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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: A few things to setup on Trian before moving on to the others....



    Valley of the Gods
    Dawn


    "Contacts, 1 klick," a voice whispered in Sean's earpiece as he lay prone in the thick jungle underbrush overlooking the cortosis deposit. Visibility at a distance was mixed but close in, around the particular cortosis site, it increased greatly.

    "Affirmative, hold fire," Sean replied.

    They were coming....

    He frantically darted his eyes around the jungle remembering the various traps that Centurion Volgaar's men and the Phantoms had laid for the approaching force. There were the simple things: pits with sharpened wood trunks designed to impale anyone unaware of their location. There were more complicated devices such as the ripper mines which when activated by proximity or pressure rose to about waist height and exploded. Lastly, there was good old killing zones where weapons, sighted in and ready, lay in wait for anyone who made it past the traps.

    "Are your men prepared?" Centurion Volgaar whispered as he lay in waiting next to Sean.

    "The Phantoms don't know any other way," Sean replied, "we live for this kind of stuff."

    "Are they prepared to die?" Taan pressed.

    "If that's what it takes," Sean replied, "are your men able to remain disciplined when the going gets tough?"

    "They would die if I asked them to," Centurion Volgaar said, "we have been in many engagements. They have seen much blood spilled."

    "Then I hope they won't disappoint," Sean replied with a wry smile.

    "They won't," Centurion Volgaar stated.

    "Lead," the voice whispered again in Sean's earpiece, "they've slipped past the outer perimeter. Five hundred strong with drone support."

    "Understood," Sean replied, "let them in a little bit further. On my order we'll activate the trap."

    "Affirmative," the voice replied.

    "Are you sure you've got them right where you want them?" Taan asked.

    "Watch and see," Sean replied as he returned his attention to the cortosis site.

    Small formations of mercenaries, then larger ones, slowly slipped through the foliage and into view. Their presence grew and grew. They were alert but they had no idea what they were walking into. The time was now. Sean looked over at Centurion Taan Volgaar and winked. The Centurion was not impressed.

    "Activate all charges remotely, weapons hot," Sean ordered.

    Ripper mines, designed during the Federation's brutal war with Druckenwell, flew up into the air. Several of the mercenaries tried to scream but were quickly silenced as the mines erupted at waist height severing countless torsos from their lower halves. The effect was something like confetti exploding at an Elite League Limmie championship game.

    Panic ensued. The mercenaries returned fire in every direction they possibly could as they were overcome by the overwhelming numbers of Volgaar's security force and the Phantoms dispersed within. To complicate matters the drones, useless due to jamming, were unable to get signals off to the freighters orbiting high overhead for more support. They, too, succumbed to the small arms fire.

    Sean emptied out an energy cell into a squad himself watching with muted satisfaction as they crumpled to the jungle floor motionless. He slapped a new cell in and watched through his scope as the surviving elements began to bleed away into the thick jungle foliage.

    "This is where you come in, Centurion," Sean said, "begin your pursuit now. Happy hunting!"

    "With pleasure," Centurion Taan Volgaar replied as he loudly whistled and commanded his men in hot pursuit of the routing mercenary force.

    Sean hung back as the screams of the hunted reached his ears. What Volgaar's men didn't kill the traps would do their job. Those wouldn't be quick deaths, either, rather they would be prolonged affairs that could potentially take days if not found and disposed of in a short amount of time.

    He made his way down to the cortosis site, stepping over pieces of human debris, to make sure that there weren't any survivors. His mission wasn't to heal people. His mission was to protect Trian from any and all external threats. He was fortunate that he'd been able to lay such an effective trap. That kind of opportunity wouldn't come along again.

    The Corporate Sector would hear about this. They always did and when they did it would have a great many repercussions for their foreign policy. Sean hoped it would slow them down. Keep them on their toes before they plunged into hostile worlds beyond their borders. After all, that was why the Phantoms had been created by Eleanor Vehn not so very long ago.

    The Phantoms were an elite special operations group separate from the Federation military, consisting of six teams, designed to operate deep within Federation space or deep beyond to eliminate all enemies foreign and domestic. They were the ultimate warriors. The ones that eat, slept, and dreamed in war. Their training methods were severe, their equipment was top notch, and their mission up until recently had been the recovery of Grace Vehn.

    Sean had been certain that the funding would dry up for the Phantoms and the units dispersed after Grace Vehn returned to the galactic spotlight. The missions, however, kept coming his direction. There was, still, a use for the Phantoms despite Eleanor's attempts to end them. She, herself, realized that she had created a monster that could not be tamed or controlled. A monster that was now feeding upon the very thing it was designed to prevent: conflict.

    "We've got one," a subordinate called out.

    Sean jogged over and knelt beside the wounded mercenary. There were no identifying marks on his fatigues. He was starting to fade even though, superficially, his wounds didn't appear to be so bad. Internal bleeding, perhaps.

    "You," the mercenary hissed through bloody lips, "Phantoms...."

    Sean tried to control his emotions. No one in the galaxy was supposed to know who they were. They never carried identifying insignia on our uniforms. Since the man was dying he decided to push further.

    "Tell me how you know about us? What do you know!"

    "The same way you know about us," the mercenary replied as he coughed up blood, "we've both been betrayed by our governments."

    "Never," Sean said shaking his head.

    "It's true," the mercenary replied, "we are a dying breed of soldier, aren't we? Our governments send us to fight in hellish places and we never will be recognized or honored for our struggles. We are invisible. We are forgotten. We are dispensable. My death may come today but yours is coming sooner than you think."

    The mercenary seemed to look past Sean as he slipped into that dark world of death.

    Sean fell backwards against a nearby tree and felt something he hadn't felt in a long time. He was rattled. He was doubting everything now. Most of all he was feeling an emotion he hadn't felt in a very long time.

    Fear.

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

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Nice line. Double meaning approved. :cool:

    A bloody battle indeed. A small action that will have a ripple of repercussions. Have the Phantom's been betrayed? And by whom? Sofia? The very mention of their name is convincing evidence. For Sean feel fear, it must be serious. Will the Phantoms stay on Trian or leave with Carley? And, what happened to Jack? [face_thinking]

    Looking forward to more...
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
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  3. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Nime, Roon
    Department of Foreign Affairs


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Director of Foreign Affairs Henryk Rhyken sat at his terminal going over the latest intelligence briefing on the independent systems. The numbers looked solid. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Things were so calm in fact that there'd even been a brief lull in interplanetary issues leading some younger staff members to speculate that they were out of jobs. Part of that tranquility was a renewed push for economic growth but Director Rhyken couldn't ignore that a significant portion of the relative calm was the signing of the D1SC security pact.

    D1SC, the brainchild of Ayn and Declan Trieste of Bakura, was a formal contract between all the member worlds of the D12 whereby any one member would consult the others prior to any offensive military action. Henryk knew the security compact was a good thing for galactic stability and economic growth. He also had become distinctly aware of a disturbing trend erupting from the signing of D1SC: private military armies.

    Armies that could operate beyond the bounds of interplanetary law, armies that were not restricted by convention or treaty, armies that could be privately funded by anyone or any corporation at any time. It was, in some ways, the future of warfare in the galaxy. The set piece battles of the Galactic Civil War were a thing of the past and if there was one thing Henryk knew about the galaxy was its history. A history both to be feared and respected and a history that reared its ugly head during the most recent conflict.

    The Roon-Druckenwellian war in 279-282 ABY was as much about destroying the old Roon Trade Organization as it was about destroying the way wars had been fought. Henryk had done his time in that conflict having served with the losing side, Druckenwell, with extraordinary distinction. He'd found a calling in foreign affairs once the reconciliation took place. Henryk worked hard under former President Eleanor Vehn to earn her trust as she rebuilt the fragments of Roonian government in what was essentially a civil war between the Vehn family clan. A civil war that resulted in the death of her uncle and the destruction of a government Eleanor's grandfather had personally created.

    "High priority message with level four encryption," an automated voice from the terminal chirped, "code name: Phantom."

    Henryk frowned. Messages like these were rare and typically came from military operations in far flung reaches of the eastern Outer Rim. He wasn't aware of any Federation activities beyond the borders. All Federation forces had been recalled from the Centrality following the defeat of Rayna Heraat.

    "Origin of message?" Henryk asked the terminal.

    "Trianii space," the terminal replied.

    "Begin decryption and playback," Henryk said as the message finished downloading.

    The battle of the cortosis deposit unfolded before him in all of its graphic glory. When it was done, Specialist Sean Riggins turned the camera toward him and said, "Director, we've got a problem. Our identities have been compromised and the CSA has discovered a mother lode of cortosis on Trian."

    Director Henryk Rhyken studied the footage and raw data and came to a very similar conclusion. He picked up his comm. unit and barked, "Get me Admiral McRoarden, Fifth Fleet HQ. I need to call in a favor. Yes, go ahead and wake him. He'll want to hear what I have to say."

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

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    A loophole! Who would have thought! Man, when Ayn and Declan realize that they're not going to be happy. [face_laugh]
     
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  5. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Okay. you lost me a bit in the legalese of this one. @Trieste's comment confused me further. Would you be able to translate for me?
     
  6. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    The D12 security compact, I am arguing in character, changed the way foreign policy and wars are fought in the galaxy.

    Any D12 member had to inform the others when they commit offensive military actions with regular military forces

    The loophole per Trieste was that private military companies or armies can be used by nation states outside of galactic treaty or law.

    The Phantoms and the CSA mercenaries are my way of “predicting” future operations in the Star Wars galaxy that Trieste and I created which is alternate universe.

    Hope this helps.

    Tag: @Trieste and @brodiew
     
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  7. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    I thought the Phantoms were special ops for the Roon Federation. Or Black ops, but still Roon troops.
     
  8. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    They are that came out wrong when I was typing !
     
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  9. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Roon Frontier
    Outskirts of High River County


    "You're good on a rock hopper. You've got a good seat," Sheriff Anders commented dryly as he and Eleanor stopped for a water break.

    Eleanor knelt down next to a nearby stream and refilled her canteen. "Trained by the Royal Rock Hopper Society on Naboo."

    "Naboo?" Sheriff Anders asked, "What in blazes brought you out here?"

    "My sense of adventure," Eleanor replied, "a need to break away from the past."

    Sheriff Anders grunted and shook his head, "There's been a lot of that lately. A lot of people from the outside moving in here hoping to change their lives, to get rich, to find themselves."

    "I don't need any of that," Eleanor replied, "believe me."

    "What did you do before all this?" Sheriff Anders asked as he mounted his rock hopper.

    Eleanor followed suit and easily slipped into her saddle. "You really want to know?"

    "Yeah," Sheriff Anders, "if you're going to watching my back, absolutely!"

    "I was born on my family's ranch of Tesserone several kilometers beyond Nime. At an early age I was sent by my uncle and my own innocence to Naboo to become the Queen. I became Queen of the Naboo and achieved a great many things. Even brought democracy back to the people. I did the best I could for Naboo but ultimately I felt a calling to represent the world in the Republic Senate on Coruscant," Eleanor explained.

    "Go on," Sheriff Anders urged.

    "I only served a short time on Coruscant," Eleanor said, "before I had to leave for....personal reasons. From there I went back home. Tried to rebuild my life. Eventually the people needed a leader during the waning days of the Roon Trade Organization. I became President of the Roon Federation. Served two separate terms. Also served as Director of Foreign Affairs at one point. I've done plenty of time in the public spotlight, Sheriff. I came out here to do one thing and one thing only."

    "What's that?" Sheriff Anders asked.

    "Disappear," Eleanor replied.

    "You've picked the right place," Anders chuckled, "for that. Unfortunately this job won't let you coast the rest of your life. At some point you'll have to decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong. That's what defines who we are. That's what defines our lives."

    "Then perhaps I came out here to recalibrate my moral compass," Eleanor added, "I need it after the last six months."

    "Family trouble?" Sheriff Anders questioned.

    "Something like that," Eleanor replied, "we going to get a move on or sit here and chat all day?"

    "Hold your rock hoppers, lady," Sheriff Anders said, "there's plenty of time to go after the bad guys."

    "Yeah? Seemed like we were running out of time when we left," Eleanor pointed out.

    "Rustlers will still be there," Sheriff Anders pointed out, "besides I need to think about how we're going to go after them. They're hard to eradicate. The ranch we're headed to is tucked away up in the Lady Constance mountain range. Not far from here. A good friend of mine runs the place."

    The journey to the ranch didn't take long, another half hour or so, and as Eleanor dismounted she couldn't help but admire the views looking north to the Laweeya Prairie. She always loved being on Roon, her homeworld, but it wasn't until she traveled to different areas of the planet that she recognized the natural beauty all around her and the abundance of antural resources those provided. This was Roon like she hadn't seen before.

    "Beautiful, isn't it?" Anders remarked as he slid off his rock hopper.

    "Pretty country," Eleanor admitted, "beautiful country. I'm really surprised this area hasn't been developed."

    "The people of High River county are pretty adamant about restricting the kind of money and development flowing this direction. We know what happened to other areas. They became bedroom communities for Nime or Nunurra," Anders said, "and then they eventually lose their charm and are destroyed. This region is too precious to be developed."

    "I see what you mean," Eleanor noted, "and I imagine this region also draws those who want to avoid any entanglements with the law."

    "It does. Dangerous types, too," Anders replied, "like the Kynnovan gang."

    "Kynnovan," Eleanor repeated remembering her Naboo history, "as in Morgan Kynnovan who manipulated the RTO Charter and the Naboo Privy Council? Morgan Kynnovan the twisted brother of Camilla Quorro, son of Sofia Quorro?That man was evil. He single handedly crushed the royal family of Lannik, raped the planet of mineral resources, and nearly destroyed Naboo's ancient families. Fortunately he was killed on Leritor decades ago."

    "His descendants weren't, " Anders said, "and this group is nasty. They're heavily armored, armed, and are led by their leader Zayn Kynnovan, nephew to Morgan. They're more a militia than anything else. I don't have the manpower or the means to throw them out of town when they come riding in to cause havoc."

    "So what do you do?" Eleanor asked.

    Sheriff Nilhs Anders looked away and with misty eyes he returned her gaze, "I hide."

    "How many are in your sheriff department?" Eleanor asked.

    "Just the two of us," Sheriff Anders replied with a dour look, "but I hope that will change when we go knocking on that cabin up there."

    "Whose inside?" Eleanor asked.

    "You'll see," Anders replied.

    The Sheriff and Eleanor made their way up to the rather rustic looking cabin. The warm scent of wood smoke filled the air as the pair slipped under the covered porch and rapped on the door. There was a long pause before the door finally opened revealing someone Eleanor hadn't seen in a very long time.

    "Robert," Eleanor exclaimed as she came forward to embrace her old bodyguard who had served as her protector from her days as a young teen up until the final years of her first term as President of the Roon Federation.

    [​IMG]

    "My lady," Robert Norden replied, "it is an honor to serve you again."

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

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    He took the account of Eleanor's career-to-date pretty calmly. [face_laugh]
     
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  11. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    He's a very stoic individual ;) [face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh]
     
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  12. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Wasn't there something in the last Eleanor chapter about Anders requesting her presence? Or was it Anders who got her message?

    Good chapter. Looks like we have high noon meets gunfight at the OK corral on the horizon...

    Anders seems like an 'it don't matter who you were. it matters what you do in the here and now' kind of guy.
     
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  13. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Trian
    Cortosis Deposit


    "That's a hell of a sight," Sean remarked as he examined the endless bodies being dumped into a mass grave a few klicks north of the cortosis depository.

    "Never get tired of seeing my enemies under the ground," Centurion Taan Volgaar commented.

    "I'll drink to that," Sean said as he took a drink of some Trianii spirits and handed it to his counterpart in Carley Heraat's army.

    "This is good," Centurion Volgaar admitted, "much better than the piss water they make us drink aboard the commander's ship."

    Sean chuckled and laughed, "You did well out there."

    "And your team as well," Centurion Volgaar replied, "you are clearly professionals. Unfortunately, I have my marching orders and my time on this planet has come to an end."

    "If we do not meet again," Sean replied, "it was a pleasure fighting alongside you."

    "Indeed," Centurion Volgaar replied, "take care of yourself, soldier."

    "You as well," Sean said as he watched the Heraat battalion load up in their shuttle and fly away.

    A message chimed on Sean's datapad which he promptly checked. It was from Jack who'd left the Phantoms prior to the battle with the mercenaries to meet big wigs from the Fifth Federation Fleet which had just arrived in system.

    "What is it sir?" a subordinate asked.

    "We're being recalled," Sean said, "pulled from the front.

    "Recalled to where?"

    "I don't know," Sean replied, "I really don't."




    Tund
    Former Capital of the Eastern Centrality


    Austin Vehn strode into the ruinous capital building of Tund stepping over bodies, debris, and sleeping soldiers. He had no fear in his heart only a strong determination to do what was right. He had come directly before the military governor of the armed forces of the Western Centrality to discuss an end to the occupation. His strength and skill in diplomacy, he felt, was about to be challenged immensely.

    "Governor General Traask," Austin said bowing his head ever so slightly, "I believe your mandate has expired."

    [​IMG]

    "I do not answer to you, Jedi," Governor General Solomon Traask replied, "and as far as my mandate as long as there are guerrilla fighters continuing to resist the forces under my command we will stay here and continue to fight them."

    "You are killing innocent civilians with every second your departure delays," Austin reminded Traask.

    "Collateral damage," Traask grunted as he returned his attention to the holomap of Tund before him.

    "That may be what you tell yourself at night to sleep soundly," Austin replied, "but it is not the reality. The land mines, the booby traps, the sniper nests, the weapon emplacements, they are taking a murderous toll on innocent men, women and children. You may think you have immunity but when I get done with you and when the courts get done with you there will be a reckoning!"

    "I grow weary of your pacifist ways, Jedi," Traask groaned rubbing his temples, "need I remind you that we made a deal when you arrived. You would do the healing and I would do the killing. Pray that I do not alter our deal any further."

    "You may regret that you stayed here," Austin warned.

    "The only thing I regret," Traask replied, "is listening to you. Guards, take him away and do not let him return!"

    Austin felt armored gloved hands close in around his arms and escort him out of the premisis. He thought about activating his lightsaber and cutting them all down but that was not the Jedi way. That path would not give him the results he desired. He'd tried a diplomatic solution to this conflict. He'd tried a way to bring all the conflicting parties that now lived in Tund together for a solution. Nothing worked.

    The whining sound of a shuttle cutting through the cloudy skies of Tund pierced Austin's ears. He looked up toward the heavens long enough that it caused the guards to pause in mid stride and do the same.The shuttle's wings folded up against the dorsal stabilizer as it quickly disgorged an armed presence that did not look familiar at all. He frowned and reached out with the Force. It wasn't danger that he felt but the energy he did read made him feel apprehensive.

    "Let me go," Austin said with a slight wave of his hand to his captors. The Force could work miracles at times. Especially against the weak minded.

    "You may go about your business. Move along," the guards said as they released him. They, too, were unsure as to how to handle the newcomers.

    Austin made his way to the boarding ramp of the shuttle just as Commander Carley Heraat disembarked with her honor guard. He gave her a slight nod of respect. He'd known her as his adopted cousin, Carley Vehn, but she had given up her adoption into the Vehn family to become something entirely different. Her true heritage.

    "Greetings from the Jedi to Commander Carley Heraat," Austin said.

    "Your greetings are welcomed and received," Carley replied, "and what a relief it is to see you again."

    The pair embraced before their brief reunion returned once more to the matters at hand.

    "I was delayed near Trian. Thank you for requesting my presence here. Update me on the situation here," Carley ordered as her armed escort quickly disarmed the nearby guards of the occupation forces.

    "Governor General Solomon Traask believes that Tund is his," Austin said, "and he will not willingly relinquish his power. I have tried to talk him into packing up his troops and leaving and yet he refuses. Every day more and more civilians are killed because his soldiers are not following the mandate of the Centrality peace accords."

    "Those accords were to disarm and defuse any threats to civilian life and work toward the successful integration of the Western and Eastern Centrality," Carley repeated remembering the core essence of the peace accords as she headed toward Traask's headquarters.

    "That is correct," Austin said, "and before you go in there I need a guarantee from you."

    "Anything for the Jedi," Carley replied.

    "I need you to promise that the civilian deaths will end," Austin said, "immediately."

    "Once I am in a position of power that will be the very first thing I will do," Carley said.

    "He will not give up power without a fight," Austin warned.

    "He hasn't dealt with me," Carley replied as she ascended the stairs leading directly into Traask's headquarters.

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

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Phantoms recalled? Jack conferring with the Federation Fleet? Carley about to confront a territorial Governor? Will Trian still be an epicenter or will the Phantoms to be deployed to Tund to support Carley as she just assisted them? Does Sofia have a hand in the recall?

    How long will Eleanor remain in the backwater before being drawn back into a galaxy spanning trade war?

    I'll stay tuned. Don't mind me if my speculation is off the reservations. Just having fun. Glad to be part of the 'team'. :cool:
     
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  15. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Fifth Fleet
    Somewhere in the independent systems
    RFS Rowena


    "Admiral McRoarden," Director of Foreign Affairs Henryk Rhyken said as he came around the table and shook hands with his military counterpart.

    "Director Rhyken how may the Federation navy assist you," Admiral McRoaren replied.

    "Trian," Director Rhyken said, "and more importantly what's on Trian."

    "Go on," Admiral McRoarden replied as he signed a datapad for a nearby junior officer who promptly left the two of them alone in his quarters.

    "Cortosis deposit of enormous economic and military value found on Trian. Corporate Sector has already sent a mercenary army to claim it from the Trianii people and they have been stopped dead in their tracks," Henryk explained.

    "Stopped by whom?" Admiral McRoarden asked, "a bunch of kitties?"

    Henryk suppressed the urge to laugh even though the term was derogatory and ignorant of the Trianii people. "Stopped by a highly specialized Federation task force."

    "Our forces were pulled out of Trian several years ago," Admiral McRoarden replied, "we weren't allowed to cross the Centrality line. You telling me that we've had a unit operating deep in the independent systems without support?"

    "Not without support," Henryk confirmed, "and that's all I can say about that subject."

    "Frak," Admiral McRoarden groaned drawing the connection in his mind, "if the Corporate Sector finds out that we've got a black ops group running amok around the independent systems it will kill the Centrality pact signed by President Eleanor Vehn and the Direx. We're not just talking a trade war, here, we could be talking about an open conflict."

    "Trian is not Corporate Sector space," Henryk reminded his military counterpart.

    "You tell those professional bean counters on Bonadan that," Admiral McRoarden shot back, "they've long viewed Trian as their specialized testing ground for all their pet projects. Trian doesn't stand a chance if the CSA mobilizes."

    "So far they haven't," Henryk said, "and I don't think they'd risk open confrontation which is precisely why I need your help."

    "You want me to pop the fleet over Trian and run defense?" Admiral McRoarden asked.

    "No," Henryk replied, "that's much too obvious. I want you to hang out of the system a few parsecs and run weapons down to the surface."

    "That's an act of war," Admiral McRoardn pointed out, "and that I can't do that without Senate approval."

    "I understand the bind you find yourself in, Admiral, I really do," Henryk replied, "so I'm suggesting we call them supply missions. You supply food stuffs and aid to the Trianii people, through the Trianii Homeland project, and secretly if a few weapons get smuggled in to help them defend themselves, well, its simply oversight."

    "The CSA will connect the dots," Admiral McRoarden said, "I can't protect Trianii shipping either if they come under attack by CSA forces under current interplanetary treaty unless Trian asks for help. We are all one big happy family now, remember? This D1SC agreement really threw me for a loop."

    "Leave that to me," Director of Foreign Affairs Henryk Rhyken said, "I've been working on a solution for that problem for some time."




    Tund
    Eastern Centrality


    Brrrt!

    Brrrt!

    Brrrt!


    Sporadic pockets of anti-air craft fire lit the night sky above the ruins of Tund as rival factions bombed one another. The war that was supposed to end with the occupation of Tund by the powers of the Western Centrality had quickly become the war without end. The humanitarian crisis was growing out of hand. Food and water shortages were common as were unspeakable crimes conducted by the occupying force upon the civilian population.

    Grace wrapped herself tighter in her cloak as the cold night set in all around. She wanted to go to sleep but the overwhelming feelings of sorrow and despair nearly drowned her. She had a hard time blocking it out. The cries for help, the competing opinions, the hopelessness of the situation. She had begun to wonder how one healer could make a difference in the midst of such a crisis.

    Change, it seemed, was ever present.

    She'd noticed the arrival of the Heraat clan shuttle moments before. She watched with quiet curiosity as Carley's security detachment arrived in the war torn city and was surprised to find that Austin and Carley knew one another. She reminded herself to ask him about that development once things calmed down. If they ever would. There were so many changes in the city since she'd arrived.

    New factions poured in from all over the galaxy demanding the Centrality for themselves. Curiously, Grace noted, the major powers hung back. The Federation and the Corporate Sector had their time in this particular sandbox. They'd nearly come to blows in the past were it not for some very open and hard conversations between the two powers. Now it was a free for all for much lesser powers with a lot more to gain.

    "Hungry?" A voice called from behind her.

    Grace, assuming it was her uncle, shrugged and replied, "Not really."

    "You still like to race?" The voice asked as he sat down next to Grace.

    Grace looked over and to her surprise saw Sean Riggins staring back at her. She couldn't believe it was actually him. She'd last seen him in a hospital bed nearly a year ago following a horse race on Bakura. Grace had been in pole position in the race, ready to win, when she saw Sean, struggle and fall from his mount injured. Grace turned back before the finish line to do what was right and rescued Sean from his predicament.

    "I haven't been on a horse since Bakura. I've been occupied with other things," Grace admitted, "how about you?"

    "Still fighting," Sean replied.

    Grace knew what he meant. Sean was still fighting the war. The pair had a more sinister connection. They had fought on opposite sides of the shadowy war between Master Tel Adain and Eleanor Vehn. On one side were the Phantoms and on the other were the Twelve, disciples of Adain such as Grace Vehn, who carried out ruthless missions. The Twelve were dead. The Phantoms by extension of the Roon Federation had won.

    "You going to leave the Phantoms anytime soon?" Grace asked.

    "I wish," Sean replied as he munched on a field ration, "but the only way I'm leaving is in a body bag."

    "I can't believe they still have you running around the galaxy," Grace groused.

    "As long as there's an enemy to fight that's a threat to the Federation. We will be there," Sean grumbled, "and then some."

    "So what brings you to the former Eastern Centrality?" Grace asked.

    "Reassigned. We were over on Trian. Got into some nasty fights with CSA mercenaries over a cortosis deposit. Now they want us here. They didn't say why," Sean replied, "what brings you to this war zone? You miss the fight?"

    "I'm a Jedi now. I heal people," Grace said, "I'm no longer in the business of killing."

    "At least one of us got out," Sean mused.

    "I may be healing people but don't think I don't carry the weight and burden of what I did every day for the last several years," Grace replied, "the sins of my past weigh heavy."

    "My sins are ever present," Sean admitted, "and I don't think I'll escape them. You take care of yourself, Grace. Stay alive. This place is dangerous."

    Grace watched Sean walk away and wanted to say something, anything, to get him to stay. It'd been so long since she'd last seen him. They weren't friends the last time. She wasn't sure they were even friends now. They had agreed to a truce in their conflict. Perhaps out of that truce something new could be born.

    "Perhaps I can be reborn as well," Grace said to the violent night air all around.

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

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    You know, if the CSA were to "determine" that the Federation had begun offensive military action against them, they'd be justified in alerting the D12 to military action without consultation on the grounds of defensive response.

    Such consultation for offensive action is strictly non-binding too--the Federation just has to present their case to the rest of the D12 so everyone knows where they stand.

    Just two points I thought were pertinent to the current situation. ;)
     
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  17. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Oh I will definitely incorporate that! Thank you!
     
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  18. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Hall of Peace
    Tund
    Former Eastern Centrality


    The Hall of Peace was anything but peaceful. The tension in the room was palpable as a faction belonging to Commander Carley Heraat and a faction belonging to General Solomon Traask stood at opposite ends of the hall with weapons at the ready. Both leaders examined one another from a distance in front of their respective groups. Neither one willing to make the first move.

    "Commander," Centurion Taan Volgaar whispered in his leader's ear, "should we attack?"

    Commander Carley Heraat, heir to the Heraat throne, shook her head and stepped forth from the protective presence of her security detail and began the long walk toward General Solomon Traask. Traask, in turn, removed himself from his own protective detail and began his own march toward Carley. The pair stopped at five paces from one another and simply stared into eachother's eyes. At the flick of a hand both sides could re-ignite a fearsome war in the Centrality. There would be war without end.

    "Governor General," Commander Carley Heraat said with an even tone.

    "Commander," Governor General Solomon Traask replied.

    "Shall we fight or shall we unite?" Carley questioned.

    "If we fight I could easily destroy your forces," Solomon grunted.

    "Don't be so sure you could defeat us. We have returned to our ancestral lands," Carley fired back.

    "The Heraat clan is not what it once was," Solomon pointed out, "surely you know this. Your old allies hide behind their wealth. Your old enemies have grown stronger, more powerful, than ever before. The galaxy is not as it was when your clan ruled the Centrality."

    "We could be great again," Carley said, "do not underestimate us."

    "I don't," Solomon replied, "which is precisely why I need your help. I'm sure you're aware that Prime Minister Shyl Vymko of the Western Centrality continues to fan the flames of unrest and war on Tund. I was sent here by him to occupy the Eastern Centrality and put all resistance down. Fortunately for you and the civilian populace, I do not listen to his pleas to kill more of the population and besides my soldiers are tired of war. We've been fighting non stop for nearly a year to subdue the last remnants of the opposition, your supporters.We want peace. I want peace."

    "The Heraat clan," Carley replied, "only seeks to rule what is rightfully ours. We could bring peace to the Eastern Centrality by forcing the remnants of the Eastern Centrality army to cease their fight against you but only if you are truly dedicated to peace. For that we would need a gesture of good will."

    Governor Genreal Solomon Traask smiled at Carley and raised his comm. unit to his lips, "All units, this is Governor General Traask, ordering you to stand down and cease all operations against the guerrillas."

    "Your turn," Solomon insisted.

    Carley raised her own comm. unit and said, "This is Commander Carley Heraat to all loyalist Eastern Centrality forces. I am your commander and you shall cease all operations against the forces of General Traask. I repeat all operations must cease at once!"

    The reverberations of war outside the Hall of Peace tapered off and fell silent. A heavy quiet remained.

    "Help me overthrow Prime Minister Vymko," Solomon said, "together our armies can march into downtown Erilnar and end this conflict once and for all. Do we have a deal?"

    Carley hesitated for a moment and then extended her hand, "We have a deal, General. Peace and security."

    "Peace and security," Solomon replied with a smile.

    The two leaders embraced and as they did so both sides cheered the coming peace.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3; @brodiew
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  19. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Make the Centrality great again. :D
     
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  20. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Excellent updates, Vehn. Carley, Sean, and Grace now in the same soup just about to head into another battle. Looks like Sean and Taan may didn't have to wait long to fight side by side again.

    Is Trask a Federation representative? Who is Vymko? CSA? Forgive me not being 100% clues in to the situation on Tund. Was enjoying the jungles of Tian.
     
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  21. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    OOC: More exposition to come in future posts but this gives everyone something to mull and process.

    High River
    Roon


    [​IMG]


    Zayn Kynnovan raised his pistol above his head and fired into the air. His old and fraying military uniform from his days fighting for Druckenwell during the Roon-Druckenwellian War was showing its age. The echo of the gunshot reverberated throughout the town of High River prompting the locals to poke their heads out of their stores or stop in mid stride down main street. He spun as he slowly took in the town all around him. It was time to take High River as his own.

    He reached into his tunic pocket and pulled out an old watch. A watch owned by uncle, Morgan Kynnovan, before his death on Leritor decades ago. The watch had never let him down. It had always told time in a highly accurate manner. Pinpoint to be precise. Now it would tell time as he and his 30 men rounded up the citizens of High River to hear his speech and pass a new kind of judgment upon the land.

    "They're ready, Captain," his most trusted subordinate whispered into his ear.

    Zayn grinned as he took in the innocent town folk around him, "Welcome, High River! For those who don't know me my name is Zayne Kynnovan. I'm what you call the leader of a merry band of outlaws. Don't worry, I haven't come to hurt any of you. Yet. Why did I pick High River? Here there be rumors of gold, rumors of get rich quick schemes, rumors of lies. Well, this is a frontier town and I need to get rich! Time to witness some frontier justice. Whose hungry for a hanging?"

    Nobody answered.

    "Bring them out," Zayn yelled as he continued to examine the towns people.

    Kasey Vehn, adopted relative of Eleanor Vehn, was dragged out first from a nearby wagon. Her flaming red hair billowing in the wind as she was led up to a nearby support beam of the town saloon from which hung a noose. Her eyes were red and inflamed. She'd been crying hard. Fear emanated from her as she was led up to the noose which slipped around her neck.

    "Eleanor Vehn! You killed my uncle! Now, my revenge has only just begun! You can stop this! You can come out here and stop this right now!" Zayn yelled at the crowd, "and if you don't she's gonna die!"

    "Bring out the other one!" Zayn roared.

    Aiden Vehn, Kasey's husband, followed suit and was soon standing next to his wife with a noose around his neck. They clasped hands together, despite their hands being bound, as the tension on their individual ropes was pulled taut. They didn't expect a rescue. They knew the end was coming.

    "I love you, Kas-" Aiden grimaced through choked breaths.

    "I love you!" Kasey cried out.

    Zayn sneered and gave a sharp nod of his head.

    The day's executions were just beginning.

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

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    I have a theory about that watch.

    Also...
    Couldn't resist. :p
     
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  23. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 14, 2009
    High River
    Later that afternoon


    Eleanor knew something was wrong before she even got to High River. The town was simply too quiet, too subdued, and almost completely devoid of activity. She urged her steed forward and dropped down onto main street only to find a horrendous sight awaiting her. Bodies, twisted and broken, hung from makeshift nooses all throughout town. Most were men but there were a few women as well.

    "Who did this," Eleanor cursed under her breath as she made her way to the center of town.

    "One guess," Sheriff Anders said through clenched teeth, "Zayn Kynnovan and the Kynnovan Gang."

    "Eleanor..." Robert whispered as he directed a shaky finger toward the support beams of the saloon's exterior.

    Eleanor followed his finger and with horrified eyes saw two bodies she knew. It was Kasey and Aiden.

    "No, no, no!" Eleanor yelled as she quickly dismounted.

    She ran over to the feet of the red haired woman who'd been such a good friend to her and fought hard to lift Kasey up higher so as to help her breathe. Eleanor grunted but the lifeless, bloodshot gaze, and heavy weight that pushed back against her told her everything she needed to know.

    They were dead.

    Eleanor collapsed to the ground and picked up handfuls of dirt. She was visibly shaking with anger and grief as she wept below the dangling feet of her adopted relatives. She'd known Kasy for years. Always prided herself on the fact that Kasey was in the small town of South Fork educating the next generation of Federation citizens. Kasey was always so kind, so sweet, and so dedicated to the children under her care. She was, in so many ways, the glue that held the adopted Vehn family together.

    Aiden, Kasey's husband, was a devoted sheriff of the town of South Fork. A place that had little crime unless something was kicked up between the loggers. He was compassionate, fair, and kept a close eye on his district making sure trouble didn't seep in from every direction. He would've been useful in the coming fight. Now, he was dead. Now he was all gone.

    "Eleanor," Sheriff Anders said, "we need to get going."

    "My lady, it's not safe here!" Robert warned.

    Eleanor, eyes burning from her tears, looked up into the dead faces of Kasey and Aiden Vehn. Dirt slipping through clenched fingers she roared through gritted teeth, "I will avenge your deaths. Zayn Kynnovan will pay for what he did!"

    Eleanor quickly hopped on her rock hopper and rode hard away from High River. She couldn't grieve much now. Only revenge was on her mind. Revenge against the entire Kynnovan gang. If it took her a lifetime she would have her revenge.

    "My lady," Robert said, "we must slow down!"

    "I won't stop until every single one of them is dead!" Eleanor shouted back.

    "We're going to need more than three guns," Sheriff Anders said as they raced away into the trees.

    "Leave that to me!" Eleanor replied, "leave that to me!"

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

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Yeah, I think Eleanor knows where to lay her hands on a fair amount of destructive force.
     
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  25. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    [​IMG]

    'Nuff said.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
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