main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Star Wars THE GALAXY AT WAR: EPISODE V: EMERGENCE

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Corellian_Outrider , Jun 4, 2017.

  1. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    [​IMG]

    IC: Bail Organa, Riyo Chuchi
    Location: Senate Building - Coruscant

    Riyo Chuchi watched the Queen of Naboo and her entourage disappear into the crowds along the concourse. “That one always appears to be conflicted…” Chuchi murmured softly. “Very passionate, a drive… and stubborn at times. However her words and actions sometimes do to not align... which makes it hard to tell with her where her interests and loyalty lies.”

    Chuchi brushed her hair back and placed her hands on the back of her stiff neck before lolling her head to ease the muscles. A sigh escaped before leaning her head towards her left shoulder with a slight tilt as she regarded the Prince of Alderaan and then smiled to him. “So…?”

    “I don’t at all trust her. She and I had a sit down during the time the Executor seemed to suddenly be unavailable. I went to see her in his offices,” Bail spilled forth, clearly having fairly exploded to convey his experience. “She told me she was “in charge” while Vader underwent some emergency procedure. Then she gave me this talk about reinstating the Republic and democracy. She was impassioned. I think she really believes she’s got some sort of sway with Vader. I ...hate to say it, but I think the rumors about those two are true and she believes she has currency. I can’t prove that, but it’s clear he did give her some measure of authority, however brief. Something is going on.” Summing his story, Bail shook his head and looked down at the floor for a moment before meeting Chuchi’s gaze.

    Chuchi considered what her friend had said and that filled in some of the gaps in the profile she had already surmised about the current Queen of Naboo. “Now that is troubling…” She let slip a small grimace. “...I wouldn’t exactly… have faith in placing such level of authority on one so… conflicted… and for a long duration.” She touched his arm lightly for them to walk together, away from the direction that the Nabooian Queen had gone. She did not want to linger too long in the one spot. “There could have been some irreversible damage if it continued.” She gave him a look, her brow arched slightly. “Do we know if her authority has ended now that Vader has returned?”

    Bail puffed. “I have a hard time imagining Vader would leave any authority to anyone but himself, Riyo. More likely, this is telling as to how vulnerable he was. It was a desperate exigency. I think we may have missed an opportunity that will not easily come again.” He spoke in obvious frustration with an undercurrent of raw anger. His face grew dark, the shadows in his ‘worry dimples’ deeper.

    In the folds of his heart, Bail felt a harsh anxiety. He had come to love Leia, as he had never believed he could love another being, now with Breha gone. He had gone into a deep depression at her death and missed her terribly. It was Leia’s enthusiasm and exuberance, at first irritating and seemingly out of place, that drew him forth again. For awhile, he took a leave of absence, let the Empire be what it would be. His friends despaired, but Leia, charmed him.

    At first, as Leia became her own little person, he was wary. Wary that some part of her ‘blood’ father would claim her, that she carried some of the cruelty and aggressivity that overtook the kind and generous Jedi Anakin had once seemed to have been. However, Bail grew to love her as his own and to think of her as his own. And when, one day, Lord Vader had reason to visit at House Organa in Alderaan, Leia interrupted their meeting. His heart leaped in his chest when the Sith leaned down to engage Leia in conversation, placing a gloved hand to her cheek. Bail was not a violent man, but he envisioned tearing Vader’s arm from his chest.

    Cold nights as he sat in the dark of his study, Leia would steal in and climb on Bail’s lap to give him a kiss and curl up till she fell asleep. He would find himself, tears expending his grief, his hand smoothing the sleeping child’s hair and he wept all the more at Breha’s loss. His sweet, gentle wife had been so happy when Bail came to her with the orphaned bundle. He sometimes snapped at Leia, and sometimes looked sternly on when he began to suspect and then later knew that Leia was Force sensitive. Yet, time came, he looked on in concern and feared her identity would be discovered by her sensitivity- the sights he had seen at the ravaged Jedi Temple, the younglings, the boy... He ached and he guarded Leia like a delicate flower of priceless commodity. His love could be too warm, too cautious and the princess, rebelled.

    “I’m sorry, you said something?” asked Bail, distracted.

    Chuchi had noticed his expression. She came to learn that during strenuous times Organa can seem to be both there and elsewhere at the same time. Very thoughtful. That he operated on autopilot while his thoughts were elsewhere… how he manage to juggle between the present conversations and planning ahead at the same time without missing a beat was something she marveled about him. However, just it seemed something on his mind could be troubling him. She couldn’t tell but he seemed more distracted from the present than usual.

    “Oh… it was nothing exciting.” She shrugged her shoulders. “That it could have been a blessing about the missed opportunity and might bring a new perspective.” The corner of her lips pulled back and gave an assuring smile, trying to present some optimism. “...and that there could be more chances further on down the trail.”

    He drew a hefty breath and gave a tight smile. His thoughts were dark and though he had realized for some time that they were unhealthy, he wanted so to confront Anak...Vader, draw expel from his mind, heart, and soul, the venom that lay there, poisoning, choking the joy from him. He wanted to kill Vader with his bare hands, feel the life crushed by the revulsion and grief the vile Sith had brought into his life, for the heinous crimes he’d committed, for the threat he posed to Bail’s, sweet, exuberant, brilliant, lovely child, for Leia was HIS child, his child into whom he had poured all the love he had in him.

    “Gahhhhh! It makes no sense, Riyo! It makes no SENSE! growled, Bail, low and in a strangled whisper.

    Ultimately, Anakin’s betrayal had cut like a knife. Bail, Padme, Anakin, Obi wan, and Ahsoka, they’d all developed a rapport, a friendship, not simply a collegial association. He regretted Breha could never engage in that friendship, though later was glad she was spared. However much, her absence from the ring of friends was a hidden blessing, it left him with no one to whom he could resolve the loss. He missed all of them, including Anakin, but reminded himself, as always, the Anakin he knew, died the night the Empire was born. He was killed by Darth Vader, the Sith, Anakin had become. So why? Why was Ahsoka standing with Vader? How could she not see that this was not Anakin? Had she too been corrupted?

    “I’m sorry,” he said, recovering himself. “I...yes, this new position, even if it is a ruse, is significant. With Palpatine gone, and I think we can conclude, he is truly dead-got to give Vader due credit for the open forensics, still, I ...have a bad feeling about all this. If ‘His Majesty’ means to effect the reforms he claims he wants, or even if this is simply to shake up the Governing Moffs, he needs time. We get more time, the Moffs are too concerned about securing their own welfare. If we play into this, we might be able to glean information to which we could not otherwise get closer. Appearing that he is reinvesting in the Senate, Vader will have to meet with the leading councils and bureau heads, if only to dismiss them...” Bail said trying to catch a developing thought. “I have some resources available to me at the moment, that might bring us a little advantage,” he said with a slight smile.

    Bail paused for a moment and then added,“This is just not adding up. I don’t understand why Ahsoka. Why now, after all is this time? - We need to get to her.”

    ‘Ahsoka.’ Chuchi mouthed the name. Another confirmation that it was her. There had been some doubt… Why did she automatically dismissed that it was Ahsoka? Was it that she could not take the disappointment of being wrong? “At a time, we had been like sisters…” Chuchi stated softly. “I had thought we lost her and to see her… I thought it was Queen Vashee of Shili.. I wanted to believe it was someone else in case I... got my hopes up... and to be disappointed if it was not her.” Her gaze went to Bail, searching for confirmation. “Do we know if it is definitely her?”

    “You’ll be mildly amused when I say,” said Bail,”it was just something I sensed. Her mannerisms, the way she looked to him. There was this connection between them, it was so ...I don’t know how to put it. It’s possible I’m wrong, but I remember. She’s changed, matured, but that’s Ahsoka! You’re laughing in your sleeve?!”

    “It is possible… ” Chuchi had to grin. “Now that you’ve mentioned it, the mannerisms does line up... and on the monitors I saw she still had that necklace… and there was a lightsaber on her hip… But I still want to see her to be sure.”

    “Her japor snippet...yes...he carved it for her. I don’t exactly remember how I know that, but I do,” said Bail, now feeling confident he had properly identified Ahsoka Tano. “Look, Riyo, if it is her, what do you think it means?”

    “I…” Chuchi paused and glanced back the way they had walk, the flow of senators and representatives had thinned as most had milled out to go to their own important places to be or groups to confer with. She hesitated as she thought about what she knew of the Togruta and compared to now and what she knew of Anakin/Vader. “The timing… something must have happened… she must know something… I…” She glanced back to Bail. “She looked healthy and no sign of distress… so she was not against her will… as far as we know.” She quickly added. “She is intelligent and I don’t think she was there without a good reason if we haven’t heard anything about her since… well… I think there was something on Mandalore around when we had that blockade seven years ago.” She bit the corner of her bottom lip, “We need to find out more. We need to spend time with her… to see, to gauge...”

    “AHEM...yes, so much to consider...I’m working with the Agriculture committee this term...” said Bail, suddenly and for some reason unknown to Riyo, changing the subject until she saw the Speaker approaching, his elaborate and costly robes assailed by members of the holo news. He appeared at once happy to be in the light and then annoyed, a harsh smirk on his face.

    “There is a lot to consider…” Chuchi said without skipping a beat. “...I am sure they’ll find a suitable location.”

    “I thought maybe we could discuss it. I’d like your suggestions..” continued Organa as he took Chuchi’s arm to walk them in longer strides past Amedda. As they turned the slowly curving way of the corridor, Bail blew out a held breath. “Well, I guess we will be seeing one another later?”

    “Of course…” Chuchi smiled. “You did offer me a ride back to the embassy so we can discuss more.”

    “Oh, yeah!?” he said grinning, taking a cautionary glance over his shoulder and trying to sound casual, “Or maybe you’re a freeloader...!” he said, teasing Riyo.

    “Maybe I love the feel of that red leather upholstery, the sleek finish of your speeder... how fast it goes…” She allowed an impish smile to appear. “... the wind in my hair...”

    “Our friendship is nothing more than a love of fine ride!” he said in mock tragedy and blushing at Riyo’s double intention, his eyes widening as he chuckled.

    “Something we both have a shared passion for.” Chuchi said as she patted his arm and not realizing his expression as she looked ahead. “...along with a couple of other shared interests too.”

    TAG: Open
     
  2. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    NPC Captain Jeri Coghlan
    ISD The Witch of Endor
    Outer Rim Territories


    A sizzling beam of green energy cut across the blackness of space. At least, it would have been sizzling if there was sound in space. Nevertheless, feeling the soft thrum under his feet, Jeri knew the way it would sound even as the short beam lost cohesion and disappeared, hitting nothing but black.

    "Put another shot across zero-point-38, Commander, and raise the ship," he said, not turning to look at his officers down below the gangway.

    They'd been chasing this smuggler for three days, and finally made contact with her. Reports had been coming in for months of piracy in the Outer Rim territories. There was a possibility that their base of operations was in the Unknown Regions. But, finding more than just wreckage and pillaged ships had been rare.

    "No response to communication, Captain," came a voice from below Jeri.

    Imperial Protocol, when in pursuit of an unknown enemy, required communication before firing. The massive Imperial Star Destroyer was clearly in service, and only a fool could mistake a turbo laser beam for a firecracker. Still, protocol was protocol.

    "Wide angle broadcast, commander," Jeri said. "Let them know who we are."

    The captain took a few steps closer to the durasteel barrier between the blackness of space and his main deck. The blockade runner was moving steadily, without wavering. It at least showed a steady hand on the controls. This wasn't your typical merchant.

    "No response, Captain."

    Jeri reflexively pulled at his mustache, bushy and well groomed. It was whiter now than it had been.

    They were forced into action.

    "Very well, Commander. Engage tracking beam," he said turning. "Colonel, it looks like we'll need your services after all."

    A white clad storm trooper nodded, and followed in step behind the old man as he crossed the bridge to the turbo lift.

    *****

    "You can't do this! We're Imperial Citzens," a male Rodain shouted as he was pushed against the wall with his crew mates. "We demand you release us at once!"

    Jeri placed his hand behind his back and steeled a gaze at the Rodain. Not the captain, he decided. A large man stood next to him with his hands bound in front him.

    Nikto. Not the captain.

    He continued his inspection down the line, finally resting his eyes on a Rodian woman. She had her eyes cast down the floor, visibly trembling and looked like she just wanted to crawl into a hole somewhere.

    Not the Captain.

    Something just didn't feel right, but he couldn't place his finger on it. Smugglers? Slavers? What was her connection?

    Jeri's thoughts were interrupted by the return of Colonel Stanger. His armor clanked as he came to a stop.

    "Cargo hold is full, Captain. Medial supplies, food stuffs, and clothing," he reported. "It's certainly the cargo from the D'rime. No doubt."

    "Very well," Jeri turned back to the male Rodian. "As Imperial Citizens, you shall be tried as Imperial Citizens. The D’rime was on a diplomatic mission, carrying much needed supplies to the war-torn regions of the Outer Rim. Children are starving, sir, and you steal their bread."

    The Rodian's eye stalks swiveled and blinked. His snout open and closed without words.

    "Pirates are not wanted in this sector," Jeri continued.

    "Pirates! We're not pirates," the snout finally jumped back into life. "We're innocent."

    "Your cargo would say otherwise. Unless, you're about to tell me of your own humanitarian mission..."

    The eye stalks swiveled again, straight to the other Rodian. Her eyes remained down, and she remained quiet.

    "Colonel, put them in the brig under guard. Inform Command we'll be delivering the supplies to Sullust ourselves."

    *****

    Captain Jeri watched as cargo transports had landed back in the large docking bay of the ISD Witch of Endor.

    As the Clone War had raged on, so did the criminal elements of the Galaxy. To some degree they were tolerated. The Black Market was a way to fight the CIS, and the Empire had also utilized smugglers and criminal groups throughout the war to make up for their deficiencies in the fleet as they built it up during wartime navy. As the Republic before it, peace was a gray area and anybody who thought otherwise didn't know how the universe had worked for millennia.

    However necessary criminals were to a war effort, there was still a line when wrong was wrong. Thieves and murderers, smugglers and pirates...they had no place in a safe and secure Galaxy.

    Here in the Outer Rim territories, the Empire had been busy policing and patrolling. Sure, some places like Eradiu had their own defense forces, but most were left alone. The CIS didn't care what they were destroying.

    Jeri was proud to be one of the captains in this duty. War was for younger men. Let them fight the machinations of the droid armies. Best he could do was to be out here, fighting for what the Empire was supposed to stand for.

    He was an old man, at the edge of the Empire's reach. But he had a ship. He had a crew that admired him. And, all because of that, children were going to sleep well with a full stomach tonight.

    "Long Live the Emperor," he said as the last door closed.

    Now, to get back to his prisoners, and see how they came across this cargo in the first place.


    TAG: No one
     
  3. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    Co- GM Approved




    [​IMG]

    CS Short Form
    Name: Fouche
    Gender: Male
    Age: 42
    Race: Human
    Personality: Gruff. Smart-alleck. Efficient. Arrogant. Introspective, selfish, charming, intelligent and horribly without morals at times.
    Weapons: A small blade on his person, but proficient in many types of combat
    Ship: No personal ship
    Bio: Fouche was a stereotypical young fool that got into more trouble than he had money and friends put together. He was the kind of kid always on the outskirts of social circles growing up, but adept at terrorizing them when he needed something. One wouldn’t call him a bully, as much as they could call him an opportunist at the expense of others.

    Growing up Corulag, it was how he had to survive. An Inner Core planet, Corulag was loyal to the Republic and later supremely loyal to Empire, even hosting one of the first Imperial Academies.

    By the time of the Clone War, Fouche had proved ill-equipped for civilian-life, ill intended for military life, and worse off romantically. Content to keep to himself, and care for himself, he used his ability of working people to get by on a sufficient income.

    As much as fan of a long con as he was a quick pickpocket, Fouche would often change his roles more than one time in a day toward his goals - ships, money, weapons, credits…it didn’t really matter. What did was that he wanted it and he found a way to get it.

    When the Clone Wars started, Fouche started out the outside, picking pieces from the war-mongers and the pacacifists alike. As they started raging, he found Corulag more and more confining, so he decided to up his game running a con an newly minted Moff as he started his governship.

    Long story short, he was caught, but the Moff took an interest in his skills and recruited him.

    Fouche later joined the ISB as an interrogator, but as that failed to prove truly challenging he started taking private assignments. At the height of the Empire, he is a full-ISB agent with field duty. Working as an arm of Imperial Intelligence, Fouche has turned his skills into a powerful career…but it’s one that is waining in its interest.

    CS Long Form
    Name: Fouche
    Gender: Male
    Age: 42
    Species: Human
    Home world: Corulag
    Affiliation: Empire
    Personality
    —Traits: Introspective, selfish, charming, intelligent and horribly with morals at times.
    —Likes: Getting what he wants from people who don’t want to give it to him.
    —Dislikes: Failure. Sameness. Other Intelligent people.
    —Habits: Prone to playing a game just to play it, as well as with people for the same reasons. Lean and athetic from a life-time of keeping himself in shape.
    Appearance
    ---Skin Color: Tanned
    ---Hair Color: Black with grey streaks, kept long but not to his neck or shoulders.
    ---Eye Color: Hazel
    —Clothing: It depends on the his assignment, often stays in form-fitting black with concealment options.
    ---Other Attributes: Usually a day or more of scruff on his cheeks. Boyish smile with a wicked grin.
    ---Other Details: Meticilous with details, but often misses the big picture. Too caught up in how something effects him, he often misses the larger implications of any given action. Is known to paint himself into corners.
    Weapons: Hold out blaster. Small blade in his belt. A multitude of others when necessary.
    Starship
    ---Name:
    ---Class:
    ---Hyper drive Class:
    ---Weapon(s):
    ---Shields:
    ---Sub light Speed:
    ---Crew:
    ---Passenger(s):
    ---Max Cargo (kg):
    ---Interior Description:
    ---Other Details:

    Biography
    ---Personal History: Fouche was a stereotypical young fool that got into more trouble than he had money and friends put together. He was the kind of kid always on the outskirts of social circles growing up, but adept at terrorizing them when he needed something. One wouldn’t call him a bully, as much as they could call him an opportunist at the expense of others.

    Growing up Corulag, it was how he had to survive. An Inner Core planet, Corulag was loyal to the Republic and later supremely loyal to Empire, even hosting one of the first Imperial Academies.

    By the time of the Clone War, Fouche had proved ill-equipped for civilian-life, ill intended for military life, and worse off romantically. Content to keep to himself, and care for himself, he used his ability of working people to get by on a sufficient income.

    As much as fan of a long con as he was a quick pickpocket, Fouche would often change his roles more than one time in a day toward his goals - ships, money, weapons, credits…it didn’t really matter. What did was that he wanted it and he found a way to get it.

    ---Military History: Joined the ISB to avoid a prison sentence when a con on a Moff didn’t go as planned. Apparently, there are only a few Grand Admirals in the Empire, and everyone knows who they are. Who knew?

    Fouche gets himself in trouble often, and has shown a lack of ability to follow a chain of command. It’s suspected he has, at the very least, allowed events that have led to the death or capture of four of his partners and one handler.

    Nevertheless, when he is engaged or interested in the work, Fouche is a top agent that has a knack for being in the right place at the right time - whatever a mess he may create on his way there.

    Results can’t be argued with. Collateral is negotiable. Consequences are manageable.

    He’s been in the ISB for 3 years now, but is finding his interest waining as the war trudges on year over year.


    ---Traumatic Experiences: Being born poor. Only child, but he wouldn’t see it as traumatic.
     
  4. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    Grand Admiral Magnus Carthaginian
    Federal District, Coruscant


    The middle-aged Grand Admiral exited his skycar with a slight nod to his driver. With his aid Sinjir off gathering the information he had requested, Magnus had been flying solo prior to the upcoming reception.

    He pulled taut the front of his crisp white uniform before ascending the steps of the grandiose building in front of him. Deep in the hustle and bustle of Core Square - the prestigious “Triangle of Power” that made up the Empire’s political district - were thousands of offices, suites and even some residences. Though, many here had the power and influence to get larger, more lavish homes outside the District, the ease of being close to work was a high selling point. Magnus’ own uncle, a Senator, had a second residence about an hour outside the District that he frequented when the Senate was in session.

    Magnus made his way inside the office building and to the lift, chiming in his request softly on the keypad. He clasped his hands behind him slowly as the lift started its climb to the top of the building to the foremost office.

    The Tempest was not yet on the horizon, but that conjuror of storms, Emperor Anakin Skwalker, was about to introduce a very dangerous element to the landscape. Magnus was not unaware of his place in the spectrum. Born of a long storied family forged right here on Corsucant, the Carthaginians had always known something of being close to the seat of power. Senators, ambassadors, lobbyists, ministers…all over thousands of years. Magnus, a Grand Admiral of the Imperial Fleet, had proved no different - neither to his surprise nor arrogance. It was bound to happen when one’s own childhood is spent amongst the elite, that it would be natural to one day find themselves there.

    However, Magnus also knew that his position was one of perception. As Grand Admiral of the Imperial Navy, he had the power to oversee millions of lives across hundreds of ships. Out there, commanding Vader’s Onslaught sub-fleet and the Third Fleet, his power could be seen as absolute - excepting Vader’s commands, of course. However, outside of that sphere what power he had was not as far reaching.

    On Coruscant, apart from the military, he was simply another member of the weapons of the Empire. When the war was at its height, and perhaps even now with the war ending, he would enjoy some prominence as patriotism held strong. But, the very same things that gave him power in the fleet, left him impotent at home. He held no true political power. Nevertheless, what granted someone true power wasn’t what they had the authority to do, but the will and means to do. Influence was entirely a system of checks and balances, where each action or inaction could raise or lower the amount. It was as much a fortune as literal credits, and could be lost just as quickly.

    For example, Magnus had hitched his wagon to Vader. His clout had increased when he agreed to be protector of the Re of Ursea, to serve the Empire, and to obey the will of the Executor of the Empire. Vader was second only to Palpatine, but agreeing to be loyal to him had not placed Magnus any higher on that political spectrum. There were others that had third, fourth, even tenth place. Magnus was not close to power, but had access to it. He was outside that realm. Nor did he wish to be in the seat of governmental power. He had no wish to be king, emperor, or any such title.

    Nevertheless, being loyal to Vader did have prestige. Commander of Vader's forces was no small title. However, that very same title's currency was based on the view of the beholder. To those that served Anakin, the position was a strong one. To those that hated or challenged Anakin, Magnus' position was that of a lap dog. This was particularly so now that he had ascended to the throne. Grand Admiral or no, Magnus could be perceived as nothing more than a show piece.

    Everyone hates a good example, thought Magnus as the doors to the lift opened. Two black glad private security guards stood at the entrance and a secretary sat at a modest desk. She knew him, confirmed his credentials and buzzed the door. The guards parted, never taking their gaze off from him.

    "Gentleman," he said as he passed them into the large opulence that was the office of Moff Chadwick Thorley.

    For everything that was true of Magnus' lack of political clout, Chadwick was the polar opposite. Both from noble families here on Coruscant, they'd come up together in school. Chums through their young adulthood, and moving in the same circles, they'd stayed close throughout the years. At some point, their lives had diverged. Whereas Magnus had joined the military and risen through the ranks, Chadwick had stayed in the Core after a short military career to work in the public and private sector. He'd been a vigorous barrister in his youth, then a magistrate here on Coruscant, and worked for COMPOR at the start of the Clone Wars.

    It was there that he'd made his mark. As a voice of justice and unwavering zeal for lawfulness, he'd fit right in with the propaganda message of COMPOR and their support of the then Supreme Chancellor. Losing his first wife as a casualty of a police shootout on Corellia had only furthered his ire against crime and weakness. When COMPOR was reformed into COMPNOR and their influence grew to include admirals, senators, and governors, Chadwick's voice grew, as did his patriotism. Ultimately, he was awarded the position of Moff by Palpatine.

    Over the years, Magnus had thought Chadwick had lost his way, and didn't remain as close to him. He was a demon. But every government needed demons, and anyone that thought that all of those in power should be the beacon of light and peace had obviously never been in politics, or outside the fairytales their mommy told them.

    At this very moment, the demon-man was in his forties and looking lost in the glass of whiskey he held in his hand. The Corsucant skyline stretched out behind him in a large 180-degree window tinted against the sun's rays. Chadwick was rounder than when Magnus had last seen him. Not fat, but certainly allowing the pudge to come out behind his olive green uniform, and his comb over was doing no one any favors.

    "Chaddy," Magnus sing-songed as he walked through the open door. "I'd hoped for a better welcome."

    "There's the bottle," Moff Thorley responded, not looking up from the glass he caressed with his thumb.

    "It's a start."

    Magnus pulled down the back his uniform, hearing it snap to attention, before walking to the decanter and pouring himself a small amount in front of the window. It was clear Chadwick was drinking enough for both of them, and Magnus expected to need his wits sharp for this evening at the reception.

    ”You were there," asked Thorely after some time, still caressing his glass.

    "At Kalee? Yes, along with my fleet. The Halycon performed admirably, if I do say so myself. The theatre was one of the more interesting I've seen. You recall the Battle of Malastare? With the way the Battle seemed to have a very soul that lashed out at whatever we presented it?"

    "Yes. I recall."

    "Worse," Magnus said, tracing the traffic to the Imperial Palace.

    "The reports are true then?"

    "About the Emperor? Yes, my friend, he did in fact enter the battle under a guise. We had no idea he'd entered the fray until the events began to unfold. Rescue operations, heriosism...all that...we were there."

    "You should have a medal, Mag."

    Magnus chuckled at the childhood nickname and the comment laced in sarcasm.

    "No need. Service and recognition are its own reward. We don't need medals to show we know how to do what is necessary."

    "Yes, but they do shine so," Thorley said, spinning the glass and watching the whiskey swish.

    "Trinkets," Magnus disagreed.

    He watched as the traffic lanes continued their orderly transit over the spanning square, and followed them to the Senate.

    "Where you there," he asked the Moff.

    "The bombing? No. I was in a meeting in another District," Chadwick replied not looking up. "The wife's dressmaker was there for a private fitting, apparently, and lost her arm. I'll have to get a new one."

    "A dressmaker?"

    "Wife," Chadwick said downing his whiskey.

    He spun his chair around and faced Magnus for the first time.

    "So, what brings you in Mag? It's been a some time."

    "Yes," Magnus paused to sip at his whiskey to gather his thoughts. "But these are the times that matter. I saw you at the Address today."

    Chadwick hurumphed, and turned his back to the window again, reaching for the decanter.

    The Grand Admiral left the window to place himself back in front of the Moff.

    "Come now, Chaddy, don't tell me that you were hurt. You have thicker skin than that, and can't argue your brethren are wholly innocent."

    "Innocence has nothing to do with it. Peace. Order. Justice. There is a price to be paid to get it," he said pointing at his desk with each syllable.

    "Yes, yes. And one you've no doubt paid, my friend, but one hopes it was just a down payment."

    Chadwick met Magnus' gaze. He was no fool. He would be able to see where this was going. Times were changing, and this was not a time for weakness. Anyone that heard the new Emperor's speech and calls for reform knew that a line was being drawn in the sand. Those that supported the new regime and those that were going use this moment to advance their own interests. The Moffs had been called out in all but name, and that would stir the serpents among them. But, Moff Chadwick Thorley was no serpent. He was a demon.

    "You know as well as I do that this is just the beginning, Chaddy," Magnus said. "Skywalker is no mere soldier. He knows how to pick his battles, and forgive me for saying so, but he had his share of teachers from the Jedi to Palpatine."

    "COMPNOR, Sector Moffs, veto power," Chadwick counted each off on his fingers. "He can dismantle the Empire right here."

    "Or evolve it, my friend. After Rebecka -"

    "No," Chadwick stopped him.

    Magnus held up a hand and nodded.

    "I'm simply pointing out that you more than anyone can appreciate the irony of protectors that cause more harm than they prevent."

    "You side with him then," Chadwick said.

    "There is only one side, Chaddy," Magnus paused to hold up three fingers, smiling with each word. "Peace. Order. Justice."

    Thorley didn't acknowledge his own words being parroted back to him. Instead he focused his gaze back on the whiskey in his glass.

    Magnus had to be careful. He wasn't campaigning for Anakin or for the new regime. He was simply feeling out the horizon. The war may be won, but the battle was coming home. Who the players were wasn't sure yet, and to what end they would partake also wasn't clear. What was sure was that the Empire's leadership had the most to lose - the Moffs, the Ministers, Admirals, Generals, and further down the ladder as a trickledown.

    Moff Thorley was one of them. To be honest, Magnus was one of them if things didn't fall correctly.

    "You'll be long on Corusant, Mag," asked Thorely, changing the subject.

    "Possibly," Magnus nodded. "Or gone tomorrow. You know the service. Yourself?"

    "I'll may head back sooner than planned."

    "Perhaps I'll look you up, old friend. We shouldn't remain strangers in these trying times."

    "Are they trying," Thorley asked downing his next glass of whiskey.

    "Positively judicial, Chaddy."

    "Hm. Well, keep your nose clean, Mag."

    "I intend to," Magnus said, putting the glass down. "For the good of the Empire."

    Thorley nodded solemnly, and leaned back in his chair. It creaked slightly under his changing weight. He was beginning to sweat, probably more from the alcohol than from stress. He rocked the chair back and forth a few times.

    "Recall that time at school..." He started and paused to look at the window. "When those Chandrillians came spouting their holier than thou philosphy? They even arranged a non-violent protest...a sit in they called it."

    Magnus nodded. They'd been no more than 13 or 14 years old at the time.

    "They refused to move. Just shouted their chanting rhetoric from the sitting position. They shouted and shouted, so loud we could hear them in our classroom. Yet, what actually happened wasn't change. They were eventually drowned out by the mid-day traffic and everybody forgot them."

    Chadwick paused to look at Magnus.

    "Everybody just forgot them, and nothing changed," he said simply. "Simple words don't alter minds. Actions...actions."

    "You are a man of action," Magnus nodded. "As am I. Let us just be sure we are not rushed to it."

    "You're getting at something."

    "I can't get anything by you," Magnus waived away the comment. "Nor would I try. I only came to caution my old friend that association can be its own crime."

    Chadwick let lose an evil knowing grin.

    "You want blood."

    "I want to wash my hands free of it, and I'd rather not have yours," Magnus said, standing.

    He faced the demon-man. In Chadwick's pursuit of justice, he had sullied his hands no doubt. His methods were extreme, but effective. He was "order" and "law" above all else. One didn't get where he was without breaking a few proverbial eggs.

    Magnus smiled and held out his hand.

    "Think about it. Perhaps I'll see you out there, old friend."

    "Hurumph."


    TAG: No one. Looking forward to the reception
     
  5. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    Co-GM APPROVED

    Name: Julien Leitman - dual runner - Pash and K_D

    --Age: 38
    ---Gender: Male
    ----Species: human
    -----Eye Color: Dark Blue, shades alter with sunlight
    ------Hair Color and Style: Trimmed and neat, a bit of a wave apparent as it is kept slightly longer than Imperial regulation.
    -------Skin Complexion: A healthy gold, not tan - but a hue of health and vibrance

    --------Clothing: Uniform of the Ursean Security Forces: Pale gray blue thigh length, pleated at the back center vent, stand up collar, large cuff, very wide lapels, single breasted; charcoal gray waist coat, also with lapels and cut close to the neck single breasted, cream colored leggings/breeches tailored in a traditional “riding” style, not a jodhpur as are the breeches of the Imperial and Vader’s Black Guard (the Guard being based on early flying attire of the USF who were originally a special component of ground forces (cavalry) In fact, the Black Guard wear kilts of black and red in ceremonial parade on Ursa.)

    ---------Physique: Tall like many Urseans, broad shoulders, muscled. Stands close at six-foot even, weighing 225 lbs; most of the weight is due to his height and muscle.

    ----------Personality: Contemplative, sharp, quiet and sometimes sly humor, perceptive, gregarious, a man of few words but much wisdom. Not an overly religious man. Kind hearted and genuine.
    -----------Quirks: Though he is a very calm, collected man - he does have a slightly nervous or pensive habit of touching his face - but only at extreme times of mental obstruction. Be it pulling at his chin, rubbing his jaw, or even resting his head.
    ------------Force Sensitive: No

    Personal Ship
    -Name: The Katya
    --Class: Ursean Celestial-class Yacht
    ---Exterior Description: A smooth, 190 ft. square-rigged sailing vessel in the traditional Ursean design. Triple-masted, with sufficient speed of up to 15 nautical miles per hour. Wooden hull, with a dark red painted hull, the quarterdeck and sails carry a design of a flying creature, painted on the planking and the canvas.
    ----Interior Description: A quiet reading room, fit with a grand piano and seldom touched cello, of which he scrapes at on small occasion when alone. A single head in an aft compartment. A sufficient galley for both entertainment and cooking. Dual cast-iron stoves with a working kitchen and running water from pumps in the mid-ships cargo room.
    -----Weapon Systems: none, unless you count the gas aboard the attached yawl boat and a chest full of sidearms in the hold.
    ------Crew Compliment: At the very least, a party of ten men safely.
    -------Hyperspace Capability: Now, this would be fun...but....
    --------Misc. Specs: The Ursean Flag bears off the main mast, the Imperial flittering from a single jib line when necessary. A two-foot tall brass bell on the quarterdeck. A full compliment of life preservers in the event of an emergency. No communications equipment (hint, hint - he goes here and he's unavailable for communication). A small, outboard motor that may be mounted upon necessity, but has never been used by Leitman. Sufficient enough hold to carry enough provisions for a month long voyage on elegant food, or three month on hardtack and Ursean Port.

    Biography (We suggest your history be brief. Please state your military experience if applicable, also please state any trauma that effects your character's actions or personality.)

    -Brief History: Grew up on pastoral Jupe, a full and healthy life in the peaceful System of Ursa. Fell in love with the neighboring farmer’s daughter. Married, had two children - a boy and a girl. The boy was eldest and admired his father, always promising to be serving along with him among the stars. Their home, Julien built by hand in his own way, a picture of beauty and craftsmanship. His hobby was word working and he was quite skilled.
    He lost everything when Jupe was destroyed - the only woman he ever loved, his pair of darling children, estate and belongings, and a large portion of self. He has since, never picked up another tool other than the ones along with his duty. He's become immersed in his work - his office on Kavala becoming his home.

    --Military History: Fought in the Trade War with nearby Trima System, 1st Battle of Malove. Brought into the Imperial sub-fleet Onslaught by the Re and is now Commander of the USF.

    ---Traumatic Experiences: The destruction of his home world, Jupe, and his extended family at the vindictive and maniacal hands of General Grievous.
     
  6. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    IC: Mother Superior Gaius Helen Mohiam, Grand Inquisitor Fyodor Karamasoff, Director Aurelius
    Eagle’s Nest, Kaladan

    The Mother Superior sat behind the desk in her room of the Eagle’s Nest, the bunker built in within the Atlas Mountain near Kala City. They had been there for several hours now, since the outsiders started this blockade of the Union. She felt boxed in, trapped, but could not show any weakness. She could leave at any time she wanted, just take a shuttle and go back to the Sisterhood Sanctuary on Wallach.

    She was rattled by the conversation with the duchess and the Emperor. It revealed something that worried her… A knock on the door took her out of her thoughts.

    “Come in...” she said.

    The elderly Grand Inquisitor, her co-conspirator, entered. She could see the concern on his face as he was present at the conversation, but stayed away from the holoprojector as to avoid being seen.
    “I came to check on you, are you alright Gaius?” the question was almost endearing so the Mother Superior smiled warmly.

    “I am doing fine...” she sighed and indicated for him to sit in the empty chair. “But I am worried, this conversation revealed something… It seems the external influence in the Sisterhood is greater than anticipated.”

    Fyodor frowned slightly “I figured that out as well. I wonder whether it is the same for the Inquisition. It was quite a revelation. Do you think it is the girl?”

    The Mother Superior pondered for a moment then shook her head “No, she is smart, but not that much.” she smiled sardonically “Besides this is an operation that have been done decades, even centuries ago.”

    “Also she seemed genuinely upset, she revealed a weak point...” he offered.

    “No, the girl is a Jedi, they are off-limits.” the Sisterhood was founded by one and there was always a superstitious fear and respect towards them.

    “But the Masked Lady…” he tried to interject.

    “The Masked Lady might not be bound by the same constraints, but we are. Besides we are not her slaves or lackeys.” the Mother Superior stopped him. “I fear something else is going on, I start to feel that we are on the losing side of this conflict.” her face showed her preoccupation.

    Fyodor frowned “What do you mean?”

    “I feel that we are being constantly pushed back, whatever we try it blow back. And now a confirmation that I am losing control of the Sisterhood.” she paused as he put his hand on hers, which was a surprise. Such compassion from an Inquisitor? It was easy for people to view them as heartless monsters, but that was far from the truth.

    “To tell the truth I have been feeling the same way for some time too.” he added. “Though I doubt they will take us back, besides we can't swear fealty to the girl.”

    She nodded “That will be against all our principles...”

    “Did you hear about the Chief of Police of Kala City?” he was one of the Enlightened.

    “No, what happened?” she arched an eyebrow.

    “Apparently he was assassinated in front of his house.” he stated flatly.

    “The game has entered another stage, if I remember correctly he was related to a local Investigator hero? So it is not a coincidence...” the Mother Superior pondered outloud.

    Fyodor nodded “And there are rumors that he was set on the hunt for us.”

    Mother Mohiam frowned, that did not make sense, what a Kala City Investigator be able to achieve. No matter how successful and good he was, there was nothing he could do. Their Kaladan operation was bigger than the capital city. There was more and they would have to find out soon enough if they were to survive.

    ********

    CSS Headquarters, Tyran

    The Director was satisfied from this development. He did not give the order to kill Sunwalker, just to rattle her, but that was the problem with dealing with thugs. The Bene Gesserit should have been enough, but the duchess’ sister was craftier than anticipated but the situation worked out nicely, despite the fact that she survived the encounter. No matter, that was probably for the best.
    At least now the duchess will have a legal reason to purge the armed forces from all unwanted elements. Of course the ones who decide to work for them will stay. The only problem was that the Enlightened knew that they are not fully in control, but that was unimportant at the moment as either way they would have found out. The pros outweighed the cons.

    The Duchess needed to learn not to be hindered by such concerns likes friends and family. She needed to outgrow them if she was to become the first Queen of the Union. Of course she must not do it lightly, but the result must be the same. She had accepted her role in what happened to her father, though she was quick to exploit it by removing the Baron Ordonnen. Then what happened to the archduke Moritani and the ongoing plans for her uncle Paulus. Admittedly Dennii has beneficial effects on her, so she will live… for now.

    The Director sighed silently and turned his attention to what he was reading before the call. It was the report of the new heirs of House Ordonnen and Moritani. That was a very old operation, which finally paid off. Every House Major had a secret heir in case all members were killed. The secret heirs did not know their true identities, only their “foster parents” and the Bene Gesserit knew and most of them led their lives without ever learning their true identities. It took many decades for the CSS to find the list of the current ones, but twenty years ago they had a lucky break. Then it was relatively easy to convince the duke Atreides to take those two children to be among the others who were brought to Castle Kaladan to receive their education.

    Every House Major took the children, with their parent’s consent, of Houses Minor, the Houses Militant or the Trading Houses to obtain a very extensive education that covered all they needed to rule their respective households. Of course it also entailed a very soft form of conditioning… learning to love the House Major they served. Of course Duke Leto did not know the true identities of those two children as it would have ruined the CSS’ plans. It was recently when he informed the Duchess of it. The Director smiled from the memory of how she tried to conceal her excitement of the prospect, to have the unquestioning loyalty of the potential heirs of these two Houses Major. It was an easy task to nudge the Baron to try and overthrow the Atreides rule and be defeated in the process leaving no heirs… Then came the Archduke turn, it was a more convoluted plot, but the Enlightened took the bait and used Moritani’s resources to try and kill Lawson Atreides in his first days as an Imperial Ensign “forcing” the Duchess to arrest and deport him. He too had no heirs. With the support of these two Houses it would be an easy job of garnering support for the Duchess’ elevation to a Queen.

    With each passing moment they were getting closer and closer. But now was the time for caution, take things step by step as the enemy is now aware that they are being cornered and will surely lash out. That was when they were most dangerous, cornered, fighting for their lives. But that was only delaying the inevitable.

    TAG: To be continued
     
    HanSolo29 and pashatemur like this.
  7. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    OOC:Huh....then it deleted my actual post. Haha. Guess this one needed another re-write anyway.

    Admiral Julien Lietman
    Commander of the Ursean Security Forces
    Courtyard, Ursean Embassy, Coruscant

    The large Ursean male folded the piece of flimsy he had been writing on, and placed it into his single-breasted waistcoat. Dressed in his uniform in all but his heavy pale blue grey jacket - which was folded neatly over the bench he was sitting on - Lietman took a moment to reflect. It was the first moment he had taken for himself in hours, so many that had run together from the past few days. Even coming to this garden in the Embassy had been an attempt at solitude, but still meant fielding numerous coms and requests from his subordinates that had found him.

    As Commander of the Ursean Security Forces, Lietman oversaw all facets of system and planetary forces in the eight-planet Ursa system. However, having participated in what the media was calling the “Last Battle of the Clone War”, his office on Kavala was dealing with the brunt of the work in-system in his absence.

    With the battle over, Lietman had returned to Coruscant with the Imperial fleet. The battle itself had seen the loss of many lives - as is usually the case in War. It is a rare conflict that doesn’t pay dearly the cost of living, breathing sacrifices. The advancing force had been massive - made up of multiple fleets. The Empire brought a huge offensive to Kalee and the planet had been a nest of machinations that lashed out, ultimately ending with the destruction of the CIS super weapon the Killing Moon and the loss of Imperial forces in the process.

    Amidst that carnage had been many Ursean lives. Many of Ursa’s finest young men and women had left the protection of their own system in recent years to fight for the Re’s causes. They’d joined the Empire and many served on ships in Vader’s Onslaught Sub-fleet, which had commanders made up of largely Urseans.

    As commander of the USF, Lietman often worked in liaison with the Empire, and this battle had proved no different. In fact, being a part of the larger galactic whole had been a newer experience for the Urseans but something that they were proving more and more adept at.

    Largely isolationist during the Republic era, the planetary system had enjoyed its own sovereignty. They had a rich history, a way of life, philosophers, and state religion. Their art was lauded throughout the Galaxy, with much of it on display here at the Embassy. However, even in isolation and self rule, they were not without tragedy. It seemed that the past years had been especially devastating. They'd come to know death as a people, regularly feeling its pang.

    A matriarchal society, where the queen acted as religious leader and ruler, tragedy started when the Re Piotr and Reina Sophia were assassinated, and their daughter Marie-Celeste would take up the throne even as she remained ill from a private disease few knew about. Her guardian had been none other than Dantius Palpatine, later Sheev Palatine and Emperor.

    Later, when Dantius had left to serve as Senator for his native Naboo and Supreme Chancellor, the Urseans had remained neutral in the Clone War. They were, however, nutrient and economically rich as a system, which brought interest from the CIS. They'd invited them to join their cause, and when Ursa refused, the CIS attempted to conquer them instead. This attack of treachery is what brought the Jedi Anakin Skywalker to them. The Jedi Council had appointed him as Security Advisor, and he’d endeared himself to the Urseans during his work in the First Battle of Malove. However, despite help from the Jedi Advisor, the pastoral planet of Jupe was destroyed by Grievous, dealing an economic blow the system not so long after they'd been dealt a religious and political one.

    After the formation of the Empire, Skywalker-turned-Vader would marry Celeste. To the Galaxy, bringing Ursa into the fold had been a victory because of their wealth to support the war effort. But Ursa continued to bleed lives as much as credits in the Clone War that tore the whole Galaxy asunder.

    The royal family had been struck itself when a failed assassination attempt by the insurgent group The Alliance to Restore to Republic had near-fatally injured the Infanta. Ursa’s friend and supporter Dantius Palpatine had rushed to Kavala to save her. To what end, Lietman was unaware, but he she went from being nearly lost to being the same sweet girl he’d seen running the palace.

    Now, Palpatine himself had died in the final battle of the Clone War, ending an era and with the Re Anakin Skwalker taking up the Imperial throne, Ursa was being thrust wholly into the public eye. For so long they had enjoyed their isolation, their ability at self-rule even during the age of the Empire, but now the galaxy was watching.

    Lietman knew all too well himself the pangs of death and destruction. During that First Battle of Malove, his wife and daughter were on the breadbasket planet Jupe when it was destroyed. The pain it caused him thrust him into his work whole-souled then, not unlike the way he’d been pouring ever lasting bit of energy into the past few days.

    Since leaving the battlefield, Lietman had been gathering the names of the fallen Urseans in the Imperial fleet. He’d been making personal comms to each of their immediate families for countless hours. He knew the pain of losing someone close to you, and he didn’t want anyone to receive the message via the usual automatic condolence letters that the Empire would be sending out in the next few days as deaths became “official.” It was cold and impersonal, and the families deserved more than that.

    Lietman’s emotions had been tapped dry. He had talked to too many stricken fathers and mothers in the past few hours, and he felt at a loss himself. The room in his office was spinning, so he came here to the garden, where his mission followed him. Knowing that there were still parents to call, wives and husbands to console, he couldn’t tear himself from the work.

    He closed his eyes, wishing for the fountain to drown out his thoughts, but it proved too quiet. Perhaps it was meant to be soothing, but in this moment it simply sounded like a whisper against the raging emotions he had allowed to escape. It’d proved impossible, and irreverent of their loss, not to touch at the scar he had on his own heart from his own loss while trying to give his respects to theirs.

    Regarding his work, in addition to the comms he’d been making, the past few hours had been a logistical nightmare.

    The Royal family of the Reina of Ursa, the Infanta and the Re had come to Coruscant, had been publicly seen in a brief ceremony on the Parade Grounds to escort the body of the Fallen Emperor, and now were preparing for a grand reception for the new Emperor. Though the Imperials had taken the brunt of the security work, Lietman’s office here had been busy.

    The Imperials, ever protective of their way, hadn't enjoyed seeing the Ursean Royal Black Guard so prominent since their arrival. Too, with Vader's subfleet commanders made up of largely Ursean captains and even including Ursean craft in their docking bays, there were unfamiliar faces, security protocols and ships in the skies of Coruscant, and the unknown wasn’t always appreciated - particularly when it came to security.

    For the most part, it had all gone smoothly. A few bruised egos here and there on both sides, but Lietman had been able to put out most fires.

    Still, it had been difficult and Lietman was both eager for his bed, but unwilling to succumb to it. He still had comms to make and there was still the reception this evening. He knew he must look a mess, but he had a responsibility to his people, his Reina and Re, and to himself.

    “Gruss Seel,” came a voice from next to him.

    Lietman peaked open one eye to see an officer standing next to him, tall with his hands firm at his side.

    “Apologies for disturbing you, Admiral,” he said. “There is a Imperial Security Bureau officer here to discuss arrangements for this evening.”

    Lietman opened his other eye and smiled at the young man.

    “Very well,” he replied in his heavily accented, deep baritone. “I will come presently. Show him to my office.”

    The officer departed as Lietman slowly rose to his feet. In front of him stood a swooping art - a piece of stone and wood that seemed to both at one angle to be a teardrop and a crashing wave from another. Lietman put a dark, tanned hand on the shape and felt down its smooth surface.

    “Back to work,” he said to himself, and tapped the golden plaque that read “In Memorial for the Victims of the Jupe Massacre.”


    TAG: Imperials, the Royal family, anyone
     
  8. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Aryan Graul and Glora Ruusel (NPC)
    Senatorial Offices, Government District, Coruscant

    “I think it’s a mistake, Aryan,” the woman muttered bemusedly as her index finger scrolled across the screen of the datapad cradled in the nook of her arm. “The bureaucrats have already expressed their concerns over the legitimacy of the special election, and if they squawk loud enough, it’s only a matter of time before the Ruling Council will feel obligated to launch an investigation of their own. I know you trust the Prime Minister, and she’s your friend, but you need to consider the implications if this thing goes south.” She pursed her lips and glanced up briefly from the document she was viewing to regard the man standing behind the desk. “If this incriminates her, they’ll most certainly find a trail leading back to you as well.”

    Aryan Graul, recently-elected Senator of the Corellian System, stretched to his full height and sighed as he lightly pounded his fist against the wood finish that comprised the surface of his desk. He noted the look of disdain that accompanied the woman’s last statement, a telltale sign that she knew his secret. But was that really so surprising? There was very little that Glora Ruusel didn’t already know about him. She was his Chief of Staff, after all, and a very intuitive one at that. With blond hair pulled back tightly at the nape of her neck, crystalline blue eyes and a body that accentuated all the right places, she was the perfect specimen of feminine beauty. Many had speculated that he had chosen her for the position for that fact alone, but in truth, Glora was a real hard case – ever meticulous with her work and particular to the point of obsessive. Some of his junior staffers had even started referring to her as ‘the tyrant’ behind her back; others were simply afraid of her. She was tough, but she knew how to keep this little operation running smoothly. That was all that mattered.

    Now, if only she could control her paranoia, Aryan thought with a wan smile.

    “So, what is it you suggest, Glora?” he drawled in a tone that seemed to indicate that he was growing tired of this conversation. He had other important matters to attend to, such as tidying up his new office.

    “Keep your distance,” she cautioned, worry lines clearly evident on her soft features. “Back away and let things play out naturally back home. Without a—“

    “You think by getting involved, it makes me look guilty,” he stated evenly, cutting her off in mid-sentence.

    She nodded.

    “Hell, Glora, I do it because I care!” he snapped and lowered himself into his chair, quickly swiveling around to face the panoramic window overlooking the Coruscant cityscape. The sun was just beginning to set behind the spires of the distant skyscrapers, causing the glare to reflect back into his eyes. He involuntarily winced and lowered his head to combat the onslaught. “It’s not like I’m meddling in things that are outside of my jurisdiction; it’s within my right to speak up when I see that the Ruling Council isn’t doing their job. I worked hard to obtain this position. I’m not going to allow a bunch of government officials – who are well passed their expiration date, I might add – to make baseless accusations against me. They have no proof!”

    Glora nodded again, seemingly content to let him talk and get it off his chest. She was willing to listen.

    “And then they have the audacity to bring Garrit into this.” He sighed and shook his head in disbelief. “It’s one thing to drag my name through the mud, but Garrit? Are they that tactless? Let the poor man rest in peace…”

    Garrit Pilleu had served as Corellia’s senator prior to the tragic bombing of the Senate building. According to the investigative reports, the late senator had been in his office suite on the twentieth floor with his staff when the blast hit, ripping a path of destruction through the structure and killing everyone within the fall zone. Aryan had read the reports, had seen the grisly images that first responders had snapped to document the event, and even if they had reached his ravaged body in time, there was no chance of survival. There was…nothing left. It was a deplorable end to a well-respected member of the legislature…and a good friend. In more ways than one, Senator Pilleu had served as Aryan’s mentor and his guiding light in times of trouble. He was the man responsible for introducing him to the world of politics and setting him on the path to greatness; it was a difficult loss to endure.

    And also unfortunate.

    As the demands of his job increased, Aryan found that he could not allot time to properly mourn his friend. That was something that should have riddled him with guilt, but in truth, he was surprisingly complacent over the whole thing. Through it all, he was one step closer to his goal.

    In the aftermath of the attack, the Corellian Prime Minister, alongside the Ruling Council, had convened to organize a ’special election’ to name Pilleu’s successor in the Senate. With years of experience as both a member of the Ruling Council and special counsel to Garrit himself, a victory for Aryan was all but guaranteed. It came as no surprise when the election results came in and reflected those early projections by quite a wide margin, but others within the Corellian bureaucracy were not so easily swayed. They suspected foul play, which is what spurred his Chief of Staff to hold this conversation with him today.

    “Keep in mind that they don’t suspect you of anything yet,” Glora explained only after Aryan had trailed off into silence. “Their sights are firmly set on the Prime Minister at this time; you are simply the innocent bystander, which is why I stress to you again the importance of keeping your distance.” She paused to jot something down on the datapad. “But even then, I do think you need to consider their perspective on this,” she added, almost as an afterthought.

    Slowly, Aryan spun the chair around to face her. While his expression remained pensive, one eyebrow lifted curiously, silently encouraging her to continue. He had a feeling he knew where this was going, but he wanted to be sure.

    “You’re essentially an outsider, Aryan.”

    Yup, he was correct with his assessment. The outsider talk again

    Resisting the urge to roll his eyes, he waved his hand dismissively. “I’ve lived in Coronet City for twenty years, and I’ve been up to my ears in Corellian politics for even longer. I think I’m duly qualified.”

    Ruusel sighed and placed a manicured hand on her hip. “But you’re not a ‘pure blood’, or whatever the correct term is. They’re not questioning your abilities to execute the duties of your office, it’s more about pride…heritage.” Pulling out one of the chairs at the foot of the desk, she finally sat down to be on his level and steadily met his gaze. “Try to imagine someone like yourself impeding on their turf, giving directives, imposing new legislature, and ultimately winning a timely election that places you at the forefront of galactic politics as their sole representative. In that sense, you have more influence than even the Prime Minister herself.”

    He smiled at that, but she simply ignored it. After assisting him for several years, she had grown accustomed to dealing with his inflamed ego and priggish attitude.

    “They see you as a threat, both literally and figuratively. The Corellians are a proud people, and they fear having someone who was not born on their soil in a position of power. What does that mean for them going forward? Will it change their way of life? Will it make them any less…Corellian?” She shrugged with her eyebrows. “Naturally, they think something must have gone terribly wrong. So, they turn to the source to find answers…”

    Inhaling deeply, Aryan brushed a finger across his lips, his brow furrowed in thought. “The election,” he muttered quietly. After a moment, he shook his head. “But the results were tallied under the Ruling Council’s supervision…it was fair.”

    “Was it?”

    He narrowed his eyes dangerously and leaned forward, propping his elbows on the edge of the desk. “What are you implying?”

    “All I’m saying is the Prime Minister was observed behaving erratically in the days leading up to the election. We’re both aware of her eccentric personality, but this wasn’t her usual fare. They believe she may have thrown the results in your favor.” At this, she inclined her head and set the datapad down so that she could cross her arms over her chest. The look she gave him was stern. She wanted the truth. “Is there something I should know about, Aryan?”

    His eyes turned to steel and bore into her with such intensity that it seemed as if he would physically push her back into the plush upholstery of the chair with looks alone. “You presume too much,” he asserted, his voice nothing more than a low rumble. “I haven’t seen her in months.”

    “In what way?” she challenged with a slight tilt of her head.

    Aryan inwardly cursed. He knew she would breach the subject sooner or later. His ‘secret’ with the Prime Minister had been a point of contention between him and his Chief of Staff for quite sometime. Could she not see the benefits of wanting to rub elbows with the political elite? Networking was the key to success in this business, and there was no telling what he could accomplish with the Prime Minister as one of his conquests.

    But of course, he knew Ruusel did not see things that way. The minute he had taken things beyond his tryst with the Prime Minister to explore other opportunities, she had viewed it as nothing more than an obsession. From her perspective, it was absolutely appalling to know that her boss regularly escaped on excursions to bed various political groupies, all of them wealthy and of high social status to ensure no liabilities. Those type of women had as much to lose as he did if rumors of their social engagements were to find their way to the tabloids. But why take that risk at all? What was the purpose? To gain power? Expand his influence? He smiled. It was all part of the territory. If you wanted to get ahead in the political arena, you had to play the game. He was not the first man to hold public office to catch a little action on the side, and he was far from the last.

    He knew that little fact would only disgust Glora even more. And yet, it was so deliciously ironic.

    While she did not approve of his repulsive behavior, she still continued to faithfully carry out her duties without complaint. Those duties included orchestrating these special kind of assignations at his request and concocting the cover stories to ensure that his wife remained ignorant of his extracurricular activities.

    It was too rich.

    As he studied her now, Aryan’s smile turned smug. “You, of all people, should know the answer to that question, Ms. Ruusel,” he spoke decisively as he relaxed back into the chair once more. “Remember, I can’t have my fun without your help. Do I really need to spell everything out for you?”

    Glora pressed her lips together with contempt and reached again for the datapad. He could see his response had been enough to deter her from her current line of questioning. He admired her loyalty, but she still had a lot to learn. Aryan watched with satisfaction as she tried to distract herself by perusing her notes.

    “Just...remember my advice, Aryan,” she relented with a sigh. “Stay clear until things are sorted out. Don’t drag yourself into this.”

    He spread his hands. “Of course.”

    She glanced up and offered a small smile, but she didn’t look convinced. She decided not to press the matter further. “Is there anything else you require right now?” she inquired, eager to leave the room. “There are a few things I still need to cross off my list before the reception.”

    Aryan began to shake his head in the negative, but then he stopped. Another thought occurred to him. “Actually, there is one more thing...”

    Rising from the chair, his Chief of Staff raised her brow and looked at him expectantly.

    “A stiff glass of Corellian Whiskey. Vintage.”

    Her brow furrowed, not following his line of thinking.

    “I have a feeling I’m going to need it to get through this evening,” he remarked with a wry grin lifting one corner of his mouth. “After the Emperor’s speech this afternoon, the vultures will be out in fullforce. Trust me on this one.”

    He started to rise to his feet, but then shook his head. “On second thought, better bring the whole damn bottle, Glora.”

    This time, she genuinely smiled. “Right away, Senator.”

    TAG: Open
     
  9. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    OC: Co-GM approved

    Name: Doctor Meril Blanik
    --Age: 38
    ---Gender: Female
    ----Species: human
    -----Eye Color: brown
    ------Hair Color and Style: Straight dark brown, knotted in a messy bun at her neck
    -------Skin Complexion: yellow
    --------Clothing: vaguely a uniform of drab green, pants and jacket, with a small guage knit shirt underneath.
    ---------Physique: Average height, fit.
    ----------Personality: dry witted, calm, matter of fact, analytical, not particularly feminine or hard. She rigs things and makes due when needed. Intellectually curious.
    -----------Quirks: Doesn’t care for fibrous green vegetables.
    ------------Force Sensitive: faint sensitivity, not developed.


    Biography: Grew up following her father and mother who had a freighter. Meril has a medical droid she has rigged to assist her in other daily matters besides medical - B-0.3, whom she calls, “Bob.”


    ---Traumatic The loss of her father in the war between the Republic and Sith..

    Affiliation: crew member, Icarus under Kaylee Miri






    Name: Se’Iva, Dominant
    --Age: 25
    ---Gender: Female
    ----Species: Previously unknown- Cha’ala, a winged humanoid with elfin features, opal skin, luminous wings which can carry her in flight
    -----Eye Color: Turquoise
    ------Hair Color and Style: platinum, long straight and usually worn in a single braid.
    -------Skin Complexion: opal
    --------Clothing: light, typically flowing
    ---------Physique: Tall, willowy.
    ----------Personality: forthright, strong, decisive, gentle, but fierce as a warrior, and demonstrates great fortitude and compassion
    -----------Quirks: As a dominant, she exudes confidence, but is not haughty. She is not used to wearing clothing and is very direct and forthright about things which stem from unfamiliarity with the social norms and customs outside of her own species
    ------------Force Sensitive: Yes


    Biography:
    Long had the Cha’ala kept to themselves in a secluded part of the galaxy, the Inner core. There, born as a dominant, Se’Iva lead in battle and governed as part of the Cha’ala collective, along with her brother, General Cho’etas. Once only colonies, the collective grew over millennia to required complete integration to thrive and grow. Then, beyond the core, war broke as the Sith madly pushed to crush the Old Republic. Searching for more resources, the Sith, Cairo Blade forced a small battle group of Republic ships into the core. Save Blade,very few survived. With cunning and deception Cairo aided the General in mounting a coup, hoping to take the collective into his control. Instead, Cairo awakened the Cha’ala and opened a gateway that should have remained closed.

    The Cha’ala, Blade discovered are a bio-technology-centered species, whose ships and weapons draw upon ambient forms of energy, they often do not need to search for fuel, and they can convert ambient energy into a phenomenal power. Kicking up a hornets’ nest, to escape, Blade failed and took his remaining followers and the dominant, Se’Iva, hostage, with her brother, Cho’etas, in dogged pursuit. Needing ships, Blade traveled to Hapes, where he hoped to work a double cross on old friends, particularly one named the “Corellian Outrider,” Rowan. In the uproar that ensued, Se’Iva helped heal Rowan and in return, the Outrider helped her escape Blade and the Hapes. What Blade failed to understand, was that Cho’etas meant to eradicate the Sith and those they had chased into the Core. The General will retrieve the dominant. What she holds within her cannot be lost and she must be recovered, above all. Yet, Cairo Blade left his mark on the Cha’ala, having sewn the seeds of discontent, and Cho’etas’ desire to preserve, has become the desire to claim.

    Now Se’Iva, against the will of the collective and recognizing her brother’s madness, intuits the dire consequences and alone ventures forth with a warning, earning her scars and friendships, as she travels with Rowan and his group.

    Befriending Rowan, Se’Iva enlisted his help to bring her to the Sith General Agrive Dur on Corellia, in hopes she can persuade him to resolve the threatened conflict.. Along the way, she meets Kal and Ariek, an old associate of Rowan’s, Brentalla the Besalisk, and Rowan’s closest friend, Kaylee. Meanwhile, Rowan, over several months, successfully lead a campaign to rout the Sith holding Corellia. His team excavated and captured the keys to Centerpoint Station.
    Se’Iva, having left Agrieve Dur, who, predictably turned a deaf ear to her pleas and tried to keep Se’Iva for himself, sought Rowan, again.

    The winged-creature, drew curious stares and found herself often fleeing capture to make it back to Rowan. While Se traveled over war-torn Corellia, Rowan was rallying support.The Corellian Jedi and CorSec started to come out of hiding to help. Ragged from her travels, Se found herself in the midst of battle, with a group who took her to the bombarded capital where fortune reunited Se and Rowan.

    Rowan, keys in “his pocket,” sought the Royal Family to contact Agrieve to demand a withdrawal, but Dur only responded by bombarding the Palace. Rowan removed Feye, the Princess at the time, to a safe house with important team members. Being reunited with Rowan allowed Se to rest and and to warn the leadership about the coming threat.

    Kal, having amassed a huge fleet, arrived at Corellia, hemming in the Sith and Republic forces, both forces successfully routed without the threatened use of Centerpoint Station. The campaign a success, Feye was instated as the new Queen and took Se’Iva to advise in the rebuilding and fortification of Corellia against the Cha’ala threat.

    Feye, learning that Rowan is her cousin, sought Rowan to recall him to the system so he would be officially recognised in Corellia and help rebuild Corellia after the ravages of war and bring stability to the newly reunited people. On the way back, however, the small armada was intercepted by a two-ship Cha’ala strike force. Rowan was able to shield the Queen, who made a successful jump, the Cha, prevented from following. Se’Iva, having stolen aboard Rowan’s flagship, Valhalla, was probably responsible for the Queen’s escape, as she was the target of the strike force.

    However, Rowen’s ship, Valhalla, her drive engine malfunctioning, the wrongly-projected hyper jump window threw both Icarus and Valhalla into the future, making them come out of a jump in the atmosphere of a planet unknown to them. The Icarus made a successful subsurface landing, but the Valhalla, having taken heavy fire from the Cha’ala, crashed and broke up partially submerbed under the sands of the shallow ocean water surrounding an island. Se’Iva was able to rescue both the unconscious Rowan and his Smilodon cub, Estel, all other hands floated in the sarcophagus that was the Valhalla.

    Washed ashore, Se was warned by the cub of the approach of inhabitants and with the cub leading her, was forced to leave Rowan behind as she hid. Rowan was taken to a Villa and tended. His ships had crashed in a collection of several small systems called the Union, whose leader was Jori, Duchess Atreides. Fortunately, Rowan was reunited with Se, when after recovering for a day, he explored the island upon which the Villa was located. Finding and following the cub’s tracks in the sandy marsh, he was taken to where Se’Iva and the cub hid. Seeing Rowan, Se came out of hiding and the two began looking for the other ship.

    Kal and Ariek in a submersible from the wrecked Valhalla’s hold found them and took Se and Estel to the Icarus and to Kaylee, while Rowan stayed to get his clothes and saber back. Meanwhile, Kaylee and Se went over the archived recordings of the attack and worked together to piece what happened. Sensing danger, Se left the Icarus as Rowan was making his escape in a storm. The seas were rough and at this point, they were being pursued by Union military. Desperate to escape, Se carried Rowan in flight, a tremendous strain on her wings, but she was able to help them reach the Icarus, just as the Cha’ala decanted into the atmosphere over the crash site of the Valhalla. The Cha warship began to vaporize the water, filling the air with the molecules of metal from the naval vessels and aircraft the Union sent in defense. While the Union and Cha’ala were thus engage, Icarus made it’s escape.

    However, Cho’etas honed in on Se’s presence in the Force and attempted to invade her mind. Conveying to Rowan what was happening, he used the bond they had been developing to enter and shield Se from the assault. In effect, he surrounded her presence with his own and caused her to fade from perception in the Force and it stopped the Cha’ala from tracking them. Her body unconscious and comatose, it is under medical supervision, a brace supporting her. Just as Se had carried Rowan with her wings, he now carried her in his mind.

    ---Traumatic Experiences: Leaving the collective and Inner Core to warn the Galaxy about the coming threat of a Cha’ala swarm and having her message fall on deaf ears. Searching long for Rowan and surviving the attack of her brother, General Cho’etas.

    Affiliation: rogue
    Lightsaber Blade Color: Aquamarine
    Lightsaber Type: Single blade
    Hilt Description: Silver Chrome (Saber given to Se by Rowan. It once belonged to his mother, Kynthia Seiriol-Nye.)

    [​IMG]

    Grateful thanks to C_O for the beautiful artwork. - Pash
     
  10. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    [​IMG]

    IC: Marie-Celeste, RMU, Empress, Galactic Empire of Free Systems, Cadet Han Solo, Imperial Princess, Enfanta Sophia Anastasia
    Location: the new Imperial Palace, (Ursean Embassy), Coruscant

    As the Embassy saw the end of day nearing, the wide promenades and corridors rang with the noise of galactic enterprise and the sound of footsteps reverberating on the slick stone paving of marble. In tired distraction, Celeste admired how the low light of afternoon cast long purple shadows across the polished parquetry and turned the pale walls and columns, a beautiful shade of pinkish-orange. But for the clamour of all the coming and going, a calm seemed to gather in this quarter of the Embassy.

    From Coruscant’s setting sun, shafts of bright orange light glinted through the panes of beveled transparisteel and sent slivers of prismed light to” inch” deliberately along with the waning day, like millions of little multicolored caterpillars creeping over the cold stone.

    Consorting with more freedom than the public arena of the Senate had afforded them, earlier, Han and Sophia had both perked up and bounced along ahead of Celeste. Fewer and fewer people tread these their same path, as the trio left the administrative offices and common spaces of the Embassy, now, Imperial Palace, behind. Here, the stone was older, not as smooth and worn with time and history. As they accessed truly ancient halls, arched windows gave way to squared, and again, to arched. Passing beyond a pair of carved transparent doors, the windows either side of the corridor looked out on the mountain or across gardens and courtyards, where, here and there, staff workers encamped themselves on the benches, toiling over their data pads, though many more were now parting for home, and recreation or to prepare for the reception at the Senate in the coming evening.

    The crowds now thinned, it was quiet and the Empress noted contentedly how young Han and Sophia strolled and chatted convivially together. Somehow, Sophia drew the young man out and Celeste smiled to catch how he spontaneously clasped Sophia’s hand in his and how the two laughed a little as they teased one another, the Cadet arching this way and that to evade her tickling and she, his.

    Presently, only their steps rang in the broad corridor, with its vaulting and arches. Like the cathedral, Helera Weg, high on the mountain top above, this portion of the Embassy was particularly ancient and built of stones ferried from Ursa, far out, off the Hydian Way. The nearer the royal apartments they drew, the more Celeste felt her shoulders relax. To the right, bird song and falling water pierced the quietude of the open cloisters upon which they drew and a chilled breeze swept down from the mountains to ruffle the feathers of the chattering doves flying about in a dovecote on the opposite side of enclosed garden. On their right, a stand of gnarled old fruit trees tossed their shaggy “heads” of leaves, the concerted symphony drowning out the faint roar of the endless traffic lanes, the other side of the embassy.

    On her left, movement caught Sophia’s interest and swerving, she dragged Han with her and reaching the low wall of the arched cloister, she balanced on tiptoe to wave to someone in the verdant, darkening garden, beyond. Drawing Celeste’s attention, the Princess and Cadet climbed the low wall and scrambled into the green. The Empress glanced out into the garden and took in a deep breath, sighing at the scent of watered soil and herbs wafting through the air and she smiling instantaneously and quickly stepped to the low half-wall of the colonnaded cloister.

    To her delight, there stood the Commander of the Ursean Security Forces, “Lord Admiral Leitman....Julien, Gruss Seele,” said Celeste, contented to see a familiar face and one for whom her Imperial presence would not prove it necessary for him to render her extreme obeisance. Sophia and Han were already running through the low trimmed maze of herb-edged walks, the pebbles crunching beneath their feet.

    The Admiral held his officer’s coat over his arm as if ready to leave, for he was collecting his data pad and they seemed to have caught him before quitting the serene hideaway. Easily given, his signature smile was inviting and receptive, but never over-warm and his quiet but ready manner gave him to be the most amiable and yet remote of individuals and the cause of his remoteness was known to Celeste.

    With genuine feeling, she stretched out her hand in greeting. “It feels months since last I saw you-but then, it might as well have been eons things have changed so. How glad I am you’ve taken some ease in these cloisters. They are often solitary and absent the grateful appraisal of one who can truly appreciate them-oh...dear, you look a bit dog-eared,” she said, curbing her verve, for Julien appeared a man, for whom sleep was a stranger. “I’d hoped to have your company this evening. Are you well?”

    Sophia squealed with delight, interrupting the conversation, and Celeste looked up to see the two young ones splashing water from the fountain at one another. Returning a brief glance to Julien, she bit her bottom lip. However, the lively game, had turned raucous and Celeste’s brows knitted as she realized, Han and Sophia were beginning to soak themselves as water splashed and sprayed into the air, their voices echoing against the stone enclosure. “You two! Han!” However, she relented, for the moment and let them play, smiling apologetically at the Ursean Commander. “Oh...” she exclaimed and held a hand up, as a sudden splash rained about the Admiral and herself, dark beads of water quickly absorbed into the silk of her dress.

    TAG: Julien and Ahsoka
     
  11. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    ISB Officer Fouche
    Bormea Sector
    Cargo Freighter Modesta



    “Sonofanerfhearder,” Fouche yelled, whipping his hand back high over his shoulder.

    His hand burned instantly, and it felt like the pain was crawling up his entire arm. Snarling, the ISB agent brought his hand in close for inspection. The blaster bolt had missed him, but had come close enough to his hand to sear the skin. His fingers naturally recoiled into a half-fist and the skin at the back of his hand was already starting to blister. That would make escape a little more difficult.

    Fouche pushed away the urge to cradle his hand, and instead slowly tried to extend his fingers. The skin was tightening from the burn, making it unbearably painful.

    His recon mission hadn't gone according to plan. What Imperial Security supposed to be a cargo ship with CIS sympathies that would lead to "bigger fish", had in fact turned out to be a courier ship operating deep in Imperial space. Just hours before, the ship went communications dark and had jumped to hyperspace. Coming here to the bridge, Fouche had found the ship slaved to another, and completely out of his control. In getting here, he had dispatched a number of the crew, including the captain. His quick "in and out" job had turned into something much larger.

    At this very moment, the remainder of the crew had found the their dead crewmates. Fouche hadn't had time to hide the bodies. Sloppy work, but time wasn't something he had had in spades. He had been able to seal the blast door, but the crew had managed to manually override it enough to put a blaster through - hence the blaster bolts.

    Prior to their arrival, in his attempts to figure out what the hyperdrive was doing, Fouche had fried communications and overall helm control. The ship had been listing to port for the past three hours, with no way of calling for help. Unfortunately, destroying helm control had also disconnected whatever tether had pulled the ship into hyperdrive in the first place. So, he was still unsure why the ship had gone to hyperspace and what their destination was.

    At least, he was sure, it something to do with the CIS. The communiques he'd been able to retrieve from the computer showed that this ship was a courier. It would take high-level messages from the CIS, and transport them by ship. It was safer than using the Holonets or any other communication system that could be hacked. Additionally, Imperial security wouldn't allow for military ships to travel through space, but a simple cargo vessel could carry a simple message past a patrol.

    The blaster started firing again, sending crimson blades overhead as Fouche stayed pinned by the console. Anything he hadn't destroyed in his clumsy attempts at decrypting the computer, the thugs outside would surely frag for him. Thankfully, he'd downloaded the computer core and communiques into the blade of his knife, which doubled as a mass storage device. If he ever got out of here, it would be worth seeing what other secrets the Modesta held.

    Fouche stole a glance back at the viewport. If those moons were what he thought they were, they'd jumped into the Brentaal System of the Bormea Sector. This made sense. His initial thought was that the ship was supposed to make a series of microjumps, changing course erratically to avoid detection. They were probably traveling along on the Hydian Way and making a course change to the Perlemian Way when they dropped out of Hyperspace. Whether the source of the slave subroutine in the navcomputer had realized the Modesta was missing or not, and would come looking for their vessel was unsure. It would be another possibility for his doom.

    It had been that kind of day.

    One good thing was that this close to the Core, there were thousands of Imperial ships in every sector. There was a reason the CIS only came to Coruscant once, and it was during the Age of the Republic. The Empire had a tight grip on security throughout the Core and Inner Core, making an assault near impossible. He was bound to be found by someone.

    The blaster fire had stopped, most likely because they were trying to decide if was he dead. There were four of them - two Dugs, a Hukk, and another humanoid species that he hadn't been able to see before they started firing.

    "I don't suppose we can talk about this," he yelled over his shoulder. "It's not like the war is over or anything, but maybe we can wo-.”

    Another volley warmed the air above him.

    "Ok. Ok. Maybe war was a bad topic. How about money? Women?"

    Fouche flinched. What did Dug women look like anyway? Or Hukk for that matter? Maybe they were women out there.

    "Or..."he paused. "Men. I'm available."

    Another volley sizzled over his head. Didn't really settle his question, but, hey, this was a dialogue. He talked, they shot.

    Fouche crouched around the console to move back to the hyperdrive console and stretched his good hand over the controls.

    "I think we're a little lost. Maybe we can get back on course if you guys cool the fraggin cover fire."

    Nope. Definitely fried. He still had access to the system, it just wasn't going anywhere. Must have hit a relay somewhere.

    "Gotta be a relay," he repeated out loud. "Maybe a flux capacitor. You know, I hear they make some good ones on...Commenor."

    It was the only system he could see showing up on the cracked display. Still no go for the thugs outside.

    "At least tell me your name! Always hate to have a conversation where I don't know someone's name. I could call you Star...hey now.”

    The entire room suddenly went dark. Not from a power failure…just dark. He craned his neck back at the view screen, but before he could get a glimpse, the room filled with light and the ship shook violently. The cargo ship had been hit, presumably shot at. With no comms or navigation, they were sitting ducks. He also had no way to activate the defenses, even polarizing shields. Hopefully the ship would hold together on grit alone. As if on cue to his thought, another series of blasts rocked the ship, knocking loose hoses from the ceiling of the bridge, filling the bridge with smoke and the klaxons of the warning system.

    Fouche had to get out of here.

    “Hey, guys, that wasn’t me,” he said over his shoulder, only to be shot at again with blaster fire.

    Fouche looked around the room, his eyes starting to burn from the smoke. He could see the light shining into the bridge from the blast door. The Hukk had an arm wedged through it, and a blaster at the other end shooting widely. Fouche rolled onto his knees and crawled to the door and against the wall, careful to avoid the crackling power cable that hung from the ceiling. He grabbed the cable’s insulated middle and thrust the crackling bits into the door.

    The roar of pain that came from the other side showed he’d made paydirt. At least one being had been pushed up against the door, and were now a little shocked.

    With a hiss, the doors released fully, and a Dug from the other side moved faster than Fouche had planned. It used its hind legs to tripod itself around the smoking mass of its comrade, and vaulted into the room, grabbing Fouche’s arm as it went by. The speed with which it moved surprised Fouche, and pain shot up his arm. The Dug had grabbed his burned hand. It rolled and vaulted back over his other shoulder, pulling his arm over his head. Fouche felt the pop of his arm dislocating, but the pain was numbed by the burning in his hand.

    The Dug landed deftly, but let slip its grip on his hand. Looking down briefly, Fouche saw that the blisters had burst, turning his hand a bright red mess of blood and flesh that had been peeled off.

    The ship shook violently again, knocking them both off-center, with Fouche on top of the Dug. He took the extra momentum to thrust his knee up as hard as he could, making contact with the Dug’s chin. Its head snapped back violently, stunned, but it came at him again. The Dug grabbed Fouche’s other hand and attempted the same rolling attack over Fouche’s shoulder, but was caught square in the middle with a shard of durasteel that Fouche had scooped up from the ground. He thrust the metal into the Dug’s chest deeper, feeling the life go out of it and let it fall to the floor with a thud.

    Fouche smirked at his success and moved into the hall, his hand still screaming for attention, only to find himself face to face with a human and another Dug. The Dug held a blaster pointed at Fouche.

    “Listen, guys, he had it -“

    And then his whole world lit up in a flash of light.


    TAG: To Be Continued…
     
  12. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    Admiral Julien Leitman
    Commander of the Ursean Security Forces
    Courtyard, Ursean Embassy, Coruscant

    As the USF commander’s mind slowly checked back into his work, and the next items on his agenda, the tell-tale sound of little feet running in the stones of the courtyard caught his attention. The young princess Sophia gleefully ran into the sunlight, with a familiar face close behind her - a young man Leitman was sure he’d met but the name didn’t come to mind.

    The Admiral held his officer’s coat over his arm, ready to leave, and collected his data pad from the bench he’d been sitting on. As he turned back to follow the footsteps he smiled at the Infanta and her companion as they ran over to the fountain. Behind them, just entering the bright courtyard from the darker halls of the Embassy was the Empress Celetste. Serene as always, she walked into the courtyard over the pathway and towards Leitman, her hand outstretched.

    “It feels months since last I saw you-but then, it might as well have been eons things have changed so. How glad I am you’ve taken some ease in these cloisters,” she said with the genuine kindness that was common to her.

    Leitman took her hand gingerly, and bowed slightly, as she talked.

    “They are often solitary and absent the grateful appraisal of one who can truly appreciate them-oh...dear, you look a bit dog-eared,” she continued.

    Leitman let loose a sigh he didn’t know he was holding. It had been a long day. In fact, he had just been wondering when he would be able to smooth out his edges, but sleep still felt a long way off yet.

    “Yes, Majesty. ‘Life belongs to the living, and those who live must be prepared for change,’ he said quoting the Ursean proverb in their native language.

    Leitman was tired, but it was of his own choice. The Reina would understand his reasons, and very likely why he had chosen this particular courtyard to sit in - despite rest never truly coming to him.

    “I’d hoped to have your company this evening. Are you well?” the Empress said.

    “Very well. Merely taxed from the day, and -“

    The Infanta, Sophia, Sophia squealed with delight, interrupting the conversation, and Celeste looked up to see the two young ones splashing water from the fountain at one another. Returning a brief glance to Julien, she bit her bottom lip. However, the lively game, had turned raucous and Celeste’s brows knitted as she realized, Han and Sophia were beginning to soak themselves as water splashed and sprayed into the air, their voices echoing against the stone enclosure.

    “You two! Han!”

    However, she relented, for the moment and let them play, smiling apologetically at the Ursean Commander.

    “Oh...” she exclaimed and held a hand up, as a sudden splash rained about the Admiral and herself, dark beads of water quickly absorbed into the silk of her dress.

    Leitman took the water square in the face and it ran down the front of his vest. The tall Ursean commander let loose a deep baritone laugh that seemed to come from his toes. It tossed his head back, so that his laugh was sent up into the darkening sky above them.

    It had felt good, and he’d almost forgotten how it was to genuinely laugh. Always gregarious, Leitman was not a solemn or unhappy man. The past few days had merely taxed his reserves, but in face of rapid and vast happenings around her the young Sophia had not a care in the world. Deep in the Ursean Embassy, far from the areas of common access, the young Princess was unapologetically a child and it warmed Leitman to remember that kind of joy.

    He turned back to Celeste and flashed his smile. He’d sat here nearly an hour trying to relax and it had evaded him at every corner, yet in just one single instant, he felt completely renewed. Leitman was sure the Reina had more to do herself and no doubt the game had hit its climax, and the children would want to move on. Too, if Leitman had needed respite, the new Empress could be wanting the same.

    “Is there anything you require, Majesty?”


    TAG: Celete, Han, and Sophia
     
  13. Corellian_Outrider

    Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW star 5 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2002
    ~OOC~ Many thanks to Pashatemur for providing Celeste and input for this post :)

    ~IC~ Ahsoka Tano, with an appearance from Empress Marie-Celeste
    Location: Coruscant, Ursean Embassy.

    ‘This is it.’ Ahsoka stood up just as the transport hovered over the pad and moved with Vos to be with everyone else before it finally lighted upon the landing pad and the bay doors opened to the Ursean Embassy.

    With his doctor and the silver-headed Admiral Colten waiting at the edge of the tarmac, Anakin, Sophia clinging to his back like a little Lumen youngling , had hurried past Ahsoka. He barely had time to look to Ahsoka as he strode out and down the ramp. Han too slipped by as troopers clattered past and Ahsoka stood in the shadow somewhat numb until, a hand lighted softly on her shoulder. Turning, it was Celeste who stood there, a smile for Ahsoka. “Welcome to the zoo,” she gested, but her eyes spoke more. She gave Ahsoka’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze and said all would be fine before she left for preparations. A waiting trooper lifted her down the gap between ramp and cobble stones, in a silken bundle. Celeste could be seen collecting Sophia and the cadet before disappearing beyond the carved stone portcullis of the Embassy.

    Ahsoka smiled and thanked the Empress, taking Celeste’s words and assuring touch to heart. All were treading water… so much vying for attention and impending deadlines… she closed her eyes for a second and took a deep breath-a peace amongst a swirl of activity-the light breeze on her face, her feet found their path, as she made her way inside. The day had been a whirlwind for them all and the evening would probably guarantee further excitement and demands for their attention. Maybe after they would get a chance.

    What Master Vos had said to her… That he would come for her when it was time, that they were to be security leads for the Royal Entourage. 'What did he mean by that? Were they expecting trouble?' Of course, security precautions are necessary. Especially with what had recently happened on Coruscant, and there will be the guards, but to have her as a prominent go to figure for that informed her that he thought she was ready for the responsibility. That he trusts her to do so. She paused. Or that he doesn’t trust her and placed her with the security to keep an eye on her… though, then he would have her as far away as possible, if he thought she was a threat. She had proven her worth by finding and defending Cadet Solo in the lower levels of the Capital. Either way, that would not stop her from being there to help and protect, if a situation arose. She had kept active in the time she was away, she was still fast, but when it comes to combat, a bit rusty. Ahsoka knew herself to be a natural hunter and no doubt the instincts would kick in when the adrenaline started pumping. Hopefully nothing would come to that and everyone would have a great time.

    She slowed her pace as something felt out of place. ‘Was this the same access way I came through before?’ Ahsoka thought as she looked about her surroundings. It looked familiar but also different… she turned around to see the way she came and if that aligned with her memory of passing through here earlier. ‘Maybeee….’ She bit the corner of her bottom lip, causing the opposite side to droop and made a lopsided pout.

    She turned back and continued along the direction she had started going. That lead out to an open space and the path lead out to other buildings… ‘I haven’t been here before…’ she mused and looked back. Maybe they had been dropped off at a different platform than the one she had left from before? She wanted to ask someone, but there was no one about. Sighing to herself, she went over to a guard rail that overlooked a garden, a courtyard. Her gaze went to the horizon and the cityscape beyond, the orange dusking light gave a soft warm glow to everything. There was no immediate rush… just a few hours to prepare for an important evening event… ‘Focus, breathe’ She told herself and closed her eyes.

    The faint feel of the cool breeze, not as strong as before. Faint scent in the air, fragrance of flowers and...herbs? The tips of her lekku twitched, there was a sound of laughing… Ahsoka tilted her head as she listened closely. The voice… a girl… and rapid footsteps... running… two different types… two of them? Danger? Her hands braced on the guardrail, her muscles tensed in preparation to pounce. Chasing…. There was no malice. Playing. She took a breath, her muscles relaxed. She could hear more giggling, laughing. It made her smile at the innocence of it all.

    ‘I should ask...’ Ahsoka thought as she honed in on the direction. ’...won’t hurt to ask’ She rocked back on her heel, preparing to leap over the railing to the courtyard below… but held back. She was a guest here, it wouldn’t do to just drop in, “blasters ablazin’.” She leaned back from the wall and looked to either side of the wide expanse of open archways and laughed to herself at something Anakin had said to her earlier when she had chosen battle tactics over stairs:

    ”‘Soka... I should let you know, we DO have lifts and stairs here - all the modern conveniences.’” And she had smirked back at him at the time and answered about “‘Where’s the fun in that?’”

    Smiling at the thought, and spying a way down, she moved from the railing and bounded lightly down, wondering what awaited her as she could hear the sound of splashing and squealing in fun just as she arrived at the courtyard.

    TAG: Celeste, Julien, Sophia and Solo
     
  14. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    OOC: ...And many thanks to Corellian_Outrider for contributing to this post

    IC: Celeste, Sophia, and Han
    Location: Ursean Embassy-The temporary Imperial Palace, cloistered garden near the Royal Apartments


    A fat, fanned-out-flung splash came slapping her full in the face and Celeste exclaimed "Ah....hhhah....", her held up hands doing little to stop the deluge. "A...ahhhh... brrrrrrrr...." Closing her eyes briefly, she shook the water from her, then wiped her face. "Oh you små djävlar!” (Oh you little devils!), she exclaimed breathlessly,“It's time to...brrrr."Hands on hips, she regarded the two culprits; Han stood in shock, for he had to have thought she would cast him from the household right then and there and Sophia's chin disappeared as she tucked her head and could not decide whether to laugh or cry.

    "Jag är ledsen, 'Marmee,'" (I'm sorry, Mommy.") said Sophia softly.

    "Sorry, Mam." mumble Han, cap in hand.

    Celeste looked at them sternly.

    “Sorry, Admiral, Sir!”/”Please excuse me, Lord Admiral," said the two, in tandem.

    How could she be angry with them? Made to attend the very tense, very long Senate address, the Rein knew, Han and Sophia needed to run and be free, to expend energy, and Celeste had to admit to herself, it looked fun and she might have joined them, another time. "Oh, go now, Han, take Sophia and get Maruuke to ....go on both of you. Tell Maruuke I said not to scold. Go on!"

    Glad to have a reprieve, like children everywhere, they knew when the getting was good and both ran down the pebble path to the far end of the cloister.

    Hearing the Admiral's hearty laugh as she watched Sophia and Han take their leave, she began to laugh herself, putting a hand to her mouth, turning to Julien as he asked,“Is there anything you require, Majesty?”

    Bowed in laughter, she rose to see the Admiral himself was soaked down the front of his uniform. Drawing a sharp breath, Celeste quickly pulled a handkerchief from her skirt pocket and began to dab apologizing profusely.

    His datapad and coat had not been spared either, she saw, and began to dry the slick surface of the small flat device.

    Ahsoka cleared the last step when she caught on that the footsteps were coming her way, fast.

    "I’m going to get there first," said Sophia. Turning back and winking at the Empress Reina, Han laughed as he ran and said,"Yeah, I don't know if I can keep up with those LOOONNNG legs of yours." Sophia leaped over a couple of short hedges and called back declaring staunchly,"I'm going to win!"

    There were two, she could tell, do they know I’m here? Ahsoka dismissed the thought as unlikely just as a blur of fabric and long dark hair flashed past her, followed by a young man, running, but not too fast, after. She could hear him declare in mock disappointment, “Oh no! I’ll never be able to catch up, now!”

    Ahsoka turned on her heels as they passed and recognised who they were. She chuckled at the cadet’s ruse, but before a word could leave her lips, whoosh, the two were gone. They were in their own world.

    Taking a few steps backward into the garden, her lekku swaying, Ahsoka chuckled lightly and said to herself, "Ahhh huh…. okay...So much for asking for directions.”

    She turned on her heels and faced the garden to see two figures standing, the other side of a wide central fountain. So she was not alone. Celeste and… someone, an Ursean, she could tell by his pale grey-blue and charcoal uniform, high-ranking too. They looked a bit wet, which explained the commotion earlier and why Sophia and Solo had dashed out of there fast.

    Beginning to answer Julien’s question, "Require," she said, cocking her head to one side, regarding the water ‘damage’-”Oh, your uniform..." Looking up and laughing, the Empress dabbed at the Admiral’s wilted and waterlogged vest and shirt to no avail. She blotted twice more for effect and laughed, wringing the water from her handkerchief and then handing it to him.

    “Now you look like...a wet dog...the both of us!" Celeste regarded her stiff embroidered stomacher and wet skirts.

    “Require...No, you have given me what I require, a smile and a friendly word...but later in briefing, you will tell me about home and our forces.” She put up a hand, as if to forestall the inevitable and changed the subject-”later ..I'm terribly sorry the Enfanta and Mr. Solo were so rambunctious ....they were in need of some fun..." She stopped, noting movement behind the Admiral.

    The corner of Ahsoka’s mouth twitched and she gave a light smile in their direction, hoping that she was not interrupting them. They might not have seen her and she could just step away… but where to? ‘I'll find my way, eventually….’

    "Commissar Tano!?" called, Celeste.

    Ahsoka's eyes widen a fraction in surprise at being called. "Oh…" Bow, wave, curtsey, salute? Awkwardly, she took a step forward and half bowed and curtseyed "Forgive me," name, title, rank? "Empress… "

    She laughed. “Arrayed in the finest water, such formality is due," said Celeste teasingly.“Are we not the most regal?,” she called to Ahsoka, gesturing to Julien and herself. "I'm afraid you missed all the fun," Celeste said, her accent somewhat more pronounced as she spoke without reserve. "Come and meet the Lord Admiral Julien Leitman, Commander in Chief of Ursean Security Forces. Lord Admiral, I have the honor to present to you, Imperial Commissar Ahsoka Tano."

    Ahsoka smiled to Celeste. The way she responded put the Togruta at ease, for momentarily forgotten was her embarrassing predicament of being lost. She came over to them so that she could be properly introduced. With a spring to her step, her lekku swayed and she could feel droplets of water on her skin as a light breeze hit the fountain. Ahsoka was caught between whether to salute or bow though it is informal… she kept her eyes on the Celeste and bowed, and bent her knees. Her arms went down and curved outward as a Togrutan gesture of respect and then straightened up and smiled. She turned her attention then gave a small salute to the Admiral.

    “Miss Tano is a long time colleague of the Re Mavrat. She was his Padawan learner, and very dear comrade. They fought many battles together during the early part of the war." said Celeste carefully. She was trying to ascertain if Ahsoka minded or indeed, whether it was time to speak of her years as a Jedi. Anakin had tried to fit in his history with Ahsoka , in a very short time that he had spent with Celeste in this one day. Celeste didn't need to wonder why he had not spoken of her before. There were many things he had to suppress in his memory while "Uncle" still lived.

    There was in Ahsoka, a quiet inner strength and courage, a direct, simple wisdom, and something more, respect. It struck Celeste that there were many points of commonality between Julien and Ahsoka and she suddenly felt quite happy the opportunity had come so soon to introduce these two particular beings, she hoped she could call, /‘friend.’/

    TAG: Julien and Ahsoka
     
  15. Corellian_Outrider

    Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW star 5 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2002
    CO-GM approved!!

    Name: Kaylee Halcyon (Formerly: Kaylee Miri)
    -Age: 41
    --Gender: Female
    ----Race: Unknown - Near Human
    -----Eye Colour: Blue
    ------Hair Colour and Style: Long blond hair, style depends on mood though usually kept back when working on machinery so it doesn’t get caught in things.
    -------Skin Complexion: Fair skin
    --------Physique: Petite, Elfin features, slight point to the tips of the ears, Looks ageless - mid twenties, longer life than human due to her species.
    ----------Personality: Sweet and kind natured, hard worker, curiosity about the wonders of the galaxy.
    -----------Quirks: Loves tinkering with things in her spare time. “An inventor always needs to innovate”
    ------------Force Sensitivity: Mild sensitivity

    Biography:
    Orphaned at a young age and was found by one of Kal’s assistants on a desert world. Had a knack for machinery and how things worked. Serviced and upgraded the ships Kal uses when he was operating as a member of the Jedi Order. She met and befriended Rowan during the time he had chosen exile, after the horrific experience he had fighting with the Republic on a Sith occupied world.

    They saw each intermittently, but increasingly more often as the years passed. Kaylee helped with the repairs on his ship, though she spent more time patching him up and when Rowan put out the call for help regarding the liberation of his homeworld, she was first in line to meet him. That was when she met Se’Iva, as well.

    She helped to oversee the planning with him and Se, while Kal and Ariek went out to recruit more to their cause. She took over when Rowan left to take Se to meet Agrieve Dur and made sure deadlines were met with the training, resources, construction of new equipment and technology based off her own designs.

    She noticed a change in Rowan, his outlook was more optimistic and they drew closer. When it came time to launch the campaign, she remained with Rowan, as they went undercover, posing as archeologists and with a team to excavate one of the lost keys to Centerpoint station. They had several other teams doing the same on the other worlds of the Corellian System.

    Rowan lead the rout and successfully took the capital. During the bombardment, he saw personally to tending Se, after the intense bombardment of the capital, she was brought in. At the end of the campaign, Rowan and Kaylee were wed amid victory celebrations. The skies lit with fireworks, the two were finally able to give full expression to their love. Yet, there was no respite for them and they did not get their honeymoon. Rowan had to stop another conflict on his father’s homeworld, which he somehow thought he had started.

    She stuck by Rowan’s side, despite his protests, though a few months into the …. She had to take a leave of absence for a few weeks before returning back. (To have Ananda, she came back to make sure Rowan would come back in one piece to meet his daughter than die of infection. Left Ananda in the care of Rowan’s old CorSec friends.)

    It felt like the conflict was being drawn out and with their hands tied behind their backs. She longed to be back on Corellia again with Rowan. Queen Feye Solkrest’s visit brought about hope. She knew about Rowan’s family connection though surprised to learn that Feye had found out too. She helped Feye persuade Rowan to return to Corellia and also worked out an unorthodox resolution to the conflict.

    They gave Feye a proper escort back to Corellia. Rowan took the Valhalla while she Captained the Icarus. A situation happened at a waypoint when they encountered an unknown hostile force. Both Rowan and Kaylee maneuvered their ships to protect the Queen. The hyperdrive failed on the Icarus, Rowan overextended the jump window from the Valhalla for them both to escape in a hyper jump.

    They came out within the atmosphere of a world above an ocean. The Icarus slipped beneath the waves and settled on the seabed. The shields held and they set about repairs to their drive and communications. Grateful for news of Kal and Ariek and then of Rowan when they came back with Se and Estel. Kaylee made sure Se was checked over and was fine and then they worked with together, going over footage of the skirmish and bringing each other up to speed about what happened.

    Surprised that Se had left the ship abruptly, though grateful for when she saw that Se had risked her life and came back carrying Rowan.

    However, now, they were lost, Rowan hurt, Se hurt and Kaylee found herself tending to both, trying to keep positive, and keep the crew from despairing. It hurt seeing Rowan tear himself up over something he had to do to save Se and, really, all of them. The implications were so big as to make one want to shrink from reality, but there could be none of that!

    She wanted so to get back home and reveal her special secret and knowing it would surely lift his spirits, she was all the more impatient. Ultimately, though, she long to be reunited with her young family. Nothing was what it was or how it should be ever since the Cha’ala attack. Yet, now they had landed on a planet the identity of which at first confused them.

    Slogging through the jungle with Rowan and coming upon a settlement, where they discovered the planet was Selonia, finding their bearings, they asked about home. The closer they drew to home the harder it was to wait and there was so much she wanted to tell him, most of all, that they have a child.

    [hr][/hr]

    Name: Rowan Halcyon (Formerly: Rowan Seiriol-Nye)
    -Age: 48
    --Gender: Male
    ----Race: Corellian
    -----Eye Colour: Blue
    ------Hair Colour and Style: Shoulder length Honey blond hair. Early stages of a beard forming with a hint of red through it.
    -------Skin Complexion: Fair skin
    --------Physique: 184 cm tall, strong, fit, physically looks younger than he is due to bloodline.
    ----------Personality: Honourable. Intelligent. Resenting the past at times. His experiences since had left him a quiet person and keeps to himself most of the time. Keeps his past guarded and only a few he trusts. He's fiercely loyal and protective of the ones he love.
    -----------Quirks: A pacifist at heart. Finds a way to inject humour in certain situations.
    ------------Force Sensitivity: Yes

    Biography:
    -Brief History: Approx twenty-five hundred years before the Clone Wars, Rowan was born into a family of two worlds. Their cultures were nurtured and ingrained into him with a deep sense of honour and moral code. With the death of his parents at a young age, he was taken to the Temple on Corellia for his training to be overseen. Following in his mother's footsteps, he proudly attained the rank of Jedi Knight. Shortly after, he and his Master were sent to on a mission to infiltrate and establish a beachhead on a Sith occupied world.

    The Campaign lasted a number of months and fighting alongside the Republic and the Jedi Order. The battle was bloody and few survived. After losing both his friends and his Master during those horrific events, he took off on his own in exile, to seek solitude. He turned away from the Order and the Republic. His identity hidden, known as the 'Outrider' to those he came across. He turned to freelancing and did what he could for those in need.

    Several years later his path brought him unwillingly back to the conflict between the Sith and the Republic. He found himself being used once again by the Jedi Order. His suffered death on Vjun, but it was brief and Rowan was brought back into the world with a sense of purpose. Returning to his father's homeworld, he spent time with a childhood friend. He had a choice to live a life he always wanted but the threat of endangering those he loved forced him to turn away from that option. She moved on and married for diplomatic reasons and offered him sanctuary.

    A feeling of dread filled him and with the pressure of something coming, he left. Removing all trace of himself from known civilisation, he spent years running as a hunted man. Hunted by those in power. Mercenaries flushed him back into the known galaxy to see that everything had gone wrong.

    His homeworld of Corellia was under Sith occupation. Confronting his past, he formed and lead an independent group to liberate the sector from them. Once the monarchy was restored and peace returned, he married Kaylee and they slipped away to bring peace to the world of his father.

    The conflict on Rowan’s father’s’ world took several months before the arrival of Queen Feye, who provided a solution to the conflict. Her arrival was to inform Rowan that she had found the truth about their family and for him to come back with her. To help rebuild Corellia and be part of the family.

    On the way back, they encountered an unknown enemy force at one of the waypoints. Rowan used his ship to take the bulk of the fire to allow Feye’s ship to escape. The jump drive on Kaylee’s ship had been knocked offline so Rowan overextended the jump window to allow both the Icarus and the wounded Valhalla to escape...

    --Military History: Trained as a Knight and a member of the Corellian Jedi Order. Spent time in a partnership program between the Corellian Order, CorSec and CorDef. Participated in the Ruusan Conflict before exile. Participated in a number of small skirmishes including briefly aiding the defence of Dantooine. Briefly served in the Calinör Royal Navy. A key figure and instigator of the Corellian Campaign.

    --- Traumatic Experiences: Orphaned at a young age when his parents died, raised amongst and feels torn between two different cultures. Loss of those close to him over the years. Hunted and manipulated by the desire of others.

    Lightsaber:
    -Lightsaber Blade Color: Silver, transparent core.
    --Lightsaber Type: Single, 1.4 metre long blade
    ---Hilt Description: 30 cm long, chrome cylinder shaped hilt. A grid work of fine lines cover the bulbous pommel cap with a small studs around the hemispherical perimeter. Raised sections along the hilt are black. A decorative chrome plate wraps around the upper section as a blade guard and curves down the length of one side to the activation switch. Activation switch located at the lower portion of the hilt. Power dials near the blade emitter.

    Starship: Valhalla - dreadnaught class flagship (destroyed)

    Key Members

    Kaylee - Captain of the ancient vessel, Icarus
    Near human female, blonde hair, blue eyes, elfin features… She is kind and sweet, a caring dedicated hard worker. A close friend and eventually married to Rowan. Talented engineer though later took to medicine since she “spent more time patching him up than ships” as she would say.

    Kal - Former Old Republic Jedi Council Master
    Human male, ruggish. Former member of the Coruscant Jedi Council. Can be a bit of a loose cannon by their standards. Good friends with Rowan and considers the Corellian as a little brother. Kept tabs on him over the years and always had good camaraderie whenever they work together. Considered part of the family.

    Ariek - Mercenary
    Human female, black hair. Bit of a smart aleck and a bit of a troublemaker at times. She skews things to be her way but means well and has a good heart. Former merc, had a hit on Kal before things got complicated and they fell in love and eventually married. Considers Kaylee to be a little sister and cannot resist teasing when there is an opening.



    Summary of recent events:

    Where shall I begin? The last thing I remembered was giving the abandon ship message and hearing Kaylee’s call through the comms that they were unable to jump. I locked in the course, ran to engine deck and overrode the safeties… the whole ship jolted and then darkness.

    Then bits and pieces… drowning, water… ocean… sand… then I woke up in a bed and a lady stood over me. She called herself Jori Atreides, Duchess of the Union. Apparently I had washed ashore and was badly injured. Her staff had tended to my wounds. That was kind of her. We exchanged news… none of what she said had synced up with what I knew, so either a lot had happened since I was last on Corellia, or she was not all there…

    I was allowed to stretch my legs and explore the island and soon discovered Se and Estel and shortly after Kal and Ariek found us and gave news that Kaylee and the Icarus had survived. I persuaded Kal and Ariek to take Se and Estel back with them to Kaylee, while I returned to the Villa to reclaim my clothes and lightsaber.

    I stayed long enough to have dinner with the Duchess. I related some of the urgency of my mission, though it was clear that I was not going to get the help that I required. A storm hit the island and I used that as cover to escape. Se met me at the shore and with her great strength, she carried me over to the Icarus and made a daring escape as something else had followed us into the area.

    We were being hunted by one of the Cha’ala vessels. Kaylee handled the Icarus, while I found Se was in pain. They were trying to take over her mind. I held her as I entered her mind and used myself as a shield, drawing her inside, I then withdrew. I had saved her, but in doing so, caused her great pain and she lost consciousness.

    I felt like I was on autopilot though we were lost with no direction home. Kaylee and the medical staff tended to Se’Iva and assured me that they would do all they could, while the rest of us pulled a data dump from a satellite to manually update our navigation charts. We found ourselves in what appeared to be the Corellian system however none of our communications were answered by the Royal House of Solkrest. To be cautious, we landed on one of the planets to get our bearings. The hunch paid off, we were on Selonia. While Kal and a small team locate one of the old CorSec safehouses, Kaylee and I found a way back to Corellia. Home at last!
     
    HanSolo29, pashatemur and TheAdmiral like this.
  16. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    Admiral Julien Leitman
    Commander of the Ursean Security Forces
    Courtyard near Royal Apartments, Ursean Embassy, Coruscant

    The children were broken from their raucous play at the climax of their water sports. Splashing in the water, the Infanta Sophia and Cadet Solo - that was his name, Leitman recalled now - their game had come to a climax when the adults on the sidelines became unwilling participants. The Ursean commander had his vest, face, and datapad wet. From his toes he’d laughed at the absurdity of it all, the wonderful beauty of children at play, and it had warmed him. It had renewed his sense of well-being that honestly had been waining these past few hours.

    Sophia's mother, the Empress of the Empire of Free Systems, good-naturedly chastised them - herself quite soaked.

    "Jag är ledsen, 'Marmee,'" (I'm sorry, Mommy.") said Sophia softly.

    "Sorry, Mam." mumble Han, cap in hand.

    Celeste looked at them sternly.

    “Sorry, Admiral, Sir!”/”Please excuse me, Lord Admiral," said the two, in tandem.

    Leitman merely flashed them both a smile, and winked at them. No malice whatsoever, though he could tell that Celeste was playing the mother, he well knew the times that good parenting meant telling your children it was wrong while laughing out of the side of your hand. He recalled when his own son and daughter - oh, Han and Sophia had left them just now. Breaking his remembrance, he saw Han and Sophia running down the path gleefully. Leitman smirked at his own break in concentration, and heard the kind laugh of Celeste. She continued laughing, attempting to help him dry his data pad and coat - a losing battle as the heavy woven fabric was soaking in the water and spreading the “damage” as the liquid was absorbed more and more.

    ”Oh, your uniform..." Looking up and laughing, the Empress dabbed at the Admiral’s wilted and waterlogged vest and shirt to no avail. She blotted twice more for effect and laughed, wringing the water from her handkerchief and then handing it to him.

    The moment was so absurd, Leitman had to stifle another laugh. He was dripping in places, and waterlogged in others. The fabric in his shirt was sticking to his chest and stomach, and the vest had started to wrinkle from the small amount of water that still remained - taking on its own life. And now, he was holding the handkerchief - wrenched dry but still damp - in one hand and his datapad with the water smeared across the screen in his other.

    He was in a curious state, thinking for a moment where to put either item to get back use of his hands. The handkerchief against the pad, to open his jacket? The pad joined with the handkerchief to free up one other hand? To pocket the handkerchief? No, that would compound the problem. Julien smirked, and let both hands fall to his sides.

    “Now you look like...a wet dog...the both of us!" Celeste said regarding her stiff embroidered stomacher and wet skirts.

    “Require,” she continued. “No, you have given me what I require, a smile and a friendly word...but later in briefing, you will tell me about home and our forces.”

    She put up a hand, as if to forestall the inevitable and changed the subject.

    ”Later ..I'm terribly sorry the Enfanta and Mr. Solo were so rambunctious ....they were in need of some fun..." She stopped, noting movement behind the Admiral.

    Leitman had made to answer that she need not worry, that it had been good for him as well, but followed her gaze to the young woman that joined them in the courtyard. She wore a nervous smile and what looked like an interest to gain their attention, but unsure if it was alright to do so.

    "Commissar Tano!?" called, Celeste.

    Ah, yes, thought Julien, the Torguta that had entered the Ursean Embassy a few days ago.

    He’d seen her with the Re after his healing, as well as in the entourage to and from the Senate building. Though he didn’t know anything about her, the consensus among his staff was that she was an old colleague of the Re’s. The torgruta female took a step forward and half bowed and curtseyed.

    “Oh…Forgive me,” she said, and faltered. “Empress…”

    Celeste let loose another laugh, to which Leitman could only smirk.

    “Arrayed in the finest water, such formality is due. Are we not the most regal?,” Celeste teased Ahsoka, gesturing to Julien and herself. "I'm afraid you missed all the fun. Come and meet the Lord Admiral Julien Leitman, Commander in Chief of Ursean Security Forces. Lord Admiral, I have the honor to present to you, Imperial Commissar Ahsoka Tano."

    Ashoka came closer to join them and bowed to the Empress and saluted the Admiral.

    “Miss Tano is a long time colleague of the Re Mavrat. She was his Padawan learner, and very dear comrade. They fought many battles together during the early part of the war." said Celeste carefully.

    Julien nodded in recognition. That would explain how she had gotten through the security teams the night she'd arrived at the Embassy, and why both Vos and Anakin had taken to her so quickly. Though Leitman was not privy to the details of that evening when Skywalker came into the Embassy burned and severely injured only to re-appear nearly “glowing” and healed, Julien was certain it had something to do with the Force. Though, even there, the Urseans were not unknown to the Force. In fact, a large majority of the race had some level of Force sensitivity, but as a people believed it shouldn’t directly be manipulated - though there were always factions that believed otherwise.

    Leitman smiled and put out a large tanned hand to Miss Tano in a handshake, forgetting the handkerchief was still there. He moved the data pad under his arm, and the sopping cloth to the other hand.

    “Formality isn’t really necessary,” he said, brushing the liquid off his hand, and in a strong Jupan accent. “It is a pleasure to finally meet you. I have heard some of your recent exploits, and am glad our paths finally cross, Commissar. I am sure that the Emperor will be well assisted in his endeavors with you as his guide.”

    He winked at Celeste good-naturedly, and turned to Ahsoka.

    “We, of Ursa, have a high regard for the Jedi that have come our way,” he said. “They do tend to…linger about the palace, for our great benefit. I do hope you intend to stay for some time.”

    Speaking of time reminded him that he had yet a lot to do, calls to families as well as the meeting with the ISB agent who wanted to discuss “palace” security for the reception, though it was well in hand. Ahsoka’s name had come up in the briefing, as well as Ledaran Vos - as he led the once militant Kavalad. So, this was an advantageous meeting in a less formal environment.

    “You will be at the reception this evening, Miss Tano" he asked.

    TAG: Ahsoka and Celeste
     
  17. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    IC: Dennii/Drakoniss Sunwalker

    on-board Galactica-class Carrier “Hyperion”, Derra system

    Dennii sat on the cot in the medical facility of Hyperion. She was still trying to process what just happened. Why the Bene Gesserit tried to implant those ideas and then tried to kill her? Drakoniss was suggesting that Jori might have been involved, but Dennii did not want to pursue that line of thought. She could not believe that her sister could do such a thing. Despite that she eyed warily the two Death Guards standing there for her protection. If that was the case, then there would be nothing she could do to stop them as they were the equivalent of ARC Troopers that the Union had. Maybe she could take out one but the second would finish her off pretty quickly.

    She subtly shook her head and hoped they did not see that. It was very unnerving staring at their masked faces, those circular black eyes, it was as if staring at your own death. That was probably the idea behind it, to unnerve the enemy, their precision and silence made them almost mechanical. But they were living and breathing she could sense that, maybe it made things worse…

    “My child, I heard what happened to you...” came the elderly voice of Confessor Malenkov as he had entered the infirmary. The troopers reacted immediately raising their blasters as the old man was not put on the visitors list.

    “Let him through, he will not harm me.” she ordered them and they reluctantly obeyed as she was a member of House Atreides, which they had sworn to obey.

    Malenkov’s expression did not change, he was aware that they were doing their job. “I heard that they apprehended the trooper who did this to you.”

    Dennii nodded “Yes, I knocked him out, hopefully we will be able to get to the bottom of this.”

    The old man gave a cold smile, the smile of a former Inquisitor who was about to interrogate a prison “Oh, we will. I can assure you, he will sing like a canary.”

    Dennii almost shuddered at that, as she felt a pang of regret that she had caused the man this, but he was trying to kill her! She took a deep breath to calm herself, she could not afford another panic attack. She had been hoping that the bad will be behind her, that she was back home and everything would be alright… but reality was usually different from one’s dreams and hopes.

    “I think Jori, I mean Her Ultimacy, would like to hear the results.” she tried to maintain a businesslike tone.

    The old man nodded “Of course, she will be the first to know.” he then smiled warmly “How are you child?”

    “Thank the Fo… Greater Good, I am fine, all things considered. Nothing too serious.” Dennii smiled back, trying to push back her anxiety. She was still jittery from the experience.

    “I will leave you to rest. Try to take a nap at least, I know it is hard, but try to rest. Everything will be fine. Have some faith. The worst is over and only good things will come.” he gave her a paternal smile.

    Dennii felt warm, the words soothed her a bit, at least that was a start. So she nodded, trying to stop her eyes from welling. She had been getting overly sensitive, the hormonal change, the stress and exhaustion. She needed to take care of herself if she was to have a healthy child. Her growing belly was a testament to that.

    She tried to lay down as the Confessor exited and closed her eyes. She felt a slight vertigo from the exhaustion and felt as if she was falling. Need some sleep, sleep, sleep… Her mind was getting sluggish, but the door opened again, so Dennii snapped to attention. It was Admiral Fandorin, he seemed reluctant, probably saw that she was trying to rest, but there was a message that could not wait.

    “I am sorry for disturbing you, but I got urgent news.” he started and waited for her to react so Dennii nodded “I was in contact with Her Ultimacy and the Emperor, an Imperial shuttle will be arriving shortly to take you to Coruscant for your protection.”

    Her sleepiness vaporised as she heard the news. Coruscant!? Jori betrayed her to the Empire!!! No, no, no… she was going to be killed as an enemy of the New Order. She almost started to cry, but decided not to worry the Admiral.

    “Your maid is packing your belonging. You should freshen up if you want...” his voice trailed, he probably saw her discomfort.

    Dennii tried to control her breathing as she was about to start hyperventilating as another panic attack started. Her mind flared with all her fears and her eyes almost started welling again.

    “Don’t worry, I am sure everything will be fine...”

    She almost lashed at him, that he didn’t know anything, that she will just be arrested or even executed. She then resorting to biting her lower lip, but had to remind herself not to clamp her teeth too tightly if she was to avoid hurting herself.

    “I am sorry I could not bring you better news. You will be escorted by the Death Guards. Your luggage will be waiting in the hangar.” he gave an apologetic look.

    “Alright then...” she murmured and stood up gingerly, there was no way she could escape her fate so better to accept it.

    **********************

    She stood in the hangar together with Admiral Fandorin and Confessor Malenkov and observed the stormtrooper loading her luggage on-board of the Imperial shuttle. Dennii tried not to fidget too much, but could not calm her heart. Her breathing shallow, her mind racing, she could not hear Drakoniss properly from all the conflicting thoughts and emotions.

    The Imperial said that everything was put on board, so she bid farewell to the Admiral and the Confessor. Dennii maintained a calm facade, would not give the stormtrooper the satisfaction to show her terror.

    The man stopped her and was joined by his companion, she handed him her lightsaber and could sense some hesitation, but the two of them were professionals and did not react, also the facemask helped conceal their surprise. They had been instructed to treat her respectively so no patting using hands and the second trooper was carrying a scanner to detect any hidden weapon. When they could not find anything they helped her get inside and showed her to her seat.

    Dennii thanked them and even managed a small smile as she strapped herself, no need to be rude. It appears that she might not be executed, at least not right now, so there is a glimmer of hope after all? She did not want to get her hopes up as her fortune might reverse pretty soon.

    The ramp of the shuttle closed, along with the hatch. She could feel that it was taking off and the stormtrooper in charge informed her that they were on a modified craft so they were going to arrive on Coruscant quicker, but still will take some time, so she can relax and also food and refreshments will be provided whenever she needed. Dennii thanked him and relaxed a bit, hopefully she could take a nap as Drakoniss took watch…

    TAG: To be continued
     
  18. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    OCC: Co-GM approved

    The post following this character sheet is a joint post with The Admiral, who deserves much thanks for his splendid character, Bene Gesserit, the Reverend Sister Irene.


    Name: Sister Adalia Adana
    --Age: 18
    ---Gender: Female
    ----Species: human
    -----Eye Color: brown with a pale overcast of cerulean blue
    ------Hair Color and Style: Smooth warm black, cut shoulder length
    -------Skin Complexion: very light olive to fair
    --------Clothing: the habit of a Bene Gesserit. A long stiff and flared-skirted black gown with deep sleeves and a high stiff collar, a black or white wimple and long hood and veil, sometimes a toque, as well. Under all is worn a long tunic and a unitard.
    ---------Physique: tall, about 5’7” or 170.18 cm.
    ----------Personality: Poised, genuine, impish, loves animals, regal bearing, but approachable, magnetic, and alluring, and above all, courageous.
    -----------Quirks: Is a curious, sleuthing sort. Tenacious, but sometimes a little fidgety-a busy mind.
    ------------Force Sensitive: yes


    Biography:Born Fremen of Sietch Windgap, she moved to Arrakeen where she lived with her parents (both archeologists, before being registered as a force sensitive and taken at the late age of 2 to train as a Bene Gesserit on Arrakis and then transferred to Wallach IX at age 8. Her mother was a woman of the Sietch Tau who met an outsider and traveled extensively before returning to the Union. While she trained in Arrakeen, she was able to continue her family connection, but once removed to Wallach IX, she was only permitted to correspond remotely. Close to both parents, she loved studying with them and going on digs when permitted. She particularly enjoyed studies with her father who when out on remote digs, would train her how to wield his curious weapon that buzzed and tickled her hands. During the CIS occupation, she served as a courier for the resistance. A capable warrior, she is resourceful and willing to explore the unorthodox.

    ---Traumatic: Being cut off from her parents at age 8 and undergoing the Spice Ordeal at 15, before the end of her noviciat. The Bene Gesserit has decided she will best serve the Greater Good by training as an Imprinter.

    Affiliation: Bene Gesserit


    [​IMG]
    (credit: a composit of photo still of Audrey Hepburn (unknown photographer) and original art by Artofinca as found on pinterest.)



    IC: Sister Adalia Adana
    LOCATION: Kaladan Castle, Kala City, Kaladan, The Union

    The meeting was to take place in the garden at Castle Kaladan. Even though it was in the middle of winter, people still passed and sat enjoying the soft flurries and huddling into their great coats for warmth, heads covered in thick fur hats and scarves. A few tenacious leaves clung to the tall trees that stood out against the heavy grey skies like black lace. While the wind blew in short gusts, still the brittle husks that had once been verdant and supple now rattled as they turned and vibrated with each burst of wind.


    Black robes and veil spreading out in the air as she walked toward the massive and imposing Kaladan Castle, the young Bene Gesserit had to hitch her skirts to step through the ruts and crunchy ridges left in the snow from the snow sweeps. Making itk necessary for her to stand in the deep snow as they passed in lock step, the troops from the Castle barracks crisscrossed the parade grounds and the wide promenades.


    Her breath came out in clouds of condensation, her nose and cheeks showing pink against her fair face, a dark set of thickly arched brow above her deep set but large doe-like eyes of brown, a fine aquiline nose, high cheekbones, and perfect lips gave the Sister a very patrician and innocent aspect. As with all sisters, her bearing was regal, her poise, stoic and exquisite. Seeming to float over the pitted snow, her robes swathed her frame, making it near impossible to see that she was unusually thin, though not emaciated, she was nonetheless very tall, a facet of herself of which she felt overly conscious and for which she reminded herself she would need to exercise much proper consideration to changing that attitude.


    Looking up, the Castle, even at this distance, seemed massive beyond comprehension and the central tower seemed to disappear into the stratosphere. Indeed, it was shrouded this day in thick dark clouds that threatened to unleash a frosty deluge. In fact, now as she pushed herself to take longer strides, for the crossing had been slow going in all the ice, bits of icy snow began to collect on her long eyelashes. The grand fountains that dotted the vast tree lined gardens, that in spring would show a riot of color with massive planting of bulbs in almost every hue, were half frozen, their figure covered in frothy ice, the jets and sprays too, having half frozen looked like they were spouting fermented spirits with arches and cascades of foam.


    The flight of black birds in migratory formation, their calls echoing in the vast open space, drew the Sister’s glance upward, her toque and veil tilted back, and she followed their path across the large near frozen lake where skaters glided in intricate patterns, their laughter seeming so odd a sound in such an austere setting. The castle, reflected in the lake ice returned her to her purpose and passing between two rows of statues, she spied a form in deep black standing nearly a 100 meters distant next to another frothy fountain. Adalia felt her shoulders broaden, and she stood more erect now, her doe-like gaze set a little more pointedly ahead, her chin lifted.


    “Here we go,” she said, puffing, the cloud of her condensed breath blowing away on a chilled breeze.

    *********************************

    Sister Irene stood near one of the now frozen ponds in the Castle’s gardens. She was going to miss the place, but her replacement was inevitable as the years progressed. Even the spice could not prolong her life that much, at least made her look healthy enough and did not look her real years. She was almost hundred and sixty and had spent a large portion of that time here. Born on Kaitain, the Union’s ecumenopolis, she had found this aquatic world fascinating and House Atreides intriguing and good to work with.


    But as it usually happened things changed, now that the youngest Atreides was in power. She was not happy with the Sisterhood and made sure that everyone knew that. It had something to do with the Mother Superior, but all those years had made Irene impartial. Maybe it was all this time away from the Cloister on Wallach and now she had been recalled. She hoped that her replacement would not be involved in this petty conflict that had been going on for some time. They needed to be united and not squabble like children.


    Irene almost jumped from the roar of two fighters passing low and shooting towards Kala City. It was a worrying time, the outsiders were blockading them, the duchess was out there and the CSS and the military ran things in the Union now. The roar chased the birds away, there wings nearly beating at the Bene Gesserit as they flew upward in a burst of cawing.


    “Beautiful is it not?” she half turned to see the elegant young postulate approaching her “I always liked winter on Kaladan, it is so… primal.”she smiled and beckoned her to join her.
    Sister Adalia nodded, lowered her eyes in deference and genuflected to take the elder Bene Gesserit’s ringed right hand and touched it to her forehead. “Reverend Sister,” she said, softly and hesitating to rise without permission.


    Irene smiled warmly, it had been a while since someone showed her such deference. The other Bene Gesserit that served the duchess, Nastya, was a vicious and arrogant little trollop who thought that if she has the girl’s ears she was to be the next Mother Superior and was too stupid to see that Her Ultimacy, as they now called the duchess, was just toying with her and using her.


    “Now, now child, do rise up. There will be enough bowing when the duchess is back.”


    “Sister,” said Adalia, rising and smiling in relief at her elder. Perhaps this was not going to be the gauntlet of observation and testing she’d been given to believe it would be, at least not the misery she’d heard some of the other novices had to endure, their first time out in the world.
    Standing a full head taller than the older Bene Gesserit, Adalia stood with her head inclined and remembered to look about her and answer the original question. “It is...yes, very beautiful...and so...overwhelming. I hope I shall prove stalwart and worthy to the Code and to the Duchess.”


    Irene’s smile waned a bit, but it was heartwarming to hear that, it reminded her of her meeting with her predecessor. She sighed before she spoke “I will not lie to you, unlike the other Atreides, the Duchess is not so well disposed towards us. I am sure you know that.” it was a common knowledge among the sisters that the former princess had qualms with their order.


    Sister Adalia took a quick survey of the guards scattered around the larger park. “Yes, Reverend Sister, I have been informed. It is the landscape with which we must contend. Not all is understood by the laity, but of course, I look to your teaching to guide me and hope I will learn all you know I must to acquit our goals.”

    Irene pondered what the younger sister told her “You will get used to it…” she looked around and smiled “There are listening devices all over-don’t worry, they know that we know, but you must be aware that every move we make and everything we say is being recorded. You will get used to it. As for our goals, we are serving the Union, that is all.”

    Irene’s words, full of meaning and direction, chilled Adalia. “Yes, Sister, as you say. We serve.” She lifted her head and blinked away some snowflakes and shivered slightly. What will it be like. Circles within circles within circles - how easily one could misstep. -”I am rebelling. I shall meditate on this...,” she resolved to herself.

    “May I ask of you a question, Sister?” asked Adalia tilting her head and looking sideways to Irene.

    “Well you have asked one, didn’t you?” Irene responded with some good natured jest “You may.”

    Adalia smiled, “Reverend Sister, I was told you have been here many years, how have things changed since your first day?” If indeed others listened, it was best to couch questions in broad terms, thus she tried to give Irene the best chance of forming and projecting information without being hemmed in by specificity.

    Irene chuckled slightly “I understand what you are trying to say, and I am thankful for your consideration, but you will learn that the Duchess values honesty and openness.” Irene paused to ponder the answer to her question “I have been here when her great-grandfather ruled Kaladan, lived through the rule of her grandmother and the rule of her father. Each of them had their own specifics, you will feel it for yourself as change had come to the Union. It is not yet visible, but the girl...” she paused “Never call her that in her presence as it may shorten your lifespan...” a smile crept over her lips “She is the bearer of that change, but you will see and feel it in time. It is not something that can be described with words. I am not saying this because of our invisible audience.”

    “Yes, Sister, I believe I understand you. I pray I discern how best to contend with the changes.” Adalia had misgivings, but there was nothing but to do her best. Adhering to Code and serving the Union did not always coincide in obvious ways. A Bene Gesserit’s mission was long term in ways most people could not comprehend. Not every Sister was knowing of the end goals, or even of intermediate, and many, like herself, were required to be tested and to discover. Knowing was not always a matter of delivery and reception, but one of inquiry and experience, as the wise Sister Irene was teaching her now. Adalia was being told, she must discover the way, the meaning, and the Code as separate paths of which she, in her meditation, her being, must discern the connections. Not the least of which, was a lesson in body control, for in her concern, Sister Adalia had let the cold seep through her boots and into the marrow of her feet. Numb and prickly, she thought, if she must take a sudden step, she’d topple over. Sister Irene, however, stood in perfect serenity. “In the perfected Way may I walk.”

    “One thing child, I need to caution you. Try to be impartial, try to stay away from this petty conflict. She will respect that and don’t expect her to like you or go easy on you. She can be… difficult, but not unreasonable.” she looked up to her eyes. “Do not repeat the Mother Superior’s mistake to underestimate her, she may be young, but the people surrounding her know what they are doing. Just be cautious, especially at first, then you will get used to it.”

    Her lips parting momentarily, Adalia felt her heart skip. Would she so soon find herself running counter to Reverend Mother Mohiam? However, it would have taken a head as thick as stone to not heed Irene’s warning. The Reverend Sister was a solid commodity-genuine wisdom and strength of character. A Bene Gesserit did not live to the ripe age of Sister Irene by being stupid and stubborn. Bending was a subtle art and it took great skill. Adalia wet her bottom lip and nodded before saying,“Yes, Reverend Sister.”

    Irene could see that Adalia was very smart, maybe too smart for her own good. She will be a perfect match for the Duchess and maybe she will be the one to rebuild the burnt bridges… only time will tell. “We are here to teach and to discern the truth.” surely the Sister who briefed her about her tasks had also prepared her to be the Sisterhood’s eyes and ears, which was somewhat limiting, but who knows. Irene did not claim that she understood everything the Bene Gesserit were doing. “The Duchess will surely try to catch you off balance.”

    “Will you be present a...forgive me, Reverend Sister?” begged Adalia, having spoken out of turn, in her concern.

    “That will depend on her. But I will probably be there, though I doubt it will change her mind.” she chuckled “You will get used to it. Her outsider friend and now sister is better to deal with. You may be lucky and meet a living and breathing Jedi.”

    Eyes widening for a flicker of a second, Adalia looked the Sister in the eye, before averting her glance. Adalia had heard of Jedi in the Union. They were not plentiful and were not well received,and some, she knew, who would strive to keep their connection to the Order and their Force adeptness, hidden. Cloistered away on Wallach, and cut off from her family, save for permitted and sensored occasional correspondence, a novice still heard news, even from the Empire where apparently, they were hunted.

    “A...Jedi?”

    The Bene Gesserit were reputed to have been founded by a Jedi, and like Sisters before her, Adalia had always wondered at the divergence between the two, Jedi and Bene Gesserit. That divergence began with the founder. So many tales surrounded Lorraine, the first of their order. Adalia had a “half memory,” as she called her “other memory,” and it mixed with words her father had taught her long ago on Arakkis.

    “Yes, her adopted sister is a Jedi… well their version of novice.” Irene smiled “And the Lord Advisor is a Jedi Master.”

    Yes, though to meet...Jori,Duchess Atreides AND now, her sister, the adulated Dennii Sunwalker! “It hardly seems...real,” said Adalia incredulously and speaking, having forgotten herself. There was so much she wanted to know and learn, but she reminded herself, “...always centered in mindful consideration.”

    “Oh it is quite real, legend has it, that there has always been at least one in the Union, a fact that was not widely advertised, but when you are so old you learn some things.”

    “Sister, how shall I exercise caution with such as they? Do they not posses the ability to cross the barrier of the mind? It is said they may affect the movement of objects, too. They are famed in their combat and tactical skills.” Adalia queried, wondering at the depth of Sister Irene’s understanding.

    “It is true, they can do extraordinary things, but they too follow a strict code which forbids them to violate your mind, unless of course provoked. Besides, Dennii, is such a sweet child, you will find it soon enough.”

    “What of the Greater Good, do they serve as we do?” asked Adalia, carefully investigating.

    “They do, they just call it the Force. The Grand Cleric had a very hard time explaining all of this, but they had found ancient texts that aligned some of the aspects so the crisis was averted.” she chuckled. “Let us walk, I feel that if I stand a bit more I will become part of the landscape.”

    Gratefully, the younger Sister nodded and walking alongside Irene, spoke softly to herself, "All proof inevitably leads to propositions which have no proof. All things are known because we want to believe in them."

    The two were obliged to stop and wait as a platoon of soldiers jogged past, some in the group almost imperceptibly taking note of them as they passed, identifying themselves as rising in influence and authority, for they most surely had been imprinted. Quite familiar herself, she had never been called upon to practice any of that training, to her relief, being far too untried

    “Sister Adalia, you must know that we are here both to teach and to learn. You will find that our training does not cover everything.” Irene cautioned her as they proceeded. Adalia put her hands deeper into each sleeves and nodded, as she gave her assent. She was busy observing as much as she could, including as much about Irene as she could absorb.

    “But you are young and you will learn.” Irene smiled “Just be careful and try not to plunge in the palace intrigues right away.”

    Adalia swallowed and looked around them. Her lips and nose were numbing and summoned her circulation. The nearer they drew to the Palace the more in shadow they drew. The central tower now seemed to loom ominously over head. Impossibly high, it seemed unsupported and yet it stood. The stone blocks of which the walls were built seemed unusually large. Guards were more plentiful here.

    “Do not worry my child, as long as you are careful and thoughtful it will be alright.” she reassured her. Then a couple more fighters flew over them, this time they came from the city.
    .
    Adalia looked overhead and watched the fighter tear across the sky overhead, the quake of their engines, she could feel in the ground underfoot.“Sister, do they always fly so low?”
    .
    “They are flying so low because of the cloud cover and because they want to reassure the population that they are being protected.” she replied as they threaded forward. They saw a group of children, the future heirs of the smaller houses, they were allowed to play outside. “These will be some of your future students.”

    There were so many of them. All brilliant students, she thought sarcastically. One could hope.“How soon will I begin their instruction?” Adalia asked. The ages seemed to range broadly. She would have a fairly full schedule, to keep them all engaged. She wanted to jump right in before she had much time to feel overwhelmed. Then again, meeting the Duchess was a very important happening and she hoped to prepare, She wondered when that would be happening. So many questions!

    “Soon enough, my child. Patience! They are on vacation, but had to stay here because of the lockdown; so their other tutors are trying to find a way to keep them entertained.” It was an official holiday, the House Atreides’ ascension to House Ultima, then came Unification Day and New Rotation Day, so it was decided to give all the children around the Union some time off. Also part of the adults were not working. The people needed to celebrate, a diversion from their usual grey lives. “This can be an opportunity to get to know some of them in a more informal setting. You were sent at the right moment, you will have enough time to get to know the setting.”

    The two Bene Gesserits had to dodge a few misplaced snowballs as they passed near the younglings engaged in their snowy battle. Eventually, Adalia stooped low quickly scooping up a handful of snow and beamed a snowball back at one particularly cheeky boy whose payload was not at all misdirected. Hands tucked away quickly, Sister Adalia walked serenely beside the smiling Reverend Sister Ireneon into the looming Palace.

    TAG: Sister Irene, Castle occupants
     
  19. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    IC: Admiral Julien Leitman-Commander of the Ursean Security Forces, , Commissar Ahsoka Tano,Empress, Reina Marie-Celeste

    Location: Ursean Embassy-The temporary Imperial Palace, cloistered garden near the Royal Apartments


    ”It is a pleasure to meet you too, Admiral.” Ahsoka was not quite sure what to make of the comment regarding her previous exploits… was that a good thing? She was not used to nor comfortable talking about the past… yet. She had caught that the Admiral had used the term ‘Jedi’ as well and she did not have the heart to correct him, but she could tell that his welcome was genuine and warm. “I will indeed be at the reception. I hope that you will be attending as well.”

    Without the sun’s warming rays, cold came creeping, the hard stone walls now purpling, the train of night’s courtesan, dusk, trailing over the face of Coruscant. The dovecote community now quieting, the water alone joined Julien’s soft baritone, as he greeted the comely Togruta. Seeing the Admiral’s dilemma and catching Julien’s wink, Celeste reached, taking the wet handkerchief and turned to wring out the water over a clump of pungent herbs. By happy accident, the moment came for the three to meet and she was able to broker an introduction for Miss Tano and Julien. There would be so many faces, so much small talk, and the both of them seemed as much at odd ends as herself. After all, who did they know? For all of them, there would be tension, awkward introductions, and not one of them was assuming a role to which they were not new. Such small formal exchanges as this meeting were opportunities not to be missed

    Julien nodded to both of them. “Yes. I will have that honor,” he said, his accent strong.

    There was a lot to anticipate from the reception itself. On one hand, the primary function was to welcome the new Emperor. Anakin’s reforms and his much healed person would no doubt be part of the conversation. It was also the first public event that would bring together the galaxy’s leaders in the wake of the Emperor Sheev Palpatine I’s death. His corpse lay in state now, at the rotunda, but there had yet been no state funeral, no mourning hours. It had seemingly simply happened, and was absorbed by the galactic consciousness, the body only retrieved and returned the night before, the official autopsy performed this morning, and the Galaxy informed of his courageous death in battle during the Re’s Senate address. Say what you want about the man, but it would be difficult to imagine Palpatine’s presence being without at the reception.

    For the Urseans, the reception was a galactic introduction into their culture, their own embassy, now become the Imperial Palace. The Urseans would, no doubt, in sharing their uniqueness, be held up to scrutiny. With the influx of dignitaries and the necessary return of much military, the Embassy was filled with important guests and their retinues. It had been some time since the Urseans had invited this many people into their cloistered walls.

    In the wake of the recent bombings, the death of Palpatine, and the so-called End to the Clone War, the reception would also be the most secure of events in recent memory. With any luck, it would be enjoyable as well. The complex was large enough to host a reception the size of one tonight, but the Reina had suggested it would be more ecumenical to host it at the Senate Atrium once it had been determined it was undamaged during the rebel attack. In the end, the decision had turned on the fact that it would be easier to accommodate the flow of traffic to and from the Senate.

    “Miss Tano. Majesty,” Leitman bowed to each of them in turn. “I fear I’ve left a member of Imperial Security waiting in my office. I must ask for your leave. It has been a pleasure.”

    Ahsoka smiled at the gesture the Admiral had shown them and she inclined her head in return.

    “Of course,” said the Empress, knowing he waited dutifully to be allowed to take his leave. She’d wanted to talk with Julien longer, but everyone was running on a tight schedule. It could wait and Admiral Leitman’s front was indeed soaked, better for him to make his appointment and there was nothing to be done that would not detain him from his duty.

    Subdued now, Celeste extended her right hand to Julien, as his Reina. “My Lord, Admiral....Julien,”she said with a gentle smile, resuming much of her customary restraint, yet thinking of both the long evening to come and of forging beneficial relations, the Reina stepped forward, to ask little awkwardly,“perhaps you can spare enough ‘leg’ for both Miss Tano and me at the reception?”

    Clearly wishing to speak with the Julien, Celeste stepped to him, and Ahsoka, knowing she’d already delayed the Admiral, took several steps back and half turned to watch the fountain. Her hand found the japor carving on the necklace around her neck and she slid it back to centre position, her eyes taking in the sculpture and sweet scented flowers giving off their fragrance with the fading warmth of day. A small breeze touched her skin and sent a shiver along her back. Subconsciously, she tugged at the hem of the top to cover her back and stomach better. Though, as it had been all day, it rode back up anyway. Not that she minded, she was used to her abdomen being uncovered when she was younger.

    Celeste gestured Julien to walk with her toward the covered cloister. Realizing she was giving him escort, the Admiral raised his hand, and smiled to Miss Tano with his eyes, and he saw the Commissar, her clear blue eyes gleaming in the waning light, turn to give him a quick wave and smile, in return. Shifting his great coat from one arm to the next, he realized, the night air was turning colder, his folded coat provingeffective insulation. “Your Majesty, you must be cold,” he said offering his coat. “Oh, no, Julien, I shall be quickly back to the warmth of my apartments.” She took the coat from his arm and before he could object, held it for him to slide his arms in the sleeves.

    “Thank you for your kind words and forbearance, Julien. I would truly consider it a great favor if you could show Miss Tano some small attention this evening. She will be very helpful to the Re...ah...Emperor, and I think she could use a friend while she becomes reacquainted with Coruscant and ...” Celeste shivered. Julien, half way to pulling the coat over his shoulders,stopped. “Oh no, go on, I’ve made you late.” said the Empress. He could hardly object. Sighing, he gave her a warm smile, his promises for the dance and friendly attentions, as well as all due obligation before quickly departing for his office, his steps echoing in the long dark corridor, sconces lightingup as he passed.

    Celeste smiled and leaned into the corridor to see Julien fast on his way. Well she knew she’d coaxed a promise he was reluctant to give-dancing in public. “Ahsoka, was there something you needed of me?” asked Celeste smoothing her skirts and returning to the fountain where Miss Tano stood.

    TAG: Ahsoka Tano
     
  20. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    IC: Adrias Stark, Nyll, Thorn
    Vandor-3 Spaceport

    They re-entered the spaceport after the short stroll around the city. Nyll was carrying a couple of bags of trinkets that she had bought much to Adrias’ chagrin. She had the uncanny ability to find things to buy even in the seediest places. With the corner of his good eye he could see her grinning so he stifled a groan, he was not in the mood. The building was full of people and a commotion had started since Coruscant was now open for civilian craft to land. Inspectors and Security had their hands full, it was lucky that they Thorn had managed to arrange to receive clearance, though they would still queue when they approach Coruscant.

    They were met by the large Togorian who was waiting for them at the bottom of the ramp. Adrias could sense his agitation. There was something going on that had gotten him on edge. Adrias frowned slightly, if something had his friend worried then he should worry too. Ever since he had freed him from those slavers so many years ago Thorn had been his right hand man. They were ready to jump into fire if needed to save the other. Him and Nyll were the closest he had ever had to a family. Not even the Jedi were that close to him.

    “We might have a problem.” came the guttural voice of Thorn.

    Adrias frowned but said nothing. If Thorn said that it was a problem, then it truly was. He gave a sidelong glance at Nyll, who in turn grew serious and could sense fear coming off her. Was there something else, was she hiding something? Maybe he was reading too much into it. Should not allow the paranoia to overtake him again. Last time he hurt her when he suspected that she had done something when in fact she was innocent.

    The Togorian pivoted on his heel and started climbing the ramp. The two of them followed him inside.

    *********************

    “Watch this.” Thorn grumbled and held his datapad in such a way so that the screen could be visible. It showed a recording from today’s Senate session. At first Adrias was confused why he was being shown this, but then next to the new Emperor was standing an all too familiar figure of the Togruta girl that helped them with the repairs. His healthy eye widened with shock as the anger started boiling inside of him “THAT...” he exclaimed but stopped himself short of using strong language. The implications were grave, they might be walking into a trap.

    “There is more...” Thorn held the datapad with one hand and with his free one he fetched a small device from his pocket. It was a small commlink “It is not one of ours.”

    Adrias could sense Nyll’s surprise, there was something going on. He narrowed his good eye and turned towards her, his anger boiling “You knew about this, don’t you?”

    She almost squirmed under his gaze. Her red skin darkened as she blushed and looked down. “I kept it as a memento with the hope that we will meet her again to give it back.”

    He clenched his jaw, biting down his anger as since last time he vowed not to do anything rash. Nyll meant good and there was no point in chastising her about it. There was a sense of duality in his heart on one hand he was furious on the other he felt for her and understood her reasoning.

    “Nyll...” Adrias sighed “...it can be used as a tracking device. You saw her with the Emperor. We cannot trust her. We have to destroy the commlink and move away from the system.”

    He could sense something different in her. Was it defiance?

    “No, it is not ours, we cannot do such a thing to someone else’s property.” she almost stomped her leg.

    “Nyll, she could have planted it. They could be monitoring and tracking us.” he started calmly.

    “Ad, I might not be as smart as you are, nor I can sense what you are sensing, but you are being paranoid.” Nyll chose her words carefully and he could see her struggle “She is a good girl and must have misplaced it. She might need it and now there is an opportunity to give it back.”

    “And how do you suppose we to do that?” he was getting annoyed.

    “Well I read there will be a ball tonight, I can go there and hand it to her...”

    Adrias could not decide whether to laugh or to shout in anger. The plan was so ludicrous, so absurd… that it might actually work. He took a deep breath. “And how do you suppose you can get there?”

    She thought for a moment and gave a tentative smile. She had overcome the hardest part, when Adrias started talking about how something could be done, then the only thing that remained was to form a good plan. The problem was that she had never been good at this, but that did not discourage her. “Well I can accompany someone important… You know rich and important people sometime hire beautiful girls to accompany them at such events… to be seen with them...” Nyll gave a tentative smile, though she felt disgusted by the idea, but that was the best she could come up right now.

    Adrias thought for a moment and looked at Thorn who in turn shook his head “I agree, too risky, will try to talk with Elias on Coruscant whether he could come up with an invitation. If not, we will have to find another way to do it.”

    She beamed and almost jumped to hug Adrias with gratitude. “Thank you… thank you!”

    Adrias nodded again and turned to Thorn “Prepare the ship for take off, we have to hurry and I will call Elias to have him work on it.” he turned to Nyll “You should know that it might not be possible to arrange it.”

    Elias was a corrupt scumbag, but a useful one. His connections both in the government and in the underworld ran deep and no one touched him. Adrias had been tempted to end him numerous times, but he was too useful alive than dead. Stark feared what the man will ask of him in return as he was rich enough not to be interested in tangible assets… but required “favors”, as he called them. Adrias had done him several favors already and all of them left him sick in his heart, but Nyll’s happiness was more important. In the end if that was indeed a trap then at least they could finally rest.

    He could hear Thorn from the cockpit talking to ground control followed by a rumble within the hull as the engines started. Adrias and Nyll sat down and strapped themselves until the takeoff procedure was over so that each of them could do their respective tasks. There would be a lot to do in such a short time, not that this was an unknown situation for them, still this time the risks were unjustifiably higher than before.

    TAG: To be continued
     
    HanSolo29 likes this.
  21. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    ~OC~ The post preceding this one was a joint post with KD, C_O, and myself. This is a joint post with C_O. I would like to thank both KD and C_O for their great work and contributions. Not only have they done a stunning job with their characters, but they have given me their time and patience to write jointly.


    ~IC~ Empress Marie-Celeste, Ahsoka Tano
    Location: Coruscant, Ursean Embassy.


    “Ahsoka?”

    The cloister now bore the quiet and mystery with which it was typically clothed, for this was a solitary part of the Embassy. The ancient stones were still, cold, and silent, even as the lively fountain’s jets sprayed and spattered.

    Ahsoka found the effect to be soothing... it reminded her of a time when she was younger. She had always loved the water, either playing in it or sitting on the edge of the fountains or by the sacred tree. A source of peace, of meditation, of reflection - She snapped out of her focus as she heard her name being called and turned her head away from the fountain.

    Celeste glided towards Ahsoka. “I thought you were on the way to your suite?”

    Ahsoka gave an embarrassed smile. “I kinda… lost my way.” She explained and glanced down, dipping her chin and glancing back up. “I had something on my mind and got turned about and wanted to ask for directions. I did not mean to intrude before.”

    Celeste smiled, “No, himlarna! You did not intrude. The young ones needed to run and play and, as it turned out, it was a serendipitous meeting ... Come, I’ll walk you to your suite, the Embassy can be a bit of a maze all hobbled together, as it is. I’m sure you’ve noted, some parts of these structures är gansk’ alt-old” She gestured for Ahsoka to walk with her as she turned back towards the cloister.

    Another gust swept down from the mountain and now it was quite cold. “Oo!,” said Celeste patting her arms. “You must be cold.”

    “I ammm… okaay…” Ahsoka tried not to let it show, though an involuntary shiver as she spoke probably gave her away. Her body normally ran at a higher temperature, though with what she was wearing and the sudden chill... she moved closer to Celeste. “Maaybee.. “ She admitted when a second shiver ran down her back as she felt another gust, “You would be tooo.” her bottom lip started quivering.

    Hesitating for a moment, Celeste smiled and then lifted the satin skirt of her gown and put the side of it around Ahsoka’s shoulders and her arm about the Togruta’s waist. “We are so high up on the mountain, here. Fortunately, it will be much warmer at the reception,” she said helpfully and shivered, too.

    “It is rare to have a natural formation here in the midst of a planet encompassing city…” Ahsoka marvelled, part of herself was wishing she had a chance to properly visit Celeste’s homeworld. She appreciated the effort to keep them both warm and huddled close to Celeste. Ahsoka felt Empress’ arm about her and it was warming, so, she did the same for Celeste to keep each other warm. “Can kinda feel like you are on some far off world... a beautiful sanctuary away from the bustle of the city life.”

    “Helera Wegg is a retreat and makes Coruscant bearable. I should not admit that it holds unpleasant memories for me and the congestion is overwhelming. However, the abbey-the Embassy is beautiful. It has a special feel. I think the Kavalad beat the Jedi to these peaks, but then, I know from ancient texts, the Jedi chose a place where the Temple stands for a particular reason, but I did not pursue that with so much else to study in preparing for service. It would be interesting to discover why. Perhaps, as these mountains were considered sacred and the Kavalad had their abbey here, they were not leveled like so much of the old geography of Coruscant. The Jedi occasionally used to make their way to Helera Wegg for ceremonies, but not so, for the last half of the millennium..brrrrrr..”

    “I think I remember something about there being such ceremonies, though I never attended them. I was too young... and with the war…” Ahsoka’s voice trailed off for a moment. “Their focus had then shifted from spirituality to a military orientation.”

    “Yes, that is true, but then, the military knowledge the Jedi possessed was very much required. It is altogether unfortunate. The Jedi and the Kavalad once enjoyed a closer connection ...you know, the Jedi did not entirely forget Helera Wegg and used to attend the celebrations here and even conducted them, as well. There are still some great drums and prayer bells up on the mountain top. When I was still quite young,there were some historically authentic ceremonies held and Grand Master Yoda was present. They were quite exciting with all the Masters performing very elaborate katas and the drums and cymbals. I remember imperfectly as I was a very young child. Even in recent years, there were a few older Jedi who would come to Helera Wegg to ring the bells in the towers. Typically, it was a personal homage or desire to maintain ties.”

    Celeste, walking arm in arm with Ahsoka spoke about the Kavalad celebrations; the chanting and the large metal horns, the massive pipes of the organ and prayers of the Kavalad, and most particularly, about her studies preparing her as the Matriarch of the Kavalad. “Perhaps you can attend the celebration in honor of the fallen, in remembrance of all who lost and gave their lives to protect. You weren’t able to know or experience such ceremonies of the Kavalad and Jedi, as when you came to Coruscant, the shadow of the war was already across this Galaxy. You were also very young, I have been given to understand, when you were pulled into the conflict, which now we will give thanks is over. There will be much celebration in the cathedral soon...” Celeste’s voice trailed off as she looked to Ahsoka with concern. “I don’t remember last when I was so talkative. Forgive me...”

    She felt so comfortable, so close to Ahsoka, whose lekku and body gave off a very comforting warmth. It seemed to Celeste, she’d rarely had the chance to enjoy this sort of camaraderie. Due to her childhood difficulties, she had not been allowed such closeness. She almost did not want to breathe, lest she disturb the budding friendship.

    “Always welcome!“ Ahsoka chuckled and gave an assuring smile. “It feels great to talk freely and to just be...” She knew exactly how Celeste felt. Having spent so much time undercover and unable to be herself, today felt like the first time she could breathe. “I would be honoured to attend the ceremony… I believe I have a lot to be thankful for…” She sighed softly. “It would be good to experience that finality… closure. To be free… to be me…” Ahsoka glanced down, the corner of her lips tugged back to give a faint smile. “Today feels like the first time, after so many years, that I can be me.”

    As they walked the lonely corridor, Celeste gave Ahsoka a tiny hug and they quickened their steps, soon coming to a turn where they found themselves before transparisteel doors. The sensors reading the two individuals, bleeped twice. Celeste held up her hand and waved to a camera.

    “How do you think that will look, the Empress hiking up her skirts for all to see her petticoat,” she laughed and looked to Ahsoka.

    “Oooh… I think I should have been carrying you…” Ahsoka laughed too, her arm around Celeste’s waist gave a friendly hug, back. She appreciated what Celeste had done and helped smooth the skirt back in place. It was much more warm inside. “Besides, would anyone ever believe them about what they saw?”

    ‘Thank you,” said Celeste smoothing her hair back from her face and told Ahsoka that she was probably right, who would believe them. She stomped her feet and rubbed her arms warming up. Looking to the Commissar, Celeste noted how tired she looked. “It has been a very long day already and I understand it was a very long night before. Ahsoka, do you need to sleep this evening?” asked the Empress stopping and facing the newly made Commissar.

    “You’re welcome.” Ahsoka murmured and smiled. The mentioning of the word sleep made her aware of how exhausted she felt, no doubt all of them were feeling so. “Sleep…? I should be okay…”

    “Even ‘former’ Jedi need sleep,” said the Empress, answering the maternal call, while resuming their walk. “Here we are. Down there are our apartments and yours is this direction, you are really just a few doors away.” They came to Ahsoka’s door and Celeste stopped the Commissar before she entered. “A shower and a moment to sort the day should do some good.”

    “Gosh, hot and steamy to soothe the muscles…” Ahsoka chuckled softly, a small cloud of doubt had left her mind with the assurance of how close her suite was to them. “Thank you for the suggestion… a shower does sound great.”

    “I’ll leave you now, but, should you need anything, please let house services know or if I can help, you have only to call or simply walk down the hall...well...until later...then...” She smiled, taking Ahsoka’s hands in hers and leaning in to kiss her cheek lightly. A small bow of her head, Celeste departed for the Royal apartments just down the hall.

    TAG: Ahsoka

     
  22. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    IC: Dennii/Drakoniss Sunwalker

    on-board modified Nu-class Transport, en-route to Coruscant

    There was a heavy silence inside the vessel. Dennii was too wary to speak and she could sense that the stormtroopers were also reluctant to talk with her. From their body language she could tell that they were conversing between each other using their built in commlinks. She had learned that from Alpha, so she wondered what they were talking about. They seemed confused, probably by the fact that she was a Jedi and they were supposed to protect her and not arrest or kill her. She tried to take a nap but was too wired for it.

    She had a brief snack, some sort of a sandwich, which tasted bland or maybe she lacked appetite? At least she put something in her stomach. Dennii rested her head back and sighed silently. She was trying to calm herself down, but couldn’t do it, the panic and anxiety had overtaken her completely. She had to rest her legs as she did not want to show her nervousness to the troopers. Drakoniss was silent as well, he was looking for a way to help her, but couldn’t find anything. Besides her anxieties affected him as well, she was one big open wound that never heals. She was at the last of her strength and now was plunged into the big unknown again… Hopefully Anakin… Vader would just execute her and be done with it… that made her cringe as she remembered that she was carrying a child… but wasn’t it cruel that she was going to bring a new life in this dark and inhospitable place and she, a single mother, who could barely take care of herself, how was she supposed to raise it!? A tear trickled down her cheek. She hoped that her child would forgive her for this. ‘Should have been more careful...’ A dark thought formed in the back of her mind… maybe she could terminate the pregnancy? ‘NO!’ another voice screamed inside of her. ‘You can’t do that!’

    It was Drakoniss ‘Stop this immediately, you are tired and stressed and you are prone to idiotic decisions like this one. If Vader wanted to harm you the stromtroopers would have arrested or killed you right after you left Hyperion. You are relatively free, wait and see before making any such decision.’

    Dennii looked down but trying to keep her face passive ‘But he is a Sith, it must be a trick… It must be...’

    ‘I am a Sith too, remember?’ he said with a conciliatory voice ‘You know how it feels, the darkness and all. I can assure you that Vader has other concerns than to play games with you. If he wanted you dead no one could have saved you.’

    Dennii tried to take a deep breath but winced from the injury that she had sustained to her ribs. She placed her hand over it and applied some Force Healing, that would hold her long enough to gather her strength to do the ritual properly.

    ‘Dennii, concentrate now on your well being and not on probabilities that are just that… probabilities. Not everything that happens to you is a conspiracy to get you killed. Who knows it might be even beneficial.’ he gave her a mental smile. ‘Think about something more positive, like the last few weeks before you left the Union? If I remember correctly these were some of your happiest memories.’

    She managed to form a small smile as another tear trickled down. ‘Yes...’she whispered in her head ‘I was happy then, not realising what was going to happen in the near future.’

    ‘No-one ever does, that is both a blessing and a curse.’ he sighed ‘If only I knew what was going to happen, then I wouldn’t have done what I did, but then I wouldn’t have met you...’

    Dennii closed her eyes ‘Yes, and most likely I would have been dead without you.’

    Drakoniss gave a mental shrug ‘Who knows, you might have been happier, you never know, but shouldn’t dwell on that, for now we have to focus on the present and be prepared for the future.’

    Something caught her attention, she saw a stormtrooper approaching her. She instinctively tensed as she expected an attack, but relaxed as she did not sense malice.

    “We are on the final leg of our journey towards Coruscant. We will be arriving soon.”

    She felt her throat dry “Than...” her voice a bit hoarse “Thank you.” she managed to say at last. The man regarded her for a moment then moved back to his place. ‘Well, either way we will learn soon enough.’

    TAG: To be continued
     
  23. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    IC: Duchess Jori Atreides

    The evening before the Derra Incident; Castle Kaladan, Kaladan, Union of the Great Houses

    Present - Ursean embassy, Coruscant

    Jori couldn’t sleep again. The news regarding the Lord Advisor and the debacle on Naboo had her on edge and the absurdity of the whole situation. She had to put out fire after fire and there was no resolution in sight. She stood up from the swiveling chair in her office and moved towards the big window overseeing Kala City. The sight of the sleepless city soothed her, at least she had company. Somewhere someone had a great time and a slight smile creeped on her lips.

    Jori sighed and looked at the immediate area surrounding Castle Kaladan and saw the brightly lit marble structure, it was the family mausoleum. There was a pang of sadness upon seeing it as both her parents were lying there in their glass sarcophagi and a stasis field keeping them as they were in the time of their death. Jori looked down and clenched her fist as emotions almost overtook her. There was a pang of guilt somewhere down her heart, a feeling that was getting stronger that accompanied most of her decisions that she had made thus far as they usually lead to negative consequences for the people around her. Her latest “victim” was her father, who died because of her impulsiveness in her teens.

    The decision to kidnap and then execute personally her hated fiancee. The Baron Ordonnen was quick to discover that House Atreides was somehow involved in this and did not believe the cover up holos that the CSS had made implicating that organization. Though no one believed him, after all he had bled his House’s coffers and was disgraced. No one in the Union would listen to a loser even if he was telling the truth. But the old man mustered some strength and almost killed her and failed, but succeeded with her father. A surprising outcome, but not entirely unexpected one.

    The duchess turned towards the door of her office. Maybe a late night visit to her parents wouldn’t hurt. There was something she wanted to “talk” about with them. The time was good as any so she just left.

    ***********************

    The mausoleum was silent as such buildings usually were. The lights were dimmed and there were shadows everywhere. Her steps echoed on the polished marble floor. The lights reflected on it making an illusion that she was walking on a ray. The building had several levels as each generation of Atreides replaced the previous one. There were only three sarcophagi on this level - her parents’ and her aunt’s. Even though her mother and aunt were from different Houses they became Atreides so their bodies would rest with the others. Someday she would lie here, hopefully this time would come in the far future as she had so much to do.

    Jori stopped between the coffins of her mother and father. She could see the figures lying inside looking fresh as if they were just asleep. It was so eerie and unnatural, but she buried those feelings inside. Jori bit her lower lip, she was not sure what to say, back in her office, this late night visit sounded like a good idea, but now that she was there doubts started to creep.

    “Mother...” she paused “Father...” another pause “I am sorry for not coming earlier, but a lot of things are happening.” she smiled sadly “Fa… Papa, I...” not sure how to proceed and shook her head “... I am sorry...”

    Jori sighed and felt moisture on her cheek as a tear trickled down “I am sorry papa...” she sobbed “I killed you with my hastiness, did not listen to you...” they had spent the last few years in constant arguments about how the Union should be ruled and she had been undermining his initiatives believing she was doing good for them, still thought so “You were too soft, too good for us...” that came out as an accusation “No, I am sorry...” she paused and swallowed another sob “I want you to know that I will finish your mission, I will change the Union for the better and I will punish those who did that to you.” the Baron Ordonnen was not the only complicit in what happened.

    “If only you were here…” she started and stopped, all Jori wanted was a caress on her cheek from both of them or at least one. She had been feeling lonely for some time even when her father was alive. Then remembered that man she rescued from the crash. Jori smiled sadly and wiped a tear from her cheek “I met a man… well sort of met, had to drag him out of the sea…” she chuckled “You would have liked him, handsome, strong and Corellian… I tasked the CSS to look for him…” which was an abuse of power, lucky for her they were also interested in what had happened and to verify his identity.

    When Jori thought about him she could feel her cheeks warm and her heart starting to race. Though the sadness and loneliness came back right after that reminding her of what she could not have. She never imagined how lonely it was on the top. In fact she felt like a prisoner in a golden cage. The irony was was that in a sense she was the least free person in the Union.

    Jori turned to leave and stopped. “I will make you proud and will bring a new Golden Age for the Union.” she looked back “We will get back on the Galaxy map as a force to be reckoned with. We will once again be respected...” her self-confidence returned after saying all that. She nodded to herself and left the building… Time to get some rest.

    ***********************


    PRESENT TIME

    Jori had spent the last hour unpacking and trying to calm herself. Too much had happened in so little time. The Bene Gesserit overstepped their boundaries and made a grievous mistake. There will be payback. The cynic in her told her that it was lucky what they tried to pull off, now she had an excuse to press them further. Of course they were still too powerful to be just attacked, but a sting here and there would soon bleed them out. The Witches and the Inquisitors, both orders had become unruly and a government within the government, in her vision for the Union’s future there was no place for such things. But one thing at a time. She was sure that the CSS Director had taken care of things so she could focus on what was going on on Coruscant.

    It was kind of fun not bringing any servants or staff with her. The whole journey was unorthodox, but she tended to excel in these things, not being too rigid in her thinking. Admittedly she was a bit of an opportunist, which was not necessary a bad thing. The whole situation was exhilarating so she was a bit giddy from the anticipation. ‘Control yourself...’ Jori reminded herself as being overexcited could lead to mistakes and at this stage she could not afford to make big ones. But in each such critical situation lied potential for something good, she only needed to pay attention and find it.

    Jori disliked being served when she had to do menial things like getting dressed or preparing for such events like the reception that Lord Vader was holding tonight. It was degrading for those poor girls who worked as her handmaids, so whenever possible she did all this herself. Of course she needed attention for more specific activities so there was no avoiding that. Anyway she was glad to be alone and not have to concern herself with having too many of her people running around and causing trouble. Hopefully those who accompanied her would behave and there won't be a need to put out any fires they might start. Jori sighed, she will have to deal with this if something like that happens. There was no point in concerning herself with it at this point. But she would need to be on the lookout for any sign of trouble and prevent it from escalating.

    Jori sent a message to the Union representative Magnus to inform Lord Admiral Xavier that he was to accompany her at the reception as he was the co-ruler. It would be interesting to see him among the hated by him politicians now that he was one of them. The Houses Militant usually employed very trusted administrators who were taking care of the political, legal and economic side of the governance. Jori had chosen him because she could trust the Lord Admiral implicitly and also needed him to make the necessary reforms in the Union military, something she did not fully understand yet and did not want to lose any more time trying to get into something that will take her a lot of time and energy.

    She also informed him of her sister’s arrival and that hopefully she would attend the reception. Jori sent him her measurements so that he could provide her with the necessary dress and also some other pieces of clothing. Maybe add some jewellery too, yes, she would definitely need them too. But nothing too exotic, her pregnant status presumed that she should wear something more conservative and fitting to her status. But it also should accentuate on her beauty.

    All in all they were not out of the woods yet, but there was hope, given how she had been treated en-route towards Coruscant. Though things could quickly change, the Empire was in a transitionary phase so soon after its inception. There were ample examples from around the Galaxy and from the Union itself that these periods were unstable, even if regular people don’t see it. Jori was sure that the CSS were on the case trying to find all these fault lines so that the Union could use them. For now she needed to go in blindly, which in normal situations was dangerous enough, now it could prove suicidal or it could bring good results. Only time will tell.

    She was awaiting a call from Lord Vader’s office as to know when the transport carrying Dennii would arrive.

    TAG: Lord Vader
     
  24. Corellian_Outrider

    Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW star 5 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2002
    ~OOC~ This post is a joint effort between Pashatemur and myself. Thank you for the opportunity, it was fun :)

    IC: Bail Organa and Riyo Chuchi
    Location: Coruscant skylanes

    “Well,” said Bail sighing and clearly more relaxed as the cityscape blurred past them, “I cannot figure what game he’s playing. I don’t want to believe this can be any indication that Vader’s evolved,” smirked Organa, “and even if he has had some miraculous epiphany, his deeds cry out for justice. There, that’s my mind in a nutshell!” He could kick himself for his petulence and he was being inarticulate, to boot.

    “It does make you question what is really going on, however, I am open to seeing how things pan out…” Chuchi replied to her colleague. She enjoyed the rush of air against her face in the open air red and chrome speeder of Bail’s. “...to a certain extent. We both saw those hungry vultures looming from their perch so we don’t want to rush ourselves into a predicament.”

    “We can’t fall into the trap of some false dichotomy - thinking it’s between the two devils we know and that’s it. Maybe Vader and the admiralty have worked out this whole charade - you know good cop/bad cop. There are many possibilities. My head is spinning,” said Bail, throwing a hand up in frustration. “Play devil’s advocate for me, Riyo, don’t just let me sing this same note,” Bail pleaded. He wasn’t deriving the usual relief he experienced leaving the Senate for the drive home. The sleek speeder was his secret pride and he enjoyed her smooth and responsive ride, the subtle buffeting and readjusting were the nuances that engaged him and relieved the pressure of dealing with the Empire’s treacherous bureaucracy.

    Chuchi placed her finger to her lips as though in thought, “The facts… his range of vocabulary and use of words are far more… how to say… just more in general. It has been so long since we have actually heard him speak in a great amount.”

    “Yes! Granted and you were going to say that his articulateness about the political arena was totally out of character with our previous experience of “Jedi Skywalker,” said Bail as if the name was an epithet. “It was not ... I can’t believe that these are his words. It’s way out of character for Vader. Since when does he care about democracy, diplomacy, and justice?!”

    “Out of character for Vader, yes,” Chuchi glanced to him to gauge his expression, “but you did just call him Jedi Skywalker a second ago.”

    “He never had any patience for the political process...he had no patience for all the jockeying and the whole negotiating, gaming...Anakin couldn’t play cards to save his skin and he definitely didn’t suffer foo-he’s a...a mystic” Bail stopped in mid-sentence. He didn’t take his eyes from the grid but he thought about what Riyo just said and heard himself call Vader, “Anakin.” His jaw set.

    Chuchi caught the working of his jaw and saw that it vexed him. “Are we letting prejudice cloud our memories? He did demonstrate some acumen of the political arena when he and Kenobi came to Orto Plutonia as liaison for a mild territorial crisis, that the former Chairman Cho had caused, with the native tribes. You remember?”

    Bail’s brows knitted and he nodded as he recalled the crisis.

    Yet, Organa returned strongly, as if something inside him fought back, “Riyo, even if he’s sincere, the man is dragging a whole lot of damage behind him. I cannot forget... I can’t unexperience the past. Even if he really means to fix this mess and bring justice - he has to start with himself!”

    He sighed again. “It all came down on MY watch, Riyo. This isn’t just some local graft - Palpatine was a deranged, bloated evil soul who calculatedly dismantled the Republic and along the way and ever since, is responsible for mass genocide. We both know it and Vader was his right hand man!”

    “And Pestage was Palpatine’s left.” Chuchi added. “His sword and shield… and now they both are without a wielder. Who becomes what now? If someone else takes that place…”

    “...But that’s what I was saying! What if Tarkin and Vader formed a coalition and this is what they want us to think. Couldn’t they be manipulating us...Listen to me! I sound like a nut-job conspiracist, but this is what we’ve come to, we’re all mired in intrigue.”

    Chuchi slowly shook her head. “I would agree with you if the circumstances were slightly different however… there is one factor which in my mind puts a kink to that theory. Now... I know we were not suffering from a power hallucinogen but that female Togruta who stood up there on the podium… do we really know it is her?”

    “I have some confirmation of it. I couldn’t believe it myself, but that is Ahsoka Tano...and I’ve been wondering if he hasn’t had her in league with him all this time?”

    “I will admit that I had at first thought it was the reclusive Queen of Shili. Then Ahsoka really has survived and we will have to do some digging of our own to find out exactly what it means…” The Pantoran shook her head again. “Not to mention she is that kink I can find so far to that theory of Vader and Tarkin working collaboratively. We were there that day when Tarkin wanted her head removed and I know Ahsoka- well, knew her.” She corrected herself. “Though still… she would not willingly cooperate or have anything to do with that man. Would that not also affect his option of Tarkin too? Am I letting my memories get in the way?” Her tone apologetic “You did ask for me to play devil’s advocate.”

    “I know, I know…” Bail felt the pent up disgust and anger streak down his arm and he pounded the rounded chrome trim beneath his fist. He was frustrated with himself as much as he was angered at the situation under discussion. “I’m afraid you can add my diplomacy to the funeral pyre!” He shook his head.

    “Alright, behavior - uncharacteristic; the return of the Jedi, Ahsoka Tano-who may or may not ...” he stopped himself. “Vader did take risks in many of his statements and if he has no agreement with Tarkin and his band, then it truly was a gamble, Vader playing his hand so soon as he did today; he’s been seen in the holos pitching in with the throngs and tending the injured. If this is an act, for which I cannot see him having the least bit of patience, it’s a damn good one...but we know, Riyo...we know...”

    “Striking while the iron is hot? That this is a way of…” She paused as she tried to think of the saying. Shock and awe? No… certainly not intimidation… she frowned. “...I don’t know. Maybe it is like one of those holochess techniques. There was a void where the most powerful piece was and he had to move or the opposing piece would-” She stopped as something came to mind “Who are all the pieces? He needed to do this… but was it for us or for them? The Admiralty? The Moffs?” They flew past a billboard displaying the holo news feed showing highlights of the recent senate address. She half gestured to that. “Maybe it is for the people.”

    “Riyo...” The traffic lane came to an abrupt halt and Bail had to stop short, the two of them lurching forward as the speeder’s rear end lifted slightly against the sudden breaking. The holo loomed large over the crossing lanes of drivers. Above, the fiery rose-hued sky of afternoon shown softly as the sunlight broke through the layers of pollution, but the intersection was ablaze with glaring synthetic light, the image of Vader looming over all- without armor, face nearly unblemished or marred by any scar, eyes, clear and intense deep blue and voice resonant and unassisted.

    “I was there that night. I saw what I saw. I know the 501st and I saw them shoot down that child. So I did not see Skywalker, but he was there, that’s never been hidden or denied. This is not his ...way. Even before...it was not his way. This is not adding up. I cannot accept that this is genuine.” He put his hand over his lips for a moment and collected himself.

    Bail lifted his eyes to gaze up at those in the colossal image of the giant holo and for the longest moment, the image seemed to be looking at him and Bail found himself addressing the man it showed, under his breath. “She...loved you, and you destroyed her, us, everything...and now this! What are you up to? The time to act was then...” He found himself struggling under the image. The traffic would not budge. “So he’s learned how to play this game, Riyo. We cannot waver. This is a trap.”

    Chuchi studied her friend, she did not know the dynamics of it all, but knew the hurt he had felt. He was once close to Amidala and Skywalker. With Amidala gone and so the Jedi… he was hurt. Then there’s Sabe who took over the role as one of the representatives of the Chommel Sector whose appearance would be a constant reminder of the dear friend he lost. There was a risk that emotions were affecting his perspective, the baggage he mentioned of Skywalker could that also be said about Organa too? She wondered as there was something more that he was not saying...

    They needed to remain objective about all this to make all sense of it. The last thing she wanted them to do is make a grievous mistake born out of prejudice and unwillingness to listen. She also did not like to see her friend in distress and needed to bring him back to the present. She reached out and slid her hand over the top of his and intertwined her fingers between his. “It is undoubtedly a trap…” She gave a gentle squeeze, “...but for whom?”

    Tag: Bail Organa
     
  25. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    [​IMG]
    Original art by Jacob Charles Dietz


    OCC: Thank you, C_O. This post was truly rewarding and a lot of fun to write with you. Thank you, as always for your support and for the contribution of much engaging dialogue, time, and advice.

    IC: Bail Organa and Riyo Chuchi
    Location: Coruscant skylanes

    His fingers wrapped gently around those of his friend’s and still the traffic did not budge, but only prolonged the awkward moment. He looked up and then away and withdrew his hand before flashing a smile at Senator Chuchi. The image carried on and in all directions, the grid was truly locked and hearing a rumble overhead, Bail realized that stalled traffic was all due to the Imperial retinue departing the Senate.

    “Know thine enemy,” said Bail, as flow returned at last to the eternal traffic of the government sector. “I suppose there will be much to observe at the reception this evening...and besides, my,”...he glanced quickly up at the image once more before they passed it, “my daughter has been after me to take her to a ‘real state affair’.”

    “The reception... “ Gosh, that was another thing to think about! She will need to confer with her aides about the details and make preparations for the evening. “... that might be a great idea for the young Princess. Give her a chance to experience the perks to ‘being stuck behind a desk’ as she probably thinks we all are.” She chuckled. “How is she, by the way?”

    “She’s a constant whirl-wind, defying the laws of physics. Her appetite for knowledge exhausts me, but by no means am I complaining. She’s run down another path once reclaimed from a precipice. Leia keeps me young, or maybe it’s old. I suppose I am the least likely father I could imagine, and yet, I doubt anyone else but me could manage her.”

    Chuchi smiled, it was beautiful the way he spoke about Leia and she could tell he loved her dearly. It also reminded her of something that her own family kept saying is missing from her own life. Maybe when things eases up, when the galaxy is a better place for all then she can step back and dedicate time to what she wants to do and maybe…. Who knows? She kept telling herself that and the more she did, the less she believed it. For now, she can take joy from the experiences Organa is having with his own. “Hmmm… I wonder where she gets that from? Think she will follow in your footsteps?” She chuckled. “You should take her by the offices someday… or the apartment... it would be a pleasure to have you both visit.”

    Glad to be changing the subject for a moment and the opportunity to clear his head, Bail smiled and glanced quickly to Chuchi before switching lanes. The traffic was still moving slowly and he had to take extra caution. It seemed like no one in his immediate vicinity had been to traffic school. “Are you not going to attend the reception?”

    “I…” Chuchi hesitated. “At first, I had not decided and did not want to commit unless I was sure. Since everyone I know will be attending, I suppose… I can make an appearance.” She finally decided. “I think that part of me feels that there is still work to do… or maybe that is just one facet that I am seeing… it has been a whirlwind of a morning and a lot to process.”

    “Well, we need to keep an eye on the situation and this is the perfect opportunity. There’ll be plenty to see, I’ll wager. You know how these affairs are and we won’t be the only ones and that’s exactly why it will be good to be there. There’s going to be a lot happening underneath all the ceremony. Besides, it’ll be nice to have at least one person I can rely on present and it’d be a good opportunity for Leia to get to know you better...we need you.”

    She smiled as she picked up on Bail’s underlying meaning. “How can I refuse when you put it that way? We do have to flock together, you know… birds of a feather. I do look forward to a chance to spend time with the Princess.”

    “Good, ah great! We’ll pick you up. We’ll even take the Alderaanian “wagon” and make it official. How’s that?”
    Chuchi’s jaw dropped and then changed into an excited grin. “And I’ll wear one of my crimson numbers. I am thinking… the one with the petals and without the back.”

    “Oh, milady, I’ll have to brush off the old court gear. Besides, the princess will appreciate the proper escort. That’s the spirit! I’m going to let our “friends” know - not that they will get the news in time, but won’t they be envious,” he said with a wink, though he was now quite serious and giving a signal, he turned into Chuchi’s embassy.

    “Good idea.” Chuchi smiled as she caught the wink and nodded. “I am sure we’ll find out soon enough...”

    She recognised where they were now and it was a surprise and she could not help but feel a bit disappointed to see that they had arrived so fast. The ride in the speeder felt like an escape from the work that was awaiting her inside, but it was good while it lasted. She remembered that there was something she had meant to run by him, but it could wait until tomorrow. She was sure everyone else going who was going was probably clearing their schedules for the day to prepare for the night to make themselves look glamourous.

    The speeder hovered in the portcullis and the guards acknowledged Chuchi’s presence. Bail made eye contact and nodded to one. He put a hand out to halt Riyo from leaving just yet.

    “I’m going to send a quick note to the Chandrillan. I can’t be certain, but I believe that one could be out and about, maybe near. See if maybe we can learn a bit more about the return of the Togruta. Could be a deliberate move and we are in the dark right now? Communication from our friends on the “outside” has been patchy of late...one more thing, you surmised, I’m sure, I can’t bring myself to trust the Naboo. I’d like to keep the distance without giving her the brush off.”

    Chuchi moistened her lips as she regarded Organa. “No, I understand having misgivings, especially through these turbulent times. We have to remain objective.”

    She held her tongue and refrained from adding further about the Naboo; that it was odd how the Naboo had been representing the Chommell Sector in the senate for almost two decades, well known to be Palpatine’s homeworld, nor several other issues that seem to circulate about them. Regarding the Togruta, she had to remind herself to take her own advice about being objective as she once considered Ahsoka as a younger sister. It would be easier if she could confirm for herself, here and now, and put her mind at ease if it really is her or just a performer acting the part. Hopefully tonight she would find out for sure.

    “You were pretty close to Jedi Tano, weren’t you,” asked Organa, as if he had a front row seat in the theatre of her thoughts.“Mmhmm…” Chuchi nodded, her voice wavered slightly. “I really hope she is alive and well. She was like having a younger sister. Very sweet and irrepressible…” She sighed and shook her head. “I will do my best to not let that cloud my judgement.”

    “If it IS Ahsoka, she will know us. If she is...unaltered,” Bail struggled with just how to qualify a change of thinking, “if she hasn’t been brainwashed, will we know? That’s the question. We’ll triangulate,” he said assertively.

    “Maybe if there is a way we can backtrack to where she had been all this time, that might provide some clues, too.”

    Bail considered Riyo’s suggestion, putting a hand up to halt the concierge who stepped out of the embassy to greet Chuchi. The man nodded discreetly and waited at the head of the grand concourse that adorned the entrance.

    “We should engage old friends, each on our own. See what they have to say about recent developments. We’ll both talk with Tano and Vader, perhaps even the Reina of Ursa, and perhaps Sate Pestage or our Speaker, for that matter. We can reconnoitre after this evening and see what they’ve said, whether if with some of them there’s some slight variation in the story that will reveal important information about all of this. Nothing like a direct approach. It’s a start.” Bail was not looking forward to a conversation with Vader. There were several tense moments in the past, though not recently, when Vader had issued him unveiled threats and since then, Bail had managed to avoid the Imperial Executor.

    She almost pulled a face of distaste when Organa mentioned Sate Pestage, but it was probably something they could not avoid. There was something else... she was trying to remember back to those days of who was about and had known the young Togruta as well as she did. There were a handful but there was one more closer to her age that came to mind. “I think I do know of someone that could help add another opinion to help validate and was once a friend to her. I might see if they are coming tonight and I can be persuasive if they are not.”

    His curiosity peaked, Bail looked to Riyo attentively. “Yes?”

    “I’ll need to make sure… but leave it to me.” She gave him a wink and looked passed Organa to the concierge waiting patiently. “They’re probably wondering what is going on.” Her gaze returned to Organa’s. “Thank you for giving me a ride and going out of your way.”

    Flashing a small warm smile, Bail patted Riyo’s hand and bid her farewell. “Shall I pick you up in ...3 hours - that enough time?”
    Chuchi’s head bobbed as she mentally counted what she needed to do to prepare herself for the evening’s festivities and then nodded. “It… should be fine. I will be ready for you.”

    He watched her alight from the speeder and he waved before pulling back out into the traffic. He needed to get a message out to Mon Mothma, wherever she was at the moment. Bail had no concrete reason to believe she was on Coruscant, but if she was and could be at the reception, she would be. Now to get the family in order and dressed for the evening.

    TAG: Sabe, Riyo Chuchi, Aryan Graul, the newly appointed senator for Corellia, Attendees of the New Emperor’s Senate Address