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  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Beyond - Legends Dawn of Tesserone (AU, OC)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Vehn, May 25, 2019.

  1. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    OOC: Here we go! Back at it!

    Title: Dawn of Tesserone (AU, OC)
    Author: Vehn and perhaps some cross-over posts from Trieste
    Timeframe: 294 ABY and Beyond
    Characters: The members of the Vehn family (All OC’s)
    Genre: Alternate Universe, Political Drama, Family Drama, and much, much, more.
    Notes: The Vehn Saga continues as the memories of Shadows of Tesserone loom large....


    Introduction:


    A new era begins.

    Law and order, peace and justice, and the Roon Federation reigns supreme.

    The dark evil that has plagued the galaxy in the form of Master Tel Adain is locked away in the unholy prison known as The Prism. Adain's disciples, known as the Twelve have been defeated. The Vehn family has survived its darkest hour.

    Grace Vehn, former assassin and disciple of Master Adain, has taken it upon herself to atone for her sins and learn the ways of a Jedi Healer. Grace is determined to shed at long last the label and burden of being a professional killer. She is ready to move forward with her life. She is ready to heal others and give life rather than take it away.

    Eleanor Vehn, Grace's mother, is keen on wrapping up her emergency term as President of the Roon Federation granted to her during the Adain crisis. Once more the strains of government have weighed heavily upon her shoulders as she seeks to remove herself from a leadership position once and for all. A search for a worthy successor has begun.

    Austin Vehn, instructor at the Jedi Temple on Ossus, fresh from his victory over his former Master, Tel Adain, is keen on educating the next generation of Jedi against the dark forces of the galaxy. His practical knowledge of good and evil serve him well. Still, he must walk a fine balance between duty to the Jedi and duty to his wife, Addison, who is pregnant with their first child.

    Sean Riggins, special operations soldier with the Phantoms, longs to retire from military life and settle down with the woman he secretly loves. His military contract, and duty to his government keep him from hanging up his boots quite yet. Dangerous missions keep heading his way and each time he's quietly felt like the odds are slowly turning against him. After all, survival isn't guaranteed.

    For all of these characters, and so many more, it is time to begin again....




    [​IMG]

    Jedi Temple, Ossus


    Grace Vehn inhaled sharply and smelled the sweet fragrances of the flowers all around her. The birds sang their beautiful songs and the grass smelled wet and fresh as it always did after a soothing rain. She slipped further into her meditations and allowed her consciousness to take her to the life stream, the source of all knowledge, the Force.

    There she saw her upbringing on Tesserone and happier times with her family. There she saw her mother and her father celebrating another Nar Shaddaa Smugglers victory on the holo. There she had long afternoons simply sitting at the side of her grandmother, Verity, listening to her talk about times long past and the history of the Vehn family.

    Darkness.

    Grace felt her pulse quicken as her mind raced to an unhappy time. A time when she was brainwashed into a professional killer at the hands of the evil and sinister Master Tel Adain. The constant training, the constant death, and the stench of the dark side permeating every moment of her young life. She could feel her old anger return. Anger at what she felt at the time had been abandonment on the part of her parents.

    Master Tel Adain's form rose before her, lightsaber ignited, and taunted, "Strike me and your journey to the dark side will be complete!"

    Grace felt her fingers curl around the lightsaber hilt clipped to her belt. The cold, reassuring, metal called out to her for retribution. Adain faded away. More memories came to her now. Memories that she'd never seen before. She was on Bespin with a Sith strike team being confronted by a young woman whose name escaped her. She ignited her lightsaber and ran at the woman, prepared to strike her down only to have hot gas hit her face ending her attack.

    Grace shrieked and awoke from her meditation on the ground.

    "Grace, are you ok?" Austin Vehn, her uncle, asked.

    "I had visions again," Grace replied as she sat back up on the bench where she'd been meditating.

    "What sort of visions?" Austin asked.

    "My life, my entire life," Grace replied, "and something else. An old memory from a time long ago. It was not my own."

    Austin rubbed his chin thoughtfully and replied, "Your lightsaber belonged to your great grandfather, Joaquin. Perhaps the visions are of his own memories embedded into the hilt."

    "How am I to become the best that I can be with the weight of the past weighing me down?" Grace asked.

    "You must find a way way forward," Austin reminded his niece, "focus on your training. Manifest what you want and watch the universe unfold for you."

    "Easier said than done, Uncle," Grace replied.

    "Perhaps you will feel differently after your first assignment. You've been assigned to a war zone. The remnants of the Eastern Centrality. You do not need me to tell you how dangerous this mission will be for you. The casualties from the occupation continue to mount and there are calls for healers," Austin explained.

    "The Centrality," Grace replied, "an hard assignment indeed."

    "I can see if the Council can put you on a different mission," Austin said.

    "No," Grace replied, "somehow this mission is fitting. I am being called into a place of death and suffering and through my knowledge of the light I may be able to change the fates of those who die unnecessarily."

    "As you wish," Austin replied, "just remember one thing, Grace."

    "Yes?" Grace replied.

    "Don't lose yourself out there," Austin said, "it's easy to do your first time away from the Temple."

    "I won't, I promise," Grace replied.




    Nime

    "I stand by you today to declare that my emergency term as President of the Roon Federation is coming to an end," Eleanor Vehn declared, "it is time for a Federation with a new leader who will lead us forward into the next decade."

    "May there be a fair and public election and may you choose a representative of the people who shall focus on the important values of justice, equality, and service to one's government," Eleanor finished to cheers from the crowd.

    Eleanor waved to the throngs of people in Nime square and then retreated into her quarters. She sighed as she began to switch outfits for her next public engagement later this evening. Her thoughts drifted to her daughter, Grace. She wondered how she was getting along on Ossus.

    "Madame President," a voice called out.

    "Yes?" Eleanor replied and then she looked up and saw who had just spoken with her.

    Her face went ashen.

    "You," Eleanor replied.



    Trian
    Outer Rim
    Waypoint Foxtrot 21


    Specialist Sean Riggins slipped through the jungles of Trian as he followed a probe droid through the dense foliage. The droid stopped at the edge of a ravine to scan the territory and report back to its masters. Sean sighted up the droid and fired off two blasts. The probe droid exploded in a ball of fire and smoke. A piece of debris landed nearby with a logo smoldering up into Sean's face.

    "What is it, sir?" another operator asked.

    "Bad news. The Corporate Sector Authority sent a probe droid to Trian," Sean explained pointing out the CSA's logo.

    "What's that mean?" the operator questioned.

    Sean looked toward the skies and then back to the droid.

    "It means that things are about to get ugly for the people of Trian," Sean replied.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  2. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Almania

    [​IMG]

    Carley Heraat knelt before the dais upon which rested the tomb of Taaya Heraat, her predecessor and aunt, and lowered her head in reverence. Tears slipped down her face as she remembered how instrumental Taaya had been in giving Carley a purpose, a focus, a point to her life. Now she was gone. Killed by a disciple of Master Tel Adain during his shadow attack upon the Roon Federation.

    "I ask that your spirit guide me, Taaya," Carley whispered, "for our people are living upon a planet which has no means of supporting new life. A planet upon which there lives a dead empire and a past which cannot be reclaimed. Show me a way forward. Where do I go from here?"

    No answer.

    Carley opened her eyes as footsteps behind her took her away from her quiet prayers. She gave the symbol of the Heraat clan and then stood and confronted the source of the sound.

    "My apologies, Commander. A message for you of high importance," a loyal subordinate said.

    Carley accessed her datapad and read the message. She fought off tears as she finished reading. The great amount of stress that had burdened her since being appointed commander of the Heraat clan seemed to melt away.

    "What does it mean, Commander?" the aide asked.

    "Salvation," Carley replied, "it means that we are saved. Sound the order at once to depart Almania. Tell the people that we are heading for new territory. For a place where we can settle down and grow our civilization. For a place where our people will no longer suffer."

    "Where are we heading?" the aid questioned.

    Carley's eyes narrowed with determination.

    "The Centrality," Carley replied, "to call in past debts."

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
     
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  3. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Oooh. This seems interesting. I think this is the furthest into the timeline we've gone so far?

    Who spoke to Eleanor? And what's going on on Trian? And what about the Centrality? Forget "seems"; this is definitely interesting.
     
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  4. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Federation Executive Offices
    Nime, Roon

    [​IMG]


    "I believe the correct form of address, for a former Queen of Naboo, is your highness," Sofia Quorro replied.

    Sofia Quorro took control of the Nabooan monarchy following the conclusion of the Neo-Sith War in 218 ABY. She was not elected. She took power from the remnants of what had been before and never looked back. Her rule was one marked with controversy as she invoked a rarely used clause in the Nabooan constitution to justify her establishment of a herdeditary monarchy.

    Sofia stepped down in the 240s when her daughter, Camilla Quorro, came of age. The pair would go on to rule Naboo for some time until Eleanor's deceased uncle, Liam, conducted a regime change to advance the power of the Vehn family. Eleanor's first act was to remove the hereditary monarchy clause and bring Naboo back to its historical roots.

    "I don't believe you hold any title when you leave the monarchy," Eleanor replied, "I certainly didn't."

    "Yes, well, during your time the people were weak and needed democracy," Sofia pointed out.

    "And during your time the people experienced repression and suffering unlike any other," Eleanor shot back.

    "I did what had to be done," Sofia replied, "just like you and your family did when you imprisoned my daughter, Camilla."

    "I was just a girl. Hardly a teenager when I ascended to the throne. Don't lump me in with the sins of my uncle," Eleanor said referring to Liam Vehn who had imprisoned Camilla Quorro in an insane asylum prior to moving Eleanor into position as the next Queen of Naboo.

    "You certainly didn't abdicate when there was every opportunity for you to do so," Sofia replied, "especially after Liam Vehn bombed the Privy Council into nothingness."

    "Nobody ever told me about the plan. I wasn't informed as to my role or my ascension to the throne until the day of and that's the truth," Eleanor replied. "I knew nothing about the bombing. I was kept in the dark."

    "And yet you never looked back," Sofia said, "you took position of power after position of power until look at what you have become. A tired, worn out, politician with nothing but the legacy of your family to lean against."

    Eleanor shook her head, "That's where you're mistaken. At every turn I relinquished my power. You would've held onto yours had your daughter not come of age. Even then rumors swirled that Camilla was merely an extension of your own power. The Quorro dynasty was a dark age for Naboo. A very dark age."

    Sofia gave a curt nod and folded her hands together in front of her, "Enough bickering. I came here for another reason entirely."

    "Go on," Eleanor urged, "time is of the essence. Especially for someone of your advanced years. You must be close to 100 years old."

    Sofia bristled at the insult and opened her mouth to reply but thought the better of saying what was truly on her mind. "I came here to make a proposition to you. Our current monarch, Queen Ione Sylleste, is coming to the end of her second term. Naboo needs a leader. Now more than ever. You and I may despise one another but we cannot deny you were one of the better monarchs of your time. I am too old to rule. You, Eleanor, could make another run that would give your name its true meaning and worth."

    "You've got to be kidding," Eleanor replied, "why would I ever go back to Naboo? Those days are long behind me. It is a game for younger ones."

    "Because I want you to do something for me," Sofia said, "I want you to return Naboo to it's place within the Federation."

    "Historically Naboo's place is with the Republic," Eleanor reminded the former consort, "and now there are so many layers I'd have to fight through to get Naboo back into the fold. Both for the Republic and the Federation."

    "So that's it, then," Sofia crowed, "you just walk away from your problems. Where is the Eleanor I used to know?"

    "Naboo isn't my problem," Eleanor replied, "you are. I know what your daughter became. I can't forgive her for taking my daughter from me!"

    "My daughter was corrupted," Sofia admitted, "and when she assumed the dark mantle of Sith I walked away from her forever. You could say she died the day she became Master Tel Adain."

    "I'd like you to leave," Eleanor ordered.

    "Think about what I said," Sofia replied with a courtsey reminiscent of the great halls of Naboo, "Madame President."

    Eleanor felt her old training kick in as she returned the gesture, "Sofia Quorro."

    Tag: @jcgoble3; @Trieste
     
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  5. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Hello Vehn! It seems I have seen these stories popping regularly over the years and figured it was time to see what it is all about. It also seems that I chose the right time as this is a 'good jumping on point'. It is clear that there a lot of history here. Generations. The epic-ness is out front.

    Your introduction was excellent, getting me up speed. I also love your use of imagery and look forward to more. OF the characters introduced, I am most interested in Eleanor and Carly, though Sean and Grace will be fun to follow as well.

    Edit: Let the games begin. Will Eleanor go back to Naboo? Does Sofia have ulterior motives? What will Grace think of this development?

    I look forward to more, please add me to the tag list. =D=
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  6. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    That's putting it mildly. :D

    218 ABY is when Sofia seized the throne? So that would have been when Sabé Dormingale was the elected Princess of Keren...this presents interesting jumping off points!
     
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  7. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    I always feel like the stories of the Trieste and Vehn families are underappreciated on these boards. Glad to see a new reader! :)

    @Vehn, for the benefit of @brodiew as well as me, could you put together a short list of all of your Vehn clan stories and approximately when they take place? I know I've lost track of what happened when, and I'm sure brodiew would appreciate a quick overview as well.
     
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  8. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    OOC: @jcgoble3, @brodiew, @Trieste here you go! Also at the bottom of this list of Vehn stories is the map of the current galaxy and also family tree.

    List of Vehn family stories by era with main character (s) in parenthesis

    Dreams of Tesserone (Airen Vehn) 1 BBY to 4 ABY

    Fields of Tesserone (Eleanor Vehn/Austin Vehn) 276 ABY to 290 ABY

    Exile from Tesserone (Eleanor/Carley Heraat/Jack Vehn/Grace Vehn) 290-293 ABY give or take

    Shadows of Tesserone (Grace Vehn/Eleanor Vehn/Austin Vehn/Sean Riggins) 293 ABY spread out over a six month time period.

    Dawn of Tesserone (Grace Vehn/Austin Vehn/Eleanor Vehn/Sean Riggins/Carley Heraat) 294 ongoing

    Galactic Map:

    [​IMG]

    Green space represents the Republic, a large and stable institution that promotes peace, prosperity, and security for its member worlds.

    Orange space denotes the Roon Federation, a young interstellar institution that pools the resources of several Outer Rim planets to foster growth and stability in places that the Core has left behind

    Red space is for the independent systems, which are at best a collection of systems under one government. These worlds fend for themselves and are content to do so, but conflicts can flare up between them from time to time.

    Vehn Family Tree:

    http://www.familyecho.com/?p=S1FCH&c=fctzer5ui1&f=205814639816627727
     
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  9. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Awesome, thank you so much! Great to see it all laid out like that. Very helpful.
     
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  10. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Trian
    [​IMG]
    Waypoint Charlie 54
    Phantom Team Six

    [​IMG]


    "Five minute rest," Sean Riggins commanded the rest of the squad, "then we move out."

    Sean moved to a nearby creek and dipped his canteen in the water. Sneaking around the bush, chasing after elements of CSA power, was exhausting. He brought the canteen to his lips and was about to drink when he heard a twig snap behind him and a voice call out from the thick jungle underbrush.

    "You're hard to find," Jack Vehn said as he emerged from the foliage.

    "You always were good at tracking" Sean replied as he shook Jack's hand. He'd had his weapon at the ready just in case the disturbance was created by someone or something else.

    "You trained me well," Jack replied.

    Sean knew Jack was legitimate. He was safe. Trustworthy. Dependable. Sean recalled Jack's personnel file. Jack had served with the Phantoms as their slicer and intelligence analyst during the hunt for Master Tel Adain and had been their first point of contact when Team Six had arrived under the cover of darkness on the far side of the planet several weeks ago. He'd embedded himself with the Trianii Homeland Project, which was a non profit organization dedicated to recovering precious Trianii artifacts and historical sites, and had worked hard to earn the locals trust.

    "Find anything?" Jack asked.

    Sean took a long pull from his canteen, twisted the cap back on, and nodded, "Yeah, we did. CSA probe droid. Armored model, carrying heat, about two klicks from here. We vaped it but I can't guarantee it didn't get a signal off before we blew it to smithereens."

    "Why didn't you use your jammer?" Jack pushed.

    Sean pointed to the foliage all around and replied, "Jungle interference. Climate is too humid and moist for the jammer to work effectively. The signal was all over the place. Someone gave us the wrong equipment."

    "Another idea not tested by some lab rat on Nime," Jack grumbled, "typical."

    "You got that right," Sean replied, "but my concern is why a probe droid from the CSA is here on Trian."

    "There's been a genuine increase in comm. chatter between Bonadan and their long range reconnaissance units spread throughout the galaxy. Oddly enough the border has been quiet. No signs of any military build up but their covert elements have been hot and active for months. I was able to decrypt one of the transmissions the other day. They're getting more complicated with a special K-band frequency that oscillates at..."

    Sean interjected, "Get to the point. Enough techno babble."

    "You've heard about the D12 conference on Druckenwell?" Jack asked.

    "Vaguely," Sean replied. Politics wasn't his thing. He was trained to shoot, kill, and go home.

    "D12, or developed 12, major players on the galactic stage like Bakura, the Republic, Hapes, the Roon Federation, the Imperial Remnant, the Corporate Sector, and a few smaller entities have regular meetings to ensure the galactic order isn't disturbed or a potential flashpoint remains cold. A security pact was just recently signed by all these players firmly defining the rules of engagement between members for any offensive military action in their respective regions," Jack explained.

    "So what does this have to do with Trian?" Sean asked, "Because my time here tells me there's nothing on this jungle except a feline species that wants to be left alone."

    "My contacts at the meeting have let me know that the Corporate Sector ExO is having to answer to the Direx Board as to why the Corporate Sector is losing money. Someone or something is skimming financial gains away from their coffers and Bonadan isn't thrilled. My guess is that we're seeing an uptick in CSA activity because they're on the hunt for the next great resource cache," Jack said, "they're on the hunt for money."

    "Trian is special because?" Sean asked as he signaled his team to get ready to leave.

    "There's evidence to suggest that Trian possesses one of the few remaining sources of a rare galactic mineral buried deep underneath the jungles. Some of those sites are currently under protected Trianii heritage locations," Jack replied, "and as you know the CSA has a long history of simply reaching out and grabbing what they want from the Trianii people."

    "Why do I get the feeling this is about to get a lot more intense," Sean commented, "and dangerous."

    "You're not off the mark. Those probe droids are sampling the soil. They're looking for traces of the rare minerals. If the CSA finds evidence of a mother lode or even a vein of anything rare like that you can expect a presence to show up on Trian," Jack replied.

    "Won't the Federation stop them?" Sean asked.

    Jack shook his head, "Not this far beyond Federation space and especially not in the Corporate Sector's neighborhood. President Vehn just signed the D1SC compact. She's not about to poke a fight with her political enemies at this point. Besides, the other Phantom teams are engaged elsewhere."

    "So we're on our own," Sean grumbled.

    "Looks that way," Jack replied, "but you should be used to that. The Phantoms don't exist, remember?"

    "Right," Sean replied, "we're not even official."

    "There's an old Trianii temple about three klicks from here. Overlooks a valley that is believed to contain elements of these rare minerals," Jack said, "head for that rendezvous point and await my instrucitons."

    "If this gets hot you going to be ready?" Sean asked.

    "Is anyone?" Jack replied.

    "Good point," Sean said as he and his team disappeared into the foliage.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3; @brodiew
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  11. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Vibranium!

    Wait...right parent, wrong continuity.

    Adamantium!

    Oops, same thring.

    Mithril!

    Argh, that's totally different!

    Cortosis!

    That one might actually be right... :D
     
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  12. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Excellent update, Vehn! I very much enjoyed this state of the galaxy update, with the intrigue coming quickly to focus on Trian. The jungle setting and the intelligence agent meeting with the men on the ground was a cool visual. Not mention the cool visuals you provided. I am so glad I discovered this series. I'll keep you posted as I read 'Exile'. it is the one I'm reading on the side. [face_hypnotized] =D= [face_hypnotized] =D=

    Edit: Regarding the image in the previous post to this one. Is that an image of Eleanor?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
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  13. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    [​IMG]
    The Centrality
    Tund
    Former capital of the Eastern Centrality



    "Stay with me," Grace whispered as she knelt beside the most recent victim of a landmine blast.

    The victim,a young human male with blue eyes wide and frightened, was having severe shallow breaths. He groaned and clutched at his head and attempted to rub his neck. Grace was about to scan him using the Force when all around her cries went up from others who were being uncovered from the blast and rubble. It was overwhelming. It was nearly too much to block out their fleeting energy signatures. She closed her eyes and focused on what she knew as she began to start the healing process.

    Tund, current capital of the Eastern Centrality, had once been a beautiful city. A developed city that was the perfect blend between old and new. A place of culture and of education. A city that was a jewel amongst an oasis of deep space. That was a distant memory now. Sixty years ago civil war erupted when politicians could not see eye to eye with one another and exacerbated the deep cultural divisions between the western half of the Centrality and the eastern half. War ensued. Millions lost their lives.

    The war led to a stalemate. Outside powers, led by the Jedi, were forced to intervene. An uneasy cease fire, as well as the establishment of a demilitarized zone, was signed between the two sides ending the fighting. The Centrality ceased to exist as the Jedi helped broker a tentative peace while acquiescing to the demands of the population to split the Centrality into two political realms known as the Western Centrality, which tended toward democracy, and the Eastern Centrality, which tended toward autocratic
    government.

    The war, although never officially declared over, remained dormant despite occasional flareups between the two sides across the demilitarized zone. Unfortunately, the cease fire broke down when the Western Centrality, led by Prime Minister Shyl Vynko, and the Eastern Centrality, led by Rayna Heraat, went to war after the Eastern Centrality attempted to develop a super weapon amidst a flareup of regional hostilities.

    The Federation had supported the Western Centrality and the Corporate Sector had supported the Eastern Centrality. Various smaller regional allies supported whichever side suited them. Ultimately the Western Centrality won when Rayna Heraat was assassinated by Master Tel Adain who secretly wanted to undermine Federation power. Tund was occupied. The war ended. Unfortunately, the war left a nasty legacy of land mines and booby traps in its wake as well as innocent lives lost.

    Grace opened her eyes and allowed the Force to flow through her hands and out into the wounded person in front of her. The sounds of crying and of the remnants of war faded away. All that remained was the person beneath her who was needing a miracle to survive the blast. More energy flowed from her hands as she visualized the healing taking place. She'd never harnessed such power before but she felt good knowing that she was potentially saving a life.

    "Focus, Grace," Austin Vehn said near her, "let the Force flow through you. See the person healed. Watch them be healed."

    The healing was complete.

    Grace took her hands away as the person sat up and mumbled clutching at his head.

    "Come with us," Austin said helping the person to his feet, "we need to go before another mishap happens."

    Grace and Austin helped move the person through the rubble strewn streets to a field hospital where medical staff rushed outside to assist. Grace checked in with the medical staff and then removed herself from the crowded hospital overflowing with victims from the land mine explosion. She leaned against an outside wall to caught her breath. She'd actually done it, she'd actaully healed someone.

    In that moment tears slipped down her face.

    Tears not of sadness but of joy. Tears of knowing that she was taking the first steps onto a rewarding path. A path that led to healing rather than killing.

    That was worth something.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3; @brodiew
     
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  14. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Did Grace get more powerful by way of opening herself up to the suffering of those around her, which she then channeled into something positive in the form of healing?
     
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  15. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Excellent update, Vehn. Grace is on her way to a more fulfilling life.

    The Centrality conflict first sounded like Korea/Vietnam, but by the end sounded like Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Then again, all wars have similar elements.
     
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  16. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    @Trieste....you will have to see...

    @brodiew.... inspiration was Korea but the occupation of the Eastern Centrality by the Western is going to be explored in upcoming posts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  17. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    OOC: Enjoy folks. This takes place after Eleanor has left the presidency. I didn't describe her leaving as its not super important to the narrative of this story. Having said that the hunt is on for a worthy successor!

    Tesserone, Roon
    Drawing Room


    [​IMG]

    Verity Vehn, matriarch of the Vehn family and one of the last pure Vehns prior to the Vehn-Trieste union, sat patiently in the drawing room of the family estate of Tesserone. She was dressed in black out of mourning for the family estate which had burnt down a year ago during Grace Vehn's return. The contractors had done a good job of making sure that everything was put back the way it had once been though the smell of fresh paint still pungently hung in the air. Besides, the home didn't possess the lived in element that the old version so strongly championed and that in and of itself was an adjustment.

    The antique grandfather clock in the hall began to chime its haunting notes. One by one the hours fell before echoing into the chasm of time. Verity had long since learned to appreciate the sound of the clock. It had chimed when she was born and she imagined it would chime when her time in this galaxy had come to pass. The clock had been a family heirloom for generations. Miraculously it had survived the fire last year and continued to sound its chimes for future generations.

    "I hope I didn't keep you waiting too long," Eleanor said as she strode into the drawing room taking a seat across from her mother, "all the staff wanted to say goodbye to me. I wanted a quiet exit this time. Nothing like before. Nothing dramatic. That's for the next president. Not myself."

    "No longer than usual," Verity replied as she poured a cup of tea for the two of them, "but are you sure you don't want a party thrown in your honor?"

    "That's the last thing I want right now. The galaxy needs less Eleanor Vehn not more," Eleanor replied.

    "You sound so ungrateful for your time in public office," Verity replied.

    "I loved serving the people. I lived to govern, mother, but I wanted to stay out of the office of the presidency. I feel like that's all I've been doing since I came back from Coruscant all those years ago. The Roon Federation needed to move forward. Without me at the helm," Eleanor said.

    "You haven't always been in charge," Verity reminder her daughter, "and there will come a day when you'd be lucky if a Vehn won the next city council position."

    "Someone's been looking in their crystal ball again," Eleanor chided, "or else you've grown omniprescient since the last time I saw you."

    "Well, what are mothers for," Verity replied with a smile, "so, the big question, what now?"

    "Last time I left the public spotlight I retired to Tesserone. That doesn't seem like the best fit for me any longer. I do enjoy the quietness of the place but since Rowan was killed I haven't found that peace," Eleanor admitted referring to the death of her late husband, "and I'm afraid my sense of adventure has been dusted up once more."

    "Oh?" Verity asked taking a sip of her tea.

    Eleanor reached into her suit jacket and pulled out a flyer she'd seen on the train ride to her home province. She handed the flyer over to her mother who viewed it with discerning interest.

    "Eleanor," Verity said, "this is incredibly dangerous."

    "It is," Eleanor replied, "but no more dangerous than stepping into a room full of Hutt warlords or speaking at the D12 or nearly being assassinated by my own daughter."

    "Are you sure you want to," Verity paused, "leave all this behind?"

    "Mama, this home and this property, it isn't for me. I think you know that. I think you've always known that despite keeping an open door for me and a safety net that Tesserone is not my dream. Yes, Rowan and I worked the land and it was just what we wanted in that time of our lives. I love this place. It's my family home. I raised Grace here. This time it feels different. I need something more. I'm not ready to retire fully and be put up on some shelf to collect dust and have people throw commemorative parties and celebrate what was. I want to be at the forefront of what is," Eleanor said.

    "Do you even know how to handle one of those things?" Verity asked pointing at a picture in the flyer.

    Eleanor smiled and nodded, "My guardian, during my time on Naboo, taught me the usage of nearly every weapon imagineable. I know how to use one of those things. They're called slug throwers. Lethal. Far less elegant than a blaster if you can believe it but where I'm going I will need all the help I can get."

    "Do you have money for this venture?" Verity said as she sat up a little straighter. She was always the pragmatist. Always the one to think about the financial cost and burden.

    "I could use some capital," Eleanor admitted, "I took a significant pay cut during my time as president as I didn't want to be seen as abusing my political influence."

    "And you'd rather be out there on the frontiers of Roon rather than back in your old position as Director of Foreign Affairs?" Verity questioned.

    Eleanor smiled. Her mother's intentions were well meaning enough. She was just looking out for her daughter. A daughter who'd been Queen of Naboo, a Republican Senator on Coruscant, President of the Roon Federation on two occasions, and Director of Foreign Affairs. It was an impressive resume. It was also woefully restricting at times for a woman entering the early twilight of a long and successful life.

    "I have no children to take care of," Eleanor replied, "Grace is well entrenched with the Jedi on Ossus. My husband is dead. It's time I make my own mark."

    "Well, I suppose if you insist on going," Verity mulled finishing her tea, "then at least take the slug thrower above the fireplace. It's in proper working condition. Can kill a man just as easy as save your life."

    "Mama, please," Eleanor replied, "I'll furnish my equipment there."

    "You will take the firearm with you and that will be the end of it," Verity insisted, "I won't have you out on the frontier unarmed and unprepared."

    Eleanor knew she'd lost this particular battle. She gave a slight nod to her mother and reached out to touch her hands. They were so familiar, so inviting.

    "You damn well better take care of yourself," Verity replied as she fought back a tear, "you're the oldest of my children and my heir. This family has gone through enough heartbreak in the last year or two to last a lifetime."

    "I will, Mama," Eleanor replied, "I promise you I'll come back home when the time is right. I love you so very much."

    "I know," Verity replied nodding her head, "I know."

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3; @brodiew
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
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  18. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Another excellent chapter, Vehn. I am enjoying getting to know these characters. Verity seems the picture of a Matriarch; somewhat aloof, yet loving, with a commanding presence.

    After missing her entire political career, it appears I'll be getting Eleanor, the adventurer. It's actually a cool idea. The middle aged woman adventurer. I'm looking forward to her time on the frontier. Will her fame follow her out there? Or will she be as unknown as she hopes?

    Now I'm craving an update on Jack and Sean...
     
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  19. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    [​IMG]

    Phantom Team Six
    Valley of the Gods
    Trian

    [​IMG]



    "Stand down," Sean ordered as his men scaled the last steps of the Trianii temple. The view from the top was incredible. Jungle foliage and tall trees stretched as far away as he could see into the horizon on the southern, eastern, and western sides of the temple. To the north he saw a draw and the subtle hints of a valley beyond. He squinted his eyes to see through the rising fog of the early morning. That would be their objective.

    The eleven squad members, not counting Sean, comprising Phantom Team Six began to unload their gear and settle down. A few conversations were struck up as the men and women accessed their rations. Canteens were quickly brought out as everyone was thirsty from the jungle heat and hike and needed some time to rest and recuperate.

    [​IMG]

    "The natives call it the Valley of the Gods," Jack explained emerging from the cavernous darkness of the temple behind Sean.

    "What's so special about the location?" Sean asked.

    "Soil samples just came back. Cortosis," Jack replied, "one of the few unmined sources of cortosis left in the galaxy. Incredibly valuable on the open market and even moreso if a corporation got their hands on it and drove up the price. Trian has long been one of those worlds that if a regional power were to control it they could be in a position of market dominance for a number of years if not decades."

    "Shame to have a beautiful planet like this go to waste," Sean remarked, "I remember what they did to parts of Druckenwell."

    "Then you know what's coming," Jack replied, "destruction on a planet wide level. Whole ecosystems, whole communities, the heritage sites, all of it will be gone. To make matters worse I've intercepted communications from the Corporate Sector. They've dispatched a few freighters, run of the mill nothing suspect, to this region of space. They dropped out of hyperspace an hour ago."

    "Doesn't seem very threatening," Sean replied.

    "No, unless they're packed with soldiers and equipment," Jack pointed out.

    "If they are you can damn well bet they're heading for that valley," Sean observed, "but I'll be blunt with you, Jack. My squad can't
    hold back an entire armed force. We can definitely slow them down but we're going to need help if it comes to that. What's your relationship like with the locals?"

    "They're focused on building up their civilization," Jack replied, "they're not in a position to fight a technologically advanced foe."

    "Are there any Federation forces nearby?" Sean asked.

    "No," Jack replied and then hesitated, "we're too far out."

    "There's something you're not telling me," Sean said, "and now is the time."

    "I wasn't just tracking Corporate Sector vessels. I was tracking everything nearby. My sensors picked up a sizable fleet that just emerged from hyperspace on the outskirts of this system to refuel," Jack said.

    "Warlord?" Sean questioned.

    "Something like that," Jack admitted.

    "You know who it is. Friend or foe?" Sean pressed.

    "I don't know to be honest," Jack replied, "but I do know that she and I used to work together. If I were to send her a message she may come to our aid."

    Sean was about to reply when a number of shuttles slipped into the atmosphere making their way toward the valley. He brought his macrobinoculars up at the ready and scanned the shuttles. He shook his head in disgust and spit, "Mercenaries. They hired mercenaries to do their dirty work for them."

    "How typical," Jack replied, "I'll fire a message off to my acquaintance. In the mean time I suggest your team hoof it over there to that valley and take up a defensible position."

    "Will do," Sean replied as he headed back into the temple, "let's move out people! We have hostiles inbound. Pack and hustle let's go!"

    Phantom Team Six was slipping into the jungle minutes later leaving the mighty temple of the Trianii people behind them. As Sean cut through the jungle he couldn't help but feel uneasy inside. Nothing about this was making sense. Nothing about this was right.




    Outskirts of Trian System
    Resurgent class Star Destroyer
    Invictus


    "Why did we stop!" Carley Heraat barked as she gazed down at the technicians on either side of the bridge aisleway.

    "Reactor is weakening, Commander! We're working on repairs now," one of the technicians replied.

    "Make it fast! The longer we wait the stronger the Centrality grows," Carley replied as she slumped into her command chair.

    A chime on the armrest caught her attention. New transmission. The holoemitter came to life. The individual before her made her smile.

    "Jack Vehn," Carley said, "I wondered when we'd meet again."

    "Carley," Jack replied, "I need your help."

    "You're not in a position to request my help," Carley pointed out, "you're stuck on Trian last I checked. Cut off from family and any position of power."

    "Please, listen to me," Jack said, "corporate mercenaries from the Corporate Sector Authority have made landfall. They're the vanguard of a potentially larger force that is to arrive in the event that a sizeable lode of cortosis is discovered planet side. I need you to help me protect the greatest source of cortosis. A place known as the Valley of the Gods."

    "Sounds sacred," Carley replied, "but need I remind you that Trian, despite its insignificant feline race, was not there to help the Heraat clan during the Unity War some many years ago."

    "I know my regional history," Jack replied, "they were subdued by the CSA during one of many occupations."

    "Excuses," Carley replied, "and if you knew your history you would know that the CSA is old enemies of the Heraat clan."

    "Then you two have a common enemy," Jack replied, "please, I'm not asking for much."

    "You ask for a great deal," Carley said leaning in toward the hologram, "my people are desperate for a home. Trian is not their home. We are enroute to the Centrality to reclaim our ancestral lands. You're asking me to halt our voyage and assist you because of a small group of corporate mercenaries?"

    "I'm asking you to help me because it is the right thing to do," Jack said, "you don't want what happened to Almania to happen to Trian, do you?"

    Carley cursed and looked away. Almania had been strip mined and all of its riches taken off world in the years following the Neo-Sith War. It was punishment for having irresponsibly governed so many worlds without giving them a voice to speak. She had loved the planet when her mother, Taaya Heraat, had taken her there. Loved what it could have been. Leaving Almania behind had been one of the hardest decisions of her life.

    "I'll detach my finest battalion down to the surface as a precautionary measure," Carley conceded, "only because you're family and I think you are doing a good thing. You're going to have to provide me something in return."

    "Name your price," Jack replied.

    Carley did just that.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3; @brodiew
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  20. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Is that blonde gentleman at the top the new Jack? I like it. Not that you need my approval. :cool:

    I really enjoy the back and forth between Jack and Sean. Are they related by blood or marriage? Or just friends?

    Quite the time and spacely engine malfunction for Carley and crew. :p It makes one wonder whether fighting at Tiann for a new home might be better than fight Centrality for their ancestral lands.
     
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  21. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Just friends..... The picture in the middle is Jack. Sean is up top. And yes Carley has good timing !
     
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  22. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    High River
    Frontier
    Roon


    [​IMG]

    Eleanor double checked her map, surveyed the bleak landscape, and determined that she had arrived at long last at the right destination. It was still early morning and the sleepy frontier town of High River hadn't awakened yet to greet the day. She supposed that was for the best as she urged her rock hopper into town making her way to the one place that could point her in the right drection: the sheriff's office.

    She felt as if she'd stepped back in time several hundred years. She had heard that parts of distant Roon were still stuck in the last few centuries. Apparently, High River was one of them. A town that had purposefully avoided the reach of Nime and its various governments. An old mining town High River was enjoying a second renaissance with a recent discovery of gold tucked away in the Lady Constance mountain range. More and more prospectors and dreamers were showing up every day for their chance to land the mother lode and get rich. Big money, from Nime and Nunurra, was coming as well. Everyone wanted a piece of the proverbial pie.

    Eleanor glanced over at the saloon and got a curt nod from the barkeep sweeping off the front porch. She returned the gesture as she pulled up to the hitching post outside of the sheriff's office. She dismounted, gave her rockhopper a soothing pat, and went inside. A voice called out to her while her eyes adjusted to the dim interior. She took off her hat as a matter of
    course.

    [​IMG]

    "Ms. Vehn," the voice said as Eleanor gained clarity, "Sheriff Nihls Anders. I've heard a lot about you. Some good, some bad. Don't matter as long as you do what I say and pull your weight."

    "Sheriff Anders," Eleanor replied extending her hand, "thank you for requesting me out here."

    "You got my message then?" Sheriff Anders replied after a brief shake.

    "Yes sir," Eleanor said, "and it couldn't have come at a more opportune time. I was ready for a change of scenery."

    "That's what they all say. You any good with that thing," Anders asked motioning to Eleanor's slugthrower.

    "You want to find out?" Eleanor challenged.

    Sheriff Anders grunted and replied, "I think you're going to fit right in, lady. Your room is in the back, there's a fresh pot of caf on the stove, but before you get too settled we've got some rustlers to round up."

    "What are we waiting for let's go get'em," Eleanor replied.

    "I'm going to like working with you," Anders said as he slipped on his jacket, grabbed his rifle, and headed out the door with Eleanor in tow.




    Valley of the Gods
    Trian
    FOB Mercury


    "Good ground," Sean observed to his closest subordinate. He wasn't expecting a response. His men knew to let their leader opine for a bit prior to an engagement. Phantom Team Six had encamped on the gradual slope overlooking the main cortosis deposit marked only by a gaping hole in the ground from an ancient dig site. They'd beaten the CSA mercenaries to the punch and were now squarely positioned to defend the dig site from any direction. The sight lines were good and the cover was decent. The advantage, for now, was theirs.

    "Yes it is," a voice behind Sean whispered.

    Sean turned and was surprised to see a sizeable contingent of Heraat clan warriors behind him. He wasn't used to being at a disadvantage or caught off guard in his line of work. He sized up the commander and figured he'd be good for a fight or two. Sean's trigger finger never left his weapon. He wasn't about to be taken easily if it came to that.

    "Centurion Taan Volgaar, leader of the Heraat's Finest battalion, champion of Almania and bodyguard to Commander Heraat herself at your service," Taan crowed.

    Sean grunted and replied, "You have combat experience to back up your titles?"

    Taan stepped forward and leaned in to Sean trying to intimidate him, "I have the scalps of over a hundred mercenaries back in my quarters. Pray I don't feel the urge to add yours to the collection."

    Sean wasn't phased. He knew this kind of person. Knew all about them. Knew they could be just as loyal a friend and as deadly a foe. They'd do well in this fight to come. Quite well.

    "You'll do," Sean replied, "take up position on our left flank. The cortosis load is straight below us. We expect the mercenaries to come up the draw from the east."

    "We take orders from no one," Taan replied.

    "Then we're going to have a very interesting fight on our hands," Sean shot back.

    "What do you suggest?" Centurion Volgaar questioned as he realized he wasn't making any progress with this soldier.

    "Then I suggest we get to the business we both do best: killing," Sean said as he reluctantly shared his thoughts on how best to ambush the approaching CSA mercenary army.




    Tund
    Centrality


    Grace opened her eyes as she removed her hands that were inches from a wounded child's body. The child had passed sometime in the night at the makeshift field hospital setup for civilians caught in the endless cycle of violence. She had felt the life force leave but still the death all around her was hard to comprehend much less process.

    "She's gone," Grace remarked to her uncle who stood nearby.

    "I know," Austin replied, "and I'm sorry. It wasn't anything you did. Sometimes the Force tells us that it is people's time to go."

    "I should be able to stop them from dying," Grace protested, "I should be able to save them all."

    Austin shook his head and gently placed a finger on Grace's chin, "And wherein would be the value of a single life? One life saved can have a ripple effect you don't even see for generations to come."

    "None of this is going the way I thought it would," Grace replied.

    "And how did you think this would unfold? You coming in here saving everyone and everything from their own fate? You think because you know the Force, because you made one person walk again, that somehow you're special?" Austin pressed, "how did you heal that individual?"

    "So much death, so much destruction, I've been on that side my whole life," Grace replied, "and it felt so good to use that energy in the air to heal that person the other day. I did what I had to do, Uncle Austin. I don't have my rose colored electrobinoculars on, ok? I can see what's happening all around me. I've done so many terrible things just give me one victory, that's all I ask."

    "I'm trying to teach you to appreciate your gifts, Grace, and to trust in the Force. You're not sent here to save everyone. You're here to save yourself," Austin pointed out.

    Grace nodded and looked away, "How do we stop the violence? The occupation has been going on for awhile now."

    "Leave that to me," Austin replied.

    Tag: @jcgoble3; @brodiew; @Trieste
     
  23. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Somebody's seen Godless... :D

    Lots of balls being juggled right now!
     
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  24. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Another excellent chapter, Vehn! I must admit I'm craving more from each story. More. [face_praying] [face_hypnotized]

    The western imagery is spot on and I love the Eleanor character. I can't wait to see what happens out on the frontier.

    Ah, male posturing. Gotta love it. I would have liked a couple of more lines of Sean and Taan squaring off before that mutually agreed to stand down. This battle over the cortosis pit looks to be epic. Is it possible the there is a Cortosis monster than slowly digest beings over a thousand years? [face_devil] Looking forward to the fire fight.

    Grace seems in a hurry to make amends for her past actions. She wants to do good, but is impatient. It will be interesting to see how she struggles toward toward true redemption.

    One last thing: More Eleanor!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  25. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    That is truly hilarious!

    I concur: more Eleanor!
     
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