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Beyond - Legends The Fields of Tesserone (AU,OC)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Vehn, May 25, 2014.

  1. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Title: The Fields of Tesserone
    Author: Vehn and perhaps some cross-over posts from Trieste
    Timeframe: 277 ABY and beyond
    Characters: The members of the Vehn family (All OC’s)
    Genre: Alternate Universe, Political Drama, Family Drama, and much, much, more.
    Notes: When I concluded the Vehn story arc in The Bluebells and the Edelweiss I felt I had done everything I had set out to do with a family I had written about for a little over a decade. I had explored so much of their highest desires, their darkest fears, and the consequences and regrets in between that deep down I wasn’t sure if there was any more creative material to draw inspiration from. Taking some time away from this family and their individual stories gave me a chance to sit down and really evaluate what direction I wanted to head in. After some thought, and some inspiration from Trieste and his continuing saga of the Triestes, I decided to make the decision to return once more to the beloved fields of Tesserone, the Vehn family ranch located on Roon. Some stories deserve to be left alone while others cry out for a sequel. I hope in this follow-up act to The Bluebells and the Edelweiss, you, the reader, will enjoy every word and feel transported to a place a long, long, time ago in a galaxy, far, far, away….

    Introduction: For years the Vehn family had influence over the government they founded known as the Roon Trade Organization. Now, retired in many ways from public life, their influence has diminished. Much has changed in the thirty years since the Vehns first set foot on Roon and put down their roots. Much has changed. The Board of Tribunes, the representative body of the Roon Trade Organization, is eyeing a new path, an uncharted path, a dangerous path of political independence from their founders. Defying years of Vehn political philosophy, the Board of Tribunes has made it their goal is to open new markets, to expand to new worlds, but this bold policy comes at a terrible cost in unity. Tensions rise between the member worlds of the RTO as the Tribunes take a closer look at their relationship with the central government and the RTO Charter, the legal document that binds all the member worlds of the RTO together in political union.

    Caught in the middle of all of these competing interests is the Vehn family. Removed from political power by choice, preferring to lead a quiet life, the Vehns continue to go about their lives as if it were business as usual. Times are changing much like the winds that blow gently across the fields of Tesserone. The days of peace and prosperity are fading away. A choice lies before a woman who once was a great leader but turned away from that world. A choice that will decide the fate of the Roon Trade Organization and the very fate of her family…..

    Tag: Trieste;jcgoble3;CPL_Macja, anyone else interested...
    CPL_Macja, jcgoble3 and Trieste like this.
  2. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    I'm in. Can't wait to see where this goes. When the Vehns take a break...well...let's just say they come back with a vengeance. :D
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  3. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Awesome! I'm watching this thread with email/Tapatalk notifications enabled, therefore no TAGs are needed or desired. :D
  4. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Tesserone, Roon
    Nearing the end of the 277 ABY Calendar Year
    To work the land is good for the soul. To love the land is something else entirely.

    There in the freshly plowed fields, there in the seeds that will one day grow the great crops of tomorrow, and there in the hot summers and the bitter winters lay a resolve to leave the land better than the way it was found. That was the Vehn way. That was the way of Eleanor Vehn, the eldest daughter of Verity Vehn and Oisin Trieste. She hadn’t always been a farmer. She’d once been Queen of Naboo, a Senator of the Galactic Republic, an arbiter of peace and justice, but she had turned from that life and now lived quite comfortably with her husband, Rowan, her daughter, Grace, in the family home known as Tesserone.

    Eleanor stopped her hard, tiresome work, and looked across the valley toward the sprawling Laweeya Prairie and the Lady Constance mountain range to the north, white peaks glistening in the early summer sun. That was a good sign. That meant there would be water for irrigating the fields later in the year. Some years the snow was gone by this point while other years it lingered on and provided a good harvest. Her eyes took in all that was around her. The heavy cloud-cover generated shadows across the rolling grass-lands, the soaring of birds of prey hunting for their meal to feed their younglings, the fresh air and the deathly quiet. Out here was where Eleanor felt most at home. Out here in the wide expanse, far from galactic pressures, far from people, she felt her mind, body, and spirit swell with happiness. There was no more beautiful a place than right here on Roon. There were times in the late afternoon after a hard day’s work outside where she would have to pinch herself to make sure she was really here, really living this beautiful dream. All she could do was smile, wipe the dirt and sweat away from her eyes, and just accept every moment, every blessing, that came her way.

    She heard the distant ringing of a bell. The dinner bell. It’s familiar sound reverberated across the gently sloping hills and called to her soul, called her home. Eleanor swung onto the back of her rock-hopper and galloped at full speed down the slope toward Tesserone. She loved riding rock-hoppers. They were stable, high-spirited, loving, and it was the closest experience she could get to flying these days since she mostly stayed on the family farm. That was fine with her. She’d take the animals over the troubles of the galaxy any day of the week. She urged her rock-hopper forward, faster and faster, the two of them in perfect sync, feeding off one another, as the family home loomed large in front of her. She skidded to a stop and hopped off the saddle, loosely tying her mount to a fence post and slipped inside.

    “Have you seen Eleanor?” Verity Vehn, her mother, called from the kitchen.

    “Last I saw she was up on the north pasture,” Rowan, her husband, responded as he helped finish setting the table.

    “Probably scouting out another project for us to take on,” Oisin grumbled as he looked up from a book he was reading in the family room. “That’ll be fun to make a poem about all the fencing we do around here.”

    “Mommy!” two year old Grace blurted out as Eleanor burst into the family room.

    “There you are. Dinner’s ready,” Verity said.

    Eleanor collapsed into a chair and weakly nodded her head, “Thanks, Mama.”

    And so the once a week tradition of eating together, of sharing their stories, of simply spending time together, commenced. There was talk of frustrations with the neighbors, poorly maintained boundary fencing, irrigation pipe problems, plans for the coming year, maybe even mention of a vacation or two to Bakura to visit the Triestes. Eleanor largely remained quiet throughout dinner as she ate her food. It wasn’t that she didn’t have anything to contribute to the conversation. It was simply that she’d been out in the sun too long again today and it had taken its toll. Fortunately, Rowan offered to put Grace down for bed leaving Eleanor alone with her parents for a few minutes.

    “Put in another long day, didn’t you?” Verity observed.

    Eleanor nodded. “Don’t know why I do it, doesn’t seem like I’m getting anywhere.”

    “You love the land, Eleanor. It’s in your blood,” Verity responded.

    “Well I’ll say you value the land,” Oisin piped up, “we Triestes find worth and capital in nearly everything. Just ask my siblings. I was the only one who chose a different path, the road less traveled as they say. You know, I think I would’ve made a good Taioseach,”

    “Oh, Papa, don’t start with that Taioseach stuff again. We all know you weren’t cut out for leading the Noble House,” Eleanor groaned cutting her father off, “now that Falene has taken over I imagine she’s got her hands full. My cousin has vision. Besides, she’s a Limmie player and Galactic Cup champion so she naturally fits the mold for such a position.”

    “I thought Declan would’ve done a nice job,” Oisin said.

    “You can’t be serious! If it weren’t for Ayn, Declan’s life would be entirely insignificant. She’s the real mover and shaker in that couple,” Eleanor pointed out.

    “That’s rich coming from a woman who walked away from ruling Naboo and representing that very planet in the Galactic Senate of the Republic,” Oisin responded.

    Eleanor bit her lip. That hurt a little bit. She was still slowly getting over what happened to her when she’d been a Senator. Her eyes watered ever so slightly. So her father thought she was a disappointment. That was frakking great. She looked away from her father’s attempts to make eye contact with her. She saw Verity elbow Oisin in the ribs and send him a look of disapproval. She stood and looked down at her father, the hurt still evident.

    “I thought you guys wanted me back. I thought you guys were okay with me living here. I came back to work the land, Papa. You may not understand why I left that life behind, maybe you never will, but for the first time in my life, I’m happy. This is where I want
    to be. This is where I want to spend my life. Right here on Tesserone,” Eleanor said her voice shaking a little bit. “I’m not so sure anymore. I don’t know what’s right. Maybe I should leave.”

    “Eleanor, I didn’t mean that—“ Oisin started to say.

    “You made your meaning quite clear,” Eleanor responded.

    “Eleanor, sit down, please,” Verity insisted.

    Something about the way her mother spoke to her struck a chord with Eleanor. She slowly eased her way back into her chair.

    “I’m sorry, Eleanor,” Oisin said.

    Eleanor nodded and wiped a tear away from her eyes. “Just been a long day, Papa. I understand what you mean. Just been under a lot of strain recently.”

    “Why? What’s on your mind?” Verity said.

    “Problems in Nime. The markets are changing. Higher taxes and there’s talk of a drought. Farmers need help. More and more small farmers are really struggling to get their point across to the government,” Eleanor said.

    “I don’t see how this affects you,” Oisin said.

    “Don’t you get it, Papa? This affects all of us! If our neighbors go down, if they’re not able to make a profit, that’s going to really hurt this place in the long run. The rural-urban divide is growing daily and nobody is doing anything about it. Besides, there’s
    tensions in the RTO, right now,” Eleanor said.

    “She’s right,” Rowan added returning from putting Grace to bed. “The security company I worked for had to deploy extra bodies to protect the Board of Tribunes during a recent conference on Rothana.”

    “What’s causing all of this?” Verity asked.

    “No clear leader at the top. There hasn’t been a leader of the RTO since,” Eleanor paused and looked at her parents who urged her to go forward, “since Kaitlyn moved to Nar Shaddaa. We’re rudder-less and the member worlds that signed the RTO Charter
    are becoming agitated. Some of the member worlds are withholding their annual taxes to the central government in protest. The Board of Tribunes is in total gridlock as to who to choose next.”

    “Is there a possibility of war between the member worlds?” Oisin asked.

    “There very well could be,” Rowan admitted.

    “The worlds are divided,” Eleanor said, “between those who support the Vehn family, at least, what’s left of it, and those who support moving forward and divesting themselves of all interest in our family’s politics.”

    “Sounds like this could get ugly,” Verity said.

    “I want nothing to do with politics,” Oisin said.

    “We turned from that path long ago,” Verity admitted and squeezed Oisin’s hand. “Someone needs to step in and set the Board of Tribunes straight.”

    “I’m not much of a politician,” Rowan said.

    Eleanor felt a sinking feeling enter her gut. “What about Kaitlyn? Think she’d come back?”

    “After what they put her through I doubt it,” Verity said. “Besides, Kaitlyn practically controls the Smuggler’s Moon now after winning the Galactic Cup last year with the Smugglers. I heard she’s going to be running for mayor soon. That woman won’t stop until
    she’s at the top.”

    “Maybe May or Austin?” Eleanor suggested referring to her younger sister and brother.

    “Fat chance,” Oisin laughed, “May is wrapping up medical school and Austin finally made up his mind about life and is enrolled at DTU.”

    “Does the leader have to be a Vehn?” Eleanor asked.

    “I suppose not,” Verity admitted, “but our family has long had an interest in the RTO. If we turn aside now I can’t guarantee what will happen. Everything we’ve worked for here, everything, could be gone.”

    “How did we come to this point?” Eleanor asked.

    “Blame the dependence on political leadership of the RTO and the Vehn family on your grandfather, Joaquin. He knew that the idea behind the RTO would require a strong leader to keep everything running. I just think he was a little short-sighted in forcing that idea on this family. Not everyone has what it takes to lead.”

    “I’m surprised the government has lasted this long without a Vehn at the helm,” Rowan said.

    “It may not last much longer if this deadlock continues,” Verity warned.

    Oisin grabbed some whiskey and poured everyone a drink. “Enjoy this stuff. We could be headed for some rough times. Good drinks will be hard to come by.”

    “You’re such a Trieste,” Verity moaned as she downed a shot. “I say we blow the Board of Tribunes away and start anew.”

    “And you’re such a Vehn,” Oisin laughed and kissed Verity.

    “So how do we fix this problem?” Rowan asked.

    “Oh the solution is right here at this table,” Verity said.


    “You’re married to the future of the RTO, my dear,” Verity said looking at Eleanor.

    Eleanor knew what she meant. “No, Mama, no I can’t do that!”

    “You really want to spend the rest of your life digging up noxious weeds, repairing fences, and complaining about broken irrigation pipe?” Verity asked.

    “I like it,” Eleanor said squirming in her seat.

    “Uh huh,” Verity said. “You know that you are the only one in this family who can fix things, Eleanor. You’re the only one who can set things right.”

    “I don’t want that kind of responsibility! I don’t want to lead!” Eleanor shouted.

    “Neither did your grandfather or his grandfather before him. But they did. And they ended up being very good leaders,” Verity said.

    “I’m not a leader,” Eleanor said.

    Rowan, Oisin and Verity looked at one another and then back up to Eleanor.

    “What?” Eleanor asked.

    “You are one of the strongest women I know,” Rowan said.

    “A fighter of freedom and the fairest of them all,” Oisin added.

    “You were born to lead, Eleanor. I knew that about you from the beginning. Will you take your place as the rightful leader of the RTO?” Verity asked.

    Eleanor wanted to run away. She wanted to hide. She couldn’t handle this, she couldn’t think, she couldn’t—

    “I…” Eleanor stammered.

    She thought of how much she’d loved Naboo. How much she’d hated Coruscant. How much she’d made a difference in the lives of all she came in contact with. Some things in life happened for a reason. This was all coming together so quickly. Too quickly. She had missed leadership. She had missed settling disputes. She’d tried to fill that gaping hole in her soul since she got back to Roon but nothing had come close. Nothing at all. She wasn’t sure she believed in destiny but she did believe in opportunity. This could be an opportunity. This could be the start of something special.

    “I’m afraid, Mama,” Eleanor said.

    “I know, my dear,” Verity replied, “but there’s no reason to be afraid. You’ll be fine. Tell me, Eleanor, will you save what your family has built? Will you save the RTO, save us?”

    "I will."

    Trieste likes this.
  5. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Aha! I knew Eleanor couldn't be a farmer forever. Let's see how this venture works out for her. :D
    Vehn likes this.
  6. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    The reluctant hero called to lead. And now the planning begins. I can't imagine the current Board of Tribunes is going to enjoy having someone who took a planet out of the RTO come in to save the day...
    Vehn and jcgoble3 like this.
  7. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    South Fork Grange, Roon

    The South Fork Grange was a modest building built for a more modest time. For all intents and purposes it should have been torn down years ago. Somehow, someway, it had stood the test of time and seen countless debates and town hall meetings that had shaped the laws and regulations between the capital city of Nime and the surrounding countryside. When a meeting was called, when an important issue needed to be debated between the rural and urban populations, the South Fork Grange towered above all other sites as the place to be. Today, like so many days in the past, the place was absolutely packed with people eager to debate yet another unpopular policy handed down by the Board of Tribunes. There had been too many policies of such as of late, far too many.

    Eleanor, wearing a hat to disguise her face, felt the sweltering heat more intensely inside the grange than outside. She found a seat near the back and immediately started fanning her face with a brochure about the coming meeting. The issue was a particularly contentious one: water rights. The capital city of Nime, with its burgeoning population, wanted more water for its citizens. Unfortunately, that water was likely to come from the largest source of irrigation water for the farming country which was the Constance River. Temperatures had been soaring this summer and water usage was already climbing above sustainable levels. Any diversion in the flow, any man-made manipulation, and there’d be that infamous word that hung on the lips of the farmers: drought.

    Tribune Sara Miloane of Roon took to the podium under a chorus of heckles and jeers. Few people in this room supported her out of touch policies. Eleanor remained quiet in the back of the room and quietly had to admit that the Tribune had a lot of guts coming into farming country with a plan to divert the only water resource for kilometers in every direction. She privately hoped that Miloan would do the honorable thing and kill the idea before it ever got off the ground.

    “Hello to the great people of the Laweeya Prairie!” Miloane said in a somewhat cheerful voice. Nobody responded. They hated her guts before she’d even said a word. That was a problem.

    “Get off the stage!” A farmer cried out.

    “We don’t want you here!” Another yelled.

    “Leave our water alone!” A third shouted.

    “Please, hear me out,” Sara pleaded.

    That just inflamed the crowd even more. Several ranchers turned to leave. Others brandished blaster pistols and raised them toward the Tribune whose security detail was slow to the draw. Eleanor buried her face in her hands. This wasn’t going to end well. Miloane should never have come here. She didn’t even stand a chance. Miloane started to back away from the podium. She was scared. This wasn’t her country. She’d grown up in the city of Nunurra. This was the country where laws and regulations went over like a rendition of the famed Imperial March of the Galactic Empire. Her security detail surrounded her in a tight cordon, their own weapons drawn. Someone was going to pull a trigger and cause an incident. Any deaths here and there would be more than a rural-urban divide, there would be a real shooting war.

    Eleanor stood, pulled out an ancient slug pistol, and shot in the air. That made everyone jump. That also made everyone shut up. She blew the smoke away from the barrel and holstered her weapon. Everyone was looking at her now and ignoring the sizeable hole in the roof of the grange. She removed her hat.

    “That’s Eleanor Vehn!” One man near her whispered.

    “She used to be a queen!” A woman said to her husband.

    “Really? She ain’t much to look at,” the husband replied.

    “She’s a cold-blooded killer, that one. I heard she killed a man on Coruscant at point blank range!” commented someone further out.

    “For those who don’t know me, my name is Eleanor Vehn. I was born on my family’s place, what we call Tesserone, about twenty klicks from here. I know what it means to live in the country. I know what it means to work hard, to get up early, to go to bed early, to wonder when the next rain will come, to wonder if the crops will bring in a good harvest. I know what it means to dig my hands into good, black, Maker-made soil and feel like you’ve just tasted your own personal slice of heaven.

    “Tell us, woman!” An old rancher crowed.

    Eleanor smiled and continued, “I know we depend on the Constance River. I know that damming it up and sending it to Nime would be the biggest mistake in the history of this planet. Sure, Nime would benefit, but the rest of us out here would starve and die. In the end, so would the capital. You cannot live without us, Tribune Miloane. You cannot live without us growing your food. You need us a hell of a lot more than we need you.

    The people in the grange cheered.

    Eleanor began to make her way to the podium. “I know what it is to be on her side. I know what it is to have everything. I ruled a planet, I ruled Naboo, I went to the heart of the Republic and sat in the great chamber of the Galactic Senate. I know how it feels to live in the lap of luxury. I know what it feels like to have real power at my fingertips. Can you say the same, Tribune Miloane?

    Miloane shook her head. She was flabbergasted.

    “Go back to Nime, Tribune. Find another way to get your water. As long as the Vehns have an interest in the countryside, in this great planet, we are never going to back down, we are never going to yield, and we are never going to allow the Board of Tribunes to tell us, to tell our friends, our family, how to handle their own affairs. Leave the Laweeya Prairie alone!”

    Miloane stumbled off the stage. Her security detail swarmed around her and dragged her out of the grange. Minutes later the sound of a speeder spooling up and tearing back toward Nime was heard. The people cheered, hooted, hollered, felt that they’d been heard. They had. They finally had a voice. Someone who was of the country but knew how to fight in the city. That was important for them. Eleanor was shoved toward the podium, she hadn’t come here today to make a speech. She hadn’t come here today to rally a crowd to a cause. She’d only come here to see the latest screw-up in a long line of them from a government incredibly out of touch with the people, her people.

    There were a few members of the media who had attended the grange as well. They shoved microphones in her face and said, “Eleanor, does this public appearance mean that you will be ending your personal seclusion from the world?”
    Eleanor took one look at the crowd who had gathered around her. She recognized so many of them. Good friends, good people. “Yes, I promise to you all, that I will end my isolation and fight for what is right.”

    More cheers.

    “Miloane’s seat is up for grabs in a month. She’s been the incumbent for many years. Was today an open challenge on your part for a chance to become the next Tribune of Roon?” another reporter asked. “Will you fight her? Will you fight for the people of the Laweeya Prairie and others around Roon?”

    Eleanor brushed a lock of hair from her face. She beamed a big smile and nodded her head, “I have every intention of becoming the next Tribune of this glorious planet. Once more a Vehn will be involved in the governing of the RTO. Once more the galaxy will know why it is that this beloved trade organization, which my grandfather created, deserves to stay within our family. We have the vision, we have the willpower, but most of all, we’ve got some great people that we would hate to let down. So, yes, I am going to go after that seat. I am going to fight hard and never look back.

    She looked right at the reporters, the crowd, and added, “Tribune Miloane, I’m coming for you and the next weapon I fire won’t miss.”
    Trieste and jcgoble3 like this.
  8. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Now that's how you make an entrance! :D
    Vehn likes this.
  9. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009

    Nime, Roon

    “Invite Eleanor to debate you,” Trent Exxel, senior political advisor to Tribune Sara Miloane suggested at a late night meeting of the minds.

    “That plays right into her hands,” Miloane grumbled over a strong drink.

    “I don’t think it does, Sara,” Trent said as he slid a datapad toward Miloane. “In fact, I think you have a very strong position indeed.”

    “What makes you so sure?”

    “This,” Trent said as he tapped the datapad.

    The datapad sat there on the table, blank, dormant, inviting Miloane to access its contents, inviting Miloane to dig herself deeper into the web of corruption and sin that was galactic politics. Trent knew he would manipulate Miloane to do his bidding. He’d been doing it for years. She hadn’t had an original thought in awhile. The only reason he hadn’t taken her place, the only reason he hadn’t run himself, was that he discovered that he was far more useful manipulating the Board of Tribunes than actually running the show. Sometimes it was better to be behind the scenes. Sometimes it was better to be pulling the strings. Sometimes it was better to let someone else fall on the sword that he had planted rather than taking responsibility.

    “What’s on the datapad, Trent?”

    “You’ll see,” Trent said.

    Sara reached over and keyed the pad. The built in holo-emitter hummed to life and projected the haunting images of then Senator Eleanor Vehn shooting Rhom Cardaas in the head in his private quarters. Sara flinched as the security footage recorded the shooting in all of its miserable gore. What frightened her even more was the cold way in which Eleanor had pulled the trigger. No remorse, no regret, no feeling at all. Just one easy squeeze and equally troubling was the way Eleanor left Cardaas’ office without even making an attempt to clean up after her handiwork.

    “Maker,” Sara said, “she’s a cold hearted killer. I heard that Cardaas raped her. Is that true?”

    Trent shrugged his shoulders. “No proof. She never went in to get examined by the medical staff. All we have is her word.”

    “Where did you get this security footage? I thought the prosecution was unable to find enough evidence to absolutely link Eleanor Vehn to the death of Rhom Cardaas?” Sara asked with a raised eyebrow.

    “Does it matter, Sara? The truth is that we now have something that will absolutely kill her bid for power. Nobody will vote for her. Nobody will want her on the Board of Tribunes. After we leak this in an attack ad she’ll be finished,” Trent replied.

    “Are you saying that this footage isn’t real?” Sara asked.

    Trent folded his arms across his chest and replied, “I’ve looked after your political career for how long, 15 years? Have I ever steered you in the wrong direction?”

    “Well, no,” Sara admitted. “But this isn’t right. The security footage is faked. Someone will find out.”

    “By the time anyone has found out it will be too late,” Trent said, “Truth and lies, Sara, truth and lies.”

    Sara knew she couldn’t win this fight. This was getting out of hand. Trent had her by the collar here. If she failed to go along with what he was suggesting it would end poorly for her. This was wrong. She didn’t care for the Vehn family but to attack them like this, well, it didn’t feel right. Nothing felt right. All this time she’d done her own manipulation of people. Now, well, she knew how they felt.

    “The RTO must not allow another Vehn to ascend to the chairmanship. That family nearly ruined us. They let Naboo go. They let Nar Shaddaa return to the Hutts. They signed an alliance with those filthy slugs. They’ve pandered to the wishes of the Republic. Do you want to live with that kind of legacy hanging over your head? Fight her. That falls on you, Sara. If you don’t invite her to debate you then we’ve got a problem. She’s going to chip away at your story, and you’ve got a few skeletons in your own closet, that will destroy you. What we must do is destroy her first. This is our only way. Help me help you. Let me put together an attack ad and run it for a few weeks leading up to the election. She’ll be crushed before the voters get to their booths,” Trent insisted.

    “What’s our position?”

    “Leading the RTO into a bright, new, future,” Trent said.

    “A future without the Vehns?”

    Trent nodded.

    “A future of our own,” Sara said quietly.

    “Now, dearest Tribune, I think you understand,” Trent said.

    Sara looked down at her desk and felt utterly defeated. She’d done a lot of manipulating in her life, a lot of long cons, but she’d never been bamboozled as she had just been by the man she trusted more than herself. Trent was serious. He wanted to wage war against the Vehns. That was going to cause problems. But she didn’t care. If everything went as they planned, well, Sara would have the entire RTO against the family that had started the trade organization to begin with.

    “Put the ad together and release it immediately,” Sara said.

    “As you wish, Tribune.”

    Truth and lies, Sara, truth and lies.

    Frak it all.
    Trieste and jcgoble3 like this.
  10. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    How long have the Board of Tribunes known the Vehns? Not long enough in my opinion. See, the Triestes know three things:
    1. Never get involved in a land war in Asia
    2. Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line
    3. Never go against a Vehn when their home is on the line
  11. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
  12. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Tesserone, Roon

    “She gave away Naboo,” a deep voice said as the holoscreen showed images of Eleanor as Queen of Naboo.

    “She gave away Nar Shaddaa to our mortal enemies, the Hutts,” the ad continued showing images of the Hutts having a good laugh and celebrating the return of Nar Shaddaa to their political dominion.

    “She gave away her seat in the Senate,” the ad said and showed Eleanor as Senator of Naboo.

    “If Eleanor Vehn has her way she will give away the RTO to the Republic.” Images of Kerry Trieste and Eleanor smiling and shaking hands are shown.

    “The truth is, Eleanor Vehn never accomplished much of anything during her political career. Are you sure you want her representing Roon as a Tribune?”

    Image is shown of Eleanor waving goodbye to a crowd on Coruscant.

    “The one thing Eleanor Vehn has done, including getting away with murder, is letting others fight her battles for her.”

    “Vote for Sara Miloane, vote for stability, vote for the future of the RTO.”

    Tribune Sara Miloane’s smiling face is shown with Nime in the background.

    “Paid for by Friends of Tribune Miloane,” the deep voice said before the ad winked out of existence.

    Eleanor shut off the holoscreen and looked out the window of her home. The long grass of the prairie bowed gently in the easterly wind. Off the distance thick, dark, thunder heads loomed large and proud. Ready to drop their rain on the starved ground. She looked down at her feet and tugged at her lip with her teeth. She knew the coming fight against Miloane would be tough but she hadn’t expected Miloane to go on the offensive so soon, so viciously. That said more about her staff than it said about anything else. They were good. This wasn’t going to be an easy fight. The best ones never were.

    “Nasty attack ad, huh?” Rowan asked slipping in next to Eleanor.

    “They nailed me to the wall with that one,” Eleanor replied.

    “There’s not a shred of truth to any of it, you know,” Rowan said.

    “Yeah there is,” Eleanor admitted. “If it weren’t for me Naboo would’ve stayed, Nar Shaddaa wouldn’t have left and as far as Coruscant-“

    “People love you Eleanor. You’re not just a Vehn. You’re not just a famous name. To them, to me, you’re a real person that we can rally behind against distant leaders who don’t have our best interests in their hearts. I’ve lived on Roon for some time. I’ve gotten to know the people of the Laweeya Prairie, of Nime, of Tawntoom, and I can tell you that they want someone who is real, faults and all. They want a person they know will have their back when times are tough, someone who knows what it’s like to work the land, what it’s like to experience the hardships of the life of a farmer, but is also skilled in the ways of the galaxy at large. You’re a perfect candidate,” Rowan said wrapping an arm around his wife.

    Eleanor leaned on his shoulder and smiled tiredly. “Glad you think I can do such a good job.”

    “I know you can. The woman I saw up there a few weeks ago at the grange was someone I’d never seen before. I never saw that fire in your eyes on Coruscant and on Naboo, well, nobody really got to know you very well there either, court etiquette and all. I loved what I see, I loved what I saw. I love you and we’re going to strike back,” Rowan said.

    “Yeah? How?”

    Rowan gently stroked Eleanor’s hand and replied, “Trust me on this one.”

    Eleanor nodded as the rain came down the window. Yes, they needed a good rain. Let it rain.

    “Look at that view,” Rowan said.

    “This is why we fight,” Eleanor responded as she gave a good squeeze. “To preserve our way of life. To preserve all of this. I know what we need to do.”

    “Yeah? What did you have in mind?” Rowan asked.

    Eleanor told him everything.

    Nime Convention Center, One Month Later

    Final Debate Between Tribune Sara Miloane and Eleanor Vehn

    The Nime Convention Center was filled to the brim with people from all walks of life, from every corner of the RTO, who had gathered to see the third and final debate between incumbent Sara Miloane and a steady Eleanor Vehn. The first two debates had been town hall settings which Eleanor had purposefully played weak at so as to see everything Miloane had up her sleeve. The analysts had all declared Miloane the winner and the media outlets were starting to spell doom and gloom for Eleanor’s campaign. That was fine with Eleanor. She now had Miloane right where she wanted her.

    “And I will re-iterate as I have all my campaign that Eleanor Vehn never accomplished anything as Queen, as a Senator, and it is my firm belief that she is not ready to lead Roon or any member world of this beloved Roon Trade Organization at any point in the near future. She’s had her time in the sun. I must admit that the time she spent in the galactic spotlight was not for her benefit and I urge her to bow out of this race. Leave politics to the professionals, Eleanor,” Sara Miloane said concluding a rather long speech that seemed to accomplish absolutely nothing of significance.

    “Mrs. Vehn, your rebuttal,” the moderator said.

    Eleanor took a sip of water. Took her time to gather her thoughts, to gather her energy, to come back now into a position of strength rather than feigned weakness. She looked out at the audience. She recognized quite a few people out there. There was the brazen old rancher who’d supported her back at the grange not so very long ago. There was her father, and her mother, who had no idea why Eleanor wasn’t fighting harder. She saw old friends from childhood. Yes, these were people worth fighting for, people she loved. The looks of sadness and disappointment on their faces made her want to tell them not to fear. Not to worry. She had a plan. Everything was going according to plan. She wasn’t going to bow out of this election. She wasn’t going to roll over and submit, no, not now, not ever, and definitely no more.

    She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Yes, the old energy was there, and some powerful new stuff as well. She found that sweet spot deep inside and opened her eyes. The cameras recording the debate lingered on her face. The producers had picked up something different about Eleanor. Something had changed. There was life here, yes, and there was a cold, resolute, hardness that people hadn’t seen all campaign. It was frightening. It was intimidating. It was Eleanor Vehn ready to do battle.

    There was no point in holding back now. There was no point in playing the meek and mild woman who had lost her re-election bid on Naboo, her senatorial seat on Coruscant, who had hid on her family farm hoping to have a quiet life that wouldn’t have come her way even if she’d wished for it. No, this battle had been brewing for a long time. It wasn’t just Sara Miloane, it wasn’t just the painful memories of Rhom Cardaas and his assault on her body, her mind, no, it was something deeper, something she was just now beginning to put her finger on. Yes, she now knew what she needed to say. Win or lose tonight, well, that wasn’t really up to her. She may have been born into the Vehn family, she may have been ushered into a life of unwanted royalty, but now she was setting forth onto a platform that had been laid before her by the hard sacrifices of her family. For the first time in her life, in this moment when it mattered the most, Eleanor wanted to represent Roon as a Tribune. She wanted to do right by her people.

    Here we go Eleanor thought as she took one more sip of water before relaxing into a role she knew that she was born to fulfill.

    “I wanted to take a moment to thank Tribune Miloane for her service to Roon. After all, without her leadership, where would this planet be in the greater RTO? Come on, let’s get a round of applause going,” Eleanor said as the audience gave polite applause.

    Sara smiled and waved. She looked over at Eleanor and gave a small nod.

    Got you, you filthy little schutta Eleanor thought.

    “Take a good look at Tribune Miloane. Go ahead, take a good look,” Eleanor said motioning in Miloane’s direction. When she was convinced the audience had done their part, Eleanor continued, “I wanted you all to take one good look at Tribune Miloane’s face because tonight is going to be the last night that she will ever matter to you, that she will ever tell you what to do, how to vote, how to run your own lives, how to raise your children, how to work your hard earned land that you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into, take a good long look at the face of defeat, the face of neglect, and the face that has driven your families into the ground!”

    The audience roared and whistled.

    “I grew up on a Roon that was strong. I grew up on a Roon that knew how to care for all of its citizens, both rural and urban. I was born and bred in the country but I know how to move as one of you in the great cities. I know what it means to watch your crops wither and die because of drought, I know what it means to work in jobs where people treat you like garbage, the pay is lousy, and the way out and up is not very clear. I know what it is to lose an election, I know what it is to suffer great personal tragedy, but I am one of you, I am a citizen of Roon, I am a citizen of the RTO, and I am a loyal follower of a dream laid forth by my grandfather, Joaquin Vehn!” Eleanor stated pounding her finger into the podium.

    “Tribune Miloane would have you believe that I am nothing but a failure. She would have you believe that I failed as a Queen of Naboo. That I failed in representing Naboo in the great Senate of the galaxies most venerable Republic. I say to her one thing: For every perceived failure, for every perceived mistake, I can point to countless examples where I did the right thing, where I did the hard thing, where I made a decision in the heat of the moment that ultimately set the people I governed, represented, down a path to success and prosperity. So let us tackle the issues, shall we?”

    “Naboo was a planet that joined the RTO during a time of great political uncertainty. If you remember the Quorro dynasty was in power and their interests were in retaining their absolute control over the political system of Naboo and the best venue for them to continue to do that was with the far less meddling government of the RTO. Traditionally, in all the ways that matter, Naboo’s inner loyalties lay with the Republic. When I became Queen I set about righting that long wrong and I do not regret helping guide Naboo back to the folds of its historical roots. Before I left I re-instituted a democratic monarchy, subdued for nearly 50 years, and all the polls, all the facts, showed that I did right by the people of that beloved planet. I will always love Naboo and I made a decision that made Naboo stronger and more able to compete in an incredibly diverse galaxy.”

    More cheers and whistles.

    “As to the claim that I let Nar Shaddaa go to the Hutts, Tribune Miloane forgets that the idea first was discussed at a meeting of the Tribunes several years prior to the outbreak of hostilities with the rogue Tribune Alexander Speyburn. I helped broker a peace with our enemies to defeat a common threat. That alliance has lasted and I need not remind our dear citizens in the audience that were it not for the timely intervention of the Hutt fleet, the RTO as we know it may very well have been destroyed. When it mattered I did not run. When times were tough I headed right into the storm. These claims that I am a failure, that I am a coward, that I am unable to stand up for what is right, and do what needs to be done are false and inaccurate. Allowing Nar Shaddaa to return to its rightful home with the Hutts has helped the city grow and develop in ways that we in the RTO could never properly foster.”

    “If I might add-“ Miloane tried to say but Eleanor interrupted.

    “You’re done speaking tonight. You are done representing Roon,” the crowd started to cheer, louder and louder, “and you are done destroying the RTO and everything my family has built. Thirty years ago Joaquin Vehn promised Roon, promised all the member worlds, that if we worked together we could accomplish something great, something powerful, something that nobody had ever done before. We have, ladies and gentlebeings, we have and we must continue to build upon my grandfather’s legacy, continue to follow his vision while adding some of our own, because the day that we stop believing, the day that we stop trusting and cooperating is the day that this beloved organization, this beloved government, falls apart and dies.”

    “My name is Eleanor Vehn, I am the granddaughter of Joaquin Vehn, and by the gods above I swear to those in this audience, to those citizens throughout the galaxy, that I stand before you today because I chose to answer the call. I chose to follow the light and I chose to follow my heart and I will never, ever let you down. I didn’t ask to be a Tribune, I didn’t ask to be born into the family that I come from, but here I am and here I shall be and if there is anything you can place your faith, your trust, your hopes and dreams in, place them in me. Now is not the time for fear, now is not the time for doubt, now is the time when we come together to build a better future not only for ourselves,” Eleanor paused as she raised a fist, nearly everyone in the audience did the same, “but for those who are going to plant the seeds of tomorrow, yield the crops of the future, and reap the rewards of our hard earned work today. From sunrise to sunset, I dedicate my life to my family, to my core values, and to the beloved RTO. Vote with your hearts, vote with your conscience, but most of all, vote with your spirit. We are one and the same, you and I, come, let us go together forward.”

    Thunderous applause, a standing ovation, thousands of flash-bulbs went off, it was as if someone had awakened a sleeping giant. “Together forward!” Together forward!” Together forward!” The crowd cheered and whistled.

    Eleanor met Tribune Sara Miloane at mid-stage, shook her hand in a tight grip, looked her in the eyes, and said, “I would start to think very carefully about your future, Sara. You don’t want to make an enemy of me. A reckoning is coming and you best make sure you’re on the right side when that day comes.”

    Sara’s eyes went wide and she fled the stage.

    Eleanor stood with her family on stage and waved to those that mattered dearest to her. The reluctant farmer, the reluctant leader, had finally, at long last, come home.

    Long live the Vehns.

    Tag:Trieste,Tim Battershell (not sure if you follow this fanfic or not!), jcgoble3
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  13. Tim Battershell

    Tim Battershell Jedi Master star 5

    Sep 3, 2012
    Missed the start of it, and my 'watch thread' button is misbehaving atm; so please keep tagging me for future instalments! :):D
    Vehn likes this.
  14. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    I am reminded of a certain address that a Vehn (I can't remember which one) made to Ord Mantell once upon a time in a story long before this one. I'd say old bloodlines run strong!
    Vehn likes this.
  15. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Theed, Naboo
    Two weeks later

    The old guard sat with his legs propped up on his desk, the warm summer winds of the grassy plains of Theed roiling their heat through his household, the holo-radio tuned to the political news organizations of the Roon Trade Organization that were spilling the results of the election on Roon. He sat there with a drink in hand and not a care in the world for he had long ago retired from the career of his choosing. A career filled with danger, filled with political intrigue, and filled with honor at all costs. He had sworn an oath to a woman he loved. He had done well by her all the way to the very end.

    He turned up the radio and leaned in as if he was hard of hearing. Yes, the election results were in. “Final polling results show Eleanor Vehn with a commanding lead over incumbent Tribune Sara Miloane. This marks the first time in the history of the RTO that a Tribune of Roon comes from the Vehn family. We have had the Vehn’s fill the highest position of honor in the RTO, that of Chairman, but since the forced removal of Kaitlyn Vehn following the conflict with Alexander Speyburn several years ago the family has gone into seclusion and remained in the political background. For more on this story I’ve asked Professor William Stone, history professor at Druckenwell Technical University and author of the Vehn biography Tesserone: The Vehn Family Ranch , to offer his analysis on Eleanor Vehn’s victory and what happens next.”

    “Thank you for having me here,” Stone’s voice said over the radio.

    “So at long last the Vehn’s have yet another member of their family in the political spotlight. This time its not the judicious Kaitlyn Vehn but rather the people’s favorite, Eleanor. Going over my notes, I have to wonder, why now? Why are the Vehn’s re-entering the political fray after years of seclusion to run a campaign against the local tribune from Roon?” the anchor asked.

    “I think what we have to really look at here is the role of the Vehn family with the RTO. For years, this family personally guided our economic union toward unparalleled heights. Then the visionary, the man who started it all, Joaquin Vehn dies and with him goes the unity that he worked so hard to establish. His progeny, mainly his son, Liam, failed to properly uphold the family vision and now lives in exile beyond the borders of the RTO. His daughter, Verity, has really come into her own in the last decade or so with regards to political leadership. She is the saving grace of the Vehn family and rules behind the scenes. It was her influence that cleaned up the mess her brother created on Naboo. It was her influence that helped guide Eleanor Vehn to become Queen of Naboo, a Senator of the Republic, and ultimately it was her influence that brought Eleanor back home. People don’t give Verity enough credit. She is the driving force behind that family. After all it was Verity, not her brother Liam, who decided to form a political union and a lasting, loving relationship with the Triestes by marrying Oisin Trieste and further cementing the Vehn legacy.”

    “Tell me about that marriage,” the anchor pressed.

    “They truly love one another. When I sat down to get their permission to write my book, I asked them if it ever occurred to them that by marrying one another they would be forming one of the galaxies most powerful political alliances. You should have seen the look on their faces. They were stunned. Neither one of them had really considered that prospect. Sure, they had friends who may have hinted about it, but Verity set the record straight with me by saying she married for love and that in so doing she helped the Vehn family continue their line,” Stone said.

    “Incredible,” the anchor replied, “so how does Kaitlyn Vehn factor into all this, I mean, she’s got children now with the Vehn name. One biological son, Jack, and now an adopted daughter, Lilly, do you see a scenario by which Kaitlyn would come back into power in the RTO?”

    “After her very public exile, honestly, I just don’t see how that would be possible. Kaitlyn is the branch of the Vehn family that has steered a course separate from the RTO. She’s been through a nasty divorce with Liam Vehn, she’s entrenched herself with the Nar Shaddaa Smugglers on Nar Shaddaa, she’s looking like the clear winner for the mayoral race there, I just don’t see how Kaitlyn would return to rule the RTO. She’s done with that. If you’d have asked me that several years ago, I would’ve said absolutely yes, watch out for her. Winning a Galactic Cup, winning the hearts and minds of the Vertical City, that’s what Kaitlyn does best. She doesn’t want to lead the RTO anymore than you and I. That ship sailed a long time ago,” Stone said.

    “So, now to the point: Eleanor Vehn. She’s married, has a daughter, went through a very public trial on Coruscant and narrowly escaped the firing squad. What made her come out of self-imposed political retirement to wrestle this representative seat way from Miloane?” the anchor asked.

    “Eleanor may have ruled Naboo, she may have represented Naboo in the Galactic Senate, but deep down she’s always been that country girl with some fire in her. She grew up on the Vehn family ranch of Tesserone. She’s not about to forget her roots, no matter what the media suggests. I’ll be perfectly honest here, without the Vehn’s in the RTO, this economic organization has struggled-“ Stone said and was cut off by the anchor.

    “You really think so? Opponents of that political philosophy would’ve suggested otherwise,” the anchor prompted.

    “I’m telling you that the RTO needs a Vehn somewhere in its political structure. It wasn’t setup to be run by people who have no interest in its future. Let me frame something for you. Right now, the RTO is on the verge of splitting apart. Member worlds are long overdue on their taxes for the military, for economic sharing of goods, for just about everything that makes this organization tick. We are days, maybe weeks, away from the total dissolution of this organization. Having Eleanor Vehn win her election bid sends a message to the rest of the member worlds and do you know what that message is? That message is leadership. That message is to the people who are struggling to make ends meet that someone is coming to set right the wrongs that have occurred these last few years. I’m not saying that it’s going to be perfect. I’m not saying that it’s going to be solved overnight, but I am suggesting that if anyone can fix the problems of the RTO, it is Eleanor Vehn.”

    “And with that thought we leave you to watch the celebration in Nime as Eleanor Vehn has accepted the position of Tribune of Roon. Thank you, Professor Stone, for your candid thoughts and comments,” the anchor said.

    “Thank you,” Stone replied.

    The old man turned off the radio. He leaned back, folded his arms behind his head, and smiled.

    Eleanor had won.

    That deserved a visit from an old friend.

    jcgoble3 and Trieste like this.
  16. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    I get a somewhat foreboding feeling about this "friend"...
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  17. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009

    Nime, Roon

    “Nar Shaddaa is going to drag us into a war with the Hutts,” warned the Tribune from Rothana.

    Eleanor sighed and shook her head. Kaitlyn Vehn was not even related to her by blood but she had kept the Vehn name partly to honor the family she had married into and partly to retain the power that came with said family. She was confused as to why Kaitlyn had decided to crack down on the seedier parts of the Smuggler’s Moon now. It didn’t make any sense to her. Nar Shaddaa had always struggled with crime and poverty, drugs, gang violence, so why now? What was the driving force behind Kaitlyn’s newfound power as mayor of the Vertical City? Where would the line be drawn? Could war with the Hutts be avoided?

    “Any news on fleet mobilizations?” Eleanor asked her colleagues as she studied the other faces in the room, all gathered around a round table, twelve Tribunes of the RTO representing the twelve member worlds of the economic organization.

    She, as Tribune of Roon, was recognized as the first among equals. She held more sway at this round table and could end a deadlock in the voting process . The other member worlds, if they were wise, would defer to her, but sometimes that didn’t always happen. Sometimes things fell apart. Sometimes words became trade squabbles, threats of dropping out of the RTO were common, as were threats to usurp her power. Having been recently elected as Tribune of Roon, Eleanor was quickly learning the political nuances of her position. Right now, the political ground she stood on was shaky, at best. Just because she’d run a successful campaign on Roon didn’t mean that the reins of power in the RTO were going to be handed over to her just yet. There were factions at this table. Deep divisions and old rivalries that ran strong.

    The Tribune from Druckenwell was the most senior member at the table followed by the Tribune from Rothana. Eleanor had to tread carefully with either one of them for both men despised one another. Druckenwell despised Rothana for the RTO military contracts that gave favor to that military-industrial planet while Rothana despised Druckenwell for becoming the new seat of political power in the RTO despite having to lean heavily on Roon for political support.

    “Intelligence is drawing a blank. We haven’t been able to get a good read on the Hutt fleet in some time,” the Tribune from Druckenwell responded.

    “Might help if you used those new reconnaissance craft that we delivered to you,” the Tribune from Rothana added.

    “And it might help us if Rothana would deliver our vehicles intact, flyable, and on time,” Druckenwell countered.

    “We have more than met our obligations on this matter! If you want us to prop up your fledgling navy than you better reconsider where your loyalties lie,” Rothana seethed.

    “Don’t make me send the fleet to Rothana and bring those shipyards back to Druckenwell!” Druckenwell threatened.

    “You wouldn’t dare!” Rothana countered.

    “Gentlemen, enough!” Eleanor said raising her voice and pounding on the table.

    That killed the argument. That killed the debate, for now.

    “I am requesting that the Tribune from Druckenwell allocate a reconnaissance flight to probe the border with the Hutts. I want to know where their fleet is and what it is doing. Rothana will continue to deliver the necessary military supplies to the RTO fleet in case this situation goes hot. I know I am new here, gentlemen, but I will not allow your personalities to create a sectarian environment that destroys all that we have created and worked for these many years. You either tow the line that I cast or you will find yourself exiled. See how well that worked out for Tatooine and see for yourself how well exile is not working for Nar Shaddaa,” Eleanor said.

    Both the tribunes from Rothana and Druckenwell softened their body posture.

    “Everyone in favor?” Eleanor asked.

    “Aye!” A chorus of voices rang out as a majority of the member worlds.

    “It is done. I conclude this meeting and wish you all a safe journey back to your planets,” Eleanor said as she rose from her chair.

    She shook hands with the tribunes as they left the round table to return home. Eleanor remained after the room had emptied out and gazed out at the bay that the city of Nime nearly encircled. Once again the heavy burdens of leadership had been placed on
    her shoulders. This time, however, she was going to do it right. This time, however, she was not going to run when the going got tough. She was going to hang in there. She was going to do what was right.

    She punched the comm. unit in front of her.

    “How may I help you, Tribune Vehn?” a voice asked on the other end of the line.

    “Get me a shuttle. I’m going to Nar Shaddaa.”

    “Right away, Tribune.”

    Eleanor Vehn was going to save the RTO.

    No matter the cost.

    Ten Minutes Later

    Nime Spaceport

    Eleanor double-checked that she had all the right papers to enter Hutt Space. Even though the RTO and the Hutts had agreed to an alliance there was still tension between the two governments. Old hatreds still lingered, old scars not yet quite healed, and
    old reminders of battles fought long ago still dwelled in the black space in between systems.

    She was just about to board her personal shuttle, The Pride of Theed, when a voice stopped her dead on the landing ramp.

    “Going somewhere, my lady?”

    Eleanor’s back stiffened as she recognized the voice at once. Only one man spoke like that to her. Only one man had served her long enough to be known as such a close friend to be considered family.

    “Robert Norden,” Eleanor said as she turned to look at her long time protector.

    “Queen Eleanor,” Robert replied giving a bow in the style of the Theed court.

    Eleanor laughed and shook her head. “Oh, Robert, there’s no queen standing before you now. Just a simple representative of the people.”

    “Well, whatever your new title is, my lady, you shall always be a queen to me,” Robert replied as he stood and helped Eleanor up the rest of the way to the main chamber of The Pride of Theed.

    “I thought you had retired,” Eleanor asked as she sat down to enjoy a cup of tea in her quarters.

    “I had, I did, but then I heard about news of your victory in the election, your return to power, and I knew that I couldn’t stay away. A woman such as yourself, as beautiful and as intelligent as you are should never have to travel the stars unprotected,” Robert said.

    “You do realize I can take care of myself?” Eleanor replied with the hint of a teasing smile.

    “I am well aware, my lady. I taught you everything you know, remember. Still, I am here, and I do not see any obvious signs of security. Were you intending to travel to one of the most dangerous moons in the galaxy without protection?”

    “Well I figured the lower the profile the better,” Eleanor replied.

    “There are limits to how low someone can sink,” Robert said.

    “Then I must trust that you will never let me go that far,” Eleanor said. “Very well, if you insist on joining me I shall not stop you.”

    “Always ready and willing to serve my lady,” Robert said as he bowed once more.

    “I am no longer royalty, Robert, there is no need to address me as my lady,” Eleanor replied.

    “Once a Queen of Naboo, always a Queen of Naboo,” Robert said.

    The engines of her personal craft spooled up and whined to a heightened frenzy. The ship tore away from the spaceport and shot into hyperspace moments later. All the while, Eleanor’s stomach was in knots. How would she talk to Kaitlyn when she saw her. How could she convince this woman who had a track record of pushing the boundaries, specifically legal, out of crushing the very life out of the Smuggler’s Moon? Could they avoid a new war with the Hutts?

    “You look worried, Eleanor,” Robert said a few minutes later.

    “Lots on my mind,” Eleanor replied trying to brush him off.

    “Oh no you don’t. You can’t shake me, not like that,” Robert said as he pulled up a chair and sat next to his long time charge.

    “Nar Shaddaa is out of control, Robert. Kaitlyn is determined to bring the Smuggler’s Moon to heel. The RTO is bucking at my newfound authority. I can barely hold things together,” Eleanor admitted.

    Robert reached out and took Eleanor’s hardened hands, farm hands, into his own. “Such rough hands for such a young lady. You know what it is to work the land, to work the system, to get what you want. You will find your way, Eleanor. That way may not be what your family wants. That way may not be what your people want. In the end, all that matters, is what you want.”

    Eleanor leaned against her old friend, her old protector, and closed her eyes. “You always did know how to say the right things, Captain.”

    Robert held Eleanor tight and kissed the top of her head. “It is the very least I can do for you, my lady. The very least.”

    Tag:Trieste;jcgoble3;Tim Battershell

    OOC: After a hiatus, this story is now resuming. Buckle your seatbelts.
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  18. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Eleanor on Nar Shaddaa seems like such a great move in terms of drama, and yet I never even thought of it! So many possibilities for someone so unused to that kind of rough-and-tumble landscape.
  19. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Nar Shaddaa
    Several Weeks Before the Mercs/Smugglers Game

    “Eleanor,” Kaitlyn said as Eleanor entered the room.

    Eleanor nodded and responded, “Kaitlyn.”

    “I take it you’re not here for a family visit,” Kaitlyn said.

    “No, I’m not,” Eleanor responded. “I’m here because the RTO is in a very precarious position with your antics on Nar Shaddaa.”

    “If you’re inferring that I’m rocking the boat with the Hutts I think you’ve got some other surprises coming your way,” Kaitlyn said.

    “I’m talking about you burning down an entire section of the Vertical City. You going to do anything about that or are you just going to enjoy your little victory over the crime lords?” Eleanor pressed.

    “I am fixing this moon, Eleanor. I’m making Nar Shaddaa a better place to live,” Kaitlyn responded.

    “That may very well be and you may have good intentions but the results are clearly mixed. You unleashed a police force on a civilian populace that had no reason to trust a centralized authority. I’m surprised they haven’t kicked you out of office yet. You can’t just suppress people who have a different political opinion than your own!” Eleanor said.

    “I am not suppressing anyone! Besides, how has it worked for you, Eleanor, giving in to the people at every step of the way? Last I checked you lost your election on Naboo, lost your seat in the Senate of the Galactic Republic, and how long will your run as tribune of Roon truly last?” Kaitlyn said crossing her arms across her chest.

    “This is not about me or what I should or could have done differently. I am here on behalf of the RTO and to give you a warning. If you continue to suppress the people of the Vertical City I will do something about your rule,” Eleanor said.

    You wouldn’t dare,” Kaitlyn responded.

    “The Hutts are not happy with you either. Believe me that old enemies could quickly put aside old hatreds to take on a common threat. Don’t be that common threat, Kaitlyn. You need to build Nar Shaddaa up not tear it down!” Eleanor said raising her voice.

    “If you move against me, Eleanor, I swear you to there will be a war like this family has never seen before! Don’t make me fight you,” Kaitlyn insisted.

    “I will do what I must,” Eleanor replied and then softened her voice, “I am giving you one last chance, Kaitlyn. If you want to go after powerful crime lords do it behind the scenes. Don’t send in your private police force. Don’t burn people’s homes to the ground. You are giving the Vehn name a terrible reputation and I will not sit idly by while you destroy all that my family has worked for.”

    “All that your family has worked for,” Kaitlyn repeated and then snarled, “what did you ever work for, Eleanor? Every job you’ve ever had was handed to you because of your last name. I’ve had to work harder to get anywhere because of my last name. I am not a Vehn by blood and everyone knows this. The things I have accomplished, the things I have seen, they are a direct result of me working hard for them. I promised Nar Shaddaa a way out of the slums and sometimes that requires the use of force. Sometimes that requires making the difficult decision. Something you wouldn’t know anything about.”

    Eleanor curled her hands into fists. She wanted to punch Kaitlyn right in the mouth. Knock that smirk right off her face. Make her pay, make her apologize, make her realize how foolish she was being. But she didn’t. Eleanor held back and gathered her thoughts.

    “When Alexander Speyburn was breathing down on Druckenwell and the RTO was on the brink of collapse,” Eleanor began, “I put aside my own fears, my own hatreds, and reached out to a former enemy, the Hutts. I worked all day to get them to help us in our hour of need. Were it not for me, Kaitlyn, the RTO, the Smugglers, all that you seem to really care about, would not even exist. Speyburn would’ve wiped you out the first chance he got. War over. We lose.”

    For once Kaitlyn didn’t response. Eleanor could tell she’d had her beat right there. She’d played her best card in her hand. Now, if Eleanor knew Kaitlyn at all, they could really talk business. They could really get down to the matters that bothered them.

    “Why are you here, Eleanor?”

    Got you, Eleanor thought.

    “Stabilize Nar Shaddaa. Work for the people rather than against them and for Maker’s sake do not, I repeat, do not, allow the Hutts to continue to shape policy here on the Vertical City. I want a strong Nar Shaddaa as much as the next person. You and I both
    know we do not need another war in the RTO’s backyard. We’ve fought several of those, sharp, short, bloody conflicts that got us nowhere. Use the Vehn name for good, Kaitlyn, fix what needs to be fixed but do it in a matter that helps people rise out of poverty not descend further into its strong clutches,” Eleanor said in a more measured tone.

    “It won’t be easy,” Kaitlyn said.

    “The good stuff never is,” Eleanor responded. “You know what you need to do, Kaitlyn. Follow your conscience while you still have one.”

    Eleanor turned to leave but was halted by Kaitlyn saying, “You are a good leader, Eleanor.”

    “I learned from the best,” Eleanor responded as she gave Kaitlyn a reassuring look. “Reign in your dogs, Kaitlyn and you too could benefit.”

    Kaitlyn Vehn lowered her head in defeat. Eleanor smiled as she left the room. It felt good to have a victory for once.




    Trieste, Tim Battershell and jcgoble3 like this.
  20. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    RTO Space, Near Roon

    Eleanor closed her eyes, while her mother read quietly in the seat cross from her, as she tried to block out images of the funeral of Kaitlyn Vehn. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t really even appropriate. She needed to mourn and though she had shed tears with all of Nar Shaddaa she wasn’t surprised when she had first learned of Kaitlyn’s death. Eleanor knew that Kaitlyn had made enemies of some very powerful people on Nar Shaddaa. She’d pushed too hard and Eleanor had warned her that there could be consequences. It had been the Vehn family way to improve the lives of those below them in all the worlds that their family’s influence had reached. Some places, like Nar Shaddaa, just couldn’t be helped. The violent culture, the seedy underworld, the ways and means by which people simply had to survive were too great of obstacles to overcome by one person.

    She missed Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn, who had been a good friend during Eleanor’s formative and difficult years on Naboo, was now gone. Her powerful family, the Ypres of Druckenwell, had retreated into mourning and it seemed as if their heavy influence on the politics of the RTO would wane in time as well. The entire south-eastern quadrant of the galaxy mourned when Kaitlyn left the world of the living and though Eleanor felt overwhelming sadness there was a truth that had come to her in her moment of dark revelations. A dark truth she had come to accept a long time ago.

    “You seem troubled?” Verity Vehn asked her eldest daughter.

    “Hard to believe she’s actually dead,” Eleanor replied, “a woman as powerful as she.”

    “She made some poor choices,” Verity responded.

    “I know. I just can’t help but think of her son, Jack, eight years old and without a mother,” Eleanor said thinking of her own daughter, Grace.

    “He will come live at Tesserone,” Verity said.

    A heavy silence fell between the two women.

    “I think that what we-“ Eleanor started at the same time Verity said, “We needed to-“

    A look of mutual understanding passed between the two women.

    “We had to kill her, Eleanor,” Verity said speaking the words both of them knew were at the forefront of their minds.

    “You’ll find no disagreement from me,” Eleanor responded.

    “She would have destroyed the peace,” Verity added.

    “She would have destroyed everything we worked for,” Eleanor replied.

    “I will miss her but she was a necessary sacrifice,” Verity said.

    “I know what you mean,” Eleanor responded.

    “Lilly and Jack must never know,” Verity said.

    “On my life they shall never discover the truth,” Eleanor replied.

    “You couldn’t have asked for a better assassination,” Verity observed. “Drexel did his job well. He earned his money.”

    “We could’ve done without John Huntington’s death,” Eleanor replied, “but yes he did an admirable job.”

    “You know what they say…” Verity said.

    “The best assassinations are the ones where the assassin dies. No one will ever know what we did,” Eleanor finished.

    “We did this for peace,” Verity insisted.

    “We did this so my daughter can grow up in a time of safety and security,” Eleanor said, “not a time where a woman who is not a Vehn by blood decides the fate of the RTO, decides the fate of Nar Shaddaa, decides the fate of an alliance that has saved
    countless lives.”

    “You’re so cold at times, Eleanor,” Verity said with a hint of a smile.

    “I learned from the best, mother,” Eleanor replied as the shuttle touched down on Roon.

  21. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    :eek: Her own FAMILY did this? :eek: Wow.
  22. Bardan_Jusik

    Bardan_Jusik Mand'alor - Manager of EUC, SWC and Anthology/BtS star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Dec 14, 2009
    Are you shabla kidding me?!?

  23. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010

    No wonder Eleanor took her mother's name instead of her father's. The Triestes can get dirty, that's for sure...but this would shock even them!

    Wow. What a post.
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  24. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009

    Fields of Roon

    “We’re done for, Pa!” A young teenager cried out as he dug his callused hands into the infamously muddy soil of Roon and pulled up the pitiful remains of the crop that was supposed to bring in some much needed cash this year.

    “Never seen anything like it,” his father exclaimed as he wiped his brow streaking mud across his face.

    “The whole crop is ruined,” the teenager cursed as he threw the vegetable to the muddy ground.

    The father fought back tears, fought back anger, didn’t want his son to see how scared he was, how concerned, for the implications of what this meant were clear to him. Clear as the half days and nights that were
    famous on Roon due to the planet’s strange rotation around its primary star.

    “We’ll find a way, son,” the father choked out.

    “How? We’re finished, we don’t have the money, Maker, we’re going to lose the farm, aren’t we?” His son said.

    The father didn’t answer. He didn’t have an answer. Not today. Everything he’d worked his entire life for was falling through right before his eyes. He didn’t have the savings built up to replant. He didn’t have the time either. The selling season was just around the corner and he’d miss out. He’d already refinanced the home once. He didn’t want to have to do that again. He thought about asking for help from the RTO, from the big-wigs in Nime, but he couldn’t bring himself to do that. This was a matter of pride. The farmers of Roon didn’t ask for help. They didn’t ask for hand-outs. They just forged through in rain or shine in snow or hail and besides how could he live with himself if he received government assistance? How could he look himself in the mirror and be proud of his decisions, be proud of himself? His father and his grandfather had never asked for help in their lives. They’d seen some tough times as well.

    Now the government had ruined them. Sold them bad seed. Seed that couldn’t be trusted. Seed that had no value. That had been months ago.

    “What are we going to do?” His son asked.

    The father clenched his gloved fists and eyed up the nearby stores of fuel for the combines. If he couldn’t make any money off this crop, if he had to go out, he would go out with a bang.

    “Pa,” his son pleaded following his father’s line of thought.

    “Burn it,” the father barked.

    “Pa, don’t, there has to be another way!” The son pleaded again.

    “I said burn the damn field! Burn it all! I want those fat cats in Nime to see how they’ve screwed us over!”

    Stinging tears fell down his face as he ignited the spilled fuel. Everything his family had worked for all these many generations. Gone.

    The fields of Roon started to burn…

    Nime, Roon

    “For the last time I am asking that you help us out here,” Eleanor pleaded with the Tribune from Druckenwell.

    “We owe nothing to you. Druckenwell is not interested in farm goods from Roon. We want raw materials to help us build ships. Naval vessels are the way of the future, the Republic is the future,” the Tribune from Druckenwell crowed with much applause from the other Tribunes.

    “So you have all made your decisions, then. You would rather leave Roon isolated and alone so that you can fill your coffers now that you have access to the markets of the Republic?” Eleanor asked. “What is the point of having an economic organization if nobody works together?”

    “Roon is a dead market, Eleanor. The dream of the Vehns is dying. There is nothing that you can do that will restore that now,” the Tribune from Rothana added.

    “What are you saying?” Eleanor asked.

    “We’re done,” the Tribune from Druckenwell stated.

    “Done? Done with what?” Eleanor asked the assembled Tribunes.

    “We have attached our planetary fortunes to the dreams of your family for the last 29 years. While we have seen some growth and prosperity we have also seen economic downturn and war. Now that the Republic is openly trading with this quadrant of the galaxy and we have peace with the Hutts we no longer see a need to abide by the RTO Charter,” the Tribune from Druckenwell said.

    “You mean to say…” Eleanor said as a cold feeling swept over her.

    “As the Tribune of Druckenwell I hereby renounce my membership in the Roon Trade Organization effective immediately. I know the Ypres family is still in mourning for the loss of their daughter, Kaitlyn Vehn. Were
    she still alive I imagine our relationship would be different. Sadly, in their eyes, and in my own, the bond between the Vehn family and that of Druckenwell is now severed with her passing. She was the one force that could unite the member worlds. We had hoped that she would return to the seat of power in the RTO. That will never be the case now.”

    “You exiled her!” Eleanor countered as she addressed the Tribunes, “You forced her out. You made her go to Nar Shaddaa!”

    “We regret that she was forced out of office. Since her departure the RTO has drifted and grown listless. New leadership could not be found and no matter how hard you tried, Eleanor, you were never going to be the glue that held this organization together,” the Tribune from Druckenwell said.

    “I am a Vehn, doesn’t that mean anything anymore? My grandfather lifted your worlds out of poverty and ruin, doesn’t that count for something?” Eleanor said. She was shouting now.

    The Tribune from Druckenwell replied, “The time of the Vehns is over. The days of your family ruling anything are at an end.”

    “Without the RTO Charter there is no trade deal with the Republic,” Eleanor said as the reality started to sink in.

    “We don’t need the Charter anymore. We don’t need your family anymore. Goodbye, Eleanor,” the Tribune from Druckenwell said as he turned to leave the meeting room on Nime.

    One by one the other Tribunes, and the worlds they represented, dropped their membership with the RTO and left the room. Eleanor sat alone and pounded the conference table in anger. The dreams of her grandfather were gone. For 29 years the RTO had served as an example of what could be rather than what actually was. Many good and positive things were accomplished. Many lives were taken out of poverty and moved to the path of success. Now that was all gone. The days of the Vehn family having any galactic influence were over.

    Eleanor Vehn tore herself away from the conference room and headed out onto the balcony that overlooked Nime: the city that her family had practically rebuilt from the ground up. Thick clouds of white smoke caught her eye and seemed to stretch across the entire western hemisphere.

    “Maker, they’re burning the crops…” Eleanor whispered to the congested city around her that had absolutely no idea that the world and government around them had just collapsed.

    The RTO was no more.

    Tag:Trieste;jcgoble3;Bardan_Jusik (if you're interested)
  25. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    The death of an interplanetary government. Wonderfully written. =D=