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Star Wars The Last Epitaph

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Sinrebirth , Jun 16, 2019.

  1. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    A most enjoyable combo with the Master of Multiple Personalities, @Mitth_Fisto The Excellent

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

    Aurrenna & Vy’ndall

    Nouane

    The Last Class of a most prestigious institution, one with a storied history at that. Valorum’s murder set-off quite the chain reaction in galactic affairs, one with ripples that would be felt for a long time to come. Still, would that be the only highlight The Last Class would be remembered for? Better yet, where they even close to the Last Act?

    Vy’ndall smiled politely at Aurrenna, completely aware how she subtly moved herself into a position of control. She was indeed very lovely, as it were. Peripherally, he furtively noticed Tarkin moving off with Atreus. Everything was changing, but it wasn't coincidence or randomness; something or someone was causing these changes, but there was naught he could do about it. Thus, he was left with a simple option: Applying his own lesson in regards to the unknown.

    The game needed to be played to the very end, despite the pieces that were already moved from the board.

    “Neither of our rooms are truly, private anymore.” the nagai pointed out amiably. “We could try the Library, seems a suitable enough place for our assignment, don’t you think?”

    It was an odd thing for the other to state, that their rooms were no longer private. "I do think that would work rather well, we can research as well as plan very easily." she simply stated with a demure nod as though actually considering the blatantly obvious choice. The fact he had even entertained she would agree to meeting in either of their rooms for anything that might get them in trouble or be wrong to be recorded doing was an affront of sorts. Not that she really cared.

    Standing she made sure she had everything, which was nothing, before making to walk with Vy'ndall to the meeting point. "No time like the present? Yes?" she simply stated.

    The nagai nodded respectfully as Aurrenna stood and politely waited until she was next to him before beginning their trek to the Library.

    As the two walked side by side, he waited until they were some distance away from the Amphitheater before casually posing a simply question to her.

    “How much do you know about the Chiss?”

    Well, that was a double edged question. If she was as young and immature as she looked she might start talking about their Ascendancy, possibly the frustrating nature of their hermetic power structure. Or even merely pointing out that the new Professor appeared to be one. All of these things she could do. Only she wasn't supposed to know that, not some socialite Arkanian that hasn't spent years studying what would likely be irrelevant information throughout her lifetime.

    "I think I remember them being mentioned back in the histories when Arkania was first settled." She spread her hands out, palm up in an apologetic gesture. "I would say I could give you a complete genetic and biological analysis, but sadly I have neither my things nor the ability to place a holocall at the moment." She lamented with an honest sigh of sadness and air of frustration. "In that I think we both are the luckiest pairing. Out of all the groups only we both truly have something to gain in return if we win. We are balanced and pulled to the same point. So enlighten me."

    Vy’ndall made himself appear thoughtful as they walked.

    “Well, as far as the Chiss, just rumors, really. They are good at what they do, quite intelligent and not to be trusted. But then again, that would be everyone here if we’re being honest.”

    The nagai affected a measure of amusement and regarded the lovely arkanian, mentally deciding to match her geniality.

    “But yes, I have to agree, aside from anything else, our pairing would seem fortuitous.”

    Vy’ndall eased his features into a picture of pleasantness. If they were going to make a ‘winning presentation’, then it was best to take a ‘synergistic’ approach. The undercurrents of the class weren’t going anywhere. Still, it was not without some measure that he had to halt his inner brooding on ‘The Last Class’. How could everyone be so seemingly at ease when the doors on a ‘bright’ future were being closed?

    “Ah, here we are.” He intoned genially as they arrived at the Library entrance. Vy’ndall waved a hand, a gesture which caused the doors to part almost silently. As expected, there were few souls within. “The study bank two stations from the left.” He indicated.

    With courtly grace did he lead Aurrenna to a table surrounded by a large and comfortable wrap around sofa. Here they could access any screens or dataports needed for their project. “We might as well make ourselves comfortable.” he added as he waited for her to sit first.

    “So, what shape would an ideal government take? and what model should we use, if any. A most interesting assignment, no?”

    This, in essence, was the reason for them being here at the Exchange. Theories were all well and good. What mattered was the end result: that which became actual reality for the rest of the galaxy.

    Taking the proffered seat she crossed her arms demurely despite a desire to be reclined with arms wide, the question although expected was ash to her tongue. Smiling she nodded at it, as though that was an answer for a moments reprieve. She wanted to share the wonder and beauty of a theocratic government, and then peel the flesh from him and put him to the embrace for however long he lasted before peeling the rest away. What a joyful sacrifice that would be!

    Instead she simply nodded once more, she was Aurrenna of a scientific race that like to play with living things. "We already did on planetary scales, two of which are most popular in our own histories. Yaka and Quermian. Palatial garden world and machine marvels. Neither knows war, both are productive, and both have limited representative governments. Most races try to create that, but my own species and these foster races have done so to much success that has also withstood the test of time. Sadly it is not a system that the Republic truly embodies, as it would have to be whittled down. System leaders forming a committee with others to the sector leader, Sector leaders forming a committee to the Region Leader, and so on and so forth until you reach the top. A panel of a handful would likely stand the test of time better than a ruler of one, but one is such a tidy way to be able to pivot the whole in times of crises."

    Waving a hand dismissively she sighed, "This is what is close at hand, at least for my upbringing. What do you have in mind?"

    Vy’ndall regarded Aurrenna for a moment, nodding slowly in agreement, then looked away, collecting his thoughts. There was merit to the model she proposed, though there was a specific point that was not addressed- at least in his estimation.

    After taking a breath, the nagai allowed himself to muse aloud.

    “Indeed, I agree that checks and balances are always much needed, for we see such devices set within the natural order of things.”

    “That being said, if the people are content with their elected leaders, who provide for them and understand them, who have established lines of communications, and structures, committees of governance, one to oversee and another to balance -even provide merit based prosperity within an egalitarian culture; where then are these people and why can't they be found?”

    Vy’ndall’s dark eyes turned, seeking Adasca’s white gaze.

    “Because Peace is an illusion and Conflict an inexorable part of existence. Avarice and Expansionism will be born in any system ill-designed to contain it. The Peaceful will be robbed of their Peace. Who shall Defend them when the Thief and the Warmonger arrive at their Gates? The Strong by default define the Weak; who will champion the cause of those unable to champion themselves? I dare say that, a Strong Leader is what is needed, to Rule and to Serve, both Over and Under all. One who is trusted, not only by the people, but by those he’s set as his overseers. There is rain and there is sunshine, summer and winter- the same is true for those who Lead. It is for a season. Some better than others. We Prosper under Strength and Suffer under Weakness. Being made drunk by delusions does not obliterate universal truth.”

    Vy’ndall paused then, carefully studying the Arkanian beauty. He wondered if she understood his words, or would remain clever as ever, not unlike the recently arrived females at the Exchange Program. Inwardly, he ached to have this conversation with Tarkin, but what was done was done. Perhaps something would come from all of this.

    Absently, and mostly prompted by both habit and curiosity, the nagai ever so gently reached out, trying to gauge the other’s feelings on the matter. He was all at once very grateful for his training; that he could seem one way outwardly, while experiencing something altogether different within himself. Vy’ndall’s face remained neutrally pleasant as he waited for Aurrenna’s counter point. In his mind, he worked doggedly to understand what he’d just experienced - quite grateful for the ability to snuff out his momentary shock.

    Aurrenna simply grinned at the points the other was making. It was a trickery and a slope to great danger if she fell for his simple lure, for it was a lure. A draw laid out like a beast mothers dead child on the side of the road in times of famine, if you take it you likely will find yourself ambushed and eaten in turn. Sustaining the very thing you sought to eat, so was this one's words. They struck and near to her personal beliefs, personal beliefs that she was not supposed to actually have.

    So she grinned and gave a little sigh like someone off put by the naivity and simplicity of the speaker. She knew the answer, the flaws, and how to perfect what he spoke of - but Aurrenna did not. "Yes. That is well and good, a perfect pivot point expansion. A way to beginning and setting things to right, and perhaps a position for times of crises." clasping her hands she did a little arial loop over her lap as if weighing the proposal even more before continuing to speak. "Unfortunately what will your grandchildren do? Positions like that when left to mortal men often rot with successive generations. The choices are noble and good at the onset if well protected, but in time they corrode and the position without checks and balances becomes the ultimate symbol of greed. Unless you know how this supposed perfect one could keep it forever? An eternal Emperor seems to be what you aim for, sadly I do not have such faith in the people to choose correctly."

    She waved dismissively, "How would you propose to add it?" the final question and statement a clear challenge, if he could convince her or had a scheme for this system of government she was open. Most of all because she honestly endorsed the concept, and at the same time was adamantly opposed to it for these beast heretics.

    Vy’ndall had been slowly nodding at Aurrenna, at least on the outside. He agreed with her words completely, however, he was troubled by the new puzzle before him- a puzzle he was not sure he was supposed to have discovered- or rather, was not even capable of proving existed. He couldn’t even begin to guess if she was aware of it or not, or perhaps his own abilities somehow deceived him, impossible as that might seem.

    “An excellent, question. How indeed.” the nagai mused aloud.

    After a moment of thoughtful observation and consideration, he added: “Perhaps we should see how the class would answer this, if we agree this to be the model we wish to present for our joint project, yes?”

    Now he was curious as to what answer the others would give. That would be quite revealing, whether they spoke truth or dissembled. Most curious indeed.

    Vy'ndall remained still, as a faint smile began to form at the corners of his lips.


    Tag: @Mitth_Fisto, (@Sinrebirth, @darthbernael *Tarkin mentioned )
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
  2. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Czulkang Lah
    On their way

    The Yuuzhan Vong hierarchy leaned upon the Warmaster for answers. The Supreme Overlord was demanding to know; the Priests were enjoining him to reply, so they complete their divinations; the Praetorite among the Intendant class was into full-blown machinations, and the reports from the Shai scouts were insufficient. Shy of arriving at Nouane with the advance force...

    Czulkang's position was too tenuous.

    He gave the order, and the Warmaster decided to stack on eventualities. Two Miid Ro'iik was diverted, complete with their full complement of twenty ro'ik chuun m'arh, five suuv ban d'krid, a pair of Uro-ik v'alh, five Vua Spar, a trio of a-vek liluunu... dozens of smaller yorik strohna and I'Friil Ma-Nat... and a thousand fighter craft.

    If he was going to do this, he may as well scour the surface of the world entirely.

    After all, he had just sent the equivalent of, under the Empire, to two Trade Federation battleships, two Imperial Star Destroyers, five Victory Star Destroyers, five light cruisers, three carriers, twenty frigates... dozens of picket boats and corvettes... and thousand fighter craft.

    [​IMG]

    They would be moved to the edge of the system, and prepare.

    A week without contact was too dangerous; the entire venture may be jeopardized.

    ---
    IC: Krai H'voc
    On their way

    Nagai High Command pressed upon her to discover what had happened to their agent embedded on Nouane. Vy'ndall was too important to lose, and the divisions that the class had caused throughout the Republic were too potent not to seize upon. After her initial report, and no matter how she had couched it, High Command had drawn itself into a fervor about launching the invasion earlier than planned; with the Republic so pathetic and divided, it made perfect sense to act now, even if their full strength was nowhere near assembled.

    But without Vy'ndall's affirmation, the last naysayers were unwilling to commit, and the assault was too important to risk on anything but unanimity; but with the Nagai resistance being an alliance of disparate warlords, refugee camps and 'heroes', keeping them in a holding position was proving more and more difficult. In short order, the Nagai people would fracture, and without unity, their cause would collapse. If General Kruskob Tiltanka pushed any harder, it would.

    Krai need only peer at the display to see it evident in the advance flotilla. Every Nagai ship and vessel, from the capital ships down to the starfighters, were individualized and personality driven, regardless of the original format that came out of the Faruun shipyards. It was impossible to categorise them, save for loosely. With this in mind, she knew what she had to do.

    With a collection of orders, nearly a hundred warships, led by the flagship Kotokai, began to stealthily assemble from isolated points across the cosmos.

    [​IMG]

    They would be moved to the edge of the system, and prepare.

    A week without contact was too dangerous; the entire venture may be jeopardized.

    ---
    IC: Ranulph Tarkin
    On their way

    The Quintad were unhappy. But, there was very little that Ranulph could do. He grimaced. The constant sniping at the Council meetings was starting to erode matters. The Valorum family were essentially of the view that Tarkin had killed Tarsus, and they took the silence of Nouane in the matter as proof. An Eriaduan was in the seat of power on Coruscant; regardless of power plays, the loss of the Chancellor's seat was a loss for Eriadu. Under these circumstances, it might take decades before another Eriaduan won an election.

    Soon, the Tarkin's would be pushed clear out of the Quintad and that would not do. They had power; ample strength marshal and political, but the Professor held absolute control over his school and the Nouanese government had emphasised that legal title to the school was such that the territory didn't even belong to them, constitutionally. It was its own political entity, based on a remnant of a slither of an entity once known as the Protectorate, and the land had been ceded to a demagogue known as the Master some thirty thousand years ago.

    Legally, their hands were tied and they had long stated that they had no control over the school.

    Which meant Ranulph's political abilities were thwarted.

    But not his military ones, and so he drew upon them.

    [​IMG]

    They would be moved to the edge of the system, and prepare.

    A week without contact was too dangerous; the entire venture may be jeopardized.

    ---
    IC: The Professor
    His office

    The students were pairing off, and he left them to it. Palpatine and Ni'Korish; Vy'ndall and Aurrenna; Tarkin and Atreus.

    He eyed his chess board, setting it up slowly but surely. The pieces were all here.

    It was really time he continued his conversation with the young Palpatine.

    He looked to the four life-sized Statues in the corners of his room, and the Forcesaber above him, watching.

    Sistros, Yanjon, Braata and Faya.

    The Forcesaber with the fragment of the spiritual eye of the Master within it.

    His conversation with Master Yoda had gone about as well as good be expected; he was en route to speak to the students, with his Padawan, Nejaa Halycon.

    Threading his fingers on the chess board, he nodded to himself.

    Everything, by and large, was going according to plan so far.

    So far.

    The Tarkins; the Yuuzhan Vong; the Nagai, the Hapans, the Kuati... they needed to be in the place of his design.

    But first, he needed to create the Dark Man that would trigger the death of the Ones.

    So the others, they could plot their power ploys, and invasions, and coups, but not until the Dark Man was on his path.

    He communicated with his asset; he needed Yanjon to be delivered to a Muun.

    It was all going according to plan.

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto, @greyjedi125, @darthbernael, @TheAdmiral, please continue your planning for the presentation, we shall dangerously move onwards shortly

    @Imperial_Hammer, let us continue our combo
     
  3. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Palpatine, with Ni'Korish played by Imperial_Hammer
    Chatting

    Ni'Korish tamped down her frustration as the class moved along. Most of the students had weighted in in one form or another, and so a new question was raised.

    "What would the shape of your ideal government be? You may use any version from the past or present as your model, but not a simple duplicate; it must be adjusted"

    Her mind immediately raced to Hapes - the monarchy was naturally the best system of government. The best and most qualified set to rule, in stability, in perpetuity. But she stopped herself - no, that would be seen as too vain or unimaginative by these outsiders. Like nominating oneself for an award - not a good look. She needed something a little more impartial.

    Her mind snapped back from her thoughts. They were doing pairs - her partner was Palpatine - the leerer. His comment was just so-so. Maybe the system he knew was "girdled" with corruption, but Hapes did not have that problem, despite his reference to the contrary. As though he had ever been.

    Still were the system to be corrupt, power would indeed be the solution. And the middling masses did indeed thwart change. What the boy didn't realize - again, perhaps due to his ignorance, was that aristocracy was just another resource to be used. The pomp he decried was just as much a prison as anything else. Rank and fancy titles - all abstract, all invented - in exchange for very real and very concrete power.

    Perhaps they could come to an agreement on these elements. Though... Well... She would keep her expectations low.

    She decided she would move to sit next to him. Not the most courtly an act, but he technically was not a subject. And frankly, expecting him to behave as such would just prolong the length of time she was forced to deal with him.

    She pulled up a chair next to the boy.

    "Alright." she said, starting off, brushing a strand of hair back off of her face. "From our answers it sounds like we can at least agree on some basic things. The primacy of power, the need for a strong and centralized government, the rule of the best and brightest. Clearly the best government is some sort of authoritarian system."

    She paused and looked at Palpatine, carefully studying his demeanor. She imagined this would be the point where he would interject...
    Palpatine found it much easier to interact with Ni’Korish and her beauty one-on-one, when she was suddenly all the more real, and not afar. His irritating anxieties were present, but this was a topic he was invested in, and so he could speak past the jangle in his nerves.

    “We do agree,” he said, finding his voice. “Centralisation is necessary, but I would tire of running the day-to-day government. To rule in open... benevolence, with my subordinates competing against each other for the power I offer.” His gaze grew faraway, though he was looking at her.

    “So I would propose to modify not an ancient or historic regime, but the one which I would, if I could, make history with constitutional reform.” He grinned. “The Republic itself.”

    Ni'Korish fought hard to suppress a chuckle, the end product emerging as a small smile. She had been worried about using her own government as an example, yet here Palpatine was using his government, the Republic! Sometimes she did catch herself worrying too much... overthinking things. Well perfect, the Republic would work just fine. She would not object to this example.

    As to his addendum of competing subordinates... hm.

    "I like the idea of competing subordinates..." she began diplomatically. "But I worry that the competition originally aimed towards their peers would sooner or later get directed towards the leader. In our example, the Chancellor. Or... hm. Perhaps 'Supreme Chancellor' in this case."

    She tapped her well-manicured nails on the table, pausing for a moment in thought.

    "There would need to be some kind of education or vetting system to ensure their loyalty. Or at the very least some kind of fail-safe to deal with treachery."

    She looked over at Palpatine to gauge his reaction.

    Palpatine fluttered his hand. “Contingencies, nothing more or less. If you have enough of them, and enough subordinates who believe their position to be privileged, you can continually create a structure that has another one lurking within.”

    He stroked his chin. “A shadow government, like a black skeleton running beneath the flesh, ready to emerge fully functional...” Palpatine nodded again. “All you need to do is separate your military and political bureaucracies...”

    A shrug. “Seems simple enough.”

    A lull in conversation seemed to fall between them, and Palpatine adopted a smile. "But we seem to be in accord, so our presentation is finalized; I shall rely upon you to do your part, no?" With that, Palpatine went to go, his hand casually brushing her arm as he went, an absentminded teenage affectation which was a gamble unto itself.

    It was not as if either of them needed slides and theme music to retain memory of the points they held true.

    Palpatine absently wondered what that tune would be? Some kind of march, no doubt.

    A glimmer of the future held in his eye, of white-armoured troopers parading before him.

    The Professor strode out of his office as a heavy-set-droid floated a larger box out of his room; the way it moved told any onlooker that the contents were taxing the repulsorsled. Palpatine saw him as he emerged with Ni'Korish, a frown on his face before he set it neutrally. "Professor?"

    "Oh, I am donating some of my artifacts, nothing much to it. I have too much, after all."

    Palpatine peered into the office. "One of your statues? Won't that break the set?"

    "I intend to donate them individually."

    "And sell the last one at an inflated price?"

    The Professor inclined a head. "I am not a common rube, Palpatine, though I may appear so to the Princess," he indicated Ni'Korish. "But I appreciate art, and design, and I would spread it rather than hoard it. If the statues being separated bothers you so, you are welcome to recollect them."

    "To what end?" Palpatine was keenly aware that Ni'Korish was simply standing there and he and the Professor were replying so swiftly so as to be in discord.

    "To greater your understanding of the Grand Design, of course."

    "Whose?"

    The Professor gestured broadly, face unreadable, red-eyes staring. "Who knows."

    With that, the blue-skinned man strode away, following the droid and the repulsor-sled to the hangar.

    Palpatine found himself staring into the office, at the three bronzium statues that remained, oversized and crammed into the corners of the room. The desk was in the hallway, he noted, to allow the droid to take it away. Aboard the desk was the box that Adasca had helped the Professor to the desk. This would be the first time Ni'Korish had seen the office, seen the statues, the bookcase, the entrance to the rooms beyond, and indeed seen the lightsaber hilt on the shelf above where the desk was clearly supposed to be, the Clock-Temple portrait evident.

    "Want a brief tour of the Professors collection, Princess, or would you rather see my room?"

    A heartbeat pause.

    "The rooms, even," he amended, quickly. They were, however, entering the time that had been allotted for the project; this was a morning session they had finished, and an afternoon one would follow. Lunch had not been mentioned, but of course it was a thing, and their conditions had been almost prison-like for the last few weeks - since Valorum died.

    Of course, for Atreus and Ni'Korish, there were only inconveniences so far.

    TAG: @Imperial_Hammer

    TAG: @greyjedi125, @TheAdmiral, @darthbernael, @Mitth_Fisto,
    I look forward to your finalised second-part combos, and apologies for the interruption caused by Christmas and New Year!
     
  4. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    OOC: I am updating next Monday, by the by.
     
    darthbernael likes this.
  5. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Another fun combo with @TheAdmiral, just hope I get your formatting right, first time doing the hexidecimal color formatting.

    IC A shadow
    Space around Nouane


    Into the space around Nouane, space that was becoming more and more crowded every moment from the, several, fleets that were trying to keep hidden from each other and the sensors on Nouane, something else had come. It had travelled far, having been deep in the Unknown Regions for some time. But what was happening here had become a focal point, a fulcrum for events not just in the present but the future as well.

    The ship that took up station well away from the fleets, for now, was stealthed and no energy emanated from it, whether physical energy like power systems or in the Force. All had been hidden of its presence. None of the others needed to know it was there, but it had to be present, if only to see if there was any action that needed to be taken to affect the outcome, that and what a certain someone had let be taken.

    For now the sole occupant watched as ships flashed into the system, as they took up their stations, and as they waited for the command that would cause this “insignificant” world to become the focus of the entire galaxy, although the murder of Valorum had already caused that to happen, as evidenced by the fleets.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth, anyone that’s interested

    IC Tarkin and Jori
    Finishing up the presentation

    Tarkin had just finished his thoughts on what they ought to consider for the presentation when his eyes seemed to look out into the distance and his head tilted to one side. A concerned look flashed over his face, then one of determination, and finally one of acceptance. They each passed so quickly that unless one was looking deeply they wouldn’t notice before his usual neutral expression returned.

    Looking at Jori, he measured her again as a person and classmate, before he sighed slightly. “I know you just recently arrived but for those of us here from the beginning there is that incentive the Professor mentioned and I would prefer what I had confiscated being returned so we need to make sure our presentation is blaster proof.”

    Thinking again about what they had discussed, “Which of what I described do you think should be part of the overall form of government that we present? After you accept or shoot down any of my ideas I’ll do the same for yours so that we’ve already gone through much of what any of the others would or could see as faults in our presentation.”

    Jori pondered for a moment, they had already covered much of it, but how they were going to combine their views? "Well, as I said, it is not a good idea to have businessmen as rulers. On the other hand professional politicians are not so good either. In my view there should be a figure on top... a monarch of sorts, who will not be partisan, who will be the arbiter for the political parties who will be elected. Those elected should act as managers responsible for different aspects of government."

    Tarkin considered Jori’s words. A low chuckle sounded before he spoke “I’ve studied history for a while, amidst the campaigns and training, and such a monarch is prevalent though much of the galactic history. However such usually does not tend to be as nonpartisan as one could imagine, that or they become disinterested in their society over time. Hapas, home of our other new classmate, being a good example of that. The other aspects of what you suggest I agree with, give someone too much power for too long and they end up serving for power rather than for the good of the people.”

    He stood and retrieved more stim tea, bringing a separate cup for Jori back to the table. “I do think we may have overlooked one aspect of this perfect society through, security. Not just the security of the people in their day to day lives but security from outside threats as well. I suspect that is why the discussion in class was begun with a question about the Unknown Regions, threats lurk there that could easily disrupt society as it is today, let alone our perfect one. But if we envision such as society as we are working toward, then the defense forces would tend to focus more on defense of the realm than in finding favor with those in power just to be able to continue to exist, as tends to become necessary.”

    "The thing is, you can't build a perfect system with imperfect people. It is in our nature to strive for more power. This monarch is to embody it, but of course, as I mentioned before, there should be checks and balances" she tilted her head and smiled "You are a military man and you know how important the clear chain of command is." she tapped her lips "Besides democracy is not efficient when facing an outside threat."

    Tarkin smiled slightly at the comment about his background. “I recently heard a quote that says it best, ‘Democracy is the tyranny of the uniformed.’* So yes I do agree, it is quite inefficient at facing outside threats, but also inside ones as well. Checks and balances are the key, I also agree with.”

    He sat back for a moment, taking a sip of the stim tea before it cooled, “But I do believe there should be an extreme case one that encompasses said monarchy, should it become necessary to remove one. Otherwise we devolve into chaos, as those who think they see a path to power in that scenario to seize the highest power of the system.”

    Jori tilted her head slightly. At least they had established some common ground, that was good "The problem with having those elections is that they quickly devolve to who can lie more convincingly or who has the best media and PR teams. Another issue that I would like to point out is that changing rulers frequently leads to shaky governance. What I mean is, when for some reason a new leader is elected from the opposite party they usually discard most of the things their predecessor had done. There is a lack of continuity. Maybe have the terms in service be longer?"

    Tarkin couldn’t shake what he’d thought of before the discussion had continued. So he was slightly distracted but still had enough sense not to miss Jori’s words. “I do not mean that we change the monarch, if that is what we mean to use as the overall ruler, often, but that should it become absolutely necessary there must be a mechanism available to do so without bloodshed.”

    Taking another sip of the stim tea and tasting that it was beginning to chill, he continued “Longer terms may be good but could also attract those who are attracted to power for powers sake rather than the good of the society. Possibly if we do so, allow, say, a 10 or 12 year term but if we do so then they can hold such a position but only non-consecutively. And if we can persuade or convince member worlds that more than two parties available for choice as their representatives could draw down that tendency to reverse all that was done by their predecessor. We also don’t want to create the impression of a semi nobility or political class.”

    Jori nodded and stood up, she wanted to stretch a bit "I agree, also another thing is that we need overseeing agencies which are not appointed by the ruler, but separate from them."

    Tarkin watched as she stood, even if he was as he was he could subtly admire the younger woman without letting on. It was more than just her previous attempts, her mind was very sharp and he could certainly appreciate that. “First, yes, I agree that such agencies would be a necessary part of the structure. The question then becomes who they are beholden to. Because anyone who would have those reins would have access to more power than others in similar positions.”

    He stood as well, securing more stim tea before turning back to Jori, “Care to walk as we talk, sometimes that helps with the thinking process.”

    Jori gave him a sidelong glance. She could sense his eyes on her and smiled inwardly. "That would be perfect." grinned "Anyway, what you pointed out was good, maybe there should be a quota system. Like for instance judges and attorneys. There should be an organization of lawyers and judges who will offer a certain number of applicants for approval, then the parliament or senate must have their own quota for a person to sit in these organizations and also the ruler should have a quota. So they can control each other. The Minister of Defense should be a military person, the Minister of Health a medical professional and so on."

    A half smile touched Tarkin’s face as he saw Jori glance in his direction. The ‘dance’ continued, each trying to find the points of confluence with the other. Gesturing with an arm he indicated a hallway that seemed much like the others, except he knew it passed several parks that dotted the Program’s grounds. As he turned to walk he allowed what he’d pondered at her words to bubble to the surface, “Agreed, each Ministry leader should be someone on a rotating basis, that we can determine who is well qualified in their field. Likewise, your thoughts on how the system could be structured is well thought out and would keep it balanced and fair. And such a system will be able to balance the vagaries of the politicians as they try to bend the Laws of the Land toward their own values or beliefs.”

    Jori nodded and smiled. She was not sure whether he was complimenting her or driving her to a trap. She moved next to him and slid her arm under his "Thank you, it is good to know that my education was not wasted." she chuckled "Also your inputs were very useful to shaping those ideas."

    Tarkin felt Jori move close and then her arm was under his. Internally there was a small smile, that didn’t reach his face, but he knew the could both be playing each other or there could be a spark, only time which he knew they may not even have could tell. “So we have deduced what we will use as our presentation, good. What remains, of course, will be to defend it against the others and whatever the Professor sees as faults in it.”

    Jori shrugged and grinned "Well you know them better, maybe you will be able to anticipate the direction of their attacks?" she looked at him "It will be best if we are presenting last, to understand them better, but it will depend on... fate, I guess."

    *The quote is from episode 1 of BBC’s Dracula

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @TheAdmiral, @Mitth_Fisto, @Imperial_Hammer
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
    TheAdmiral likes this.
  6. Imperial_Hammer

    Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2004
    IC: Ni'Korish
    Location: Here and there

    The heir to Hapes was uneasy. Her work with this young boy seemed easy enough. They seemed on the same page, even in agreement. But he was far too dismissive of her concerns. It reeked of naivete. She didn't know Palpatine, but it seemed very likely he had no experience ruling anything - or even being in the company of rulers. Everything was always a waive of the hand away with him. "Don't worry about this", "don't worry about that", "all you need to do is separate X and Y".

    He struck her as someone who could be caught by surprise. Far too confident. Not like she didn't know those kind of people of course. They were weaknesses, gaps in the armor of any good plan. Palpatine had better not screw this up for her.

    She caught his brushing by her arm. Clumsy or creepy? With his kid, each were equally likely. She would have to endure it.

    As Palpatine walked off, he almost immediately bumped into the Professor. He was moving a big box out of his office. With the door open, Ni'Korish could see into the room. It looked crowded. Well decorated - perhaps a little gaudy. Perhaps it was a good thing he was getting rid of some of his junk.

    The two chattered on about statues and art and whatever - for which the she was happy to just listen. Then the conversation switched to her.

    "Want a brief tour of the Professors collection, Princess, or would you rather see my room?" Palpatine said after the professor had left. Then a desperate awkward attempt at a save. "The rooms, even,"

    This kid. Snooping around someone's private property versus going to "the rooms". Oh those are greeaat ideas. Wasn't there a junior version of this school for people like him?

    "Oh no, that's okay." she said, summoning her most polite voice. "I think I'll just wait for the class to resume. I'm sure it will be any moment now."

    Her thinking hung on this idea of junior school, so she indulged this a bit. Now she was curious.

    "You know, I realize I don't know much at all about you." she said. "Where are you from? What do your parents do?"

    Maybe the show of interest would soothe any fragile ego from her declining his request. She had heard men outside of Hapes were a particularly delicate lot. At the very least, it will illuminate why this awkward boy was here.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth , @greyjedi125 , @TheAdmiral , @Mitth_Fisto , @darthbernael
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  7. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Vy’ndall Tremyr
    The Library

    He was saying something, or perhaps he was about to say something, but that is not what took place.

    In his mind he saw them, but only in flashes, moving en-mass, deploying. Vy’ndall suddenly got up from his seat with a start and swore an oath his native language. His eyes darted back and forth, looking into the empty air as if searching for things unseen.

    What are they doing!!?? He thought to himself.

    He could not understand or properly interpret what he had only glimpsed- images that now faded into nothingness. His annoyance flared openly, before he finally realized that he was not alone- and probably seemed no different than a human suddenly gone ‘mad’.

    Stopping all motion, the nagai closed his eyes and took a deep calming breath, collecting himself. Once he opened his eyes, the genial expression and easy manner returned. He smiled down softly at Aurrenna.

    “Please accept my sincere apologies….” He intoned genuinely. “I have not been sleeping well of late.” He added as an explanation, now easing himself back down upon his seat.

    Cooly he reclined himself, before speaking, as he now was once again the picture of composure.

    “It is agreed then. This will be the model we shall present to the class as our joint project. I too am curious as to their critiques following our presentation, especially as to whom will be the more insightful, if at all.”

    The soft smile remained upon his countenance as a way to reassure the Arkanian beauty that nothing was amiss. Within himself, Vy’ndall forced himself to remain focused on this present moment, despite the klaxons ringing in his mind concerning the flashes he just had. Aside from a meditation quest, there was nothing he could do.

    Well, that was not entirely true.

    “If there is nothing else, should we start making our way back?”

    The nagai tilted his head slightly as he awaited Aurenna’s response.

    In every situation, there was always an ‘alternative’ choice.


    Tag: @Mitth_Fisto, @Sinrebirth


    OOC: Sorry for the extra long wait.

    Mitthy, we can do one more combo if you wish. Just had to put this up to keep the ball rolling.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
  8. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: The Professor
    Loose ends

    In very short order, one statue was taken, to be delivered to Damask Holdings. A good start, that one.

    With Yoda on the way, the Professor didn't have infinite time to deal with events. He had a mission or two yet to deal with, but the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order? Not to be trifled with. Frowning to himself, the blue-skinned man checked his chrono as he made arrangements for the other three statues... and debated what to do with the Forcesaber. It was watching, always, always watching.

    Would the old green gremlin sense that?

    Possibly.

    Snorting, the Professor reflected that Valorum was an irritant in pain, and in death.

    Drawing a black coat upon him, he nodded. "Well, I have to get to it." He regarded his reflection, quoting the ancient phrase.

    "May the Force be with you."

    ---
    En route to the Amphitheater

    "You know, I realize I don't know much at all about you."
    Ni'Korish had said. "Where are you from? What do your parents do?"

    Palpatine narrowed his eyes somewhat. "I don't believe I interest you all that much, Princess. Knowing the legends of Hapes, you're simply wanting to see what men here are made of. But, as you asked, and I am a minor member of the nobility, I do have manners uphold."

    "I am the youngest son of House Palpatine," he said with some amusement, "from a little Mid Rim world known as Naboo. We're isolationist, in-spite of having only been colonised by a Core World some four millennia ago. Natural beauty, reserves useful for galactic commerce, local nonhumans opposed by humans... the standard nowhere world fare. Nothing as grand as the rumoured matriarchy of sixty-three rich and powerful worlds is said to be, of course, and a hereditary monarchy at that."

    Palpatine shrugged. "Our line was broken by the death of a monarch, and our King or Queen is now elected, though our constitution does allow for a monarch to rule indefinitely if they prove within their two terms that they are worthy of the same. It's not happened yet," the teenager said, smirking slightly.

    "I'd much rather rule something a bit grander, I must say..." His eyes glittered and he leaned slightly closer to her, back on the firm footing of politics, and not the hormonal irritations of being a male around a beautiful young woman. "Indeed, ruling sixty-three worlds seems quite small-scale for me, as well. I'd much prefer to rule it all, personally." Palpatine placed a finger to his lips, indicating it was a secret.

    "Which is why I directed my father to send me here, if he had to send me away at all," the young man slightly scoffed.

    ---
    The Amphitheater

    The time for the evening session, and their presentations, was at hand.

    The Professor arrived last, looking to Atreus and Tarkin, his smile soft at the more economically minded worlds' representatives side by side, and indeed at Ni'Korish and Palpatine, the two members of the nobility together, as was right. Then he eyed, cocked eyebrow, Vyndall and Adasca, the others quota fulfilled and paired up.

    It was all very neat and tidy.

    Of course, he was attired in a black robe, with the hood on his shoulders, rather than concealing his face. He didn't ask for commentary but it would be noticed, no doubt.

    "I have an announcement to make; Master Yoda of the Jedi Order is en route to complete the investigation into the death of Tarsus Valorum." He gestured broadly. "You will be interviewed, as applicable, those of you who are not involved by default - by being not here at all at the time - will be exempt, obviously."

    "I am poised to return your communications devices to you for good behavior of course, and I look forward to being able to do so."

    He tapped his chin absently.

    "Please, present in whatever order you see fit. One of you can take the lead, if you wish. I will grade you equally on the basis that you have equally contributed to the conclusion." He abandoned the podium, gesturing for someone to step up and talk. "Afterwards, I intend to announce the Mastery Exam, a tradition that every prior member of the Dwartii course has undergone and triumphed... and kept completely secret from all that have come after."

    With that, he propped himself up on the wall.

    First come, first served.

    Winner take all.

    Which government type would prevail?

    Palpatine looked pointedly at Ni'Korish; he had said the majority in her sessions, so it was up to her to speak, or not to speak.

    TAG: @greyjedi125, @Mitth_Fisto, @darthbernael, @TheAdmiral, @Imperial_Hammer
     
  9. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC A Shadow
    Waiting for the fuse to light


    The various fleets continued their silent ballet in space, each vying for the best spot to be in when everything kicked off. The Shadow had returned to the bridge of his ship after spending some time in the weapons bay, preparing several ‘special’ payloads. If this went as far as it could go, he wanted to ensure that things caused the utmost damage to those who were trying to do more than just ensure their people were safe and the continuity of their governance.

    Returning to the command chair, the Shadow tapped a finger against the console, under the display that gave a readout of the system. The Shadow’s head tilted for a moment as a feeling swept through. A slight frown crossed the Shadow’s face at the feeling. Someone extremely powerful in the Light side of the Force was arriving, which was most likely due to why the fleets were here. However, the mere arrival of that being could be the fuse that set off the charge of the battle that seemed likely to come.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth

    -----Amphitheater-----


    IC Tarkin
    Presentation time


    Tarkin was seated in his usual spot, and as he looked around he grimaced slightly as a realization came to him. He saw what the Professor had done, that each group had been set as a ‘type’, nobles, powerful but not nobles, and those that had power and could be considered both in and out of the system. Personally he would have mixed up the systems to see what each could produce and how each would interact, but he wasn’t the Professor and therefore wasn’t setting things as that being seemed to want.

    Another grimace crossed his face as the Professor entered and he had to force his muscles into relaxation as he saw how the Professor was garbed. That particular outfit stirred deep memories, most not his, and spoke to something that was bigger even than what he’d received notice of during the discussion with Jori when they were preparing for their Presentation. If that meant the Professor was who he seemed to mimic any clue that anyone here recognized that being would cause even more chaos than there already was.

    "I have an announcement to make; Master Yoda of the Jedi Order is en route to complete the investigation into the death of Tarsus Valorum. You will be interviewed, as applicable, those of you who are not involved by default - by being not here at all at the time - will be exempt, obviously."

    ‘A Jedi, really The Jedi is coming here. Somehow I think more secrets than just the murder of Valorum will be revealed. But on that count I am not worried.’ Tarkin considered, still firm in his resolve to be the first interviewed, so those who were either trying to make him appear the murderer or believed he was could be proven wrong.

    "I am poised to return your communications devices to you for good behavior of course, and I look forward to being able to do so."

    I hope he means to return all but the weapons that were confiscated, if that is true, I really would prefer my belongings and my desk back.’ he thought, hoping what was inside had not been disturbed.

    "Please, present in whatever order you see fit. One of you can take the lead, if you wish. I will grade you equally on the basis that you have equally contributed to the conclusion." The Professor moved from behind the podium and gestured for one of the groups or, at least, one of the members of one of the groups, to take his place and begin the presentations. "Afterwards, I intend to announce the Mastery Exam, a tradition that every prior member of the Dwartii course has undergone and triumphed... and kept completely secret from all that have come after."

    After both announcements it was as though you could hear a pin drop. The chess game of the class had begun, a microcosm of what he knew was truly going on. He and Jori desired to go last, to give the others a chance to get their presentations done and be reviewed, dissected, so that they could give the deepest response to whatever the others, especially those naively arrogant nobles, would throw at them.

    The final announcement, while whatever a ‘Mastery Exam’ consisted of he didn’t know, was not a huge shock. He knew there had to be something deep and exhausting as the final to prove those who had been through the course were as prepared as the Program desired, so they could take their places as the next to influence galactic events. ‘Whatever it is, I will face it as I always have, chin up, and without remorse. But those who just arrived, this may be a daunting test.’

    The last was thought with a minute glance at Jori beside him. He knew each Exam would be tailored to each student and would be set so that no other student would be able to assist the one in the process of their Exam but he’d grown to appreciate the younger woman and hoped she did well with the task to come.

    Facing back forward he wondered who would take the stage first, face the criticisms, justified or not, of their ‘ideal’ system, and begin the final presentations. He was intrigued by what each other two groups had come up with and what differences or similarities each would have. Only time would tell, and now it was time to see who would flinch first.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth , @greyjedi125 , @Mitth_Fisto , @TheAdmiral , @Imperial_Hammer
     
  10. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: The Professor
    Nouane, Amphitheater

    The Professor looked from one to the other.

    They all seemed to have lost their voices; clearly this group was hitting that middle phase of the Trial.

    Palpatine looked to Ni'Korish, and back again to the Professor. His crimson eyes teased across Tarkin and Atreus, and then across Aurenna and Vy'ndall.

    "Fine."

    The Professor folded his arms. "Palpatine, go wait in my office."

    "Sir?" Palpatine looked concerned. "I can give my presentation now, I was merely giving the Hapan Princess chance to -"

    "Go."

    His word was rough, and harsh, and Palpatine was silenced by it. Looking to the offers slightly, he collected his things and left the room, and as he left the Professor nodded to him to close the door. When Palpatine was gone, the Professor reached into his pockets, producing a handful of items. The comlinks, a strange rock - technically it was known as a villip in it's native tongue - and other personal effects he had confiscated. He placed them on the podium, for all to see.

    "Clearly you have some things to get off your chests."

    He nodded to Atreus and Ni'Korish. "I am keeping you here because what has happened to Valorum and Roan is relevant to you each as well, and indeed Kuat and Hapes, if they intend to befriend Eriadu..." His red eyes drifted across the Nagai and Arkania... "and the others' factions." His words hung for a moment.

    "Speak up, or forever hold your peace."

    TAG: @darthbernael, @greyjedi125, @Mitth_Fisto, @TheAdmiral, @Imperial_Hammer
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  11. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Vy’ndall Tremyr
    Drama crescenti

    Wait….what just happened?

    It was taking Vy’ndall a bit longer than he cared to admit, to shake-off the effects of the Professor’s unexpected ‘surprise’.

    A moment ago, they were simply students trying to outmaneuver each other to see which group would be the first to unveil their presentation- to then be surgically ‘deconstructed and dissected’ by their peers. The next thing, the Professor ordered Palpatine out of the room in a surprisingly discourteous manner.

    Only then did he proceed to add offense to his rudeness.

    Before the onlooking class, a veritable array of technological doodads were strewn atop the podium for all to see. Some were somewhat recognizable - if one had the imagination for such things, others, not at all; especially that bulbous…whatever.

    “Clearly you have some things to get off your chests.”

    You’ve NO idea. The nagai thought bitterly while eyeing the many objects, but not lingering on any, even if it did look familiar.

    The Professor mentioned both Roan and Valorum in the same breath as though he’d been present for any of it. What was the point of keeping the two females who had no real connection to the departed, but Palpatine was once again given a free pass!??

    It took an immense surge of willpower for Vy’ndall to remain calm, or at least give the appearance of such, as he was seething on the inside.

    “Speak up, or forever hold your peace.”

    Well, that sounded like a thinly veiled threat if he’d ever heard one -and he’d heard plenty.

    The nagai took a centering breath and made sure to modulate his voice so he would present himself as the picture of confidence.

    “With all due respect Professor, an adage comes to mind just now. ‘Peace is a lie’. I’m fairly certain you’ve heard of it. Further more, I might even wager that you might even agree. How many wars can we count in our recent history? How many conflicts at our borders, oh wait…should we mention violence? Murder? Valorum?”

    Vy’ndall shook his head, wordlessly conveying his sad disappointment.

    “We were detained for a crime we did not commit, there was no investigation and no apology. Now this?” The nagai gestured a well manicured and jeweled hand towards the podium.

    “I shall reserve my words for the Jedi Grandmaster once he arrives, thank you very much. A most elusive murderer is still on the loose, acting as he well pleases. I do not intend to inadvertently assist him in any mischief, if it can be helped.”

    Oh, how he wanted to say more, so much more, but even he knew when to bite his tongue.

    Vy’ndall settled back in his chair and kept looking forward. He had spoken for himself.

    Excluding the Hapan Princess and Jori Atreus, that left Tarkin and Aurrenna to respond however they saw fit for themselves.

    This prestigious last class was not turning out at all as he had expected. Not at all.


    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @Mitth_Fisto, @darthbernael, @TheAdmiral, @Imperial_Hammer
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
    Sinrebirth and darthbernael like this.
  12. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC A Shadow
    And Things Have Changed


    The Shadow had prepared, it’s responses if things went as they seemed to be headed ready. It sat in the command chair, one hand tapping it's fingers on the display, not quite impatiently but perhaps in a sense of anticipation of what was to come. It had tracked and plotted the ships of the various fleets, ensuring it had not missed any, marking those that seemed to be command vessels.

    It cocked it’s head to the side for a moment, the light penetrating the darkness under the hood of it’s cloak for but a moment, only revealing greater darkness and no face. Senses, not sensors, had revealed a presence growing ever stronger. Two actually, but one was static and needed further investigation but the other was known, had experience with the shadow, and was on a ship, headed toward this tiny but important world of Nouane.

    It’s head stayed cocked as it felt something, a whisper, a thought, a question begging a response. It nodded and a single thought was returned, ‘Speak as you will, do not reveal our plan, but the time has come.’

    TAG: @Sinrebirth

    ---------

    IC Tarkin
    The Game has Changed


    Obviously they were all very good chess players, no one flinched, no one spoke, no one volunteered to be the first to be ravaged by their peers over their choice of governmental systems. This must have triggered something in the Professor as he ordered Palpatine to depart the class, leaving Vyn’dall, Aurrenna, Jori, Ni’Korish, and himself in the room. ‘Interesting that he seems to be protecting or excluding Palpatine in this, but why not exclude the newcomers.'

    "Clearly you have some things to get off your chests."

    And then it became clear why the Professor had not released the two newer students. "I am keeping you here because what has happened to Valorum and Roan is relevant to you each as well, and indeed Kuat and Hapes, if they intend to befriend Eriadu..." His red eyes drifted across the Nagai and Arkania... "and the others' factions."

    "Speak up, or forever hold your peace."

    Tarkin let his gaze drift over the items arrayed on the podium, hiding a sigh as he saw that what mattered most was not included, but his eye not betraying any of it, only observing what was there. As he turned to look over his classmates, he wondered which of them were what he’d been warned of, whether they had appeared to be a friend or not, previously. He tilted his head to the side for a moment, eyes slightly out of focus, as though he were concentrating. A minuscule nod and his eyes refocused, his head returned to upright.

    As his head came back up a voice spoke out, he turned to look to the speaker, the one who seemed most friendly toward him, aside from Jori next to him, Vyn’dall.

    “With all due respect Professor, an adage comes to mind just now. ‘Peace is a lie’. I’m fairly certain you’ve heard of it. Further more, I might even wager that you might even agree. How many wars can we count in our recent history? How many conflicts at our borders, oh wait…should we mention violence? Murder? Valorum?”

    “We were detained for a crime we did not commit, there was no investigation and no apology. Now this?”

    “I shall reserve my words for the Jedi Grandmaster once he arrives, thank you very much. A most elusive murderer is still on the loose, acting as he well pleases. I do not intend to inadvertently assist him in any mischief, if it can be helped.”


    His head turned back to the Professor to judge the reaction of that inscrutable being. Vyn’dall had all but accused the Professor of the murder himself. He knew the man was direct but he hadn’t expected him to state what he was sure several of them had thought was possible. He also felt that Vyn’dall had more he wished to say, but had held back, whether to see if the others would say what was on their minds or because he too had things to hide, only time would tell.

    Listening to one who may be his friend or perhaps had thought to create that situation to use him, he did not know reminded him of a section from a book of strategy he’d all but memorized at this point. 'On dispersive ground, therefore, fight not. On facile ground, halt not. On contentious ground, attack not. On open ground, do not try to block the enemy's way. On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies. On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies.In difficult ground, keep steadily on the march.On hemmed-in ground, resort to stratagem. On desperate ground, fight.'1 This class had gone through almost every one of the situations the book had described but the now was muddled.

    The atmosphere and situation seemed to fluctuate rapidly between hemmed-in ground and desperate ground with each shifting word or action. Vny’dall certainly seemed to believe that they were in desperate ground, with how he’d fenced in his words and created even more tension. But Tarkin saw the situation slightly differently, they were on the razor’s edge of desperate ground but they had not yet left hemmed-in ground.

    A dry chuckle sounded from his throat, seeming to startle even himself, to begin his first stratagem. “It seems the class has moved from Checkers to Go to Chess to 3 Dimensional Chess all in the space of a pair of days.” he seemed to muse. “Murder, a surprising and antagonistic new student to throw the class even more out of balance, no investigation one could even see, a disappearance of another student, a newer, more balanced and attentive student joins us, and then the appearance of a Master Exam, cloaked in the guise of forcing us to examine roles both in our ability set and out of it.”

    A small grin touched the corner of his lip as he surveyed the class, a microscopic nod to Vyn’dall, a knowing look to Aurrenna, a sarcastic one to Ni’Korish, and a hand on Jori’s shoulder before he stood, beginning his second stratagem. “We have been thrown from one chaotic situation to another, as though someone or something is attempting to build a fusion bomb in miniature, as though what plays out here will echo across the galactic scale. It seems few of us are what we seem, although,” he smiled again, “I know I am a Tarkin of Tarkins, and as Vyn’dall said, eagerly await the appearance of Master Yoda, although perhaps for different reasons.”

    He sipped water from his flask, thinking about what was to come, what he knew, what he was aware of even without the communicator that was in plain sight before him. His eyes turned to the Professor, “Yes, airing our thoughts here, Sir,” the title said with just a twist of irony, the start of his third stratagem, “in this moment, will either add fire to the fuse already lit, or attempt to chop it off before it reaches the explosives, if that is even possible anymore. But that is how politics, and the continuation of politics, war, often is. 'Auferre, trucidare, rapere, falsis nominibus imperium; atque, ubi Solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant'2, and 'Pacem sine dubio post haec, verum cruentam'3 after all.”

    His hand touched Jori’s shoulder once more, almost comforting to do so, before he sat once more. His eyes returned to his classmates, slightly more flinty now in their appearance, the beginning of his final stratagem for now. “Only two things remain for me to say,” this would be tough as he didn’t know the correct pronunciations even though, after learning what he’d learned he’d studied these two phrases and practiced if this moment would have come as it had. “'Tchrokk sos na-abịa'4, and to one who I would prefer to consider a compatriot, 'Duba'5.” He sat, apparently calm, but fully prepared for whatever outburst would occur with what he’d said, even if that meant wrenching Jori from her seat and behind him as she was in the line of fire and, whether she was involved in any of this or not, she seemed innocent in this, for now.

    1 The quote is from Sun Tzu Art of War, Chapter 11 The Nine Situations

    2 Quote is from the Agricola of Tacitus, Chapter 30 (To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.)

    3 Quote is from the Annals of Tacitus, Book I (No doubt, there was peace after all this, but it was a peace stained with blood)

    4 Tchrokk sos na-abịa (War is coming) in Hrosha-Gul, Yuuzhan Vong derivative language)

    5 Duba (Think about it) in Nagai

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @Mitth_Fisto, @TheAdmiral, @Imperial_Hammer
     
  13. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
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  14. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Aurrenna Adasca
    Lecture Hall, by any other name

    Everything was off balance. She sat there in silence unsure of her partner, he had been the more openly passionate about their discussion and so she had waited. After all if she was to present it it would be a bit too much on the nose and leave very little bushels to hide her inner light at future dates. Not unless she started denying her speech here to the others, but that would matter little. You either were what you presented or you were a liar. Both can be affronts, but only one can be respected enough to affect change without a coufee to the kidneys.

    It was with some surprise that made her sit a little taller, shoulders back a little further that the Professor spoke as he did. Then when her compatriot for this endeavor spoke up she had had to quickly raise a hand to cover the silent attempt of her body to laugh at the situation by covering it as a gasp of horror. This was all just so good. Beyond words.

    So much good speech making. Peace is a lie. We want justice. Peace is blood. War is coming. How dare you. No, wait, that last was her own. It was a delayed reaction as her head twisted to stare at Tarkin as he took his seat. She hadn't had to translate the words of 'War is Coming'. Why hadn't she had to translate? Was he? Could he be?

    Her eyes narrowed as though in pensive thought before turning to the Professor. "I believe I have to agree in looking forward to Master Yoda's arrival. It will be a breath of fresh air for something other than shuffling of students and Professor to be done around here after one of us was murdered. Fantastically so. I believe my teammate spoke it best otherwise."

    She stood at this, smoothing her dress as she stood, hands staying at her sides. "As for personal grievance and thoughts. You deprived all of us from our things and then offer them as trophies to be won in an academic contest of debate teams? Negating the very reason that was stated for them being taken 'for security and investigation' by offering them potentially returned now before the lead investigator arrives in a further appalling delayed manner. It is no wonder this program is doomed if either Professors are any indication for how anything beyond scholarly pursuits are managed in this program and it's facilities! Murder not withstanding, sir."

    Turning she looked at Tarkin, "Bolnotrox tany bartaso khürne minii chikho agh sen gul pros unendles." She stated with a sweet smile and slight bow of her head before turning back around and taking her seat. Fingers interlaced as she kept her eyes and ears open. Waiting for what was to come.

    TAG: Everybody - except Shadows and Palpatines

    OOC: Translation: May your screams reach my ears and the pain be unending. - Can be a blessing or a curse, depending on personal meaning in stating it.
     
  15. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Oh this is going to be sooo much fun!

    IC Tarkin
    Round and Round and Round we go


    Tarkin had taken his seat, knowing he had stirred the pot even more than the Professor and Vyn’dall. A slight turn of his lip was all the evidence that Aurrenna was the next to stand and speak. He sat through her words, listening as the smile stayed in place.

    "I believe I have to agree in looking forward to Master Yoda's arrival. It will be a breath of fresh air for something other than shuffling of students and Professor to be done around here after one of us was murdered. Fantastically so. I believe my teammate spoke it best otherwise."

    "As for personal grievance and thoughts. You deprived all of us from our things and then offer them as trophies to be won in an academic contest of debate teams? Negating the very reason that was stated for them being taken 'for security and investigation' by offering them potentially returned now before the lead investigator arrives in a further appalling delayed manner. It is no wonder this program is doomed if either Professors are any indication for how anything beyond scholarly pursuits are managed in this program and it's facilities! Murder not withstanding, sir."

    As she finished she turned toward him and spoke directly to him, "Bolnotrox tany bartaso khürne minii chikho agh sen gul pros unendles." At her smile and nod he nodded in return. As his pad translated the words for him a thought ran through his mind, ‘So I had been correct in at least one of my beliefs, in one of the items I’d been informed of.’ A cold shudder ran through him, internally, as it also proved what he’d been told about what was out around Nouane. He had to play this very carefully.

    His head turned fractionally, admiring the way that what Aurrenna was was playing the role of the Arkanian noble daughter very well. If there ever had been a true Aurrenna she was surely dead and gone many years before, so that this deception could be made possible and what was here could be a part of the class without betraying the truth. As it was one of the two he’d expected had responded and he had to dig through what he’d researched of the language to find an appropriate response.

    Looking her in the eye, even as he was sure the others were wondering what was going on, and how he was speaking a language none of the others should possibly known, in his broken pronunciation, he responded. “Khrev bain toglokhles ni losog remaga bus gith sen khesego bain unekha patahai bele khrev odoogoor khrev khüleeg bele khojil. Chhusi agh nirrogant.”*

    Nodding to her once more he continued writing on his pad, determining what was needed next and how he’d continue this between at least himself and her, if not more parties, once everyone began to realize what was going on.

    *Translation - You are playing a game where not all the pieces are truly known to you yet you expect to win. Bold and arrogant.*

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @Mitth_Fisto, @TheAdmiral, @Imperial_Hammer
     
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  16. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    IC: Jori Atreus
    Amphitheatre


    Jori noticed the Professor smile when he saw her and Tarkin. What was that about? Hopefully people won’t get any ideas about them. Not that she would mind, she started to like the older man, but it would not be very smart to jump to the first potential candidate. Not that there were many to begin with, but no one said that she would be tied to any of her classmates. The program was merely a stepping stone for her future ambitions. Of course it had proven more challenging than she had expected, but that was a good thing, if she managed to triumph she would emerge stronger and better prepared.

    Jori turned her head to study the others. The boy and the Hapan Princess seemed like an odd pair, as if taken from one of those cheesy romantic holomovies. She restrained a smile. The non-humans were hard to read though. She took a mental note to spend some time with them, to study them, their mannerisms, the telltale signs. The Galaxy is a big place and it was inhabited by millions of species so it would be good to learn. Jori felt no qualms for thinking of her classmates as test subjects and as “practice dummies”, she was sure that the others viewed her in a similar manner. Well the men surely assessed her other… qualities.

    She frowned at the Professor’s attire. It was a tad too melodramatic when considered they were supposed to be making a simple presentation. There was more going on for sure, then he told them they were going to be visited by the Jedi Master Yoda. Jori was not a fan of the Jedi. They were potential “wild cards” in a political struggle. They were influential among the Mid-Rim and Inner worlds and considered as myth to a lot of Outer Rim planets. They claimed that they stay impartial, but if history was to be believed they were very much involved in the Republic’s policy.

    Jori was not that concerned about her communicator, but the others seemed to be, especially Tarkin. Why was that? She eyed him, but could not read his expression. She restrained a grin at the mention of the Mastery Exam. Jori felt a bit giddy by the anticipation. Challenges could be fun.

    She hoped that Tarkin would not volunteer them for them to be first. They needed to be second or third, but not last. She turned back towards the Professor, he was observing them, she withstood his creepy crimson gaze without flinching. She was a good sabacc player, though she preferred chess.

    Then something strange happened the Professor kicked the boy out. What was so special in him? Palpatine tried to argue, which proved to be futile. After he was gone the Professor took out their items from his pockets. Jori noticed something strange, there was a rock among the devices. Why was it important? For sure it could not have any practical use, a memento maybe? Or maybe one of them was a Jedi and it had to do with their mumbo-jumbo?

    The Professor addressed her and the Hapan. Jori nodded to him signalling that she understood, but remained silent. There was nothing to be said. She needed to study the situation. And of course the Professor continued with the overblown theatrics. She stifled a snort. The Nagai’s address sounded logical. A tinge of worry crossed the back of her mind. The reality that there was a murderer among them had not yet sunk in.

    Then it was her partner’s turn to speak. She looked at him observing him make his speech. He too seems to like pompous phrases and theatrics, but that did not mean that he was not right. She smiled to him for support when he touched her shoulder. It was unexpected, but not unwelcome. He touched her a second time, was he signalling her something? Will need to investigate further… but that would come later.

    Did he suffer an aneurysm, saying those weird things at the end? Then it was the Arcanian’s turn to speak. She seemed to be rather antagonistic, not that Jori blamed her. The Professor accused them of having murdered a fellow student. For all they knew it could have been the janitor. Adasca too seemed to be having speech problems when she blurted that handful at the end. Then it was Tarkin’s turn to be making those guttural sounds. Ugh… men, they always had to have the last word.

    She beamed a friendly smile at everyone “I understand that there is some drama here and no one could be impartial, it is good that a Jedi would be investigating this as we are not competent enough to conduct a murder investigation. After all we are not part of some detective holonovel where amateurs uncover the real murderer.” she shrugged.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @darthbernael @Mitth_Fisto @Imperial_Hammer @greyjedi125
     
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  17. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Vy’ndall Tremyr
    Watching and Musing

    With the same micro precision, Vy’ndall returned Tarkin’s near imperceptible nod. It was clear that this human was not like the others, and was likely the only soul he would consider a like-minded counterpart amongst the innumerable humans he’d encountered. It was indeed a pity that such a thing could not be confirmed-at least not presently.

    The nagai kept his dark eyes forward, not betraying anything in his motion or manner, while his mind raced. What was the Professor up to? Was this the Final Exam itself? That was an intriguing thought.

    Tarkin was right. The fuse had been lit already, probably at the moment of Valorum’s murder. The question now would be, what was the chain reaction? How big an explosion should they expect? How heavy the damage? The losses? Vy’ndall could feel the it. The dynamic current of consequence he had come to identify with certain events, was still unreadable to him. He knew there was something about, but not what exactly.

    Then Tarkin did something he had not expected at all.

    He knew the man was versed in many languages, that was no surprise, and quite frankly, even expected. Tarkin was clearly fond of ancient and wise adages which he was not adverse to share with the rest of the class - but what guttural sounds had he uttered and why? Vy’ndall tilted his head slightly and looked towards the man, only to hear him address him in nagai.

    "Duba.” (Think about it ) He said.

    Oh?

    Vy’ndall had to admit he was quite impressed, despite the terrible pronunciation, the grammar was correct. He offered the man a solid and respectful nod for his words- but not only that. If Tarkin knew the nagai language, what else did he know??

    Before any other thought could be formed, there was a guttural exchange between Aurrenna and Tarkin.

    This too was a surprise. What archaic tongue did the arkanian beauty posses that only she and Tarkin could speak? Vy’ndall could recall and duplicate the sounds perfectly for later study, but there was no referential connection he could make. What’s more, he allowed himself to empathically feel out the room as a means of gauging reactions more accurately among his classmates and the Professor- only to experience, for the second time, that his ‘study partner’ was as empathically forthcoming as the desk he occupied.

    Nothing outwardly changed in the nagai.

    Inwardly, he wondered if Aurrenna had been trained as he had been trained. That would explain a great many things, however, he had no reason to make that assertion, nor did he wish to give himself away if he attempted a tentative probe.

    Alas, Roan Lath would have been a perfect test subject.

    Patience

    The jedi were coming and much would be reveal then. Perhaps too much- but that could not be helped now.

    Atreus, the intriguing female from Kuat spoke next. He allowed himself a small smile of amusement at the last portion of her comment, clearly meant to bring a sense of ease to the growing tension.

    Well played.


    But, would it be enough.



    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @darthbernael, @Mitth_Fisto, @TheAdmiral, @Imperial_Hammer
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  18. Imperial_Hammer

    Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2004
    IC: Ni'Korish
    Location: The Pressure Cooker

    Ni'Korish was getting nervous. She didn't know what was happening here, and that was a not good at all.

    It had started easily enough. Tarkin had spoken - first as always. And Ni'Korish was waiting on the group of aliens to speak. Last word - best remembered after all. But the other group must have clearly thought the same.... and then everything went sideways. Palpatine was asked to leave for some reason, leaving Ni'Korish dangerously isolated. The professor had made clear this was about what happened before she and Kuati arrived, but the temperature was still very high in the room.

    What made her especially nervous was all the non-Basic being spoken. Encrypted messages are never good. And the one driving the trend was Tarkin, probably the closest to an enemy in the room so far. Outside of the languages of the consortium, she knew just a little Huttese. She was terrible at it, but she knew it. What she was hearing was certainly not Huttese. Something nefarious was afoot with all this.

    She pushed her panic down. A younger Ni'Korish would make it a goal to call in the fleet as soon as possible and get extracted. But no. No. This was the whole point. To learn, and to sharpen her skill at court. There would be times like this as Queen. She must be brave.

    Careful.... but brave.

    The Kuati disrupted her thoughts.

    “I understand that there is some drama here and no one could be impartial, it is good that a Jedi would be investigating this as we are not competent enough to conduct a murder investigation. After all we are not part of some detective holonovel where amateurs uncover the real murderer.”

    Restating the obvious. Maybe she really was as dumb as she looked. Or perhaps a good actor. Ni'Korish still couldn't pin her. A younger version of herself would have done similarly, but she had learned over time that very often it was safer not to speak, especially in situations like this. Would she need to reply to the instructor? He had made it clear that this was not about her. Perhaps she would "forever hold her peace". She didn't really have a nexu in this fight.

    But.... she desperately needed some allies. That would be good enough reason to speak.

    "I agree with Jori" she said simply, nodding to the Kuati. She tried to keep what she said simple and inoffensive. "Third parties often bring clarity to these types of situations."

    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @darthbernael, @Mitth_Fisto, @TheAdmiral, @TheAdmiral
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020 at 7:34 PM
  19. darthbernael

    darthbernael Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC Tarkin
    And Round and Round and Round


    Tarkin knew the others had no idea what was passing between Aurrenna and he, other than they both seemed to be gargling a mouthful of rocks. Which humored him to a degree, allowing her and him a chance to lay some of their cards on the table, so to speak. He had seen Vyn’dall’s respectful nod and after the exchange with Aurrenna, he turned, nodding just as precisely as the Nagai had. That one was, almost certainly, in the same position as Aurrenna was but perhaps there was a slim chance they could come to an agreement.

    A half smile returned to Tarkin’s face as Jori rose to speak. She was very smart but had not, yet, seen all the undercurrents that touched the class. As she finished he touched a pair of places on his pad, leaving only a pair of words on the screen, then turned it so that she could see but it would be illegible to any others that may be looking too closely. When she took the chance to read it she would see that it said “YUUZHAN VONG”.

    There was much more he could say but he’d already made the opening gambits in allowing what he knew to be seen, and both the ones the shots, so to speak, had been aimed at had responded, one exactly as he’d believed they would or were able to when confronted directly. He could tell the other was beginning to understand more of what was going on too, but not the fullest extent. Vyn’dall was one he’d not had many opportunities to speak to one on one, but those opportunities, or the time to have them was drawing leaner and leaner every day.

    Tarkin refrained from rolling his eyes, just, as N’Korish rose to spoke. However, she kept her words short but phrased such as to encourage a sense of camaraderie with Jori, at least. She was correct that a third party could uncover more than they could here, but, with a wry twist of his head, he reminded himself that the imminent arrival of the Jedi Master seemed only another gambit in the game that whoever was moving the pieces was enacting.

    Taking back his datapad, he scrolled through various entries, having just begun studying the language of the Hapans, in the off chance that he’d get an opportunity to speak to her, although he knew she’d just take his mangling of her tongue to show that he was just another uneducated male, it was still worth the chance. He turned his head toward her, voice carrying in the amphitheater but content mostly directed toward the young Hapan, “A third party does provide a point of view that may be missing here otherwise, but,” he glanced at several of the others including the current Professor, “I do believe we’re entering ‘Ë Homin n Ë Napeai od Prg’* however.”

    He looked back down, reviewing information on his pad. If Jori had glanced before and did so again she’d see he was researching weapons and armaments of both the Yuuzhan Vong and Nagai.

    *Ë Homin n Ë Napeai od Prge - Basic Hapan translation of The age of the Sword and Fire, supposedly

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @Mitth_Fisto, @TheAdmiral, @Imperial_Hammer