Not over politics, not over territory, not over insults given, but for the love of a woman, the love of Eleanor Vehn, Queen of the Naboo.

    “I urge you men to cease this duel at once and come to a peaceful resolution!” One of the seconds cried out.

    Pter Underwood, the older man from Moenia who had personally overseen the rebuilding of that great city, gripped his sword and shook his head. “There can be no resolution.”

    Theodore Redmayne, the dashing youth of Kerren, full of fire and passion, shook his head as well. This was a fight to the death. The lover who would go on to win the heart of a queen, the heart of the people and all the power that came with marrying the monarchy. “I would not have peace if it were thrust upon me. No, we fight until one of us is dead.”

    The seconds of both men looked at one another and realized that there could be no turning back until one of these men was dragged off the grassy fields of Naboo. The medical team rested in the grass nearby, privately contracted, to tend to the mortally wounded. The entire duel had been kept quiet. Had the queen discovered that a duel for her heart was taking place she would have put an end to the matter entirely. No, this was a matter of honor, a matter of pride.

    “Then Maker have mercy on your souls. May the duel commence,” one of the seconds said.

    Both men rushed one another and in a flurry of action thrusted and parried back and forth, neither man gaining ground. Both were excellent swordsmen, having trained in the old arts as a result of their family heritage, and knew that the duel would come down to one mistake, one fatal strike, one fighter wearing out before the other. As the fighting dragged on into the early afternoon, both men were showing the signs of fatigue and the nature of the fight had changed. What started out as a gentlemanly duel had denigrated into a knock down fight, where both men using all parts of their weapons, attacked the other.

    Bloodied, bruised, the fight continued. Neither man willing to give in, willing to yield to the other. And as fatigue settled deeply into their systems, mistakes were made. Redmayne punched Underwood in the face with the guard of his sword, stunning the older man. The young man snarled and extended a killing thrust into Underwood’s gut. The man’s face twisted in pain as he fell to the ground, the sword sticking out of his body, both hands fighting hard to wrench it away from his stomach.

    Redmayne stood over Underwood, satisfied that victory was his.

    The medical team tried to rush to his side but Underwood cried out, “This battle is not done yet, Maker damn you!”

    Ripping the sword out of his stomach, Underwood thrust at the overlyconfident Redmayne who took the bloodied sword straight below a rib and through his heart. The young firebrand from Kerren fell to the ground, dead.

    Underwood, who had used all of his strength to pull out the sword, stared in horror at what he had done, the terrible realization slipping into his mind. He too fell away to the ground as the medical team swarmed around him trying to stop the bleeding. But the damage had been done. It was too late for him. He passed from this life moments later.

    The first duel on Naboo in over two centuries had ended in a bloody affair. The real problems behind the duel lay at a deeper level and one that might very well shake Naboo to its core.
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  22. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    (As an aside, given the distrust harbored by Kerren towards Theed, I do not see this going well. I also think it's time that Ayn Dormingale return to B&E's storyline, for I think she could be useful. :D)
  23. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 4
    Brentaal College of Commerce, Brentaal

    The party that had erupted on Brentaal upon going to and winning the Carnation Bowl had been epic. Classes were not canceled, but the one-time punching bag of the Super 16 to secure a title against the fabled program of Chandrila A&M was nothing short of a minor miracle was such an event that for all intents and purposes classes were canceled by lack of attendance for three days while the student body rejoiced. “Epic” was the word most often used to describe the event. Couches were set on fire outside of fraternity houses. There was plenty of liquor to fuel their collegiate revelry.

    Sierra Westenra had been a very willing celebrant in the whole thing. She’d been exposed to Miners limmie and the powerhouse that was the Bakura Fleet Academy through her mother. She loved limmie and the fact that her university had a Carnation Bowl victory under its belt was something she would surely rub in her cousins’ faces (especially Declan’s since he was oh-so proud of the UBSD Golden Bears). At the moment, however, as she lay in a dorm room that desperately needed cleaning after nonstop partying, her mind was elsewhere.

    Specifically, it was dwelling on her handsome fellow freshman—man being the operative word—with whom she’d spent the last several days of celebration. Trellam had caught her eye in her very first Economics course—and that of most other hotblooded human and Near Human females. He was ruggedly gorgeous and Sierra had immediately wanted him. Unlike most other women, she was actually prepared to do something about it. The daughter of an admiral had not gotten through life without being taught to seize an opportunity. That was why she had sat down next to Trellam at the very next class, brazenly ignoring the usual one seat buffer zone other students gave themselves. It turned out that the Hapan male like exotic looking women like Sierra. Long story short, that was how they wound up lying together on the bed in Sierra’ dorm room now, waking up but still exhausted from the Carnation Bowl partying.

    “Phew,” Sierra sighed.

    “You’re telling me,” Trellam said.

    “So if nobody went to class, that means that the average has to come down,” Sierra said.

    “Wouldn’t that be a natural market correction to correct for scarcity?”

    “Someone’s paid attention in class,” Sierra giggled, “Of course it would be you.”

    “So the next time you see your aunt the Chancellor are you going to rub it in her face that we beat her alma mater?”

    “I’d lose face if I didn’t.”

    “Such a pretty face too,” Trellam said.

    Sierra just shoved Trellam’s head with her hand in playful affection. “You are too good.”

    “About that…” Trellam said.

    “That’s not good,” Sierra deadpanned.

    “No, it’s just that there’s something I kind of didn’t want to tell you.”

    “So I tell you my aunt is Supreme Chancellor, my mom is the Hero of Nouvelle Orleans, and you’ve been holding out on me?” Sierra asked, “Great.”

    “Well, it’s not really a big deal, except it is.”

    “You are always so clear.”

    “It has to do with my aunt, actually…” Trellam began.



    Golden Prairie, Telaan Valley, Bakura

    “I still don’t see what you like about this place, but I’ll give it more credit than I did before,” Ayn Dormingale.

    She was sitting next to Declan on his couch, her legs draped across his lap. In the past few months she had arranged to have plenty of “business” in Golden Prairie. She was now well acquainted with the eldest Trieste son’s apartment having spent several nights there. By unspoken agreement the pair were now officially a couple. It had taken some time, but the 273 limmie season had begun to bring them together and now they were knitting together something like a relationship. It was slow, but it was happening.

    “The Valley isn’t all that bad. There are good people here,” Declan said, “The family farm has been under attack over the last seven years. Large conglomerates are building up steam. These people have a way of life that’s being threatened and they need help.”

    “You know it’s the Union Party who took over seven years ago who have encouraged big farms,” Ayn said, “Fianna Fail has supported the family farm going back to your grandfather’s administration.”

    “Why do you have to always make this about politics Ayn?” Declan sighed, “I don’t care about that. I want to do good work.”

    “You have a name to do a lot of good work, more than most other beings will do in a lifetime if you were to just get around to the idea of going to Salis D’aar,” Ayn said, stroking Declan’s cheek.

    “I don’t want to be political. If you care so much, run for Senate yourself. You’ve got a good enough last name yourself.”

    “I have no money for a campaign,” Ayn said, “I spent it all going across the galaxy for limmie.”

    “And whose fault is that?”

    “Yours, Mr. My-Family-Owns-a-Limmie-Team,” Ayn said.

    “Riiiiiiight,” Declan said.

    Ayn’s datapad on the coffee table pinged.

    “Ignore it,” Declan said, drawing Ayn closer to him by her waist.

    “Sure,” she said as she kissed him.

    The datapad pinged again.

    “Seriously, ignore it,” Declan said between kisses.

    “No problem,” she said, running a hand through Declan’s hair.

    The datapad pinged once more.

    “Seriously, if it’s the office I’m going to be in huge trouble if I let it go after three,” Ayn said, breaking off from Declan’s kisses, “One second.” She twisted on the couch to grab the datapad, which she turned on and read. Her brow furrowed and her mouth quickly turned down.

    “What is it?” Declan asked.

    “Theodore Redmayne is dead,” she said.

    “Who’s that?”

    “Someone I met on Naboo when I came out for the Ducks game. He’s a prominent noble from Kerren, where my grandmother was princess,” Ayn said, “He was…killed in a duel.” Ayn swung her legs onto the floor. “Nobody’s sure what’s going on right now, but HSN thinks this might have some connection to Theed. Kerren and Theed do not get along well. At all.”

    “So?” Declan asked.

    “So this is going to be trouble. Big trouble,” Ayn said standing. She started to collect her things. “I have to go.”

    “Where?”

    “Cape Suzette and then to Naboo. I have a bad feeling about this,” Ayn said, “I’m sorry.”

    “But what are you going to do?” Declan asked, “It’s Naboo.”

    “I don’t know, but I’m afraid if someone doesn’t do something, things are going to turn very ugly on Naboo and I’ve got to do something to stop it,” Ayn said, “They like me there, you know. See you later, dear.”

    The door of the apartment slid shut behind Ayn. “You know people like you here too!” Declan called after her.
    Last edited by Trieste, Jun 27, 2013
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  24. Trieste Force Ghost

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

    “I’m telling you not to go,” Sabé Dormingale told her granddaughter, who was throwing clothes into a small bag, “This is pointless.”

    “No it’s not,” Ayn insisted, “In fact, you should be coming with me. They still respect you there. You could help calm the situation.”

    “There is no situation,” Sabé replied, “Have you heard about riots breaking out on Naboo? No. Just the reports of one young noble dying. One of the Quorros’ hereditary nobles. Hardly anything to be upset about.”

    “You’re wrong. That planet has been steeped in noble worship for the last 50 years,” Ayn said, “I could tell when I was there last year. They still revere you just because of a title you once held. Before you point out—again—that you were elected unlike everyone else these days, they made a huge deal about me solely because I’m your granddaughter. There was no reason for them to do that. They’re going to go nuts over there and given the independence that Kerren has had from Theed in the last ten years, they’re going to be mad.”

    “So in your rosy scenario what are you going to do? Run between the armies and stop them?” Sabé asked sarcastically.

    “It depends on what I find when I get there, but I know that they’re going to listen to me. I know it Grandma,” Ayn said as she closed her bag.

    “Ayn, don’t go,” Sabé said, “Your life is here. Our life is here. We are Bakurans now.”

    “You’re right, but I’m one quarter Nabooan and thanks to the spectacular life choices that you and Mom made when it came to having children and not having husbands in either of your lives, that’s the only planetary ancestry I know,” Ayn said with more ice than she would have liked, “Excuse me, I have a flight to catch.”

    Ayn brusquely stormed out of her apartment. That last bit had probably been unnecessary. Her grandmother had a point—what was she really going to do when she got there? She truly didn’t know. But she knew that she had to go.



    Brentaal College of Commerce, Brentaal

    Sierra had rolled off of the couch and was on the floor laughing.

    “So you’re—hahahaha—telling me—hahahahaha—your aunt—hahahahaha—is the Queen—hahahahaha—Mother!” Sierra finally got out before falling prey to another laughing fit.

    “You know you’re the only person to find that funny,” Trellam said from where he lay on the couch.

    When Sierra finally got control of herself she said, “It’s not that that’s funny. It was the look on your face! ‘My aunt’s Terina’Chume, Queen Mother of the Hapes Consortium.’” Sierra was doing a ridiculous impersonation of Trellam that was nowhere near accurate. “‘She’s the leader of 63 star systems and billions of beings.’ Oh my Maker you were so serious about it!”

    “This is serious!” Trellam insisted.

    “Oh you precious thing. These days in my family it’s only serious if it has to do with the Galactic Cup or being responsible for quadrillions of beings. Aunt Kerry the Supreme Chancellor, remember? Kind of makes a lot of other stuff seem inconsequential,” Sierra said.

    “Well it’s not inconsequential. Don’t you know anything about what life is like on Hapes?”

    “I know plenty about Hapes. I’m one eighth Hapan. My great-grandmother was a full Hapan, so I know one eighth of what you know about it,” Sierra said.

    “Wait, who was your great-grandmother?” Trellam asked with sudden interest.

    “Maeve Something,” Sierra said.

    “I need a little more than that.”

    Sierra thought. “Maeve Cannatt. Something like that.”

    “Oh Sithspit,” Trellam said rolling onto his back, “You’re a Connaught? Wonderful.”

    “Yeah! That’s it. Wait, that’s not good?”

    “The Connaughts were almost all killed off about a hundred years ago for attempting a coup by the last royal house,” Trellam said, “If your great-grandmother got out, she was one of the few to survive.”

    “I seem to remember something about things not working out in the Consortium for her, hence she came to Bakura,” Sierra mused, “Eh, bygones be bygones right?”

    “Yeah…Hapes is not that kind of the place. Nobody’s going to be happy if they find out about us,” Trellam said.

    “Oh come on, what are you, next in line for the throne or something stupid like that?” Sierra kidded.

    “Fourth.”

    “Hmmm?” Sierra said.

    “I’m fourth. Or rather, my wife would be. I don’t get the throne, but whoever I marry does. I have two female cousins and one sister,” Trellam said, “My mother’s dead or she’d be ahead of me too.”

    “You…never mentioned that,” Sierra said.

    “I know that was the whole point about me telling you now and why this was a big deal.”

    “No,” Sierra said, sitting up, “that your mother was dead. I’m sorry.”

    “Oh. Yeah. It happened a long time ago,” Trellam said, “I don’t think about it much these days.”

    “Well…” Sierra searched for words, “It still sucks.”

    “Yeah.”

    They were quiet for a moment. “So about this whole your-wife-gets-the-Consortium thing…”

    “Well four people would have to die for that to happen and given the fact that we’re all incredibly well protected—”

    “What do you mean all?” Sierra interrupted, “That includes you?”

    “Oh I have protection here,” Trellam said casually.

    “Like what kind of protection?”

    “Bodyguards. They’re always hanging around. They’re probably in the next room right now or something.”

    “So you mean this entire time there have been people watching us?” Sierra asked.

    “…Probably.”

    Sierra grabbed a pillow and started hitting Trellam with it. “Not good information to keep to yourself this late in the game Trellam!”

    “Oh they’re very discreet,” Trellam said once he was able to stop the blows, “I’m sure they’ll never tell anyone about that thing you do.”

    “Don’t you even—!” Sierra said as she got to her feet with a wicked smile, “You know what, you’re going to need those bodyguards in a second.”

    “I really doubt it,” Trellam replied as he jumped off the couch and took off running, “You have to catch me first!”
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  25. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    The end of that post was hilarious! [face_rofl]=D=
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