Beyond - Legends The Next Generation: Defenders of the Outer Rim

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mira Grau, Nov 5, 2022.

  1. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016
    Title: Defenders of the Outer Rim
    Author: Anedon
    Timeframe: About 65 ABY
    Characters: Mira Grau, Camilla Palpatine and other OCs
    Genre: Friendship, Adventure
    Summary: Twenty Years after the Victory over the Iron Alliance, a new generation of heroes face new threats at the edge of the Coalition Space.

    This is the first story of the second Generation of my OCs, contnuing the story around the coalition now past the last Legends Novels...

    Beth is the OC of a good friend of mine.


    "Ain`t this a worthy dinner for a Jedi Knight just as you?" The red haired pirate queen asked, raising a cup in her hand an giving a seductive smile.

    "I can`t deny that I haven`t been treated to far worse hospitality in the past, certainly the most enjoyable capitulation I enjoyed so far," Mira Grau admitted, giving the other woman a polite smile. "Yet I am not used to being in chains during it." She raised her handcuffed hands. The cuffs gave her enough room to eat and drink without problems, but they were there, as was the chain´s keeping her feet tied to the chair.

    "A safety measure, for a girl as dangerous as you," the criminals eyes flickering to Mira lightsaber for a moment.

    "Shouldn`t you be chains as well then?" Mira asked, "being a pirate queen and all?"

    Red Beth, the pirate queen of the Stega System, had pale skin and red hair, shaved on one half of her skull and left long on the other. It reminded Mira a bit of how Hilda Jerec an old friend of her aunts had worn her hair in her youth. Bethany had taken off her leather jacket, revealing a tight cropped tank top and a taught stomach, which nicely complimented her long legs in her tight dark pants.

    "Hey, I am your host... need to refill your drinks and stuff," Beth smiled.

    "Can`t fully deny that either..." Mira returned the smile and leaned back on her chair for a moment, enjoying the impressive sight above. The entire roof of the dining room was made from Transparisteel giving away the view into the endless void outside of the space station.

    Stega wasn`t a system known for its natural beauty, but it for sure could become one in the long therm. Filled with Asteroid fields and space fogs its strong sun drove back the darkness of space and filled the system with a comforting glow.

    "Admiring my realm?" Beth asked as she took another bite from the large Nerf steak in front of her.

    "It´s beautiful, yet not as beautiful as its queen." Mira replied, playing the pirates game along. Stega might be nice to look at, especially from here, its central space station, but the primary value of the system lay in its rich mineral fields, fields harvested by asteroid miners, supplying the Coalition, but since Beth and her pirates had taken over the tolls had increased to no end.

    "Awww, you know how to make a lady blush as well," Beth said, chuckling. "When I had known all Jedi were as polite and as hot as you I would have declared war against your order years ago."

    Mira laughed, "you may not like the outcome of such a war."

    "Is that a threat," Beth looked up, the smile gone from her face.

    "Do you take it as one?" Mira asked, completely relaxed and with all the politeness of a woman adopted into nobility.

    "No... Aren`t we on a date hun?" The pirate replied, clearly trying to keep herself calm.

    "If you call it this way." The Jedi replied. "But in that case, if we go on a date, we should be honest with each other shouldn't we?"

    "Of course," the pirate woman grinned playfully. "It's the first step in any healthy relationship."

    "Okay," Mira still smiled, "then I first should let you know that I'm not just a simple Jedi Knight, I'm not a full Jedi Master yet, But have a spot on the council."

    Beth looked at her for a moment, the revelation clearly having given her pause. "You... on the council... but... aren`t you too young for that?"

    "Some would say that, and they might have a point," Mira admitted, completely nonchalant. "But as the personally appointed ambassador of the Coalition to the Jedi order exceptions can be made. And even if the last exception like that was Anakin Skywalker that shouldn`t discourage practices like that don`t you think?"

    "So you... you are related to Ulrika Grau?" Beth asked, trying her best to keep her growing worries hidden.

    "I am, she is my adopted aunt." Mira smiled.

    "Honey, that quadruples your value as a hostage," the Pirate Queen said, clearly trying her best to sound confident and in control.

    "Maybe, but I thought this was a date, not a kidnapping?" Mira asked.

    "It... it is of course," Beth squirmed. "We were talking about honesty, you can ask me anything."

    Mira threw a look her chrono, as fun as it was torment Bethany, she knew she needed to go ahead with the next part of her schedule.

    "I could ask you, but then I feel I would only hear the story you want to tell, the lies you have been spinning in the last few years wouldn`t I?" Mira asked, her smile turning into a knowing grin. "What do you tell the people about yourself? That you are the bastard daughter of Keran Sarne? I actually know Keran´s kids and let me tell you that they don`t resemble you in the slightest."

    Her aunt had been the one to take Sarne´s kids captive, and then instantly gotten herself in trouble trying to protect them from some overzealous Imperials wanting to execute them for their fathers crimes. The two of them had eventually been granted Asylum on Eriadu and provided many useful information in return.

    "I... that´s just a silly cover..." The pirate queen stumbled over her words again, giving away once more just how little she could actually back up the fearsome facade she had build.

    "You have actually been born the child of poor factory workers here on Stega, on one of the smaller mining outposts to be precise. I think it's called Stega Iron Works... Terrible place, it makes Eriadu sound like a garden paradise, the life expectancy is barely sixty..." She made a pause to eat the final bite of her steak, while eyeing Beth with a smile across the dinner table. "You also claim you have killed your first man with twelve. That is a lie, you committed your first crime at age sixteen and it was a simple shoplift... you stole a bottle of Corellian Ale nothing special..."

    "How... How do you know?" Beth eyes widened but the fact that even know there was little hostility in her voice and she didn`t grab her blaster told Mira that she had made the right decision.

    She ignored the pirates question as she continued, "what followed was an entire series of small time crime, a bottle of liquor here a few Cerditchips there, nothing diabolical. This was also the time you began form your gang, who are of course not hardened ex mercenaries but similar poor worker girls such as you... and of course you weren`t involved in any massacres across the Southwest, you were working hard in factories and committed a few thefts afterwards."

    "I... I didn`t spread these misinformation's, that wasn`t..."

    "It was, in fact it's how you eventually prepared this takeover. You and your girls simply took this place, without much bloodshed, simply by acting all confident and dangerous, spreading your fake stories about how bloodthirsty you actually were. You scared the people into obedience, relying on the fact they didn`t know you were actually just a poor workers kid, and not the terror of the Southwest..." Mira smiled. "I must say that is quite impressive. But it surely wasn`t enough to stay in power was it?"

    "I... how... who ratted me out? Say her name and I will kill her!" Beth screamed.

    "No you won`t, you couldn`t risk turning your gang onto each other," Mira replied calmly. "I guess keeping them together was the greatest of your achievements so far... but were where we, yeah you began to take over the sector with your girls, terrorizing traders, and battling other gangs to keep them out of Stega. Guess if nothing else you know how to pilot starships."

    "Thanks, I suspect you do too?" Beth said, clinging herself at this compliment to hide how utterly thrown of balance she was.

    "Somewhat..." Mira said with smiling. "But I usually leave the piloting to others, speaking of which..." she gestured at the large panorama window above them. Where it had shown nothing but empty space before now it was filled... by two Titan class Battle cruisers.

    Beth´s face had become utterly pale. Now she wasn`t the strong and fearsome pirate queen of Stega anymore, now she was just a girl in her mid twenties. A girl utterly scared at the sight in front of her.

    "You... you... I..." she stumbled across her words even more and Mira noticed how she had begun to shiver. She grabbed her comlink, "Lindzy, get the defenses online!" She screamed and her voice was shrill.

    "She won`t be able to do that..." Mira said, taking a moment to finish her drink, then she continued. "As I said, I am here to discuss a capitulation... I might just been a bit imprecise before... I was talking about yours."

    "Mine..." Beth´s voice gave away complete panic. "I think you overestimating your odds, you are here, in chains... my hostage." Now she grabbed her blaster and pointed it at Mira, but her hand was shaking.

    "Right, that inconvenience." Mira twisted her hand and used the force to snap her hand and leg cuffs open. "Now where were we?"

    Before Beth could answer her com awoke and a woman with dyed hair appeared, "boss our defenses are down, someone cut the energy!"

    "You know, for such a hard nose pirate queen you are quite trusting," Mira said. "Never even thought that the 'bounty hunter' who brought you your Jedi captive might be more than she seems to be?"

    The pirate ruler of Stega was close to a complete breakdown at this point, breathing quicker and quicker as her body shivered.

    A warmer smile appeared on Mira´s face. "You know I think it's time to discuss that surrender now."

    "I... I" Beth muttered, "I will shoot you!" But her hand shivered and there was defeat in her eyes.

    "Thing is, for a pirate you weren`t actually half as bad as most," Mira said. "You coup was largely bloodless and you were fair to the people, well somewhat at least. Thus if you surrender you only have to face a few years or so in prison." Her voice became softer. "Beth, you aren`t an evil girl, you are more the product of your environment... This doesn`t have to end in bloodshed." She could have used the force to easily pull the blaster from the pirates hand or to use a mind trick to make her comply. But Mira knew that this was an important decision for her opponent, a decision she needed to make herself, not be forced into it.

    "I am not going to prison!" Beth yelled.

    "The alternative is to die..." Mira said, "even if you managed to kill me, there is nowhere to run." She made a pause, "and think of your crew. They would face shorter sentences if you surrender now. Do you want to destroy their lives as well? If so then pull the trigger, but know that if a battle happens the people on this station will get into the crossfire..." This was her last card, her last argument, her last attempt to appeal to reason in this young woman.

    A long silence followed, then Beth lowered her blaster, place it on the table and raised her hands. "I surrender." She was shivering, but had made her decision.

    "Then order your girls to do the same." Mira ordered.

    Shaking Beth grabbed her comlink, "this is Beth. They took down our defenses, there is no point in fighting, we need to surrender."

    Some argued, some complied, it took a while but eventually Beth convinced them. And as bloodless as it had begun the rule of Beth´s gang over Stega ended.

    "There, they look much better on you than me," Mira said with a grin as she used the chains to cuff Beth´s hands behind her back. The pirate leader was weeping softly. "Awww don`t feel bad, you made the right choice, just a shame we can`t have that date you mentioned just yet." Mira said, with a twinkle.

    Beth looked up to her and a weak smile appeared on her face, "just needed to ask officer... but I will take you on it once I´m out of prison."

    "Looking forward to it already," Mira said. Then she pulled out her comlink. "Yes Camy I got her. Thanks for your help with the defenses. I told you this could be solved in a simple conversation."
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
  2. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016

    Camilla Palpatine, granddaughter of the Regent and rightful heir to the galactic Empire, was leaning against a steel wall on the Stega Space Station while she watched Beth and her pirates being lead away towards the holding cells by ORSF soldiers. Each of them had their hands cuffed on their back, most had their heads hung low and some even wept.

    "Look at them," Lady Calia Koran said without even the slightest hint of compassion in her voice. "Already drowning themselves in their own self pity..." She shook her head, "first they commit crimes and then when caught they act like they are the victims... Honestly this deal is far too good for them."

    "Committing a crime and then acting like a victim? Ain`t that your story Caly?" Camilla sniped at her. in truth Calia was as much a Lady as Camille had any real claim to the throne of her great grand uncle twice removed. Both were, in a way, exiles, women a universe away from the positions of power their birthright might have offered them. But where Camilla had no interested in laying a claim and in fact would have preferred growing up with her mother's surname instead Calia still acted as if she was entitled for every piece of the nobility she had been denied.

    Calia rolled her eyes, "there is a difference between trying to secure what is rightfully mine and terrorizing other people out of laziness and greed."

    "Rightfully yours? Didn`t you try to overthrow a queen?" Camilla continued, not wanting to get her superior officer get away with this.

    Calia took a deep breath and straightened herself even more, an impressive feat for a woman who always looked as if she had swallowed a stick. "My family had every right to do so, Allana Djo is the product of that maniac Jacen Solo, she has no right to the throne and neither does her mother for allowing such a monster into her bed. Not to mention how they both sold us out to the Empire, for this act of high treason both of their heads should have been put on spikes!"

    "Just out of curiosity," Camille grinned, "would your opinion on the latter been different if I were ruling the Empire?"

    For the first time Calia smiled. It was rare for this to happen on her face, but it made her aristocratic features much softer than usual. In moments like this she looked even better, with her blonde hair kept to a tight braid, her slightly tanned skin and her dark blue eyes, unlike most Rangers she wore eyeliner. "Another alternate history discussion?"

    "If it gets your inner nerd out." Camilla said with a smile. In contrast to the prefect aristocrat Calia she could be now further away from what people generally constituted as nobility. Her dark brown hair was raggedly cut short and her clothes were a simple tank top and pants, showing of her muscular arms and broad shoulders, which surely contrasted with Calia´s immaculate officer uniform.

    Calia´s smile grew a bit, as much of a haughty snob she could be at times, when it came to this topic she was an excited little girl. "So you as Empress? Well Hapes would be honored to stand by your side, as long as you respect our traditions."

    "But would I?" Camille replied, sticking out her tongue.

    Calia let out a deep breath, "probably not. You would probably rather force me to accept a better treatment for males and stuff. Outrageous!"

    When Calia had first come to the Coalition, after having been send into exile after her families failed scheming, she had truly been a hateful misandrist seeing men as nothing but morons destined to serve women. But had mellowed quite a bit since, allowing her to become part of the Rangers and these days the colonel of a squad, with Camilla serving as her Lieutenant.

    "Look who it is, Camy and Caly are discussing alt histories again," Mira Grau approached them with a grin. "Still on the one were the New Republic uses a Death Star to blow up every world who even threatens to be a potential threat?"

    Both the colonel and lieutenant gave her a dreadful look. Calia crossed her arms in front of her chest, "I already told you that, that was the worst I ever read! Especially as they claim it to be justified because the whole Tarkin business... Not that even he would have gone so far as to blow up Coruscant just to become Emperor himself."

    Camilla just rolled her eyes, "I thought we had agreed to never talk about that crap again."

    "Awww you guys are so cute when you are fighting," Mira said mockingly.

    Calia blushed a bit, then straightened herself again, clearly feeling caught at Mira´s words. Guilty about having broken that untouchable and noble facade even if only for a brief moment.

    "Hehehehe," Camilla chuckled at Calia´s reaction, channeling her inner Palpatine for a moment. "That is what I love so much about you." She gave Calia a slap on her butt.

    Calia chuckled, as she turned her head around and stuck out her tongue, "if you where a man I would have your hand for it."

    "Then thank the goddess I´m not," Camilla said as she gave her girlfriend a second, harder spank.

    "The Empress and the Queen Mother... maybe you should write that story..." Mira joked as she stretched herself a bit.

    "Jealous, Jedi?" Camilla giggled, "guess in your temple you are all forced to wear chastity belts."

    "Well we do..." Mira replied, "but my aunts taught me how to pick locks..."

    She and Camilla laughed and even Calia smiled.

    Then Camilla turned around, the force having given her the notions of the woman standing behind her in a polite distance. She had red hair and her similarities with the former pirate queen where impossible to deny.

    "Did it work out?" The woman asked.

    Camilla nodded, "it did, we arrested them without the need for further violence."

    "Thanks," the woman shook her head, "I wish it didn`t have to come to this, but my sister. She needed to be stopped, before she could cause even more trouble and get herself killed."

    Calia looked at her with a dark glare, "you betrayed your own family, your sister might have been a pirate but in ways you are even worse."

    Camilla knew by now where Calia´s anger came from. Her own younger brother had betrayed the families plot against the Hapan Queen, and in return been awarded with the entire family estate and wealth, while his parents had been imprisoned for life and his sister had been banished from Hapes. So to her betrayal by a family member hit the sorest spot possible.

    "I think this is a different situation," Mira said diplomatically. "She did what was best."

    The woman, Freya lowered her head, "no, the colonel is right. But I won`t apologize for it."

    "At least you have some backbone," Calia said, her face as strict as ever.

    "What will happen to her now?" Freya asked.

    Camilla shrugged, "can`t say for sure. But usually a few years of hard labor work wonders at straightening out bad girls like her." She made a pause, "but you don`t need to worry too much, our prisons aren`t torture dungeons. Enough to eat and drink and the work isn`t backbreaking."

    Frey took a deep breath, "good to know. I hope to visit her now and then through it."

    "Should be doable, especially as you helped us take her down." Mira said. It had been Freyas information's which had allowed her to get close enough to Beth to convince her to surrender, and it had been her access card that had allowed Camilla do deactivate the stations defenses.

    "Then I guess you move on again?" Freya asked. "Or will you stay around here for a bit? We could throw you a banquet. It's the least the people of Stega can do."

    "We will stay," Calia said, her voice still cold. "We still have work to do here and in the outlying systems, ships that went missing, and a few other incidents, unless your sister is responsible for those as well."

    Freya shook her head, "no... believe me I would know. Whatever she had become she was always honest with me about it. I am confident of that."

    The three other women exchanged a look but said nothing. Finally, after a long moment of awkward silence Mira took the word again, "well either way, we would be honored to accept the Hospitality of your people while we take care of our business here in Stega."

    Freya gave them a nod, then lowering her voice she said, "my sister was worried about these disappearances as well. Some of them were members of her gang, and as it kept happening she would have been seen as a weak leader."

    "Doesn`t need to worry about that anymore," Camilla joked, "in prison they will all be the same."

    "If we even put them into the same cell block..." Calia added, though then she turned back to Freya, "I am sorry we interrupted you."

    Courteous even to people she looks down upon... as long as they are women... Camilla noted and allowed herself a little smile.

    Freya gave her a thankful nod, "ships have been disappearing, but we are on the border here so no one put too much stock in that. It's a porous border out here in the outer rim, people come and go, ships vanish and ships show up again. There are as many legends as they were people living out here, so my sister considered it a ghost hunt to look into them... but tried nonetheless."

    "Then I think we should continue were she left off," Mira said firmly. "To ensure that the border, as porous as it is stays safe."
  3. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016

    The air inside the public bath was hot and wet, the smell of salt filling the air the lungs of the people in attendance. Mira took a deep breath as she entered, enjoying the warmth and cleanliness of the air. Wearing a bathing robe over her short bikini she slowly walked alongside the various pools, each adorned with a sign showing the amount of salt in the water.

    In addition to its valuable metals the Stega Sector also produced something else, the salt, at first seen as little more than a byproduct of the ore mining its healing qualities were soon discovered and so the salt was exported to other thermal baths through the galaxy as well, but also used here. There were several bath´s like this on the station, and during the rule of Beth they had been free to visit for all citizens. A simple strategy to win over the loyalty of the people, but Mira had to admit that it was one of the pirates better ideas, and something that should be continued from now on. Camy and Caly had excused themselves for the evening and headed towards a romantic dinner for two and so Mira had decided not to annoy them and instead find some relaxation of her own.

    Leaving her bathing robe on one of the hooks on the wall she took a moment to stretch herself in her bikini, not having to turn around to know that the looks of every male in the room would be glued on her butt. Turning around she surveyed the room. It was late into the night and only few people where here, mostly young adults enjoying the relaxation after work, a few people looking more like traders than locals and...

    Mira´s heart made a jump as she saw a group of boys and girls in her age inside one of the whirlpools who had just broken into laughter. But it was the giggling that had caught her attention, but the figure sitting in their midst, the person responsible for their amusement. Could it be?

    No, that was impossible, he couldn`t be here, there was no way he would...

    Stepping closer Mira felt how her heart began to race faster and faster as she began to realize...

    A handsome young man in his late twenties, tan skin and short black hair complimented by a slightly muscular build, the body of a runner or a swimmer. A confident smile on his lips and a playful gaze in his dark blue eyes as he spotted Mira climb into the pool.

    "Mind if I take a seat?" Mira asked, returning his smile as she calmed herself down. It truly was him, and that meant trouble was afoot. The only question that remained was for whom.

    The local youths threw glances at their new friend, clearly expecting him to make that decision. The young man smiled and stood up. "Of course," he gave Mira a polite hint of a bow. "Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to Mira Grau. Member of the Jedi Council, liberator of this station and if I dare say one of the finest women I ever had the pleasure of meeting."

    Mira returned the bow, "Always the old charmer. For those who don`t know him Yoshihisa Pandionne, marquise of the Tarrin Sector and one of Jagged Fel´s most vicious blood hounds." She added with a teasing smile, wanting to provoke a reaction.

    But before Yoshihisa could react his new friends did, sensing the tension between him and this new woman, and worried about what she had just revealed about him they got up and one by one left the pool without a word.

    When they were alone the Imperial Knight chuckled, "ah Mira, I missed you, all the subtly and tact of a starving Rancor. And didn`t I tell you to call me Yosh?"

    "You did," Mira said, playfully raising an eyebrow as she sat down opposite to him. "And didn`t I tell you to keep your Imperial ass out of my territory?"

    "And I thought you liked my ass in your bed," Yosh shot back, his smile warm and confident but not hostile.

    It took most of Mira´s self control not to turn red. In moments like this she wished she had her aunt Ulrika´s confidence when it came to things like that. "Well... that might be the one part of my territory I found your cute butt somewhat tolerable. But... this station doesn`t look like my bed at all I must say."

    "No..." Yosh said, his voice giving away playful disappointment. "Even if a pool like this can be used in many ways..."

    "You are just the worst." Mira said but she couldn`t help but chuckle. "Don`t you have some poor peasants to oppress?"

    He shook his head, "we don`t do things like that Jagged..."

    "...he still wants a price for not being just as bad as Palpatine?" Mira cut him off. If there was one thing that made her loose her cool it was a talk about politics, especially the Empires politics.

    "Why are you always so hostile about the topic?" Yosh asked. "Jagged and Jaina try to make this galaxy a better place, just as you do, as your friend President Malek does."

    Mira let out a sigh, "Ilona was voted into her office, and we live in a state where every citizen has the right to call her a conservative old hag, or ultra liberal traitor to all things decent in the universe, depending on their political view. Jaina and Jagged are tyrants who oppress people, they just do a decent job at masking that behind supposed care for them." They had discussed the topic before and as she did back then Mira remained on her opinion.

    "Jagged was voted into office as well, he had every major step of his rise to power confirmed by the people," the Imperial Knight replied. "I understand that you have reservations about him, and share some of those, but what has he done so far that makes you think he is a bad person? And didn`t Jaina even help out your aunt once?"

    "She did," the Jedi admitted. "Even if that was part of one of Jaggeds plots... But the Imperial Mission? The power that the Moff are granted? The lack of oversight?" She made a pause, "I know you are a good guy who tries his best to ensure the prosperity of his people... but everyone else there isn`t as benevolent. And you are not immortal, what happens if someone cruel or incompetent follows you?"
    Yosh raised his hands, "I surrender, I just can`t argue with a pretty girl."

    Mira laughed, "Is that so huh? If you surrendered, maybe I should lock you up then, sentence you to twenty years of hard labor for being a tyrannical ruler?" A teasing grin appeared on her lips.

    "If that´s your choice..." He returned the grin. "Though just out of curiosity, what kind of hard labor do you envision for me? Doing your chores?"

    The young woman defeated the impulse to laugh out loud again, Yosh and his trice dammed charm, he did it again. But she had learned from the past, learned from the best and she could play the game as well. "Well, a lady has her wants and needs. Helping me into and out of my clothes for example" She leaned over and looked right into his eyes. "But first... she wants to know what brings the most handsome of the Imperial Knights here, to the edge of the civilized world."

    Yosh returned the gaze for a moment, then he said, "it seems I truly can`t get you away from the target, but if that´s the price to enter into your servitude... It's no secret anyway." His grin faded for a moment and he became serious, a rarity for him as Mira knew by now. "I am not here to do anything against you... quite the opposite. I bring a peace offering, a piece of information the Imperial Security Bureau discovered, regarding the disappearance of ships in this sector. The true mission you were send here."

    "You know a lot about what I am doing." Mira said crossing her arms in front of her chest.

    "We have ours spies on Eriadu, as you have yours on Bastion." Yosh replied. "I think that is pretty obvious. But why are you so hostile towards and offer of help?"

    "Because the chalice might be poisoned," Mira said, slowly. "And probably not without demanding something in return."

    "What do you think of us?" Yosh asked, raising his hands again. "There is no paymeant you need to make in return, it's just an offer. Take it or leave it."

    Mira let out a sigh, "fine, what is this about?"

    "We have information's that most of the disappeared ships fall into a certain pattern, large merchant ships, but with no special designations and no ties to any large trade houses." Yosh explained. "We also believe that, due to it often being similar ship models being used that some of these ships might be one and the same, they are just reported missing, then given a different designation and send again... which makes me think there is more too this than just attacks."

    "You think this is a smuggling operation?" Mira asked. "They pretend the ship got lost and the cargo stolen, then rebrand the ship and do the next cargo run?"

    "That is my suspicion, the ships of that size couldn`t be used for normal smuggling operations, they are too large and too recognizable. But if its ships disappearing... out here that is a regular occurrence, meaning this could go on for several years before your government decided to do something about it."

    Mira ignored the snip at the Coalition and instead mused, "makes sense, but what is out there that necessitates that large of ships, to smuggle what? It can`t be drugs unless every person from here to the edge of the galaxy is a giant addict. And as they smuggle it, it can`t be legal things. That makes me think its... weapons? Is someone arming the warlords out there?"
    "That is my worry as well," Yosh agreed, "and if that´s the case we need to make sure this ends."

    "We?" Mira raised an eyebrow. "You want to help beyond giving the information?"

    "I will help," Yosh nodded, "no one benefits from a bunch of armed up warlords at the edge of the galaxy. We have found out that another ship of the specifications in question, so probably the same ship as many of the other times, will dock at Stega tomorrow to stock up on supplies. And I want to be on board of that ship, disguised as a adventurer." He made a pause and his grin returned. "But my disguise might be even better if I had a nice companion at my side. You know a pretty face that makes people stop asking questions."

    Mira suddenly grabbed his hands and pulled him towards her, then ramming her head against his giving him a headbutt. But she was laughing at the same time, "so that´s all I am for your plan? A pretty face?"

    "Not quite," coming back onto his feet on the bottom of the pool Yosh pulled her hands, making her loose balance for a moment, more than enough than to pull her into a tight hug. "You could also be helpful in checking the cargo... and you know... be another blade by my side in case trouble arises."

    Mira felt her stomach flutter she he pressed her against him. Their taught stomachs touching, her breasts against his muscular chest. Looking up she saw straight into his eyes. "That sounds more like a deal mister." She grinned. "And I have two battle cruisers who could follow us in a safe distance... just to be save."

    Then without warning she threw herself forward and threw both of them into the water. There, amidst the salty water of the pool, her lips found his, as they gave themselves the kiss that had been in the air between them since she had first seen him here on this station. Mira just couldn`t help it and she didn`t need the force to tell her Yosh felt the same.

    As they finally returned to the surface both of them were breathing heavily.

    "Then it's a plan?" Yosh asked, laughing.

    "It is," Mira grinned, "but... if that ship arrives tomorrow we still have a night... a night for me to enact those punishments on you, you mentioned..."

    Yosh returned the grin, "lead the way then, m´lady."
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
    earlybird-obi-wan likes this.
  4. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016

    "And you were upset I called you just a pretty face," Yosh teased Mira as they were eating in the deserted mess hall of the freighter.

    "That´s because its more than just the face that´s pretty," Mira shoot back as she stretched herself a bit. Wearing a tight red leather leotard that left her long arms and legs bare she knew she would certainly not look like a Ranger, or a Jedi for that matter. The knee high red boots complimented the outfit as did the weapon belt slung around her hips and the energy bow on her back.

    "Should I ask were you got this from?" Her friend continued his tease, "that fetish store on ground 1313 on Coruscant?"

    "Not quite, left those outfits at home sadly," Mira replied. "These are a gift from some good friends."

    "And I needed to dress up as your slave, why?" Yosh raised an eyebrow. To compliment Mira´s Dathomirian outfit she had given him one as well, an about knee length woolen tunic with a wide neckline, revealing a good deal of his muscular chest.

    "My servant," Mira grinned, "the Stinging Mantis tribe doesn`t practice slavery anymore. In fact, it never did. Unlike some tribes your governments supports these days."

    "The Singing Mountain Clan gave up on slavery almost a decade ago now..." Yosh muttered, "ever since Tenel Ka took over as matriarch."

    "As pretty much the last clan on the entire planet," Mira replied, "I am not sure how big of an accomplishment is that if they needed that long."

    "Weren`t they the Jedi´s allies while still practicing slavery?" Yosh shot back.

    The Jedi Knight avoided his gaze for a second, "a dark time for the order for sure. But it were desperate times, they were fighting the Empire and couldn`t spend their resources on a single world." She raised her hands, "I know that´s no excuse, but maybe an explanation."

    Yosh laughed, "why is it an excuse when I defend something Jagged did, but an explanation when you do it?"

    "Because I am a Jedi, we can allow ourselves to self contradict all the time." Mira couldn`t help but laugh as well. Studying the orders history from a more neutral perspective had certainly made her understand why her aunts had been so insistent that she wouldn`t join the order until she was a adult.

    "Guardians of Peace and Justice who are little but Elite soldiers of the Republic and rely on Dictatorships and slavers to keep their coffers filled and their voice heard?" The Imperial Knight said, leaning back while giving her a smug grin.

    "Sounds a lot like you guys," Mira returned, with a courteous smile. "Only difference is that you are not even pretending to fight for a good cause... oh no wait, you do. This entire "the Fel line was chosen by the force" talk... seriously, is there anyone who actually believes this?"

    Yosh shrugged, but then he turned serious for a moment, "some do, I sometimes even wonder if Jaina does..." His voice struggled a bit, "they surely have become some big heads ever since..."

    "Hah, now he admits it," Mira said triumphantly, but her smile was warm as she looked at her friend. "And you say that? As the best apprentice she ever had?"

    "Yes," he admitted, "I openly acknowledge my nation has problems... the Empire isn`t perfect, but it's doing its job. And it was a noble cause for which Jagged Fel put up the mantle of Emperor. He and his government gave peace and stability to so many sectors."

    "The Coalition did the same, without needing to resort to oppression and military governments." Mira replied.

    "And it is impressive what they achieved," Yosh admitted, "but your average living standards are still below the galactic average, the Empire is above."

    Mira shook her head, "that is your logic? That people should give up their freedom for better food and living spaces? Don`t you see that the Empire just does it to keep the people quiet? From realizing that their beloved ruler is a self absorbed tyrant? And to entice other worlds to willingly put the same chains around their children's necks?"

    Yosh let out a sigh and gave her a long glance. "I understand that you feel worried about the Empire, but Jagged..."

    "He called my aunt Elena a 'pathetic boy wanting to be a girl' to her face," Mira spat.

    This time it was Yosh who avoided her gaze, "he did apologize."

    "Begrudgingly, after Ulrika broke his nose." Mira said, as she took a deep breath to calm herself down again. "You are a good man Yosh, and I know you are no fool. Just why are you so blind for the people you serve?"

    Yosh raised his hands, "I grew up in the Empire and was trained by Jaina, don`t you think I know them better than you do?"

    Mira was silent for a moment, "maybe... but what I see, heard and learn about them gives me no faith in them whatsoever."

    "You will see," Yosh assured her. "Maybe I will introduce you to them properly when this mission is over."

    "Or maybe I keep you as my servant, and introduce you to my Dathomirian friends," Mira said teasingly, wanting to leave the political discussion behind. "We could settle down there, and be sure that you never return to your Empress." She stuck out her tongue at him.

    Yosh grinned, "tempting... quite tempting to be honest..."

    Mira laughed, "indeed, even if on Dathomir I would have you wear even less clothing..."

    "So that´s the reason for these outfits?" her friend grinned, "wanted to see me half naked."

    "That is one half of it," Mira smiled, "but in all seriousness, they help us more than what you had prepared."

    "What´s wrong with a bounty hunter disguise?" Yosh asked.

    "Everything," Mira said. "Imagine yourself in the position of this crew, you know people might get suspicious and try to infiltrate your ship to gather information's. And how would they spy on you? By having people travel on your ship under an excuse, just as we do right now."

    "Then, if you say the disguises don`t matter..." Yosh shrugged. "These ones are giving us plenty of attention on top."

    "That´s the point," Mira continued, "everyone would expect a spy to be as careful and as inoffensive as possible, a spy would use a common disguise, like bounty hunter. Which is why the only option we had was to be as offensive and noticeable as we could."

    Yosh smiled, "reverse psychology, we are so obviously sticking out we could never be spies." He nodded slowly. "Clever girl."

    Mira grinned, then she lowered her voice a bit, "I suspect the crew is currently quite unsure what to make of us. If we had come on board as mercenaries or bounty hunters they would have already decided to either kill us, or to change their routine and not meet with their usual clients. But as a Nightsister and her Servant who follow some strange vision she had. That will puzzle them for a while, hopefully long enough."

    "That and your barely covered butt..." Yosh stuck out his tongue at her. "Many have their gaze glued to that.

    Mira gave him a slap on the arm, "honestly do men always just think about that one thing?"

    "That and our star fighters," her friend chuckled. "We are simple creatures."

    The dark haired woman rolled her eyes, "certainly when it comes to acting..." She laughed, "seriously Yosh the idiot role doesn`t suit you."

    "True, and it doesn`t work with the ladies anyway, what woman would let a laserbrain into her bed?"

    "You mean besides Jaina Solo?" Mira teased him. "Or Tenel Ka Djo?" She added to twist the knife a bit further.

    "It´s true, Zekk and all those Hapan nobles aren´t the brightest bulbs in the shed." Yosh shot back. Then his voice turned serious again. "But in all seriousness, people stare at us, and I am not sure if it's just because they find us hot."

    "Then because they think we are quite strange people in these parts of the galaxy..." Mira said. "Or did you notice something going beyond that?"

    "The guy in the corner has been looking at your backside since we sat down to eat," Yosh muttered. "Don`t turn around, best he doesn`t notice."

    "There is guy in the back?" Mira asked. "Strange, I didn`t notice anyone being here." For a moment she shivered. This was odd, the force usually told her how many people were in a room at any given time. But she had noticed no one.

    "I overlooked him too, at first." Yosh muttered, "he seems, odd to say the least."

    "Species?" Mira asked.

    "Not sure, maybe Sephi, I think he was pointed ears." Yosh chewed on his lip. "Now he is getting up."

    It cost Mira nearly her entire self control not to turn around. Instead she reached out with the force, but her mind found... nothing. As if there was no person with them in the room. That was beyond strange and only increased the almost overwhelming impulse to turn around, but she defeated the urge and remained seated.

    "Strange to say the least," she muttered, "do you think he heard us?"

    "I doubt that," Yosh replied, "but everything is possible I guess. I wouldn`t out rule the fact that the crew is spying on us."

    "I am pretty sure they do," Mira stood up, "we should go, maybe time is running out."

    Yosh stood up as well and pulled a chrono from one his tunics pockets, "should be late enough for most of the crew to be sleeping. So it's time to have a better look at their cargo. How fast can Calia and the Vigilance be here in case of trouble?"

    "Thirty to forty minutes, they are trained for situations like this, but I would prefer us not needing them at all. The further we can make it on this ship the more information's can we gather."

    "Why don`t we just stop the ship and arrest the crew, get answers out of them? I am sure they will rat out their trade partners to escape their own sentence."

    Mira raised an eyebrow, "arrest them, for what? Even if their cargo is weapons, that isn`t illegal in and of itself. It just becomes when they sell them to criminals or warlords. If we arrest them I bet you they have forged documents about the weapons and the perfectly legal customers..." She smiled, "you forget you are working for a nation based on law. Here we don`t just arrest people for no reason."

    Yosh gave her smile, "always such a girl scout our little Nightsister. Then mistress I would suggest us having a look at their cargo hold to find a reason to have them arrested."

    "Then come along slave boy..."
  5. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016

    Mira waved her hand and reached out with her mind, the lock snapped open and she opened the crate. It was filled to the brim with weapons, military grade stuff, and most of it Imperial. She recognized the iconic stormtrooper blasters at the first glance. "Looks like the treasure trove of an avid collector..." she muttered. None of the equipment pieces where new, but on this first glance she couldn`t make out any signs pointing to the exact time they had been crafted. Maybe this were leftovers from the civil war... or something the Remnant had produced only a few years ago.

    She spun around and looked at Yosh who stood over another crate, filled with thermal detonators and examined its contents. "Do you have any explanation for this?" She asked and her voice was harsh.

    Yosh raised his hands, "I know what this looks like. But Imperial Equippment is found all over the Galaxy, on every Black Market. Nine Hells every warlord from here to Ziost is using Palpatines leftovers." He took a step closer towards her, "including your own government."

    "It´s true that we salvage what our Palpatine left us, but if that was an insult against Camie than it really comes at the worst moment," Mira crossed her arms in front of her chest. "But you have to admit this all is a bit too incriminating. So far most crates are filled with Imperial Equipment, and those who aren`t almost seem as if they were placed here deliberately to throw of the suspicion that its an Imperial Transport."

    "Why should the Empire arm Warlords at the Galactic Edge?" The Imperial Knight asked.

    "To weaken the Coalition," Mira shot back. "to start yet another proxy war. But honestly I didn`t expect even Jagged to drop this low... oh no wait. He did, when he made Ilona Malek´s father Tarkins bed..."

    "We discussed that before!" Yosh said, getting heated, "he apologized! And Ilona accepted the apology! You should stop harping on that."

    Mira reacted before she could even consider it and threw a force push at him that threw him to the ground. "She accepted for reasons of state, as if a small apology could make up for that..." using the force she made a dozen more crates snap open, all of them containing Imperial equipment. "Or for stuff like this!"

    Yosh took a deep breath as he slowly came back to his feet, "if Jagged truly send these weapons, why would he then have me point you in the direction of them? Then I would have just stayed away and you would still be grasping straws."

    "Because..." Mira said, fighting down her anger as good as she could, "he knows you are too dumb to see him as the monster he is, and that you being here might prevent me from reaching that con..." Yosh´s force push hit her in the stomach and she flew a meter through the air before crashing into a bunch of crates. The push had been much stronger and more aggressive than hers, a direct and brutal attack... that had undoubtedly just saved her life.

    While she was still flying Mira saw the red glimmer of a lightsaber, slashing through the empty air of where she had stood a blink ago. As the blades holder landed on the durasteel floor. He was pale, about as pale as Asajj, but this being was far thinner than her, His body in the tight black combat suit unnaturally sleek, his hair dark and his skin covered in tattoos. The hilt of his lightsaber was longer than usual, as was the ruby red blade.

    Without even wasting a second to take in his failure to slash Mira in half he instantly moved to attack Yosh, his movements faster than what any humans.

    Yosh barely managed to draw his white blade in time, as he desperately raised it and blocked the first incoming attack. The attacker continued his assault, the next hit coming low and again only barely Yosh managed to block it. The Imperial Knight jumped back, to bring some distance between himself and his attack. But the enemy followed almost as quickly with cat like thread.

    Mira jumped back to her feet to see how the attacker drove Yosh back almost effortlessly. Cursing having no space to hide her lightsaber in her short, tight leotard she instead pulled the energy bow from her back and took aim. The risk of hitting Yosh was large so she needed to take some time to properly aim. But as she shoot the stranger just jumped, again inhumanly fast first to the top of a pile of crates. He stood there for a moment, the King of the High ground. Mira wasted no time and shoot several energy arrows at him, but he effortlessly parried her attacks. As he did so Mira noticed his pointed ears, he was no human, but probably the being Yosh had noticed watching them in the mess hall, but Yosh had been wrong, that wasn`t a Sephi, but a Nagai...

    Mira´s blood flared, the old enemy, twofold, a darksider and a Nagai, the only thing missing was a traditionalist Dathomirian to be an enemy of all three of her backgrounds.

    In the next second the pile exploded backwards as Yosh shoot another Force push straight into it collapsing it and sending crates everywhere. The attack delayed the Nagai for a second, enough for Yosh to jump to Mira´s side. Pulling her lightsaber from the pockets of his tunic she discarded the bow and gave him a smile.

    Their former fight forgotten the Jedi and the Imperial Knight stood back to back, their blades raised, ready for the next attack. Raising both of his hands their enemy caused dozens of blasters to raise from the floor, each and everyone pointing at them. The firing began, a heartbeat later and only the force warning them allowed the two humans to block the shots. It was as if they were taken under fire by an E-Web, no at least half a dozen and Mira knew that sooner or later one of the blaster would manage a luck hit they were unable to parry or dodge.

    "Cover me!" She yelled as Yosh, who gave her a nod.

    Taking only a second Mira knelt down and placed her empty hand on the floor, in the next second sending a force push through it. Making the entire ship shake in its very core and throwing their attacker of balance and made him loose control over the blasters. Yosh who knew this trick had jumped into the air to avoid getting effected now landing close to the Nagai and delivering a quick series of attacks against him, but even now their attacker was able to block them all.

    A second later Mira was on Yosh´s side and the attacked the enemy from two sides now. Seeing his unfortunate position the Nagai made another leap a few meters away, then he raised his blade again.

    Mira felt how she was breathing heavily, he was good, she had to leave him that and that was worrisome. To find a moment to catch her breath she asked, "just who are you?"

    Their enemy shot her a grin, "I was just about to ask you the same. A Jedi traveling working for the Eriaduan Rangers, wearing the garb of a Nightsister, and traveling with an Imperial Knight. What are you, are wandering cabinet of curiosities?"

    "This is Mira Grau, and if you are only half as smart as you pretend to be you should know that she was trained by Asajj Ventress. She eats little wannabe Sith like you for breakfast." Yosh said, the moment of respite allowing both of them to get their heads straight and their confidence up again.

    "The same as Jaina Solo, who trained Yosh here," Mira continued with a grin. "He was her best student."

    "Impressive..." The Nagai muttered. "And foolish to suspect these names win you any favors here."

    Mira continued to muster him, he seemed like a Sith to her, but was that possible? The Lost Tribe of Sith contained no Nagai, and in the last two decades the Jedi Order had been able to eliminate most of it. "I am offering you to surrender, you are alone and there is two of us. And we surely find a nice force suppressing collar in your size. Don`t you want to join your fellow Sith? Honestly a few decades of hard labor work wonders in reforming edgy boys like you into proper citizens."

    Their attacker said nothing, he just looked at them, then Mira felt it, her throat being squeezed shut, making her unable to breathe, as she threw a look at Yosh she saw that he was in the same situation.

    "First of all miss Grau," the Nagai said as he casually strolled closer towards them, "I consider it a personal insult you lump me in with those wannabes from the lost tribe. Secondly, what makes you think that I am alone?"

    The pressure on Mira´s throat disappeared for a moment, just enough to let her take one faint breath as she and Yosh broke to their knees. She heard a giggling behind her and saw a Twie`lek approach. Her skin was red and for a moment Mira thought she was completely naked, before she saw the minimalist black bikini that seemed to almost blend with her black tattoos.

    "We have to thank you," the woman purred as the pressure on the human´s throats returned. "A Jedi Master and Jaina´s favorite knight... it was naive of you to come here."

    They are talking, gloating, thank the goddess they are dumb enough for that... Mira thought as she prepared herself, throwing a thought via the force at Yosh. Then she reached out, further with her mind. Towards the crate Yosh had been examining before...

    "You governments will be so upset that you Mira murdered you boyfriend... who knows maybe we even leave you alive so you can spend those decades of hard labor somewhere. Wouldn`t that be a deal?... No... guess we just kill you both then..."

    In the next moment the crate with the detonators exploded, the explosion sending the Twie´lek flying and broke the pressure on their throats. Yosh gave her an additional push so she crashed right into her companion.

    "You should have stayed a lingerie model darling." Mira shoot at her, then she exchanged a quick look with Yosh and the two of them left the cargo hold. She heard how their attackers got to their feet again and followed them, but it was too late and both humans made it through the blastdoor and closed it before their attackers could reached them.

    Finally catching a deep breath she and Yosh exchanged a look. Then Mira tore her comlink from her belt, "Calia, you need to get here now! And bring every ounce of firepower you have."

    A miniature of Calia appeared on the com, "I will... what is going on."

    "We just ran into two Sith, send a message to HQ, and to Camy in Stega, I don`t know what is going on here, but the fleet should be ready for anything."

    "Okay..." Calia raised an eyebrow but said nothing. "Will be there with you in fifteen minutes."

    "Better make that thirteen," Mira said as she saw how two red lightsabers began melting the blast door. She deactivated the comlink and turned to Yosh. "They got us the first time, ready for round two handsome?"

    "You can bet your cute little butt on it." Yosh grinned, "lets show them the followers of the light have some teeth left to them as well."
  6. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016

    Calia stood, straight as always at the airlock of the Vigilance waiting for the contact, waiting for the battle to begin. She again considered what Mira had told her about the enemy ahead, 'Sith'. That word alone had made her blood flare, as her thoughts had returned to Jacen Solo. The mass murderer whose nano killers had whipped out most of her extended family and whose abominable spawn was no tainting the Hapan throne with every hour of her continued existence. Calia clenched her fists as pure hatred filled her again, hatred and rage at the injustices of the galaxy. One day, she reminded herself, one day, with her allies here in the Coalition she would have her revenge, she would have the throne that was rightfully hers.

    Her allies, her squad, the Rangers under her Command were Hapans as well, some banished or otherwise driven from their homeland after the purge Queen Allana had conducted after her families plot to overthrow her had failed. Others were second or even third generation exiles, having been driven away from their homes many years prior under queens Ta Chume, Teneniel or Tenel Ka. Yet others were exiles by choice rather than necessity, adventurous and ambitious younger siblings, former pirates seeking to fight for something greater than money.

    Most of them women, as the new Queen mother had often spared the males of opposing families... and had them marry some of her loyalists to secure their assets for the crown. But some men had been able to pass Calia´s strict requirements for her squadron. And so the community in Exile had grown, around her, the rightful queen. Of course not all of them were soldiers many more were civilians and helped her cause in different ways all over the galaxy. But the soldiers, her soldiers were the finest Hapes had to offer and she took pride in them.

    "Ready for contact in thirty seconds," the voice of the Ship's captain reached them and Calia felt how the cruiser began to docking sequence with the merchant vessel. She relaxed herself for a moment, the final seconds before the battle, the anxiety and nervousness faded and instead pure and utter concentration and determination, replaced them. She just wished Camy was here, the heir to the Galactic Empire was so far the only non Hapan in her squad, though Calia was certainly open to elevate others who proved their worth to her, but once Calia had her throne back she, and other potential recruits, would be elevated to Hapan nobility. After all, there would be many worlds and assets needing new owners after the Djo Clan had been thrown into the trash bin of history.

    She heard how the clamps snapped into position and the airlocks connected. Drawing her blaster she said loudly, "you all know what we are here for, many of you have lost family members to those accursed Sith. Let´s pay them back tenfold for their crimes against our people!" She heard some cheers from her squad, but with most of them being of noble birth they never let their emotions get the better of them and so it was a more solemn battle cry than with most other soldiers across the galaxy.

    A second later the airlocks opened and Calia quickly lead her squad into a simple corridor made of durasteel. She wasn`t sure what resistance was to be awaited beyond the Sith, as they had approached the ship it hadn`t replied at all to any of their attempts at communication, even when they had begun their boarding maneuver no reaction had been heard or seen. Though given that four force users currently used the ship as a battleground Calia assumed the crew had other troubles that kept their attention away from the outside world for the moment.

    "We on the ship," Calia said in her com as they made their way through another empty corridor, listening in on any potential noise alarming them of their enemies or allies.

    "And you took fourteen minutes," Mira´s voice playfully chided her, she and that Imperial Knight Yoshihisa awaited them around the next corner, both facing a durasteel door that showed massive signs of lightsaber damage.

    Calia raised her blaster and ordered her team to take combat positions, it could only be seconds until...

    "They are gone," the Imperial said. "They were almost through the door but then... they withdrew. Maybe they used one of the other exits from the cargo hold. They could be anywhere on the ship now, if even that."

    "Can`t you sense their presence?" Calia asked, allowing herself no relaxation.

    "No, the dark side allows for some abilities to hide the presence," Mira explained. "We didn`t even noticed them up until the attack."

    "Any sign of the crew?" Calia continued.

    "No..." Mira said, worry on her face, "which pretty much tells us..."

    "We need to scour this ship," Calia said. "Especially for information's."

    They split up into two groups, so each would have a force user with them, but even after two hours of search they found no trace of the two Sith warriors. Though the ships escape pods had been launched, shortly after the assault on the door had stopped, and thus shortly before the Vigilance had come into reach of the ship.

    "I presume they had a ship around as well," Yoshihisa said after they had completed their search and met on the bridge of the ship. "An ally who picked them up. They must have known that they couldn`t sustain a prolonged engagement with an entire squadron of soldiers backing us up."

    "Then I guess it's too much to hope their ship is still around?" Calia asked, but then gave the answer herself. "We should at least scan for hyperspace signatures. Their ship was most likely a smaller cloaked vessel so I don`t expect to find much but still..." She was angry and frustrated, her chance for vengeance taken from her by the enemies cowardice.

    "They were no amateurs I`ll give them that..." Mira said bitterly. "I suspect the Nagai took care of the crew... with her looks it must have been a joke to get each of them to meet her alone..." She shook her head.

    They had found the small crew of the vessel, or what remained of them. Each and every one of them had been killed, most of them brutally hacked to pieces, more the work of a insane serial killer than of a soldier or assassin.

    "And deleted the entire ships record..." the Imperial Knight shook his head, "there is basically nothing left here in the way of information's."

    Calia thought about this for a moment, it was frustrating, but at least some information's could be gathered from what they knew. "I think we can at the very least confirm that this ship was indeed used for smuggling weapons and equipment of war towards the warlords at the edge of the galaxy. Massive amounts of weapons and equipment I dare say, if we presume this has been going on for years, they are gearing up for war."

    Mira nodded slowly, "it opens up new questions though, especially in regards to the Sith. I doubt those two were accompanying every trip these smugglers took, so we can assume they knew that we, or at least one of us would be on board of the vessel this time. With their task being to kill us, or at least ensure there would be no loose ends we could pick up on."

    "Any idea who these Sith were?" Calia asked.

    Yosh shook his head and Mira said: "Not at all. They don`t seem to belong to the Lost Tribe, we pretty much destroyed that..." She bit her lip, "there are many of them serving time these days in prisons of the Galactic Alliance we could ask if they know... or one of those 'redeemed ones'" Mira said the last bit with her voice dripping from resentment and Calia could certainly emphasize. For a moment she thought of Jesper and clenched her fists. There was nothing more revolting in the universe than treason.

    "There are other Sith, beyond the Lost Tribe," Yoshihisa said, "Grandmaster Skywalker encountered one of them before, and there were other encounters."

    Mira shrugged, "I can ask Asajj, maybe she has an idea, she for sure knows a lot about the followers of the dark side... but I also need to inform the Jedi council," she gave the Imperial a look, "we both should."

    Before he could answer Calia brought up another thing, "The big question though is. How did the Sith knew that you would be on this vessel?"

    Yoshihisa replied, "there could be spies anywhere, given they left just before the Vigilance arrived in system they might be on board."

    "Any scanner could have told them of the ship approaching," Mira rolled her eyes. "And can your Emperor really trust his Moffs and Imperial Knights?"

    Yoshihisa turned towards her, "why am I not surprised you instantly seek the blame with us. Go on, is your next sentence accusing Jagged himself of being a Sith?"

    "If he was then Ulrika wouldn`t have been able to break his nose," Mira said with a grin. "He is far too pathetic for that... But, even if the Sith onboard of this particular journey we have no proof that they were the ones running these deliveries."

    "At the very least it proves that someone in the Empire is supplying the equipment." Calia said firmly. "My guess is that Emperor Jagged himself is doing this, to cause trouble at the border of the Coalition." She looked directly at Yoshihisa, an unspoken challenge in her gaze.

    The Imperial noble didn`t take the bait, "that´s your theory. I think that the Sith are just buying the old equipment found on thousands of battlefields. I suspect if we had checked another delivery we might have found GAR, CIS or even New Republican Equipment. It's a coincidence that this particular one was Imperial stock. A more likely coincidence because there is a lot more leftover from Palpatines Empire than any other nation."

    "I think you both might be right..." Mira said. "To some extend at least, we know that the Moffs have penchant for corruption. I think it's safe to assume at least one or two of them are in contact with these Sith. But Jagged himself... doesn`t seem likely to me. His wife killed Jacen Solo, she killed her own brother for being a Sith... I doubt she would accept her husband now working with them."

    "Isn`t her cousin dating one?" Calia asked, remembering what she had read in the dossiers on the Jedi Order.

    "That... might be something else," Mira said grinding her teeth. "In my opinion Vestara is a murderer and war criminal who belongs in prison, and to be honest Ben does too but... Luke Skywalker gave the union his blessing... And for what it's worth Vestara isn`t a Sith anymore..." she gave Yoshihisa a look, "and certainly not the only person who that applies to."

    The Imperial Knight let out a sigh, "First Knight Velia was a victim of Jacen Solo as much as anyone else. And shall I go in detail on the war crimes of a certain Asajj Ventress?"

    Calia had almost slapped him but stopped herself at the last moment, even then she couldn`t stop her anger from boiling over, "don`t you dare putting that shuttas 'suffering' on par with what the Hapans lost, and all others. If I were Queen..."

    "Well thankfully you aren`t..." The Imperial muttered.

    Calia took a deep breath, she had done it, she had lost the composure and taken the bait. Having calmed down a bit she turned to Mira, seeking to vent her frustrations a different way, "As the one leading the boarding action I lay claim to the equipment on this ship. And the ship as well if the government agrees."

    Yoshihisa let out a dry chuckle, "so you can use it and the weapons to arm Hapan pirates? Am I the only one who sees the irony of this situation?"

    Calia gave him a smug grin, "what I do with it is none of your business." It was true that she and the exiles still had allies amongst the numerous Hapan pirate clans, and that these brave souls would appreciate any equipment she could send them.

    "If you go against Queen Allana it does become my business," The Imperial said, his voice harsher than before.

    Calia looked at him, ready to shoot back, but before she could begin her comlink bleeped, picking it up she saw that it was Camy calling, "Hey, we have secured the ship, those Sith ran like the cowardly vermin they are..." Then she saw it, the gaze of complete terror on Camy´s face.

    "Stega is under assault, a few minutes ago several battleships jumped into the system, they will be at the station in an hour, we need your help. Now!"
  7. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016

    "The Tof were quiet for years, why are they suddenly attacking Stega?" Freya asked Camilla as she approached the Ranger in the command center of Stega´s central station.

    Camilla let out a sigh as she turned around to the closest thing of a speaker that the people of Stega currently had. "It's not just Stega," she tried her best to keep her voice from shaking. A few minutes ago her request for reinforcements had been denied, as dozens of border systems were under assaults and the fleets were already barely holding onto the positions they had. "The Coalition is in a state of war."

    Camy didn`t need to force to see how panic swelled up in Freya as the young woman looked at her, "but... if you just hadn`t come here, then Beth would..." She took a deep breath, "well, I doubt it would have made much of a difference, can... you...?"

    "No," Camilla said firmly. "We can`t hold Stega, we need to pull out."

    "No!" Freya screamed, "you can`t leave us behind... you can`t."

    The Ranger looked at her with sympathy, "we won`t, we are not the Empire." She grinned a bit at the Irony of a Palpatine and the rightful heir to the Empire saying this. "We are lucky, due to the fogs and asteroid fields of Stega the Tof needed to jump to a point a considerable distance from the core of the system. So their lighting strike tactic doesn`t work here." She took a deep breath, "we have about two hours until they are here. If we can hold them off long enough for Mira and Calia to return to us with their second cruiser then we should be able to defeat this current attack fleet... and win enough time for an evacuation."

    "But... wouldn`t they be we held by back by the Asteroids as well?" Freya asked, needing some time to process the information she had just been given. Evacuation? Leaving Stega behind...

    "No... we took the time to calibrate exact coordinates to skip straight here... took bloody ages, but Mira wanted it to surprise Beth... good thing we did though. The Tof were sloppy, probably because they didn`t expect Stega to be able to mount any kind of resistance." Camilla mused.

    "Then I guess even Beth and her girls would have given them a nasty suprise," Freya said, trying to calm herself down further, Camilla´s now once again calm voice giving her some reassurance.

    "That is the other reason I need to talk to you," Camilla said, a weird part of glad that Caly wasn`t here. "Your sister and her pirates know how to pilot ships, ships that are here now. I want them to help us with the evacuation."

    "You are that fake bounty hunter," Beth said as Camilla entered her cell. The small prison of Stega was overcrowded with her crew members with as much as eight being shoved in two person cells. It wasn`t a fully lawful way of housing them, but there was little alternative and soon they would be moved to a real prison anyway. Though as their leader Beth had been given a cell of her own.

    "Yeah, my side job," Camilla said. "You might have already heard it, Stega is under assault."

    Beth chuckled, "I´m gone for 24 hours and you are already failing to keep the sector under control? How pathetic is that?"

    "Save us the bad girl act," Camilla said crossing her arms in front of her chest. "We don`t have time for petty games like that."

    The smile vanished from Beth´s face, "what is that you want then?"

    "Your sister is currently organizing the evacuation of Stega," Camilla explained. "But with the forces we currently have we won`t be able to get everyone out."

    "And what makes that my problem?" Beth asked, leaning back on her prison bed. Camy felt that she was already thinking on how to turn the situation to her advantage.

    "Well, to put it simply, as criminals you and your crew would be amongst the last to be evacuated." The Ranger said as she took a step closer towards Beth.

    Beth shrugged, "fine, whether the Tof enslave me or I am forced into your prison system seems to make little difference for me."

    Camilla shook her head, "you don`t know the Tof when you are saying that." Then her expression softened a bit, "your sister tells me you aren`t completely rotten as a person. And the same applies to your girls. You obviously care for the people of Stega, and now they need you more than ever."

    "The same people who just betrayed me you mean?" Beth became heated, "why would I give the slightest thought about those ungrateful jerks?"

    "Well you don`t have to of course," Camy got up, "greet the Tof from me when they find you will ya?" This was pointless, if Beth wanted to play the tough girl she wouldn`t bother with allowing her to continue the act.

    "Wait," Beth asked, sitting up again as she looked at Camilla. "I... will you at least evacuate my niece?"

    "We will see to get her and other children out at first," Camilla confirmed. "But the poor girl might have to grow up without her mother, as your sister decided to stay behind until the evacuation is complete." It was a risky gamble and not entirely true. Freya hadn`t said anything in that regard, but Camilla had felt her determination to see this through.

    "She..." Beth stumbled across her words. "She wouldn`t... she... she would. Yeah that sounds like her." She shook her head, "stubborn fool. She can`t throw her life away like that."

    "She is trying to do good," Camilla said, her voice getting harsher. "I think in part was motivates her doing something to make up for her sisters terrible deeds."

    "My terrible deeds? Like when I saved her from her abusive husband?" Beth jumped to her feet.

    The Ranger gave the pirate a smile, "you did? Well seems there is a hidden heart of gold in you after all." Then she became serious again. "We need your help, now, the Tof will be here in 90. If you help us we..." She bit her tongue, then she made her decision. "I can`t promise you a full pardon, only Calia is high enough in the hierarchy to do that... but." Her smile returned, now playful. "I have my ways of persuading her to do as I want."

    "I wouldn`t have to go to prison?" Beth asked and for a moment the dreaded pirate queen was gone, and instead Camy saw a hopeful young woman looking at her.

    "At minimum you wouldn`t have to go for as long. But I am sure in the current situation you and your crew will get a Pardon," Camilla assured. She left out the part that Calia could only offer such a pardon in conjunction with Beth and her girls joining her Ranger Squad, but that was a discussion they could have at another date.

    Beth looked at Camilla for a moment, then she gave her a salute, "you´ve got your pilots then. Just make sure that we will get that pardon."

    "Okay girls," Beth said in front of her assembled gang. They stood in the Hangar of the station. The girls still in their striped prison outfits, around them the parts of Calia´s squadron who had remained on Stega were preparing for battle, alongside some local volunteers. Outside of the Hangar shield Camilla saw several civilian vessels moving towards the jump points at the other end of the system, they at least would make it out, but the main evacuation was going slower than she would like, many people stubbornly refused to leave their homes and possessions behind.

    "I´ve made a deal with that cute gentlewoman over there, we help them kick some Tof rumps and in turn we will get our 'get out of jail' free card." Beth made a pause to let that sink in. "I know most of you aren`t into the whole law and order thing, but... this is our home, and most of us have families here. Families we can`t leave to the Tof, and yes I see your face Lisa, I don`t care, after this battle you can hand in your leave if actually helping people out hurts you so much..." She took another deep breath, "I know this isn`t what we wanted, but at least we are still together, and I think it might have been for the best that the Coalition came over when they did. We are going to show these oversized apes how real Stegan girls fight."

    It wasn`t a cheering reaction, mostly just nods and silent agreements, several pirate women looking angry, or worried, but it seemed at least none of them even considered going back to their cells. That was good, it was a start, something they could build upon... if they survived this battle it was.

    "I want to add one thing," Camilla said. "We know your fighters are mostly not hyperspace capable, once the evacuation is complete you will therefore land on our cruiser and retreat from battle with us. There is no running away before that. The Tof would find you, and let me tell you, them just killing you is the kindest fate you could hope for in that situation."

    "Think of your most abusive and insane boyfriend, I know most of you had those over the years," A pirate called Helena added. "Then make them ten times as awful and add an infernal stench, then you can half ways imagine how horrible the Tof are."

    "Seems you are talking form experience, Hel," Beth´s second in command Lindzy teased.

    "If you mean that unlike you I can read the news that´s true," Helena shot back, flexing her muscles.

    Watching the pirates joke and tease each other reminded Camilla of her own squadron and their ways of getting rid of the anxiety before a battle. Maybe, just maybe, this could actually work out... For a moment the insane image of Calia actually giving these pirates Hapan noble titles appeared in front of her, but it was too ridiculous to stand.

    "I am not sure how the Colonel is going to react to this," Letho Sarkoris muttered quietly at his commanding officer. As one of the few males in Calia´s squadron his truly impressive skills had earned him the promotion to Sergeant and it was the same skills and reliability that had convinced Camy to make him her second in this battle.

    "Well doesn`t she have her own pirate allies on Hapes?" Camilla said with a grin. "She made an exception for both of us, and these pirates at least have her correct tools between their legs."

    "Its a start I guess," Letho returned the grin. "Guess at the very least we need to survive until she makes it here in the first place."

    "They are on their way," Camy said firmly. "And who knows, maybe even that Imperial Knight will have some uses on the battlefield." She was more worried about herself if she was honest, she was a sniper, a long distance fighter. Her piloting skills were mediocre at best, only enhanced to passable levels by her connection to the force.

    And this... this would be her first major battle, no hunting pirates, no black opps behind enemy lines, no border skirmish. A real battle, in a real war that was already beginning around them. The news hadn`t fully sunken in yet, but Camy knew that they stood at the precipice of a new age. The twenty years of peace during which the Coalition had flourished and grown were over, and an uncertain future awaited.
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  8. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016

    Her comlink bleeped, loudly and thoroughly interrupting her sleep. Ilona groaned, letting out a deep sigh as its harsh noise tore her from her sleep. Had she, in the last eighteen years had a single night of proper sleep? A single night she truly had been able to sleep more than six hours straight? Probably, but in moments like this it was hard for her to remember then, to think it had ever been different than this.

    For a moment she entertained the possibility of simply ignoring the call, just once, just this one time be an actual human and not the president of the Coalition, to just go back to sleep and leave politics to others, just for this one night. She looked at her clock, 3 AM in the morning, she had been sleeping for barely an hour.

    Then with a sigh she sat up and took the com, maybe this wasn`t so important, maybe she could go back to...

    "Mrs President," a small holographic image of Admiral Lenz appeared giving her a salute. He was a good soldier, a veteran of the war against the Iron Alliance and one of Tobins candidates for his successor as Supreme Commander of the Coalition forces.

    "Good morning," Ilona said, trying her best to suppress a yawn, still closer to sleep than the waking world, but the admirals next words instantly awoke her fully.

    "We are under attack, the Tof have crossed the border in at least a dozen systems, we get distress calls along the entire outer territory." The admiral said and Ilona notice sweat running down his ebony skin. Lenz was afraid, something she had never seen with him before.

    Ilona began to breathe quickly as her heart began to race, and even faster the thought ran through her mind... This... this was... "Are you sure it's an attack, not just a series of raids?" She asked, still trying to fathom what was going on.

    "We are certain it's an assault, in the last half an hour we have lost contact to five worlds and several battle groups," the Admiral replied.

    "Any messages accompanying this?" Ilona replied while walking towards her drawer and pulling out a top and pants, she needed to get to the government building, as soon as possible, she needed to talk to Tobin, to Florianne, to Ulrika. They needed to sort this out.

    "Nothing so far, there has been no declaration of war." Lenz said. Despite the Tof being a broken, exiled people they were considered a nation by the galactic community. And Ilona herself had hoped that the coalitions economic help to them would keep them away from further raids into their territory, a policy that now was coming down crashing and burning.

    "I see," Ilona replied, still unsure how to properly deal with the situation. "I will call the council together, do what you can Admiral."

    "Of course Ma'am," Lenz replied and gave her another salute.

    Half an hour later Ilona was sitting in a private government chamber in front of a holo projector, dressed in ill fitting clothes and pumped full of caffeine to keep her concentration up.

    The rest of the security council was here as well, Tobin, her husband had been speaking to the latest batch of cadets at the military academy when the message had arrived and he had been rushed out of the room. An adjutant now continued his speech to prevent a panic from rising, but it was a weak effort as everyone with a simple comlink was already spreading the message all over the galaxy, the Coalition was under attack.

    Ilona took a deep breath, then she turned to the first point on her mental list, "as head of government of the Coalition I want to personally apologize to you General Laric. For you have warned us several times in the last years about this possibility, you foresaw that our attempts at reconciliation with the Tof were pointless. And sadly today is the day you were proven right."

    Victor Laric gave Ilona a quick nod, "as much of the blame lands on my shoulder for having failed to convince you Mrs. President," with his now almost eighty years he was one of the oldest members of the military, but he still steadfastly refused being retired and so he had been moved to the military academy instead. His face was as cold and as stoic as ever.

    "Any news from their ambassador?" Ulrika Grau asked, she looked pale, unsure, her eyes darting from one person to the next.

    "I´ve send my wife to talk to them, but the reply..." Florianne Idril, head of government of the Coalition was one of the only ones of them who seemed to have kept her composure, wearing a perfectly fitting robe and her face calm and concentrated. But even with her Ilona saw a slight twitching her of her right eye, even she, the cold blooded career politician was troubled by the news. "They claim we were preparing an all out assault on them, that we were about to invade their territories and all they are doing is defending themselves." She shook her head.

    "Is anyone believing this crap?" Elena Kyr asked, sitting next to Ulrika, a hand on her wife's shoulder.

    "I`m taking any bet, there are some," General Laric said..

    "Indeed the governments of Rodia, Ando and surprise, surprise the Hutt Space have declared their support, meanwhile the Tion Hegemony has also called out our seizing of the Senex Juvex Sector as they call it." Florianne explained.

    "Shuttas," Eryl Besa cursed, serving on the council as the representative for the Senex Juvex. "As if you invaded and conquered the region and didn`t step in to oversee the end of slavery and prevent a civil war. After being asked to do so by the SJ government themselves."

    "Jagged Fel is keeping his trap shut for once?" Thoran Fenig the Correllian Ambassador asked.

    "So far he does, thankfully," Ilona said, having checked that on the way here. "But I expect it any moment now."

    "Our political situation is important," Tobin said calmly, his voice still giving away some shaking, "what is currently the most important is how our military deals with the situation." He pointed at the map, the systems attacked by the Tof at the border marked in red.

    Admiral Corvey Adrimetrum got up to give a quick summary. "The Tof have attacked us in pretty much all important border systems, as well as a few others that are probably meant as diversion attacks. Battle groups, Sigma, Delta and Theta don`t reply to us anymore and others have reported that they are under attack themselves. We cannot hold these outer systems with the forces we currently have in the area, so Admiral Lenz and I ordered a general retreat to more defensible positions for now."

    "Admiral Lenz did the right thing not getting pulled out by the diversions," Laric said. "The Tof will pillage our worlds and slaughter our people to draw us out. The Iron Alliance used that same strategy time and time again."

    Ilona swallowed hard, this was an impossible choice presented to their military, leaving millions of civilians to a grisly fate... or try and safe them but risking loosing the entire war and thus causing a hundred times more deaths. She threw a glance to her husband.

    Tobin took a deep breath, "it's the best option right now... even if we should try to evacuate what worlds we can."

    "The worlds falling under occupation can become the knife in the Tofs back," Ulrika proposed, her voice now more composed. "We have given out orders to the local garrisons to prepare for partisan warfare and I am confident that we can get groups of rangers in each and every of this systems to support the local resistance."

    "Good," Ilona said, "but the main fight will come to our armed forces, are we ready for this?"

    Tobin let out a sigh, "we are in a position to fight for sure but... as all of us know most of the budget in the last decade went into reconstruction, public works and the economy.... Our military isn`t the best it could be."

    "Our soldiers are well trained, that will give them the edge they need," Laric said, "even if I agree with Admiral Malek that our tech isn`t the most up to date in the galaxy."

    Ilona looked at her datapad as a new message had arrived. "So our dear Emperor opened that hole he calls a mouth and assured us he would send us any aid we need..." She shook her head. "In the most condescending way possible. We will of course help the 'subpar' and 'battered' forces of the Coalition via a land lease if they ask for it."

    "If we accept that we are losing our face diplomatically, cause then we imply Jagged´s assessment of our forces is accurate," Elena said. "That dam shutta, he hurts us more like this then when he had acknowledged the Tof´s claim."

    "Still can we put our people and their suffering over our diplomatic reputation?" Fenig asked. "Either way, the Corellian government can assure you full support. Both in men as well as in material."

    "Didn´t we sign the Qaelan accords specifically to make a stand against the Fell Empire." Eryl asked, "the Senex Juvex Sector is currently looking for any good PR they can, I am sure a considerable portion of our forces can be mobilized to aid, even if our tech is even more outdated than yours..."

    Ilona noticed that this was possibly the first instance Eryl considered the Senex Juvex their government. It was sign that the reforms were coming, that things were improving now that Alejandra de Tegara had won the first free and open elections in a landslide. Twenty years in prison and then right into power, girl sure is creating a legacy.

    "We can aid you with the tech," Livia Nascada, the ambassador for the Arkanian Dominion assured them. "Even if it will take time. This new situation truly is a challenge for all of us."

    Ilona thought about all this for a moment, as the President she knew she was receiving additional rights to make quick decisions. This was on her, and she knew everyone was awaiting her input, she was their pillar, the strong moral foundation the Coalition was formed on. For a moment she wondered what her dad would have done in this situation. Then she said, "I will contact the Emperor later today and thank him for the offer of help. But we will take mostly humanitarian aid for now... this war will create a refugee crisis and I think it's only fair if we let Jagged pay his part for their accommodation as well. A soldiers morale is important and if we accept the military aid from the Empire their morale will tank, believing they stand no chance against the Tof."

    "We will also contact Mira when we can," Elena said. "She is currently helping with the evacuation of the Stega system. I am sure she can get us some support from the Jedi order."

    Ilona gave her friend a nod, "good, that gives us some breathing room. There are many details we need to discuss, but first... we need to address the people. We need to assure them that in this time of crisis their government has their backs. That they are not alone."

    Ulrika rose from her chair and she and Ilona shared a glance. Then Ulrika opened a recording tool on her datapad. Then she began:

    "People of the Coalition, most of you have already seen it on the holonet, but to those who haven`t let me say: We are at war. Our nation stands at the precipice, threatening to fall back into the depths of lawlessness and despair that ruled the southwest for over a hundred years. Some of you will have already seen enemy warships in the skies above your homes, and they will remind the older ones of the war fought to drove the darkness from our homes. And let me assure you, that just like that time, We Willl Win. We can`t allow the darkness to claim what we have build, we cannot let the Southwest be torn apart again. Which is why I ask you, each and every one of you, to do what you can to help. You might say it's not much that you can do, that you are just a factory worker, just a simple soldier, just a citizen. But rest assured that you are not meaningless, for the Coalition is all of us, the Coalition is, just as it is me. Our enemies stand and fall with their leaders, enslaved to the will of a few individuals. But we, the Coalition, we stand together, it's our bonds that created our nation, and it is the same bonds that will ensure our victory. We all know the coming days won`t be easy, and that the worst is still to come, but we will see this crisis through, together. This is Ranger Chief Ulrika Grau, may the goddess be with us. Over and Out."

    "Nice," Ilona smiled at her old friend, Ulrika certainly had a thing for dramatic speeches. "I will address the people as well later today, but it's a good start, we can broadcast this."

    Florianne gave one of the aides, who had been quietly standing in the background a nod and the young man picked up Ulrika´s datapad, "will be on the air in five minutes."

    "Good," Florianne continued, "now that we have the essentials down, let's get into the details there is much we have to discuss today."
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2023
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  9. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Clash of Titans Winner star 6 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 21, 2006
    Finally catching up with your story. I like your new characters and the setting of the story. New trouble ahead
    Tay Neir and Mira Grau like this.
  10. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016
    Ah glad you caught up and still enjoy it! :)


    Mira took aim and fired, being rewarded a second later with the sight of an explosion as the enemy fighter disappeared in a blast of fire. One down... hundreds more remain. She thought bitterly, Stega system was Hell, and her radar was swarming with enemies. Most of the just simple attack fighters and bombers, but also larger ships and corvettes, far too many to fight in a prolonged battle.

    She increased the speed for her Valkyrie and close the distance to the nearest enemies, firing all guns to break their formation and make them easier targets. "Where did the Tof get a fleet like this?" She said over com.

    They had already heard that Stega wasn`t the only system under assault, pretty much the entire border region of the Coalition had been attacked and there had even been reports that some systems had already been conquered, this wasn`t a series of coordinated raids, this was a full blown invasion.

    "Supplied by the Sith?" Yosh asked, his TIE Advanced further ahead in the battle making use of its far greater mobility compared to Mira´s Valkyrie. "Who knows how long this smuggling operation was going on?"

    "We don`t even know the Sith did it," Mira replied as she dodged some incoming fire and then returned the favor with all guns of her ship. "Just that two of them were on board this time."

    "I think the supplier might be located somewhere else entirely," Lieutenant Nara chipped in, as a former Hapan pirate she was one of the best fighter pilots Mira had ever seen, and she made deadly use of the weapon systems of her Dragon fighter. Most of the Hapan exiles in Calia´s squad used them, wanting to keep this connection to their homeworld as a clear and open declaration against queen Allana and their own exile at her hands.

    "Let us first survive this battle before we point fingers," Yosh shoot back at the obvious accusation as he continued to dodge attacks of a series of fighters at his neck.

    Mira took aim and shoot one of the enemies down but the others were more experienced pilots and easily dodged her attacks continuing to hit Yosh with all they had. Mira knew, that especially with the weaker shields and armor of a TIE Advanced a non force using Pilot would have long since died to the relentless attacks, only his superhuman foresight allowed Yosh to dodge most of the fire and keep his flying coffin going.

    "Having to save you again?" She snarked at Yosh as she took down another and seconds later Nara destroyed the final two.

    "Consider it repayment for what happened on the transport ship," Yosh replied as he returned to them without missing a bait, "the best pilot plays the bait, it's a simple strategy."

    "Simple enough," Nara replied, "but then why did you take the role of the bait? Shouldn`t the best pilot take it?"

    Mira could practically see Yosh rolling his eyes as he shoot back, "learn to out fly me pirate girl and we talk about it again."

    "Guys, stop the pissing contest, we have more pressing matters," Mira shoot their fight down. "currently each and every one of us is the bait."

    It was true, Camilla had chosen to engage the Tof in the Outskirts of the Stega system, to keep them away from the civilian stations and buy as much time as possible for the evacuation. And now that they had returned to the system Calia and Mira had joined the fight, doing whatever they could to hold the Tof back.

    She almost smiled, this battle reminded her of the stories she had grown up with, the stories of the war against the Iron Alliance and what a mess the Coalition had been at the start, a collection of outcasts and pariah states, that still had come together to do something good for the galaxy and their people. It had been a symbol of hope in the last twenty years, a symbol that Jagged Fel´s false poisoned gifts and the cold, pragmatic cynicism of the Galactic Alliance wasn`t the only way forward, that there was a chance for a better future. A symbol that was now under siege once more....

    On the bridge of the Vigilance Calia watched the holographic battle unfold before her. A part of her yearned to be there with the others, with her soldiers, fighting from the cockpit of a star fighter rather than stand here in the relative safety of her bridge and observing the battle, but she had her duties, and with her return to the system she had taken over the central command again.

    "How is the evacuation going?" She asked the small image of Camilla projected on the side of the table. Her girlfriend had taken command over the second Cruiser, the Gracious Savior.

    "Faster than feared, but... we have many who refuse to leave, this system has been their home for ages, they are not going to leave it."

    "They better do if they don`t want it to become their grave," Calia said, taking a moment to order another order to one of the fighter squadrons before continuing. "We don`t have the time to convince them, intelligence warned of several more enemy vessels on route here."

    "Now intelligence is saying that?" Camilla raised an eyebrow. "Where in all hells were they in preparing for this insanity? We weren`t warned at all, nobody was?"

    "A very good question," Calia said darkly, "and one we will need to investigate... after this battle." As to underline her words another full salvo hit the ship and made the entire bridge shiver, Calia barely managed to hold her balance and several of her crewmembers were thrown across the room. "Get a medic up here, quickly!" She ordered as she saw a young ensign with a bleeding head wound collapsing on the floor next to the station he had been working at. This wasn`t good, and with every moment this battle lasted, it would only get worse.

    Lieutenant Nara doubled the speed of her engines as she approached the next group of enemy fighters, her fingers flying over her consoles to take aim and shoot within a blink, only to be rewarded seconds later with the sight of several exploding enemy vessels. She knew she was taking a risk, having divided almost all of her Dragons energy between the weapons and the engines left her with basically no shields at all. But her life had always been one of risks and this battle was no different.

    Born in a servant family on Hapes she had been destined to be a pampered noblewoman's personal slave for all her life, a life that had been a living hell since her teen years where the little brat had tormented her in each and every way possible. So when their transport had been attacked by a group of Hapan Pirates one day Nara hadn`t hesitated for even a second to join them. The life of a pirate was hard and often short, but she had taken to it like a Quarren to water and soon proven herself more than capable than to join her new family on raids and attacks.

    "Kriff it," she heard Mira curse over the com, "their reinforcements are arriving faster than estimated."

    Looking up Nara saw several further ships having materialized at the jump point. Another wave, while they still had their hands full with the last one. In that moment she already knew that the battle was lost, they wouldn`t be able to fight this for much longer. They needed to evacuate the system as soon as possible. But for the battle group to properly disengage....

    "We need to get out of the system," Mira ordered. "How is the state of the evacuation?"

    "We got maybe forty percent of the population out," Camilla said. "Some also got out on their own, but many remain."

    "Still, if we don`t go now we will lose everyone," Calia replied, "sensors are depicting even more hostile coming through hyperspace."

    "But the people..." Camilla tried to protest.

    "We did what we could," Mira said, her voice dripping with despair, "You need to get out, and we need to hope we can do the same."

    Nara threw another glance at the enemies reinforcements, all depended on them, if they reached the battle fast enough the remaining Coalition Forces wouldn`t be able to safely disengage. The battle would turn into a massacre... and from what it currently looked that was exactly what would happen.

    In that moment Nara knew what she needed to do, "lambda squadron, with me." She ordered, then opening a channel to Calia on the flagship. "We are buying you some time Colonel, get out once you can."

    "Not leaving you behind," Calia said firmly.

    "We will find our own way," Nara replied, despite knowing the odds weren`t in her favor. Not at all. "I´m a pirate, if it comes to the worst we find a way behind enemy lines."

    She could feel how Calia thought about it in the moment of silence that followed. As she and her squad crossed the distance between the main battle group and the enemy reinforcements Mara grinned. This was what it had come to, her sacrificing herself. When she had first been introduced to the Crimson Dragons they had just been her way out of a live of servitude and misery, but in time she had embraced their believes, the dream for a better Hapes, a Hapes ruled by the people, not a cruel and corrupt nobility. And so she had once more changed, from a greedy and selfish pirate to a true freedom fighter. A struggle that had eventually lead to the alliance with the Coalition and the attempted coup against Queen Allana. A coup that had failed so spectacularly.

    As they reached the enemy ships, Nara was ready, firing her remaining torpedoes at the largest enemy vessel that was still working to get its fighters out. Nara saw groups of techs working on the star fighters while their pilots stood next to them, awaiting to engage in the battle. Aiming for the weak point next to their hangar shot she saw the growing explosion, then the shields collapsed, yet the damaged shots failed to close, and everything and everyone inside the hangar was sucked into the vacuum. The Hapan pilot saw dozens of Tof floating in the void in their final, short struggle for life, but she had no time to give them another thought, as the reply came within seconds, fire from the enemy vessels rained on lambda squad and all she could do was try to dodge as much as possible while watching her comrades die one by one, the fight wasn`t even that, it was a massacre, nothing more. But the attack, her attack on the enemy flagship should have bought the other forces the time they needed. They had done their job, that was all that was important. As her ship suffered a critical hit, Nara felt no regrets.

    "Farewell lieutenant," Calia muttered as the contact with Nara´s squad was severed. Nara had at first just been a liaison to her, an ally from one of the pirate gangs who had been willing to support her families coup against the Djo family, for the promise of some democratic reforms. But in time, and especially here in their shared exile Nara had become a friend, someone to laugh and share stories with. Someone she even, looked up to, for her believes, and her courage. Maybe... maybe her ideas for Hapes had truly merit to them....

    "Everyone who made it is on board now," Mira pulled her from her thoughts as she entered the bridge, still wearing her flight suit.

    "Alright," Calia said, slowly as a single tear run down her cheek, "let's get out of here then."

    And with that, the First Battle of Stega ended with a defeat for the coalition, by no means the only one in this dreadful first days of the war.
  11. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Clash of Titans Winner star 6 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 21, 2006
    exciting action and sad for the loss
    Tay Neir and Mira Grau like this.
  12. Taylor Neir

    Taylor Neir Jedi Master star 4

    May 26, 2022
    I will have to say master, i love this. I have only read 1 and 2 but loved them none the less. I look forward to reading the rest of it. Good job
    Mira Grau likes this.
  13. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016
    Glad it works for you. :)

    Cool! Nice to see you enjoying it.


    "And you are sure the attackers had no connection to the Lost Tribe?" The grandmaster asked as he leaned forward in his seat a bit so his old eyes could meet Mira´s.

    "Well there might be a connection," Mira said, "but they were far more skilled than anything we have seen from the tribe in the last decades. I suspect these two have been around for a while, but until now managed to fully cover their tracks... might have been sheer luck that Yosh and I were around this time to get a glimpse at them."

    "We knew there were others out there," Chigal said as she leaned back in her chair. "Your skirmish wasn`t the first time we clashed swords with them."

    Mira raised an eyebrow, that was something she hadn`t been told. "Then who are they?"

    "We know only very little," the grandmaster admitted, "we have seen glimpses of them all the way since the Abeloth crisis, yet at no point have we gained any deeper insight on them."

    "Captive members of the Lost Tribe provided no further Intel as well." Raynar Thul admitted. "But given their tattooed skin contradicts the Lost Tribes standards of beauty we can assume both factions don`t see eye to eye."

    "Or at least that´s what they want us to think," Zekk said.

    Mira fixated him for a moment, he was the one council master she trusted the least, as being married to a Hapan military officer made him by extension the Fel Empires eye in the council, being the only one of Jaina´s loyalists who hadn`t left to join the Imperial Knights. "Then, if you knew about them, why didn`t I nor anyone else in the order?"

    Luke leaned forward a bit, "mostly because we know they have spies in the Jedi Order, one of them, possibly their leader admitted that to me personally. Yet despite twenty years of monitoring we never found a single spy working for them. So the Council kept quiet as to not warn a potential spy, nor to give them a clue on what we know. So we considered it saver for only the masters of the order to know."

    "I understand," Mira said. "I will try my utmost then to keep the silence, even if now people in the Coalition know."

    "Your reassurance should be enough," Cam Solusar said. "Only you and Knight Pandionne have seen them."

    "And maybe it is time to finally spread the knowledge anyway," his wife Tionne added, "whoever their spies are, if they remained hidden for twenty years we can assume that hiding our knowledge didn`t really hinder them."

    "The whole thing is truly concerning," Mira said, her mind racing about the possible identity of a spy in the order.

    "Still, you brining us the information that they were involved in stirring up the Tof is one of the largest pieces of Intel we ever have gathered on them," Octa Ramis said slowly.

    "Which is one of the reasons why we decided to finally make official what has been on our minds for a while now," Luke Skywalker said, his voice taking a solemnly tone. "Mira Grau, you are hereby promoted to the rank of Jedi Master and given a permanent seat on the Council." He made a gesture towards the one empty seat amidst the circle. The seat of Mako Thorne, who had served, alongside Tionne, as the orders historian for the last twenty years. In the last few years his appearances on the Council had become less and less as his extreme age had taken a greater and greater toll on him. But now it seemed...

    "Master Thorne became one with the force four days ago," Tionne said, her voice solemn. "He passed peacefully in his sleep."

    Mira gave the Grandmaster a respectful bow before taking a seat, her seat on the council. She took a moment to pay her spiritual respects to her predecessor. This was the first shift in the council in at least a decade she knew. The last big shift having come when Jaina Solo-Fel, Kyle Kartarn and Saba Sebatyne had left to form the Imperial Knights, their seats being taken over by Zekk, Raynar Thul and Gaven Seral.

    It was the last of them who raised his voice again after the moment of silence, "this brings us to the most pressing matter at hand, the Tof Invasion of the Coalition." His blue eyes fixated Mira´s for a moment. "I think we can all agree that the order needs to intervene, lest we risk letting the Southwest slip back into a time of chaos and misery."

    Mira gave the older Jedi a thankful nod, that´s what she liked about Gaven, his to the point bluntness and his honest and real compassion. He was a true Jedi in a council often accused of being filled with politicians first and Jedi second.

    "I am seconding Master Seral´s pledge," Raynar Thul added, "the Southwest needs our help and it's a great opportunity to improve our mutual collaboration."

    "And yet, isn`t this the danger we Jedi should be aware of?" Zekk asked. "There are people in the Southwest who fight for their freedom and clearly didn`t agree to the Coalition taking over their worlds. I fear if we intervene in full we send a signal that certain nations matter more than others."

    Mira jumped to her feet, "just one question... Master Zel... if that is a problem for you, how come you yourself are a noble ruling over people? Maybe we should ask them too, to see if there are any who think you are not the ruler they want?"

    Instantly Barratk'l fired back, "Should be perform that conduct on your family? The rich human centric ethno state you come from?"

    Raynar shook his head, "please, we are all on the same page here. Master Grau clearly spoke from the suffering of her people, and if we start accusing each other of past crimes we could sit here for the next decade."

    "Master Zel is right though," Corran Horn said, "supporting solely the Coalition could be seen as a dangerous precedent. It would show the order is tied to nations again, a notion we have for the last decade tried to take some distance from."

    Yeah, Mira thought, since the Jedileaks affair, since the order has lost its status as everybody's darling in the galaxy, since the Imperial Knights had begun to offer an alternative path for force users.

    "So we let dictatorships and former slavers stand on the same level as a democratic government?" Mira asked, having sat down again and still fighting to calm herself down. Losing her cool wouldn`t get her the help she needed.

    "I am sure no one wanted to imply that," the deep, smooth baritone of the one council member who hadn`t spoken yet echoed in the room as the former Jedi of the Old Order leaned forward as well. "But I agree with master Grau on this matter, the fact that the Sith helped the Tof makes this a matter of the order. I am convinced this isn`t the last time we will see these particular splinter of our enemy." Silence filled the chamber, like so often when he spoke. He who had become Luke Skywalkers best friend and closest confidant for the last twenty years. Who had filled the void that the death of the Grandmasters wife and his growing estrangement with his son had caused. The man who most of all had worked the hardest in restoring the Jedi´s reputation after the scandals and troubles. The man most saw as the next coming grand master once Skywalker retired.

    Rising to his feet A'sharad Hett the last known surviving Jedi Knight of the old Order moved his gaze over the rest of the Council and no one dared to speak against him. The Grandmaster simply giving his brotherly friend a nod.

    "Who is in favor of the intervention?" Hett asked. Mira´s hand went up, and so did Gaven, Raynar, Chigal, Octa and Luke´s. "Who is against it?"

    Zekk and Barratk'l raised their hands, which meant that Corran Horn and the Solusars abstained.

    "Then its decided," the grandmaster said quietly. "The Jedi will intervene in the Southwest. Master Hett, as you have spoken clearly in favor of this notion, can we entrust you to lead our efforts on this front.

    The tall man nodded, "of course, I will deliver a list for the first teams to go tomorrow." He turned to Mira, "Master Grau, I would ask you to stay here on Coruscant to serve as a liaison between the Coalition and the Galactic Alliance."

    "I shall sit out the war while my people suffer?" Mira asked, raising an eyebrow. "Don´t we have politicians for that?"

    Luke Skywalker raised his voice a bit, yet remained friendly, "you have now joined the Council and I don`t want you to leave us instantly again, and as a council member you should have faith in your brothers and sisters."

    "Of course, grandmaster." Mira gave Luke a polite nod. "If it's the orders call for me to stay here I will gladly follow it."

    "Then let us move on to the details of the intervention," Luke continued.

    "You shouldn`t feel too bad about staying here," Gaven told Mira later. "Master Hett will do a good work in the Southwest, he has proven his skills before."

    "It´s less him I mistrust," Mira admitted, "and more the knwoledge how much influence Jagged apparently even has on the council, seems truly not all of his creatures live on Bastion. Who knows what they are planning next?"

    "I wish I could whip away these fears," Gaven said slowly. "But in the last two decades things have become worse and worse. And I say that as someone who once called Jaina Solo a friend..." He kept quiet for a moment, gazing down from the balcony onto the lights of nightly Coruscant.

    "My aunt Ulrika once did so too," Mira said sadly. "I think she fooled a lot of people."

    "She and Jagged did, and for many still do," Gaven replied, his gaze drifting over towards the Senate building, "there they also have their supporters, Senators bought or brought over with false promises..."

    "Maybe, being caught here on Coruscant I can look into some of these under the table deals," Mira mused. And another idea came to her mind, "maybe with an old friend."

    "Sounds like a plan," Gaven gave her a weak smile, "I will do my best to see Master Hetts intervention succeed, maybe with an old friend of mine as well."

    Mira raised an eyebrow, "you mean him? Well guess that makes us the two members of the Council to have a former Sith for a friend." She chuckled a bit.

    "Well our enemies are Sith as well," Gaven reminded her, "maybe having some former members on our side will be just the edge we need right now."
    earlybird-obi-wan likes this.
  14. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Clash of Titans Winner star 6 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 21, 2006
    Mira meeting the Jedi and becoming a member of the council. That will be a great development. But Hett? No Darth Krayt ?
    Tay Neir and Mira Grau like this.
  15. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016
    Well he wouldn`t introduce himself as Krayt to Luke now would he? [face_tee_hee]
    Tay Neir likes this.