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Star Wars THE GALAXY AT WAR: EPISODE V: EMERGENCE

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

  1. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: This is a joint post between me and Pashatemur, thank you for it, it was a pleasure!

    IC: Sister Adalia Adana, Sister Irene, Amberley Veil
    LOCATION: Castle Kaladan, Kala City, Kaladan, the Union of the Great Houses

    Left to settle in, Sister Adalia had little to in her room, few belongings were hers to put by. A change of habit, her training gear, a few old books-rare gifts of her family, a family she never really knew, and the various paraphernalia of her requisite training. Her room was austentatious, too large for her needs, and claimed a beautiful eastern view of the park and cityscape beyond. Night was coming and snow still had not let up from the flurries of the afternoon, thus there were few stars lighting the night sky, so the underlit cloud cover glowed with a heavy rose-gold hue.

    Outside in the elegant corridors, there was a bustle of activity. From what she had overheard, the servants being particularly free in their language, the Duchess Jori’s grandmother had arrived suddenly and unannounced. The Grand dame was quite a self-esteemed potentate and all were scrambling to ready rooms for the lady and her retinue.

    Adalia sat at a large desk facing a cosy seating area and wrote a few notes in code in her data journal. It was an old set of runes she used and the occupation, a very arcane endeavor, but it had proved helpful for Adalia, and meditative. She had been cautioned against keeping a record of her thoughts extraneous to her memories, but to externalise helped to contextualize. Realizing she slouched, Adalia sat up and began to remove the additional layers the extreme cold required. Unwinding the diaphanous black veil, she removed the short toque that covered the short bob of thick dark choco brown hair on her head and scratched and combed it back from her face. Her cloak and tight-fitting surcoat likewise removed, she stood in her stiff skirt and ruffed-collar and put on the flared black diadem, wimple, and veil that so distinguished the Bene Gesserit. A novice, Adalia did not yet sport the shaved head the older sisters did and she had a sort of odd look that made her seem impish.

    Smoothing her skirt, she prepared to take stock of the Castle. She could see her reflection in the long windows of the dark room and blew up at the shock of bangs that drooped down over her forehead before turning and exiting her room. Stepping out into the hall, even it’s polished floors were covered with thickly decorative carpets into which her soft-booted feet sank. She had to refrain from exclaiming in pleasure, for her feet were still recovering from the cold. Hands tucked into her wide sleeves, Adalia glided while those around her ran, jogged, and shuffled past.

    No expense was spared in outfitting Castle Kaladan. Mirrors, busts, statuary, paintings, it was almost overwhelming. As Adalia explored, she learned this Grandmother had been in self-imposed exile. Why should a grand lady put herself in exile? It had to have been an exceptional event to cause such a thing. Ere long, she found herself in a massive library. Her long fingers glanced over the spines of ancient books. Many an important tome stood amongst the carefully kept volumes on the shelves. Here and there, Adalia pulled a book to her hand and perused.

    Amberley was nervous, she had to meet the new Bene Gesserit. The Sisterhood’s relations with the duchess made things very hard for her as she did not want to appear disloyal to her employer, but on the other hand despite all their faults the Truthsayers warranted respect. She was nervous though, especially now that the grandmother showed up and the whole Castle was buzzing with activity.

    The timing was very bad, the Ruling Council moved to the Eagle’s Nest in the Atlas Mountains and the duchess’ uncle Paulus remained in the Castle to the chagrin of the guards as he was the de facto ruler of the Union until Her Ultimacy gets back. Amberley imagined the nightmare that was in the administrative area as they could not decide what to do, to follow the activities on the other Union worlds, the blockade or the meaning of this visit.

    There was an increase of CSS agents too in their black suits, Death Guards too, which compounded the worry. The maids were throwing a fit seeing the soldiers staining everything, all in all a total chaos. There were also people tasked to catalogue the art collection and to prepare its evacuation in case the Outsiders attacked. So she had to navigate all this but managed to reach the room where the new Sister was appointed. Amberley was surprised that she it was that high given the strenuous relations between the duchess and the Sisterhood. There was something she did not know and that made her extra careful as this was not a coincidence or a random act, nothing in the Castle happened by accident.

    She tried to control her anxiety as she wished to be somewhere else, Kenneth, the spin doctor had invited her in the cafeteria, which she had to decline given her new task. Stopping in front of the lacquered door she took a deep breath and knocked. No answer, so she knocked again, no answer. This attracted the attention of one of the guards standing in the corridor.

    “The Bene Gesserit had left her room, went in the direction of the library.”

    Amberley nodded and almost cringed, not a good start, and tried to walk as fast as her tight skirt and high heels allowed her to. She wished for a “casual day” so that she could wear something more comfortable. With a sigh she proceeded towards the indicated area. The Castle’s library always attracted the attention of its visitors with its richness of tomes from all over the Galaxy, even some ancient rarities which were in stasis and could be read only with special equipment as they were so old that they fall apart if exposed to the elements. And there she was the Bene Gesserit. Amberley crossed her wrists making the sign of the Aquila, the Atreides greeting “Bey lah heifla, Reverend sister.”

    Her diadem or hood slipping on her bangs, Adalia reached up annoyed, one elbow on the shelf, her palm supporting her chin, and with the other hand, she raised the embroidered edge of her wimple and hood and tucked her bangs under to reseat the whole assemblage. Hearing the approach of another, she closed the book, her finger stuck between the pages and turned to greet the person.

    A young lady in business attire stood before her, wrists crossed in formal greeting, “Bey lah haifla, Reverend Sister,” she said. Repeating the words, Adalia greeted Amberley, with a slight incline of her head.

    “I am sorry if I kept you waiting, things have been… hectic, as you might have seen.” she smiled.

    “Of Course. I believe you have the better of me. You know me, but I do not know you?” said Adalia with a small smile.

    “Oh, I am sorry, I am Amberley Veil, Her Ultimacy’s aide. I was given the task to show you around.” she smiled apologetically.

    “Very kind of you-do you prefer I call you Miss Veil or Amberley?”

    “I don’t mind either, whichever is preferable to you. And how should I call you?” she cringed internally as it was not a question to ask a Bene Gesserit, but the tooka was out of the bag.

    “Good then, I am novice Sister Adalia Adana. And I shall call you Miss Veil” said Adalia gliding to the lighted center of the library where Amberley stood and she bowed minimally, but gracefully. She thought to tell the young business woman that there was no reason to be nervous, but that would only draw attention to a fact Miss Veil would like to pretend was not so. There was no need to use that in any advantage just now.

    “Very well then… Sister... Adalia. Shall we take a tour of the residential area?” Amberley looked at her.

    “I am at your disposal, Miss Veil, please, let’s begin.”

    Amberley nodded “Do you have any preferences as to where to start?”

    “Yes, I would like to anticipate the needs and preferences of Her Grace...and Ultimacy, so I am well prepared to serve with as few disruptions to the Duchess’ endeavors. So, whichever things and places are important to her occupation, distaste, or pleasure, that is what I believe I should see. You clearly know Her Ultimacy better than I, so anything you’d like to tell me will be much appreciated,” said Adalia softly. She nodded with a word here and there for emphasis, while still maintaining her regal poise and bearing, as she deferred to Miss Veil.

    That was a typical Bene Gesserit answer and Amberley stifled a sigh “Well then, we will start from the top to bottom. The most important area, the throne room. Follow me.”

    “Lead the way.” said Adalia.

    The coming and going of staff, administrators, guards, servants was a riot of activity. It was enough to distract and confound. While people made way for the pair of women, here and there someone or other brush Adalia’s habit and required she stop mid-stride in the midst of all the raucous to receive a “By your leave Reverend Sister, Forgive me, Sister, Beg pardon” and so on. Appraisers stood amongst packing, taking measurements and seeing to the removal of what must be considered the most priceless of the massive art collection which filled the Castle.

    Several elaborately paneled corridors were their path to the throne room, itself ornately panels with costly woods and applied with metal decorative flourishes in golds and silver. The ceilings overhead were heavily coffered too. In each square or hexagonal were deeply relieved and stylized central floral motifs surrounded by dentailated edging,and compositely curved edgings. At the end of the vast hall, elevated from the floor by several meters was the throne. It would dwarf anyone who sat upon it, clearly carrying the weight of the one selected to occupy the seat of power.

    There they were, at the top of Castle Kaladan, the centre of power in the Union. The Golden Eagle Throne was elevated on a platform. Even empty it was an impressive sight, made so as to inspire respect and awe in the person who looked at it.

    It was quiet, and without all the chandeliers lit, one could see from the floor to ceiling windows, the lights of the city below and because the room occupied such a lofty mount, the stars showed clear and brilliant in the night sky. Adalia rotated slowly to survey the entire room and then walked deliberately towards the throne and genuflected for a moment in silence. Rising, she mounted the stairs, stood before the throne and ran her hand over one polished arm before turning to face the room, eyes closed.

    Amberley tensed as it was not appropriate for anybody to touch the throne itself. It was not explicitly forbidden to do it, just was not accepted. A bit of a grey area in that regard. Her mouth turned dry but she remained silent, in a quandary as to how to correct the Bene Gesserit.

    At first serene, Adalia’s brows knitted and she sighed, or rather, moaned softly, her free hand flying to her chest as if suddenly in pain. She shook her head and slowly sat, though, reluctantly, struggling against the impulse.

    “No, no, Reverend Sister, you should stand up.”

    Amberley stepped forward. Seeing the ruby-colored alarm indicator glow in the eyes of the double-headed eagles adorning the top of the throne. A steady repetitive “clacking” alarm could be heard overhead, indicating the sanctity of throne had been violated.

    “Step away from it, please.”

    Opening her eyes, breath quick and shallow, the young Bene Gesserit pulled her hand free of the throne and trembling, Adalia sprang up and stood in shock, gathering her strength before descending the stairs woozily.
    It was not Miss Veil’s warnings or the clattering of the imposing double headed eagle that affected the Bene Gesserit so. Indeed, she noted Miss Veil’s distress, but she was deep in thought. Reaching the bottom stair, she turned to regard the throne and then stepped from the dais altogether. She looked about the room, peering into the darkness and she walked to the edges in concern, feeling, sensing. Occasionally, she retraced her steps. Shaking her head, the Bene Gesserit returned to the center of the room and spoke in a husky whisper. “Miss Veil, have you any water?”

    The defense mechanism “sensed” that the interloper had stepped away from the throne and returned to normal. It would not have killed her, just detain her until the guards came and took them away. Amberley turned towards the camera and waved to indicate that everything is okay and they should call off the arrest.

    “I am sorry Reverend Sister, I should have warned you.” though it was not something she had anticipated as rarely there was anyone who would try a stunt like that. If the duchess was there she could allow it and stop the restraining mechanism. “We should move down to the kitchen, or I can call one of the servants?”

    “Call a steward, please.”

    Amberley blanched slightly “Right away, do you need medical attention?” she fished her commlink from her purse and keyed the necessary line to order some water to be brought to the Throne room and that Doctor Pavloff to come too.

    Gracefully, but with some small difficulty, the Sister lowered herself to the floor and sat in a position, cross legged, though it was hard to tell in the stiff skirts that surround her legs. Swaying slightly, her eyes drooped slightly as she went into a trance. It happened with unusual speed and the Bene Gesserit’s head lulled slightly, before she took a deep and sharp breath and began to mumble in an incomprehensible language in a voice very low and not typical of the woman, at all.

    The room grew chilled. The costly fabric of the curtains billow almost imperceptibly. The low voice rang preternaturally in the hall and a soft laughter rose and fell, suddenly. The Sister shook her head slowly and breathed as if laboring.

    Amberley felt cold sweat trickling down her spine, what the blazes was going on. She could hear the clattering of feet as two CSS guards entered the room. Their expressions blank they slowly approached. “What is going on here?” one of them commanded.

    “I… I don’t know. She touched the throne then sat briefly by accident, asked for some water and then this happened.” Amberley tried to explain, though she was not sure whether it was clear enough.

    The man stared at her coldly then turned his attention to the Bene Gesserit, but did nothing. There was some curiosity in the way he observed her. At least Amberley thought so, it was even harder to read the CSS agents. “You!” he pointed at the aid, “You stay away.” then turned to his colleague “You make sure everything is recorded.”

    “Yes comrade senior agent.” replied the younger man and who then ran out of the room.

    Amberley observed the senior agent, she remembered his name Jonkov. He was looking intensely at the Bene Gesserit.

    “Should I call a Confessor, perform an exorcism?” Amberley cringed as soon as she asked this, but she was not sure what to do.

    There was a derogatory snort from him “Don’t be silly, girl. The Witches do this from time to time, she will be back to to normal soon enough.”

    Amberley nodded, not sure she understood, but that was not her business. The experience was very unsettling to observe, but there was nothing she could do. She wished that she could just run away and let the CSS deal with her, but she was not sure whether that would be a good idea.

    “Mayu..ba ...nali lixta ...BRA NARA GE,” the voice menaced and there was a subtle hissing that filled the room. Adalia shook her head and said mumbling, “NO...no....!” Her face showed an internal struggle.. Her brow knitted more and looked towards the ceiling and rising suddenly dove to one side, barely escaping a falling chandelier that crashed with a hard metal clang and the thin, chiming ring of crystals shattering and splintered sending brilliant costly shards to the walls.

    Amberley and the agent jumped to the side. That was not good, if the Bene Gesserit posed a potential threat to the Duchess, she would have to be removed from the Castle. They could not afford a volatile psyker to roam.

    “Call, the Reverend Sister Irene....Please.” said Adalia rising from where she had landed, pushing herself up from the floor, exhausted. Her mouth parted and she breathed with difficulty. “Oh, I’m going to be ill, I fear.” she breathed and then turned to double over and wretched several times before pulling a handkerchief from her skirts deep pocket and where lay her little vial of spice, which she out of habit felt with relief.

    Her head spun. “I’m most dreadfully sorry about that,” she said apologetically,” and indicating the sick she had unceremoniously left on the floor.

    Amberley moved away from Senior Agent Jonkov as not to allow him to interfere. The elderly Sister would know what to do.

    The steward followed by Doctor Pavloff entered the room. Both men’s eyes were staring widely at the broken chandelier and the presence of a CSS agent.

    ‘No, no, no, no… This is not happening, not today… please, why does it have to be me who has to deal with such mess.’ Amberley thought.

    The doctor rushed to the side of the Bene Gesserit.

    Gingerly and with some ceremonial deference the doctor put his arm about the Sister’s waist and took her hand to steady her. He was about to walk her to a chair against the wall, a lovely heavily carved chair with beautifully embroidered emblems on the cushions, but she looked to him and to Amberley. “Oh, dear, no. I think we should all leave this room before something else ...er...falls.”

    “Thank you doctor, I’m sorry I don’t know your name, but I think I can walk on my own..

    “I am Doctor Pavloff, the Castle’s physician.” the man said “Tell me what you feel?”

    Sister Adalia turned to regard her “knight in shining armor,” a smile spreading on her face. “Oh, somewhat embarrassed and a little shaken from eluding that fallen chandelier, but otherwise...too early to tell,” she said, straightening her stiffened hood and veil and standing a bit taller. She patted the doctor’s arm, “Dr. Pavloff, you are too kind, but I am all better...now. Oh, well, a little something...” she managed to say as she and the doctor both noticed the pool of blood dripping from the hem of her skirts. That’s when the “lights” went out and the tall Bene Gesserit crumpled to the floor in a fluff of black, indigo and gold embroidered silk. Pavloff kneeling, caught her up, and with her head to one side and veil askew, a thick jagged piece of crystal could be seen lodged near her jugular vein.

    There was some commotion outside the throne room as Sister Irene tried to enter but a couple more CSS Agents along with a Death Guard were trying to impede her. But there was nothing that could stop a Bene Gesserit determined to get somewhere. Amberley wanted to close her eyes and pretend all this never happened on her watch. This will make her work a living nightmare having to sort this mess and the Duchess was not here… In times like this she questioned Her Ultimacy’s decision to hire her, she was not fit for this job… All she wanted was a quiet place behind a desk and a computer, doing repetitive things and not be noticed. To live a normal life and not be thrown in the middle of this storm and be on a constant guard. Breathe, breathe… she repeated to herself. She was on the verge of a panic attack, she needed a paper bag to breathe in…

    “Miss Veil! MISS VEIL!” the doctor called and finally, hefting the unconscious sister, he stood before the poor besieged assistant. “Miss Veil, get this room cleared and send to my office for a medical capsule! You can do this. You are the assistant to the highest authority in the Union. In the name of her Ultimacy, do what you must do! Or we will be answering to Reverend Mother Mohiam and I guarantee you that is not something you want to do.”

    If she was more cynical Amberley would have said that her position protected her from the Mother Superior due to the animosity between her and the Duchess. But Amberley was a good girl and did not use such methods, so she nodded. Before she could open her mouth the Senior Agent Jonkov stepped in “Will the Witch live?”

    The commotion at the door subsided as Sister Irene entered giving an audible gasp at the sight “What is going on here!? What happened!?”

    Amberley looked down “I am sorry Sister Irene, but I need to finish something then I can attend to your needs.” and before the old Bene Gesserit could say anything more Amberley made a call relaying the Doctor’s orders.

    Irene stepped towards the Doctor and the CSS spook as they were derogatory called “What happened Doctor?” ignoring Jonkov who glared at her.

    “Well, Reverend Sister, it appears that some crystal from that fallen chandelier struck the your junior. She’s lost a bit of blood. As you can see, I am trying to control that flow. Could you assist me and apply pressure while I prep a capsule. I’d try to take care of this here and out of the way, but as you can see, we have the whole menagerie in here! As to why that chandelier fell, I cannot say.” He looked up to the older Bene Gesserit, grateful for another level headed person and mouthed his “thanks.”

    Irene nodded, she had some medical training, but would have the specialist lead the way “Just say what you need me to do.” The doctor appreciated the Sister’s tact. Of course she knew to place her finger against the jugular and light press the fissure together to allow blood flow but minimize loss. “With permission...” Shortly, the two had lain Adalia in the capsule and had the guard whisk it back to Adalia’s room with minimal additional commotion, with Miss Veil clearing the throne room and the necessary corridors of non-essential staff. Poor Miss Veil, the arrangements and reception of the Duchess’ grandmother were now impossibly slowed.

    The crystal removed, and the suturing finished, the doctor adhered a bacta patch and made his exit with a quiet smile and a few instructive words to Sister Irene. The elder woman had learned quite a bit about Adalia in the few hours since they’d last spoken. Adalia, had lived in a remote part of the Union that had for a short time been occupied by the Confederacy of Independent Systems. For the most part, the Union had remained apart from the war between the Galactic Republic and then Empire and the CIS, but there were a few melee and losses, but the Union Forces proved the Union an unprofitable venture for the CIS, being too remote and too costly to hold.

    The girl had served as a courier for the underground resistance and lost a number of her family. Like so many children in her homeworld, she grew up all too soon and malnourished. There was no question, Adalia was a strong and courageous individual and Irene had credited her with much intelligence, but this incident in the throne room worried Irene for many reasons, but specifically, it called into question Adalia’s judgement or was the young Bene Gesserit there on orders unknown, counter to, or in addition to those of which Irene was aware.

    “Hum,” sighed Irene, thoughtfully as she regarded Adalia’s sleeping form and reached a finger to brush the bangs from the pale face. ‘What were you doing up there, young one?’ she thought. The girl’s stay in the Castle did not start very well and given her other mission here, she feared that it could be a bit too much for Adalia. Hopefully she will be up to the task as the Sisterhood had thrown her right into the vipers’ nest. The wolves were already gathering, she could see the murderous gleam in the eyes of the CSS agents, if it were up to them they would have allowed her to bleed to death and then report it as an accident. Adalia would need to learn how to deal with people like them, especially now that the “spooks” had the ear of the duchess and she listened to their poisonous advices.

    The hours slipped by before the drowsy early morning glowed in a thin pinkish silver on the far horizon visible to Irene from where she sat. “Ummmm...” Adalia murmured softly as she tossed her bobbed head on her pillows. It was ashamed her hair had been cut at all. Her day was coming soon, and having survived her ordeal, Adalia looked forward to the shearing that would identify her as a Bene Gesserit and no longer a novice. Little did she know, her grooming was just beginning.

    The younger sister’s eyes fluttered and then opened wide with a question, “How did I get here?”

    The last she remembered she was talking to a Dr. Pavloff in the throne room.

    “Me and the good doctor brought you here.” Irene smiled “You must rest, the worst is over.”

    Adalia sat up suddenly, brows knitted, “The worst?” she asked confused and then her face resolving as she felt a memory bubble up. “Ohhhhh.” Now blushing, she looked down. “Ohhhh, Reverend Sister, I am awfully sorry!” Then exclaiming under her breath, the novice fell back against the pillows, dizzy.

    “No need to be sorry child…” she smiled again but then it melted away “What happened in there?” maybe she should have left the questioning for later but given that the CSS had tasted blood she needed to understand what happened sooner rather than later.

    Adalia sighed. She wanted to be certain, to know more, but she spoke immediately to the Sister’s question, “I was ‘cleaning’ the room. Immediately upon entering, I sensed a presence, ancient and vicious. It immediately sensed me and I had to engage it, Sister. It seeks ...dominance, and has been looking for means...I feel...I wish I knew.....”

    What Adalia told her was distressing. She had her suspicions, like most Bene Gesserits, but was never certain. Places like Castle Kaladan had dark auras and attracted unwanted attention, but she never thought that there might be an actual entity inside. She had always thought it was just the general feeling of the place. “Are you sure it was an entity?” Irene asked tentatively.

    “Ah, Sister, it presented as a ...persona, but unfortunately, I thought it best not to pursue further without consulting you. I meant to ask you if you had ever sensed anything here. But yes...I believe it is one presence. Yet, I cannot say that it is not a gestalt. I can say this...it feeds here. It ...requires...blood...yes, I fear it...which is another reason I felt it best not to go further. I did not want it to fix on my fear...I thought I should report to you so that we can report to Wallach, as soon as ....possible...so tired.” Adalia laid back upon her pillows and tried holding her drooping lids, but in a matter of seconds, she was once again asleep.

    Finely threaded white lawn, softly lay over the Sister’s arms and chest like a gossamer cocoon. The many fine pleats an insulation to warm, for without them, the gown would have been little help in staving off the evening chill. Not quite fair of complexion, but yet, rose-blushed, her features were now more at rest, her previous pallid hue, now more illuminated. The subtle rise and fall of her chaste heart, showed she slept with more ease. She was indeed young, idealistic. She had hardly been tried, even surviving the spice agony, even after 10 years of intense training, idealism had to be polished off, the mind refined by experience, and her body, that of a warrior, trained to persuade, bind, and wield. Now, would come another employ for which her noble beauty had early on recommended her.

    The room, dark, but for the mellow table lamp at the elder Bene Gesserit’s arm where she sat lost in thought in the velvet of an overstuffed armchair, was chilled now and again by a draft that seemed to let in at the long casement windows overlooking both impenetrable leaden winter sky and ceaseless twinkling city lights. The wind knocked and berated the great Kaladan tower, howling at the cold marble. Within, dark wine-red drapery, thick and brocaded gave evidence of the invisible movement as it lifted the rich silk heavily and left it to collapse back into deep shadowy folds. Four corners, clad in precious woods, deeply incised and carved did little to warm the cold night. The young Sister slept, her neck bearing a healing bacta patch in a light flesh tone, dreams stirred by that invisible hand. From the coffered ceiling, watch was kept in the recesses of the dark and deep beamed quarters, a desirous will that was insatiable, cruel, vicious, hungry...

    Irene nodded, so a spirit broke free from its prison on Necromunda, that was very distressing indeed, but seeing that the girl had fallen asleep she decided not to pursue the matter further. She pursed her lips and glided silently to exit the room, turning the lighting off so that she could sleep. With this revelation the Castle became an even darker place than it used to be.

    TAG: To be continued
     
  2. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    OOC: A joint post with TA. So much fun, Admiral. Thank you again.

    IC: Sister Adalia Adana and Sister Irene
    LOCATION: Castle Kaladan, Kala City, Kaladan, the Union of the Great Houses


    Next morning...


    Irene walked slowly through the corridor, she had just had an early breakfast with her first student, Helga Atreides, the Duchess’ grandmother. It was strange, but also endearing. The old sister knew what she had done, but kept silent, this was not her secret to share, it was just another among many. That meeting made her want to see Sister Adalia, to check on her. As she reached the level where her room was she could see a maid pushing a trolley with food towards the room.


    “Let me do that for you,” she said to the girl, who blanched by her sudden appearance next to her.


    “Nno need, Revered Sister.” the maid stammered “I… I will bring it...”


    “Nonsense, you have more important work to do, go help your colleagues,” Irene said with a friendly but firm tone that denied any protests


    The girl nodded and stepped away allowing for the old sister to push the trolley. On it was a selection of sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, even pastry quite rich breakfast, probably because they did not know what Sister Adalia preferred to eat, so they have decided to smother her with attention. The aroma of coffee and tea mixed. Someone had overdone it. Irene shook her head and chuckled softly. The poor girl had been pushing all this from the kitchens. Hopefully, no one saw that she was sent away as they would scold her for allowing a Bene Gesserit to do her work in her stead.


    It did not take long to reach the room. Irene sidestepped to open the door than with a final push managed to bring the food inside. As she closed the door she huffed from the effort.


    “Sister Adalia, I hope you are hungry as the kitchen staff had prepared food for a whole family.”


    The room seemed very cold. Adalia clasped the covers and drew them tight up to her chin. In the dark, the cold had condensed into a fog! The castle was old, but this seemed the condensation come of ancient stones. The wind continued through the night and little by little it’s plaintive ‘song’ became clearer,”...Faciamque te mihi parvolum puero corpore dentes et sedebit super maleficos et super sanguinem bibam. Et saltare faciet meo callidum aspidem superavit. Sic erit delectamentum. Tu veni mihi sanguine...ssssanguine....blood”....blood...bl...


    Adalia tossed her head on the pillow, trying to wake herself, but something had a hold of her and seemed to be pulling her down. Down? Where? She struggled and protested, mumbling at first and then crying out, “Nuhhh....nu...no...NO!” With that, she pulled herself free and found herself springing from the bed to fall several feet from the footboard upon the floor in a pool of thin white gossamer lawn. “Uh...” she said dully, pushing herself up from the thick piled carpet.


    A startled Sister Irene stood before her, a cart topped with a feast. Circling, the image of the elder sister seemed to float around and around, while the room spun apart from them. Adalia took one look and quickly lifted herself up, hand over her mouth and ran to the fresher to wretch.


    Emerging from the stone-clad room with its too bright lights, Adalia apologized, her shoulder length hair standing up and rumpled in all directions. “Sister...” was all she could manage to say as she returned, padding across the floor and coming to genuflect before the older lady.


    Irene was worried, what was happening with this girl!? If things were progressing as they were she won’t last long. “Child you should get back to bed.” she moved to Adalia to help her stand up.


    Adalia rose but collapsed against the Sister and her head fell to Irene’s shoulder. “I’m so sorry. I had a terrible...dream,” she offered, trying to dismiss the problem as minor, but it was no use. Her efforts to get loose were real enough and she was drained. “I’m sorry, Sister. I’ve managed to make myself a nuisance, I’m afraid.”


    Irene managed to smile “Nonsense, I am more worried about you. Your stay here did not start very well.” she helped the younger Bene Gesserit to her bed.


    Adalia managed, with Irene’s help to climb back into the immense and soft bed. It was welcoming in returning. She could not help but hold on to Sister Irene’s hand, though. “I had a dream...but I’m not certain it was entirely of my own making...I don’t know what happened...I only know that I could not wake from the dream without great effort. I felt that I was being ...held...restrained and I had to fight to free myself,” she explained, though, with concern.”I believe I may have ...connected with a presence here...I meant to cleanse the castle. I was sent with that as an understood mandate, but I something ...terrible is here and it seems to want to toy with me.” Do you know anything about the castle?”


    Irene frowned “It was built millennia ago, during the rule of Darius Atreides while the Galaxy was in turmoil. I don’t think he was able to see it as House Atreides was exiled, well at least the duke and his son. You can imagine how many things must have happened here during that period. Why the sudden interest?”


    “I’m not certain. I am trying to understand what or who this is that I am encountering,” said the younger Sister. “I don’t know how to speak about this yet. Perhaps you can point me in the right direction to investigate further. Maybe the Duchess might be able to instruct me when she returns. I could ask her, perhaps,” said Adalia looking out the windows, brow furrowed in thought.


    Irene was surprised “I am not sure that it will be wise to do so.”


    “Oh? Is the Castle history a difficult subject for the Duchess?”


    “No, mentioning the presence.”


    “Don’t you think I should understand and address this issue? It cannot be left to go unresolved!” said Adalia, sitting up and speaking emphatically.


    “Yes you must understand it, but be careful when you are dealing with the Duchess. You should know that she is not exactly warm towards us as an Order.” Irene cautioned her.


    Sister Adalia looked with confusion to Irene and then turned her gaze to her lap.


    “So, she...will be oppositional, then,” Adalia stated carefully, but it was more of a question.


    Irene sighed and sat on the edge of the bed “This is put mildly.” she smiled sadly “That is an example of how a mistake can change the course of history. I don’t know the exact story, but I am not blind to see that it had to do with the Mother Superior.” she paused for a moment “We are no saints and we are not perfect. Mistakes are made, but some of them are very costly.”


    At the mention of the Mother Superior, Adalia looked up to Irene, eyes wide and widening the more as the Reverend Sister continued. “I do not question your great wisdom, Reverend Sister, I only wish to understand. What were these costly mistakes, then?”


    “It is a secret that only a few Bene Gesserits know and unfortunately I am not one of them. But I was here when the Duchess, back then, she was just a princess, came from her visit to Wallach. I have never seen a child with such cold and dead eyes and I understood that something had happened that no one spoke of…” it was a difficult memory for her, seeing that pretty face and the hatred in those clear blue eyes it was a horrifying sight. No child should learn to hate… that was what the adults do. “We were lucky that Dennii Sunwalker came and her companionship helped her get back to something resembling normalcy. They were inseparable, they may not be related by blood but they truly became sisters. And now… now she is the Duchess and we are her subjects. You will see for yourself I don’t want you to have preconceptions about her, just know that she does not respect our Order and do not expect her to show reverence towards you for being a Bene Gesserit.”


    Adalia listened to the elder Sister closely. Irene’s words were weighted with meaning to which she could not speak directly, but it was clear that Irene had a knowing that did not require the particular details denied her. Adalia’s chest rose with a deep breath. “I will remember not to put too high a self-regard between myself and the Duchess. My humility will inform my discretion, Reverend Sister, as you advise. I will look to you in all things while you are available to me. I defer to your greater understanding.”


    Irene chuckled “No, no, just be yourself, but do not expect too much. She likes honesty and bravery, but you mustn’t cross a certain line. You will figure it out when you meet her.”


    “I find myself eager to do so, the more so to get the whole thing over,” said Adalia with a bit of humor.


    Irene chuckled “It is not to so scary, just there are some boundaries that must not be crossed. She respects bravery and intelligence. I am sure you will reach some sort of an agreement. You are lucky that Nastya, her favorite Bene Gesserit, is not here. She is a vicious little girl with more ambition than brains.”


    Adalia was young enough still to be scandalized by the immature acts of her fellow sisters. But many had made their mark on the Order through unbridled ambition. It showed a lack of commitment, but more, a lack of true awareness and emotional intelligence. Naive, yes, idealistic, certainly, but intelligent and generous in spirit, she did know that it was easy for a Bene Gesserit to engage in hubris. Training was both rigorous and intense, a Bene Gesserit was chosen, even cultivate before conception, but if, after training, she faltered, a sister met her death in fear and never attained standing amongst her cohort, dying without ever reaching even the chance to reach her potential. Adalia had given this and other issues much thought. She did wonder if she had survived the spice ecstasy because she did not allow herself to doubt the wisdom of it and further, she herself was a special case. Not fully inducted, though having made her mortal initiation at a young age, Adalia believed this due to her father’s lessons. While beginning her training in Arakkeen, Adalia was allowed regular visits home with her parents. There were no other postulates who enjoyed that privilege and it had made her wonder why this was so. Yet, she did not ask anyone as her father had enjoined her never to question or speak of it. It was best not to know, for her own sake, and he’d been so adamant, she knew he was in earnest.



    “Oh...where is Nastya, now?” asked Adalia quietly, feeling somehow she should not speak the name too loudly, for now, they were speaking of another sister and Adalia felt somehow, that someone listened to their conversation.


    Irene smiled a bit bitterly “She is with the Duchess acting as a representative of our Sisterhood.”


    “If she is as you say, then we are not well represented. It should have been someone of your standing and wisdom, Reverend Sister, someone who truly understands what is meant to be a Bene Gesserit.” the younger sister asserted.


    The old sister chuckled softly “Theoretically you are correct, the Duchess did that to spite us, for all her acumen she is prone to childishness. And I think that the Mother Superior is also satisfied with that development though, to tell the truth, I don't see why.”


    “Oh dear, I do hope that I am well qualified for my tasks, Sister. For I do confess, I see the impediments stacked against my accomplishing my mandate, here.” - okay


    Irene sighed, yes her mandate, she was against it but there was nothing she could do “Yes.” she stated flatly “You have to be careful with that, there are a lot of impediments along the way.”


    Adalia nodded. “I am a little hungry...” said Adalia, feeling steadier and looking wistfully at the cart of food.


    Tag: to be continued
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  3. Corellian_Outrider

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

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2002
    ~OOC~ Fantastic writing everyone! Welcome back LZM, always welcome :) Also thank you J-L bringing Captain Pellaeon to life.

    ~IC~ Mitth’raw’nuruodo
    Location: Naboo

    The blue-green world of Naboo was considered a jewel of the Chommell Sector. A place of arts and culture and food, an idyllic place to visit. It is home to the Royal Naboo and the mighty Gungan tribes and was the birthplace of notable figures including Representative Binks, Her Majesty Padmé Naberrie Amidala and Chancellor turned Emperor Palpatine.

    Located within the Deeja Hotel, the Grand Admiral had taken over a wing of the building. Officers stationed and troops on routine patrols and inspections ensure his safety and privacy while keeping a non invasive presence to his investigations over the recent events… until now. An armoured speeder left from the Hotel, several other crafts slipped from almost nowhere and provided an escort protection. There was mild traffic at this time of day and the ensemble had no trouble threading through the streets before arriving at the spaceport. The shuttle awaited the Grand Admiral at the tarmac, flight plan filed away and clearance granted to depart. Finally seated in the cabin, Mitth’raw’nuruodo cupped his chin and gazed out the viewport. He did not pay much attention to the city as it shrunk from view, rolling green hills, beyond.

    There was a lot to mull over from the past few days… the dinner with the Queen of Naboo, her fears about the Union representatives and a possible unknown outsider threat. The fiasco with the Theed port authorities regarding a Union Ambassador's shuttle, the unauthorised use of Imperial assets from one of their Imperial agents stationed in Theed, the Sunwalker family caught in the middle. The Queen declaring the Union Ambassador to be a Jedi had caused an escalation. Rather than go through the proper channels, she had made the call on an open broadcast and then left for Coruscant.

    That broadcast had caught the attention of several Imperial Commanders and some of them encroached on Thrawn’s protectorate in order to capture a ‘Jedi’ for themselves. They chased the shuttle like Corellian Sand Panthers in heat. Not without one turning upon the other.

    The remnants of that conflict were collected and awaited Thrawn’s inspection. The berthed Union Ambassador’s shuttle, as well as the Panthera Squadron, in custody, were aboard the ISD Relentless. The ISD Ragnarok’s Commander, scientist, and research data, captured, and their flagship, scuttled.

    All the pieces were coming together. There should be a sense of accomplishment. However, a communique had arrived on Chimaera and sent Thrawn’s way with news of what happened in places far off in the galaxy. A report of a skirmish at Bestine, that was resolved though evidence pointed to the intended target being Derra. Now Derra was where a blockade had prevented unauthorised ships en route to Naboo from trespassing on Imperial territory… ferrying the same representative from the Union, as the Queen of Naboo had feared. However, there was something else, disconcerting, if the details were to be believed.… a report about a downed Destroyer and a conflict between Imperial, Rebel and a third group near Brentaal…

    That was not the most pressing one. Several reports were received regarding the Imperial Campaign at Kalee, harbinging the end of the CIS, their leadership, and unexpectedly, the death of Emperor Palpatine.

    How was one to be sure that this was not orchestrated? Was this a test of loyalty? Something Palpatine had been known to do... however, his own sources had corroborated the information on the report. There was something disturbing about it all.

    Passing through the gradient of blues of atmosphere before transitioning to black and twinkling stars. The moon, Ohma-D’un, could be seen peeking around the edge of the planetary curve along with the angular shape of the VSD Adamant. Then harsh white light filtered through as they entered the cavernous main hanger of the Chimaera. The subtle jolt informed those within the shuttle that they had just landed. Rising from his seat, Mitth’raw’nuruodo strode down the boarding ramp and onto the polished black decking. His aide, Lieutenant Garston, flanked his side, carrying the materials gathered from the investigation. There was no fanfare or ceremony for his arrival, nor was one required. Only one person waited for him, Lieutenant Commander Faro.

    “Welcome back, Admiral.” She greeted him.

    “Thank you, Lieutenant Commander” He said to Faro as she fell in step beside him. “What is the current status?”

    “Your chamber is ready, the Chimaera awaits your command. Captain Verus’ flotilla has arrived in system, the ships are currently moving into position. We are expecting the Relentless within the next ten minutes.”

    “Very good. That should give us enough time… we should arrange for a containment team to be on standby.”

    A loud clank rang out as the overhead crane was operated. It lifted the shuttle and moved it deeper into the hanger on its way to storage.

    “Are we expecting visitors?” Faro asked.

    “Just the one.” The Grand Admiral answered smoothly, “just the one.”

    TAG: Captain Pellaeon
     
  4. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    IC: Captain Scyther Vectis & The AllStars
    Location: Ursean Embassy, Coruscant


    Scyther managed to get her transport back to the Embassy, and at a brisk walk, made her way back to the tower where the All Stars group of senior officers were based. She had also managed to comm the boys, with Madison answering. They had all convened in Terric’s room, as Madison had decided they should all go down together and had decided to wait for the Captain.

    Scyther thanked Madison and had asked everyone to stay where they are, she had news from her meeting with the Grand Admiral.

    A few minutes later and having gotten lost twice, Scyther made her way up to Terric’s room and knocked on the door. Terric answered the door with a wide grin from the brown haired, brown eyed Captain.
    “She’s alive!” he exclaimed and winked at her “come on in to my parlour, tell us all.”

    Scyther made her way in, the room Terric was in was the same as hers, except Terric had made himself more at home by having clothes strewn around in places. The others had gathered in the seating area, Terric waved her over to a armchair, whilst he carmmed in beside Madison on the sofa alongside Bahari and Ivanov. Arazov settled for sitting on one of the arms of the sofa.

    “Well boys, my apologies once again for leaving you, but our lord and master Grand Admiral Carthaginian wanted to have a quick chat” she looked at each of them in turn. “I have some good news and a little bit of bad news which possibly turned into good news, we will see”.

    Scyther pulled out her datapad and checked her notes.

    “First off the bad news that may possibly have turned into good” Scyther was dreading this bit” “Ivanov. The Grand Admiral has said that due to the loss of the Obdurate, you were due to be court martialed” Ivanov looked about to explode but Scyther cut him off “However, he has decided to forgo it and it has been dismissed. Also sadly, you are now on a formal warning due to that loss. Any further losses and you will probably definitely be court martialed next time”

    Scyther looked sadly at the tall Ursean “I am so sorry”

    Ivanov had a look on fury on his face, he immediately got up, walked over to one of the walls and immediately threw a fist at it, startling Bahari. Arazov looked at Scyther with an apologetic look and immediately walked over to try and calm him down. There was then a heated discussion in Ursean to which Ivanov spat something that sounded quite rude at Arazov, before Arazov spat something back that took the other Ursean by surprise. Ivanov then gave a nod and then returned to the sofa, Madison and Terric shooting looks at him of surprise and Bahari hastily getting out of the way.

    Bahari made his way to the other armchair, making sure he kept away from the frosty tall Ursean.

    Entschuldigung mein Kapitän” said Ivanov his head bowed in respect “Please forgive my outburst”
    “No problem Ivanov, I can understand your reasons for being angry. Needless to say I made my feelings known and that if you were court martialed, on behalf of the group I would have put in a protest”.

    “We all would” said Madison “It’s ridiculous that they would even consider it, despite all we have done and been through”

    “I guess the Grand Admiral has to follow the rules” replied Bahari shrugging, Ivanov gave him a look, but it was one that suggested that Bahari was probably right.

    Scyther looked back to her datapad “Well, moving onto better news, this concerns you Arazov” she looked at the smaller Ursean who leaned forward expectantly.

    She smiled “Congratulations are in order, you’ve been officially added to the AllStars roster. After helping us at Mygeeto, the Grand Admiral is happy enough for you to join the group as a permanent addition.”

    Arazov clenched his fist in celebration, the dark brown haired Ursean had a grin on his face that could light up the galaxy. All the group shook and hands with him as a welcome gesture, Arazov even got a hearty backslap from Terric.

    “And now the final bit of business” said Scyther “The Grand Admiral and I have been discussing upgrades to the fleet in general. Sadly, the Venators are now being phased out, and with a relative bit of quiet coming up even with the remnants of the CIS and Rebels about, the Grand Admiral will be giving us brand spanking new ships to replace our damaged Venators. Arazov and Bahari, you will be keeping your ISD’s as they are. So far, I know I will be receiving a new ISD, the rest of you boys, i’m not quite sure as yet, but you may be getting Victories. I also have no ship names to give you ”.

    Bahari and Arazov looked pleased, Arazov’s grin still hadn't come off his face. Madison also had a smile on his face and Ivanov gave a solemn nod.

    Scyther was right about Terric being disappointed though. In fact, he looked like he had been punched in the stomach, he was positively crestfallen.

    “I know it will sad to lose our beloved Venators, they have been the stalwarts of the Imperial fleet. However as I said, it’s time to buff up the group will we have the chance. I will make sure everything we have on board, including starfighters and provisions will be put on board our new vessels, also if we can keep the SPHA-T cannons, it will be an extra bonus”

    Terric still looked disappointed.

    “The upgrades all depend on the Emperor’s approval as well as the Grand Admirals, so at this point, out ships are a clean slate to be worked on.” Scyther put her datapad in her pocket “The main thing for tonight is to enjoy yourselves and not worry too much about things “ she smiled “Plus keep your comlinks and with you at all times, just in case something happens. And that goes for you too Ivanov, always remember, we have your back whatever happens”

    The black haired Ursean nodded “Thank you all” he responded “I have been angry since the loss of my ship and crew, but I always know that I have help whenever I need it. We are first and foremost a team, and I will never forget that”

    The others gave him smiles of encouragement, Scyther understood Ivanov’s position, and she hoped that tonight could clean the cobwebs from his mind.

    “So, let’s make sure we all look presentable, and let’s make sure we make a good impression. So that means no getting drunk, no fights, ano doing anything I wouldn't do”

    This got a chuckle from the others and a raised eyebrows from Ivanov. As Bahari and Madison both got up to talk to Ivanov and Arazov, Scyther made her way over to Terric to have a private chat.

    “Everything OK?” Scyther asked the Corellian.

    Terric looked up and gave her one of his usual charming smile “Everything is fine, just sad that i’m going to lose my girl”

    In the Academy, they were all taught not to get too attached to ships, they came and went all the time. But Scyther understood where Terric was coming from. He had been with Unstoppable since the beginning and she had made it through to the end of the Clone Wars with Terric at the helm. Now she would disappear forever or possibly repaired and reassigned.

    “Look I know how you feel about her, I will miss Roadblock too. She wasn't even mine, she was Captain Newman's. These girls have been with s through thick and thin and they will be gone but never forgotten. Our new ships will take time to get used too, but soon they will feel like home.”

    Terric nodded “Besides, if we do get more ships, we’ll just get better at blowing stuff up”
    Scyther smiled and patted him on the arm, that was the spirit. Terric and her then joined the rest as they prepared to head off.

    TAG: No one
     
  5. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    ISB Agent Fouche
    KIT Prime Station, XQ2 Platform, Brentaal IV, Bormea Sector

    “I’m so glad to see that you’re alright,” said an uncharacteristically tall Sullstan woman as she walked into the room.

    Standing near 2-meters, she stood over his bed with something of a smile on her grey features. Her face was a pale gray, while her cheek flaps were a darker tone. They were tight against her face and cheek-bones so that her mouth moved up and down as she spoke Basic. Lacking lips to form the shapes required of the alphabet, her tongue and throat did all the action so that each word was either more open at the end or sharper by contrast. Still, she was easy to understand and had a kind voice.

    Her black eyes seemed to have a light behind them, communicating energy and intelligence, and her body language also announced an openness and a comfort with herself.

    Fouche, sitting up in the bed carefully, greeted her with a smile.

    “It seems that I have you and your staff to thank for that,” he said, his voice still gruff.

    “Oh, think nothing of it,” she said, waving him off. “We’re just glad we came by when we did. How’s this?”

    She asked, rubbing his wrist.

    “Fine,” he lied.

    “Ha-hum,” she replied and lifted the joint, causing the ISB agent to flinch.

    He bit the inside of his cheek to hold back a grunt, and smiled back to her as she looked at him startled.

    The woman, Dr. Xelss Walki, had come in after the nurse and her urchin had left. Fouche was led to believe that she was the lead Doctor in his care, as well as someone intimate with The Colonel. Walki examined his face, and put a hand on one side to steady it into the light.

    “How do you feel about prosthetics and implants?” she asked. “I’m afraid your eye was too badly damaged.”

    Fouche ignored the question. Certainly the ISB would care for his medical treatment once he reported it, but his mission was not yet finished. Though, it wouldn’t do to break his cover as the staff was under the impression he was Mr. Chay Rengali, humble merchant - a man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    “I don’t remember much of the accident, as a matter of fact. What happened,” he asked.

    The Sullustan let go of his face and clicked her tongue back at him.

    “Marauders…Pirates…Smugglers…whatever they call them I’m sure it’s not the right term,” she said softly. “A growing nuisance if you ask me, but no one does. Since the Confederacy Occupation ended, Brentaal has been at a cross-roads. Many different faces come through here.”

    “Is that where we are then?”

    “Yes, yes. The KIT Prime Station, in high orbit over Brentaal IV. You were in quite bad shape when we found you. I’m afraid you’re the only survivor.”

    “The crew? What happened to them?”

    “Oh, I’m not privy to the details, nor would I venture to share them. Suffice…suffice to say, Mr. Ringali, you’re lucky to be alive.”

    Luck may have had something to do with it, but so did the fact that he had rained down his own destruction on the ship long before the explosion that landed him here. In his quest for information, he’d dispatched a fair number of bodies on the way to the bridge including the Captain.

    “And the Captain,” he asked, trying to test how much she actually knew.

    “You really should rest up, Mr. Ringali.”

    No go.

    Fouche slouched back into his pillow.

    “My…personal affects. I had a knife…”

    “Yes,” Walki replied looking around the room. “I believe the Colonel has it.”

    She clicked her tongue again and shook her head.

    “But, don’t worry, Mr. Ringali. You won’t need it here. This is a secure station and you are among friends.”

    There hadn't been a point in his life that those words ever played out the way they were said. Friends was such a fluid term in the galaxy these days. Deciding to continue his ruse as an injured merchant, he could find out what happened to the ship and get on with his mission.

    “When can I leave,” he asked.

    “Oh…not for some time. We’ll have a bacta tank ready for you tonight, and we’ll see where you stand from there.”

    “I really do need to leave,” he said, not trying to be too eager, but knowing that complacency would not do him well either. "The Modesta was carrying me to a meeting with a lucrative contract. It could mean my life...and others...if I failed to reach that destination."

    "Where were you going?"

    He didn't know. He was following the lead, until the ship dropped into radio silence and all hell broke lose. Putting his hand to his head, he stifled a fake wince.

    "I...don't remember...Gods...could I have lost my memory?”

    "It could be consistent with your injuries. We'll talk more about them later, after your bacta bath."

    Fouche nodded, still holding his head. Medically, while under a doctors care, it would hard pull a Corellian Switchback, but the con still had some legs if he could make his injuries seem more psychological than physical. He may have to throw in a Nerfherder's Revenge or a Dex Dine-n-Dash, but it could all come together.

    "I...I think I'd best lay down. The room is starting to spin."

    Tag: no one
     
  6. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    OOC: This is a joint post between LZM and Pash. Always a great pleasure!



    [​IMG]


    IC: Anakin and Sabe Amidala + all the requisite titles

    LOCATION: A split scene between the Naboo Embassy, Sabe’s dressing room/Ursean Embassy-Imperial Palace, Anakin’s private library

    Queen Amidala II
    Naboo Embassy
    The Queen’s Dressing Room

    Partially dressed, Amidala stood patiently in the middle of the white sheet, the handmaidens swathed in blue, circled about her, preparing their queen. Sabe raised her arms and slowly turned around as her ladies examined each article of clothing - even what was not to be seen must be perfect. The dressing of a queen was a ceremonial and dignified occasion.There was not the bantering back and forth, the laughter, the gossip.

    A com chirped on a nearby table next to a the palm-sized disc of a mobile holo transceiver/transponder. A handmaiden fetched the apparatus handing it silently to the queen. The message was from Naboo. Sabe tapped in a code and the missive was translated:

    Observed: T leaving quarters brd tansp Chimaera. Shortly after ALL possessions removed from quarters. Over..

    Closing the message with her little finger, Amidala folded the com within the palm of her hand.

    A maid knelt and adjusted the silken underskirt.

    Sabe swallowed, discovering her throat was suddenly dry. Turning slightly, the queen indicated with her eyes, her need. The youngest of the handmaidens, a girl barely out of her teens nodded her head and complied.

    / I was once your age.../ Sabe mused watching the girl, Lana by name, pour the water from the crystal carafe. / Is this what people think as they grow older….comparing themselves to those younger…..remembering the good old days…..the good old days?!/

    Amidala stifled a giggle. Lana handed the drinking glass to the queen, who nodded her thanks. Ahh…..the cold water felt wonderful going down her throat. Sabe sipped slowly, a finger absently tracing the pattern of the fine crystal - she knew it without looking - the millaflower, a popular flower on Naboo.

    The communicator within her hand beeped. When Sabe saw whom the message was from she asked her ladies for a moment. Wordlessly, they retreated to give Amidala privacy.

    Office of Her Most Serene Highness, Queen Amidala II
    Chommell Sector, Kingdom of Naboo Naboo Embassy, Coruscant

    FOR IMMEDIATE COMMUNICATION

    To: Her Highness, Queen Amidala II Kingdom of Naboo

    Your Serene Highness, Greetings:

    I write regarding diplomatic relations between the great Kingdom of Naboo and the Galactic Empire of Free Systems. It has come to my understanding that you may be departing soon and I wished to speak with you concerning stronger ties between Empire and the Kingdom of Naboo. But more to the point, I wish to have your advice and counsel in bringing about change in the Imperial government. I ask you to consider a deeper and stronger commitment to our efforts and toward that end, it is urgent we meet to speak on this matter at your earliest convenience.

    Respectfully,

    Anakin, Lord Vader
    RM Ursa and Emperor, Galactic Empire of Free Systems...


    Amidala collected her thoughts before responding. She tapped a button

    RECORDING

    Anakin, Lord Vader
    RM Ursa and Emperor
    Office of the Emperor
    Galactic Empire of Free Systems
    Ursean Embassy/ Imperial Palace
    Imperial Center, Coruscant


    Sir, I have received your message. At this time I cannot give you an answer to your request as I would have to present your petition to the Naboo Council for their consideration.

    On another subject, at the earliest opportunity, I would like to return an item belonging to you, currently in my possession.

    Respectfully,
    Amidala II, Queen of the Naboo


    Sabe reviewed what she had recorded. It was simple and direct. She had no idea what Anakin’s ‘proposal’ was and she would have to present to the Council a proposal for stronger ties between the Empire & Naboo. Neither the Naboo or the Gungan wanted stronger ties with the Empire. Her election as queen resulted in the Empire sending ships to” watch over “:their planet.

    “Send”

    Sabe smiled towards her ladies.

    “Thank you, ladies, for your patience. Shall we continue…”

    Amidala was concerned over Thrawn moving from his quarters...what could it mean? It did not bode well.

    Within minutes the commlink system issued a series of beeps that signaled an incoming high-level intra-planetary holo transmission. The discreet alert became more insistent as the call remained unanswered and on the other end of that direct and encrypted “call” stood Anakin, tapping on the edge of the library desk, trying to order in his mind the multiple issues with which he would grapple this evening, as he waited.

    The Queen of Naboo had formally answered his diplomatic communique, a matter of public record with an equally appropriate response-all as it should be. Of course, she answered, noting the prescriptive action she was required to take, all of which he understood. However, it was to the matter of his requested meeting, he wished to speak.

    Awaiting reception, the Imperial insignia, a specific seal denoting the office of the Emperor, filled the blue holo “lantern” beam.

    All eyes turned towards the miniature holo transceiver situated on the same table holding the decanter of water. There were several gasps of shock as the image of the personage began to materialize.

    “Who left that on?” said a voice from the middle of the circle. Apparently, the transceiver had not been closed to reception since it’s last use.

    Quick thinking, Bianca draped a dressing wrap about the queen’s shoulders, covering Amidala from prying eyes. The handmaidens swiftly arranged themselves into a protective shield about their queen.

    “Your Highness, Amidala,”
    said the young Emperor, bowing in greeting, as the fine lines resolved into clarity. “Forgive the interruption-”

    Anakin began before he realized where his projected image had materialized. Standing in the midst of the handmaidens and Sabe at her levy, he averted his glance and blushed, trying to remain composed, a ring of handmaidens, some whom he recognized, closed rank before he’d have to unsee what they insured he may not. “My...sincerest apologies, milady...ladies...”

    A wry smile appeared on Sabe’s countenance.

    “Ladies, obviously Lord….” Sabe corrected herself. “The Emperor wishes to communicate further. I must ask your indulgence.”

    “Ah....I have found you at your preparation...” That was asmoothe, he thought to himself with some sarcasm. Shaking his still bowed head, he scratched at his temple.

    He heard the handmaidens move in a whispering of silk and practiced stealth-like footsteps as they acquiesced to Sabe’s gentle command and withdrew to give her privacy. Though, he thought, he detected reluctance in an errant step here and there.

    “We are here if you wish us.” spoke Bianca before the door closed.

    “Yes?” Sabe was perturbed and allowed it to show in her curt reply. Not everyone would reply in such a way to Lord-the Emperor Vader.

    Lifting his head and with genuine regard he smiled. “I was eager to see you after departing the office yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to ask after your night holding forth. I don’t quite remember what transpired. Did I ask you for ...spice! I dreamt it...and Vos ...carried me? I don’t remember the past several days clearly but.. How are you?” he asked softly.

    Sabe moved closer to the transceiver, for even though she had been present for his speech in the Senate and seeing Anakin from a distance and on the monitor in her pod, she had not truly seen his condition, so distracted by his speech,outdone at his continuing the Empire.

    “Anakin!” her lips whispered. “Your face…..your face…the burns were so severe,” she shook her head., closing her eyes and reopening them. “Your hand and forearm….flesh…”

    Surely the spice did not ...could not….”Anakin….you ...are...healed...How so quickly?”

    Sabe was dumbfounded. No medicine, not even from Senob’s med bag could produce such rapid healing..and replace a robotic hand with flesh and blood? She reached out as to touch his face…”Anakin? Surely the spice could not have such miraculous effects...tell me…”

    He put a hand to his face and wondered if something was amiss. Maybe suds remained from chasing Sophia, so he wiped and looked to his hand. However, Sabe’s inflected surprise drew his attention and again he shook his head and waved, as if sweeping her words aside. “I’ll explain, but tell me, I said I wished to speak with you. If need be, this evening. I must see you before you return to the Naboo.”

    “Yes, yes...”
    She had to discover how this miracle occurred. “ Anakin...upon the topic of Naboo...did you order Admiral Thrawn to return to his ship? He has removed everything from his quarters. Is the Empire going to withdraw from Naboo? Or is something else going on? You would tell me...diplomatic courtesy?”

    His brows knitted, he looked to her in thought and cocked his head to one side, sighed, then shrugged. “As Grand Admiral, he has quite a measure of prerogative-but no, I did not. Still, I would not let it worry you until there is more information. I’ll look into it.”

    “Anakin, I know Admiral Thrawn appreciates beauty and art. He has acquired several pieces of art while staying. If he was only going to his ship for awhile he would leave his possessions at his residence. He took everything. That means he is not intending to return.”

    She allowed her true feelings to show and he felt her concern. “Sabe, I know Grand Admiral Thrawn, he is a considered and clear headed strategist. I would not let your fears get the better of your judgement. I will look into it.”

    “I thank you….but Anakin, I am ecstatic to see you healed. How did you accomplish such a miracle?”

    He smiled. “It’s not a short story. I promise I will tell you about it ...I’ve wanted to tell you,” he said, his voice low and soft. She had this uncanny way of drawing him in. He wet his lower lip and stepped closer to the transponder, though that would do nothing to bring him closer. His eyes searching hers in the image, subtly adjusting to a calmer breath.

    “Wanted to tell me "what," my lord?” Sabe tilted her head. The ivory wrap slipped from a shoulder.

    “I...yes...I want to meet with you before you leave for Naboo...To talk with you concerning my cabinet, about education...Sabe, please give consi...no, Just meet with me!” he said in frustration, reminding himself to stop focusing on her shoulder.

    “We plan to return tomorrow morning...” She paused. “And you are busier...now. I don’t know if it would be possible.” Noticing the wrap had slipped, Amidala returned the cover to her shoulder.

    “Then you can at least spare me a conversation this evening and as you wrote, you wished to return something of mine...I would like to know what transpired while you kept my office “staffed,” he asked, composing himself.

    “Well, I did not declare a Republic...it was the quiet zone...the calm in the center of a storm. People were in shock with the bombing of the Senate.” Shrugging her shoulder. “Not much…” she smiled. ”... I didn’t have time.. Please remember a part of the time was retrieving medicine for your injuries.” Sabe clasped her hands, holding them close to herself.

    “I know you must have been caught in a dilemma...I needed ...wanted to trust you. I am more than grateful. So...you WILL make time for me, this evening?”

    “That sounds like a command, so I suppose I will...if I am allowed to finish dressing or I may be unfashionably late to your…..what is the theme of this ball? A memorial to the unlamented-”

    “SABE!” he interrupted. “A request...it is a request. This evening is about convening the disparate networks and brokers of power within the Imperial governance and outside as well. It is the one way I can bring them together to establish my authority and see how they ...respond. You know what it’s about, don’t play coy!-Sabe..we have ..unspoken words between us. Please, let’s not ... let’s not do this...”

    “Oh Anakin , you know I like to tease you so - don’t you?” she whispered. “Tell me.” Amidala took a step closer to the holo. “What unspoken words, my lord?”

    “Later..,” he said, his voice low, though not without warmth.

    “Hmmm..” a finger traced her lips. “Bringing all those alphas together….it will be quite interesting to see who tries to roar the loudest.”

    “Hence the extra security!”

    “I do have a question about that….your personal item….how am I to bring it to you tonight with security at such a high level?“

    “Best conferred to me with discretion and the Ladaren will meet you when you arrive and you may pass through with him,” said Anakin

    “Oh! Mister tall, dark and brooding?” Sabe looked down and then back with a slight smile.

    “Too chipper for you? I’ll tell him to tone it down a bit.” said Anakin with a slight chuckle.

    “Oh do….he seems to be immune to me.” She laughed.

    “I think it’s rather the contrary,” he let slip, “ and I never said that.” he added pointing his finger.

    “Oh what fun tonight will be, in more ways than one. Perhaps I should wear armor under my gown.”

    “It might not be a bad idea...” he said, more seriously. “We’ll all be sporting our thickest hides.”

    “Then I should inform my ladies to be ready for any situation?”

    “I would not make them trigger happy, but yes, they should be watchful. If I beg a dance, will they dance around us or just scare everyone else from the floor? - I Already know the answer to that.”

    “We Naboo are always polite and watchful. That’s why I have a very bad feeling in the pit of my stomach about what is happening back home. If I could I would leave now.”

    “Let’s not project the worst,” he chided.

    “I should let you go...finish...the things....and what have you...” he said waving to beyond her. “I’ need to do the same...”

    “Yes, and do convey to Mister Brooding I look forward to seeing him again,” were her parting words.

    The holo ended. The blue light vanish both sides of the conversation. The two stared at the empty space where each ones image had just the moment before stood provoking the other. Words injected with teasing insouciance, now silent. Reality held questions, the answers into which, neither wanted much to delve. To answer brought barriers.

    TAG: open
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  7. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    NPC Captain Jeri Coghlan
    SoroSuub Corporation, Sullust, Outer Rim

    The stark white V-35 Courier landspeeder screamed across the obsidian terrain that was Sullust. The planet of molten lava seemed to revel in the chaos the speeder caused as bits of rock and a cloud thick ash was kicked up in its wind-stream.

    Inside the speeder sat the diminutive Sullustan pilot in a yellow jumper suit, Captain Jeri Coghlan and a small Sullustan child on his lap. The speeder was made to fit three, but Coghlan could never quell his grandfatherly instincts. As they burst over a small hump in the terrain, the landspeeder tipped to one side, so that the child shrieked in excitement. She clung to his gray tunic and thick overcloak with both hands as the ship righted itself and continued on its journey.

    Behind his bushy white mustache, Coghlan smiled down at her and let out a chuckle.

    Today had been a good day.

    Just two days ago, the Imperial Star Destroyer Witch of Endor had recovered humanitarian supplies that were stolen from a convoy on a diplomatic mission to Sullust. The planet had paid the price for aligning itself with the Empire against the CIS and had come under its domination. The Confederacy of Independent Systems was a mockery of its title - as nothing was independent under their rule. Sullust had been a jewel in the CIS war chest, with nearly half the planet’s inhabitants forcefully employed in slave labor to the SoroSuub Corporation - the largest manufacturer here on Sullust.

    Only just weeks ago, had the planet been liberated by an Imperial strike force. As it had been ahead of the end of the Clone War and the final large offensive that saw the CIS defeated, humanitarian aide was scheduled to arrive shortly thereafter until it was intercepted.

    The Witch of Endor happened to be in the region when it picked up the distress call from the convoy, which began a two day search for the pirate vessel. The crew was now in the security brig of the Destroyer, and they’d been able to personally deliver the much needed supplies to Sullust.

    The crew had had a heroes welcome. CIS domination was tough, and the poor Sullustans were worked to the bone. Their own planet’s surface was uninhabitable from years of volcanic activity, ash and greenhouse gases. The majority of the population lived in subterranean cities. The CIS work camps had forced them out on to the surface and the increased workload at the factories.

    Coghlan surveyed the terrain as the speeder closed in on one such factory. It stood tall on the surface near a stream of lava that it was presumably using as a power-source. Craft such as this V-35 Courier were manufactured there, as well as a number of other craft and technology used throughout the galaxy.

    The food stuffs, medical supplies and support crews had been distributed by his crew back at the main hangar. As they continued their work, Coghlan had opted for a meeting with survivors of the CIS regime that had been here. The Sullustan girl on his lap had a father, brother and grandfather that had disappeared to this factory some time ago and she hadn’t seen them. Her age he couldn’t guess, but she squirmed excitedly as they closed in on the factory building.

    The pilot nodded to him that now was a good time to put on his respirator as they sped toward the open hangar. Coghlan put one on the Sullustan girl first, made sure it was fasten tightly and she was making no moves to remove it, and then placed his own on over his nose and mouth. The hose ran down to the pack at his belt, where he activated the switch. A hiss of oxygen entered his mask and he breathed deeply to test the seal. He did the same for the girl. She smiled up at him as the speeder came to a stop. She said something in Sullustan, but the Imperial Captain didn’t understand. He just smiled back and winked at her. She laughed and jumped down to the floor as the door latched open.

    From the main doorway he could see a pair of Sullustans with similar masks on, as well as a few stormtroopers from the nearby garrison that had just been erected. One of them waved his hand and signaled for them to come inside.

    Once inside, the door closed and the lead Sullustan removed his respirator.

    A badly dinged up and rusted protocol droid stood next to him as he began speaking in his native language.

    “We welcome you, Imperial Captain, to Sullust and to Factory 1138 of the SoroSuub Corporation,” it translated in a mechanical male voice. “Please accept our apologies for the state you find us in. We are still cleaning up from the recent unfortunate actions that have damaged this facility.”

    Coghlan nodded and put out his hand to the Sullustan to shake.

    “It’s my honor to be here. To whom do I have the pleasure of addressing,” he asked.

    The Sullastan grabbed his hand, though it was largely dwarfed in Jeri’s massive grasp.

    “Manufacturing Overseer Nbid Surrub, Imperial Captain, Sir,” the droid translated.

    “Jeri…call me, Jeri.”

    “Jeri, sir. Manufacturing Overseer says you may call him Biddy, as it’s what his friends call him.”

    He smiled back to the Sullustan and grasped his hand harder.

    “Biddy. A pleasure.”

    The Sullastan said something rapidly and turned around, waving.

    “Come, Jeri, Sir. A small reception has been prepared,” the droid said and turned to follow his Master.

    ••••

    The extent of the damage was shocking. The factory floors were littered with small mats that could only be explained as a sleeping area. Debris, droid parts, and pieces of metal littered the same areas along with layers of dust and grime. Biddy explained how the CIS had kept the Sullustan workers on 4 hour rest periods. The days surface-side were just 20 hour cycles, of which they worked 16 of them in the factories.

    Part of the work was creating Confederacy weapons as well their own inventions of Sorosuub. The work had been grueling, and taken the lives of thousands, he had said. As Overseer, it had been his job to see that the workers’ numbers never dwindled and he had an immeasurable amount of guilt for helping to see his fellow beings worked to death. However, the alternative was worse in that those that remained in the subterranean cities were usually starved or put to work as navigators for the Confederacy officials that were eager to find other resources to strip from the planet.

    Jeri had tried to comfort the man as best he could, but there wasn’t much that could be said except that things would be different now with the Empire here to help.

    The tour continued around another winding hallway. One door on their left was tied off with rope and two stormtroopers guarded it.

    “Prisoners, sir,” said one of the Stormtroopers behind Jeri.

    “How many,” he asked in return.

    “14, sir.”

    The Overseer continued past the door without looking in. Instead, he seemed to pick up pace, with the protocol droid barely keeping up with him while translating.

    “Biddy, might we stop here” Jeri asked.

    “Begging your pardon, Jeri, Sir, but the Overseer says that he’d rather continue on the tour.”

    Jeri nodded as if he understood.

    “He may wait outside, but it's important I see for myself.”

    The Sullustan nodded.

    “Commander,” Jeri said, looking to the Stormtrooper to move off his post and allow access to the prisoners.

    The Stormtrooper didn’t move.

    “Step aside, Commander,” Jeri added more forcefully, and still the trooper didn’t move.

    The trooper behind him walked up to his fellow officer and his put hand on his shoulder as if to wake him up or shake him to attention. Instead, the guard lurched forward and fell to the durasteel flooring with a sickly thud and clank of his armor. A gaping wound showed through from the back of the trooper’s armor where it had clearly been punctured by an sharp object - not an easy task.

    The other trooper walked into the room and hit the lights.

    “What the —"


    TAG: No one
     
  8. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    NPC - Lt. Rickard “Buttons” Perth
    147th Legion of Stormtroopers
    Calamar, Capital City of Esseles, Perlemian Trade Route



    “Support! Support!” his voice cracked as he yelled into the helmet-comm of his combat helmet.

    The Forest Trooper was tucked bodily into a crevice left by a mortar just moments before. Hoping that lightning wouldn’t strike twice, the specialized trooper had led his platoon into the massive space in the concrete and durasteel mess.

    His only response to his message was static and more shots boomed around him and his men. Through his HUD display, Lt. Rickard “Buttons” Perth could make out the forces behind the ridge. They’d stormed the capital city of Esseles this morning, in order to take the fight directly to the CIS forces therein. The 119th and 92nd Legions had likewise been engaged around the sprawling city, mopping up the forces that were cut off from their air support vessels.

    Since news had come in of the Confederacy defeat over Kalee, Muunilst and Mygeeto, Imperial forces had stepped up their attacks on the embattled planet - but had been cut off as they approached the capital city.

    No one expected the CIS to give up, roll over and die, but they had hoped for less resistance as the HoloNet lauded the death of leader General Grievous by Lord Vader himself and Ledaren Quinlan Vos.

    Buttons - so called because of his affinity for demolition and love of “pushing the big one” - had served with both of them during the Clone War. Vos’ veracity and courage was well known in the Core. Vader, too, with his ascension to “Sith” - whatever that was…a rank? - was equally as devastating.

    He’d seen them both do incredible things with “the Force”, seeming to defy gravity and move with incredible speed in ways that made them seem almost like the superheroes of those holovids he’d watched as a kid.

    But, neither of them were here now.

    “Contact,” yelled a trooper to his right. He shoulder patch had been blasted away, and his face was hidden by his muddied helmet - completely hiding his identity and rank. “Contact! Perimeter is broken.”

    “Support,” Buttons yelled into his mic again, though whether any body heard him or not was a mystery as a mortar struck close by and threw him back from the concussive force.

    His world was suddenly silent and bright. The HUD display flickered off and on. Only his rapid breathing could be heard inside the helmet and a constant buzzing of the comm. Buttons lifted himself up on one arm, and used his E-11 blaster rifle for support on his other arm. His gloved fingers gripped the trigger so that it fired into the ground twice as he stood up.

    A mortar had torn through the bodies of his men - though a handful were still alive.

    So much for lighting not striking twice.

    A pair of troopers came over to him, one limping, and pointed to a building nearby. It had been a holotheatre from the looks of it.

    Buttons nodded and waved to any other survivors to follow them in, though through the flicker of his HUD display it was hard to tell if any body was alive out there.

    As soon as he got inside the door, the darkness enveloped him. Removing his helmet, the fresh air of the temperate climate blew into his face.

    “Injured?” he asked and his eyes closed to the buzzing he still couldn’t stop in his ears.

    “Unknown, sir. Comms are down.”

    “Support.”

    “No contact.”

    Button brushed the sweat and dirt from his eyes with his gloves and looked at the trooper in front of him.

    “Private. Get to the roof. Contact command and tell them we need support or we’ll lose the south side of the city.”

    “Aye, sir,” the trooper nodded and was gone.

    Buttons looked himself over quickly. Nothing seemed broken. He was sore, and his shoulder patch was in tatters, but nothing else was damaged. That’s more than he could say for his men. Surveying the lobby area, there was possibly 5 other troopers here, one seriously wounded.

    How he hoped the forces on the North and West sides of the city were fairing better! The three-pronged offensive was supposed to retake the city by dawn in a surprise attack, but the CIS forces had proved ready for them. Using human shields, the Confederate army had retreated to the central buildings of the city. Unwilling to blast through Imperial Citizens, the troops had attempted an attack through the sewage system.

    Almost as soon as they had hit daylight, they were under attack. Whether that meant the Confederate ruler was a good strategist or just lucky was unsure. What was sure was that if they didn’t start making progress, there wouldn’t be a city left.

    “Lieutenant,” a trooper to his left said, holding his hand to the side of his element. “Private Skeen reports contact with Command. Star Destroyers in-bound.”

    Buttons nodded and checked his blaster. He had about 50 shots left, and no replacements. Looking outside, he knew he could get more off the bodies of the troopers outside. The moment he considered it, the front of the building exploded in a burst of smoke and debris.

    The buzzing got louder.

    Suddenly, the realization hit him as if a blaster bolt. The buzzing hadn’t been from his helmet. He’d removed that. Nor was it the remains of the blast on his injured ears. It was a hive of Geonoisans. The winged creatures had been known by Intel to be holed up in a nearby factory, by slavers. The 92nd Legion was supposed to librate the work camp after taking the West quarter of the city, with hopes of turning them against their oppressive masters.

    As they crawled and buzzed their way in angrily, it was hard to believe they thought they’d be liberated. As one dove and took out a trooper by what had been the door just moments before, it was sure. His scream only confirmed it further.

    These weren’t friendlies…and there was too many of them.

    TAG: No One
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  9. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: Once again this is a joint post by myself and CO, once again many thanks.:)

    IC Captain Gilad Pellaeon and Grand Admiral Thrawn
    Location: ISD Chimaera, above Naboo


    Everything was set for the Grand Admiral's arrival.. Gilad was now inspecting the works of art the Grand Admiral kept in his chamber. He thought Thrawn had an eclectic taste, but he was no expert.

    He had received a message from Comms that the Grand Admiral had arrived, it was Pellaeon’s job to make sure everything was perfect for the Chiss.

    ’Perfect’ Pellaeon though as he looked at another piece of art. It shouldn't be long before the Grand Admiral arrived in his chamber.

    When Thrawn entered the chamber, he noted the arrangement of works that decorate the chamber, the theme at the moment was mostly Nabooian. Statues and paintings from their neoclassical period while some of the older pieces to be Grizmallt in origin and showed how their style had progressed. The other side showed a different style, more primal with the statues of the deities from the Gungan tribes. There was a contrast between the two and different mediums used though there could be some shared imagery between the Nabooian and the Gungans with the exposure between the two cultures over time. Everything was in their place and standing amongst them was an Imperial Officer inspecting one of the works.

    “That particular piece came from the House of Veruna…” Thrawn explained as he silently approached the Captain. “...that family line was prosperous until the last King of Naboo… His Royal Highness, Ars Veruna. The House of Naberrie took over through Her Majesty Padmé Naberrie, Queen Amidala. I spare you the history of the Royal Houses of Naboo however I will remark this artist is a master of the plein air. However, if I may direct your gaze over here to more recent past…” With a hand, Thrawn motioned to another piece, deeper into the collection..

    Pellaeon jolted out of his reverie from looking at the piece and turned towards the new piece Thrawn was motioning to. “I have to say, the Naboo certainly do have some good artisans. I may be no expert on art, but they are….fascinating”

    The holo reproduction shimmered slightly and focused in a higher resolution. “...a fresco piece from an artist called Palo Jemabie… it is an appropriation of an older historical piece.” Thrawn touched the corner and it transitioned to the original one from centuries ago for Pellaeon to inspect before it changed back to the appropriation. “You see examples of works that hark back to the past… sometimes the artists insert themselves or were commissioned to place figures of contemporary importance in the works to draw parallels to the historical figures that they see themselves as…” Thrawn cupped his chin, eyes appraising the movement of the piece. “A way of driving a message to their people through imagery... boost their own prestige… However, this certain piece caused a bit of a stir due to the controversial use of someone’s likeness for one of the maidens featured…”

    Pellaeon’s eyes widened and then he frowned “ I can see why” he responded “This must have caused quite some consternation” Pellaeon had a penchant for women, to see one like this was….disgraceful.

    “Quite, only for a small party that were privy to it. It would have had approval since it was officially commissioned for the dining room of the Nabooian Embassy on Coruscant...though few are rarely given such privilege to see.” Thrawn sighed. “Such is the nature of art, Captain. Most works are hoarded away to private collectors and forgotten until a change of hands or inventory cataloguing rediscovers and shines a new spotlight on them. The artist has been given official status as artist for the Naboo Royal Court though it is rumoured that he has been courted by the Royal House of the Hapes Consortium for a commission.”

    Pellaeon rubbed a finger under his mustache in thought “Perhaps some people are lucky enough to have such grand collections, including yourself sir” Pellaeon turned his face back toward the Grand Admiral, time to change the subject “Captain Verus has arrived in system and is standing by as per the protocol. Captain Dorja should be arriving in the next couple of minutes”

    He turned to fully face the Grand Admiral and his glowing red eyes “Also, Captain Eclipse’s remains are awaiting your inspection, they have finally been stabilized and are secured.”

    “Thank you, Captain.” Thrawn gave a slight nod of approval as he moved to his command chair. He keyed in a command on the arm rest as he stood beside it. The section with the Grizmallt pieces flickered out, save for the two which were physically there. A holographic globe of the planet of Naboo projected in the cleared space. It denoted where all the ships are positioned in real time. Captain Verus’ VSD Formidable and the rest of his flotilla; made up of several corvette, frigate and cruiser classes, had found its preliminary positions amongst the ISD Cerberus, VSD Adamant and the ISD Chimaera, awaiting the go ahead for the next phase. “Once all have arrive, they can begin their ‘drill’.”

    There was a ping on Pellaeon’s comm and he answered. After a brief moment of conversation with the comm officer, Pellaeon turned again to the Grand Admiral “Captain Dorja has arrived sir, he is currently in standby position and awaiting your orders.”

    TAG: Captain Dorja
     
  10. Corellian_Outrider

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

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2002
    ~OOC~ Thank you so much @pashatemur for being a part of this joint post. It has been a pleasure.

    Dash.jpg
    ~IC~ Dash Rendar, ‘Mysterious Stranger’
    Location:
    Coruscant

    “It’s hard to believe the war is finally over...” Dash remarked to himself as the last of the crates had been loaded up onto a repulsor sled and carted off. Being on Coruscant again was another thing he found hard to believe, but he didn’t voice that thought out loud. It was by luck he got a good deal from a stranded spacer he met in a bar back over at the Bajic sector. All he wanted was someone to make this delivery run on his behalf for a share of the pay. There should be enough from his own cut to help pay off the rest of the repairs to the Outrider but not much left in the credit reserve to keep them operational for long.

    He leaned against one of the landing struts and allowed himself a moment to take in the cityscape from under the shade of his freighter’s hull. “Yep! ....probably too good to last too.”

    His ears pricked up at the voices of his two companions coming from the open cargo lift.

    “Does he usually talk like this?” Jenifer had asked the dull gray LE- droid with a hint of laughter in her voice.

    “Only when he is in a joyous mood or suffering from an excess intake of alcohol.” Leebo answered as he hit the control to raise the lift back into the ship. “You haven’t been drinking have you, sir?”

    “Hah hah,” Dash sarcastically called out to them over the sound of the hydraulics. “Admit it, this is a nicer change of scenery than the previous two places of just rocks... and more rocks. We probably haven’t gotten all the dirt out of every crevasse!”

    Removed a short distance from the trio, a hooded figure smiled beneath her cloak at the banter bubbling up around the clearly well used saucer of a modified YT-2400 light freighter. It looked sturdy enough, but dark chrome plating gave the workaday freighter a “souped-up” look and it’s polish veneer sported many of what looked to be recently made dents and dings so that the once smooth cladding looked like it had a bad case of acne. The cockpit was held off to the starboard side of the freighter by two thick bracing arms.

    Interesting company “Renata Tivoli” kept. The now fugitive “Renata” was so well groomed and regal in her bearing, that her sly sense of humor and gutsy strength never ceased to surprise, the stranger thought to herself. Never a hair out of place or a fingernail broken, she was always immaculately dressed. Not that she had disdain for those not of her lofty station, but it was simply hard to imagine “Tivoli” in this particular locale: fueling stations with components locked or missing, old lubricant stains thick and black. Used engine parts in disrepair gathered into the corner and hanging from the walls and despite the exposed flammables, sparks flew as someone nearby worked at a weld. These were definitely the low rent berths.

    The ship’s crew stood beneath the freighter, the service droid as “Tivoli” had described “tarnished silver, sporting a utility sack,” a comely blonde haired girl of medium build, with a thoughtful expression, delicate lips and fine features, and the man, somewhat wooly if beardless, dark reddish-blonde hair, average height for a human male, but the stranger could not see his face.

    “Warm day! We could see rain,” said the stranger as she approached the YT-2400 and its crew, using the prearrange signal, her warm and patrician voice and articulation sounding out of place in the dingy hangar. She nodded in greeting, her turquoise eyes and strawberry-blond braid hidden under the coarse-woven dark brown of her hooded cloak. She waited to hear the man’s reply. If he was indeed this “Dash Rendar,” “Renata” spoke of, he would respond with the appropriate response...

    Dash pushed himself off the landing strut and stepped out from under the shade of his ship to greet the unexpected visitor. The words that greeted him were familiar however the voice was not. Still, the signal passed for the moment and he pretended to squint up at the sky, ‘you never know who might be watching’ and then responded in kind. “Indeed. We could do with some rain.”

    ”...I was told by a friend you could be relied upon to deliver a message with discretion…”

    He gave a subtle wave of his hand and then a slight nod of his head to the direction of his ship, inferring for them both to step under the shade. Once there, Dash caught Leebo’s photoreceptor and signalled for him to watch over the ship before turning to face his guest. He searched her calm green-blue eyes for a hint of deception but found none, he relaxed his gaze and nodded. “Yes... though we might want to discuss inside.”

    The stranger met his gaze directly. There were the “green eyes.” The service droid and the woman-everyone was as “Renata” had said. The man seemed to fit the description given and the stranger wondered to herself if he minded being described as “cocky, but never in doubt!”
    Someone was having fun at his expense, she supposed. Perhaps there was a grudge. At the least he had already proven himself discrete, observant, and likable.

    The stranger knew the man needed confirmation, too and drew her hood back a little in the shadow of the freighter. She could see he was somewhat more satisfied and could feel the man relax. So, she followed his direction and walked up the ship’s ramp with him. Still, she was about to not do so, if anyone or thing had changed since she entered the hangar. This was Coruscant and she had to maintain her guard. Unfortunate, but necessary.

    She sniffed. Her travels in the past two days had taken her to a disparate assortment of destinations, and not all of them the cleanest, but she’d taken care to keep the hem of her cloak out of the black algae that was so prevalent in the lower levels of Coruscant.

    “Just to your right...” Dash directed as they boarded and entered the main hold. “..we can sit down there.”

    An old but polished leather lounge, situation next to the cockpit’s accessway, curved with the forward bulkhead. The dejarik table that accompanied it acted as the centrepiece and had seen its share of use over the years and served multiple functions.

    The interior of the freighter was well used but neat and surprisingly inviting. The stranger took the suggested seat, the leather squeaking slightly and the upholstery sinking comfortably under her as she sat. Reaching outward and scanning the room, she did not detect anything untoward, no extra surveillance or communications devices aside from the ship’s necessary com system.

    “You are Mr. Dash Rendar,” she inquired in a warm voice.

    “The one and only.” Dash couldn’t resist giving a smirk as he sat down on the other end and relaxed with his upper arm resting on top of the lounge. “Leebo, my droid, is just outside and my other companion...” Dash turned his head to the sound of her presence somewhere in the ship, the small clatter sounded like mugs banging against each other in the galley. “...is Jenifer...” He refrained from adding ‘at the moment’, they still had not worked out who she really was and until her memories return she could not go about without a name, so they chose a name for her until she remembered more. No point in confusing their guest with such details.

    He turned his attention back to his guest. He could tell by the posture of the stranger and the articulation of her speech that she must have had a more ‘noble’ upbringing, much like his previous passenger. An actress or aristocrat? Maybe something other... either way it did not matter. He knew that by the way she carried herself, she did not want to make her presence here known to the outside world... just like himself. Ignorance can be bliss... some of the time... however, he could not help but be curious.

    “My friend, Renata,” said the stranger, “told me whence she made passage on your ship, Mr. Rendar. Could you confirm for me where that might have been? You must forgive me, but I’m sure you have understood, since Ms. Tivoli gave you our coded greeting, that we would prefer to avoid public notice.”

    “I respect that and I can relate too.” Dash frowned on the inside while retaining his warm demeanour. There was mentioning of that coded greeting however a thought just crossed his mind that this request was a test to get information out of him. That this stranger might be an actress, and a good one at that. He folded his arms on the dejarik table and leaned forward. “Outside you said that you wanted discretion... the same goes for my previous passenger.... that I can guarantee. I am sure you can understand and appreciate me for being cautious.”

    The stranger nodded once. She had expected he would be somewhat unsettled and suspect her after her request. “Yes, quite,” she said matter of factly. “I will give you a measure of trust and we can proceed until we are both satisfied. Does that meet with your approval, Mr. Rendar?”

    “Captain...” He corrected her as he searched her eyes. Yes, she was genuine. Sighing, he straightened his posture. “Yes, that is acceptable.”

    There came footfalls on the deck, Dash glanced over to see Jenifer approach with a tray. “I’ve brought some refreshments.” She announced as she placed the tray on the table. “It’s only water...”

    “Thank you,” He caught her look and flashed a smile to let her know that everything is fine and no cause for alarm. “Water would do nicely.”

    She returned one of her own and bowed her head to the guest before departing. His eyes lingered on her as he watched her slip back out of the hold. Maybe it isn’t so bad having a third member to the crew. ‘Does make it easier knowing an extra person is watching your back.’
    “How do you think we should proceed?”

    The stranger watched the pretty girl come and go. Jenifer, he said they called her. She gave off a very complex signature. This complicated things a little, but the woman returned her attention to the “Captain.”

    She wet her lip and deliberately reached her deep hood to slide it from her head and unclasped her cloak, standing to shrug it off gracefully and fold it to put next to her spot on the well worn leather lounge. “My name is Emi-to Shuri, Captain Rendar. You may call me Emi-to, if you like.” The saffron robes fell in soft folds around the Jedi Grand Master, who stood benevolently before the spacer, but ready to reach her saber at her hip should the situation ...require it.

    TAG: To be continued, Emi-to
     
  11. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    [​IMG]


    Name: Grand Master Jedi, Emi-to Shuri
    --Age: 30 at the Fall of the Republic, she is now 38
    ---Gender: Female
    ----Species: human
    -----Eye Color: Turquoise
    ------Hair Color and Style: Strawberry blond, long straight and usually worn in a single braid or in a chignon.
    -------Skin Complexion: Fair with freckles
    --------Clothing: Light Jedi Robes of pale saffron/almost buttery yellow, cloak of pale ochre
    ---------Physique: Tall, willowy.
    ----------Personality: Genuine, yet reserved belying her passionate nature, elegant, quick witted, and contemplative.
    -----------Quirks: aloof and cool
    ------------Force Sensitive: Yes

    Biography: Born in the northern suburbs of Coruscant, she was taken by her parents to the Jedi Temple at the age of 5. She seemed remote and unhappy with other children, who tended to make fun of her, and her parents concerned for her happiness and the fact that they felt ill equipped to handle her Force Sensitivity thought it best to bring her to the Temple.

    Her Master was the great Jedi swordsman, Jedi Master Jard Dooku. They were well matched. Her natural elegance and reserve suited the Master’s vanity, yet he was also jealous and when the young Emi developed a friendship with Eme ma Himou, he did everything possible to dissuade and interfere. In the end, when her Master became difficult and unkind, he tried unsuccessfully to take Emi with him. Confronting her Master, she fought him alone. He nearly killed her, but for an unknown reason refrained from a killing blow, leaving Emi mortally wounded to die.

    She recovered though, and waged a number of successful campaigns and diplomatic missions. She joined the Council only days before the end of the Republic and when the night of the massacre came, she faced Anakin Skywalker and was holding her own till several other Jedi intervened so that she could lead a band of Padawans into hiding in the depths of Coruscant. “Run, Emi,” they shouted, and to her conflicted soul, she did, looking back, she thought she saw in Skywalker’s eyes the same command.

    Living underground with “King Eddie of Thieves,” she ministered to a nomadic but large population of poor, hunted, and “unwashed” of Coruscant. Eventually, they organized to form a resistance group, Emi-to, believing her Jedi Order dead and extinct, she helped serve as a liaison to Senators who were favorable towards a resistance. Then she met Commander Torian Darkeyes, a pilot with the Alliance to Restore the Republic. He managed to elude capture by crashing his fighter in the sludge of an abandoned chemical complex and found himself aided, but trapped on Coruscant. Torian and Emi fell passionately in love and together with the help of Senators Bail Organa and Mon Mothma, the lovers escaped, further aided by Eme ma Himou.

    Confronting Emi on Ladarra, Eme caused Emi to come to terms with her duty and she and Torian decided that to serve, they must leave each other’s company. Sick of heart, Emi traveled to Dagobah to live amongst the Jedi. Yet, she no longer felt she could live in their midst. After hearing the words of the Seer, Fei'ona, Emi is drawn off from the Order encampment to live at a great distance in self-imposed exile, sheltered under a mysterious tree. There she gives birth to Torian’s son.

    When the Jedi found it necessary to leave Dagoba due to a sudden resurgence of the dark culminating in a harrowing battle with the spider roots, Yoda called upon Master Shuri to take a scion of the Jedi, comprised mostly of younglings and Padawans to the Alliance base on Yavin IV. They left the newly commandeered and nearly abandoned Imperial immobilizer Master Yoda renamed "Haven" shortly after their narrow escape from Imperials on Ryloth. It was thought best to divide themselves to preserve the Jedi should they be betrayed or found. Her friend Obi wan approached Master Shuri with a proposal to take the son of his former Padawan as his new Padawan and to seek seclusion and go into hiding for the benefit of the precocious youngling. Obi wan, having confessed his attachment and concerns for Shuri, unsettled Emi, who began considering the efficacy some of the Orders hallmark tenets.

    The Master of Forms finds herself in a very strange position as wife of the military leader of the Alliance and Grand Master to the Yavin Jedi. Balancing the world of hearth and that of the Order is not an easy load.

    ---Traumatic Experiences: Being left at the Temple by her parents, the loss of her childhood friend, Master Eme ma Himou, and the recent confessed secret of her friend, Obi wan Kenobi. The most defining experience for Emi-to was the loss and fight with her Master, Count Dooku, and the separation from her husband, Torian Darkeyes, and their child, Padawan Achilles Darkeyes (Hill.).

    Affiliation: Jedi
    Lightsaber Blade Color: Blue
    Lightsaber Type: Single blade
    Hilt Description: Silver Chromed curved, inlaid with gold - simple, efficient and ergonomic in design.
     
  12. pashatemur

    pashatemur Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 21, 2004
    ~IC~ , Emi-to Shuri’, Dash Rendar
    Location:
    Coruscant

    His eyes travelled up her and stopped at her face. He took a moment to let it sink in before standing up himself. “I take it you are not an actress then...” He murmured before curbing his first thought. ‘Think before speaking’ he reminded himself. “Emi-to... you have my complete and undivided attention.”

    Emi smiled gently, but knowingly. “Perhaps in another life, Captain. I do enjoy the theatre.” His thoughts were so spontaneous and forthright, she refrained from raising her brow, but was much relieved he showed no signs of being hostile. “Do you fancy the stage?” She trusted he would know she made a small joke, but intended the double meaning in that she felt he was genuine too and not playing a false hand.

    “I’ve had my fair share with onstage and backstage performances.” Dash nodded, thinking back to several occasions to when the ‘spotlight’ had been on himself or a patron that hired him to protect them. He had been hired as a bodyguard before and through that had seen behind the scenes of certain entertainment tours. However, hidden agendas and shadow games could have been avoided if that certain individual had laid it all out at the start. “There’s never a dull moment.”

    She was sure of what he said and could see it in Rendar’s stance, his eyes, and in that crooked smile and his thoughts played out in her awareness like a holo play. Fast of reflex, quick witted, swaggering, he’d gotten himself about with quite a bit of souciance, yet under it all, principled.

    There was silence as they stood looking at one another. Emi’s face lit and she inclined her head to him and said encouragingly with another graceful smile, “I believe it is your turn, now...eh... Dash - May I?”

    “And so it is,” Dash inclined his head. “You may.”

    “Shall we...” asked Emi, pantomiming a sitting motion.

    “Ah, yes.” He gestured with his hand for her to go first before joining her. In the process his fingers knocked against the top of one of the glasses.

    Emi held up her hand in subtle extension of the Force to right the tipped glass and brushed the water from the table with little more notice and sat wishing to spare the Captain the awkward notice of the unintended mishap his gesture had brought about but noted he clasped the glass before it settled on the table. She remarked to herself his impressive reflexes.

    “You were going to say about Ms. Tivoli’s commission. Where did you collect her?”

    “I am sorry but I cannot say that information.” He stood up and stepped around to her side of the lounge. “However...” He gave her a wink, his hand on the keypad to unlock the corridor accessway. “I can do one better, follow me.”

    The Master noted the keyboard as she turned and rose to follow the Captain. “Yes,” she assented.


    He lead her down the corridor situated within the forward bracing arm and arrived at the cockpit. He flicked a few overhead switches to direct some power before taking the captain’s chair and motioned to the co-pilot’s chair as he warmed up the ship’s computer. “Leebo shouldn’t mind if you take his seat.”

    The filtered air of the ship’s environmental system was of a very good quality and Emi breathed it in gratefully. The foul odors of stagnant water and detritus and waste, the chemicals and the stench of rotting things in the lower levels were something she had forgotten about. She’d found her old hiding places and made herself a haven since arriving on Coruscant several days previous.

    Emi sat in this “Leebo’s” seat. “Ah...” she gestured to outside, “your service droid?”

    “Sometimes he is a service droid, sometimes he thinks himself a comedian. It’s not amusing when he acts as both.”

    Emi chuckled.

    Pulling up the navigation logs, his cheeks warmed at some of the locations. Vowing to himself to not go to those places again anytime soon.

    The Jedi could not help but notice the tabs and chrono stamps for Tatooine, Ryloth, and Vergesso Asteroid as the logs ticked across the screen as she waited to see the next tab come up. There! She exhaled and now it came to her why Rendar seemed familiar to her. Eme ma Himou. “Oh, forgive me Captain. I am quite satisfied and relieved. You’ve no idea...” she said putting her hand forward to take his and shake it.

    “You knew Master Himou, didn’t you? I was SaberMaster at Dagobah and I do remember now that you were there. Master Himou was a ... a dear childhood friend to me.”

    Dash’s eyes widened with shock of the past coming back so suddenly but he composed himself quickly. “It feels like a long time ago...” He admitted, unsure of how he should be feeling.

    She sensed conflict in the Captain Rendar regarding Eme and noted she still held the Captain’s hand. Letting go she said quietly, “Eme is in the Force, now.” She did not say that he had fallen to the dark side. Besides, best to leave as positive a remembrance with his friend as she could. After all, Eme’s faltering was a hazard they all faced in service to the galaxy.

    He remained silent for a moment as he processed what she had said, unaware that her hand had left his. Moistening his lips, his voice came out lower than intended. “It appears he has found his peace then, after all this time.”

    She could not answer in the affirmative, but she dearly hoped that was so. She smiled to Dash. “Well, this explains quite a few things, then. My friend Renata and I have been taking a tour of Coruscant. It’s been some time since we’ve visited and our mutual friends want to know all the “hot” spots, all the news, and changes. We will have mementos to send back and we look to your able transport. Of course, we can compensate you for your kindness. It is good to have friends one can rely upon...” She looked to him knowingly and thought, the Captain fleet of mind and a decent fellow and genuine person who was even considerably polite considering his lifestyle.

    “You can count on my services.” He met her look and smiled warmly. “Thank you for taking the risk and being level with me. The thought did cross my mind at the beginning that you were an actress caught up with a bad crowd...” he chuckled.

    “I believe I will take that as a compliment,” she said smiling broadly, her turquoise eyes crinkling with genuine laughter. “Not a ‘bad’ crowd, let’s just say, misguided.”

    Emi bowed her head and put the back of her hand to her lips to cover a yawn. She was about to ask pardon, but fell silent and alert, half rising, half crouching from the co-pilot’s chair. She slipped out quickly and withdrew to the darkened back of the tight cockpit.

    A two man patrol appeared, walking just to the left of the ship’s bow, if one could locate a bow on the versatile flying “saucer.” They were lax in their dress and looked as though they expected a stroll and a doughnut later. Still, it would not be good for them to wonder about the visiting stranger.


    TAG: to be continued.
     
  13. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: This is a joint post between me and Pashatemur. Thank you for your assistance and feedback, it was a pleasure!

    IC: Dennii/Drakoniss Sunwalker, duchess Jori Atreides, Fru Marke
    Ursean Embassy, Coruscant


    They entered the room Dennii was assigned to. It was next to Jori’s, which was kind of their hosts, given Dennii’s current state. She was standing in the middle trying to collect her thoughts and process her feelings. She felt confused, angry and betrayed, but most importantly she felt terrified. This was all new to her and she did not know what to do or say. Jori walked around and kept talking about something, but Dennii did not listen.

    “Hey, you still with us?” Jori came in front of her and waved a hand.

    Dennii blinked only now registering what was happening. She tried to muster a smile, but it felt fake and insincere.

    “I am here, just a bit tired...” she murmured “... that is all.”

    Jori nodded “Yes, the doctor said that you need rest. I ordered some food to be delivered to your room and asked for a tailor droid to come and see how the dress could be fitted so that you look perfect for tonight.” she kept chatting as she took her hand and pulled her towards the bed. “You should lay down.”

    Dennii felt dizzy, her heart was racing. She did not want to lie down, she wanted to scream. How can Jori act this way!? How could she do that to her!? A tear trickled down her cheek. “Why?” she whispered to herself.

    Jori turned and saw the moisture on the cheek and frowned. She gently touched her and wiped the tear with her thumb. “Why, what?” she tilted her head slightly.

    “Why did you bring me here?”
    Dennii muttered.

    “To keep you safe of course.” Jori smiled gently.

    “But… but… but… Ana… Vader, he...” she stammered still shaking “He… killed them all… I was… I was there… the Temple...” she sniffed and more tears trickled.

    Jori frowned again “Tell me...” she looked her in the eyes “... do you trust me?”

    “Jori...” Dennii started.

    “No, I need to know, do you trust me?” Jori repeated her question.

    “Yyes...” Dennii managed to mutter.

    “Good, now since we established that.” Jori smiled “You must know that I will never... never do something that will hurt you or put you in harm’s way.” she paused “I was sure that Lord Vader won’t hurt you.” which was a lie, but she decided not to say anything “Since he did not hurt your Master on Ursa. Besides he wouldn’t have treated you the way he did if he intended to hurt you, would he?”

    “No, I don’t think so...” Dennii managed to whisper and sat on the edge of the bed with Jori’s assistance.

    “Precisely, you saw how he treated you.” Jori hovered above her “Besides, you are now my sister and no one in the Galaxy can touch you unless they want to suffer the full wrath of the Union of the Great Houses.” Jori said with a bit of a forced bravado. The essence was true though. “You must know that unless you do something too provocative I am ready and willing to go to war if needed to protect you.” she did not add that the result will be billions of deaths, that was not very reassuring.

    Dennii swallowed and licked her lips “Jori...” she started and sighed “I don’t need special treatment.” she managed to say with a calmer voice. “Besides… he could be just toying with me… you know… being a Sith and all...” at which point she started sobbing again. “It will take a while… to trust… he...”

    Jori sat next to her and put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed gently “He, what?” she was both curious and worried.

    “He… killed Master Mundi… he was my teacher then… I saw him… do it.” she sobbed again.

    Instead of saying anything Jori just wrapped her in a tight embrace. Dennii rested her head on her shoulder and just kept crying. Her big sister kissed the top of her head and gently caressed her silky hair. “I am here...” she murmured “You are home, you are safe, no one will ever hurt you.” It steeled her resolve, yes she needed to take care of her baby sis, she had suffered enough already. She then proceeded to rock her gently while the sobbing and crying subsided.

    Dennii pulled away from the hug and this time managed to give a shaky smile. Her cheeks were wet, her face and eyes red and a bit puffy. “Thank you...” she managed to whisper, her voice still weak.

    “Don’t thank me, this is the least I can do. You are my family and my best friend.” Jori smiled warmly “I may not be a good person, but you are very important to me so I will protect you no matter the cost.”

    Dennii remained silent and buried her head under Jori’s chin. She felt better after what her sister said.

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


    Jori sat silently in an armchair. Dennii had fallen asleep and was napping for almost an hour. The food and the tailor should arrive soon. The emotional stress had drained the poor girl and she felt sorry for her. Her love for her baby sister increased and her resolve to protect her at any cost too. No one will harm her ever again… Jori sighed silently, she could not promise such things, besides not all harm is physical. All she could do was to try her best and hope that it would be enough to keep Dennii safe. She could hear her murmuring in her sleep and give a small kick, probably having nightmares. Jori looked down, she felt guilty for it all, her own people trying something as idiotic as that, what were they thinking!? Were they thinking at all!? A knock on the door took her out of her distraction.

    “Come in.” she said out loud as she stood up to go and wake Dennii. Jori touched her shoulder and gently shook her. Dennii’s eyes opened and she could see her body tensing ready to attack. “Hey, hey, it’s me, Jori, your sister, remember?” She remembered that Dennii was last attacked during her sleep so she has to be careful waking her up, even though according to her words she is not the strongest one she was still a Jedi and if startled she could deal damage. Dennii’s expression softened as she recognized her and relaxed.

    “Mmmm… what time is it? I must have...” yawn “... fallen asleep… sorry.”

    “Don’t worry about it, you need the rest, but the tailor is here, will take some time to see how to fit the dress I brought, then you will have a meal and back to bed.” Jori smiled warmly.

    A woman of medium height and dressed in a frock coat and breeches stood at the door with a small droid and a carriage of tools about the size of the droid that hauled them. “Gruss Seele, Your Grace. “

    Jori was surprised to see a living person and not a droid. She was under the impression that it would be an automaton. Hope she works fast and the dress to be ready for today. “Gruss Seele, Miss…?”

    Dennii managed to stand up awkwardly from her growing belly and she too muttered a greeting.

    “Gruss Seele, milady, I am Fru Marke. I am couturier for the Reina...Empress. The Re commander....sent me to help. You need some alteration?”

    Jori smiled to herself, she took a mental note to send her thanks to the Imperial family. This was great honour that they sent the personal couturier of the Empress.

    “Yes, my sister did not pack a formal dress and I have to loan her one of mine.” she moved towards the hanger and picked it up to show the clothing to the woman “As you can see we are roughly the same height and our body types are close too, but as you can see Princess Sunwalker here had recently lost some weight and the dress my hang a bit so we need some fitting.”

    [​IMG]

    (OOC: the image is a representation of the dress in question)

    The fabric glinted in the light, encrusted with tiny faceted jewels that sent further refracted light in myriad of colours though the silk beneath was an ombre wash of midnight blue to cerulean. It was a fine simple dress with long sleeves and a high boat neck. Cut as a sheath, the hem flared slightly in front just above the floor and then spread into a train at the back, a plunging deep U shaped back that revealed the wearers back.

    “Ah, yes, if her highness then can try it on. I will know what needs to be done.”

    Jori turned to Dennii, who blushed “Don’t worry you can go in the other room if you are so self conscious.” Jori chuckled then moved to hand over the dress to her baby sister.

    Dennii took the hanger and moved to the bathroom to change. Jori looked to Fru Marke “Care for some refreshments?”

    “Oh, very kind, Your Grace, but no.” Fru Marke looked to the Union leader politely and began to open some compartments in the carriage and small handheld oval with a grip molded in the body. Occasionally she glanced to the comely woman, but said nothing.

    Jori nodded and moved back to the bed and sat on the edge. She needed to conserve energy as she will be standing all evening during the reception in those high heels that killed her feet. The dancing part will be exhausting as well and the juggling of different conversations… Dennii broke her concentration by entering the room. She looked splendid, the dress seemed that will not need much adjustments, which was good, the only thing that sort of ruined the image was the growing belly, but her sister carried in her the future of House Atreides so there was that.

    “A lovely dress, milady, Your Highness,” said the couturier. “It is improved by your...uppsyn...forgive me...um...your being...face? Well, let us see!” The couturier walked around Dennii and blew a few wisps of black hair fallen from her smooth chignon from before her eyes. “Shoulders good. Ah, sleeves too long! We’ll begin där.” As Dennii stood beside a chair, the lady sat and applied the hand held device to the sleeve, folding under an amount she had measure for both sleeve, measuring from the index finger up.

    Jori covered her smile with her hand, it was both amusing and endearing to see Dennii like that. Her sister seemed both embarrassed and a bit annoyed that she has to go through all that hassle.

    “But does Milady wish to ....announce her pregnancy?” The couturier looked up expectantly.

    “Well it should not be that tight, the dress.” Dennii blushed “But it is still in early stage, so still not that visible.”

    "Well, Your Grace, because this is cut on bias, that is the diagonal-the angled between the warp and weft of the weave, it is the point of most elasticity, and therefore gravity exerts a force, causing the very desirable drape. Such a drape reveals the subtle curves of the body and therefore, the lovely indication that milady is with child."

    “Well no point of hiding it”, said Dennii.

    "Yes, milady, as you wish. It IS a very lovely dress! Very complimentary."

    "Thank you, Her Grace knows what to wear." Dennii turned her head towards Jori and winked "I am thankful that she loaned it to me."

    "Oh, how gracious. I can see why there is little to alter."

    "Well, yes, we are roughly same height, though I am somewhat skinnier."
    She blushed again.

    The couturier looked from one lady to the other and smiled before making a note and finishing hemming a sleeve. She lifted the hem of the other engaged her handheld sewer to make nimble little stitches, shortening one sleeve to match the other. Saying as she did so, “You sisters have different...um....böjningar...talar stilar...speakings.”

    “What do you mean?” Jori raised an eyebrow.

    Dennii giggled softly as it tickled a bit.

    The Ursean woman, said apologetically, “Oh excuse me, I did not mean to kittla!"

    "No problem, it was kind of nice..."

    “I beg pardon, Your Grace. I notice ... you have a different spac...talar....a way of speaking.”

    “Oh, she is my adopted sister.” Jori smiled “But usually she speaks with a Union accent when I am around.” she observed Dennii, it seems the time that had passed took its toll.

    The Couturier smiled, saying, “Ah!” It was clear that her conversation and curiosity would not be well received. The woman returned her focus to the dress and finished the second sleeve in silence, working very quickly.

    Jori observed in silence then said "You look beautiful... If you were not my sister I would have taken you to a date."

    Dennii blushed slightly but said nothing.

    The Couturier raised a brow and kept her silence.

    Finishing off the hem, the small sewing machine, silent, the Ursean woman stood back to make an appraisal. "There! Now all that remains is the front hem." She was schooled at discretion and knelt to quickly take up the hem.

    Somewhat flustered, the older woman said as she finished up her work, "The Re kommenderade, Jag kommer omedelbart för att göra förändringar, men jag ser att du behöver mycket lite. Jag hope that I have assisted ..." she said falling back into Ursean, rising and picking up the tools of her trade quickly. "On behalf of the Their Imperial Highnesses, may you have a happy evening." She bowed with ceremony.

    Jori nodded and relaxed a bit as the older woman left. Then lied back on the bed laughing.

    “Joriii...” Dennii exclaimed in indignation but a smile creeped on her lips “You can be insufferable sometimes!”

    The duchess was relieved to hear that her sister was better “Weeellll… you outsiders can be very squeamish about these things and what I said was true.” she shrugged and sat up again “I will go to my room to start preparing for tonight… unless of course you need me to stay with you?”

    Dennii smiled “No, no, I will change again and lay down for a while.”

    “Good, the food will be here soon and in the datapad I brought for you I uploaded the new D’ana and the Black Canaries holofilms.” Jori grinned as she saw her sister’s eyes lit up. She loved that series. “Well then, see you later...”

    TAG: Anyone
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  14. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    NPC Stent Choolin
    Field Reporter, HoloNet Substation Beta-Gamma-44, Outer Rim Node
    Weesl Tavern, Gwori, Outer Rim

    Stent brushed off the dirty activator switch in his camera droid. The compact droid flickered to life and twittered through a quick self diagnostic before a singular green lamp turned on and it began to hover off the human's shoulder.

    "Wait, wait. Let's go over that part again," he said nodding to the Trandoshan across the way from him.

    "Interview subject Anonymous. Spacer and entrepreneur in the vicinity of Kalee," he said for the benefit of the droid, who had begun instantaneously recording the holovid and transcribing the audio into notes.

    "You were saying..."

    The Trandoshan rose slightly as the camera droid swung into view, pointing the lamp on his face. He wasn't comfortable being on the record, even if the reporter had promised to augment his voice and features. Still, he was paying for the information, so...

    "Mass Shadow Generator," he began. "That what they called it. Something dangerous...ahem...even heinous."

    He liked that word. Heinous. It sounded like a good one.

    "And how did you come to know about it," Stent asked.

    "Well, I did deliveries in the system, didn't i? We was runnin'...erm...you're sure this can hide who I am, right?"

    "Yes. Of course. You have my word."

    "Alright...um...we was runnin', I mean, we was delivering them explosive cargo."

    "Weapons."

    "Yeah. Weapons."

    "For how long?"

    "I'm not really sure. A while. I'm just the next guy in the chain, you understand. I don't buy and sell nothin. I just pick it up, and bring it where it needs to go. I delivery things."

    "And on one of your deliveries, you heard about this generator?"

    "Yeah. But it's not a generator like power, you know. It's a planet killer. Boom!"

    "How do you know?"

    "Well..I asked didn't I?"

    "And who did you ask?"

    "Listen...really. This doesn't get out? I'm totally safe."

    "Totally safe."

    "Alright...um....well, she's a little young, you know? No parents. Rancor of a husband..but he's a scientist for that Cyborg...and well, sometimes my deliveries to her place..."

    "And this woman, she told you about the...Generator...that isn't for power?"

    "Super weapon, yes, sir."

    The Trandoshan nodded with such a grim face, it would tell through the masking process of the video with dramatic effect.

    "A super weapon. Are you sure," Stent asked off camera.

    "As the emperor's ru....yes, sir," he paused. "You can edit that out right?"

    "Sure, sure."

    Stent looked to the droid, which chirped in reply. They'd worked together long enough, he seldom gave verbal commands anymore - which worked better for the Holonet live broadcasts anyway. Though, these days "live" was a misnomer. Video feeds were often delayed as they were sent through COMPNOR and double checked by the Ministry of Propaganda for possibly dangerous or dissident messages.

    "Any idea what the weapon did," Stent asked.

    The Trandoshan cleared his throat.

    "Um..no."

    "But you know it was a weapon?"

    "Yeah, yeah. Something about messing with the For...listen. It was a big, bad thing. Weapon of Mass Destruction. No doubtin that!"

    He shut up. Sure he'd heard what it did. A trader had also told him weapon was an old one, that it had actually been used once by some old crazy Jedi way in the old days of the Old Republic. But, he'd heard what happened to them in more recent history, and if that weapon had anything to do with Jedi and that freaky old religion of traitors, than he wasn't talking about it.

    Stent frowned in response. Sure the Trandoshan knew more than he as letting on, but what was he to do at this point?

    "Was it destroyed" he asked.

    "Don't know. Planet is gone isn't it?"

    "We aren't allowed there. You tell me."

    "Well I wasn't there, was I? I'm just a delivery man."

    And boy, when those Imperial fleets where there, did he deliver himself a long earned vacation for a few days. Stent had only found him by mistake while tracking down another lead for a piece on the response of CIS worlds to the end of the war. He'd smuggled on a trader's vessel to Gwori and arrived here at the bar for a drink.

    "But, you know, that wasn't the only thing the old Cyborg had in his stores," the Trandoshan suddenly jumped in, perhaps aware he was losing his moment.

    "Go on."

    "She tells me, my girl you know...that he'd been collecting all manners of WMDs, and that thing..the um...ah...what was it called...oh yeah, the Requiem was just the latest."

    The Requiem had been the name locals were given a planet killer that the Imperial Force under Vader and Sidious had destroyed.

    "What else? Where is it?"

    "I guess the Imperials," the Trandoshan paused and leaned forward across the table. "But, I'll tell you what. There's a lotta talk about all kinds of stuff ending up on the Black Market. But, I don't do that sort of thing, do I? No. But, you know...there's talk."

    Stent leaned back in his chair.

    "Care to make an introduction to someone who talks. I pay handsomely for information," he said pushing a small chip towards the Trandoshan.

    "I was just saying that, wasn't I," the Trandoshan's toothy mouth opened in a a "grin" in reply, pocketing the chip.

    Tag: No One
     
  15. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    ISB Agent Fouche
    KIT Prime Station, XQ2 Platform, Brentaal IV, Bormea Sector

    “OW!”

    “Hey, that hurt,” asked Jalen, the small Sullustan boy standing over him, a little crestfallen.

    His tiny finger was still outstretched over Fouche’s face, as if he was ready to poke the man’s eye a second time just in case.

    “No,” Fouche yelled back at the little urchin. “That’s just how people say ‘good morning’ where I’m from!”

    Holding his throbbing eye, he glared at the kid.

    “Do you want to say ‘good morning',” he asked him.

    “Oh…no…but…um…hey, you felt that huh? I thought they said it didn’t work anymore.”

    Fouche rubbed his eye. Sure, he couldn’t see out of it, and he was seriously considering the implant the doctor had mentioned, but it was still his for right now. He’d probably stick on an eye-patch for effect and call it day.

    “Just because something doesn’t work anymore, doesn’t mean it isn’t useful,” he mused.

    “Yeah…” was all Jalen said, looking at the ground. “Hey, Mr. Ringali, how was your bacta bath? Cool huh?”

    “I don’t remember, kid. They put you out for that sort of thing,” Fouche said, leaning back into the bed, hoping he had some of that stuff right now.

    “Hey, Mr. Ringali…you know you have the same name as the Nebula? Dr. Walki was telling me it’s funny,” he looked at the ground. “I don’t think it’s funny. But…hey, did you know that?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Oh.”

    The silence lasted for a few seconds before, the kid pulled himself up onto the medical bed next to him.

    “Mom says I shouldn’t ask you questions,” he admitted.

    “Hey, I like questions,” Fouche replied. “As a matter of fact, kid, I think you ask some good ones. How about I ask you some questions.”

    Jalen beamed.

    “OK! Go for it!”

    “You live here?”

    “Yeah…me and my mom.”

    “And, your dad. Where is he?”

    “I dunno. Off exploring the galaxy, I guess.”

    “What’s he do?”

    “Something on a ship. I dunno. He never visits anyway. Hey! I have a ship! You wanna see it?”

    Fouche put on his best shocked face, letting his jaw drop as far as he could and lowering his voice as if it was a secret.

    “You…you have a ship? No…”

    “Uh-huh. It’s wizard. It’ll blast anything outta the sky…pirates, droid fighters…just bad guys.”

    “Yeah. Bad guys. That’s ok,” Fouche leaned in. “Does your mom know you have a ship?”

    The kid was eating it up.

    “Sure! I mean, she can borrow it when she wants to, but The Colonel says it’s mine.”

    That name was dropped often enough, Fouche was starting to believe it was a monicker rather than an actual person - though he’d never met the leader.

    “Why do people call him that,” he asked Jalen.

    “Who?”

    “The Colonel.”

    “Oh…I dunno.”

    “Is he a soldier,” he asked.

    “Maybe.”

    “You don’t know.”

    “Nope.”

    Jalen was looking at his fingers, clearly losing interest in the conversation.

    “Well…I gotta go now,” he said scooting himself off the bed to the floor.

    “Alright, kid,” Fouche said leaning back into bed again. “Fly safe.”

    Jalen waved and walked out of the room.


    TAG: No one
     
  16. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    NPC Captain Jeri Coghlan
    SoroSuub Corporation, Sullust, Outer Rim
    Outer Rim Territories

    It was the stench that hit him first. The dark room slowly came into focus, in contrast to the brightly lit corridor. The smell was one part charred flesh and one part bile. “Putrid” was the first word that came to Jeri's mind. The stormtrooper at his left snapped on his wrist lamp, and it was the grisly sight that hit him next.

    What was supposed to be a room full of Confederate prisoners gathered up by their former Sollustan slaves was instead unrecognizable as anything other than charred, smoking heaps. Jeri took in the whole site, slowly moving his gaze with the trooper's lamp from one heap to the next, from wall to wall and to the ceiling where scorch marks had burned from the walls up. He took a deep breath to quell the ire at the inhumanity of the scene before him, and instantly regretted the action as the stench burned into his nostrils. His body’s shock at the horrid tasting smell caused him to hold his breath, his eyes watering. He turned slowly on his heel and walked into the corridor, wordlessly cursing the stormtrooper's helmet with its built in bio-filters.

    Entering the hallway, he let the breath out of his nostrils in a slow hiss. Leveling his gaze on the overseer of the factory, Jeri hoped he looked more like a seething gundark than an stomach-ill Imperial captain holding back a gag on what was probably the charred DNA of the Confederate overlords that had been here.

    He rubbed the edge of his mouth with his sleeve. For a moment, he thought about going for the respirator that hung at his belt, but knowing it would show a weakness in a moment when he needed to appear commanding, he let it hang there and stared down on the Sullustan.

    "Care to tell me what has happened here," he asked the Sullustan Overseer, through clenched teeth.

    As the words were translated by the rusted and dinged up protocol droid, the diminutive Sollustan's large black eyes betrayed no motion. Was that fear? Indignation? Anger? Curiosity?

    "Jeri, sir, the Overseer says that he does not know what you are talking about," the droid translated.

    "Does he care to step inside," Jeri asked evenly, waving an open hand to the room.

    An exchange between the droid and the Sollustan betrayed nothing.

    "Manufacturing Overseer Nbid Surrub says he has not been in this room to inspect the prisoners since the facility was retaken," the Droid said.

    "Two weeks? And never once?"

    "Overseer Surrub says seeing them caused him too much pain, Jeri, sir."

    “Guilt from allowing a mass murder?”

    The droid arms shot up in shock - one made it over his head while the other rusted arm merely made it midway, freezing with a grind of gears. It hung pointed at Jeri. The protocol droid turned to the Overseer, his arms unmoving almost comically in the turn. The Overseer merely blinked his large eyes. Then blinked again and turned back wordlessly to the droid. Then to the Captain. Then back to the droid.

    "Oh, dear. He had no idea," the droid said finally. "How did they die?"

    "I should be asking that question," Jeri replied.

    What was going on here?

    Two weeks ago, this planet and all of its installations had been under the dominion of the CIS. It had been liberated by a small Imperial strike force that had left an interim governor in charge at the capital city underground. A stormtrooper garrison had been set up and control of the planet was given back to the Sollustan's. It was a wonderful victory for the Empire of Free Systems. Further, as the Empire later pressed on to destroying the leader of the CIS and a CIS super weapon, humanitarian aid had been able to get here to Sollust before the end of the war far ahead of other distressed regions.

    But how did such a success turn into so much carnage? Was this the only facility that this had happened at? Had the Sollustan's hated their Confederate slavers that much?

    "What happened in there," Jeri asked, taking a step toward the Overseer.

    The overseer's large eyes blinked, waiting for the translation. Slowly his hands went up in a shrug.

    Time to try a different method.

    Jeri stepped another foot closer to the Overseer, and heard the Stormtrooper at his side advance with him. He towered over the Sollustan, at least a feel meter smaller than him. Jeri put both hands on his hips and scowled down at the man.

    "They're dead," he said. "Killed and left to stink. Burning, stinking heaps of burned nothing. And I'm to believe the man who helped them send his own people to the proverbial gallows through slavery has no idea...not even an inkling what happened to them."

    The Sollustan, to his credit, did not cower. He simply looked to the droid and spoke.

    "The Overseer regrets to tell you, Jeri, sir, that is correct," the droid translated.

    Jeri advanced again.

    "Who was watching over them?"

    "After the Imperial forces left, the prisoners were left under the charge of Sollustans, Jeri, sir."

    "Did the Overseer know they would kill their former handlers?"

    "He did not."

    "Where are they now?"

    "Presumably gone, Jeri, sir."

    "Then who was in charge of the prisoners? Who fed them? Oversaw their well being as prisoners of war?”

    "That was not necessary."

    "Why?"

    "They were dead."

    Ah. There it is.

    Jeri shifted his body slightly so that he his bulking frame could take in the Sollustan and the protocol droid at one time. He placed a thick hand at his belt, looping his thumb through the band.

    “Now how would you know that,” he asked.

    The droid shifted wordlessly between the two being in front of him. Its gears loudly rubbing as it turned from side to side, the arms still frozen in an “L” shape between them.

    “Oh, dear,” it said.

    Jeri looped his other thumb into the band of his belt and waited.

    “The prisoners…the slaves…esteemed Imperial Captain…Jeri,sir…”

    He waited.

    “I wasn’t programmed for this,” the droid complained.

    The stormtrooper behind Jeri cocked his blaster rifle.

    “You won’t be coded for much more unless you answer the question, rust-bucket,” he said.

    Jeri wouldn’t normally like such a show of force, but he had to admit in this case, the moment was right. Could you intimidate a droid?

    “What happened to the prisoners,” he asked the rusted droid.

    “They were..casualties,” it replied simply.

    “Who killed them?”

    “The Liberated.”

    A pang in the pit of his stomach was starting to form.

    “You mean the slaves? They did this?”

    “Oh, no. Jeri, sir. The Sollustans are a peaceful people!”

    Jeri took a step back from the droid and Overseer Surrub. Neither offered more information. The Sollustan blinked and watched the conversation wordlessly. The droid’s arms were still frozen - one in the air, one pointed at Jeri. The Imperial doffed his pointed hat and folded it in his hands.

    “The Empire liberated Sollust,” he reminded them, “at great sacrifice. Men and woman, complete strangers of this system, died for Sollustan freedom. I would hope that means something.”

    “Oh, yes, Jeri, sir,” the droid said, and turned to the Overseer. “It means Sollust is free.”

    “And what of the munitions, the droids, and the craft that this facility created?”

    “They’ve been liberated, as well, Jeri, sir.”

    "On whose behalf?"

    The facilities would have been contained by the Imperial forces, but a removal of the untold number of droids, munitions and craft on the scale that this factory and others had been churning out weapons would take months. How could they disappear with a Stormtrooper garrison nearby?

    "The Liberated," the droid simply said.

    This was turning into a riddle and going nowhere, and Jeri had no time for games.

    “And who,” he asked throw gritted teeth, “are the Liberated?”

    An untold number of droids, munitions, and craft to carry them would have come through this facility and others like it across the city. To think of them all in the hands of a crazy sect that decided to take on vigilantism was no comfort at all. Jeri cursed the Imperial strike force that had come here, released a people and moved on to Felucia to their next stage of battle - only leaving a provisional governor in charge.

    Overseer Sorrub finally said something and was translated by the droid.

    “Overseer Sorrub feels it time that he invites you to leave, Jeri, sir,” it said. “My apologies.”

    “To hell with that,” Jeri roared. “What is going on here?!”

    “Sir,” came the Stormtrooper at his side, activating his blaster rifle with a whine of energy.

    Jeri followed his gaze, and saw the hand of the droid that had seemed frozen at the midsection was missing the tips of four fingers, and they looked an awful lot like the ends of blaster carbines.

    “Biddy,” Jeri said, opening his arms in an incredulous moan to the Sollustan. “What do you actually think is going to happen? Sollust is free, under the protection of the Empire and a full-fledged member! You don’t need to do this.”

    The Sollustan looked to the ground and walked away.

    “Sir, perhaps we should return to the ship,” the trooper said over his shoulder.

    Jeri waved him off, ignoring both the droid and the trooper.

    “Biddy, is this insurrection? Are you refusing support from the Empire? I have to be clear what’s happening here.”

    The Sollustan paused, and turned back. He spoke to the droid.

    “Sollust is thankful to the Empire for its assistance,” it said, “You are welcome anytime, Jeri, sir.”


    ****

    The olive green Imperial Captain’s hat was balled up beyond recognition in Jeri’s massive hands. How had that gone so wrong so quickly? What or who were the Liberated? A criminal organization? Was this Sollust’s attempt at secession? Had the Clone Wars taught them nothing? What had happened to all the weapons that the factory had manufactured?

    There were more questions than there were answers, and he had nothing to give to Imperial Command. Nothing to report other than he had been invited to leave Sollust after returning their humanitarian cargo to them.

    Had anything wrong actually been done, besides the hurt to his pride? They didn’t say they were leaving the Empire. In fact, they hadn’t said anything.

    As the V-35 courier tore across the obsidian landscape towards the entrance to the intricate lift-system that would take him to the underground city, he found himself unsure of the answer. What was sure, was that The Witch of Endor wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon.

    Pulling out his comm, he looked back at the factory as it diminished in size on the horizon.

    “Lieutenant. Prepare a scouting party. I’ll have instructions for you when I arrive,” he said.


    TAG: Soon
     
  17. Corellian_Outrider

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

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2002
    ~OOC~ Another joint post between @pashatemur and myself. Thank you so much, It has been fun and we finally get to post it.

    ~IC~
    Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker
    Location: Coruscant, Ursean Embassy

    As the water touched her skin, her mind purged all strains of thought. Ahsoka allowed the warmth to pour over her head and shoulders, flowing down and soothing her aching muscles. A soft sigh escaped her lips and she closed her eyes, the cascade of droplets gently pummelling her montrals, her lekku, her face and form.

    For a few moments, she stood and enjoyed the sensations. Slowly, at the edge of her mind, she willed herself to move and gather up the motivation to get the flannel and lather up to wash herself clean of the sweat and grime from the long day. She had been all over the city, leading from the embassy to the spaceport, a scuffle in the lower levels and all the way to the Senate Rotunda and back again.

    Her mind drifted as she washed under her rear lek, thinking about where she had travelled from, wondering if anyone was worried about her on Rendili… what would they think if they had seen her on Coruscant? She shook her head and the water sprayed about her montrals and then she washed the suds away from her face. Before she thought further on the matter, her thoughts wandered off on a tangent- the reception, the gown that had been selected and she wondered how it will go… who would she see there?

    Ahsoka paused, her eyes still closed. Was that a knock? She dabbed her eyes on the towel then turned off the water and stepped out to listen. She could hear something and sensed some movement beyond the door. “Who is it?”

    She smiled when she heard Anakin’s voice in return. She had a feeling it was him, but wanted to make sure.

    “One moment!” She called out as she wrapped a towel about herself and padded over to the door of her suite. After a quick adjustment to the towel, she stood by the side of the door and let out an exhale before she opened it. With a tilt of her head to her shoulder, Ahsoka leaned out so that only her head poked from the doorway. Her skin glistened from the water as droplets dripped off onto the carpet while her long side lek hung free straight down with the length halfway to the floor.

    "I can return later, if you're not ready!" He wore a look that confused her and he mumbled something that seemed both a frustration and amusing to himself, “...impeccable timing” and “accidental lethario.”

    "No no…" Ahsoka flashed an awkward smile as she felt self conscious being in this state and with her suite door open. "Ah.. In or out?"

    Turning away to give her some privacy, "Ah...eh...I'm not ...” he said haltingly and stepped over the threshold, "Um...in."

    Ahsoka held the towel with one arm and used the other to pull him in, closing the door behind them. She tilted her head as the self-consciousness subsided and she finally noticed the attire he wore, something she had not seen him wear before. “This is a new look for you…” She remarked as she curled her hand and tapped her lower lip with the side of her index finger, appraising him.

    He looked down and sighed, “Ursean court,” he said, grasping each lapel of the the dark blue great coat and smoothing the charcoal grey of his long vest, a scabbard about his hips. The light breeches and black boots completed the look that all Ursean Officers would be sporting along with him. He shrugged and raised his brows. He shook his head above the fine white cambric of his cravat, annoyed with the high collar of the coat. He ran a finger between his neck and the cravat and waved off his explanation. “Two things-this is all new for me and I’m dressed, but you are not. I had Lieutenant Solinova procure some clothes for you. Did they not arrive?”

    Ahsoka bit her lower lip, she noted that he was a bit fidgeting, ’Something has him on edge? Nervous? Or the attire?’ She held back a remark about how blue suited him, she always thought that about him and nodded in answer to the question. “There.. Ah” She grinned as she lead him more toward the room’s interior and nodded to the boxes that had been brought to her earlier. "These arrived and I’ve tried them on and modeled for Sophia and Lt. Solinova, and Fru Gartner...” She started excitedly and went over to show him the gowns. “...and we narrowed it down...” She stopped and remembered that she was still dripping wet. “Sorry, give me a second. I'll dry off and be with you in a moment."

    He brushed the thick and ornate carpet with the toe of his left boot and grunted his acknowledgement in reply and tossed a smile her way as she streaked past, noting her pure glee at what probably was the best part of the evening.

    "Do you like them?" he asked, calling over his shoulder, knowing by the excitement she’d just exuded that she did. He realized that he wanted to hear her acknowledge her delight outright when the sound of the sonic dryer indicated that Ahsoka had not heard his query.

    At the ornately draped bed where the three gowns lay across the silk counterpane, he leaned in and gently held up the sheer and soft folds of something filmy and blue, extraordinarily fine and yet he knew enough to know that the threads were as strong as they seemed fragile. Indeed, looks could be very deceiving.

    He smiled to himself and straightened the part of the skirt he'd lifted from the bed. ‘She’d look great in that color!’ he thought and nodded to himself .

    Ahsoka turned off the dryer. There was a sense of déjà vu from the night before, but the circumstances were different, more certain than unknown this time. She wrapped the towel around again, pulled her side lekku back to join her rear lek so they were off her shoulders and dangled against her back as she stepped out from the fresher. “I am back.” She announced and saw him standing by the bed. “So, what do you think?”

    “Ha! I asked you first!” he returned with a chuckle. “I like the blue, the best.”

    “Yes, well… so does everyone else!” Ahsoka eyed the blue one he had mentioned. “The blue is lovely and one of my favourite colours.” She grinned at him. “Blue it shall be.”

    “Excellent!” He slapped his thigh to punctuate his exclamation. “Well, you’ll have opportunity to wear them all...however...I stopped in to debrief...well, to prepare you for tonight.” He scratched his right temple with his thumbnail and turned about. “I’m going to be “walking the walk and talking the talk,” ...looking like those “blowhards” in the old senate. Bear with me...you know I always complained about the “diplomat’s dance” All this is to say, you’ll be floating about on your own. There’ll be a show or two of bravado...you’re there to see nothing gets out of hand. It’s too soon- but,” he said holding up his forefinger and poking a hole in the air as he turned back to her, “you’ll be fine. I’ll look for you off and on and just remember to smile and be solid. Got it?”

    “All you need is a moustache to curl and twirl for that 'blowhard' image and a... low deep voice.” Ahsoka deepened her voice to emphasis the point and then she laughed at her own attempt. “Or not, but I guess it could work with a monocle.” She gave him a friendly nudge and a knowing look. “Don’t worry, I understand. You are playing a role and when we get back we can be back to however.” She shrugged.

    “I’m saying this more for myself than you. You will be fine, It’s my habitual impatience getting the better of me. I know you are briefed. I expect there won’t be any drama tonight. Anyone with an eye on the throne is likely in a holding pattern and gathering information...There’ll be plenty of THAT! I’ve confused them. You are there to watch the “watchers.” Alright! Well, Vos will be along soon. I’ll see you in a few.” He put his hand on her shoulder. The ghost of himself felt almost unnatural, so used to being centered on that edge of anger had he become, but he felt awkward and tongue tied. “Thanks... Ahsoka! ... I’ll let you finish dressing...” His hand fell to his side and he smiled stepping to the door.

    “Anakin.” Ahsoka called out to him as he reached the door. “Thank you too!” She smiled warmly and bowed her head as she came up to him. “And you are welcome. I cannot wait to show you the gown and I will see you shortly.” She brought her arms around and hugged him tightly. Her eyes closed as their cheeks touched, though his arms, opened at his sides, for a moment hung frozen in movement, until he realized her warmth was genuine and melting, he succumbed to her irrepressible spirit and embraced her warmly. He let her go without words, but looked down and then turning on his heels, he cleared his throat and left, giving her a curt nod and a silent wave before the door closed.

    “Oh!” she exclaimed, only to see the door close behind him. She’d forgotten to thank him for the crystals and dragon pearl lekku bands! There’d be time, later.

    Still smiling, Ahsoka returned her focus back to the gowns on the bed, her hand trailed over the silky material of the rich heavenly blue one they had decided on. ‘It is gorgeous,’ she thought to herself, ‘yes, definitely the one,’ she sighed.

    TAG: To be continued, Quinlan Vos
     
  18. Kalio_Dynkos

    Kalio_Dynkos Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 17, 2004
    Admiral Julien Leitman and Grand Admiral Magnus Carthaginian
    Commander of the Ursean Security Forces and Commander of Emperor Vader's Onslaught fleet
    Apartments, Ursean Embassy, Coruscant and Secure Lower Level, Admiralty, Federal District, Coruscant


    The tall Ursean admiral pushed down the urge to sigh as he looked at himself in the full-length mirror. For the reception, he'd chosen to honor the Black Guard and wore the ceremonial black and red kilt that came with the uniform. The heavy fabric hung down just over his knees, and the socks had not come quite as high as he remembered them in the past, leaving a few inches of bare leg. His white, knit shirt was tailored but loose, accentuating his bulging biceps, as well as the typically dark tan of his complexion — though far less than normal. He hadn't been on his wooden sail boat, nor in natural sunlight, for an extended period of time these many weeks.

    It was not common for the commander of the Ursean Forces to be arrayed in the ceremonial dress of the Black Guard, but it was not unheard of either. In fact, as a cadet he once sported one with great humor in his youth. The kilt was surpassingly economical, once the wearer got used to the "freedom". Describing the kilt would make an interesting anecdote, and with the evening that was likely before them all, something to talk about was key.

    The admiral was ever gregarious, but also disliked social functions of this sort. He knew Ursa was being put on show — like it or not — and he was pleased to be of service. If it also gave windbag Admirals and Moffs something to talk about, than the outfit would do its part.

    He had also promised a dance and to look out for Miss Tano. The vultures would be circling — pompous, arrogant Core Imperialists. Though Leitman had no issues with the Empire he served and of which Ursa was a part, he could never fully swallow the two-faced political meandering that went on with functions of this sort. He was a soldier. A man who knew service, loyalty, and fidelity.

    Many of the individuals with which he'd rub elbows with tonight would have massive self-interest at heart — even under the auspices of celebrating the end of the war and the installation of the new Emperor.

    For a fleeting moment — as often happened when he was dressing — he imagined his wife had come up behind him. She had always been there to adjust something, and he felt a renewed pang of sadness as he had throughout the day. Perhaps it was because of his general fatigue, or because he had been personally communicating with so many grieving parents that he'd lost track.

    Julien wasn't a man usually given to melancholy. However, recent events had torn open the wound he instinctively knew would never heal. In each Holonet call to a family member, he'd been drawing on past experience by way of empathy so that the emotions previously dormant were now raw and on the surface.

    Leitman brushed the front of the white shirt and looked around for the thick jacket and other ornamental parts of the ceremonial costume. He looked forward to talking with Commissar Tano, as well as seeing the Re and Reina celebrated. This was a new experience for all of them.

    He put on the heavy jacket, and adjusted the double-breasted flap over his torso, securing the clasps from the inside and letting the toggles hang down. He smiled at his weary face in the mirror. He knew that this evening was not one for tiredness, but for alertness. A night that would end, either way, with a whiskey and a maybe a shared cigarra, if he could find someone to share one with.

    "With what's coming it's to be expected," he said to no one.

    ****

    Magnus stared at himself in the long full length mirror, and then surveyed the other two mirrors at his front and left. His dress uniform was not much different from his normal uniform. The white, freshly-pressed uniform clung to his lean frame. His medals adorned his chest — both those of his rank of Grand Admiral and those of honor. "Trinkets" he had called them earlier in the day, but one must collect something.

    Some collected art, others ships, conquests in love. Magnus, he collected status. Not ambitious in the sense of one who chases a higher station, but one who ascends by right. If the past few days had taught him anything it was that status was not easily collected...which made it that much more valuable.

    The Grand Admiral smirked to himself — all three of himselfs in the reflections — and ran his fingers along the front of the uniform to be sure not a stitch was out of place. He could have used his personal attendant, Claudius, who had been helping him dress for formal functions for the majority of both their lifetimes except that prior to Magnus, Claudius had tended to his father Carthaginian. Instead, he wanted this time to be alone in silence. A time to reflect and decide on this evening's course.

    The day had been a productive one, and one not yet finished. Since the emperor's inaugural speech, the Grand Admiral had been playing at a side game of his own. He’d been busy around the Federal District visiting old friends, feeling out the battlefield. Anakin had stirred the proverbial pot, and how it settled was yet to be decided. He’d also been at work with Onslaught fleet and its many charges, as well as research in his own right. The data pad he’d begun reading lay on the desk behind him.

    Vultures would be circling tonight — looking for weaknesses in Vader's armor by way of his inner circle. It would be a death by a million cuts, should the wind shift the wrong way. While it would be unwise politically, socially, and strategically to cast a shadow at such an event, not everyone appreciated the patients of vultures. Rarely would they participate in a kill of their own, but they would be ready long before it happened and long after. It was this very reason he had arranged for his aide Sinjir to attend tonight's reception, as well as one of his Captains from Onslaught. Vectis and her "All-Stars" would be there as well, he supposed. The rest of the fleet would be on alert high above Coruscant, should anything happen that might call them or Vader away.

    Carthaginian considered himself in the mirrors one last time, noting his fresh look, invigorated by the success of the day, the prospect of the evening and the tempest to blow.

    He smiled to himself in the mirror.

    He knew that this evening was not one for tiredness, but for alertness. A night that would end, either way, with an arsenal of information and direct course. Recalling his conversation with Moff Thorley, after warning him to regard his associations, the Moff had assumed that Magnus was out for blood.

    "With what's coming it's to be expected," he said to no one.

    ******


    Moff Chadwick Thorley
    The Moff’s Office, Federal District, Coruscant

    The Moff poured the last of the burning liquid into his throat, barely feeling the sensation as he swallowed. Standing before the mirror, the normally dapper Coruscanti looked haggard. His thinning hair had fallen in his face. His normally fresh complexion looked oily, red and swollen. There was even a tinge of green at the edges. This sort of thing is to be expected when one finishes a bottle of brandy in an afternoon.

    It had been that kind of day.

    The moff humruphed at the form in the mirror, and wished he would stop swaying so. The movement of the mirror caused him to lose his own balance — at least, so he thought. There was someone to blame.

    The day had not been a welcome one. With Palpatine dead, he’d lost a key supporter of his reforms, his attentions, and personal mission in life. With Skywalker on the throne, there was a much less sure future.

    His oil and brandy-stained gray undershirt was barely covered by the open jacket of his olive-green uniform jacket. He frowned at himself in the mirror, noting the need to shave and jump in the fresher. He knew that this evening was not one for tiredness, but for alertness. With the reception looming, either way, it would end and begin far different from it had today. He eyed his liquor cabinet across the room, and considered another bottle.

    "With what's coming it's to be expected," he said to no one.

    ******

    ISB Agent Fouche
    Undercover as Mr. Ringali
    KIT Prime Station, XQ2 Platform, Brentaal IV, Bormea Sector

    The man looking back at him from the palm-sized holo-mirror looked comically villainous. A deep scar running down his face from a previous injury, and newly pot-marked wounds from shrapnel covered his unshaven face. A black-eye patch clung to his eye socket. No string was necessary, as the patch had biomimetic technology that kept it there with a small amount of power.

    He smirked at his blue-hued reflexion. The patch gave him a roguish air, he thought. Were his cover to continue to run successfully, he figured it may be worth embracing it.

    The floor shook violently, causing him to nearly lose his footing. He placed his palm on the wall to brace himself, only to have another vibration come again. With a final look at the holomirror, he pocketed it, grabbed his jacket and walked into the hall.

    The Sullustan boy, Jalen, was at the end of the hall running his little feet toward him — fully animated at the events.

    “Hey,” he yelled to Fouche. “Mom says we’re under attack. How cool is that?”

    “Kid, with the kind of a week I’ve had, it’s to be expected,” he said.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018 at 7:48 AM
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